makers, thrifters and love

I love that feeling when you first start dating someone and each time you get together you realize yet another thing you have in common. First it’s a song on the radio that you both love, or a movie on TV, and in your mind you are so happy that you have found someone who shares this thing that no one else seems to understand. Well, I can’t exactly remember how Adam and I found out we both loved to thrift, but I know that it’s a passion that we’ve shared for a long time, long before we moved in together. I remember visiting him when he lived in an old house in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto and sitting on his green Solair chair. I love that chair. I asked him where he had found it, and he told me it was from a garage sale. A year or so later, when I was helping him move across town to Leslieville, we carried that chair on the streetcar to his new apartment.

He lived about a block from a Value Village and we spent hours there thrifting things for his new place. Often, after we both got off work, we would meet there in fear that if we didn’t go we would miss something spectacular. Our strategy involved entering through the back door so we could see all the bigger items like furniture before hitting up the kitchen section and the electronics. I have so many memories of thrifting with him that it can be hard to separate one trip from another in my mind. Every time I look around at our apartment admiring the cozy spot we’ve created, I can count on my hands the number of new things we have purchased. So much of what makes our space ours is second-hand.

I think that thrifting lends itself to making. You see something that has potential, but you know you can make it more useful or beautiful once you get it home.

Adam is a maker who spends hours mixing music, singing and creating delicious recipes in the kitchen. (To read his feature on about makers and food, click here). I can’t tell you how much I love watching him create these things (well, I probably could but this post is long enough already!) There is something so attractive about a man who is self-sufficient, creative, and can make something with his own hands.

Adam tests his Victrola at his workspace

Last weekend, he made this amazing Victrola out of a hideous big box store lamp base I bought when I was a teenager that kind of made me angry every time I looked at it – it was that ugly. Using a card box we bought on one of our many Value Village trips for the base, he configured a way for the lamp base to amplify music out of his iPhone with hollow pens and electrical tape. He even researched the angle the horn should be for optimal sound. I will admit he is much more thorough and patient than I am when it comes to making something. The end project looks so cool, and sounds awesome too. It’s fun to combine his interests by playing music from it while we cook dinner.

The base is a card box we found while thrifting

It works!

Do you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband love to make or thrift together? Isn’t it a fun way to spend time? Let me know some of your projects in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you make!


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