Tearing up the town

Gail and I have torn up Tucson, eating all of the tacos and Garden rolls and plundering at least half of the thrift shops.

Garden Roll
A Garden Roll from Sushi Garden, as eaten by Betcey Ventrella

I love thrifting with Gail, because she has magical skilz, and cashmere, silk and linen simply appear for her, materializing on the racks. My wardrobe was in sorry shape after a giant purge in Fall and the loss of my duffle bag from the airport conveyor belt. I had almost no warm shirts left, I couldn’t find a sweater. I’m in fine shape now.

Last year, I made a vow to try to buy all of my clothes (but not my underclothes) used. I read a depressing article about how new clothes are made and about the giant glut of cheap clothes that are thrown away, given away, made in sweat shops… and I thought, you know, I can just opt out of the cycle. It takes more work, but I end up in far better sartorial shape, and all for a song. I can dress my children beautifully as well. Evan has a knockout vintage Brooks Brothers camel-hair blazer in moss green with a soft gold Chinese silk lining; I think it was $4. It takes time, though, and not everyone enjoys the hunt like we do.

Personally, I love the feeling of walking into a thrift store and knowing that whatever I find will be affordable. Nothing is out of bounds.

Cthulhu Trilobite
A very Cthulhu-ish trilobyte, seen at one of the shows.

I managed a great day of catch-up yesterday, and all of my calendars are shipped, and my database is whipped into shape. Happily, the press run included a few extras, and I have a whole box of calendars left- for each one sold from that box I’ll give away another book. I really like the loop on that one. Making the calendars is a pain in the butt, and a not-for-profit endeavor, but I love love love having them when it’s done.

This evening, Gail heads home and I have just a few days to soak up the Tucson warmth, and then I’m headed home to St. Louis for weeks and weeks. Aside from simply missing my people, I want to help Liam get his portfolio in better order and a painting studio set up.

Random Liam sketches

portrait sketches, Liam McKinnon

Liam doesn’t like sketchbooks (he’s a leftie, and they just bug him) and so most of his work arrives home folded, stained or torn, and always on loose pieces of paper. This one was folded over in his backpack, and Bill sent me a bad flash picture of it last night. Even so. It’s lovely. I want to get them all photographed, and put away neatly.

5 thoughts on “Tearing up the town

  1. Fab! I love Liam’s skill and his wonderful flowing talent on any clear papery surface it would seem. Good for him. Thrift shops are the best. I have had similar feelings for clothes and accessories, making and upcycling are going to be part of my life this year (and many more I hope).
    Might see you in St Louis!

  2. Hi, Kate,
    I also love to shop thrift stores but I’m one of those who rarely finds a real bargain – at least for myself. A non-profit where I work part time is doing its part to up-cycle used clothing – please give them a look at http://reloom.org/. It’s a great concept and they do beautiful work.
    As for Liam and sketchbooks – why doesn’t he just turn it upside down or use a top bound pad? Both my brother and sister are lefties so I understand the annoyance. Such talent! I’m green with envy – I have a smattering of drawing ability but absolutely none when it comes to faces or figures!

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