Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Random Thriftiness: Papa Murphy's Pizza

Years ago, our local Fred Meyer had Papa Murphy's coupons printed on the backs of the receipts.  They were pretty much the same deal as the Papa Murphy's coupons that came in the weekly coupon mailers/newspaper, so I didn't pay too much attention to them, but then I noticed that while the mailer coupons were inching up in price ($7 for a one topping, for example, and only $2 off of a large pizza), the ones on the back of the receipts still had a $6 one-topping coupon, and $3 off any size pizza.  They didn't have an expiration date, so I started hoarding them.  Good thing too, because eventually the receipts caught up with the regular coupons, and then they quit printing them at all!

I am also terrible about pulling receipts out of the bottom of the grocery bag after putting the groceries away. I'm already tired from buying the groceries, hauling them home, and putting them away--dealing with the receipts is just a step too far ;).  The benefit of this is that for a while,when cleaning out the basement or the pantry, I would find old receipts with coupons on the back tucked into the bottom of old grocery bags. Score!

But.  I'm not satisfied with JUST having the lowest possible coupon price for my pizza.  Because I have a problem.  The Boy likes Hawaiian (Canadian bacon and pineapple) pizza.  Little Sister will only eat cheese pizza.  If you order half-Hawaiian, half-cheese, you pay for a two-topping pizza.  So here's what I do--I order a half-Canadian bacon, half-pineapple pizza.  I pay $6 for my large one-topping pizza, then before baking, I move all of the meat over to the pineapple side.  Well, actually I spread out the pineapple a little so that the Hawaiian side is a little more than half--The Boy eats more than Little Sister does.

So!  That's how I get my $12.00 pizza for six bucks!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Upcycled Elastic-Waist Skirts

Guess who wasn't in the mood to have pictures taken of her new skirts?

Good guess.
My friend gave me a few of her old maxi-dresses, which easily made skirts for Little Sister with plenty left over in case I want to make myself a matching skirt or possibly summer dresses for Little Sister.

There's another one too, but I wasn't getting photos of that one today.

No pictures, please.
A condition of me taking any pictures at all was that she would wear this pink sweatshirt dress on her head, long-hair style.

Don't even think about removing my sweatshirt hair!
It was a really simple skirt to make--I just cut panels out of the dress (the little ruffle between tiers was already there) and the lining, using the existing hem, and attached them to an elastic waistband using this easy method.  I made the top layer a little longer than the lining.

She did cooperate for a second and almost gave me a smile.

She wanted to try out an updo.
Before deciding she'd rather look at the pictures than be in them...

Let me see!

Attack of the pink-haired monster

Aaaaand we're done here.

Maybe I'll get pics of the other skirt at some point too?  She pretty much just wants to rotate between the two of them for her wardrobe every day.  The length is a perfect compromise between the "long-long to the floor" skirts she really wants and the practical short skirts I will let her wear so that she doesn't trip on them, and it's a hard length to find in store-bought skirts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Upcycled Infinity Scarves

One of the types of items I had for sale at the craft show that I did were upcycled infinity scarves.  I have made several of these before, but these were a little different.  One, because I used a different fabric on the inside and outside of the scarf.  This was great because I got to play with coordinating fabrics, which I love, and also this was great because I could use smaller sweaters, AND I could have leftovers to make matching armwarmers.  When I made scarves all out of one sweater, it had to be a pretty big sweater and I had to use all the material from the sleeves as well to get the scarf to be long enough.  But this way, I could save the sleeves to make into cute snuggly matching armwarmers!

So, want to see some examples?  And my fantabulous modeling skills?

I threw in that upper right one of me gazing into middle distance for some variety.
Note to self--iron the wrinkly bedsheet if you plan to use it as a photo backdrop.

This one's the only one that's not upcycled from an old sweater--this is the same vintage sweater knit I used to make my stretchy pencil skirt with pockets.  But the black secondary fabric is an upcycled nightshirt!

These actually all had matching armwarmers, but some of the photos looked ridiculous didn't come out so you'll have to use your imagination.

A friend suggested I photograph these sets while sitting on a swing, holding the chains.  That would be perfect!  Now if I could only get one of my kids to take pictures of me swinging, instead of whining for me to push THEM on the swings when we're at the park! But really--it would be a pretty great way to get a scarf and armwarmers both in the shot in a little less awkward-looking manner, if I could just figure out how to get that picture taken.

The scarves are all slightly different sizes, since they were cut from different sweaters, but the range was that I cut two panels that were each between 7.5 and 10 inches wide and between 52 and 60 inches long.  Both of those panels were usually pieced together from cutting up sweaters and t-shirts, but when I used jersey sheets or yardage of knit fabric on the back, I was able to cut one long panel for the non-sweater side.  I assembled my two panels into an infinity scarf using this tutorial--the explanation for joining the two ends together is SO MUCH EASIER TO UNDERSTAND than the way I have been doing it!

I've been working on a big new batch of these, since I'm going to do a couple more shows before Christmas and I sold all but three of the 13 I made for the last craft fair!  I'm really excited about some of them--I will not be sad AT ALL if they don't sell and I have to keep them.  A girl can never have too many scarves, am I right?  Or I guess I could give them out to my friends as Christmas presents, if I decide not to be selfish.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I did a craft show!

I did my very first craft show this weekend, at my son's elementary school.  It felt like a pretty good way to give it a try--I had a reason to be involved, a portion of my sales were donated to the school, it wasn't a huge event.  I was really excited and nervous when I was accepted, but I am so glad I did it!

There was very little information about how much traffic would be at this fair, so my main concern was inventory.  I had pretty much NOTHING when I found out I was doing the show, 4 weeks exactly before the event.  I spent all of my spare time shopping and sewing up until the week before the show, when I started tagging and figuring out a display.  I am so lucky that I have a mom and MIL who also do art shows, because they hooked me up when it came to the booth.  Oh, AND I'm lucky that neither of them were doing a show last weekend!  If I'm going to do more shows (which I think I will), I'm going to need to buy some stuff for displays because I probably won't always be able to borrow their stuff!

Speaking of which, here's how my display turned out:

Fleece hats up on the left, coloring wallets down on the table, headbands in the middle,
and upcycled scarves and armwarmers on the right.  

Ignore the stuff stacked up on the stage behind me--even though it was kind of an ugly backdrop for my booth, I actually loved my spot because the stage functioned as an extra counter space behind my booth for me to spread out my stuff!  I will definitely need to be more organized next time when I don't have that luxury.  I was shuffling bags/stickers/receipts and stuff more than I wanted to be since I didn't have a great system in place.

I felt really good during the show.  There was constant traffic, and because it was a fundraiser for the school people were in a generous mood, and there were a lot of familiar faces of parents I'd seen around the school.  I'm not sure if I would feel more awkward at a show in a less-familiar venue, but I was surprised that I didn't feel more weird about hawking my wares to strangers.

One of the reasons I wanted to do the show was to see how people responded to the different products I have.  I mean, I think it's all cool, but you never know what the people are going to want.  So I learned a lot about where to put my time when creating inventory, and also I have some ideas for how to rework the displays to allow customers a better look at things.

Now that I've started looking into other events, I realize how spoiled I was at this one--the event was one day only, just 5 hours!  Now I've been looking at other applications and finding out that they are two 9 hour days, and thinking, Nope!  I don't want to give up my whole weekend sitting at a table!  But I will probably have to just bite the bullet and do it--I still have a lot of inventory to sell!

Speaking of inventory, I'm planning on juicing up my poor forlorn Etsy site with some of the leftover product.  Which means I'll have to cross my fingers for cooperative young heads to model some hats and headbands.  Not sure if that will be happening this week!  But when it does, I will update my link.  The photos, aarrrgh--that is the reason why I just can't keep my Etsy site up to date!  Anybody else have that problem?