I know, it’s definitely been more than a week. You’ll forgive me in a minute, because I have some AWESOME finds for you. If you haven’t tuned in for a “Make It” post, yet, this is what it’s about. Between now and Christmas, we’re looking for ways to invest more of our time, and less of our money, for home decorating, entertaining and gift giving. (I’m definitely going to need some of these ideas as we get moved into the new house!) When I find a website I love, or am working on a project of my own, I’ll post it here and we can all benefit from learning together. My hope is that all of you will start sending pictures and ideas for projects, too.
Okay, today I have some great finds. If you sew, you are 200% ahead of the game when it comes to being creative and saving money on projects. Not to mention, you can MAKE some cash with your talent. If you can afford a brand new sewing machine, it’s a good investment, but you don’t have to spend tons of money to get one. Thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales and auctions are all good sources of second-hand machines that have years of life left in them. If the machine you find is working and has a manual with it, you will just need to spend a little time cleaning and oiling it to have a great tool for all kinds of projects at home. I’m still looking for a great free tutorial or sewing lessons to post for you. If anyone runs across a good online resource, please let me know.
In the meantime, I wanted to share this Etsy shop that sells her own patterns for the most adorable children’s clothing. It would be a good place to find the pattern for something unique and beautiful to sew for little girls in your life. What I love about these is that they are not JUST the pattern, but also a step-by-step tutorial. The patterns/tutorials come as pdf files you download once you have paid for them, so you could print them again and again if you need a new set. The cost for most of her patterns seems to be $8, although I noticed she does some “package deals” called a 6-pack for $35. The clothes are ADORABLE and not like something you would find anywhere else (which is another reason I love them.) The shop is called Whimsy Couture. She also has a blog with some free sewing tutorials for different simple projects.
You don’t need to be a seamstress to be creative with these fun, crafty flower projects. This site has 3 dozen different tutorials for creating flowers — flowers with ribbon, fabric, buttons, felt, napkins, yarn, zippers — you name it. Every skill level and medium will have some available project. And the flowers are just the tip of the iceberg at Oopsey Daisy. She collects the most fun and interesting craft projects from all over the web and posts them in one handy spot for us to find. I love this site!
Some of the most wonderful gifts, come straight from the kitchen! Someone who doesn’t have the time or the know-how will appreciate some specialty items created with love and skill at your own stovetop. Food in Jars is an amazing canning/recipe site with the most unique and delicious sounding foods. The post we’re linked to, today, is Mixed Stone Fruit Jam. Yum! But, you will find many other great recipes, too. How about Crockpot Blueberry Butter, Cucumber Pepper Relish or Homemade Salsa? The site also includes lots of canning tips and tutorials. You can literally learn to can, here. Spend some time finding a treat at this site, perfect it in your own kitchen and have wonderful pre-made gifts ready for any occasion!
My favorite online resource about canning and all the great recipes that go along with it, is Simply Canning. Sharon, has a great canning class/tutorial that she will send to you for free in six installments. The website is loaded with instructions, how-to’s and informative tutorials that will allow even novice canners to feel confident and produce wonderful gifts, as well as save money by preserving the flavor and nutrition of their summer bounty for use later on. Simply Canning also provides tips for freezing fruits and vegetables and drying herbs. What’s the most unique thing I have found at Sharon’s site? How about Dandelion Jelly! I haven’t tried it, yet, because I’m married to a guy who manicures his lawn beautifully, but I actually am curious enough to track down some unsprayed dandelions and give this one a try!