The 365 day Handcrafted & Thrifty Challenge

When I read this post last Saturday on Little Jenny Wren's blog, I just knew I wanted to do this.  It all started with a girl called Tif, and her own personal challenge of 'surviving', not buying anything new for herself or her home for 365 days....Her delightful blog is called Dottie Angel, and you if will, pop over and see how many others have now taken up a 'Challenge of the Utmost Kind'.

On a personal level, I am so excited, invigorated, and enthused by this idea...I mean I think I really need it! It sounds easy really, because I love op-shopping, and I had a really 'good find' week last week....see photos on this post.
Seriously though, after 365 days, if and when some item of an electrical nature breaks down, or I just get swept away by the sheer joy of an item that is classified 'new' or 'mass-manufactured', what will I do?   Will I last the distance?...only time will tell.

Vintage patterns

So to make this a realistic option, there are some wise exceptions I must apply;  (it's ok, it's within the rules!)
This challenge is a personal one, so here are my listed exclusions:

Undies, socks, shoes - (I cannot, and have never been able to 'thrift' shoes for my size 9 cloppers!)

My children, and hubbie.

Gifts to me - I'm not going to offend anyone because they don't buy me a handcrafted or thrifted gift!

Gifts to others - mmm....I will sincerely try and endeavour to buy handmade gifts, but due to the nature of variety of gifts needing to be purchased over 365 days for a variety of people, I can't promise this one.

Business, fabric, thread, ink for computer, etc etc...

Scrapbooking supplies - I have a good supply, enough probably to last me 1 year, however I may need a tape runner refill now and then!

Magazine allowance - 1 per month, (pinched that one from Little Jenny Wren!) - don't think I could possibly survive the for books, well I already subscribe 'heavily' to our brilliant library system in Tasmania.

An assortment of placemats

So today, Monday the 28th of September, 2009, I shall begin.
For a whole year.

Vintage embroidered linen

Think about it, when we buy new clothes, there is always an ethical and eco dilemma.  Did you know that clothing sales have increased by 60 per cent in the last 10 years?  Cheap fashion means disposable fashion, and encourages more consumption.  Not good for our planet, or our hip pocket.   
Last year, I tried to buy our son a new doona, (he needed a bigger one!), upon discovering the built in obsolesence that manufacturers are now designing in doonas - (they can't be re-filled), I decided to resurrect an old one at a local business that rejuvinates old doonas. They topped it up with fresh down, cleaned the casing, and it came back like new!

A 'bundle' of embroidery thread, including an old spool, found in a plastic bag. 

Despite my op-shop hobby, and love for vintage, I will try to not buy for the sake of buying, and therefore feeding consumerism.

Each and every week I will post a photo of a personal handcrafted or thrifted find.

This is as much to keep me focused, and to provide inspiration.
(That means 52 handscrafted or thrifted photos in a that too much for a blog?!!), and given that this challenge has only just begun, the next few months may be 'purchases' that I have already in my home.
Wish me luck!
Have a think about it, and I would love to hear from you if you have decided to take up the challenge!
And don't forget to tell Dottie Angel too!


  1. Welcome to the challenge. It's great to have two Tassie girls having a go. Lucky you are down south though or we might find ourselves fighting over something at the op shop!!!

  2. hurrah!!! great to read your post... i wish you lots of luck with your challenge. i am quite sure you willl be most fabby at it :)
    thanks for joining in...
    Tif x

  3. Sounds great Lu! I have a few friends that have been doing this for a while and they are doing really well. I thinks its a fab idea, and saves our planet from unwanted garbage and yukky landfill. Well done! x

  4. Wow! I'm in awe of your commitment. I'm a afriad I am a consumer, although I try to buy organic, recyclables etc. Hmmm,,,maybe I could set myself a mini challenge...start small. I'll give it some thought an get back to you. Thanks again for setting an inspiration example!

  5. Jenny:- would be great if we could rally more Tassie lasses, & yes..I can just see it...a fight over an oven-mitt! (I really need one right now!)
    Tif:- thanks for your encouragement, and your idea!
    Berrylicious Buttons:- sounds like your friends are doing great...good on them!
    Rosie:- you never know, you may surprise yourself!'s great that you are thinking about it, but just do whatever you can anyway, it's really about awareness, and learning from that... I'm sure it's going to be bumpy, interesting ride!

  6. Awesome! We wish you luck! Be strong, and creative!

  7. Hi there I'm in the challenge too just thought I'd pop in and say hi. I look forward to seeing all of your handcrafted items.

  8. Welcome. You will do great. You have that knack for thrift looking at those lovely photos!

  9. Thanks -

    Your encouragement is all I need.


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