Best of 2011

Here are the top viewed posts on No Dime Design from 2011

This still surprises me that my toilet paper roll family tree was and still is the post popular post on my blog to date.  It's not even still up on the wall! This is the area that I decorate all the time.

This table was up cycles from our coffee table and is still a favorite. My girls love to draw all over it!



This little guy was so bright and cheery next to my door.
The tip from The Penny Parlor  made it super cheap. 

The title of this post must generate a lot of traffic from Google or something because it's just about the find.

You can see how I updated it here with some oil rubbed bronze. 

This is one of Anberlynn's favorites. She loves finding the letters you send her in search of. She gets so excited when she finds them!

This has got to be at the top of my list for favorites! It sits in the girls room and we love reading stories and snuggling here. 



I am really glad you all liked this one because it really did light up my Christmas season every time I turned it on. I love the look of it and I love it even more knowing I reused stuff to make it. 

This dresser really did come a long ways into looking suitable. Unfortunately it's days inside are numbered since I found another one I love even more! My husband is going to re-home it into the garage though so don't worry about it finding it's way back into the snow ;)



This is one of those things that you will probably see popping up in my decor for a while. I am just in LOVE with it! 

This gallery wall has been steadily growing since this post and now it goes higher up the window and all the way under too. I am thankful for the motivation of a link party that got it all started. 

And that's it. Thank you all for each of your page-views, each of your comments, and for every click. It was a great year!


A No Dime Christmas Party

Wednesday night we went to a Christmas party and the girls got to sit on Grandpa's Santa's lap. 

The first time around Anberlynn only stuck around long enough to get the candy cane :) It's a far cry from the year before when she wouldn't even look at Santa!

Evelyn just thought this guy was kind of weird. 

But we did manage one kind of creepy picture of both of them together. 

They had a cookie exchange which Anberlynn thoroughly enjoyed.

And Evelyn was all about the candy canes! 

I really loved that this party was a combined effort of all the people in attendance and that it wasn't a big budget party. How'd they do that? 

  My Dad  Santa wasn't paid to be there. 
Mini tables were set throughout the room to hold the cookies that each family contributed. 
There was a book exchange that had been arranged prior to the party. Each book was wrapped and labeled as to what age would be appropriate. 
We sang carols all night with accompaniment of various attendees.

No one was paid. There wasn't a big splurge on decor or food. 
It was just Christmas Spirit and the spirit or giving. 


No Dime Christmas Decor 2011

By blogger standards this is super late but maybe you are all like me and just finishing up your decor today too :) 

This year we obviously had $0 for Christmas decorations so everything you see will either be something I already had, that was given to me or made with things I had on hand.

 First up an over all view:

The burlap runner and the cloches are reused from my fall decor.  

I made little trees from scrapbook paper and stuck my tiny little manger scene in one and a snow woman in the other.

You can see the tutorial on how I made the sheet music wreath with a chalk board center here.

And this lighted rag garland  is here.

This glass block decoration I made last year. It's one of my favorites.

The poinsettia/tree plate I got from my husband grandmother for Christmas. The snowman one I got from Target on an after-Christmas sale. 

After putting that all together there was still something missing. Just when I was about to give in my mom showed up at my door with this beautiful poinsettia!  Perfect! 

If you remember my rant from earlier today about glue dots this is what it was all about. I made 2 of these little snow flakes out of Christmas scrapbook paper.

 I think they do a great job bringing that old world Christmas feel into the design. Learn how to make your own here!

The stairs get a little Christmas treatment too with some garland I bought a few years back. I leave the bows on when I pack it up and it's ready to go every year. One of these days I will spruce it up with some beads and stuff to make it fancy. 

This by no means is the most decorated part of my home but I love the little nativity stocking holders and the countdown calendar. The stockings are about as plain as it gets for now bu t they do match the tree skirt :) 
Speaking of tree....

I ended up putting out tree on top of my coffee table so that more presents could fit under/around it. It literally touches the ceiling.  And ya, that isn't a pile of laundry in the bottom corner, that's my husbands idea of wrapping- with my sheet! 

And what do we decorate it with? I only have one rule and it is this: It must be kid friendly.

Anberlynn made this little cinnamon turkey at church. We've had out tree up since before Thanksgiving. Anber thought it looked like an ornament so on the tree it went. 

This is one holds sentimental value. 2007 is the year we got married. 

Every year we pick a new decoration. Each of the girls pick out one of these swirly balls from the $1 bins at Walmart. They are the only decor we bought this year.

Other things have been given to us like this little snowman/jingle bell and others have been made like the snowflake.

The plain balls and this little star ornament I bought for our first Christmas. We got married in June and 3 months later I was pregnant so I know that we would be wanting unbreakable ornaments. They sparkly just like the glass ones so who cares? 

The snow man is made from baby socks and stuffing. I remember making these with my mom for Christmas when we were kids.

We have a couple little ornaments like this. It is kind of hard to see (and photograph) but they are laser cut metal. My da likes to buy them for us when he goes to North Pole and visits Santa Claus House. It's an actual place! Click here to read about the city. To give you an idea of how festive this place is- you see the candy cane painted and shapes light poles? Well they don't repaint hem and straighten them out it the summer. Just sayin'. 

My dad bought this one last year for Evelyn's first Christmas. 

And here's Anberlynn's first Christmas ornament. She tried to eat his beard! 

So, that about wraps up the Christmas decor. I guess technically we spent $2 on the two decorations the girls picked out but other than that we're celebrating with a $0 decor budget. 

Merry Christmas! 

Glue Dot Failure

Has anyone else used Glue Dots with success? You know, those little dots of glue that come on a sheet of wax paper. They always have that picture with the glue between two jingle bells still valiantly holding on despite the fact they are being ripped apart. That picture gets me every time. Aside from flat surface scrap booking I have yet to come upon a valid use for pop dots. This week I made a simple paper craft and as I stood back to enjoy them I watched an listened to them "pop" as my craft fell apart. 

Major fail. :( 

I am going to gull out my trusty stapler and tape and put it back together and show you later. 

So what about you? Do you use the little glue dots? Have they actually held up anything for you? Do you think it's possible I actually just got 2 ( I have the mini ones and the regular size) bad batches? Is there a trick to getting them to work?


One More Day!

Winter Solstice is my very LEAST favorite part of living in Alaska. With just a little over 5 hours of sun total this day does not make one sun deprived, cooped up, ready for summer  blogger very happy. 

The good news is that I have just one more day left until we start some serious day light gain!


He Got A Job!!!!

Well, it's been pretty crazy around here since Joel got laid off! I've done a commissioned piece and have been selling Scentsy like crazy trying to make up for the 2 weeks that Joel was laid off- I didn't even come close. We sold most of the baby fish, we have received a few checks from family and my mom is helping to watch the girls and all of that has helped out a lot! Thanks so much!

Joel did get a new job doing something that he has experience in and he says he loves the atmosphere and the other employees seem really nice. The company handles mostly government contracts and they are growing and expanding! That idea alone makes me thrilled! For now it is a significantly lower pay than what we are used to but it is a job and we will take what we can get.

It seems that No Dime is meant to be for us ;) Thank you for your comments and support!

Advent Calendar for Two

Almost all of the advent calendars you see out there are meant for children but for my SIL it's just her and my brother and that's not stopping her! Check out her advent calendar she made especially for her husband:

First she ran to the craft store and pick up a few sheets of pretty paper. 

Then added a plain paper on the back for writing her notation for the day.

She used Glue and Glitter to write the days on the front and packaged each day in tulle and a bow. 

Each activity for the day is a thrifty little couples moment like a hot chocolate date or  writing each other a letter.  

And to hang them up she used Command hooks to put them above her fire place. 

Cute right? 


Speaking of No Dime

Today is my husbands first day of unemployment- and not in the retired, getting a retirement check kind of way.

His company is making some huge cut backs and he was one of the cut backs. Yeah, the kid he taught his job to  is still working there but after working for his company for 10 years HE is the cutback. Can you tell I'm a little bitter? He has put in TONS of applications and gotten like 2 call backs. One found someone "more qualified" and the other we are still waiting to hear back from- not holding my breath.

So where are we at now? Filing for unemployment until he can find a job I guess. I work a part time job where I have the flexibility to work up to 40 hours a week but it doesn't pay much- it's Blockbuster. I have put in a few applications but I will start pursuing that much more intensely. The plan was that he would have another job by now and that would be a last resort. Well, we are AT last resort.

Although this is obviously not an ideal situation there are several things I am grateful for.  I am thankful that we have good friends and family near by that can help us if we need it. I am thankful that we had the insight a few months ago to really stock up on food storage. I am thankful that there are many government and church programs that we have access to that can help us through this rough patch. Most of all I am thankful that we know how to appreciate the little things in life, that we know the things that matter to us most are not things. That last one is what is going to get me through.

Thank you all for being my creative and personal outlet. As strange as it is I am taking this as a challenge. This blog is about NO dime design. The thing I am striving for more than anything else here is to bring design into the homes of those of you that have NO money for frivolous things. Not a little money- NO money. I want you all to know that not having money does not mean that you can not use the things around you to make a beautiful and welcoming home. 


Tongue Depressor Tags

I made these cute little guys a few days ago when I stumbled upon the idea while making my sheet music wreath. 

I used my Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in each end. 

Tada! Instant tag. 

I used markers to write on them and I will use twine to tie them to packages.

That's it. 

Total cost: $0

To see my $0 Lighted Garland Click Here
To see my $0 Sheet Music + Chalkboard Wreath Click Here