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Ask Thriftfulness: Show Me Love

9 Feb

Q: Dear Annie, what’s a sentimental crafty little gift I can give my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day?

Smitten in the Mitten,

Jordan

A: Hiya Jordan. Ain’t love grand? You’re probably so twitterpated you can’t stop staring into Mr. Wonderful’s eyes (aka: SOUL) long enough to get out to the store and buy tokens of affection. This is a good thing for two reasons: 1. You shouldn’t drive and stare at your lover at the same time, it’s dangerous. 2. Who needs storebought crappy pap like M&Ms with pictures of your face on them (creepy) and pink bubble bath (that in the words of my sister, “will make your butt itch”) when you’ve got ME to come up with swell homespun ideas for you?

So here’s some gift advice for all you lovers out there:

1.

 A cute n’easy way to say “I love you” or “I really like you” or “You’re ok” is to personalize a children’s book that is about love or Valentine’s Day– just a short little cute one that relates to you guys as a couple. Purchase it (this step is important because you’re going to vandalize it) and then write personal notes on some of the pages. I’ve done this with several boyfriends, and only most of them ended up dumping me. And almost none of them hated the gift because it revealed them to be illiterate.

2. Another take on this is to make a  Have You Seen My Heart Valentine. Take a kid’s/coloring/sticker book (preferably one that is Valentine’s themed) and “hide” heart stickers in different places on the pages: like under a table, in a tree, etc. Throughout the book, you can write “Have you seen my heart?” “Is it inside the stove?” “Is it…” and on the last page, “Oh! YOU have my heart!”  It’s cheesy, but, c’mon, it’s Valentines Day. And it’s a great way to let someone in a new relationship know you’ve fallen for them without actually working up the nerve to tell them you’ve fallen for them.

3.

What about DIY scratch-off lottery tickets? You can make them with silver paint and dish soap (I’ve never done it but I want to) and write little love notes that your lovah can scratch off. Dollar Store Crafts has a great tutorial. Make the notes he/she/he-she reveals sweet (“You’ve won 5 million KISSES Schmoopy!”) or saucy (“I’m wearing scratch off underwear too”) or political (“Stop buying lottery tickets, it’s a ploy by the government to get you to believe in false hopes, ask Kanye”).

4.

 If you want to go more on the naughty side of Valentine’s Day, you could make a Do Not Disturb doorknob sign…You could even set your house up like a hotel and make your sweetheart leave money on the dresser. Just for kicks.

5.

 Chocolates have “been done” on Valentine’s Day, but I found a post on Nifty Thrifty Things for how to make your own Baileys, which would be delicious! Find a roaring fireplace or television that’s warm from being on so long and cuddle up with your homemade brew and your sweetheart. Sounds delightful.

Well, Jordan, I wish you and yours a lovely V-day. Let me know what you end up doing, unless it’s dirty.

Here’s a video for those of you who read the title of this post and got excited about seeing the “Show Me Love” video by Robyn and just scrolled to the end. I don’t dissappoint.

Ask Thriftfulness: Smell Ya Later?

1 Jul

Patti from Chicago writes:

Q: I’ve been meaning to ask you this.. what can I do with old perfume bottles?  This one is little but I just know there’s something cool I could do with it.  I can’t bring myself to throw it away.

Kind of Smelly in Chicago,

Patti

A: Oh Patti, from nostalgic t-shirts to that part of the Kleenex I didn’t get any snot on, I’ve so often uttered the phrase “I can’t bring myself to throw it away.” Especially when it comes to things I’m convinced could have a brilliant “second act”. Just ask my collection of other people’s driveway rocks, or unpaired earrings, or gently used sandwich bags.

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Ask Thriftfulness: Is there such a thing as Comic-Con Chic?

26 Feb

Carrie with a query:

Q: I am a crafty design-lover in need of a creative and diplomatic home solution on the cheap!  I am excited to be moving in with my boyfriend of one and a half years and as we prepare to merge our respective apartments I have run into a tricky dilemma.  I have a deep love of antique thrifted furniture, books, hand-drawn illustrated art, and bright colors.  The focal point of my sweet, geeky, Mac IT specialist boyfriend’s apartment is a hunter green microsuede couch that he proudly purchased at a contemporary furniture emporium.

I fell head over heels for him the day we met, so you could see why I want to make room for both of us in this new home we are creating together.  How can I display his quirky collection of Comic-Con worthy knick knacks that include a few small Japanese-inspired stuffed animals, action figures, a toy rocket, Star Wars Lego ships, and a couple of other things I can’t even put a name to.  Rather than demand he pitch his goofy collection I’m trying to be a good girlfriend and find a creative, delicious design solution.  Any thoughts?

Sincerely,
Fell for a Nerd

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Ask Thriftfulness: Minimalist BF Maximizes Frustration

8 Feb

Angie from Detroit wrote in with this little quandry:

Q: Dear Thriftfulness,
I am a crafty, thrifty, saves everything chica like yourself and like to give handmade gifts. But my boyfriend is a total minimalist. He doesn’t like accumulating “stuff” and pretty much considers everything but the clothes on his back and his iPhone clutter. The only thing he really collects is gadgets, but I can’t afford any of the stuff he likes. Boys have such expensive taste! Now his birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to get him. Help!

Sincerely,
Dumbfounded in Detroit

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