Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: school supplies

Is it too early to be thinking back-to-school?  Some may think so, but if you want to find some neat school supplies and educational aids, NOW is the perfect time to hunt them down in thrift stores!  I usually find the best, most unique supplies and learning aids right after school ends, and right before the new school year begins. 

Typical finds (and usually pretty good buys) . . .

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Easy t-shirt tote tutorial

This is such an easy project, it barely qualifies for a tutorial.  Probably THE easiest tote you can make.  These t-shirt totes are strong, roomy, durable. . . washable!  We've been using t-shirt totes for a few years now, for shopping (when I remember to bring them in the store,) for picnics, hiking, day trips.  If they can haul lunch for a gaggle of hungry Monkeys, you know these suckers are roomy and tough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: sewing notions

The thrift store is an excellent place to source sewing notions!  I usually find notions in lots, done up in plastic bags, or sometimes in boxes or baskets.  (Always peek inside shoe boxes at the thrift store.  Always.)  I usually find these lots priced very cheaply.  If the price of the lot is about the retail price of one or two of the items inside the bag, I buy it.* 

Like zippers.  Once in a while, I find a giant ziploc bag stuffed with zippers for around $2 or $3. If I were to shop at Joann's, a couple of zippers would easily cost me $3.  This batch of zippers was a mere $2.  BOOM.  Bargain.

and the cute wire basket was $1.99... it's going to become another project soon!

A great tip from a facebook fan -- be sure to do a sniff test before you purchase your notions!  They're unusable (and therefore not a bargain) if they stink like smoke, mildew, mothballs or the crazy cat lady.  I don't purchase them if they smell funny.  These notions, however, passed the sniff test with flying colors.  :)

don't you love the packaging?  and 30¢ for a zipper?!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I must have made God laugh. . .

. . . because I made some plans.  Simple plans, like "do school," or "sew," or "take a bath."  The Littlest Monkey has been sick for about a week now, and demanded to be held 24/7.  (I wouldn't mind so much if my arms didn't cramp up from holding the chunky little guy, and an occasional hour of sleep would have been nice....)  He's still not 100%, but no more fever, no more puking in the past 48 hours, so I'll take a little crankiness and be grateful.

While I've been in a sleep-deprived daze, my girls have been busy. . . .

These 15-pound boxes arrived a couple of weeks ago.  They contain a never-ending wellspring of silky fabric goodness!  I opened the boxes, and more and more and more colorful, gorgeous fabric scraps ooooozed out.  They were all medium- and large-sized pieces, too, and so many lovely colors.

The cutting of circles has begun. 
These are the scraps of the scraps. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: cloth napkins

Welcome to my new weekly feature, Thrifty Thursday!  Every Thursday, I'm going to post either a cool thrift store find, or share a thrifty, eco-friendly tip you can try.  Today's post is both thrifty and a thrift store find!

Several months ago, I blogged about our dependence on paper towels.  And I don't use the word "dependence" lightly.  We were using a case of paper towels every few weeks!  We used them to clean up messes large and small, as dinner napkins, baby wipes... everything.  I committed to using fewer paper towels, so I sewed dozens of cloth napkins for our family. . .

. . . and my family actually loves using them.  In fact, each of my kids has their own favorite print, and some are quite protective of "their" napkins!  ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Cloud Baby Toy Tutorial

Finally!  A tutorial!  (And a cute one, at that!)  I like this little plush cloud and rainbow because it can be a toy, a teether, or even a nursery decoration for boys or girls.  It's easy to make, and great for using up little scraps of fabric!  I made this one from 100% stash fabrics and scraps.

Let's get started!

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