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!
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!