The Most Sentimental Gift I Have Ever Given

“It was on my bucket list – paint a memory.”

Several times, I gathered my paints and tried to do just that! The problem was I could not settle on a memory. Also, I am not an artist. But last summer, I went to a “Coffee and Canvas” with my Mom and sisters. We had fun! I didn’t think the painting went well, but I ended up decorating around it!

My friends, Ken and Jill, spent most of this year traveling. During last winter, they went to the southernmost point of the United States and in the summer, they went to the North Pole! I do not get to travel and I enjoy the pictures and updates they send by email. They sent one picture of mountains in Alaska reflected in a lake that was just gorgeous! I downloaded and saved it.

Meanwhile, my friends Mike and Paula were buried in tulle! Two of their children had weddings three weeks apart! I don’t know how they survived. Ken and Jill were able to attend the one out-of-state, (I could not), and they made a video and took a lot of pictures. One picture, in particular, stuck out to me. It was the pond with a bridge that was in the background of one of the weddings. I asked Ken to send me a copy.

I picked up 2 – 11″ X 14″ canvases on a half-price sale. I made an inventory of the acrylic paints I had on hand and bought 6 more to have several shades of the colors I would need.

Then I got nervous. What was I thinking? I’m not an artist!

In the middle of the night, I started to regret my decision. The party where I would give these gifts was only a week away. I worked hard getting all the tasks for the next two days done and cleared a day to paint.

It was a bright, sunny day. I painted the most difficult one in the morning. After a long lunch, I painted the second one. I used 5 shades of blue and 4 shades of green on these two paintings. I enjoyed every moment of it – even if my island looked like a pickle!

My friends loved them! I captured my impression of one of their memories of 2017.

It’s true; it’s the thought that counts! I spent less than $15.00 and under 4 hours painting. Here are the paintings with the inspirational photo above them.

Painted Memories "My Most Sentimental Gift" frugalfish.org

My frugalfish tip is: “If you make it, they will love it!”

Next week will be the end of my 8th Year of Blogging! I am going to share my “Top Ten Posts” from the last 8 years!

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles

It started with this picture of an angel. I bought her during a really rough year, (11 funerals), and her expression matched what I was feeling. But the grieving process is over and I am no longer sad! Angel Picture "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

I am slowing purchasing frames at Goodwill and framing my children’s artwork. There was one picture I framed that my daughter drew during a rough year in her life. The drawing was not what I thought it was. When I found out what she really drew, that picture made me sad. I took that picture out of the frame and gave it back to her.

Earlier, I framed 6 pieces of artwork based on the piece that looked the best in the frame. My youngest son pointed out there were 2 of my oldest son’s pieces, 3 of my daughter’s pieces and only 1 of his. I decided to correct that.

Using the frame from the piece I returned, I tried to find one of my youngest son’s pieces to put in it. They were all too large. Then I noticed one torn piece.Torn Artwork "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

I took the mat out of the frame and put it over an undamaged portion. I cut the artwork to fit in the frame and disposed of the rest.Matted Fragment "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles" frugalfish.org

I taped it to the mat, put it back together, and taped the backing paper down.Taped paper backing down "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

This was the picture before…Original picture "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

…and this is the picture after. Wouldn’t it make a great gift? It’s an original!Framed Children's Artwork, "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

I took the backing paper off of the angel print and found the print, matting, and cardboard were all stapled to the frame. I cannot reuse this frame. I taped it back together and put it in my box for Goodwill.Artwork stapled to frame "Priceless Gift for Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles" frugalfish.org

My frugalfish tip this week is to frame a piece of your children’s artwork in a frame from artwork you no longer like. It is inexpensive, but “priceless.”

Next week, I will reveal my 2017 Christmas theme. Have you guessed it yet? (My sister-in-law found out that Google is no help!)

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

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

Scarf

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.

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Gifts for Administrative Assistants, Not Flowers or Candy

“My boss made the coffee every day!”

My boss spoiled me during the two decades that I was an administrative professional. Not only did my boss make the coffee, he would dump 2 sugar and 2 creams in it, and bring it to my desk. Then he would go over that day’s tasks with me. (He made great coffee! I didn’t.)

Both of my bosses spoiled me. I would get flowers and candy, not only on “Administrative Professionals Day,” but also on my birthday and other holidays, too. When my health forced me to step down from my job, I had a cupboard full of coffee mugs from them.

“But my favorite gift was…a paper shredder!”

Talk to your administrative assistants today! Flowers and candy are nice, but they might want something else instead.

According to a poll at Corporette.com, most bosses spend under $25.00 or under $50.00 on “Administrative Assistants Day.”

“Think outside the vase…er, box.”

  1. Software: Is there software that would make their job run more smoothly?
  2. Upgrades: Maybe they have sufficient software, but would an upgrade make them more efficient?
  3. License: You can load some software 3 times on one license: 1) Office, 2) Laptop, 3) Home. If needed, pay the extra license and let them load a program on their home computer for their personal use. The more they use it, the more proficient they will become.
  4. Electric Equipment: Another favorite item in my former office was an electric stapler. It may seem like a luxury to you, but after stapling 100 handbooks, it feels like a necessity.
  5. Equipment Maintenance: I loved the big, old-fashioned, guillotine paper-cutter we used. It could cut through several sheets perfectly. But those blades need sharpened and the screw on it may need tightening.

“An easy trick to sharpen and keep these blades sharp is to frequently cut several sheets of aluminium foil. Just pull out a sheet of foil and slice it 10 or so times into little pieces. Unless the blades are really worn out this should work. This, by the way, is official for many cheap cutters.”  boardgamegeek.com

“You never know until you ask.”

Money is tight and businesses may not have the funds for something new. You would be surprised how small things can make all the difference, i.e. replace the broken blind that allows the sun to shine in their eyes late in the afternoon.

“Make it personal.”

Whatever you choose to do, remember to write a personal note on a card…even a plain “Thank You” note. You cannot do your job without them. Take a few minutes to appreciate their work.

Paper Cutter

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