Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Wardrobe Refashion Pledge

The Pledge

I, Cydney, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate & recycle pre-loved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I passed the CDs exam!

The letter came in the mail Saturday afternoon. It was not exactly good for my study habits, with the next exam on Monday at 3, but it was a relief. I finished the Pre-Design exam with an hour to spare. Now I'm on to studying for LEED, although my birthday is tomorrow and the week will be full of interruptions and other (more interesting) pursuits.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The garden!

We have a forecast of 90+ for the next couple of days, yesterday was at least 86. The dogs had me up before the alarm this morning and I'm using it to my advantage to get the rest of the veggie seedlings (I picked up last weekend at the Farmer's Market) planted. This photo is from a few weeks ago, so will act as a fairly recent 'before.' The sod is also fairly new and the patio is like our second child (after Girl Dog but before Boy Dog) and still isn't quite finished. I'll update with more photos later!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back to the 'to do' list

My last item on the 2009 list was to "Make or at least modify my own clothing using my new sewing machine and some creative flair."

I've been acquiring 'handy' skills since graduating from architecture school, mostly to fill the time. I'm not sure anyone who didn't go to design school would understand the sudden vacuum that is actual free time. Since graduating and buying our house a year later, DH and I have learned about plumbing and electrical wiring, plaster and laying tile. We've learned about natural pest control and attracting beneficial insects to our garden. We've learned how to compost. DH has learned to weld and operate amateur radio. I've learned yoga, knitting, crochet and how to bake a mean cheesecake. We learned how to train dogs and make their food from scratch. Yes, we're those people.

So the next logical step in my skill evolution is 'for real' sewing. I've always been willing to do slight modifications and repairs, plus I have a weird shape that sometimes requires what good old Target just can't provide. I've never torn anything apart to put it back together. I never knew how to sew because I never took home economics. For whatever reason I didn't have to and, although I learned hand sewing from my grandmother, I never thought to ask to learn to use her machine. I don't think she used it for more than minor things, though, because she quilted and cooked and gardened. I'm sure I'll repeat this often, because she is in my thoughts daily, but she was pretty awesome.

So the real urge to sew came about partly because I'd see handmade clothing on etsy and think, "that is super cool and why can't I do that myself?" I'm never sure if that's a tacky thing to think or if it is just part of being creative. It isn't like I am tearing stuff apart in a 'I can do it better' way, just... well, I could totally do it myself.

I've been shopping at consignment and thrift stores for a while now, since we luckily have a couple of good ones in walking distance of my office and it is way more fun than Target, which is my other inexpensive clothing option. My storage space is minimal, so I have plenty of reasons *not* to buy, but it is tough with clothes. They don't take up *that* much room and, well, they're just fun. Especially when they're original (or handmade or vintage) and only cost $10. Our money situation has me looking at it in a different light, though, now. I feel like more of anything is unnecessary unless I need to actually replace something. If I accomplish nothing else, I feel like sewing is a way to give not-so-gently used things a second chance at a life other than as a cleaning rag.

I'm still in the process of setting up my sewing space in the second bedroom. DH helped me rearrange things and it is "cozy", but I think it will work. I've been too busy to sew much lately, but I did help Allison modify a thrifted top and I have a couple of dress projects for my best friend's little girl, so I'm excited.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh! and the etsy shop!

Last summer Brother K suggested we start an etsy shop, offering some things from our different creative outlets. We set it up and it... sat... for a while. We finally got a much-needed nudge to list some items when my friend and coworker expressed interest in selling some of her jewelry creations there. I invited her to join us and now we have a lot of interesting stuff for sale.

Check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yeah, so, been kinda busy...

Last I posted it was the end of the year, almost Christmas, and I had lots of fun ideas for the new year. I had a big work deadline mid-January and, after that, my plan was to live it up and get stuff done. We are definitely working on some of those items, but I guess you could say we had a monkey wrench thrown into the general works...

The day after my work deadline, my darling husband was laid off from his job. It was not a total surprise, as the firm had already had three rounds since summer of 2008. Basically, every two months they'd look at the numbers and realize it just wasn't working. I, personally feel like a lot of the money-saving measures were too little, too late, but hopefully everybody learns from these experiences.

So, what do we do when we go from two salaries to one? We make do and mend and all that fun stuff our grandparents taught us! We did the math and realized that we could make it by on my salary... not 'well' but well enough. We also met our goal of setting aside an emergency fund, which is happily earning interest in a high-interest savings account. The interest rate has dropped significantly since it started out, but it is still better than most CDs, and it is available. I take a calculator with me to the grocery store on most of my weekly trips now. I've always taken my lunch to work, at least most days, and DH has attempted to cut back his soda consumption. We make a mean jug of sweet tea! It gets a little tricky, as he has high metabolism and munches even more now out of sheer boredom. He *is* getting lots of projects done around the house and yard, though. We're re-glazing and painting windows, working on the garage and we re-graded the back yard and put down (free!) sod. The garden is coming along nicely, too.

I've taken one ARE exam and have another scheduled for April 27. My next big project deadline is the 24th, so I'll have the weekend to cram! There will be some more work and travel for this project and then DH and I are both taking the LEED exam on May 11. Oh, and my birthday is April 29!