use it up,
wear it out,
make it do,
or do without.
For much of my life, this has been the theme. Buying new was the lesser choice when there was a thrift store, and repurposing or reusing was more highly esteemed than spending hard-earned cash. Garage sale-ing was an event! Even my little brother, according to my mom's anecdote, wouldn't wear the new clothes that Nanny bought for him because, "these can't be mine;" he was used to our brother's broken-in hand-me-downs.This attitude has come in handy in these first four years of my married life, as we have very little in the way of extra pennies.
I've come to love thrifting, creating-from-thrifted-stuff, plain-old-creating, and finding new uses for stuff. For instance, there's a cotton tablecloth covering a mismatched armchair, rather than me paying close to $90 for a new slipcover. There's my full-length mirror that my parents found at a garage sale, whose adjustable angle is held in place by a ribbon tied across the bottom of the oval frame. (you can see that ingenuity in the picture below) There's a ribbon tied to my pull-on overhead light fixture so that I can reach it. There's a clip-on desk lamp above my apartment kitchen sink instead of built-in under-cabinet lighting. I'm currently using a couple of picnic baskets, one on top of the other (neither of them new), to make a night stand for my side of the bed. So many of my clothes are second hand that it feels special, even extravagant, to buy something brand-new. I love vintage dishes, for more reasons than just because they can be less expensive to buy.
Not that I don't recognize quality, or want really nice things. I treasure the beautiful jewelry from my grandmother, the china I got for wedding presents, and my J. Crew jeans (second hand, of course). It would be awesome to have under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, matching new furniture that's my style, and all of the latest fashionable clothing. It would be really convenient to have a light switch for that pull-on light by my dresser.
But that's not where we are right now. Right now, we find the best things we can at the best prices we can - even if it's not the most convenient. We wait for the right thing to come at the right price, sometimes to my husband's chagrin. Sometimes he does want me to just buy it new. :o)
All of this to say: I've done it again!
Back in May, at the end-of-year community free swap, I got a really soft J. Crew t-shirt in a men's size medium, much like this one. It's a nice, light blue color, with a couple of stains - a bleach stain on the v-neck, and a small stain on the shoulder. I was pretty sure hubby wouldn't want it, so tonight, I cut it up...
...and now, it's an XS flutter-sleeve maternity shirt! Hooray!