Things are hotting up over here at Frugal HQ – we have decided our family project will grow into a something far longer, and get bigger than just our little unit.
WATCH THIS SPACE! We are working on a new website and lots of exciting things for 2017.
We are out! Babysitter paid with chocolate orange and good will…
Date night returns after a year away and boy is it nice x
I can’t think today – my brain is full of lists and jobs that need doing so I thought I would just leave you with Festive toilet seat covers. Everything else I do is now a bonus x
Wishing everyone Peace x
Following on the recycled theme, and seamlessly matching it to the Christmas theme, I came across these beautiful recycled coffee sack Christmas stockings from Fern Cottage Crafts.
Buying gifts that have a recycled element can be done in all sorts of ways. There are lots of homemade ideas for gifts from children, or you may have a piece of jewellery from a relative that would make a great heirloom piece for another family member. Christmas shouldn’t be about the money we spend, but the thought we put in.
We’ve tried a few ways to extend Christmas spirit for more than just one day of present frenzied chaos and eating ourselves into a stupor. We like to wrap all our Christmas books and DVD’s and have them as treats all through December (re-using last years wrapping paper of course, if you wrap them before they go back in the loft with all the odds and bits you have left, or saved from the big day it’s a doddle!). We also like to make Christmas Eve a special day… take a look at Jam Jar Craft Studio for some great recycled paper ideas. Just a thought 😉
We do the elf thing at Frugal HQ – somewhat of a rod for our own backs to be honest, but it’s fun too and the kids love it. We got our Elf several years ago so it’s now free fun! Sometimes silly is good for adults as well, especially at this often stressful time of year…
While Christmas shopping, or buying anything during the Winter here at Frugal HQ we would like to encourage you (and ourselves) to think of using Good Gifts for at least some of that spending. There really is something there for everyone, and starting at just £5. We always have one in the stockings, to make sure we don’t get too lost in the selfishness of modern life.
Please take a look x
Why I chose to use recycled paper? – C&E Designs – Emma Cottam
At C&E Designs we create bespoke paper craft items, ranging from flowers to buttonholes to framed gifts to cards and tags. As a staple we use recycled paper – that is paper that we collect second hand. We hunt through second hand stores, we receive lovely donations and through that we have developed a massive stock of books, maps and sheet music.
Up-cycling this paper and creating something new allows us to bring life back into something that has been used and quite often discarded. We chose to use paper as creating something from almost nothing is a passion and allows our creativity to flow and re-using and up-cycling is important to us as a brand.
In this modern age we quite often throw something away when we are finished with it or when it doesn’t fit a purpose anymore. Recycling and re-using paper can save trees and help to preserve our environment. Whilst I’m not qualified to talk about environmental issues, for us as a business and for me as a person I feel it is important to recycle and re-use.
Using something that once belonged to someone else I often wonder about the journey that that piece of paper, book or map has been on and whom it belonged to. Often the messages at the front of the book, the markings on the sheet music or the circles on the maps show the journey and we like to incorporate this into some of our designs.
One of our favourite types of paper to use is old maps, the older the better! Especially when they have been taped together, are rugged around the edges and have become discoloured with age. These maps show a life well lived and to be able to creatively re-create this into something for someone else makes this an amazing job!
We love having a scrap paper drawer at Frugal HQ. It’s made from all sorts of things – old letters and printer mistakes, a clear out of old paperwork, damaged book pages, unwanted order forms and catalogues… and when it runs out we just let people we know to save their unwanted printouts, especially people that work in colleges and offices.
I particularly love the weird and wonderful array of things the kids create, they are happy for hours at the table with scissors, gluesticks and staplers (under supervision :)) This week Daddy got a new hat, we made some snowflakes for the windows and a few paperchain experiments – however these became the army of zombies that the Tsum Tsum Avengers were fighting so didn’t last long…
Our interest in recycling and creativity means we often come across far more talented people at these things than we are – look out for a GUEST POST tomorrow from the amazing Emma at C & E Designs about why they love to recycle paper – and of course the beautiful and unique things they make.
Just this week we ‘met’ Ekra, another map recycler on Instagram – it’s what all the cool kids do!
It’s been a much calmer week all round, and so ‘we’ have started to consider what we are buying for Christmas and lists have been created – presents, food, cards etc. One strategy we use is to stick to one supermarket and use their points scheme, this means we have a nice sum to use for our Christmas Treat Foods.
A new strategy is to use TopCashBack for items we buy online (we also order things via this for family and friends). I am totally amazed by how much we have saved over the year by using TopCashBack and when I was checking how to actually get the money out I realised that you can get an extra 6% more money FOR FREE by having your money on a shop card instead of straight to your bank. This could be used as a gift card for someone, or in a shop we are likely to be getting presents from anyway – with four kids every penny counts.
It’s been a long day, and when things seem challenging we like to count our blessings (usually with wine…). So, a few notes have gone into our pot today…