Saturday, December 17, 2011

My dog had surgery...so I shopped

Olive finally  had her surgery yesterday, after months of cancellations, it is now complete. She wears a cone  most of the time, and really hates it. Because she is a hunting dog, her nose is pressed to the ground about 80% of the time. This, mixed with the wearing of the cone of shame, can cause some difficulties in this house. A lot of the time her cone gets caught on floor boards, couch corners, chairs, etc. and instead of backing up and trying again, she stands there and waits for someone to help her out and fix her situation. However now we don't need to worry about Olive getting pregnant at the dog park, all though she will probably still pin down the neighbours cat to have her way with it.
cone of shame

resting with her monkey

video


So while Olive was under the knife, I decided to do a little shopping to see what kind of savings there are this time of year.
On my little outing, I bought 2 bras,yes 2, a pair of skinny jeans, and a cute white knit top, all for $15. I think that was a pretty good deal.
Knit top...FREE

skinny jeans. $5. I really need
to make my bed!

You didn't actually think I would post a picture of my bras
did you? They are really pretty though and only cost $4.99 each!

The other day I was doing some thrift shopping and I stumbled across a pair of grey ankle boots, originally $7 but with my discount, only $3.50, and another pair of gladiator stilettos originally $12, but with my discount only $6. I also got a really nice black and grey wool poncho type thing for only $3.50.
ankle boots: $3.50

Stilettos: $6

Wrap/poncho thing: $3.50

If I were to buy these things brand new/ at regular price ( cause my underwear does not come from a thrift store!) this would roughly be the price:


cute ankle boots: $24.99
really nice stilettos: $35.00 
poncho/wrap thing: $60.00
2 bras: $40
skinny jeans: $36.90
knit top: $34.90
Total: $ 231. 79

note: (If items were not with original price I found similar items at places like walmart, payless, ebay etc. )


So lets review these purchases shall we?
cute ankle boots: $3.50
really nice stilettos: $6
poncho/wrap thing: $3.50
2 bras: $10 (that's together...not each!.. and not cheap quality either, I got them at La Vie En Rose)
skinny jeans: $5
knit top: FREE!

Total:  $28.00   

Total savings: 203.79


Good deal? I think so!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

if you're going to do it cheaply...at least do it well.


When we bought our house, our kitchen wasn't in terrible shape. I mean, sure I did need to move the dishwasher from one side of the kitchen to the other, plug it into the tap and block all access to the back of the house. The pantries and cabinets were filled with fake birds, santa clauses and mismatched mugs. There were blinds on the windows, a ceiling fan and lamp that hung too low and a washing machine that sat in the corner.
It only took some removal of junk, a couple renovations of what is now the dining room + laundry closet and adding a permanent place for the tiny dish washer to make things look a lot better.  Not too long after did we install a second counter/breakfast nook, a real pantry and over-the-fridge storage and replace the blinds with cute curtains. Later Fritz and I would replace the linoleum tiled floor with a faux marble laminate, which we found on sale.

Funny related story: we measured out exactly how many boxes of laminate we would need for our tiny kitchen, and realized we only needed 3 extra boards. so we went to different home depots and acted interested in the product so that they would let us take a sample board home.

The past couple of months, I was really bothered by our back splash. It was a white glossy tile, probably from 1992 ish, poorly installed and uneven. it had a pinkish brown strip of tiles that ran along the counters edge. I'm sure in 1992 it looked great, but I wanted to update. Fritz and I went to several builder stores and others to find back splashes, and each time we calculated out about $100 to $200 dollars to redo our back splash. Not to mention the pain-in-the-butt of removing the existing one.

I eventually gave up on the back splash as being a near-future reno project. However, and this is where the cheapness part comes in, I was in the Dollarama the other day, and they have rather nice looking tiles there. Sure they were linoleum and they were also self adhesive, but they matched our colours and our faux marble floor.
I brought home a pack of tiles and my husband I I started cutting tiles and sticking them onto the wall, right on top of the existing back splash. It looked fantastic even though it is linoleum! Then at night, we heard thumping in our house and of course I immediately assume we are being robbed or that there is a raccoon in our house (same difference). It turns out that because our house is so cold at night ( and because I'm cheap) the tiles were all dropping off the wall one by one!

I really disliked the old backsplash so I went to Rona, and had to explain to the builder people there, how cheap I am and what I had done. They shook their heads in shame at me and then offered me a tube of construction adhesive for $5.

End of the story is that our Dollarama back splash is now secured to our wall and the total cost was about $20.
notice the old back splash

complete


If you are going to do it cheaply...at least do it well. 


ALSO...
Last Friday, I was asked by a co worker of my husbands, if I could make a shirt ugly. I guess she was given a shirt last year and now she is returning it as a re-gift. However she wanted it to be ugly.
"Sure" I said.  I got out my sewing machine, scissors, scrap fabric, buttons and of course...the glue gun. 

Voila:





Friday, December 2, 2011

Olive, my 4 legged toddler.

The culprit 

I first want to tell you 2 somethings fun...fun for me anyways:
1.The fair
So I did another show in the beginning of November. It was a two day event and I did okay. Unfortunately many of the vendors lost out due to a major increase in the entrance fee. Despite that, for a beginner, I think things went fairly well.
While I was there, i did some walking around too and left Fritz to mind the booth. There was some really fabulous stuff there, and some tacky things too. But what do you expect, I mean it is a craft fair. Last spring when I was there for the first time, I knew as soon as the customers started coming through the doors that I was among the wrong crowd. So this time around I added some kitschy pillows and they went like hot cakes. I don't even know what a hot cake is but I know they go fast.
Near the end of day two of the fair,  I was approached by another vendor who sells pottery. He told me that his friend owns a consignment shop and is looking for a pillow lady. so I got her information and now my pillows are being sold in a great little shop called Humblepie on James street here in Hamilton. It's a great little store with some really cool items. If you are in Hamilton, you should check out the shop, just click on the link and you can get location info, or if you are going to the art crawl which happens every 2nd Friday of the month (so that means December 9th) you should stop by the shop.
and 2. My birthday
 So I have had some interesting moments in the last couple of days. I celebrated my birthday on the 21st, and since I took the day off work, I decided to spend the day in the mall. I received some money for my birthday, and so I thought I would treat my self for the day. I ended up going to three different malls to find a pair of flat brown boots. I'm a big time thrift shopper so before my birthday I was already keeping my eye out for any that came into the store, but the odd time I do like to buy some brand new things. But not expensive things. So I skipped all those big brand shoe stores, even though they have beautiful footwear, I am not willing to spend that much. I know  many people don't have a problem spending $100-$150 on a nice pair of shoes or boots, but the most I ever spent was $60...and that's when I was in school and had some OSAP money. I think that my shoes average about $15.  Anyways I found a great pair of brown "leather" knee high flat boots for under $45 

The actual blog entry:
Olive, my four legged toddler.
Olive sometimes really makes my week interesting. especially the last four weeks...no, make that 2 months. I'm not entirely sure what has gotten into her. Olive was supposed to get fixed back in September, however, the surgeon was unable to come in for the day that we booked and so we rescheduled for two weeks later on October 6th. On October 5th she went into heat. Olive also has a lot of male friends, some of whom are fully intact. On Tuesdays, Olive spends the day at the in-laws, and they have a fully intact male golden retriever. So she cant go there for three weeks. I had to change my work schedule to accommodate her which wasn't too much of hassle, but if she just held off for a couple more days, we wouldn't have to deal with this fiasco. And now the surgery will likely cost more. But maybe not. lets hope for that at least.
After the whole ordeal was over we started hanging out with the neighbours dogs, Kya and Phoenix and with Kiba the golden retriever. While at their houses, Olive of course ate all food there including Milo the cat's kibbles. However, during that week and the following, Olive started puking up a storm and I would come home to the kitchen floor being covered in...well.... liquidized number 2. This happened for several days. I eventually called the vet and we fed her boiled chicken and rice for a weeks... even though you really shouldn't feed your dog grains, it was what we had to do to clean out her system. then I was at the pet store to pick up dog food, I asked about different dog brands and the girl said not to change brands because that causes diarrhea and vomiting due to their short digestive tracts...that explains why she was so sick.

Then about two weeks ago or so Olive and I went to the dog park with my my neighbour, and phoenix and Kya. Phoenix is a black lab who is one day older than Olive. He also thinks he is the same size as Olive, but is in fact at least 6 times her size. So we were all at the park when Olive decides to follow Phoenix into the long burr filled grass. Of course Phoenix who has short black hair is not really affected by the one burr attached to his side. Olive on the other hand has long curly fur. After a run through the long grass, Phoenix, the black short haired lab, makes a run for the muddy cold creek. Olive, the long/curly haired WHITE spaniel, follows him.  I had to go home with a brown, muddy, wet and soggy dog that had burrs stuck in her paws and belly and ears. I had to use almost half a bottle of doggy shampoo to tidy it all up.

This week was a whole other story. Our house is heated by a corn stove, which is amazing and amazingly cheap by the way. At night, we turn it off and the house goes down to about 13 *C at which point our baseboards kick in to make sure it doesn't dip below that. So Fritz and I were watching an episode of some show and we were enjoying some alphabet shaped pretzels. At about 10 pm our house was starting to get a bit cold so we figured we would crawl under the covers and finish the episode there.  I started to hear some funny noises coming from our living room. Fritz didn't think much of it but I was convinced that Olive was up to no good again. Sure enough as we peeked around the corner, Olive , with front paws on our coffee table,  carefully making sure not to touch the bag itself was eating our pretzels by the mouth full.!

Later that week,I bought myself a 1000 piece puzzle. It took me about one hour to get the boarder done while watching Beethoven with Olive, when I realized that Olive was chewing on two puzzle pieces!!! I managed to save one, kind of, but the other was unrecognizable, so my 1000 piece puzzle was now a 998.5 piece puzzle. At that time I was running late for an appointment so I went to the bathroom and when I came out ( which was only maybe two minutes later)  Olive had taken the entire border of the puzzle ( an hour or more of work) off the table, shook it apart and was running off to the kitchen with a chain of puzzle pieces hanging out of her mouth!!! All In could say was "Dammit Olive!" as she ran into her crate. I guess I need to start my puzzle over. Which  I did. I got all the pieces back together and some more over the next day. I would say I had about 1/3 of the puzzle done.
olive chewing my puzzle
my puzzle.










these are the seeds that I
have removed from the pods
Yesterday I decided, that since I had the afternoon off, that I would plant my tulip bulbs and clean out the front garden. (I have been harvesting my marigolds for all the seeds and I have a tonne of them so if you want to grow marigolds, you can have some of my seeds cause I have enough for an entire acre if not more)

I still have half a pail of pods
left to un-seed


it's hard to be mad
I spent maybe 30 minutes in the garden, and when I came in  I found my puzzle on the floor again in a 1000 pieces...oh wait, 998.5 pieces. But this time she chewed up some more pieces...and they were chewed to complete mush...little balls of mush cardboard! I had to throw my puzzle out :(








in the trash. There's no point now.










my tree this year
And just a while ago, right before I started writing this entry, Olive is playing with one of the Christmas balls that came from the tree! How on earth did she get that? Our tree ( a small 3ft tree) stand on top of a table/trunk thing. I looked down at my computer and then when I looked at the tree, Olive has her two front paws up on the trunk and she is reaching for another Christmas ball with her teeth! that little sneak is un-decorating my tree!









Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Tied Up



I recently saw some bow ties for sale in some shops. At Le Chateau, they can range roughly from $25 to $50. $25 seems okay for that store...but $50... not cool. Bow ties are making a comeback in all patterns and colours. So I figure, hey, I should start making bow ties. 
The first Prototype that I made I followed a you tube editorial. It was a great place to start. However, the bow part on the pattern was too long, and the neck was not adjustable. so I gave that bow tie to Olive





Then I changed the pattern from the type with the bubble shape to the paddle style. I also made the neck adjustable. I used some fabric from an old dress shirt that I was going to donate, took the hook and eyes from a bra I was about to chuck, and a metal "loop-thingy" from an old pair of suspenders that Fritz didn't like. Of course for the next couple of bow ties I will purchase actual proper parts from a fabric store (maybe). Anyways, I sewed it all together and voila, a bow tie and it actually looks good. At least Fritz says he likes the bow tie.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Best Find EVER! pt II


Alright, so right after that last blog I wrote, I was so excited about starting this project that I began right away. I used a fabric that I had gotten for free from a family friend, which is a very nice printed upholstery fabric . I had just, and I mean just enough fabric with no room for mistakes. I had to remove each panel from the dress form one by one, pinning fabric stretching it and stapling it down make sure to get as little pulling possible, which is rather difficult when your fabric has no stretch whatsoever. I spray painted the stand to give it a fresh look, used some bias tape ( which isn't tape, it's a hemming strip) to finish off the shoulders and tied a ribbon around her waist.. And the pearl necklace adds a nice touch too I think. Best find ever? I think so.


Before

removing each piece
one at a time


adding fabric to each piece

and placing each piece back on

Voila the finished piece
the before once more

The glamorized with light
version

Monday, October 24, 2011

Best Find EVER!


Yesterday, my husband and I were taking the dog for a walk and he noticed something on the ground. It took me a second to realize what it was. Just then, it started to rain and without thinking I ran home to grab the laundry off the line while my husband ran the other way to make sure the dog got at least around the block.
And a short while later he came back with the dog and the treasure. Fritz says he's taking credit for this find, however I think it's mutual because I'm not too sure if he realized what it actually was.  I guess I still haven't mentioned my self what it is.

It turns out that we found what I'm pretty sure is an antique dress form. She's in a bit of a rough shape, with stains and holes on the fabric and some rust, but the old mechanics of sliders and wing nuts is complete. I have never been this excited about a find. I have always wanted one of these, but they are pricey items, and yet here we found one on the side of the road, like it's meant to be.

I've been trying to find the actual value for her in her present condition. I have found a couple on line and they range form $100 to $800 but those ones are in pristine condition. I don't know if this one will even reach the $100 mark due to her condition, but I have great plans for her.

I would like to to replace the fabric for starters, give the legs a fresh coat of paint and completely clean her up. I can't believe I found an old dress form! This has to be my all time favourite find and I am sooo excited to fix her up and display her and I will make sure to post the results when I do.
The new treasure, in rough shape,
but so much potential!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

high/low/subterranean


I have this mind set that I can always find an item for a better price. It might not be the exact same item but I'm a person of constant change and so I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on items. One of my favorite magazines is Style at Home. I don't subscribe to it though because I just stand in the aisle and  read it. I save $7.90 per magazine that way. Usually they have an article called High/Low. This article shows two rooms, they look very similar in contents but one room is usually decorated with very beautiful, but very costly items while the other, looking  VERY similar costs only a  fraction of the price. And yet I look at the "low" room and I still think "they spent how much on a table?"
So in this blog I want to show you how you can make a"low" costing room even lower.

high: $20,893
low: $4,408

This is the outline of items and cost for the Low room.


Trendline sofa in Dash Ecru, $739, G.H. Johnson's Trading Co.
Glass-and-chrome Como coffee table, $895, Elte,
Cotton Skruvsta swivel chair in Almas Red with steel base, $199, IKEA,
Oak-and-leatherette chair, $329, Most,
Wool rug, 5' x 8', $600, HomeSense
1960s teak sideboard, $995, Zig Zag
Green ceramic table lamp with white polyester shade, $79, Shelter Furniture
Indian rosewood Pawn side table, $298, Morba
Turqoise hand-blown glass Calypsobowl, $43, Crate and Barrel,
Crosley stainless-steel-and-plastic radio, $68, Urban Outfitters
Plastic picture frames, 4" x 6", $2 each, Dollaram
White ceramic vases, $15 (tall), $6 (short), Bouclair Home
 Cushions(from left): cotton with fibrefill, $20, HomeSense
cotton floral appliqué, $45, Pier 1 Imports
silk Ikat Border cover, $34, with feather insert, $14, West Elm, westelm.com;
green appliqué with polyester insert, $23, HomeSense, homesense.ca.
cusions total: $136



Okay now keep in mind, I cannot/don't want to create an image that has a layout like this room using the items I have found. Instead I am listing the items picture and price, you can match the images, most will be obvious


dining chair with blue seat $25 for 4
(I would probably sand off the ugly red stain)

lamp (paintable)$20





lampshade $5
Antique radio $40
red accent chair $100
glass ball ( couldn't find a bowl) $5


round glass coffee table $50

rug $75


sideboard $80

side table $30

white vases $5 for both











couch $50
black frame $2 X3 ($6)
insert $2.99 X4 ($12)


fabric 7.99/m need~$20 for 4 pillows

So now if I add up my items, most of which I found on Kijiji, I com up with a grand total of ... drum roll please..... $523

So for the above room, I could pay a) $20, 893 for probably very high quality one of a kind items b) $4,408, for very similar items of less unique quality but still just as nice, or c)$523 for mostly re-run items that are still of good use.