Monday, November 30, 2015

Presents, presents & gift bags!

Christmas...Birthdays...Showers...Weddings...New babies.  There are so many events that call for you to give a gift.  But, you're trying to save money and while you were so excited to get that really special gift on sale, now you are stuck having to spend money on tissue paper and a bag.  Items that before didn't seem so bad, but that $1.99 bag and $3.99 tissue paper adds up quickly! So what can you do, how do you still save money, but still be able to give a gift?  Easy!  First of all, I'm not sure who it came from originally, but I learned about it from my Mother In Love.  More than likely, it is in the Tightwad Gazette, because again, that's my Mother-in-Love savings go to.  

My Mother-In-Love taught me this trick right away.  Whenever you receive a gift from someone in a gift bag, save the bag and re-fold up the tissue paper and save as well.  Do this for every event that you get tissue paper and bags from.  Your wedding, wedding shower, baby shower, birthday, Christmas and so on.  It doesn't take long to add up, and you will be thankful for your free stash of tissue paper and bags for all occasions.  Like I said, my Mother-In-Love, taught me right away, and she helped me save all our bags and tissue paper from our wedding gifts.  Since then we have saved from birthdays, Christmas, my daughter's baby shower, her 1st birthday paper, and many other smaller occasions.  

As you have seen I'm sure, things come in groups, after our wedding we went to half a dozen other weddings within the next 2 years ourselves.  Boy did those wedding bags come in handy to re-use!  And by the way we still have some bags left for weddings :)  Then shortly after we had our daughter, we had dozens or more other baby showers to go to as well...again, thankful for those baby shower bags I already had (especially the neutral ones).  Now, there will be times you don't have a bag that works and need to buy one, but in all honesty my husband and I have been married for 5 years this past year, and have attended  at least 6 weddings, 12-15 baby showers, and who knows how many birthdays, and I have bought 2 bags, mainly because I wanted to follow a theme for them.

Now I mostly talked about gift bags but the tissue paper comes with it, and it's super easy to store as well.  To make sure that I don't go over board and run out of room for my stash of bags and tissue paper, I have come up with a system.  I only allow my self one tote for bags and one tote for tissue paper.  One tote for bags, fits a lot!  For the tissue paper tote, I divide my tissue paper up into colors (the art teacher in me), in shoe boxes.  I have one shoe box for warm; red, orange & yellows, one shoe box for cools; green, blue & purple, and then a larger box for white and fun style tissue paper.  All those boxes are in one tote along with bubble wrap and other packing items, in case I need to wrap a gift up to be more safe.  

You can get packing items and  bubble wrap for free as well.  Order any thing online, you usually get your item shipped in a box (that you can save as well if you have room), with bubble wrap or plastic that is a filler.  I save these as well.  I don't save them as much because I don't use them as often and again I don't want to overload my tote.  One thing about saving things is you need to do what works for you.  I have room to save my bags in a tote and tissue paper/bubble wrap/filler in another tote and still not feell like I'm cluttering up my house.  

So there you go a way to save on all those events that you are already trying to save on!  I hope that it helps you, and I apologize for how long this post was.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I just wanted to share about our town event coming up in December.  My town holds an event called Winterfest in December every year.  There are all sorts of fun things, from a Gingerbread House contest, to a chili cook-off.  Finally, there's the Vendor fair.  This year's Winterfest is Saturday, December 5th.  I am planning on being there with my photos and I will be having a couple of Winterfest only deals, including custom made frame sets!! 


Framed sets starting at $25.00 

Choose a word or date to have printed and framed for you.  

5 frames or less $25.00
6-7 frames $30.00
8-9 frames $35.00
10 frames $40.00

Also 4x6 prints will be available for $3.00 a piece.

Or you can custom order prints

4x6 $5.00
5x7 $10.00
8x10 $15.00 

My friend will also be selling her awesome chalkboards! 

Here are a couple examples of some she has made. 


With each purchase your name will be entered into a drawing to win a Christmas chalkboard and this framed art set.  Value of $40.00!!!

So come and check out "Small Town Pics" & "Chalk It Up"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wall Art that's cheap!

Ok, last week I mentioned this art project that we did for Christmas Creations.  Here is the how to:  

I wish I could take credit for this because it is so creative!!  It's such a great way to make an art decor for your home, and it's super cheap because believe it or not it's made from toilet paper rolls.  

Yep you read right, toilet paper rolls.  You could also use paper towel rolls. 

  I have to thank my friend Lisa Wiersma for giving me this idea.  I absolutely love this and I look forward to making some more for our house! 

Not only is it cheap, but again it's simple to make.  

1. Gather toilet paper/paper towel rolls & other supplies

2. Smush together to flatten the roll

3. Decide how thick you want to cut them and cut as many pieces as you will need.  

4. Glue pieces together.

5. Put a clothespin on the pieces you glued together until they are dried. 

6. Come up with whatever design you want! 

You can also add extra layers like my sister did. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Christmas Creations part 2

Remember my Christmas Creations post?  If you missed it, you can find it here.

This past weekend my family had our annual Christmas Creations. This was our 4th year, and, my, how things have changed.  Over the past few years there have been a few pretty significant and adorable additions made to the family, i.e., my  children. While in the past we were able to sit down and create craft after craft & enjoy some good conversation while sipping our coffee, this year we did crafts in shifts. We would start a craft and then 2 diapers, 1 nursing session, and a nap later (unfortunately not for me) we'd continue the craft. Here's a peak inside our crafting, hopefully you'll find some inspiration! 

This is what I LOVE about our Christmas Creations tradition.  There is no formality to it.  We set a date, a come and go atmosphere and we have 2-3 crafts that are available to do.  Instead of it being a day where, in the middle of the holiday rush people are focusing with the 'we need to get this done,' attitude, it's a day of family, friends and fellowship.  This day isn't about the finished product, but rather about the time spent making it, and learning how to make it to then make again for your friends or family.

Coffee is a must at our Christmas Creations!

 I just love the mess, it truly shows the creativity! 

The follwing are the 3 projects that we created this year

1. Wall Art 
Stay tuned for next week's post on the how to for this creation! 

2. Stamped books 

3. Homemade lotion 
I also have a recipe for this creation posted on my 1st Christmas Creations post

My sister showing off her beautiful wall art.  She got extra creative with hers and added different layers. 

As I said before, the best part is just sitting together and enjoying our coffee, conversation and crafting. Comment below on your favorite holiday craft!