Friday, 19 December 2008

the last resort

I have been meaning to tell you about this for some time now, a couple of months to be precise. I actually thought that I had imagined ever mentioning it before.

So anyway, back in October I mentioned my stay at The Last Resort. It's my moniker for our time here in Seattle - not for Seattle itself, because it's a great place and I'm really enjoying living here. It refers to how fantastic the thrift shopping is here and that I am purchasing things new only as a last resort. Kind of like The Compact I suppose but my own rules.

Upon arriving in Seattle we had to furnish an entire home and as far as I was concerned (and certainly from a financial standpoint) second-hand was the only way to go. Almost everything in our house comes from either the thrift store, a garage sale or from Craig's List.

And please don't feel sorry for us - we're quite happy with our Villeroy and Boch porcelain, our crystal champagne flutes, baby bear loves her vast quantities of Lego and I'm wearing a cashmere cardigan as a dressing gown. I'm also delighted with the hand-made patchwork quilts that we have warming up our living room (who gives these things away??), the needlepoint cushion covers and vintage Fisher-Price toys.

Eventually, The Last Resort becomes like a game, a daily challenge, a point of pride to find it second-hand instead. In many ways it has also been a release from the mill of mainstream commercialism. I can wander around a shopping centre now, curious and looking out for inspiration, but completely freed from any intention or impulse to buy.

It's also about 'buying local' in the sense of taking what is available and deciding that is what you want to wear/decorate with/make something with, rather than shopping around endlessly for the perfect X, whatever it may be. I must also acknowledge that this is something that is made possible by the array of goods that are available at Seattle thrift stores in the first place, things that were purchased, used and then donated to them.

Want to come and stay?


nikkishell said...

I'd LOVE to!!!! I'm on my way :)

Chara Michele said...

Seriously, I think you need to take me thrift shopping with you! :)

goodkarma said...

Amelia, I'm just discovering your blog and really enjoying your posts about reuse/recycle for craft and for your home. I loved visiting your house and meeting your family. We were all instantly comfortable there! See you soon! xoxo