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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 December 2010 for this blog.
Resolutions?
Friday, December 31, 2010

Besides all the usual resolutions about being healthier and more active - I have some others:

  • We will go to more live concerts & performances.  They are cultural food, and really enliven me.
  • I will go to museums more often - Just observed that by going to the Crocker Museum on a trip to Sacramento - 
  • Let's feed our souls! 

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Resolutions?
Friday, December 31, 2010

Besides all the usual resolutions about being healthier and more active - I have some others:

  • We will go to more live concerts & performances.  They are cultural food, and really enliven me.
  • I will go to museums more often - Just observed that by going to the Crocker Museum on a trip to Sacramento - 
  • Let's feed our souls! 

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Casual Remarks
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enjoying Xmas holiday - &   going to the thrift shops near my relatives' places!  Hubby found a leather jacket for $10 (they all thought it was PLASTIC - but after he bought it, I sniffed it & knew better...)

  • Also: Found a pair of brand new dark blue loafers (my daily shoe of choice) + more boat shoes!
  • Found a folklorico dress (Guatemalan??) for $4.99 - 
  • Found a long-sleeved t-shirt with a "Picasso" theme for $4.99
  • Found a fabric fedora for winter use - 
  • Some scarves (I couldn't resist)
  • And budget item - a pkg of 4 prs of trouser stockings for - .$99!!!
  • Some nice paperbacks 
  • Some inexpensive dresses that seemed to be new Target merchandise - I will use them for auditions, so easy to throw on a DRESS
  • And hubby found a nice pair of slippers! 

Lots of fun!I always feel as if I am snooping in someone's closet! & saving $, too.....

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Casual Remarks
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Enjoying Xmas holiday - &   going to the thrift shops near my relatives' places!  Hubby found a leather jacket for $10 (they all thought it was PLASTIC - but after he bought it, I sniffed it & knew better...)

  • Also: Found a pair of brand new dark blue loafers (my daily shoe of choice) + more boat shoes!
  • Found a folklorico dress (Guatemalan??) for $4.99 - 
  • Found a long-sleeved t-shirt with a "Picasso" theme for $4.99
  • Found a fabric fedora for winter use - 
  • Some scarves (I couldn't resist)
  • And budget item - a pkg of 4 prs of trouser stockings for - .$99!!!
  • Some nice paperbacks 
  • Some inexpensive dresses that seemed to be new Target merchandise - I will use them for auditions, so easy to throw on a DRESS
  • And hubby found a nice pair of slippers! 

Lots of fun!I always feel as if I am snooping in someone's closet! & saving $, too.....

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Feathers 4 New Yrs?
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Had to share these instructions for a feather-embellished skirt! (Especially after watching Ginger Rogers swirl around in a feather-decorated ball gown last nite on TCM!)

It's from whowhatwear -

Of course, if you've got some time on your hands, a budget to stick to, or simply prefer to wear one-of-a-kind items, you can always make a feathered skirt yourself. Thought it might seem seriously complicated, we've got a secret weapon to help get you through this project: D.I.Y. guru Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This! Today she's sharing all the secrets you need to know about how to fashion a feathered skirt, so read on for Domesek's always-simple step-by-step instructions and have fun!

INGREDIENTS
-Black Skirt
(We used American Apparel's California Fleece Tulip Skirt ($32) in black.)
-Ostrich Feather Trim
(Please note: the exact length of trim needed is directly related to the size of the skirt you are using.)
Small Skirt: 4+ yards
Medium Skirt: 5+ yards
Large Skirt: 6+ yards
-Fabric Glue
(Aleene's Original Tacky Glue ($5) is one good option)
-Scissors

DIRECTIONS
1. Lay skirt on a flat surface and glue the feather trim to the hem, starting at the bottom edge on the far left side.

2. Make sure you use a generous layer of glue on the feather trim (but not so much that it seeps over the trim's edges) and be sure to position the trim so that it lies flat along the hem.

3. Once glued in place, cut the trim on the far right edge of the skirt.

4. Glue the second row of trim to the skirt, again starting on the far left side. The second row should be spaced approximately 2 to 3 inches above the first row. (NOTE: Do one entire side of the skirt first, then flip it and do the other side.)

5. Continue to glue rows of the feather trim up the skirt, leaving approximately 2 to 3 inches between each row.

6. Let the skirt partially dry—approximately 10 to 15 minutes—then flip it over and do the other side.

7. Once you're finished with both sides, be sure to let the fabric glue completely set (approximately 24 hours) before wearing it out on the town!

For pix go to http://www.whowhatwear.com/website/home.php (This is for 12/22) Or look up Erica Domesek on the site...

NOTE: for even a more budget twist - you might try attaching the feathers you can get from little girl's boas at the dollar store.  They are strings of chicken feathers - and probably would have to be sewn on instead of glued - but come in lots of colors & would also look super!

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Xmas Activities
Friday, December 17, 2010

Last week was taken up with digging out my Mrs. Claus costume for my appearance with my hubby at the 45th Annual Xmas Celebrations at Channel Islands Harbor, where we have our boat.   This year we had a tent, so I bought some decorations for it, so it wouldn't be so stark - at the Dollar Tree! and 2 elf hats, so we could put them on the kids when they had their pix taken with Santa. (Oh, & I had a few auditions, too - that can take up a day...)

We always have such a good time with the kids - Hubby is a wonderful Santa!  (And we make some extra holiday $, too!)

Then some friends of ours came up to see the Boat Parade.  It was so mild that we were quite comfortable all sitting on the deck of the boat to see the lighted boats as they came by. That's my idea of gratis holiday celebration.  They kids played in a pile of "snow" from a local ice-making plant  - & had free pix taken with Santa! And we adults had the boat parade.  All very festive!

Hubby used some of the cards I had on hand to send to his family - & I have been sending ecards - Altho I have to admit that I do like real paper cards to put around the house.

We have so MUCH Xmas music we have collected over the years! At least a dozen CDs! And there are lots of FREE Xmas music downloads - Check out www.freestufftimes.com for the addresses...

I don't know how much wrapping paper I have, so I have been collecting colorful pages from the newspaper and magazines and ads to spiff up my packages.  Reused my padded bags for sending Xmas presents (I save them over the year - as NEW ones are expensive...& bags can really re-used several times.) 

Put a scent card into an Xmas card because it was pretty & just festive.  I save the scent strips & usually make potpourri out of them by cutting them in strips and putting in a small basket...

Saw a pattern for making bows out of magazine strips - was it at marthastewart.com?  They have great diy ideas there. Also recycle the paper, etc. from presents we get, as we open them!

Did you know that you can IRON paper & ribbon & tissue paper?  Just put it on a very LOW setting & iron soem of the creases out & refresh the drimmings.

In the last minute we have also been hired to make an appearance as Santa & Mrs. Claus at the holiday party at the clinic of hubby's company - For years I did Xmas music & had a caroling quarter & have made $ doing that at Xmas - We entertained at a party last year....As  usual performing is never the problem - it's finding the gigs!

Have to motivate myself to make some kniffty knitter HATS for presents - It was too warm - but has gotten chilly again - so....

Are you all having a great time yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Xmas Activities
Friday, December 17, 2010

Last week was taken up with digging out my Mrs. Claus costume for my appearance with my hubby at the 45th Annual Xmas Celebrations at Channel Islands Harbor, where we have our boat.   This year we had a tent, so I bought some decorations for it, so it wouldn't be so stark - at the Dollar Tree! and 2 elf hats, so we could put them on the kids when they had their pix taken with Santa. (Oh, & I had a few auditions, too - that can take up a day...)

We always have such a good time with the kids - Hubby is a wonderful Santa!  (And we make some extra holiday $, too!)

Then some friends of ours came up to see the Boat Parade.  It was so mild that we were quite comfortable all sitting on the deck of the boat to see the lighted boats as they came by. That's my idea of gratis holiday celebration.  They kids played in a pile of "snow" from a local ice-making plant  - & had free pix taken with Santa! And we adults had the boat parade.  All very festive!

Hubby used some of the cards I had on hand to send to his family - & I have been sending ecards - Altho I have to admit that I do like real paper cards to put around the house.

We have so MUCH Xmas music we have collected over the years! At least a dozen CDs! And there are lots of FREE Xmas music downloads - Check out www.freestufftimes.com for the addresses...

I don't know how much wrapping paper I have, so I have been collecting colorful pages from the newspaper and magazines and ads to spiff up my packages.  Reused my padded bags for sending Xmas presents (I save them over the year - as NEW ones are expensive...& bags can really re-used several times.) 

Put a scent card into an Xmas card because it was pretty & just festive.  I save the scent strips & usually make potpourri out of them by cutting them in strips and putting in a small basket...

Saw a pattern for making bows out of magazine strips - was it at marthastewart.com?  They have great diy ideas there. Also recycle the paper, etc. from presents we get, as we open them!

Did you know that you can IRON paper & ribbon & tissue paper?  Just put it on a very LOW setting & iron soem of the creases out & refresh the drimmings.

In the last minute we have also been hired to make an appearance as Santa & Mrs. Claus at the holiday party at the clinic of hubby's company - For years I did Xmas music & had a caroling quarter & have made $ doing that at Xmas - We entertained at a party last year....As  usual performing is never the problem - it's finding the gigs!

Have to motivate myself to make some kniffty knitter HATS for presents - It was too warm - but has gotten chilly again - so....

Are you all having a great time yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thot's After Xmas Window-shoppingnng
Thursday, December 09, 2010

Random thoughts after Xmas window shopping on the net & live in person -

  • Love Anthropologie - but not the prices! But I have many very similar things which I acquired at MUCH LESS.  Use their ads as inspiration, as many online crafters do.
  • Hardly believed it when I saw ornaments like the ones I had bought for $.25 at old lady thrift shops for @ $9 in an upscale boutique. My Xmas tree, altho small, is just as nice as the ones they were showing & not anywhere near as expensive.  Figure out how to duplicate pricey effects on the cheap.  Hint - a length of gold ribbon with wired edges makes a nice addition to a tree...
  • Dry weather/dry hair - finally making headway with my awful dry scalp.  From my internet research, I saw that one hairdresser was using Seabreeze on itchy scalps- so I got some and put it on the affected areas & then put on my coconut oil + olive oil & kept it ON - You can put it on before you go to sleep overnite - but as I am working at home, I have just kept it ON as much as possible.  Also think I beat what I think was a scalp infection with repeated applications of hydrogen peroxide - it's drying - as are the dandruff shampoos - so the applications of the oil(s) are even more important - & I can put it just on the affected areas & not dry out all of my hair & scalp.  All this has saved me a trip (& the $ of) a trip to a dermatologist!
  • Taking out the extra Xmas cards from previous years to use for folks who we didn't send that pattern to before.  Hubby sent out expensive-lking ones to his family (from a thriftshop) & I had a nice one for my agent, too.
  • You can spiff up pillar candles for Xmas (& other occasions) by adding those old stretchy bead bracelets & winding them around the candle. (Be careful if you are burning them, tho!)
  • You can add bling to your Xmas tree with your old jewelry - Even broken rhinestones & funky bracelets & necklaces look good on an Xmas tree....
  • Diet eggnog & pumpkin spice added to your coffee creates a budget & fairly low-cal eggnog coffee for the holidays.  A way to have eggnog without all the calories!
  • I really like the new healing ointment Carmex gave me as a blogger!  Nice weight for winter dry skin.

OK - back to the grindstone - Hope you are enjoying the holiday season as much as I am...

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Xmas Decorating
Sunday, December 05, 2010

The other night on the local news I saw a feature that supposedly was telling us how to decorate for the holidays on a budget.  Actually, they were demonstrating using $250 worth of materials and the whole job cost $1,000!!!  What kind of budgets DO these people have??

I have just put up my Xmas decorations, using items from Xmases past.  What's new?  Oh, a few $.50 thrif tshop stuffed animals, and a $.50 berry wreath.

It's been a strange Xmas this year.  Hubby found a lovely 3 ft. tree with lights that WORK in the trash of our apartment building.  (It's amazing what people toss!)  It's the nicest table tree I have ever had and is big enough to tie on my angel figure topper which in previous years has been on a shelf.  And since I have always had little trees, the scale of the ornaments we have is just right.  Also added some vintage glass balls that hubby found in a lantern that he bought in a thrift shop. 

Yes, I was a bit influenced by the "budget" segment, as I did take out some gold ribbon I had to make a swash on the tree to offset the golden angel.  Hubby picked up free boughs from the local Xmas tree stand (OK, he gave the guy there some money for a beer!) and we cut them up and put them in my larger glass vases.  Then I decorated the boughs.  Hubby had also picked up some small $3 poinsettias when getting the boughs - and I put the two of them together in the wide-mouthed art glass vase against the pine branches.  It looks super.  All it needed was a gold bow.\

I also took out red plaid ribbon I had saved from a gift last summer and made a bow for another vase full of branches.  The one branch  I didn't think would be special - turned out the best!  I decorated the branch (which was off-center) with some apple clusters and other  sprigs I had picked up at a thrif tshop a few years ago, and some small ornaments,.  Then I squeezed in an angel candle I have had for a long while that's damaged on one side - but in the boughs the damage is covered.  And then I put the whole decoration next to my computer on our desk, so we can look at it while we are working, and remember the Xmas spirit.

Budget?

  • Ornaments on hand = 0
  • Pine branches = 0
  • Xmas tree = 0
  • Poinsettias = $3
  • Ribbon, on hand = 0
  • Stuffed animals + @ $1
  • Berry wreath = @ $.69
  • Gold nail polish = $1

TOTAL:        @$6.00!!!

Take that you budget TV decorating maven!! Of course, we were decorating only a small livingroom/office - but I am very proud of myself for keeping the costs WAY DOWN.

P.S.   As I write this, I am listening to one of our Xmas music CDs we have collected from the 99 Cent store over the years!  We have found all sorts of eccentric Xmas music there - including a rap one!

Oh, it's so Christmasy - hope you are in the holiday mood, too.

 

 

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Tis the start of the season
Thursday, December 02, 2010

With Thanksgiving day weekend behind us, the traditional Xmas season really begins.  I suppose people are rushing around frantically - but I, for one, have finished all my shopping! I make a point every year to start in September, and to get it all done by Thanksgiving.  That way, I can find real bargains, spread the cost over several months, and have a relaxing holiday.

It's also time to bring out my Xmas decorations, which I have accumulated over the years at all sorts of bargain outlets - dollar stores, thrift shops and so on.  I find that I can have much nicer ornaments that way than if I had to buy everything at full price!  And after the holiday they go into storage to be used over and over.  Gee, doesn't everyone do that?  It's so nice to take out old and treasured decorations.

This year hubby actually found a very nice tabletop artificial Xmas tree out in the trash of our apartment building, and brought it inside.  No idea why they tossed it, as it is perfectly nice - and actually nicer than any of the artificial trees we have had before! Hubby also brought in a bag of Xmas decorations that was stored, and we will decorate using those things. 

He even found a wreath we first bought a few years ago - it must be almost 5 - and I fluffed it up and put it up.  We bought it on sale years ago & I just thought it was the most beautiful one I had ever seen - & it still is lovely.  We don't put up the same things year after year, but just pick from what we have.  At the base of the tree is a little reindeer stuffed animal that I just picked up for $.50 or so at a Goodwill!

But I really won't be buying many new things this year.  We splurged on some (high-end to us) that we say are our Xmas gifts...We bought tickets to a concert at Disney Hall - the cheapest we could get - but still $50 for the 2 of us.  (2 more years & I will be eligible for discount Senior seats!)  

And I found an old clarinet that called out to me at a Goodwill.  I think it will be a nice working instrument. And I am practicing my clarinet again - even found some new beginning music at a used book store.  The instruments may need some restoring, but i am going to do as much as possible myself.

Hubby redeemed a guitar for $50 which is worth $300, from a pawn shop from a buddy who was about to lose it - and now HE has a nice instrument.  We also inherited a laptop, which we hope to use in place of the one his company took back.  We had gotten too used to having one!  We now have to unravel the mysteries of WiFi and hot spots and the like. Seems to work perfectly well despite being a few years old.

There is a free concert of French Noel music down at USC on Friday - which we plan to go to, and hope to entice some friends to go with us.  I am making an early resolution to go to more live concerts & have signed up for the newsletters of 2 local music schools, so we can be kept informed of student concerts.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving over at a friend's house - sort of a potluck, and we took home the turkey bones and the bits of meat leftover and cooked up a grand pot of soup.  Yummy. Nothing is better than homemade broth!  And all it takes is bones, what's left on them, a bit of salt and cider vinegar & a while to simmer on the stove.  It even heats up the house as a side benefit!

Don't send out very many cards anymore, altho I have some. (I even use up the old ones for people I hadn't sent one to the year before!)  It's such a convenience to send out ecards (there are great free ones at www.doverpublishing.com) but I still like to have the real deal to put out.  My sister always sends me an Advent card from Germany - I just got this year's in the mail.

And then there are always ways to be crafty.  I have to go to the local hardware store to ask for fresh pine boughs that they trim off the trees they sell.  I have a few large vases to put them in and they have such a nice holiday scent and they are FREE.  There's a lot you can do with natural elements.  One of these Xmases I will spray a tumbleweed silver & make a western tree out of it!

Other than that, it's sort of quiet.  But that is nice, too. 

How are you all?  Well, I hope.

 

 

 

 

 

Images:
   

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pamphyila (Contact)
L.A., CA USA
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