Potential Has a Shelf Life

Margaret Atwood wrote that “potential has a shelf life.” In this case, sometimes potential lives on a shelf.

This trip home has included lot of visits to second hand stores and consignment shops. How many is a lot? Nine, so far. We’re looking for a wingback chair for my little brother’s new apartment and are failing miserably.

Luckily, thrift stores in Ohio are full of all kinds of stuff just waiting to be put to good use. Unlike second hand stores in New York that have either been pillaged by other crafty types or experienced hipster-induced inflation thanks to the demand of mason jars and vintage suits, the Goodwills and Treasure Barns here are ripe for the picking.

I found three yards of beautiful, soft fabric for $1, the kind of hanging fruit basket I’ve been looking for for ages for $2, and some pretty tile for $2. Midwest, have I told you lately that I love you?

Before we get to the good stuff, let me set the scene: yesterday, my mama and I headed to my favorite-named Cincinnati consignment shop: The Snooty Fox. First I found this little nugget of humor lurking in a corner.

jew organizer

Unfortunately, they were out of Muslim, Christian, and Hindu organizers

Then I spotted this gorgeous fabric. It had been made into a fairly ugly house dress but it was $8 and I thought I might be able to transform it into something nicer.

dress before

I took the seam ripper to it to remove the buttons and elastic from the waist, removed the sleeves, changed the collar into a high, tight V that can be worn open or buttoned up, cut a slit down the front, and added ties to make it a wrap dress.


It took about three hours and now I’ve got a dress made perfectly to fit me.


3 thoughts on “Potential Has a Shelf Life

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