Frugal (make that FREE) Fix

I was photographing a SVdP 99 cent dress I plan to refashion. IMG_4732

As I snapped my photos I realized that the cord to my heater was less than inconspicuous, in fact it was distracting.

Saturday, in between cake deliveries I stopped at a Garage Sale. I didn’t buy anything but I picked up a watering can shaped flower pot and a bag of assorted “stuff” from the FREE pile.IMG_4727

Included in the “stuff” was just what I needed, clips and screws.

Now the cord is nice and tidy.


Total cost to tidy up my electric cord: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Now, that’s what I call frugal.

I hope to be showing you the refashioned dress soon. Stay tuned.

PS: the reason I picked up the baggie of stuff is because it had money in it.

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Show & Tell Sunday

It was 4 months after breaking my arm that I was able to decorate cakes again. I’m right-handed so my broken left hand didn’t affect my ability to decorate totally but like everything else we do decorating uses both hands. Two things presented the biggest hinderance to my going back to work, my energy level was nil (after my first 8 hour shift I went home and slept for 12 hours) and I had no strength in my left arm. I started back to work in June doing wedding consultations with brides. This month I’ve got enough strength to go back to decorating and delivering wedding cakes.
IMG_4686Quyen-Cake-14640 July 19'14Petty

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Remember this Waste Basket?


I said I intended to give it to a second-hand store. Well, before it got there I found another purpose for it.

My home is a three bedroom rambler, there is no basement, but there is a crawl space under the house.

My furnace is in a small closet off the kitchen. On the floor of the closet there is a vent to that crawl space.

 There isn’t much room in there for much more than the furnace but I store some bulk foods there and use it as a broom closet.

evidence 4497

“Someone” has nibbled their way into the bag of dog food. I suspect that a mouse/mice have been crawling up through the slats in the vent.

tin snips_4502

It occurred to me that the somewhat flexible wire mesh of the waste basket could be used to cover the vent.

mesh screen_4506

I used tin snips and cut the mesh down to fit snuggly over the bottom of the vent.

After replacing the vent I haven’t seen any more evidence of rodents sharing my home.

Posted in Dog walking, Dumpster Diving, thrifty fixes, Trash to Treasure, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dumpster Diving and a Rant

I live just a few houses away from an elementary school.

My daily “walk the dogs route” takes me through the school property to a small neighborhood park. I often make use of the schools dumpster as we pass by.

Each June teachers  empty their classrooms into the dumpster. I have learned through the years to check the dumpster right after school is out. There is always lots of good stuff for the taking.

This was one of my hauls last month.

dumpster diving4494

What am I going to do with all this stuff? 

I’ll save the scrub brush to use when mine wears out (it appears to be unused). The spiral notebooks each have just a few pages that are written on, I’ll use them as scratch/note paper. There is enough Elmer’s for a couple of glue bottle refills. I’ll take the makers to work. Scissors, glue stick and tape will go in my office supplies.

I don’t need the wastebasket, beads, or pink dolphin. I’ll keep them out of the landfill by donating them to a second-hand store. Someone will want them.

I don’t have pictures but I’ve also found 3 plastic hanging file boxes, 2 area rugs, scores of page protectors, multiple 3-ring binders, and a large bookshelf.

The schools are teaching children to be environmentally conscience but, they don’t provide a very good example.

I don’t mean to be unsympathetic to the legitimate needs public schools face, but why doesn’t someone organize a Thrift Store Pick-up for all the useable stuff?  I can’t feel too sorry for cash strapped schools who don’t have room in their budget for needed supplies when the very supplies they need go in the dumpster.

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New shorts to wear in this hot weather

Like I said we’ve been having some uncharacteristic HOT weather.

I needed some shorts to wear.

I perused the second hand stores but didn’t find any shorts I would wear in my price range ( Extremely CHEAP).

I did find a $1 pair of floral pants that would be perfect for refashioning.floral pant self portrait 

Turning pants into shorts should be an easy task. Simply cut the legs to the desired length. Where do you think the term “cut-offs” came from?

This pair was a bit more complicated than that as the legs of the cut off shorts were too snug around my thighs.

To solve my dilemma I split the side seam, cut a gusset (triangular shape) from the cut off portion, and sewed it into the open seam. (Sorry no step-by-step pictures)


By doing this adjustment I added 3” to each leg. I now have a cool comfortable pair of floral shorts.



Do you do any refashioning? Tell me about it in a comment.

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Can you believe it? I spent $50 at a Thrift Store,

The Pacific Northwest has been experiencing a HEAT WAVE. Something like 17 days in a row in the 80+degrees range. We’re talking the Pacific Northwest, “it always rains in Seattle”. 

Yes, I’m a weather wimp. I start complaining if the mercury goes over 75o.

My home has a covered back porch. It’s been a wonderful place to spend these HOT evenings.
Ah, the simple pleasures of life.  Sitting on the porch listening to the birds sing, watching the sunset, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do or anywhere I’d rather be.


Today clouds moved in from the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think the temperature made it past 70. Still it’s a lovely evening to sit on the porch and listen to the Mariners and Angels play baseball.

 4591fireplace close up

Days like these are why I recently added a “fireplace” It’s not a real fireplace but an electric heater. I found it at St. Vincent de Paul. At $49.99 it had an outrageously high price tag. (Most of my thrift store purchases are under $5) I thought about playing my wait & see game where I hope the item I want will still be available on SVdP’s monthly ½ price day. However I realized how perfect it would be as a replacement for the vintage Colman Heater I’m currently using. It looks like its brand new. So I swallowed hard and handed over my $50.

Later I did a search on the internet and found it’s worth $129.


Now if you’ll excuse me I’m heading out back to sit by the fireplace.

What’s your average Thrift store bill come to?

Leave me a comment telling me the most expensive thing you ever thrifted.

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I have a confession to make…

I can’t type.
Yes, I took typing in high school. I’ve played the computer typing games/drills, but I still struggle with typing. My fingers are on the proper keys but I HAVE TO watch my hands.
In fact, although my mind is creative and my hands are skilled I can’t do ANYTHING that involves not watching what my hands are doing.

I have many blog ideas that I have intended to share with you but getting the ideas down in writing is so laborious that the ideas never become actual posts. I know it’s not a “FRUGAL” option but I’m considering getting speech recognition solftware to make getting my ideas down on paper less of an ordeal.

Do any of you use, or have any thoughts about “speech recognition” software? Please share your thoughts in a comment.

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