Frugal Living and Crafting

Practicing The Art Of Living Frugally And Crafting Cheaply

Me Made Success!

whiskey

Okay, so in reality whiskey had nothing to do with it, but I liked the logo.  My sewing teacher came over yesterday and I was finally able to finish making my first Me Made article of clothing, a sleeved cape. I’m so proud of it, and so excited I made something I can wear.  Or will be able to wear when the weather cools down.  Definitely no wearing it right now.  Anyway, here’s the finished product…

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It’s not a big, fancy project, but it’s done and I made it!  My ever patient sewing teacher helped me get through it and I could not be happier with how it turned out.  And I have a lovely soft cape to wear for just the price of a few yards of fabric.  Now I am even more excited than normal for fall to arrive!

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Staying Home: Both Frugal and Productive

stayhome

Over the years of trying to beat myself into frugal submission, I have learned one unfailing truth:  If I leave the house, it’s approximately a 99% certainty I will spend money.  It is exceedingly rare for me to go out, for any reason, and not stop for a diet soda, at the very least.  Yesterday hubs and I decided to go out for 2 reasons:  One, an iced coffee for me {which I realize is spending money, but I was PLANNING to spend it, rather than giving in to weakness when we were out}, and to go to a small park to play Pokemon go.

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Some money spent, but spent well!

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As I mentioned in last night’s blog, I’ve been doing some sewing.  I’m still in the really-beginning-beginner stage, but I’m learning.  Through searching tags on Instagram, I came across the Sew Pretty In Pink blogger Andie.  Stalking through her photos, I found one of her wearing a shirt I loved, and she hash tagged the pattern name.  After throwing myself shamelessly at her to find out where I could get the pattern, I had the info.  It’s the Cashmerette Concord T-Shirt pattern.  I almost did a dance… okay, maybe I did wave my arms excitedly while sitting on the couch… at the mere concept of this pattern.  I am plus size, and as any plus size woman will agree, it can be very hard to find a knit shirt that’s “just right”.  As in, I would find an entire stable full of unicorns before I found one ready made in a store.

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Where Was I?

wherewasi

The last time I posted here, some 3 months ago, I said I was back on track and things were going well again.  And they were.  Briefly.  The arthritis I developed in my knees has not gone away, nor gotten any better.  I struggle with walking, and going up and down the stairs to the apartment sucks.  I’m learning to live with it, but it’s a difficult reality to accept.  Unfortunately the self pity I’ve been feeling has lead to poor financial decisions.  No dramatic missteps, just little things here and there adding up to too much extra spending.

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There’s No Way To Sugar Coat This Reality, and I Won’t Try

reality

I said I wasn’t going to bring too much of my personal life into my blog, and mostly haven’t.  But I haven’t posted in more than two weeks, and a few of you have noticed.   There’s no way I can explain my absence short of honesty.  I believe I may have mentioned before, or maybe not, but I have bipolar disorder.  Mostly it’s pretty well controlled, but not always.

These past few weeks have been a horrible trifecta of things plotting to keep me from blogging, or doing much of anything.  I lost my beloved grandmother almost 8 months ago, and got deeply reminded of the loss while visiting Hubs 100 year old grandmother.  The morning after that trip, I woke up with terrible knee pain which, in the end, has been diagnosed as arthritis.  Apparently the lengthy car ride without enough moving around stiffened my knee and made the arthritis flare up enough for a diagnosis.  For the last 2 1/2 weeks I’ve barely been able to walk, and getting up and downstairs to the apartment has been almost impossible.  The third thing, probably triggered by the other two, was a depressive phase.  I lost motivation, interest, energy, enthusiasm… it was all gone.

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Making Stuff Monday… On Tuesday: Eyeglasses Case

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Making Stuff Monday — On Tuesday

Sorry for the late MSM, folks.  It was for a good reason though.  This lovely lady…

Hubs' Gramma

Hubs’ Gramma

Is turning 100.  Hubs’ Gramma is just about to celebrate her 100th BIRTHDAY!  Nuts, right?  Hubs is on vacation this week, so we made plans to drive down to his hometown with her birthday presents and this…

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake

As you can probably guess, the mug she’s holding was one of her gifts.  Hubs’ dad is her caretaker, and he knew we were coming but she didn’t.  So she was surprised when we walked in bearing cake and gifts.  Her birthday isn’t for another couple of weeks, but Hubs’ uncle and aunt will be there then, and we decided to go surprise her early so she wouldn’t get too tired out from several people being there at once.  Besides, who doesn’t want to have birthday cake twice?  She’s turning 100, she doesn’t care if it goes to her hips!

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Weekly Grocery Report and Menu: The Asian Market Edition

Weekly Grocery Report

Weekly Grocery Report

This week turned out to be a fairly light week for shopping.  Somehow we just didn’t need a lot, and although there were some good sales, I decided to stick to buying only what we needed rather than stocking up for the future.  Our space for stocking up was… well, pretty well stocked.

Of course, despite not needing to buy overmuch today, we still ended up stopping at 5 stores.  Instead of Fresh Thyme, we stopped at one of the Asian markets.  We needed Hoisin sauce, and while they do sell it at the regular grocery, it’s three times the price it is at an Asian market.  The jars are small and pricey, vs large and inexpensive, so it’s worth the extra stop.  And Hubs loves the Asian markets anyway, so he certainly doesn’t complain when the week’s grocery list lands us there!

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Guest Post: The Frugal Side Of Giving Up Cigarettes

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The Frugal Side of Quitting Smoking

Today’s post is a guest post by my bestie, Billi Jo.  Having been a smoker myself, and quitting 4 long years ago, I fully sympathize with her struggle, and I am so proud of her for doing it.  Also, I’m super excited she was willing to write this post,  in the event any other smokers are reading this and might realize this makes reason one billion and one that quitting is a good thing!

In her words:

I am not anywhere near the what a person might call “frugal”. In fact, until my first ever trip to the Salvation Army Thrift Store, I’d never even been to a thrift store! In my career, I don’t make much money, and in fact, to take the job when it was offered to me ten years ago, my income took a huge hit and was cut more than in half. I feel as though I’ve never really recovered from that or learned how to make it work.

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Making Stuff Monday: Book Page Letters

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Making Stuff Monday Logo

This week’s post is a pinch hitter.  I had another post planned, but I can’t figure out how to get my machine threaded.  I struggle more with threading than anyone ever should.  My sewing guru and I went out for tea today instead of having a sewing lesson since I was pretty confident I could do the planned project on my own.  My confidence was misplaced.  The project itself would be simple… if I could get the bobbin threaded.  Life is hard.

But not to worry, thanks to Hubs there’s still a Making Stuff Monday!  I was pretty bummed I couldn’t make the intended project because I didn’t have anything else lined up.  Fortunately Hubs pointed out a craft project I did a couple of years ago, and it was a genius suggestion.  This project is both incredibly easy and incredibly frugal.

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Things On Which I Don’t Compromise

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Things On Which I Don’t Compromise Logo

We’re all looking to be frugal, right?  Of course we are, or I wouldn’t be writing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it.  My definition of being frugal is not the common stereotype of complete austerity wherein I never have any pleasures money can buy, though.  So the saying goes… the best things are things money can’t buy.  And it’s generally true.  But sometimes money CAN buy things that give us a little pleasure in living.

As I often say in my blogs — this is written for those of us who have at least a little bit of spending flexibility.  It does not apply to people who are struggling to pay rent and eat for the month.  In those cases, frugality may require spending no money on non-necessities.

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