Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Theoretical Thrifting

I have a long-held and time tested theory about thrifting. It's along the lines of "if you build it, they will come" but involving slightly more of a voodoo kind of vibe. If I think hard enough, picturing the exact object I desire precisely in my mind, then sometimes-- just often enough to sort-of make me believe in my powers of mind control-- I walk into the thrift store and there it is.Case in point--this little vignette. The lamps belonged to my grandmother, and when the new dining room paint went up, out went the faux-Craftsmen lamps from the Tar-jay that had been on the buffet. Now I thought really hard about something like this appearing, but when that didn't happen (and the $1500 for a pair of those puppies didn't materialize in my wallet, either. Darn.) I focused on finding a pair of matching lampshades. And lo-and-behold, there they were-- not my first choice, but a nice, clean pair for a grand total of five bucks. And since this happened to be out of stock, I tried to imagine something well-shaped and mildly Hollywood Regency-- and that $8 mirror appeared. A few coats of white paint and presto-- beautiful! This chipped up little guy is as good as new with another coat of white paint. And I am not even taking a picture of the 18 highball glasses I found. For .20 each. I am assuming most of you do not have a two-year-old who yells "you (he's you, by the way) want a cocktail! You do!" I am not so fortunate. Or maybe I drink way too many cocktails. Either way, I was way happy to find those glasses.Now, on to the rest of the stuff in that suitcase. These wool blazers yen to be a handbag. I can feel it in my bones. Some inspiration in the form of this. And what are they lying on, you ask? Certainly not a cashmere throw that my grandmother sent for me to cut up. But if you thought not, you'd be wrong. You'd also be wrong if you thought my scissors were coming anywhere near that thing.And this. A truly enormous Penddleton wool shirt, brand new, with arm patches. What in the world will I do with that? I have a tiny little idea... and it involves this. Perhaps the oddest thing I've ever found, been given, or maybe even seen. A huge (like Paul Bunyon sized huge) wool vest, complete with leather bias binding. It says it is a sheep, but there is no evidence of the underside of that fur. But it is soft and cuddly, and I feel the beckon of my ancient, industrial-grade sewing machine that creates more blue air than a whole ship-ful of sailors. It is the only thing heavy-duty enough to eat into that furry stuff. And the red wool shirt-- well, it's all so very log cabin-ish to me. So I think that one of these days I'm going to make myself a big old sheepskin log-cabin throw rug. This may or may not happen before my children have gone off to college. But we'll see. That's the thing about thrifting. It always keeps you guessing...

4 comments:

naqahdahnellie said...

Ok, your vest is making me laugh. I actually have a vest very similar with a hood, but that is synthetic made to look like wool. It's black, so there aren't accented pockets, but it's my favorite winter garment.

Joy said...

That vest is, um, weird. I'll be interested to see what you do with it. :) You did a great job with the mirror and lamps. They look great in that spot.

nicola said...

looking good!! i totally agree....you just have to be patient and the right free/cheap/recycled item will come along. and sometimes i just buy or accept things because they have potential!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Turtles To Start said...

can I just say that this post makes me laugh & cry? too close to my heart--way to close. Melissa, we might just be kindred spirits ;)