Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I think that as we see so many devastating things on TV happening around the world, we all see how long it takes to get help. Really, we need to get our storage in so we can help not only ourselves but those around us.

With prices rising and wages not rising, it is time to be actively getting in our storage and learning how we can be frugal and building our skills. They all go together, each are important.

I was in a Salvation Army store while waiting for the fabric store to open. I was going to look through sale patterns for a blouse that I want to make, or something close that I can switch it to what I wanted. I looked through that tub of patterns hoping to find something and wouldn’t have to go to the other store to search for it. I did not find that blouse but found many good patterns in my size. They were 19 cents! Most had not been used. 

So this week another set of patterns were on sale. Since I had no luck last week finding the pattern I wanted, I thought I would look at the patterns that were on sale. I found one that was very close and would work….$1.99 on sale. It wasn’t all that long ago that they were a dollar on sale. I wandered around to look at fabric, I wasn’t going to buy any I just wanted to see what there was and oh my goodness the prices were sooooo high! I got the pattern and left.

I noticed the non-sale price was $19.99. Incredible. Does anyone ever pay that price I wonder??? Add the price of the fabric I saw and we are easily talking forty dollars and after that you still have to sew It makes me glad that I saved my patterns over the years and picked up patterns and fabric at yard sales and was blessed to be thought of by kind people downsizing. A BIG thank you to them!

It makes me think that a lot of people won’t learn the sewing skills that are needed. That is why I suggest refashioning your clothes. Take something you like and carefully take it apart. Draw around on paper and then you will have the pattern. Sew it back together. Now if you know how to sew, you can draw each piece without taking it apart. Go to yard sales and look for things to refashion or big pieces that can be used for fabric. Always be on the look out for fabric and notions.

I know I have mentioned this before but worth doing again... with the patterns I found at the Salvation Army, I needed to put them into my system, which is…

I take out the contents of the pattern package and put it in a brown envelope. I put the number in the top right corner of the envelope and if it's simplicity or another kind (now I am working on my patterns for me or grown up section, I have a children’s binder too). 

Then I put the pattern envelope into a page protector.

I then file the brown envelope with the pattern inside in order of the numbers in the right hand upper corner.

Then I put the page protector with the pattern envelope inside it into a binder. This way I can flip through and decide what I want to make. For me this works well. It is a bit of work but it pays off if you keep it up.

You may have a better way but this has worked for me. Feel free to share your ways, we all learn from each other! If I were to donate, I would pull out the brown envelope and stick it in its page protector.

I plan to further my sewing skills.

I suggest that you mothers with kids still at home get together and form clothing swaps to bless each other.

Also, find free patterns on the internet.

Also, get working on those mending skills - this helps so much! - here is a free pattern. Now I need more length so I could draw a line a couple of inches under the arms straight across and cut a piece of paper and add length where needed and then just tape on the paper.

To the cut line on each side….. You could also insert that fabric and yet another version you can make the back longer.  So make your pattern what you want. and learn to make the bias trim. - good one to learn on. I plan to make this bag for gifts using fabric I have.

On to knitting... - this is a great pattern for those who know how to knit. 

This brings me to a project I am working on (pictured at the top). I have three binders so far. One is called "do it yourself." This will be recipes that are like an enchilada sauce recipe that I tried and liked a couple weeks ago. That will go in along with my taco seasoning mix and other things that I can do myself like BBQ sauce. So they are all together and I will save money making them myself.

Then I will make one binder that I will put the knitting swatches in that I learn.

The last binder I will do the same with sewing. In this blog post I have the bias binding site that I linked above, so I will make a swatch of that technique and put it in the binder for reference.

I know it sounds like busy work and yes, it kind of is, but I will be building three useful binders. You could add anything like crochet or whatever you are working on. so do a little knitted swatch and put in the binder.

I feel that the time is now and not to put off until later to get things in and learned.

Keep putting in storage and supplies and learn skills to become more frugal. Make a binder on frugal ideas.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Monday Message

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I hear this a lot…nothing can happen here and not in this day.  Anyone’s life can change in a second. I know things are hard and will get harder. If you can do a little then do a little. If you can learn a little, then learn a little but do not put it off. 

As I get older it takes me way longer to do things and funds are not always available. So I do the things that I suggest you do… When I go in a store I pick up one thing for storage. I am cooking from scratch, learning new skills and advancing my learning in areas like sewing and using what I have.  

A huge skill is learning to be content. Life is so much happier when you are content. Only misery comes from wanting so much and thinking you will never be happy till you have it. Enjoy what you do have. 

I took a class at church once and they suggested we learn all the things your sewing machine can do or learn all your stove features, so I always wanted to do all the things offered on my sewing machines.

Above is my workhorse machine. It has different stitches and a series of stretch stitches. Read the manuals on your sewing machine and learn them all.

See all those stitches on the right? Much to learn on my sewing machines. I did a sample binder to see how the stitches looked and any info on them.

Refurbishing a treadle and learning their feet attachments.

The more we learn, the more we know. So one way to be content is to learn with what we already have.

I know for some if you can afford classes, take them and learn. For people who are like me who have no funds to do that, learn by reading and by watching computer tutorials. For me, I use it all. Books are huge for me but sometimes I need to see something done and watching it on the computer totally helps. So what I am saying is that even with a lack of funds we can still learn. Nothing is stopping us from learning.

Did you know how many different ways there are to make bread?

There are so many things to learn about spinning...

Weaving has a language all its own...

A tidbit - weaving, spinning and bobbin lace and the sewing machine all have bobbins, not a one of them is alike.

Another tidbit, weaving and tatting both have shuttles.

So what I am saying is for you to learn your skills and don’t let funds be an excuse not to learn.

Keep working on your skill building and your storage, do the best that you can.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Monday Message

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

Building your personalized storage assures that you get what you want and what you are used to eating.

Don’t forget to stock up on first-aid items, toilet paper and feminine products, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. Even toothbrushes, hair brushes, look inside your bathroom and write out a list of everything you use.

I like to store ingredients like spices. For example: chili powder can be for soups like chili and veggie chili or can be seasoning in goulash or in making fajita seasoning or taco seasoning.

So I like storing ingredients that make many things.

Cooking from scratch saves us so much money. - this is one of my favorite sites

If you store the ingredients, you can make sweetened condensed milk or taco seasoning without running to the store.

I had one can left of enchilada sauce with a plan to make my own sauce after that. But on this one morning I was making enchiladas, I opened the can and turned and the lid caught my shirt and fell on the floor. What a mess!! But I quickly used this recipe… 

I was worried it might be too different but when cooked, I taste tested the sauce and it was perfect! It was just like the one that I spilled. I will never buy it from a store again! But remember I was in the middle of making enchiladas, I would have had to run to the store but because I store ingredients along with my food storage it saved the day. - making your own mixes helps to stretch time and money…scroll down in the link for other items, even funfetti cake! - okay, if you don't take any other recipe away from this you need this one!! It is our favorite! We like making three... one chocolate, one cherry chip or strawberry, and last but not least, our favorite which is lemon.  Heat is here, in the mid nineties, and this is a great one minute in microwave dessert that would be good to teach your kids or make for family night, everyone picks their toppings. this is a lot cheaper than its counterpart and goes right along with what I was saying about ingredient storage. The baking cocoa in my storage could make this or cake or brownies or hot cocoa mix, so store ingredients too!

How are you coming on your skills??

Come with me to the sewing room…

I found this clapper at a yard sale a year ago for a quarter. I saw an ad online for people to come in and buy one and the price was $49.99. Well I saved a lot. The pincushion I made with embroidery floss and crocheting a granny square. See how good it is to build those skills?

It is time to make some dresses for myself so here is my dress in progress...

I have been looking for a top pattern that I would want but haven't found anything even close yet. I want short sleeves and gathered at a high waist but it looks like I will build my sewing skills to make my own pattern.

Keep building your storage and your skills.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

Preparing every needful thing is quite daunting but just like every big task do a little a time and you will be surprised at how quickly it gets tended. Of course, doing nothing nets nothing.

The picture above was a Mother’s Day gift which got me organizing for some of my skill building. These are beads I have gathered over the years from yard sales. I use them in tatting and spinning and will use them in bobbin lace too.

Craftsy had free watch classes again so I frugally did that. One of the classes was the second in a series tatting class and I was able to  learn a lot and further that skill.

This brings me to this project of organizing my tatting...

So I got this container for five dollars, 50% off at Hobby Lobby so I could use for my tatting container that is mobile. I needed to spread things out so that they were easier to get to.

I had one of those tiny cut and press mats for quilting that you can take with you. I got it at a yard sale for a dime long ago.

I needed it to fit in the top tray of this little tote to use. As you see here the problem was that it had a handle and would not fit so I cut off the handle and now it works like this…

I needed a tray for just my tools…

Next the tray with buttons and threads.

Then the last tray with thread and beads completed this reorganizing project. Pill containers were used from the dollar store.

I was able to get it done in time to make two book marks to stick in graduation cards.

That sent me on to gathering things I had for bobbin lace. This basket drawer was a dollar at a yard sale.

I have gathered bobbin lace things in it.

The second drawer is bobbins and a giant ball of thread solidly packed into the size of a large grapefruit that I purchased at thrift store for $1.99.

The tin under table on bottom holds thread for using with bobbin lace tin and thread gotten separately at yard sales

The table was from a thrift store for a dollar and the green silverware tray was free.

I was so surprised to see how many tools I had. Two I just found in my sewing supplies, both pin lifters, who knew! They were from yard sales. The books were from a library sale and most were from the Half Price Bookstore (my favorite place).

I think you see a frugal thing here is the theme.

I am getting ready to work up some dresses. This cutting board I got at a yard sale for twenty five cents. It works perfectly on the bed to cut out patterns.

This is the same dress pattern I did that was green checkered with different color buttons that I made and changed to fit me but I wanted you to see what I used for the pattern... yes, leftover wrapping paper.

This post was to show a few ways we can be frugal. Lots of us already do these things and other frugal things without even thinking about it.

Preparing for every needful thing means using your frugal skills. Do I HAVE to have these things? No, but they are skills that help me make clothes and gifts that I have frugally gathered…do this with other storage items too.

Missy and Gus said they were free and give free loves, so being frugal is a great skill! :p

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday Message

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I know when things are going smoothly it is very hard to think that they would ever change.  Life is going along well. You have a good income. The biggest thing on your mind is getting everyone where they need to be on time. But I guarantee you that won’t even be on your mind if you were suddenly out of work.

One job that my husband had suddenly cut the pay in half for the same hours of work. I thought, oh no…well, we will just have to do what we could. We had food storage, we could scrape by if it did not get any worse… but not much longer again his income was cut in half for the same work but now it was one fourth our pay. 

We were holding on by a thread as we were told it would soon improve. My husband had bypass surgery the year before so we needed the insurance and we were both up there in age which made getting another job harder to do plus, we were told it would get back to normal... and then we got no pay. So when I tell you things can change, believe me they can change. Are you prepared??

Here are my thoughts: When it happens first tears are shed and there's a desperate feeling of what will we do? Job search begins, resume updated. Yes, I can tell you word for word because I have lived it. You assess what resources you have, what food we have in the freezer, refrigerator, and cupboards. We are patching clothes. I can tell you with kids you don’t want to worry them. If your job paid really good and you were always eating out and going to movies or taking vacations this all comes to a screeching halt. Then yes, you will need to explain to your kids and ask for their help. We never made such an income and I was frugal and stored food, so in those ways nothing changed just no grocery shopping. What would you do? 

I know the answers can be as many as there are people… I just want you to realize nobody’s job is totally secure, nobody nohow it just isn’t no matter what you want to think.

Building skills how are you coming on those????

I am still working on learning my weaving. In the above pic you can see the pink and the plum. I had a friend who was working on a crochet project, afterward she gave me the leftover yarn. The weaving pattern I was working on had three colors so I picked a cream to go with the leftover yarn she gave me, problem was that this was all that I had on hand and the cream color was thinner by half, so this was a learning thing for me. I doubled the cream thread and worked it as one, it is perfect…the other thing you can see here the yoga type mat. I had saved it for another project. I got it at a yard sale from a free box… can use paper when rolling fiber on the back beam but I saw in an old weaving magazine that someone did something similar which reminded me of this mat. I only had half of the mat because I gave the other half away but it is working fantastically. So that was a new learn and then I showed you my little invention before but I'll put it up here again.

So these are the things I have been learning on the loom.

I have also been studying bobbin lace, wanting that to be one of my skills….more on that to come.

I have been doing some organizing and cleaning of sewing drawers.

Spring is finally here in central Iowa as you can tell by the top picture. From thinking that spring would never come to weather that has been like summer here… I hope it won’t stay that way through all of spring.

Keep learning your skills and keep stocking up. Be as prepared as you can be!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

Work, industry, frugality that is very much what must be done. 

I was putting my sewing needles in a tin yesterday.

When I thought about this …

Do you have needle and thread and the know-how to use it? It reminds me of the story of a general authority visiting a war torn area... they would hand out oranges, which is something they never got. When one woman went up to get her orange she spied the sewing kit in the suit case and asked if she might have that instead. They gave it to her and going back to her seat others said they expected her to share with them. Can you imagine life that hard? Can you be so hungry that upon seeing the sewing kit you put that need above food? Something to ponder…

You know just certain things stick with you and this story affected me so much. I try to keep my supplies up.

Can you imagine not being able to replace your clothes and not have what is needed to repair them? This is something we take for granted. What else do we take for granted??

The needles in the above picture were gotten from yard sales and thrift stores.

We have been visiting a bit on thrift stores and yard sales because yard sale season is upon us. I know it is work. Take a friend who wants to yard sale with you. My sister and I would have a sister time and go to yard sales. We would take a munchie or lunch with us and a drink. We each had a list. We would read each other's lists too. Four eyes are better than two! That was helpful for us. We had great sister time and stretched our money at the same time.

I was telling you in the comment section about the pasta machine…

This is the only one I was familiar with.

Then I saw this machine in a thrift shop...

This manual does not even have the USA flag and language in it has many others, just not ours. I would not have been able to read it except it had Great Britain and I could read that.

This machine is hand crank and even does cork screw pasta. I had not ever seen this nor have I seen it since but I ask myself, what if? On items I see…it is the same maker as the pasta machine above.  That one makes noodles, this one does macaroni etc.

See the price? It was 3.99, a very good purchase.

At yard sales I find interesting things like the attachments here for ten cents. I have a kitchen aide mixer.

I just thought for ten cents I should get it. Well when I got home and read the directions I found out I needed the meat grinder. Thinking, oh dear, I put it where I keep my other kitchen aide items and then I saw that I had gotten the meat grinder at another yard sale for a dollar and forgot. So now I can use my machine to make pasta as well. I also was able to get a scraper beater for it from freecycle. So see, you just have to keep your eye out for things. All these items were at different sales at different times.

What if? Is a question I use a lot when deciding a purchase even at a yard sale. Is it a flash in the pan item I am not interested in like those pancake flipping pans? You can only make one at a time. How many can you get on griddle or even a pan? Exactly. This flip pan is not a good purchase. Fabric and notions are a good buy, unless really ugly fabric. So just think things through.

I plug in items like dehydrators and other electric items. Just ask to plug in. I plugged in one dehydrator. It went clank clank so I walked away, not a good purchase.

I call yard sales a good way to be frugal and being wise in purchases a good skill. I repaired this basket this week on a frugal note.

Years ago we were on a walk and I noticed a sign hanging in a yard, it simply said "rug weaver." I always thought that was what I wanted to do so when a rug loom showed up in Goodwill  I loved it but the price was too high. I would visit it every time I went in and touch it. I noticed a drop in price still too high so I just figured it would not be mine. Then one day a friend called me and said she was there. I said, oh go touch my loom! She said I had better come get it as they were having a half price sale. I said even that price was too high. She said no, they dropped the price and that now it was half off. It was sixty dollars so we went and got it. They used a forklift to put it in our truck. It was a lot of work taking it all apart to come in and then restoring it, then learning to warp it and use it was a challenge.

But you see the pic at the top of the page, it all worked out and now I am a rug weaver though I am still learning lots but it's a skill I worked hard on to get this far.

I got this at a yard sale years ago, it is an on going learning skill for me. It was the most I ever paid at a yard sale but was way worth more than they asked and at that time I could do it.

This serger I got for ten dollars at a yard sale too. So you go put your frugal powers to work

Yard sales and thrift stores have helped me so much.

How are you coming on your skill building? How are you coming on storage? Keep working on these and being frugal it all works together.
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