Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kits for the Crafty Person on Your List

Christmas is right around the corner!
If you have a crafty person on your list, these exciting pop culture craft kits from Thunder Bay Press would make great gifts this holiday season!.....or perfect for yourself if you are the crafty person.



With great yarn come great superheroes! Marvel Universe Crochet ($24.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-655-3) contains all the materials you need to crochet Spider-Man and Captain America — yarn, a crochet hook, stuffing, safety eyes, felt, an embroidery needle, and thread. Colorful photos and step-by-step directions in the 76-page instruction book will also guide you to crafting 12 of the most heroic group of amigurumi ever imagined, including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, She-Hulk, Daredevil, Groot, and Rocket. These cute and cuddly superheroes will help you remember that there’s a hero in all of us!



From bouncing Bumbles to Yukon gold, you'll love these adorable amigurumi figures from the classic television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! This cheerful Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Crochet ($24.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-657-7) kit contains all the materials you'll need to create Rudolph and Santa. Colorful photos and step-by-step directions in the 76-page instruction book will also guide you through crafting the Bumble, Charlie-in-the-Box, Dolly, Spotted Elephant, Hermey, Moonracer, Mrs. Claus, Clarice, Sam the Snowman, and Yukon Cornelius. Warm up your crochet hook for this group of charming holiday characters!



From Han Solo to Boba Fett, you can create ten adorable Star Wars figures from a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars Felt ($24.99; ISBN: 978-1-62686-656-0)! The 48-page instruction book has step-by-step directions and color photos to help you advance from padawan crafter to Jedi felt master. The kit includes everything you need to make all ten characters, including Luke, Leia, Han, Darth Vader, Wicket the Ewok, R2-D2, and more: multiple colors of felt, stuffing, a needle, embroidery floss, and die-cut templates. May the felt be with you!




Friday, December 2, 2016

Frugal Friday with Marsha--Pogue's Basics: Money (A Review)


For this week's Frugal Friday post, I bring you a review of Pogue's Basics:  Money.



Subtitled Essential Tips and Shortcuts (That No One Bothers to Tell You) About Beating the System, Pogue's Basics: Money is one of those books that you will want to keep on your shelf for future reference.

It's written by David Pogue who has already written Basics on Tech, and Life.  He reveals even more of the tips and tricks that he's picked up over years of searching for loopholes, shortcuts, and better ways of doing thungs that can add up to save hundreds.  Actually, if you were to use every tip in his book, you would save around $61,000 each year.

Let's talk about what you won't find in Pogue's Basics:  Money:
You won't find the obvious tips such as saving for a rainy day, cooking at home instead of eating out, quit smoking, go to free days at the museum, etc.
You won't find recipes for making your own cleaners, or growing your own food, or washing and ironing and re-using paper towels.
You won't find him telling you to make personal sacrifices by giving up comforts--like buying a smaller house, driving a smaller car, eating out less.
You will also not find any unethical tips.  These are all over the internet (and on TV) such as taking extra condiment packets when you eat out, order a cheap soup at a restaurant with all you can eat breadsticks, refill the breadsticks then take them home, telling a business it's your birthday when it's not for a free gift.
You will also not find investment tips.

Pogue's Basics:  Money is set up into 14 chapters:
Shopping Hacks
Credit Cards
Gift-Card Hacks
House and Home
Tech and TV
Travel
Cars
Food and Drink
Your Body
How to Exploit Group Buying Power
Make Money with No Effort
The Last Legal Tax Dodges
The Personal Money Checkup
Financial Brain Hacks

As I read through the book, I found several things that I didn't know about.  One has to do with my Amazon Prime account.  I look forward to putting that in to affect as it will help my daughter.
I learned about how often I really need to change the oil in my car, which was actually a relief because money wise that is all we do it anyway.
I learned about buying gift cards at a discount---even some tips on what to do with that little bit you have left on a gift card.
I learned about some apps that I hadn't heard of, but think they are great and want to make use of at least one of them when I get the chance.

Of course everyone isn't going to use every tip in the book, but I bet anyone that reads it will find far more to use than the cost of the book.  I know there are things in the book on ways to save that I can only dream of right now, but what if my dreams come true?  You know, on having the money for trips etc.  I'm keeping this book on my shelf to have it as a reference for many things in the future, and you should too!

I am highlighting all 3 of Pogue's Basics below because after reading Money, I have put Tech and Life on my wishlist on amazon.







Disclaimer:  I rec'd a copy of this book in exchange for writing this review.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.  Post does contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIP Wednesday--Bags, Bags, and More Bags

I am working on nothing but the drawstring backpacks for Christmas and don't feel like I am getting very far.
So far I only have the same 8 completed that I showed last week.
I have been cutting fabrics for more over this past week.  I should get my sewing machine back out and sew together the ones that I have completely cut, but at the same time I want to finish cutting this huge stack of fabrics that I have sitting beside me yet to cut.  What to do, what to do.

Talk about a stash buster though!!  I've had to go into my stash to find additional fabrics aside from the 2 large stacks I had set aside for bags already.  I needed more child prints, then I also needed fabrics that would go for the insides as I didn't have enough that "matched".  

I snapped a couple of pictures as I worked on cutting this past week to share.


UFO's:

Rectangle quilt
challenge wall hanging
Hexagon quilt
Emerald Island Fusique table runner
Five and Dime quilt
Brown half square triangle table runner
2 sets of doll blanket, pillows, bed and rug
Wall hanging for quilt guild
yo-yo's that need to be made into projects
black and white rail fence quilt
Arkansas Crossroads scrap quilt
T-shirt latchhook rug
Charming Stars quilt
Special crocheted prayer shawl
Fall Squares table topper
Crazy colored quilt with the five and dime blocks
Rainbow colored string quilt
St. Patricks yo-yo table topper/runner
Lexington quilt
? microwave hotpads
? drawstring backpacks for gifts and for sale

I link up with the following sites:
WIPs on Wednesdays
RSC16




Friday, November 25, 2016

Frugal Friday With Marsha -- Thanksgiving Dinner


Is Thanksgiving dinner frugal?  If you think about the fact that each family, or person, brings something to share for the dinner, then yes.

One grandson said yesterday that we need to eat like this everyday.  We laughed as we spend hours preparing the foods for the day.  My oldest daughter commented that if we made this much food in one day just for us at home, we would eat all week on it.  She is right on that for sure.

My middle daughter made dinner rolls from scratch, as well as an apple pie.  They bought the turkey and smoked it at the smokehouse where they work.  Her family made others things such as a veggie tray, gravy, a homemade cheesecake, and the green bean casserole.

My youngest daughter brought the cranberry sauce.

My mom mad her "famous" applesauce Jello.

My oldest daughter provided the candies yams, a pumpkin pie and a sweet potato pie (and the whipped topping), drinks, a small ham, and the boxes of stuffing.

I made the deviled eggs and the mashed potatoes.  Last Saturday our town gave away tons of potatoes free.  They were from a large farm here in Kansas.  They were the potatoes that the farmer couldn't sell to the stores because they were different shapes and such.  I picked up 2 - 10 lb bags.  When we went to church Sunday, someone in the church had picked up 7 bags and had them out for any members who wanted to take as many as they wanted.

You know we are eating leftovers today....all day  :)

I don't know why, but I just didn't take any pictures at all yesterday. Usually I'm snapping pictures as we cook as well as when we eat.  I'm kicking myself now, of course.  I "stole" this picture that my middle daughter took of her hubby's full plate.


I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving with family and friends.  See you next Friday  :)






Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday-- All About the Bags

I am trying to only work on the drawstring backpacks for gifts until I get them all done.

I made all of the ones that had fabric cut for.


Now I have my other fabrics out and I'm working on cutting the rest of it to start on more.  I sure hope in the end that I have enough to make the amount of bags that I need to make!


Of course tomorrow is Thanksgiving and that's also it's own WIP!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

UFO's:

Rectangle quilt
challenge wall hanging
Hexagon quilt
Emerald Island Fusique table runner
Five and Dime quilt
Brown half square triangle table runner
2 sets of doll blanket, pillows, bed and rug
Wall hanging for quilt guild
yo-yo's that need to be made into projects
black and white rail fence quilt
Arkansas Crossroads scrap quilt
T-shirt latchhook rug
Charming Stars quilt
Special crocheted prayer shawl
Fall Squares table topper
Crazy colored quilt with the five and dime blocks
Rainbow colored string quilt
St. Patricks yo-yo table topper/runner
Lexington quilt
? microwave hotpads
? drawstring backpacks for gifts and for sale

I link up with the following blogs:
WIPs on Wednesdays


RSC16



Saturday, November 19, 2016

Creative Options Gives You Lots of Creative Options

For the serious DIY-er, it’s the season when your workspace expands to a craft room! With gift wrapping, card crafting and your craft projects, you’ll need plenty of space to keep the Yuletide from spilling into the rest of the house. This season, let Creative Options help you contain the chaos.

In my case my craft room needs a lot more help in the way of organizing!  I have projects in bags hanging on the wall, projects in boxes on my desk, projects just laying on my desk....and projects in the living room as I don't have enough room in my craft room to work in there!


Below is a list of the Creative Options products that are featured in the Craft Room image above:

1. Craft Project Box with Handle 
2. Small Rack System 
3. Medium Deep Utility Box
4. Large Utility Box
5. Two-Tray Box
6. Medium Rack System 
7. Knitting Needle Case 
8. Knitting Needle Case with Zipper 
9. Round Utility Box
10.Pocket Size Utility Box
11.Small Utility Box
12.Signature 5 Pocket Tote  
13.Mini Sideways Utility Box


I received 4 of the Project Boxes w/ Handles.  It didn't take me long to fill the 4 boxes!!
The top box that is opened contains drawstring backpacks that I am making for Christmas gifts.
The other 3 boxes contain a lockerhook rug that I have started, string quilt blocks that I am making, and a quilt that I am working called Arkansas Crossroads.

Prior to receiving the boxes, the gifts were in a plastic grocery sack.  The string quilt blocks were noe of the projects laying on my desk.  The Arkansas Crossroads quilt was in a cardboard box.  And, the lockerhook rug was hanging on my wall in a re-usable grocery sack.
It's so nice to have at least these projects in the easy to carry and organize Project Boxes w/ Handles.


I love these boxes!  They are sturdy and dependable and just what I needed for projects.  
I attend local quilt retreats and can't wait to be super organized now by taking the projects that I want to work on for the weekend in these boxes.
I have to include another Creative Options item that is now on my wishlist:

I have another Creative Options item that I've owned for a few years now that I also want to share with you.  It's the Double Sided Thread & Parts box.  It has 46 fixed compartments.  As you can see, I do have it full of thread on both sides.  It's been great to be able to pick up the box and take it wherever I am working on projects and have all of my colors of thread readily available.


Check out all of the Creative Options storage options at their website HERE.
They offer storage solutions for needle arts, sewing & quilting, jewelry making, fine arts, kids crafts and general crafts.

You can find Creative Options at Hobby Lobby, WalMart, Jo-Ann, and Michaels as well as Amazon has a nice selection as well!








Disclosure:  I rec'd a set of boxes in exchange for this blog post.  I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.  Post does contain affiliate links.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Frugal Friday With Marsha -- Handmade Christmas Gifts


Everyone knows that I make gifts every year, and even more so for the past 7 years or so since joining a sewing group at my church and joining the quilt guild.  I've learned to make so many more things.

One year everyone got simple hotpads.  Another year everyone got a set of coasters.  Another year everyone got pillowcases.  Another year everyone got a lined fabric bag made with Christmas fabric and filled with little goodies.  Last year I gave everyone a microwave hotpad.

This year I am making everyone a drawstring backpack.  This is thanks to the community service project that my quilt guild is doing.  We are making the bags and giving them to First Call for Help where they will be filled with personal hygiene items and given to those in need.

Once I made the 2 bags that I signed up to make, I seen how cute they are.  I showed them to several family members who all wanted one.  You don't go anywhere these days without seeing people carrying the drawstring backpacks.

I already had a fabric drawer full, and another stack of fabrics that I had set aside just for making bags.  Much of my fabric has been given to me when a person cleans out their sewing room.  I always appreciate that they think of me!

I have a lot of bags to get done, and as usual, I am starting so late that all other projects really must be put to the side until I finish the gifts.

I have 3 out of about 25 or so done:

I have some other things that I wanted to make as gifts, but doubt that I get to those.  I wonder if next year might finally be the year that I actually work on gifts ALL year instead of waiting until weeks before Christmas to actually get started on them.



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WIP Wednesday -- Time To Get Busy For Christmas

Actually it's past time to be working on Christmas gifts, but at least I do have a start.  After putting together a couple of drawstring backpacks for charity with my quilt guild, I decided making them for gifts was a great idea.
When I showed the bags, not only the children, but the adults said they wanted one.  I already had 2 stacks of fabrics put aside just for making bags.

Here is what I have cut and prepared so far, mostly working on cutting fabrics that will make bags for the guys.

Quilt guild put out the challenge kits.  They are encouraging us to do paper pieced stars.  I chose one from a book I own and just to remind myself of how to do paperpiecing, I made one of the 16 pieces I need to make the wall hanging that I want to make.

Then, I started working on the toothbrush rug made of nothing but selvage.  I probably will only work on this at the bowling alley while we bowl on our league, at least for now.  I plan to enter it in the fair next year, so I have until August to finish it.

I did finish all of the sets of microwave hotpads that I was working on, but haven't gotten any of them listed in my etsy shop yet.
My days are so full and I sure don't see that ending any time soon at all.  All I can do is do what I can each day and be happy about it.

UFO's:

Rectangle quilt
challenge wall hanging
Hexagon quilt
Emerald Island Fusique table runner
Five and Dime quilt
Brown half square triangle table runner
2 sets of doll blanket, pillows, bed and rug
Wall hanging for quilt guild
yo-yo's that need to be made into projects
black and white rail fence quilt
Arkansas Crossroads scrap quilt
T-shirt latchhook rug
Charming Stars quilt
Special crocheted prayer shawl
Fall Squares table topper
Crazy colored quilt with the five and dime blocks
Rainbow colored string quilt
St. Patricks yo-yo table topper/runner
Lexington quilt
? Fabric boxes for Christmas gifts
? microwave hotpads
? drawsting backpacks for gifts and for sale


I link up with the following blogs:
WIPs on Wednesdays
RSC16



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