Friday, June 29, 2012

Beat the Heat with Shopping!

Thrift shopping Thrift Exchange
So it's blazing outside.  The high today was 102 degrees.  It's after 10 pm right now and it's still 88.  Even the weatherman is posting an "excessive heat warning" for the surrounding areas (I guess when the heat index hits 115 they do that).

I've been off work and at home for a week now, and there comes a point where I get a little stir crazy.  I've been cleaning, I've been organizing, I've been sewing- I'm ready to get out of the house!  This afternoon I decided to run a couple of errands to prep for the Forth of July Weekend party we're hosting tomorrow evening.  It just so happens that the store I was shopping at has a wonderful little thrift shop across the street from it.  Whether this is happenstance, or divine intervention, or subconcious planning on my part, one may never know; but I delayed my return home by stopping in for a bit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Flower Blossom Applique

flower blossom DIY tutorial sew repurpose tee shirt
Pin It
Today I'm going to show how to sew these cute flower blossom appliques using nothing more than a few hand stitches and some old t-shirts that you probably have laying around.  In my DIY tutorial on making a plastic bag holder, I used these flowers to decorate the outside of the bag. You could use them to give new life into a pillow, tack to the outside of a casual handbag, glue to a headband, or add creativity to any countless number of things in your life. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Plastic Bag Holder

DIY Tutorial Plastic Bag Holder sewing
Pin It
I learned to sew in 4-H.  In hindsight I wonder about the productiveness of the teacher's method.  Every month or so she'd crowd half a dozen little girls into her small country home and attempt to teach us to sew straight lines and hem aprons.  One of my first projects was a reversible vest, of which I was immensely proud.  I would flip it around while in the bathroom at school, feeling as trendy and magnificent as Brooke Shields.  Look!  I'm wearing hot pink zig zags on my vest.  No, wait: it's florescent green and orange stars now!  How cool am I?

The hobby of sewing has had a rebirth in the last decade.  It's become a way to express ourselves, have fun, and sometimes even save money by repurposing or refashioning items.  My own sewing has fallen into that last pattern.  Rarely do I head out to the fabric store to buy fabric to make a skirt.  Rather, I'll repurpose an awesome bed sheet or refashion a too-big or too-long skirt into something more palatable to my fashion tastes.

Today I repurposed a pair of my husband's work pants that he was discarding. I grabbed them as they were being tossed in the garbage, cut the legs off of them, and decided to make two plastic bag holders (a project I'd been meaning to do but never got around to). This is an easy project that requires little actual sewing. I used my sewing machine, but it could be completed with hand stitching only. Also, I added little flowers but it can be made up plain as well. I used what I had laying around in my sewing room, so there was zero out-of-pocket cost. I advise anyone to use what they have first before they go out and get exactly what I used.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Chicken Pins and Other Musings about my Thrifting Addiction

So I've tried over the last few days to get a full understanding as to WHY I love thrifting so much.  What is the pull?  Why does the discovery of a new consignment shop set my pulse fluttering?  Why will I cross two lanes of busy traffic to follow a florescent sign with "Yard Sale" scrawled on it in black Sharpie?
woman with shopping bags- from movie poster
I'm not this bad, really.
A bit of Internet searching will bring you to hundreds of hits on this topic.  I particularly loved this post from Sammy Davis Vintage about 5 reasons why thrifting is an addiction.  Her top 5 reasons are:
  1. shopping for therapy
  2. fashion equality
  3. finding treasure
  4. bragging rights
  5. savings
For me, I believe that finding that "treasure" is what drives me most, followed by the savings piece.  I have spent hours sifting through lots and lots of bad junk to find just that one great piece.  Sometimes I have a goal in mind on what I'm looking to purchase, sometimes not.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Start of Summer...

One of the best things about summer is that school is out.  This means no teaching, lots of time by the pool, and the fact that I can get to those early-morning yard sales.  Often a yard sale results in nothing more than a beat up paperback or a grumpy look from a lady that looks like she needs a shot in her morning coffee.  Sometimes, however, I find myself in possession of something truly great.  For example, this spring I was looking through an all-too-familiar "book box" at my neighborhood yard sale when I found a 1968 printing of Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".  I'd been wanting that book for over a year, but the price of the book had left me contented to continue to borrow it from the local library.  I walked away from that sale with that book and a skip in my step.  Price paid: $1.

Recently I saw a Facebook post from a neighbor informing local friends about her church's yearly community yard sale.  Because of that little post, I set my Saturday morning alarm for eight o'clock (I never set my alarm on weekends, so this was a truly unusual thing) and got up to brave the sometimes-perilous world of yard sale shopping.

If you've never been to a church community garage sale, understand that there are some great things to be found there.  Elderly couples start cleaning out attics and guest bedroom closets, decide they don't want whatever they've found, and sticker items at a buck to get rid of them.  (Yes, there are younger people hawking wares as well, but I find that they are looking to unload baby furniture and stuffed animals, and I am not in the market for that type of stuff.) 

I arrived at about 9:15, which is a bit past that first hour "prime time" of a yard sale, but I hoped I would still find some great things.  Here's a photo of what I loaded into my car at the end of an hour of poking around:

thrift shopping yard sale
Providence UMC Yard Sale treasures

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...