Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My Make Do And Mend: Halfway Through!

If you've been reading this blog for a while now, you should probably known about Jen. Jen decided to buy nothing brand new for one whole year from September 2012 and in the thrifty spirit called it her Make Do And Mend Year. She has come on in leaps and bounds since she started and has had a fair amount of attention for this brave journey, recently her blog reached over 200 followers and she's been on BBC Radio multiple times updating the public on her mission. But we've missed her at The Vintage Fair, so it's time for an update, over to Jen!


Hello again Vintage lovers!

It’s been a little while since I last updated you, BUT the big news is I am HALFWAY through My Make Do and Mend Year-my year of buying nothing new! That’s right, 6 months have passed, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to take stock and document what I have learned so far. So here is my Top 10 Things I Have Learned about Buying Nothing New (so far...!)

1.        It will change your life! In a good way. Just by stopping and thinking a little bit about other alternatives to new before you rush out and buy something, can make a HUGE difference, not just to your life, but also in the grander scheme of things (I'm talking saving the planet here people-it's BIG stuff!). A little bit of Make Do and Mend can help to #make it better. Just think if we all did it-even just a bit!
2.        More often than not, you don't really NEED the thing you want. I'm not suggesting we should all go around depriving ourselves of the nice, pretty things in life, but if you are going to have to make it, or mend it, or really hunt for it, it kind of helps you clarify what you really need!
3.        Mending things gives a great sense of achievement! You are all no doubt bored by now, of my tales of patching, but it is so satisfying mending something so it can live to fight another day, rather than just chucking it out, and buying a new one. I think our washing basket is testament to this!
4.        You can never have too many glues...Hubby has a stock pile of many different sorts. I have no idea what they are all for, but apparently they are all Very Important. Oh, and get yourself some Sugru.
5.        There are lots of websites now dedicated to giving away stuff-that's right-stuff for free!! Check it out. It is also a great way of 're-homing' stuff you don't want or need anymore-allowing you the self-satisfied glow that it has gone to someone who really needs/wants it AND you've saved it from landfill. Give and Take days, or Swap Shops also seem to be springing up more and more, and are a great, interactive version of the online sites.
6.        There are lots of alternative shopping experiences to be had. As well as the obvious ones like car boots and charity shops, there are flea markets, which are awesome. I used to be scared of antiques shops, and some of them are they very up-market ones, but most are a bit like organised junk shops, so don't be afraid to go in for a rummage! Also, give your local auction house a go. We have one near us, that has an auction every 2 weeks, and you can leave a bid on paper, so you don't actually have to be there in person. And I love, love, LOVE all the vintage markets that there are now as none of it is new!

The Shoreditch Vintage Fair

7.        Beware the bargain!! I bought some slippers for SmallSmall from the charity shop that fell apart, and also some wool that was in skeins and I ended up in a huge tangle with it. Sometimes there is a reason things are in the charity shop!
8. Buying things on E-bay is hard (also be careful, as there is so much new stuff on there now), as until you get it, you don't really know what you are getting.
9.       Plan ahead-things like family birthdays and Christmas are easy to plan for, as you know they are coming up and they are generally at the same time each year..! My top tip for Christmas is to start in June.... Also, if you know you are going to need something at some point, like we need some wellies in the next size up for BigSmall, then keep your eye out before you actually need them, and snap them up if you see some!
10. Think outside the box-sometimes you just have to be a little bit creative. For example-making an egg box Christmas tree..! Another example I was really chuffed with was my mother in law's birthday present-meals for the freezer might not be everyone's present of choice but she was delighted.

So there you have it. I was initially worried I wouldn't be able to come up with ten things, but actually I had many more.
If you haven’t been following, and the references to washing baskets and egg box Christmas trees have passed you by, then stop by and check it all out, at www.mymakedoandmendyear.wordpress.com! And you can follow me on Twitter: @makeandmendyear

Thanks for reading.
Jen x

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