Monday, July 14, 2014

One Last Confession

Well, it's been a pleasant 4 years blogging away via blogger. But now I am moving on to bigger things. I'm still blogging about the same things and still working away at projects. Confessions of a thriftaholic will still be here for your reading pleasure, but I will not. I will now be HERE
I hope that those of you who have been faithfully following my blog will continue to follow me to this new place. You will find links there to this old blog if you ever want to take a look here again. I probably will too for memory sake. I already have several things that I plan to blog about and projects to share with you. So hopefully you will join me there!
See you there!

Jelma Louw,
Simply Yellouw

Thursday, March 27, 2014

So I saw this thing on Pinterest...

Oops this is unlike me. I haven't blogged for 2 months! But I have been busy, as a new mom other things and a little person take priority.
We recently discovered mold in our  bathroom, yuck! So for the last month we have been renovating  a room thatwe first had other plans for, but with the mold, we vetoed those plans and just did a simple gut and renovate. It's not quite done yet but I will post pics after. All I can say is I can't wait to have a working and proper sized bathtub back. The old shallow tub was useless!
We have also been renovating our bedroom. Not big renos, just putting in a walk in closet and some paint to freshen up the room. again, it's not quite complete yet because we were using free skid wood for the wall and because of the ridiculous snow, the wood has been to wet and we need to wait for dryer weather to get more wood to finish the project.

So what have I been doing to be thrifty these past 2 or 3 months?

1. I made a new k'tan style carrier for myself.  My previous k'tan worked fine, but the material was thicker and it will probably be very hot if I wanted to use it for the summer, so I made anew one out of athletic mesh.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to make myself a Moby style wrap as Hans get's heavier and bigger.

2. I saw a pinterest project online on how to make your own cardigan onsie. It was quite simple to do.
I bought a simple onsie fromthe thrift store of course, cut the front in have and cut out av-neck. The I sewed on some stretchy, ribbed knit and added some buttons. Pinterest told meto replace the cuffs to match the edging but I don't think it's necessary. I then made a little tiny bow tie which can be snapped onto the onsie underneath (rather than an around-the-neck elastic) I also sewed some fake suspenders onto the white onsie. And of course I HAD to make amatching

3. I have a pantry in my kitchen with a really bland door. The door is too solid looking. I had a menu board on it but it didn't help. Plus menu boards, as fun as they are to make (I have a post about it somewhere) are really annoying to use. I don't have a fancy glass door in my pantry but I need something to break up the colour on this door. So I created along chalk board. Now I didn't just purchase chalk paint and slap it on the door because chalk board paint is a rip off! it costs at least $22 for a small can. Instead I bought the cheapest can of paint at Lowes that I could find, it was $11 and a box of plaster of paris, about $4. So I only spent a little less, but this amount stretches a lot further. I mixed according to instructions : 2/3 C PoP mixed with 3 T water, add to 2 C paint and voila, calk board paint. Ad a border and  now I can write a menu on my door, groceries, to do lists etc. No more frantically looking for paper when I need to write down a message or number,I can just scribble it on the door.

I think a lot of things are going to get labeled with chalk....lets hope I don't go too crazy with this!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SYD diapers and a kid who farts... a lot.

Many of you know that I have my little basement run business, Simply Yellouw Designs, where I make baby gear.. mostly nursing shawls and diapers, the occasional carrier and an attempt a booties. Over the holidays I finally made a diaper cover ( which could also be made as a pocket, I'm just a littler preferential towards covers). I also make upcycled inserts to go with my covers.

Recently on my facebook site, I posted a video showing how my diapers work. What I did was combine the features of existing designs that work well for my little guy.

if you are interested in my diapers, or nursing shawls, or if you have a request to have something made, I love to up cycle materials and maybe I can help you out!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Every year, Burford,Ontario holds a town wide garage sale. I found this chair for $20 and my husband bartered it down to $13. I am terrible at bartering. if it had been me bartering for this item, I would have ended up paying more than the offered price! But for $13 this is an amazing buy. Both my husband and I wanted a rocking chair, but I never wanted one of those typical know which ones I'm talking about. Then I found this and got it for very little. All it needed was a little TLC. 
I purchased some fabric at Ikea, some tacks at Walmart and some new staples for my staple gun at Home Depot. I mixed some old paint colours (pewter grey and a greenish teal). I started painting the chair and then came across a smallish problem. thepaint was covering fine on the entire chair except for one arm.... this red colour kept bleeding through...I swear I put like 20 coats of paint on that arm before it stopped bleeding through. I should have used a special oil primer first I guess but I got the job done and that's what's important...maybe.

Anyhow  I stripped the chair of the existing fabric,but kept the original padding, weaved some fabric for the back and this is the finished product. the tacks at the top are not quite symmetrical which is a little irritating but those darn things are so difficult to tack in without destroying each and everyone of them . 

I have also been busy working on somebaby/nursing gear for Simply Yellouw Designs.Those can be found here

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Wearing At Its Thriftiest.

Everyone is really big into baby wearing these days. I find that a really odd term to be honest; it sounds like you wear your childlike a piece of clothing. Finding the right carrier/wrap is almost as difficult as finding the cloth diaper that works best. Some carrier/wraps work for you and baby, some don't.  My first carrier was and ergo soft structure carrier. I still love this carrier, especially after I made the heart to heart insert for it so that my baby actually fits in it. but it's bulky, the type of bulky that gets in the way of trying to do work while cuddling. I also had a ring sling. I could not figure this thing out to save my life. I probably watched 25 different you tube videos showing detailed instructions on how to use a ring sling, but for some unknown reason to me, it wasn't working. I also have a Little Star sling that I found at a garage sale. I still haven't quite figured this one out either,but I don't dislike it as much as my ring sling. 
I really loved the idea of the Moby, but oh much fabric and it seems so complicated. Then I discovered the K'tan baby wrap/carrier: 2 loops and a sash, as simple as that. The K'tan is about $60 on line, but I like to make things for my self, so when I stumbled upon this great chunk of leftover fabric in the good ol' VV boutique (Value Village), I went for it and made my own K'tan style wrap,and it works great. it's comfortable for both myself and little Hans. In fact, he's asleep in it as I type. The wrap cost me a total of $1.50 and maybe an hour of work...but work that I enjoy.
for the loops, I measured the length from my shoulder to my hip X2, finished the edges of the fabric and sewed the narrow (20 inch wide) ends together and connected the two loops with a smaller loop. Then I made a sash which I did out of three one yard pieces of fabric, gradually narrowing the ends after I sewed all three pieces together. I also had a bit of left over fabric so I made a bag to hold the wrap when not in use. 
Here are some pictures, selfies in a mirror to be exact (at least it's not a bathroom mirror, give me some credit!)


I also started my family photo wall. I don't think I really need to describe it. Here's what it looks like so far:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Ergo Abyss

 A friend of ours generously donated her no longer needed Ergo  baby carrier. Three weeks after my son was born, my family wanted to go for a short walk by the river close to my parent's house. What a great opportunity to try out this new carrier. So we strapped the Ergo onto my husband and proceeded to place little Hans inside. it was like he disappeared far down into the abyss of this carrier. It's like those giant purses that some women carry around; you put your wallet in them, you know it's in there but you you can't see it and you'd have to reach quite far in to the bag to find it back. Somewhere in this carrier was my son.
We got home and you tubed the proper way to use the Ergo. It turns out that I needed an insert to properly hold a tiny baby. I went on line to see how much it costs/where to buy the insert for the Ergo baby carrier. Babies R' Us sells the Heart to Heart insert at a website price of $32.99, with tax ...~$37.00 so let's round that to $40. Do I want to pay that? No.
I searched kijiji and found several people selling them for roughly $25. Do I want to pay that? No. So I began to search the world wide web for a de-constructed view of this insert so that I could figure out how to make it myself. My searches seem to have brought up nothing but videos on how to use your Heart to Heart insert with your carrier. Then I hit the jackpot. I tried one last search because giving into just propping a rolled up towel under him ( which apparently will work....but I wanted the insert!). I searched up the measurements of the inserts and lo and behold I cam upon this blogger. I don't know much about her, except that her name is Meryl (assumption) and her blog post solved my carrier problems. Using her instructions and measurements, which were drawn out and explained amazingly, I managed to make my very own Ergo Heart to Heart style insert. The one difference between mine and the real deal is that I don't have the swaddle strap. Hans doesn't like being swaddled to tightly anyhow so it wasn't a necessity. I had all to materials lying around so it didn't even cost me a (extra) penny. If you want to make your own, I recommend checking out Meryl's blog and using her instructions.

The Ergo                                                                              My home made Heart to Heart insert

Here it is all put together, baby and all. HAns No longer disappears into the Ergo abyss. About two minutes after I put him in here, her fell asleep, so we went for a walk around the neighbourhood to check out some garage sales.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dirty Laundry

For the last two years or so, I have been fiddling with my own laundry detergent. I tried to find the most simple recipes and first ended up with a giant batch of liquid soap that did't stink, but didn't smell like fresh laundry.
Here is a quick and simple recipe that I have been using for the last year:

1:1 ratio of borax and WASHING soda

add either:
1 grated bar of natural soap, the kind you find in the organic section of the store. I personally like lavender because of it's calming effect
a couple drops of essential oil in whatever scent you like.

Personally I like the grated bar of soap more.

Just mix it all together in a  big jar. I use a large glass storage jar that holds at least 12 cups, and I make about 10 cups at a time
When it's laundry time I use about 2 Tbsp in a load, sometimes less sometimes more, depending on the size of the load.

This recipe works great for me, I even wash my cloth diapers in it. Most times a recipe calls fro Fells Naptha soap or Ivory, but I have skipped out on that product and just used the organic chemicals and it smells nicer.