Tagged: money

Goodbye Old Friend

It is with great sadness that I have to say goodbye to the companion I have had with me everyday for this last year. If you check my blog post from exactly one year ago titled, “The Humble File Folder” from January 5, 2014 you will see the organizer I made for my coupons, bank deposits, shopping lists, to do lists, etc..


Pretty brand new organizer

Pretty brand new organizer

Sadly, she has become a little tired looking and worn around the edges over the past year (but  haven’t we all?)

Just tired

Just tired

Ripped embellishment

Ripped embellishment

Bent side from elastic closure (which went missing).

Bent side from elastic closure (which went missing).

I even felt bad using it, sort of like wearing old worn out undergarments, if you know what I mean. Well with a new year ahead of me and an urge to “scrap my stash” I made this little beauty last night.

Brand new organizer with charm and elastic!

Brand new organizer with charm and elastic!

Inside pockets full of deposit tickets and note pad.

Inside pockets full of deposit tickets and note pad.

I mixed up all the papers to keep it interesting although they are all from Crate Paper. So today my new organizer went out with me and we accomplished everything on our list without forgetting a thing. If you would like to make and organizer for yourself, there are instructions on my original post as well as video how-tos on YouTube. 

I confess that I did throw out my old organizer in the trash and then fished it back out because I have become attached to it. I will use it at home to organize other paper items. I will treat it with kid gloves as it has been my faithful companion for the last 365 days!


Spending Big Bucks

In general I tend to be a frugal (not cheap) person. This means I don’t carry any credit card debt, I pay cash for my cars and am vigorously trying to pay off our mortgage early. I believe in being a good steward with what I have been blessed with.  I believe in donating to worthy organizations. That being said, I am always looking for a bargain. There are some things, however, that I am willing to spend big bucks on because I think they are worth it. Here are some of my bigger ticket items and my reasoning behind them.

Helen 001

1. A good haircut. Face it, even when you are naked you are still wearing your hair! As I wear my hair either curly or straight I must have a good cut that works both ways.

bucks82. A well-fitting swim suit. It’s important that you can actually swim in your swimsuit without showing off places the sun doesn’t shine. Land’s End have suits that let you pick the size and style of the tops and bottoms separately. This allows you to highlight your good features and hide those the rest of us don’t want to see!

3. A personal trainer. And before I lose you right here, let me justify this expense. First of all, I only meet with my trainer once every three weeks. Second of all she gives me routines that are geared to MY exercise goals (a flat stomach and buns of steel, yah). There is no such thing as a good one-size-fits-all exercise program just as there is not such thing as a good one-size-fits-all spandex outfit! And lastly, she encourages me and gives me extra incentive to work hard and stay fit. Without Alex I would probably only go to the gym once every three weeks and that would just be to use the Jacuzzi!!!

4. Good quality and appropriate workout shoes. You wouldn’t think of wearing ice skates to go skiing, so why would you wear walking shoes to go running? And while you’re at it, get some decent dry-fit socks. You don’t want to get calluses (or fungus)!


5. Fresh and organic food. The cells in your body are constantly regenerating and need proper nutrition to do so. Don’t feed your body (the only one you have, by the way) with cheap, prepackaged, convenience foods and junky snacks. You’ll save in the long run by avoiding the costs of medications, doctor’s visits, hospital stays and LARGER clothes!



But you can be frugal and plant some of your own fruits and veggies like we do.


6. A vacuum that really sucks, in a good way!



These two kitties make this kind of mess every day.



After doing some research we decided to invest in a Dyson vacuum cleaner and it really does the job.

bucks2 bucks1


7. Hobby supplies. This is actually more of a splurge for me. Being a mixed media artist I thrive on using cast-offs and re-purposed materials. Every once in a while though, I like to buy myself something special. Here is the evidence of my latest splurge, sheets of designer papers.

So there you have it. Some of the things I’m willing to pry open my wallet for. But please know this, except for my haircuts and sessions with my personal trainer, everything else was bought on sale, on clearance, with a coupon or all three!!!




Making Something From Nothing

I was going to tell you that the reason I chose this post is that I am concerned about the environment. And I am. However, the real reason I chose to do this post today is because March is a really loooong month. You see I have more month than money. Way more month than money. This months money ran out sometime during the first week of March. Sad but true. I do not let situations like that stop me from making cool stuff though. So today I will show you how to make something from nothing. Please feel free to substitute any materials I have used for the “nothings” you have on hand. I just grabbed stuff I already had.


First I took some plain cardboard without writing on either side and cut it into tag shapes. Although now that I think about it, it would be cool to have some shipping instructions or pictures showing on the cardboard. Note to self, try that next time.

nothing1I took some corrugated cardboard off this huge roll to use as an accent in the center of the tags. This roll, by the way, was left over from all the home improvement projects we had done last fall. This was used to protect our hardwood floors. You should have seen the HUGE pristine roll they brought in at the beginning. It was awesome! Since I’m guessing that most of you don’t have a huge roll of corrugated cardboard just laying around, use regular corrugated cardboard and peel the paper off one side to show the ridges.


Here you can see the tag with the corrugated cardboard embellishment. I stamped some silk leaves with the words “hello”, “smile” and “dream”. Silk flowers would work too. Or just interesting pieces of fabric.

nothing3I rolled up some old book paper and glued the ends to make tubes. Then I cut both ends of the tubes into points. They kind of look like quills. I bunched three tubes together and wrapped them into a bundle with a thin piece of torn magazine paper.

nothing4I cut out the larger flowers off a scrap piece of lace. Don’t worry about fraying, perfection is not what we’re after here.

nothing5Then I just glued the embellishments onto the tags and added rough twine in the holes at the top.

I am so happy when I can make something out of so very little. Most of us crafty people have way too many supplies on hand anyway. Let’s give the environment (and our wallets) a break in the month of April and work on busting our stashes. Your supplies may dwindle but I guarantee that your creativity will GROW!

Paper Pouches Many Ways

Today I am going to teach you, or most likely re-teach you, how to make fun little paper pouches. Most of us made these when we were kids, we just can’t remember that far back!!! These little pouches can be filled with candy, cookies, candy, notes, candy, gift cards, candy, small toys or whatever candy else you fancy. You can make them BIG or small, that’s up to you. Use any kind of paper, kraft, wrapping, maps, music, magazine pages, old book pages, vintage wall paper, old ledger paper, newspaper and the list goes on.

So let’s get started shall we?


First, cut a piece of paper in a square. Mine range from 7″ to 9″ square.


Fold the paper in half to form a triangle.


Fold the right side up and over until it reaches the very left edge. In this picture it looks like I didn’t fold it over far enough but that’s just because it popped up while I was taking the picture. I didn’t want to hold it down because then you would see how desperately I need a manicure!


Then fold the left side up and over to meet the very right edge.  In this picture it looks like I folded it over too far and it’s hanging off the edge but that is just the camera angle. (See, I told you I needed to do my nails)!


Fold down the front point until it’s even along the top edge. Then flip it over and


fold over the other point on the back. At this point you can puff it out a bit and you’ll see how much room you’ll have to put candy stuff inside.


Here is an assortment I made using different papers, sizes and embellishments. These are a great size for putting gift cards or $$$ in!!! See the one on the bottom left that say’s “16, Happy Birthday”? I’ll give you one guess who will be getting that next month, probably with some $$$ bills rolled up and put inside.

pouch7And here’s a special one I made for —– who will probably get it on Monday filled with my homemade chocolate chip cookies or peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars  (I know she loves them)! Because I knew I was going to put a wire handle on this one, I put grommets in the punched holes to make them stronger so they would not tear. 

This is such a fun little project and so easy. It’s nice to have a couple on hand to fill with candy last minute gifts.  But be careful though, they are addictive to make and decorate!!!!