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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thrifting and Loving It

Salvaging has become a form of salvation for me! lol

I made a post already about finding a few things and getting very excited about those things. Then I wondered what the possibilities were should I continue to look around in those stores? Especially the one that got me sick the most, happens to be the one that is the most busy, moves things in and out fast and is huge. Yes, it also smells the most, I think people don't wash the clothes before they donate them but I don't go for the clothes, I walk straight to the back for the housewares, glassware and linens.

Now that I'm living on the strictest budget of my entire life ever, I appreciate the finds of 5 dollars and less, and the ability to make them beautiful by embellishing them or simply washing the glass sparkling clean and making good use of it. I only like things that have multi purposes. The other thing is I only like short projects that can be completed and done in hours or two days at most. Upgrades and embellishments must be dramatic but simple and easy. :D.
I also like to use something that was made for one purpose but brilliantly works in another purpose! Fun !

The other major factor in my new ventures with thrifting is that I've decided to use what I have on hand to make new things or to give the older ones a new and vibrant life. There are some things in boxes that I held onto for ''my house'' one day, and some craft items I never got to use, and so on my new limited budget I was spiritually guided and told to go through everything I have now on hand and make new objects of beauty from them. I can go to the flea market for small and cheap items, which is why I'm thrilled to find these necessities there now, but that everything I own must be loved, used, displayed, given embellishment, or gotten rid of. And so my life is basically cut out for me for the rest of this year. Everything I possess, is either going to be loved entirely or given away. This means I need to get very creative, and the artist in me is coming out as it used to before life hit me so hard.

So the other day, as I was still wondering creatively, how to go about completing my projects, needing specific things, and with about $6.00 to spend, I cheerfully, gleefully! remembered how with enough ingenuity and imagination I can most likely find what I need at the......Thrift Store! the very one I swore I'd never go back to, I've been back to around 7 times now, and most times I find what I'm looking for.....AND.....with the help of the internet and the blogging women who have 'been there and done that' and so graciously shared their experiences, findings and results. I love you and you have helped me greatly and I shall do the same.
There is a Goodwill next to this store too so between the two I can find something for my projects.  So on this day when I realized I could find just what I needed, and that I could finish these projects for so little $$, and that I'd have the beauty I was after in the end, I became elated. This calls for some good music. I searched through my CD's and found just the one. It is one of my favorites to play for when I have guests for dinner or for when I'm cooking, I need happy music so I can sing as I cook. I'm funny that way, without music to sing to I cannot cook. Literally :D

I chose the soundtrack to "Somethings Gotta Give" , a cool movie with a better soundtrack. One trac from there I kept playing that matched my you can listen along with me as you shop with me. "Click on the middle guy's belly button" lol

Now I must make a disclaimer here! There is, I've found on my new venture into blogland of these past few months....even though I've had a blog, I had no clue what was happening in the busy ones, but especially amongst the countless homemakers, decorators, thrifty, crafty, designing, creative, ingenious, inventive, ever so amazing women who have been blogging for a while and have a following and readership......that there is this French ''thing'' going on. I have never had a thing for any particular culture, they all possess some kind of beauty........ though I'm finding that what I love most can be found mostly in what I've learned is called "The French Shabby Chic'' style, this has happened purely by some coincidence.......go figure. I've looked into this mystery in all seriousness and I realized that the French in some of its many flavors, have captured my own essence and made it a style that has also captured zillions of others. I find this interesting. Indeed I'll never forget a woman friend of a long ago ex who looked at me and asked him if I were French? He laughed and said no. I wondered what about me looked French. I have no clue.
A hallmark signature of what I love so much is quality....I must have quality in fabrics, and real textures and materials. I find the French do this. And also the combination of old with new....a practicality that is indispensable. And that every item must be beautiful on its own. For clothing I find the feminine softness of real and organic fabrics uncompromisingly necessary. These are also French criteria. I shall investigate this further.
So maybe it is by coincidence that I'm listening to French music and maybe not.
However, the point here is that it suited me greatly as I went thrifting for particulars all of which I did find this day. Now it will take about a week to complete them and decide then what to do with them. Art is what I do, I only know I must create. What happens after is God's call.

Yes, by the way, I am an artist. Artists have told me so. Strangers have told me so. I change everything to suit me, until I smile when I look upon it. I have no particular medium, I am not limited that way.

My art is my life, everything I do is artful, from cooking to how I move, to the environment, the gardens, and my own body....both inside and outside.

I'll never forget going through customs on one long 6 month trip around the world, and one customs man who opened my luggage was sensorily assaulted by what he saw. He was hesitant to touch and go through my things. He instinctively knew he was violating a sacredness he discovered. He realized he had to though and slowly proceeded, and handled them with care and a light touch, stunned as he was with the unusual beauty he found inside. He looked at me and asked me if I were an artist. I had never thought of myself that way. Its like asking me if I'm a woman. I said yes. He nodded in some kind of secret affirmation of his own mind, closed the suitcase and gently waved me on. I saw the effect this ''art'' had upon him. He, for a moment, was softer, civilized, interested, and transported. I liked this effect upon him.

Below are some pictures of the finds, but most are being embellished and will be for another post soon. In between writing here and other things, I work on them. When they're done I will take pictures. I love my camera! By the way, now that I look at this picture below, I realize that the lace tablecloth is a flea market find from many years ago (something I pulled out of the ''when I get my own house box'')  when I used to go fleaing in New York, and I do believe it was a French market I was in! eerie.

These things are nothing now right? of course not. I think there is $4.00 sitting in this picture. Raw materials.

This tiny spice cabinet below was $6.00 and on the day I wanted it, was 50% off making it 3 dollars. sighhhhh. I used the change in my purse to pay for this and had just enough. This is a project that I'm in love with already because I have been inspired and in my mind have seen the outcome. I will post pictures when its completed later. The bottles inside are something I look for all the time anyway. The SAD part about this piece is that my roommate told me when I moved in that he had the exact one and that all the bottles were in it still, and he gave it away and I didn't want it either. I simply had no plans to stay in this house for more than a year, and I was all about getting rid of things and lightening up with as little possessions as possible. Now I bring home what he gave away. Funny.

For some reason I'm in love with glass. Never wanted to collect it before until now. I think its the sparkle.

A beauty that needs no explanation nor embellishment........only a beautiful soup and some people to share it.

I see now that blogland is full of these cheese domes turned cloches, and I've said yep! That is my purpose with this as well. Only I also want to use them for food not just decor. I only love things that serve multi purposes.
These stores are full of them. I have 4 on hand, and the stores still have a few I've left there. I think if I can find a way to gift them or sell what I've embellished, then I will pick up more.

I found some absolutely perfect condition linen table cloths, one of which is below, and a soft damask.

Battenburg Lace placemats and a pair of cotton crochet valances. all in perfect condition, now washed and I left them drying in the sun for days. The beauty of seeing the lace and whites in the sun has some peaceful effect on me. Now I keep one on the line all the time.

That is all for now. Thank you for being with me. And I thank all the women and their ingenuity and sharing of projects and their carefully planned posts with pictures in stages and explanations etcetera. I thank you the most!

Happy thrifting.


  1. I love your thrift findings. I am hooked on thrifting and manage to go at least once a week but sometimes twice. Of course never come home empty handed. I feel just like you, times are difficult and finding these fantastic prices is super great. Hugs...Lu

  2. I just found your site today and I must say I feel right at home with all your beautiful ideas !! You are a lady after my own heart,I also love to decorate my tiny home in the same way as you do! So much fun to find a great treasure at a thrift store and make it into something lovely, will be following your adventures! Have fun and do keep us all entertained!


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