Trust the Stash

Trust the stash. Use the stash.

I’ve been reading a lot of crafty blogs lately… quilters, sewers, jewelry makers, foodies, and general Home/DIY mavens.

Stash” means something different for all of them.

(It doesn’t usually mean Tom Sellek. And and it usually won’t get them arrested… at least not in most states.)

For quilters, it’s those beautiful color collections, fabrics galore, in giant and tiny pieces. Knitters, it’s the balls and balls and balls of yarn, all in one seasonal color that were on clearance last summer.

You get the idea… it’s the thing they have a ton of, and the thing they keep replenishing, project after project. The thing they always have.

Now, what draws the line betwen a stash and a horde is this: A stash is useful. It gets used. Sometimes–rarely, but sometimes!–it gets completely used up. And then you have to start all over again.

All of these bloggers I’ve been reading, are good, responsible stewards of their stashes.They all have a post or three about “Using the Stash.” Deliberately finding a pattern for that fabric or planning meals around pantry staples. It’s both economical, and a creative challenge–to intentionally seek out that sweet spot where what you have fits what you want to make.

Now, for me…. my stash is costumes.

I grew up with a fabulous dress-up box, and the total normalcy–indeed, logic!–of collecting costumes for when you need them has followed me into adulthood (in which I am now firmly ensconced, in case you were wondering).

Although it’s a bear to move around and to store (at least when you’re living in apartments) my costume stash has served me and my loved ones well for many years.

In 10th grade, my friends and I acted out a scene from the Merchant of Venice for English class… I happened to have Renaissance gowns and a cape. In college, my abbreviated dorm room stash provided hats, scarves, and accessories for a third of a the cast for a musical theatre showcase. Just a couple of years ago, some friends asked me to help stock a “photo booth” for their wedding… with a few additions from the dollar store, it all came out of the stash.

The stash has continually come in particularly handy for theatre, of course, when I need something vintage that actually fits me.

Even more important: Band gigs with Igneous Rocks… we do a lot of theme gigs, especially for Halloween… or just when we feel like it…

This year is no exception:
It’s Halloween and we’ve got a big costumed shindig-gig. YAY!

But for some reason, THIS year, I convinced myself to to choose a costume for which I’d need to go scrounge up all new stuff. So I went. I scrounged. I spent too much time and too much money at the thrift store and at Ross and the dollar store, and all I found were pieces that *might* work.

Then I came home, brilliantly remembered something from my stash, and in under 10 minutes had plotted out and half-way constructed a complete accessorized costume. ALL from my stash.

See? You Gotta Trust the Stash. Right, Tom?


Archives: The Stash at Work

Sometime *just* post-high school. Friends throw an annual Oscar party, so I grabbed an old prom dress, jewelry and Elvis-Aviator sunglasses (what? why?) and dressed up AS Oscar. Still have all of it.

In the Seven Year Itch at Tacoma Little Theatre. A vintage white angora sweater originally purchased for a 60s musical my sophomore year of high school. Still have it.

Halloween Band Gig: We did a B-Movie theme, so I made a “Femme-Bot” outfit. Thrifted the dress for it (and yes, the $1 store funnels were new), but I wish you could see the awesome peplum skirt I made out of a re-purposed and bedazzled platinum pleather mini-skirt. Yes, all of those things. And yes, I still have it all.Some friends hold an annual Murder Mystery event. This one was set in “1930s Mobtown.” In addition to the very handsome husband, please note the boa (no costume stash complete without it), cigarette holder and pearl strands (ditto).

When I played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire a couple years ago, we needed a gold dress for Stanley to yank out of Blanche’s steamer trunk. I lent the theatre a gold lame column dress from the 70s, thrifted in high school.

Themed Gig: Woodstock 60th Anniversary. My Mom’s old halter top, a brocade coat dress belonging to my mom or aunt, lace kerchief purchased from a yard sale at 12, crochet apron, thrifted and my my own favorite patchy jeans. Also worth noting: The keyboardist is wearing my Mom’s old maternity top.

In the flick, my character wore exclusively vintage clothes… this is also one of Mom’s dresses (and my favorite).

Just for Kanarie: Summer of 2010 Costume Birthday. My creepy cat outfit. The theme was “dress as an internet video”… so I was Nora the Piano Playing Cat. When else do you get to wear your cat/werewolf hood?

The best for last! The wedding & the prop box! Such a beautiful day, and the BEST reason to raid my stash!


2 thoughts on “Trust the Stash

  1. I loved you in The Seven Year Itch!

    And now I know who to beg when Kevin wants to do costume stuff. Because I am 1)cheap 2)the queen of getting rid of stuff and 3)just flat out too lazy to find good costume stuff.

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