Monthly archives of “May 2011

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rock the rework: kids bookcase

we have had our first rock the rework submission!

beth is a nurse and super creative mommy of 2 who has a similar love for all things vintage and second hand. everytime i go to her house i see something new that i love. she not only has a good eye for great finds, she has such a creative way of using them. for example, her vintage butcher’s weighing scales is her fruit bowl. so cool. i must get a pic for you guys.

reuben and savannah’s bookcase is no exception.

I love my kids book case as it simply consists of a favourite
second-hand vintage trunk atop my husbands little cupboard from when
he was a boy.

we love it too beth!

i would love to see how you guys have done up old things or, as beth has done, just got creative about how to use something old in a new way!

don’t forget to send your subscriptions to: stayingawakeblog@gmail.com with the subject as, ROCK THE REWORK SUBMISSION, and include, 1) a before and after photo, 2) a small description of your inspiration for the idea and 3) a little how to, just in case someone wants to try it out for themselves.

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one man’s trash is another man’s treasure

(super cute print by ashley g)

i am well aware that (my new) old thing did not happen this past sunday!! apologies, apologies. truth be told, i have been so focused on packing and sorting for our upcoming house move that i completely forgot about it.

i have actually been doing the ‘other side’ of thrifting the past few weeks. to date, i think we have given over 5 bags of clothes and housewares to charity shops throughout bedford. today, i am going to take a car load of old papers and bits and bobs to the recycling centre and then, this weekend, i will drop even more unwanted housewares at emmaus village in carlton.

(digression: emmaus village is freaking awesome. i love it there. they are a homeless charity offering active support to formerly homeless people by providing real workable alternatives to homelessness. to read more about them click here!)

the sorting is so unbelievably cathartic. there was so much stuff in my house that i either did not use, did not fit, or i did not want anymore. it’s so funny isn’t it? in our consumer culture, we amass all this stuff. and then we get rid of it a few weeks, months, years later. usually because it isn’t ‘cool’ or ‘in’ anymore, or we just got bored with it.

it can be incredibly wasteful but (and this may be controversial) i do not think that i can live completely counter-cultural. it is not practical. i live here, i must contribute in some way and i will not be able to relate to any of my friends/neighbors if i don’t.

however, i had a great idea, that was spawned off of my love for old finds. i might not be able to live completely counter-consumer culture. but i can consume responsibly and respectfully! like, instead of just throwing  out all my old stuff that i don’t want anymore. i can freecycle it, or ebay it, or give it to a charity shop. this is not careless, it is reusing, usually benefitting the people in your area, or a worthy charity. it takes a bit more time and organisation, but the benefits are worth it! likewise, when we want new things, instead of just going to the shop and buying it new, why not check on ebay, freecycle or the charity shop first? again, it takes a bit more time and organisation, but we will be reusing, instead of creating more demand for production AND it’s usually a lot cheaper!

check out one of my favourite blogs, great smitten, for some fab ideas on how to get started with the art of ‘thrifting’!

another idea i had, that i want to teach my kids, is that i do not want to just amass a lot of stuff. fair enough, if i want a new dress, and i can afford it, great. but i probably have lots of great dresses already. so i am bringing in a ‘one in, one out’ policy for myself and the kids. if we want a new toy or new item of clothing, that is fine. it is one of the benefits of our culture. but out of respect for the rest of the world, who doesn’t have that luxury, and to not be wasteful, we will get rid of one thing too. i don’t know about you, but that feels awesome to me. i am not living with a mentality that all consumption is bad, because it’s not. but i am also not being careless and unaware of the rest of the world and the effect that consumption/production has on the environment.

i go to emmaus village and other charity/thrift stores all the time and find ‘treasures’ that i find fun enough to blog about. but someone threw them out. i would love to spur on a movement of people who realise that their trash might be material for someone else’s blog post. we can reduce landfills and support charities like emmaus village that are doing a world of good.