Ownership and Alterations

I’d wager that 90% of my fancy-pants designer stuff was bought used or on DEEP discount. And although I re-sell some items once I feel I’ve moved beyond them (or admitted to myself that they were mistakes), I’m perfectly comfortable altering just about anything I own without regard to how it will affect resale value. Or perceived value. Or cachet.

Here’s a very concrete example:

Long ago, I bought this Botkier bag on eBay and I got a good deal, but it was still relatively spendy. The eBay seller photos made it look dark pink, almost magenta, which was just what I was looking for. So imagine my surprise when it arrived at my doorstep looking for all the world like it’d been marinating in Pepto Bismol.

Another feature that had wooed me were those long, dangly zipper pulls which give the impression of fringe without actually being fringe. They had gotten pretty filthy, as raw, exposed leather often does after frequent wear and use.

So what did I do? I went to the craft store, bought a magenta Sharpie, and spent 45 minutes carefully coloring the raw back edges of the zipper pulls. I’m sure that makes some of you want to yank your hair out in large handfuls, but ya know what? Doing so minimized the visible grime, made the overall impression of the bag be that of a slightly darker shade of pink, and made me happy. I carried it for a few years then ended up giving it to a friend when my style shifted to mainly neutrals, but while I still had it, I was really pleased with my DIY workaround.

And the underlying concept is that this object was mine. It belonged to me. I had saved up my money for it, and I’d bought it. I couldn’t return it,* at the time I was more interested in salvaging it than selling it, and I got to decide how best to make it work for me. Just because I’d spent more than $20 on it didn’t mean I had to leave it as-is. Just because it was fancy-pantsy didn’t mean it had to remain unaltered. I do trust designers to make good decisions and I generally seek garments and accessories that I feel are just right brand new. But I also feel like anything I buy is fair game for retooling and reconfiguration, should I see a way to make it more useful or versatile. I own my possessions, I won’t let them own me. (WendyB is fearless about reconfiguring her clothing and has had many designer items altered to her liking.)

The expensive items in our closets hold a lot of power. Many of them out-stay their welcome simply because they were so costly, and even if we never wear them they linger on, hanging from the closet bars in a cloud of guilt. But just because something was expensive doesn’t mean it’s perfect or necessary. And it definitely doesn’t mean that altering or tailoring it is forbidden. If a closet item is designer or spendy but not-quite-right, I’d encourage you to think about ways to make it right-er. Or ways to make your peace with letting it go altogether.

*This was a final sale transaction, and the seller had included many photos so I assume it was a monitor settings issue. If I hadn’t really loved the bag, unexpected traits and all, I might’ve fought for a refund. But in this instance, I preferred to create my own workarounds and they absolutely worked for me.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

Next Post
Previous Post
  • One phrase, one person instantly comes to mind. The notorious “Make it work!” by Tim Gunn.
    Designers aren’t doctors whose advice we have to follow blindly (and even doctors can be wrong) The whole point of fashion is to converge it to your own personal preferences. That’s the point where we cross over into style: an infinitely more varied and interesting field 😀

  • I say alter away! Fashion is a subjective art–have fun with it or you’re missing the point… 🙂

  • I don’t think a certain brand or pricepoint should prevent one from making their wardrobe their own. I have a leather bag that cost me a pretty penny and is from a popular designer, but it’s off white and over time has turned a horrible shade of gray that cannot be cleaned off. This spring I plan on taking it to a leather repair company and have them dye it a different color to cover the stains. Adding a personal touch is always stylish!

  • LinB

    If you bought it, it is yours with which to do whatever you wish. If I buy a home from you and change the color of the walls, or the shutters, or chop down the overgrown hedge in front, it is my business, not yours. If you sold it to me, you lose all rights to dictate to me how to use whatever it is you sold. If you sold it to me with conditions attached, and if I agreed to those conditions, THEN it matters if I alter the object. (Chances are excellent that I won’t have agreed to the conditions. Other people may.) Life is too short to worry about what your possessions think about you.

  • Teodora

    I am all for altering as long as a person is sure of the result. If the item is more expensive, I would be a little more hesitant and I need to be sure I can succeed in what I am going for. Anyways, the purse look amazing!

    Teodora
    Teodoraslookbook.com

  • Katharine

    The only time I might hesitate to make permanent alterations is if I’m really not totally certain about the item as a whole, and might resell it (provided that the conditions of purchase are such that I can’t just return… I’ve had a handful of such semi-failures since I started buying online). Otherwise, alterations if necessary are a given — and heck, the MORE expensive an item, the MORE likely it is that I will take the last steps required to make it absolutely perfect for me!

    The only difference in my approach to alterations on a really luxurious piece is that I’m then more likely to pay the extra money and take it to a professional, rather than do it myself.

    I view the clothes I wear as a collaboration between me and the designers. If a designer just wants someone to display their vision exactly, that’s what runway shows and lookbooks are for, and they should not be selling their work.

  • Lilybet

    I do dislike alterations where the original garment is irreplaceable – back in the nineties when I was young and punk rock, it broke my heart to see all those beautiful fifties dresses poorly altered and hacked up to be punker, and I still don’t like it when I see people stenciling or embroidering rare and unusual old pieces. (With the minor exception of when the stenciling, embroidery or beading is of a quality equal to the original work, which it seldom seems to be.) Something that’s sort of common but very expensive (a Birkin bag, for example) isn’t the same – unless society collapses, there will always be more Birkins.

    I did read a little memoir once by a woman who made a full-skirted fifties dress into just a full skirt when the top didn’t suit her, and that seemed sort of good enough – the original logic of the garment is preserved, what remains is still beautiful. But I would hate to see it happen to an old dress with a nice bodice.

    People are more important than things, but I don’t like to act as though there’s an infinite supply of commodities out there.

    I don’t alter things too often myself because I am rarely happy with the result. The one thing I do regularly is to fabric dye things to change their color slightly – a bright blue and white plaid made into a deep blue and medium blue, khaki pants to ochre, etc. I’m seldom happy with dramatic color change (for one thing, the thread usually doesn’t take dye well so you’re always stuck with contrast-color stitching if you make too big a change).

  • Oh yes, make it your own! Clothing and accessories, whether very low-priced or high, are for expression and fun. I don’t revere any clothing item, though I might cry salty tears if I spilled wine on my Louis Vuitton vintage blouse : > And your bag looks fabulous.

  • Anna D.

    I don’t own anything very expensive (being a professional student will do that to you!), but I would totally alter any piece of clothing I bought if it would make it work better for me, because I buy entirely for my own consumption, not for investment or resale. (Even when I was collecting vintage fountain pens I felt this way – though I never had anything really museum-worthy.) I guess I think the point of clothes is to fit the wearer, and if the original designer didn’t make that happen, I will.

    I would probably be less likely to do something like mark up a purse the way described above – not because I have a problem with anyone else doing it, but because I guess I have a stronger image of accessories’ integrity in my head, and knowing I’d changed it would make the piece feel sort of damaged to me. (I think it’s more I don’t trust my own fixes?) It’s not that I think it’s wrong to alter the item, I think I don’t trust myself to do it properly. Though I could see getting a cobbler to shorten a purse strap or something.

    I could see making an exception for truly investment-worthy items. I don’t think I’d ever be interested in owning, say, a 1960s Chanel suit, or clothing previously owned by Jackie O or Lady Di, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable using/changing it – it would really feel like a museum piece rather than actual clothes. But that’s more about my own background (and probably relationship to money) – I don’t think I’d disapprove of someone else doing whatever they liked with those items.

  • Anneesha

    I love to chop things apart, “faux” light colored summer shoes with dark shoe polish, distress with bleach pen, etc.

    Currently trying to think of a way to give a pair of faux leather scrunchy charcoal distressed boots a less cheap-looking finish … anyone got an idea?

  • One time on What Not to Wear, Clinton said to a client something along the lines of: Don’t think you don’t fit the clothes, the clothes don’t fit YOU. For some reason, that really resonated with me and I have stopped feeling bad about my body when I try on clothes that don’t fit. And I have begun to embrace the idea that if it doesn’t fit, I can either find a way to alter it or move on to something that does. For example, I bought a dress on eBay I had been stalking for months and when I finally got it, it was just as lovely as I had imagined but it didn’t fit around my rather bodacious booty. So rather than feel bad about myself or think I would diet enough to fit into it (never gonna happen) I altered it. I adore the dress (which I’m wearing today) and I always get compliments when I wear it.Ta-da! I made IT fit ME. In a weird and probably over-analytical way, I feel like the belief that you can alter your clothing is a recognition that your body is fine the way it is and you don’t have to be constrained by the fashion industries idea of what your body should look like.

  • I totally agree with you, I used to get all nervous and guilty-feeling about altering vintage or expensive things, but ultimately, if it makes me like it more or wear it more, who cares? Especially vintage things, I’ve come to terms with the fact that shortening hems or changing sleeves of a garment can save them from being costumey and make them more modern and wearable!

  • There are many times even a couture gown gets altered (and not just for fit) before being worn on the red carpet or at an event. So, clearly even designers are often willing to alter their original design. I think it is better for a piece to be altered and used than to languish in the closet.

  • Kris

    I’m all for altering! If you’ve purchased something, and a simple alteration like that is all it takes for you to be happy with it, then yay! If the plan is to take it apart and restructure it, then maybe you’re better off selling and then starting from scratch. But it depends.

  • Robert

    Your bag looks fabulous! Love all those zippers! I have no problems with alterations,making it your own,it’s all part of the fun..

  • JB

    For me this seems to be mostly related to online shopping. If I try something on in a store and it isn’t quite right, I’ll usually talk myself out of buying it. But if I order something online and it isn’t quite right, I’m more likely to think about altering it rather than making the effort to return or sell it.

  • I love this, but it always bothers me, or at least, a related question does: when I have things (inexpensive things, of course, as I don’t believe in designer/expensive anything) that I feel like I might be able to cut up and make into something, like spare t-shirts that I don’t really care about, I always debate with myself over whether it’s better for me to modify them and reuse them myself, or to leave them intact and donate them so that someone else can use them. I know it makes me cringe every time I have sleeves and pant hems shortened and they have to cut fabric off because now it’s been customized for me, and I feel like I’ve made it useless to anyone else for ever and ever, and somehow that seems really selfish. But it shouldn’t! And so I struggle.
    So, any thoughts on crafting out of clothes, vs. donating them in one piece?

    • Sal

      I wonder about this, too. I don’t think there’s an easy answer because on one hand you have the environmentally-sound decision to re-use something you’ve already purchased, and on the other you have the environmentally-sound and socially conscious decision to pass that item along to someone else. But I guess you can’t assume that an item will definitely have a life beyond your use, even if you donate it. And any customizations you make could make it perfect for someone else, too. Hard to say.

      • Katharine

        I agree with the last point, anyway. It’s always a HUGE SCORE for me to come across something (trousers/pants/jeans especially) that have clearly belonged to some other short, round-butted woman, fit me perfectly — and are exactly the right length!

        Saves ME chopping off the bottoms. I mean, what, am I going to duct-tape my pants to eternity because someday I MIGHT get rid of them and someone with a 36″ inseam MIGHT then acquire them?

        I also keep most of my bits and pieces, if they are of even moderately substantial size, when I chop. Things I have made from them: head wraps and infinity scarves (from skirt and dress bottoms); patch pockets added to original garment; mending patches if/when original garment suffers catastrophic rip; inside waistbands for altered skirts, or inseam pockets, out of cute prints or contrast fabric (won’t be seen, but still cheering for me).

    • Molly

      Honestly, I think this is one of those things where you have to give yourself a break. I understand the impulse to donate rather than alter when you don’t know how long you’ll stick with that altered piece, but the downside of donating shorter pants (now they won’t fit non-petite women!) is nothing compared to the downside of this internal debate (if I make the wrong choice, I’m a terrible, selfish person!).

      Buy clothes you like that fit your sense of ethics (how much they cost, who made them, whether they’re new or pre-owned), alter them if you like, and if you want to get rid of them, be crafty and cut them into rags/hairbands/arm-warmers or donate them so someone else can see if they fit her. Neither choice is better or worse: The world won’t be running out of intact clothing any time soon, and given how conscientious you are, I suspect the amount of clothing you allow to truly go to waste will be very small.

      • LinB

        Amen! Women who rely largely on used clothing to cover themselves have the same problems as do women who shop for new clothing: Pants not long enough/short enough, too long/too short in the rise, etc. If you donate your gently used clothing, someone else with your figure type will be the one who will buy it. (Thin, long-legged persons won’t choose the trousers that I donate!) They’ll simply push on down the rack until they find something that suits them, just as in a mall store. Good for you for donating unwanted items, by the way.

  • Courtney

    I think it all depends on why you are buying something. You buy a clothing item to use and alter it to make it more usable to you. That makes sense at any price point. In fact, if the item was expensive but is unusable to you as-is, altering it makes a lot more sense than leaving it unused in the back of your closet. If you buy a designer item with the intention of reselling it, permanent alterations that reduce its value make no sense.

  • ParisGrrl

    I buy designer garments on ebay frequently, and have no problem refashioning them to suit my body or taste. I’ve also reworked jewelry and other items. If something was particularly rare or valuable that might give me pause, but otherwise why shouldn’t we make our things work for us?

  • I am ALL about the alterations. Occasionally – not so much now as it’s been mined to completion – I would go through my mom’s closet and find gems from her pre-kid years. My mom is 5 inches taller than me with a smaller chest and different overall shape, but those clothes were languishing, unloved and unworn, and me giving them a few tweaks made them live again. I remember one in particular – I still have it, actually – a knit wool sleeveless dress with a gorgeous cowl neck… it was fitted, but when I wore it, it looked baggy and weird (despite still being a gorgeous dress). It took me some months to work up the courage to do it, but finally I threw it in the washing machine (no soap – didn’t want it felted!) and then, praying, I put it in the dryer. When it came out, it fit me like a glove and today it’s one of my favourite cozy-winter-pretties.

    I think it’s easier to get comfortable with alterations when you have a very atypical figure. Nothing much fits me properly right off the rack, so I’ve become adept at shortening hems and inserting panels for my boobs.

  • I’m generally all for altering things. I don’t really buy much spndy stuff, but I wouldn’t feel bad about altering that. I do think twice about doing anything to (proper) vintage. I have shortened a lot of dresses, but I don’t chop them, I just double them up so they can be returned to their original state. I don’t like the idea of taking precious antique clothes and cutting into them properly. Like Livia Firths Oscar dress made from 10 or so regency dresses. I thought that was dress murder. I can’t really quite articulate what the difference between altering vintage and altering designer is, but I’m much less comfortable with the former.

  • Catherine

    If anything, I think it makes more sence to alter a pricy garment/accessory than a cheap one. Often, more expensive pieces means it is better quality and will last longer. Then it is the piece you want to fit you perfectly, because then you can wear it for years and feel fabulous in it; meanwhile, the same garment unaltered might have languished at the back of your closet. Of course, you could then donate or resell it but, usually, when someone is willing to pay extra for something, it means they really like it so I suppose you actually wanted to wear it.

    However, I would have second thoughts about altering heirlooms or a fairly old clothes/accessories, because I feel that thesehistory filled garments are not fully mine, like they still partly belong to their old owner and therefore are not mine to alter.

    Some of this was phrased weirdly, I’m sorry, I just wasn’t sure how to put it. Hopefully, you still understand the idea.

  • I have just now started to consider altering items I pick up. I have a skirt that I am thinking about sewing. I didn’t even consider doing it with clothing or accessories until I realized so many bloggers do. It’s one of my favorite aspects of costuming, but I never really connected it to everyday wear until recently. 🙂

  • I take a slightly different point of view because my entire life I’ve been told, “Well, you can always alter it.” It’s very rare that anything fits me well off the rack (I blame the 38″ inseam, 10AAA width feet and 36DD bust) and most of the time I’ll find something that’s close to working, but needs alterations. My frustration comes from the fact that, on a limited budget, most clothing pieces made in my sizes are already remarkably pricey and rarely discounted. So I’m reluctant to spend $150 on a pair of shoes that I’ll have to spent another $50 on inserts for just so they fit my feet properly.

    However, redye a thrifted skirt or turn a blazer into a vest? That I’ll do.

  • Abby

    Hey Sally! I have another question that concerns this! I just found this very beautiful 1970’s vintage maxi dress, and I had to get it, just because its so pretty!! but it has those kimono sleeve things that all of those 1970s dresses do and i am trying to decide if I want to alter it or not to make it more modern looking. Plus, if I wanted to wear it I thought I would wear it in the winter time (because its made of polyester with too much lining–too hot for summer) with like a jacket or something and the sleeves bunch up in the jackets in a funny way…what do you think? would cutting off the sleeves “modern”ify it or would it be a bad idea?

    • Sal

      Ahh, Abby, could you try pinning the sleeves up to get a rough idea of how it’d look? You could even take it to the tailor for their input, to see if such an alteration would change the overall shape somehow. I’d say see if you can get a preview of how it’ll look with traditional sleeves before diving into the change.

  • Abby

    PS- i forgot to write that i am having trouble with this decision mostly because the dress was fairly expensive (around 60$) and i don’t want to do something that i will regret later! Thanks … 🙂

    • K

      You know, your post reminds me so much of Lady Gaga’s diy Birkin bags covered in Japanese grafitti or goth-like spikes. If a little Sharpie will make you love your $20K bag that much more, then go for it. Besides, if you have something that has obviously had some customization to it, you could always resort to etsy or ebay to find its new home where you can explain just how improved it is as a result.

    • K

      sorry, that was supposed to go lower. Abby, if you want to take the plunge without doing anything too irreversable, see if you can simply take the sleeves out with a seam ripper. If you can make your alterations without cutting fabric, you can always take out your new seams and put the sleeves back in.

  • Joanna

    Huh, that is a different philosophy than I follow, but mine is mostly out of fear! I spent good money on it and I don’t want to ruin it so I leave it alone! Stuff that I buy at thrift stores though are fair game and I’ll do whatever to them. Maybe I’ll be braver in the future and try your mindset with more expensive things!

  • I alter nearly 45% of what I own. I’ve chopped off sleeves, turned sweater dresses into just sweaters. I’ve cut up a thrifted Dior cardigan to make it more flattering (it was a men’s). I’ve considered dip dying my bright white All Saints dress.. and definitely intend to do it when the white stops being as stark/fresh to extend the life of the piece. I’ve chopped out underskirts because I knew it would make the piece more wearable, though less in-your-face huge.

    It’s my stuff, I bought, I wear – why not improve it to maximize its potential? I’ve messed some stuff up, yeah, but I’ve also put projects off until I practice a bit first.. but if it’s not something I can practice, I frequently go ahead and do it.

  • Aziraphale

    Well, I don’t think I own any designer duds (with the exception of shoes) so I can’t say I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this issue. I do, however, often need to have garments altered to fit me, since I’m very small. Having things hemmed immediately after purchase has always been pretty much a given. But in the past year or so, I’ve taken to having all manner of tops and dresses tailored to fit me perfectly. These alterations can sometimes be costly. However, the end result makes me so happy that I’m a total alterations convert. Clothes are just so much more FLATTERING when they fit the way they’re supposed to! So in that sense, yes, I have no problem with tinkering with a garment once I own it.

  • In addition to altering my clothes, as a jewelry designer I happily customize designs for people all the time. Why not?

  • meli22

    I didn’t realize everything you buy is on deep sale/used- even the DVF dress you bought? I cant claim that most things I buy are deeply discounted or secondhand. Wish I could!

    As for the purse- it only makes sense that you cleaned it up to make you happy! Why would you want to throw away a lot of money if a simple fix will make it better?! However, if you have something that was cheap (and like cheap things, become worn and are difficult to salvage) there should be no guilt in disposing of the item. If you loved it/used it enough, then you know you should get a quality item that serves the same purpose. That’s the whole point in secondhand IMO- you get to try things cheaply, and if they work you know to get a better quality item like it!

    • Sal

      Yep! Nabbed one DVF on sale, one on consignment.

      • meli22

        that is an awesome score! I remember you posting about how much you liked it, and it was still in stores! I wish I could find awesome consignments like that. You have some awesome shopping gods on your side- maybe I need to go closer to the city or a more fortunate area to get better secondhand.

  • Cat

    Sure, I say alter away, especially if it’s pepto pink. Yuk!. Of course the pricier something is the less likely I would be to risk ruining it. I have been known to use a black sharpie on shoes to fix scratches.

  • Susan, the one in Berkeley

    Of course I do – I have a clothes closet, not an archive.

    Besides, clothes used to be made to fit individuals. It’s only recently that clothing is sold off-the-rack. I figure taking items to my tailor is just participating in the original intention of fashion.

  • Eliza

    All those big-name designers have a lot more experience than I do with color theory, construction, etc, so I will tend to trust them on those points. That being said, I’m the expert on my own body, so I get to decide if their creation works on me or not, and if it doesn’t, I have the right to change it. While designers may have fewer clients than places like Target or H&M, they are still selling thousands of their “exclusive” designs.
    The only time I don’t think the customer has the right to change something irrevocably is if it’s a one of a kind piece, or an irreplacable antique. Even then, it’s sometimes still possible to refashion things without those changes being permanant. When my aunt was getting married about ten years ago, she was trying to incorporate a VERY good piece of antique lace into the bodice of her dress. The original plan was for the piece to be stitched into the dress in such a way that it would remain intact, and could be reused if she had a daughter who was getting married. When the dressmaker hesitantly told my aunt that because of the style dress she wanted, he would have to cut into the lace, she said okay. Much as I love my aunt, it makes me sick to think that something cherished for more than a century was destroyed so that it could be worn for one day.

  • I used to buy dresses from the thrift store because I liked the print, and then turn them into shirts. Once I started wearing dresses all the time I was like, uggh! I could have just shortened them and they would have looked fine.

  • Mar

    I think I am not really understanding the issue here – why anyone would shy away from customization – so it’s good to read the arguments. I would only shy away from customizing real artworks that cannot be recreated. Say if someone had a Titian or Picasso or Wyeth up in their living room and then covered up some spots with a Sharpie because they’d like it to have some more cheerful colors, I’d be rather upset. Or if someone cut up a royal coronation gown that really belongs to a museum. But regular consumer fashion? I am sure there is a tiny realm of beyond-exclusive designer fashion that can be construed as a unique work of art that cannot be recreated, but “regular” designer fashion definitely is not it for me. And even if a clothing item is vintage, there is not necessarily anything about it that cannot be recreated (unless I am missing the whole point of this discussion) or nothing about for example antique lace that cannot be remade – and I don’t see why anything would be more valuable simply because it’s old. So I am not really sure why anyone would shy away from altering them to suit their current needs.

    • K

      you know, even with works of art customization can make it really suit you personally – change the orientation of the work or display it in a really unusual way. It is so hard to turn artwork into an investment you can realize gains from that you NEED to enjoy it. The best example I have of this is this: Dennis Hopper had a portrait done by Andy Worhol. One night he ends up shooting it in the dark with a .22 (accidentally). Worhol though this was so fantastic that he came back to add sharpie commentary to the bullet holes. The portrait remained lovingly diy’d until his death very recently.

      • K

        sorry, I just realized that it wasn’t a self portrait, it was a Chairman Mao.

    • Katharine

      Even with one-of-a-kind works of fashion, people customise them. If you can find some descriptions of the Daphne Guinness exhibit, for example, a lot of them include notes on how she had unique runway pieces altered or added to in order to fit HER unique style.

      If you’re wearing it, make it yours, I say.

  • Alter away, i say! i’m always thinking of how to alter this and that, and i sew as well so sometimes things can end up pretty vastly different!

    One thing that bugs the heck out of me is antiques connoisseurs who are adamant that nothing should ever be cleaned – do not dust your furniture, don’t clean your jewelry……..first of all, that is disgusting. Secondly, my own mother has recited the ‘don’t dust’ mantra to me which is exasperating in terms of her asthma. Yes, stripping the finish off a priceless antique will cause the value to plummet. But a damp rag and a little orange oil will not. And you may indeed breathe easier.

    As an inveterate frequenter of antique jewelry stores – how do you think they get those pieces to look so shiny and sparkly? it ain’t all lighting. steph

  • LaChina

    I alter all the time. I feel it’s better to keep what I buy vs throwing more stuff into the universe that may or may not get worn. I’ve cut open a v neck cashmere sweater and turned into a cardigan, with help from the seamstress at my cleaners. I’ve also cut out the cowl neck of a sweater tunic because it I realized I get hot rather easily.

  • Pingback: Link Love from YLF Members | YouLookFab()

  • Totally late coming back, but this is why I love it here – so many great thoughts. I don’t even get much into “style” for myself, but I keep coming back because I love to see what people think about it.

    And I will just be happy that there are other short round-butted women out there who will love finding my hemmed pants as much as I love finding theirs!