You can take books out from the library

We own several because Dana makes things for our girls, but they’re all quite old and out of print now, I’d just look up “doll house” in your library’s card catalog. As for decorating, stores that sell wallpaper will give you the old sample books if you ask ahead of time, there’s your mismatched paints, there’s little aida cross-stich pieces stitched with crewel thread to look like those braided rugs or oriental rugs, depending on what kind of decor you’re looking for in this doll house.

For draperies, you can check the remnant bins at your local sewing store – I like the independents rather than places like Jo-Ann’s or Hancock’s because of fond memories of a little place called George’s Textiles in Lowell, MA – they had 1/4 yard bits and pieces of lace, velvet, fabulous silks and satins… Very posh. 1/4 yard is enough to upholster the furnishings and put up drapes in any doll house room, and possibly even make a little outfit for one of the dollhouse people, though more likely little accessories for decorating…

one Christmas tree light bulb in a spool of thread with perhaps a little piece of metal tubing put in and a piece of coat hanger wire to hold up the bulb and the lampshade, and make the lampshade out of leftover bits of cloth… possibly hot-glued to a paper cup with the bottom cut out if you’re really feeling ambitious.

A matchbox on toothpick legs, with a little paper cup chair with a “padded” upholstered seat and a “skirt” ( think cotton ball for the padding ), and a “skirt” on the little “vanity”, a tiny picture frame with a piece of flattened-out shiney-side-up tin foil in it… and Voila! A nice touch to a boudoir. Fake flowers can be bought 3 bunches for $1 at just about any store with a crafts department – those adorable bunches of miniature rose buds are great for tying curtain swags and valances in a doll house, as well as in teeny vases ( stiff clear plastic tubing cut into little pieces ).

If you have one of the can openers that takes the whole top off of the can rather than just the center portion, AND you can weld, you can weld coat-hanger-wire legs onto the bottom of a tin can top, add a circle of fabric, and Voila! a table… Also works nicely with strange-shaped can tops, like ham cans and sardine cans. 😀 I can think of more, I’m sure, but that’s probably WAY more than enough to start with, right? 😀

LONG Credit reports

Actually part of working with CCCS was that the cc companies agreed not to report negatively , though one notes in their report that we are working with CCCS.

Our murky spot is from being late with payments prior to starting with CCCS and being late sev. years ago *twice* with house mortgages because of DH’s work related injury which caused him to miss many weeks of work–he’s USPS so there was no workman’s comp 🙁

I don’t know what will happen re cc’s once we’re done. They may very well close our accounts-OK with me! Hopefully we can have one as backup for “emergency” I’ve had experience talking with businesses re our credit reports, so if anyone needs support with that let me know. Its tedious but helpful in the long run.

Doll Houses

Hi all – i was lucky enough to be come the owner of a doll house about 18 months ago. it is one of those kits that someone had built (could have done a better job though) – it was donated to a church bazaar for the yard sale section but it was getting crushed because people were dropping off stuff an d putting it on it. I offered to buy it and the girl in charge told me to just take it as i was doing tons of volunteer work with her and it was going to get ruined if left in the garage.

Any how i am looking fro sites with idea on decorating it or any one who has some tips about making stuff for it myself- i bought some paint at Sears for 97c from their mismixed paints sectioned so i have several colors of paint.

I am giant to have to do sanding ( which the original owner neglected to do as they made it ) and some minor repairs i bought some ” wallpaper ” for it at 50% off at AC Moore the other day but i looked at it and i figured i could probably make more by printing out designs on the putter.

Any other frugal creative ideas ??

Please help me to understand men

DH has been very depressed the past few days. You know i mentioned the bank mistake last month? It is even worse than I thought but it is okay- DH tells me we need almost $1200 to pay the rest of the bills and it is his short pay period and in addition to that work took his loan payment from that check- this is why he is so upset. He doesn’t feel like a man or like a good provider. Believe me that is the farthest thing from the truth! I am thankful that I could finally get him to talk to me about it.

It took a lot to get him to relax enough to discuss it. To top it off good friend died last weekend and he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to drag me down. He is accustomed to have several $1000 dollars in the bank but problems (including a $1000 error on the bank act) depleted it to less than $500 and his check will be about $500. We also took fast $1000 loan here and I told him it was okay- my child support check comes any day and will cover the rest but he said it isn’t the same- he should have provided it.

I don’t see the difference in him using the money now for bills or waiting for me to use it later on food, clothing and such. but it has something to do with his maleness. He said he will get a loan to cover the rest of it- it defies my logic when it isn’t needed (more loans more debt). I do understand that the male pride deal is there and I am thankful he feels so strongly about supporting us- he said he isn’t much of a man because real men support their family.

I am not allowed to work more than a scant amount- it was a part of the adoption agreement and that is why we get adoption (child) support. He keeps insisting it’s my money to spend and not for him to use on the house. He also says the money he earns is for me to spend as well and I do! It frustrates me to no end. When he got to work today he learned that another good friend was taken to the hospital with a major blood clot in his brain and was flown to Seattle to Harborview Medical Center and is in bad shape. Too much too close together.

Happy and Poor

Halfway home, while I was *trying* valiantly NOT to just burst into semi-hysterical giggles, DH says, “Well, now I *really* feel low-income…I’m driving an Isuzu Pup with 2 seatbelts, a floor full of WIC and day old bread stuff, AND you’re pregant!!” I just lost it…haven’t laughed so hard in ages. And I didn’t tell him that the plates were expired on the truck! LOLOL

And they say the poor don’t ever have any fun, LOL! Truthfully, though, it’s good you have those hormones to help you through. Nothing bothered me with my first pregnancy; and I’d get hysterically silly over nothing, either. I just wish the second time around had been the same. Anyway, throughout the whole pregnancy, I went around singing “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” My husband despises that song to this day, thanks to the great efforts I made to sing it to him every chance I could:)

I decided a long time ago that it’s more fun to be insane than to be depressed. Don’t you just wish you had that picture of your Kodak moment?

I miss the first Christmas tree I ever had. I’m laughing hysterically now. It was an artificial tree not even 3 foot tall. It meant the world to us, though. I look back at that memory every time and laugh. I miss it, too. I have a lot of good honeymoon memories to go along with that tree.

Condolences to hubby, though, because I’m sure he’s out in left field trying to understand you:) And, you sure cheered me up. I was feeling kind of “poor” myself. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Take care and KEEP LAUGHING!

Yet another frugal wedding

Our wedding was also frugal. We wanted to build a future and not waste money- even then. My Aunt was a wedding gown seamstress and she made my gown she would have charged $1000 but it was a gift from her. She was a well known seamstress from Arizona and flew up to finish it. Her sister came and she and mom dod all the and bead work on the dress and she also did the silk flowers.

Her husband and daughter sang and they paid the organist and also for some of the fresh flowers and all the silk ones as a wedding gift. Mom, my brother Dh and I bought the supplies for the food portion and SIl and MIL made the cake and the food from a restaurant supply place alond with napkins etc.. SIL is a chef. We paid SIL $100 for her help. She and 2 friends (also chefs) catered it and the friends offered their services for free. Photos were taken by a friend who was a professional photographer. She charged us $100 and that included all the negatives. We were married in a long log cabin, Pioneer Hall. Rent was $100.

My sisters and niece were my attendants and they paid for their dresses- I let them choose and they volunteered to pay. DH wore a white tux and he and his friends rented them. Dh had to returne early to be a witnes at a trial so our Honeymoon was short and sweet- we took a ferry across the sound and went to an historic town, Port Townsend and stayed in a B & B then another ferry to Victoria, British Columbia and stayed in a cheap motel. A few months later we took a 2 week trip to the grand Canyon to relax and enjoy ourselves. Except for a couple nights in a cabin there (north rim) we slept in the back of our truck and canopy! I wouldn’t do that today though. The money gifts we were given were used buying fruit trees and we are still enjoying their bounty. Thanks for joining me along memory.

My frugal wedding

I found a $600 dress that was marked down to $150. On top of that I got an additional 20 percent marked off because my mother worked at the store. I found my wedding veil in the same store for $15.00 which was originally $60. The photographer was someone who did it as a second job. He and his wife had their studio in their basement and their work was very professional. He was extremely reasonable. I only had one attendant.

I found her dress on a clearance rack at Penney’s for $10.00. It had originally been around $100. My mother made the groom cake. I purchased the wedding cake from a bakery. I picked up the cake myself from the bakery. My cousin made the bridal bouquet and the bridesmaid bouquet. Flowers were expensive but I didn’t have a lot of those, just a few to decorate the front.

Cleaning radiators?

I know this is the last thing that some of you down south want to discuss but I’m still on the quest for lowering my heating bill and don’t want to wait until there is snow on the ground take the necessary steps.

My question for today relates to radiators. Does anyone know if cleaning the insides of the radiators will help with efficiency? If so, does anyone know the best way to do so? I’m planning on having my boiler cleaned and service next month and am hoping that this will make a big difference.

I am spending $1200 a year on my natural gas bill and would like to decrease it to less then $900. I’m going to be putting plastic on the windows and I know that this will help a lot. Also for ceiling fans, I forget if it is clockwise in the winter or counterclockwise? We have them through our whole house but have never used them in the winter.

I’m also having an energy/gas audit done for free by the local electric company where they will install up to $30 worth of energy savers in your home and give you tips on how to conserve.

I just wanted to let everyone know since maybe your local company has the same programs.

I will share any tips that I get from them with you I’m sure some things that will help for heat will also help to keep you houses cooler in the summer.

My aunt is a florist

Well my aunt is a florist so she did the flowers as a gift, my brother sings at weddings so that was free,one of my best friends is an organist and she decided she would rather play than be in the wedding. My parents slaughtered a cow for the reception for meatballs and friends and family made the rest of the food. My parents paid their Sunday School class @$100 to serve the food. MY dad and 3 three brothers are foremen so the hall was free., For photos I just used this local guy and our pictures turned out wonderful. He also let us make payments so we sent what we could every week for a year.I think we paid a couple of hundred dollars.

As I said before my gown was only $200 and we bought nice but inexpensive gifts for the wedding party. My hubby’s uncle is a pastor and he married us as our gift. We did the same with our honeymoon hotel(the yikes $250 a night one) so it was taken care of ahead of time. Of course once we got tho the honeymoon we decided for some reason we were allowed to buy whatever we wanted with credit cards because we would never do it again(no kidding I am probably still paying for it). We had a friend play Christian music that we had taped at hte reception so that was free.This is possible the only thing I would have changed.

People thought that was kind of lame and I felt like people left early because of it. It could have all been my imagination though as the night just seemed to fly by. All the people were gone and me and hubby were still there. We stayed to help clean up then went home and took a swim before leaving for our hotel (i think we were both a little nervous about leaving) We only drove about an hour to a little town called Baskerville to a Days Inn then went on to spend our lives into debt. What happened???? We started so frugally.

I’ve been lurking for a while

…but I thought I could help ya with this one: about three years ago we were in dire straits because of credit card debt (approaching $20k=over half our annual income) and went finally to Consumer Credit Counseling Services. First words out of their mouth once we reviewed the numbers was “Have you considered bankruptcy?”..ick. They were unwilling to work with us because they saw no way we could make payments that the cc companies would accept.

Well, we went back to the drawing board, reworked the numbers and then went back a few months later to a different counselor who didn’t have our records from the first visit: we excluded finite debts with no interest, i.e. M.D., dental bills, from our debts that we showed them, and just BARELY squeaked into the program after they suggested I pick up some sort of at home work (I’m SAHM). We now are still paying almost a third of our income to CCCS. They in turn negotiated with the cc companies, and First USA and Discover agreed to no interest paybacks, Household Finance/Mastercard lowered their interest, our credit union lowered its interest after a year, Nations was the only one that wouldn’t lower their interest and they at least agreed to a payment schedule.

I can tell you two things: unless both of you come they won’t work with you to set up a plan and if you ever, ever miss a payment (1 late is OK)- you’re out and on your own. You also cannot assume any new debts, ie NO credit cards while in the program. We have payments automatically transferred to CCCS from our account around payday and since I use Quicken, and prelist this I never am under the illusion we have the money (I’ve also contemplated a blind checking account with an automatic deposit from my husband’s paycheck). We have about a year and a half to go. YEA!.

We have virtually no Christmases, no vacations (except to visit Grandparents), my husband works -at least- 50 hrs a week, but I’m home with the kids and its working. Also-You’ve GOT to check on your credit status. Ours is still a bit murky. If yours is as bad as you think, then I have no idea how your husband got another card; also I would write to all the credit card companies and tell them that they need to CUT you off (even the newest one he got), that your husband is incurring these debts without your knowledge (I think they cannot extend credit once you notify them..).

Also, CCCS might be able to provide some counseling about how to protect your own credit; and, depending on where you live they frequently hold classes on a variety of topics – Being in debt is a sickening and terrifying feeling, as you know, and all I can say is protect yourself. If that means taking over the finances DO IT NOW, if it means getting counseling DO IT NOW; you don’t deserve to feel this way for another minute. DO IT before this weekend!!! I have other tips, things we’ve done to survive, but you need to deal with the big issue first.