Monday, April 26, 2010

Saving on Electricity (Meralco Woes)

We got our electricity bill last Friday, and I must say, we're bordering on panic on electricity spending! With the hot summer days its so hard to scrimp say, on electric fan costs just to avoid some costs. We live in a house with complete appliances so while our electricity spending is not too much, I won't says its the least bit cheap.
First thing we did was to clean our air conditioning unit. Admittedly we're quite stubborn when it comes to maintaining the A/C unit and we haven't had it professionally cleaned since we bought it in 2005. And we did feel that's its due for some cleaning because the room is not as cold anymore even with a temp of 19degC.  What we did is take out the AC from the case, wrapped up the electronics parts in plastic (the timer/controls), and then hosed down the tubes and the body with water.  Its such a good thing that water pressure is good from where we live and we have a great water hose that adjusts the pressure of water so its easy to take out the dirt. After cleaning we left the A/C outside under the sun to dry it completely.  We installed it back after lunch but we didn't test it till the evening, since its the only time we actually do use the A/C. Oftentimes its quite breezy here even if its too hot, so we really don't need the A/C anyway.
Oh, and just after we've received our bill, I made it a point to monitor our usage for electricity, meaning I take readings every morning and evening to see how much we use. So for the A/C, we normally use 8-10 kW per night, thats from around 8pm till 3am, If I shut it down at 5am, it goes up to 10, which is why we are now diligently using the timer to make sure it shuts down on time. The result of the cleaning has been really good, we're now down to 6 kW for the evening, that's already good considering that our daily consumption is at an average of 13.5 kW per day (24hours).  Our consumption during the day is at 4 kW. So next step is to see where we can reduce with the daytime consumption.
And as a first step, I decided to measure consumption of every electrical item we have. This is to see where we are spending so much of electricity and then reduce its usage. Starting at point 0 - meaning all sockets and appliances unplugged, I measured each and every appliance, lighting, and electronic items in the house. That way I see where the big chunk of the electricity is. And true enough, I was taken aback by the results. The appliances I wasn't expecting could contribute to a higher electricity rating were actually the simple, unexpected ones, like the oven toaster and the water dispenser (heater). Now at least we know where to adjust. And then I looked at meralco's sight for estimating the consumption) per month for electricity, and now I have some monetary value estimates for the appliances' usage. Pretty good benchmark. Now all that's left to do is to check how we do with the adjustments we made.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kids grow up so fast

Its been almost 4 months since I actively searched for a job. I got an offer today, and looks like its going down the drain again. Its simply not for me. I know its not about being choosy. Yeah, I could grab it on the context that we need the income now, but then it won't be fair to me, and it won't be fair to the employer. Yes I'd have a job, but I won't be happy. And yes they would be happy with their choice, but I'd leave the moment something better comes along. Lose-lose for both of us. So I'm saying no. Well, tomorrow that is.

On another context, it means a few more weeks with Jessica. While she spends a lot of time with her yaya, its still going to be a huge adjustment for me when I go back to work. I might just cry everyday thinking about how much I miss her. For all the times I let her be, seeing her, her milestones, her laughter and tantrums, and seeing her only at night, spells a huge difference and a whole new adjustment period for me.  I seriously think it would have been easier for me if she wasn't talking yet. Now that she's this amazing interactive character, its so easy to miss her, tantrums and all.

But well, that's something I have to get through if I will be moving on and moving up again. :-) Here's to new and more exciting challenges ahead, and SOON!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Artsy Craftsy Blog

So this ends my posts on my craft works. Since I'll probably posting on this one a lot of times because of this new addiction, I decided to create a separate blog just for my arts and crafts works. This is so I can concentrate my postings on my creations there and hopefully come up with a unique fan base for that. (fingers crossed).

So if you want to see my latest works, be it digiscrapping and stuff, well, it will be here at my crafts website. Please feel free to link me up there too. ;-) See you soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

My stash and latest projects

Been on and off being busy the past few days with new projects and have more items on my list. Unfortunately my list of things to do have also drastically lengthened! :-p

But to give a rundown of my new projects, here goes:

1. A box out of old corrugated boxes here. Then I wrapped it up in fabric so it looks really cute. I still don't know what to do with it, but I like the look just the same.

2.  Here is baby Alive's diaper. :-) I'm sure she would have loved to thank me, but its ok, I'd rather not hear her speak. ;-p

3. At last, my dream of making sofa covers for our matching L-shaped sofa. They're not together now, but they now have the same fabric. I'm kinda wishing it could just replace our old (i mean old) sofa set we got when we bought the house, but then its too bulky to take out so it stays there.  Its not perfect, but it does its job of hiding the dirty sofa. :-p

4. Kikay Kit!!! - I've always wanted to match up my kikay kit, and here are some samples. There's a tissue holder, a case for the powder + lipstick, and another for my brushes (I use mineral makeup btw). The brush kit is foldable and can be tied with a ribbon, like the pic below.

5. Fetish: Here's a case for my USB Card reader, such a delightful companion with the digicam since I always upload pics. ;-p Coming soon: Similar case for my internet dongle. This one is made from Catcha fabric, and some brown bias tape.

And just this morning I went to Divi for some fabric shopping-slash-much needed retail therapy.  I didn't get to buy the usual stuff I buy like clothes or house stuff, but I had a grand time building up my fabric stash. Now I don't envy the website I've been looking at anymore. :-) What I bought are just simple cotton fabrics in cute designs much like the ones I also like when I digiscrap.








bought some threads too.

Love love love my collection!!! Can't wait to start with my new projects!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Sewing Projects

I was also able to do several projects the past few days. I haven't finished the projects I intended to do from my current favorite blogsite, until then I'll be doing the stuff there. Luckily when I went to the market I was able to buy some zippers, ribbons and bias tape (which I later on found out was too small and hard to use under several fabric layers. yaiks.  Here are some of the newest projects on the house:

1. My sewing machine's new dress. Yup, surely I got it from the website of Ashley here.  It came out nicely with my revisions, such as the foam inside, and the ribbon went to one side only. I also made a small pincushion earlier on, which matched the fabric of the cover. They do look cute together, don't they? :-p

2. I was also able to make a hot & cold rice bag out of the tutorial here.  I've seen this around bazaars last year though I am not sure what material they put inside. Nonetheless I'm thinking of making it my christmas gifts of love this coming holidays, but will have to research on what best to put inside. Its supposed to be put on microwave for heat (2-3 mins I guess) and then a couple of hours on the freezer for the cold. I tried it on both and it worked, albeit I can still smell the rice grains. Perhaps some organic floral beads can be placed inside. I'll try that soon.

3. And here's another throwpillow case set from the scrap fabrics I had. So cute! Its made of soft stretch cotton so its smooth to use. love it!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My sewing projects

Yey!!! I had a really fun, productive day today. Well, not too fun as I was still constantly reminding myself that I needed to get a job already. But at least the hours thinking about it have been drastically reduced by my sewing projects which I enjoyed doing. And looking back and taking pics, I realize I was able to do a lot! Oh and by the way, I went to Taytay yesterday where they sell fabric leftovers - aka retaso - and I was able to find some. I won't say they are great ones but I then it can get me a long way with the projects I want to do for now. And the retaso is much much cheaper than having to buy per yard which is usually too much for some of the small projects I want to do. So for now, they will do. 

First though, I want to show off my sewing nook at home, actually I have in a room that only I use and it has with it a bigger table and the heat press for our soon to be tshirt biz.  But here is the special nook for my sewing machine. Its a bit hot in this room, but hey, its summer!

Ok, one of the sites I saw (sorry, have to look for that link again) had this cute pattern holder, but I prefer to call it a reminder nook instead. Its made of wood inside, which I lined first with duct take (don't ask me why, its just something I wanted to do to avoid splinters), and then with the black printed cloth which instead of gluing which I saw in the website, I stapled with a staple gun. I then placed the clothespins in cute designs (something I bought in Divi last Christmas) by glue gun. I placed it above the whiteboard because there's no other place for it the room, and it would be hard to put holes in the wood walls.

Here's a closer look with the clothespin designs:

Next I was able to make 2 throw pillow cases of the cloth I bought yesterday. They are matching black and white. I'm thinking of making other throw pillow casings the same way but I'll need to buy more cloth first. This will do for the meantime.:-)

Finally, I was able to make a new stroller cover for Baby Alive. I made some changes because of availability of materials and because I wanted a reinforced one, and i think it was really good.

Here's the original one.

And here's my finished product.

Nice eh? I still have a number of projects I want to do, and hopefully I'll get a good many things done before I get tired and stop. My biggest project and one I hope to actualize is the cover of the sofa, but that's a pretty big challenge so I won't post it till its done! 

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Crafty Sewing

I'm determined to have a productive week ahead. And short of saying I don't have budget to do any more extravagant projects, well, I'm gonna do sewing projects this week. Its kinda sad that I don't have any nice fabrics to work with, but this site I found is simply so nice and helpful for someone like me who wants to start doing crafty things. The steps she gives are simple and easy to follow. I'm just bummed that she uses such great fabrics and I don't have any. I'm going to try to look for retaso sellers soon so I can make some good projects too.

Here's the website I'm referring to:  I know those moms and crafty people will like it too.

Here are my first two projects, the directions of which I got from the the site above:

1. Grocery Bag Holder. Here fabrics she used here are so much more beautiful, and I would love to have something similar to work with.  Since I don't, I used some simple katsa and green ribbon that I have here at home.

2. This one is from a similar project I got here which I simply tweaked so I can place as a tools holder in our storage room. Again I used the katsa at home and made a bigger version than the one she used, and made it good for hanging instead of a belt. I do intend to do one for Jessica, granting I can find good fabrics to work with. 

3. My third project is Jessica's doll's dress. Baby Alive has been naked most of the time what with her shirt always coming off, so this dress is really a cute change for the little girl. :-)