I enjoy reading about the thrift store finds. I am drawn to the idea of using thrift store finds as fabric. I find myself in the odd situation where there does not work so well for me. As a general rule of thumb, things are more expensive here. It is almost always cheaper to buy stuff online. The only things I usually buy locally are groceries and things I want to try on before I buy them. But generally I can just buy fabric cheap than getting it off thrift store clothes. Yes, even thrift stores here are more expensive.
Well I do get paid more here, so it kind of balances out. And retirement will be better because I can move someplace with a lower cost of living.
My snow day earlier this week reinforces that I have pretty strong homebody leanings. Well I guess that is good in the long run. It is frugal and I can easily continue my favorite things as I age.
02-22-2019, 09:34 AM
Didn't get any work done on the p/g afgan last night. I went to the first of five intro to herbalism classes yesterday evening. I know the teacher and have taken some of her previous one day classes. So I know I'm going to enjoy it. My biggest take away from last night's class was the material medica template she introduced us to. It's something that I can recreate either in Word or Excel and update as I go along. I think I'm going to recreate it in Excel, though, since I'll probably be able to resort things easier that way as needed.
The class was full, ~20 people from all different kinds of backgrounds. Farmers, chefs, gardeners (including from the Master Gardeners Extension), former pharma people. I've been interested in herbalism for years and I do garden, but I also am approaching this class from a living history/re-enactor POV as well as a writer. As a writer, I want to base my stories on some real life basis. Even if it doesn't make it into a story, ~I~ want to know what I'm talking about.
Plus, the community garden where I have my plot has some herbs that I want to learn more about. I also want to learn/stockpile skills now, rather than later. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
02-22-2019, 12:46 PM
I didn’t get the wreath taken apart but I got everything from the GW clothing put away. I forgot about the odds and ends in the craft bags but that won’t take long to deal with. Then I’ll make templates for the hexagon blocks, set up the sewing machine and start choosing fabric.
I stayed up very, very late last night. I was about to go to bed when some impressive thunderstorms rolled through and I stayed up to enjoy them. As a result I haven’t had nearly enough sleep so there will doubtless be a long nap sometime today. It was worth it though.
02-22-2019, 05:24 PM
I have been thinking about thread options. If I decide to go with something that is one strand instead of the six strand floss, that cut my options down.
First off is the super cheap no brand thread I got off Amazon. I think that was about $15 for 50 balls. There were a few duplicates, but for that price I am not complaining. So about 3 for $1. The balls were only 5 grams. Most brands are 10 grams. That would double the relative value to about 66 cents each. But sometimes I might only need 5 grams or less. I got the variegated pack, but they also offer a solid pack for the same price. Only in size 8. (The larger size.) Lots of colors. Only sold in packs.
Next is DMC pearl cotton, size 8 and size 12. Prices range between $2.70 and $2.90. The larger size 8 has about 200 colors. The smaller size 12 only has around 40 colors, with some annoying gaps. For example, there are not any dark greens in size 12.
Anchor has pearl cotton is size 8 and 12. However most places seem not to carry it. And the anchor website page for pearl cotton is kind of glitchy. So I am crossing them off the list.
Presencia pearl cotton tends to be sold in small packs with four or five colors. I have found a site - Red Rocks Thread - that sells the size 12 individually for $2.95. The selection of color is really nice.
Valdani pearl cotton can go for $5.50 on the Valdani website, but Red Rocks thread is selling it for $4.75. This is still significantly more than other brands. It has large color selection in all sizes. I am tempted to get a ball or two just to see if it is awesome enough to justify being almost twice what the other brands are.
Last on the list is Lizbeth crochet cotton. I can get this in size 20 (about the same as size 8 pearl cotton) and size 40 (about the size as 12 pearl cotton). There is a wide range of colors. Handy Hands Tatting has it for $4.25/$4.50 a ball. However it is a 25 gram ball. So 2.5 times what the pearl cotton gives. On the other hand I feel like 10 grams of thread would probably last me a while. It is like the buy in bulk argument. It saves money - but only if you actually use the whole thing.
There are more options if I wanted size 3 or size 5 pearl cotton. I am not even sure what that is used for. It would be pretty thick to embroider with. It might be good for friendship bracelets and some jewelry making.
Even the most expensive thread is pretty affordable, assuming I don't try to pick up a huge amount at one time. I am thinking of a few balls of each, just to see what I like best.
02-22-2019, 06:08 PM
I rather like the orange/purple fabric. It would make a very nice potholder at least. I hope to sew on the yellow flower quilt Sunday. Sewing machine has been acting up. I will try a newer spool of off-white thread since I frequently find the problem is with using older thread. It depends on the fabric/thread combination.
02-22-2019, 08:19 PM
I think I might be getting a handle on a good system for planning travel food and organizing recipes for same. It's been interesting searching for recipes and I found some good stuff. I am going to have to overhaul almost everything about the food for travel, even the dishes. We haven't traveled since Sota died, really. That's over 2 years already. I've been tinkering with food for a long time and this finally feels like progress.
I read about a clothesline mod that attaches to the camper bumper. I've wanted an outside clothesline for a long time, but couldn't find one I liked. Then there it was. It called for 2 flag pole holders, so I went to add those to the shopping list. Then recalled, vaguely, I might have already bought some at a garage sale. I thought that over some more and realized I had 2, brand new, that I paid 50 cents each for. That saved me about $10. But where were they? Who knows? Ugh. Later I went looking for something else and there they were. Perfect. I might have the PVC pipe for the frame and I know I have some clothesline. I might need some small hardware, but the clothesline will be practically free.
I also found the S hooks I was looking for, to add to the lid on my new trash can so it will hang on the handle out of the way.
I found a couple lids that fit my odd size mini mason jars with shaker tops, which I love, but not their lids. The new ones have flip tops and come from spices I buy. I have two more so I will be looking for a couple more of the little bottles. Still looking for some of my T-ware I'm going to need for some changes in the camper, too.
I'm slowly making progress on the latest batch of baby pockets. I just can't generate much enthusiasm for the project right now. I think I've mentally moved on to camping season. We've been invited to 2 rallies, one in Illinois and one in Utah. I would like to attend both, but it depends on too many factors to decide now.
It's going to be an interesting year.
02-22-2019, 10:16 PM
Taking the wreath apart and dealing with the brown and blue glittery net ribbon was, uh, interesting. I flipped the wreath over and was happy - the ribbon was just attached with pipe cleaners. Easy peasy! Wrong. Each of a gazillion of them was twisted, wrapped around the wire of the wreath frame, twisted, wrapped, twisted, wrapped... I think it would have held together a jet airliner. However, eventually done. I took a tube from some wrapping paper and rolled the brown ribbons without much fuss. Then I turned to the blue ribbon. First of all, it was 21” (!!!) wide. To roll it I had to fold it over. It is both stiff and springy, crumpled and twisted from being in tied in a bow and fluffed out, and it stuck to itself when I was trying to fold it, refusing to fold flat. It was a rodeo and I’m sure it would have been hilarious to watch. Eventually I sort of figured it out. Clip the edges together, let it hang over the front of the table where I could pin it by leaning against it to hold some tension on it, roll with one hand while trying to flatten it with with my other forearm. It was definitely a worthy opponent and it almost defeated me. Finally it was done though.
I haven’t gotten to the templates and may or may not tonight. Right now I want to just stretch out, listen to a book, and try not to think about ribbon.
02-23-2019, 01:02 PM
I did get the templates done last night. I am struggling with delayed gratification issues. I really want to use my pretty shiny sparkly fabric, but to be sensible I should start with cotton. There will doubtless be some take it out and try again while Iím doing new embroidery stitches, and cotton would be much more forgiving of that than silk and satin. However most recently itís the fancy stuff Iíve been collecting and organizing. If I take out the cotton and start choosing from that, Iíll probably be happy with that again.
All the rain is supposed to be over by around noon. Thatís good because the first Mardi Gras parade is this afternoon. Thanksgiving in November is ok, but my real Thanksgiving is today, for no longer living on the parade route.
I got two reusable popcorn bags made! I've been wanting to do that for a while, but couldn't figure out what to use for a food-safe lining. I didn't want to spend any money in case we don't use them or they didn't work. But we like them so far. They hold a lot but more importantly they are big enough I can pour popcorn from the popper into them, and they stand upright without support. I used cereal bags to line them. Don't know how long that will last, but if we like the bags I wouldn't have a problem springing for the expensive food-safe PUL. I have to make a little nylon storage bag for these bags to help keep them clean when not in use. They will fold up nicely and not take much space. I will test drive the bags when we go to Duluth, probably.Attachment 48435
For this project I used scrap fabrics, the 2 cereal bags, 2 zippers from recently dismantled gowns, and 2 zipper pulls. And 2 batches of popcorn, since the first one got eaten by someone when I was working on the second bag. Back when I was still writing my food column, he knew better than to touch my props without prior consent! 😁
02-24-2019, 09:36 AM
Hubby bought me a JA gift card for my birthday. I forgot I had mentioned it. I'll need a add-on navigation system for the new car and we had agreed that would be my present, so I wasn't expecting anything today.
Going to tackle the yellow flower quilt again. Wish me luck with the sewing machine.
02-24-2019, 11:09 AM
Good luck, DLR. It's never fun when machines are acting up.
I got my 4 ribbon reels and it's very nice stuff. 100 reels for $5.xx and free shipping. I love when I can stretch my donation dollars with deals like that.
I just spent a fruitless hour trying to rearrange my supply of ribbons into one of my 3 tier storage boxes but nope. Oh, well. I did weed out a spool of icky ribbon I hate, so that's something, I guess.
We spent another fruitless hour looking in the black hole, I mean, spare bedroom for the embroidery transfer system for my machine. I'm fairly sure we did not get rid of it, but we have both searched my office, his office, and my sewing room with no luck. The possibilities are diminishing. I could download free designs with it, if I could just find the damn thing. Assuming it would work with our newer computers. It would work with my old desktop but we won't have internet back out there till summer. I never could get it to work but there's a lot more info available now than back then, so I'm optimistic. There are tons more patterns, too, and they are more professional.
We sorted out a bunch of old shipping boxes from stuff with expired warranties, so that helped a lot to clear out the back bedroom.
I've been looking through cookbooks to see what I can purge, and picked out a 5-ingredient WW cookbook I don't use. I generally dislike those types because they use so much processed foods. But as I looked through it, I realized many of the recipes would work well in the camper. Glad that occurred to me before I got rid of it. Now that we are planning trips longer than 2 weeks, it will be a big help to find recipes that rely on canned goods and other shelf stable items, to save space in our tiny fridge. I'm excited about exploring this NTM concept.
I'm starting to look forward to Husby's retirement, in between being terrified. :yikes:
02-24-2019, 11:12 AM
Re the ribbon reels, I meant to say 100 YARD reels, not 100 reels. Ugh. I hate that I can't edit posts on my phone.
02-24-2019, 02:50 PM
My plans got scuttled again. Big surprise, huh? I was quite ready to get started on the blocks that didn’t work out. My knee(s) is so bad I can’t sit at a table with it bent for very long. Yesterday I could not do it at all, which leaves me one choice - the recliner, not that it’s great either at the moment. It may be the wildly erratic weather we’re having, which would account for both knees, hands and such. I blamed it on that. However my hands are ok today and one knee is better. The other knee is not cooperative at all. Not long ago I felt, and heard, a pop in that knee. Something must have shifted sharply and it probably did it no good. So...
Last night I got the yarn again and crocheted about half of a scarf. Today I’m going to tough it out at the table long enough to transfer a couple of patterns to the muslin and find and cut patches for them. Then for these I’ll just sew the patches by hand. Getting the sewing machine set up and working at it is out of the question for now. I’ll also do more on the scarf. This too will pass but it may be a while before I can do anything much except handwork. This will at least let me start to play with embroidery.
I know. Whine, whine. Sorry about that. There’s still plenty of fun stuff I can do so it’s not like I’m being abused.