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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 2 posts from December 2009 for this blog.
What's up Santa?
Friday, December 18, 2009

Have been working as an entertainer for Xmas - so haven't been blogging.  Hubby & I worked as Santa & Mrs. Claus at Channel Islands Harbor - (He got a suit, I had to put together my outfit) - It was drizzly & chilly - but the kids were adorable & hubby is a great Santa.

Last night my group The Pickwicks was revived for a holiday party down near the airport.  Hubby, Eldon Turner & I played and sang and rang bells & jingle bells & a good time was had by all.  In the last minute we had to "fluff" our equipment set up, but luckily there was a 99 Cent Store in the neighborhood which saved the day.  Besides the ribbon and so on - I actually found a pewter VERA scarf (must be 20+ years old) which was real SILK for 99 cents.  One never knows what one will find.

I wore my $12 wonder dress (acquired from a few months ago - there were so cheap - I bought a black AND a red one). I twisted the top to give me a V neck & added a black jacket I had had for years & the tights that I had gotten 2 for 1 at the drug store for being Mrs. Claus (one blue pair and one black) - and the brocade mules I had gotten at a thrift store. Oh - also the earrings from the thrift store in Ojai - and bracelets from the old ladies' thriftshop in Camarillo - & a combination of a ruffly scarf from the 99 Cent Store & a gold sequined one from another thriftshop.  One's wardrobe does come in handy at times like this.

Have started to give out the holiday scarves - and fashion photographer Peter Brown wore his to his photo shoot for designer Cynthia Vincent & got compliments from Cynthia and another fashionista! And another friend I gave a scarf to loved the orange in the knit - which went with his orange emergency jacket - and declared that it was great that the garter stitching knit made the scarf grip at the neck and not slip - an advantage I hadn't noticed before.  And another lady admired the pink one I wore as Mrs. Claus & said it was a nice length & width (i.e. - long and slightly skinny).  It's a flattering shape for me....

Using the gift bags we receive from Maker's Mark (they have been sending us stuff for years....) - but I am putting old greeting cards on them to somewhat disguise the whiskey bottle pattern! We also got Maker's Mark tissue - and I still have some wrapping paper left over from last Xmas.

Found some little ornaments at the old ladies' thrift shop for $.25 each - nice wooden ones - which I added to our little tree which we put up in what Mark calls an "altar" area near the desk.  I also bought 2 bunches of Xmas foliage from the Dollar Tree - which I cut up with wire cutters - and secured the tree into a Santa cocoa tin from last season - with gilded pine cones & such. I glammed up the straw wreath for the door with blonde fake poinsettias from another Dollar Tree bunch - and added a gold bow and a red ribbon to tie it to the door.  Looks great - for a $2 outlay....

But really, I have not bought a lot this year - just recycled decorations from years past - which is a nice thing to do anyway...And the angels - and other figurines and such  - were bargains of years past.

Mark found me a lovely bouquet of roses and lilies at the supermarket on Sunday night for a pittance - and I mixed them up with another bouquet we had picked up at the Farmer's Market - My buddy told me that if I take the pollen tips from the lilies very carefully, they will last longer.  I never knew that.  I am pruning the roses, as the outside petals get dried up - but it's been almost a week now - and I still have my flowers!

Mark has put on the recording of us at the party - It's so nice to enjoy making music and make some $ with it, too!  We can do this forever! Looks like we are reviving our musical partnership with our buddy Eldon - for fun & profit. We hooked up with a very nice lady with an entertainment company who books all sorts of little events and parties - She stopped by & was impressed & more work will be coming from there. And we are so versatile - we have done Xmas music - & 70's pop & standards & children's music & Renaissance music & classical & church music....You ask for it - other than hip hop - we got it..

Now that's an example of how to make $ from your hobby - if you want to call our music making a hobby. It does help to defray the expenses of instruments and so on...And it's such fun!

How are your holidays going?  Hope everything is very festive!



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Almost Xmas
Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hooray! the trim/cut I did myself to my hair yesterday worked out fine!  My hair was so long I just couldn't stand it anymore, and I haven't been able to get to a hairdresser - & I was reading about hair cut "sales in L.A. of cuts being reduced from $265 to something like $165 !!so I took out my new sharp shears and did my old DIY cutting tricks.  (1) make sure your hair is really LONG, so there is margin for error (2) I cut off the back by gathering my dry hair up in a flat barrette, and then holding it up in front of a mirror, and cutting straight across (this may take a few tries) (3) I then straighten out the ends dry and (4) I trim around my face by twisting the hair in wisps and cutting little bits to soften the edges. (This is supposed to work for bangs, too.) (5) Then I check when hair is clean and wet for any last minute cleaning up.

I also renewed my streaking by applying plain household hydrogen peroxide to the new growth area at the top and front of my head several times - until the blonding more or less matched the rest of the old hair which had been streaked.  I just put it on and then let dry.  The front is fine now, but I will have to do more in the back crown later.  Now I will shampoo with colored shampoo - 1/2 blonde & 1/2 red (ditto for 1/2 & 1/2 colored conditioner) letting the shampoo stay on for !5+ minutes....

I have a very simple cut with a side part - so it's not too hard.  Although, of course, a professional would have given me layers - that's for my next real hair cut!

As an actress I try to keep my hairstyle more or less the same -otherwise I would have to get new professional pics taken all the time!  And I like to use mine UP - not throw out the old ones! I don't know why in show biz it is considered to be good practice to throw $ at problems, rather than keep overhead low, as in any other business! And what's more - if you maintain more or less the same flattering hairstyle, as did, for example, old movie actress Claudette Colbert - you will gain an ageless quality all we females need.  It's all about trying to develop your own professional style.

Went to Santa Monica for an audition and stayed and windowshopped on the 3rd St. Promenade - bought myself a bargain cocktail ring for $5 - with a big black "stone" - I then customized it by painting the raised pattern around the stone with a blackish sparkly nail polish - and got an effect of marcasite, which really made a difference to the ring.  I had looked at similar ones for $30 - but the cocktail ring trend will probably be fleeting - so this one will do fine.  (Note:  colored metallic nail polish is great for repairing/resurfacing/enhancing the finish of inexpensive costume jewelry.  You can use auto touchup paint, too.)

Most of my Xmas shopping/making is DONE - so I mostly can avoid the crush during the season - it was nice to walk in the middle of a weekday along the Promenade - for exercise in the brish weather - and avoid the crowds....

 Happy holiday time to you all!



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