Thursday, February 26, 2009

Feburary 2009 Contest

Here it is...My very first contest!!

This is a picture of a craft made by my 6 year old daughter Noel. It is a pin that you can wear on a sweater, shirt or jacket. This craft was made in honor of a holiday. What do you think is the message behind the craft and what holiday do you think it represents?? You task, should you chose to accept it, is to name the concept and the holiday.

Good Luck!!

The prizes will be announced this weekend...and NO...there will be NO toothpaste involved!!


1. No cheating-if you already know the answer from talking to me previously, YOU CANNOT ENTER.

2. You are allowed to guess as many times as you would like.

3. The answers can only be submitted as a "comment" to this blog post. Do not go to another of my entries and post the answer. You must post it as a comment on this entry only.

4. Entries will be accepted according to when they are posted. Each comment is posted with a date and time on it. The first person to get it right is the winner. For example, if XYZ posts a comment with the correct answer at 8:16PM GMT and ABC posts the correct answer at 8:17PM GMT on the same day...WYZ will win.

5. The contest will run from Friday, February 27 until Friday, March 6 at midnight. The winner will be announced on Sunday, March 8. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY ANSWERS BEFORE FRIDAY 2/27/09 and DO NOT SUBMIT ANY ANSWERS AFTER FRIDAY 3/6/09.

6. The prize will be mailed/delivered on Wednesday 3/11/09.

7. This contest is open to all residents of the matter how old/young you are. The only requirement to enter this contest is that you post your answer as a comment to this post only!!

8. You DO NOT have to subscribe to my blog in order to win. Any random viewer can enter and win.

9. Your chances of winning are based on then number of entries. I expect this number to be pretty low, so if I had to guess...I'd say you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning. (Dear Lord, PLEASE let them prove me wrong...PLEASE let millions of people from all over the world enter my contest...~amen)

10. The winner, if you work anywhere other than WEE Care Preschool, must be willing to provide a valid mailing address in order to receive your prize.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to post a comment

Rumor has it...or perhaps it is just wishful thinking on my part...that several of you would like to post a comment but are not sure how to do so. Well, here are the step by step directions on how to do it. After reading this, if you are still having problems, PLEASE email me at (please note: there is an underscore between stewart and tobm. example "...stewart_tobm...")

1. Go down to the end of the blog post that you are reading. You will see the following:

Posted by Ms. Stewart if you're Crafty... at 8:06 AM 0 comments
2. Click on "comments." There may or may not be a number in front of the word "comments."

3. A box will pop up. Type your comment in the box.

4. Below the box you will see "comment as:" and a drop down menu. Click on the menu arrow and select Name/URL.

5. A new box will open. ONLY enter your NAME, unless you have a website or blog URL that you would like to enter. You DO NOT have to have or enter a URL. The only thing that you have to enter is a name (any name). Then click "continue."

6. This will take you back to where you typed your comment. Read through your comment and make sure that you are satisfied with it. If you are, hit "post comment." If you are not, retype it and then hit "post comment."

7. You are finished and you have just posted your comment.

You will not see your comment immediately. I see all comments before they are posted and after I have approved will post.

Hope this helps and if you need any additional me.


Marquita's First Contest Rules

H i All...

I have decided to host a contest...No to will be VERY user friendly and a prize will be awarded to the winner!! You gotta LOVE an opportunity to win something free, I know I do!!

So anyway...Here are the rules:

1. No cheating-if you already know the answer from talking to me previously, YOU CANNOT ENTER.
2. You are allowed to guess as many times as you would like.
3. The answers can only be submitted as a "comment" to this blog post. Do not go to another of my entries and post the answer. You must post it as a comment on this entry only.
4. Entries will be accepted according to when they are posted. Each comment is posted with a date and time on it. The first person to get it right is the winner. For example, if XYZ posts a comment with the correct answer at 8:16PM GMT and ABC posts the correct answer at 8:17PM GMT on the same day...WYZ will win.
5. The contest will run from Friday, February 27 until Friday, March 6 at midnight. The winner will be announced on Sunday, March 8. PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY ANSWERS BEFORE FRIDAY 2/27/09 and DO NOT SUBMIT ANY ANSWERS AFTER FRIDAY 3/6/09.
6. The prize will be mailed/delivered on Wednesday 3/11/09.
7. This contest is open to all residents of the matter how old/young you are. The only requirement to enter this contest is that you post your answer as a comment to this post only!!
8. You DO NOT have to subscribe to my blog in order to win. Any random viewer can enter and win.
9. Your chances of winning are based on then number of entries. I expect this number to be pretty low, so if I had to guess...I'd say you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning. (Dear Lord, PLEASE let them prove me wrong...PLEASE let millions of people from all over the world enter my contest...~amen)
10. The winner, if you work anywhere other than WEE Care Preschool, must be willing to provide a valid mailing address in order to receive your prize.

Good Luck...

I will post the actual contest tomorrow!!
I am trying to build up mystery and it working yet???

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Liquid Laundry Detergent...

Hey y'all!!! Here is my SUPER simple recipe for Home Made Liquid Laundry Detergent...I have been using if for about a year now and have had NO complaints from the husband. It combines two of my favorite things in the whole wide world...1. CHEAP and 2. EASY.

Once again...I must give credit where credit is due...This recipe came from the good folks over at The Family Homestead. I have changed it some to meet my needs but the recipe is basically the same.

2/3 cup Borax
2/3 cup Washing Soda
2/3 of a bar of soap(grated)
Large Pot
Cheese Grater
Measuring cup
Essential oil
Large Bucket with measurements

1. Grate soap. I use Fel-Naptha, which is a laundry soap. For sensitive skin, use Ivory soap. I have a friend who has to use fragrant free detergent and she LOVES this!! I would also recommend the Ivory soap version for washing baby clothes. When using Fels-Naptha, I cut about 1/3 of the bar off and put it in a Ziploc bag. I use a cheese grater to grate the rest of the bar and sit it to the side. When using Ivory soap, I use the whole bar.

2. Next I measure out my Laundry Soda and Borax, mix them together and set them to the side.

3. Next I get my large pot and fill it half full with water. I bring the water to a boil and then I turn the stove off and slowly stir in the soap.

PLEASE REMEMBER...You are mixing soap and water!!! If you pour soap flakes into a boiling pot of WILL BUBBLE OVER!!! Cut the stove off before you add the soap flakes and add them slowly while you are constantly stirring. Once the flakes have dissolved (do not be alarmed if you find a few errant chunks of soap floating around in the pot), add the borax and soda. Stir until it has all dissolved.

4. Pour the hot mixture in to your large bucket. I have 2 large buckets. One came from Lowes and the other came from Home Depot. They both cost about $7.00 for the bucket and lid and they have graduated measurements on the side. These are paint buckets so look for them in the paint department. Add enough water to make two gallons. If you want to use essential oils for fragrance, add them now. Stir and continue to add them until you get your desired fragrance. The detergent will already have a clean and slightly citrus scent from the Fels-Naptha. Stir the mixture well and cover it (you can use it now). Set it to the side until the next day.

When you open it the next day and stir it, it is going to look like really bad egg drop soup. That is how it is supposed to look and it is ready to use!! I use 1/2 cup per load for regular loads, 1/4 cup for smaller loads and 3/4 cup for larger/stinker loads. Use it like you would any other liquid laundry detergent. I also use it with bleach (not mixed together)for my white clothes.

5. This step is 100% optional but I will include it...I also mix 1-2 quarts of other liquid detergent into my large bucket and stir well. I do this for the added fragrance ONLY! This detergent WILL get your clothes clean without it. I have noticed that it also emulsifies the detergent. Once I stir it and let it set has a silky creamy texture more like traditional liquid detergents.

Although it normally takes 24 hours for this to occur, you do not have to wait that long to use your detergent. You can start using it as soon as you put it in the bucket and add enough water to make two gallons.

Cost Analysis:

It costs about $2.00 to make 2 gallons of this detergent if you do not use the additional liquid detergent and if you do not add essential oils. This figure is based on the following (VERY high) estimates:

1 box borax $4.00--$.05/ounce--2/3c=7.5oz--7.5oz x .05=$.38
1 box laundry soda $4.00--$.07/ounce--2/3c=7oz--7oz x .07=$.49
1 bar of soap $1.50/3=$.50/third of a bar--2 x $.50=$1.00

Which makes the total...$1.87/two gallons (as previously stated...these estimates are HIGH, it is actually cheaper to make it).


*I ALWAYS add a capful of bleach mixed into 4oz of water into the bleach dispenser of my washing machine when I am washing a load of towels. If I forget to get them out immediately, this helps eliminate the moldy smell.

* If my towels/laundry do get moldy, I wash them again and add 2 capfuls of bleach mixed with 6oz of water into my bleach dispenser. Normally this eliminates the smell.

This is a LOW to NO SUDS liquid laundry detergent!! You will see little to no suds as your clothes wash. The suds are not what clean your clothes. This detergent is ideal for front load machines.

I highly recommend this give it a try and let me know what you think...


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Window Cleaner

In yet another attempt to fight the is a recipe for window cleaner that came form

Reader's Digest Home Made Best Made: Hundreds of Ways to Make All Kinds of Useful Things.

Non streaking Spray Glass/Mirror Cleaner

1/4 cup White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

2 Cups Warm Water

Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to dissolve the cornstarch. Spray liberally onto the glass/mirror. Wipe dry with a clean cloth or newspaper, buffing to a streak free shine.

This cleaner costs pennies per bottle to make and it will out last a nuclear war. I make it up 32 ounces at a time and I put it in an old Glass Plus bottle.

Let me know if you make it and how it works for you...


Monday, February 16, 2009

I MUST be on CRACK...Part 4 The End

For those of you who have been following this from the beginning...thanks for your support!! For those of you who just tuned need to go back and start reading at part 1...'Cause you have missed a lot...and this has been quite a journey!!

This is the conclusion of my "I MUST be on CRACK" story.

Here is a copy of the recipe:
3 1/3 oz calcium carbonate
1 1/2 ounces baking soda
1 tsp. salt
7 tbs. glycerin
3 or 4 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops green food coloring (optional)

Here are the directions:

1. Mix calcium carbonate, baking soda and salt in a glass bowl. Stir in enough glycerin (1tbs at a time) to make a thick paste.

2. Stir well and add the peppermint oil, drop by drop until you get the desired taste. Add the food coloring and stir.

3. Spoon the paste into a jar or 6 oz pump bottle. Keep in tightly covered. It will dry out!!

Makes about 5 ounces here is what I learned during this process:

1. I used more than 7 tbs. of glycerin...I should not have!! Seven would have given it a better consistency. Mine is a little bit to runny, but still usable.
2. I used a LOT more than 4 drops of peppermint oil...I stopped counting after 13...I did it to taste. I wanted mine to be more minty.
3. Any color food coloring will work. I used blue and it is the same color as Crest regular toothpaste.
4. If I ever try this again...I might try cinnamon or spearmint oil.
5. If you put this into a bottle with a pump...YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUMP IT OUT TO USE IT!!

I figured this out from my first attempt (see step 3 under directions) but...I tried it again...and guess still did not work!! So I wound up cutting the bottle in half and putting it into a recycled crest tube. Which worked just lovely...

Sealing the ends was going to be a challenge...but I worked that out by using these 2 butterfly clips.

Here is the final product...Q Paste

Q Paste looks and smells a lot like Crest Regular toothpaste. It tastes a lot like Mentadent. The primary difference is that it costs a LOT more and it does not foam/lather in your mouth. If you are going to make this...I would recommend using a fluoride rinse daily as it contains no fluoride on its own.

I would like to pause here and thank you all for going on this journey with me...I hope that you enjoyed it and that you were able to get a laugh or two out of it...Lord knows I laughed a LOT!!



PS: Here are a few updates:
1. To date, Proctor and Gamble have not called. I have answered every call...even when the caller id said "unknown."
2. My husband has not read any of these posts he still has no idea how much I have spent. Thank God!!!
3. One commenter suggested that the scale could be re-purposed and used for other things...anyone out there want to buy it...I am running a the scale and get a tube of slightly used home made toothpaste and a bottle of fluoride rinse free!! I would also be willing to swap the scale for 10 tubes of Crest regular toothpaste...just let me know...
4. I have concluded that, "No I am not on crack (at least not the bad illegal substance kind)...I am a tried and TRUE crafter." I craft from the heart (and wallet)...soon to be the poor house...Lord help me and PLEASE pray for me...I NEED it!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I MUST be on CRACK...Part 3

....After committing the recipe to memory, I decided to make a supply list just in case I blacked out in the store and forgot who I was and why I was there. Armed with my supply list, $60 in cash, a backup debit card and two backup checkbooks...I set out to get my supplies...(the following purchases may or may not have been purchased while I was under the influence of some invisible mind altering drug, ex. CRACK)

3 1/3 oz Calcium Carbonate (pharmacy)
1 1/2 oz Baking Soda
1 tsp. salt
7 tbs. Glycerin
3 or 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
2 drops Green Food Coloring

By now you are probably thinking the following:
1. What is Calcium Carbonate and where do you buy it?
2. Where can I buy Glycerin?
3. Aren't Peppermint Essential Oil and Peppermint Flavoring the same thing?
4. What is so "crack-ish" about this list?? are the answers:
1. Basically, Calcium Carbonate is an antacid (that is made out of oyster shells), sorta like tums without all of the flavor and color. I asked the pharmacist about it and she told me it was Os-Cal. So I purchased the generic version (160 pills) of it for $ are probably thinking..."that's no to bad..." And no...that was not so bad...bad comes later, keep reading.

2. Actually, glycerin was very easy to find. It is in the first aid isle or in the lotion isle. You can also buy it at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. It was $3.00 for a 6oz far so good.

3. Apparently, peppermint essential oil and peppermint extract are not the same...go figure. It has something to do with the extraction method and extract is edible, the other is not. I found it at Hobby Lobby and it cost $5.99 for a itty bitty bottle. Are you starting to notice how expensive this toothpaste is getting?? Well, keep reading because it is going to get worse...a whole lot worse!

4. The "crack-ish" thing about this list is that I have now spent about $16.00. Crest was on sale last month for $1.50 per tube...I am starting to see my crack-ish ways...but wait, because I am going to get a lot more "crack-y"... now I am out $16.00...that's when I have a thought..."How am I going to crush up the calcium carbonate pills into powder? How many pills does it take to equal 3 1/3 oz? Once I get them crushed how am I going to weigh them??" Sometimes I am too smart for my own good...

Well...faced with the above dilemmas...I rise to the occasion and make a few decisions. First, I call the pharmacy to see how much a pill crusher costs. I find out that it is $6.00 (anyone notice a pattern here...I am spending MORE money). Next, I weigh the pros and cons...and decide to go and buy the pill crusher. I am now about to be out $22. I drive to the pharmacy...I have one of my best thoughts ever..."I wonder if I can buy powdered calcium carbonate?" I am such a genius! So I stroll inside and ask if they sell it in powder form. At first I am told "no" and then the pharmacist intervenes, "Yep...It comes in a powder, I can order it for you but it will not be in until tomorrow." Of course my first question is, "How much is it?" She looks in the book and tells me it will be $20 for a pound of it (this is where I begin to totally CRACK out). I think about it for about 9 seconds and then I tell her to order it (in retrospect...that was the CRACK talking...'cause I am WAY tooooo cheap to spend that kind of money. On a good day, I could get a complete outfit for three of my four children, lunch for me and still have change left over for a butterscotch milkshake for my husband from Dairy Queen for $30.00...this was NOT a good day, obviously).

When I get home I realize that I am going to need a scale to weigh my ingredients. So, I head out to Walmart to find a scale that does standard and metric and is digital. I am thinking that at the most I am going to be out $10 or $12 bucks...boy o' boy was I WRONG!!! The scale cost $26.88 before tax. Did I hesitate to buy it??? Nope...I actually bought it. I know what you are thinking...and the answer is... "Yes, I have lost my ever lovin' mind!"

Before I give you the grand total of what I spent in the pursuit of homemade toothpaste, let's revisit the calcium carbonate that I ordered from the pharmacy. I picked it up the next day and instead of it costing $ cost $30.00 with tax. Apparently, $20.00 was their cost to buy it. My cost was $20 plus a $10 "Stupid Tax," for a grand pre-tax total of $30. So now...let's do the math...

Calcium Carbonate $30.00
Peppermint Oil $6.00
Scale $27.00
Glycerin $3.00

Total: $66.00--If you can't see the CRACK in this total...then you too are on crack!! Seek help NOW!!!

By my $1.50 per tube, I could have bought 44 tubes of toothpaste for what I have spent to make, only God knows how much, homemade toothpaste.

Stay tuned to part 4 for the pictures, results and the conclusion...

PS...the saga continues and the price just went up by $6.00...I can't find the receipt to return the Cal. Carbonate pills that I paid $6 for...Pray for me...PLEASE... husband is just finding out about all of this as he is reading PLEASE pray for him too!!

PPPS...Dear Lord, PLEASE let this be the BEST toothpaste in the whole wide world! Please let Proctor and Gamble find out about it and offer me millions of dollars for the rights to make it...PLEASE...Lord I realize that I am being greedy...if they will just give me 50 tubes of Crest they can have the rights to it for FREE. Lord you know my phone number, could You give it to Proctor and Gamble and ask them to call me?? They can call anytime of day and I promise to answer, even if I don't recognize the number on caller id.~amen

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Anniversary...

Gracias...Grazie!...Remerciement..Dzięki...Tack...Cảm ơn...ευχαριστώ...

No matter how you say it...THANKS. Thanks for joining me on this adventure that is my blog!! To date, I have 40 subscribers YIPPPPPEEEEE!!! I am still a long way off from world domination...but with your will happen.
Thanks again for making my first month a HUGE success.

(quick prayer: Dear Lord, I have lured them in...please give me the wisdom, strength, knowledge and desire to keep them happy. Lord let them be loyal followers and encourage them to bring their friends, families and loved ones into the fold. With each subscription...I get a tad bit closer to WORLD DOMINATION~amen)

~Marquita Stewart...
Ms. Stewart if you're Crafty

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just tell Quita what you need baby....

Hi all,

Is there something out there that you want to make or buy...but, like me, are way to cheap to buy it?? Well tell me what it is and let me try to help you create it on the cheap. I do not guarantee results...but I do guarantee that I will work hard to recreate it and that you will get a laugh out of it!!

So...just let me know! I see EVERY comment that is made so you can post a question there. Or you can email me at


PS. There is an _ (underscore) between stewart and tobm.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I MUST be on CRACK...Part 2

And the saga continues...

...After work I went straight home with the intent to look at my book...What is that they say about the best laid plans...of mice and men? Well whatever it's probably plans were interrupted by a sleepy child, a couple of phone calls and the need to consume massive quantities Kool-Aid and Cheetos (not necessarily in that order...Cheetos and Kool-aid ALWAYS come first). I put the book on the kitchen island (commonly referred to as the Bermuda Triangle) and went on about my day. I sort of forgot about it...until two days later.

I was on the phone with my mom and decided to do recon on the kitchen island. When I found was like finding the cure for the common palms got sweaty, I was short of breath, I felt light headed and a little dizzy...I looked at the pictures on the cover and the price tag and then I looked in the book and saw that there were 352 pages of home made goodness...that is when I almost fainted for real.

After sitting with my head between my leg for three minutes and assuring my mother that I was OK...I opened the book and looked at the Table of Contents. At this point every thing went black and I dropped the phone and fell to the floor...when I regained consciousness I immediately began to pray: "Dear God in heaven...why have You been so good to me?? I am but a lowly servant and yet You see fit to do so much for me...You have given me life, health, strength and a reasonable portion of sense and now, Dear Lord...You have given me this book...(with tears in my eyes and praise in my heart) Lord...I am not worthy!! Please Lord give me the wisdom, strength and knowledge to use it to better the lives of those whom I love and my fellow Your son Jesus' name I pray...~amen." I dusted the crumbs off my arms and legs, did a quick hallelujah dance and went to the couch to read.

I tried to read the Table of Contents in its entirety...but my blood pressure kept going up and I would start seeing stars...I decided that this was just tooooo much excitement to bear so I launched a surprise attack...I opened up the book to page 13 and decided to look at every page, I figured that this would be safer because surely I would encounter things that I didn't which time my body would rest.

EVERYTHING in the table of contents sounded so good that my nervous and cardiac systems were in overload. Once I got into the book, I did encounter a few recipes that I considered "GROSS" like Chicken Liver Pate (pg. 48) , at which time I would close my eyes and take a couple of deep breaths and allow my heart rate to return to normal. It was touch and go when I got to the Flowerpot Brioche (pg 56) ,who doesn't LOVE any food that can be cooked in a flower pot? But I was able to maintain...actually I was stable...that is, until I hit page 182.

Page 182 was when I completely blacked out...I am not sure how long I was out, but when I woke up my kids were home from school, they had been bathed, had on their PJ's and were kissing me good night. I had found Lido, Roxanne, Snow Space basing, White cloud, Black CRACK!!

I found a recipe for...drum roll pleeeeease...Minty-Fresh Toothpaste (pg. 182). Are you asking yourself "What kind of normal person gets this excited over toothpaste...especially toothpaste that you have to make yourself...Is she CRAZY??" The key word in your question is "normal." (quick prayer: Dear Lord, why am I so different from other people?? Why do I find joy in the strangest things?? Why can't I be content with Aqua Fresh and normal people?? Dear there something wrong with me?? Am I a Dateline Expose waiting to happen?? Lord, I know that You do all things in Your time...when You have time...could You please reveal the answer to me?? I would surely appreciate it...while I'm waiting...I'm going to read this recipe...PLEASE help me stay conscious...please slow my heart rate and lower my blood pressure and allow me to at least read the ingredients...if you think I can handle it~amen)

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow...because, apparently He thought I could handle it and I remained conscious and was able to read the recipe. Actually, I read it about 29 times. Each time I read was as though I was breathing for the first was all consuming and was pure joy and was EVERYTHING that I needed at that moment...I was whole and complete...I was...HIGH!!!

But wait...there's more...Stay tuned for part 3...


Sunday, February 8, 2009

I MUST be on CRACK...Part 1

Is it possible to be on crack and not know it??? that called denial...? Does an invisible crack pipe really exist??? I have heard rumor of one... Sweet Jesus, I have LOST MY MIND...and the scary part is...I know that I have and am not sure how to get it back. Ugghhhh...What to do, what to do...

OK, so here is the situation: About two weeks ago, I did something that I had NO business doing...I went...OMG, I am sooo ashamed to say it...(((with my head hung low in shame)quick prayer: Dear Lord, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE forgive me...I know good and T well that I had no business goin' up in there by myself!! Dear Lord help me resist temptation, You said it in Your word, "...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matt. 26:41 KJV And Lord, I know that your word is PLEASE forgive me and my weak flesh...(deep sigh of regret)~amen)))...I dropped my daughter off at school and then...I went on a binge....I I knew better...but I went anyway...I went to the....uggghhh...the Half Price Bookstore...There, I finally said it...a small chunk of my burden had been lifted...Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the story...there is more...MUCH more...

I knew I was wrong when I went in without a plan. Believe me when I say..."The Half Price Bookstore is the LAST place in the world that you want to go without a plan!" I have spent- oops...I mean, seen-I have SEEN many a mortgage payment be spent at the checkout counter. I never enter with the intent to go broke...but some how, it ALWAYS happens. In an attempt to self medicate, I have gone so far as to leave my debit card and checkbook in the car and enter the store with only $10 in my pocket. Do you think this works??? Nope...not until two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I had no plan, but I only had $10 and about 15 minutes to shop. I figured that I would be safe...Well...I figured WRONG! I made my usual rounds in about 10 minutes-fiction, mystery/suspense and CLEARANCE-which left me only 5 minutes to go to "The Promised Land"-the land of Craft and Cooking. I intentionally saved the best for last...I figured the less time spent there, the more money left in my pocket!! With only five minutes to shop, I did a quick walk through the cookbooks, but since I already own ALL of the books in that section...I decided to spend my last 4 minutes and 49 seconds in the craft section. Knowing that I only had $10, I knew that my selections would be limited. Me, being me...I wanted the most bang for my buck, so I skipped the stenciling, stained glass and wood working section and went straight to the "general crafting" section...which is where I found it...the Anti Christ of Crafting...the seven headed beast of eventual downfall...the crafty crack of all crack...I found the Reader's Digest Home Made Best Made: Hundreds of Ways to Make All Kinds of Useful Things.

I think "Home Made..." is what got me!! Then, I pulled the book off the shelf and saw the cover...I was HOOKED!! In the upper right hand corner was the sweetest thing that I have seen in a long time...a small white price tag with $6.98 written on it...Oh yeah BABY....!!! At that price, I was out about $7.50 for the book, which meant that I would have about $2.50 left over...just enough to buy a small chili and a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's. Yippee...(Yes...Che-Quita is in the house) a book and a meal for less that $10...(quick prayer: Dear Lord, Thank You for miracles!! ~amen)...I was in hog heaven (where is hog heaven??? a chicken or beef processing plant...)! I grabbed my book and RAN to the register.

After saying another prayer of thanks for His bountiful blessings, I paid for my book, got my change and went to Wendy's. I ate while I was driving and then I went to work. Work was difficult because my mind was in the car with my new book of home made goodness...I still had not actually looked inside of the book, but while I was driving I glanced at the cover and...let's just say..."Mama liked." There were suckers, baby corn in a jar, hand painted ceramic tiles and home made dish soap on the cover...I was like one of Pavlov's dogs at this point...DROOLING!!! I knew that I had gotten the most bang for my buck with this book.

By now I am sure you are wondering..."What did she do that was so wrong/crazy?? Where is the crack?? What happened?? She only spent $10...she got a book and a what's the big deal...? Well, my friends, you are going to have to read part 2 for the answer...


Thursday, February 5, 2009

I got this question from a commenter on my most recent post: A Super CHEAP, Quick, CHEAP and EASY Valentines Day Gift.

Question:What do you consider basic crafting materials? What are your crafting staples? What is your "can't live without" crafting supply??Thanks in advance...mj

Answer: MJ...Thanks for this most EXCELLENT question! There is NO easy answer to your question...crafting is a very personal thing. What you like will usually dictate what you need; however, there are a few things that I think ALL crafters need in order to craft.

1. GLUE-we know what it does and we know how to use it, but we often misuse it!! There are as many glues on the market as there are crafts in the world. Having a basic white glue like Elmers on hand is good for most paper crafts. But...what if you want to glue fabric, or add rhinestones to a mirror, or make party invites? A good multi purpose glue is Aleene's® Original Tacky Glue®. Tacky Glue ROCKS!!!! I would also highly recommend E-600. It smells HORRIBLE...but it works like no other. I tend to use it for industrial projects, like gluing flat back acrylic rhinestones to Crocs. For my greeting cards I prefer glue sticks, my current favorite is Scott's Glue Sticks by 3M. They have superior stick-ability, have no odor and tend to not dry out as fast. I only buy them from Sam's Club where I can get 28 of them for about $6.00. You already know my favorite fabric glue...Fabri-Tac.

2. SCISSORS-I normally go pretty cheap on scissors. That way when I ruin a pair...I do not have to go into panic mode. I just scrape up another two dollars and buy another pair. I normally get my cheap cuts from Hobby Lobby or Michales. I have NEVER paid more than $1.99 for a pair and I NEVER will. I normally buy 2 or 3 pairs at a time. I also like to keep a couple pairs/set of embroidery scissors on hand too. These work wonderfully well for cutting small things and for getting into tricky places.

3. PAPER-Michaels and Hobby Lobby always have their scrap booking paper on sale. I load up on what I like. I also get baby and kid friendly papers too. You never know what you might need. I also will sometimes buy Michael's bulk packs of CHEAP card stock for my less refined crafts. For my fine paper crafts, I LOVE Stampin' Up cardstock. I always keep a nice selection of pastels (pink, light blue, yellow), neutrals (white, grey, black), primary's (red, blue, green) and metallics (silver and gold). I also like to have a few sheets of parchment paper on hand in white as well as other colors like soft pink and light blue. I typically get my parchment paper from Michael's and Hobby Lobby.

4. PENCILS/PENS/MARKERS-Since the invention of computers and affordable color printers...I no longer purchase these items as staples. My computer and printer offer me a WIDE variety of fonts and colors. I do keep black, blue, red and silver Sharpies on hand.

5. FREEZER PAPER-I use it for stencils (I will post a pic later) and for covering up my work space. Wax Paper is also useful and cheaper.

6. PAINTS-I have yet to find a paint more flexible that acrylic paints. They come in a MILLION colors, can be easily thinned with water, are quick and easy to clean up and dry quickly. They can also be turned into fabric paint by mixing them with textile medium. I get my paints and textile medium at Walmart, Hobby Lobby and/or Michaels.

7. TAPE-Clear Scotch tape, masking tape, box tape and duct tape are all staples in my repertoire. Occasionally, I use double sided tape, but not often. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Glue Dots.

8. TIME-This is the thing that we need the most, run out of the fastest and can never get enough of! This can be a serious crafters worst nightmare. Try to plan your projects before you start them. If you know it is going to take three days to complete a craft, figure out when you have three free days so that you do not have to abandon the project. I almost NEVER plan things out and, as a result, I have numerous piles of almost finished crafts. "Craft smart from the start"(sounds a lot like "If it doesn't must acquit...I am now channeling my inner Johnny Cochran. This might become my mantra).

The above are just a FEW of the millions of supplies that I currently have in residence. Of all of these, the thing that I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT is...Tacky Glue. I use it almost daily.

Thanks for the question MJ...I hope this helps...


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Super CHEAP, Quick, CHEAP and EASY Valentines Day Gift

With Valentines Day right around the corner, I decided to post a super CHEAP, quick and EASY Valentines Day gift suitable for friends, teachers and/or co-workers.

We are going to make mini Valentines Day Buckets. For this project you are going to need the following items:

1. Small cheap(a word near and dear to my heart) bottles of lotion, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo and/or conditioner. It really doesn't matter what products you this instance ONLY...size matters! These items need to be small, sample and/or purse size. Below is a sampling of the MANY small items that I purchased from Bath & Body Works recently. Being true to who I am...I recently purchased 30 bottles (they were $1 each and I had a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase) and with tax the total was $21.40 which means the price per bottle was $.73.

2. You will need some paper shreds (I had these from a previous project but you can get a bag from the $1 store) preferably in Valentine colors or an iridescent shred would work, small cheap little buckets that I got from Deals (there were 4 in a pack for $1 which equals $.25 each), suckers (these heart shaped ones were 6 for $1 which is $.17 each) and some other small candy (preferably chocolate) these also came from Deals and there were 15 in a bag for $1($.07 each).
3. Although there is no picture, I also purchased a bag of Valentine themed treat/goody bags from Deals. There are 20 bags in a pack for $1($.05 each). The treat bags come with metallic twist ties but I like to use curling ribbon.

The assembly of these buckets is SUPER simple and EASY.

1. Place both of the lotion/soap bottles in the bucket first.

2. Add enough of the shreds to fill the bucket.

3. Insert the sucker where ever you like.

4. Place a candy heart where ever you like.

5. Sit the bucket inside the treat/goody bag, cinch the top and tie it off with the curling ribbon.

6. Trim the top of the bag and curl the ribbon.

The finish un-bagged product looks like this...

The finished bagged product looks like this...

Cost Analysis:

So far, not counting all of the stuff that I already had, I have spent a whopping $2.00 per gift!! Not bad...if I do say so myself!!

Although $2.00 is not a bad price...the Cheap in me (henceforth named Che-Quita)thinks that this same concept can be carried out cheaper (I am nothing, if not frugal).


1. If you know someone who sells Mary Kay or Avon or ANYTHING that gives/offers FREE samples, you can always fill your bucket up with that instead of buying samples.

2. Do you have left over Halloween candy?? Most candy can out last a nuclear war, so as long as it is not decorated with Halloween stuff, you can keep it and use it in your bucket.

3. Leftover Christmas candy?? As long as it does not look to is probably already wrapped in red or silver and you can use it too.

4. Sometimes you can get free samples of "good stuff" from bridal shows and other free community events. Do a themed samples from a bridal show paired with plastic champagne flutes (Dollar Store) would make WONDERFUL gifts to bridesmaids from the bride or nice goodies for a bridesmaid luncheon. Use a permanent marker, put their names on the cups and then they become place cards for a bridal brunch.

5. Taylor this project to ANY event/holiday by using seasonal components. The Dollar Store ALWAYS has a large selection of seasonal stuff that is ALWAYS CHEAP!!

6. Instead of using paper shreds...after Easter, you can often get pink and purple Easter basket grass for $.25 per bag from the Dollar Store.

7. The mark of a dedicated crafter is buying ANYTHING that is on sale, rather you were looking for it or you need it. A dedicated crafter will buy things today for crafting in the future! So, while you are out and about shopping...ALWAYS check the sales section of the store that you are in, good things come from odd places at odd times. A good example of this would be: I was in Walmart and found sample packets of Watkins paprika, oregano and dry mustard. These packets normally cost $.59 each, they were on clearance for $.25 each, so I purchased SEVERAL of them. Did I need them??? NO!!! Will I use them YES!!! So always be on the lookout and ready to buy!! I have a few friends who like to I am going to make a special Spice Valentines Day bucket for them. A bucket full of spices would also be a GREAT hostess gift.

8. Thinking about doing this for a group of kids??? Go SUPER cheap by buying a sleeve of Valentine Day 8oz disposable cups instead of buckets, fill them with shreds/grass, add candy and/or a small toy, put it in a treat bag and extraordinaire.

9. If you know someone who is a coupon FANATIC...clip some of their FAVORITE coupons and put them in the cup/bucket instead of samples.

This is a very FLEXIBLE craft that can be personalized and "Che-Quita-ed" to meet your needs/goal/purpose!



Monday, February 2, 2009

Q and A with Ms. Stewart

Once are my random thoughts about a question posed to me in an email from my mostly cyber friend Carla...

If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for? ANNOY!!!

"Picture this...Sicicly...1942..."oops...I was channeling my inner Sophia from Golden Girls there for a sec...pardon me...

Now, let me channel my inner "home gurl" and start over again...
This is called "Oh no she di'int..."
Please note...the names have been changed to protect the annoying.

It all went down a little sumtin like this...
Me: "Good Morning...How you doin'?"
Her: "Gurrlll...I'm a' you doin'?
Me: "I can't complain...can't complain"
Her: "Gurrrrlll...I been tryin to get this thing to work for the last fi'teen minutes...and I just can't make it work...You think you can?"
Me: (thinking to myself) "Do I have to do EVERYTHING around here??...Can't she see that I am busy too?? Who she think I am??? She must not know 'bout me...she must not know 'bout me..."
Her: " know you heard gone help me or what??"
Me: (to myself) "...or what!"
Me: "Ok...what chu need me to do??"
Her: "Well...I been tryin' to make these copies for the last 15 minutes and I can't get the copier to work...and I can't figure out why. Can you help me?
Me: (to myelf) " I being punked...where is Ashton? He is so CUTE...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED him in What Happens In Vegas. Did him and Demi get married? Isn't she like old enough to be his mama? How hard can it be to push "COPY?""
Her: "You hear me...Gurrl you gone help me or not?? I KNOW YOU HEAR ME TALKIN' TO YOU!!!
Me: (to myself) "Oh NO she di'int...Who she think she talkin' to?? She the dummy who can't use a copy machine, not why she yellin' at me? (quick prayer: Dear Lord, please keep me from goin' off right now...I know you said " much lieth in you, live peaceably with all men....but Lord, this WOMAN is working my LAST nerve. PLEASE give me the wisdom to deal with this situation.~amen)
Her: (with noticable attitude) "If you don't wanna help me just say so...You know I CAN ASK somebody else..."
Me: (to myself) "Good luck with that...Don't let me stop you!"
Me: "Ok...Sorry...Calm down...But, before I put all of this stuff down...1. Is there paper in it??
Her: (with more attitude) "Paper...How am I posed to know that? Where the paper go?
Me: (to myself) "St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke...Calm down girl...don't let the devil steal your joy..."
Me: "Pull out the paper tray and look there paper in there?"
Her: "I think that look like back hurt...I ain't bending down there...I think I see some paper."
Me: (to myself) "...St. John, The Acts, Romans..."
Me: "Ok close the paper drawer. Now check and make sure that the front door of the copier is closed...Is it closed??
Her: "I don't know...It look closed...How can I tell if it is??
Me: (to myself) "Hail Mary Mother of God it has been 38 years since my last confession..." (now you know that it is reaching critical mass, 'cause I ain't even Catholic...)
Me: (channeling my sweetest, least condescending voice EVER) " be safe, why don't you open it and close it again to make sure. Grab the red handle by the slot where the papers come out and pull it toward you."
Her: (one step away from critical mass herself) "You must think I'm stupid...I know how to open it and close it...IT AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE!!
Me: (to myself) OH NO SHE DI'INT...she has got some nerve getting testy with me...I'm tryin' to help her...NOT the other way around!! Let me put this stuff down and go over to this copier...before I SNAP and say something that I might (or might not) regret. (quick prayer: Lord, You know that I am rapidly running out of patience with this situation, Lord please...You know me and You know my "crap quotient." I wanna do what's right and be a good example of You...uggghhh...~amen)
Me: "Sorry...let me put this stuff down, I'll be right over there...
Me: (to myself as I am putting down the 400 pounds of paper that I have been holding througout this exchange) "This thing must really be broke...Her checked the paper...Her checked the door...while no one was looking...I kicked it twice...It finally bit the dust!! There wont be much I can do about it, but I'm gonna try..."

By now, Her has backed away from the copier and is focusing on her manicure while I am struggling to empty my hands so that I can fix the copier for Her. Not once has Her offered to help me! As I approach the copier...I have a thought, which I quickly remove from my mind...'cause it can't be...there is NOOOO way...not ever in a million years that...No, it's so RIDICULOUS that I wont even mention it...

As I approach the copier, I can see the problem as plain as the nose on Her face...It is unplugged!! Not only is it unplugged...the plug head is sitting right next to the "copy" button. My first thought is "OH NO SHE DI'INT just waste 15 minutes of my life that I will NEVER be able to get back over this foolishness!" Guess who is fuming mad....I just wasted 15 minutes trying to help one of the "others." I did what I was supposed to do..I helped! And Her did EXACTLY what she was supposed to do...ANNOY.

Have any of you had a similar situation that you would like to share?? I'm all ears...



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