Poetry, Prose and Parable.

This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring ...
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The blog for today is simply a poem. It has been on my heart to write it and to post it. You can take from it what you will. To me it is a poem about freedom and there are many, many ways we can lose our freedom, particularly the freedom to live at peace with ourselves. If you have followed my posts you will know that I am a Christian and in understanding the blessings that come from being in Christ, I am also aware that there is a spiritual battle being fought over every single soul.

Dancing with the Devil.

Just a little dance, he said,
And it really will not hurt,
You can play with fire, he said,
And truly not be burnt.
So they danced with the devil,
And he rubbed his hands with glee,
For the last thing that he wanted,
Was for them to be set free.
Just a little dance, he said,
Just for a little while,
So they danced to the tune,
Of deceit and denial.
Smooth steps,
Beguile and defile,
False face, false grace,
Tight embrace.
Good! The devil clapped,
The battle, It is mine!
Lured and lulled by desire,
They did not know they were trapped-
Until they felt the fire.

And then the music stopped!
He left them weeping in their pain,
But made a mental note,
That when they were nearly healed,
He would call again.

Poetry by Estelle D. © 2020


	

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Poetry Paints a Picture.

Quotes on Poetry: Leonardo da Vinci | Writing Forward
Image : writingfroward.com

Poetry paints word pictures to the reader through the use of poetic devices. Poetry is different from prose because prose is the natural flow of speech without the metrical structure found in poetry. Novels, short stories, personal and business letters, textbooks and newspaper articles are all examples of prose. Creative writing can include both fiction and poetry. It’s writing that creates or makes things up using imagination and invention. Creative writing is the opposite to Academic writing.

Prose | What Is Prose?
Image: Grammar Monster

Poetry uses Imagery or Figures of Speech such as Simile, Metaphor and Personification. Each of these techniques draw a comparison which it is expected will be familiar to the reader and therefore create an image or picture in the mind. An Analogy is a sustained simile or metaphor which tells a story; Fables, Allegories and Parables are considered analogies. An Hyperbole is a grossly exaggerated metaphor. Poetry also uses lots of Symbolism where words are used to embrace a whole idea, such as the cross as a symbol of Christianity. Poetry may call someone A Solomon to indicate a wise person or A Hitler to summon up the idea of dictatorship. We may say The Crown instead of Royalty or use a sail to refer to a ship or use Onomatopoeia where the sound echoes the sense of the word.

There are more poetic devices, but that will do for today. When I went to school we were taught to write using descriptive words such as adjectives and adverbs. Today we teach students to write creatively by implementing some of the poetic devices discussed above so that the art of picture painting, which poetry does so well, is evident in their short stories. Next time you are reading some fiction, look for the poetic devices.

Quote: Maya Angelou on Using Up Creativity | Sharon Abimbola Salu
Image: Sharon Abimbola Salu.

To conclude, I share a portion of a poem written by Maya Angelou. If you are not familiar with this author, please Google her and have a read about her and her poetry.

Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

For the complete poem please refer to Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Poetry is Music and Song.

The vast expanse of the night skies | Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Image: http://www.sabi.sabi.com


The word universe comes from one, meaning uni, and verse, meaning song.

Here is my poem, One Song, about the universe.

One Song.

Have you ever stood alone at night
and gazed with wonder
at the bight starry light
and moonbeams, in the heavens high
reaching all across the sky,
And beheld the Universe?

Been spellbound by the vast expanse,
perfection, beauty, harmony and balance.
Awed by the wondrous sight.
Felt insignificant, beneath
The Maker's might.
And beheld the Universe.

Or do you think it's just by chance,
the heavens do their dance?
That by coincidence, not providence
that stars our sky enhance?
Without confusion or destruction,
to fulfil their heavenly function.

Created and sustained without beginning or end,
a timeless Universe; marvellous to comprehend.
Yet man, who lives about one hundred years,
full of vanity and tears,
So noble and so grand,
Still struggles to understand.

The Power so great, so transverse,
Who spoke into being
The Earth,
The Heavens and
The Universe.
Mankind, open your eyes unto seeing.
Behold The Universe!

Poetry by Estelle D.Ⓒ Copyright. 2020


Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Poetry is Music.

Poetry and music have a lot in common. Both use the same techniques, rhythm and metre, or beat, and both are a form of expression which connects with our inner being and elicits an emotional response. Poetry and song lyrics use the same techniques and literary devices; rhyme, simile, metaphor, personification, symbolism and imagery are some examples.

At the beginning of a poetry unit, students would often tell me they hated poetry, it was old, boring, fuddy-duddy stuff, so I would ask them what music they were listening to, then we would listen to that together, pull it apart and discuss the poetic devices alive and well in the songs and rap they were listening to.

Poetry is old, very old; it predates written text. The world’s oldest written poem is believed to be the Epic of Gilgamesh a 4,000 year old poem from Mesopotamia. The Old Testament has its Books of Poetry; Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, so named because of the poetic devices used in their construction.

stone tablet with text of Epic of Gilgamesh
Neo-Assyrian clay tablet. Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet 11: Story of the Flood.
By BabelStone (Own work), CC0. https://www.the-first-ever.com/first-poem-ever/

Other ancient poetic texts are The Bhagavadgita and The Mahabharata which date back about 2500 years and Beowulf, which is regarded as one of the oldest written poetic works in the English language, dates back to the early 11th century. Before poetry was written it was spoken because the stories of old could be remembered and handed down orally if they were constructed using, what we today call, poetic devices. This too is why we sing songs, and songs are used as a teaching tool, think about nursery rhymes and psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, because the poetic devices in song lyrics make the words easy to remember.

From our bookcase.

Shakespeare knew this and wrote his plays and sonnets using iambic pentametre which adds rhythm to a poem by the use of stressed and unstressed beats which mimic the human heartbeat. In the example below you can see, and hear, the da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum, da dum.

Iambic pentameter was used mostly by Shakespeare
Image : Mammoth Memory

It is this iambic pentametre which makes the text of Shakespearean plays a little easier to memorise, as I am sure many students who have had to present a Shakespearean monologue could attest.

It is only fitting that I conclude with my favourite Sonnet; Sonnet 87

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing by William Shakespeare

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou knowst thy estimate.
The Charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting,
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thy self thou gav’st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav’st it, else mistaking,
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
   Thus have I had thee as a dream doth flatter:
   In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/50648/sonnet-87-farewell-thou-art-too-dear-for-my-possessing.

Poetry is meant to be spoken, so say it aloud and hear the poetry, the heartbeat, the music.

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Beauty

I guess it is because I am getting older, not only am I getting older but all the people around me are doing the same. I have often thought there is no need to fear advancing years as everyone is getting older at exactly the same rate, one day at a time, although certainly some folks seem to have an easier time of managing longevity. As the baby of my family, I have siblings in their 70s and 80s, I look at them and wonder how I will be faring 15 or more years down the track.

I was chatting with my eldest earlier today and in the course of the conversation, I said, I promise to be a good old girl. I won’t make life difficult for my children when I am old.

Her response was. Mum you have always been good, so if you do get a bit difficult when you are old, I am sure we will all forgive you.

Still, my promise is to myself just as much as to them. I know life can be very difficult at times, especially as one navigates old age but more than anything my desire is to age beautifully, gracefully and graciously.

16 positive quotes about ageing
Image: Bright Water

This is my poem on Beauty, written a while back now, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Beauty a poem by Estelle D.

Beauty sat alone and cried,
 For something inside had died, 
Youth was spent and beauty faded, 
 Life had left the spirit jaded.

Gone was Beauty's youthful glow,
Movement and reflex becoming slow,
Flesh once smooth and plump, in wrinkles fall,
Stooping now, once was gracefully tall.

Beauty, the television told,
Had nothing to do with getting old,
Beauty lived in the bottle that was sold,
What was inside didn't matter, 
The bottle held the power to flatter.

So creams, potions and perfumes were bought,
Beauty was so actively sought,
But still, Beauty was illusive,
That the bottles had failed,
The evidence was conclusive.

Then Wisdom came and took a seat,
In the heart's garden, Beauty to meet,
Wisdom spoke with grace and charm,
Told Beauty there was no need for alarm.

While Youth and Beauty, they must flee,
They flee to make room for me,
And I bring a Beauty unto you,
That continually is made anew.
Beauty of the bottle is only skin deep,
I bring a Beauty you can keep,
While flesh must age and fade away,
I will be Beauty until your dying day.

I bring you Peace and Love and Grace,
I mark my Beauty on your face,
My Beauty has no barriers to colour, creed or race,
But if my Beauty you would embrace, 
Of Bitterness, Hatred or Malice there must be no trace.

Copyright.Estelle D.1996©

Poetry, Prose and Parable.

I am not sure when I first fell in love with poetry. I guess it started with nursery rhymes. But I can remember being very young and hearing my older sister recite the poem below. I still love it!

Hist!

Hist! . . . . . . Hark!
The night is very dark,
And we’ve to go a mile or so
Across the Possum Park.

Step . . . . . . light,
Keeping to the right;
If we delay, and lose our way,
We’ll be out half the night.
The clouds are low and gloomy. Oh!
It’s just begun to mist!
We haven’t any overcoats
And – Hist! . . . . . . Hist!

(Mo . . . . . . poke!)
Who was that that spoke?
This is not a fitting spot
To make a silly joke.

Dear . . . . . . me!
A mopoke in a tree!
It jarred me so, I didn’t know
Whatever it could be.
But come along; creep along;
Soon we shall be missed.
They’ll get a scare and wonder where
We – Hush! . . . . . . Hist!

Ssh! . . . . . . Soft!
I’ve told you oft and oft
We should not stray so far away
Without a moon aloft.

Oo! . . . . . . Scat!
Goodness! What was that?
Upon my word, it’s quite absurd,
It’s only just a cat.
But come along; haste along;
Soon we’ll have to rush,
Or we’ll be late and find the gate
Is – Hist! . . . . . . Hush!

(Kok!. . . . . . Korrock!)
Oh! I’ve had a shock!
I hope and trust it’s only just
A frog behind a rock.

Shoo! . . . . . . Shoo!
We’ve had enough of you;
Scaring folk just for a joke
Is not the thing to do.
But come along, slip along –
Isn’t it a lark
Just to roam so far from home
On – Hist! . . . . . . Hark!

Look! . . . . . . See!
Shining through the tree,
The window-light is glowing bright
To welcome you and me.

Shout! . . . . . . Shout!
There’s someone round about,
And through the door I see some more
And supper all laid out.
Now, Run! Run! Run!
Oh, we’ve had such splendid fun –
Through the park in the dark,
As brave as anyone.

Laughed, we did, and chaffed, we did,
And whistled all the way,
And we’re home again! Home again!
Hip . . . . . . Hooray!

https://allpoetry.com/poem/8486923-Hist–by-C-J-Dennis© by owner.

Falling in love with words for how beautifully and powerfully they can be constructed came a little later. And story telling, the greatest of tools used in teaching and learning, is common across all peoples, regardless of the language used. Parables are simply a story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. We know them from the Bible, but the concept of a parable is still applicable for modern times to a story which carries a deeper message.

In this series of blogs I will share some of my own writings, discuss the power of words and share some poems, stories and parables which speak to me. We are all both teachers and students. I hope you will join me in this series; Poetry, Prose and Parable and trust we will find some art, heart, beauty, power, passion and wisdom.

The Shift to Thrift.

Celebratory Gift Thrift.

Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving. And he answered:

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

(Gibran.K., The Prophet, p.26)

Life is a progression of milestones and celebrations which are often marked by the giving and receiving of gifts. If, like me, you have a large family and dear friends you probably need to find a way to give that will not send you broke. We have all heard the sayings it’s the thought that counts and it is more blessed to give than receive, well, these sayings are actually true. The secret to thrifty gift giving is to give of yourself, in your own very unique style, gifts which are given with love will truly bless the recipient.

There are many occasions for gift giving opportunities: births, birthdays, engagements, weddings, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, thank-you gifts, farewell gifts, graduation gifts, gifts for other significant life events and gifts for the joy of giving. Fortunately, we usually have a good idea when opportunities for giving are coming up and so can budget and be prepared.

Divide gift recipients broadly into three groups. Firstly, really important people in your life, the people closest to you; you get to decide who they are. Secondly, the next group of people who make your life richer. For example family, siblings, in laws, out laws, and close friends. Thirdly, work colleagues, acquaintances from various groups to which you belong and neighbours. Set a budget for gift giving and decide how that budget is divided.

Try to streamline gift giving. The world is already overthinged and people often give themselves what they really want, so give the gift of experiences. Avoid store gift vouchers unless you are confident they will be used. Research shows many gift vouchers are never redeemed and if this is the case it is a waste of money. Often the best gift is simply being together and sharing each other’s company.

Incidental giving is a wonderful thing, giving just for the heck of it. Homemade baking is a suggested gift; biscuits, slices, scones; whatever you like.

Buy a slice baking tray and a lovely tea towel and bake a slice, leave it uncut on the tray, wrap in the tea towel and give to a busy mum who gets to keep the baking tray and the tea towel.

Homemade jams, marmalades, pickles or relishes are always a welcome gift.

Fresh cut flowers, a selection of fresh herbs bundled together or fresh produce from the garden.

Potted herbs, fruit trees, passion fruit vines, fruiting strawberry plants or potted plants.

The secret to all this home made, home grown gift giving is in the presentation. When giving home made or home baked, include a list of ingredients and the recipe. This is authentic giving.

Oh, the games people play now, every night and every day now,

never meaning what they say now , never saying what they mean,

while they wile away the hours in their ivory towers,

till they’re cover up with flowers in the back of a black limousine.

Lyrics from The Games People Play by Joe South.

I have been to many funerals and am always impacted by the fact that regardless of age, gender, wealth or any other variable, we end up in a nice box with a bunch of flowers on the top. My litmus test for living is that if I were told I had two months to live, what would be important? And I know the answer to this. What will be important is that the people I love know they are loved and that I am ready for eternity. Give to the living and show love and appreciation while they are here to receive it. The biggest bunch of flowers sent to a funeral service is poor compensation for years of opportunity to show love and appreciation to those who have been placed in our lives as close fellow travellers.

Life itself is a gift to be celebrated. “All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors“. (The Prophet. p.30)

This will be the last post in The Shift to Thrift series. I hope you have enjoyed some of the writings and thank you to everyone who has engaged in the posts and made comments when the writings have hit a chord with your own way of viewing the world.

15 Inspiring Quotes About Giving | SUCCESS
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If I were to sum up this series it would go something like this; In implementing the shift to thrift, an individual will take and use less of all of nature’s finite resources; they will give and share more of themselves and their blessings and paradoxically, they will be blessed even more bountifully.

The Shift to Thrift.

Beautiful Thrift: Beauty on a Budget.

To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul.

Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too.”

Victoria Moran, Lit from Within: Tending Your Soul for Lifelong Beauty

100 Love Life Beautiful SMS Msgs Text Messages in English | Good ...
Image: Life Beautiful. Pintrest.com

My daughter, who had always had a beautiful skin and not a spot through her entire teenage years, arrived at her late twenties and developed acne along her jaw line. Over the years she’d spent many hours and dollars at the beautician and used expensive skin products. Months of visits to the beauty salon and the use of advised expensive potions could not fix the problem. Finally a visit to the dermatologist diagnosed the problem, told her to ditch all the expensive products she’d been using and advised her to use simple products purchased for approximately ten dollars.

Potions and perfumes will empty the purse and clutter the bathroom of many women. Of course we all want to be beautiful, but here’s the thing, Life is not a fashion parade or a beauty pageant and beauty does not come in a bottle or a Botox injection. Beauty, like style, is a matter of how the inner person is reflected and is expressed to the world through outward appearance. Authentic beauty is real and shines through a life filled with real experiences both tragic and magic.

I often think of the beauty expressed in the lines in Desiderata; Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Youth must fade but when the vigour of youth is replaced with grace and wisdom, which only years of real living can deliver, the pay off does not seem so bad. Wrinkles and grey hairs will come and we should realise they are not the enemy, they have been earned and are actually the trophy for survival through the ravages of life, and that is something in which to take quiet pride.

The best place to start a beauty make over is to become your own personal cardiologist and get to work on that heart and make it beautiful! The heart which bears no malice, forgives self and others, seeks peace and looks for the best in every situation will not let the face down.

Much of beauty is a result of good grooming. Good grooming means shiny hair, clean teeth, fresh breath, zero unpleasant body odour and cared for hands and feet with no dirty broken nails or cracked heels.

A good haircut is essential, so find a hairdresser who understands how to make the most of your hair. For over 30 years, I had my hair, streaked, foiled or dyed blonder. This was often an expensive process by the time I had the treatment and purchased the products to care for the treatment. When I was considering retirement, I decided that my hair would be well cared for but natural. After three quite short haircuts, all of the “processed” hair had been cut off. Now when I go to the hairdresser, they tell me that my hair is in good condition and healthy. Maintaining hair in tip top condition with regular trims and a flattering style is essential; spending hundreds of dollars at the salon is not!

Your smile is your best feature so take good care of teeth and practice dental hygiene. Dental treatment can be expensive, says she who last week needed to have her $3000 crown extracted. Long story! There was no other option and we need to see what options are available after healing is complete – But remember, the whole point of everyday thrift is that there is money available for the important and bigger expenses. And your smile is important!

Best 189 Smile Quotes (TOP LIST)
Image: Quote Ambition

Find a simple and natural skin care regime which works for you. Remember there is no need to purchase the most expensive products. Keep skin cleansed, moisturised and sun protected. Be consistent about skin care, cleansing off make up and grime from the day and applying moisturiser before going to bed, no matter how tired you feel. Minimise and reduce your beauty regime to a few products and a few steps which become second nature and be consistent in caring for your precious body. Wear a brimmed hat when outside to protect face from the harsh sunlight.

Be like a cat and stretch each morning to keep the body supple. Touch your toes in the shower. Practice good posture. Work with what nature has gifted and make the best of your natural beauty. Keep life and beauty products simple, natural and ethical.

23 Ethical Fashion Quotes to Inspire a Fashion Revolution
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NO ONE else has your brand of beauty. Believe in yourself! Bloom in your space!

Every flower has it's ow... | Quotes & Writings by Nida Kousar ...
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The following quote has also been credited to Audrey Hepburn, but whoever penned it has just about summed up beauty.

Time Tested Beauty Tips by Sam Levenson
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.
Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!”

The Shift to Thrift.

Fashionable Thrift: Fashion on a Budget

Fashions fade, Style is eternal.

Yves Saint Laurent (French fashion designer, b.1940)

Yves Saint Laurent - Fashions fade, style is eternal.

There is not much that will deplete the bank balance faster than being a slave to fashion. Fashions come and fashions go but Style is something else; it is individual and unique and says much more about the wonderful person you are than fashion ever could. Style is eternal because long after you have left this temporal world, your style will be remembered. In considering thrifty fashion the foundational building block is to develop your own unique style. This is achieved through understanding your personality type, your lifestyle choices and your natural colouring and body shape. No one is perfect, however style works to downplay the less than perfect attributes and enhance the good points. Everyone, simply everyone, has good points. Style is not so much about what is worn but rather how it is worn. Style is about confidence, good posture and feeling comfortable in your own skin.

Image:picturequotes.com

If at all possible visit a style consultant and learn which clothes suit different body shapes and colourings best. Although this is an initial outlay, it will save lots of money, time and unflattering purchases over a lifetime. If a consultation is out of the question, using a critical eye, do some experimentation with styles and colours to determine those which suit you best. Clothes which compliment body shape will keep everything in proportion, while colours which compliment natural colouring will lift the wearer and bring a glow to the complexion. Test colours by holding bolts of fabric across the bodice and notice how some colours drain the complexion, make the eyes dull and generally pull colour out of the face while others make the eyes sparkle and lift the complexion. Some colours will wear you, be overpowering and onlookers will notice the garment but not the person while other colours you will wear well and they will enhance and uplift your natural features and allow your personality to shine through. At the least it is worth some experimentation! It is surprising how few garments are needed to make a wardrobe workable and when that wardrobe is filled with garments that are loved, fit well and enhance the wearer, you are onto a winner!

Armed with the knowledge of which colours and shapes will compliment, it is time to purchase. As always when shopping for clothes, be very selective. It is not a bargain if it doesn’t fit, look good or you don’t feel confident in the garment. I am a bargain/ thrift shopper when it comes to clothes and never pay full price. Again I share some ideas which have worked for me.

Decide what garments are needed to form the foundation of your wardrobe. Take a good look at what is in the wardrobe and if some garments are yuk -are never worn and you know you are never going to wear them and feel beautiful in doing so – get rid of them. It is better to have six garments in which you feel fantastic than a wardrobe full of clothes that you never wear. As a critical purchaser, you will purchase fewer dud garments and will find new purchases add to your wardrobe and can usually be worn in different ways and mixed with existing garments to create new looks. Analyse what is needed in your wardrobe to make it work and keep one step ahead. Keep your eyes open for that next purchase and when style and price come together, make the transaction. I usually have some new shoes and garments, purchased at very thrifty prices, in the wardrobe and get a great buzz out of wearing them for the first time when a suitable occasion is presented. I refuse to rush around and buy something new for an occasion as I have found that shopping under pressure does not produce good results. Rather I make my purchases going along through life when I see something I like. If I know it is needed and will be worn, if it fits, looks good on and when trying on the garment, I feel confident – then it is in the bag.

Avoid sales where people are just everywhere and knocking the doors down to get a bargain. Feeling rushed and fighting over garments is no atmosphere in which to shop and make good choices.

Shop at the end of the season sales. Usually stock for the next season comes in so early that there is still plenty of the season left before the weather changes and it is possible to get some wear from the new purchase but if not, pop it in the wardrobe and be at the head of the game when the season rolls around next year.

Hunt for good quality garments at reduced prices. Buy the best you can afford. One lovely garment is worth six ordinary ones.Don’t overlook the thrift shop when searching for clothing, shoes or accessories. Some of my favourite pieces have come from thrift shops. Look for quality brands, lovely fabrics and interesting accessories. Be fussy, be very fussy and realise that many a trip to the thrift shop will not result in a purchase, however, quite different and unique garments can be picked up at thrift shops.

Choose block colours for skirts, slacks and jackets. No -one knows whether your navy skirt cost two dollars at the thrift shop, was on sale at Target for twenty dollars or cost two- hundred dollars in an exclusive boutique. Likewise avoid purchasing from the rows and rows of identically patterned garments in chain stores as these garments label themselves, and you the wearer, not to mention the fact that your garment will be popping up all over the place on many other wearers.

Take good care of your wardrobe and follow instructions for the laundering of garments. Be sure garments are clean, no spots, smell fresh, are pressed or dry cleaned if the fabric requires this and are in good repair. A stitch in time saves nine and many more dollars. There is no need to be a seamstress but having the basic skills to sew on buttons, alter hem lengths, repair split seams and replace broken zips will save money and mean what is in the wardrobe is wearable.

An important factor in style is proportion, so having a hemline at the correct length and in proportion to your body shape and build can make a huge difference to the overall effect of an outfit.

At least twice a year – in spring and autumn – take an inventory of the wardrobe, discarding garments no longer suitable and making sure all others are ready and able to be worn.

If a particularly loved garment has been worn to death, unpick the garment and use the unpicked pieces as a pattern to make a new garment or make two, using different fabrics.

Divide the wardrobe into sections and keep some clothes exclusively for good wear. If you don’t have a uniform for work, create your own work wear wardrobe, have a section of casual wear and finally clothes which were worn at home. This idea is worth consideration even though many clothes are multi purpose and can be dressed up or down through the use of accessories, wearing clothes for when and where they were purchased will extend their life.

Choose accessories which compliment, lift the garment and reinforce your unique style. Changing accessories can give different looks to the same garment and extend the workability of the wardrobe.

Keep shoes polished and keep heels and toes in good repair.

Inspirational Quotes about Work : Chanel | Style Quotes | Fashion ...
Image: soloquotes.com

Practise good posture. When I was a girl we learnt good posture by balancing a book on the top of the head while walking. Another idea is to walk imagining there is a string being pulled upward from the top of the head. This means the back is keep straight, the head held high and the walk tall.

Fashion has its place as there is nothing stylish about being totally out of date. By all means, take an interest in fashion, regularly read fashion articles, browse magazines and fashion stores but don’t be a slave to fashion, thinking every season dictates a huge outlay on the latest fashions. Consider your wardrobe as an investment portfolio and invest in pieces which will build and expand your portfolio and allow more options.

Fashion is followed and in a sense is a putting on what others have deemed the cool thing to wear, however, style lives inside the individual and is expressed confidently through what is worn. Style makes the best of who you are. It is the manifestation of being at home in your own skin, believing in your intrinsic worth and knowing your unique beauty.

Believe in yourself, be confident and wear it well!

50 Great Fashion Quotes For Fashion Inspiration
Image: QuoteIdeas

The Shift to Thrift.

Thrifty Shopping and Living by the motto Never pay full price for anything!

One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure.

There is no doubt that for most people, in western society at least, our lives are over thinged. It is said over and over that things don’t make a person happy yet still we strive for bigger and better things. It is true, to negotiate life we do need some things but they do not need to be the biggest or the best. The sweetest pleasures are those simple things which speak our life story; the story of the places we have been, the people we have met and loved, of our heartaches, tragedies and triumphs.

These little bread and butter plates were purchased for 10c each. I bought 30 and they have been used over and over and over again. If one is broken it causes no grief. I am asked to take them to group morning teas for use when other wise paper plates would be used. So much nicer to have a pretty little china plate when playing ladies.

Garage sales and thrift shops have some wonderful finds; I have been an op shop / thrift shopper / garage sale purchaser for over 40 years but about 18 months ago I made the decision that I was not going to buy any new clothes. I could create, up cycle, recycle or buy good quality garments at thrift shops. This has been so successful and easy to do that I have extended this strategy to include almost everything. So before I make a new purchase, I will scout around to see if I can pick one up at a thrift shop. This has many advantages; supporting needy people in the community, not contributing to the pollution, the resource drain or the exploitation of workers in the manufacturing industry and saving some stuff from going to ever increasing, land fill rubbish sites.

Now, here is a story. When my husband’s mother married her first husband they were given a 6 piece dinner set of the above. Sadly, they were married for only a few weeks and the young man was killed in a military aircraft accident. Hubby’s mum became Queensland’s 1st WW2 war widow. Several years later she remarried and my hubby was the son of that marriage. After both of hubby’s parents had passed away we were going through the house and found this dinner set, basically unused and packed away in a box. Just a few weeks after that we spied in the window of an op shop a full 6 piece service of the same pattern for $30. There is now a full 12 piece dinner service, complete with soup tureen, serving platter, coffee set and entree plates. And we use them!

It is not only clothing that can be purchased at a fraction of the cost of new clothing, household items, linen, soft furnishings, new fabrics, accessories, jewellery, books, DVDs, records, garden equipment, furniture, and the list goes on, are also available.

Above and below. A couple of garage sale bargains. The glass juicer was 50c at a garage sale. A little while later I saw an identical juicer in an antique shop for $35. The red enamel colander was 20c.

There are some rules for successful thrift shopping.

#1) Be price savvy. Some thrift shops are almost boutique style and ask substantial prices for their goods. Don’t be tricked. I have seen goods in thrift stores priced more than those same items would be if purchased new in stores.

#2) Shop at thrift stores when they have sales.

#3) Don’t feel you have to buy something just because you are out browsing. Have an idea of what you are looking for, be very selective and have a use for your purchase.

It is not thrifty if:

#1) It doesn’t fit; it’s broken; it is poor quality.

#2) You have no use for the item; the item serves no purpose; you don’t need it or you don’t love it.

3#) Don’t buy junk or items that are broken unless you know you will restore them. There is no point in taking someone else’s junk home to become junk at your home.

Still, real gems are to be found tucked away in thrift stores. Armed with knowledge about the true value of items, go thrift shopping and nab a true treasure. I promise – it’s a great buzz!

So I have kept the best till last. These lovely little hand painted dishes were 50c each; but the knives were an amazing find. For quite some time I had wanted at least one good knife so I was simply over the moon to find these knives, brand new, Wiltshire brand, in a timber block with a self sharpener for; wait for it! $5!

I hope I have encouraged you to take a look at thrift shopping. The benefits can be amazing. There are only two rules; be price savvy and love what you buy.