I've always believed that poverty is as much an attitude as it is anything else. Living well has very little to do with having pots of money, or a charcoal grey Audi in your driveway.... (yes....I REALLY want one....shoosh)...but is, instead, the ability to adapt to circumstances as they arise.
I left my high stress job over two years ago. I had been dealing with substantial personal pain, financial woes and health issues for a long time, when, catastrophically, my adored husband left me, and a new, slightly ( Im being KIND here!) sociopthic regional manager came on the scene in my beloved job. It all culminated in my giving up on everything other than healing my broken heart and spirit. It was an awful time. There was very little to look forward to and if it weren't for a couple of beautiful friends, and my darling pets, I think I may have given up entirely.
Thankfully, those awful years are behind me now. I found love again and am working toward being the best version of myself I can be, for Steve, and for myself. We have our home, and we share the same dream of a country life.
I have no income as yet, and the financial burden is being borne entirely by Steve, therefore I am limited in the manner by which I can decorate our home.
So I have become a creative scavenger. We are lucky to have amazing op shops with fantastic treasures....sometimes free! .... in our lovely town, and I have found studio pottery, crystal glassware, sterling silver cutlery, beautiful porcelain, serving dishes, cloches, mason jars and artworks all under $10, and that would be the MOST I have ever spent!
All of these lovely things have found themselves a new life, mason jars as glasses, or vases for all the wildflowers I bring home from walking the dog. The crystal glasses I get for free as odds are becoming candles, or again, hold flowers, or even collections of pencils.
My mixed plain white plates, from all eras, are our dinner plates - and are mixed with coloured ones for special dinners. I pay 10c per plate. Isn't that wonderful? And lately I've been gathering old linen tea towels to create either a large, fun tablecloth from them, or, who knows? Even a bed throw!
Having a creative eye when you roam through the aisles helps you to see items in different roles to the ones they had before....large woven baskets become cat pods when arranged on their sides, old postcards and greeting cards put on backings of gorgeous old book pages, or wrapping paper, become works of art in lovely found frames. Old heavy bedspreads become floor rugs, wallhangings, drapes. Old pure linen or cotton sheets.....bliss! Vintage embroidered doilies, sewn together, become a unique quilt cover....and an old childs cot, with the gate down, becomes a perfect daybed....painted a colour to suit, and filled with antique linens...gorgeous.
To be honest, if it weren't for the enforced stinginess, I doubt our home would be as eclectic, interesting or personal as it is now. It's too easy to buy a whole houseful of 'stuff' at homemaker centres, buying the idea of 'french provincial', 'vintage industrial' or whatever your favoured style is, but if you treat your home as a collector does, gradually adding, then subtracting the things which don't work, your home gains a unique identity that cannot be bought en masse.
Curating your home, finding things you love, and using them in your own way; whether that be bundles of sticks in jars, found feathers or precious pieces of silver, makes a genuine statement about your family and what is important to you. And its FUN.