Disclosing Secrets...Magic Mottos..."Making Something From Nothing" tm

I have a little secret...actually it's not really a secret...I just haven't written about it on these blogs yet. Today, then, is the day I will tell you my little story. Way back in 2000 I began self~publishing a series of booklets that I created, wrote and designed myself. I dubbed them IdeaPodsTM and titled them...

Frugal Luxuries:Homespun Alchemy TM

Their content encompasses our simple yet magical motto...

Making Something From Nothing

(Well...almost nothing!
Even Rumpelstitlzkin needed straw to make gold!!)

Here's a scan of the cover of our first Idea Pod tm. Copyright 2000.

We sold/sell these little greeting~card size
IdeaPodsTM at~~and to~~small boutiques, gift shops, specialty store and...of our own Frugal Luxuries Workshops. Today, we'd like to share some of the ideas from Homespun AlchemyTM Idea Pods with all of you wondrously kind and kindred souls.


Homespun AlchemyTM

...helps you to work ahead of need and

Stock the Gift PantryTM

This is just some of the gold you will spin using only...
a sprig or two of Rosemary (or another savory herb)...dried peppers...vinegar...olive beer and lemonade bottles...thrifted tea cups & creamers...vintage silver baby cups...


It's so easy, with such deliciously useful results you will see why I call it magic.

Here's How:

  • Clean out a recycled bottle or two (we used one of my Dad's Corona beer bottles for the vinegar and a lemonade bottle bought at Trader Joe's for last summer's concert in the park picnic~~to cap the vinegar we re~purposed a cork from an empty wine bottle )
  • snip a few sprigs of Rosemary from the garden~~or use any other herbs you enjoy
  • fill the clean bottles with vinegar or olive oil using a funnel. Hint: I buy white vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in bulk from Costco for these projects...they usually offer the best prices
  • tuck in a sprig or two of herbs (sometimes I add a red pepper to our olive oil for a bit of heat)
  • close or seal the bottles with caps or corks
  • print out a simple label from your computer or write one in your prettiest handwriting
  • cut out the labels with scissors and glue onto bottles using a simple glue stick
  • To embellish, use ribbon or raffia to tie~on a vintage creamer (wonderful for pouring oil & vinegar dressings)... thrifted tea cups(these are especially nice to include with olive oil as it can be used to hold the oil for dipping or measuring)...and/or vintage silver baby cups
While you're at it... stock your own food pantry!
I found these bartender's pour~spouts at a yard sale for a mere dime.


Please look for more Frugal LuxuriesTM: Homespun AlchemyTM features in future blog posts...I see it as a regular feature. I am so looking forward to sharing it with you. As always,sending out good thoughts and friendship.


Tracey and Family



scrappy quilter said...

Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas. I have to say it again, you are one of the most creative ladies I know and you always do it with such beauty and very little cost. Hugs my friend

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Carol, you are so quick!! Thank you my kind friend, for all your creativity and sharing as well. Our goal is the same~~to put out ideas that can enhance life. As my friend LeAnna always says: "....So we can all Thrive...not just survive!"

God bless.

Hugs and love,

Bettyann said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas..have a great week-end and take care..

Vintage Girl said...

What a great idea, your booklets, so pretty! Thanks for your how-to....this is a wonderful idea for gifts and a pretty addition to the pantry shelf. Have a beautiful weekend! Hugs, Heather

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Thank you so much BettyAnn and Heather! As you probably can tell, I've been trying to keep busy. I suppose it's human nature to want to control the things we efforts to create some order from chaos!
Have a lovely weekend.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas. You are so generous with them. I made vinegar this last summer and it was a lot of fun to do. I gave them as Christmas gifts. My favorite was the Cinn. Basil. I haven't tried doing the oil so I'll have to try that this summer with my fresh herbs from the garden. Thanks for the tip about the bottles, that was my one problem was where to get bottles and stoppers. I'm learning to keep anything that could be reused. Linda

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Oh Linda, cinnamon Basil vinegar sounds wonderful!! I will have to try that. It would be delicious on a summer salad! I'm so glad you found the ideas useful. I must confess, I am a bottle and jar junkie!! I recycle everything I can and keep them in a huge bin that is an adventure to rummage in!! I also ask all my family and friends to save their clear wine bottle and corks for projects such as these. Extra corks are stored in an apothecary jar for easy access when I need them! I'll post a picture sometime soon. Sometimes I need to whittle them down a bit to fit in the imported beer bottles, but this is fairly easy and works quite well. Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your ideas!
P.S. I so enjoyed your post on Soups!!

Dumpster Decorators said...

I've tried flavored oils...yet they never looked as lovely as yours. The cups add just the right touch!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hello DD...I appreciate the nice words! The tea cup idea was born because I was looking for ways to serve the flavored oils for dipping French bread and fresh vegetables for our own table! We have an (over) abundance of tea cups and find all sorts of uses for them (as you probably have gathered :).

Manuela@TPOH said...

You always know just the thing to make your projects go from good to spectacular! The addition of the cup & creamer are such a lovely lovely touch! I also love the cover design for your IdeaPods (that's such a cute name)!


Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Dear Manuela...such high means a lot to me. Thank you so much!! That being said...your own ideas and projects are absolutely spectacular!! They offer so much value and inspiration to all of us who are blessed to enjoy them. :)


Storybook Woods said...

What a clever girl you are Tracey,
like I should be surprised. Love Homespun Alchemy. Such a wonderful idea. I use to make garlic olive oil to sell, it was amazing and soo good. Flavoring oils is such a simple thing to do. Have a yummy day by the way xoxoxo Clarice

misskp said...

Another great idea and beautiful presentation! Thank you for sharing and inspiring!
p.s. would you ever consider selling the alchemy booklets online? I'd love to have my very own.....holding them as you intended instead of printed on less inspiring computer paper!

Kimberly said...

I have been making herbal vinegars for years and LOVE them! They are such and great gift that I have to remember to keep and use some for just us. I love your labels.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hi Kimberly! Yes, herbal vinegars are such a frugal luxury...and so easy to make. We eat a lot of salads in our house and love to spice them up with flavored vinegars like this!

I'm so glad you like the labels~~they are so easy to make!! Just print, cut, and glue onto the bottles with a glue stick! In fact, I will be posting them next week along with a few more ideas on how to stock the gift pantry.

Thanks again!

Denise Marie said...

great post and wonderful gift idea.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Thank you so much Denise Marie! Your candy lollipop post (in the sunshine) was so cute!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Hello Misskp! Yes, I've considered putting a digital version of some of the Idea Pods together for sale online but am not quite there yet. I was even considering selling some of the prettier paper versions on Etsy...but have been holding off due to some negotiations and the like regarding this topic. Once all that is done, I'll know more what my options will be! Thank you so much for asking. I'm with you in that I like to hold a piece of paper in my hands while just such a pleasure!

The original "FRUGAL LUXURIES" ~ Based on the books by Tracey McBride ~ Established 1993

A warm Thank You to all kind souls and kindred spirits who generously take the time to leave a comment...your encouragement, trust and support are deeply appreciated...please know that we read each and every message and will respond as time allows.


Frugal Luxuries
is a registered trademark.


"FRUGAL LUXURIES: Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul" was written by Tracey McBride and published by Bantam Books, NY, in 1997. It was the first of its genre to synergize the elements of simplicity, frugality and gracious living.

After more than a decade, FRUGAL LUXURIES has never been out of print and is now more relevant than ever.

"It's our hope that a new generation, faced with a teetering economy, will also find this information helpful and enlightening."

Sending Good Thought to Our Special Band of Kind and Kindred Souls!

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