Finish The Photo

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What is a semi-doodle drawing prompt?

A semi-doodle is a photograph, with a missing element, that you need to fill in. It allows you to concentrate on one small element of a drawing, instead of being overwhelmed by the entire thing. You aren’t forced to think of shape, perspective, proportion or any of the other aspects of a drawing. You just concentrate on completing one specific section.

Instructions

First, print out the image above.

Next, using the top photo as a guide, use colored pencils, pastels, watercolors or  fine markers, to complete the bottom, as shown in the sample. Try to make your version as accurate as possible.

If you don’t own a color printer, or don’t want to spend the money on ink, print the image in black and white. Use the online photo as a guide and complete the drawing prompt as shown below.

I completed the prompt in colored pencil, but for the black and white version, you could also try regular pencil, a fine black marker or India ink.

Over the next months, I plan on creating many more Semi-Doodles. If you have a request, please leave a comment and let me know.

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20 Ways To Save Money On Clothes

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source: Patrick Crowley

My family hardly spends an money on clothes, and yet, we always look well dressed. It’s easy, if you know what you’re doing. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.

Ways to Save Money on Clothes:

1) Check out your local thrift shops. You may have to search through some junk, but it’s worth it for the cheap prices.

2) Most thrift shops have weekly sales days. Prices of most merchandise are 50% off. If you see something that you like, but it’s too costly for your budget, come back when a sale is occurring.

3) Yard sales are another good place to find bargains. A general rule is that earlier in the day the goods are nicer but the prices are higher. Later in the day, there won’t be a lot left, but prices will be dirt cheap.

4) If your community has a local flea market, you’ll find bargains there also. When we lived in Baltimore, I would come home from a trip to the Westview Flea Market with 10-15 items of baby clothes for less than $10.00. (Of course, that was a while ago!)

5) I rarely shop Walmart. Yes, the prices are cheap, but the clothes rarely hold up. I’d rather buy used clothes and get better quality.

6) Lately, I’ve started buying used clothes on Ebay. The quality is generally excellent and it’s easy to find my size. Just make sure you read the descriptions very carefully and that the seller has a great rating.

7) Learn how to do repairs. I’ve saved dozens of items from the trash heap because I know how to sew a seam, change a zipper and replace a button. A book from the library will explain the how-to’s.

8) If you have a sewing machine, make your own clothes. This only saves money if you have a cheap source of fabric, the item you are making is small (like a halter top), or you have a hard-to-find size. Otherwise, purchasing used clothes is more economical.

9) Avoid “dry-clean only” clothing. At $7.50 per suit, the cost adds up quickly.

10) Wear expensive clothes only when necessary. You may need to wear a suit to work, but change into casual wear as soon as you get home. There’s no reason to wear good clothing while watching TV.

11) Never throw out unwearable clothes. Sell it on Ebay, make it into rags or a quilt, or give it to a friend, but never send it to the trash pile.

12) If you lose weight, don’t discard your old clothing. You may not want to believe it, but there is a good chance you may be needing it again one day.

13) Make it known among your friends that you love to receive hand-me-downs. You’ll be surprised at the goodies you get.

14) Buy basics. You’ll get a lot more mileage from a conservative black skirt, than from pink pants.

15) Trade clothes with a friend. This is the only tip that I have never tried, but I hear that it really works.

16) Read labels carefully before laundering. If your shirt says hand wash and line dry, that’s what you need to do. No shortcuts!

source: Cowgirl Fever

What Not To Do:

17) Never buy clothes with a credit card. If you can’t afford to pay cash for your new shoes, then buy them when you can.

18) Never buy clothes from a department stores. Don’t even window shop or you may be tempted.

19) Never treat your clothes carelessly. If you know you always get tomato sauce on your shirt when you eat spaghetti, change before eating.

20) Never buy clothing unless you know you need it. If you have nine shirts, you don’t need another one, no matter how thin it makes you look.

If you try all of these tips your clothing costs should drop by at least 75%. Even if you only try one or two tips, your savings will still be substantial.

Please let me know if you can think of any other ways to save money on clothes costs. I’ll be happy to publish them.

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20 Ways To Use The Library To Save Money

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source: runmonty

I adore the library. It’s a fabulous resource for saving money. It’s full of free information, entertainment, and programs that would otherwise cost big bucks if you had to pay for them yourself.

Here are 20 of my favorite ways to take advantage of the library:

Read

Borrow novels instead of buying them. Just be careful not to rack up overdue fines.

Read the library’s newspaper. Cancel your home subscription.

Skip the newsstand and instead read magazines for free. Most libraries have an enormous selection to choose from.

Check out the library’s used book section. Bring home several books for a dollar or less.

Learn

Dip into a sewing book. Begin doing your own hems, zippers and other minor repairs.

Gather information on investments. Make some changes to your portfolio.

Study a car repair manual. Try your hand at fixing your car.

Copy down some money saving recipes for pantry basics. Learn to make your own jellies, cheese, cured meats and condiments.

Flip through some frugal books and learn some new tips. My personal favorite is the Tightwad Gazette.

Borrow a home repair manual. Use it to do your own painting, plumbing and gardening.

Use a book to learn a new craft. Save big bucks during the holidays by making your own gifts.

Play

Have your kids participate in the library’s reading program. They’ll get free prizes, tickets to the zoo and other treats.

If your not a big internet junkie, use the library’s account. It’s free and accessible whenever the library is open.

Use the library to relax. Skip the coffee shop and make the library your new, favorite “de-stress spot.”

Take your kids to one of the library’s summer programs. These include story hour, puppet shows, animal programs and more.

Borrow developmental toys for your children to enjoy. Not every library has this service, but if your does, it’s a tremendous money saver.

Skip the music store and get your dvds from the library instead. Explore some new styles of music.

Watch the library’s selection of movies. It’s cheaper than cable and quality is generally very high.

Save

Peruse the library’s coupon box. Not every library has this service.

Read the library’s copy of Consumer Reports. Be sure your next big purchase is a smart one.

Please let me know if you have any ideas to add to the list. I always enjoy getting input from readers.

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