Friday, October 21, 2016

Insourcing #36....a month of creativity & DIY saves big $$$$...

Well, I have much to report on my insourcing efforts this time. These Insourcing posts, as I call them, are about sharing the value of what I create, or produce at home, by using my labour, instead of someone elses. I like to keep track because it really gives me a sense of my worth in the home, and helps my family to see what the value of my day is, even if they don't see it as 'work'.
Over the last month, I've been thrifting, upcycling, costume making, gift creating, cake baking and decorating, and doing a great deal of self maintenance! Even little things like doing my own manicures and pedicures, and my daughter and I cutting each others hair, means savings of literally thousands over the course of the year, compared to visiting salons.
Of course, the joy of this is not just in gifting and having beautiful things, or looking good, it's that we are able to do this for not a lot of money.
Yes, it takes time. But time is something I have. I haven't always, admittedly. But as my husband and I approach retirement, and my youngest child heads towards 17 and her final year of school, my time is more my own, than it once may have been. If you are not yet at this stage of life, I acknowledge that achieving this level of insourcing may be difficult.
But cultivating even one new skill a year, will see you saving money that would otherwise be going into someone elses pocket. Do you remember at the start of this year, when I challenged you to choose a skill to practice to a professional level, or as close to that as possible? How have you gone with that challenge?
For me, this has meant re-visiting many skills, from sewing, to embellishing thrifted clothing to give it a more designer look, to freshening my wardrobe with hand crafted scarves, to embroidery (thanks to Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting for that one!), to generating costumes for not only my own daughter, but for her school and the school Dance Troupe.
I'm proud of all I achieved this year, and as we commence the downhill run to December, I plan to revisit my posts for this, my Homespun Year, to remind myself of all that I've learned.
For now, in the last month alone, I made several really lovely scarves from remnants and trims. This type of scarf sells for around the $60 mark, and I made 6, so I'm calling that $360 right there. I've kept one, and will be gifting the rest. If you look at Hermes scarves over the last few years, these colourways are very much the designers choice, and so I know they will be welcomed. Looking at the high end designers offerings is always great for on-trend inspiration.
In viewing the latest Net-a-Porter emails with the latest from designers like Dolce & Gabbana, I've found ways to embellish existing or thrifted clothing, to give it a bit more panache. I'm still working on this D&G inspired blouse, but I'm going to be very happy with it, when it's all done!

Inspired by this $1500+ offering from Dolce & Gabbana...
...and I also trimmed a skirt I already had, with a deep fringe, for just $8, and had it looking very swish for an outing to the ballet. Savings on a similar skirt? Around $250!
I've created an Anne Boleyn Costume for my daughters Dance assessment at school, saving around $300 on a similar purchased item. We would never have spent that, but that is truly what they go for!
And the teacher gave me an A++++++...hehehe!

 My daughter and I cut each others hair, saving at least $100.

 And as it was my granddaughters third birthday, I used my newly honed Bullion rose embroidery skills, assisted by Annabels tip to use a Straw Needle, and embellished some inexpensive department store dresses to pretty them up for her...

Thrifting saw me with several new pairs of shoes (all brand new and unworn), for just $35 for the lot, saving at least $300...
....and my cake decorating skills saved $450 on a designer birthday cake for my darling little granddaughter!
Total savings....
Over $3000!!
Yes, truly. No exaggeration.
I'm pretty chuffed.
What new skills have saved you big money this year?
Five Star Frou-Frou features tomorrow everyone. Too crazy here today! Sorry!


  1. All of your creations are gorgeous! I love your hair style. It becomes you well. I have been thinking about cutting mine but no quite there yet. Truly you are an inspiration to me. As for myself, I have been learning more about photography and shooting in RAW. It is true one is never too old to learn something new. Have a wonderful week. I will look forward to seeing your next project! Have a great week.

    1. Thankyou Lynn. For the compliments on my creations AND on my new hairstyle. I'm interested in your photography. What is RAW, I wonder? That has a dual meaning here, one being 'naked', but I'm pretty sure you're neither shooting naked, nor shooting naked others, so I'm off to! Have a great week, Lynn! Love, Mimi xxx

    2. LOL! That is so true! My hubby and family would be sadly disappointed in me if I were shooting naked! As I understand it, it is the way one's camera so to speak holds the images that are taken in a format which is unprocessed. Then when you use a photo editor you can process the photo, adjusting it the way you like. I am still learning. What I have found is that a tripod is almost a necessity. If not, the images are blurred. I definitely am still in the learning stages of this concept. LOL, you made my day!!

  2. Mimi, I love your new look and hair style. I've been learning crochet and how to do those same 'roses' that you learned from Annabel. You've given me some new ideas for projects, I especially like the idea of adding to clothing to give it a different look. I've been thinking on this for a while and now I think I'm ready to get more serious about it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Dear Patsy, thankyou! Annabel is a constant source of inspiration, isn't she! The embellishing of clothing is a great way to make your old things look new again, and add a bit of something that makes you smile, to your daily life, I think. That fringed skirt, vivid scarf, and neon jewelled jacket, make me feel fabulous every time I wear them. Feeling fabulous is a good thing, I think :) Mimi xxx

  3. What a month! I love every bit of it and can't wait for a full picture of the cake!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Leigh, you always make me smile. Have a great week. Mimi xxx

  4. What an inspiring post! I love the idea of making gifts whenever possible but have never actually sat down to figure out how much I'd be saving if I were to instead buy everything.


    1. Hi Christina. It's an eye opener for sure! Once you start appreciating your true worth in what you create at home, you have a whole new mindset! Thanks for visiting. Mimi xxx

  5. Love this post! Super talented and so many neat tricks!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  6. Great tips! I love how you are so creative in thrifting!!

    Thanks for sharing and linking up at DI & DI :) Love your creativity!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx