Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Resolutions

Hello everyone!  I'm feeling a bit better, finally.  It only took two months of non-stop sleeping to overcome my anemia but on the bright side, I've totally caught up with all of the Real Housewives story lines.  Which I know you're all happy about.

Image courtesy of [image creator name] /

With the start of a new year, everyone gets all 'resolution obsessed' and makes grand promises about what they are going to become in the new year.  I myself have pledged my share of resolutions only to find myself knee-deep in failure and chocolate by the time February shuffles in.  So this year, I'm going to set my goals with success in mind.  These resolutions, submitted for your consideration, are not terribly lofty but are things I think I need to be working on.  You are all charged with holding me to them.  As if you needed more crap to worry about this year.

1. No more plastic shopping bags.  I feel really guilty getting plastic shopping bags when I'm getting groceries.  I picture all these resources being used up just so I can get a plastic bag that will burst before I get to my car.  I have reusable bags and I even have an upcoming project about shopping bags that I made pretty just to aid in this resolution.  I've set some rules for myself:

1) No plastic shopping bags.  At all.
2) I need to keep my shopping bags in my car at all times.
3) If I've forgotten the bags at home, I either carry my groceries to my car with my hands or buy more reusable bags at the store.  Since I try to make every penny count, buying more bags because I forgot mine is not the best option... so I'd better remember those suckers.

Every resolution needs a reward.  So I've promised myself that if I can get through January with no plastic bags, I'm going to buy this for my trunk:

I know, it's pretty sweet.  Or is it?  This may be one of those things that only OCD people can appreciate.

My second and last resolution is this:

2.  Buy products made in the USA.  With the economy on the verge of a fiscal cliff, I'm going to be a bit more vigilant with what I purchase.  If I want something, I'm going to see where it was made.  If it wasn't made in the US, I'm going to question whether I actually want it after all.  This could be a tricky resolution to keep, but maybe I'll save some money on things I didn't actually need.

Also, I've already sent a message to the maker of the trunk organizer above to find out where it is made.  I'm on top of this resolution thing.

I am on a mission this year to get a bit more organized with life... I'm have some posts planned for January that will show you how that's working out for me.  I'm going to need some luck to make it through, I can feel it.

I want to know your resolutions for the new year.  Or are you already so perfect that resolutions are a waste of your time? Because I can totally understand that.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fleece Blankets for Christmas

So, I knew I wanted to make something for the kids for Christmas.  The kids are aware that I am of the crafty sort and would not be surprised to find a gift under the tree that had been hot glued or glittered or both.

Also, they steal my blankets.

With those two facts in mind, I bought two yards of fleece in two colors for each kid and got to work.  It couldn't have happened on a better day either, because it was cats and dogs outside.

See? Cats and dogs.

To start, I lined the fleece up together and trimmed them up so they were exactly the same size.  Exactly.

That picture of me cutting is called an 'action shot'.  And it's the most action I did in days.  That's how I roll.

Next, I pinned the fleece together.

I cut a piece of cardboard into a 4"x4" square.  If you like a longer fringe, feel free to make your square bigger. I put the cardboard at each corner and cut around it.

Once that was done, I moved my pins up a bit so I could cut unfettered.  What a great word.

And then, I cut some fringe.  There's no science to this, just cut as you like.

And then, you tie.  Tie 'em up while watching a movie starring Hilary Swank, that's how it works best I've found.

Remove the pins and you're done.  Will this keep the children from stealing my blankies?  Only time will tell.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Picky Teen Girls Love Hair Care Products

It's Christmas time again.  Really, the only stressful part about this season for me is figuring out what to buy everyone.  Some people, like my husband, are so easy to shop for, it's ridiculous.  He likes gadgets and tools... DONE.  But teenagers and fashion-forward young women are a challenge for me.  I mean, I used to wear flannelVoluntarily.  I'm pretty sure that eliminates me from any sort of 'cool' category.  So when I found this deal for Fekkai hair care products, I knew what I needed to do.

If you aren't familiar with the Fekkai hair care line, let me fill you in: Frederic Fekkai (he's French, so I will be typing the rest of this using a French accent) is one of the most celebrated names in beauty and hairstyling.  The Fekkai hair care collection was introduced in 1995 and is customized to different hair types.  If you know your hair type, you're already halfway there.

The Fekkai website makes shopping so simple.  You can pick your product category from the top and they show you what they've got to offer.  My personal favorite is the Fekkai conditioners.  I'm a naturally curly girl and as such, the quality of my hairstyle is extremely dependent on the weather.  I need a good conditioner if I'm going to go outside and not turn into a poodle with a perm.  A look I have made work, by the way.  The Fekkai Perfectly Luscious Curls Conditioner is perfect for me... I haven't had to rock the poodle look since I started using it.
Perfectly Luscious Curls Conditioner 
Even the bottle looks luxurious.  And the great news is that there's a code for 10% off your total order and a complimentary exclusive holiday headband with a $50.00 purchase.  Just enter the code 'HEADBAND' at checkout! Right now on the website, it looks like shipping is free... head on over and buy that picky teenage girl who hates everything some salon-quality hair care products.  She might even say thank you, which would be a Christmas miracle.

Head on over to the Fekkai site and see what you can find!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Letter To Santa

There is this great Christmas song called 'My Grown-Up Christmas List'.  It's about all the things that we grown-ups wish for at Christmas time.  I thought about posting a Christmas list like that song, something really uplifting.


Never.  That's when.  So, in keeping with my true self, I've decided to post the letter I'm writing to Santa this year.  I'm sure he's on facebook, so I'll just message him. Here it is:

Dear Santa,

WHAT GIVES?  I have made lots of Christmas lists over the years and I rarely get what I'm asking for.  AND I'VE BEEN GOOD, TOO.  Remember when Dave forgot my birthday... TWO YEARS IN A ROW?  I didn't punch him in the throat.  And I probably could have.  But I showed restraint... AND MY CHRISTMAS GIFTS HAVE NOT REFLECTED THAT RESTRAINT.  Let's go through some presents, shall we?

Remember when I asked for a Barbie Dreamhouse?  Oh, how I wanted that dreamhouse... with the matching Barbie and Ken doll... and what did you bring me? SOAP SHAPED LIKE THE SEVEN DWARVES.  Unacceptable.

Or how about the year I wanted some new clothes?  Nothing fancy, just a few nice things to wear to school.  What was under the tree for me that year?  A BELT.  While it was in the 'clothing' category, I'm afraid it's still unacceptable.

And we can't forget the year when all I wanted was one of those pretty blankets I saw at the mall.  It was so soft and pretty, and extremely reasonably priced.  It would have been the present of the year.  And what did I get?  Puppets of the Three Little Pigs.  I WAS FOURTEEN.  WHAT THE CRAP WAS THAT ABOUT?

Listen Santa, I'm sure I sound greedy.  THAT'S BECAUSE I AM.  But we can negotiate: Bring me a blender and no one will get hurt.  You have until Christmas morning.

Sincerely yours,
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Beady Yarn Christmas Tree

I'm still fighting anemia over here, so I didn't know what to call this craft.  I'm taking suggestions in the comments.

Oh, and I'm still alive.  Thanks to every one of you who have contacted me with well-wishes and possible diagnoses... you guys are the best people in the world and I'm going to let everyone know.  I'm still working on returning email, so hang in there if you've emailed me.

So, I was wanting to craft something while still laying down.  This is how a tired crafter gets anything done, apparently.  Anyhoo, I grabbed a styrofoam cone, some green yarn, pretty beads and a silver star pick that I bought at Jo-Ann's for $1.  I love $1.

Then, whilst lying down and watching some sort of trash on television, I wrapped the yarn neatly around the cone.

Then, I kept wrapping the yarn around the cone, but all haphazardly.  See, doing it this way shows the world what a rebel you are.

So, when that's done, I unwrapped more yarn and left it to the side.  I don't know how much more, maybe a few feet... just enough for the next step.

I grabbed myself a needle and threaded the end of the yarn... then I threaded a whole mess of beads.

When I had a lot of beads on the yarn, I continued wrapping it around the tree, adding a bead or two as I went.  Before long, my tree was beaded.

My little silver star at the top finished the whole thing.  And I didn't even have to stand up.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Matchbox Advent Calendar

Hello, all you wonderful people.  Really, you're all pretty wonderful.  I've had so many of you send me messages telling me to get well and it warmed my heart like you wouldn't believe.  If I was capable of tears, I'd cry.

OK, I'll cry. :)

I'm still sleeping all of the time and I'm now convinced I have malaria.  My husband told me that it's impossible because I haven't traveled out of the US in ever, but he hasn't seen my passport so what does he know?  It's malaria.  That settles it.

I had the smarts to make a whole mess of Christmas projects months ago, as if I knew I would be malaria-ridden and unable to craft.  I'm a genius.  Here's a fun little Advent calendar made from matchboxes and acrylic paint... it's so cute, I was brought out of my crafting coma just to take a picture of it.

I bought matchboxes, 24 of 'em.  Take those matches and throw them in a Ball jar with sandpaper on top... you've already made something from Pinterest and you should be proud of yourself.  Take the empty boxes and some Elmer's glue and let's do this thing.

A bit of glue on the side of the matchboxes and then you're sticking them together in groups of three.

Make eight of those.  Eight times three is 24.  I'm a math wiz.

Once you've got those, glue them on top of each other... like wee drawers.

Let that dry for a while.  You should eat some ice cream or if you're a health nut, some Doritos.  That's what passes for health food in this house, anyway.  I'm pretty sure there's some sort of vitamin in them.  Anyhoo, once it's all dried, you can add your day numbers.

I cut my numbers with my Silhouette because my handwriting is atrosh.  That's how I say atrocious and I'm confident it's going to catch on.  Atrosh.

Look how cute it is already.

I gave each little drawer a coat of mod podge 'cause I'm meticulous like that.  Once that was dry, I flipped it to the other side and painted a Christmas tree.

I don't want to brag, but I compared my painting to some other paintings and mine was the best.  Of course, the other paintings were done by pre-schoolers, but I'll take my victories where I can get them.

After that, I glued some ribbon to the bottom of each drawer and glued some winter-y paper to the outside.

So, it's all ready... all I needed was 24 activities for each day.  Easy-schmeasy, right?

Good grief, that was the worst part.  Things that I find fun, the kids don't find fun.  My idea of 'All Day Christmas Nap!' was soundly voted down.  Those kids have no idea what life is all about apparently.

I wrote the activities on some Christmas scrapbook paper and then rolled 'em up with some ribbon.  They were tucked into their drawers and haven't made a peep since.

This post has left me exhausted.  That is what I do for you, my sweet readers.  Oh, and I'm trying to return all your messages so if you haven't heard from me, stay tuned.  I'm sure you will be getting an extremely witty reply any day now.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thrifty Crafty Girl Is Exhausted.

I have not perished from the Earth.  I am alive and kicking, but so tired you can't even imagine.

I told you that I my doctor told me to take some extra iron to combat some anemia I was diagnosed with.  So, like a good little girl, I've been taking my extra iron.

It's not working.  I'm exhausted.  All. The. Time.  I'm choosing sleep over food.  I'm sleeping through the Hallmark Channel's holiday movies.  I haven't sassed my husband in like, 12 hours.


I have all these supplies for Thanksgiving projects that I was supposed to be doing and posting about but they're just sitting in the bag, looking pitiful.  If I don't get some energy soon, someone is going to have to chew my Thanksgiving turkey for me.

There is a good side to being in bed non-stop: I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year and I'm really liking the story I'm writing.  I should be able to finish my novel on time, so at least I can say that the month of November was spent writing the great American novel and not sleeping until I wake up and then sleeping some more.

And now, I need a nap.  Thanks to all of you who were checking up on me, you guys are awesome-sauce.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Placemats

So, I know that you have conflicted feelings about Thanksgiving.  You can't wait for the family and food and fun, but there is one thing you're struggling with.

That over-achieving sister/cousin/aunt that you know just walks around your house looking for something to criticize you for.  That lady's got issues.

This year, we're not going to let her get to us.  We're going to make our own lovely fall placemats for her to eat crow off of.

You'll need two fabrics, one for the top of your placemat and one for the bottom.

You'll also need some mid-weight interfacing, about 2 yards for four placemats.  This stuff is about $2 a yard, so you're still pretty thrifty here.  Cut your fabric to the size you want your placemat, plus seam allowance.  I cut my fabric to 17" x 22", but you do what you feel is a good size.  I totally trust you on this one.

Stack your fabrics like so: top fabric and bottom fabric, right sides facing, and the interfacing on the bottom.

Pin it up.

And sew up the outsides, leaving a hole for turning the whole works inside out.

I trimmed up my edges before flipping inside out, but that's optional.  If you do, leave the fabric near the hole un-trimmed for the final sewing.

Turn it inside out and iron it.  It's starting to look like a placemat, which is lucky since that's the look we're going for.

For the final step, sew around the edges again, with whatever seam allowance you like.  I used 3/8" 'cause I'm a rebel like that.

And it was done.  Kaboom.

That know-it-all relative hasn't ever made her own placemats, has she?  That means you're better.

That turkey is gonna taste so good this year.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Fall Infinity Scarf

Hello, my sweet bloggy friends.  I took a little sabbatical after Halloween... it was not entirely voluntary.  I suffered a bout of anemia that left me literally exhausted in bed for days.  I have no idea where that anemia came from.  Apparently, there is no iron in a diet consisting solely of Halloween candy and hot glue fumes.  Which is a shame.  Anyhoo, I'm back and I made an infinity scarf.

I love this thing.

So, I saw all these people wearing these 'infinity scarves' and I just loved them.  And I thought it would be the perfect project for November, since it's getting frosty outside.  So I went to the fabric store and found some fun flannel.  Yes, flannel can be fun, if you have no other excitement in your life that is.

See? Fun!

I got two yards for this scarf, which is plenty.  I cut the flannel into a strip 18" wide by two yards long.  Once that was done, I pinned up the long end, right sides together.

Next, I sewed up the long end.  I love sewing straight lines. Use whatever seam allowance you like because you're awesome and know what you're doing.

Once that was done, I turned it right side out.  Now most people would stitch up part of the ends before flipping but I hate having to pull fabric through tiny holes.  Since this is an infinity scarf, having a seam would not be such a big deal.  I pulled it right-side-out and sewed the ends together.  This whole thing took about 30 minutes.

I made a scarf! And it's infinity! Infinity times infinity, even!  Oh, that fall were all year round so I could make a hundred of these. :)
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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