Thursday, September 23


Just got back from a lovely weekend with far-away family. My Cousin Geoff married a wonderful girl, Jess that I have known and loved for years, and then the family was gathered round for food and fellowship. And was there ever food!
I think I ate seven meals on Sunday.

Here's me and my cousin Hannah during a break in the eating. Note that we both wear groovy glasses.
It was a fun trip, but it was extra fun because it had been so long since We (Adam and I ) had seen everyone on my dad's side. Almost eight years.
While we were there I was delighted to discover in how many ways I am like this distant family. My tastes in food aside, I inherited lots of little quirks that I never knew were genetic. Like Grandpap, I putter. Puttering is making little things all the time, fingers always wanting to be working. He made stained glass lamps and furniture and jewelry and now it's fountain pens- he restores them. I also putter.
I got my sense of style from my aunt Ilona. She's quirky and vintage and so am I. I also appear to have inherited a tendency to drag young people together and make them talk to each other. I knew I got match-making from my mom's side, but it's now clear that I got a double-dose genetically. If you're single, look out. I'll set you up, plan your wedding, and dress you in something vintage. I can't help it, I was born that way.
Like my Aunt Suzy, I make stuff. I'm always wanting to learn something new and make it. This includes sewing, cooking and other crafts, although I fear I did not inherit her patience, and will never be good at knitting anything.
My cousins, at least the ones my age, share a love of good music on records, British comedy, and Science fiction.
But mostly I find I am like my Grandma. Both my grandmas and my mother like to feed people. But my Grandma and I like to feed people non-stop. She stayed up all night making cabbage rolls, then put half a cheese in my suitcase. She sews things for herself to wear, and has a love of fine fabrics. She is constantly telling her family how to do things. She is inspired by music and curious about the Spirit.
And she is loud. At my sister's wedding four years ago, I commented to her that she and I had the same taste in fabrics, to which she responded, "You know what else we have in common? We both tend to talk a little too high and a little too loud." And when every second person in a house full of people has hearing aids, no one minds. Nobody told me to be quieter all weekend.
My grandparents are also notorious for giving away stuff. Not only are they generous, they, especially Grandpap, are flea-market junkies. They love to find treasures, and they love to pass them on. Perhaps here is the real truth of where my love for thrifting originated. Inspired by my Grandparents, nurtured by my Parents, by the time I was full-grown the outcome was inevitable. I love finding second-hand, vintage, antique, and special old stuff. And I want to share that love with everyone, because- let's face it- I can't buy all this cool stuff myself. 

Monday, September 6


So I realized this lovely labor-day morning that I have never posted about accessories. This is a travesty, because at least half of my jewelry, belts and scarves come to me second-hand.
But not my shoes. As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I have large and freakishly thin feet. Apparently, If there are any other 9 1/2 narrows out there, they like me hoard their shoes and wear them until they are unacceptably ratty and beyond donating to anywhere. For The Other Elisabeth's wedding, I could not find shoes. At all. The dress (which I tried to post on Friday, but was prevented from by Blogger's stupidity. Some other time.) was a perfect shade of purple, and therefore it did not match my black shoes or my leather shoes or my copper shoes or my silver shoes. It didn't even match my Yellow shoes! So At the Last Minute the night before I got a brainwave. While I had momentarily contemplated going to the wedding barefoot, I instead grabbed a pair of lime-green canvas kitten heels from the 'donate' bag. My reasoning went like this: Lots of people dye shoes for weddings. They only match one dress and are generally worn only one time. Then the dyed shoes end up at the thrift store, all turquoise and shiny and barely worn. So if strange color dyed shoes are acceptable at weddings, why not unusual color painted shoes? I therefore proceeded to get out my paint box and carefully apply purple acrylic to those lime green shoes. I even used gradation.They matched perfectly. They were awesome. Awe. Some.
Later, both the little plasticky heels broke off and were lost somewhere, so I used epoxy putty and black paint to give them new heels, and I wore them to church. Still awesome.
However, you do not have to be crafty like me to make good use of old accessories. Belts, scarves, jewlry, all can be given new life.
In fact, my cousin's wedding is coming up, and I have decided to wear my smashing vintage turquoise dress. I was going to look for a new dress, but this one is already perfect. And the fun thing about it is, I can accessorize however I want. Shall I wear a cardigan or a silk wrap? Yellow pearls or Turquoise squash-blossoms? Hair up with a jeweled clip, or down with recycled silk flowers? In fact, I can pack it all and decide the day of if I want to because accessories are small and they all fit together in one little pouch in my suitcase!
All I know for sure is that her colors are blue with yellow, so I can wear my yellow shoes.
What are your favorite recycled accessories?