Thursdays Thought


The past week or so I have been involved in a clothes swap type group on Facebook. I was a bit unsure of how it would work, but I have always had a pile of clothes that I was uncertain as to what I should do with. In other words too good to donate. Selfish as that sounds I do give to charity shops in money, but I end up with a pile of new found items and treasures and this pushes me to clear out every few months.So I thought I would give it a go.

I always liked the idea of a clothes swap, because it seems like a great way to freshen up your wardrobe and recycle clothes that you don't wear often enough and would like to see being appreciated more. The rules for me personally need fine tuning. I encountered a few disputes over things. Mainly individual value of the items put on. Each to their on I guess. I think in my mind i was having to pay more postage to send clothes than what I was after in return would cost, not to forget the price I paid for the clothes when they were new. I think when it comes to small items they should be swapped for small items. And if your going to put items of great value on, be more clear about what you want in return. Or Ebay them. But by this time I was snowed under with parcels, I was getting a headache (and a cold evidently) and feared what cost the post would be, and i couldn't afford to risk it and had to take a time out.

From what I have swapped however, I am very pleased. I'm hoping the recipients think the same. I think that is another worry, that you let someone down. I washed all the clothes before I sent them, paranoid they would smell of something I couldnt trace in my nostrils. I think the greatest worry also is that what if the other person doesn't deliver. I've spoken to the ladies in my group and they all seem lovely and chatty and enthusiatic about the swaps. But at the back of my mind I'm thinking, 'I don't actually know you'. It's different with using Secure payment sites, because you know that if you dont deliver you'll get bad feedback and lose out on money. I guess it's just a risk you take. Another of life's wonderful experiences.

 I recon that only twenty years ago, certainly when i was five, people had a lot more trust in others. Paypal didn't exist. Internet was a thing of dreams. If you wanted something for nothing you had to do a good deed, i used to help out my Nana for my pocket money. Hand me downs were all too common as well. Even though I had a brother it didn't exempt me from this, (I claimed blue Thomas the tank engine trainers) kind of explains my tomboy ways. These days I feel like trust I so much harder to earn in people. I also think that some people don't like the idea of buying or receiving something that they don't know where it came from. Second hand phobia I have encountered all too often, it has been seen as scaffy or for poor people, but is completely trendy now days. In reality new clothes have been handled by god knows how many people before it reaches you. Tried on a few times And then hundreds of people buy the same thing as you. I'm addicted to the rummaging and glee of finding something amazing, that's what keeps me thrifting. I like clothes with personality, and guarantee that no-one else will be wearing the same thing as me.

{warning: first ever book review approaching}

There is always good people though, rare as it is. One lovely lady I often swap with, usually on a smaller scale, sent me a wonderful gift in return for clothes. A book. A colourful book of craft projects called the Crafty Minx by Kelly Doust. It was a wonderful surprise. Okay so she said she was sending me a craft book, but which one I didn't know. I didn't look at any reviews before looking at it, because basically I rarely believe the hype anyway. I had a good look through and thought I would share a mall review with you guys.

Firstly, I like the cover, they say never judge a book by it cover but I do. If it doesn't make me pick it up it ain't worth a read. The cover is simple and shows completed handmade items in their environment, in this case an eating area. The description on the back describes the book as aimed at 'non-crafters who are desperate to be more creative but don't know how'. From flicking through I can see that it is doing exactly that. With over 75 projects to choose from you will find something you want to make, even if the thought of needle and thread brings you out in a sweat.

I love the way the book has been laid out. From the well taken photos to the division of seasons. Projects divided into Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, what a genius idea. The instructions are short and easy to follow. It even provides shape guides at the back for when cutting materials. A few items definitely stand out for me. Things I maybe wouldn't have tried but like the look of. It's a good book to have in the collection. Something to take out and look through for inspiration.

One thing i would say about this book is that the author (who may or may not have wrote all of the words) starts to sound a bit like Martha Stewart after a while. Suggesting what colours I use for a more formal dinner party, or afternoon tea. I'm not sure where she lives in her head but a lot of crafters don't do afternoon tea, let alone dinner parties of formal nature, we aren't trying to be Margo from the Simple Life. Maybe you'll be lucky to find a biscuit at the back of the cupboard, but never adorned on a plate on top of specially co-ordinated napkins. 

I'm not going to knock this book too much though. As described, it is especially for 'non-crafters' it does exactly that, it's a book to get out when the kids are bored or you want to look for ideas. I would recommend it to anyone with the will to try anything crafty. Even those who just like looking at picture books (like me).