| April 5, 2011 | 9:53 pm
Today was one of those amazing days at the thrift store. I took the two hours that my two oldest were in school to wander the aisles with my littlest, looking for men’s shirts to deconstruct for Crafty Mart (coming up April 30th. I’ll let you know more soon). Of course I found the men’s shirts, and they were on sale, too.
But I also found some great things for me. Spring shopping is the most thrilling because we are all so excited to shed the layers that have been oppressing us for the past 4 months. I grabbed these brand-less shoes for $2.50. They said, “Wear me when you’re walking the dog,” as I picked them up off the shelf and noticed that they were my size and hardly worn.
And then I found this H&M shirt for $3.00. This shirt just said, “I’m going to be really comfy. And by the way, we all know you’re addicted to paisley.” And it’s true. I am addicted to paisley.
I also scored a bathroom scale for $3, a bunch of dresses for Olivia for a dollar or two a piece, and Charlotte’s Web on VHS for a few cents. I feel accomplished. And as soon as it stops snowing, I’ll feel well dressed, too!
| March 4, 2011 | 1:07 pm
Oh my goodness. I hate it when I say: “I was just thinking the same thing!” because I say it all the time. In fact my Mom told me that I think too loud because everyone always knows what I’m about to say before I say it. Often they say it for me and then I wonder if my Mom was right.
Well, this has happened in a big way over at the Nesting Place, where The Nester is writing a series on the theory of thrifting, and when too much is too much (here’s the final post). I’ll tell you my thoughts must be mighty loud because they’ve traveled over state lines to get into her mind.
The inspirational clutter-free cottage.
Ironically, her low clutter mission began after visiting a beach cottage, just as mine did after our trip to Ocean Isle last May. I wasn’t brilliant enough to post about the taking down of so many of my well sought for finds, but I’m glad she was. It has put into words so many of the feelings I’ve had as I carefully put paintings, artifacts and tchotchkes away. All the time wondering if I had made the mistake when buying them, accepting them as gifts, hanging it on the wall, or putting in the closet. I am still in high clutter mode here, and I want to tone it down father so I’m going to come back and read her series again for inspiration as I take things down. I’m probably going to start offering my finds to friends for free before I donate them, but first I have to have the fortitude to say goodbye to such hard won treasures!
| February 28, 2011 | 2:44 pm
We all know that the Anthropologie catalogue is eye candy as much as it is for shopping. I snap photos of the pages I like with my camera so I can have them on hand as inspiration while thrifting and sewing. Sometimes I am really lucky and a garment will remind me of something I already own.
That’s what happened with this coral pullover. I received a cardigan and shell combo in a clothing swap package about 5 years ago, maybe even 6, and it is the exact same color combination! So of course, now I want to wear it this spring. Today I have it on with just some jeans I thrifted and a shirt I also thrifted. But I bet it it would be great with a full skirt. The anthro photo pairs it with a blue bead necklace, maybe I should try to find a blue dress to wear with it?
What do you think I should do with this piece? Do you have any outfits or garments that you started wearing more often after seeing something similar in the media or in a catalogue?
| February 18, 2011 | 5:38 pm
I’m volunteering with Zero Landfill tomorrow & next Saturday. So if you decide to come for some free carpet & wallpaper samples, binders, fabric, stone, tile, etc., please say hello!
It’s open noon-3pm.
30 North High Street in Akron.
| February 1, 2011 | 2:18 pm
Here’s a good shot of the couch in my living room that my husband and I bought after we moved into our home in 2006. We got this couch and a matching arm chair at a moving sale for $300 all together. Rob really likes the fabric more than me, which makes sense because it is very manly. I like it, but I don’t love it. Especially because the dominant color in the stripe is green and I don’t really decorate with green. I’m more of a blue person. And have become even more of a blue person after we brought home our rug.
I have slip covered the couch in blue. Many many times actually. But I just don’t like the look of this couch when slip covered so we always come back to the stripes and I have to think about the green and how I wish it was blue.
Well, the other day I was thrifting for some shoes (I am always looking for shoes for my kids), which is right next to the housewares department at the thrift store. That’s how I came across this handmade crochet blanket which is, low and behold, the color scheme of my couch! But it has the blue as the dominant color! It has solved all my problems! And best of all, it gives me that “I-make-things-for-my-family” look without having purchased the yarn and spent the time crocheting the blanket myself. In fact this blanket cost less than $4. It’s amazing. Decorating zen for less than a Five Spot.
| January 7, 2011 | 5:48 pm
medicine viles used for bead storage
Awhile back I posted some nontraditional bead storage ideas. Here’s another idea…old medicine viles. It’s not my idea. A friend gave these to me with the bead supplies already in them. I wonder what else I can do with the viles though! They’re so unique. Have any good ideas?
| December 7, 2010 | 10:24 pm
I washed a red crayon with my laundry over the weekend. I had to toss out about 6 items because they were all covered in red smudges. It was kind of sad. But I decided I would look at it as an opportunity to hit the local thrift store.
I found some great things for my whole family, even my husband, but was having a hard time finding something for myself. I scored an Ann Taylor Loft t-shirt in my size, but otherwise it was mostly granny stuff (and not the quirky-cute kind). I did find a nice gauzy turtleneck t-shirt in my size in a dark chocolate brown for a dollar so I brought it home even though I really really dislike turtlenecks.
I took out my scissors and I hacked the turtleneck off into a scoop neck. Then I had all this nice fabric to play with so I ruffled it up on my machine and made an asymmetrical ruffled collar to dress it up. Then I cut off the sleeves at 3/4 length and used the scraps to make a ruffle at the waistband. Let me just say, this is my new favorite shirt. Not bad for a dollar and an afternoon!
| October 22, 2010 | 9:00 pm
I bought these shoes for Cressida and myself at the thrift store with the intention of spray painting them. I used some fabric spray paint that is supposed to adhere to leather, and went to it.
First I taped off the soles and set out my paper. I read the instructions on the can and followed them completely.
The paint came out of the can in a huge glob. I don’t know if it was old, or what. Then it dripped every where. I got all frustrated and hoped for the best. Then when it was “dry” I went to see if they turned out better than I’d expected. The paint remained tacky indefinitely! These shoes are now on my craft room cutting table, a couple of weeks later, and they are still sticky.
Fail. Tomorrow they take a trip to the trash.
Now I want to try again with a different brand of paint.
| September 6, 2010 | 9:06 pm
Sometimes I find something in my closet that is really old that speaks to me like the newest trends. I can’t even remember when I found this scarf at the thrift store. But something about it made it seem very current.
I decided to check it to The Pantone Fashion Color Report 2010 online booklet. Lo and behold, this who-know-what-year-scarf has this year’s green, “woodbine,” and this year’s pinkish cream, “rose dust.” It is also very close to the turquoise for the year, “lagoon.”
How inspiring to find this already in my possession! So now I’ve flipped through page after page of designers in the booklet using the forecast colors in sketches and felt super inspired. I’m thinking I want to download their app for our iPad so I can bring it along when I hit the thrift store. Heck, I can use it when I search my stash!
Has anyone else found a really trendy look in their own closet? Does anyone else pay this much attention to trends, or am I a complete fashion victim? Ha!
Growing up, Mom always hung clothes outside to dry. I thought it was a waste of time because we had a dryer. Then I wondered if we were too poor to run the dryer. That was more concerning. But I just went along with helping hang clothes. At least if I helped, I’d make sure the underwear were hiding behind the towels.
Then in college, I really was a poor college student. I hated spending those quarters on laundry, so I hauled wet clothes to the dorm room & placed them strategically over chairs & shower curtains to dry.
After moving to our house, we bought a washer & dryer. I happily dried clothes in the dryer. I thought, “Look at all the time I’m saving. I just push the button! And my electric bill is affordable. This is great!”
But in the past two years I’ve been gravitating toward all things sustainable & energy efficient. I was shocked to learn there’s no energy stars for driers. Then I realized Mom is more energy-savy than me. Kicking & screaming, I resolved to hang my clothes outside. I thought it’d be terrible & too much time & too hard with the kids. But, I found that I like it. I’m saving energy, and it’s not all that hard. It takes 5 minutes to hang (I don’t bother with clothes pins), and really no more time to take them down while folding them. Plus, since my clothesline & drying rack are under the deck overhang, I can dry clothes no matter the weather. …Thanks Mom.