Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Message

This week has been a busy week. We have almost finished rebuilding the front porch. 

We needed to take off the porch to fix a leak and that was done just before we got all those spring rains. Being frugal we used as much of the porch wood as we could. It has taken a lot in the hot weather. We only could work a few hours in the mornings. We are almost done, just a few pieces of trim and it will be totally done, harder for us old people to do but doing it ourselves and reusing what we could of the old porch meant saving on that repair.

A lot of what we think we cannot do is amazing when we find out we actually can do it.

I know health limits us and we had to take it slow but it does add up in the end we have a porch and no leaks.

Now that fall is here and we are on the throws of preserving our food my garden is starting to wind down. I am thinking that Christmas gifts need finishing and others started I find myself wishing I had started earlier.

Gift ideas… - this could be a great gift for teachers, anyone who has helped - you good for your visiting teachers. - here is a basic beginner knitted slipper pattern. Time to put skills to the test! this is a simple apron idea to use your sewing skill. - I have seen these done up with the cutest trims and backing. this you should easily be able to do, they are my favorite pot holder. - and do a scrubbie to match! make pillowcases  you can do this with your skills - this is my favorite dishcloth, not large just right! You can omit the stripe if you want.

These should give you some thrifty gift ideas to use your skills on.

One thing I think is neat is this site. You do not have to be a grandma to do this, you could do it for your child or if you are a teen you can start your own hope chest -  great ideas!

This is to encourage you to continue on learning skills that will benefit you and others as well.

Keep building your storage. Remember I told you how we built the front porch? You can build your storage a little at a time. It will get built up but only if you work on it a little at a time.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Message

Keeping up your sewing skills. Learning these skills can save money by remaking/reusing the fabric and clothes you already have.

This is a picture of a blouse that I'm in the process of reusing after it had a bad stain on it. You can see in the bottom picture that I am carefully taking it apart to use for a pattern. - I thought I would throw this one to get you looking at things differently. Instead of buying a new lampshade save money and redo an old one! - this is a great idea for our ever-growing children. this is a real saver. - this is a good recycle idea.

This is the third part to the crocheting tutorial - - this one is how to crochet flowers using what she shows in the above link.

This is a great idea to use up materials and make a floor covering

Do you have too many zucchinis in your garden?

And of course my favorite chocolate cake, yum! I always keep the ingredients to make this cake on hand and if things got hard I would say we still have chocolate cake. The kids just thought yum but it seemed to help us get through the hard times. - This cake is great with white frosting as well as this which is my favorite chocolate frosting. You don’t have to have it just when life throws hard things your way though :)

It is nice to have the ability to cook from scratch so stock up some scratch recipes that you can always make and always love and cooking from scratch saves so much!

I suggest putting together a binder of recipes that you can make from your storage for a three month span. Then make sure you keep that amount on hand at all times if possible and use and replace. Keep a running list of what you used and replace it to the back of what you have. Do not go to the store and say well I used this jar of peanut butter and I still have several so I am good, cause you then end up using and not replacing. Also, do not put it in front of the old or you will lose that way too…use replace and rotate… a good goal for sure.

Keep working at being frugal and keep learning and having fun doing so!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Delightful French Bread

I really like this bread toasted but it's also great sliced with butter and not toasted. Give it a try!

Delightful French Bread

2 1/2 c. warm water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp  salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 c. flour…cup sifted see directions
2 pkgs yeast (each pkg of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp yeast, so here you would double for the 2 pkgs)

I top with 1 egg, sesame seeds, and I sprinkle cornmeal in the pan after I spray it.

Put the water, which should be lukewarm, on your regular mixing bowl - any mixer. Add salt, sugar, the oil and yeast. Mix them, add half the flour (cup sifted is where you use a spoon to scoop flour and sprinkle it into a measuring cup).

Mix well then add the other half flour the same way. Stir till it is all mixed well, you are not kneading just mixing till all is mixed.

Throw a dish towel over the whole works. Set your timer for 10 minutes then give the mixer a whirl then cover again. Do this a total of five times then the dough is a tad sticky. I spray my hands and divide the dough between the two sides of a french bread pan. I kind of stretch it and lay it in the section the pan that was already sprayed and dusted with cornmeal spray and cover with plastic wrap. When doubled in size, slash three slashes diagonally on the bread. Mix your egg, I add just a tsp of water, mix and brush on the loaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 in a preheated oven bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans to cooling rack.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Message

"Get organized" by making your own laundry soap, click HERE for the recipe!

I read this article this morning. Right off you might think it means organizing closets or such, nope - everyone who gets this should read this article it will make you really think what you could do…

Recipe ideas for food storage - - helpful info here things to consider for sure! - you can order through the church.

Keep working on your skill building. These will help you get started with crochet...

Continue growing your skills and working on your storage. Learn more ways to be frugal. 

Homework: Read the first article!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Message

Keep looking for ways to build your skills. - crocheting is a good skill to have.  this is a great beginning class for crocheting.

I was watching a sewing show on public television and on there she had a guest who helps a group that receives donated sewing machines notions and fabric. They go to where there are people too poor to have a sewing machine then teach them how to sew for their families and to mend. Then send them home with the machine and such so they can save money by sewing for their families. What a blessing for those families. Even if you don’t sew it still is a skill you should have in your pocket.

If you have a used or find a used machine do a search on name and model number, which should be on your machine (usually by the cord plug in).

Then I would go over the manual you printed, highlight important things you want to find fast again, even tag pages, then learn how to clean and oil your machine.

Then do some testing. If you have problems you cannot figure out, ask a sewing friend. If you need to take it in to be repaired this should still be cheaper then buying new.

Be sure to learn everything your machine will do. I do this by taking a plain color piece of fabric then I sew each stitch the machine does.

Then look at pattern books. I have kept the patterns I like as it has been years since I have liked the patterns for myself... too short, too tight, too something... but remember you pick your own style. You do not have to go with the masses. But if you like an aspect of current styles, if you know how to sew, you can easily add. But watch for fabric stores to put on sale the pattern about every three weeks or so. Look for more traditional, never go out to build your pattern library.

How I store my patterns is not the only way but it works well.

I take the pattern out of its envelope and put in a brown 5x7 envelope which I write child or adult. Then I write the pattern company and in the right hand top corner I write the number.

I file in numerical order, ignoring the pattern company - it is all about the numbers. The pattern envelope I put in a page protector and then in a notebook - I have one for adults and house and the other is babies and children. So that means two file drawers. So I know where to look kids or adults.

This makes it so you can take the notebook or the pages to go get fabric without taking the whole pattern to the store.

Of course when you go to yard sales look for large pieces of fabric. This really saves money, look again for more traditional fabrics not the flash in the pan meaning in style today/out of date tomorrow.

So push your self to learn :)

I know you all are working on your storage and skills - I see it all the time and I am proud of you all!
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