Make Money Online: Swagbucks

One of the things I admire most about the “Greatest Generation” (besides their amazing fashion sense, of course) is their frugality, their “make-do-and-mend” approach to money and possessions. They knew that banks fail, economies go through major depressions, and it’s better to have a coffee can full of money buried in the yard in case of a rainy day or a dustbowl decade.

In that spirit, I thought from time to time I could share a few things that I’ve found to be a reliable source of a few coins for the Folgers can. There might be an affiliate links to some items, but as you know, I only recommend items I trust and believe in.

First off is Swagbucks.

Swagbucks is a sort of gamified reward site. You can earn points (“Swagbucks”) for using the search engine, watching videos, taking surveys, and click-through shopping.

You can redeem the points for various stuff, although I have only ever bothered with Amazon Gift Cards and PayPal cash.

Since 2009, I’ve earned $189 in Amazon GC and $235 in PayPal cash, mostly for searches I do anyway. I’ve recently gotten into the SwagIQ app, which offers live trivia contests most weeknights and extra games on holidays.

Want to give it a try? Here’s my referral link:



Replacing a Coat Lining

An inexpensive trenchcoat of waterproof khaki ...
An inexpensive trenchcoat of waterproof khaki with a snap-out lining by VEB Leipziger Bekleidungswerks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been meaning to write about replacing a coat lining for months–I’m either very late, or very early!

J has a now-vintage winter coat from Structure (the former men’s line from Compagnie Internationale Express) that has held up to much abuse over the years. The lining finally gave out though (and was hanging from the hem in tatters not unlike a tail!), but J didn’t want to give up on it.

You’ll find many vintage coats at thrift stores and estate sales have this same issue–the lining tends to be the least durable part of the coat’s construction. Thankfully, though, replacing a lining is something you can do fairly easily and inexpensively.

Supplies needed:

  • Fabric: For this project, I bought some nice cling-free poly lining from the late Hancock Fabrics. I bought 3 yards just to have some left over. You can use many different fabrics for linings–silk, polyester, even quilting cottons! It can be so fun to add a funky patterned lining to a classic trench or peacoat. The sky is the limit!
  • Thread: Go for good quality, since coats take strain at the seams.
  • Needles: With thick fabrics like wool, make sure you have the appropriate size needles for your machine–they can get dull quickly. There will also be some hand-sewing to finish, so make sure you have a needle for that too!

The black fabrics didn’t photograph terribly well, and I always forget to take in-progress photos, so I can just briefly explain the process:

  1. Take a seam ripper and carefully remove HALF of the lining. Go ahead and cut it away from the half you are leaving intact.
  2. The half you cut out will become your pattern for the new lining. Just cut on the fold for the main interior piece, cut two sleeves, etc., until you have all the pieces.
  3. The half of the fabric you left in will show you how to re-construct the garment. Assemble the sleeve, and then start sewing the lining into the coat. Work around until you hit the sections of the old lining that you left in, and begin to remove them and sew in the new lining.
  4. Finish off the bottom corners by hand.





Free and affordable resources for sewing formal gowns, bridesmaid and prom dresses

Sew Your Own Formal Gown | Jungleland Vintage

Bridal gowns, prom and bridesmaid dresses, evening wear– formal clothing can be some of the most expensive items your closet. It can also be hard to find a good fit or a true expression of one’s personal style. Sewing your own dress can be a way to save money, tailor the garment to your own shape, and create something truly unique… you just need to have a lot of patience with slippery fabrics and fiddly pattern pieces! Making a muslin or toile first out of old fabric (even an old sheet!) can help you to work out fit before you cut into pretty fabric. To get started, you can download a modern pattern–many are free–or find a lovely vintage pattern, and even shop for fabric and notions online as well. Ain’t the Internet grand?


50s style prom dress | via Your Stle Rocks
Your Style Rocks 50s style dress | Free download
Lekala Wedding Dress | Free download found via
Lekala Wedding Dress | Free download
Burda Style Katjusha by Elegant Impressions | found via
Burda Style Katjusha by Elegant Impressions
So Sew Easy Little Black Dress pattern
So Sew Easy Little Black Dress pattern
Sharon Sews | Golden goddess gown | tutorial / no pattern needed!
Sharon Sews | Golden goddess gown | tutorial / no pattern needed!


Ahem… we’ve got many nice dress patterns in our shop…

Simplicity 3735 Evening or prom dress Misses Evening Gown - Sew Stylish Collection sewing pattern new uncut size 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 3735 Sew Stylish Collection | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
| Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
McCall’s 5001 Evening Elegance | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern Vogue 1379 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Tracy Reese dress sewing pattern Vogue 1379 | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 5498 Sundress | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 5498 Sundress | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 4401 Formal separates | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy
Simplicity 4401 Formal separates | Jungleland Vintage on Etsy



Fabric Mart is our all-time favorite online fabric store. So many great sales!

Gorgeous Fabrics has many beautiful, one-of-a-kind fabrics.


NOTIONS has everything you need to get started in one handy package:  Big EverSewn Sewing Starter Kit.

WAWAK is the best! Fast, reasonable shipping and lots of sales.



So Vintage Patterns— Most of their patterns are pretty pricey, but they have an amazing selection of vintage patterns.











Inspiration: Jose Romussi embroidered vintage photographs

I absolutely love what Jose Romussi does to vintage photographs of dancers… string art and embroidery taken to a whole new level.

Jose Romussi embroidered photograph of Anna Pavlova
Jose Romussi embroidered photograph of Anna Pavlova
Jose Romussi Dance-7.1-Alla-Schellest
Jose Romussi Dance-7.1-Alla-Schellest



Inspiration: Stephen Shore


Stephen Shore Room 11, Star Motel, Manistique, Michigan, July 8, 1973

I probably shouldn’t admit that I first learned about Stephen Shore on Pinterest. I became kind of obsessed with the picture above. I feel like I’ve been in this motel room before, and yet I wish I could buy every object in this room.

Stephen Shore (b. 1947) is a NYC-born, self-taught photographer who sold his first photographs to MOMA at age 14, started hanging out at Andy Warhol’s Factory at 17, and had a solo show at the Met at 24. His color photographs from cross-country road trips in the 1970s, such as the one above, cemented his place among the most critically-acclaimed American photographers, but he has done a variety of interesting projects since then. He even has an Instagram account.

Stephen Shore, Sugar Bowl Restaurant (7 July, 1973), Gaylord, Michigan, USA
Stephen Shore, Sugar Bowl Restaurant (7 July, 1973), Gaylord, Michigan, USA



That time I was in a Haiku Club

Once upon a time, I was in a club which required its members to send a haiku by text message (SMS), one day per week. Each member had an assigned day (I think mine was Monday, then Wednesday).

It was a great way to spark a little creativity into daily life. I learned a lot about my friends and how they saw the world. I wish I had saved more of them.

Here are just the few of mine that I still have, because I blogged about them on my old site.

purchasing firewood
promises nice winter nights
i’m totally stoked

‘to my father’
We become our craft?
Doctor can’t understand what
The mechanic can

28 December 2009
Little black dresses
And all the right subscriptions
Thought I was ready
Raw temptation of
sprinklers never fades with age…
Wet grass loves bare feet

Red-winged blackbird dreams,
Bicycles, reeds in ditches,
was this history?

Blame music, you could
never live up to sacred
memories of you

June 3, 2010:
‘Late submission’
Priorities change.
Scarlett in the cotton field,
painted backdrop skies.

Will said there’s a tide,
Take this current. I meant to.
Don’t know what went wrong.

April 19, 2010:
‘Social studies’
At 9, I colored
my state bird blue. The kids laughed.
I still think I’m right.

Inspiration: Our Favorite Instagram Accounts Featuring Detroit (and Elsewhere in Michigan)

Our Favorite Instagram Accounts about Detroit |

As you probably know, around these parts, we love Detroit fiercely. The city is exciting and inspiring, not to mention sprawling. Happily for all of us, though, there are lots of folks on Instagram documenting what’s good.

Detroit Happenings:



We ride on Mondays. #slowrolldetroit #detroit

A photo posted by Jason Hall (@slowrolljay) on



A photo posted by Detroit Style Review (@detroitstylereview) on



Detroit Food:


I tried a little bit of everything delicious at Golden Bakery! 😄

A photo posted by Chow Down Detroit™ (@chowdowndetroit) on





✨🍪✨ You don’t even need room temp butter for these. Hell yes. (Link in profile, and use whatever flour ya want!)

A photo posted by 💁 Megan 🌯🌮🍕🌭🍟🍔 (@takeamegabite) on



@theblockdetroit #TheBlockDet #Detroit #Michigan #Dessert #Cookie #MotorCityFoodie

A photo posted by motorcityfoodie (@motorcityfoodie) on


Detroit Art & Architecture:

Life is Art; Art is Life.

A photo posted by Melissa Weckler (@meether369) on


Structure&Design // #LiveFreeShoot

A photo posted by E D (@l_i_v_e_f_r_e_e_) on




#Detroit forever (📷 @camera_jesus)

A photo posted by Pure Detroit (@puredetroit313) on


Detroit River Iron Works. ⚒ | #rawdetroit #detroitusa

A photo posted by Tommy Nichol (@motown_design) on


A flower detached, as beautiful as it may be, sooner then later, it dies.

A photo posted by Ahmad M (@detroit_chiver) on

Inspiration: Essential Instagram Accounts about Art, Photography, & Creativity

We’ve already shared some of our favorite art-focused blogs, but today seemed like a good day to share a peek at our social media list. Who doesn’t need a little more beauty in their day, in between shots of their friends’ plates, pop culture memes, and endless sponsored posts? Here are some of our favorite Instagram accounts, managed by folks who specialize in various themes of art, art history, photography, and other creative endeavors, and who never fail to inspire us. Naturally, these are by no means exhaustive lists–drop us a line if you want to share your must-see IGers! And of course, you can find the link to our account over in that nifty box on the right…

Official Museum Accounts

Visual Artists


Film Developers and Shooters



Kitchen: Fireball Whisky Truffles

(This recipe disappeared off Fireball’s website, so use it at your own risk!)

fireball truffles

20 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa), divided into a 12-ounce portion and an 8-ounce portion, finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons whiskey

About 1 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder

1 to 2 teaspoons canola oil

1. Have on hand a saucepan filled with 2 inches of boiling water. You will also need a melon baller or mini ice cream scoop. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. You will need another rimmed baking sheet; leave it unlined.

2. Place 12 ounces of chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. If bits of chocolate remain, place the bowl over hot, not boiling, water and stir for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir gently off the heat.

4. Add the butter a little at a time; stir until smooth. Add the whiskey, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is firm but not hard.

6. Dip a melon baller or a small ice cream scoop in a mug of very hot water. Scoop the chocolate into scant 1-inch balls. Set them on the unlined baking sheet. Use the tips of your fingers to shape the mounds into balls, but not perfect rounds. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

7. Set the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest setting. Place a heatproof dinner plate in the oven to warm. With a fine-meshed strainer, sift a thin layer of cocoa powder over the parchment-lined sheet. Add more cocoa to the strainer; set it next to the baking sheet.

8. In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot, not boiling, water, set the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate. Let it melt. Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to thin the chocolate slightly.

9. Spread a shallow pool of chocolate (about 1/4 cup) on the warm plate. Place 5 truffles on top. With your fingers stretched out, use a circular motion to roll all the truffles at once in the chocolate (keep your other hand clean). Carefully place each truffle on the cocoa tray and sift more cocoa on top. Repeat with all the balls. If the chocolate on the plate starts to harden, use your clean hand to return the plate to the oven for about 30 seconds.

10. Shake the tray of truffles back and forth to completely coat them, sifting more cocoa on top, if necessary. Set aside for 20 minutes. (Sift and reuse leftover cocoa powder. Pour leftover chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper, let it harden, and use it in baking.)

11. Store the truffles in an airtight tin at a cool room temperature for up to 10 days.