I plan to answer some comment questions but there are so many gotta do's both in the house and outside right now. I will answer some soon! We finally have a dry and sunny day, I'm about three years behind in laundry, and I let the dishes pile up in the sink. When my husband said something, I reminded him that what he sees undone is what I normally do each day. :)
I recently went to the only food pantry I visit each month. It is the food pantry where one has to be recommended based on income by the Salvation Army and it is by appointment only. They have a section where the clothes are free for anyone to take home. I look through it each time I visit because I believe in keeping an eye out for God's blessings.
There... among the free coats... was a gorgeous all weather coat in my size. Yes, it was exactly what I needed since my old one finally fell apart! Now my only clothing need is a pair of SAS summer sandals. (I check Goodwill quite often.) How amazing that the perfect all weather coat in my size was there on the one day that month that I'd be picking up groceries. Definitely a "God thing".
On the way home, I was thinking how being frugal is not only about "not shopping" but knowing where to shop (and when, as in keeping my eyes on a Spring baking sheet at Target and checking to see if it was on clearance after Easter... it was). I'm thinking of actually creating a price book as my memory gets fuzzier each year and it was never that good to begin with.
As you know, I truly believe having beauty in the home becomes even more important as there is so much bad news and uncertainty around us. I thought I'd share some results of my looking for inexpensive ideas for the house (as in... placing myself in a position to be blessed with little money).
I've loved the "look" of English homes for a long time so I had an eye out for a silver tea service. I found this one at an antique mall for $25.00 one year that I had a little extra to spend. It was tarnished but it shined up quite nicely. It looks just like I wanted, as if it came out of the pages of Victoria.
The matching tray is much larger than this one but I switched to this round tray so it would make room for the other items. This tray came from Goodwill, as did the cut glass and silver jars (which actually were purchased for Stephanie). The larger teacups came from Goodwill and garage sales, the tiny teacups were purchased when we went to visit friends in Amish country in Northern Indiana last year... full price but cheap. The lavender flowers were purchase at a garage sale and the red flowers from Goodwill.
I've mentioned that I love primitive country as well as English country. This cabinet used to sit under the window but when hubby brought home the "buffet" from his sister's place, I moved this to the other wall in the dining area.
The vintage sewing machine once belonged to my husband's grandmother. It had not worked for years so when I inherited it from my mother-in-law, I cut it out of the table it came in and it has been a piece of beautiful art on this table for years. The little plate was a gift from a friend who reads this blog. :)
Stephanie called me from a New England tag sale last summer, asking if I'd be interested in a folk art tree and bird just like the one in the cottage we'd stayed in Lancaster County. YES!!! I just love the way it looks with the sewing machine. Once again, two different decorating styles but they look lovely together. At least I think so. :)
I stole the above picture from Stephanie's blog. So many of the items in this picture came from tag sales in New England, garage sales here in the Midwest (I gave her the silver bowl with Christmas balls in it... garage sale!), and Goodwill. If I remember, her dining table and buffet were purchased through e-bay at a very good price.
Since I was committing theft anyway, I thought I'd share this collage picture she put together for her blog. It is SO "cottage style" and I just love it. I see some items purchased at Brimfield when we went together (one of my favorite days) and a couple from a garage sale we attended the last time she visited here. There are two or three objects she took with her from our home when she married. I love what she did with the quilt behind the old window.
What you can't see is almost everything here is displayed very high... out of reach of small hands. I know she will forgive me for swiping a couple of pictures as I did want to show you how cottage style can be accomplished with little money, too. :)
Whenever I look throughout my house, I see God's love and compassion. He has "made my boundary lines to be in pleasant places". Sometimes I find things free or very cheap. Sometimes He provides through gifts (like my lovely Anchor Hocking jars), the camera that makes it possible to share with you, and even the computer I am using here on the sofa. Other times He has provided money to pay for an item on sale ("never pay full price" is the family motto).
But it all comes down to "a way of seeing" (as is the title of an Edith Schaeffer book). It's about expectations... putting ourselves in a position to be blessed instead of complaining about not having more money... by "shopping" thrift stores, garage sales, knowing what grocery store sells what we need at the cheapest price, watching for sales, looking through the "free bin or racks", knowing which aisles at Goodwill will have tea cups or baking dishes, and finding inexpensive books in lots of places.
I keep a list of needs and Godly desires and as I see a "possibility" (like a couple of old Victoria magazines on the free magazine rack at the library or the expensive roasting pan I noticed on a bottom shelf before leaving Goodwill one day), I know Someone has taken me there for that time and that place and I am content as He provides each need.