Lighted Valentine Glass Block

Last year I decorated the same wooden wreath for each holiday and season. I will be doing the same thing this year with a lighted, glass block. I received it from my friend, Paula, who said, “You will love this because you can open it up and change the inside!”

She knows I like to put decorative items on the windowsill between my kitchen and living room to disguise the back of the microwave. This glass block fits that area perfectly. It had two pine trees, snow, and lighted copper wires that reminded me of “Aurora Borealis” in it. I didn’t show it in my snowmen post because the picture was not clear.

Winter scene Glass Block "Lighted Valentine Glass Block"

I tried adding a Valentine decoration to the winter scene, but the snow covered most of it up. After removed the trees, snow, and lights, I decided to flip the block because it was difficult to fill from the bottom.


Glass Block "Lighted Valentine Glass Block"


A “Valentine Candy” theme, the red, heart-shaped, glass stones reminded me of hard candy. The other pieces of candy are actually pins! (Thanks, Whitney, for the conversation heart pins.)

Side of Glass Block "Lighted Valentine Glass Block"


I tried putting the copper lights back in but they looked funny or just sank to the bottom. I ended up wrapping them around the outside of the glass block.






To get a Valentine background, I slipped a gift bag under the lights in the back. It is just a little bigger than the glass block. I rested the bottom of it on the window sill trim to line the top of it up with the top of the glass block.

Back of Glass Block "Lighted Valentine Glass Block"






On one side of the glass block is a counted cross-stitch Valentine greeting in a roses frame. A “Jelly Bean” pomegranate candle completed my candy-themed windowsill vignette. It adds a soft glow to the area in the evenings. Remember, your decorating and crafts do not have to be permanent.

Glass Block with LIghts "Lighted Valentine Glass Block"

©2009-2017 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

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Can You Guess My Christmas Theme?

Mom was here early in the week and I asked if she could guess my Christmas theme.

She couldn’t!

She was in good company. David and Derek have looked at it for ten days and they couldn’t guess it either! Derek asked, “Why is there a seagull on the tree?”

When I explained the theme to my Mom she said two things: 1) “You have too much time on your hands,” and 2) “Can you print off a copy of your post? I want to fool my friends!”

The Tree

My theme is best reflected with my Christmas tree. Under the Star of Bethlehem, there is a section covered with stars from Hobby Lobby, like this. . . Clear Stars and Black Ribbon "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

Below the stars are Christmas Carols rolled up into scrolls and wrapped in black ribbon. I used them the first time in “Free Christmas Tree Decorations.” Scroll of Christmas Carol "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

Angels with various instruments are hung on the next level of branches. My favorite is the one with the harp. Angel Playing Harp "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

What Derek thought were seagulls were actually doves. I found them in the Christmas section of Dollar Tree. Doves represent peace. The “Peace on Earth” ornaments were from Dollar General. Christmas Dove "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

Peace on Earth "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"


The crown ornaments below the globes were first used in 2013 when my theme was “Birthday of a King.” King's Crown Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

These globe ornaments were my Thanksgiving craft project. We shredded foil tissue paper and stuffed it into glass ornaments. I drew the continents on with a black Sharpie and filled them in with a green Sharpie. Homemade Earth Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"


The bottom layer of angels was in the same spot last year for “Angles We Have Heard on High.” There are three “angel tree toppers” resting on the bottom boughs. Gold Angel Tree Topper "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

My niece, Brittney, was here on Monday and she told me she loved my tree skirt. I had to admit that it is a twin, fitted sheet that I borrowed from Derek! The glitter on it fell off of the ornaments on the tree! Glitter Tree Skirt "Can You guess My Christmas Theme"

Other Decor

I wasn’t able to put all the clues on my wreath but it did get: a Christmas Carol scroll, an angel playing an instrument, a dove, and a star. I added small, black ribbons to the wreath. I used these ribbons around the “Horn of Plenty” appetizers that I made for Thanksgiving last year. Theme Wreath "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

My towels are only adorned with an angel and a dove sitting in a wreath. Angels and Dove on Towels "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

I drew continents on a large, blue ornament and filled them in with a green Sharpie to mimic the globe ornaments on the tree for a kissing ball. I hung a crystal angel and a crystal music note from the ribbon. Themed Kissing Ball "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

The Kitchen

On the swag light in the kitchen is a heavenly host of angels from last year. Angels on Swag Light "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"


The kitchen tablescape has crystal angels and a crystal nativity scene. The only other clues are the colors of the runner and folded napkin on top of it. Crystal Creche and Angles "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

The Dining Room

My dining room table covered a bit more of the theme. Viewed coming down the stairs, the clues go from right to left: an angel playing an instrument, a dove (Kirkland) in a nest (Hobby Lobby), a manger scene in a crown (2013), a globe (Hobby Lobby), and another angel without an instrument. The nest is on top of a garden stand that usually holds a gazing ball. Dining Room Tablescape "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme"

Did you guess my theme? Too bad, I am going to make you wait! (Type your guess in the comment section below.)

The important thing is I did not spend a lot of money, $31.00. I bought the stars, globe, and nest at Hobby Lobby and they were 50% off. I reused several ornaments from earlier years. I never use all of my decorations, and after sitting in a box for a few years, they seem like new decorations when I finally do!

If you enjoyed my Christmas decorations, you might enjoy seeing others in the “Christmas Tour 2016” that I found at my favorite decorating blog,

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

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“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it! But what if you do not have a fireplace? I guess you can roast the chestnuts in the oven, but what about the glow of a fireplace?

A few years ago, I turned the TV on to the “UP” station during a family Christmas because it was showing a “Yule Log.” Yep, it was a video of a fire burning with Christmas music in the background.

I pinned a better idea from At the Picket Fence on my Christmas board. The link for instructions led me to I love their faux fireplaces, but I don’t have room for one. I decided to fake the look of a gas fireplace that was like a line of fire.

I remembered my CD organizer turned on its side on the piano. The TV is on top and what better place to have a fire/light feature than there! I got out the battery operated LED button lights my niece gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I put one in each box and made my fire/light feature.LED Button Votives "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"

I can have the glow during the day or . . .Light Feature as Viewed from my bed "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"

. . . turn them on at night.Faux Fire Light Feature at Night "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

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Using All of the Dress

I fell in love with the dress, a red maxi, when I first saw it. (Red is my favorite color.) It was a designer dress sold for Valentine’s Day. I was searching for an Easter dress when I spotted it on clearance. It was now marked down to $14.97.

I ordered it for a Christmas dress. It is sleeveless, but I can wear a crew neck shirt underneath it or a sweater over it. I am really long-waisted, and to get the waist to fit, I have to order the tall size and cut three inches off of the bottom of the dress. I carefully measured, pinned, cut the three inches off, and re-hemmed it.

I tossed the three-inch strip in the garbage but pulled it right back out. Who knows, I may think of a way to use it. I wore the dress to a country wedding in August with a jean jacket and my red cowboy boots!

Last weekend was our “Weekend to Remember” get away and I took the red dress along to wear on the required date night. On impulse, I tossed in the extra material, too.

As I was dressing for our date, I noticed the ribbons used to keep the dress on the hanger had come loose. I pulled them off because I was afraid they would hang out and show.

Then I did my hair.

My hair didn’t cooperate. I am letting my bangs grow out and they curled down right into my eyes. I didn’t have hair spray with me and I knew my curls cannot be corralled with hairspray anyway. I took those two pieces of ribbon and tied them together. I put them on my head like a headband and tucked the bows behind my ears. It fit perfectly and kept those ornery bangs out of my eyes.Tied ribbons made headband ""Using all of the dress"

I was so pleased with the effect of the ribbon, I decided to experiment with the extra material. I love those tutorials on how to fold a scarf. I tried a few I was familiar with but didn’t like the result.

Then I decided to tie the ends together making it an infinity scarf! It was so long that I had to wrap it around my head four times, but it covered the area of my neck that I am not fond of. It was high enough that I could still wear the heart necklace, with a rose in it, that was given to me by my youngest son for my birthday. I put on the matching rose earrings, my leather jacket, black pumps, and I was ready for a night on the town.Date at Hu Hot "Using all of the Dress"

I begged David to take me to HuHot a few times, but he was never interested. It thrilled me when he told me that was where he was taking me for date night! Shopping in the mall in pumps was not as thrilling, but I had a great time.HuHot Food "Using all of the Dress"

I’ve told you before to keep all ribbon. You never know when it will come in handy!

And learn a few simple ways to fold a scarf! The easiest way to learn is to ask a friend how she folded her scarf and let her demonstrate. There are also many tutorials on Pinterest. There are a few pinned to my Frugalfish Pinterest page on the “clothes” board.


David: “McDonald’s for breakfast?”

Me: “Only if you serve it in bed!”

(And they call me “Frugalfish.”)

We had homework assignments at “Weekend to Remember” but were so tired the first night that we decided to do our homework at breakfast. We went to Perkins and I ordered Eggs Benedict for the first time. I always wanted to try them. It came with hash browns and a blueberry muffin. David had to help me finish the hash browns and I took the muffin and butter to go.

When we travel, we take a cooler with water, Powerade, assorted crackers, trail mix, and a variety of fruits. David got his breakfast at McDonald’s and I ate the blueberry muffin, a peach, and had a cup of the hotel coffee. He brought me back a fruit and yogurt and that made a filling, but inexpensive breakfast for the second day.Muffin, Peach, Coffee, "Using all of the Dress"


“Weekend to Remember” is an investment in your marriage. It is expensive but is cheaper than a divorce! It’s never too late to save your marriage!

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

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What’s in the Frig?

We had just returned from a weekend away, where we ate at really nice restaurants. We even tried new foods! I wanted something fancy for dinner. I asked the all important question –

“What’s in the frig?”

There was pork thawed out and fresh peaches. There was also some fresh kale the mysteriously turned up. (Sometimes, my daughter leaves things she decides she doesn’t like, but this time, it was from my son’s girlfriend.)

I went online and found a recipe for “Pork with Peaches” and another one for “Sautéed Kale.” I followed the directions a felt a bit like a chef. I baked a potato to go with those dishes. I was pleased with the results. My meal was just as colorful as the ones in restaurants.Potatoes, Pork, Peaches, and Kale on a plate.

The next time you want something fancy, start by asking the question, “What’s in the frig?”

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

Facebook – Frugal Fish

Iowa Summer Wreath

Usually, after July 4th, I get out my sea shells and other decorations that depict a vacation. But – I live in Iowa and there is no ocean! Iowa has a beauty all its own. In July, there are several shades of green. I decided to decorate with the beauty of Iowa.

I started with my wreath…and it did not go well. I couldn’t find the colors of material in large enough sizes to tie them around the hearts. Finally, I decided to pin them.Material pinned to wreath

Iowa skies are the prettiest blue when the sun is shining. We also get a sufficient amount of rain. Some days the clouds are puffy like cotton balls and on other days, they are wispy.

I wanted to include all the shades of green:

  1. The green corn fields before the tassels appear.
  2. The grassy green of the lawns.
  3. The greens of the clover and alfalfa fields.
  4. The greens of the woods with their evergreens.

I believe I captured most of the shades. I decided to add decorative elements to each heart, to help you tell which green it represented. That meant I raided my decorations from other holidays: corn from Thanksgiving, grass from Easter, and a pine cone from Fall. The most unusual element is a green bee that came from some toy. It must have been from one of the cousins’ toys when they visited because none of my kids could figure out where it came from. I almost threw it away a multitude of times. I’m glad I kept it. It looks cool on the fabric covered with clovers.Iowa Summer Wreath

Next week, I’ll show you the rest of my summer decorations.

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

Facebook – Frugal Fish

Christmas Gift Projects

Christmas decorations and supplies are in stores. Some are upset and feel like we are rushing the season. But, for those of us who are crafty and make some of our gifts, we are happy to see it.

In May, the rage on Pinterest was patriotic, bandanna wreaths. I wanted to make one using my existing wreath. Imagine my surprise, when I went to Hobby Lobby a week before Memorial Day and found they were out of the red, white, and blue bandannas! I had a red one at home but had to go to 2 different stores to buy blue and white ones.

Don’t let that happen to you!

Christmas is six months away. If you would like to make gifts, now is the time to start! Get supplies while there is a good selection and you have plenty of time to complete it. I spent one Christmas Eve finishing up sewing projects and I don’t recommend it!

If you would like to make gifts, here are a few ideas:

Dehydrated Herbs

Jar of dehydrated parsley

Homegrown, dehydrated parsley.

Individual Freezer Apple Pies

Top of jar

I put labels with the baking directions on top of the jars.

Carved Wooden Statue

Man by carved wood ear of corn

It took one month from start to finish.

Blanket-Stitched Kitchen Towels

2 Christmas towels

The kitchen towels I added blanket-stitch yarn to for Christmas gifts.

Puzzle Board

Board with partially finished puzzle on it

My puzzle board.

Coffee Mug Cozie

Cup with knitted Cozie around it

Coffee Cup Cozie

Painted Picture Frames

Picture with a painted frame.

The pictures third frame


Sashay scarves on a table runner

Two Sashay yarn scarves I knitted.

Tee Shirt Quilt

Tee shirt quilt

Tee shirt quilt I made for my son.

 It’s time to go through your craft items to see what you already have on hand.

©2009-2016 All rights reserved.

 Twitter – @frugalfishorg

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DIY Queen Costume

Did you see me get my Grammy last night?
Oh, wait; I received my award a few weeks ago…
…but it wasn’t a Grammy.

Our church holds a Volunteer Banquet to feed, thank, and generally spoil all of the volunteers. There is a catered meal, games, prizes, and “Star Awards” given to the volunteer of the year in several categories:

“In appreciation for rising to the challenge of commitment, demonstrating an attitude of excellence and sacrificing beyond expectation.”

The theme this year was “Star Wars.” I decided to go as Luke Skywalker’s mom. I have so much in common with her:
• We both have a son named Luke.
• We both have a daughter: hers is Leia and mine is Laura.
• We both married younger men.

I didn’t want to wear black clothes, with the white face makeup, which the actress wore as Queen Amidala; and since she died in childbirth, I decided to go as the pregnant version.

The actress in the movie who played Queen Amidala wore velvet a lot. I got out the maxi dress I wore to senior prom because it had velvet on it. The dress is pink, with a wine-colored, velvet inlay and attached capelet overlay. I had to remake it a little bit.

I took the cameo off of the front and replaced it with a rhinestone embellishment from my little black dress. That pin had a hole in the center. I folded over several layers of wine-colored tulle and used it to fill in the hole.

Then I made a floor length cape to go over it. I took a velour throw and hemmed one edge. The satin ribbon belt from one of my bridesmaid’s dresses made a good tie. The throw was wine colored, and the ribbon was pink.

I put a “bump-it” in my hair and combed the hair over it. I secured it in the back with a jeweled barrette and put my tiara from a Queen contest on in front. I wore crystal earrings and a crystal, beaded necklace.

Since Luke’s mom in the movie died after giving birth, I pinned some binding to a small pillow to make a baby bump. I wrapped the binding around the front and tied it.

I was all set to win the costume contest because most people said they were not going in costume. We were given the option to go in costume, wear a “Star Wars” t-shirt, or wear street clothes. (They jokingly said the only ones in costume were under the age of 40!)

I didn’t win.

Then our family won the award in the music ministry category and I had to go up on the platform…in my prom dress, looking pregnant, for pictures! David was a big help. In the first picture, he pointed to the pillow. Luckily, they took another one!

When it comes to making costumes, you do not have to rent them. Sometimes the most comfortable ones are hiding in a storage tote, or trunk, in the attic.

Queen Costume and the Star Award we won that night.

Queen Costume and the Star Award we won that night.

©2009-2016 All Rights Reserved.

DIY Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

Losing heart over what to do for Valentine’s Day?

Does it have to be:

  • Diamonds? No!
  • Reservations at the most expensive place in town? No!
  • A flight to Paris? No!
  • A dozen red roses? No!
  • 25 lb. box of chocolates? No!
  • A night in a ritzy hotel? No!

The most treasured gifts are gifts from the heart:

  1. Recreate your first date.
  2. Write a love letter.
  3. Make a list of all of the things you love about them.

If you would rather cook, here a few ideas from us:

“Make Your Valentine Homemade Chocolates,” see
“A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Wine, and Thou,” see              “Everyday Cocoa Brownies,” see

You don’t even have to spend money on decorations!

“No-Sew Valentine’s Day Table Runner,” see

Everyone understands a message from the heart.

My Valentine's Day table runner.

My Valentine’s Day table runner.

©2009-2016 All Rights Reserved.



Remembering Christmas Past

The year my granddaughter was born I was hoping we would have a white Christmas; but it was just like this year. I remember setting the table with white linens, white candles, and crystal. I sprinkled fake snow, white confetti, and rock salt around the center!

That year my decorations were natural items: birds, apples, wreaths, pine cones, etc.

My natural themed Christmas tree.

My natural themed Christmas tree.

Another year that I used a lot of natural decorations was when I decided to have a “Fruitcake” tree.

Beaded fruit, pine cone "nuts," drizzled with icing made from a lace garland.

Beaded fruit, pine cone “nuts,” cranberry garland, and drizzled with icing made from a lace garland.

The snow came the day before our Christmas dinner.

I folded the napkins into angels.

I folded the napkins into angels.

Looking back is fun. Looking forward is better.

Happy New Year!

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