Friday, June 24, 2011

Why Thrift?

    Why would I love to go to ratty old thrift shops, or paw through the stuff that other people didn't want on their front lawn?
    Why Thrift?
    My answer to that is simple, yet complicated. The simple answer is because it brings me joy. It brings me joy to hunt through the shop in search of that piece that will spark my interest and get my creative juices flowing. It brings me joy to take those pieces home and in some way transform them.
    The complicated answer is, well complicated. One part of it is that walking through a store and seeing pieces of other peoples' lives displayed trips my curiosity. It makes me wonder about them and what drew them to the objects in the first place. Why did someone own a green leather jewelry case and what did they keep in it?  Why would someone have 15 different cat mugs? What color wall would match fuchsia shelves?You can develop a very interesting view of humanity by looking at what they thought was too precious to throw away. Because that is in essence what you find in thrift shops and yard sales. The things that people couldn't stand to see thrown away but can no longer keep themselves. Sometimes they are things a relative has left them after passing, some times they are things that they need to get rid of to make room for new things to love, but no matter why they are giving these things up at some point someone cared enough about them to have kept them in their home and did not want to see them completely discarded. Which means when I go to pick them up and take them home I am taking on a bit of a trust, to take these things that someone cared about and make them into something that my family will make part of our home, and someday when we are done with them they will return to the thrift store for  someone else to find and make part of their home.
    Another part of it is being able to let my creativity run as wild as I want it to. Would I experiment and try gluing random things to a brand new item that I bought at a store?  No way. What if it didn't turn out? What if I ruined this item I just spent $10-15 on? I just wouldn't do it. I would keep my ideas bottled up and think about what I would do if I hadn't paid that much for the item. Buying items at thrift store and yard sale prices allows me to be as experimental and creative as I want with them without feeling guilty about spending some of my family's tight budget on a project that may not work out how I see it in my head (and trust me there are plenty of those, lol).
    And yet another part of it is my own sense of responsibility to Mother Earth (or Gaea, or whatever name you have for her). Everything that we as humans make or use comes in some way from her. It is either dug from her soil, cut while it is growing from her,  or taken from her seas or sky. No human made product is in reality a product of only ourselves. All of our creations are a product of her substance and our imagination. As we all know there is only so much of this that our Mother is going to be able to stand before too much damage is done. By finding these items and re using them I am, in a very small way, taking something out of the create and discard cycle that our society has created for itself. And I am honoring Mother Earth by not allowing the things we have taken from her to be discarded as worthless.
    So as I said, it's simple and it's complicated- but it's also a lot of fun!


  1. Trav, this is a super post, absolutely echoes my own sentiments...especially the thrill of the hunt! I see a yard sale sign and my stomach lurches! I have got to stop and see....!! You have expressed all of this to a Tee!!! Keep on thrifting and crafting and witching~!!

  2. Wonderful post!!! My thoughts exactly! I love the thrill of the hunt! The thrill of the find! And the thrill of knowing that I have saved an item (or two or three or four...)from a landfill somewhere. :0)

  3. I LOVE thrifting....especially when I'm looking for something special....the thrill of finding something that is just the perfect thing for whatever I'm trying to just can't beat it!


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