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Archive for April, 2011

Homemade Shrinky Dinks, or Amazing what you can ReUse

April 26th, 2011 at 03:45 pm

April 22 is past, but you frugal and thrifty thinkers know recycling, reusing and reducing are an everyday habit. Below is part of an entry in the PaperBackSwap Earth Day contest. I've seen others do crafting with shrinky dink plastic but haven't paid much attention though it looks fun to try. This no-cost idea is going to make testing the waters EASY!! Save this tip for a superb summer vacation boredom buster !! And pass to others if you think it's good (click the 'tweet' button left sidebar).

Take #6 plastics and reuse them for shrinky dinks. You can find this plastic sometimes on disposable drink lids, clear disposable salad containers, strawberry containers, etc. Just cut out your shape (they will shrink quite a bit!), punch a hole in the top (optional) and bake on a foil covered cookie sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes at 350 degrees. They will curl up and flatten back out, just like store bought shrinky dinks.

Here are some examples from Etsy with shrink plastic...

Shown above

Text is Red Red Thinking Outside the Box and Link is
Red Red Thinking Outside the Box

Text is Bread Slices of Life and Link is
Bread Slices of Life

Text is School Charm Bracelet and Link is
School Charm Bracelet

Results of 5 years hard work and experience.

April 19th, 2011 at 08:21 pm

I am proud to introduce the best work yet of my jewelry design skills.

Citrine and Garnet Extravagant Jeweled Necklace & Earrings Set

Inspired by the medieval story I'm reading set in the English countryside complete with earls, bishops, commoners, and knights...Influenced by colleague artist's wire and stone work...Incorporating a love of gems, gold and fine pearl supplies.

The central briolette is a ~1.5" sparkling cut citrine. To each side are ruby red cut garnet with additional tiny yellow and white clear smooth glass drops. All the briolettes are hung from different styles of fancy loops made from 14K heavy gold filled wire. The necklace ends are finished with pale gold and pure white freshwater pearl strands.

Matching earrings in wine red garnet and gold.

Supremely royal, and timely for the wedding next week in London.

On sale for a short two weeks in the Buenaventura Art Association Gallery (Sta Clara St).

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Disembodied Lips, or I am NOT a graphic designer

April 17th, 2011 at 09:24 pm

It's such a perfect spring day I had to move to the backyard to play with my toys!

What started as a short session of arranging dried flowers on a few cards extended into a jumble of colors and fun supplies. My daughter brought out some watercolors to hang out together.

I couldn't stop! But it's ok, let me explain.

Greetings for All
Do you still use cards for family occasions? gift giving? and thank you's? A non-digital greeting is still very much fun to receive and super easy for you to make in the imaginative style I'll show below.

1. Supplies
The best thing about this card making style is the supplies are very very inexpensive. You probably have everything on hand already!! (you just didn't know it).

Cardstock (or copy paper if not) and Envelopes
Scraps of fancy paper if any

Extra Fun:
Punches, gel pens, glitter, bits of yarn or lace
Old Cards
Magazines, Newspaper

2. Start Imagining
Now that last supply up above is my favorite. All you need is a magazine or a newspaper. Folks, I am NOT a graphic designer as it says in the title. It is a formal profession you go to college for. But I AM able to use their expertise. It's all over these magazines. Just grab your scissors and cut out those styled food layouts, those color coordinated florals and those punchy texts.

Cut out things. Fun things, weird things, interesting things. Cut out words. Separate words. Unusual words, common words.

Don't worry if you haven't a final subject in mind. It is easier to arrange things when they are out of their commercial context.

Step 3. Say It Glue It

Cut blank cards from heavy paper (or copy paper if you don't have). Use commercial envelopes or you can even make those (ask me for instructions).

Arrange the front of the card using the cut outs and other little supplies. A few common sense principles ~

~ Stick with a theme such as food, or flowers, or toys
~ Use one central large image and accent with a few smaller things
~ Work two or three different textures on the card, such as a few magazine cut outs, and a bit of ribbon and some spots of glitter.

Note in the card above is a little lily pad cut out from green embossed paper, a few frog punch outs and a strip of printed border paper on the side so far.

Step 4. TaDa! Done!

Finish up the card with (or without) a sentiment of words.

I added a magazine cut out (rectangles of windows) and a few sequins. The word 'ART' just sums it up.

Use this idea for an unscheduled summer vacation day or a craft-themed birthday party (adults too!).

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Is there a $10 free giftcard 'Club'?

April 13th, 2011 at 05:55 pm

Yesterday I got a 'Get $10 free on any purchase' card from a local department store (Kohl's). First time ever from them, although for several years I have received similar giftcards from JC Penney's around Mother's Day, Father's Day and sometimes in the fall.

Does everyone get these or did I do something special? I assumed in the past that EVERYONE got the Penney's offer, or at least everyone who landed on their mailing list by one cause or another.

Penney's is probably big enough to absorb the cost, Kohl's is much less widespread and I'm surprised they are doing this.

The offer is great. You can make a purchase of $10.01 and even include tax and they will deduct the ten bucks. I love it and use the coupon every time for small necessities such as a bed pillow, throw rug, bath towel, or picture frame. There a lots and lots of small items suitable for gifts at $10 from Penneys.

I can think of one thing which may have put me on a high class shopper list with Kohls. A couple months ago my daughter received a $25 gift card from grandma for a birthday present. I made a couple additional limited purchases at the same time and our total was slightly over $50. Maybe that is a threshold? By the way, that total resulted in ANOTHER $10 off certificate to be redeemed within the following two weeks.

Speaking of high class shopping, feast your eyes on the latest work from The Frugal Artisan!


Have your own royal wedding any day of the week with a wealth of gemstone and pearls. Citrine centerpiece is set off by garnet and glass briolettes on hand hammered links in fancy shapes. Pale gold and pure white ivory freshwater pearls complete the strands around the sides and back. Matching earrings. 14K GF throughout.

Text is here and Link is
here also to open

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See it in person at the Harbor Village Gallery, Ventura for a limited time in May.


April 6th, 2011 at 05:22 pm

It's spring and all things being born. That must be what influenced my decision to remake, rather than let go of the few items in my inventory that remained unsold.

I typically do not take apart work, instead using them as gifts to customers or prizes for email subscribers (see lower left sidebar to sign up for my VERY INFREQUENT email specials).

But take a look at the before and after uses for two blood red heart charms...


Knotted Fancy Freshwater Pearl Bracelet w/Coral Accents

Not shown: Knotted Pearl Bracelet w/Green Aventurine Accents

Though not technically a reincarnation, these unloved smoky quartz earrings were reborn this spring as well...

BEFORE (l) ; AFTER (r)

Simple briolette with pearl link now sports a fringe of blush, coffee and mustard.

Rare Book?!

April 5th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I love love love old books. When travelling in the east US there isn't anything more interesting than looking in the forgotten thrift / antique store corners for old books. Doesn't really matter the subject though I have a tendency toward science, academics. And a plate (illustration) with a protective tissue paper cover SWOON it's enough to make me faint.

ha ha. OK, today I went back to the library book sale shelf where they are trying to really unload. The normal $2 hardback and $1 soft cover prices are 1/2 OFF! WOOT!

I had gone about a week ago and RESISTED. But not before I sat and read the entire copy of a 1959 edition of Ben Hur. Complete with color illustrations, it is a youth version. (Not suitable for anyone under 8 in my opinion though!!).

For $1. I sloooowly put it back that day. In a spot where I'd remember in case I changed my mind. I just didn't want to spend even a few dollars on what was not necessary.

This week I have a several spending dollars. In preparation of going away for half the week I went back determined to get my teen boy some books. He was with me.

SO HAPPY. Ben Hur I missed you!! I snatched it up. And the kid found Da Vinci Code.

Here's the other treasures in my bag:

Text is The Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchester. and Link is
The Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, Simon Winchest...This is the popular author who has been writing historical stories about Darwin, volcanoes, and the like.

Text is Ship of Gold and Link is
Ship of Gold. The true story of sunken treasure off Carolina and the guys who haul it up.

After recently reading Drawing in the Dust (a novel written by a rabbi about a discovery of Jeremiah, the prophet) and now Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth (historical fiction on the making of medieval cathredrals), I was attracted to this:

Text is The Secret Scroll and Link is
The Secret Scroll another archeologic novel with loads of true details set in Jeruselum.

I am soooooooooooooo happy spending $5.50 brings me such joy!!!

And an old book about creature habits, and an old copy of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet were there. $1 ea. JUST SAYIN' maybe I will be back soon.

Teeny Tiny Workout

April 5th, 2011 at 02:57 am

No, I don't mean a short work out or only a little sweat. My kid is lovin' a $1 exercise app he put on his iPod. I'm lovin' that he is jumping around. It's by some football player and he is attracted to anything football lately. OK, for ONCE I am not bugging him to get moving. Big Grin

If that story is about smart frugal and wholesome habits, the next is about happily ever after earning. It involves a 1-day table fair that I vended last Saturday. My younger came along for the day with a small collection of mini cards and friendship bracelets I encouraged her to make and put up for sale.

A lady came and bought all her cards. This person spent time at every table with much interest. Although my kid was polite, she later told me it wasn't a real customer because the person was doing it to be nice. WELL.... I took a little time explaining that the cards attracted her in the first place and she wanted to try out the design herself. That is a compliment simply for the work. OK, she thought about it and it sunk in. Later, the artist next to us (a young woman surfer who was really down to earth anyway) decided to buy 5 friendship bracelets. WOOT, it was nice to have success for my kid.

For the first day off of school this week I sat down and took apart some crystal heart and pearl earrings that just never got loved! Here they are reincarnated for Mother's Day, graduates, and holiday fests:


Knotted Pearl and Coral Bracelet w/Heart Charm

All in a day's work!