Refashioned Thrifted Sleeveless Dress Into Puffy Sleeved Blouse

Prologue: my photography is awful...I have so much to learn...blurry photos are no fun : (

...keep reading and scrolling, you'll see what I mean...but that's what I am doing with CoronaVirus Shut-In: learning...learning a little photography, how to improve SEO, how to make nicer looking Pins for Pinterest...I'm 48 years old and proud of it--you can still teach yourself anything--go for it!

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Corona-Virus and Grinding Halt of Costume Take-Out

I haven't written in a long time...a long time...

My last blog post was 2 months ago on February 10th 2020.

It's not that I haven't written blog posts, au contraire I have 4 sitting in the publishing hopper. I just feel a little guilty about posting about trivialities when people are dying of Covid-19.

But now I am coming back to writing and postings because this is my business. It's what I do and I should not feel apologetic. Took me a while to come to this conclusion.

Some people sell pizza, some people sell shampoo, some cars, some high tech, some sell services like estheticians, or dry cleaning...

...I sell costume rentals and it's as legit as any business

My local costume rental business "Costume Take-Out" came to a grinding halt which was so disappointing for me because this was year #4 and I was about to come over to the other side with zero debt.

racks of costumes

When the reports came in of schools closing and cancelling field trips to the numerous local historic venues where kiddos get dressed up in Pioneer clothes and learn about the California Gold Rush, Pioneer Era, and Missions (layers that make up our relatively young state), the gig was over for me.

Botox

I feel compelled to tell you that I don't 'kill it' financially in this line of work.

In fact, the money I make from my $17 rentals ends up being pocket change. This 'cute, charming, hobby job' I started for myself when I realized one day my girls were going to leave me empty-nested, has me working endless, endless hours resulting in horribly cracked fingers and a hunch in my back.

AFTER paying annual LLC fees, insurance, taxes, machine repairs, electricity (which is ridiculous here) & water. I make about.......wait for it....

$1,000

---what amounts to a couple Botox treatments a year for this 48 year old woman. And I go easy, so I can have a little expression left ; ) .

Don't get me wrong, with my humble immigrant family roots I appreciate everyday dollar I make and have, that's how I got into thrift shopping when I was 16. I didn't have money growing up.

But between 40-60 hours of working every week for one year, um, it's not very rewarding financially.

So I do this for other reasons...like having a reason to get out of the house so I don't grow green moss on my body.

'Bill-The Husband'

Thankfully my financial supporter, 'Bill-The Husband', has his job and can support all of us. 'Bill-The Husband' has supported me from the get-go when I stepped out of the pharmaceutical industry to stay at home and raise our babies.

I can count on 'Bill-The Husband' always supporting me, so during CV I don't worry about paying my business bills. Although I am entitled for small business assistance during this time, I opted not to apply, but rather free up my funds for people like my immigrant parents who struggled all their lives with small businesses--a cafe and then a flower stand.

Thankfully I Don't Need Botox (I just want it)

Oy! But just keep scrolling down and wait until you see my forehead in all it's expansive glory.

But more than Botox, I want to get my business momentum going again. I am crossing my fingers for school back in August/September and a strong Fall costume rental season.

In the meantime, with all this time on her hands, what does the Costume Lady Do?

Manic Gardening

Cue some damaging manic gardening...

I gardened for the first 3 weeks of CV shut-in...specifically 8 hours a day of weeding on a 1/4 acre of property (we have 2 acres) which I call my mini homestead.

Being a woman of a distinctive age means things body-related are more susceptible to injury, even though I am physically fit and healthy.

'Over doing it' has led me to develop a bad case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome where at night, my right arm goes completely numb. It's so uncomfortable to where it wakes me up. Then throw in a little 'Tennis-Elbow' (not from tennis), and top all those maladies off with a little 'Rusty Shoulder' an illness name I made up to describe something that needs something, maybe surgery, to relieve the pain.

Carpal Tunnel + Tennis Elbow + Rusty Shoulder ='s imminent surgery

(or maybe, just knock it off for a while)

I've experienced this pain once before when last year I spent a month extracting the roots of THREE 30 year old trees in hard clay soil. (Hindsight, shoulda asked the arborists to grind stumps more peripherally, not just the immediate base.)

"Over Doing It" is not new to this lady. So now I know when to cool it with the manic gardening.

me pulling tree roots

Me, overachieving...extracting tree roots

Ok so NOW WHAT as I heal my arm?...

Oh yeah, you guessed it

Eva is back in 'dah sewing room!!!!

However, this time I am sewing for myself...something that I have been dying to do for a very long time. My last project was the Refashioned, Upcycled Tiered New Year's Eve Dress you see below.

upcycled anthropologie dress

Crocheted Zig-Zags

I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to Refashion first...

a 'too long for me' Missoni style dress...

Missoni having it's hey day in the 70's, has never been a style I was particularly attracted to before. I'm not a bohemian type of girl. Click on my lap-top image below so you can check out some of these thousand dollar dresses!...I know they must be beautifully made, but my price range is about $5.99.

link to missoni dresses

But just because I am not initially attracted to something (skinny jeans back in 2008 or mom jeans a 'la Jessica Simpson 2009), doesn't mean I won't challenge my fashion senses like a fashion influencer at Paris or Milan Fashion week.

And that's why I like thrifting--if item doesn't work, I won't miss my couple bucks.

Below is my 'Wanna-Be Missoni' I wore when I visited my parents in Poland a few summers ago.

me & daddy in Poland

That's me with my daddy or in Polish, my 'Tata'