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Category Archives: Arts and Crafts

Make it truly yours with your own special touch. My favorite–recycle an obsolete heirloom into a stunning new treasure.

Things I No Longer Buy

The frugal side of me always wonders, “can I make that?” There are a lot of things I have learned to make myself, or simply do without. I try to learn just one product at a time. Also, I like to simplify recipes whenever possible. Remember, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.)
4.Eye Cream (straight shea butter, coconut or olive oil, whatever is on hand.)
5.Dry shampoo (I keep it very basic, just arrowroot or cornstarch, cocoa, and lavender.)
6.Hair Conditioner (vinegar water rinse.)
7.Shaving Cream (Lathered soap or a little oil)
8.Deoderant (I haven’t gotten there yet, but when I run out I will try this recipe.)
9.Skin cleansers, exfoliators, and lotions (A tub of sugar and olive oil, scrubbed gently from head to toe. A light rinse, and the body has been exfoliated and moisturized. A quick spraying down of the shower may be in order…)
10.Loose Face Powder (cornstarch or arrowroot powder, tinted with cocoa powder according to your skin tone.)
11.New Clothes (I no longer buy new. I really don’t need anything, but if I did, the thrift store is where I would go. Socks and underwear must be new, though–I draw the line there.)
12.Household Cleaners (vinegar water for most cleaning, or a mixture of vinegar water and LOC–Liquid Organic Cleaner from Amway. Other cleaners (straight baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide usually does the trick. I still buy Bioquest Laundry Detergent and Dish Drops, which are very good for our private septic.)
13.Coffee Shops (I no longer feel the need. I can out-barista any coffee shop out there. Total waste of my money–unless I am running on zero sleep, then “yes please.” The same goes for restaurants. I truly enjoy my own home and my own cooking.)
14.Gym (with my fitness license, I can’t justify paying for that anymore. Also, it is so fun to explore the many fitness DVDs, most of them available for free through Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, or the library!)
15.Tanning salon (I no longer…)
16.Eggs (Because I have my own chickens! Dreams do come true.)
17.Prepared Food (I prepare everything myself. It is not very hard, and so much nicer. Remember, one thing at a time.)
18.Vanilla (This is on my list to make! Vanilla beans and vodka.
19.Gift bags (reuse, recycle. If you don’t have a gift bag to reuse, it is a good joke to wrap something in newspaper. The thrift store is also a great for baskets to arrange gifts in.)
20.Cards (If I have something cutesy to say, I write it out myself. A nice card might be $3.99 or more. A photo also works well in lieu of a card, or one of the littles can always be employed to make a beautiful card for Auntie Ruthie someone)

Just a few of the things I have grown out of buying! What do you make? What have you given up?

You will need: Construction paper, markers, glue, stickers and/or leftover confetti from a birthday party, ribbon, glitter, and any odds and ends you decide would look posh on your Fancy-Nancy ornament. Please take any artistic liberty you may wish, whether it is to alter the shape, object (don’t like boots? make it a purse! or a… coffee mug?), or decoration in any way. It is yours!

  1. Draw your boot design. Mine stands about 3 inches tall. Cut it out, and use the prototype to trace onto the construction paper as many boots as you will want. (I suggest making extra, just in case of an oops, or if you need a little gift for someone. Children are great for showering one and only of many relatives with special homemade presents, and then randomly needing mom to supply a gift for someone they haven’t seen in months! Or maybe it’s just me and my daughter?)
  2. This is an addition to step one, per the advice of my sister’s comment below! If you need a pattern, go to hit print, change page scaling from ‘fit to selected area’ to ‘multiple pages per sheet’ and number of pages per sheet to 9. Print this, cut it out, and use to trace the rest. (Unless you can figure out how to print this multiple times on the same page of cardstock paper, then do tell! This would eliminate the tracing and drawing the design on the boot, which saves a lot of time when you have many ornaments to make.) Of course there are many images available for your boot, choose whichever one suits you best.
  3. Use markers to draw a Western design on your boot. I opted for a simple paisley-type design.
  4. Use 2 matching sturdy stickers back-to-back to secure the ‘spur.’
  5. Use glitter, stickers, and your choice of pretties to glamorize your ornament.
  6. Glue a loop of ribbon onto the back, securing this on the back with a small circle of construction paper.
  7. The end result should be appealing to the whole family. Display with pride and share with joy!


I wear fascinators all the time, and am proud to have made most of them myself. What is a fascinator exactly? If you watched the Royal Nuptials this year you saw plenty of them. Simply put, it is a fancy form of headwear dating back to the 1700s, traditionally of wool, feathers, flowers, and lace. These works of art have seen a raging comeback in the last decade, and I couldn’t be more pleased. So pleased that I had to share the news! So here is your how-to for the making of a fascinator which can be worn to church, work, and beyond.

I did a little shopping and found simple flower clip fascinators selling for a minimum of $24. While most are under $100, I have seen plenty of styles in the $400-$500+ range. Do some shopping on your own and you may see one of my designs from time to time (But I like to keep them under $24 to encourage mainstream use.) Or just make your own, because it is a creative expression to be proud of!

Unless you have a large headwear budget and  plan on being on TV at the Kentucky Derby, let’s do some smart shopping, snipping, stitching, and glueing, and make several pieces for a fraction of the cost. (Good supplier is Hobby Lobby–thanks Rebecca for the tip!) For millinery-specific items (like feathers and hat bodies) check out

1. Choose your focus piece. This can be a brooch, pendant, rhinestone, or even a pretty button. Just remember it’s going to be on your head and should be worthy of such an honor.

2. Choose your base. Headband or clip? If the embellishment is small enough, a clip can be worn on with your hair down. Larger fascinator clips may need an updo to support the weight. If you do well with headbands, this may be your best option, as they can be worn with virtually any hairstyle. A pillbox is great for cocktail parties if you are lucky enough to count that as part of your daily routine!

Duckbill rubber-covered clips:

Headbands: Buy a pack of plastic ones for $1.99 at most department stores, or make your own with pretty headband elastic.

3. Sew a small circle of felt onto your base.

4. Stitch onto your felt a strip tulle,ribbon and/or lace. Arrange it loosely however you want it, so that it is unstructured yet purposeful. (Look at pictures of Kate Middleton or Audrey Hepburn for inspiration!)

5. Hot glue rhinestones, feathers, and center piece.

6. Wear with pride. When asked what the occasion, spare them the “Gone With The Wind” explanation and simply tell them that you celebrate EVERY day!


Western Woman

“Smell the flowers and drink your coffee.”