A Crafter Needs to Eat, The Library Stack, Thrift Shop Adventures

Curating a Home Library

I love public libraries and as my series of posts The Library Stack shows, I am always browsing them and borrowing books when I can. A couple of years of ago I studied and embraced Minimalism trying to live a simpler lifestyle and letting go of things that I thought cluttered my life. I decided to stop buying books and just borrow them from the library.

Then in December 2018 my husband suddenly died and things shifted in my life on a large scale. And in early 2020 the pandemic hit and more shifting occurred to include examining how I could redefine a “simpler lifestyle” and have the physical things I enjoy in my life.

Our local libraries closed for what seemed like endless months during the early days of the pandemic and when they reopened it was only for curbside pickup. Currently they have fully reopened but have many strict protocols (beyond mandatory masks) and there are not that many patrons in the library anymore. It feels like something is lost from whole public library experience (and it is strange to see the librarians behind glass).

Pre-pandemic I was really in to audiobooks. Something shifted in me during the pandemic and I began to crave reading physical books rather than listening to them. I also remembered my secret dream of having an extensive home library like the ones I see in the home decorating books I borrow from the public library.

Like this one below:

Image credit: insidehook.com

With all the above things in the background of my mind, a couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to proceed with curating my own home library. Nothing as extensive as the image above but a nice collection with books that I’ve read and loved (and want to read again) and books I want to read (and might read again).

So how to do this and not “break the bank”? Well I used the following sources to find books for my home library:

  • Thrift Stores
  • Garage Sales
  • Thriftbooks.com
  • Independent bookstores selling used books

I was able to buy books from 50 cents to $5.00 from these four sources. Most books I paid between $1.49 and $4.99. 

In addition to amassing a collection of second hand books over the past couple of months, my partner John also added an additional bookcase to the front room beyond the two he already built for me.

So here is the current version of my home library which used to be the front room/sitting room in my house:

2020-10-25_14-11-57_9982020-10-26_10-25-20_9242020-11-10_10-31-07_6452020-11-10_10-32-23_3362020-11-10_10-32-59_686

I had so much fun hunting for books at thrift shops (one local thrift shop has 1/2 priced Saturdays).

I’ve loved the books by the authors Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child and I’ve read at least 85% of their entire catalogue of books. So I put together a collection of their books of my very own (previously I had borrowed them from the library):

I do not have their latest books as those are not at thrift stores yet or reasonably priced on Thriftbooks.com but it was so fun finding each book one at a time while hunting at thrift shops.

At the beginning of my home library book curation process I thought about filling part of my home library with classic novels and books that might impress a book collector. But that thought lasted only a couple seconds. I have no need to impress anyone with my home library except myself. It is only filled with the kind of books I will read (and my partner too).

Like lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy (especially Young Adult Fantasy, I love it):

You might wonder what I did with my craft book collection. Well it is on the opposite wall organized by craft or topic (like art quilting):

All those books – got to have a cozy place to read, right? Here is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer sitting in my favorite reading spot:

And here is Mike and I snuggled cozy under a warm blanket on a cold Saturday reading (it was quite a delicious morning with my pot of tea next to me). I rediscovered the joy of reading a while, napping, waking up and reading some more!

2020-10-10_16-40-20_8582020-10-11_12-03-29_897

Note these images were taken before my partner put up the third bookcase last week.

In case you are curious, I am still occasionally getting a “Library Stack” from my local public library, though not as big as the ones I was getting (the ridiculously large stacks like in the post The Library Stack Is Back!) when the library first reopened. Here is my current linrary stack:

Speaking of libraries, some of the second hand books I’ve purchased over the past several months are former library books! I’ve gotten pretty good at removing the library’s plastic dust cover with all their library specific stickers so the books sitting on my home library shelves does not look like I stole them from a library – ha!

As I mentioned earlier in this post I used to listen to a lot of audiobooks. Current I am only listening to podcasts now, taking a break from audiobooks. I am currently enjoying holding a book in my hand and reading it. Quite a different experience. I am taking a break from multitasking in life and just enjoying a solitary task of reading a book!


Postscript

Over the past several months of going to thrift stores to find books for my home library, I’ve come across many curious items for sale at thrift shops. 

Here are my top 5 favorite finds that gave me the chuckle (and I promise you I did not buy any of them):

Number 5: If you need a lamp and a place to store your leftover yarn, would this not be the perfect solution?

2020-08-25_14-42-31_774

Yes it’s – YARN LAMP!

Number 4: Patriotic pants – they defy any further comment (but my apologies to you if you happen own these…)

My partner John is modeling them

Number 3: Donated photo frames with family photos still in them.

I could not believe how many donated photo frames I came across with family pictures still in them at various thrift stores, like the example below. Wouldn’t you perhaps remove your family photos before donating?!?!?

Number 2: An outfit for a very adventurous and crafty person.

Though it was on display way before Halloween, I think this was supposed to be a suggested Halloween outfit (hopefully as you would get a lot of stares should you select it for a cocktail party…)

2020-10-03_12-24-38_6622020-10-03_12-24-40_710

And Number 1 is…

Something that you absolutely cannot imagine living without…

A cattle leg (yes real cattle leg) with hoof attached Barometer!

Yes, now you can remember the favorite steer you raised on your farm and know the current barometric pressure!

My regret is I did not buy it and put it away as the ultimate future “White Elephant” Christmas gift! (Could you imagine the look on someone’s face when they opened their gift!)

Thrift Shop Adventures

An Interesting Find…

I currently have “Corona-virus Blues”, what about you? I was scheduled to go next week to a very exciting conference in Nashville, Tennessee with many fun events, but my employer cancelled all business/corporate travel for the next several weeks because of the virus outbreak.

Even though I am bummed, in the big picture this is not such a big issue as there are many people impacted on a greater scale. My heart goes out to those who are currently infected and recovering as well as to the families of those who’ve loss loved ones due to this outbreak.

And now onto lighter topics such as the awesome find I recently made at a local thrift shop.


It’s been quite a while since I posted anything in my category/series of blog posts Thrift Shop Adventures. I have not done as much thrifting as I used to do in Central Oregon since moving to the Denver metro area in April 2019. I do miss the awesome Humane Society of Central Oregon Thrift Store, where I discovered many delights, such as this find such as the one I mention in this November 2018 post – Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find.

2018-11-10_13-54-45_445
All these high end designer fabric samples for $2 from the Humane Society Thrift Shop!

Although it does not replace my beloved Humane Society Thrift Shop, I have discovered a fairly wonderful thrift shop in downtown Denver – Goodwill Denver– Broadway.

Last weekend, while browsing, I stumbled upon an amazing find – all this fabric marked at $12, which I got for 30% off $12 because of the tag color sale (Goodwill does a daily tag color discount that varies from day to day):

2020-03-02_17-53-59_481Inside this bag was a large collection of fabrics by a company called Boundless Fabrics which appears to be primarily sold by Bluprint (formerly known as Craftsy).

2020-03-02_17-47-32_363The package included yardage, precuts (charm squares and fat quarters), a panel (a Moda Fabrics panel) and some odd size fabric scraps.

2020-03-02_17-49-32_9772020-03-02_17-50-17_3572020-03-02_17-53-01_991The pictures above do not do the package as there is enough fabric for several quilts (there are at least 10+ yards of fabric among the yardage).

The fabrics could not be used in one quilt (unless you liked an eclectic mix of styles and patterns) but they could be used for several different quilts.

I looked up reviews on Boundless Fabrics and they higher than the quality of fabrics sold at JOANN Fabrics and Craft Store but slightly below the quality of those sold at quilt shops. But for 30% of $12 (oh please do not make me do the math, ha!) they were not a bad deal!

In case you are wondering I have absolutely no idea of what I am going to do with them, but I put them away for now (smile).


Postscript

Continuing with the theme of “interesting finds”…

For those of you who’ve been blogging for a while – do you remember when you were a new blogger? Remember trying to build your audience? I did it by following other blogs and commenting on posts.

davide-ragusa-gcDwzUGuUoI-unsplash
Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

Over the years (I’ve been blogging nearly 7 years) I’ve met a bunch of cool blogging buddies and regularly follow their blogs.

I noticed that many of us, especially those of us who are crafters, follow the same blogs and it fun to see for example Mary @zippyquilts commenting on a post by Chela @chela’s colchas y mas who just commenting on a post by Mariss @fabrications who had a comment from Laura @laurabrunolilly.com who had commented also on  the blogs I just mentioned!

You get a real sense of community. (And there are many more bloggers in our community, like Claudia @claudiamcgillart, but I just listed a few as an example.)

Well I would like to occasionally introduce/suggest a new member to our crafter blogging community – an interesting blog find I discovered through this blogger commented on my posts:

Sleepy Beagle 

(thesleepybeagleword.wordpress.com/blog/)

Check out this interesting crafter blog if you get a chance and perhaps become a follower and make her part of our community. Her crafting and crafter’s life posts are well written, informative and engaging! This blog is an “Interesting Find”!

Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $2 Thrift Shop Find

Howdy.

It’s time to return to blogging after taking a week or so off after 31 days straight of posting to celebrate the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary for the month of October.

I am going to return to sharing more photos/stories from the quilt retreat I attended the near end of October; and I recently returned from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I have photos and stories to share.

But first, I wanted to share another very cool thrift store find! It’s another entry in my series of posts Thrift Shop Adventures. This post is sort of a follow up to my October 22 post, Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find. However this time it was an awesome $2 thrift shop find!

A Trip to a Local Charity Thrift Shop

Why I ended up on Saturday at a local thrift shop: I was dropping off a donation of yarn skeins after clearing out my excess yarn stash.

In my master bedroom closet I had two tubs of yarn tucked away. Poor forgotten yarn. 

A couple of years ago I made a commitment to only keep the craft items/materials that I loved and used (see my series of posts My Minimalism Journey) except I appeared to have forgotten about my yarn.

I pulled out the two large tubs of yarn, dumping all the skeins onto the floor and discovered I had yarn that I purchased over 15 years ago, never used, and likely would never use (especially the faux fur type of yarn that was popular for making those furry looking scarves 15 years ago!). I was able to put together a large package of yarn skeins to donate to a local charity thrift shop.

After pulling out all the yarn I would never use, I decided to put the yarn I would like to make something with (someday) somewhere besides tucked away in tubs in the back of my master bedroom closet.

So I organized (and I use that term loosely) the yarn skeins in the closet of my studio which I keep open most of the time:

2018-11-09_07-52-41_017.jpeg

So with my remaining yarn organized, I headed off to a local thrift shop to donate the yarn I did not need.

A Yummy Find

After dropping off my donation at the donation area in the back of the thrift shop, I figured it would not hurt to just peek inside, quickly (smile), the thrift shop.

Once inside I immediately headed to the crafts section and what did I find – a large bag of beautiful home decorating samples:

2018-11-10_13-54-45_445.jpeg

I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the price on the bag – two dollars! So the bag and I headed up to the counter to pay and I gleefully left the thrift shop with my prize!

Inside the $2 Bag

It was difficult not to open the bag and look inside in my car, but I knew I should wait until I got home and could fully enjoy the discovery of what waited inside.

Inside were many beautiful home decor fabric samples, like these ones below that were from New York City:

2018-11-10_14-02-49_7192018-11-10_14-00-47_3202018-11-10_14-02-42_2462018-11-10_14-02-16_7142018-11-10_16-58-05_2602018-11-10_16-58-09_722

And here are photos of a sampling of the other samples, as I was putting them away in the container where I keep home decor samples (which is now full…):

2018-11-10_17-21-51_4142018-11-10_17-22-08_5592018-11-10_17-22-19_5752018-11-10_17-23-27_1662018-11-11_08-23-01_078

Included in the package were beautiful swatches of raw silk, gorgeous embroidered fabrics, velvets and other wonderful textures.

Who knows what I will do with these fabrics, for now I am just happy to have them in my recycled fabrics collection and appreciate that someone donated them for someone else to enjoy rather than having them end up in the landfill.

children-768x768
harmony1.com

Thrift Shop Adventures

Awesome $3 Thrift Shop Find

Happy Monday, can you believe it is day 22 of daily blogging in October as part of my 5th blog anniversary celebration? Thanks so much to those of you who have been finding time each day to read my ramblings! Later this week I will do a post about my 5 years of blogging and then introduce the five giveaways to celebrate the tierneycreates blog anniversary!

This post I want to share an amazing $3 thrift shop find – a collection of beautiful high-end silk and premium fabric drapery samples.

The Giant Bag of “Upholstery Fabric”

Saturday I dropped off some donations at our local Humane Society Thrift Store. As long as I was there, I thought I would peek in and see what they had in the craft section. I found a large bag marked upholstery fabric for $3. I do not need more upholstery fabric in my life but I noticed some very nice looking pieces peeking through the pile of upholstery fabric.

Here is the bag when I got it home:

2018-10-21_17-33-00_227.jpeg
Giant heavy bag of fabric

Unpacking it, I first discovered some very cool textured upholstery weight fabric:

2018-10-21_17-33-26_113.jpeg
Look at that texture!

Then to my surprise, under this fabric, was a collection of 4 large drapery swatches:

2018-10-21_17-35-11_6922018-10-21_17-40-00_976

I was blown away with the beauty of the fabrics and removed the heavy duty staples and cardboard legend of the samples from the top of the swatch books.

The photos do not do the fabric swatches justice but here are photos of the fabric swatches after the individual samples were separated:

2018-10-21_17-38-22_1182018-10-21_17-42-41_0952018-10-21_17-45-34_2372018-10-21_17-48-37_2752018-10-21_17-49-28_770

Here are some close ups of some of my favorites (though it was difficult to choose favorites):

2018-10-21_17-34-11_1102018-10-21_17-38-29_6252018-10-21_17-38-45_6732018-10-21_17-42-52_1052018-10-21_17-58-31_040

Here is the whole stack:

2018-10-21_17-58-17_313.jpeg

Yes, are you thinking what I am thinking? Some of these fabrics will work in the piece I have simmering on my large design wall in the hallway (see post What’s Simmering on the Design Wall):

2018-10-14_10-46-03_866I need to focus on preparing for the quilt retreat I am attending later this week, so I am not going to play with the new fabrics and the design wall right now but it is something fun to look forward to add more to the “simmering”!

Did Not Keep It All

I did not keep all the fabric – a third of the larger pieces were not my style, so I put them back into the bag and I am going to donate them back to the thrift shop to sell again!

2018-10-21_17-49-39_741.jpeg

I think I got my money’s worth for $3!

I’ve posted about thrift shop finds over the past 5 years and I’ve created a new blog category in case you like to check those posts out – Thrift Shop Adventures.


Postscript

If you would like to see what beautiful and amazing textile art can be made from upholstery/home decor fabric swatches and samples, check out the art of Dianne Browning, a member of the SAQA art quilting group I belong – Art Quilts by Dianne Browning (bendartquilts.com).

Check out her website and here is one of her amazing pieces made with home decor fabric swatches – Crossroads:

Screen Shot 2018-10-21 at 10.09.29 PM.png
Crossroads by Dianne Browning

 

 

My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

Shameless Thrifting, Part II

Yesterday’s post featured a completed quilt to convince you that this is still a Quilter’s Blog, so now I am free today to post about some other non-quilting random topic!

This is post is a sort of follow up or continuation of my post from August 2016, Shameless Thrifting. In my “Shameless Thrifting” post I share how I overcame my aversion to thrift stores as part of my Minimalism Journey. I also share a secret obsession from my childhood discovered during an afternoon of thrifting.

Got Outfit?

In yesterday’s post (in which I try to convince you I am a quilter again), The Wedding Gift Quilt, I mention that I recent returned from a trip to Fort Worth, Texas for a family wedding.

Preparing for the trip I realized I did not have many nice warm weather outfits for Texas (90+ degrees F and high humidity).

I live in the Pacific NW and in general we dress fairly casual; and I am a telecommuter and I can work in sweat pants and a T-shirt all day. I used to have a lot of dressy clothes from when I worked in an office, but I donated most of them to thrift shops as I discussed in my series of posts on My Minimalism Journey (My Minimalism Journey).

I could not stand the idea of going out and buying NEW clothes. Anytime I think about buying new clothes, I think about an article I read last year on how “Fast Fashion” is creating environmental issues. This is not the exact article but it has the same message: Newsweek’s FAST FASHION IS CREATING AN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS

Several times I started to get into the car and go to the local Macy*s or J. Jill, or even Old Navy to see if I could find any cute outfits for the trip. I also thought of our local boutique shops and although I would like to patronize small businesses I was not sure if I wanted to pay their prices and I noticed many of their clothes are made in overseas.

Let’s Try Local Thrift Shops!

Thank goodness due to the influence of my sister, a very creative “thrifter”, I can proudly and shamelessly, go thrift shop shopping for clothes! There are many wonderful “gently used” fashionable clothes at thrift shops.

After visiting several thrift shops, I was able to put together a couple outfits for the trip I was very pleased with. Here is an example  of one of those outfits (note I already had the shoes – they are are Dankso dress clogs with ankle straps I’ve had for many years and they surprisingly matched perfectly):

2017-06-03_17-40-59_067.jpeg

How much for the entire outfit including the jewelry (not including the shoes) – $9.

Yes $9 for the whole outfit: the $5 dress is a J. Crew dress, the $3 jacket is a boutique brand type item, and the coordinating necklace was $1. I received compliments on the outfit while on my trip!

And when I get tired of my “new” thrift shop summer travel wardrobe, I will just donate it back to the thrift shops!


Postscript

The Capsule Wardrobe

Speaking of clothing, a vlogger (video blogger), Casually Matthew, has a beautifully produced short video on how to create a Capsule Wardrobe:

I love the idea of a “Capsule Wardrobe” and first heard about this concept when I started following The Minimalists a couple years ago. I was going to add a link to provide more background on Capsule Wardrobes, but you can google this phrase and find many wonderful guides.

Essentially a Capsule Wardrobe is a way to declutter and minimize your closet while curating your clothing into a coordinated collection of clothing you really love; and is flexible in its ability to “mix and match”.

I have a fairly casual Capsule Wardrobe for my telecommuter/Pacific NW lifestyle but I would like to evolve it to be a tad more stylish and plan to use thrift shop finds to achieve my goal!


Feature photo credit: Roger Kirby, free images.com

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Thrift Shop Adventures

Thursday Crafting, Thrifting and Laughing

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips, for her later musings.


A Day of Fun!

I took yesterday (Thursday) off from work as I wanted to attend a class that our SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) group was having at a local gallery that started at 2:30 pm (I normally work until 4:30 pm or later at my healthcare industry pay-the-bills-job).

I have a couple of friends who are retired or self-employed and have a lot more freedom in their day, so I invited them to meet me for lunch and then wander around downtown Bend, Oregon until our class at 2:30 pm.

So began my lovely Thursday of crafting, thrifting and laughing.


Crafting

Our art quilting group, met up at A6 Studio & Gallery in Bend. The A6 Studio & Gallery hosted a private Bookmaking Class and Tour in honor of their OPENING JAPAN: THREE CENTURIES OF JAPANESE PRINTS exhibit.

The class, held in the back of the studio/gallery, was taught by a professional bookmaking artist. We made an origami folded little booklet called the “Blizzard Book”. A renown origami artist had created the book and the pattern during a blizzard when she needed a paper folding project to distract her from the weather outside.

Here are photos from my first origami mini book making experience:

During the class I learned the importance of the “bone folder” tool to get crisp folds and markings during origami paper folding.


Thrifting

After the class, before heading home, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at a couple local thrift stores near the gallery. As discussed in previous posts, I’ve found some wonderful fabric treasures at my local thrift stores. (My all time greatest find was a couple of years ago at the Brightside Animal Shelter Thrift Store. I found several yards of brand new Maywood Woolies Flannel, in brown check, for $1. Yes one dollar for like $30 + in new flannel. I ended up giving an extra donation to the animal shelter as it felt like pure stealing to only pay $1, so I paid $5!).

So here was my treasure I found on this thrifting trip – nearly a yard and a half of Amy Butler Midwest Modern fabric – for $1.50!


Laughing

The day filled with laughter began around 11:30 am when I met my friends for lunch, walked around downtown Bend and through the origami bookmaking class. We have a fun SAQA group of extremely talented art quilters (some of them super famous…but I finally learned to stop being intimidated) who were completely new to origami and were very able to laugh at themselves as they completely bungled paper folding.

When I returned home, the laughter continued, as I took the dogs on a walk and I continued to listen my my latest audiobook from the library: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.

51j10qkqfsl-_sx329_bo1204203200_
Photo credit: Amazon.com

Now this book is not for everyone. It is very irreverent and it is filled with profanity and some graphic stories from her love life. But, Amy is brilliant in it.

She narrates her own audiobook and her comic delivery is flawless. She shares (and maybe overshares) her vulnerabilities, mistakes and accomplishments in life is a warm-hearted, extremely humorous manner.

I love the relationship has with her younger sister; and I love the sections where she shares excerpts from her teenage journals with footnotes/comments from her current views on life.

In this book, Amy shares her flaws and her genuine desire that young women learn from some of the errors in judgement she has made related to relationships.

She also has a brutally honest story about her scary experience with domestic violence.

After listening to Tina Fey’s wonderful audiobook Bossypants and Jesse Klein’s nearly brilliant audiobook, You’ll Grow Out of It, I thought I was done with female comic’s memoirs.

I am so glad I borrowed this one from the library – numerous times on walks I stopped for a moment because I was laughing so hard. I was also glad my bladder was empty before listening!


Well the weekend is upon us. I hope you have some crafting (if you are a crafter), perhaps a little thrifting, and of course bountiful laughter!

IMG_5409.jpg
Gratuitous photo of beautiful Central Oregon, from one of my walks

A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find!

I shared in my post Shameless “Thrifting” that I learned to enjoy searching thrift shops for cool donated fabric. Recently I had a fabulous thrifting fabric find, and let me share the story of how I ended up coming upon a wonderful fabric deal at a local thrift store.


Off the Wall, and Out of My Life

Mondays are my day off and this past Monday I decided to take in some donations to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop. I wanted to donate a couple old art pieces that were no longer bringing me joy.

One of these pieces for donation was a large poster of a photograph by David Lorenz Winston called “Solitude”. This framed poster featured a solitary tree in a wintery landscape. I loved this poster for its austere beauty and how the stark palette gave the eyes a rest in my otherwise colorful walls hung with quilts.

I had this poster hanging in my entryway for years and then I took it down for awhile and put up an art quilt in its place (and stored the poster in the closet).

Then, after being hurt by the betrayal of several friends that I had treated with an open and kind heart (a couple new local friends and one old friend), I took the art quilt down and put the “Solitude” poster up again.

This time the poster was on my wall not for its austere beauty but to represent how I felt – that I needed to just draw into myself (and close my heart) as I obviously could not trust those I thought I could trust. I saw solitude as a way to protect myself.

IMG_1524.jpg

A week ago, I decided it was time to take this poster back down and put the art quilt back up. I have had enough of feeling like I have to draw into myself and protect myself from people.

Also, as I mentioned in the post Buttons and Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I recently listened to the audiobook The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Second Agreement is:

Don’t take anything personally

The author discusses in depth in the audiobook what this means in regards to relationships and how when someone has an issue with you, it is really about them and their issues within themselves. A quote from this book sums it up nicely:

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. – Don Miguel Ruiz

Although I had read this before in other “self-help” books and sort of knew this intuitively, for some reason I was ready, while listening to this audiobook to hear this message.

So the poster came down from the wall, and I have moved on.

(and I decided never to have this poster on my wall again, so it was time to donate it)


After the Donation – A Treat!

I dropped off my donation at the Donation area on the side of the Humane Society Thrift Shop and thought “I wonder if I should just take a quick peek inside…”

Wandering over to the “Crafts” section, I noticed a package of fabric bundled in an old curtain/linen package. A dull looking Christmas-like fabric surrounded a bundle of other fabric which was obscured by a sea of blah paisley Christmas colors fabric (which also appeared to be low quality fabric).

I noticed the thick package of fabric said $2.50. I tried to peek to see what was wrapped in the paisley fabric but they had the package well sealed. I put it back in the bin I found it in and walked away.

Then a little voice told me – “go back and get it, it is only $2.50 and if all the fabric is terrible you can re-donate it”. I figured a donation of $2.50 to the Humane Society was worth feeding my curiosity of what was inside. So I bought it, and the moment I got out of the thrift shop I hurried to my car to open the package.

I was pleasantly surprised! Inside was approximately a total of 8 yards of different cool fabrics in various sizes. The fabric included many high quality fabrics from lines such as Moda, Hoffman, and Alexander Henry.

What a fabulous thrifting fabric find! It sort of seemed to be my reward for letting go on the art that no longer brought me joy!

Here is my $2.50 treat of fabric joy!

2016-11-01_21-31-52_317-2016-11-03t05_55_51-114
Did not take a photo before I opened the package but here is the empty package with the price (you can see it was wrapped in an old curtain or linens bag)

2016-11-01_21-34-51_154
The Score! Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! (At the top of the photo you will see there were also some scraps to add to my scrap collection, ha!)

 

A Crafter's Life, My Minimalism Journey, Thrift Shop Adventures

Shameless “Thrifting”

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s page SchnauzerSnips for her latest musings. 


MY HISTORY WITH THRIFTING

I titled this post “Shameless ‘Thrifting'” as I used to be ashamed to go into thrift stores. I would avoid them at all costs and despite hearing stories from friends about the cool items they discovered for a very low cost at thrift shops.

My shame did not come from fear that people would think I was poor and needed to shop in a thrift shop, it came from once being quite poor and a thrift shop being the only option for clothes, household items, etc.

I put myself through pre-med and then nursing school (when I decided to become a nurse instead of a physician as I had originally planned) when I was in my late teens to my early 20s and I had no disposable income. At one point I was working 40 hours a week (at night as a Home Health Aide) and going to school full-time. It is a long story (related to why my family did not have resources to help me with school) but I obviously made it through (and met Terry, the future “Quilting Husband” while I was in nursing school).

Although we have likely donated thousands of dollars’ worth of no longer used items to charity thrift stores, I refused to shop at thrift stores. To me they represented the poverty I once experienced (and never wanted to experience again), so I stayed away from them. I was all about being able to buy the new things I wanted to buy, when I wanted to buy them (before embracing the Minimalism movement).

A couple of years ago, my a friend introduced me to the fun of discovering cool cheap high quality fabric and antique fabric finds at thrift shops! My sister, who has an excellent sense of style and is a wonderful dresser, also encouraged me to explore thrift shops (She has discovered many incredible inexpensive clothing finds, including “designer” brands).  Inspired by my friend and my sister, finally I realized that shopping at thrift stores not only makes good financial sense, but it is very “green”. Instead of items going into a landfill they can be reused by someone else (and the purchase benefits charity organizations – it is a “win-win”).

Concurrently with my sister’s and friend’s influence, over the years my consumerism fueled drive to purchase “new shiny things” has ended. I started to choose experiences over things and realizes new shiny things only bring temporary and fleeting joy. Real joy comes from say a quiet walk in nature or cup of tea with a friend. This is one of the reasons why we have donated likely 30 – 50% of our stuff now to charity organizations.


THRIFT STORE SATURDAY!

So this past Saturday I decided I wanted to go wander around our local thrift store and hunt for fun deals. I had a desire for “Retail Therapy” but in an inexpensive and “green” way. Here is what I found during my Saturday adventure visiting Goodwill, Humane Society Thrift Shop, and the Hospice Thrift Shop (benefiting Central Oregon Hospice).

Goodwill

I know there is some controversy about the Goodwill Industries organization but their mission seems on the surface to be pretty darn wonderful. I spent the first part of the my “Shameless Thrifting” Adventure, wandering around Goodwill.

IMG_4561.jpg

Shoes! I could not believe how many nice pairs of shoes were at Goodwill at very cheap prices. I am not that into fashion, being a telecommuter and outdoorsy kind of person (I prefer a comfortable outfit and pair of shoes) but if I were I would know where to get lovely designer shoes very cheaply!

After I was done entertaining myself with looking at shoes, I went to visit the fabric section (especially after the find from my last visit – see the post Mysterious Thrift Store Fabric Find).

IMG_4562.jpg

I did not find anything interesting in the linens and fabric section. However I did return again to the shoe section just browse it for fun; and to think about how much money women spend on new shoes that they only wear for a short period of time. I bet most of the shoes sitting on the shelves of the Women Shoe Section of Goodwill at one time gave some woman a fleeting sense of happiness and temporary “new purchase high”. And now they were sitting on the shelf for $6.99 a pair (note – this Goodwill store appeared to only sell used shoes which were in very good condition).

Humane Society Thrift Store

I left Goodwill empty handed and ventured onto the Humane Society Thrift Store where I entertained myself browsing their used vinyl record collection. While browsing, I stumbled upon this record which brought back some major memories from my childhood:

IMG_4571.jpg

Yes when I was a pre-teen I was a HUGE Barry Manilow fan. I cannot believe I am admitting this (and putting it in writing), but while some pre-teens were crazy for Michael Jackson or Donny Osmond, I was all about Barry Manilow! I remember the joy of getting a new Barry Manilow record as a kid. (Are you so shocked you have to unfollow my blog now?!?! Can I ever regain your respect?!?!)

A young couple who was browsing in the same section, looked at me with curiosity as I was photographing this record. I can only imagine what they were thinking, ha!

Now, I did not buy the Barry Manilow record. However I did leave the Humane Society Thrift Store with 3 used SAQA Journal Magazines (from 2011 and 2012 before I was a SAQA member) and 5 buttons (for future miniature kimonos). A purchase that totaled $1.

IMG_2700.jpg

Hospice Thrift Shop

I ended my thrifting adventure at the Hospice Thrift Shop. I did not purchase anything this thrift shop, but I was very entertained looking at their used craft supply section. My favorite item: not only did someone donate their yarn but they must have said “screw it, I am done with this knitting thing” and they donated the piece in progress still on the knitting needles!

IMG_4572.jpg

Summarizing My Saturday Shameless Thrifting Adventure:

  • Time spent browsing = 2.5 hours
  • Money spent = $1
  • Fun (the thrill of the hunt), giggles, and insight = priceless!

POSTSCRIPT

I do not regret the time in my life when I had little financial resources. It was during this time that I learned to cook as I could make my own food from scratch (much cheaper than purchasing pre-made food). For example, I learned to bake my own bread from discounted flour I bought at wholesale from a food coop I volunteered at (to get wholesale prices on food).

Also I learned at an early age how to budget and manage resources; and also how to stay away from the pitfalls of credit card debt.  My life could have been easier by taking out a large school loan but I worked my way through school instead (there was no partying or goofing off during my time in college) so I had a minimal student loan to pay when I graduated (yes and sigh, no wild college parties memories but that is okay).

But most important though, is I learned to appreciate everything I have, as everything I have was earned through my effort and hard work.

I do believe through struggle comes growth.