Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Homegrown Frugalities

Made using some new and some salvaged ribbon.  My Mum had given me a large collection of hairclips from her crafting days of my childhood to attach the ribbons to.

Ginger's presents from us: New items (in addition to a scooter) Alphabet Floor Puzzle (ALDI, $8 I think), Peppa Pig Puppet and Bubble Bath (ALDI discounted to $5) and Stickers $2.  Secondhand Djeco puzzle ($2), Bike basket (50c), Doll bike Helmet (20c) and Fairy book (50c).  Having kids does not have to break the bank!

Finally finished.  Pattern is from The Gentle Art of Quilt Making by Jane Brocket.  It was backed with a thrifted fairy sheet.

Frugal is probably not the word you would use to describe our spending habits over the last week.  Just putting that out there before I begin:)  But, everything is relative as we did pick up some long sought after items at a bargain price.

We bought floor rugs for the children's rooms.  We had seen these on the Pottery Barn website some 18 months ago when we were first moving to the Southern Tablelands.  However the large size we wanted, as the children have large rooms, was too expensive and so we compromised on a smaller sized rug.  They didn't have any in stock the day we visited Sydney so we proposed to order them when we got home, but between one thing and another we never did.  Recently I had to go to DFO in Canberra in search of a particular bathroom fixture and I discovered a Pottery Barn Outlet which had the large floor rugs we had eyed of earlier significantly marked down.  Then, last weekend we popped in to check more bathroom fixtures (we are trying to do a cosmetic alteration to our bathroom) and discovered they had 25 per cent off at the Pottery Barn Outlet.  Mr Provincial took our sedan (he drives a little two seater) in on the Monday, confirmed that the discount was still valid and picked up a floor rug for each child's room.  To say they love them is an understatement - they have been playing so much better in their rooms with a little cushioning of the wood floors.  They should also make a significant difference to the heat loss from their rooms over the winter as the wood floors here leak cold air!  We are debating now whether we pick up another to put away for the baby's room - I think my future self might appreciate it.

Ginger's wish was to go and see Cinderella for her birthday.  It is five years (notice the chronological significance) since we last went to the movies and boy are tickets expensive these days!  Managed to find a deal at Dendy though, called "Family Tix", which were $9 a ticket and included a large popcorn for each booking.  Ginger loved the movie!

We bulked out Ginger's major gift (a scooter) with a handful of homemade presents.  I finished the quilt I started for her (cough) two years ago, and made some hair ribbons for her using this tutorial.  She also received some secondhand items from us (obviously they look in good condition).

Made the cake for Ginger's birthday.  The recipe was Mimi's from A Tray of Bliss (truly it is scrumptious). I used this idea for decorating it, using a handful of Schleich animals we bought in bulk off Gumtree a few weeks ago.  I also found some flowers at Aldi marked down to half-price (I paid $7.50 for three bunches) to decorate the table.  They have lasted really well and most blooms are still holding up a week later.  It has been a lovely treat for me as well as I don't usually buy flowers.

Did an epsom salt foot treatment.  I read about this a couple of years ago and my post-summer feet are in need of a tidy up.  I used some epsom salts Mr Provincial was given by a work colleague who was closing her side-line beauty business!

Hemmed some maternity jeans I purchased for $2.50 a couple of months ago.  I had used the iron-on hemming material but the hem kept falling down.  I figured five minutes on the sewing machine was usefully spent to avoid the ongoing annoyance.  Now if I could just work out how to keep them up - the elasticated denim seems to have lost its spring:)

Made dukkah for the first time.  This has been on my MOO (make our own) list for many years as purchasing it at market stalls you pay a significant mark-up.  I used this recipe.  It was very simple and delicious.  We have a large jar left to use other weekends.

Have been combing the Cheapskates website for money saving ideas, and have a few new to me recipes to trial.


  1. I knew I had seen that cake idea! Isn't that the best? What a magical birthday.

  2. YOU are a wonderful homemaker and I LOVE your taste! The quilt is gorgeous and I'm glad the PB rug purchase was possible!
    Sending heaps of friendship your way! Happy birthday to sweet Ginger Pie!

  3. It looks like a beautiful birthday and all that effort I am sure your little one loved every moment of it. x

  4. We ended up copying this cake idea for the baby's first birthday this week. So sweet and fancy-looking with minimal effort! We did end up having to skip the animals because I pulled out our basket and realized we'd either be stuck with an enormous elephant, giraffe, and lion who would crush the entire cake, or a bizarre combination of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a caribou, and a manatee for small animals. It was so sweet with just the bunting and some lettering in frosting, though. Thanks for sharing the idea!