Monday, February 22, 2010

Lucky Me and Kitchen Products

I was answering a question about freezer paper stencils in the comments when I realized I could make a post out of it! A short one anyway. Here are a couple of tutorials that I like. There are loads out there.

What is so slick about freezer paper is that if you iron it onto fabric the wax melts and adheres to the fabric so the lines look really sharp. The paint doesn't bleed underneath. They are only usable once though. :(

As for transferring embroidery patterns the neatest thing I've heard about is using Glad's Press and Seal. I haven't tried it yet myself, but it sounds like it would work great.

I'm having some good luck lately. Over at Consciously Frugal I did not win the Made in America dishcloths, but felt good about it because she is sending everyone who wanted one a Your Money or Your Life book. Looks like a good book. A book has the potential to change your life. The most a dishcloth can aspire too, no matter how good it is, is to clean your kitchen.

Then at Our Daily Green Kim decided to give away 3 Preserve toothbrush subscriptions instead of just one. Everyone's a winner! I'll get free toothbrushes for a year! Barry will just have to go find his own! On second thought, that might not be such a good idea...I know he would never even realize he was using the same toothbrush for a year.

Finally, I just sold $50 worth of yarn on my Etsy shop! That certainly made my week. Makes me want to sit down at my spinning wheel again. Too bad I don't have any fiber prepped. Unless I wanted to spin white fiber(which is boring) I need to either dye some or card some. I had a wild desire to just order some on Etsy, like it would get here quicker than I could dye my own. Just because I have the money doesn't mean I should spend it.

PS. I just won an ebook over at Chris's. I hope my lucky streak continues for just a little longer! I have something in mind for it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yarn for Sale!

Hey, everyone, I have two skeins of yarn listed and I'll be adding to them. The first one took forever, but now that I have a basic template for the descriptions it is going much quicker. I would appreciate your advice. Did I leave anything out, do I need to change something? I would love to have your opinions!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Am I done with Christmas already?

Seems like a few new people have been visiting this here little blog, probably because I've been interacting (commenting) on some new to me blogs. Who would have figured that is the way it works! It is good to get feedback on my blog too. I certainly haven't been serious about blogging, but I'm beginning to think that being serious might be the problem. I seem to make a big production about each post, which just stresses me out. If I just let the words flow without worrying about them being perfect things go much better. Adding depression into the mix just makes getting anything accomplished even worse. So, I'll try to keep things short and sweet but not perfect and see how things go.

I want to thank everyone who has stuck around for so long with such limited posting from me. And with very limited comments on their blogs! You know who you are. Specially Dana. It means a lot to me.

Karla came by today so I can finally show her and her son's Christmas gifts. For her son I used freezer paper to make a stencil and bleach instead of paint. Paint can fade and crack, though bleach is much easier to mess up. Specially with two sides!

Does anyone recognize the quote? It is words of wisdom from Xander on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I think he is my favorite character on that show, or Willow, or Oz, well, one of them anyway!

Rose's Wrist Warmers from Doctor Who. I used these notes for making the pattern using worsted wt. yarn.
Very involved cable pattern. There is cabling every row for the inside diamond pattern. Still very fun though. I would like to make me a pair if I could ever get around to it.

This is my leftover handspun I knit it from. Karla is a beginning knitter so I gave the rest to her so she could make a matching hat. Could probably get a cowl out of the leftovers too. I thought of making them for her myself, but really didn't know when I would get to it.

I'm working on posting some of my handspun yarn on my etsy shop. I'll let you guys know when it is done! And thanks for the interest!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Branson was a lot of fun even though a lot of things were closed. We mostly admired the snow from in front of the fireplace and ate. Good vacation, huh? I love these pictures, I think most of them would make great Christmas cards.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What a difference a year makes.

Thanks for the compliments on the yarn guys. I'll try to work on the Etsy store after we get back from Branson. Leaving on Saturday and back on Wednesday. My parents are going with us and we are all looking forward to it!

Now for something completely different!

When I started having my headache we lost everything financially. Though we were just actually treading water before that, we thought we were fine since we could make the payments. I had to quit my job, so Barry had to close his business down and go get a normal job so we could have insurance. Then one of the cars was repo'd, then we lost the house and moved into a crappy apartment in McPherson. Let's not forgot all the medical bills either. When we moved to Mac we had a lot more breathing room since we didn't have a house payment or big utility bills. Then I finally was approved for disability and received a large lump sum in Oct. '08. We had learned our lesson and didn't do anything really dumb with it, though we did buy more car than we really needed.

Then, about this time last year, Barry asked me to listen to an audiobook(The Total Money Makeover) and see what I thought. He (and me occasionally) had been listening to a talk radio show, the Dave Ramsey Show, the author of the book. All about financial problems. It is kinda like Hoarders, you can say, "At least we aren't that bad!" at the same time feeling bad for them. Anyway, I thought being out of debt, having money in the bank and most of all, having a plan sounded like a great idea.

We had been planning on going bankrupt. We didn't think we had another choice. We had hired a lawyer back when we first moved to Mac that took forever on doing anything about it, now I might thank him! When we decided to follow the Dave plan, since our plan(or lack of plan) wasn't working, we ran our credit to know for sure where we stood. The house wasn't on there which confused us till we realized since it was a 100% loan we had mortgage ins. That was a load off our shoulders. In March '09 we started Financial Peace University, a class put out by Dave Ramsey. Learned everything from how to do a budget to what life insurance to get, it covers a lot. Doing the budget was like getting a $1,000 raise. Made us realize just what we were spending.

Since then we haven't borrowed money from anyone, taken 2 vacations and going on another(one of our debts was a sampler timeshare) with plenty of money, put more money in savings than we've ever had, and payed off about a 1/3 of our debt. Well, ok, we have two big ones(car and hospital) that I'm not including, but they haven't sent us anything in years and we would like to get Barry through his bachelor program and save up the total amount first. Don't wake the sleeping giant until you know you are going to win the fight.

Yesterday we realized that we had all of our monthly bills for Feb. paid by the 3rd. Isn't that grand? March is our 3 paycheck month so we both wanted to see how the budget for March would look. Our extra money going towards debt will be like getting double time and half compared to normal. Plus we are getting a nice refund. We have since changed our with holdings, no sense in giving the government a loan! With all of that we should be able to get the paid off amount to half the original debt. Excluding the 2 big ones, which don't count right now, remember? We will only have the student loan to go.

This is so exciting for us. Every time we pay off a debt we cross it off(we have a chart and a graph!) and it is amazing how fun it is! Maybe we need to get out more... Anyway, getting to pay off 3 at once instead of one a month will be great. Not having to worry about money and knowing we have some in the bank if there is an emergency is so peaceful. Like when Barry had to have his teeth pulled. Money isn't everything but it sure makes things easier. When you have money it isn't an emergency, it is an inconvenience.

We are looking for another place to live. Overall this place has been good to us, but the negatives are starting to outweigh the positives. Moving might slow us down some, but now we feel we have a choice. That means a lot too.

I have lived paycheck to paycheck. Then I got sick and the walls came crumbling down. I wanted to share our excitement and our story so others can learn from our example. I wish everyone could feel this wonderful lack of worrying about money. Think about that, what it would be like not to have to worry about money?

What a difference a year makes.