Recently Overheard – July 2, 2014

If you’d been at our house lately you would’ve heard this…

“Satan doesn’t work at McDonalds, he works at Burger King!”

While watching USA in the World Cup…
“Goalie Tim Howard deserves an award, or a hug or at least an ice cream cone!”

“If I had a dollar for every time Mom said. ‘Someone kick it’ I’d be rich!”

“Mom passed the test. The test of weirdness.”

“Mom is a kids’ jute box.”

Me, while having a science conversation-
“What do you think of when you hear the word orbit?”
Chase- “Eat. Drink. Chew Orbit!”

Kids 1- “If you had to choose just one store to do all your shopping
for your life what would it be?”
Kid 2- “Sky mall.”

Denim for Baby, too?

If you’ve read very many of my posts you already know
that I totally love to make new items out of “old” jeans.
It’s often called, “Upcycling” but it’s just plain fun and
a great way to be wise with money!

This idea came from Pinterest.
Now, Pinterest and I have a strange relationship…
I don’t have one, but when a google search sends me
to someone’s board I cannot lie… I like it.

While hunting for a printable bib pattern I found
a few pictures of these adorable little bibs.  SO CUTE!
So I busted out the bag of “old jeans,”  (thanks, Chilly,
little boys and Zach) and whipped up a few for a sweet
little girl born to our precious friends in Chicago-land.

Now, the other pregnant lady in my life (Hi Kelley) will know
what to expect when she’s done expecting!


Bib 1 front


Bib 1 back


This is a great project if you’re just beginning
to sew.  Fun!


(Note:  I wrote this post a few days ago… cuz as you
read this I’m actually on vacation. Yippee!)




Denim Pillow- Netta’s Niche

Oh how I love making things out of old jeans.  There’s so much fabric in one adult pair.
And so my obsession continues.  (Click here to see my other projects, and here.)

denim pillow
Last night I made a pillow cover for a coverless pillow
form that was awaiting some love. The two legs of the jeans
made the actual pillow, and a back pocket makes a nice
“hiding” spot in the front.  This pillow will be a little gift to my
son’s 1st grade teacher.  Perhaps she’ll find use for it in her
“reading spot” or where ever. Since she can pop off the cover
to wash it, hopefully it will be a helpful addition to her
classroom for a long time.

(I have two other denim projects in the works, but not complete…
Yet! )


Frugal or Free Fun for the Fam

It’s SUMMER!!!!! Yippee!!
At the beginning of the summer I asked the kids what they wanted to be sure to do before it’s cold again.
Their ideas are on here, plus other things that we’ve done in years past & will probably do again.
It doesn’t take money to have fun!. Here’a list of some of the things we do for fun… and they cost little to no money!

*BACKYARD WATER PARK– Besides the hose on the slide, we use zip ties to hold a fat pool noodle to the top of the swing set and then poked holes in it and slid the hose inside it. The  kids would swing and it would “rain” on them!  They thought it was great!

*SQUIRT GUN or even squirt BOTTLE wars. It only takes two people to make this fun!

We make an afternoon of it! Park down the street & walk in the pretty city, play in the water, take silly pictures, eat the  snacks we’ve packed then sit in the sunshine with the beach towels before we walk back to the car.

*SLIP & SLIDE -use an old shower curtain liner, a squirt of liquid dish soap & a hose. A hill isn’t even required.

*DISH PAN POOL FOR TODDLERS – back in the early 1980’s (hey, no comments!)  I worked at  daycare center. The toddlers loved it when filled dish pans with water and put them out on the sunny deck. Then gave them little cups & toys. Happiness!

*HOMEMADE ICE CREAM…. in a BAG!!!  ice cream in a bag

*HOMEMADE SLURPEE   I used this recipe but substituted generic Sprite instead of Club Soda
*THEME DAYS – Basically anything becomes special when you build on a theme. For example,declare that it’s  “Bubble Day.”  Eat pancakes made with club soda, make homemade bubbles and giant things to blow them through. Drink pop!  (horror of horrors!  NO!  Your child won’t be permentantly damaged if they drink pop occasionally.)  Have bubble blowing contests with bubble gum… And pour lots of bubble bath in the kiddie pool or bathtub!  See, normal things are now totally special.

So many parks have free things to offer in the summer. If you’re in The D check out these sites.
Campus Martius Park, free movie nights (thanks for this info, Nicole)
New Center Park, Jazz concerts and movie nights

Detroit Institute of Art is free to Detroit residents on Fridays. Guess when we go?  🙂
Henry Ford Museum Free Days
       Ann Arbor Museum Group Free Day (haven’t tried this one)
Adventure Pass through the library system Adventure Pass
Museums Days sponsored by Bank of America

*Neighborhood Art Show – There’s so many options. Ask your kids for ideas!

*MAKE A  picnic BLANKET and use it!
(I haven’t done this, but it’s on my “to-do-someday” list.)


*LATE NIGHT SNACKS OUTSIDE – a regular snack is special if you get to stay up late and eat it outside. The whole neighbor is different when it’s dark  (especially when you’re in Detroit! ha!)


 *MAKE THINGS out of Denim jeans that the kid won’t fit into by the fall. Click the link- not everything requires sewing
*LATE NIGHT SNACKS OUTSIDE – a regular snack is special if you get to stay up late and eat it outside. The whole neighbor is different when it’s dark  (especially when you’re in Detroit! ha!)

*SCAVENGER HUNT in weird places… like in the grocery store or anywhere that it normally sorta boring.  I’ve make up random scavenger hunts for the Free museums so that no one could say that it was “boring!” They had a great time & asked to do it again.

*LOCAL LAKES & BEACHES– ’nuff said!  🙂

*FREE KIDS BOWLING all summer at various bowling centers across the country

*SAVE FOR THE BIG REWARD – We live in Michigan where we get money for cans, so we’re collecting them saving “pop can return money for a museum membership that we really want to visit. Also, loose change and random money found in pockets, etc, is put into the little yellow container. Hopefully by the fall we’ll have enough for the membership & can enjoy it during the colder months.


What do you enjoy in the summer that costs little or no money?




Earth Day, Shmerth Day 2012

Being resourceful & finding new uses for things is a normal way of life for us. I grew up that way & those skills were sharpened as the size of our family grew. Every year I share another practical way to be smart with what you have… and this year is no different.

This project wasn’t planned as an “Earth Day Project.”  This is the way it came to be…

The bridal shower of our sweet friend was just a week away.
Trips to the fabric store for “gift-making supplies” continued to be thwarted by various events.
I was running out of time!

A venture into the “less-than-organized” basement.
Items found:

-A dress never worn
– Decoration fabric from last year’s July 4th party
-Old jean scraps from denim projects,  donated by several friends (including the groom-to-be!)
-Fabric from projects of Christmas past
-Pillow fabric (that was never used for pillows… or anything else)
-Ikea curtain panel that had been dyed green (that once hung in the house where several bridesmaids now live!)

Add to this strange collection of materials the bin of “this & thats” from my Mom… and the outcome is an

Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter


We don’t wait until Earth Day to do something smart with what we already have…

We don’t recycle just cuz it’s the politically correct thing to do…

Earth Day, Shmerth Day!  We just live this way.





(Special thanks to the apron model, my youngest daughter.)



We all wear jeans… and they wear out. Here’s more ideas for reusing that denim.






Wordless Wednesday, Patriotic Banner Tutorial

Using fabric scraps and old denim jeans I made this banner to

decorate our yard on July 4th. Here’s how… in pictures only.



(Note: I wasn’t driving. Just waiting for my daughter to finish

 cheer camp for the day.)



I linked up to a couple of craft sites this week:

Thirty Handmade Days

Cat on a Limb

Netta’s Niche – Denim Obsession

Denim… old jeans… pile up around our house.

Huge holes in the knees.

Ripped out back pockets. Broken zippers. etc…

But I just cannot get myself to throw them away.

It’s such good fabric.

So, I do things like this…


Made from my husband’s old jeans..

one of several little bags to hold toys:

a small set of tiny blocks …






or small potato head toys…-


A pillow for my friend’s

little boy…






We’ve even made picture frames

from old denim and cardboard





The duvet covers I made for

the boys a couple of years ago…

they’re denim on the top &  flannel

on the underneath side.

(The quilts inside are their older

sisters’ old comforters… more recycling)


The legs of jeans make nice

laundry bags, too.


It’s sturdy.

It’s cute.

It looks kinda pottery barn-ish… (except it’s FREE!) and

Since there are so many pairs of jeans that need a new purpose…

I wonder what else I can come up with.

Have you  made anything from old jeans?