Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day and Thrifting

Earth day is a perfect day for thrifting. You can bring that which you find no longer useful and find something you do. Most thrift stores support charities and without over emphasizing the psychological effect of supporting such causes, feeling good about making a small difference for someone less fortunate can certainly make it easier for us to take on more ways of making a difference in the world. If you are reducing stuff to make a donation you will be reducing the clutter that I believe is at least partially responsible for our desire to buy so much more than we need. It is also possible that lightening the burden felt by the recipients of the charity will also give them enough breathing space to think beyond survival and maybe what they can do for the world. I know that I could be accused of being terribly idealistic but changing our consuming habits and how we regard those facing tough times is something that if done on an individual basis will make a huge difference collectively and it is fairly easy to do.
When I started thrifting, I started to see that there are always many cookbooks available. Of course there are hundreds of cookbooks published every year so that number is not surprising. The books that have interested me most have been those from my childhood or earlier. Nostalgia accounts for some of that fascination as does the design aesthetic from an earlier time. Ultimately it is the content of these books which I find most useful. The recipes presented tend to be tasty, efficient and frugal and easily suited to a family. I do consider myself a "Foodie" and enjoy experimenting with new cuisines but I find that quite a few of today's cookbooks do not offer families enough favourite meals. I do cook from scratch yet
it is not realistic for me to spend hours in the kitchen just to keep the meals interesting. I would guess that many families used to eating out or relying on convenience foods would not know where to start if they chose to change that habit. I find that vintage cookbooks offer a great resource for building a families weekly menu. The Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook pictured above offers fairly easy variations on this idea and the McCall's Cookie Booklet is a quite complete cookie primer. It is also charming with its feature of the doll Betsy McCall baking as featured in Jane's Apron The tablecloth was also scored the same day and I believe that it is from the late 1950' or early 60's. I remember similar patterns on wall paper in kitchens and restaurants. There are a few stains which I am not sure that I will be able to remove so it may end up as an apron.

I also found some vintage gift wrap and gift cards. If presentation of gifts is part of the overall appeal, I definitely have recipients who will welcome something wrapped in one of these.

I can't visit a thrift store without looking for sewing and craft supplies and did not leave empty-handed on this day. I don't crochet, so maybe I am getting ready for a give away. The embroidery kit is a crewel work kit of a Trillium, Ontario's Provincial flower.

I was planning to do a re purposing project with some of the contents of this laundry basket. It is full of pyjamas, t-shirts and corduroy pants that have holes or tears that cannot be repaired. When I actually get to it I will be making throws for the kids using fabric from the garments. It is a variation of the idea of using baby clothes to do the same. My youngest is very concerned about being environmentally aware and is very excited about this project. Think about the little ways we can make changes every day.

1 comment:

littlelovelies said...

hello jenifir...

i feel the same way about thrift shops.. in fact i visited 2 today.... i can't leave without a good old rummage through the buttons, sheets & pillowcases...

the blue stuffie in my photo is a recycled scarf that i got in a thrift shop last winter...

p.s. did you get my message last week about the giveaway? You were one of the lucky winners... so all i need you to do is send me your full name & address to my email-

x nadine
little lovelies