Being a Crafty Fixer

This is going to sound silly as a post to most people but I thought it was a good idea. The screw fell off my sun glasses and I was really bummed. I tried to put it in but it fell into the void of my car. Even more bummed, I was thinking I would have to throw them away until an idea hit me.

I took the sun glasses in the the house to try it out and it worked! I just slid a paper clip in the place the screw was and that was that. I saved my favorite sun glasses with for free.

What are some crafty fixes you have done? There are many out there and I’m sure I’m not the first person to fix glasses with a paper clip but to me it was an awesome moment. I saved myself $10 with something for free. It was a good feeling 🙂

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God’s Blessings

I mentioned that we had a crazy high has bill that we weren’t expecting in a previous post well I have a cool update about that. See God covered it all! He provided the extra money and  then a little more. It was a good reminder for me to not worry when things happen. God will provide even in a crazy month like December.

How has God blessed you this season? I know we weren’t sure how we were going to cover all the gifts we had to buy for our daughter and each other but there are so many gifts that the only way that they could have gotten here was by God’s hand. I feel so blessed.

God has also used people to bless me as well. A man in Walmart today gave me the dollar I needed to cover my order. I had people make crochet project orders and sold a few things that we no longer needed.

If you need something God will provide in one way or another. You might have to do some extra work or He will send people to bless you. Love is the real reason of the season. God sent His Son to be our greatest gift and now we can be a gift to other people. You never k iw what a dollar will do for someone. For me it meant alot today.

I look forward to being able to do the same for someone else 🙂

How Do You Save Money?

I would love to hear from my readers with tips on they have learned to save money. Obviously washing and drying clothes is one way but it is rather extreme. One other way we save money as a family is we don’t eat out but a couple times a month and use programs like Netflix instead of cable.

How do you save money? We all can learn from eachother since every penny counts these days.

Being Thankful this Christmas

I know that for some the Christmas season can be one of the hardest. This post isn’t going to be about thrifting per say but it will mention about having a gracious heart.

I have a good family friend who lost their son when he was sixteen almost three years ago. It was a really had hit to the family and the community. He is missed everyday but I can only imagine the hole there is wheb it comes to the holidays now. I just look around my family and just thank God everyday that they are all still here. I have not lost anyone close to me yet and I don’t look forward to when I do but that is not the case for the majority.

My husband, for example, has lost all but one of his grandparents. He did not even get to meet one of his grandmother’s and another was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was just a toddler. So to him, the idea of having lots of family around the Christmas tree opening presents is totally a foreign concept.

Do any of you have a situation where you related to either story? Or do you have a story like mine where you haven’t really been to alot of funerals yet?

All I know is that I want to be thankful for everything and everyone in my life because one day they won’t be and it will be the saddest day in my life. I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a parent or my sister or any of my grandparents or parents.

My heart goes out to all who have experienced loss this Christmas and to encourage you keep looking up. God loves you now with them no longer with you as much as He did when they were still here. He is still the God of light and love and will be there for you through this season.

Some New Items in My Etsy Shop

So I am starting to get the hang of posting listings and making my product look good in the listing. A picture is really worth a 1000 words. I tried to take a picture on my phone but the quality was really bad so I had to break out my camera and tripod and do it right. And I have to say, the outcome was worth it.

Below are my new products that I have posted in my Esty shop. I hope you like them and encourage you to come by and check my store out! 🙂

Bouncing Boy Blue Blanket

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Warm Fingerless Glove

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Jungle Fleece Baby Blanket

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Pure Innocence Fleece Blanket

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I Joined Etsy :)

I have always been crafty and love doing things with my hands. So I took up sewing as a school project ten years ago and crochet about two years ago. The sewing has been on and off since I started but I have always enjoyed it. And the crochet… Well, let’s just I haven’t bought a new scarf or pair of mittens since I started.

Then someone asked if I did Etsy? I said, “No since that is for talented people”. Well, I have finally decided that my products are good enough for Etsy so I opened Handi Works of Grace yesterday. I only have one item on there so far but I will be adding more probably daily as I get my stock built up. Most of the things right now will be made to order for a little while but I am quick so I can get the orders out fast.

My favorite thing to make are baby blankets (which is the one thing I have in my shop at the moment). They are just so warm and cozy and I can pray for the baby while I make it. It is a really cool feeling.

So I encourage you to check it out and spread the word! Keep an eye out for updates and new products being released. This is going to be a fun ride 🙂

Trying to Stay With It

So I posted earlier about I am trying to do half my laundry by hand. Well… I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy to keep up with it.

My next load is supposed to be handwashed and I really want to just throw it in the washer. That could be because it has been really cold here in northern California all of a sudden and outside drying isn’t exactly possible. That means that I have to dry it in the house which isn’t the end of the world. So I’ll be a good girl and keep up with my challenge. Quiters are not well received where I come from. 😉

 

Gas or Electric?

We had a shock from last moth with our utilities. You know how I have been on this quest to save money? Well, when we got our electric bill, I thought I was on the right track. But when I got our gas bill, I almost fainted.

I thought our heater was only electric so I had no problem using it. We kept it low at 65 degrees but still used it at night. Looks like I was wrong because our gas bill was double our electric bill! Our electric was $43 and our gas was $86. I couldn’t believe it. I know that people pay a lot more than that but what got me was that the previous month out electric bull was $52 and out gas was $13. So that was the surprising factor. Our power company is the lowest in the area and our gas provider is the most expensive. Why our power provider doesn’t do gas too? I have no idea.

So now we are having to really adjust our gas usage. Off the heater went and now we are being more mindful of the hot water we use. We tried turning the hot water heater down but it didn’t quite get hot enough and we were running it more so we put it back to hot and now fill up our sink half way when we wash dishes.

We know the house we are renting has horrible windows which don’t offer any help. They are all single pane so the hot air just goes right through them which we knew would be a problem. If we owned this place, that would be the first thing changes out. Because not only is having an energy efficient home good for your pocket book, but also the environment. The more energy lost with something like bad windows, the less that will be available for other people later. So for now we are having to make adjustments.

We have an electric heater for my daughter in her room, since we can bundle up, and keep it at 65 degrees. We will see what that does to our electric bill since w only have it on when she is sleeping or taking a nap. Otherwise we will utilize things like out oven with other things like I baked cookies last night while I baked the meatloaf for dinner. That way maybe we won’t spend twice the amount again.

When You Have to Say “Pass”

I am now starting to get into this whole thrifting thing. I have found some great deals and am always on the look out now for a special bargain. But of course there will be times when you to pass up a bargain no matter how good it is.

In order to be thrifty, I have found, that the ability to say “no” to something is just as powerful as saying “yes”. Hopefully you have a budget of some sort. This is a great place to start. The blogger hasn’t posted much lately but what the blogger has put up is rather interesting. It is a video tutorial about a product called Every Dollar and it is powered by Dave Ramsey. If you don’t know who that is, I would suggest googling him 🙂 Any way, with a budget comes restrictions on how much someone can actually spend at one time so that savings can accrue to spend at a later time. This means that even though I saw some yarn on a yard sale page, I had to pass because I had already bought a huge bag full already and that needed to go into the budget. It was no fun but next month, when we have a new budget, I can set aside more money perhaps to spend on things like thrifting finds and yarn. (I love to sew and crochet so that why I am always looking for yarn and fabric at a decent price.)

This is not to make people feel tied down to their finances but rather to be empowered by them. Having a budget isn’t a bad thing. It has made it that next year, my husband will be able to pay off his student loans. If we had not kept track of what we spent and what we saved, who knows what more debt we could possibly have? So I would encourage you today to, if you haven’t, start a budget, and learn to say “no”. I know for me it is not easy. I would rather charge it to a credit card sometimes, but I have been shown how making a budget and sticking to it will be the best thrifting tool of all.

 

Using Social Media for Thrifting

It is so cool that today we have so many options to communicate with each other through social media. I know there is a lot of controversy over it but this is one area that it is nice and that is finding good deals.

On Facebook today there are sites for “Yard Sales” in your area. So instead of having to wait for yard sale season or donating your items, you can sell them one at a time on these Facebook pages. I am a part of three pages so far and I have been able to find things that I would have not found otherwise. Because lets get technical, how many of you really enjoy yard sales? I know I am not the greatest fan of waking up early, and driving around for hours for just a couple of finds. I know people who this is pretty much their hobby so they are really good at it, but that is not me.So these pages are perfect for me. I may have to wait a little bit for the item I want to be posted but it normally is.

The next thing is actually buying it. Since there are thousands of followers on these sites, the competition can be fierce. I know there was one item that had been up for an hour and have 32 comments on it. It had sold with the first person interested but still people were getting in line in case that one fell through. So if you are looking for something, the key is that you have be on the page on a regular basis. Once you acquire your find, you then set up a time to go pick it up in the next 24 hours on the seller’s front porch. It is that simple.

Now selling on these pages is a little more tricky because you have to wait for the right person to want your stuff. To me buying is easier than selling. I put some items on the page and one of them sold right away. There others I am still waiting for someone to nibble on them. But when items sell, they go really fast.

One thing you have be careful of is that you can buy off any of the pages but you can usually only sell off the area page you live in. Check all the rules on the pages to make sure what areas are allowed to sell in what areas not due to distance. For example, when I lived in the country, I couldn’t really use the pages to sell anything because I lived too far out of the areas being posted. But when I moved down to the city, I could since I was right in the middle of the selling area. So just check and see how far the page will allow you to live away so that your viewing audience for your stuff can have the greatest impact.

This little thrifting tool is something that couldn’t be done 10 years ago. Now social media has made it more possible for people to connect and for you to be able to find those treasures you have been looking for.