Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sew for Japan

On Sunday I mentioned that Living with Punks was hosting a Sew Along for Japan. I had all of the supplies on hand, so I thought I would join in. Here's the shirt I made.

I think it's adorable!
Thanks Pink Fig for the pattern and the great idea of a very tangible way to help!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New winners!!!

I was never contacted by the two winners from the Nutro giveaway this past week, so I drew two more winners through random.org

They are:
KarbineKitty said... 118

I uploaded a photo of Cobaka to the Nutro facebook page, as requested. :)


And:
ohyeahuh2 said... 130

I have 3!
2 purebred dachshunds, Scooter Jay and Toby Joe and 1 Chiweenie named Lola Jean....all Nutro pups since the day they started eating solid food. :-) You can see a picture of all three on Nutro's FB page!


Please contact me with your information by Friday so you can claim your prizes!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Paula's Pillowcase Project

Last year, I participated for the first time in my friend Paula's Pillowcase Project. You can read more about it here .

Paula's son was diagnosed several years ago with a rare form of cancer called Sarcoma. While he was in the hospital getting treatment they realized how uncomfortable the pillowcases were on bald Chemo heads and Paula's Pillowcase Project was born.

For the past three years Paula has gathered her friends in the community to a two day event of cutting, ironing and sewing pillowcases to be hand delivered to kids with cancer at Children's hospital in Seattle. I was happy to be a part of it again this year.

Paula (the adorable red head) started our day off by explaining how to sew the pillowcase.

On the first day, helpers take pre-washed fabric and cut it down to size and lay the three pieces in a set to make the assembly line process of pillowcase making easier.

It's then taken to a group of pinners who pin the three pieces into place so that it's ready for sewing.

This group of teenage girls were awesome helpers. The adorable girl in the yellow headband is named Taylor. She was diagnosed with cancer just before her 16th birthday. Two failed bone marrow transplants later, she's 19 and in remission! It was exciting to talk with her about her plans for college in the fall.

These two lovely ladies were my "team". Debbie who is seated, did the pinning for me, and Brenda, Taylor's mom, (standing) did my ironing. Boy, I wish I had them at home to help me out with my sewing sometimes!

Lots of ironing...
lots of sewing...
and some more cutting happen
while the sewers stay busy sewing pillowcases at various stages of completion.

Once a pillowcase is done, someone rings the bell and makes a tally mark. It's such an awesome way to hear progress throughout the day. That little bell ring in the other room is music to our ears!

There is also a group of faithful women who make beautiful cards that are attached to each pillowcase. Not only are the cards beautiful, each is handwritten with a heartfelt sentiment.

It's always nice to take a break for lunch

and yummy desserts.

Sometimes having a conversation over the hum of the sewing machines is a bit difficult!

Then we head back to work putting bows and cards on each completed pillowcase.

Since there are many cancer parents and kids that participate each year, Paula is able to immediately hand off the pillowcases for delivery to Children's hospital.

We hope the kids that are the recipients of these pillowcases feel the love that went into making them on such a special weekend. Thanks Paula for all of the work you do!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Nutro Giveaway winner!

We had a fabulous response to the Nutro giveaway! Thank you all for participating and sharing your pets pictures with us. And without further ado, Sophie would like to draw the winners names out of a hat...but first, let's try out some hats.




Really, she just liked the treats when she got a new hat to wear!
What a good girl!
The winners of the giveaway are (from Random.org...you didn't really think I would let Sophie draw a name out of a hat did you?!):

Random Sequence Generator

Here is your sequence:

103
81

westmoreland82 said... 103

I did all 3 of the ways to enter for the prize! I sure hope I get it! It would help out a great deal. $ is tight due to me not being able to find a job lately

and

michelle said... 81

...and I previously uploaded a pic of my dogs to their page!

If you are the winner, congratulations! Please e-mail me by Wednesday the 30th to collect your prize.

If you didn't win, not to worry...I hear there will be another chance to win in April!


disclaimer: Nutro sponsored... yippee! Thanks Nutro!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our thoughts are still with Japan

We've all been watching the heartbreaking coverage of the disaster in Japan unfold. We continue to watch the reunions and the stories of survival during the rescue efforts. It's hard to see the videos and not be moved.


Just this week our cousin Chad has been deployed (in that sweet ride!) from his base in Okinawa, Japan into Atsugi (just outside of Tokyo). He's already hard at work with the Nuclear Decontamination crew and will be helping to plan the safe exit of our troops from the disaster area when it's time. As you can see, he has a sweet one year old daughter (she didn't get to go with him, just liked playing on the steps like any one year old!) and another sweet kiddo on the way. Please join me in praying for his speedy and safe return.


.

Chelsea from Pink Fig was moved to design this t-shirt with the hopes of spreading love from our side of the world, to their side of the world. Susan at Living with Punks is jumping on board to host a sew along this week. Head on over and join her tomorrow as she starts this opportunity for you to join in helping out in your own creative way.

Don't forget the Nutro giveaway ends tonight. I was excited to read that Nutro is fueling the rescue efforts in Japan by supporting canines in the Search Dog Foundation (SDF). What an amazing mission these rescue dogs and their firefighter partners are preforming together in some of the most difficult circumstances.




Saturday, March 26, 2011

Don't forget...

Don't forget to enter our huge Nutro $100 prize package giveaway !

Head over here to enter to win! Two winners will be announced on Monday.

Good luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peep Bunny tutorial

I stumbled upon these adorable Marshmallow Bunny's and think they would be a great addition to anyone's easter basket.

Add a squeekie to the inside and you have a puppy or baby toy.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goodwill...is it too expensive?

I'm cheap. Like really cheap. I do most of our shopping at garage sales (check out some of my past What I Wore Wednesday-Garage sale editions) but during the winter when it isn't garage sale season, I get a little antsy. Sometimes I get motivated to head into my local Goodwill and see what I can find.

I worked at Goodwill back when I was in High School. It was such a fun job. A treasure hunt of sorts nearly everyday of working and always first dibs (or so it seemed) on most things. The inventory was constantly changing and each box was filled with something different and it was a surprise every time you opened a box.

I know the key to finding the best deals at Goodwill is to shop often, but for me, it seems like Goodwill is just getting too pricey. I walked into the door today and found this dresser marked at nearly $200!
Don't get me wrong, this dresser is a beautiful piece. It has tons of potential, but $200? On something Goodwill got as a donation.
There were bed frames marked for nearly $600. Does that seem a bit pricey to anyone else?
This couch was marked $89. I know there are plenty of free couches on Craigslist that look similar to this one.

I also found pictures to be a bit on the expensive side. This picture wasn't anything special and it was marked $49.

I would have bought this cake stand but for $15? I could have found it cheaper on clearance.

Goodwill started carrying items from Target back when I worked there over 15 years ago. They are called Grey Goods. When I was working there, they were donations, now I am told (by the supervisor at Goodwill) that the Target items are bought (at a reduced price) and sold at a percentage off the retail price.

Which is why this piece is new and in the box cost $12.


Or why these frames cost $6.50 (the scratches come for free!)
This shirt didn't have any tags on it showing me that it was new from Target, but it was Target's brand. You can buy it for $8.99. Really? $8.99? I know of plenty of retail stores where I could buy this shirt new for around that price.


I remember seeing this same kids shirt last week. At $5.99 it doesn't surprise me that it's still there. The $5.99 price tag is the standard price for shirts in the kids department. At least many of them that I saw.

And speaking of prices, I thought it was funny that I saw a shirt with a $5.99 price tag from Goodwill, but the clearance price was only $4.48 at Target. If the product didn't sell on clearance at Target for that, why do they think they can get more for it at Goodwill?
I actually noticed that most of the items that were from Target had red clearance stickers at one point, but many of them were pulled off so that the Goodwill customer couldn't see the retail price.

When I spoke to the supervisor she told me that they are required to mark the Target items at a percentage off of the retail price and that most of the time that price is higher than the clearance price. So why not shop at Target instead? I think I would much rather spend my time checking often at Target for clearance sales, then checking often at Goodwill for their higher marked items.

The other trend I am noticing at Goodwill now is that since they are taking in more retail items and selling more new items, that the store has less character.


Rows and rows of plaid shorts


or end caps filled with Hanes socks doesn't seem like a treasure hunt to me anymore. And really, isn't that the best part?

I love that you can still find a diverse amount of items at the store. Someone in the back must know that trench coats are trendy this season because when I walked in, I found a whole rack of them. But, I am thinking that this 1980's trench coat isn't what In Style magazine was thinking.

And at a price tag of $29.99, I think I will pass.
Goodwill is even too expensive for me to do "gag" shopping at. This jacket would have been perfect for the 80's New Years party my husband and I went to this year, but with a price tag of $8.99, no thanks!

And with wedding season upon us, Goodwill had rows of wedding dresses all lined up. There were some great dresses, but like all things Goodwill, you have to hit the jackpot with finding the right size. Then I looked at the price tag...

holy smokes! $99.99 for this particular wedding dress from David's bridal. I know I've heard the commercials for David's bridal and know you can often get $99 BRAND NEW wedding dresses at their store. I've been a bride on a budget before and know that I would have much rather gotten my dress cheap from a bridal store, than cheap from Goodwill.

I also saw this lovely shoe display. These shoes were all marked for $14.99. That seems expensive to me for used shoes that aren't any special brand.

The Goodwill I remember operated on set prices and even those seem to be getting quite expensive. Check out the prices for books. We usually get our books from the library for free or at garage sales for a quarter a piece.

So I wonder, is this Goodwill trend just in my area? Is Goodwill getting to be too commercial and too expensive for anyone else? I am not impressed.