Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thrift & Plenty

Our motto usually is, we never got so rich until we got so poor. Sometimes making ends meet feels like trying to tie dental floss around an elephant! Yet, even during the hardest of financial times we've met the challenge of cutting back to bare bones and still being met with abundance. I'm pretty sure I will never willingly buy anything in a bonafide retail outlet again (OK, that may be stretching it....paints and canvases are hard to find used, but still, I like to stick to the small business owners). I own no credit cards, and I have no debt. When I can, I donate what I'm no longer using or attached to. Economic challenge as well as a frugal desire to reuse and recycle has kept me loyal to two places for almost everything I'll ever need above rent, food, hydro and internet. Gabriola Island Recycling Organization (known to locals as The Depot),  and The Haven Society Thrift Shop in Nanaimo, are, as far as I'm concerned, capable of providing me with everything I need to clothe myself and decorate my home in the most eccentric, stylish and creative way!
Oh, and of course, when it is in season, the Gabriola Farmer's Market offers the best in locally handcrafted wearables by artisans whose passion and talent has formed them.
Oh, and then there are clothing swaps, the most fun of all, when a bunch of women from the community get together for a party...swapping all our oldies for other oldies and everyone going away happily re-clad (and maybe a tad tipsy or floaty)!
Although I still love to take the odd peek at a magazine to see what design forces are at work in the big wide world out there, I'm content to look but not have any of the glossy new items and fabulous firsthand objects to build my own surroundings with. Shopping thrift is far more satisfying than walking into a store where you see twenty of the same shirt and have to hope they have your size. Shopping thrift is a way to truly discover what your own personal taste and style IS. Among all the haphazard clutter of singular and distinct offerings of colours and texture, you'll inexplicably be allured by what draws your unique instincts and very own interest. (Talk about self discovery, really allowing your own heart and mind to select things!) There is no accounting for anyone else's taste, so no matter what, in a thrift shop, everyone is bound to come across something that pleases them alone. Sometimes, I'll ruminate for a very long time over whether or not I really NEED that item that costs $1, because I only have $4 to spend.

Well, if you saw our home, you'd never know we were lacking for anything of comfort. Once you get to the point when the only security you have is the fact you woke up alive this morning and the opportunity for work that the day may hold, you realize that many of us try all our lives to build an illusion of permanence and structure. Once you lose all that, you realize you never really needed it... you can survive just fine as long as you can at least pull it together for real necessities. Then everything above and beyond is so thoroughly bonus, it's a creative thrill! A jug of wine, a loaf of bread ~ and thou.

A snippet of our woodsy livingroom:

Here I am wearing topaz earrings handmade by the luscious Lisa of Heavy Feather from Mudge Island, a shirt I got from a clothing swap party, a kerchief from GIRO and a necklace my sis hand-me-downed me! Grateful to those who first created these items, and to the people who have owned them before me....we are all part of an intricate and synchronized dance!

Gypsy Thrift!

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