Category Archives: Thrift

Autumn Altered Book, Part II

Next steps … but still in progress.

3 Comments

Filed under Altered Books, Autumn, Books, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Thrift, Using What You Have

Autumn Altered Book, Part I

For this project I’m using a Country Living Halloween book. It has lots of fall colors and pumpkins and things.

First I tore out a lot of pages. It was hard for me to do this step when I started making altered books, but the simple fact is that after all the embellishments are added, the book will be too thick and just wont’ close. Sometimes that may be the desired goal, but not this time.

The pages on the inside cover are orange with lighter spots of cats and jack-o-lanterns. Since this isn’t a Halloween book, I covered the pages by stamping a leaf pattern all over it.

The picture below shows the unstamped page (on the left) and then the stamped look (on the right).

Next, I use a glue stick to affix the pumpkins onto a piece of book page, then placed it onto the lower left-hand corner. The piece of book page had been used as a base when I was spraying glimmer mist onto something else. It left an interesting pattern and looked just right for the pumpkins. They were clipped from a Mary Englbreit Home Companion magazine.

This page featured instructions for making a Halloween scrapbook. I covered the felt cut-outs with a stamped image of old-fashioned ink pens. The background paper was from the time my sister (Fran) taught me how to use alcohol inks. The pens just seemed to complement the idea of the scrapbook.

To change the wording, I used a piece of junk mail that had fall leaves on it, and dotted the words “All My Blessings”.

It probably won’t be completed this year because I’ve learned that after putting something away for awhile, fresh ideas will come when I pick it back up at a later time.

Tomorrow I’ll post more photos of it.
Next, I took

1 Comment

Filed under Altered Books, Autumn, Books, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Ephemera, Thrift, Using What You Have

First Aid products, Made in the U.S.A.

While looking through one of my newest vintage magazines (Ladies Home Journal, October 1942), I was struck – and saddened – by the advertisements for domestic and food products which were all made in America.

Things have degenerated so far that almost none of the domestic items (toasters, irons, etc.) are now made here. Many of the foods at the grocery are foreign, too.

I was shocked to see that most of the regular apple juice is Chinese, as well as lots of the garlic.

What’s more American than apples?

Remember Johnny Appleseed?!

What’s with these companies?

And garlic… how hard can it be to grow our own garlic? Do we really need to import it from half-way around the world?!

So, I’m renewing my efforts to find American grown and manufactured products.

A surprising place to find them is at the dollar store. I’m adding new entries under the Made in U.S.A. category on the right sidebar for the different dollar stores. Today I’m focusing on Dollar General.

While looking for items to put in a first aid kit, I came across these:


First, the band aids, adhesive bandages, sticking plaster or whatever you call them.


They didn’t have Bactine, so I bought this antiseptic spray.

There are American-made products out there – we just have to look for them!

Leave a comment

Filed under Dollar General, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift

Contentment at Home

Natasha Burns has a lovely post about her home and her attitude about it. It’s called “loving what I have rather than wishing it was more.”

And over at Domestic Felicity, Anna has written a thoughtful post titled “No Cost Home Improvement.”

They both reminded me of a story by Amy Dacyczyn in one of her Tightwad Gazette books. I’ve looked through them and can’t find it, so I’ll have to keep looking, then post it. She told about going to the home of an older person – their furnishings weren’t expensive or even nice, but the home was spotlessly clean and welcoming.

Just what I needed to hear.

As I about to go to sleep a few nights ago, I sensed the Lord nudging me about the stashes of clutter everywhere. It’s a lifelong problem that I have to deal with and I simply hadn’t been dealing with it for awhile.

So yesterday, I tackled 3 problem areas and cleaned them up. The difference was amazing and so fulfilling. On days that I’m home, I hope to clean out at least one more area per day. On bad fibromyalgia days, I might be able to do only one, but one is progress and it’s one more step toward a clean house and organization.

4 Comments

Filed under Cozy, Home, Internet links, Making Do

Floral Altered Book pages

from Fran's Floral Altered Book

These page layouts are from an altered book my sister made; her theme was Flowers.

On this page, she distressed the pages with purple and buff colored stamp pads, used a daisy rubber stamp, magazine clippings for the flowers and heart. The wavy floral paper scrap was from a drapery sample book, which she ran through a crimper. Also she stamped a tulip on a layered tag and used a bit of photocopied ephemera.

From Fran's Floral Altered Book

This is one of my favorite altered book pages of all time. The purple flower is a silk one, and I wouldn’t have thought of using it because it’s so thick and bulky – but it’s perfect.

Besides the silk flower, she used a purple stamp pad for distressing the page, embroidered ribbon, words cut from a magazine (Home Grown and Spring), rubber stamp, and a decorative paper napkin.

4 Comments

Filed under Altered Books, Cozy, Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Family, Using What You Have

George Washington Silhouette



Here’s the George Washington silhouette that I promised last February. The above tracing is from the instruction page (last photo in this post) and enlarged to 200%. The nose is not quite right. If you prefer to trace your own, click on the instruction page to enlarge it, then click again on the magnifying glass.

It’s the closest I could find to the ones that we always cut out and used for crafts back in the early 60s when I was in elementary school at Mingo.

Go here for the Lincoln silhouette outline.

One additional note: an optional background is to print off the Declaration of Independence setting the darker/lighter button much lighter than normally for the font. For an antiqued look, use a tan piece of cardstock.

These pictures are all from Holiday Touches for the Country Home, Memories in the Making Series by Leisure Arts.

3 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Crafts - Cheap, Crafts - Paper, Heros, Holidays, Using What You Have, Washington's Birthday

Costume Jewelry Repair

Somewhere along the line I acquire this brooch, which looks to me as if it’s from the 1950s. It’s a pretty little piece but was missing one of the stylized hearts and a green rhinestone. Probably a replacement could’ve been easily found for the rhinestone, but the heart was a bit tricky. They’re probably mother-of-pearl, or at least supposed to look like they are.

Even though I wore it a few times like it was, I began thinking about possible solutions for the missing pieces.

And I remembered Stickles.

Here it is after one coat of gold for the heart shape, and green on the rhinestone part.

On close inspection it wouldn’t fool anyone, but then, I hope not too many people will have their faces right up close to my lapel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Femininity, Jewelry, Making Do, Thrift, Using What You Have