Monday, September 21

41 and 'a okay'...

never have i been so excited for my birthday for the longest time...
i felt an air of 'surprise' around the shed on saturday, plans afoot, little whispered conversations and knowing looks...
i went to bed with strict instructions not to set my alarm and not to get up for little olive...
apparently all was in hand.


i awoke to a chorus of "happy birthday" and a cup of tea in bed... a luxury that has not been mine for a long time and one that was so very welcome.
on my arrival downstairs i found a table laid with breakfast and then it was out the door to Freemont sunday market for a rummage...
the day past pleasantly and relaxingly... one cannot ask for more than that.

i shall divulge a little more upon my birthday later in the week but for today i wish to focus on my challenge...
let me assure you dearsest readers, this will not be all i talk about for the coming 365 days but i feel it important to perhaps answer a few questions just so it is clear what my year ahead is about...

Kari kindly asked me last week about a few thoughts and has mentioned it upon her blog and i felt it best to share it here as well...
so, if you are sitting most comfortably i shall reveal my telling Q&A

How did you come up with the idea for the challenge?
it just popped into my head a few weeks back when i was thinking about how i enjoy thrifting and i love handcrafted. i began to wonder if i could carry that through 100% into my everyday life... i do not particularly enjoy high street shopping although saying that, i have a soft spot for Anthropologie and NOA NOA which is going to make this challenge a little heart wrenching.
but mainly i get my 'shopping fix' from secondhand buys and items that have been handcrafted.
however, i do see this maybe a challenge when it concerns everyday requirements and not just the lovely 'pretty' things i seem to drag home from the thrift store. (actually i have to say that's not completely true, quite often they aren't that pretty but what they have is potential, and quite honestly that is the best one can ask for from a thrifty find.)
i'm actually rather excited to see in a year's time just how much the way i shop has changed and evolved... i always have in my ear "is it a need or a want?" when i am out in the shops and if i'm totally honest with myself, 9 times out of 10 it is probably a "want" and that is very telling in it's self.

So in the home, are we basically talking about everything, besides food/groceries here?
absolutely, that is the plan. i have chosen to NOT buy anything unless it is handcrafted or secondhand, not just the decor stuff but the nitty gritty stuff as well... now, technically my man hasn't taken the challenge, therefore if my washing machine broke i would have two options

1. buy a reconditioned one or
2. he could buy a new one, but i would not be allowed to touch it for as long as my challenge remains! i like the second option myself...

joking aside, i do have a large family and a washing machine is a necessary item, if my machine did break and i needed to replace it, i'm not going to make life miserable for myself. if i have to buy one, i have to buy one... this is really a challenge to see how little one can do without buying new.

Is there anything in the home or closet not included in the challenge?
undies, tights and gifts given to me... of course now i'm fretting about other things like yarn.

You’ve mentioned that you have already thought about some of the problems that may come up along the way, what have you thought of?
the only thing that i have 'Nagging Mr Doubt' going off in my ear about is appliances and electronics, pretty much anything else i don't seem to think will be a problem. when i tire of my clothing then i shall get creative with the help of Miss Ethel, my trusty sewing machine or i shall peruse the aisles of the thrift store.
and of course there is always the wonderful world of Etsy for handcrafted goodness when it comes to just about anything.

Will you involve your children in this challenge?
this challenge is for myself, i have not included my children in this. although my eldest daughter does a fabulous job at finding clothes from the thrift store. that being said if they need a piece of furniture for their bedrooms, it will be found secondhand... pretty much most things will, with the exception of some clothing.
i think i'll dip my feet in, try it myself and if after a year, realize it's the only way to go, then perhaps i will encourage them to join me on my journey through a thrifted, handcrafted lifestyle.

How can others get involved in the challenge?
if anyone reading this fancies joining in, it's quite simply a matter of choosing to only buy handcrafted or secondhand for your home and your closet for one year. all you have to do is pick a day that works for you to start and then go for it. anyone wishing to join in is most welcome to add my 'challenge of the utmost kind' button to their blog and link it to me so others can find out information if they wish.
be sure to let me know, so in return i can add you to my 'challengers' link list... i hope that all makes sense!!
it's also important for anyone wishing to 'have a go' to know it's okay to exclude 'things' from the challenge, just like me and my undies :)
i also want to make it quite clear, this is suppose to be fun, a way to get creative within the home and to perhaps focus on something positive. it doesn't matter if you stumble along the way... it's more about learning from the experience and growing with it. and perhaps looking back after a year and being rather proud of supporting handcrafters and the efforts made of 're-using' items that still have plenty of life left in them.

there we have it... i hope it clears up a few question marks out there and just one last thing before i head off, i have become a 'twitterer'...


i can't believe i have, i never thought i would see the day... i have no knowledge of this 'twittering lark' and yet i find myself 'twittering' (or 'tweeting' as my children corrected me... see i've already got that bit wrong) to cover the next 365 thrifty, crafty days.
so with the encouragement of my man, my children and kelsey (our #2's friend, who is very 'twitter' aware from where i am standing), i have further dipped my toes into yet another 'unknown', but i have high hopes of 'bluffing' my way through as usual.

she is off to paint a sidetable and locate her florence nightingale hat as 'cold' season is upon us and 'one fly' aka 'her #4', has already dropped ~ Tif

24 comments:

Francesca said...

oh god tif, if i start to tweet (i am a member, just never used it) i will never ever get anything done. but what's new? see you there! so looking forward to following you on your challenge. i think it's very inspiring. x

Pomona said...

I think your challenge is a fantastic one - I, too, have been trying to operate like this for some time, but think it will make a difference to be really explicit. Up until now I have also added ethical - so for eg underwear you could buy from an ethical supplier (like Gossypium or People Tree). And for food I avoid supermarkets - different things are possible for different people, but I think it is really valuable to think it all through, and really work out how to tread lightly. For yarn you could choose small scale suppliers or producers, maybe using local (ish) fibres?

I have lots to think about - especially as we need to improve our kitchen, and can't really afford the local, handmade designers. But I will definitely take this pledge - watch my space! Thank you for taking such a public stand, and encouraging us all!

Pomona x

willywagtail said...

I'm only hoping you won't have to reuse thread. Think of all the patient unpicking just to get enough to make something. LOL Of course people in the depression did this. Good on you and all the best. I am sure you can do it. With the exception of white goods and undies of course. Cherrie

Lola Nova said...

So glad you had a swell day.
You could ask for yarn from Santa this christmas time, and tights. I always ask for tights and stripey socks. Brave girl you, leaping onto the twitter train! I haven't the foggiest when it comes to that.
Best of luck.

Floss said...

Hi Tif - Happy Birthday! I found your blog and your challenge a few hours ago via Denise at I Choose Yellow. I'm finding your challenge absolutely fascinating, partly because it mirrors how we already live, and partly because it truly would be a challenge to stick to it without those little 'blips' we all have on the highstreet...

Our computer is on its last legs (well, on a few of them - some of them have already crumpled) and we are pricing up the green alternative provided by our village computer bods and the mainstream 'complete replacement' option. And so on it goes... I am going to reflect carefully on the challenge - thanks for setting it, and for going for it yourself! If I go for it, I'll be sure to get back to you. You're on my reading list now, so I'll see how you're getting on.

From Floss in France, only 9 months younger than you!

dottie angel said...

lovely to have you join us pomona... i can see you will be a true inspiration to us all...
and yes i had already begun to think about the handcrafted undies, having seen them many times on etsy :)
i really do believe i am already begining to see things from a different perspective and it's only day 2...

thanking you all kindly for the words of support... you truly are helping me to make changes in my life and i'm really warmed by your words of encouragement :)

Tif x

Jenny said...

Hi Tif, you don't know me, I think I found your blog through the Granny Chic group on Flickr.I have just turned the big 5-0 so I am a little further down the track than you. The thing is, this challenge of yours is starting to haunt me and I think I will have to join in. I will keep thinking about it for today and get back to you with my decision - I think it will be great fun and force all sorts of creativity and inventiveness.

best wishes
Jenny

Toni Brockliss said...

Tif I am in!
You are one inspiring lady and I very keen.
I added your button to my blog and added my own clauses...:)
I'm Toni from little suitcase
x

dottie angel said...

toni, so happy to have you along for the ride, i'm coming on over to check out your post :)

jenny, i would love to have you join us, glad you are having a good long think about it and perhaps it's interesting how this little challenge is haunting your thoughts. that is what happened to me... once my little brain conjured up the thought i couldn't let it drop :)

Elle said...

Hi Tif! I think you're going to end up inspiring me to join in on the Challenge as well! I just need to ponder the exceptions part, but as soon as I figure it out, my blog will be proudly wearing your button.

xox
Elle

ps Etsy's a great source for handmade fibers!!! Perhaps working out a trade with someone who's got a ridiculously large yarn stash would work too.

Jennifer Hutchings said...

Tif, you always inspire and challenge me to rise to your example! If I could come up with just half the energy, creativity and passion for living that you demonstrate on a daily basis I'd be thrilled.

I've been completely and totally stuck in my life and on my blog for some time now. I'm sold on your challenge and KNOW it can be done - and I know that one of the best ways to get unstuck is to get back to basics...

So count me in, please! I'm off to post the challenge and button on my blog - YAY!

A Bun Can Dance said...

Hello Tif (41 just)
Thank you for your lovely supportive comment over on my Yellow blog. Isn't it exciting to see so many people seriously considering taking part in the challenge? You have inspired us all! Thank you so much - you are a star!
Happy days to you
Denise (nearly half way to 90)

Leahdis said...

Hey Tif, Happy Birthday, I think like everyone else who has commented that I will either join or attampt to give it ago...Im loving the sound of it, but the reality of it may be quite another thing. lol. Cheers for putting it out there.

Qalballah said...

Happy Birthday! I've started the challenge too and want to blog about the reasons why I took it on too. A good start to a new season!

xx

Kaylovesvintage said...

I have also seen some amazing etsy undies .
I don''t buy any new goodies for my
house, my only problem would be books & mags....

caramela said...

Happy Birthday to you!
Fascinating challenge, I have also been doing quite a lot of that for the last couple of months- maybe I will make it official and join in too! I have to think about it-good luck with it all anyway-
Annamaria :)

Geek+Nerd said...

I love the idea of this challenge. I pretty much live this way already. My house is like a second-hand wonderland. LOL - now THAT's a great blog name! Maybe I should change my blog's name, ha...I digress. Best of luck to you on your challenge, and I hope you have a lovely 41st year. I'll be following along!

melissadc76 said...

Tif, yarn is so easy to find in thrift shops and yard sales. (I found to huge SPOOLS of red and white wool yarn for $2 each at a yard sale) You should be fine with that if you can hunt for it and have a little luck.

makingthemostofbeingathome said...

I would love to join this challenge if thats okay? I am about to blog about it now with my 'rules'

Laura

dottie angel said...

laura, welcome aboard... looking forward to reading your post and having you join us on our 'crafty, thrifty' journey :)

Julie quilts said...

Hi Tif.
Ok, after as much serious thought as I can muster, I intend to put my hand up for this wonderful cause. I have started my list of exceptions and will be honest to myself in all my purchases (if any at all....)
Please count me in...
Julie in Geraldton

spotted dog farm said...

hi dottie, i'm inspired by your challenge and have begun, but with many more exceptions than may be virtuous. i'm also newly-turned 41 and feeling good about taking this on!

juanitatortilla said...

I came here by way of Sarah's blog (Red Gingham). I would love to be part of this challenge, seeing how thrift-shopping and buying secondhand is quite the only shopping I like best. Things here in Z├╝rich are exorbitant! Just about everything I possess are secondhand, or handmade (by myself), except for English books though. That might be a little problem, but I'll see what I can manage. Thanks for the inspiration!
-Juanita

NoodleBubble said...

Very Best of Luck with your Challenge - If only more people in todays disposable society would make an effort like this!

Another treasure trove for Handmade Bits is Folksy.com!

Kisses
X