I started this last year after abit of research. I tried to maximise success without purchasing anything for this. I started with a insulated tub and a reflector. To tilt it to optimize the sun's rays, I used a block to prop one side.

This did seem to work well, but I decided to use the broken Foosball table as a base for it. This also leaves space for a plate or tray for drinks. It needs constant attention to turn or tip it toward the sun. I like to get out the wading pool for the kids and enjoy something cold to drink.

This year I decided it needed a little love. I replaced the flimsy acrylic window with leftover Plexiglas, spray painted the inside of the table, added a utensil holder and a rod for tilting the cooker. I added taller temporary legs, but need more screws and my drill to finish them. I also need these for a better fix for the window.

The reflector still needs some love. I need to replace two sides. It should be functional at this point though. I had used cardboard for the reflector as it is cheep, but also because it is light weight and it can fold flat for storage.

 

I have been crocheting more lately. I have found eco fibers that are sustainable but not exactly frugal. They are lovely and nice though. I do love my natural fibers. I bought some wool, bamboo, and bamboo/silk blends.  I more recently found a recycled yarn that is made from soda bottles and is frugal as well. They are acrylic so they don't have the lovely hand, but will make a nice afgan. I am also working on spinning my own wool. Some from purchases roving and some from wool from my sisters sheep. She just throws it away. It does require more work though.

I made a couple market bags from the bamnboo blends and plan a couple more. They are great for the farmers market and the beach. I think they are very pretty.

I made a wool scarf to match my favorite fall jacket. I knitted a sample to test for felting. I decided I liked the scarf better without felting, but I didn't want to waste the sample. I took the extra bits from the bags an crocheted simple designs. I then put everything together to make a whimsical coffee cozy. It works for a take out coffee as well as a mug. It works to keep in the heat and put a smile om my face.

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I have been working towards this goal for some time. I am doing this to reduce wastes and polution, and to save money. Eco and frugality go hand in hand. It hasn't been easy. I have made a few strides. Last year I made several fabric shopping bags, fabric napkins, and a solar cooker. We also bought water bottles.

Since the kids destroyed their water bottle, I suppose they were only partially effective. The shopping bags are only effective when I remember to use them. Or when the bagger uses them effectively. I had a bagger fill the sturdy cloth bags with chip bags then have to double bag the heavier items. The fabric napkins were great, but they kept getting lost. The solar cooker is great when it is sunny and you have time to watch it.

I have learned a few things. I have decided if I am going to use the fabric napkins, I need a laundry bag just for them. This also helps locate them for pressing. I feel better using them when they are pressed. I do have a cookie jar that they fit in perfectly, so they are always ready to be used.

We will try the water bottles again. Alex and Charles are detassling this year and they will come in handy. I am also using special travel mugs that brew coffee or tea.

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When I came home today, I found that someone had been there rifling through my stuff. Alex and Charles are at church camp this week. I had noted that the kids had been playing with the boy there are forbidden to be around. He actually called right before I left for work and asked for Charles. I informed him that all the kids would be away at camp for a week, just a small lie. I had Danny staying with Joyce last night. I guess he decided that since no one was going to be home, he could come in and make himself at home. Apparently there is nothing the police can do.  I can't prove it was him. He did not take anything. He just rifled through my stuff and unpacked and unwrapped a swap package I had ready to send to someone.

I was hoping they would have moved by now. How pleasant can it be for five people to share a one bedroom hotel suite? Maybe it is time for me to move. I have been considering it for awhile now.

 

Yay, another great package. It has everything I asked for and look she made beef jerky.

 
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I finally received my swap package from capgirl. I think I know why she is called capgirl.

 

I received the most amazing swap package from tavernkitty. I could not believe everything.

 

I pressed some bleeding hearts and used them to decorate a journal and some glass slides. I also made a glass slide pendant with a four leaf clover that we found at Pennsic 2002. I finished the journal with silk, a leaf skeleton, lace, copies of old photos and simple sketches.