Saturday, May 16, 2015

Follow Me! Shop at the Dumpster! 6WS

Well, shopping at the dumpster is a metaphor for acquiring, bartering and otherwise becoming the custodian of, items that improve your life and the life of the person who shed them!

To wit: my living room, which is almost exclusively equipped with freecycle gifts, dumpster finds, larcenous cuttings to make wonderful houseplants, rescues, handmade items (Jean, see the tissue box on the table, the one I learned on before making yours)  and one or two actual purchases. And that's only one room.  Much more elsewhere.

The main furniture pieces sofabed and loveseat, were bought secondhand thirty years ago, and are covered in various fabrics and rugs depending on the season and mood.  The loveseat also has a stack of blankets and rugs under the cushions to store them and make it softer to sit on.  And it's been passed around father to mom to son to mom over the years depending on who needs it.

The current covering of all the big pieces is various parts of a complete bedding set, new in package, from a friend who couldn't use it. I like the shabby chic effect!

 The pillows I knitted from freecycled novelty yarn, or made from linen napkins from Target, which I stuffed with less good looking pillows. The crocheted items on various tables are rescued and are beautiful handmade artworks from two generations ago, after the family had taken all they could use and needed a good home for the rest.

The coffee table, a mission oak style beauty, with two drawers and porcelain knobs, was found in a parking lot after somebody moved out and jettisoned a lot of items.  

The recliner in the corner was the gift of a friend, fourth hand, for my napping comfort when I was taking care of Handsome Partner in his last couple of years.  It's my birdwatching and breakfast and meditation corner.

The begonias, two of them sharing a pot, are fifteen years old and grown from cuttings taken from a friend's house.  It sits on a little table from the dumpster, artfully covered in a Greek embroidered cloth, gift of a friend as she downsized before moving. A lot of my plants are from cuttings or starts which I took from other plants, often in return for looking after the parent plant over the summer.

All the furniture you see on the patio, Adirondack chairs and pool loungers, came at no cost other than getting them here, one from an entire set being thrown away at a nearby development as they overhauled their pool area, the chairs from a deceased friend's porch since it was easier to get them here than anywhere else. All the outdoor furniture is considered community property -- if there's a party at my friend's next door, he knows to come borrow if he needs any.

And so it goes.  I give a lot, too, it's a two way street.  But, aside from fitting my very modest budget, it's also  a lot more fun than just shopping for new items.

The art is all mine, that big paper piece over the recliner the first big piece I ever made in that medium and exhibited.  At the time I had very limited artmaking space -- a galley kitchen, to be exact -- so I made it modular style and assembled it.  It has a whole array of techniques, since it was for a final exam in the papermaking course I was taking at the time, and worked out quite well.

This living room would not pass the Better Homes sniff test, but it is definitely the Suits Me living room.


  1. I love your style, in every meaning of the word. Your home is so cozy. And I agree that I find shopping at the thrift store so much more appealing than at the mall.

  2. Lovely story of how everything came together. It looks very cosy.


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