Thursday, February 26, 2009

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

It's time for another thrifting update... I've acquired so many goodies lately, that I'll have to break it up into several posts. These Italian-made Sudini boots are my greatest find. Although I have a similar pair, I could not pass these puppies up. Knee high, black italian leather, great condition and exactly my size. For $5.00. Plus, they were 30% off. So, after tax, they were $3.50! Searching online, I found a similar style of Sudini boots for $133.00 on sale. I think I got a good deal. Here's a picture of the boot sole...
*blush* - yup, they're italian all right.
At a recent estate sale, I dug through an enormous box of jewelry for 30 minutes, then threw a few goodies in a small bag to check out. The woman running the sale charged me a flat rate. It's one of those things you don't know will happen until it happens. That means I walked away with this vintage Monet sterling silver bracelet for .60 cents. (It's much more sparkly in person.)
Last December, I tried on a black and white micro-plaid shirt at a department store. It was $50 and had 3/4 length sleeves - which I do not like because my wrists get cold. I put it back. At the thrift, I found this perfect condition shirt, in black and white micro-plaid, for $4.00. Bingo. Waiting 2 months saved me $46.00.
It works perfectly with my new boots, a pair of jeans and my shiny bracelet. If I'd bought everything new, my outfit would have cost over $200. But this thrifty gal only spent $8. Not bad!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waiting 4 Weeks To Bathe

OK, not entirely. I only have to wait 4 weeks to bathe with this soap. This here is a sneak peek at what currently resides on top of my refrigerator. It's my first ever attempt at soapmaking. The soap takes at least 4 weeks to cure. And with a toddler in the house, just about the only safe place to let these bars sit, is on top of the fridge.

They're not evenly cut, but they smell nice - peppermint, of course. If they turn out well, they'll get us all clean, even in their clunky state.

Through a thrifting treasure hunt, I slowly started accumulating all the necessary soapmaking supplies, including: a stainless steel pot for $4, two utensils at .25 cents each, a hand blender for $2, two soap molds (a mini loaf pan for $4 and a tupperware container for $2,) a pitcher for .77 cents and a leftover pasta sauce jar for measuring the sodium hydroxide.
I found The Soapmaker's Companion by Susan Cavitch at my local library. Essentially, this is the the go-to source for soapmakers. Also handy was this link which showed me how to properly mix my solution to make lye.

We are trying to stay sulfate-free and had been buying fantastic (and highly recommended) Sparta peppermint soap from etsy. But now, at $5 a bar, I thought I'd try my hand at soapmaking. Since 15 bars of soap would run $75 (yikes!) we're coming out ahead with our $50 investment because it includes reusable supplies. And we have soap for a year.

In 4 weeks time, I'll report back to let you know how, and if, my soap turned out. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Congrats To Katie Jean!

My sweet friend, Katie Jean, contributed some of her crafty ways to this new book. For those of you looking to be crafty with linens, this is the book for you! My own stockpile of pillowcases shows my intentions to put this book to good use. Besides, can a little girl reeeally have too many pillowcase dresses??

Katie Jean makes adorable vintage style girls clothing and organic baby accessories. She's mean with a sewing machine! Be sure to stop by Katie's blog as well, she's giving away a copy of the book.

Congratulations, Katie!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Going On A Fox Hunt

Well, the good kind of fox hunt... the sort that involves a thrift store. Recently, I acquired this little fox mug for only 50 cents from a local thrift. It was astonishing because I was actually on the hunt for something fox related. I've been thinking about (and noticing in all of C's children's books) foxes. Then thriftcandy went and posted these little guys...
(from dropstitch)
Aren't they just the sweetest vintage barettes ever?!

Then, I came upon this video. It's happiness in itself! Oh the joy of being a wild fox... on a trampoline.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Folksy Valentine

(photo courtesy of emeraldvintage)
We usually don't make a big deal about Valentine's Day around here. We acknowledge it, but (sappy moment on the horizon here) we try to make everyday a kind of Valentine's Day. Awww.

A while back, I mentioned to H that I adored this vintage folk apron on etsy. Not only did he remember, but he thought far enough ahead to order it from the shop in Australia so that I would have it on V-day. Yeah, I know, he's a keeper!And so is this apron :)

If you enjoy folksy goodies, crafts and accessories, this blog should be of interest to you. She's a living folk doll!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ivan The Blue

Recently, I received a custom doll request from a previous client. It seems that her son likes the awake/asleep matryoshka doll that I made for her daughter. Since I enjoy repurposing clothing and linens, I welcomed the challenge of making my first boy doll from this men's blue micro plaid shirt. Meet Ivan...
This is his front and back. I also crocheted an apple green scarf for Ivan. I wanted to keep him boyish and sort of rascally.
It seems as though the "sleeping" face works because the instant Charlotte saw him, she ran to get a blanket and said, "Hush!"
For a toddler who needs more than a hint or a nudge at bedtime, these dolls seem to really work!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yahtzee! I Won!

I'm a big fan of Lera over at The Sky Is Pink. She sews, she bakes, she does it all - while raising 6 beautiful children. In recent months, she has made baby legs - or leg warmers - from knee-high socks. Just in time for Valentine's Day, she held a leg warmer giveaway... that I won. Woo-hoo!

We received our package today. Thank you, Lera! This picture doesn't really do them justice, but trying to get C to hold still was an enormous, 52-picture-taking, challenge. The leg warmers have sweet little red hearts at the top too.

It's funny... Charlotte's never seen leg warmers before, but knew exactly how to put them on. After changing her outfit to match, she pranced.

If you are interested in doing a little prancing yourself, check out this tutorial.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Recipe For Clean Clothes

We spend about $5.00 on laundry detergent for 32 loads. That's just over 15 cents per load. It's not too bad, but I knew that I could do better. Thanks to this site, I found a laundry detergent recipe that cuts my per load soap costs in half.

This is what my laundry soap container used to look like...
I added a little decorative paper (left over from C's snowflake-themed 1st birthday party), some glue, a dash of ribbon and insto-presto, a lovely recycled container.
The recipe I used was #4:
2 cups grated bar of soap (I used Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Bar Soap)
1 cup Borax (available in the detergent aisle)
1 cup washing soda (also known as soda ash - not baking soda)

Mix well. Use 2 Tblsp. per load

It only took me 10 minutes to completely grate the soap, mix ingredients and put everything away. I'll cut my costs even further by using a less expensive bar of soap, such as Kirk's Castile. Also, we have a high-efficiency machine, and this soap works wonders.

Saving 8 cents a load may not seem like much... but, if you wash even 5 loads a week, you'll save $20 over the course of a year. $20 is a shopping extravaganza at the thrift store for me!

Friday, February 6, 2009

100's To Be Happy About

* The bill with Franklin on it
* The degrees in Celsius for boiling water
* The maximum amount that you can give when you're trying hard
* The yards run by James Harrison to score a Superbowl touchdown for The Pittsburgh Steelers
*One dalmation short of a movie
* Abraham's age when Isaac was born
* Today, I made my 100th sale at TheLittleBirdie (named for Charlotte) which opened in Sept.'08.
* Wednesday's blog post was my 100th - You have my deep appreciation for checking out this here little blog o' mine (pardon my absence, but C's been sick.)

A thousand thanks!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Mess Of Mess

Last week, Vintage Mommy showed pictures of her house in Just Keepin' It Real. She made a valid point about how we, as bloggers, only post what we want others to see - which sometimes appears that we always have it together. As wives and mothers, we know the truth. We do not always have it together.
In solidarity, I immediately ran out and snapped some pix of my messy pantry shelves. It looks like we just had an earthquake. Our 50-year-old closed-in porch serves as our laundry room, pantry and general storage area. You can imagine that the mess can quickly reach mammoth proportions.

I've needed baskets and organizers for the shelves for quite some time... ok, four years. Well, I thrifted some that very day.
Three wire baskets and two canned food organizers ran a total of $5.00. After grocery shopping and adding more food, I still have some space left.
It's a start! As for the closet... I'm just not that brave. Yet.
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