Friday, September 28, 2012

The Frumpy Hausfrau Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop hasn't been terribly successful yet...I've only sold one item...but I haven't put a whole lot of effort into it, either. That is about to change, however.

One of The Girls from church (with whom I go thrifting) makes hand-made handbags for a minimal fee. Recently, I purchased a remnant of fabric and asked her to make a purse for me. Part way through construction, she brought me another bag she'd made to show me a sample of what extras I might like for mine. My heart went pitty-patter when I saw that other bag! Thankfully, she was willing to sell it to me. So now I have two Mary Bags!

The bag on the left is made from the fabric I gave Mary;
the awesome vintage Native American print bag was her "sample" that I snagged.

As for the Etsy shop, I asked Mary if she would like for me to sell some of her creations in my Etsy shop - and she agreed! We still need to figure out pricing, but I anticipate having some fabulous Mary Bags in The Frumpy Hausfrau Etsy Shop very soon!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Alteration, A Copycat and Some Penguins

It took some doing to get Sunday's outfit together. The inspiration for my outfit is a page from the September issue of All You magazine:

(Sorry for the poor quality of the pic...I could not find a photo of the outfit on the All You website, so the best I could do was scan the magazine.)

I love the Southwestern look of this comfortable ensemble! Being a frugal hausfrau, I have been searching for the past few weeks for the components of the outfit at thrift stores. I did purchase a scarf at regular price from Target, but not the one pictured - my Target had that one in stock, but it was too large for my frame. I found a chambray shirt for a quarter at the once-a-month Catholic church thrift store; deep red pants for a few dollars at Goodwill; wonderfully comfortable moccasins on eBay; and accessories from my own collection.

First, the thrifted finds needed to be altered to fit me properly. The pants were hemmed up about three inches, an easy fix, but the shirt needed some major work. Here's the fit before:

It's kind of hard to tell from the picture, but the shirt is too big in the bust and waist area, but tight across my tummy (notice I didn't button that last button?) and it poofs out like a balloon in the back (forgot to get a pic of the back). Plus, the hem of the shirt hits at a bad point on my hips. An alteration idea came to me one night while I was laying there not sleeping, so the next day, here's how I implemented it...

 I folded it up several inches all the way around the middle at the waist, thereby raising the tight tummy area up so it would be closer to my actual waistline, and raising the hemline at the same time. It took a couple of pinnings to find just the right spot for this up-take. Then I sewed it up, with the excess fabric on the inside.

 Next, I pinned two darts in the back, to draw in the waist and eliminate the bubble effect. Again, it took a couple of tries to get the correct position and amount to gather. At first, I was going to make traditional darts (kind of a C-shaped seam from the top of the shoulder blade area to several inches below the waist), but that is very difficult to achieve on an already-constructed shirt. And so I simply sewed over the existing seam I'd just created at the waist, thereby securing the tucks.

The fit is much better now!
 Notice I can button the bottom button now? And yes, the shirt is a bit rumpled...had to take pics after we got home from church. That is one bad thing about chambray - it wrinkles easily.
The back fits better now, too, although Some Postman neglected to tell me there was a wrinkle right at my butt. Sigh...and I'm wondering if I should reduce the curve of the hemline. Now that I see the back view, I'm not sure it's all that flattering. Perhaps I will do some further alterations....

And here is the entire copycat outfit:

The "bracelet" is a turquoise necklace from my MIL's collection that I wrapped around my wrist.

After church, Some Postman took me to the City, where we had lunch at Red Robin (love the sweet potato fries and the cherry Cokes!) and then went to visit the zoo. The penguins will be leaving the zoo at the end of the month, and I had been wanting to see them all summer. Penguins are just sooooo adorable!

The Frumpy Hausfrau and some napping penguins

I'm a Penguin!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What a Frumpy Hausfrau Wears To....

...Conduct a garage sale

On Saturday, my daughter and I borrowed a friend's garage to hold a sale during our Town's city-wide fall yard sale. (We live out in the country, and Daughter lives in an apartment, so our friend kindly offered us her in-town empty garage.) It was a bit chilly that day, so Daughter made a McRun for some McCoffee and then we had fun taking silly pictures during the slow times.

My phone is merely semi-intelligent, so Daughter took the cool Instagram pics with her phone and shared them with me, so that I could share them with you. We had FUN together, got rid of a lot of stuff, and made enough money to pay for a tank of gas apiece.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Divine Design, Week 3

Week Three for Frumpy Hausfrauen...Week One, Day Four in the book Divine Design

A Fresh Image

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12

"While we live here on earth, we still have access to the closet of our old life. From time to time, we may be tempted to pull out items that belong in the past. God wants to give us a fresh new image, inside and out....Because I wear the robe of righteousness Christ gives me, I can clean out my closet."

Saturday will be the first day of fall - one of my MOST favorite days of the year, because it ushers in my favorite season! With the advent of Autumn comes the Changing of the Wardrobe. Time to bring out the sweaters, scarves and boots! This week's Bible study is timely, since I am cleaning out my closet and replacing old clothes with fresh new (or new to me) items. As I remove each old piece, I think of an "old self" attribute that needs to be tossed out along with that old t-shirt. And coming in with those new red pants is a desire to make sure my speech is wholesome and edifying.

Wardrobe Workout

1.  List some reasons why it is so difficult to accomplish change in our spiritual closets.
    ~ Those "old self" attributes come naturally to us, via our sinful nature. It goes against our natural inclination to change to the "new self" attributes. It takes a concentrated effort to act in a godly manner; it is SO EASY to let "nature take its course".

2.  Colossians 3:5-13  Verse 10 spoke most clearly to me: (you) have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

How might you respond to Paul's encouragement to put on Christ in your daily life?
~ This is a process - I am being renewed. It isn't instant; becoming that new creation in Christ will take a lifetime and will only be fully accomplished after my body dies. I must keep pursuing the goal of becoming like Christ each day, without giving up, despite the inevitable setbacks.

3.  Key lesson:  Just as I purge my wardrobe of ill-fitting or out-of-date pieces on a regular basis, so also I need to purge my heart of sinful attitudes and behaviors - even MORE often!

4.  Writing out the memory verse (Eph. 4: 22-24)....I missed a phrase in the middle. Oops! Shows I haven't been reviewing my memory work every day this week.

Study Styles

Ephesians 4:22-32 Wardrobe Chart

What Not To Wear

  • Old Self
  • Deceitful desires
  • Falsehood
  • Holding on to anger
  • Theft
  • Unwholesome talk
  • Bitterness, rage, brawling, slander & malice
What To Wear

  • New self
  • True righteousness and holiness
  • Truth
  • Working usefully
  • Helpful talk
  • Kindness & compassion
  • Forgiveness

If you are following this Bible study along with me, I would love to hear your input. Please feel free to comment below.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Day on my Feet

It's been a while since I posted an everyday outfit. Today, I cleaned house for a lady, then visited my grandson for about an hour, then drove to Big Town to stock up on groceries. All this being on my feet required a very comfortable outfit.

Tee - thrifted
Pants - Goodwill
Vest - JCP
Kalso Earth Shoes - eBay

I'm not a big fan of vests, possibly due to the hideous vests that were part of my school uniform for 5th and 6th grades. This one, however, is tolerable. It's lightweight and adds a touch of "special" to an ordinary t-shirt.

The Kalso Earth shoes, with their negative heel, are supposed to put my hips in perfect alignment, thus alleviating back and leg pain. They do help for a while...but by the time I got home at 4pm this afternoon, I had to toss back some ibuprofin. My hips, knees and heels hurt so much I want to cry. Even sitting hurts. How am I going to sleep tonight? Perhaps I should pour myself a glass of wine...

As has become my recent custom, my trip to Big Town began with a stop at Goodwill. Oh how I love that store! Every time, at least one fabulous piece goes home with me. Today, there were several! I've been stalking deep red or burgundy jeans for this fall, but have had very little luck, even online. Finally found a pair on eBay, but the price is a bit on the steep side for this cheapskate hausfrau. Guess what I found at Goodwill today??? Deep cranberry red corduroy jeans! Woo-hoo!

OK, that's all the fashion talk I can think of for now. Time for fuzzy jammies, that glass of wine and snuggles with my Dachshund babies on the couch. G'night!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A September Sunday

Sweater top - thrifted
Skirt - thrifted
Scarf - can't remember the name of the shop downtown
Shoes - thrifted

I like the colors and the general look of this outfit...but the top gave me fits all morning in church and the skirt emphasizes my tummy. The top is now in a box headed for this coming Saturday's yard sale. The neckline is just too low and kept sliding to the left, causing my underthings to show. Good thing I had the scarf to help keep me covered! The skirt is staying. It can't help it that my tummy sticks out. And I really do like the skirt; it just looks better if I wear an un-tucked top with it, or if I wear super-strong Spanx with it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thrifty Fashion Saturday

Actually, it's more like "Thrifty Fashion Friday", since that is the day I went thrift shopping, but since I am writing about it today, we'll leave the title as it is.

The Catholic church in Nearby Town didn't have a sale in August, so they had lots of new stuff for this weekend's sale. Sadly, I did not fill my Mary Bag full. This is due to the fact that I will be having a garage sale myself next Saturday, and I don't care to add more clutter when I'm trying to get rid of some clutter. Also, I'm being more choosy about clothing that I purchase, whether thrifted or not. My closet is full to overflowing, and a lot of what's on the hangers isn't even worn much. After my sale is over, and once I'm sure the weather is going to stay fall-like, I plan to cull my closet flock thoroughly.

And so, here are the few items I purchased yesterday:

The cap-sleeve sweater fits well and drapes nicely; it cost 50¢. I'd been looking for a chambray shirt at all my thrifting excursions lately, so was happy to find this one for a quarter. However, it doesn't fit well. Boxy button-up shirts like this tend to pouf out in the back and be tight across my middle. This shirt is behaving just like that. But...I had an idea for an alteration that should hopefully fix the troubled areas. The cookbook, priced at $1, provided excellent reading material as I stood in line waiting to pay for my goodies. I have the 1993 issue of the series on my cookbook shelf already, and knew that this one would provide the same quality recipes, too. And of course, I couldn't resist getting a Thomas the Tank Engine movie for my Boo! Hopefully my dollar won't be wasted on this DVD, as it is somewhat scratched, but as long as it plays, I know he will love it. After I took this photo and put away my purchases, I noticed that I'd forgotten to include the belt I'd found for 50¢. It's a wide black elastic belt with leopard print on the fastening ends. You'll see it worn soon enough.

No yard sales for me to scour for bargains today, sadly. With our main road being closed due to bridge reconstruction, I'm making as few trips to town as possible. The Flint rock on our gravel roads is really hard on tires (Some Postman goes through a lot of tires delivering the mail out here!). I'll try to remember to take my camera along to my sale next Saturday, so you can join me.

Did you find any great deals or bargains this week? Feel free to share!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Divine Design, Week 2

While it is Week 2 for the Frumpy Hausfrau in this Bible study, it is Week One, Days 2 and 3 in the book Divine Design.

A More Significant Makeover

We women seem to have had a thing for beauty and fashion since ancient times. It wouldn't surprise me it if it started with Eve! While there is nothing inherently wrong with looking our best, the more important beauty is of the inner sort.

  Wardrobe Workout Answers:
1.  Inner beauty, to me, is behaving in a lovely and loving manner; it is joyful, peaceful, and draws others close. From the thoughts expressed by numerous people at the funeral I attended this week, my friend EM's wife (who passed away at the age of 37, leaving behind four precious children) was just such a beautiful woman. I really wish I had been able to meet her while she was living on this earth, but I can look forward to meeting her in heaven someday. What a testament to her beautiful character, that those who didn't know her can't wait to meet her in eternity!

2.  a. I think that Paul used the imagery of "putting off" and "putting on" certain behaviors so that we would be deliberate about stopping to consider before engaging in negative behavior and then purposely implementing the positive behavior instead.
    b. We "wear" our attitudes and actions, like apparel, in such a way that others can clearly see them. Ugly attitudes and actions, like beat up old stinky clothes, need to be exchanged for lovely, righteous ones. Picturing these attributes as articles of clothing makes the word pictures more clear for us.
    c.  Deceitful desires:  We think that the things we really, really want will give us great satisfaction and pleasure, but no matter how big our pile of things, it only drives us to want more and more. This in turn pulls our focus away from God, weakening our relationship with Him and with others.

3.  Key lesson I learned:  A gently and quiet spirit is beautiful today, and only grows more beautiful with time.

Essential Garments

As with a closet makeover, a spiritual makeover must begin with the basics! Salvation and righteousness are the essential garments we simply must have.

Wardrobe Workout Answers:

1.  Many years ago, as a child, I received God's gift of salvation. While that salvation was instant, the growth of faith will continue over my lifetime. I don't want to be stuck in one style in my faith attire, so my desire is that God would continuously remodel my and improve my character until the end of my earthly life.

2.  The robe of righteousness will always cover me, according to God's promise. I don't always wear joy, strength and power, but must remember to ask God daily to put them on me.

3.  Key lesson:  My sin-stains have been washed away forever! The robe of Jesus' righteousness will always cover me.

(I was able to write out the memory verse with no mistakes today! Yay! Well, aside from spelling and punctuation.)

You have been taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph. 4:22-24

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday Morning

Dress - Walmart
Jacket - Goodwill
Shoes - Payless

Fall will soon be here, and I am SO happy about that! The nights are cool, mornings are crisp, and the afternoons are hot but tolerable. It's getting closer to layering weather! 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thrifty Fashion Saturday

The City nearest my little home in the country had a new Goodwill Store open for business this summer. Somehow, I failed to learn of this until just a few weeks ago, but I have been making good use of the knowledge since I received it! Almost every time I've gone grocery shopping, the outing has begun with a trip to Goodwill. My favorite bargains, of course, are the half-price ones. This week's color was yellow, and WOW did I score a GREAT deal on a yellow-tagged item!

Leather is one of the hot fashion trends this fall, and for some reason, it really appeals to me now (never has before!). At first I thought I'd try to find a skirt or jacket in black leather...but then decided that would be too "biker chick" to wear to church. After all, church is about the only reason this Frumpy Hausfrau has for dressing "up". However, a pair of cocoa brown leather pants is very doable for being fashionable at meetings or a date with Some Postman! And these cost a mere $2.50!!! Le sigh... They are too long for me, but my sewing mentor Mary is going to take a look at them tomorrow and give me her expert recommendation. With her advice, I should be wearing them as soon as the weather cools down!

The suede leather skirt, alas, is much too small for my hefty hips (a slim size 6), but I bought it anyway since it was just $1.50 at the little church-run thrift store in Town. I plan to list it on eBay to help pad my Shoe Fund. The vintage pink gingham apron is another Goodwill find. Its future may include being resold...but it might join my apron collection. I do adore aprons! The cowboy boots were purchased at a yard sale that my daughter and I perused this morning. I'm a sucker for cowboy boots, so I bought these even though they are a teensy bit big. So I'll wear thick socks. Finally, the shoes - those are fine Italian leather Bandolino pumps, purchased at the little church-run thrift store. Sadly, they don't fit me, but they will hopefully add to my Shoe Fund by selling for a nice profit on eBay.

This week has been terrific for finding great thrifty finds. I'm very pleased with the treasures I found this week, especially those awesome leather pants. Have you scored any fun bargains lately?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Divine Design

September has arrived...back to school time! My kids are all grown up and living on their own, no longer in school, nor am I enrolled in any learning institution. But that doesn't mean I can't study and learn something new! I've got two key areas of education I am currently pursuing: nutrition for reduction of pain and nutrition for my soul.

I ran across an interesting looking Bible study book while at a District LWML function several weeks ago. The cover of the book is spattered with dresses, hats and shoes. Fashion, of course, is one of my favorite interests, so I picked up the book. It's titled "Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover" by Sharla Fritz. Lovely! I wrote a "Fashion Show" Bible study session once, a long time ago, and would love to learn another person's view of the subject. And I'd love to share the makeover journey with other "fashionistas"...join me? I'm going to take more than 40 days to get through this book - life is too complicated for me right now to go through it so quickly. We're going to take a month for each "week" in the book, so this will be almost a full two semesters of study. Even if you don't have the book yet, you can easily catch up to me if you order it soon. ( has the best price.)

This week, I read the introduction and Day One of Week One, What We Wear - Wardrobe Woes. The memory verse for this section is Ephesians 4:21-24. I am memorizing it in the NIV, as that is a translation with which I am more familiar, so it's actually verses 22-24 for me.

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

In this first session, Ms. Fritz challenges us to allow God to work a spiritual makeover in our hearts. Proverbs 31:25 says of a godly woman that "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come." While God does want us to dress modestly, it is doubtful that He truly cares about the fashion-ability of our attire. He does care very much about how we clothe our character.

Wardrobe Workout Questions:

1.  Pretend Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear are coming to look in your closet. What wouldn't you want them to see? Pull out an item that has seen better days but that you still wear. As yourself why you keep it...why do we hold onto things that are unattractive?

Here is just one of many beat up old flannel shirts in my closet:

Yikes! Stacy and Clinton would laugh their heads off at the sight of this! Why do I keep it? Because it is warm and comfortable. Not attractive in the least...but easy to toss on if I'm chilly. Sometimes, it is needed to keep me warm as I work outdoors. Work clothes, in my opinion, do not need to be attractive, simply functional. The problem is that I wear this shirt for more than just hard labor! I think that sometimes we have an emotional attachment to certain articles of clothing that keeps us holding onto them, despite their lack of proper fit or fashion. Many times, I have purchased an item at a really great price, even though it isn't quite right for me, but I keep it because I wouldn't want to "waste" a bargain.

2.  Proverbs 31:25...Strength can be defined as "the power to resist strain." Dignity presents a picture of calmness and poise. How can these improve your daily life?

Strength could make stress not beat me up, could cause me to make better health choices, could keep my mouth shut when it needs to, could make me more like Jesus. Dignity could keep away those feelings of worthlessness and self-pity.

3.  What key lesson did you learn this week?

Strength and dignity are "character clothes" that God has given me to wear. I am not able to make either of them myself - but "I can do all things through Christ who GIVES ME STRENGTH" (Phil. 4:13). I am a daughter of the King, and that should foster dignity in my spirit.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Still Summer, People!

What is the deal with this "rule" of not wearing white after Labor Day? We still have almost a month of summer left, and here in Kansas, a lot of that month is still hotter than a jalapeno! I'm going to continue wearing white, folks. Call me a rebel, but I'd rather keep as cool as possible. Besides, from what I've seen in the fashion blogs, white is going to be a "hot" color for winter fashion this year. Maybe it will bring us some snow! (I sure hope so!)

This white dress has been living in my closet all summer and finally came out to play over the Labor Day weekend. I love the shape of it, and it sure did help me stay cool in the 100°+ temps. A lot of other people at one of the gatherings we attended were wearing all black - they kept complaining about how stinkin' hot it was. Now, I'm not saying I didn't feel the heat, because I did; it's just that my white dress reflected away a lot of that hot sun, helping me not to feel the intensity of it as much.

White dress - Target
Cami - JCP
Scarf - thrifted
Sandals - Vanderbuilt's
Sunglasses - Walmart

Bracelet - Walmart

Earrings - no idea (had them too long!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Candy Applesauce

We have several fruit trees in our yard; peach, pear and varieties of apple. The Rome apples have been ripe for the picking the past couple of weeks, so we have been enjoying sweet, fresh apples for lunch and apple crisp for dessert. Apparently, ladybugs find apple cores delectable, and this causes the apples to rot really quickly. To use up lots of apples at once, one day last week I decided to make a batch of Candy Applesauce. Here's the recipe...

Take an apron-full of apples...

 ...peel, core and quarter them, then place them in a large pan (pan should be about 3/4 full). Add 1.5 cups of water...

...then cook on medium heat until the apples are tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain off most of the cooking liquid, reserving it, and add 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup red imperial candies.


With the fire on low now, coarsely mash the apples with the wooden spoon or a potato masher, and stir until the sugar and candies are dissolved. Turn off heat; pulverize to desired consistency with a stick blender. Some of the cooking liquid may need to be added back in to thin it out a bit.

Pour the applesauce into clean pint jars with new lids.

The jars may be processed if desired, but since this makes only three pints, I just let the jars cool on the counter until the lids pop, then keep them in the refrigerator. We usually have them eaten up within a couple of weeks, so there's not much sense in going to the extra work.

After tasting this batch, Some Postman and I both thought it could have used more candies, but the flavor does intensify with time. And it's best really, really cold.