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Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Pam's recounting of how her ancestrally thrifty habits have helped her in modern life in ways none of her foremothers could have imagined!


Showing 10 posts from March 2009 for this blog.
And the Thrift Goes On
Monday, March 30, 2009

(NOTE: I swear I had another blog post here that I did last week - am I having senior moments already??)

The thrift goes on - what a thrifty wkend!  Busy, too.  An older friend of ours called to ash for help at the Boaters Swap Meet up at the harbor, and considering his health & so on - we readily agreed.  I decided to bring up my paperbacks, as I was able to recycle them last time & we had some marine gear to unload, too...

Hubby made $ but them turned it around by buying a marine battery for the boat - and some little appliances...and some wine glasses and plastic glasses for the boat.  He even got me a lovely small taxicab-yellow  teapot! How domestic.

I sold some books, and got a candle for $.50.  The big coup was getting 3 dried gourds for .$.25 apiece. After everything was over, I put some miscellaneous things inside the gourds to make shakers, and covered the holes with tape.  Two of them were decorated with Indian designs - so the end result was very pleasing - both to hear & to see!  For a total of $.75!  As a musician I am always looking for ways to cut costs while acquiring gear. And having extra shakers is great for audience participation!.

At the day's end, I had gotten rid of 1/2 of my books (I had had 6 bags of them) and my magazines went bye-bye, too.  I gave them away/sold them for a pittance - and the remainder went to the Marina office for good will to the girls there.  I then weeded out the paperbacks I would use for the book swap at S.M. Emeritus College - and the other 2 bags went to the book swap area in the cub house at the boat! All that OUT of my bedroom and elsewhere!

The day before we stopped in at the Ojai thrift shop on the main drag, and I scored some nice costume jewelry and a t-shirt - and hubby found SOX. There also were some balls of yarn, which I am adding to my newest knitting project.  (Maybe about $1.50 for 3 balls of varying colors??)

The other knitting project is finished, and with its dark blue/green and white striping, I have decided that I have made a serape of sorts.  It is the perfect weight to throw on when I go down to the boat in the evening! (And the generally dark colors won't show dirt, either...)

We subbed for our buddy George at a music gig at a burger joint in front of which they were having a preliminary to a vintage car show.  It was a last-minute deal, so we hauled out the ever-present karaoke machine and sang oldies butt goodies, which the cars must have heard before - and we sang for our very nice burger suppers.

The next night AFTER the swap meet we also jammed and played with George at the Deer Lodge again.  We are becoming a regular item. Best tips we have had. A new guy showed up with a drum and did some harmonies - boy, we were rocking!  And the shakers I had just done up came in handy when a guitar player showed up with 2 ladies and their kids...We had a rhythm band for a while, with everyone jumping! And we are getting some fans who want to know when we are playing next! Nice for my first foray into this pop music stuff. (Oh, if you are in the area - it's George Le Mire [and Friends - when we play]).There will be some gigs coming up - We will be on Spring Break so probably will show up Thurs. the first wk in April in addition to the weekends...)

Also dropped in at the Dollar Tree for the $1 stuff they usually have on hand and stocked up on tea-bags and sleep formula and coated aspirin - and some lotion and 2 prs. of their reading glasses (I have them everywhere).  I also stocked up on lip gloss and indulged myself with some of their headbands. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had fairly large jars of pickled red peppers - which I adore - and I bought several jars of those, too.  the pickled peppers are great to keep on hand as an addition to salads and will even serve as a vegetable in a pinch...

Sunday AM we made our usual visit to the Farmers' Mkt. at the harbor - and listened to music and chatted with friends in addition to buying some fruits and vegetables.  (Yum, the strawberries! They grow them right t.)here in Oxnard  - Mostly as a joke, our old salt pal started to trade packages of patriotic American bumper stickers which we had left from the swap meet for fruit and tamales.  There was an enthusiastic response and I think hubby jumped on the band wagon and did a deal on our strawberries with them.  We gave the last to the balloon man, and he, in turn gave me a very cute little lady bug balloon which I could put on my wrist. (That balloon man is good - it's always so funny to see the little boys fighting with balloon helmets and balloon swords!)

The cherry on the sundae was when I went to get some ice from the Clubhouse frig at our marina before I left.  There were all sorts of leftovers from the party on Saturday night which we hadn't been able to make due to our Ojai gig - and I scrounged some for hubby and me - which provided Sunday's light supper! Hubby laughs when I bring home leftovers - but then he eats them happily - go figure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Funny Irish Wk!
Friday, March 20, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted yet this week - but it has been a funny one.  I had a 7-day FREE trial of Irish on Rosetta Stone & I just crammed as much free Irish into me as I could.  Not too bad - I had finished level 1 and then some in a week.  (That's over a $100 value!) The system is very thorough, but can't be that DEEP if I have already learned 1/3 of what they have to offer.  But I did LEARN it!  Too bad the system is soo expensive! But now am exploring other gratis lessons on the net...There are free intro phrases of quite a few languages on Transparent Language in their byki system...You could learn to say hello & goodbye all over the globe!

I have worked with Celtic folk music - & I have often thought that a knowledge of Irish would help me in deciphering song lyrics....Sang a bit of my repertoire at the memorial service last weekend...But OMG - it's like RUSSIAN, everything is DECLINED & takes a different FORM.  It must torment Irish kids who have to learn it in school - becaz if you don't have that peculiar sort of rote memory, learning the forms would be HARD.

See?  It's been a peculiar week.  But I am sure I have fired some neurons, & maybe even grown a few new connections.  Language learning is stimulating to the brain....And the more neurons we have on hand as we age, the better!

 

 

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My Wkend in Vista
Monday, March 16, 2009

Hubby & I drove down to Vista, CA (above San Diego & about 2 hrs. from home) over the wkend to attend & help out at a memorial service for a friend's cousin, whom we also knew.  I  had stressed out over reviving some Celtic music for the occasion, as I hadn't done it lately - but I found the material and in the end it all turned out to be OK.  It didn't take too much work to polish up the songs for the service and then I noodled on the autoharp for atmosphere during the gathering that followed....And I also brought my recorder and my buddy & I played some  recorder/keyboard classical tunes from our old tried & true repertoire, which sounded remarkably good, considering we hadn't played together in a long time....

So after stressing out about wardrobe (found sort of black skirt + vest + long-sleeved girly blk t-shirt) and the music, it all was FINE.  I do not know why I stress like that about oldies but goodies...but I was tired this week and just couldn't go over it as much as I would like to do under normal circumstances. (Oh, and I received in the mail just before I left a lovely GRATIS Celtic pendant from my freebie hunting - with black stones - perfect for the ensemble!)

The chopping of the hair even turned out fine after I had washed it!  And now I have pieces framing my face, which makes my long hair less severe and Alice-in-Wonderland like.(& will probably postpone my next haircut for even longer....)

Wore my fake fun fur pieces - a muffler sort of thing & later my green "pelt" which I had just finished & they kept me nice and warm, even though they are acrylic....And the pink of the muffler went with the pink trim on my black skirt - so it all gelled...

My friend has rehabbed this house, helping to sell off a lot of the collection of one of the late residents and the end result is stunning.  A real English country house feel.  With all the art they have sold off, there is still quite enough to cover the walls! And the garden was lush & the air fresh.

He even saved some perfume(s) for me and a small box and a few pieces of jewelry from his late cousin's estate - and was kind enough to give me a pair of real cameo earrings - They are probably form the 50's?? and have screw backs, perfect for me! Now how can I tack them onto my earlobes so I won't lose them??? Usually I just wear cheap clip earrings for just that reason - if I lose them, it's no big deal.

Won't hear about the audition - thank you - until sometime in the next couple of weeks.  He sounded interested in having me on the webisode - but one never knows.

Yes, it's true, there really WASN'T a size "0" in the old days, was there?  It may have been taken up again  to accommodate Asians - who are very small -  I do think that the girls/women I have seen who are that size were just BORN that way!  Of course, they don't pig out - and probably diet (can you believe it?) they way models do...But it was interesting that one girl said she was always cold - and when I mentioned that to a fashion photographer friend of mine at the wake, he said that all the models are cold all the time too - No body fat, I guess! Can't be that good for you. (He always says that after starving for years, the models end up turning a sort of grey color....)

Knitted more Sun. night & watched a 1971 Russian Sci-fi flick SOLARIS on TCM - which was interesting & quite metaphysical in tone....It won awards at the time - I don't know how I had missed it - but I wasn't into sci-fi back them, I suppose...I even could pick up on some of the Russian, with the help of the subtitles from my long-ago collegiate Russian studies.  It hasn't all disappeared!

But I have to confess this current knitting project hasn't turned out exactly as I thought it would - but it's just a big square - so it doesn't much matter.  And I can even sew up and holes from dropped stitches, etc.!  I might add a bit more with another color yarn and sew on the pieces, as it would  be nice to have a a bit LONGER....But it will go with the pink peasant skirt I got last week.  I don't have any pink stoles, really, and stoles & shawls are PERFECT for the changes in California weather - warm in the middle of the day - and cooling off in the evening...I have a whole collection...

Studied more Irish with the gratis trial from Rosetta Stone - Arg!  the spelling & all those extra consonants.  But I would like to be able to decipher some song lyrics, and maybe even sing them??

The Vista house was an inspiration, and I really have to TRY to work un-cluttering our little apt.  Going to try flyladies.com, I think.  They are supposed to be good - I will keep you POSTED.  Wish me LUCK...

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Audition et al.
Thursday, March 12, 2009

Focussed on the audition I had today at 1PM - dragged out a dress from my wardrobe and so on- trying to create a character - Turned out OK - think they liked it -  Am I better at comedy?

But it's always so annoying to put in all of your change & still worry about the $ in the meter running out!  In L.A. the number scrawled on the back of the meter, however un-official looking is its NUMBER.  I found that out when defending myself from a ticket a few yrs. ago - the number on the broken meter was painted messily with what looked like red nail polish - who would have known it was legit?

Downloaded a pic from the Flicker site - where I park pix - it works nicely - Maybe I will get a free hair cut from craigslist la - I applied for one - and today before the audition, as I wore my hair down for character reasons, I did chop off parts in the front around my face - Not terrific - but luckily the style is for messy hair so  you can get away with it! 

Finished my knitting project - the fun fur turquoise + green stole - It came out like a huge surreal piece of FUR.  But it's ok like that.  I had to sew up the edge with a yarn needle & then proceeded to fill up any holes in it.  I am sure with the fun fur, which isn't very sturdy, I will be filling in holes as long as I have it!  That project would have cost at least $35-40 just for materials, but since I scored the yarn at a thrift shop, and the fun fur at the dollar store a while ago, it only cost me something like $7 + labor! Now I am sorry I didn't buy MORE fun fur when I had a chance....

Being a little crafty helps in one's wardrobe - Somehow my outfits for special occasions always turn out to be minor sewing projects. And when you wear vintage, as I like to do, there are always seams which give up the ghost. I even had a vintage pair of shoes come apart on me while I was wearing them!  All the parts just came unglued.

Going to do more shopping in my own closet - as things come IN here & not as much goes OUT.  I like to have a variety on hand for my "costumes" - which makes matters worse.  And one never does know what one can find on a thrift shop trip - sometimes even basics, if you are lucky.  I scored both 2 black tops & a pair of black mules on the last trip.  And do you know how hard it is to find THOSE?  Usually they are worn to death.  Ditto nice white shirts.

Found myself looking around at the cute young actresses waiting to read - such skinnymalinks! And they did all have long hair, with chopping - and as I wanted to portray a wannabe - it was all right.

Home & back to jeans & a t-shirt.

How are you guys holding out?

 

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Internet Trolls
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Not all of them live under bridges - Saw this elsewhere & thought I would share....Magnify Troll pic & read me.

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The Daily Grind + Allergies
Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ugh! My allergies have been bothering me, as the tree pollen count is in the red zone (i.e., BAD) according to Claritin's email pollen chart...If you are interested read the following, otherwise SKIP to the next paragraph!) [I am taking Zyrtec (which I had stocked up on with a $4 coupon before the rains stopped, knowing the pollens would follow...) + my homeopathic A. Vogel Pollinosan + nettle tincture + eyedrops (Alaway + Simulsan allergy drops) - and it all does make it go away.  Also using the air cleaner(s). (Alas, I have run out of my Bioallers TREE tincture - only have grass, alas...I'll have to find some.) That's why I schlepp all that stuff WITH me, becaz if caught without it, I am sub-human.

Ok that's boring - What else?  Finishing my furry eyelash yarn thing - maybe I will make it a capelet....Eyelash yarn + yarn does have a furry effect.  Would be nice in black or white for a prom dress stole...Mine is green + turquoise...I think the knitting in front of TV is keeping me from night eating - but it does tire the fingers...Next project ANOTHER shawl with all my leftover yarn, etc., I think. Luckily I am working thru the yarn stash I got from dollar stores & thrift shops.  Will have to look for MORE.

Other than that - quiet - went to shrinky dink - (therapy) - I go to low-cost Jungean counseling - For my $, the Jungeans are the best, esp. for artistes like me....

Did my hair yesterday with my combos of blonde + red shampoos & conditioners after having applied hydrogen peroxide to the new growth at the part & around my face...Not bad.

They talk about the death of the newspaper - but I can't read an electronic device in the TUB, can I?  Or while eating breakfast when it's subject to smears of jam and so on? And no one wants to steal it most of the time, either....Have they thought about THAT?

I like combos of low & hi tech devices - I love blogging here - but I also have notebooks & a written calendar & address book...They all back up each other.

By the way, the pink pen that Mark found for sale at Ofc. Depot is turning out to be perfect becaz of the unusual color, I can always tell which pen is MINE.

Did you know that sometimes luggagey pieces can serve as sturdy purses?  Years ago I found myself buying a drawstring bag in the luggage dept, because it was well made and affordable.  Recently hubby bought me what in its first life had been a computer case tote - but which for me was a nice long handbag.  I was using it over the wkend & a lady actually stopped me on the stree asking me where I had gotten it! And it had been on sale at an ofc. store and a good deal. (Oh, & I over the wkend I bought some fancy tassels at the thrift shop and put them on my plain khaki nylon satchel to spiff it up...)

That's a thrifty tip - buy things where they are more or less generic and don't have the overhead costs of fashion changes.  So if safari is in - think of checking out Military Surplus stores - or get a waiter's jacket where they sell uniforms, and so on. They will be less expensive and much better made, too.

I myself like folksy pieces of clothing and pick them up whenever I come across one I like - they go in and out of style - but never totally OUT, I find.  Boho dressing is getting to be a staple in fashion. (Just got a hippy skirt at Goodwill for $1.)

For everything else - it's the  daily grind - have to work up some music for a memorial Sat., which I find I am putting off.  Audition for a webisode Thurs.  Listening to the recording of our gig(s) last wkend at the Deer Lodge & we sound pretty darn good! Twittering  and microblogging on zannel.com (both under the monicker of pamphyila.) Still can't upload pics from my camera phone.  Arg.

Reading & commenting on oher frugal blogs. Do people really think we are funny to cut open plastic bottles to get the last bit of lotion/shampoo and so on?  There is always a few more applications IN there - so why throw it away?  I am still coaxing out the ends of a very nice lotion I thought was finished - by standing it on its head and opening it up and then banging on it like a bottle of ketchup! Bet I will have an extra week out of it before I am thru.

Have I mentioned that if you cut open samples of handcreme and so on from the opposite end where it's easy to cut -  you should then seal it up again with a bobby pin or paperclip so it won't all dry out before you finish the last drop. I usually fold the open end over once and then clip.

Oh, and I find I am using another plastic CD spindle on a bathroom shelf to hang my plastic headbands with the elastic closings on....You could even glue it to the wall to hang things that aren't so heavy....and the multiple roll toilet paper holder I concocted out of a paper towel stand is working fine & it saves just that much more room in our crowded apt. by stacking the rolls vertically.

The beat goes on....and how are you all doing?

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Back-to-the-Boat Frugality
Monday, March 09, 2009

We finally got back up to the boat &  drove up thru Sta. Paula, the site of one of my favorite Goodwill's - As per usual we found lots of great stuff - Hubby found 2 more brand new cotton sweaters for work at $3.99 - & I found some hippy/peasant skirts on the dollar rack + a peasant blouse- [wear them when I play music ]- and $1 top -

Then on to Ojai - where I visited the main st. St. Thos. thrift shop - [quality stuff] & got some brand name tops...Somewhere along the line I also got a nice mini-striped knit cotton sweater - but don't know where??

When in Ojai I almost always stop in a the  wonderful local health-food store - Rainbow Bridge - & I picked up some of my homeopathic allergy meds - A. Vogel's Pollinosan - and even scored some hi-potency multi vitamins at 1/2 off for the boat or when I am on the go [I usually take multiple supplements, as that is usually cheaper, but it can be a hassle....] Look for sales even at places like health-food stores.  They generally have a sale area somewhere. You would be surprised what you can pick up.

Also visited the Dollar Tree in Oxnard & got some calcium, as I was running out [that's something you can get inexpensively]  I have been taking calcium supplements ever since I went on a milk-free diet when I was in college & as a result my bones are like ROCKS. There was also some sleep formula, the contents of which looked good & which I am going to try out.  [With such things, always buy 1 or 2 to try out & then go back for more if you like it.]

Also treated myself to some headbands & 2 nylon camisoles. (I had bought a see-thru top at Goodwill for $1 with a sort of Chinese pattern - which I would have to wear with something underneath ...goes with some long skirts I already have....)

I enjoyed wearing my new hand-knit [by me] peachy scarf.  I made it out of some eyelash yarn I got from the dollar store + some yarn I got an an old ladies' thrift shop! [See, you can even save $ here - one skein had a price tag for $7.99 still on it and at a yarn store eyelash yarn costs $7-8 a ball!] And since it's acrylic, it's not too heavy for S. Cal.

The scarf was successful experiment in using combined eyelash + yarn - So I am now embarking on a shawl - It goes quickly with big needles, so maybe it will be ready for NEXT weekend. The shawl will also be with discount/bargain yarn - so it won't cost me anything, really, but my labor. and big needles + eyelash yarn is very forgiving....It has a nice fluffy effect in the end. [I have also gotten needles at thrift shops - and picked up some round needles + some little balls of yarn at the Ojai thrift shop...always take a look around, especially if you think the shop's donors are the knitting type...)

Making up the pattern more or less from a combo of a free pattern I found at the Lion Brand yarn website (they have lots there) & one from the JoEllen's website (patterns there, too) & some info I got from leafing through the knitting books at Barnes & Noble last week....But it's easy, really - I make a lot of progress knitting in front of TV.

We jammed with our buddy George as "George Le Mire & Friends" at the Deer Lodge in Ojai again Fri. & Sat. singing and playing.  Hubby recorded it on our little digital recorder - it's amazing the quality of sound you can get from the little thing...This is becoming a regular thing...

Taking pix with my camera phone, which look nice, except I am still stumped as to how to upload them anywhere....Reading the manual AGAIN....it's really not very clear...

Sat. we actually used our boat as it was intended and took a sail - Lovely. 

Then Sun. we made our regular stop at the Farmer's Mkt up here & bought some organic fruit, as I have a hard time eating regular ones if I can't peel them like bananas to get rid of the pesticide residue.  I am a canary in a coal mine - my sensitivities get me far before a normie...

Sunday while I did my regular gig, hubby visited another of his favorite thrift shops & snagged a beautiful Land's End blue blazer for $7 - a steal!  Perfect for his biz semi-casual work look.  [And a t-shirt 4 me.]

It may sound peculiar - but I think we actually get BETTER quality clothing by shopping for bargains in expensive clothes at thrift shops!  The blazer, for ex. - it would cost at least $100-$150 if not more at a regular store, even on sale.  I can't say we are the model of thrift, because we then turn around and go out to eat - but the bargains enable us to have $ to do so.  I probably have said so before, but I rarely go shopping at regular stores anymore, and when I do, the regular prices astound me.

Oh - also picked up some Bonne Belle lip gloss & 2 Maybelline lipsticks - for $1 each.  I always stock up when I see makeup at such great prices, as eventually I will get thru all of it - and I do have  lip stuff all over the house.  It is so DRY here. It's surprising what brands actually turn up at the dollar stores from time to time - Revlon, Maybelline, L'Oreal and so on.  But grab it while it lasts because it will disappear asap. 

Otherwise I use Wet N Wild lipsticks - really.  I have one or 2 colors I like very much & when they are on sale, I buy several. (You have to match the color #'s to make sure you get a match.) It's an ongoing process - if you keep up with the stocking via bargain finds, you won't find yourself having to run out & pay full price for a lipstick or other makeup - & today, even drug store lipsticks can run $7 each. [Do you know that with the higher prices we are forking out for their ad budgets??? Fewer ads = lower price for you.]

But, alas, I woke up this Mon. AM to my allergies full blown, despite the fact that I had taken a Zyrtec last night. According to Claritin's pollen count chart, which I get via email - it's the TREES.  So I scrambled to take my supplemental nostrums - Allertonic - the A. Vogel Pollisan homeopathic tablets - nettle tincture & so on.  Can't find my TREE tincture, tho.  Darn.  Just when I need it....

Have to get some more.  Ditto Nasalcrom. As with the makeup, I try to keep everything stocked more or less, so I have it asap when allergies strike, and it doesn't  spoil or anything...

Also have the air cleaners blowing cleaned air around - Hubby actually can WASH the filters of those in the bathtub rather than replacing them.  You can do that several times before the cardboard structure goes, and at $30 or so a pop, that adds up. [not me, I can't TOUCH the dirt & dust it catches.) One air cleaner was a gift, the other a thrift shop find.

There you have it - my wkend excursion + shopping trip. We do enjoy all of it.  I know the sailboat outlay constitutes what otherwise would be a travel budget - but on the other hand,we get to go away A LOT - and it's so refreshing, as wkends are supposed to be.  "Re-creation" - [think of the origins of that word].  And get some.  You all deserve it, I am sure.

P.S. A posting at ThirdAge.com saying that getting a hotel/motel for an extended stay (w/senior discounts) might cost LESS than an assisted living home, with lots of the same perks in the price - pool, laundry, maid service, security and so on ( & sometimes coffee and breakfast bars, etc.).  And that the managers could take care of other needs for you, the privileged GUEST, as in calling for taxis...

That's a thought. I read an article about a couple spending most of their soc. security & disability income on RENT.  [And they were eating hot dogs instead of more nutritional choices...] You could probably get a nice suite at a Holiday Inn for less than assisted living. I will remember that for years to come, if the need arises. But I have my rent-controlled apt., so I/we are cool for the time being. 

It might very well turn out that hubby's education profession, altho financially an underdog in the 80's & 90's, with its security will turn out to be a comfortable place for someone with experience during the hard times we face, while other, "sexier" jobs  are getting shaky.  Who would have thought?

As a lifelong thrifty, I haven't much changed my shopping routine - but it was bargain-oriented to begin with.  How are these times treating YOU all?

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Yesterday was Mail Day!
Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everything that I had ordered though the internet finallycame in  yesterday! The set of 16 drinking glasses I had bought from Macy's with the gift card I had won over Xmas online - The checks I had ordered online because bank checks now cost a fortune - The sox I had gotten on sale from Nonsense becaz I was impressed with the quality of a sample they had sent me - and the DRESS I had ordered from Amazon, which had gotten lost in the mail....(I had had to print out the paperwork from Amazon about deliveries & stick it in the mailbox for the postperson & it worked!)

Everything a bargain - the dress' list price was almost $35 & I paid $15 WITH shipping! I have so few dresses & it's hard to find the simple kinds I like without paying a fortune...$15 is almost a thrift shop price!

And in the mail there also arrived a skin sample from Murad - something from Walmart - and more FREE magazines, which I looked at during the TV commercials last night.

I struggled with the internet yesterday afternoon, trying to figure out features on my phone, like text and how to download pix - seems like I have to PAY for software for pix download?? Ugh. Do I have to schlepp my digital camera around??- I would like pix for my microblog at Zannel  ( see me at http://zannel.com/pamphyila - I am under L.A. Stories...)

More emphasis on show biz there...So I am back to my clip art archive...But my cell phone bill had an extra $12 for me - presumably for the computer stuff - so I have to be careful.  Otherwise I am not using it much.  But sometimes I have to check for emails on the boat over the wkends...Mark uses all our minutes for his job - wish he got more $ back for that...

Tech learning curves are hard - but fruitful.  The only way I have ever been able to learn tech stuff is thru the learn by the "doing & looking up along the way" route...Other than typing classes I took before it was known as keyboarding, I have never really taken any computer classes at all.  Everything I have done is pretty much self-taught, with the help of manuals and support materials...When I was a temp I had a library of manuals for various software programs when I switched off from one to another...Remember Wang?  And Wordperfect?  And even WordStar?? Old dBase? And I say to anyone who has ever learned the rules of a game like Monopoly, you, too can learn a computer - it's just another set of rules...

Today I look for semi-automated programs like Picasa imaging (free from Google) which have shortcuts to the easy features I want - like the programs at www.jumpcut.com which allowed me to save a couple of hundred bucks by doing the editing for my reel myself!

Feeling frustrated about my artistic unemployment - even tho the pirate flick was on the tube a week ago- so for all intents & purposes I AM working cyberly.  How strange. But it's all weird.  My buddy Eldon always gives me credit for hanging in there.  We are all underemployed artistically - and only the fanatics hang on because we HAVE to.  Tell that to any starry-eyed kids dreaming of performing success!

How are you?  My hubby's job seems secure - they need him - but then I read an article in the L.A. Times that said that the 30% of us in the US who think their jobs are OK are actually nuts.  But then, I never claimed that I wasn't.  Besides, I have been preparing all my life thru frugality for something like this!

Do you feel prepared??

 

 

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Day 2 Day
Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spent most of the day in Santa Monica at my gratis S.M. Emeritus College scene study class.  The prof is Barbra Gannen - whose classes elsewhere are $50/each - so, $200/mo would pay for this class if I HAD to pay for it.  Over a few months, that's thousands of dollars in savings!

I brought my lunch in a little paper bag which I save for such occasions - and carpooled with hubby who was working on the W. Side that day.  Nice.

But I forgot to bring along the bag of books I was going to contribute to the bookshelf!  I have all these paperbacks I want to get back into circulation...Next week.

We had dinner on the 3rd St. Promenade and waited for the traffic to clear before heading home. Took some pix with my cell phone - but now I have to learn how to upload them!

My outfit was brown with turquoise accents, which I wouldn't have thought of except that I have a shell with those colors which I wore under my nylon animal print shirt  - and then added my Blue/green resin bead necklace - and my watch, is turquoise - and threw on my turquoise jacket.

Fun to window shop on the Promenade and see what the trends are close up.  I always try to see if I can imitate them or make them or whether I have something similar to drag out & wear.  (All the bright jackets I picked up last year for a song at a Pasadena Salvation Army are IN this season.) In one store it seemed nothing was under $28 - except some headbands of the sort I get at the 99 Cent Store for - well, 99 cents! (There they were $10!?!)  There was a yellow leather handbag I liked a lot but it was almost $300! My oh my.

After dinner we looked around the Barnes & Noble there -and I leafed thru some craft books and some knitting books.  I get inspiration from the pictures -not that I am that technically adept!

Seem to be in a jewelry-concocting mode - the key necklace on the ball chain worked out so well!  And now the style is back to BIG necklaces, so I am thinking about all the stuff I have in the jewelry archive.  Think it will get me to re-organize my stuff.  I have read that now's the time to "shop in your own closet" - and I did pull out a craft brown wooden barrette with wire accents from a drawer - but along the way I discovered the spring was missing, and the thing was slipping badly - but I found a brown hair elastic in the bottom of a makeup bag which I twisted around the closing to tighten it up.  It worked!

Then came home to a Murad sample and more of my gratis magazines.  There was a "My Frugal Life" entry in thriftyfun today that tells you to stop all your subscriptions.  I would suggest to look for free ones at sites like mommysavesbig.com, which is what I am doing!  I have never had so many magazines in my life!  All free.

Also got an invitation to a free screening of the new movie Watchmen - but, darn, we will be at a memorial service that day - so we can't go...On the Promenade we looked at the AMC theatre's offerings - as we have discount coupons for tix there - but everything was too late for us -

Came home & had to catch up with my computer work while hubby watched the 30's flick THE HURRICANE on TCM - He thought it was a "manly movie" - as opposed to my chick flicks - and it reminded him of his days in New Zealand teaching the Maoris....I did like Dorothy Lamour's edited Edith Head sarongs....Some things never go out of style...

Frugal Forever!!

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Wkend Frugal Fixes
Monday, March 02, 2009

Lots of frugal fixes & gambits this wkend.  Hubby decided to go up to the snow in the Angeles Crest rather than the boat so, I prepared thusly:

  • My heavier jeans had a prominent white spot on the front right knee.  As distressed jeans are in style again, I got out some fine sandpaper and evened out the wear around the spot to make it blend in and distressed the rest of that knee, and the other one as well.  What me, buy distressed jeans? Never.  I can just wear my old ones!
  • The second strap band on my watch is gone, so I used 2 little clear mini hair bands to secure it. Nice & doesn't really show.
  • The strap for the opening of the nylon purse hubby got for me at a bargain was too long.  So to make the top close more securely, I "shortened" the strap by folding it over & securing with two hair elastics in a contrasting beige color to match the rest of the bag.  No one could tell, and the closure is snug.
  • Dug out the winter sheepskin boots I had bought for my NYC trips.  They are holding up nicely because I remembered to spray them with the appropriate water/stain repellent before I ever wore them.  Saw some Uggs later in the day.  Almost exactly the same as my Emu boots - but I got mine on sale at Sportsmart - and the ones I saw were 4X as expensive, with only a slightly fine suede.  But for my purposes, sturdy suede is FINE.

Then we drove up to the mountains for a snow experience!  Ah! the air!. Mt. Waterman was open - what an inexpensive ski day! And lots of kids and snowboarders were there.  We were just a bit too late to go up the ski lift for the scenic excursion, tho...It's SO close to home. And it looks like the Alps.

  • Upon returning home, discovered a package in the mailbox.  I had actually WON an Aveeno Natural Beauty Contest somehow & they sent me a full-size Aveeno 45 spf spray-on sunblock.  I can surely use THAT this summer.  (So enter those contests. I have won several in the last 6 months.)
  • Also several of my free magazines came.

Tried that Ibunex sample for my sore fingers that had come.  (it's a new topical ibuprophen.) Of ALL the things I have been trying out, for my sore finger joint, it's the only thing that has WORKED. I have a deal for free shipping on it, too - so when I finish the samples....

  • Have to apologize to the Skin MD people.  Now that it's warmer, I find that their Shielding Lotion + sunscreen is very nice for my ARMS, neck, and so on. You can put it on before going out without fear of staining your clothes. (My face needs more moisture...) But its non-greasiness really works for the body...
  • Read in the Zappo's online shoe blog about people complaining that they can't get jeans short enough and how they don't want to take them to be altered.  Heavens!  As a short person, I always have had to hem my pants.  No big deal. Just fold them over to the right length, affix loosely with duct tape before washing and after washing, measure, fold, iron for crease and sew with a simple hem stitch.  (Same for most skirts.) You can do it in front of TV.  I do. (Oh, duct tape is also good for holding up jean hems if they come down when you don't have time to fix them....)
  • Actually last night in front of TV I took out some of the fruit/vine patterned contact paper I had from the 99 cent store, and cut a circle to put on the top of the decidedly cheap but adequate plastic compact so it wouldn't look quite so cheap.  The yellowish background of the paper, with its pattern of leaves looks very nice against the black plastic of the compact container and masks its origins nicely.
  • Saw a decorating show the other night where they put wood-grained dark contact paper on a plywood base for faux wood - they even meticulously made a pattern to look like inlay - and then covered it with a round of GLASS, so no one would be the wiser.  I have used wood-grained and marble-grained contact paper for furniture and furniture tops, but adding the glass for a dining room  table was the finishing touch.  Would even work well over a faux contact paper marble top for an armoire, dresser, etc.  Or you could use plexiglass, but that has a tendency to bend....Practically the only way you can make over today's composite board furniture is to use that adhesive paper., especially if there is any wear. 
  • Found some lavender growing wildly - so I plucked a few to make a sprig.  Once home, I tied with some lavender ribbon I had left over, and put it in a little old glass ink bottle for a tiny floral display.
  •  

Once down the mountain, we stopped into the Sports Chalet in La Canada to check out their prices for rental ski equipment. Boy, were their knitted wool hats pricey!  I would make my own - luckily I recently found a wool ski hat & gloves set at a thrift store for a song, which goes in with the ski gear.  Does anyone PAY those prices?  The sun dresses with the shirred tops reminded me of one I made myself years ago and made me think of doing another one.

We then dropped into the nearby Home Goods store and I perused all the clearance areas just for fun.  As hubby said, all the things you DON'T really NEED.  Reminded me that it's a place to get gifts, tho. Found a nice little rug for the house ($3) & a big tin of cocoa left over from the Xmas season, also $3 - I do like it in my coffee. Now I am fixed for the foreseeable future, as I picked up some at the Pier One sale, too. (If you haven't checked, real cocoa can be expensive & in tins it will last....)

The next day we went for a walk around the Headwaters Park near Old Topanga Road near Calabasas.  It's a lovely site, reminding you of Old California before development.  There is even a stream that they have cleaned up & revived.  The frogs were croaking merrily.  And there are picnic tables.  We HAVE to picnic and play some music there.  In contrast to the prevailing temperatures, it is nice and shady and cool under the Oak trees by the stream.  And you know, this is the first Sunday we have EVER seem anyone else there! Look around for hidden gems in your neighborhood!

One day in the snow and the next it's 80 degrees and we seek shade.  So. Calif. has its points.  Today it's rainy again & I am back  to sweatshirts.

 

 

 

 

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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