How to Sharpen Your Tools – Part 1, Concepts

What You Need to Know

One of the quickest ways to bring frustration to your craft table is to try to use dull tools. Instead of cutting, they tear. Instead of being easy on your hands, you push or squeeze harder and fatigue sets in. It is more difficult to move though the material, and it is more dangerous as you apply pressure, and the tool slips. It is expensive to keep on replacing tools that are too dull to use.

Sharpening your tools is a necessary skill to learn. Not only do you save money by not replacing tools, but a sharp tool makes crafting fun.

I can teach you how. It will take 3 posts to cover what you need to know. Continue reading »

Fire Starters

The BEST fire starters you will ever use are also so easy to make.

I bought a lot of muffin tins at garage sales and thrift stores, and found a roaster at a yard sale. If you don’t want to use a roaster, get an old double boiler and use it. You’ll need to work in smaller batches, but the fire starters will still be perfect. I save all my old candles, and also ask a few friends to save their candle stubs for me as well. Continue reading »

Ribbon and Fabric Wreaths – No Sew

This might seem a little late to show how to make these wreaths, but just by changing out the fabrics and ribbons and maybe even altering the shape of the wreath form, you can make these wreaths year-round.

I was able to complete two of these in just a few days during my “TV” time. Both were made as gifts, and the recipients loved them. I am going to make several this year. I have several friends and family members who saw the ones I finished and asked for one this coming Christmas, and I’m going to try to sell a few.

But, enough of my plans… let’s get to the how-tos. Continue reading »

The Deli Chicken – 4 people – $4 – 4 meals

My kids have always called me the “Queen of Leftovers”. I’ve gone through many lean years where we simply couldn’t afford to throw food away, so every leftover managed to find it’s way into a future meal. The trick was always to do it in such a way as to let the kids believe it was a “brand-new” meal, and not leftovers. We never did do much “fast food”. First of all, it is very expensive and secondly most of it is seriously lacking in nutrition.

One of the best “fast foods” that we have done is the deli chicken. You’ve seen them at most grocery stores.. a fully cooked, ready to go roasted chicken. The price is usually under $6 and can often be less. Check with your favorite grocery store and ask them to call you at the end of the day if they have unsold chickens. One of my friends gets them for as little as 99 cents, but usually they are just offered for around $4.00.

Here’s how you can stretch a chicken out to get 4 meals for a family of four, plus a tasty dinner for your dog. Continue reading »