Friday, June 29, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter, channeling Charlotte Mason today

For a very small expenditure today, I thrifted four fun things:
Stuff to do to make your living space more interesting.
A purse/satchel that is going on holiday with me. It needed some serious mending around an inside pocket, but that's fixed now.
Two books of photos about the Lake District. (No, I'm not going that far.) One is old, and the other is a Dover reprint. 
Here's the map on the back of the Lovely Lakeland book. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter makes up for a dud

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about thrifting a pink rayon t-shirt that almost immediately stretched out of shape. Boo, cheap rayon.

Monday night's Cruise Night thrift-stop uncovered a replacement t-shirt, in violet, all cotton, a big improvement. Absolute honesty here: I found a couple of tiny holes in it after I got it home, which is maybe why someone let it go. But as long as they don't get bigger, I'm not going to mess with them.
I missed my usual Tuesday thrift shift this week, but I will be there tomorrow. But I can't think of anything else I need to look for intentionally right now, so it might be a no-shop morning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quote for the day: Memory demands so much

"Memory demands so much, It wants every fiber
told and retold.
                             It gives and gives
but for a price, making you
risk drudgery, lapse
into document, treacheries
of glaring noon and a slow march...

"Take me flying before
you vanish, leaf, before
I have time to remember you,
intent instead on being
in the midst of that flight,
of those unforseeable words."

~~ Denise Levertov, from "Memory demands so much"

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter: Scarves are a good place to make mistakes

Part one

There are some things that are hard to do in a thrift store dressing room. Judging colours accurately is one of them.

But the good thing about thrifted scarves is that they're cheap enough to take home and judge in better lighting. That's what I did this week: bought three scarves for a dollar apiece, and a fourth for four dollars (prices vary), just to play around with colours.

Two of them are just...okay, and I probably won't keep them.  The purple pashmina-type is a very muted version of another scarf I have (see the second photo, old scarf on left, new scarf on right), and it demonstrated something I really knew already but was ignoring: very muted is not so good on me. Too faded.
The blue scarf (in the first photo) wasn't a great choice either. It looked like it would work, but it had too much pale blue in it; it reminded me of those ugly robes you put on at the doctor's. Plus it felt like polyester. So far: a two-dollar reminder to trust my own instincts. 

Part two

The third scarf was a quick pick to match a deep red sweater I wanted to try on. It starts out blue-red, and fades to pink. Weird, I know.
And the red sweater? OK, nothing unusual.
But the scarf with the sweater: it works. Wear pink earrings, be a rebel.

Part three

This is the sort of scarf that thrifters underestimate: a circle scarf in white and shades of blue, from light through navy.

Another look at it...
The thing about circle scarves is that they're just a rectangle of fabric, seamed up. (Or cut without a seam.) There's usually a lot of fabric in them!
Enough to wear as a shawl/poncho.
This was definitely the best of the four! Favourite colours, favourite style. It is going on holiday with me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter: Not a wet t-shirt event

I thrifted some summer t-shirts earlier in the year, and I have been pretty happy so far with happy that I've moved on to looking mostly for fall clothes (leggings, a sweater). Recently, though, I found two more shirts that I liked. I bought them  (intentionally) to fill a clothes gap for a planned few days away later this summer.

The blue shirt is linen, except for the pocket and the bottom bit. Linen t-shirts seem very luxurious to me (yay thrift stores). Until a few years ago, I had no idea that t-shirts came in anything except cotton, polyester, and cotton-polyester, which pretty much tells you what kind of stores I've shopped at. I still don't understand how "napkin fabric" can take on t-shirt qualities, but somebody out there obviously knows how to do it.
The pink shirt is rayon, so I don't expect it to be as durable as the linen one. I chose it for the colour, the interesting stitching, and the fact that it's lightweight and layerable. The front v-neck is deep, meant to be worn over a tank top, or a swimsuit.
If you're wondering about the variations in colour, I took the photos soon after I hand-washed the shirts, and they were still damp. Just pretend I've been swimming. HARRUMPH update: after that first washing, the rayon t-shirt stretched more than I expected or wanted. Sigh.

Besides the two t-shirts (and the leggings and the sweater), I also thrifted some multi-coloured double knitting yarn. The thrift store price was $8 for the bag of four balls, which does not sound like that great a deal, but it's nice yarn, just what I wanted for a fun summer crocheting project, and less than I would have paid for either the yarn or the completed project at a retail store. 
Now I have something to do while we're watching Deep Space Nine.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Quote for the day: "A yearning for a taste of the other"

"The repeated attempts and failures of Pinocchio and the challenges he faces over and over to be reunited with the object of his happiness--Geppetto, his father and maker, made immediate sense to the fourth graders and held their attention. My college students began to suspect that maybe they had lost something in growing up--a sense of wonder and a yearning for a taste of the other--that might have been better tended and retained if they had been brought up on more of what we were reading in class." ~~ Vigen Guroian, Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination

The Intentional Thrifter does Cruise Night (plus a handy hint and a free e-book)

First, the e-book: Courtney Carver's Mini-Missions book is free for Kindle right now.

I was given an unexpected thrifting hand recently, i.e. a bit of cash to buy a few extra fun things. I also had the chance to drop in at the Salvation Army store, just for a change, since the summer Cruise Nights have started and I can tag along with Mr. Fixit and Grandpa Squirrel. Cruise Night trips are short, because we don't stay at the show very long; so I have to make my mind up quickly about  buying things. The store has a bit different atmosphere from the one where I volunteer; also it was the end of the day, so there were more families, more kids running around, more stuff tossed around on racks. There are only a couple of changing rooms, so you usually have to wait while somebody makes their mind up and their toddler bangs the door open and shut. But the clerks are friendly, and I've often found good things there.

I started at the dress rack, and this long dress-or-skirt kept catching my eye. Not the most practical thing, I thought, but I really liked the navy batik print. (Dark navy? Black? Somewhere in between.)
I found an off-white lace top that could go over the dress/skirt, and ended up buying both of them to make an outfit. I have other navy tops that would work over the skirt as well, so it wasn't just a random choice; and the top will go with all kinds of things too.
Handy hint for thrifters: if you don't own a stitch ripper, you should. I have used mine many times to remove sewn-in labels, or bits of label, from clothes and scarves. Sometimes people snip labels off, but they leave the sewn-in bit behind, which looks bad, itches, or both. This white top had a large, visible label sewn partway down the back (the back isn't lace, but you could still see the label through the fabric). I very carefully picked the stitching out. Surgery successful.
I was pretty happy already with the long skirt and lace top, but then I found this purple Miik bamboo dress for eight dollars..amazing. I like Miik's ethos and style, but it's usually (way) out of my budget. The weather has cooled off just enough that I might even be able to wear it this week.
I finished the shopping-spree money today, back at my regular thrift store, with a $1.50 pair of grey jeans from the last-chance rack. I feel like I should be packing these clothes up for a vacation. (But I have a big term project to get through first.)

Friday, June 01, 2018

The Intentional Thrifter: The most fun you can have with a "large ladies" sweater

Today was a busy day at the thrift store, because we are having a big June book sale and there was lots of pricing to do. But I did have a few minutes at the end to go shopping. The bargain rack today was mostly men's clothes, and the dresses were sparse, so I checked out my "second tier" of clothing areas: accessories and "larger ladies." Don't laugh, I've found great stuff hanging there.

 This is what I found first: a big purple scarf with pink roses. Definitely a keeper.
From the "large" aisle: I liked this long cardigan even before I tried it on, and then I realized it has a bonus lighter grey inner layer. You can put one layer or the other to the outside.
Or tie them up together. Or even wear it upside down if you're feeling adventurous. This one is also a keeper, although I probably won't be able to wear it much now until the fall. We've had a heat wave here for the last week.
Two thrifty treasures, and a teaching book as well: fifteen minutes well spent.