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Blog Posts on My Frugal Life:

Southern Women,s Gathering
Saturday, October 09, 2010 | By connieb@thriftyfun.com

I  found a really good craft bargain on Amazon.com and would like to pass it on to all painters.They have an 18pc hoghair bristle paint brush set for $5.00 -that is a pretty good bargain.I hope you will check it out,and also there are other crafting products to take a look at.

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EZ Furniture Finishing
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | By pamphyila

Hubby found some nice raw pine shelving left out on the street for garbage day - which he rescued. After spraying it for bugs & leaving it out in the garage for a few days, we brought it in & I decided that being broke, I would again apply my ultra-inexpensive furniture finish - Plain baby oil!

I have done it once before on an oak cabinet I was given years ago - and the finish has stood up well.  It's not shiny, but rather a matte finish  - but it brings out the wood, which I like & it's CHEAP & NON-TOXIC!

You just have to apply until the wood won't absorb it anymore! Don't know how many coats I have put on - but I have been doing it for 2 days, and it's almost done. It's great, because I could work with it in the living room, without fear of fumes or much mess...Good for any child's room, I would suspect....You have to have plain, unfinished  wood to work with first, though...I like even cheaper wood myself rather than laminate.

The pine has darkened to a honey color - which I prefer, actually - a few nails & it will be ready to install.  Don't think you can paint over it easily - but you could always sand it down....

Cost - ZERO  - due to FREE shelving + baby oil I had on hand -

I like that sort of project!  .

P.S.   You can also use baby oil to touch up/refresh the finish on your other furniture.  Wood is from a living thing & it needs some nourishment every once in a while or it will have a tendency to crack....

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Funky Budget Knitting
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | By pamphyila

The media is all over with images of Fall - mostly to sell back-to-school stuff - but somehow the impending change in seasons makes me go back to my knitting.

Can't say I am much of a technician - I really like just to knit straight in front of the TV - But I have produced some lovely multi-colored shawls & scarves.

The trick to it on my nonexistent craft budget is to pick up balls of yarn from thrift shops & THEN determine what I am going to make, rather than vice versa (the way I learned to knit from my mother).

I have discovered a technique, if you can call it that - of combining yarn - which comes out more like folk weaving than traditional knitting. I have discovered you can get very interesting effects by knitting with more than one yarn on large needles.  I find that I enjoy combining the colors out of my thrift shop yarn cache - and contrasting the colors and textures in blocks (or stripes) of row - and every once in a while adding some fun fur or other specialty yarn (also from what I have on hand - some of it came from the Dollar Tree last season when I stocked up.)

I had a brilliant orange yarn - almost the emergency color - and it was too much on its own - so I mixed it with beiges, and maroon, and off greens among other colors - and the end result is very nice.  I wore it to an outdoor event & got compliments on it from strangers!

I adore shawls for the weather here in S. California - where is it always cooler at night - & a shawl is an easy thing to carry with you if you are staying out until the sun goes down.

Still looking for some VERY simple squarish patterns to make kimono-like sweaters... There are lots of free ones on the net, which I have been collecting.

Almost finished with my newest project - a fuzzy pink/green/grey melange - Making it long for some reason so I can throw it over my shoulder....I can just knit for HOURS while watching the tube.  Makes on feel useful.

And rather than even spending $3/4 a ball of yarn - I usually pay $.50 to $1!!

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Recycled Cardboard Box Paper storage or Craft and Sewing Storage or Scrapbook Storage
Saturday, January 16, 2010 | By hoptownracer1

I have had trouble figuring out how to store my paper.  A friend cut out a storage container for her paper using shipping boxes and boxes from kitty litter etc...   While searching the internet, I came across a blog where someone had step-by-step instructions for making a fabric covered box.  Instead of hot glue, I mixed some Elmer's glue with a little water and painted the box with it and attached the fabric.  After drying, it was ready to use.  I changed the covering on the last ones I made; I covered them with used calendars from the previous year.  Great way to recylce and saves my fabric for other projects.  I used ModPodge to attach the calendar paper, but I assume glue would work also.  One word of caution; thin calendar pages do not work well; needs to be a little thicker, or it will wrinkle and pooch out in spots.   Here is a link to the blog this kind person posted on the web.  I am so appreciative to her for posting this.

http://pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com/2008/11/recycled-magazine-holder.html

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Plastic Shelving Unit for Scrapbooking
Saturday, January 16, 2010 | By hoptownracer1

Needing more storage for scrapbooking paper and supplies?  After drooling over the pretty scrapbooking rooms some people shared on the internet, I looked for a solution for housing all of my craft, scrapbooking and sewing supplies.  I came across a $23.00 plastic shelving unit at the department store (like the kind people use in their garage or for food storage in a pantry.)  It worked perfect.  The only tool I required to put it together was a rubber mallet.  The shelves even had room for my sewing machine on the bottom shelf.  Although, not as fancy as built-ins, wooden bookcases or custom purchased products; it is very nice and clean, functional, and gives me lots of storage.     http://i47.tinypic.com/2n0796f.jpg
I am still in the process of covering the cardboard box paper holders with old calendars, fabric etc..

   

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TRYING TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF WHAT I HAVE
Monday, December 07, 2009 | By CRAFTY JENNIE

I USUALLY AM VERY GOOD WHEN IT COMES TO FIGURING OUT HOW MUCH USE I CAN GET FROM MY CRAFTS. IVE NOTICED THAT THE PRICE OF CRAFTS HAVE GONE UP AND I HAVE A LOW MONTHLY INCOME, SO IVE STARTED TO REPURPOSE SOME CRAFTS THAT ARE NOT BEING USED.

I MAKE KNIT/CROCHET SCARVES, HATS, GLOVES, AND TOTE BAGS. I BRING THEM TO WORK TO SELL FOR A DECENT PRICE, SO THE ONES THAT DONT SELL I TEND TO MAKE INTO SOMETHING ELSE, LIKE A BLANKET OR A TOY.

BUT LATELY, IT SEEMS LIKE IM CRAFTING JUST TO CRAFT. CRAFTING OUT OF BOREDOM ISNT FUN, ITS DOWN RIGHT DEPRESSING. SO I DECIDED THAT IF I AM GOING TO CRAFT FOR THE SAKE OF CRAFTING SOMETHING THEN I OUGHT TO CRAFT FOR THE GOOD OF MY SOUL, BY MAKING BLANKETS FOR THE HOMELESS.

IVE TAKEN ALL MY SCRAP YARN AND MADE A BLANKET BIG ENOUGH FOR A TWIN SIZE BED.  I DOUBLE STRANDED THE YARN, USED A SIZE "P" CROCHET HOOK,  AND SIMPLY DID ROWS OF SINCLE CROCHET UNTIL IT WAS THE CORRECT LENGTH. I DID IT THIS WAY BECAUSE I WANTED TO MAKE A THICK HEAVY BLANKET, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DOUBLE STRAND THE YARN AT ALL. YOU CAN EASILY USE THE YARN IN A SINGLE STRAND, USE A SMALLER HOOK,  AND DO DOUBLE CROCHET ROWS TO MAKE A LIGHTER BLANKET.

 

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Leatherwork, Leathercraft Resources
Friday, October 30, 2009 | By Standing Bears

Discussion Websites

Standing Bear's Trading Post Leathercraft Message Board - http://standingbears.proboards102.com/

Facebook Leathercrafters Grouphttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10062324602

Leatherworker.net - http://www.leatherworker.net/ -
Note the buffalo feather and figure carving tutorials.
Leatherworker.net Forums - http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?act=idx? - Conversations on a wide variety of leatherworking questions. Access to professionals who share their knowledge.

FLASAH – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flasah/ - Free Yahoo Group
We are the largest Internet list of leatherworkers dedicated to the discussion, sharing, and teaching of leathercraft. Free Internet lessons, patterns, ideas, information. and tips for working with leather. More than any group on any network in the world. The best new ideas come from experienced leathercrafters who are willing to share.

We teach. We have the On-Line Home Study Course (OLHSC). There you will find step by step lessons and tons of patterns. If you wish to learn about both leather and leatherwork without sales pressure, these are the groups.

All Leather Crafters and Leather Workers are welcome. Open discussion of leather crafting in any form. We are an international group with a world wide membership.

OLHSC - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/olhscleather/
On-Line Home Study Course in Leathercraft (OLHSC) A group designed to advance leathercraft by offering lessons via the web. These lessons teach basics of traditional tooling designs that go back to the days of Greek civilization.
We teach leatherwork. Begin leathworking here. (The start of leaathercarving.) Crafting with leather is fun. Our photo albums contain step by step instruction in tooling designs into leather, and many patterns. We are leathercrafters; we carve leather.
We work along with the group FLASaH and the South Central Leathercraft Guild. We work with leather. We are not eBay merchants after your money; we are leatherworkers, here to teach and advance your skill.
We have more patterns, instructional information, and tips than any group in the world. Our members have more experience than most, and share it freely. For ideas, we are the number 1.
Keep this group's discussions on the lessons that are shown here, and to the how-to's of tooling one of the 1000's of line patterns being added daily.

Leathercraft Guilds

The Leathercraft Guild – http://www.theleathercraftguild.com

The Leathercraft Guild Facebook Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Leathercraft-Guild/28636993760

International Internet Leather Crafter's Guild (IILG). - http://iilg.net/ - $20.00 Initial membership $10.00 following years. Includes membership in Yahoo group
( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/iilg-members/ )
You can find a listing of the members of the IFOLG (International Federation Of Leathercraft Guilds at:

http://www.ifolg.org/members.htm

Leatherworker.net also has a list on their website at:

http://leatherworker.net/leatherguilds.htm

Informational Websites of Interest
Kingsmere Crafts - http://www.btinternet.com/~kingsmerecrafts/page04.html – Free site that has over 107 pages of information and how to instruction on leather craft.

Painting Cow Studio - http://www.paintingcow.com/supplies.html - Free tutorials.

Miscellaneous Patterns and Instructional Sites
http://www.johan-potgieter.com/leatherlearn/
http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/LeatherS.htm
http://www.robertbeardtools.com/educational.html
http://members.memlane.com/gromboug/P3TofC.htm
http://www.freasierleather.com/AlStohlman.htm
http://www.leathercraftersjournal.com/
http://clayb.dotphoto.com/CPListAlbums.asp
http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=26036
http://www.hewit.com/downloads.htm
http://www.leatherlearn.com/
http://www.sbearstradingpost.com/freepatterns.html


Western patterns (require Tracing) & fonts
http://members.memlane.com/gromboug/P3TofC.htm
Clip Art http://www.harvestfields.ca/clipart/index.htm

Thank you to Cecil for many of these links in order to assist other leathercrafters in obtaining information in regards to leatherwork.

   

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Making Easter Puff Bunnies
Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | By Tanya39

Easter is my favorite time of the year. I make puff bunnies. You start out with a glue gun, beads for eyes, felt for ears, cotton of different color, and glue sticks. I bought all of this for $7 dollars at a thrift store in good condition too. You take the cotton and glue two balls together a small one for the tail, and a big one for the body and head. You cut the felt into tiny strip triangle for ears, and glue them too the top of the big cotton ball. Then the eyes that google and move when you shake the bunnie. Then with the left over felt make feet edges by glueing them to the edge of the cotton ball on the bottom. It is easy and simple fun. Easy for kids of all ages, and craft deficiant adults. Well Happy Easter decorating all, and remember the most important fact that Jesus died for our sins, so that we may have an assured place in heaven. All people everywhere not just Christians. That is what I believe anyhow.

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I was a bit busy today...
Saturday, November 29, 2008 | By DorrieBelle

Notice anything new ? Yup - new picture on your right. Did that today. If you'd like to see it a bit bigger, it's also in the Photo Album, just under the image. Click on it and the image, for a better look at my 'Princess Dorrie' doll and half our kitty population, DC. We've had DC and his brother Jack since they were born, but their Mom, Velvet, has moved on. Our son made her too nervous, so she um... poluted his room. Frequently. Since the boys have grown up with Dearest Son, they're more used to him.

Anyway. Got some housework done, polished off the last of the leftovers for lunch. Earlier this week, I bought a stuffed angel doll from the local Thrift, selected from their 50c stuffed animal bin. They price better toys individually, but small or slightly damaged/worn ones go into the bin. This angel was cheaply made by 'Cuddle Wit', a company that normally provides stock for claw machines and carnivals. Her hair was matted and thin, beyond the care of a brush, and she had some staining on her cloth face. I almost hated to buy her, but the cashier assured me she'd been in the bin for several days, and no one else had been at all interested.

She's also one of those dolls where the dress is most of the body. And most of that is nylon. But, like I mentioned Wednesday, something about her dress reminded me of the current 'Enchanted Tales' Disney Princess art pieces, so... Today, I got to work on her. The hardest part was figuring out which line of stitching would undo what I wanted, without ripping apart what I wanted to remain together. It helps to look on both sides of the stitching line - if it's on one side all by itself, that's probably what ya want !

So, after about five minutes with a seam ripper, I had a winged dress, a shoebox load of stuffing, a pair of legs with cheap satin 'feet' slippers, a pair of hands, and a tangled-hair head with a halo glued to it. Opening the dress' back seam freed up the wings for later projects, and I took the feet off the legs, the wand from her hand, and the stuffed halo off the hair.

Grabbed my vanity doll, the Princess Dorrie I'd customized a few months ago, and began fitting the dress to her. It was a bit short, but otherwise fit pretty well, especially across the chest, which is always a problem area. By taking it in at the back a bit, via the closure and back seam, it'd lie nice and flat in front.

The gold band around the neckline was removed - it just didn't look right -  and an oversized gold bow there was also removed and untied. The lace cuffs and the hands were sewn on at the same time, so taking off the hands left the lace dangling by a thread or three. I positioned the lace when I tried the dress on her, but it was wide and overwhelmed Princess Dorrie's hands. So I took the lace completely off and replaced it with a cuff made from the bodice bow. Looks much better, and proportionate, too.

Hemmed the neckline down a bit more to cover the holes made by the bodice bow. Hand-sewed that one, since the hem was still very scant. From there, all that was left for the dress was sewing up the back seam halfway and adding Velcro (tm) to the rest for a closure.

Took in the satin feet/shoes to fit PDorrie, and they look pretty bad, but I wanted to use as much of the original doll as possible. The doll's halo sat on her head like a bagel, so instead, I draped one of the lace cuffs over the crown of her head. Actually looked rather cute on her.

Now, all I have left is a pair of gold wings, a strip of gold fabric, a tiny bit of gold ribbon, a shoebox of stuffing, some muslin legs, a bagel-like halo, and a tangled-hair head. The stuffing'll get used in a later project (I reuse stuffing for the works that stay home - the school projects get all-new Fiberfil) , and I'm sure the wings and materials will also be used eventually. But I have no idea what to do with the doll's head. It has some minor stains, and the hair's completely useless. I'd make a hand-puppet from her, as the eyes and face are quite nice, but I'd have to cut off all the hair and replace it with yarn or something.

Only problem is, it's not something anyone here would use, and I hate to donate it if it's not my best work. So I dunno where the doll's head will go, but I'm glad I got to recycle the rest. Took about two hours, and I was watching movies at the same time.

Now I'm wondering... should I write this up as a craft project for the main page ? It's not really anything new. I'll write it up for my web site, that's fer sure ! I love reusing stuff !

   

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Almost freebies...
Monday, November 24, 2008 | By DorrieBelle

Whee ! A few weeks ago, I bought all the markdown 'Specially Hand Made by (Name)' clothing labels Hancock Fabrics had - well, at least the $2. for eight labels ones. They were on final markdown - 80% off ! - and I knew from past experience that Name Makers, the company who makes 'em, would exchange the name labels I mailed them, put my name in place of the name already there, and mail 'em back, for free.

So - $2.00 x 6 packets - $12.00. Minus 80% - $2.40. With tax, $2.58. Plus 20 cents for two envelopes (one to mail them there, one for them to use to mail 'em back to me) and two stamps (again one for each way) at 42c each = $3.62 for 48 woven, personalized labels !

Sure, 7.5c each for my vanity is kinda pricey - but I get a kick out of using those labels ! I got a real deal, as their website offers 40 similar labels for $25. ! Plus shipping. Mailed 'em off Oct. 30th, got 'em either Friday or Saturday, I didn't check mail until today. Pretty fast, too !

Not much else going on. Went grocery shopping and to Sam's Club. Even though I only went there for a few things, I still managed to spend $114. at Sam's. But we get some good deals there. Five pounds of great cheese for $13. and change, and it lasts us four or five months. I cut it into pound blocks and freeze it, and it still slices easily when thawed out. Most frozen cheese is only good for shredding once it's thawed, as it gets so crumbly. And I forgot the Kleenex, last time I got a great deal there. I know we should use rags, but when we had flu in September, even rags would have torn our noses up. The lotion-and-vitamin-E tissues were very kind to our sensitive skin.

Stocked up our medicine cabinet for winter. Most folks buy extra soup - me, I get a spare bottle of generic Robitussin ! Also some generic allergy pills, generic kid Tylenol for Dearest Son, and generic decongestants. 'Cause when you're sick, it's cold, and possibly icy and the roads are bad, nobody feels like going out for medicine !

So our larders are full, and I remembered the eggs for my devilled specialties for the family food fest. It was a really nice day !

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