Quilt Pictures

It’s high time we had some quilt pictures,

for those of you who enjoy looking at finished quilts!

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These are part of my ongoing process to take better pictures for the blog and for my Etsy shop!

Happy Quilting!

Money Skills

As a new bride, I quickly  had to learn to manage money. I was no stranger to having a little cash here and there, as I’d worked a job since I was 15. My parents had me pay for car insurance, gas money, most of my clothes, and many smaller necessities that came up. I owe them a great debt for teaching me, by example, how to save and spend wisely. But, budgeting for yourself as a teenager is far different than managing the household budget!

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In those early days, there wasn’t a lot of cash to go around. We were paid twice a month. The first paycheck of the month went completely towards our rent, which was admittedly really low! But we were left paying car insurance (high for two teenagers) and food on the other paycheck. I remember making meals stretch, and learning to make new things based on what we had in the pantry. I also remember spending 75 dollars each payday (twice a month) on groceries. I have no idea how we managed to eat, enjoy life, and do things based on that income, but the Lord blessed our mess!

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There have been many times since when money was tight in our household, even though our definition of having a tight budget is increasingly laughable compared to our newlywed days. We as a couple have money goals, and things we want to accomplish with those funds. Mostly, though, we both want to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us.

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This brings me to my point, Ladies and a few men. When you are married, your financial situation is your spouse’s financial situation. Unless the Lord comes early, we will all grow old and need funds for retirement. As Dave Ramsey says, “It will rain.” It’s not a question of if or when. Someday you will have bum luck and need cash. I’m so, so tired of hearing about couples getting a divorce because the wife is continually getting into debt. In these cases, the wives are spending every dime of deployment money and then racking up a ton of debt on top of that. To those ladies, you’ve ruin your own home. To everyone else, it is a horrible warning!

I encourage you, if you know nothing about money, to begin with Dave Ramsey. He has books that are easy and funny. He has a radio show, if that’s your speed. He has classes if you think that would be best for your learning style. Besides Mr. Ramsey, there are a ton of good, Christian money books available! Start somewhere and learn everything you can about the subject! You’d be amazed at how this one area can be a blessing to your spouse. Remember, you’re in this together!

Photography

Recently, an awesome bundle of ebooks, course, and bonuses became available.

This one was called the Ultimate DIY Bundle 2015.

I’m a huge fan of these bundles, and there will be another one,

the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2015, available soon.

One of the bonuses from the purchase was

a free Craftsy class from a list of choices.

I chose a photography class!

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It’s so important that we as moms and adults

continue to learn new skills.

Often in my life, I’ve wanted to be able to take and edit my own pictures.

Somehow now seemed the right time.

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{I have a big camera, some editing software, an ecourse, and a well lit home!}

In my big dreams, I’d love to be able to write patterns,

maybe an ebook, and take my children’s graduation photos!

Are you learning any new skills lately?

Spring Plantings

Spring Cleaning is all finished for my house!

Now we can move on to some much needed planting!

In the new yard, there is one single flower bush, and some purple ground cover.

But there are so very many lovely plants we would like to have come up each spring.

Like these hyacinths!

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It’s been fun visiting the plant section at our local stores

and figuring out where to put the things we like!

Can’t have a yard with no flowers!

I’d love a cherry tree, to mark our new location.

And a tulip tree, and a Bradford pear……the list could go on!

For today, I’ll content myself with getting these three bulbs in the ground!

Happy Spring Planting!

Pretty Pink Swiffer Refill

This pretty pink fabric just called to me in the store today!

It said, ‘Make me into something useful!”

What was I to do but bring it home and sew up a few pink Swiffer refills?

I’ve been using mine all week trying to finish the Spring Cleaning.

Because every so often, a house just needs to be scrubbed down!

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I’m thankful for the full house we have right now,

and the many messes to clean because the house is full!

It really is a blessing to have young people at home,

but that does require some cleanup.

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If you are in need of a very feminine and pretty duster refill,

they’re for sale in my Etsy shop!

The price on one refill is better than an entire box of paper ones!

Switching to Cloth

A few years ago, I realized my dependence upon paper goods.

I cleaned with almost all disposables.

We ate off paper plates, wiped our mouths with paper napkins,

and used paper towels for nearly everything!

I then counted up how much all that paper costs.

It gets expensive if you’re using it like we were!

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I found a few alternatives, though!

First, we switched to cloth napkins. This one step alone saved us a ton of money! Now we use cloth almost exclusively, and it is definitely frugal! When I made these, I used a ton of different fabrics, so that each one was unique. At the beginning of the day, we all choose one, then we use it for each meal that day (unless it gets dirty). I sewed up enough to last us a few days, so they accumulate in the laundry area until there’s enough to wash with the aprons!

Second, I clean with microfiber cloths now. For everything but the really dirty jobs, I use these cleaning cloths; I use several per day, cleaning counters, furniture, cleaning windows, etc. I love that they don’t require much cleaner to work well. These particular cloths came from Home Depot. This would be the time to find a good multipack, as it’s time for Spring cleanup!

Third, I’m replacing my Swiffer brand items. There are duster refills, like the ones in my Etsy shop, and I’m all set to make up some wet-jet refills as well. {I’ll have to wait on the big machine to come home.} The dusters get used like the orinigal, except I spray a little homemade febreeze on them and then dust away. That tool is hard to beat for cobwebs and dusting high places like ceiling fans and the tops of doorways!!

As for paper plates, you just have to stop buying them. Then everyone uses real plates and you’re good to go!

Happy Spring!

Have you switch from paper to cloth in any areas of your life?

Homemade Cleaner Recipes

When writing to a friend this morning, I realized I hadn’t shared any of my cleaning recipes with you all. Here are my main staples. Every so often I’ll need something else, but these are the ones I make often! Like I wrote in a previous post, buy you some cleaners in pretty bottles, use all the cleaner, and then refill with homemade. It’s much less expensive than trying to find just the right spray bottle!

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Dryer sheets-Go to dollar tree and buy the cheap dish clothes. (Mine are blue chevrons.) Cut them in half as many times as needed to get small, dryer sheet sized pieces. Put them in a container with a half cup vinegar, and one to two drops of essential oil. (I like lemon.)

Spray Starch-Go to the liquor store and buy the cheapest vodka you can find! Use 1/4 vodka to 3/4 water in a plastic bottle. (I just reused one.) Add 3 to 4 drops of essential oil for scent, making sure it’s a lighter colored oil. Then put your vodka behind lock and key, so you know no one is nipping the bottle! =}

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Laundry Powder-1 box of borax, 2 small boxes of baking soda, and 2 bars of grated soap, all mixed in a large container. (I don’t use oils in this, because the dryer sheets scent the laundry. But I thought you’d like this one!)

Glass cleaner-1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 3 to 4 drops of Dawn dish liquid, 1 to 2 drops essential oil. Lemon is my go-to with this one.

All purpose cleaner-You can use the glass cleaner for all purpose, but I like this recipe. 1/4 cup Dr. Bronners castile soap plus the rest of the container of water. Any citrus essential oil would work well here.

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Making Do

Use it up.Wear it out.Make it do.Or do without.

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These depression era words are sage and apply to even our lives today!

My main sewing machine is in the shop for a while.

I went a few days without sewing, and then I pulled out this beauty.

She’s a 1951 Singer Featherweight, and she runs like a top!

Every few months or so she needs a little oil and a chance to run, like an older car.

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I get bonus thrifty points for the quilt made this week, though!

This week’s project was made entirely out of scraps and small strips.

The quilt came together quickly,

and I’m reminded to use what I have, and see how far it can stretch!

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I was amazed that the scrap bin is still overflowing.

Maybe another quilt?

We shall see!

Destashing Fabric

I had this fabric…..

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And a few others that were far more rare.

Problem was, I knew what some of these were worth on Etsy.

Something in my general makeup would not let me cut into fabric

that was this rare. I couldn’t do it.

I would think about using it for this project or that,

and then put it away firmly, thinking,

“That might not turn out well,” or

“That project isn’t worth that fabric.”

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What a way to second guess my sewing!!!

I decided, after much consternation, to sell the fabric in my Etsy shop.

It’s frankly worth more than a quilt made out of it,

so why not sell the fabric?

I feel a little more free tonight to sew what I’d like! =}