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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 9 posts from October 2010 for this blog.
Counting the Freebies
Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just thought I would tell you all that in the last few days I have received these freebies:

  • Traditional Home magazine
  • Sample of Crest
  • Pro-Health Clnical Gum protection
  • Covergirl lashblastlength mascara
  • Sample of Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisturizer
  • Strivectin -SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles  (generous sample tube)
  • Sample of new WISK detergent

You see I usually concentrate on health & beauty items, as I get the best deals here. Mostly from freestufftimes.com - I am connected with freestufftimes.com on twitter now, which helps because the freebies seem to go so QUICKLY now!

I am also now getting the Wall St. Journal delivered daily for, I believe 6 months - It's not all about stocks & finance - I enjoy the "liberal arts/cultural" parts a lot.

As I have said before, I am also receiving lots of free magazines - I lose track of them!  But I see a FORBES, a COSMO, an ELLE and PEOPLE WATCH. (title?) Not only do I enjoy reading them, but I also pass them along - a box is going to hubby's school for art projects and so on! Lots of great pix to cut  up.

More on freebies later this week - I got a big one & want to devote an entry to it....

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Estate Sale Cont'd/diy china cabinet
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More on the aftermath of the estate sale  -

I picked up a vintage shelf in that blonde 50's finish I like, but as I said it turns out that I had been duped by a 50's faux finish & the heavy duty cleaner I started to use had been taking off a top layer of PAINT!  Leaving white spots.  Luckily I stopped fairly soon!

The light 50's blonde finish looks good on top of the oak - & as it fills up with stuff it looks better & better!  (Even hubby admits that & he was dubious.) - Now I have tripled the storage area on top of the credenza (if you can call it that - I think it was supposed to be a surround for a sink - I picked up at the end of a yard sale gratis woman just wanted to get RID of it.) But it is solid wood & quite heavy in fact, the better to hold up a 2nd story.

They used to do things like that a lot in the old days - put furniture pieces together  - so perhaps you have some pieces that are meant for each other, too.

P.S. It was also fun looking up the silvermarks on 2 thrift shop pieces I have - The plate thingy is silverplate from a co. in Conn. which went out of business in 1939 - & the pitcher thingy is Sheffield silverplate - Fenton Bros. date?) And all the info was on the internet.

PPS - I had spilled coffee on our computer keyboard - which burned it out - but luckily hubby sees keyboards all the time in his own thriftshop wanderings & he picked up one for $3 - Good deal.  & I think I like this one better, too.

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Estate Sale Cont'd/diy china cabinet
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More on the aftermath of the estate sale  -

I picked up a vintage shelf in that blonde 50's finish I like,  but when I started to clean it, it turns out that I had been duped by a 50's faux finish & the heavy duty cleaner I started to use had been taking off a top layer of PAINT!  Leaving white spots.  Luckily I stopped fairly soon.  I then proceeded to fix up the finish with my wood color markers (usually used to hide scratches). 

Hubby thought I should refinish it - but I am more of a let's-repair-it-so-it-looks-good type.  It took a little doing, but I fixed up the finish & now I have put it ON TOP of an oak cabinet I had been using as a credenza sort of thing in the dining room - & now I have a DIY China Cabinet!

The light 50's blonde finish looks good on top of the oak - & as it fills up with stuff it looks better & better!  (Even hubby admits that & he was dubious.) - Now I have tripled the storage area on top of the credenza (if you can call it that - I think it was supposed to be a surround for a sink - I picked up at the end of a yard sale gratis woman just wanted to get RID of it.) But it is solid wood & quite heavy in fact, the better to hold up a 2nd story.

They used to do things like that a lot in the old days - but furniture pieces together  - so perhaps you have some pieces that are meant for each other, too.

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Estate Sale Cont'd/diy china cabinet
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More on the aftermath of the estate sale  -

I picked up a vintage shelf in that blonde 50's finish I like,  but when I started to clean it, it turns out that I had been duped by a 50's faux finish & the heavy duty cleaner I started to use had been taking off a top layer of PAINT!  Leaving white spots.  Luckily I stopped fairly soon.  I then proceeded to fix up the finish with my wood color markers (usually used to hide scratches). 

Hubby thought I should refinish it - but I am more of a let's-repair-it-so-it-looks-good type.  It took a little doing, but I fixed up the finish & now I have put it ON TOP of an oak cabinet I had been using as a credenza sort of thing in the dining room - & now I have a DIY China Cabinet!

The light 50's blonde finish looks good on top of the oak - & as it fills up with stuff it looks better & better!  (Even hubby admits that & he was dubious.) - Now I have tripled the storage area on top of the credenza (if you can call it that - I think it was supposed to be a surround for a sink - I picked up at the end of a yard sale gratis woman just wanted to get RID of it.) But it is solid wood & quite heavy in fact, the better to hold up a 2nd story.

They used to do things like that a lot in the old days - but furniture pieces together  - so perhaps you have some pieces that are meant for each other, too.

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Wkend Thrift/diy China cabinet
Monday, October 18, 2010

(Gonna start on my blog again - I had written a good bit & it somehow was EATEN by the computer & disappeared into cyber space - so I am going to attack the topic from another angle, as I can't bear just to try to recover the old post right now...)

Hubby & I have been cleaning out & rearranging the apartment - mostly the living room/dining room areas - and at an estate sale some friends had last Saturday I picked up on old 50's bookshelf with the blonde finish of that period  that I like. Or so I thought.  I went home & started to clean it with a strong cleaner & it took some of the finish off!  Turns out I had been duped by a very good 50's faux finish! Luckily I caught it in time - but I still have some white spots - so I dug out my refinishing pen and worked on coloring in the white spots. 

Hubby thought I should refinish the whole thing - but I am more of the let's-repair-the finish-so it's-good-enough type.  Not perfect - but since I am using the shelf to put on top of an oak credenza thing I have in the dining room (also from a yard sale) & there will be things on the shelves covering most of the spots, (& I am into shabby chic) it really doesn't matter much.  I got the idea because most "breakfronts" or china cabinets come in 2 pieces - the upper & lower - & am just jerryrigging it out of a shelf & a chest put together.

I am trying to go "up" in the apartment to maximize storage - & the shelf looks quite good on the cabinet - the woods are not too dissimilar - & somehow with the lighter finish on the tops it sort of works...And as I put things on the shelves like baskets (I am using a lot of baskets to organize little stuff) the white spots are barely noticeable! And now I  have tripled the storage space on the top of the cabinet. And I can move some items off the dining room table over to the cabinet. Yeah!

More about the estate sale tomorrow, I think....then I will feel less discouraged about the post that went away...

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Back to normal
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Listening to my local classical radio station - KUSC - just over a fund drive & back to MUSIC.  I had contributed as much as I could afford - so I switched over to the music stations on my On Demand Channel on my TV...(My computer is in the living room.) So many options for music today.

Hubby is back to work after the summer - & I do miss him.  It's so warm here, it might be summer NOW!

Trying to de-fragment this secondary computer with FREE Defraggler program - but I have so little free space on the C drive that it is VERY SLOW (one reason to defrag & get a bit more SPACE). I use CCcleaner daily to clean off cookies and other computer junk just to make the drive go a bit faster.  There are many things you can do on your own & you don't have to spend $$ on a program touted on TV to get the same cleaning tasks done!

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Dollar Racks Give U Courage
Monday, October 11, 2010

We have been restricting our thrift shopping - but having gotten the first really good paycheck so far this fall, we indulged ourselves by stopping into the Goodwill in Fillmore, CA on our way up to Ojai & the boat. (It's also car-conditioned & it was WARM...)

And would you know, I found a Michael Kors purse for $3!! (Now I looked them up & new they cost $200+ - Can you believe it?)  The bag is so well made, that I think the thrift shop employees thought it was vinyl - whereas it's real patent LEATHER and black SUEDE! Hoorah for finding leather!  I found a very nice Italian leather wallet at the Salvation Army in Pasadena for practically nothing (same syndrome, I think) - & I feel prosperous every time I take it out & use it!

I also found 2 dresses for $4.99 each - one a vintage (??) black & pink batik - and the other a raspberry knit with the tag from the store still on it!  On the dollar rack I found some nice tshirts.  OK, I have oodles of those - but at that price & considering that tshirts don't last all that long... And on the same rack there were a pair of suede fabric cargo pants in black.  They fit, but were snug in the waist - but being of good quality (Bill Blass), they had darts in the back of the waistband, which I managed to take out - giving me several inches more at the waist - enough to make them really fit! Remember that you can do minor alterations - & on dollar rack clothes if you screw up, the investment was so small that you can risk it!

Hubby also found a nice new mop for 1/2 off retail!

I confess that I enjoy being able to shop - altho thriftily.  My hair is doing much better - thank you - and the occasional applications of tea tree water has stopped the itching.  I am also continuing to moisturize my scalp.  I bought some a cheap coconut butter stick, and am using that on my front bit, still recovering from whatever allergic reaction I had there - & that seems to be helping, too. 

Not wearing my visors, as I want to cover my scalp - but I fished out my vintage fedora in cocoa - and made a hatband for it out of the material I had taken off an old poufy scarf barrette - carefully saving the metal parts to fix other barrettes, which are always losing pieces.  Don't remember where I got that hat - but in its day it was a fine one - It has the mark of the Emporium - once San Francisco's primo department store - on the leather sweatband. I have worn hats like this for years - but they have come back into fashion & lo and behold, I got several compliments on it over the weekend...And the dark straw is just right for these peculiarly hot autumn days we get here in L.A.

What does one wear?  Summer clothes look sortta silly - but I took out my burnt orange tshirt dress from last year & wore it with a scarf & my fedora.  Really made me look fashionable, I must admit, even tho the outfit had mostly arisen because I remembered how HOT Ojai can be & the dress is very cool....& doesn't crush, either...

Got some odds & ends at the church thriftshop in Ojai - $.25 eyeglass cases - I have been buying them for all my sunglasses & reading glasses when I see them cheap...Some yarn - Another pressed flower glass plaque to hang on my screen to complete the two already there - The window looks out on a stucco wall - so It needs all the color & such it can get.

I really am grateful for our boat pied-a-terre at Channel Islands Harbor.  Sunday was a perfect day with clear blue skies, cool, with a little breeze - the sort of weather you always see in the movies (that nowadays comes from lighting!)  We sat chatting with an old friend at the Farmer's Market, listening to jazzy guitar - So very nice.  Yes, I am grateful for all that.  Our old boat looks fine & a buddy who stayed on it for a while sanded down all of the wood & it looks better than ever.  Just have to put some varnish on it.

And then back to the thrifty apartment in Hollywood to watch all the classic horror movies on cable for the month of October - life can be so nice at times.

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Thinking Halloween
Monday, October 04, 2010

Thinking about Halloween decorations & at one of my favorite thrift shops I found a straw ethnic mask  - sort of made of basket material (Mexican?) - which was only $1 & which I am going to put on the door with some trimmings for the month of October. I picked up some twigs & dried buds off a fallen tree branch, and am going to use them to soup up the mask - maybe make it look like the classic Green Man - Just exotic enough for me - Gee - some of the decorations I see are very scary & I, for one, wouldn't want to some home to them!

Also made a sort of spooky arrangement for the table, with dried flowers, fringe and believe it or not, some old wooden shoe trees I had inherited from my grandmother and an old little bisque doll.  Does make one think of time gone by! (cost for that = 0, as I made it out of things on hand...)

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Oh, my hair!
Friday, October 01, 2010

I have had a dry scalp over the summer - which I had unfortunately neglected, until it became horribly dry and itchy - plus an allergic reaction at the front of my scalp - which is healing - but it terribly dry, too. So hanging around the house as I am, I have been using home remedies to heal it all up asap.

Tropical Traditions sent me a large jar of coconut oil - presumably for cooking - but I have been using it on my scalp to lubricate it - as it is a traditional tropical hair oil - and it doesn't even have any scent which an alternative - olive oil would have......and occasionally I have been sealing it in with petroleum jelly.... I have also applied coffee to my scalp, as it promotes hair growth & rinsed off my hair with tea.  Tea & coffee and other recommended rinses like lemon juice & vinegar are all acid - which I think is supposed to help restore the ph of your hair & scalp - You apparently can use plain yogurt as a hair mask & I tried that, too....

My hair & scalp are just eating it all up -  & it looks as if it is all healing.  When all else fails - goes to natural remedies - Hubby wanted to take me to a dermatologist - but I wanted to try this first & so far so good. The hair just has to grow back in the thin patches....oh, dear! and as I mentioned in a tip I added to thrifty fun, the coffee application has the side benefit of tinting my scalp slightly so that the thin parts don't show so much...

I usually have lovely hair & I hereby VOW that I will never neglect such dry scalp EVER AGAIN - because altho this is working, I don't want to go thru THIS again!

P.S. - It's great that you can look up diy and natural remedies on the internet - where I found my inspiration....do wish me luck!

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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