Sunday, February 27, 2011

We’re Open For Business!

Greetings, vintage enthusiasts! We have some exciting news for you. Let’s Go Thrifting has opened its doors for some virtual business.

Stop by our Etsy store for vintage decor, books, fashion and more. We plan to expand, but here are a few shots of what we have in stock so far.

Happy Thrifting!

Etsy Pineapple Cross Stitch
Vintage Pineapple Cross Stitch

Antiquarian Children's Poetry Book

80's Inspired, Size 10 Vegan-Friendly Flats

Rainbow Brite Children's Activity Books

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Elusive Owl

Owl Group 1
Owl planters, 90 cents _Impact Thrift Montgomeryville.
Plump brass owl $2_Impact Thrift Hatboro.
1970's vintage owl with flowers, $1.40_2nd Ave.
Miniature ceramic owl, 25 cents_Impact Thrift Montgomeryville.
 Perhaps it’s their regal stance or the fact that they can rotate their heads up to 270 degrees, but these nocturnal birds of prey have been something of a secondhand trend.

Crafters, thrifters and vintage enthusiasts have been hunting owls for personal collections, re-selling and up-cycling for some time. A case-in-point example: a basic search of the word “owls” on Etsy yields nearly 59,000 results.

But what is the allure of the owl?

Is it his seeming passivity, just hanging out hootin’ on a branch?

Is it the slow, deliberate movements when he stalks his prey?

Is it his stumpy, feathered body that attracts such a secondhand following?

The world may never know.
But we certainly want to.

What are your thrifted owl experiences? Have your owl sightings been scarce?
Why the owl? Does the Western symbolism of the wise old owl have any connection to their vintage appeal?

And how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?

Our current tally is 39 followers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

From the Land of the Rising Sun.

A sleepy 'salaryman' on the platform of the Tokyo metro line. Worn out from a day of thrifting, perhaps?

I’ve always said that aside from ridiculously low prices, the appeal of secondhand shopping is salvaging cultural artifacts. Vintage, kitsch, ephemera, oddities…all of the items that could fall into these categories are marked by a time, a place, a person who was the previous owner…and perhaps a story.

The biggest chapter in the story of my life so far took place some five years ago. I was in my final semesters of college life and decided it was time for a change. I was so close to graduating. I had finished earning my minor accreditations, was working toward my final core classes for my major and was looking for one last hurrah before tossing the graduation cap in the air. So I applied for a study abroad opportunity in the summer semester. And lo and behold I was accepted and spent six amazing weeks living, studying and writing a column in Tokyo, Japan.

Ever since, I’ve been looking to relive the experience, to recapture it in some small way. And this is probably the reason I jump at the opportunity to snatch up all things Japanese when thrifting or trotting through flea markets. Books, art, toys, decor…everything! I love collecting cultural artifacts from this culture that is not my own, but one I adopted if only for a short time.

Japan Group 1

These are just a few of my favorite Japanese thrifted finds. I’m not quite sure how to describe this little wooden doll. He’s not a Kokeshi. But he’s great, and I love his little hat. That jar to his right is about the size of a jar of baby food. The design of the image and the slope of the lid reminds me of Japanese architecture.

While these three reads are more or less children’s books, I consider myself to have a childlike wonder and awe when it comes to Japan. Besides, the stories in Tales of Old Japan (1966) and Lafcadio Hearn’s Japanese Fairy Tales (1953) are filled with magic, nature and at times complete and utter dread.

In addition to taking a class on foreign journalism and Japanese contemporary culture, I actually based much of my academic study in Tokyo on the subject of Japanese horror cinema And Hearn’s Kwaidan: Stories of Studies of Strange Things was of great service. If you are interested in Japanese culture, folklore or horror, give it a read and you will not be disappointed.

Lastly, the book at the bottom of the pile was a thrifted gift from my best friend. And how fitting since Tokyo Friends (2006) is the most lovely little children’s book. It serves as a very basic, introductory level Japanese-English dictionary. Featuring a few Japanese and American children, the book teaches both definitions and cultural exchange in everyday life. And again, it’s adorable. Love it.

I took hundreds of photos while in Japan. Of nature. Of architecture. Of adults. Children. Students. Friends. Strangers. And I love looking back at them. Sometimes I need to look…to remind myself that it wasn’t all some incredibly lucid dream.

JapaneseFamily Resized

Remember this picture from the Collections page? This portrait of adults, children, strangers marked by a time and a place…of a culture that is not my own… was truly an amazing flea market find and one of my personal favorites.

It’s beautiful. And that little girl front and center? She reminds me of this little girl I photographed on my very first day in Japan.

Japanese Baby

She was too cute, wandering around the Shinto shrine we were visiting. Not knowing enough Japanese to properly ask her parents permission for her photograph I excused myself with a sumimasen, called her kawaii and pointed to my camera. Her mother and father were all too happy getting her to pose for me. I love that little smile and the positioning of her hands and her hair blowing in the wind. It was magical.

I desperately want to go back to Japan, even live there extensively. Maybe some day I will. But until then I have my photographs to look through, my dolls and decor to surround myself with and my fairy tales, both lived and imagined, all about the Land of the Rising Sun.


Don't forget about The Big 5-0 Giveaway!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Special Announcement: The First Freebie

Book Freebie

Hello, thrifters. If you read our last post, you know that one of our fine followers will win a special thrifted gift. And that prize is the above book, The Complete Book of Small Antiques Collecting by Katharine Morrison McClinton.

This hardcover treasure from 1965 is packed with handy and helpful historical information on Americana, Victoriana and country antiques. The front cover reads, “From advertising fans to watch papers, from pudding molds to rose bowls, here is the up-to-date guide on how to identify, purchase and build a collection of small antiques."

Of course, it’s not 2011 up-to-date. It’s 1965 up-to-date, only lending to the antique charm. Rescued from the Philly Aids Thrift, this would make a nice aid and addition to your vintage collections.

And it can be all yours for the low, low price of $0.00 

Follow us. And you’re entered to win. Once we hit 50 followers, a name will be drawn at random… from a thrifted hat, no less.

So good luck and keep on thrifting!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Special Announcement: The Big 5-0 Giveaway.

"What's in the box? What's in the box!?"

In an effort for better branding and a broader readership base, I’ve been plotting and planning new and exciting ways to boost the ratings here on Let’s Go Thrifting! I would also like a promotion to thank all of our loyal readers already aboard the Let's Go Thrifting! ship.

So, dear readers, here’s the big reveal: When the blog reaches a milestone amount of followers, each and every one of you is eligible to win free prizes!

All that is required of you is to officially follow the blog. At present, there are 31 loyal followers.

I’ve decided that the first benchmark for success is the big 5-0. That’s right. Once we at Let’s Go Thrifting! reach 50 followers, I will randomly draw one name and that lucky reader will win a prize.

The prizes will be kitsch, craft or vintage-inspired thrifted goods that will be shipped to the lucky winner’s home free of charge.

I’ve been to several of my favorite thrift stores in the past few days searching for that something special to be the first Let’s Go Thrifting freebie. And while I’ve got nothing yet, rest assured. Once I find the prize, it will be posted for all to see!

In the meantime, I bet you’re wondering what you can do to help the process. Well here it is, in two easy steps:
  1. If you’re a casual reader of Let’s Go Thrifting! who maybe looks at all the photos and gives a little chuckle now and again, go ahead and Follow the Blog. If you’re a fellow blogger, our recent updates will automatically appear in your blog’s dashboard. If not, you also have the option to follow through Google Friend Connect and view all the posts on your Google Reader. If you don’t have a Google account or if you  prefer to subscribe to the blog with another reader system, follow the feed through a reader of your choice here. We have also just added the option to subscribe via e-mail, which will deliver all of our updates right to your inbox.
  2. If you already read and enjoy Let’s Go Thrifting! feel free to link this little giveaway to your blog and let thrift-minded friends know what we at Let’s Go Thrifting! are up to.
So that's it! Just read and enjoy. Maybe you could even leave us some comments or drop us a line and let us know how we are doing. But to enter this first Let's Go Thrifting! giveaway, just follow us on our many thirfting adventures.

Once we hit the big 5-0, I'll announce the winner. In the meantime, stay tuned for updates on our follower tally and the announcement of what the mystery prize will be. Good luck to all our loyal readers and thanks for following Let's Go Thrifting!

~Jackie Jardine
Lets Go Thrifting!
Thrifter. Creator. Blogger-in-Chief.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Get Her To The Church On Time!


Hello, lovers.

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. So I thought I would share some exciting thrift-news with the holiday in mind. Goodwill’s Third Annual Bridal Extravaganza takes place tomorrow, Saturday February 12, 2011 for the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area.

Featuring new and gently used gowns for the bride and bridal party, the event is planned by Goodwill staff for an entire year. With gowns priced from $50, it’s a great deal for a great cause. The doors open at 9am. But expect a crowd of brides-to-be and arrive early!

Follow the link above for location, maps, area guides and more handy information.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pop Goes The Photographer.

The good news: I scored an original Polaroid Minute Maker Land Camera, circa 1977, unopened in box and with the original instruction manual for $2.99 from the new Goodwill this afternoon.

The bad news: I'm pretty sure they stopped making film for this particular camera in the mid-80's.

The plan: Search high and low for both the Type 108 Land film (rectangular) and the Type 88 Land film (square) and hope that if found and affordable, the long expired product doesn't ruin the camera. Should this vintage miracle come to pass, I've found Flashcubes readily available for purchase.

Plan B: For 3 bucks, it's a nice vintage display piece to add to my camera collection.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to let me know if any of you professional thrifters encounter this elusive film in your travels... Its very existence will give me hope in finding some in the future. could simply purchase said film for me and be richly rewarded in thrifted gifts... Either way...

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Clown, Deconstructed.

Clown Half

As any avid thrifter can tell you: there is no shortage of clown paraphernalia at your average thrift store. They’re on coffee mugs and cross-stitch art. They’re in porcelain and plaster. They’re lurking in the knick-knack area and within the depths of the stuffed toy bins.

And today we are featuring one, right here on Let’s Go Thrifting!

Direct from 2nd Ave for the low, low cost of 90 cents, we bring you a clown. That's right. For your entertainment and enlightenment we have captured a single clown for the purpose of a study in fear.

First Observation.
He looks harmless enough, with the lone poof ball on his starred costume and the welcoming gesture of his arms.

But upon closer inspection…

Closn Closer 1
Second Observation.
Those eyebrows are rather…confrontational. And it seems his ruffles are flailing in anger, like the feathers on a bird of prey, poised to attack.

And closer, still…

Clown Closest

Final Observation.
Those empty, soulless eyes. The marked furrow of his brow. The impossibly tiny red hat. These are all proven scientific features of a murderer. Especially the hat.

Despite initial appearances, all clowns have impulses to maim, murder or at the very least, scare the living crap out of their owners.

Thrifters, beware. No matter how unassuming...No matter how cheap... a clown is a clown. It will juggle. It will make balloon animals. And it will get you while you’re sleeping.

Have you seen this clown?

This is Pennywise the Clown.  
If you find any clown-related merchandise that bares even the slightest semblance to him, for the love of God and all things holy, leave it be. Even if it only costs a penny at Goodwill, leave it  and run--don't walk--to the nearest exit.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Big Score

Desk View 
Maybe it won’t happen in a single trip to the thrift. Maybe it won’t happen in a day. But at one point you’ll look at your pile of thrifted treasures and say, “this is it.”  This is the Big Score.

I came to the realization that I had a touch of luck these last few weeks. I nailed a byline for a hot topic editorial in my city’s leading newspaper. I scored all these awesome finds at the thrift. Life was good.

Seemingly not long after dragging home bags of clothes, books, electronics and other assorted goodies, I fell ill to the flu. After spending a solid 5 days in bed, I grew restless. I’m still not feeling like myself. Not quite back on par with treasure hunting at the thrift, I think I’ll just take the time to share with all of you some great finds from the past.

First and foremost, this camera. I’m always a bit hesitant to gamble with thrift electronics. Many thrift stores do tests products before putting them on the sales floor. Radios, TVs, vacuum cleaners. These are typically pretty safe bets. Cameras? Cameras are a crapshoot. Though I know nothing of this particular brand. And though I wasn’t necessarily in the market for a camera, I took a chance.

Thanks to the spoils of the digital age, I haven’t worked with 35mm film in years. So this will take some getting used to. Due to the external flash that mounts on the camera, it weighs a ton. And it has varying apertures and automatic rewind. It was brand new in the box and seems to be a steal for $20. The only downside? I have to wait until I finish the roll before finding out just how big this score was. I have high hopes for this one. I really do.


This, however… This I knew was a wise investment. I’m not a sucker for all designers. I’m really not. Sure, I enjoy owning nice things. But only if those nice things speak to me personally. Do I like this item? Will I use this item? Is this item more than a status symbol? Yes, yes, yes. The answer is yes. I love Betsey Johnson. Her quirky, prima donna punk style just makes me smile.

So. When I found this lovely purple leopard print purse with black lace overlay…new…with original tags still on….with protective zipper pulls still on…with the original paper stuffing to protect the shape…well. I dashed over there to grab it. Originally, this bag is $68. At Impact Thrift it was marked $24.99.

But wait! The aisles were crawling with shoppers. The parking lot was jam-packed. It must be a store-wide sale, I thought to myself. And surely, it was. 25% off everything in stock. $18.75 for a brand new Betseyville bag? You better believe it.

With those kinds of savings, I could even buy this…

Cup Runneth Over Side
…multi-functional votive candle holder/square goblet/candy dish/glass decor. I like the fading gold, orange and red. And it was 90 cents. I’m just not entirely sure the purpose it will best serve…yet. Maybe some of you creative thrifters could offer some suggestions?

In hindsight, the roughly $40 spent tallies this one of my more expensive thrift adventures. I rarely find myself spending more than a couple of dollars on each item. So two $20 purchases in one week seems rather excessive. But who can pass up an old school 35 mm camera and Betsey Johnson? Not I. Besides. Look how neat that multi-functional votive candle holder/square goblet/candy dish/glass decor is.

What’s your biggest secondhand score?

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