Tag Archive | shopping

More thrift store fun

A trip to the thrift store is great entertainment for me. I don’t even necessarily have to have something in mind in order to have fun poking through all the weird and wonderful things there. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to do much browsing on my own since having kids and Granota and Konik don’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do. They grumble and complain and try to do headers out of the cart just to escape the horrible monotony of watching Maman shop. And, because I’ve always got them with me, I can’t take the time to examine clothing and try things on, so I stick to the outer fringes of the store. But that’s ok. That’s where the books and sewing patterns and notions and other odds and ends are.

I went to two different stores last Wednesday (and Granota and Konik thought they would surely die of boredom) and didn’t find much, but I am excited about the few things I did bring home. First, two sewing patterns. They are uncut and still factory folded. I really like that skirt with the inverted pleats. The suit on the left intrigued me. I’m not sure I would ever make it or ever wear something like that, but you never know. And, at only 99 cents, why take the chance on regret?

By “New Look” I believe we mean “90s Look.” Not that that’s a bad thing.

Next, I found this book: Complete Home Crafts by Miranda Innes. This is my kind of book. The aesthetic doesn’t always match my own, but the projects in and of themselves are great for inspiration. And there are some I really gravitate towards.

I really, really want to do this

Kind of a sucker for citrus in the kitchen

Pretty and useful

I think what I love most about this book is that the majority of these projects are beautiful and practical. I love to be surrounded by beautiful things, but how much better if they are things I can actually use or that serve some purpose? That’s a win-win right there. Why have just a TV tray when you can have a built-in checkerboard (ok, painted) right on it?! I already have a very nice checkerboard, but what else could I put on that TV tray…? Hm, gets the wheels turning. There are all kinds of step-by-step projects including lampshades, cushions and throw blankets, stenciling, collages, decoupage… I want to do it all! Need a place of my own first, though. Humph. In the meanwhile, I’ll daydream.

I likes it

The other book I got is called Making Patterns from Finished Clothes by Rusty Bensussen. Currently, I can’t think of one RTW piece in my closet that is worth the time and effort to copy. In all actuality, most of the store-bought stuff really needs to be turned over to the rag basket, but I have to keep them in the rotation, otherwise I’d be nekkid 5 days of the week. Notwithstanding the pitiful state of my wardrobe, you just never know when a book like this might come in handy. It seems like a great reference to have around! I think the information on drafting patterns will make it worth the whole $3 I spent on it.

Coming up next week: A blue cardigan I crocheted!

French Friday #38: Ruby slippers

In preparation for our move to France in 2003, I did a little clothes shopping to class up my wardrobe. Even though France is no longer the world power it used to be and some would argue that Paris is not even the fashion capital of the world anymore, there’s no denying that the concept of French style still holds a certain cachet. And, let’s face it, everyday American style post-1964 is awfully sloppy. The last thing I wanted to do was look like an American tourist for three years. It’s that whole “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The Parisians appreciate some effort, too.

If you’ve read French Friday #33, you’ll remember that all those new clothes didn’t show up for six weeks, so I did look like an American tourist for awhile. But once I had the opportunity to begin dressing “more French,” I noticed that something was off. I had missed a key component that I hadn’t even been aware of before. French women, regardless of age or formality of dress, have an affinity for red shoes. Powder blue was a close second. It didn’t matter what color the rest of the outfit was, in Paris, red shoes go with anything. At first, I thought it was kind of funny, but I began to warm to the idea of the red shoe. Why not have a little fun? Why not tell the world, “I am so confident in the rest of my look, that I can put on these red shoes and not even care.” Sounded good to me. Not having the occasion to wear pumps that often at that time in my life, I opted for the red sneaker, which was perfectly acceptable.

Ok, so this is in Spain, but goes to show I wore them everywhere.
On top of a fortress with Baby Rana in Valencia.

I wore those sneakers into the ground. By the time I threw them away several years later, there was no tread left on the soles, the red was scuffed off the toes, and the soles were peeling off from the shoes themselves. It was kind of sad to let them go. By that time, we were back in the States where white sneakers reign supreme and most women would never consider wearing something as attention-getting as red shoes. After all, if you don’t do it right, you could be flirting with “street walker” rather than “fashionista.” Nevertheless, I made a little vow to myself to always own at least one pair of red shoes from then on. Just another way to keep a little bit of France with me.

My current red shoes (wearing them right now!) which are comfy and look fun, but don't bother buying a pair -- they're falling apart after just a few months. Lame. Looks like I'm in the market for another pair of red shoes!