I’ve never done this kind of post before, but I thought it would be fun for people to just ask me anything on my Thrift Diving Facebook, and then I would do a post and answer them!
I was up for anything, from personal questions, to questions about my thrift diving obsession–really, anything.
You guys tell me about your life via email….your thrift projects…..your thrift obsessions……how awesome your significant others are…..and I love hearing about it! Makes you all “real,” so I don’t feel like I’m posting into some black abyss. LOL And now I’m hoping these posts get some more convo started. So leave a comment below, tell me about “YOU” and ask me any more questions you want me to answer, and let’s keep the “let’s-get-to-know-each-other” party going!
(Oh, and here’s something most of you haven’t seen: 25 things I bet you didn’t know about Serena…)
Okay, on to the questions!
Q: Facebook friend, Johanne Fraser, confessed that thrifting has become an obsession. She wanted to know where I draw the line. Oh, well, Johanne, join the thrift obsessed club! My garage is my “triage” area, where it usually sits for months on end before I decide what I’m going to do with it. This is how horrendously packed my garage was just recently:
It was getting out of control! I have to draw the line when:
a) hubby can’t reach the lawn mover
b) I have to suck in my gut to squeeze through
c) If I feel uneasy during the purchase; if the little voice in my head says, “Now, Serena, you know you already have so much furniture already…when will you have TIME for this? What will HUBBY say?”
d) If I have to “sneak” something in so that hubby doesn’t say anything or notice!
Any one of these things, means I have gone TOO FAR, and then I will step back and try to get projects done before I start bringing more stuff in! LOL
Q: Facebook friend Lindsay Donaghe wanted to know if I ever justify a “splurge” when I find something I know I’ll never see again for a price a could afford, but not necessarily at a thrifty price.
A: DEFINITELY! In fact, recently I just wrote a blog post about spluring, wondering if it’s ever OK to splurge. And you’ll be shocked to know that I just splurged on a $260 on a designer dress that I fell in LOVE with at Nordstrom’s! Wait, what?? Yes, $260, and that was the SALES PRICE, because it retails for $448!
How it happened was that my BFF (who LOVES name-brands, but only shops the sales racks) and I went makeup shopping at Nordstrom’s ( I love Bobby Brown lipglosses!). We decided to stop by the clothing racks just to “browse.” For the fun of it, I gathered up some expensive dresses to try on just to see how I look in expensive clothing (haha), and I picked up this Rachel Roy dress. I loved how it looked on the rack! And I loved how sexy and feminine it looked.
OH. MY. GOD. It fit like a glove. As if it were made for me! And I wanted it! But there was no way I would pay $448 for it. My friend said to wait until it went on sale. Even on sale, I never expected pay that kind of money for one piece of clothing! But I couldn’t stop thinking of how much I loved it. It went on sale a few weeks later, and I just happened to notice they had only two sizes left–one one of them was my size 10! I asked hubby to buy it for me, not thinking he actually would, but surprisingly, he said YES.
Do I regret it? NOT ONE BIT. I’m planning to wear it to a family wedding in a couple months. Totally justified–and satisfied! Will I buy expensive again? Maybe. Once you do something once, you’ve just set a precedent. But you’ll never stop seeing me scouring the racks at the thrift store, looking for the next greatest, affordable thing, either!
Q: Charlotte Gregory Holland asked suuuuch a great question. She wanted to know “what specifically have you done FOR your husband to show him that your thriftiness benefits HIM? Is there one (or more) specific items or projects that you have thriftily undertaken that HE loves for HIMSELF?”
A: Wow…..I’m ashamed to admit, nothing, really. He’s never expressed interested in wanting “this” done or “that” done. If you’re a reader of this blog for any time, you know that hubby sometimes complains about my thrift obsession, although I have to admit he’s not complained as much lately! I read this question to him last night, and he pointed out that I did buy buy him this amazing wooden chest from the thrift store once that he loves and keeps his “treasures” in (but that was a year ago!!!). I offered to paint it and make it look awesome, but he preferred the plain wood.
Thanks to Charlotte, I asked him last night if there’s anything specifically he would like me to work on for him, and he said the BACK YARD…maybe start some outdoor projects to pretty up that horribly landscaped space…? DONE. Thanks, Charlotte, for pointing out my selfish ways!! 🙂 Gotta keep the Mr. happy (although he surely doesn’t look happy here, does he? LOL) 🙂
Yep, that’s The Appiahs! We’ll be celebrating 18 years together this summer (married for 8)….hard to believe, man!
Q: SIGH……if only I am selling my pieces, but I haven’t really started yet. I’ve sold a few unfinished pieces through Craigslist–things that I decided I wasn’t going to have the time to refinish. I’ve even listed a couple refnished pieces on Craiglist, but people on there can be very flaky and not-follow through, or try to low-ball you. I’m about to start looking into more promising, professional places to sell, like flea markets, and developing a separate site dedicated to selling my things. Personally, however, I don’t have a favorite color to paint furniture. I like each piece to be unique and stand on its own! 🙂 I get bored easily if I keep using the same colors!
Lindsay asked, “When you refinish something to sell, do you err on the side of conservative for colors and such or do you go with what your personality and color preferences.”
Again, I don’t really sell yet, but to answer her question, I’ve found that the more I refinish, the more bold I am becoming….the more colorful….the more expressive of my own true personality and not necessarily what other people will love or what will “sell.” I try to stay true to my own creative inspiration as I am working on a piece, letting it guide me, instead of outside influences.
A: Oh…ha! They’re usually scattered all over the floor! What “storage” I do have are those large Rubbermain plastic bins. But they don’t have lids. They’re brimming over with toys that my kids don’t play with anymore that I really need to get rid of. There’s nothing PRETTY or ORGANIZED about the way I store toys! I’ve got a big bucket in each room: 1) the reading room, 2) the family room, 3) the master bedroom, and 4) the kids’ closet. It’s not a fancy set up at all! One day when I get organized, I will make it look pretty. Oh, now as for LEGOS…..I had found an awesome $10 Lego storage table at the thrift store for the boys’ room (that has a car track on top), and that’s where I store all their Legos, most of which also came from (you guessed it)–the thrift store!
Oh, and I also try to store some of their toys in the reading room (a.k.a. my former “formal” living room), in wicker baskets underneath a bench I had found at an estate sale. It’s a neat way to keep stuff out of sight! I’ll take pics of it later! I haven’t gotten to making over that bench yet, though.
A: Rule #1: USE GOOD PAINT! I personally love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. In fact, I have every single color of her paints in my cabinet (*gulp* expensive!!). Once it dries, and is waxed, it’s tough as nails! I painted my “dumpster desk” in Annie Sloan Duck Egg, with maybe 1-2 coats of wax. Can’t remember. And it’s where I sit every night after the kids go to bed, blogging and tinkering with my site. The only chipping I have noticed is a natural wearing down at the edge, where my wrists constantly rest. But I’m okay with that, because it will add to the “naturally distressed” look as time goes on.
Rule #2: Use at least 2 coats of wax or polyurethane. If something is going to get a lot of wear-and-tear, apply even more coats of wax or poly. The more coats, the more protected your finish will be.
Leave a comment below and answer the questions and let me know more about YOU.
Or, if you’d like, leave me another question below, and I will answer it ! 🙂