Find Your Inspiration

How do you uncover your handmade craft ideas? For me, I need inspiration – and finding it is an experience in itself. Early on, I satiated this need searching our basement for discarded treasures and stories to be transformed into hand made crafts. Lying between mountains of laundry, outgrown clothes and an old Morris Minor retired on cinder blocks, there were boxes. Hundreds of them, stacked and piled around support beams and metal shelves, begging to be discovered.

And it was there I’d find the treasures for my next project. It’s important to note that my mother was and is a collector, perhaps to a fault. And, though these excursions are arguably my most fond childhood memories, they were certainly experiences – hours upon hours spent among newspaper clippings, spiders and back issues of Better Homes and Gardens before finding a treasure. But that treasure, once found, unlocked complete histories, past experiences and old stories. And all of these relics and memories culminated into inspiration for making crafts.

Today, I find these same pleasures in local thrift stores – really grimy ones where the prices are still low and you have to sift through a lot of nonsense before finding a gem. But, the experience itself and the token you take home is worth the effort. In Austin, this refuge is Treasure City.

Treasure City |
1720 E. 12th St., Austin, TX 78702

This local thrift store is awesome and embodies everything The Lead Chandelier loves. It’s cheap, it’s local and its mission is a little on the green side. Run entirely by volunteers and collectively organized, Treasure City keeps prices low and merchandise rolling. It’s my first stop for inspiration in Austin and I’m never disappointed.

Find what inspires you and indulge. Tell us how you get creative.

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5 Responses to “Find Your Inspiration”

  1. Betsy Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post.
    Treasure City looks like a theme park to me. I would love to go there.

  2. Bregan Says:

    Thanks Betsy. Treasure City is where I go when I want to treat myself to a little gift. I’ve bought books, a fantastic swim cap from the 50s covered in hundreds of colored rubber flowers and a tiny ceramic hippo all for around a dollar each. It’s the most efficient way for me to win myself over on a budget.

  3. Drew Says:

    It’s a shame that so many “thrift” shops have become trendy “vintage” shops. The junk has been reclassified as treasure, and the prices have been boosted accordingly. But believe it or not, even Los Angeles (where I’m located) still has a few hidden thrift stores with good deals. It’s great to hear that Austin has some too.

  4. Bregan Says:

    Drew, agreed; I’m elated every time I find one. Of course, I want these places to succeed and labels and popularity often lead to profitability. However, I’m fond of Treasure City’s business model where the community is their top priority. Light on my pocketbook and high on customer loyalty.

  5. The Lead Chandelier » Blog Archive » DIY: Bright Photos, Simple and Unique Says:

    […] since I was a child I’ve horded miniature relics and idolized dioramas (see: my adventures in an overstocked basement.) Whether creating tiny scenes on a shelf or in a shoe box, there’s something amazing about […]

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