February 27, 2010

Why I love the Grocery Game

Have you folks heard of the Grocery Game? It's this awesome website that makes shopping with coupons so much easier than the way I used to do it.

Instead of taking way too much time to flip through the weekly flyers that come in the paper, and comparing them to the coupons I just spent hours cutting out, this website does all that for you.

I. LOVE. IT. And I've been doing it for years. However, since I'm recently *ahem* self-employed I really have to make our dollars stretch like never before.

I wanted to share with you some examples of our most recent trips to the grocery store.

And just last week, I beat the previous trip's savings with this:

The site does charge you to be a member, but it's only $10 every 8 weeks, so I feel it's totally justified. Plus, if you just want to try it for a bit before you sign up, you can get a four week trial membership for only a dollar.

Also, if you refer a friend, you get free weeks toward your subscription! So if you do decide to join, make sure to give them my address jjkj6640@msn.com.

Let's start saving some money!!

February 22, 2010

I always knew it...

My color personality is RED!!

True Value has this fun little quiz on their site and I just couldn't resist. Here's what the magic color quiz had to say about me:
You boast incredible willpower and are capable of overcoming obstacles that would normally leave others shaking in their boots. You have a penchant for colorful environments and often impress others with your energetic bursts of energy. Your interests in many areas of life often leave you scattered, but when you focus you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

Mostly accurate, although I wish I were really that cool.

What is your color personality?

February 20, 2010

Just for me

I'm finally working on something for me. ME!

All my other quilts have always gone to someone as a gift. In fact, that's usually what gets me started on a new quilt, the thought of someone else. Sometimes it's a new baby on the way or a wedding. Other times I'll see a fabric that reminds me of someone, and then have to use it to make them a quilt. Not sure why I've never made myself one.

This one is made up of wonky log cabins that my peeps in Sew Connected 3 made for me. I have about 5 blocks left over that I think I'll use to make a table runner.

I decided about a year ago that my kitchen and living room needed to be redecorated. Because they're next to each other, I'm keeping the colors the same for both rooms: Red, brown, white. The decorating is still a work in progress, and by the time I get it done, I'll probably want to change it again. You know how it goes.

This picture is not of the finished product, but I'm so excited by it, I thought I'd share it with you now. However, I think I need some help deciding on the quilting thread color. Dark brown? White? A nice neutral tan or beige? Suggestions welcome.

February 4, 2010

Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial - Two Color

Since I had so much fun making the Uno shirt for the birthday boy, I thought I'd put together a little tutorial for you.

If you've never tried freezer paper stenciling, it is so fun and so easy. Perfect craft for a quick birthday present. And with a little bit of help, it's great for kids to do too.

So here we go!

T-shirt, onesie, tote bag, whatever fabric item you'd like to use.
Freezer paper
Utility blade or knife like X-acto
Image or shape you'd like to use
Fabric paint
Paint applicator - this can be a sponge, paintbrush, piece of cloth, really anything works

Now for the fun part!

First thing you'll want to do is tape the image to your kitchen window. or TV while it's on. or a fancy light box if you have one of those.

Then you take a piece of freezer paper that is bigger than your image, and tape it on top of the image on the window. Trace your image onto the PAPER side of the freezer paper.

(I think I forgot to mention that freezer paper is shiny and waxy on one side, and paper on the other. The shiny side will stick to your fabric, which is why we trace the image onto the paper side)

Holy cow, whatever you do, don't look too close at these photos and notice my really ugly backyard. Focus instead on the cute little girl making a cameo. Trust me.

Okay, now keep in mind that you may have to trace your image a couple of times. Because this is a two color stencil, we'll need to cut out the shapes for each color. Here's what I did:

Now that you have the images cut out, you need to iron the freezer paper to your fabric. This part is magic. You don't think it's going to work, and you get all nervous about the waxy stuff melting into your fabric and ruining it, but trust me, it'll be fine.

Let the shirt and paper cool off for a bit before you start with the paint. The first step on this shirt is the white border of the card and the white background for the word UNO. Since it is going on a black shirt, I'm going to do a couple of coats of the paint. Also, make sure to put a piece of cardboard or something inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through to the back.

Once the paint is dry, it's time to peel the paper off the fabric. I think it's easier if the paint is just barely dry because it seems to peel better than when I let it dry overnight. Once the paper is peeled off, place your iron on the paint to heat set it and to complete the drying process. Don't worry, the paint won't stick to your iron, as long as the paint is dry to the touch.

Now it's time for the second color. You'll do the same thing you did for the first color; trace the shape, cut it out, iron it to the shirt. The tricky part about this UNO card is that the red paint goes right on top of the white paint. The freezer paper sticks to fabric better than to paint, but it still works, just be aware that there may be some seepage of the second color.

I did have to go back and do a little bit of touch up with the white, but I'm kinda picky like that. This brand of paint (Jacquard textile paint) is really easy to work with.

That's it folks! Super easy.