6 December 2008

Put your thinking caps on

Hello all. I have been MIA for a bit due to some projects I am working on. I hope everyone is enjoying getting ready for the holidays with their families. It is a wonderful time to spend with friends and family, remembering holidays past and preparing for the holiday to come. As always traditions play an important role in everyone's life and I hope that you remember that traditions are often simple pleasures and not work. Some choose to spend their time running around the malls, but I hope all of us choose a wiser way to prepare for the holidays, celebrating with family and friends. Don't forget that with the economies taking a hit and a hard downturn this year, there are many out there who need a little extra help at this time of year, especially. If you have time, turn to your children and have them help you clean out their drawers and closets and toy boxes; the things that no longer fit, or outgrown toys can be donated. Warm coats are especially needed in colder areas, especially now. If you do go shopping, pick up and extra small toy and take it to your church or your local charity or the local Marine Corps recruiting center (if you live in the US) as a donation for Toys For Tots. It has always been a tradition with my children for each to select a small toy or book, have them buy it with money from their chores and then take it to Toys for Tots or the Salvation Army. It is a tradition we continue to this day, even though my girls are all grown up. If you have the time, go through your pantries and take a few cans or non-perishable foods to your local soup kitchen or church. When you go to the grocery store, it takes very little to buy a few extra cans, an extra turkey or ham that is on sale, an extra bag of beans, really just about anything, for it will all be appreciated by those who are less fortunate than ourselves. This is the time of year to give, which is an important part of the season that often gets overlooked in the frantic search for gifts at the mall. Always remember the Reason for the Season!

I will be updating photos this week-end and also I would like everyone to put their thinking caps on and come up with ideas for our next swap, which will be announced after the New Year. Remember that we are always trying to practice old or new skills, if possible reusing or re-purposing materials, and having a bit of fun along the way. Those who did not send their swap buddies their parcels will not be allowed to sign up for our next swap. Tamara, please send me another e-mail as I accidentally deleted your address. I have something for you.


  1. how about a homemade card swap

  2. I am a Mum to 6 precious children, with another on the way. I am 'baby stepping' my way to a simpler life, and having so much fun in the process! There is so much we do not need .... I agree, it is a joy to give. I am realizing more and more that life is so much not about 'us', but about reaching out and serving and blessing others as we are able. Your blog is very encouraging - thank you. A homemade card swap sounds wonderful ...

  3. I haven't participated in any of the other swaps, so I'm not certain of everything you have already done, but how about dishtowels (teatowels) that have a handmade touch - knitted, embellished with embroidery, etc.

  4. I'm somewhat new to your blog as well, I just love it and look forward to reading it each day. Thanks to my mom I've been able to live frugally for most of my life. There was a time when the kids moved away that I splurged because I found extra money in my pocket but that soon stopped, it was just not natural to me. I still have lots to learn and to that end I find your blog most useful.
    I have not participated in a swap and not sure what it entails but I look forward to joining the next one.

  5. I'm really not crafty and am afraid I'd be horrible at a homemade swap. Perhaps someone else can make it for me? ha!

    I love that people give this time of year. I just went through our pantry on Tuesday and gave a box of food to our church's Elijah's Barrel program to help families in the community. When I thought I didn't have any more to give, my daughter came home from school and said they were doing a drive for a family in their school who really needed some help due to layoffs. So, I went through it again and was amazed how not only blessed we are for our pantry that the Lord has helped us make but that I have more to give someone else.

    As a mom to six, myself, I am always amazed what we can do when we set our minds to it.

  6. Perhaps something to do with crocheting and knitting. Most people can do one or the other.

  7. How about a cloths pin bag for the line. Reused item of cloth of hangers incorporated if needed. Creative things to hang it on, or perhaps a garden gathering apron for the mornings tending the earth and those things we grow in it.
    Perhaps pin cushions for the sewing room?
    Just a few thoughts for inexpensive useful tools of our trade.

  8. Bless you all for a million reasons all your comments and enthusiasm made me smile what a peaceful place to visit at this hectic time.


  9. I think a swap of dishtowels is a good idea. Everybody needs them, and if you are like me, you use your old grubby one because they still work. But new ones really brighten up the kitchen!

  10. Hi Sharon,
    Nice post.
    A pot holder or oven mitten would be useful.

  11. My vote is probably for tea towels because they're next on my list of things to learn to make. Or has there been a soap swap yet? That's a new skill that would be fun to master (though a little more expensive to post).

  12. Have you had a dishcloth swap? Or a soap swap?

  13. I just asked my boys this week, "could you go through your drawers and closet, finding items that you no longer are wearing nor need and place them in a box for me. This could be my 'present' from you during this Christmas season'. The youngest chirped, 'it's easier to buy you a present'..lol. "yes, but this is the best kind of present'.

    I have sitting in my bedroom quite a large amount of items that I will be donanting to the Christian Benefit Shop.

    On our Canadian Thanksgiving, the daycare children and I gathered food, hygiene items to donate to St. Vincent de Paul. The little ones, (youngest 19 months) were so excited when they came to pick up the items we had gathered.

  14. I love your banner picture. It looks like an invitation into your sanctuary. Though with an Airedale, I'm not sure how peaceful it would be! ;) Just kidding--I still miss my Abner the Airedale so much.
    I love pictures that give a glimpse of a secret place just beyond. Maybe I've just read The secret Garden too many times...

  15. Rhonda, how about a shopping bag swap - that could be made with many different techniques so everyone could join up...

  16. i would love to join in please - how about recipe cards

  17. Sharon, what about a swap with a "calico" theme? This way, you could incorporate dolls, stitchery, just about anything really that might suit your swap partner?
    other ideas: * pot mits for handling hot things in the kitchen
    * tea towels that somebody already suggested. It's so nice to have new ones instead of the old worn out and faded ones.
    * a small decorative stitchery that can be the base for a cushion or a bag or such like.

    I'm having trouble with my creativity gene just now. Lisa x

  18. How about an apron, dishtowel or potholder swap. These are all useful things towards the simpler life? I'm so looking forward to the next swap!

  19. I agree with the apron/dish towel/ potholder ideas. Those all seem good to me.
    I hope I will be able to participate. I have been reading for awhile, though not commenting as much as I did early on. My own writing keeps me pretty busy!


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