I didn't want to use candy since my son has inherited my weak teeth and has already had to have several teeth pulled. [Not to mention the fact that he gets plenty of candy from the church people! :) ]
Then I remembered these little plastic trophies I had picked up at Dollar Tree last year because I just knew they had potential for something neat. Here's what I ended up with:
My son thought it was the greatest thing in the world, and he can't wait for the chance to display this trophy on his desk every day.
Just in case you'd like to make one (or more) of your own, let me show you the cheap supplies I used:
I paid $0.25 each for the trophies, since they came (4/pack) from Dollar Tree. The wood blocks are leftovers from some rubber stamps I unmounted. I have about 10 of these blocks lying around, so I was thrilled to find a good use for them. I just painted the block white and hot-glued the trophy to the top.
As for how we'll use the trophy ... The first thing we're going to focus on is being at our school desks on time. My kids are night owls like me (one of the "hazards" of parsonage life with all its company), so it's hard to get him adjusted to a somewhat-normal schedule when we start school. For the first week, every day that he's at his desk on time, he can keep the trophy on his desk for the day. If he's not on time, it will stay on my desk for the day.
So how excited is he about this? Well, he woke up Sunday morning with a start and looked at me wild-eyed. "When does school start?" were the first words out of his mouth. He was so anxious to get that trophy on his desk, he was afraid he had slept in! :)
I think I cut 4-5 different heart combinations before I finally hit on this idea, and I really like it.
The decorative paper is actually a notecard I picked up at a thrift store. The notecards are rather small, so this is the perfect use for that gorgeous paper. (This card is a full sheet of paper folded in half.)
I added Stickles to the inside of the heart locket, and I really liked the effect!
The inside is just blank, but I traced lines since it's hard for her to write without them. I think she'll like these, especially since they have her name AND ladybugs on them. And I even used one of the border punches she gave me! :)
My friend recently highlighted this packaging idea on her blog, and I loved it! So I decided to use it for this card set. Most people use 6x6" page protectors, but this project had 8 cards and 8 envelopes, so I had to use a larger 8x8" page protector.
See that gingham "button"? It's one of those fake buttons I made. Isn't it cute? :)
At any rate, Michaels was clearancing out their $1 section ($0.47 each), so I picked up a pack of the butterfly folders (4/pack) to try a few neat ideas I'd seen lately.
The first project is a shopping organizer. Some people go all out in decorating theirs, but my whole idea was to use a predecorated folder so I didn't have to gussy it up at all. So here is the inside:
I also picked up a magnetic list pad and sticky notes in the same butterfly theme (both $0.47/pack) so that I could make it all match inside. (I'm giving these sets to my Secret Sisters next month.) The idea is that you can hang the magnetic list pad on the fridge and then rip off your list as you're heading out the door and put it in this pocket. If I had it to do over, I'd make one of those coupon pockets into a pocket for receipts.
Here's what the outside looks like when it's all folded up and tied together:
It's a little bit odd-shaped since I had to modify the original directions to fit the list pad I had. But if you're interested in making one, I used the basic directions from this tutorial. (And while you're there, take a look around at her blog. I love her style!)
I still had two folders left and another project to try, so this next one is like a portfolio for one of those mini legal pads:
Here is the outside. It looks like it needs a little something, and I'm still thinking on it. :)
Here is the inside:
One of the things I liked the most about this project is that the legal pad can come out and be replaced when you're done with it. (It just slips into the pocket, and that's what holds it in.) I need to add a Velcro closure to this yet, but I ran out of Velcro, so I'm waiting until I get out to the store again to add it.
I followed the tutorial here, and it's one of the easiest and clearest tutorials I've ever tried. Look around her blog, too, because she has great ideas!!
First of all, I found the equivalent of a Magic Eraser mop head at Dollar Tree. [NOTE: Magic Erasers are made out of melamine foam - no chemicals whatsoever.] The mop head was $1 and the mop it fits on was $1, so I paid $2 for a mop to make washing down my walls easier. Even if it only lasts for one time, I'll be happy to have paid only $2 for it. :)
I also found some new wall stickers at Dollar Tree, and I picked up three of my favorites. Aren't they awesome? I've already put two other sayings on my craft room walls, and I'm debating which room these will go into.
Then I found adhesive at Tuesday Morning. It's similar to Terrifically Tacky Tape, but not quite as strong. However, I'm thrilled with it. It's as strong as I need it to be, and I was able to buy 5 packs of it (the equivalent of 10 packs of TTT) for the price of one pack of Terrifically Tacky Tape.
On another note, my parents just left and now I need to think about getting the guest room converted into our school room for homeschooling to start next week.
So I guess this will be a quick recap, in case there are any deals you're interested in for the week ... Wal-Mart
- raisins and spreadable butter - regular price
- Pull-Ups flushable wipes - $0.14 each after coupons (I used the last of my coupons.)
- 2 packs metallic colored staples - $1.00 each (see picture below)
- brads and binder clips - regular price, just needed to restock my craft supplies
- kitchen timer - $1.00 (to use in our 15-minute reading time during homeschooling, since I can get carried away and read for a LONG time)
- addition flashcards - $1.00 (The ones I used last year have grown legs and walked away somewhere ... )
- soy sauce - $1.00
- 20 2-pocket portfolios - $0.01 each (each makes 2 gift "portfolios" like I made here)
- 3 packs (2/pack) blunt-tip Westcott kids' scissors - $1.99 for all
- Colgate Total with Whitening toothpaste - $1.00 profit after coupon and Single Check Rebate
- 2 packs Kotex pads - $0.50 each after coupons and Single Check Rebate
Here's a closeup of those cool metallic staples:
Then, of course, I stopped in at Michaels, hoping to figure out what I wanted with that 50% off coupon I've been carrying around for a week. Since I got a gift card from my sister-in-law for my birthday, I had a little more wiggle room. Well, I was just in time for weekly markdowns. Now all of their summer clearance is down to 80% off. Maybe next week it will be 90% off! If so, I know of a few things I'm going to snatch up if they're still there! Check out what I got anyway:
- Strathmore drawing paper (200 sheets) - $3.50 with coupon (needed for school)
- 7 pairs of flip flops for next year's Cousin Camp - $0.20 each (We'll decorate them as a craft, and then they can use them. They might not last a LONG time, but they'll at least last through the week.)
- 8 paintable frog frames for next year's Cousin Camp - $0.20 each
- 1 pack of 6 blank notebooks to decorate at next year's Cousin Camp - $0.79
- 3 foamie craft kits to use as art projects in schoolwork - $0.49 each
And finally, from the $1 section that was reduced while I shopped, I got these for $0.47 each:
- pack of 4 decorative file folders (I wanted to try out a project I've seen that used them.)
- pack of decorative recipe cards (I needed some for when people want my recipes.)
- 6 journals to use in gift baskets
- 2 packs (80 sheets each) Mary Englebreit sticky notes (I really like them, and they're one of my "little luxuries".)
I was quite pleased with my finds, especially at Michaels!
If you've ever priced homeschool supplies from the manufacturer, they can be quite pricey. Not only that, but if you teach your child manuscript writing in Abeka K-2, there aren't many instructional visuals available from Abeka for handwriting. (They've been phasing them out the last few years.)
I said all that to say this: I wanted a set of alphabet wall cards that show formation of the manuscript letters the way Abeka teaches them. I searched eBay but couldn't find what I was looking for. Then it hit me: I can make my own!
Here I've used a set from Dollar Tree that I've had for several years now. It used to serve as a sort of border in my son's bedroom. Then we used it last year in homeschooling until he learned his ABCs.
So, what did I do to it? I just used a black permanent marker (ultra fine point) to trace the arrows, made sure they were going in the right direction (Abeka teaches a tiny bit different than these charts), and numbered each step. The arrows were already there in red; I just used contrasting black to trace over them and make them more visible. I also added black dots to indicate where each letter is started, just like in the Abeka handwriting books.
It is very important to make sure you put the arrows going in the right direction. I thought I should stress this because there were several letters that the arrows were going the wrong direction in the original arrow. I just added the arrowhead on the appropriate end, and it worked wonderfully!
And in case you're wondering why I'm adamant about teaching manuscript first, I think it's important that everybody learns to print. After all, there are some documents (like job applications) that require you to print. I learned cursive writing in 3rd grade, and it hasn't hurt me one bit. My handwriting is very legible, and it comes in handy to know both printing and cursive. Just my two cents on the issue ... :)
This is what I got on an all-purpose shopping trip to the drugstores, Wal-Mart and Michaels: Walgreens
- Softsoap Nutra Serum body wash - FREE after Register Reward
- 2 pkgs Trident gum - $0.15 each after sale and coupon
- Renuzit Crystal Elements - FREE after coupon and Single Check Rebate
- 4 bottles child's craft paint (4 ozs each) - $0.25 each after Single Check Rebate
- barn birdhouse for Cousin Camp next year - $1.25 ("as is" sale)
- 2 pkgs (6/each) paint-your-own rubber ducks for Cousin Camp next year - $1.19/pkg (clearance)
- 3 pkgs small Cuttlebug embossing folders (reg. $5.99) - $0.99 each (clearance) I'm using these as stocking stuffers for my kids! See the close-up below for better detail:
- light bulbs for chandelier - $2.69 (I got the wrong size last time!)
- coffee creamer - ?? (I forget the price, but it was the cheapest. My husband likes it just as well as the name brands.)
- binder clips - $1.15 (?) (I'll try to remember to link to a fabulous idea by Lauren Meader using these!)
- 6 pkgs Pull-Ups flushable wipes - $0.15 each after coupons
- 2 boxes baking soda - $0.04 each after coupon
As you can see, I got some great deals! I also managed to find two khaki skirts while we were thrifting this week. I've been looking for one for about three years now. I'm very picky and pretty hard to fit, so it was wonderful to finally find not one, but two. And they're great brands, too - Liz Claiborne and Talbots!
Well, some ingenious lady over at Splitcoaststampers has a tutorial on her blog for how to make your own with decorative paper. You can check out her tutorial here. I think it's in German, but the pictures are pretty self-explanatory.
You punch out 4-5 shapes in your chosen paper. (You can use a decorative paper for the top layer and plain cardstock for the bottom layers, if you like.) Then you glue them together, with your chosen design on top. Make the button "holes" with a Cropadile or tiny circle punch, "sand" the edges with a pair of scissors, and add Crystal Effects (or other similar product) to the top. Let it dry, and you have a cute decorative button!
I just love blogs and how sharing people are, don't you? Blogs have saved me tons of money!
I used the free curtain clip art (aka digital stamp) from Leaves of Time. You can find it here at the bottom of the page. The beauty of digital stamps is that you can reverse and resize them if you need to. And that's exactly what I did. I measured the length of the picture I wanted to frame, then resized the curtain accordingly. Since it wouldn't reach the whole way across the picture, I reversed it and printed a second one so I could overlap them as much as I needed.
These images came from one of those page-a-day calendars that I got on clearance earlier this year.
To make the windowsill, I just cut a 3/4" piece of cardstock to fit the window frame, then used my Creative Memories fancy corner rounder at two edges.
A tiny trick to these cards is finding the right kind of background paper. It has to look something like wallpaper, so the design can't be too big.
I really like how these turned out, and they were quite easy!
I almost forgot to tell you how I made the "window panes". I just cut 1/8" strips of cardstock and then glued them onto the main image.
So ... any ideas for sentiments on the inside of these cards? :)
The sunflower ...
... and the rose.
The only problem I see with these is that the original cap will not fit on the pen when you're done. But they're really cute, and I don't know how much difference that will make anyway. I guess I'll find out!
You can find the tutorial here.
I used a calendar picture for this one, as well as my Sizzix Endless Love alphabet and EK Success fleur de lis border punch.
For this one, I used an illustration from a gift book, as well as my Sizzix Endless Love alphabet.
You can find more of my altered notebooks here, here and here. And you can find the directions on how to do them here.
At Dollar Tree, I found these fun 4x6" mini file folders: There were 25 in a pack for $1, and as you can see, the design is double-sided. I thought they'd be cute to use in cardmaking, but the very first thing I did with them was make each of my kids a mini notebook by stapling paper inside. My son is using his as his "spy notebook". :)
Then at Michaels almost half the store was on clearance.
The purse-shaped board books were down to $0.60 (from $1) in the Fun Finds section. The cardstock was in the "Bent and Dent" bin since it was missing 1 out of 50 sheets. It was regularly $4, but I got it for $1. I'd say that was a pretty good trade-off for one sheet of paper! :)
Then I used a 50% off coupon on the Beacon adhesive. I've been using more "lumpy bumpy" things on my cards, and I needed a quick-setting adhesive for them.
I had an enjoyable two hours of browsing, and I didn't break the budget!
One bag I opened yielded about 10 pairs of pants in Dad's size, as well as 3 tops for Mom ... and that's just one bag.
I think I'm getting to the kids' clothing now. I've already put aside several shirts for my son.
When I'm done, I just might post a picture of how much came out of this. I think I have five large garbage bags to donate to my favorite local thrift store. (Those are the clothes that we won't use and the missionaries we send to can't use.) I probably have another five large garbage bags to send to missionaries. I just can't get over how much stuff is there!
- 12 spiral-bound notebooks (6/customer) - $0.01 each
- Handy-Lines retractable dry erase markers - FREE after rebate
- 4 pkgs Stayfree pads - $1.00 each after sale and BOGO coupon
- 6 small notebooks to alter - $0.19 each
- 2 packs BIC pens - FREE after sale and coupon
- 2 boxes Band-Aids - FREE after sale, coupons and Register Rewards
- 2 cans cream of mushroom soup - $0.29 each after sale and coupon
- 2 gel insoles - FREE after rebate and coupons
- 1 shoe support insert - FREE after rebate and coupon
I got a few more things at Wal-Mart, but nothing that was on special. I just needed to restock a few basics.
BUT as I dropped off a load of bags at my favorite local thrift store, I saw that they were running a special today: adult clothes were $0.10 each. Since I knew my mom needs some clothes, I decided I needed to take a few minutes and look. In addition to the clothing below, I also got the big rack you see in the first picture above. It's an old cassette tape holder, but I'm thinking of using it for ink pad storage (if my husband doesn't commandeer it for his preaching cassette collection). It was only $1.
Oh, and the sheet music was $0.01 per book, so I got all they had to use in crafting. I love those old-timey music scores!
Here are four shirts I got for my mom ...
... and five skirts ...
... and one pair of jeans and two pair of dress pants for my dad.
Not only that, but a family from our church just donated about 10 huge garbage bags of leftover yard sale clothing to the church. They told me to go through it and pick out anything I wanted and send the rest to missions. Well, since we send mostly to the Mexican and Indian populations, they have requested that we not send anything above a certain size, which they can't use.
It just so happens that my parents wear those sizes. So I was thrilled to pieces when I saw another pair of jeans for my dad, several shirts for him, as well as night clothes and some dressy blouses for my mom ... and I still have more than 3/4 of the bags to look through! I haven't even gotten to the children's clothing yet, which may yield some nice things for my kids. (I'm not sure since several other families picked through those already, but I'm not complaining!)
Again, I used the bottom of a check box (mine came blank) to make a slider box. The digital image is from Leaves of Time, that new-to-me clip art/digital image site I just posted about last night. The sentiment is from Studio G.
I used my BIC Mark-Its to color the image. Then I used a Stampin Up color spritzer tool ($3 from a yard sale) with a regular blue marker for the sponged sky effect. Then I used cheapo Dollar Tree gold glitter glue to mimic sand. I squeezed a dab onto the image and then rubbed it around with my finger. It was perfect! It gave me the glittery look of sand, as well as the texture.
Here's a little closer look at that:
And here you can see what I filled it with ...
... a half dozen of the best chocolate chip cookies known to mankind. (Yes, they're that good, and no, the recipe isn't original with me. You can find it here. I don't make them mammoth-sized.)
I think he'll like it. :)
She offers tons of free images here, and if you love her style as much as I do, you'll find collections for sale here. There are even (free) files to make your own background (digital) paper here!
Let me know if you use any of the images because I'd love to see your ideas. Of course, I'll post any I might come up with, too.
Oh, and if you happen to purchase one of her clip art packages, please let me know how many images are in the set. :) I'm thinking these just might end up on my wish list!
This is the first card I've made with the stamps, and I can already see that I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of them! This Bible and flower image can be used for almost any occasion - sympathy, birthday, thinking of you, anniversary ... you get the idea.
So let me share the card with you:
I was inspired by the layout of this card on Splitcoaststampers.
Supplies: stamps (Spiritual Sketches by Inkadinkado, Studio G sentiment and rose image); paper (Provo Craft, American Crafts); ink (BIC Mark-Its, Krylon gold leafing pen, Versamark); dimensionals; EK Success fleur de lis border punch; scallop scissors.
Just a few things to bring to your attention:
- Check out the real gold leafing on the pages of the Bible! I bought the Krylon gold leafing pen for $0.99 at Ollie's a few months ago, and it was perfect for this. It really gives it that authentic look, since almost all Bibles have the gold leafing on the pages.
- You might not notice it, but I used my Versamark pad to stamp two coordinating rose images in the top right and lefthand corners.
I made eight of these to have on hand, since I seem to run out of sympathy cards the fastest around here.
As I was browsing new cards at Splitcoaststampers last night, I saw this card and thought it would make a nice basis to use as a sketch for one of my horse stamps. So here's my version, with different stamps and accessories.
Supplies: clear stamps (Inkadinkado horses, Studio G sentiment); Sizzix fence die; Making Memories star-shaped eyelets; SU Chocolate Chip ink; paper (American Crafts, Making Memories).
I really like how it turned out!
And then, we'll be starting homeschooling (1st grade this year!), which usually requires my undivided attention for a few weeks until we get into a groove.
So, you see, my calendar is quite busy. I'm not complaining, but I thought I should explain why my once-daily blog might be a bit more infrequent for awhile. :)
I've also turned the comments onto "moderated" since I've had some annoying spam comments here and there. I catch most of them, but sometimes they pop up in unexpected places, and I don't catch them for several days. Lest anyone think I sponsor the sites they link to, I've just decided to make it easier on myself. (Not that the sites are obscene. It's just that my blog isn't about free advertising for a company I have no experience with.) So don't panic if your comment isn't posted right away!
Thanks for understanding!
- I did the bulk of my shopping for the week today since there were so many good deals that were going to "expire" the beginning of this week. Most of the drugstore and grocery deals are gone by the time Monday evening rolls around, so I've learned to go early on Mondays if there are good deals to be had. And then sometimes they're gone before Monday morning, but we don't shop on Sundays! Today was a profitable trip! Look what I got for $28.65:
And here's the breakdown, in case you're interested ...
- GE Long Life light bulbs (2-pk) - FREE after SCR
- EZ Start Duck tape - FREE after SCR
- Wisp flameless candle (French vanilla scent) - $0.49 after 75% clearance and SCR
- Wart Remover - FREE after SCR
- Crest Pro-Health Whitening toothpaste - FREE after SCR
- Natrol Probiotic capsules - $3.00 profit after coupon and SCR
- 2 mini sewing kits - $0.44 on 75% clearance
- Zantac 150 tablets (8 ct) - $5.00 profit after SCR and separate manufacturer's rebate
- Renu MultiPlus contact lens solution (two 8 ozs bottles) - FREE after SCR
- 12-pk Mug Root Beer cans - $1.65 average after sale and coupons
- 12-pk Pepsi cans - $1.65 average after sale and coupons
- 12-pk Wild Cherry Pepsi cans - $1.65 average after sale and coupons
- 12-pk Dr. Pepper cans - $1.65 average after sale and coupons
- stool for my daughter (not pictured) - $0.99
- 3 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (2/pk) - $0.17 each after sale, coupons and Bonus Bucks
- 3 Dawn Direct Foam dish soaps - $0.67 each after sale, coupons and Bonus Bucks
- 3 Dawn Simple Pleasures - $0.17 each after sale, coupons and Bonus Bucks
- 3 Dawn Plus Hand Renewal - $0.67 each after sale, coupons and Bonus Bucks
- Disney Princess plate - $0.49 on clearance (for a gift)
- Disney Princess playground ball - $1.74 on clearance (for a gift)
- 3 flexible rulers - $0.29 each
- 3 mini legal pads - $0.19 each
- Vitamin shampoo - FREE after Register Rewards (This stuff smells good enough to eat!!)
Staples (between my husband and I)
- 10 pkgs notebook paper - $0.01 each
- 4 pkgs Delta Elite gel pens (my husband's favorite pen) - $1.00 each
- Cocoa Krispies - FREE after coupon (from Vocalpoint mailer)
- 3 Cheesy Hash Browns Hamburger Helper - $0.75 each after coupon
- 2 Arm & Hammer baking sodas - $0.04 each after coupon
- 3 Musketeers bar (not shown) - FREE after coupon
- 5 lbs sugar - $4.58
- bananas - $2.18
- lettuce - $1.00
- Blue Bonnet spreadable margarine - $2.46
- A1 steak sauce - $0.98 after coupon
- 1 lb taco-seasoned ground turkey - $1.00
Then I had a 50% coupon for Michaels (the only kind I use any more) and decided to stop in to see if they had lots more clear stamps like I've heard reports in other stores. Sure enough, they had so many I was like a kid in a candy store! I limited myself to one set, though. Check it out:
The clear stamps are by Inkadinkadoo, simply called Horses. They were regular $9.99, and my coupon made them just $4.99 plus tax.
I got the two bags of larger pearly beads at Rite Aid in their $1 bins. I stumbled upon them quite by accident, and I was thrilled to find them. There are almost 200 in each bag (give or take 5), and these same beads were 20/$1 even at Dollar Tree! The pearly effect is my favorite for my hat pins I use on cards.
So there you have it, another great week of deals, and still on budget!
Sorry for the week's absence! As you may have guessed, I never intended to have an entire week without posting. We visited family and took in our conference's main church camp, though, so I do have an excuse (er, reason).
We had a good time visiting family and attending camp this year. Last year was extremely stressful since my son broke his arm and my husband and son got some sort of intestinal flu the entire week of camp meeting. This year, our kids are older and easier to entertain (especially with a bunch of cousins around), and we were able to get into almost all of the services. It was so nice, especially since they just air conditioned the tabernacle this year!
Anyway, while we were away, I was planning to show you how Cousin Camp went. But I got too busy getting ready to go, and my posts weren't lined up in time. So maybe next week I'll try to share those details.
For today, let me share some of last week's good deals with you ... We live in the land of one "bent and dent" store that has been steadily raising prices, so I'm always thrilled to get to go to the stores by my parents. This first store is called Surplus Outlet, and I was extremely pleased with the deals!
8 Breakfast Breaks cereal packs (cereal cup, milk carton, graham crackers) - $0.25 each (I wouldn't usually buy these, but since we were headed to camp and my kids aren't morning people, they came in handy!)
Then I went to Wenger's, another "bent and dent" store close to our church camp and got this:
- 2 packages Pillsbury Best Bread Flour - $1.29 each
- 2 boxes Food Lion graham crackers - $1.49 each
- Heinz mustard - $0.34
- 2 boxes (32 count) Always Infinity pads - $1.79 each
- 2 primary-ruled composition books to use in homeschooling - $0.50 each
- cocoa powder - $4.50 or so
- active dry yeast - around $10.00 (This should be enough to last me through Christmas, since I make all of our bread.)
On the way back home, we stopped in at a Goodwill to stretch our legs halfway. It was just as well since we avoided a traffic jam and got some good deals in the process.
- large IKEA abacus in excellent condition - $3.00
- Wilton Numbers Set cake pans, brand-new in packaging - $2.00 (I saw that a used set went for $36 + shipping on eBay recently!)
- ImaginIff board game (complete) - $3.00
- lots of great books, mostly 3/$1 (including those "compendium" children's books on the right)
What's even better yet is that we stayed on budget and had a blast! :)