Posts Tagged 'Salvation Army'

Green Makes My Life Complicated: Pants Edition

I’ve discussed finding pants on this blog before, but I feel it needs to be addressed again in light of my recent failures at clothing myself adequately.

I took a Wardrobe Refashion pledge at some point (actually my six months is probably up by now, but I’m still doing it) wherein I don’t buy new everyday clothing, but instead buy second-hand or make my own clothing.  And since I remain a sewing machine failure, I’ve been getting everything at the SA.  And I’ve been doing pretty well finding stuff I like, for everything but pantsing applications.

The usual sizing issues in woman’s clothing apply at the Salvation Army, but they are multiplied fifty-fold by the random selection at the store, and the fact that my typical size range is pretty typical, so the pickings are slim (literally) toward the end of the day.  What it comes down to is, for the last six months, the only pair of jeans I had was over a size too large for me in all directions.  Would have fit great with a second pair of pants underneath, but not so much alone.  Especially since I don’t have a belt.

Yeah, I fail pretty hard at clothing sometimes.

Point is, I looked for jeans at the SA three times with no success.  Absolutely nothing in my size, nothing that came anywhere close to fitting.  But last week, I hit the jackpot.  Or rather, I found one pair of jeans that fits (rather nicely, thanks!).  And then the top button fell off when I was trying them on.

I sewed on another one- can’t pass up mostly-decent denim- but what this boils down to, is applying green scruples to my pants-buying only frustrates me,  wastes time, and makes my everyday existance awkward and droopy.  To the point where I might need to consider going to real stores for jeans.  *gasp*.

Pants Thrift

After some quality time at the Salvation Army on Little River Monday, I finally have pants.  It is a glorious feeling.

new pants

I also found a sweater that is covered with alpaca, and also probably made from alpaca.

alpaca sweater

I will wear it and dream of the day I have my own alpaca farm.

I also found: some stripy shirts appropriate for impending spring; a green fleece for me with elastic cuffs to keep me warm on the bike; a thin black fleece for V (he’s really into layering); an orange sweater that I might wear, or maybe it will fit V, or I will make it into something else; a couple of skirts; and a large green thing that might be a dress.  Not pictured are a necklace for me and one for a friend.  Big album of all this is here.

purple and green skirtsgreen dressstripy shirtsorange sweaterblack and green fleece

Progress: Traveling, Cleaning Out

I got a passport in January.  Really, personal friends, I did, remember how I’ve been planning to do that for two years, and how I promise to do it every three months ‘for real this time’?  I did it, and I have the paperwork to show for it, and in three weeks I can hop on a plane going anywhere in the world and SPEW CARBON ALL OVER YOU MUAHAHAHAHA.

I am conflicted about that.  I am certain that I want to get out and see the world, and I’m certain that, for my time and resources, airplanes are the most practical methods of transport to a bunch of places, but I’m also certain that airplane rides spew a bunch more greenhouse gases than I’d otherwise be comfy using.

Now, I don’t travel for business (not for lack of wanting, I’m just in the wrong business right now).  And I’m not wealthy, just very ok, so I can’t afford to jet about more than once or twice a year.  I certainly have other spending priorities that will limit my self-financed travels.  I’m not going to be spending all my weekends in Puerto Rico or anything like that.  But V and I want to go visit his family in Norway, and I’d like to go to a friend’s wedding in Oregon, and I didn’t spend 7 years studying Russia with the intention of never visiting there again.  Plus how else will I explore Byzantium, and meet Czech poets, and I want to smell India, and after we visit the Norwegian family we’ll have to visit the Colombian family, and Brazil always sounded nice, and so on.  Oh, then I want to learn to fly myself, because I want to be a pilot even more than I want to ride a motorcycle, and I think if I promise to give up the latter my loved ones will be so grateful I’m not going to kill myself that they’ll support the pilot’s license whole-heartedly.  See, I’ve got dreams.

I should feel guilty about this.  No Impact Man and his commenters certainly have a lot to say about limiting plane trips, and I respect their opinions.  One plane ride is a year of driving, carbon emissions are more harmful higher up in the atmosphere, if everybody in the world flew places we’d be living in The Day After Tomorrow, considering doing that much planet damage just to make yourself happy means you’re a bad environmentalist, etc.  And carbon offsets don’t count.

I dig that.  That’s fine.  But it doesn’t make me think only ever going as far as my hybrid can take me ever is a viable solution.   Flying is occasionally the only way for me to get places I want to go, and until there’s a better way, that’s the one I’ll use.  All that remains is trying to compensate somewhere else for those carbon emissions, and in the interests of that, I’m gonna look into offset or carbon reduction products later, and bike to work now.

As for the cleaning out, both my closet and V’s closet look totally awesome now, and the Salvation Army and Goodwill have many new wares to sell.  I’ll think of a new monthly thing in the next few days.

Have a good Monday!

Post-Exam Thrift

Who knew that the SA on Little River was open until 9pm?  Not me.  But it’s the last time I’ll be over that way for a while, so I took the chance to look through again on my way home from my final exam.

green flower thinglotus blouseplaid dressgreen silk

As you see:  A gigantic, broken blouse, $4.  Perhaps it will become a skirt.  A top with lotuses on it, $4.  Very, very plaid dress, $5.  It has pockets!  Green silk classy thing, probably a bit too large, $7.  In case I have to do anything classy this summer.

Fare well, Little River SA, until next semester.

Celebratory Thrift

cotton print wrap skirtcotton print skirtpurple skirtpink skirt

grey blousesleeve pocketwhite blouseblue shirt for MYMblue guayabera

I did pretty well on my Construction Management exam today, and rewarded myself afterwards with thrifting. (If I’d done poorly, I would have consoled myself with thrifting. So’s we’re clear.) It’s getting hotter out, and I need skirts and short sleeve blouses. Thus:

Cotton wrap skirt with colorful print (detail shown), $4. I’ll need to pin it closed- it’s basically just a big bit of cloth with a waist tie. But it’s wonderful, and has pictures of five kinds of animal and two different people on it. Shapeless, huge purple skirt, $5. It’s a very light, swishy fabric, so I’ll take it in and make a proper waist band instead of the elastic mess. Pink Linen skirt, $7. Extravagance! Grey blouse, $4. Soft and light, plus a functional sleeve pocket. For…what? I might get the urge to add something to the bottom hem, but it will work nicely as-is. White cotton blouse with blue and purple threads, $4. Has some small stains, which will hopefully wash out. Navy and white plaid button-down for my darling guy, $4. Oddly dirty, so half of it is darker because I was soaking it. Needs a good washing. Former owner had a dog and some fine white powder? A blue-green guayabera with white embroidery for my ookle dumpling, $5. Guayaberas are so snazzy. Even when they’re made in Korea, and a have a little frayed seam. The latter, I can fix, and the former, I can ignore.

About half of the stuff I find at the Salvation Army is something that needs to be resized, or sewed on to make it truly cool. I’ve been getting ideas and inspiration from the newest link, Wardrobe Refashion– a group blog of people who challenge themselves to buy nothing new, and remake old and used stuff into awesome other stuff. Goodness, my project plans just keep piling up.

Also, I need to suggest to the Salvation Army-Little River people that they not staple price tags tot he clothes, especially in collars and other places where holes are noticeable.

Update: an album.

Four Bucks for Cashmere?

At the 4 dollar sweaterSalvation Army, yes. I found this sweater there this afternoon while I was dropping off a load of unnecessary apartment stuff, and had to share. So classy and soft, and if the price and quality won’t convince you to browse your local second hand shop, nothing will. Finding something at a thrift store is way more exciting than finding something at a normal retailer- the element of surprise, the thrill of the chase, etc. Less chance of getting a winner, true- I saw plenty of ugly sweaters made with gorgeous yarn, so maybe next time I’ll try out this advice on recycling sweaters I found through another blog (which I’ll link soon, they’re nifty).

After that ecofriendly success, I balanced my day by getting caught in a rainstorm on my walk home from work, while carrying my bag of groceries. Fortunately it was the perfect warm evening and light rain, and I only stepped in the big puddle and soaked my socks a few hundred yards from my door. But it was a good reminder that practical hippies should carry umbrellas.

Progress: Reduction and the Next Step

It would appear that moving is going to keep me from posting as often as I’d like for a few weeks, but there’s a progress report due.

Reducing is going slowly, but it’s still going. Last weekend I took my gigantic pile of random stuff to the Salvation Army, and since then I’ve gathered another pile of stuff. Progress, but not enough, plus I’ve still got caches in 3 or 4 corners. Fortunately, moving is going to force me to finish this all in the next few months. Besides the Salvation Army, anybody have any advice on places to donate things?

While I was cleaning out, I found my (plastic) bag of useless plastics from the Nov. goal. It was apparently stuffed in a box in a fit of guilt, and not discarded.  I finally tossed it- I didn’t get to the pillow stuffing idea, and I’ve made my peace with that.  “Reducing plastic intake” was another goal that didn’t go well- but I have made progress on it since I last reported, actually.  I’ve stopped getting plastic grocery bags almost entirely (maybe 2 in the last month?), I try to buy food and objects with no plastic or the smallest amount of plastic wrappings, and I’ve also given up the thinner plastic vegetable and fruit bags from the supermarket- I just put food in my basket loose now, and wash them at home.  They need a washing anyway.  Reassuring to find myself working on goals after the month is up, but still a long way to go on that one.

Next goal for the month will be composting. I’ve already fired up my unit, with the dirt and the brussels sprout leaves and baking soda and such. Ok, it’s not actually going to be composting, so much as figuring out how to compost successfully with the Naturemill Plus. Twice I’ve had to unplug my unit and leave it on the porch, because the smell is too much to handle. This is either because a) the unit is not as smell-isolated as it claims to be, or b) because I’m doing it wrong. I have a horrible feeling it’s the former (seriously, how could I be doing “put the food scraps in the top part” wrong?), but I need to dig out the instructions again and do some experimentation.

I would have included a picture of what the stuff looks like now for you as a special treat, but I checked and it looked pretty gross, so I’ll wait for a less gross, more successful dirt batch. The last porching of the composter was this morning, since I had invited my future housemates over for brunch and bonding and didn’t want to start our relationship with a noseful. I did show it to them, though, and waft a bit their way- none of them seemed overly concerned. Let’s see how they do when it’s in their kitchen…or, more likely, on their porch.


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