Sew Thrifty!

Come on in to my combination crafting / thrifting blog! Bring your knitting needles and a cup of tea - it's time to compare Craft Projects and Thrift Store Finds! THRIFTY IS NIFTY!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


What to do when you have a toddler that is sick, and has cold feet...but HATES wearing slippers? You get CREATIVE! You use what you have lying around in the fabric stash, toss in some buttons and some jingle bells, and VOILA! Soft, fuzzy, floppy-eared, jingling, FUN footwear! The bells are an added bonus - you can hear the little dickens sneak up on you.......

Ok, that was my creative surge for today - now will curl up in front of vegetablebrain-box and contemplate the bucket of Haagen Daaz that I CANNOT have, due to expanding (argh!) waist...! Toodle-Looooo!

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Ages ago, back when I actually had time to Blog, the front of our house looked like this:

Yes, I know...."UGH!". But with summer on it's way, I was lured by the thought-cloud image of warm breezy evenings, curled up on a soft cushion placed comfortably on a lovely cedar deck, surrounded by a lovely private cedar fence, and sipping something cool.....sigh....Hmmm, hmm....I got it bad. Thus "beganith" the several-month long obsession to BUILD IT, and LO! I discovered I COULD use a table saw after all! Soon I was blazing away, doing death-defying freehand rips, making a fashion statement with my safety goggles, and rediscovering the beauty of pre-drilling guide holes for decking screws....

But before my oasis in the city could come into being, there was a little matter of the fence to I got busy baking pies, and sucking up to the husband-unit big time! (I needed some brawn to pound in the post-holder spikes for me..)((Gotta love HOME DEPOT - they have it alllllll!)) ((Except the brawn - we're on our own there!)) So after the prerequisite number of pies were consumed, up went the fence (thanks Honey!).

But, of course, once the fence was up, the space needed a deck. The front area slants in 2 directions, and have you ever tried sitting in a lawn chair on 2 slants...? perpetual LEAN! Ugh! Buuuut, the husband unit had his fill of pies and wasn't I had to build this one on my own. I used flat concrete paving squares with U-shaped post holders and short sections of 4x4 for the support, then 2 - 2x4 stringers (instead of 1 - 2x6) and 5/4 cedar decking....and a little creativity to make it all fit into the existing area-formations.

Oops! Did I mention my Mum? Thanks to a very generous grant from my Mum, this construction project was made possible! Gotta love your parents, eh? Even tho she didn't think the deck would look right, she was supportive anyway. And now, she loves it! Hooray! But I digress....

Once the deck was done, it needed a gazebo for shade. So off to the store I went, found a beaut for only 149$, complete with bug curtains. But, OOPS! The deck was built in a slanted rectangle, to follow the fence line, and the "square" gazebo didn't fit the way it needed back to the drawing board. I extended the deck surface a bit to the east, and squared it off, so the gazebo would fit nicely.
Then the deck needed built in bench seating with side table storage then I built that.....found a scrap of foam at the thrift store, got some coordinating vinyl and had it sewn up for the bench cover and VOILA!

it all needed a playhouse for my I am building that...a raised, 2 story affair, complete with underneath sandbox and storage, upstairs skylights, solar lighting, opening windows, rear exit slide, front porch, upstairs loft with bed, carpeting....and more when I think of it...


Now we just need to add a couple of "keep your toddler IN" gates, and Bob's Your Uncle! Man! What a job! I get tired just looking at these photos - but soooo worth it! It is so nice to sit outside now, and we eat lunches and suppers out there - the munchkin loves it!

About the time this project was nearing completion, it dawned on me that my Mum's 65th BDAY was soon upon us! Hmmm, I'm broke and I gotta come up with something big! The ever omniscient husband unit suggested VEGAS as a "something big"....but how was I gonna afford it? Stay at home Mom's don't earn much...NADA, actually, but once I get a bee in my bonnet, get outta my way! The husband unit donated the last of his airmiles points, AIR CANADA came thru with a couple of seats without subjecting us to a milk run...I scoured the house for collectibles to sell on EBAY, and went to work. Many Many 3AM nights...ugh! Thanks ever so much to all you FINE people who bought things from me this summer - there is a special place in my heart for you all! Especially ATOMIC TEXTILES - (Ebay Australia) who generously bought a whole WHACK of my fabric, which enabled me to complete the funding needed for a trip!

The FLAMINGO Casino & Hotel had a great deal on the internet for room rates( $60), as did Thrifty Car Rentals($13 / day), and I found tickets to the Price is Right LIVE show, which is Mum's all time favorite show! Then I sewed her a carry on bag with some of the vintage fabrics I had bought on Ebay from an awesome seller in the States (BEATRIZINC). On the day Mum arrived here, we gave her the bag and told her she had 2 hours to pack it.

2 hours later, we were on a plane headed to Calgary and thence to Vegas. Sadly, the scotch on board the plane had a knack of evaporating too quickly...BIG KUDOS to CLAIRE, the flight attendent - she was the all time coolest person - fabulous service!

Once in Vegas, Thrifty had run out of the car-type I had rented, so WE WERE UPGRADED (HEE HEE!) to a sleek shiny white mini-van - PERFECT for a mom and a nana on a wild vegas vacation, eh? We were laughing so hard! Then off to the FLAMINGO - where they had also run out of the room type we had reserved, so WE WERE UPGRADED (HEE HEE!) to a palatial MINI SUITE! Tooooo coooool! At this stage we were loving all things "VEGAN", right down to the chocolates under our pillows! The hotel delivered champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, sent from my Mum's sis and her kids in CALIF - sooo sweet! We curled up and nibbled berries, sipped champagne, and watched a little Leno before bed.

UP AT 7! Go go go! Off to brekkie in the lobby, AWESOME FOOD, AWESOME SERVICE! Then I dropped off Mum at the casino and I headed out to a local SAVER'S Thrift Store for some quick frugaling. (I should note at this point for those of you who don't know - Mum is a Slot-A-Holic and I am a Thrift-A-Holic, so it is not at all unusual that we go our separate ways quite contentedly!)

We were supposed to check in and register for the PRICE IS RIGHT show, right after lunch, so the frugaling was rushed...boohoo. Will post fabulous find pics in next couple of days - VEGAS IS A MECCA for thrifting - they have a ton of shops, and awesome quality! Great Prices! Here we are right before the Show:

We had a GAS! It was a lot of fun, even tho we didn't make it to contestant's row. Afterwards, it was back to slot machines and thrift-storing! Then we lounged at the awesome FLAMINGO pool and had our evening cocktail whilst perusing all the youngsters getting toasted, which numbers Mum soon joined. Couldn't have been the triple scotch I got her....? We met the most hilarious girls from BOSTON, one of whom had a GAPPIE - gap between front teeth, just like Mums! They bonded instantly of course, and compared notes on just exactly WHY men preferred Women with Gappies!

Dinner at the hotel - VENUTO, Italian, very nice. Super cool waiter...what the heck was his name? I had never heard that name before, and It had to be the all time coolest guy name I had ever heard.....

We were almost falling asleep in our dessert, so we rolled up to our room, and said goodnite to Leno...zzzzzz

Up early again! Today I had sussed out a casino that had a good reputation locally for slots / payouts, so I took Mums out there and dropped her off, whilst I rooted thru 2 more SAVERS stores. I was in awe - incredible shoes, handbags, clothes! Wow! We gambled and shopped right thru lunch, and then hit TRADER JOES and stocked up on tea, TIRE BITE BEER, and a million other little gourmet goodies only to be had there.
We checked out the local ROSS store on the strip - I wasn't impressed. Dirty, crowded, aisles so full of floor debris, you couldn't maneuver your cart...the clothing was jumbled - I couldn't figure out where the simplest things was wierd, because ROSS is usually great.....

Dinner at BELLAGIO, followed by the fountains...beautiful! Then back to hotel to pack and sleep...flight left at O-Dark-Thirty, as Mum would say. Time flies when you're having fun, and it was all over tooooo soon! We decided that we should go back every year!

Unfortunately, I had picked up a virus head cold 2 days before departure and by the time I returned home, it was a full blown-laid-up-for-6-days-in-bed doozie...then the munchkin caught it, then the husband unit caught it, then the Nana-unit caught it, then the cat caught it...just kidding about the cat. A houseful of sickies...ugh! This has got to be the most pernicious bug we've ever seen: I've had it 3 weeks, the others about 2 weeks - taking FOREVER to get rid of! Puh! (as my lovely swedish friend would say....)

So I am still running on 1/4 power, thus will tackle fabulous find pics in next couple of days....
Chow for Now!

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Sorry - am unable to post photos at this time - BLOGGER will not allow, will try again later!

Many thanks to The Shopping Sherpa !! EONS ago, she sent me this wonderful thrifty swap box - what a hoot! Here are the awesome finds:

Very cool Vintage winged Melmac Bowls - a whole set! And some coordinating plates - LOVE the pattern! And a nifty and delicate covered bowl - great for sugar, or BUTTONS!!!!!! A girl can NEVER have too many BUTTONS!

And then this impossibly hard to get instruction book - Sherpa had found a neato game from the 70's for little kids - it had game mats, blocks and cars. I saw her photos and drooled. Then, wouldn't you know it, the following week, I was out thrifting and found the SAME GAME! Half a planet away....go figure~! But it had noooo instructions, so I couldn't know how to play it with my child. So Sherpa sent me the BOOK! HOORAY and MANY THANKS!

Next are 2 wicked cool books, big faves of the toddler unit - No Carrots for Harry (a bunny who would NOT eat carrots even tho he never tried know where THAT'S going...) and (fanfare) - a CLASSIC that I had forgotten all about in my dotage - AMELIA BEDELIA.....the toddler unit LOVES this book, but she insists that it is called "AMEELEE-AH BUH-DEE-BOW-WHA....very good selections, Sherp!

Now the (DROOOOOOOOOOOLLLL!) Fabric! Check out this Print of a Australian Sheep Farmer, and LOOK at the HAT - it has those cork thingies that keep the bugs away - tooooo funny! I never would have known what that was except for a former Aus Room-mate who had one and showed it to me years ago. I've never seen one on fabric!

THANKS SHERP! This was some vintage fabric that Sherp found loooong time ago, and when I saw the photo, it was FABRIC-LOVE at first sight! What a sweetie to send it to me! THANKS!!!

A vintage Scarf! Check out the skiers wearing duds from the 40's - 50's....I particularly liked the snuggling couple at each corner! Heehee!

Some WICKED WICKED WICKED WICKED COOOOOOOOOL kid's fabric, very vintage, and absolutely TDF!!!
THANKS THANKS!!! I love this! Very hard to find patterns like this...!

And some lovely green fabric with cute little flowers - I'm thinking poofy round skirt for the T-unit!

Last, but not least - the ultimate - the incomparable - the best in the world - DARRELL LEA of AUSTRALIA LICORICE! Sigh, I had just run out at home, and the stores were temporarily out, and LO! BEHOLD what comes in the mail! A BIG FRESH PACK OF DL!!! YUM YUM YUM!!! I thank you, Sherp, and my ADDICTION thanks you too! I MUST be addicted, because I eat some pretty much EVERY DAY! Sad, isn't it?
(Sorry - no pic - contents consumed, digested, etc., loooooong ago...!)

Great picks, Sherpie! THANK YOU! I look forward to our next swap, and promise to mail your box first! Heehee!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

MINX! As if I don't have enuf to do.......

Baggage! Minx! Tagged by Sherp, I must now respond, as I am feeling quite guilty about:

1. Being incognito for soooo long....

2. Not posting the waaaaaay cool contents of the box she sent me on my blog yet (AIRMAIL, too...what was she thinking, spending that kind of money right before vacation, Egad!!!)

3. Not mailing HER Thrift Store Goodies to her yet (this week, I swear!!!)

Re: #1.....see pics below: ( this is reason for incognito-ish behavior)

Yup! I HAD to build me a deck! I got tired of having no nice place to sit in the sun, so, after attempting to convince husband unit to build it for me, (he wasn't biting...) I was forced to go it solo. Following a fast safety lecture on the handling of the thrift store table saw I bought over a year ago, I was turned loose. Armed with some way cool cash from Nana, I tripped off merrily to the local Home Depot and brought home what was to be the first of many loads of cedar lumber. Several weeks later, I am finished! Well, almost....I only have one more coat of stain to put on it...THEN it's finished! Stay tuned for the DONE photo! It'll be a doozy! I am surprised I actually BUILT this - I can't believe it really is FLAT, and not lopping off severely or leaning, or groaning, or anything! Yippee! Oh yes, here are some BEFORE pictures:

Note the waaaay cool vegetable garden boxes I made too! Cherry Tomatoes, Strawberries, and Cantelope...mmmmmm! You can see what the house looked like in the front BEFORE we started on the fence. Pretty drab, eh? Not much street appeal, and not much usage, what with the street being several feet away from front door! I basically took out the little curved brick wall, and used the remaining concrete landing as a guide for how high I wanted the deck to be, and kept the nice curve formation by free-hand table-sawing the decking ends.

But, I digress.....ah yes, the TAG....ok, it is:

ACCENT: 100% pure Canuck

BOOZE: none, at present. But when I drink, I do appreciate a dry red, also hot Sake (affectionately called Joy Juice); and in the summers, I make a leetle cocktail with Gordon's Gin, Schweppe's Bitter Lemon Mixer, a dollop of Peach Schnapps, and lotsa lime juice.....but lately, the harshest stuff I do is Cherry Kool Ade...but that's not booze, so doesn't count....

CHORE I HATE: having to go to so many different stores for the basic staples - 1 store for organic milk, another for kitty litter, a third for groceries, and a fourth for frozen berries and yogurt....ugh! too much running around!

DOGS/CATS: Tiggr - one manxy(referring to behavior, not short tail) orange tabby with the coolest color of eyes...can't describe the color. Also has very bushy tail, a low roar of a purr, an attitude when I am too slow with the breakfast, and the coolest way of snuggling at night,,,(FINALLY broke him of the habit of pouncing on my face at 4 AM) (and we're still working on the biting and scratching thing...) (Heh, heh - he's gittin' the big snippety-snappety next month! That'll larn' em!) We found Tigs at the local SPCA, something I heartily recommend for persons desiring pets. He is almost 5 months old and growing fast! I suspect he may turn out to be a BIG kitty!

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: my computer, so I can stay in touch with EBAY...and Sherpy, and Lizzy!

FAVORITE PERFUME: Jessica McClintock....I like flowery scents, not musky ones....ugh! Although, I used to like Chanel Coco....go figure?

GOLD/SILVER: ALL the above! My bro is a Master Goldsmith, so he keeps me well supplied!

HOMETOWN: Southern Interior, BC

INSOMNIA: HA HA HA HA HA HA! Never, not with a Toddler around....there's no chance for it!

JOB TITLE: Deck-builder and MOM!

LIVING ARRANGEMENT: with one husband unit, one toddler unit, one cat unit, and 9 fish units.

MOST ADMIRED TRAIT: a tie between my creativity and my tenacity.

NUMBER OF SEXUAL PARTNERS: I'll never tell....


PHOBIAS: being a passenger in a car....I gotta drive. It's hell when I gotta fly somewhere...the pilot usually has a problem with me driving...

QUOTE: POOP or get off the pot! I detest wishy-washiness.

RELIGION: kinda a blend between Buddhist and Earth Mother...


TIME I USUALLY WAKE UP: As late as possible, after being forced to complete Meme late at night....!

UNUSUAL TALENT: hmmmm, should I say Construction, or Motorcycle Riding?


WORST HABIT: Things always take longer than I think....

X-RAYS? What? Have I had any? Yes, indeedy.

YUMMY FOOD I MAKE: I make a mean Falafel, and also ICE CREAM.

ZODIAC: Scorpio Dragon....hey! don't run away! I'm as gentle as a kitten, ....really!

heh, heh!

OK! DONE! Now, I am supposed to tag someone else, but since both the bloggers I check out on a regular basis have already done this, I have to pass.

TUNE IN in a couple of days to see the waaay cool contents of the "ALL-THE-WAY-FROM-SHERP-BOX" and the FINAL FOTOS of THE NEW DECK! Wheeeeeeee!

Monday, April 10, 2006


Howdy Y'all!

.....sorry to be gone so long....M's is going thru a regression back to terrible two's from the thrilling three's, temporarily, we hope.....thus the "busyness". Also we have started the Toddler Garden - planted some seeds and YIPPEE-KI-YAY! They are already sprouting - carrots, cherry tomatoes, and "squishy squashy" (AKA - butternut squash) I have to make a giant garden box to put them things are going to be a little slow for the next month....

Thanks to good friend "J" in Vancouver - she is flogging my creations and has drummed up an order for 2 custom motorcycle road racing appliqued fleece jackets for another friend's 2 toddler-kids...gotta warm up the sewing machine! Oh! AND - M's asked me for a "special Easter Outfit" today (WHEN did she figure out that Mom can make stuff???) so we crept down into the bowels of the house, into the fabric room, and picked out some Eastery-looking cotton, then poured over the BURDA magazines for a pattern, combined it with a hat from another pattern....and VOILA! An outfit in the making! SHERPA, you would be proud! I am only using materials that I have on hand already for all the above! For example, M's dress, matching bo-peep bloomer pants and hat, are all cut out from a "APRIL CORNELL" dress I found over a year ago at a thrift store...they have the coolest cotton prints! I cut it apart into it's main component pieces, then scavenge buttons and the pre-sewn pockets, etc, and then lay out the pattern pieces and off we go! It was an adult Large dress, so there was plenty of fabric! Will post pics when all are completed! Stay tuned.....

On the darker side, the ole cataracts are acting off to see the wizard...I mean Ophthalmologist, and see how long I get to go before lens implant....yewwwww, bummer! Am hoping I can squeeeeek by with some strong eyeglasses for awhile! It's kinda funny - I have to move reading material back and forth....back and forth.....back and forth...looking for the magic position! The husband-unit laffs himself silly watching it....but I just sit back and bide my time.....the age thing will catch up to him too! THEN I'll chuckle!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Today, in honor of The Shopping Sherpa's quest to withstand the temptation to Frugal / Thrift Shop this month, I went a-thrifting in her place. Considering I had a mid-afternoon vet appointment (Tiggr's 1st checkover), and company coming for supper (homemade pizza's....with REEEEEAAALLLL crust - not that instant stuff...yug!) I actually managed to hit a lot of shops: Cost Savers; Sal-Mart; Penny Pinchers; The Dump; and The Thrift Seller. It was a bumper crop of fabric today, plus a good haul of 70's crochet and knitting books:

(OH - ALMOST FORGOT....HERE IS THE BACKGROUND MUSIC : Beatles' Octopus' Garden (click on "streaming" to play...)

Check out the vintage aprons!

And some very old textured poly knits!

A HUGE Batik Tablecloth in nice soft cotton....I'm thinking capris....!

A cheerful lime green button tray - Thank you so much, Sherpa, for the idea - I LOVE IT, works great!

Vintage Melmac serving bowl...

A sexy lil Mod Crochet Ensemble!

Reference Material for Inspiration!

WAY WAY WAY COOL Vintage Cotton Fabric! Too bad it's red, eh, Sherp?

Classic Kliban Pillowcases x 3

More books - the patio book has some good ideas for our front area...we don't have a "front yard"'s more of a cobblestoned parking area, so we are about to fence off 1/2 of it, and make a little private courtyard. I am looking for ideas of how to make it look less stark and more lush/park/gardenish....and the Design and Decor home plans book is great for dollhouses (modern, that is...)!

A retro how-to furniture book!

A danish marine model fittings kit! (for

Friday, March 31, 2006


I found this booklet at the Local Hospital Thrift Store...I think it was 25 cents! It was an insert in the April 1968 Issue of Woman's Day Magazine. I would like to share it with all you retro-mad knitters out there. If you save the photo and then zoom in, I am hoping you can read the text??? Lemme know if it is no-go. (The pages are shown in the exact order of the booklet)

These are soooo cute! And a great way to use up small leftovers of vintage yarn from the Thrift Store! The "Cuckoo" Bird at the bottom is my favorite! Check out the old colors, too! (in the description...)

Am off to the Local Landfill Thrift Store again tomorrow, so will post any cool finds afterwards! Happy Knitting and Thrifting!