November 26, 2014

Are you getting tired of my weekly posts on how to avoid Panic Shopping Syndrome?  

With Black Friday approaching I think we all need to bolster our resolve of restraint and review our shopping plan for the holidays.

Have you ever run across a bargain so wonderful that - even though you didn't have a need for it - you felt that you'd find someone who did need it?  Yeah, me, too.  And every time I've given in to the temptation I've ended up regretting it.

Nerd Wallet posted a very interesting warning before last year's Black Friday.  The article cited specific "deals" that were anything but:
Target advertised a KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer on sale for $199 (that was $30 off the regular price of $229.99.)  But just a couple of weeks earlier they had sold the same mixer for $183.99.  By waiting until Black Friday customers actually paid $16 more. 

Last year on Black Friday Macys offered a men's designer bomber jacket for a "doorbuster" price of only $79.  Strangely, the same jacket had been on sale months earlier for the exact same price.

We need to realize that Retailers have a plan to get our money:

o  Retail shopping studies found that most customers turn right or look right when they enter a store because over 90% of people are right-handed and right-oriented.  That's why many stores place expensive trendy items to the right of their entrances.

o  Loud uplifting music actually makes us spend more as do bright cheerful displays.

o  Clearance racks are usually placed toward the back of the store so that we'll walk past the more tempting newer merchandise first.

o  We'll often over-spend when we shop with a friend.  If you use the Buddy System when it comes to shopping make sure that buddy is not impulsive.

o  According to Lynn Switanowski-Barrett, a retail consultant with Creative Business Consulting Group, "People are more likely to impulse shop from a table."   Lesson:  avoid sales tables in the aisles.

 o  Impulse items can be a budget's downfall.  Why do you think retailers place small items around the cash register?  Any good sales clerk worth their salt will sweetly ask, "Have you got your stocking stuffers?"

And the No. 1 warning for Black Friday:
That same clerk might offer you an extra 15% off your entire purchase if you open a store credit card.  Don't do it!  Run!

Remember:  plan your shopping and shop your plan!

November 25, 2014


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday . . . .
Yikes! Thanksgiving is only two days away.

Hubby and I are working through our Thanksgiving dinner prep list and I completely forgot the centerpiece.

But it's not too late to pull out some Fall craft supplies and get to work on an interesting and inexpensive tablescape. 

The adorable menu pumpkin, right, was simply painted with chalk paint.  Clever, isn't it?

Cut twigs and small tree branches were glue-gunned to a tin
can and filled with artificial flowers from a discount store.

Pheasant feathers, raw peanuts, and moss - what?!
Instead of buying feathers why not use a succulent plant instead?


Use a Sharpie to write what you're thankful for on a pumpkin.



An apple topiary is quite easy to assemble.  After deciding on the base, pick up a foam topiary form at a craft store, a bag of apples, and some greenery.  (Boxwood leaves work great.)

Cored apples filled with votives are super simple and quite ingenious.

Apples also make adorable place cards.

Squash + votive = genius!

Kumquats, cranberries, walnuts, and a candle
were charmingly combined in a hurricane vase.

A basket, a glue gun, and hundreds of acorns.
I love it.


Autumn leaves were modpodged to an inflated oblong balloon.
After drying, the balloon was popped and gently removed.

Dried baby corn was simply tied around a short candle.







So simple.  So elegant.  So going to make one!

November 24, 2014

How many Repurposeful Mondays do we have before Christmas?  Not enough!  There are just too many adorable upcycling ideas for one holiday season.

Today we're going to start out with a KISS:
Keep It Simple & Sweet!
Whether planned or used in a 'tablescape emergency'
cookie cutters make precious holiday napkin rings.

The beauty of this porch decoration is that you can use a
suitcase that isn't too old.  Lots of thrift shops have them
for sale and they're still reasonably priced.

A styrofoam ball, buttons, long white push pins, and grosgrain ribbon
are all you need to assemble this precious holiday ornament.

Do you have just a few buttons lying around?
Little button trees make charming pendants,
mini-ornaments, and lapel pins.

It's that time of year to think about sweater repurposing.
 The internet is crowded with video tutorials on how to convert old sweaters into stockings. An Extraordinary Day shows how to make a sweater stocking in 12 easy steps.  Click here for the instructions.

The simple directions for making this stocking can
be found here along with a pattern to download.

Stockings aren't the only decorations
you can create from old sweaters:

Hands down, these Christmas sweater trees are THE easiest to make
holiday decorations ever.  Click here for the super simple instructions.

I adore this sweater wreath idea but I'd probably
use a different type of bow.  What do you think?
Click here for the step-by-step instructions.

Candle cozies guarantee that you'll use
every part of the sweater:

But possibly the most elegant and ingenious
use of a sweater sleeve:
Such a clever and inexpensive way to wrap a gift.

Using a rusty lantern is a charming way to display holly.

This ornament doesn't seem very special at first glance:
If you have costume jewelry necklace from your mother, grandmother or aunt, place it in a clear glass ball (available at just about all craft stores.)  And, you don't even have to un-string the necklace.  What a special way to make them a part of your Christmas even if they might not be with you.

Looking for a primitive and rustic holiday tree
idea with a little beach-iness tossed in?
Nailed it!

Know where you can buy used stair spindles?
At the Habitat For Humanity thrift store in your area.

If you don't have a fireplace mantel you can still hang stockings:
Many thrift shops offer headboards under $30 - carry this idea a little further by painting family names over the knobs.  Great gift idea!

The scuffs and patina on old skates add texture to the decoration.

Ask your favorite buckaroo if you can borrow
one of his boots for a few weeks:

Show your appreciate of the loan of the boot
by making him a Texas Hold 'Em wreath:

Excellent holiday uses of old fence gates.

I saved my favorite holiday repurposing for last:
Beth, of Olde Tyme Market Place, posted this rusty wheel wreath a couple of years ago.  She found this farm equipment tire in an antique shop but you might find one in a salvage yard.  It perfectly expresses my love of old repurposed Holiday decorations.  Hope you're inspired, too!