ROSE QUARTZ VELVET SELF-LOVE SHACK VOL. 2: BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF CRAIGSLIST MIRACLES!
For today’s post I’d like to talk about sourcing sorcery. Because there is a method to my madness…I think. Knowing how and where to spend the money on a project with a small budget is like juggling a puzzle. But that’s truly what HausWitch is all about. (That, and radical intersectional patriarchy-toppling feminist witchcraft of course.)
This project has a budget of $741, and in the last post I mentioned ALL OF THE THINGS that $741 has to buy. $741 is a totally decent chunk of change, but when you take into account that it has to furnish an entire household from forks to bedding to furniture it feels like not that much. But that’s my sweet spot! I love a challenge! What could be more boring than just having enough money to buy everything you need? No thank you. Not for me. Take your ability to “afford” things and go. This blog is not for you. Now, if you have a little money and just aren’t sure how to maximize it, this blog is for you. I hope it helps.
I should say here that of course I wish I could source everything from the kinds of small and indie makers that I carry in my shop. Unfortunately, that’s just not possible for a project like this. I like to think of the things that I carry in the shop as treasures that people treat themselves to rather than staples. For the staples, most people have to go to big chains. I avoid it like the plague, but sometimes I have to go to big chains. We’re all doing our best. It’s good to have some consciousness around it. Plus, Missy has plenty of artisanal treasures from the HausWitch store, trust me.
So the first thing I usually do is make a list of what’s needed to sketch out a rough budget. I start by guesstimating what each thing that I will buy new costs. Factoring in stuff that has somewhat fixed pricing tells me how much I’ll have leftover to spend on fun stuff like furniture and lighting. I usually leave that stuff out of this step because you just never know what miracles will befall you on Craigslist (CL) so it’s hard to budget for!
For utilitarian stuff like utensils, towels, small household items, my first choice is always IKEA. They usually have the best prices on that stuff, plus it’s a one stop shop, and they consistently rank as one of the world’s most ethical big businesses. Same for my next choice, Target. Again, shopping big is never my ideal, but at least IKEA like, single-handedly democratized good design for the masses, and Target tends to collaborate with smaller brands rather than just rip off their designs 100% of the time. Those are my big two and I always shop them first, to get them out of the way so I can start getting creative with what’s left of the budget.
I really try not to buy new furniture and lighting. WHY DO YOU NEED TO? Vintage is way cooler and secondhand is way better for the planet. Plus it’s cheaper. Also, (and this is especially important in the case of IKEA) IT’S ALREADY ASSEMBLED. So don’t you DARE buy a new KALLAX bookcase from IKEA! There are probably 7 on Craigslist in your city as we speak. There are literal GARBAGE ISLANDS in the ocean folx, so let’s get a grip on the buying new things. But seriously, just search the product name of whatever IKEA thing you want every day for a week or two and you will probably find it, and it will be less than half the original price. Seriously. Try it.
For this project a large majority of the furniture came from Craigslist and vintage stores. Everything except a clothing rack now that I think about it. The thing that I will say is that you do have to be COM-MIT-TED to furnish an entire home from CL. I spent hours and hours scouring ads to find the right stuff and drove hundreds of miles around the Boston Metro area collecting pieces for this project. I’m totally not mad about it though. I actually think that right now, my favorite part of this job might be the part where I drive around all day picking up used furniture listening to Teen Mom podcasts. Of course it also takes a bit of intuition and the ability to see the potential in things. Sounds like a job for your third eye amiright?! More on that below.
True to form I went to IKEA and Target first and knocked the curtains, sheets, comforter, kitchen rug, utensils, lamps, pots and pans, french press, towels, bathmat, cutting board, glasses and potholders off the list first. I did a quick calculation when I got home from that shopping trip and figured out that I would have about $150 left to get all the furniture and pillows. When I told my wife I would only have about $100 to get a kitchen table, chairs, a bench, a nightstand, a side chair and something for extra counter space in the kitchen she was like that shocked wide eye emoji and I was like, “challenge accepted…”
… And despite my beloved’s doubt I did it, and with $5 to spare. I got a bench for $5, a little kitchen cart for $20, a side chair for $10, kitchen table with two chairs for $40, and the coolest mirrored disco nightstand for $20. The bench and kitchen cart are both used IKEA, the side chair, kitchen table, chairs, nightstand and side chair are all vintage, in great condition. The lady who sold me the side chair said it had probably never even been sat in and THAT’S WHAT I’M FUCKING TALKING ABOUT!
After all the essentials were taken care of it was time for… you guessed it… MORE VELVET! I happened to know that H&M is going through a major velvet phase right now and so I made it a point to drop by. What I didn’t know is that they were having a major sale on pillow covers, many of them velvet. I ended up with 5 throw pillows and 3 seat cushions for about $105 total. BOOM.
Basically, it takes a lot of research, a lot of Craigslist stalking, and a fair amount of “wheeling and dealing” but eventually the Pinterest board falls into place and you can see the big picture.
If you want to dive deeper into the process of puzzle juggling, a good example is the story of how I sourced the green velvet bench Missy requested for the kitchen. When she described what she saw in her mind’s eye it wasn’t just a bench. It was a MOOD. It was casual luxury. It was going to be her morning coffee and journaling spot. This bench already had a VIBE, an energetic footprint if you will—obviously I was determined to make it happen. Now, this little nook is in a corner, but a custom corner shaped bench was definitely out of the question due to budget so I searched the internet to see what kind of green velvet bench I could get with say, $100 or less. For an important piece like that I was ready to throw down a chunk of change.
The closest thing I could find was a $120 bench with a sort of teal-ish non-velvet cushion from a source I’m not nuts about. But I kept $120 set aside mentally and considered it my last resort option. Meanwhile I would buy everything else knowing that I might not spend the whole $120 if another option presented itself so I had to keep options open for each other piece of the puzzle I had left.
I started exploring alternatives like just adding green velvet cushions to a regular bench. Would that look weird? Maybe! Would it still be cool and save me money? Possibly! Was it a route worth pursuing? Absolutely! Both the bench and the cushions would have to be really inexpensive to make it the better option. So when I found a bench for $5 on CL and shortly thereafter found 3 perfect emerald green velvet seat cushions at H&M for $18 each I was sold.The $120 I had budgeted just became $59 giving me an extra $61 to buy more velvet! Yay! But also, are you dizzy yet? Does that count as a method? Madness? Both?
I do this with basically everything at the same time, constantly shifting what’s left of the budget according to all the options available and each possible combination. It’s maddening but fun. My next post will be THE BIG REVEAL and will have a line item budget so that will show you exactly where every. Single. Cent. was spent! Got it? Until then, I’ll leave you here with a little Craigslist Manifestation Spell!
CRAIGSLIST THIRD EYE MANIFESTING SPELL
Sourcing what you need from Craigslist is equal parts manifestation and intuition. For this spell you’ll open your third eye nice and wide so when the right piece comes along, you’ll know it when you see it.
- A Candle (any color but gold or purple if you’re fancy like that)
- Paper and Pen
- Pyrite or some other gold object
- Clear quartz
Light your candle.
Hold your clear quartz in the palm of your dominant hand.
Close your eyes and drop into your body.
Wiggle your ears and then move your consciousness right in between them to the center of your head.
Now imagine being able to see, just like you do with your regular eyes from a Third Eye in the middle of your eyebrows.
Say to yourself or out loud: “Let Craigslist bring to me, what I feel I need, and let my third eye see, what is meant for me.”
Now write an ad for what you’re looking for. Include details like, price, location, and obviously a description of the item.
Carefully drip a little wax from your candle on the paper.
Place your pyrite/gold object on the paper along with your quartz.
Blow out the candle.
Now scour Craigslist, often. Try different combos of search terms. Stay open.
Leave your spell be until you have manifested your item and then dispose of the paper with gratitude! (Burying outside works!)
The Moon is in Gemini and the Witches say “Gamble”
Erica Feldmann is the owner and HWIC (Head Witch in Charge) at HausWitch Home + Healing and author of HausMagick (Feb 12!). She’s always working on 7 projects at once, builds businesses faster than the patriarchy can handle, and is an expert Craigslist hunter. Follow her @hauswitch on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the Self-Love Shack!
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