Every month I like to take a moment to give thanks to the people that make this blog successful and it’s called “Reader of the Month.”
Some people measure success by the number of page views a blog gets. And while that’s important, I also judge the success of this blog by the number of people who leave thoughtful, genuine comments.
It’s about the people who stick around and keep coming back again and again, sometimes for years!
I also judge the success of this blog by the loyal folks who actually take the time to read my posts.
They’re excruciatingly long, I’ll admit! HA!
But that’s because I have so much to say and so much for you to understand, and sometimes that can’t be conveyed in 500 words. LOL
My readers mean everything to me, so I think to take a moment to feature my favorite reader of the month!
This month I chose Zovesta because she has been a loyal reader for about a year. I have no idea where she found me, but I’m glad she did. She leaves such great comments on my posts and I always look forward to hearing from her!
Where Do You Live?
“I live out in the country in southern Iowa, where the nearest Walmart or Menards/Lowe’s/Home Depot is nearly an hour away and my closest neighbors are cornfields. Fortunately, we do have a small hardware store ten minutes away that I only discovered a few weeks ago!”
How long have you been thrift diving and loving junk? Share with us your earliest memories of thrift stores and how you learned to love them.
“Hmm, that’s hard. I’ve been shopping at thrift stores my whole life. We’ve never been a wealthy family, so all of our home furnishings and clothes have come from the ‘big name’ thrift stores: Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul mostly, as we all find Goodwill too expensive!
When I was maybe 11, we went to a local thrift store that was about as big as a large living room, painted a very dated warm tan, with dim lighting and narrow aisles you could barely squeeze through, and tall shelves stuffed with ceramic decorations. It had mostly knick knacks and old magazines (some dating from the 1940s and earlier). It’s since gone out of business, but I remember it having an almost dream-like quality. That was my first impression of a thrift store as a treasure trove rather than just another boring store, and I’ve been in love with all thrift stores since!”
What’s your most prized possession you ever bought from the thrift store?
“Heh, probably my ‘Star Trek’ dress, which is a sort of black minidress with a high collar and long, billowy, sheer sleeves. It looks just like something someone from the original Star Trek series would wear, hence why I started calling it that!
For furniture, though, I’m very fond of this 1960s dresser I found. I think it was 1964? I still have the original tag around someplace. I picked it out maybe 3 or more years ago and fell in love instantly. Although we saw a lot of other dressers at the thrift stores, this was the one I absolutely insisted on and wouldn’t budge. I don’t remember it costing a lot–maybe $40–and it was in great condition, a giant at about four feet across, with a sort of greige laminate all over it, and one stuck drawer. I ended up painting it and fixing the drawer, so now it serves as storage for my makeup, bathroom supplies, underwear, out of season clothes, etc.
What’s the most expensive thing you ever bought from the thrift store?
I’m pretty sure the aforementioned dresser was the only thing I’ve brought home from the thrift store that’s cost more than $30. 🙂
What’s the DIY or craft project of which you’re most proud?
“Depends. I did a down-to-the-studs remodel of my bedroom (which also served as the storage room), finishing up just earlier this year, which is easily the project I’ve been most proud of!
I ripped down the old, uninsulated plaster and lathe, put in new insulation, put up new drywall, insulated the pipes (the shower was sitting free right in my bedroom, a wall had never been put up to cover it, so I did!), put down a hardboard subfloor to help level the uneven floors, leveled my floor with concrete, cut plywood into planks and installed that as a floor, repaired my rotted windowsill and leaking window, installed trim, and then built a platform bed. 🙂
It was a pretty big project for someone who had never done anything more with a hammer than put up a picture!”
“But, if you mean an individual project… probably this little light I built. It’s one of the simplest things out there, nothing fancy, but I am very proud of it since I didn’t rely on any plans, I just saw a light I liked online and tried to build one like it. It’s not professional, and it’s not perfect, but I like it.”
Why do you like reading Thrift Diving and how long have you been reading? What are your favorite types of posts or projects on the blog?
“About a year, but I could be a bit off. I’ve been hooked on Thrift Diving ever since I started reading it! I love Serena’s enthusiasm and friendly tone that comes out in every post, and I love the dedication to making her blog quality. Most of all, I love how she shares what she learns and teaches new skills and tips all the time!
I follow a few dozen blogs, but skim through most of them because the content seems so fluffy and superficial–I always set aside time to read Thrift Diving because I know there will be content with substance!
I just finished a light remodel of the living room, and followed Serena’s tutorial on patching drywall to patch five large gaps. 🙂 I think my favorite posts are the reno [renovation] tutorials, but I’m really enjoying the woodworking series she’s doing now. I’ll eat up any post that’s about an ‘intimidating’ subject like plumbing, drywall, electrical, concrete, woodworking, power tools, etc!”
What other DIY blogs do you like to read? Are there other blogs that you love to read outside of the DIY niche?
“Like I said, I follow a few dozen blogs, but for most of the DIY ones I just skim and look at the pictures. The few I really set aside time to read are:
Outside of the DIY sphere, my favorite “blogs” are:
- The Economist (world economy)
- The Simple Dollar (personal finance)
- Journal of Accountancy News (changes in accounting standards)
- ScienceDaily (news in science, I especially like the astronomy section).”
What DIY or crafting tips do you have for others?
- “Three tips: There are few traits as self-destructive as impulsiveness. Instead of spending a weekend trying to fix a project you’re knee deep in, spend an hour learning what to do, how to do it exactly, and if it’s the best option available! You can never know too much.
- Second: Perfectionism will paralyze you. Just do your best and learn what you can from each project. Sometimes our best isn’t perfect, and that’s OK.
- And finally: Don’t get futzed up over details. It’s easy to see a plethora of gorgeous homes and fun crafts on Pinterest, to the point where you feel like every single thing in your home needs to be handcrafted to perfection, and every surface must be covered. Step back, look at your home, and squint your eyes. Focus on the big picture! You don’t need a mantle setting for each season, but you do need a solid roof, windows that aren’t rotted, insulated walls, doors that work, and some sort of flooring. If you’re worried about not having a handmade wreath while you ignore a faulty and dangerous outlet, you’re not prioritizing right. Sometimes you just need to live in your house and let it be a house, not a photo prop.”
Serena’s Thoughts on Zovesta….
Okay, I don’t know about you, but I’m blown away by Zovesta! The fact that she has never done any major DIY, but yet somehow taught herself how to gut her bedroom and turn it into a gorgeous, pink Retro room that makes my heart happy, is downright amazing! Hats off to you, Zovesta! Keep going, girl.
And her wise DIY advice about prioritizing what needs to be done in your home is sooooo true! I have been making this mistake myself. I’m pretty sure there are some bigger fish to fry in my home than what I have been working on. This might be a good topic for an upcoming post about figuring out what’s priority in your home. Thanks for that valuable advice, Zovesta!
I Sent Zovesta My Famous “Fred Sanford” Tee-Shirt!
For each reader that I feature, I like to send them a little “Thank You” gift for taking the time to give such thoughtful answers for their feature. I’m sending Zovesta one of my Thrift Diving “I Love Junk More Than Fred Sanford” tees! 🙂
If you’d like to pick up your own, you can click here to find your favorite size and color!
Catch Up on the Previous Readers of the Month!
Before you go, read another feature on some of the awesome readers of this blog!
Download the 5 freebies!
Thrift Diving inspires women to decorate, improve, and maintain their home themselves...using paint, power tools, and thrift stores! Use these 5 printables, checklists, and ebooks to get started!