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Thriftily Frugal June 24, 2009

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I am declaring myself, from this day forward, a thrifter.

I am a consumer junkie. I buy magazines as if they were necessary to hold my house up. I buy yarn, fabric & embroidery floss because it’s pretty & I want it. I buy shower gel, shampoo, conditioner & hairspray for me & a whole other load (cheaper versions! tee hee!) for my fella. I used to buy clothes, shoes & books as if they were going out of fashion (some probably were!) but that started to change last year when my boyfriend & I moved into our flat. Back then I still smoked & would go out most weekends. Even now I think nothing about buying a bottle of Coke a day & eating out because i wanted an extra hour in bed and i didn’t have time for breakfast!


I am too broke. It’s crazy. Our flat is roomy, it’s in a lovely area, but it’s expensive. We live in Oxford which is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. The South East has the highest property prices in England after London. I’ve seen places to rent in Hillingdon (Greater London) cheaper than you can get in Oxford. The cost of eating out & drinks in bars are the same as london. The difference is in London you generally get paid more for the same job. (Not everyone in London is on a good wage I know!) So the reality is that I simply can’t afford to live the way that I have been.

These days we are all more globally & environmentally aware, we are informed consumers, but consumers we still are. More & more people are buying handmade, local, organic, fairtrade and so on. Handmade is great because it gave us Etsy! So with all the environmentally aware information floating about it’s not too difficult to make sensible choices. Given my own financial crisis i’m voting for local where possible, in season for food but not for clothes, and trades, charity shops & handmade for everything else!

I actually bought a tomato plant the other day, my first tentative baby step towards being more sustainable & having tastier tomatoes! I intend to buy pots of herbs too as they are expensive to buy “fresh” from the supermarket & they don’t last very long.

Soon my garden will look a little bit like the one above!

I will no longer buy magazines (apart from Frankie I can’t live without it) but I will reread the ones that I already own. (When we moved house I had 2 boxes filled with magazines!) Vogue, Elle Living, Zest, Giant Robot, Nude… they’re all great to revisit.

Books I will buy from charity shops. You get some amazing bargains that way. Why spend £7.99 on it when you can pick it up for £1.50? And if it’s a gift for somebody else I will slip off to a cool little bookstore I know of in Jericho, Oxford that sells brand new books for £2! Yep, you read that correctly!

Stack of old books

Kitchen stuff will be easy I will just head straight back to those charity shops.. Mr Joaly breaks crockery & glasses as though he were a Greek so its not worth spending much money on mugs & plates anyway!

Clothes… my theory here is to only buy them if I actually need them. I’m going to Mr Joaly’s brothers wedding at the end of August & I have to buy an outfit for that I don’t think baggy skater jeans & a Gremlins t-shirt would be deemed appropiate! That’s pretty much all I need though.

I guess I’ll just have to avoid BleubirdVintage then… 😉

I am also attempting to restrain myself from buying any more materials until I’ve used up the majority of what I have. My crafting hobby is costing a small fortune itself! Speaking of which i finished off my latest piece of embroidery out in the garden this afternoon.. pics to come!

Hope I haven’t bored you all to tears, just wanted to let you know that I’m entering the Thrifty World as my blog may well take a slightly different slant as I become increasingly desperate  inventive! Any great money saving/making tips you guys might have would be much appreciated!

Ciao xoxoxox


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle June 24, 2009

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What an amazing book! Have you read it yet? If you haven’t, you should! It’s a real eye opener.

Barbara Kingsolver, the author, & her family not only ate local but also grew/reared their own food for a year. Its not something everybody can go off & do in practice but eating local really is something people are starting to think about. Barbara’s writing style is quite witty & there are some interesting facts in there.. did you know that Turkeys these days are incapable of breeding all by themselves? Me neither!

No nookie for these guys!

Thats where ive been for the last few days, stuck inside the book! Ive finished it now though so it’s back to Harry Potter & the real world 🙂

I’m working on a gorgeous embroidery piece with the threads I won from Cymberrain which i’ll show you when it’s done & I got some fabric through in a trade with Erin


Haven’t decided quite what to make with it yet…

Gotta go we have to go out & buy food shopping!

Yart Sale! June 10, 2009

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Art + Yard = Yart according to Etsy so they are holding a Yart sale! I’ve joined in with a Yart Section which is here where every item is under $5 (That’s under £3 for us Anglicans!) so have a peep as you’ll be in for a bargain!

*For those of you who don’t know etsy but are happy with ebay, etsy works the same way except it is all priced in dollars & it’s all handmade! You pay at the checkout at the end with paypal exactly the same as ebay. Happy shopping!*

So i’ve been a busy little bee the last couple of days…


Cute Raindrop magnet available here


Lily The Pink brooch available here


More raindrop fun “Playing in the rain” available here


And a bit of dinosaur customisation! I love this bag now it’s totally adorable! Probably won’t sell this one as i think it’ll be fun to use myself when the sun comes back out!

I’m in another treasury too, courtesy of the lovely EnchantedQuill, a Twitter friend…


I think that’s all my news for today… I’m working on a secret project right now so i’m off to work on that…. see you all soon!

What I’ve Been Up To Lately June 4, 2009

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A venture into the magical world of headbands…


Wire wrapped earrings… especially loving these ones…


All available now at www.themonstermaker.etsy.com

I’ve decided to have a go at growing my own herbs & maybe some vegetables too… if anyone has any seeds laying about that they don’t want drop me a comment & maybe we could trade?

I had a “Money Saving Tips” thread on etsy y’day & it threw up some great tips…

1. Buy in bulk as it works out cheaper

2. Shop in your local charity shops

3. Use lemon, vinegar & bicarbonate of soda to do your cleaning instead of buying in chemicals…

4. Hold a car boot sale

5. Make your own food! Bake bread, make sauces from scratch…

6. Reuse carrier bags for shopping

7. Freecycle

8. Bulk up meals with rice, pasta, lentils or chickpeas

9. Collect rainwater to wate your plants

10. Switch Electricity supplier… and remember to switch everything off!

Check out the thread for more tips… http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6173279&page=6

And last but not least i’ve fallen in love with these…







Gotta run… hugs & kisses xoxoxo

Aloha! May 29, 2009

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Its been a busy last few days… work, a custom order, ebay sales, the arrival of my secret swap, my new banner for etsy, featured in my first Treasury, re-photographing & re-titling products for etsy… BUSY!

First up, my secret swap… a gorgeous pair of earrings from the lovely Kalicat (http://kalicat.etsy.com)


They are a liitle bit bluer than you can see in this photo here, couldn’t get the colours clear with the camera?!

My new banner from the lovely bannersrus (http://bannersrus.etsy.com)


Unfotunately, the treasury has expired now, but I was so excited & it was courtesy of the lovely StudioTempera (http://studiotempera.etsy.com) who makes amazing gourd lampshades.

The custom order was for a friend at work who is going to a wedding this weekend which is what she wanted it for. There is a similar one for sale in my etsy shop (http://themonstermaker.etsy.com).


Also I took some time out to enjoy the sun & read out in my garden. Realised that we have a bush in the back garden that the bees loooove…


Does anybody know what this plant is?

Have to head off to work again now so will catch up with you all soon… 🙂

Etsy Favourites 2 May 5, 2009

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Good morning! Even though its kinda grey out there it looks like the sun might break through & if it doesn’t, here is some of amazing photographer Angie Muldowney’s artwork to make you feel bright instead…




I think her work is absolutely beautiful, captivating… At the moment I live in a cute little flat but we aren’t allowed to put anything on the walls, so as of yet I don’t own anything by her… but I can wish 🙂

Find Angie at http://angiemuldowney.etsy.com

At the moment I’m taking an etsy vacation but I still really believe in the site & when I have more time I’ll be back on there with a vengeance! In the meantime find me at http://tinyurl.com/d9pmcz

Have a good day…. here’s hoping the sunshine comes out!

Did You Miss Me?! April 22, 2009

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Well hello again! Ive had a busy past few weeks, far too much work, not enough play… but I’ve had the last couple of days off & Ive managed to get sunburn (In England, in April!), see my dad & brother & take them out for a lovely day, catch up with my photography & discover Taylor Swift!


My lovely dad & brother displaying their musical tastes for all to see!


A work in progress… a painting of mine that I never quite felt was finished. The other day I got the urge to embroider it & try some applique… will see how it goes!


Another work in progress… i’m obsessed with the teardrop shape at the moment 🙂


Gorgeous flower… an anemone maybe?!

I am back to work later this afternoon, & its another week of stupid hours as one of my colleagues is off to Greece, lucky him!!!!

I am taking a break from my etsy store for the time being as I cannot commit to actually making things, photographing them, uploading the pics, updating the shop & then the constant promotion necessary to run a sucessful etsy shop! So… I have decided to use my ebay shop… http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/beingbeatriceboutique to sell my handmade goods on alongside my general stuff. My works in progress will be in here soon!

I’ve missed you all, hope you’re well & enjoying the sunshine!

ps. Ive just received some spool dolls from Wunderkind ready for me to paint & customise… they’re awesome!


Above is an example from Wunderkinds flickr page… buy them at www.etsy.wunderkind.com

No Time! March 20, 2009

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Firstly let me assure you that I am still alive. Secondly I apologise for my absence. Thirdly (?!) let me moan that I am working lots of ridiculous hours! Aaaggghhhh! Hence… no time to blog!


I have agreed to a car boot sale next Sunday, lots of junk to get rid of & of course, an oppurtunity to maybe sell some of my work… So I’m also frantically working on brooches & magnets at the moment…


(Available at http://themonstermaker.etsy.com)

So now I am off again spinning out the door & to work… I’ll catch up with you all soon!