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Archive for February, 2008

What are you doing SO COOL you only do it once in 4 years?

February 29th, 2008 at 04:12 pm

I wish I could say I was doing something that cool. But just another day at work for the most part.

May I show off a handsome necklace I designed this past week? Not available in my internet shop Pretty Cheap Jewelry unless reserved by special request.

SEMI PRECIOUS BUDDHA
Carved cinnabar, brickred stone, bloodred sparkling swarovski, and milkwhite freshwater pearl links hang in a 'Y' necklace featuring a bark brown carved stone buddha pendant. (please excuse my hasty photography)

Most Fun I Ever Had Doing Homework!

February 28th, 2008 at 08:12 pm

My 4th grader has an assignment to research a historic person from the gold rush times.

The chosen person was 'William Fargo'.

Now I obviously suspected he was part of the 'Wells Fargo' bank empire. But here's more of the story:

Mr. Wells ran a stagecoach company based in the east during the 1800s. They carried people, of course, and there is some element they did 'express' work -- mail. Mr. Fargo joined as an employee and partner soon after. As gold was discovered the two used the stagecoach business for transporting gold and money as needed. They knew anyone with a strong safe and a room was going to be important to the miners. So they got set up of course.

At some point, the express part of the company broke off separately and became American Express. (Which I hold a card today).

Fast forward to the present, and look in my purse: there it is check book from Wells Fargo.

The best part? My kid got the big picture.
....the Wells Fargo commercials show a stagecoach to this day due to their roots...
....risky travel by stagecoach across the country with money/gold avoiding banditos, Indians, and being saved by the Lone Ranger!! (he's seen some old westerns)...
....that daily life for the easterners was far different than the westerners at the time of the gold rush, and what was each were like...

great assignment, fun for me too

Earning the Thrift Store Queen Crown

February 27th, 2008 at 08:03 pm

Needed a replacement desk chair for my son who has a rad big wood office desk in his room (which I salvaged from an old job when they converted to cubicles).

He had been using a high back, swivel chair handed down from my hubby who bought himself a LEATHER one (!) as a gift to himself a couple years back. (Remember we are the odd couple, DH is the spender, and I am the saver!). The high back chair never fit the desk or the son well.

I promised to get boy wonder a replacement.

(puts on thrift store queen crown...)

Found it! A Steelcase Brand armless wheeled, upholstered office chair in tawny brown. Marked down from $3.95 to $2.95. With tax made it $3.16, but I found a dime on the corner on the way to the car.

Does that make it $3.06?

And all it needed was a hit of Woolite rug cleaner to remove a spot. Left a fresh scent too.

Anyone Else Heard of Seth Godin?

February 21st, 2008 at 08:21 pm

He is a marketing guru of sorts, championed by the internet crafters and small business entrepreneurs I hang out with, but I don't know much about his qualifications or knowledge.

Here is his blog, and he constantly gives reference to other websites:

http://www.sethgodin.typepad.com

Number of Bicycles Built? and more about this year

February 20th, 2008 at 07:03 pm

An internet colleague showed me this site

World Clock

I have no idea where the info comes from or if it is accurate.

But it is interesting for whatever it's worth.

3 No and Low Cost Boy's Party Games, and many other birthday cost savings

February 14th, 2008 at 05:46 pm

It's hard being 10 and a boy! Even harder for the mom to give a 'cool' birthday party without spending alot.

! ! SUPER MOM to the rescue ! !

Venue: the city park skateboard bowl, FREE
Although my son is not highly into skateboarding, it is a 'cool' place to party. He wanted to have his party at the indoor skateboard rink, LUCKILY they closed. It was his idea to have the party at the park.

Lunch: Pizza for boys is primo, and the nearby parlor constantly runs a special for 2 medium pizzas about $15. This should feed 5 boys easy. I will bring drinks! Cake for another $11 because I don't have time to cook one for the first time in 10 years!!!!

Games: If needed...2 games which cost $0!
1. Poseur. One boy goes off a ways and closes his ears. The rest secretly decide among themselves what 'pose' they want him to make. When the first boy returns, the group expresses cheers, applause, boos (in moderation), until the correct pose is attained.

2. Sheepdog Tag. One boy is designated wolf, one is designated sheepdog and the rest are designated sheep. The sheepdog and sheep link arms or hold hands. They have to run from the wolf, as a team, until the wolf tags the sheepdog. Then repeat with new assignments.

One game which costs a couple dollars:
3. Whip Cream Frenzy. For each player, place a grape or M&M or small food item on a paper plate. Cover with a moderately sized mound of whip cream. Players stand in front of their plate with hands held behind the back. Upon the word 'GO' players try to grab the little item at the bottom of the whip cream in their teeth. First one wins.

Prizes? Maybe I'll dig some out of the 'gift' closet.

Favors: I kind of hate that this is so expected now, but am happy to do something inexpensive and NOT CANDY related. This time I got 'Skateboard Company stickers. They are about $1 ea, and I got 10 (bleh), but the shop gave me as many Skateboarder Posters as I wanted FREE!

Total for the party under $50 by a long shot (for 5 kids).

Got New Car

February 11th, 2008 at 05:54 pm

Yes, while I was away for the weekend, my husband bought a new car!

And it was NOT a valentine's present....

Saturday: We talked by phone and he reiterated that our second hand Honda now had a leak in the radiator which he was attempting to seal as we spoke. Not to mention it needed new tires AGAIN.

Remember the Toyota Echo? We had looked at one about 5 years ago and weren't happy that it was too light weight. But now felt it was worth another look especially due to the high gas mileage.

I think he took a quick trip to the closest dealer (with the 2 kids) later in the day to see it in person.

But actually was happier with the Toyota Corrolla, which has been hugely improved in recent years. It was not much smaller than a Camry (we own one now), and very reliable, solidly built and priced aggressively.

Later that day he went on-line and contacted at least 12 dealers within 100 miles for competing prices on a Corrolla. As well as collected advertised prices in the newspaper, including one of those "come on" prices (there is only one at this price).

Sunday: During a trip to grandma's (I'm still out of town remember), he receives calls from 5 or so of the dealers on the Corrolla. He wheels and deals on the phone using competitor's prices and the newspaper prices.

On the way home from grandma's he visits one of the dealers for the Corrolla. No major dealing necessary, they agree to the bottom barrel newspaper "come on" price to start!

Including tax, license, this 2008 Corrolla was $14,500.

And by the way, on Saturday he had parked the Honda on the nearest corner with a sign in the window and sold it the next day for $2,000!

WOW, for a final cost of $12,500

and we paid cash Big Grin

Got a Winner - Most Popular Sticker Trivia Question

February 5th, 2008 at 05:14 pm

I run a little trivia contest in my shop (click left column 'prettycheap' to see) for fun and promotion.

For several months no-one came up with the answer to the question:

Q: What is the most popular sticker made (in terms of number produced)?

NOT-smiley face
NOT-Made in China
NOT-Caution: Electrical hazard

A: Chiquita Banana
Approximately 3 billion/yr made according to my source.

New question is up and I give a FREE prize to the correct answer (no strings, shipping included):

Q: What was used to build an edible tower about 5 feet tall in 2003?

To enter, go to my shop and contact me with your guess (click 'contact prettycheap in the shop right column).

Good luck and have fun!

But I LIKE Ramen Noodles

February 4th, 2008 at 07:48 pm

Work lunches are for running errands, taking a walk for exercise, and having a hot cup of soup (and maybe some crackers).

Dinner time leftovers also really hit the spot at lunch, warmed up in the microwave.

Only on a once a week or two basis is the treat of eating out. Just don't need it!

Ramen noodles are so cheap, why? OK, don't answer that, maybe I don't want to know. High sodium (and some high in fat as it was pointed out to me).

10 or 12 bags for a dollar or two! Incredible! In fact, I don't even eat a whole bag! These last me a month!

Free Fun, Get a Chance for a Door Prize with Your Vote on Crafter's Contest

February 1st, 2008 at 09:32 pm

My crafting group, the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) had a monthly contest where each member made an item in the topic of "SCIENCE".

All the entries are in and we ask the public to vote on the best one.

A door prize will be given to a random voter at the end of the voting period (shipping included).

If you want to have a little free fun, look over the entries and post your vote here:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5447218

To vote you must be registered with Etsy (just with an email and password, like amazon).

The link above includes a link to the picture of the prize (there are two), links to each of the items, and a place where you can see all the items at once. If you have time, read some of the item descriptions. Several of these crafters are extraordinarily interesting (the prize for example!).

Why? Yes, we do it for exposure to our crafts, our shops, and also for stimulating our creative skills.

Mine is in there, you'll have to discover it for yourself.

Good luck and have fun! There is no big catch, this is a casual group of small entrepreneurs supporting and learning from each other. And this is our 4th or so monthly contest, they have been a great success!