SewThrifty ~ Monthly Newsletter

Welcome back to SewThrifty, your monthly guide and inspiration for future thrifting projects! This month, we’ll be covering the essential tips for novice thrifters.

1. Sewing Basics

Have you been thrifting only to be met by ill-fitting clothes? Either the waist is too loose, the sleeves are too long or the buttons are, literally, hanging by a thread? Why not try your hand at sewing? If you’re new to pins and needles AND you’re on a budget, TheCraftyGemini has compiled a useful list for sewing beginners that will help during your next trip to the craft store.


2. Thrifty Tips

Image by Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia Commons

Sure you can spend the whole day at Athens’ Goodwill but what’s the point if you don’t come out finding any clothing item that is definitely “The One”? The Odyssey has dug deeper into the minds of fashion students to bring you 11 tips to help you grow your wardrobe while keeping your budget.

FUN FACT – did you know the Goodwill on East State Street has a 30 percent student discount every Wednesday?


3. Simply simple

TheSorryGirls‘s — Kelsey and Becky — YouTube series “Thrift Flip” has cute yet simple home decor that are easy enough for beginners while still looking perfectly insta-worthy. There are also several tutorials in the playlist for the non-sewing thrifting crowd, like their brilliant ideas to turn a TV tray to a laptop stand or plastic dinosaur toys to succulent planters.


4. Expert Advice

April from coolirpa has produced yet ANOTHER amazing Thrifted Transformations on YouTube. This time, she’s transformed a thrifted skirt to a stylish overall dress. Although April’s tutorials have been steadily increasing in its sewing difficulty level, her videos are always inspirational.


5. Pin It

If all else fails and you don’t feel your inspiration kicking in, why not browse through Pinterest for inspiration? Try out the simpler Do-It-Yourself projects such as magazine/paper baskets or cereal box storage bins.



Have fun and stay thrifty!

SewThrifty is a monthly newsletter catering to your thrifting needs. Subscribe to get inspired for future upcycling projects.

Get to the gig

Some of the best bands and artists imaginable aren’t selling out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but instead are provoking dance pits and shattering popular music standards within small venues and people’s homes.

Local music is often unfairly overshadowed and under appreciated considering the immense talent of underground artists. Nonetheless, a little dedication and an ear for killer tunes are all it takes to stay in the know about your local DIY music scene.

Who’s playing near me?

No plans this weekend? Check out Bands In Town! Although the website caters more towards popular bands and artists on tour, it’s still a great resource for discovering who is playing in your area at any given time!

Follow your favorites on social media.

If you want to stay up to date with your favorite artists and bands, give them a follow on social media! In this digital age, most musicians advertise their upcoming shows and records via Instagram or Facebook.

Jesse Fox, lead singer of The Slippery Lips, is one of my favorite punk femme forces that’s taking Cincy by storm! She chronicles her musical adventures in the Queen City on her Instagram and often uses her platform to announce new music!

Get involved in on-campus music organizations.

Ohio University’s All Campus Radio Network, or ACRN, is OU’s musical media powerhouse group. A number of ACRN student DJ’s host weekly radio shows to share new, local music. ACRN also frequently sponsors and puts on shows around campus, and promotes them on their social media.

Familiarize yourself with local venues and show houses.

The Comet, one of my favorite venues in Cincinnati, is surely an eccentric place to experience local music. Doubling as a Mexican diner with a vintage feel and gigantic portion sizes, The Comet is a unique, inviting space for all.

Frequenting venues and show houses around your town can help in building relationships with the owners and bookers. Friendships like these can introduce you to a plethora of new music down the road!

Listen, listen, listen!

The most important aspect of being part of the local music scene is putting effort into expanding your musical palette. Tweens, one of the first local hardcore bands I took a liking to, has been making strides in their hometown of Cincinnati. Though I had never heard of them before a few years ago, they quickly have become one of my favorite bands! Go ahead, give them a listen. You might like what you hear.

Get to the Gig is a weekly newsletter dedicated to promoting local music and up-and-coming underground artists. We cater towards the thrashers and musical explorers of the Midwest. 

What happens to our favorite Bobcat bands after graduation?

College is a chance to discover the real person that’s been cultivating under the parental units for the last 18 or so years. For some it’s exploring the vices their parents attempted to curtail, others it’s the chance to think differently how they were raised, but in general it’s a time for self-discovery.

A few braves souls chose to do this in front of crowds atop one of the many stages in Athens. The music scene in Athens is unique as the influx of new blood from the university allows for a large diversity of musical acts to form and flourish.

The constant flow of new musicians is sadly accompanied by the older generation leaving Athens as they graduate or decide to move on. While the desire to play may linger on, it can be extremely difficult to continue when members may be scattered across the country. As their time in Athens comes closer to the end Wes Gilbert of Smizmar and Evan Amerio of Apemode spoke of their personal experiences.

Building community through art with Honey for the Heart

For the last month local artists, both townie and student have collaborated making puppets for the annual Honey for the Heart parade. This year the various projects had to work around the central theme of birds, with each project taking on a different interpretation. Each puppet is unique not only in look, but how it operates, what it’s materials, and overall theme itself. Honey for the Heart is done on a volunteer basis where even the artistically challenged can help. This week anyone can stop by to help finish the puppets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week before the parade at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Central Venue on Carpenter Street.

If you don’t find your space, make it.

My favorite place is in Athens wasn’t built by the university. It isn’t fiscally supported by the student activity fee, it isn’t on campus, and it isn’t even on Court Street. Probably about 99% of the student population doesn’t even know my favorite place exists.

It’s called the Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I know it sounds absurd, a hardcore house named after an 83-year-old Supreme Court Justice? It probably will more sound more absurd to you when you discover it is my own personal rental home off-campus. In addition to being the place I sleep, shower, do homework, and prepare my meals, it’s also a performance space for poets and artists from Athens, OH to Alabama to Brooklyn and more.

I probably should walk you through how I got here, seeing as you’re thinking about coming to Ohio University or have already enrolled, and I’m telling you that my favorite thing about OU isn’t even mildly campus affiliated.

When I arrived as a freshman, I was eager for something new. Laid at my feet was a fresh start, but I wanted to use my fresh start to experience the things I loved already in a new way. Music was a primary passion of mine, and I was already five+ years deep into a devoted relationship with DIY music, as I’d been playing and booking shows all through high school. I knew a little bit about Athens music scene through creeping the Athens, OH tag on Bandcamp, but I became fully immersed in it once I joined ACRN Media, OU’s student-run college rock radio station and media collective. The group of us headed out in droves to catch shows in living rooms, at bars, and in basements.

(Full disclosure, I became the General Manager aka head honcho of ACRN Media February of my freshman year, 3/4 because I am incredibly passionate about radio, 1/4 because I am an insane person who loves having no free time or sleeping.)  

Wolf Haus porch hangs after a show.
Wolf Haus porch hangs after a show.

DIY and ACRN provided a space away from the sporty party culture that bombarded me when I first moved in. I lived on West Green, a hub for student athletes, and I often found myself feeling a little isolated. A place to feel less isolated was surrounded by push moshing sweaty bodies in the basement of Castle Genesee. Standing on the sliver

Eating a family dinner of spaghetti at the Lodge.
Eating a family dinner of spaghetti at the Lodge.

of counter to watch bands in the kitchen of the Wolf Haus. Peering through the stair banisters to watch folks rip gigs at the Lodge. All of these house venues became transient homes.

The Lodge was especially important, as the people who lived there became our fast friends. While we went to lots of shows there, it became a destination on event-free week nights. My partner and I would trek over to the house with fresh groceries to make family dinners, and we’d all sit around and listen to music and laugh in good company. There was a family aspect, a community feeling that I really loved. I tucked that feeling in my pocket and saved it for later when the tenants all graduated and moved and the Lodge was no more.

It took me a long time to admit it, but the first two years of Athens DIY were a little frustrating for me, as many people around me were deeply focused on partying, and it got old quick. I got sick of watching people drunkenly disrespect each other’s personal space and safety, houses were getting trashed, things were getting stolen. It was a mess. I was drowning in an environment surrounded by peers who did not understand what it was like to work 25 hours a week while being a full-time student, who could bring six-packs of craft beer to a gig but not $5 to donate to the bands performing. I was getting burnt out on the one thing that made Ohio U feel like a place of adventure and promise, and I needed to do something about it.

(Reality Check: While everyone talks about the Bobcat Family and how they never want to leave OU, it is OKAY to feel unhappy here. There’s may be occasional moments where you just don’t know if you made the right decision or you are itching to graduate and move on to the next thing. This is normal, okay, and presents a chance to do something creative with your time here!)

It was at this time when I had reached my breaking point that we began planning for our move to the RBG. We had plans to have shows, but we started talking logistics, ideals, visions. The name came about because I’m obsessed with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I think she’s a bad ass. The hardcore edge came about because we liked hardcore music, but we also thought it would be funny to pair the two. Our logo represents the absurdity of such a name.

come and get em (at the LVL Up show tomorrow) also thank u @dan.manion

A photo posted by blair (@fruitbaby_) on

One thing that we all deeply cared about was having a strict “No drugs, no drinking, no exceptions” policy during gigs. We wanted the place to be as safe as possible for everyone, and any space that includes alcohol or drugs immediately becomes less safe. An unfortunate thing you’ll learn very quickly at OU that alcohol and drugs often reveal the nastier, scummier side of people, even within ‘alternative’ communities.

Grumpy jaded senior-citizen Meg comments aside, we really did want to create a space that was safe and intended to create community. I wanted to be somebody else’s Lodge. When we moved in and started facilitating performances, we were excited to see droves of kids coming to shows to hang out and make friends. I was starting to see students and community members I hadn’t known before, we were inviting poets to perform which brought in a fresh crowd of people to shows, and our home became synonymous with welcoming. We kicked off the year with a mixed CD/mix tape swap, and new Rock Lobsters crowded the floor and porch to share music. Bands started practicing at our house, we hosted shows for other people, we made friends, we gave people a place to go, and I think people have fun when they visit the RBG.

@divorcebandus was killer. So much energy packed into such a small space, fucking blown away.

A photo posted by Abigale Collins (@spacedemontia) on

Booking shows and facilitating community events without ever having to leave my home gave me a sense of purpose and a positive space to grow. My confidence in the OU/Athens community restored itself,  and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people. It’s also something really cool and interesting to slap on a resume– “Events Coordinator at the Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” is sure to catch an employer’s eye! But let’s get real. I haven’t created this space and formed a sisterhood and music family just for resume-building purposes. The RBG was born because I needed it to exist in order to feel truly fulfilled in Athens.

Live recordings from some of our shows here.


Flyers from shows at the xxxRBGxxx:

[metaslider id=7314]

Here’s the moral of my long-winded journey and this e-scrapbook of memories. If you arrive at OU or are planning on coming here and can’t quite figure out what you want or what you like or what feels like home, try not to worry. There is nothing stopping you from being the creator of the space that meets your needs, accomplishes your goals, and brings you bliss. Athens and Ohio University are your canvas, so get ready to create. Your space may not exist yet, and that’s a-okay! If you can’t find your space, make it. 

A photo of The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which is nestled into an unsuspecting side road.

You live where?: A look inside The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The walls are a wonky, aged and twisting wrap of wood paneling, the wood floors scuffed and scratched from furniture and equipment being moved around a few times a month. A strange assortment of holiday decorations litter the shelves and wrap around the Christmas lights dangling over the corner of the room.

Enter my personal Athens gem. On an average day, it’s a normal, cluttered and cozy living room. On its best days, however, it’s a live music venue packed with the warm excited bodies of students and community members who convene to see local and touring acts perform intimate sets in the living room of two college students. On the days in between it serves as a practice space for newer bands and a gathering space for ACRN Media.

Nicole Pompei of Boston-based Bat House rips it on the drums during our first show of fall semester.
Nicole Pompei of Boston-based Bat House rips it on the drums during our first show of fall semester.

I moved into The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in May, and we have been hosting art and music events there since June. The house earned its title during a coffee date in which we mused over what feminist icon we wished to bestow upon the home’s namesake. Because of RBG’s universal likability and total bad-assery, we settled upon The Hardcore House of Ruth Bader Ginsburg because it was clever and fun, and we commissioned local artist Bailey Kretz to make a logo in the style of classic hardcore band merchandise.

Bailey Kretz designed this logo for us to use. We have a screen printed poster of it in a glamorous frame in the hallway.
Bailey Kretz designed this logo for us to use. We have a screen printed poster of it in a glamorous frame in the hallway.

During shows, our home is dry. This means absolutely zero drugs, zero drinking. We have set it up this way to maximize all music lovers’ comfort levels, as well as attempting to make our home a safer space for the community. In a town where drinking culture is pervasive and nearly unavoidable, my home is a haven where my homebody, sober-leaning self can enjoy live music and a sense of community.

In the uneven hallway to the kitchen, there is a screen-printed RBG logo in an elegant Ikea frame, and just around the corner there is a map of the United States. We ask every band who plays in our home to sign their name on their hometown geographic location. We have hosted performances from bands as far South as Alabama and as far west as Missouri. By the time I move out, I hope our little gem has been visited by bands far west and perhaps from countries off our map of the U.S.

Kara Guyton snapped this photo of Blair and I perched outside our humble punk house.
OHIO student Kara Guyton snapped this photo of Blair and I perched outside our humble punk house.