Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make Your Own Customizable Coupon Storage

In my efforts to save a little cash these days I have started to clip coupons... lots of coupons.  My dollar store coupon book is just not cutting it anymore.  I've seen some people use a business card holder for a binder.  This is a great idea since it has tons of clear storage and you can readily see everything.  Plus it's expandable.  I was thinking a little more along the lines of what can I use that I already have.  I really did not want to spend money on anything since I am trying to save money not spend it.

That's when it hit me.  I bought a big box of store brand heavy duty sheet protectors a long time ago for something.  I think I got them on a really good sale and couldn't pass it up so the box of 100 came home with me.  I've used a few here and there.  They are really great for holding recipes.

So here is my idea in tutorial form.

Make Your Own Customizable Coupon Storage

What you will need:

Plastic sheet protectors.  (The heavy duty ones are nice and probably a little more durable but I've also used regular weight and those are just fine too.)
Sewing machine
embroidery scissors or something that has a sharp point.

First you are going to fold the sewing lines.  I like to have 6 pockets per page.  You will need to fold some coupons but most of them will fit perfectly.  Fold up the plastic to divide the longer length into three sections.  Make sure to crease the plastic enough that it leaves a line. 

Next fold the other way exactly in half.  If you don't want to have to fold any of your coupons you would want to eliminate this step so you will only have 3 long pockets.

Now sew along all of those lines. 

I also like to sew along the outside edge to give it a little more support.

Now take your embroidery scissors and at the top of the squares you just sewed up poke a little hole being careful to only go through one layer of the plastic and cut along the top of that square. 

You don't have to cut along the top two squares because it will already be open but before you start cutting make sure the opening is at the top.  If not you will just need to sew the openings closed and use your scissors to cut a new opening.

I was worried that once I made the cuts in the plastic it would split and keep going but the stitching really helps hold everything in place nicely.

I prefer the 6 pockets per page even though I have to fold some.  I like to be able to quickly grab all of them at once and look through them especially if I'm in the supermarket.

I continually work on the organizing but it has been such a time saver for me.  I hope you can find it helpful too.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Handbag

My new summer catch all handbag.

It is so large and roomy.  I made this on a whim this afternoon.  The kids were playing quietly.  I had an hour or so before dinner.  Why not?  Lately it can take me forever to finish a project.  I have a dress and a shirt started, a bag, 4 weight watchers covers and 5 dining chairs half slipcovered.  So it's amazing that I could even find the brain space to think about and finish this bag.

This is the first time that I have done one fabric slip pockets.  Why have I not done these before?  I have always sewn together two pieces of fabric, turned them right side out trying to get everything straight and poking the corners out then ironing.  The single layered fabric is so much more professional and clean looking.

I've had these bamboo handles hanging around for about 2 years now.  The fabric I picked up at a local warehouse retailer.  It's a nice sturdy, soft decor bond.  I interfaced the body of the bag with fusible fleece. 

This is my new summer bag.  I have been itchin for one for a couple weeks but nothing was hitting me until today.  I'm so happy how everything came together.

I am going to try and add this as my first tutorial.  I was having a few technical difficulties getting my scanner to work but I had a moment the other day and figured it out.  Is this a pattern?  A moment with my scanner, a moment with my bag...I can't wait for what's next!   It should be a moment with a bottle of cleaner and some paper towels to clean off the front of my stove..ewwwww...

Ahhh, MY bag.  I just like to look at it.  Now I have to go somewhere tomorrow just so I can use it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grey Days, Baking & Sewing

They are inevitable, grey days.  Looks like we are headed for an entire week of them.  Of course this would be the week I chose to get back on Weight Watchers.  Real nice considering if I'm stuck in the house I usually end up baking.  Who bakes healthy things? Certainly not me.  If I'm really into the whole weight loss, healthy thing it's usually not a problem to resist such temptations.  Really I'm not usually a dieter.  I have stuck with weight loss in spurts and I have lost weight and I pride myself in the fact that I usually don't put it all back on, some of it though. 

This will also be a good time to get some things done inside.  Like putting away the umpteen baskets of laundry which have started to spill onto the floor.  It's a little a ridiculous when your kids stand on top of a pile and yell, "King of the mountain!" 

I do have some sewing projects too that I've been itchin to do for weeks.  Since the weather has been so nice we've been trying to get out every chance we can.  I just picked up a few new patterns for dresses, shirts and a sweater. 

I lucked out the other day while I was at the Salvation Army looking for some new work jeans for my husband.  It is the only time I have not been able to find him any but I did score this sewing machine!  I was so psyched.  I have never sewn on a machine newer than the late 70's and I'm too cheap to ever spend money on a new one.  If it sews a good straight line and a zig zag it's good enough for me.  I paid $19.99 for this one.  I found a new one just like it on Ebay for $245.  Just that fact makes me love the machine!  I do have to make note it needed a few tweaks to the bobbing casing and a foot but other than that it's in great shape.

Ok, so now onto the baking...Today's Grey Day baking is a 6 Week Bran Muffin.  This was a favorite of our family growing up.  You throw everything together and only bake what you need.  The batter lasts for...6 weeks.  Although we use it up well before that.  It's so nice to have fresh baked muffins without taking the time to put all the ingredients together.  Here's the recipe:

These are not your typical earthy, crunchy bran muffins if you can't already tell from the ingredients.  I only had good comments about them.  Try em, your gonna like em!

6 Week Bran Muffins

1 15-20oz Bran Flakes or Raisin Bran
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 quart buttermilk

Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container in fridge.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 mins.

After awhile they can get a little heavy so you can add another egg or baking soda.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today we woke up early, showered and ate up our pancakes.  We set out to pick up my friend and her daughter then off to a new consignment shop.  Let's just say that was a weird experience so we picked up the paper and made our plan for hitting as many tag sales as we can.  It's always interesting with the kids you never know who's going to throw the first fit. 

Today was sunshine and warmth and everyone seemed to be in a good mood.  We spent a couple hours going from sale to sale and I had absolutely nothing to show for it except for a growling stomach.  So it was off to Panera for a well deserved lunch.  It was time to bring our friends home but there was one tag sale sign I wanted to hit before we headed home.

I hit the jackpot!  I love those sales that are out in the boonies on a Friday.  You can be sure there's gonna be something you'll want.  I scored all this for $10.  Ok, the flowers were not included those were added as soon as we got home.   With more than half the day spent in the car the girls were ready for some outdoor play time.  

We discovered this cute little fella.  We cleaned out the last flower bed and added fresh mulch.   The girls made a new home for 3 wormmies and gathered a bunch of rocks for the bottom of our old bucket so we could add the flowers above.  I love these days.  It's gonna be a great summer.

Back to my finds.  I loved this shade.  Perfect for my living room.  I wasn't too crazy about the light holder that went with it but I think I'll grubby it up and it will be cute.  She wouldn't let the shade go without it.  It was really surprising the nice shape the shade was in since you could tell this all came straight out of an old barn and had been there for quite sometime.

I made up my mind I wanted to do some container gardening this year and I found these.  I felt so good after this tag sale and my iced coffee was starting to kick in.  I said girls, we're going on the hunt for some more tag sales.  I got them singing songs about tag sales and then we kept driving, and driving...and well, we never did find any more sales but it was still a good day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Day in May

I love these poppies.  I just got in some alligator clips so I could use them for hair clips.  I love the look of flowers in swept up hair.  It's so romantic.

I've recently discovered making your own buttons.  It's a lot of fun and I found myself just making some flowers so I could make some buttons to match.  I can always use the flowers since I send them out with every order I sell on Etsy.  I'll continue to do it for as long as I can but I really enjoy making them and I've got a pretty good stock of them ready to go.  It's good mindless work to do while watching evening tv and winding down at the end of the day, plus it uses up a few of my little scraps.

New Weight Watchers 3 month Journal and Pocket Guide covers are in the works.  I can't seem to get a good stock of these build up.  Not enough time sewing and it seems every time I get one listed one sells.  Certainly not complaining about that.  

It was a birthday weekend!  So much fun with the kids now!  This is a gift from her uncle.  A fun idea but the only place for it is in the middle of my kitchen.  This actually looks smaller on camera.  It's a nice 5ft x 5ft.  Thankfully it's not the best of quality so hopefully it won't be too long lived.  

This was a 4th birthday.  An absolute gorgeous day, a welcome change from 3 previous birthdays of rain.  With every day that passes I think this is the best stage.  She's always doing something to surprise and amaze me but I guess that's all kids.  While I was busy sewing one day she was quietly taking some pieces I just cut out and pulling them through wristlet swivel clips laying nearby.  I just have to shake my head and chuckle.