Tag Archives: cheap


Want a simple Christmas craft to make your home smell delicious using just two ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen? Pomanders!


Just stick some cloves into an orange or other citrus fruit. I used a push pin first to make it easier to stick the cloves in. Fill the entire orange or create a pattern, it’s up to you. You can tie a ribbon around the fruit first to hang it on your tree, or make a few pomanders [displayed in a bowl with pine cones perhaps?]

Here’s a cute use of pomanders:

give thanks pomander

xoxo, emma


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How to make boba

I wanted to make my own boba tea/tapioca, and went to Fubonn on a whim.  Luckily they actually had an entire section of the pearls and even drink mixes.  If you don’t have an Asian grocery near you, they are available on Ebay.  The boba turned out great! Here’s what you’ll need:

Boba supplies

Tapioca pearls, they had black, white and multicolored at the store.  Of course I got multicolored.  I picked up a honeydew flavor drink mix as well.  And you can’t forget the chunky straws!

tapioca pearls

Boil 10 cups of water, then add in one cup of the pearls.  Give the pearls a gentle stir.  Right away they will rise to the top of the water.  When they do, cover them and boil for 5 minutes more.

tapioca pearls, done

After 5 minutes, take the pearls out and drain them.  Mix them with some simple syrup (1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups water.  Heat in a pot and remove from heat as soon as it boils.)  I think the simple syrup step is to keep them from sticking together.

Next, in a shaker combine: 2 ounces simple syrup, 2 tbs. drink powder, and 2 tbs. non-dairy creamer (I didn’t have any so I used 2 tbs. milk and it worked perfectly).  Add a few ice cubes and fill to the top with cold water.  Shake to combine, making sure the drink powder dissolves.

Spoon some finished tapiocas into a glass, and pour the liquid over it.

finished boba

And that’s it!  It looks (and tastes) so impressive but is really quite easy.  I will definitely pull this recipe out next time I have friends over.  Enjoy!

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I Have a Problem…

I have a serious problem with craft supplies.  They are coming out of my ears yet I keep getting more…sometimes I get craft supplies I don’t even know what to do with!  Take for instance, this bag of pom-poms I got at Goodwill.  It was a dollar, about the size of a sandwich, and I didn’t own any pom-poms so I picked it up.  Well it turned out to contain 4500 pom-poms, in 13 colors (and multi-colored)!!! Why on earth did I buy these?

pom poms

I think I’m going to take a thin needle and some clear beading thread and make them into an itsy-bitsy colorful garland.  The theme of my living room right now is pretty much “rainbow,” so it’ll fit right in.  Haha.  Come to think of it, thats the general decorating scheme in my craft room as well.  I just love multiple colors, they are so bright and inspiring.  Thats why I love Heidi Kenney (of My Paper Crane)‘s house.  So cute!

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Thrift Store Afghans

I headed out to Value Village for my first time today.  Little did I know, on Monday everything with a yellow tag is only 99 cents!  I picked up two of the most beautiful hand crocheted afghans. If anyone has tips on how to wash them I would appreciate it.  Probably will just throw them in the washer on a cold cycle since they’re made of acrylic yarn.

Rainbow afghan

It makes me a little sad knowing that someone worked so hard on these beauties and now they are selling for only 99 cents!  But I take solace in the knowledge that I will love them and get lots of use out of them… I’m one of those people that always has a blanket on my lap when I’m at home, and even at friends houses sometimes!  My friend Rosie jokes that i use her throw blankets more than she does.

Stella on purple afghan

Of course Knitty Kitty had to check it out right away to see if she approved.

Kody on purple afghan

Not so fast!  Introducing Knitty Kitty/Stella’s new younger sister, Kodiak.  We adopted her a little over a month ago, and after a couple terrible weeks of sickness she is fitting in wonderfully at our house.  She already claimed the purple blanket as her own.


I just love the iPhone Hipstamatic app!  Did you see how in the newest (August 2010) issue of Martha Stewart Living they used Hipstamatic for their article on old-fashioned bikes?  Love!

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S.C.R.A.P. Jackpot

I dropped by S.C.R.A.P. again today, and am sure glad I did! I really lucked out on getting a ton of items–I got 11 items for $5.75! (And one item was $4 itself, so 10 items for $1.75…amazing!Tiny Embroidery kits

I got 5 tiny embroidery kits for 10 cents each.  2 of them come with their own little frames, and one is another embroidery kit that comes with a tiny hanger to display it on.  I think the cow and chicken ones will belong in my planned kitchen embroidery display wall, the other ones I’m not sure what to do with yet.  But they were just so adorable, and perfect little quick projects to do while I watch a movie with the BF.

Bear ornament and sachet

I picked up a bear 3D ornament kit.  He comes with the batting to stuff him with and gets embroidered with the enclosed yarn instead of thread.  I’m accumulating quite the stash of Christmas ornament kits, which I can’t wait to decorate my house with this winter, as it will be our first Christmas together in our own home. 🙂  The kit on the right is a beaded sachet kit.  It has flowers and hummingbirds that you embroider with thread, and a blue background that you embroider with little seed beads.  It even comes with the potpourri to stuff it with.  I’m excited to complete that kit because I’ve wanted to learn more about beaded embroidery.


The next kit I got is a little 12″ by 5″ Penguin crewel embroidery kit.   I only have done crewel once (with another kit for a pincushion that I picked up at the San Francisco SCRAP) so I’m excited to try this one which looks a bit harder.  My sister has always been obsessed with penguins so if I’m happy with the outcome of this project it will probably be sent to her.

St. Nicholas

This is a huge needlepoint kit (10″ by 14″) that you embroider with tapestry yarn.  Another Christmas one!  It comes with a lot of metallic threads which I love.  I haven’t done any “needlepoint” which I think is basically embroidery with yarn instead of thread…but this one looks amazing.  And it comes with so much for only 50 cents!

Googly eyes and bird

Two small things I got are a pair of the biggest Googly eyes I’ve ever seen, and a pretty little red bird to go with my owls.  I’m not sure what people use these little creepy/cute birds for…perhaps floral arrangements?  I just think this little red cardinal is adorable.  I will either find somewhere for it to perch year-round, or maybe put it on my first Christmas tree this year.  Wow, it really MUST be Christmas in July because I sure have the holidays on my mind.

Needle Punch kit

And now for my big $4 item….a Needle Punch Starter Kit!  I didn’t really know what needle punch is, but I’ve been researching it online since I brought my kit home and I’m so excited!  The kit comes with 15 designs.  I’m stoked for a standing unicorn design and a couple of mushrooms.  The kit includes everything and smells good, exactly like a grandma’s house.  It smells like a mix of lavender/cigarettes/makeup.  I might be weird for thinking that smells good, but whatever. 😉

The kit comes with a catalog for the company’s other patterns…great ones like creepy Santas, alligators playing golf, Mason and Moose Lodge crests, and sayings like “We interrupt this marriage to bring you the football season.”  Haha!  I love it.  Yarn colorsIt even comes with 15 colors of yarn.  The photo on the cover shows you can do it on towels, so that’s what I hope to use the kit for.  Hopefully the BF doesn’t mind if I needle punch a teddy bear holding balloons on his  bath towel…;)

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Angelhair Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Shallots

One of my go-to dinner recipes is so simple but yields delicious results.  Want to know the secret? Cook some pasta (Personally, I think angelhair is the most delicious shape); fry up some bacon; remove the bacon but keep the grease; cook some veggies in the bacon grease; add some cream; mix it all together! See how simple? I promise it is so delicious–I’d guess it’s probably the bacon grease… :/

Vegetarians beware: this post contains photos of raw bacon!


First, fry some bacon

Cook some shallots in the bacon grease

Add some frozen peas and half-and-half (though I have been known to use heavy cream!)

Once it starts to thicken up, add it to the pasta!

I’ve had good results with all sorts of veggies, like squash and onions instead of peas and shallots.  Every veggie tastes better cooked in bacon grease!

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S.C.R.A.P. Haul

I’ve mentioned before how much I LOVE S.C.R.A.P. It is the absolute best craft supply store/non-profit.  I was driving past today and couldn’t resist popping in for a quick look.  I headed straight to my favorite bin, where you can get full embroidery kits for less than a dollar.  I ended up picking up two items, totaling only 50 cents!

My Scrap Haul

I picked up a tiny little embroidery kit which includes everything, even the kitschy mini wire hanger to display the final project on.  It said 50 cents but I got it for only a quarter!  My favorite items to get from S.C.R.A.P. are all their kitchen/gardening/cooking embroidery kits.  One day I hope to display them all on a huge wall of kitsch above my kitchen table.  The second item I picked up is a cool mounting board for finished embroideries or any other type of fabric art.  Just what I need to display one of my already finished kitchen embroidery pieces! I love that I picked up these two cute things for only a measly 50 cents.


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