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Thursday, November 5, 2020

Thrifty This and That for the Week

I've been using the immature winter squash that I harvested just before a killing frost about 10 days ago.

The immature squash can be used much like summer squash. If the skin seems too tough for eating, I peel them first. This one in the photo was the most mature of the baby Hubbard squash that grew in my garden. (Our garden provided 1 fully ripe Hubbard and a bunch of immature ones.) I trimmed the ends, peeled the exterior, scooped out the seeds, and diced the remaining flesh.

Then I simmered the diced squash in water for about 20 minutes before adding to a pumpkin-sage pasta sauce. The yellow bits in the sauce below are the pre-cooked, immature winter squash dices.

I've been making a savory juice for my family with the liquid from canned tomatoes. When I drain a can of tomatoes, I save the liquid to mix with onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, a pinch of red pepper, and a splash of water, all to taste, resulting in a delicious seasoned tomato juice. 

I wanted to share another of my wire-wrapping pieces. This is a beach-themed wire book hook.

I used a larger gauge wire (18 gauge) to bend into a wire hook. Then I added a length of chain and attached 3 charms. The lower charm is a piece of sea glass, found on our local beach, turned into a charm with wire wrapping. 

The pearl charm is simply a pearl bead that I threaded onto a short length of thinner wire. I spiraled the end piece of that wire to create a stop on one side of the pearl and made a loop in the wire on the other side of the pearl (for hooking the charm onto a jump ring). The possibilities for book hooks using wire wrapping, lengths of chain, and beads are endless. Just pick a theme and go from there.

I got a new-to-me phone -- a hand-me-up from my daughter. This is my first smartphone. My daughter was upgrading her phone to one with a better camera for shooting auditions. Lucky me! I'm very grateful for this gift as I'm not sure I ever would have bought a nice phone for myself. (Expensive tech stuff is not a very high spending priority to me.)

That's about it for the week. What's been some of your thrifty fun this week?


  1. Clever use of premature squash!

    I've never heard of a book hook before but yours is very pretty. You seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of that sort of crafting. I bet it will help you to come up with unique gift ideas for Christmas.

    The best part about your new phone is that your daughter will be able to coach you along as you learn how to use it. Keep us posted on how it goes!

    1. Thanks Kris.
      My daughter helped me get the phone set up, but I've been forcing myself to not rely on her for help since. I'm trying to learn this technology on my own, so I will understand how the phone works better. But it is very nice to know that I have her as backup, should I have a prob that I can't resolve myself.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Kris.

  2. Very nice book jewelry!!
    In my junk journal crafting, I made journal covers from pretty decorative tissue boxes, and made notebook inserts from various junk paper. For awhile, I've been making blank journals as a way to clear up rubbish. I save all kinds of paper ephemera that normal people throw away lol. But I'm having fun crafting and not spending money.

    Have a good day!!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thank you. Your junk journals sound like they would be interesting to thumb through. Someday, someone will find your journals and sift through the paper in an archeological sort of way. Each piece of junk paper is an artifact of your life. One of the photographers (Evelyn Cameron) that I studied in college kept a diary of her spending (in the late 1800s). She detailed all of her expenses, with item, cost, date. I found looking through the entries to be a fascinating peek into her mind and her living situation. Your junk journals reminded me of her.

      I hope you have a good day, too, Laura!

    2. Yes, that's my hope. Actually, it would be nice if at least my descendents will find my journals interesting. Never a journaler all my life, i am finding joy in making these journals for my future self, when I'm older and cannot craft. I'm thinking offhand, when I'm 85.
      Have a very good weekend, Lili😊

    3. Laura, I really like the idea of leaving something for future generations, to see or read, that explains what life was like for my gen. I did keep journals in high school and college, but I have thought to burn them before I pass so no one will ever read my private thoughts!
      Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend, too, Laura!

    4. I wrote stuff in my journal that's not very flattering (my childhood issues are so whiney) although I try to write positive, happy thoughts daily. I plan to paint over parts that I don't want to keep. Or paste a nice picture over the page. I think your daughters would love to have your journals one day😊 Have you considered making a journal with all your blog posts? And your recipes? Junk journals have evolved to encompass much more than using junk although I still do. It's more about constructing a book from paper (and fabric) that you love, creating writing spaces (or not if making an art journal or glue book), and because it is mixed media anything and everything goes. I plan to make recipe junk journals with my mother's recipes. She had the habit or rewriting all her recipes in composition tablets instead of taking the actual book into the kitchen. There is so much fodder to make many, many journals. In junk journaling, the more vintage the better, which is why I'm keeping this for a bit later when I feel ready to do it justice.

    5. I love your ideas, Laura. Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions.

  3. I have had a smart phone for a while now, but don't use it much. It's not nearly as user friendly as some of them are and I haven't taken the time to learn all of the ins and outs. However, it does come in handy from time to time. I think Kris is right that it will niceto have your daughter's help as you learn to use it. Although, you are great about studying things.

    I have made book hooks before, but none as elaborate at that. It is very pretty.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I've been enjoying the phone so far. As I've mentioned before, I need a new computer, as mine has some serious issues. The phone allowed me to participate in a Zoom meeting without issues this past week. so that was a good thing. It will take me some time to figure out all that the phone can do for me.

      I've seen some really beautiful book hooks that used different jewelry-making techniques. Mine was a start. But I'd like to learn more jewelry techniques.

      Wishing you a lovely day, Live and Learn.

  4. I would not have thought to use the immature squash like that, but smart idea!

    Love the book hook! So pretty and creative!

    As far as smart phones, I dragged my feet for years, but took the plunge a few years back now. Probably the best part for me is being able to easily upload pictures to share without a special cable as my camera needed. Hope you enjoy yours!

    1. Hi Cat,
      I totally agree. The cable, upload time, and space taken on my computer to use a traditional camera were a nuisance. It was so easy to add photos to this post using the phone.
      Thanks on the book hook. I enjoyed the process of making it. It was a gift for a special friend and I hope she likes it and finds it useful.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Cat!

  5. Very nice! My husband and I share a plan and we get the exact same phones. We had tracfone for many years then switched over to plan-based phones several years ago. Recently, we have been running out of storage so we needed to upgrade. The cost of phones is outrageous but we need to keep connected with our kids who now all live farther away than a visit will allow. Our son is very good at techy stuff so he is a good help with that stuff too!


    1. Hi Alice,
      Tracfone was what I had been using, and honestly, it really did work well for me with a non-smartphone. The new phone is nice to have and allows me to do more with technology. For now, we have a "senior" plan that is shared, so the cost isn't too much more than my previous phone. I'm grateful for all of the circumstances that allowed me to have this phone and its service.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend, Alice!

  6. I had to bounce on this morning quick to tell you that yesterday we were blessed with about a dozen butternut squash from a neighbor. Dad either didn't plant any or too late so he did not have one single butternut squash. I am going to give my parents as many as they want from the bounty I received. So thankful!

    1. What wonderful news, Alice! This is indeed something to be thankful for. Thanks for sharing your news.


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