Home > Archive: December, 2006

Archive for December, 2006

Step-by-Step Gift Containers (good enough to sell)

December 27th, 2006 at 03:26 pm

Do you want to amaze your Valentine this year? Put a little gift in a decorated can you make yourself.

My sister originated this idea (see her at They are so beautiful, she sells the cans by themselves.

Recycled coffee can, oatmeal cylinder, peanut can, or similar item. The cylindrical shapes are recommended.

Contact paper

Artificial floral items, including longish strands of leaves, small clusters of berries, birds, etc.

Hot glue gun

1. Wash and dry the recycled can thoroughly.
2. Cover the can with contact paper carefully. It's not necessary to cover the lid.
3. Clip a strand of leaves long enough to wind around the can starting near the top and spiraling one or two times down and around the can.
4. Hot glue the leaves in several places on the can, especially gluing at the top and the bottom ends.
5. Clip a couple berry clusters, flowers or other items and arrange in groups at intervals along the ivy.
6. Hot glue the clusters on the can.
7. Hot glue single leaves on any exposed wire ends of the items.
8. Hot glue a cluster of matching items on the lid. Include a focal item on the lid, such as a bird.

Voila, beautiful. This 'wrapping' is so impressive, you need not fill with a major gift.

I gave all mine away, or I'd attach a photo!

Pokemon Crazy Kids

December 26th, 2006 at 12:00 am

Catch em all?
My 2 school age kids can't get enough of the Pokemon cards. But these have somewhat run their course over the past half dozen years.

To get a lot for a little I posted in the 'Wanted' section of Craig's list. Naturally, a family 5 blocks away had boxes full (a couple thousand cards) practically begging me to take them away.

Not free. But only $25 for 2 shoe boxes full of many unopened packs, 1,000 loose cards, a couple rare cards, a movie and some other stuff I didn't even want.

A great deal for 2 happy kids and many hours of free time for mom.

Another Inexpensive Last Minute Gift Idea

December 16th, 2006 at 03:03 pm

Muffin, soup, rice mix in a jar is a suitable gift for someone who has everything. The teacher, the elderly aunt/uncle, the casual neighbor.

Here's a couple recipes that cost pennies. Notice I prefer to give unsugary foods. Buy enough supplies to make several to save even more.

Glass jar with a lid (get it at the thrift store, wash well)
Square of Fabric to cover the lid
Ribbon or raffia to tie on the fabric

Spicy Lentil or Pea Soup
One to two cups dried lentils or split peas (bulk available at health food store, or bagged in the grocery store)

1/8 tsp flaked hot pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour into jar. Close and cover with fabric. Attach tag with instructions (from bag) how to cook soup.

Herbed Rice Mix
3 C long grain rice such as basmati
dried mushrooms
1 Tb dried onion flakes
1 Tb garlic powder
1 Tb parsley

Mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour into jar. Close and cover with fabric. Attach tag with instructions (for rice cooking)

Lunch Box Sanity Savers

December 14th, 2006 at 11:43 pm

Through fighting over what to pack for lunch? Tired of food coming back home wasted?

Here's a few new ideas to perk up the kids lunch box from the-


Muffins: homemade featuring whole wheat, dried fruits, and zuchinni

Beef Jerky

Bread and Butter

Trail Mix: homemade featuring dried cereal, dried fruit, maybe a few choc chips

Crackers, Stick Pretzels, Cheese Dip (get the little sauce cups from Smart & Final and fill them yourself!)

Waffles and Syrup Dip (use the little sauce cups from Smart & Final for syrup)

Chicken Nuggets and BBQ Sauce Dip: homemade chicken nuggets are easy, ditto above for the BBQ sauce

More later!

Small Business Growing Pains

December 14th, 2006 at 09:06 pm

Pretty Cheap Jewelry is not a small business, it is a teensy tiny eeny weeny business.

Please help me understand the workings of the business world. I handmake things for fun and love and surely price myself too low.

Does anyone understand Google Adwords (on a small scale?) and speak english not computerese? I have a small account and they have given me a $25 credit to get started. I have given it a $2/month budget and get a few clicks a week (my little ad probably appears on the 10th page of a google search).

Any advertising savings ideas welcome. I shamelessly promote, using many guerilla marketing techniques. But it's hard to drive traffic to my internet store.

Thanks for the help.

Don't forget to take the Telephone Book to Lunch

December 14th, 2006 at 08:58 pm

Need a lunch break at work? Before you go, always check the webpage of your destiny for coupons. Many have printable coupons to take with you, for example:


And have you checked for a coupon in the telephone book? Ours is especially filled with pizza place coupons.

Just for Fun-Monopoly Trivia

December 14th, 2006 at 08:49 pm

What is the most common space landed on in the game Monopoly?

What playing piece was added by Parker Bros. when in 1988 Russia allowed a version of Monopoly to be sold?

Post your guesses here!

Check back soon for answers (provided by KVTA 1520 AM radio, 12/14/06)

Avatar Story

December 14th, 2006 at 08:41 pm

What's in an avatar? Recycled chandelier glass pieces (for one!).

The avatar for Pretty Cheap Jewelry is a necklace and earring set I designed and handmade using chandelier pieces from a vintage light fixture.

The lights were rescued from a destiny with the garbage can. I removed and cleaned all the pieces and reused them in this classic, elegant and formal design.

A similar set of earrings can be bought separately in my little shop

Thanks for looking!

Last Minute Inexpensive Gift Idea

December 13th, 2006 at 03:18 pm

Have you ever tried to make a wreath?

It's easy, thoughtful and costs little.

Small: Bend a wire coat hanger into a circle (use pliers if necessary). The hook is already in place for hanging! Gather small branches and greenery from your yard. (Don't be afraid to go to the street trees if necessary, but just a little!). Use a variety of greenery, such as ivy, pine, and berried bushes. Wire them to the hanger. Finish with small bows, small ornaments, cinammon sticks, etc.

Large: Gather medium and small pieces of greenery from the yard. Wire them directly into a circle. Be generous, as this will make your circle more sturdy. Weave a ribbon in and around the circle. Or decorate with a theme. Make a 'gardeners' wreath and tie on cloth gloves, seed packets, small tools. Very easy and smells nice!

Harvest your greenery ahead of time and put the cut ends into a bucket of water. Store in a cool place for about 2 weeks until you have time to do your crafting.

Don't forget to make a small one with inexpensive items at!