What is Divawear?
Divawear is clothing that makes you feel wonderful, special. It carries a certain flourish, a unique style. It is about combining styles and creating your own special image; a personal and unique signature. Most people don’t think about the fact that they are, indeed, telegraphing to everyone they meet who they are and what they think of themselves.
And, Divawear is fun! The great news for women is that we aren’t relegated to being monochromatic. We don’t have to dress in suits in varying shades black, grey or blue. We are peacocks! Celebrate it! Live it! Choose it!
I have been shopping with my girlfriends countless times. Invariably they will pull something off a rack, hold it up, and with complete conviction say, “Barb, this is so you.” What they are saying is that I have created my signature look, a style that represents me; my attitude and significance .
My Michigan Divafriends are glorious. . . they are very Diva, and have the zest for life that is magnetic.
The night before my wedding we decked ourselves out in our best Diva westernwear. Needless to say, they even outshined the bride.
This group of gals are spirited, talented and have hung together through twenty years of marriage, divorce, business startups and business failures…all of which cemented our friendships and fortified our personal mettle.
And, Divawear doesn’t have to cost a fortune. I was shopping at my favorite DAV store on a recent 99 cent day and ran across this fabulous 50’s coat. I snatched that baby up in a hurry, and just in time for the holidays. My husband took a picture of me before we went out. Hmmm….so glam.
My personal dress message announces, “I am wonderful. Come hang with me. Get to know me. I am fun. I am playful. I am successful. I am a Diva.
Another Titillating Episode of The Daring Divas
Once upon a time there were four daring Divas that took a trip into the wild and rugged mountains searching for the fountain of youth. With their wagon loaded with provisions and pulled by an eager team of oxen, the Divas journeyed deep into the steep and treacherous mountains taking great care not to spill one drop of their precious moonshine.
One morning the fantastic Diva team woke to find that they had been robbed of their oxen and provisions. Thankful that the barrels of moonshine where too heavy for the rogue bandits to move, the divas decided to have their breakfast feast straight from the kegs. After happily slurping their fill they made an incredibly lucent decision as to their unfortunate predicament.
Fortified by their bubbly brew, they set off on foot to catch the robbers. In a short while (imagine that) they came upon a quaint barn tucked in the folds of a mountain canyon.
Still giddy from their bubbly breakfast they peeked through the windows and saw one of the dastardly rogue robbers warming his extremities by the blazing hearth.
Apparently they had also surprised Christy, the proprietress of the quaint cabin, and were in the process of robbing her as well. Hmmm, the Daring Divas knew they needed to take actions…fast.
Sonia rushed into the cabin to find that two of the culprits were hastily and stealthily adding their email addresses to Sonia’s private and coveted Christmas party list.
After reflecting on their predicament for a few minutes, three of the fabulous foursome conferred in an upstairs bedroom. Oh Drats, what are Diva Girls to do?
Meanwhile, downstairs, Diva Barb was trying to make herself inconspicuous by hiding behind a wheelchair. Oh why had she worn such a bright top?
Despite the distractions, a solid plan was formed. Lauren would offer all her worldly possessions to the offending robbers in exchange for their freedom. Oh, and the return of their oxen and provisions.
Meanwhile, the other three would select a weapon, said rolling pins, from the fine selection that was spotted tucked in the corner of the well-stocked kitchen.
A brief but mighty scuffle ensued. Diva Kathleen even tried to make a break for the phone to call for backup. But, alas, the gallant Divas were outnumbered and lost their brave but destined battle.
The robbers, fortified by their win, told the devastated Divas that they could leave, on foot mind you, if they promised to hear no evil, see no evil or speak no evil.
Which to this day, the fabulous foursome have endeavored to uphold? Well, kinda . . . sorta. You know how girls are!
Stay tuned for the next titillating episode of The Daring Divas!
Most people get lured into the garage sale craze by stopping by a sale that enticed them into their tattered halls with the promise of forgotten treasures. And some, like me, found a lifelong passion hidden in the dark reassesses of someone else’s garage, or scattered in wonton display across their lawns.
Whatever first lured us into that introductory sale is probably lost on us as that event fades into the distant haze of thrift mania. The fact remains that once we have been bitten by the frugal bug, we join the ever-growing ranks of America’s thrift aficionados.
And, as we take ownership of our parsimonious passion it makes sense to organize our forays as we approach another weekend of bargains and haggling.
The Internet has become a great resource for finding and posting sales. Below are some of my favorite resources.
http://www.gsalr.com/ – Hands down, this site is my favorite. I can map out a whole morning of sales or post my own sale with the click of a button.
http://www.yardsaleAD.com – You will find this fairly easy to use. List your yard and tag sales, map them out, and even save your finds in their portfolio section. Also search using; Categories, Dates, Times, Description, and Radius from your home.
http://www.garagesaletime.com/ – Look for a garage sale near you, or post your FREE garage sale copy.
http://www.yardsalers.net/ – This site offers some great tips on garage sales and estate sales. And it leans toward reselling things on eBay.
http://www.WeekendTreasure.com – this site is free for those looking to find sales, but charges a fee for posting you own sale.
http://www.GarageSaleTracker.com – Post, sell and find yard sales on this online at this site.
http://www.AuctionBytes.com - This site is several things; an independent trade publication for about ecommerce and the online auction industry, and a do-it-yourself place to make your own Garage Sale signs that are large and colorful. There is a charge, but if you enter the coupon code “queen”, you get a $1 off.
Collections are more effectively displayed when grouped together and artfully arranged. These assortments of loved items can be displayed as the main focus of a room or tucked away and arranged in small, unusable spaces to create interest.
- In this picture a collection of pigs sleep continently in the window nook of a sunny kitchen, adding the owner’s lively humor to her home décor.
- Classic car prints, purchased at a garage sale in Michigan for three dollars apiece (sans frames) , capture the nostalgia of the twenties and thirties and the grandeur of the era when the automobile was king. The pictures set off a narrow area that is nestled behind a banister and previously only displayed the unsightly wall switches.
- Collections can even be a mismatched assortment of items in varying hues of a favored color. On this coffee table a collection of items use different shades of green as their common denominator.
Selling used goods from a driveway, a garage, a yard, or the interior of a home has been referred to as a garage sale, yard sale, or tag sale. Typically these events are held to get rid of unwanted household items with the secondary benefit of raising money.
I contend that every sale should be approached in the opposite way because people are usually motivated by positive results. Therefore creating abundance should be the primary goal. Along the way, the process can even be enjoyable, cathartic, or rejuvenating.
- The benefit to purging a home is often seen as much as it is felt. When a homeowner bites the bullet and does a thorough organization and purging of their things, magical things happen. Their home is organized, soothing space is created, and the overall feeling of orderliness takes over. The results are often tangible. A feeling of well being pervades the home, inviting inhabitants and visitors alike to a warm and inviting welcome.
- Setting up the sale should be viewed as a study in creativity. People like to shop, and tend to buy more items when they are surrounded with interesting items that are beautifully arranged. Take the time to arrange furniture in rooms, and make attractive table arrangements. The time spent doing this creative arranging is rewarded by a more profitable return for your time.
- The actual sale should be a festive, friendly occasion. Friends are a great help and often will bring their own things to sell at the sale. A community effort is a lot of fun. Helping hands reduce the burdens involved with running a sale alone and there are more people to assist customers and keep an eye on the merchandise.
The entire process from start to finish can be truly cathartic…and profitable.
Every woman needs a Diva Lair; a place that is liberating and individual, a haven where womanhood is celebrated and energies are renewed. A place that revives the reckless and carefree spirits of youth. This amazing breathing space offers a haven, a feminine sanctuary, that embraces and protects from the chaos outside . . . if only for awhile.
The actual size of the space is irrelevant. Some women etch their signatures throughout every facet of their homes; simple exquisite touches that delight the soul . . . when least expected. While others create a space, a nook, a room . . . that is wholly theirs.
In my mountain home I have created a “Diva Dressing Room.” It is exquisitely mine, and belies the rough beauty of mountain living. Its walls are carved out of a former bedroom, and they shelter my daywear, evening attire, bobbles, jewelry, and even a delicious dabbling of Sex in the City shoes.
In my beloved lair I surround myself with things of beauty, most of which have been collected over the years from consignment and thrift shops, garage, yard and tag sales. Every corner is filled with vintage clothes and perfume and a nostalgic assortment of effects reminiscent of bygone eras.
Excerpt from Barb’s soon to be released book;
From America’s Decorating Diva
Despite raving fans on both sides of the frugal fence, the popularity of thrift shopping, or thrifting as it is referred to by frugal aficionados, is soaring. With the downturn of the economy, shopping for used items has become the new black. Yes, it is in vogue . . . even chic. It is also undeniably green. No more trees cut down, sheep sheared, or plastic is manufactured. In addition, the concern over sweatshop employment has little to no justification when shopping for bargains in the thrifty aisles of this nation’s secondhand establishments.
Used treasures, despite where they are merchandised, fall under the general category known as thrift. However the shops that carry these secondhand goods are as diverse as they are numerous.
The adventurous throngs that shop for recycled bargains are divided into two categories; thrift store aficionados and the more discerning consignment and antique devotees. Bona fide consignment or antique buffs seldom venture into thrift shops and have little inclination to sift through stacks of secondhand effects to find their holy grails. By the same token, thrift shop groupies loathe the thought of paying the historically higher prices demanded at the more trendy consignment or antique shops.
The difference between these two thrift venues typically lie in the quality of merchandise found in each establishment. Both consignment shops and antique stores demand higher prices but their goods are generally superior in quality and their stores are typically merchandised beautifully.
Picture compliments of www.FunFindsAndDesigns.com
To repurpose means to use an object for something different from its original purpose. This creative process is not just rewarding, it is addictive.
When I am browsing through a thrift shop or scoping out a yard sale, everything I look at has endless possibilities. Some people refer to the process of looking at things differently as having an ‘eye’ for decorating. I simply call it creative adornment.
I’ve made candlesticks from the bases of lamps, wall hangings from table tops and table tops from wall hangings. I’ve covered interesting pictures with glass and used them as trays or vanity tops, and used architectural pieces, signs and windows in between pictures to make an interesting wall.
This wall assembly boasts two items that were repurposed and slipped into a picture arrangement; the shabby chic 1900’s church window hangs in good stead along with a coveted family heirloom…the original dressmaker’s shop sign that hung above my husband’s grandmother’s shop in Denver.
Individual expressions are as endless as they are personal. I might use a wonderful old porcelain basin or pitcher as a planter while a scarred and dented antique birdcage might find its way to my porch to hold an array of trailing vines and flowers. I have even cut a peeling garden post into varying sizes and grouped them together to form a table top arrangement topped with scented candles.
Thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales or tag sales are ripe with abundant possibilities and unique finds. Start examining them with a new eye.
In a friend’s home there is an amusing surprise at every turn. She loves to bring outdoor items inside. Here she uses a freshly painted metal awning as an architectural effect over an inside door. In addition, a bright checkerboard hangs as an object of interest on the wall next to the door.
And finally, one of my favorites, in Sonia’s guest bathroom, a rusted and peeling wrought iron fence was turned sideways and functions beautifully as a magazine rack…and conveniently sports a pair of reading glasses, a courtesy for the Baby Boomers.
Creative people have been repurposing for decades. I am often reminded of Scarlet O’Hara and her desperate attempts to repurpose an old set of curtains in the movie, Gone with the Wind. She stripped the windows of their coverings to make a new dress and hat so as to appear unaffected by the ravages of the Civil War.
Although I would not suggest that your curtains become your next holiday gown, I am suggesting that you keep your mind open to new possibilities, and perhaps scale new heights in Diva decorating.
It is fun and frugal to generate a new look from an old item. So if you are on a budget think about going green and repurposing all of the worn and weary items that are clogging up the beauty and individuality of your home.
Take a thoughtful walk around your home and think of ways to repurpose items that are worn or dated, or those things that you have simply grown tired of. Think, “How I can use this for purposes very different from its origin? Have fun. Get creative. Think outside the triangle!
Come on, Celebrities Holding Garage Sales?
And, here I thought that this Thrift Talk Diva had the corner on making good money with my fancy “Diva Sales.”
Whether their sales were held to make money or donate to their favorite charity, more and more stars are putting their used items up for sale. Yikes! Little did I know that I was going up against the likes of Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher and Pamela Anderson.
OK, so maybe I’ve been snookered and outclassed. I would imagine that my stuff is pretty paltry in comparison to their stuff. But, I still have a bit of a time wrapping my mind around celebrities hawking their junk just like the rest of us.
Well, why not? After all, I have yakked for years about the benefits of holding tag sales and purging homes of unwanted things. And I do love the thought of a good yearly cleanse, because it is the only purge that I know of that is capable of making a fast buck.
But I still find myself asking, “Why would outlandishly wealthy celebrities hold yard sales?”
So I’ve been doing a little bit of celebrity snooping, and, voila, I am now Diva Detective. I’ve found that most stars sell their items through auction houses, but a few actually worked their own sales right out on their very own driveways, albeit with professional agent assistance.
Some pocket the money but others donate their funds to charity. Scott Baio’s sale raised funds as well as awareness for mandatory newborn screening in all fifty states after his daughter tested positive for GA1, a metabolic disorder. Fortunately, she is fine, after it was discovered that her results were a false positive.
Teri Hatcher raised $20,000 for her favorite charities through an invite-only, $50 entrance fee, yard sale.
And Pamela Anderson was reported have sold one of her homes with all of the contents, donating the proceeds to PETA.
So what’s the difference between their yard sales and mine? So okay, the autograph signings are probably a draw. And, maybe their furnishings are a tad more elegant. And then there are the gowns, and the jewels. Hmm…