Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Earning My Keep

Today I did get my coupons cut and sorted, I was also able to make a list of the things that were on sale at CVS and Shaws that we use and were a good deal.  Shaws has a "card" that allows you to get things at the sale price, no card no sale price!  I only shop there for the sale items as most everything is marked up and in the past when I have done my weekly shopping there it costs me $10-20 more than at Hannaford or Walmart.  Here is what I use to organize my coupons, it is sturdy and large enough to hold what I have and much smaller than the plastic shoebox tote I use to bring!!  Normally, I put the coupons that I plan to use in the front section then when I place the item in my cart I slide the coupon under the paperclip, this save time and confusion at checkout :0)

So at Shaws ... I was happy to get cereal that we eat regularly for Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) and I had a coupon to boot so that made it a very nice price.  I like to compare prices by the unit price so I know if I am really getting a good deal, I used to keep a price book like Amy Dacyczyn author of The Tightwad Gazette Series.  I got out of that habit too, I'm not sure if I will get that detailed again or check as I go along???  I also got eggs on sale and will check on some egg recipes for the coming weeks and lastly bologna, I did well to only get the sale items. 

At CVS...I splurged and got a Thomas' English Muffins 12 pk for 1.99 on sale it's even a savings over the store brand I usually purchase.  I might go back and buy one more pack for the freezer, if I get over there again this week.  I also stocked up on hand dishwashing liquid, personal products BOGO w/coupon, and paper towels.  I missed out on the VO5 shampoo but that comes on sale regularly and I still have some for now. 

At Hannaford I bought a few items that I had coupons for(that would expire today) and were a great deal.  I was happy to see that I had a total of 9.25 in coupon savings for my small order today.  Unfortunately, that doesn't happen every time but it's a REstart on my couponing! 

Here are photos of my two "pantry" closets, one is a shelf in the linen closet in our bathroom and the other is a hall closet that I "repurposed" into a pantry a couple of years ago for food items and overflow kitchen stuff.  You can even see the corn that I got by the "pallet" lol :0) I know it is very full so I need to start planning the menu, but for me having a full pantry allows me to sale shop better, but I still need to use more of what I have!!  I'm also stocked for plenty of baking when the temps outside are cool.  Sorry this post is so long but I got carried away sharing.  Gail, Rose, and Granny J I guess I have repurposed before, still not as nice or creative as what you have done.  Have a great evening.

Meal Planning & Couponing

Thanks to Debbie J at Homemaking Dreams and Maryann at Mrs. Maryann's House for motivating me try again to get back in the groove with my grocery coupons, lists and menu planning.  Keep posting about your progress girls so I will stay motivated to continue until it becomes habit AGAIN!

I consider myself very fortunate to be a fulltime homemaker and an I feel that an important part of that job is save and make the best use of our family funds.  The money I save with couponing and proper planning is what I call my  "financial contribuition" to the family income.  It may sound like a silly thought, but when I was working full time I was spending more money on food and household supplies because I didn't have time to coupon and make extra stops at various stores for sale items.  Kudos to you Debbie for being able to juggle both. 

Here is what I plan on working on today, cleaning expired coupons, clipping the ones from Sunday's paper.  I also will be checking my flyers for deals at CVS, Rite Aid  and the two local grocery stores.  Menu planning will also be part of this adventure while checking the pantry to see what I have, etc.  We also have a surplus store called Marden's that purchases merchandise in large lots that I like to frequent regularly, I never know what they will have, for instance yesterday I found a 16 pack of the brand of soap we use for 7.99 (.50/bar) and felt that was a great deal, so we will be set hopefully, until I find some on sale again.  A while back I found flats of 12 can of Green Giant Nibblets Corn for a great price and purchased 2 and when I came home my son keep teasing saying "we will be eating alot of corn, mom bought a 2 pallets of it" lol.  In the past I have done a great job stocking my pantry with CVS Extra Bucks savings, coupons, etc and love it when I don't have to pay full price for shampoo, paper towels, toilet paper, etc but when I don't keep up with  it I feel like all that work is for nothing when I run out and have to pay full price for those items.  Here is my workstation all set to go!!

Also wanted to let you know that my son Nathan returned from Kansas City on Saturday and although he didn't win first place, he placed 6th overall, he had a great time.  They had alot of activities planned and I was jealous, Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes was a guest speaker at the opening ceremonies!

Gotta get to work.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Little Quilt

I have been wanting to make a "little quilt" for quite some time now and since my UFO pile has gotten smaller I decided that it was time to start another project. I found this one in a 2009 Quilts & More Magazine, I am using scraps so the colors will be dependent on the number of prints that I have left in Pink Chocolate scraps.
As I started cutting I wasn''t sure if I was going to use the lighter fabric with the triangles on the front (might use for backing) so I cut and sewed a few and decided that I didn't like it right next to the other patterns. So....I have to confess that I did go buy 1/2 a yard of Moda Marble(the tan block in the layout picture) since there was nothing that would match in my scraps.

So here is what I have completed so far, I sewed the first row together but I will do the rest when the other nine patches are completed so I can move them around. One reason I decided to try this now is because there are lots of small pieces in month 7 of the Civil War Quilt and the practice would be helpful.

I have been having trouble keeping up with blogging this past week and am trying NOT to get stressed about it and remember that this is an enjoyable part of life. Blog to you all soon!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Saturday

Not sure I should share some of these photos, the're messy (lol). I was reading Bonnie K Hunter's blog, Quiltville Quips & Snips and she was talking about organizing her drawers and offered a challenge to organize a draw a day and since I definately need to do that I was in! Here is my twist on her challenge, I tend to get bored and sometimes can't finish organizing a large area so I decided that I would pick small parts of big projects and add in a few smaller ones, here's where I started....

Call me crazy but I decided to help my husband organize his toolbox, I often can't find what is needed and with all the others that use the toolbox sometimes it's not where my husband originally put it. So we are going draw by draw and putting things back where they belong and labeling them hopefully, they might return to their proper place. This is part of a very large project to organize the whole garage and since I need my husbands help and input it will probably be ongoing for a month or two. We have alot of stuff in our garage, mind you we have already spent several days in the past year purging stuff like parts to things we no longer have, broken stuff , stuff we haven't used and will NEVER use again, etc... This gets very overwhelming to me because I don't know what some of the stuff is and where or what it belongs with from an organizing standpoint so it's slow going. I hope to share more photos of the progress in the coming months, I will go snap some before photos today so you will be able to really see the progress:0)

No, the red party cups are not from a wild party they are what I used to help sort sockets to put in the toolbox, my table was taken over by stuff from the toolbox draws! Sorry for the blurry photo.

In between sorting and organizing I did get some sewing done. Got all of the blocks for All Stars (by Cozy Quilts Designs) done and on the design wall to help with putting it together, can you see the stars? I tried really hard to not worry about "matching" the fabric for each star, it looks great and really looks scrappy. It is also great because there is no fussy matching seams only the ones as you put the rows together. What do you think? You can't have it, it's MINE, need to tell myself I will not give this one away!
Lastly, it was time to clean the dreaded desk, so to make it easier I took everything out and brought it to my sewing room table. It's a more comfortable, brighter and I will get it done quickly so I can have my sewing table back! I am guilty of letting papers pile up instead of taking 5 minutes to go file them, or immediately getting rid of the junk mail, I put them on the desk and voila after a few months I can't close the roll top or find that one piece of paper that I need NOW:0( I have a little more to work on but as you can see from the green plastic bag on the floor I have alot done and now I just need to put it neatly back in the desk.

I think I need to make another To Do List because I have several things that are almost finished and instead of finishing them I start something new, oh well, I guess that I just part of who I am. Enjoy your weekend, it's the 4th Saturday and I gotta go to my Civil War Quilt gathering and get my next block!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Word to the Wise

Just a quick advice post this morning, something to make you smile...

Several weeks ago I stuck some leftover spaghetti sauce in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Today I went to take it out for dinner tonight...well I had to take out the whole shelf. The corner of the bag curled around the shelf and froze!
Hope this puts a smile on your face :0)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Found Treasure

Today was a beautiful day, not as humid as yesterday. I puttered around the house doing laundry, mowed the grass, and took care of the trash and recycling. It was one of those days that I ended up spending time tidying up the laundry room while I was down there doing laundry. My laundry room is an unfinished room in the basement, it could be catogorized as a very very large walk in closet. Our furnace and oil tank are in this room as well as shelves to store items that we use infrequently but need easy access to such as the turkey roasting pan , paint, etc. The problem is that things don't always get put back in their proper place and after awhile I need to tune up the room then I can tolorate going down there to do laundry. I didn't plan on tidying up down there or I might have taken a picture (maybe not, it's not a pretty room) to show how messy it was :0( Even now it still needs work, we need to add more shelves and paint the floor again then it would be as finished as I plan on making it.
Back to the reason for the title of FOUND TREASURE, today I went to our transfer station (dump), we don't have curbside service. So I left the house with the truck filled with trash, newspapers, metal for the metal bin, etc., and some items for the Treasure Chest area. The Treasure Chest area is a place that you can leave items that still have usefulness and you can take items that you might be able to use. Sometimes when I go there it is very picked over, but today it was full, probably from leftovers after yardsales?? I found a place to set my stuff down and looked up and saw a salt glazed candle holder, not something I would have ever thought I would find there! It has a small chip on the edge, probably why it was discarded, but I love this stuff and I can place it so the chip doesn't show.
The past few days have been jackpot days for my pottery collection, I found these three votive candle holders at a secondhand shop on Sunday.

Hoping to get some sewing done tomorrow, the weatherman says rain in the AM and I haven't done any sewing for two whole days and I'm starting to get cranky. lol

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday's Finds

Last week I learned about two yard sales that I just had to go check out! The first one was a little disappointing I only found the Welcome sign, it was what I was looking for to put near the garage entry door. There were many other things but until I finish cleaning the basement, garage and attic I WILL NOT get anything unless I know what I will do with it. Sorry Gail and Rose, I am not ready yet to jump into repurposing yet, unless it is something I already have, although you did come to mind yesterday when I drove by a yard that had Free stuff on the lawn, I wondered what you would have done with it?? Now back to the second yard sale, this was down the road from my house and I wasn't sure what I would find, but I knew this lady would have nice stuff and voila I found these salt glazed pieces!! I collect them thanks my husband, he bought me my first pieces 20 years ago. Maybe I will share pictures of the other pieces of pottery that I have in a later post :0)

On another note, my son arrived safely in Kansas City, being from the Northeast this Kansas City, MO and KC, KS is soooo confusing but he will be staying in one state and competing in the other!

Happy Summer, think I might start cleaning the garage today.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good Luck to My Son

I just wanted to take a moment to wish my youngest son good luck. He left early this morning for Kansas City, MO to compete in the Skills USA Nationals, he won Gold in Maine in his catagory. He just finished his first year of a two year program at Eastern Maine Community Collete in Bangor that is who he is representing. This is also his first time flying and he is certainly going to get a good dose of take offs and landings. He left our house at 2am to drive 3 hours north to Bangor Int'l Airport for a 7 am flight, he has a short layover in Philly, then south to Charlotte, NC then finally Kansas City! Hope he does well, but we are proud of him for getting this far, so Good Luck Nate!
This was him at about 6 months, I'm sure he would love it if he knew I shared this photo :0)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday Night Results

I really enjoyed Friday Night Sew In and look forward to the next one. I was able to start in the late afternoon and since we had leftovers (thank God for them) I got back to my sewing fairly quickly. The first thing I chose to work on was finishing the last two #6 blocks for my Civil War quilt, our monthly meeting is next week and this will be the first time I am completely caught up!

The next project I chose to work on was the All Star Quilt that I began about 1 1/2 years ago and haven't worked on it much since then. Below are pictures of how each block goes together (all the cutting was completed) first I made a 45 degree line on the back of each of the smaller pieces then placed right sides together and sewed on the line.

Then I cut each one leaving a 1/4 " seam allowance and pressed the seam to one side, this gave me one of the three strips that make each block.

Here are the strips laid out the way they are to be sewed together, two of the pieces from the previous step and one tan strip in the middle.

Here are ALL of the pieced strips and a few of the partial blocks. Although I didn't get all of the blocks done, I did make a huge dent in the piecing and this certainly gave me the jump I needed to get this one done. Stay tuned as I will continue to work on this one in between other projects. I will also show how the blocks are laid out which will explain the All Stars name, I will also check to see who designed the pattern and share that as well.

I didn't quilt til late into the night as I had originally thought I would, instead my husband and I went to a Babe Ruth League (13-15 year olds) game at 8pm. My husband used to coach, when our boys were in that level , and we still have friends still involved. It was a beautiful night to watch a game, I wish I had brought my camara as the field is truly a gem, it is also the field that the Sanford Mainers play on (they are a semi-pro league). So I had a great evening, sewing and "date" night, then on the way home (11pm) we decided to stop for a late night snack at one of the "gut" truck joints in town. We had clam cakes and fries and boy was it good, we haven't done that in ages!
Later I will share some early morning yard sale finds :0)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Are You Ready for Some Sewing....

Have you got your bobbins loaded and ready to go? Tonight's Friday Night Sew-In, what are you going to work on, do you know or are you going to wing it?? Here are the projects I would like to tackle:

I have two more #6 blocks for Civil War BOM, cut and ready.
The All Stars quilt also cut and ready to continue working on, I have 46 blocks completed and need a total of 120.

I also have all of this Green Piece that I can tackle if I feel like cutting.

Today is going to be the first of three hazy, hot, humid days maybe some of you ladies further south might have some relief. So who knows I may get in my sewing room this afternoon instead of tonight. What time do you hope to get started? Happy sewing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Bear Rug

What do you think of the Bear Rug in my sewing room? Midnight decided to join me while I worked on block 6 of my Civil War Quilt. He often joins me, sometimes to bark and tell me he wants attention and other times to cover the floor!

I decided that I wasn't going to bed until I had completed one of the four #6 Civil War BOM blocks. I wanted to see if I would have trouble making it the proper size and have the directional fabric looking good (yes I know that sounds picky) and everything went well size wise, I only had to turn one section and voila it was finished. This one is not difficult just a lot of HST (half square triangles) to make. I did make the best of my sewing time by using Leaders & Enders idea (you can order the book by Bonnie Hunter) from Quiltville thanks to Debbie J at Homemaking Dreams for mentioning the book and site. I got quite a few HSTs done, it's amazing how simple suggestions save so much time, wonder why I didn't think of that on my own. For me, one of the joys of blogging is reading suggestions from others and being led to sites like Quiltville and many other wonderful places and not using a drop of gas or spending a cent. Not to mention the wonderful people you meet and feel connected to.
Here's the completed block, and below is the block and the stack of finished HSTs and triangles waiting to be finished.
Thanks again to all my new friends in blogland for your great suggestions, keep them coming.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roadside Garden

Finally, I got to weeding the garden that goes alongside the road! I did some rearranging after talking with someone that designs gardens, two of my sons work at a nursery so I am "connected". The good thing is that I had all the plants except a rhododendron. I had to split the daylillies and remove a hydrangea (that went into another garden that will get tweeked later) now I just need to give it time and it will look great without requiring much care!

Since I forgot to take "before" photos here is a pic of the pile of weeds and clippings that I cleaned up.

We are expecting showers this evening into the overnight so that will be a big help since I just transplanted many of these babies and hate to water. It looks bland now with no blooms but I know in the coming weeks the daylillies will bloom and with in a few years everything will fill in.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Down...

I was able to finish the binding on my Pink Chocolate BOM which now officially puts this one in the completed pile. This was my first Block of the Month and it was done using Thangles. Each month we received several strips and made the very center of each block, the rest of the fabric was available separately to complete the quilt. The photos don't do justice to the colors, but if you are familiar with the Pink Chocolate line you can really appreciate the colors. This is the largest quilt I have completed thus far and also the first one that I had someone else quilt for me on her HQ 16, which I drooled over and would love to have someday (can't really justify the expense, but I can always dream).

I got to quilting this one over the weekend as well, thankfully you can't see the stitches. Not happy with my "stitch regulating" but I need to let it go and realize that it is something that will improve with practice, I hope. I am giving this one to my mom and I know that she will love it even with my so so quilting. I will work on finishing the binding during this week and it too will be in the completed pile.

I'm getting excited for Friday Night Sew-In I think I might work on my All Stars quilt, this one is going to be for me. Believe it or not I haven't kept any for myself yet but soon.... Have you signed up for Friday Night Sew-in yet, if not go to my June 7th post and click on the button and sign up.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nothing New

Yesterday was a rainy day and I had planned to spend the entire day sewing, but instead I got to visit with my sister. That was better than spending the day sewing since we don't often get to be "face to face", we talk often on the phone but don't get to visit. We only live 20 minutes away from each other but she has younger children and she homeschools so that takes up most of her day.

I did get Civil War BOM Block 6 cut and sewed a few pieces, I still feel on target with this quilt. With everything cut and ready I can sew whenever I have a few minutes. The real test is when I measure the completed block, I do try to measure each section which means that if each small section is correct then the final SHOULD be correct. It's amazing how being off just a little with the seam allowances can make things off by 1/4 to 1/2 inch! I really like the colors in this block, my photo doesn't really do justice to the colors.

The weather is beautiful today low 70s and sunny so outside projects today. Have a great day.

ONE NOTE: Yesterday, while showing my sister my fabric stash she became concerned that I might have a fabric addiction! I thought you might be able to relate if you have anyone in your family that doesn't sew and can't understand why anyone would ever NEED that much fabric :0)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not Quite There Yet

Another great day to work on outside projects, so I went back out to continue the front porch, almost done but not quite! I was able to get two coats on the floor over Memorial Weekend (that's why it doesn't have the fresh painted look) today I finished both coats on the rails in this area and hopefully i will get the rest done on Friday or Saturday. The next time I post a picture of this porch it will have a book and a beverage waiting for me to sit and enjoy.

Here is the entry door I shared several posts ago, it is not exactly what I had in mind, but more welcoming, don't you think?? I know I would like a "Primitive" look, but I decided that I would take my time and gather things. I am sometimes guilty of going out and buying stuff when I already had stuff that would work, so this is a work in progress.

Tomorrow it's supposed to rain... hmmm I think I hear my sewing room calling my name :0)

Have a great evening.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh No You Don't...

Well I'm inside waiting for the rain shower to pass so I can go back out and try to finish something. Hopefully I can finish the deck but not sure if the wood will dry. Thought I would share a picture of one of my four-legged children, his name is Midnight (I know not very original for a black dog) and he is a Newfie. He is just over a year old and joined our family last June. We also have a German Shephard named Hunter, he is 3 years old.

Earlier today Midnight wanted to get on the bed to play and this is the cute face that looks at me saying "can I
play on your bed?"
This is the look I get when I say NO, get down. Reluctantly, he got down and I'm sure he will try again later.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

I decided to join the Friday Night Sew-In on June 18th, I certainly have many projects to work on, with many new ones waiting for me to start. I am attempting to add a link to this post. Thanks Debbie J from Homemaking Dreams for helping me with figuring this out.

More Quilting & Resisting the Temptation

This weekend I finished the four blocks (all the same) for month 5 in the Civil War Tribute Quilt. Now I am where I should be for this month, four identical blocks to be done for month 6 before the fourth Saturday of the month.
Here is a pictures of the month 5 block.

Here are the blocks from the previous months on my design wall, and a photo of what the completed quilt will look like. Thus far, this quilt has the most piecing per block, definately a challenge and sometimes frustrating when the finished block doesn't measure the proper size. Let me say that me and my seam ripper are very good friends! I try to tell myself that I am learning each time I make a mistake and sometimes I take a break and work on something else when I get frazzled, that's probably why it's good to have many projects going.

Here's what I have completed for GreenPiece BOM, the appliqued blocks need to have corner pieces added. Each month there are two block that are pieced, they are the same pattern with a few color changes.

This is a photo of the completed quilt, so as you can see I still have alot of work left.

I also pulled out a quilt that I started over 1 1/2 years ago so that I can keep plugging away at this one and hopefully complete it before years end. This one is all cut and just needs piecing and is easy to pick up where you leave off. Thankfully, I have a card that states what the additional fabric is for a trick that I learned at the Kathie's Quilt Shop.

To explain this posts title: This weekend while working on these projects I realized that I should challenge myself to "resist the temptation" to but any new projects, fabric, etc. (thread doesn't count) So the challenge is on, will I be able to resist?? Hopefully, I won't run out of thread and need to go to the quilt shop.

Enjoy the day.