Friday 30 November 2012

Back to Frugality

  It's looks like there are going to be some dark times ahead for us at TFHMH. As a family that pretty much live on there CTC & WTC (Tax credits), all the info about universal credit is worrying us. OH is the bread winner, but he is a self-employed breadwinner But what will be will be. In the mean time we can make good use of our knowledge by squeezing as many pennies as possible and saving what and where we can.
 So when we need something we will try to get it for free, make it ourselves or at the very least buy it for the cheapest amount we can wrangle.
 For example, look at these lovely lovely coats above! 4 rather posh suede coats in my size- from a wonderful lady on Freegle. I only asked for one, and because of my politeness and other peoples rudeness she gave me all four. These will keep me going for a long long time :) And after they have given up the ghost can you imagine all the wonderful crafty things I could do?
 Another thing I am going to try is Frugaldom's 2013 Frugaleur Challenge. The idea is to set up a small money making business for a small start up cost. I am starting out with £20 and making craft items to eventually sell on a stall somewhere. So far I have made some little pin cushions using drink bottle lids, some toy stuffing I've had forever, and 2 baby tops from the rag bag. Each one takes about 10 minutes to make so they are perfect for those little snatches of time the kiddies give me here and there.
 When they are asleep in the evening I am knitting a rather nifty baby outfit with plans to sell it in OH's shop once it's complete.
  I am also trying an experiment. Making my own shower gel, by melting some soap and adding a small amount of water and glycerin. At the moment it is melting in the kitchen, I will keep you posted on how it turns out.

x x x

Sunday 25 November 2012

Floral tablecloth

 Angela from Tracing Rainbows asked about my tablecloth from the last post. So here is a few close ups for you :)
  I picked it up from a favourite charity shop an age ago. I think it was around £1.50.
 Close up of the large patch. There are three of these down the centre of the cloth.
 The small patch. There are two of these each side. I try and line up the seat so they fall between the settings.
And the stitching is just as beautiful on the reverse. I'm pretty sure it all hand stiched as there are slight differences between each bit of the same pattern. Some one has certainly spent many hours on this, only for it to end up in a charity shop for pennies. I love love love handcrafted things and I am a very proud table cloth owner!

x x x

A big success

My tea party went down a storm, the scones were a huge hit and there is nothing left apart from a few dregs of tea. I am definitely doing this again! I'm my head I am already planning it :)
 Now all the washing up is done I shall be knitting in front of a nice movie.

 x x x x

Saturday 24 November 2012

Tomorrow's Teaparty

 My SIL and her fiance are popping over tomorrow to coo over our new baby and just have a general catch up. So I decided to have a homemaker moment and create a little tea party for us all. And a frugal tea party at that!
 I've laid out the table for 5 ready, getting out the lovely Royal Doultan set I was given for last Christmas. I am so in love with my set that I've scoured Ebay since last Christmas for more pieces. I now have a matching tea set for 5 and 4 more bread plates (£6 on Ebay using Fat Fingers)
 I've even splashed out in the pound shop for these sweet blue floral serviettes. And after this party I will have plenty left for more tea partys.
All the food will be made from scratch. The first course is finger sandwich's which I will make in the morning, a choice of tuna mayonnaise or Cheese and tomato.  Second course is homemade scones with homemade jam. I splashed out with one of my Tesco vouchers and picked up a small pot of clotted cream. The third course will be homemade brownies with chocolate frosting which is... you guessed it.....homemade!  I have also made a handful of sugar lumps for the occasion.
 I hope they enjoy eating it all as much as I've enjoyed creating it.

x x x

Thursday 22 November 2012

Thrifty Thursday

  3x Jeans for me - £1 each  Accessorise Wrap BNWT - £1  Football mug for Xmas gift - 20p  Toy for DD - 25p

So here is my usual charity shop haul. I do love having a mooch round on a Thursday, and this week I also had my hubby keeping me company with an odd afternoon off. He won a bet yesterday so we had £10 extra pennies to enjoy. We blew £5 straight away with a nice lunch in MacDonald's using some vouchers a gave us. We all had a burger and fries each (not Baby D lol) for just under a fiver.
We also made a trip to the Free Book shop and snaffled these.
Fun to Learn - Perfect for some home school with DD
First Knits - Gorgeous knitting patterns for newborns-three year old.
Practical Craft Projects - A huuuugggeee heavy book with some lovely ideas for gifts.
The Sugar Plum Christmas Book - Full of poems, activities, crafts, storys and pictures. I will hide till the 1st and we will work through a little bit each day.

X x X

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Tortilla Pizza

 Lay two tortillas on a baking tray.
                                   Add a squeeze of Tomato Puree on each tortilla and spread.
 Add a handful of grated cheese. As or as little as you fancy
 Add a few slices of the Sausage to each wrap.
 Pop into a warm oven for 10  minutes or until cheese is melting and gooey. I did mine at 200
Pop onto a plate and cut into slices for small fingers or leave whole for big ones. Eat while hot and delicious!
 These pizzas are quick, easy and frugal! I've seen them used at a children's party as make-your-own-pizza and while they are cooked they decorate cakes or biscuits as a desert. Food and entertainment in one.
Let me know if you try them.
x x

Dinner at Nan's

  On Sunday we were invited round to my parents house for a nice family roast. DD as usual was eager to join and helped make a rhubarb crumble for our pudding.
 DD showing off her handy work.
 Me and my brother. Excuse the finger in the top of the photo, it was actually taken by DD. She is getting fascinated with my camera and I keep finding pictures on it lol.
 Baby D had lots of snuggly cuddles with nanny on the sofa.
 DD reading story's with Grandad

And finally the only other interesting thing we've really done. Paper snowflakes for our windows. Who says you have to buy them from Poundland.

x x x

Saturday 17 November 2012

Project finished

 I haven't achieved much today so far. A poorly toddler just wants to lay her head on my lap and be supplied with milk and juice. Baby D is being a bit of a grump to. I find myself snuggling with one or the other of them and surfing the net with my free hand lol. I have however managed to finish the dress I was making for DD. Excuse the awful picture, it really does look nicer on her properly lol.
 It should really have a top on underneath but I took what I could get when DD wanted to take a photo.
 For next project I will be trying these over at The Prepared Homemaker. I have some cotton that will be perfect for this. I love making useful things!

x x x

Friday 16 November 2012

Frugal goings on

 Firstly I have been invaded by the lovely Angela's gnomes. Hop on over to Tracing Rainbows to check out her wonderfully simple knitting pattern and make your own.

 We also have been making pineapple-upside-down-cake. I picked up a pineapple for 50p last week at the local market, and have been desperately waiting for it to ripen. Today was that magical day so DD and I got baking.

 While the cakes were baking we did the washing up together. I clean all the glass and sharp type things, DD cleans the plastic things, cutlery, plastic pots etc. She really enjoys helping out and though it takes us 5 times as long to do it together, I really enjoy the one on one time with her.
   And once we'd finished washing up our cakes were finished. As I type they are cooling on the side and it's taking everything I have to run in there and gobble them up. There could have been 8 anyway but neither DD nor me could resist that lovely fresh pineapple tempting us.

 And finally here is my current on the needle project. Apparently this top is supposed to be everlasting. Once finished it is a dress for your 3 year old, Tunic for a 4 year old and finally a top for a 6 year old. It's a nice easy knit to take about with me. So far I have knitted at the shop, my knitting group, Asda's car park and I will do some more in front of the latest episode of Kirstie's vintage home tonight on 4OD.

x x x

Wednesday 14 November 2012


 Pine Welsh Dresser - £36 - Ebay

Can't blog to much today readers. I'm far to busy rearranging things on my lovely new dresser! Don't you just love Ebay sometimes?

x x x

Monday 12 November 2012

It's rainging, it's pouring.

  We are hiding from the pouring rain today in the kitchen baking some goodies for Daddy. I used a store brought Peppa Pig cupcake kit and it was awful. DD was really disappointed that it turned into grey soggy sludge, and after baking make grey lumpy cakes. We still decorated them but after us both trying one each and neither of us taking more than a bite, I thoroughly unrecommended them!
 So in order to appease DD and make something edible for Daddy we used up one of the brownie mixes from yesterday. DD spent ages carefully transferring the contents of the jar into the mixing bowl a spoonful at a time. And she was very pleased with the thick chocolaty mix it turned into.
 After being so good while baking and helping me wash up a few things up, I gave DD her Peppa Pig magazine from the other day. Once our brownies and cake were cool we made up the cake stand and made a nice cakey display ready for after our dinner.

 A job well done I thinks!
x x x

Sunday 11 November 2012

Sunny Sunday Sundrys

 It has been a kitchen day here at The frugal handmade home. I've cooked a roast, processed a few loads of laundry, given my new dining chairs a nice polish and lots of other little kitchen jobs that needed doing.
 I also have got round to making some homemade cake mixes. I first mentioned them here ages ago after spotting then in a free online magazine.  I tested the recipe a week ago to make sure it worked and today I made up 4 jars of chocolate brownie mix. Here is the recipe;

Layer each of the following ingredients;

 8oz Sugar
1oz Cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of powdered egg
6oz Flour

 On the top of the layers add chocolate chunks or chocolate chips if you like.
 Seal the jar and store somewhere cool and dark.

 To make up;
Add 8 oz of melted butter or margarine and stir like a demon.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180.

x x x

Blog Tag.

The delightful Suzy at Sunshine and Lollipops has tagged me. I've never been tagged before so this is all rather new and exciting.

Here are the rules:

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
  • ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag (the people you tag should have less than 200 followers) 
  • mention the blog that tagged you, but don't tag them back.

Let's get started:  11 things about me:

  • I think that having and raising children is my purpose in earth
  • My wedding and reception cost less than £500 but was worth £50,000 to me
  • I have two little girls. DD - 2/1/2 and Baby D - 3 months
  • I have the knack with wool and knitting, but fabric runs screaming from my hands.
  • Before I had children and a husband to care for I was a Care assistant. Mostly doing palliative care.
  • I absolutely love peanut butter!
  • I love movies particularly horror and sci-fi.
  • I love reading sci-fi and horror. My favourite author is John Wyndam
  • I don't officially work but I do all my self employed hubby's paperwork, ordering and online things. He pays me in hot chocolate and cadburys lol
  • My two children have cost me two teeth, so I believe the adage is true. "You loose a tooth for every child"
  • Slowly but surely my cooking is getting better and more adventurous. Instead of cooking the same 5-6 meals over and over.
  • Here are the 11 questions I was asked

    1. What is your favourite craft/hobby?  Knitting and crochet in equal measure
    2. How long have you been into your hobby/crafts? Knitting since about 5, Crochet since about 15
    3. Do you have a special room or designated place to do your hobby? If so, what do you call this space?  The kitchen table
      1. What time of day to you craft? Early morning, nap time and evenings.
    4. What is your favourite tool for crafty/hobby?A trusty pair of knitting needles
    5. What was your last purchased tool? Probably a knitting pattern if that counts?
    6. What would you purchase if money were no object? A smallholding and do the whole river cottage thing
    7. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?  Nearer my family
    8. What is your favourite season? Winter, I love snuggly cuddles
    9. What is your favourite TV show? I love Jezza, its my guilty pleasure lol (Jeremy Kyle)
    10. Do you like sports? What's your favourite sport?  I hate sports because I don't like unnecessary competition. So my best sport is watching  
 My turn to ask the people I tagged 11 questions: 
  1. Do you have pets? What are there names?
  2. What superpower do you wish you had?
  3. What is your favourite food?
  4. What is the story of your middle name?
  5. What was the last things you got for free?
  6. What is your current top project?
  7. Who is your favourite Bond?
  8. What is the main colour of the room your in?
  9. What size shoe are you?
  10. If you could do anywhere in the world and do anything what would it be?
  11. Name your favourite film and why?
 Blogs I have tagged: 
  1. Tracing Rainbows
  2. Newly Creative
  3. Life after money
  4. Hard up Hester
  5.  Bunny Mummy
  6. Frugal Queen
  7. One life, 3 kids
  8. My beautiful life
  9. Crafty Mum 
  10. Vintage Vixon
  Hope you all feel like joining in, but if not do not worry. I know how busy you all are normally :)

x x x

Saturday 10 November 2012

Shopping on Saturday

 Lovely Pine Chairs- Freegle - Free!

 Today had been hectic, I have recovered my latest cold but it meant that today I had to catch up with everything. First we picked up some pine chairs from a local kind person. They will be so much nicer than our folding metal chairs, which are getting rather chilly in certain areas this time of year.
Mixed nuts tube - 59p Roasted nuts tube - 59p Halloween invites - 15p

 I had a quick pop into Waitrose and picked up some bits from the reduced bin. I was looking to see if they had a cheap chicken for Sunday lunch but alas no reductions so I ended up getting it in Tesco. All this will be stashed for Christmas and next October.
 Both magazines - 50p each  Bib - 20p

I also discovered my favourite charity shop open, normally it shuts on Saturday but there was a craft event in the hall next door. Can't blame them for not wanting to miss the footfall. The magazines are a special treat for DD when she has been good. There is nothing like an incentive to make a toddler behave.

 Welly Boots - £1
 I picked these up from the charity shop as well. I have been hunting for some cheap boots for puddle splashing. DD has been wearing them all day, and I suspect she will try and sleep in the them!

2 halloween costumes - 25p each  Halloween confetti/sequins - 25p 3x 5 disposable razors - 6p each
3x Halls soother (dated 2014!) - 22p each

And finally I went into Wilkonsons as I'd heard about a toilet roll bargain lol. Then I spotted there reduced trolley on route to the till. I will be spying on it a lot in the coming weeks as our store isn't very big and sells off loads of things as the Christmas stock rolls in.
  On the way home from work we dropped of some clothes we had offered another freegler. And finally I got home and sat down for a rest!

x x x

Thursday 8 November 2012

Kindness and Creativity

 Look what I received in the post :) I have the kindest friends. The paints came from"Anonymous" but I have a few ideas who it might be and I am so grateful. The cut outs came in my pack from the lovely Bernice who is running the AoG challenge.and start all over again.
  It was the perfect distraction from feeling yuck. I spent the day in bed being crafty (I painted yesterday, I don't paint in bed lol) while my wonderful Hubby took the littles to work with him.

                                                                            Day 1
 Day 2
Day 3
 Day 4
 Day 5
Day 6
Day 7

x x x

Tuesday 6 November 2012

AoG Day 6; Technology

 Day 6 already? Is is just me that's a bit scared by this? Can someone slow time down for me a touch?

I have decided to just give in to fate and concentrate on the quotes from here on in. However I just had absolutely no inspiration today. I don't if I just wasn't feeling it or because I have a cold (again!) or some other random reason. In the end I decided I had to at least do something even if its only temporary so here is today's attempt. Don't laugh! Its just layers of card and some stickers I liked. I will replace it with something more expressive shortly.
 I have also realised why so many of you do your pages on separate pieces of paper and then bind them at the end! I had a small glue disaster earlier which nearly wiped everything out :(
 I have however finally finished my home school folder. This definitely came out better than I even imagined. I collaged brown paper and map fragments onto the folder. Once it was dry I added some old sea themed tea cards and them covered the whole thing in a layer of greaseproof paper. I love the way it looks like your looking through a film of water at the cards.
And I am off to bed to watch some Jezza and dive headfirst into this chocolaty goodness.
x x x