Thursday, June 30, 2011

Odds 'n' Ends Thursday: Price Fails, Technical Difficulties & Thrifted Music That Will Greatly Disturb You

Price Fail.

This mischievous elf/wizard/pointy-hat-wearing troll was spotted at Goodwill yesterday afternoon.
He was tagged at $4.97.

Five dollars.

A four-inch-high, hideous-faced fantasy creature?

Five dollars?

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind forking over some hard-earned dollars for kitschy thrift-found oddities. But this is some kind of deranged secondhand price gouging.


In other odds 'n' ends notes of miscellany, I've been experimenting with my novelty faux-vintage stereo the last few days. This modern wonder is a record player/iPod dock/CD player and recorder.

After messing around with track intervals and recording levels, I finally ripped a few albums from vinyl to CD. Then I just popped the discs into my laptop, typed in the track names and loaded them into my iTunes library.

I was hoping to have all the technical kinks worked out so that I can share some of my thrifted albums with you. But damn, does finding a reliable source of streaming audio for Blogger have to be difficult. If any of you technically-versed readers/bloggers out there have a suggestion for a free simple interface that's compatible with Blogger, I'll send positive thrift vibes your way. Hell, I'll make you your very own thrifted mix album.

I mean, look. Look at this album. I know that you can barely contain your excitement, but this compilation gem of incredibly strange songs was worth every penny...all 98 of them. And believe me "Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the Back Seat)" by Paul Evans is testimony to the entire album concept.

The song is from the perspective of the driver, who is peeved because his buddy "Fred" is macking it up with seven... count 'em, seven "little" girls in the backseat. This is problematic for a number of reasons.

  1. I don't care how "little" these girls are. How do you fit seven of them, plus one Lothario named Fred in the back seat and have ample room for all the described "hugging and kissing?"
  2. Why are there seven girls back there swooning for the same guy at the same time? Hell, he doesn't even have a car.
  3. How pervy is it that the driver is forced to witness all of these 8-person shenanigans from his rear view mirror, while being sung to in the chorus to "keep his eyes on the road and hands on the wheel" by seven squealing presumably prepubescent girls?
  4. And lastly and perhaps most important for legality sake, how does one define "little?" Are these girls just extraordinarily compact? They must be... to fit seven back there, plus Fred. Otherwise, we listeners might assume "little" to be quantitative, as in numbers, as in in age of consent.
Okay. I'll cave. Here's a video....of the 1948 performance... with puppets.

We're going for maximum creep factor now. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Thrifted Life: Oh! The Horror!

It has been a considerable amount of time since last considering a serious pursuit into writing fiction. I’ve spent so many hours in earning a byline with magazines, newspapers and online media that I’ve lost touch with the ability for suspended belief that fiction so gratuitously grants.

To honor the conscious decision toward a new career path in fiction, I’ve decided to dedicate a space here on the blog for some of the inspiration behind one of my favorite fictional genres.

For me the love for horror started early. At six years old I was a little too young to read H.P. Lovecraft or Stephen King. But visually, I was ready for a good scare.

The day I saw my first horror movie was monumental. Before my parents loaded the VCR with the rental from West Coast Video they sat me down on the sofa and explained to me that what I was about to see wasn’t real. It was just a story, they said. It’s fiction and that means it isn’t real. And with that being said we sat down for a family viewing of Child’s Play.

Chucky Doll Group
As you can see, I've collected a few killer dolls. The medium Chucky was thrifted for $2. The tiny Chucky was won in a crane game. Also note the plush Sadako from the J-horror movie Ringu. She was an incredible ebay find.

Of course I was terrified. But it the was type of fleeting reaction that was soon replaced with excitement and wonder. In the years that followed I came to write a few short stories and a half-attempt at a screenplay in the horror genre, all in trying to capture that same adrenaline I felt sitting in front of the TV screen when I six years old.

Lately I’ve been dreaming up a few nightmares I hope to one day share. But until then, thrifters, here are a few secondhand finds you may find a bit horrifying.

This thrifted Wolfman was $2.50.
His eyes are rather menacing.

I love this photograph of an abandoned family estate first built in 1908. Haunted perhaps?

I may love the personal description of the photo even more. Thank you Bill Osbourne from 1949.

Horror Books
I haven't quite mastered the art of hypnotism but I have enjoyed reading about UFO sightings, spirit photography and religious cults in the World Almanac Book of the Strange.

Worry Dolls
Guatemalan worry dolls. You are supposed to sleep with these little dolls under your pillow to ward off worries. I have 25 of them. I only worry that they will one day seek vengeance for carrying around my mental burdens...and maybe...the snoring.

Haunted Doll 2
Sometimes even my cute dolls can come off a little creepy given the right atmosphere. In playing with the shutter speed, I found this doll has a haunting quality. 

This familiar clown, however...He will ALWAYS be creepy no matter what the lighting concept.

And while my bedroom is surrounded with Chucky dolls and clowns and odd photography I don't  lose any sleep. Unless of course, there's a deadline. I'm just finishing this post now at 2:35 am on what is now technically Wednesday. Miss a blog post?

My God! The horror!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Week in Review: Thrift Deprivation vs. Housebound Productivity

Greetings, thrifters. Another week has gone by and I haven't been to a single thrift store. Well, that's not entirely true. On Monday my sister drove me to Goodwill to donate a few bags of leftover toys and games. So to clarify, I have not been at the thrift shopping this week. Oh, woe is me!

But I have been brainstorming fun new ideas for the blog, some of which I have previously mentioned. I am hoping that these plans come into fruition in the very near future. But a lot of the ideas require a bit of spending money for gas and thrifted goods, or at the very least the ability to drive freely. Being a passenger at the mercy of others' kindness and quite possibly being a regular pain in the ass in the process has been nerve wracking. I see the doctor on Thursday for an exam and new set of xrays to see when I can kick off this wretched boot.

'Til then, here I am on the couch with my laptop and a cup of coffee. And on a brighter note, not all of the ideas rely upon dollars or driving. Take The Trading Post idea, for example. I think we can all have some real fun with this.

But I am asking for a little help in the form of some honest opinions. I'm debating on having The Trading Post segment of Let's Go Thrifting on a particular day. Should I attempt to incorporate this thought into the editorial schedule? Or should posts be sporadic, whenever the mood strikes and the goods must go? I am aiming for editorial consistency, but I don't want to take on so much where the site values quantity over quality of posts. What are your thoughts?

Also, I was thinking of having The Trading Post as a seperate tab or "page" as its known on Blogger. Though I'm not sure if this would help or hurt the process.

Hmm...still some things to consider with this project. But no matter the frequency or position on the blog, I'm hoping everyone who participates will have some fun finding "New (to you)" goods in all of your trades.

While I still have some decisions to make, here are the basics on the trading procedure.
Feel free to shoot off some questions or ideas. Your thrifty insight is very much appreciated!

Wanna trade? Let's have a virtual shake on it!
Welcome to The Trading Post!

This is a venue where bloggers and blog readers can share pictures and descriptions of wares they wish to be rid of, in exchange for goods they just got to have. Items will vary in size, style and value. But we’re hoping for some variety.

So take a look around, maybe initiate a trade.

How To Participate

Do you have an item you are looking to unload? If you’re a blogger, make your own Trading Post entry on your site, complete with photos and a description of the item. Then add your entry through our InLinkz list.

No blog? No problem! Just send an email with the info on your item to and we’ll post it for you.
What you will trade is entirely your decision, but remember that the parties involved in the trade are responsible for their own items and shipping policies.
Be honest. Have fun. And happy trading!

The Rules

  • Please be respectful of other bloggers and their items. If an item interests you pursue the possibility of a trade. If you’re not interested in the offer, politely turn it down.

  • Don’t forget to mention the issue of shipping costs when negotiating a trade. Each trader is responsible for their own trades, including shipping. Let’s Go Thrifting will provide the venue for discussion, but the trades are entirely up to you.

  • Please respond to trade inquiries promptly and ship out items in a timely fashion.

  • Are you hunting down a specific item? Maybe you should include a Thrift Wish List with each Trading Post. Who knows? Maybe someone will have just what you are looking for.

  • Be honest. Honesty is the best policy with photos, item descriptions and shipping terms. Don’t offer or agree on a trade if you don’t plan on following-through on the deal.

  • Have an open mind and have fun. Don’t think someone will want to trade their Pyrex bowl for your Pog collection? You’ll never know until you ask.


Friday, June 24, 2011

It's a 1980's Toy Blowout Sale!

Come one, come all to see the new inventory at The Let's Go Thrifting Etsy Shop!

Looking for Rainbow Brite? Strawberry Shortcake? A few Cabbage Patch Kids? We got 'em! And much more will be listed in the near future.

5 new items were added today...each of them, 8 bucks or less!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Odds ‘n’ Ends Thursday: A Fair Trade

Looking to do something new with your odds 'n' ends? Howabout a trade?

In sorting through garage sale leftovers and potential thrift donations, I’ve been considering a few options.

  • I can rent a space at a flea market to sell some previously loved junk.
  • I can restock my Etsy shop with a few toys, books, bags and a miscellany of other vintage wares.
  • I can simply bag everything up and donate it to Goodwill.

Sure I’d like to make a few bucks when I can. And Lord knows I’d like everything to be neat and organized. But I would also like to try something different. I’d like to consider the possibility of a trade.

I’ve seen other bloggers attempt a virtual trading post, such as the always innovative professional thrift blogger Selena of Apron Thrift Girl. And I imagine things can get complicated in terms of comparable value of the goods involved.  But I’m willing to give it a whirl.

In the next few weeks I plan to create a separate “page” on Let’s Go Thrifting dedicated to available trades for anyone interested in participating. I will use InLinkz for other bloggers to post and share links to any items they would be interested in trading. I will also extend an invitation for non-bloggers to participate via email. Just send me photos and descriptions and I will post the goods on your behalf!

Rules and further details will be posted in the near future, as well as a preview for some of my own junk ready to be traded.

Interested in the Let’s Go Thrifting Trading Post? Gather your goods for a photo shoot, jot down some details and prepare for a fair trade.

What would you be willing to trade-in?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Thrifted Life: Take the Inspirational Tour

As a writer, I like to think that I see things just a bit differently. I suspect that other writers, artists, photographers and creative-minded folk feel the same. We observe the tiniest details and draw inspiration from unconventional sources. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that I find thrift shopping so appealing. Seeing and sometimes buying otherwise discarded items leaves me wondering about the previous owner. What did they gain from this book, this painting, this oddity that I now possess?

At the very least I know what I gain. I gain satisfaction and a sense of fate intervening when I find that one thing that just speaks to me that no one else unearthed. And in some small way I gain something immeasurably important: a muse, something to be inspired by.

After reading Thrift Core and seeing Van’s treatise on art, visual stimulation and productivity, I at long last know I’m not alone. It doesn’t hurt that we both share common devotion for zombies, robots, Japan, vintage wares and thrifting oddities.

What we own and what personal value we put upon certain possessions just speaks to our character. So here is my character study. This is the first of what will be several installments of my own virtual tour. This segment: My bookcase.

Robot and Books_Tour

Of course the words and thoughts of other writers are of constant inspiration. And as you will see, I have varying tastes. On this shelf we have the macabre. Ever since seeing my first horror movie, I’ve had a dark love for the genre. I found a copy of All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger while thrifting in Canada and very nearly shouted the pride in my acquisition aloud.

Clown and Books_Tour
…Then there’s books and zines on crafting. The Big Ass Book of Crafts is a must-have.

Nude Dolls and Books_Tour

…And a few classics, mixed with a few oddities. Remember 202 Things To Do: Activities and Finger Fun  for Children… now how does that get shelved near Kurt Vonnegut?

Japan Books_Tour

Here’s my entire shelf of books on Japan…culture, fashion, language, lore and of course…Japanese horror cinema. That Domo-kun and Totoro are straight out of Tokyo. I bought so many toys I had to buy another piece of luggage to bring everything home. The antiquarian copies of Japanese Fairy Tales and Tales of Japan were both thrifted, as was that pink laughing Buddha statue.

Well that’s just some visual support of what intrigues and inspires me. In the future you can expect a whole mish-mash of interests and collections that will likely make you wonder if I have some strange variety of Attention Deficit Disorder when thrifting.

Feminism? Zombies? Gnomes? Owls? Killer dolls? What’s the connection? The connection is me... and my strange finds that I love.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Thrifted Life: A Slight Delay

Greetings, thrifters. Many apologies for having to stray from the editorial schedule. I had some lovely photographs visualized for today's post but I got a late start and lost my natural lighting. Don't you just hate when that happens? But fear not. You can expect an update tomorrow that will dazzle the eye and delight the heart. Okay, well hopefully it will.

In the mean time...remember that fabulous floral yarn art I mentioned buying for my best friend? Here it is. Hurrah for 70's decor!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Week in Review: The Great Garage Sale Wrap-Up

Garage Sale Day 1

After all of the cleaning, sorting and organizing the unwanted items to sell, the big day finally came and went. We set up at 7am sharp, hoping to catch the early Saturday shoppers.

In the beginning I was especially worried. We live on Greenacres. And while it may be known as “the place to be,” it’s not the easiest place to have a successful garage sale. Our street is a small residential area all of one block—one block that doesn’t have a lot of drive-thru traffic. I worked as much online promoting through Craig’s List,, Facebook and here on the blog before it bordered on spam. Locally we hung signs and fliers and just hoped for the best.

While I was initially worried that a lot of our bigger ticket items: the bikes, the fake fire place, the guitar, etc, wouldn’t sell, I was relieved to find we just had a slow start. Serious buyers didn’t start stopping by until after 11.

Sadly, I didn’t sell as many toys as I was hoping. Then again…look at them all.

Garage Sale Day 3
I'm trying to keep my beloved Rainbow Brite collection to a minimum.

Garage Sale Day 2
Board games, Lord of the Rings, a Chucky doll. The wares were pretty eclectic.

We had even more in storage bins that people could dig through. But a lot of shoppers stopping by didn’t bring kids with them. And as many garage sale/flea market vendors know, kids are sometimes the best customers. They come up to their parents with arms full of dolls and stuffed animals. And the parents, being it’s so cheap to satisfy children with secondhand means, usually oblige. But not today.

I am happy to say that my sister and I made a little over $200 combined and my best friend, Liz, was able to raise over $70 in cupcake sales and donations to support her nonprofit employer in a team race for the Dragon Boat Festival this fall.

In the end it was worth it, especially given my money shortage from being on temporary sick leave. I only wish I could say that the work is over. Since a lot of the stuffed animals and games didn’t sell and the goal is minimize the clutter, I have to get someone to take me to Goodwill to make a hefty toy donation.

Some of those toys I will be trying to sell in other venues. You can expect a few of those Rainbow Brite dolls in my Etsy shop sometime next week, should there be any interested collectors out there.

Speaking of collectors, I was missing out on a big market yesterday. Where are all of the hipsters? In downtown Philly you can’t spit without hitting your average hipster on his secondhand sweater. I guess the Far Northeast isn’t exactly hipster territory, as no one even asked a price on my typewriter and turntable.

So I still have a bit of work to do when it comes to orgnanizing and re-selling. But all-in-all, the garage sale was a success. I just hope Goodwill will have the space for all of the donated toys and games coming their way!

How was your week of thrifting?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garage Sales & Your Thrifty Itinerary

So many garage little time

Sure, we're called Let's Go Thrifting! but we love all venues for unique thrifty finds, including garage sales and flea markets. So if you're hitting the road this weekend to track down some secondhand savings, make sure you have a solid travel itinerary.

"Gee·sale·er·dot·com" is the premier search engine specifically designed for garage sales. You can search by the sale date, by state, by city and even by local neighborhood. And if you're hoping to hit several sales in one day, their Trip Planner will map out your custom list for easy traveling.

If you are organizing a garage sale of your own, Gsalr is also a reliable resource for free listings. We added ours today and love the idea of being easily navigated.  And all of these features are free!

So say, for example... you should find yourself in Philadelphia tomorrow. Add our sale at 3816 Greenacres Road to your custom Trip Planner map and come on by.

So fill up the gas tank, grab your thrift wish list and get going with a map of can't-miss thrifty destinations.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Odds ‘n’ Ends Thursday: That’s the Last of It

Well, we finally finished going through all of the boxes, bags and storage bins in preparation for Saturday’s garage sale. While I wasn’t particularly thrilled to have clouds of dust clog my nasal cavity, or to see itty bitty spiders that camp-out in the crevices of the garage pop out unexpectedly, or to have an entire wall-mounted cabinet to come de-walled only to slam on to my shoulder, it wasn’t all bad. Rediscovering previously treasured items from the past was nice.

We relived the Furby trend for a moment. We laughed at the unbelievable amount of collections we’ve amassed. We found things we even forgot we still owned.

Then we played with them…

Pug Pile_Resized.

My sister decided to play a game of “Which One of These is Not Like the Other” with a pile of pugs. Pugsley seems only mildly annoyed.

Sweet Car Ride_Resized

And this is the product of a 27 and 22 year old, respectively. We stuffed Rainbow Brite, Twink, Mr. Peepers the Owl and a tiny pug into this sweet set of wheels and rolled them around the carpet for the dogs to chase. Of course, the dogs grew bored of this before we did.

After a few minutes of playtime, we packed it up. Some things will stay. some things will go. But it was fun reliving the past.

Tomorrow we’re going to take a drive around to post up some fliers for the garage sale. I think they are sufficiently kitschy.

Garage Sale Flier_Resized

What childhood favorites have you reminiscing about the past?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Thrifted Life: Organizing a Garage Sale

Garage Sale 1
Look at all these things!

Being what I refer to as a professional thrifter and appreciator of the secondhand, I have accumulated a lot over the years. While I am constantly dusting and organizing my treasured finds, there comes a time when you realize the magnitude of what you own. Of course I donate a lot to Goodwill, many items which may very well came to me from the very same shelves of Goodwill—in some sort of cyclical loaning process.

But when the junk is piling up and the income is running low, having a garage sale seems to be a novel idea. And on Saturday, the idea will come into practice.

To ensure the success of the sale I began to organize items a month ago, slowly but surely bagging and boxing it all up. Now I’ll organize my thoughts so that others may be inspired to purge their junk:

  • First thing was to decide what would stay and what will go. It’s been said many times that if you haven’t used an item in over a year and won’t be using it in the foreseeable future, it’s time to let it go.

  • I try to keep items together. Toys with toys. A few boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, a box for small electronics. Things will be least likely to go M.I.A. the day of the sale if they are neatly organized.

  • I have a mental price list for big ticket items, asking a slightly higher cost than what will likely be paid. I expect to be haggled and therefore will be haggled down to a price that I may expect to make for that item.

  • I don’t waste time pricing each individual item, because I find price tags scare some of the clientele. I just like to distance the garage sale from the typical retail environment. Besides as a garage sale shopper, isn’t it much more fun to ask for a price, haggle, then finally agree?

  • I created a Facebook event for family and friends who love looking for assorted useful junk, made a Craig’s List advertisement and will be posting plenty of fliers around the neighborhood prior to the sale.

  • Later in the week I’ll get to the bank to make assorted small change, very important considering the amount of cheaply priced wares I’ll be peddling.

  • I plan to set up early, no later than 7 am, and will also be making sure to move the cars from the driveway and in front of our house so drivers passing through can see the sale items.

  • Lastly and most importantly, I am making this a community event. I invited friends and neighbors to join me in purging the excesses and making a few bucks for our street’s first multi-family garage sale.

So long as the weather holds out and we get some decent thru-traffic, the garage sale should be an all-around success. I still have a lot to do, but the end result will hopefully be well worth the work.

Are you having a garage sale this season?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Week in Review: My New Left Shoe

Admittedly, there was not a lot of thrift productivity this week. This is for a couple of reasons:
  1. My right foot is still booted from the stress fracture.
  2. Due to the inconvenient boot and the inability to drive, I’m at the mercy of others when it comes to getting out of the house.
  3. I’m kind of broke and still awaiting my temporary disability payment. (Isn’t it just a little sad when you’re too broke to go thrift shopping)?
Earlier in the week, I had a run-in with a mob of angry clowns. But Saturday night, I paid a visit to 2nd Avenue and bought only the essentials:

Girl with Flowers
60 cents and worth every penny.
 An adorable framed vintage tile piece with a little 70’s girl holding flowers. She's a bit dusty, but otherwise too cute to pass-up.

I also found a gorgeously kitsch framed 70’s yarn art for my best friend. (Photo will be posted a bit later). Truth be told, I love this piece and want it for my own. I just have no available wall space. Plus she has a similar 70’s floral decor theme and this would make a nice addition. It should also be noted that she’s been rescuing me from constant couch vegetation and literally pushed me around the mall last week in a rented wheelchair. Now that’s friendship.

New Left Shoe
Brand new, never worn Converse for $5.
And irony of ironies, I also scored a pair of brand new Converse One Star canvas flats. Of course I would thrift a pair of perfect-fit, size 11 shoes while I have a busted foot. But it’s not like I could just ask them to sell me just the left one for a discounted price, right?

This upcoming week will be bustling with frantic secondhand organizing as I prepare for a garage sale next Saturday. It’s just time to let go of a few things, maybe make some money, make some room. Then I will have a cleaner, better organized space for other new-to-me thrift acquisitions. Out with the old and in with the…old, I guess.

How was your thrifting week?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Odds ‘n’ Ends Thursdays: Thrifted Clown Invasion

Welcome to the first installment of what will hopefully be the new editorial schedule of Let's Go Thrifting! This is Odds ‘n’ Ends Thursday. And the finds were surely odd, the end…nigh.

It has been a few weeks since the incident, so I decided to pay a visit to my neighborhood Goodwill. While my sister found a lovely orange skirt for the summer, what awaited me was not quite as festive.

They’ve talked. They’ve gathered and collaborated. And they’ve formed an army. They’re not happy about losing one of their ranks by my clumsy hands a few weeks ago. They’re ready for retaliation. The clowns…they’re everywhere.

Clown Crossknit_Edit

This one is playing hide and seek…for your soul. Please god, don’t let this thing open its eyes. The horror!

Painted Clowns_Edit

Don’t let the cheery disguise fool you. These two are poised for attack. Their outstretched arms are aimed straight for the jugular.

Clown Child_Edit

Meet the leader in battle. It’s a sturdy beast, well over a foot high and intimidating. The dismembered hand under the contemplative face means only one thing: vengeance served cold. It practically lunged off the shelf at me as I passed.

I was able to make a clean exit unharmed and to document my surroundings for further research into the matter. But they are up to something. These clowns are planning a coup.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Ones That Just…Get You

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of turning the ripe, old age of 27. While it wasn’t exactly a landmark occasion, as I think there are just fewer and fewer between now and 30, still, it was rather nice. Sushi, a few glasses of wine and homemade gnome cupcakes were shared with friends.

And judging by some of the gifts I received, it seems my friends know me all too well.

Gnome cupcakes

My best friend, Liz, slaved in a hot kitchen to make me the most delicious and original birthday cakes in the world. Not only were they butter cream iced, but they were in the style of my favorite kitschy outdoor commodity, garden gnomes. Look how cute they are peeking through the leaves of icing.

Sketches of Japan_ Resized

Dan thrifted me these copies of Sketches of Japan in 1945. Beautiful, every single one of them. But here are three of my favorites.

Japan Pavillion_Resized
Japan Scene_Resized
Japan Bridge Sketch_Resized

Also thrifted from Dan was this totally vintage album of Japanese classic folk tunes, printed in 1958. Love it.

Land of the Rising Sun Album Cover_Resized

Land of the Rising Sun Record_Resized

Who recalls something I may have casually mentioned back in April in my post titled “An Assortment of Impossible Things to Likely Never Happen, aka The Thrift Wish List”...something about owning a Blythe doll…? Well the third entry on the list, Blythe herself is officially crossed off the list. Many thanks to my sister for being perceptive and spending entirely too much money for my birthday present. I can’t wait to start crafting together little outfits for her to wear and photograph her like a tiny, plastic model.

Blue Blythe

I also was fortunate enough to receive a lovely little Coach pouch, a few feminist zines, a punching bag and even more garden gnome paraphernalia.

In looking at this strange and wonderful assortment of items, some thrifted and crafted, some imported, some designer and some purely for punching, one could draw a few conclusions:
  1. I am both eclectic and slightly eccentric when it comes to Japan, kitsch, designer goods and anything described as “cute.”
  2. I have truly awesome family and friends that know this as fact and appreciate all of my quirks and interests. They just…get me.
How about you? Have you received any thrifted gifts from people that know you well enough to buy them just for you?

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Busted Fence_Resized

A few weeks ago, my best friend and I were running some errands before our weekly scheduled power walk when we decided to stop in to a nearby Goodwill. Browsing the aisles, amusing ourselves with the oddball assortment of coffee mugs and knick-knacks, I spotted a hobo clown on the top shelf. He had ragged clothing, a knapsack and –like many clowns often do—an expression that evoked nothing short of terror.

After returning him to the shelf and turning to walk away, I was startled by a crash as the hobo clown teetered off the edge and plummeted to the floor. His ceramic clown head shattered into a million clown head pieces on the floor. And I was mortified. To this day, I cannot recall ever dropping, damaging or breaking an item in any store, let alone a thrift store. Again, mortified.

An older gentleman swooshed out the double doors from the back room and came bustling down the back aisle. I couldn’t apologize enough as he swept the busted clown doll that was once creepy, but now rather pathetic.

After a few moments of red-faced browsing, my friend and I proceeded to the register to purchase a few found odd and ends. I asked the Goodwill employee if they had a box for monetary donations. He said that they had at one point, but now couldn’t seem to locate it. I quickly handed him $4 and simply said. “Well, here you go. I accidentally broke a clown.” He tried handing the money back to me and said that it wasn’t necessary. But I just couldn’t take the money back. And I briefly tried explaining my theory on Karma.

Me: “No, No. Please take the donation. I busted that clown and I don’t feel right not paying for it.”

Goodwill Employee: “Are you sure? You really don’t have to pay for the clown.”

Me: “I do. Because I know if I don’t donate the money for the clown I’ll always be haunted with Bad Thrift Karma and never find anything awesome ever again.”

And the employee accepted the donation and simply said “O….k...ay…” with the kind of bewilderment that my theory often invokes from certain people.

Busted Car_Resized

I’m sorry. But I am under the belief that if you do something wrong without apologizing and  rectifying the situation, that swift payback will surely befall you. And the thrift store is no different. So donate your unused goods, pay the cost without altering the price tag and for God’s sake, pay for broken clown heads.

In retrospect, I think the clown may have gotten his revenge, still. I have been thrifting a few times since, with friends and while alone and found a number of great, useful items. And as you’ve likely read from my previous post on my quest for better health, I’ve also been on quite a few scheduled power walks.

For five days a week I would take a stroll around the neighborhood, go to the gym for resistance training and count my Weight Watchers points. I estimated walking between 2-3.5 miles everyday, before going to work where I likely walk a few more.

Well apparently I’ve been just a little too motivated for exercise. After days of inexplicable pain in my right foot, I finally was able to see a doctor. And the x-ray reveals, with all of the repeated pressure to the area I have given myself a stress fracture in the metatarsal area and inflamed some previous tendinitis in my ankle.

So now I have to wear an unwieldy, uncomfortable and decidedly unfashionable support boot for the next 4-6 weeks. This means no power walks and no solo thrifting for a while, as I can’t drive with this…thing…this apparatus that can only be described as something straight of Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory.

At the very least I have some time to commit to photographing old finds, brainstorming new ideas for the blog and adding items to my Thrift Wish List. But this also means I will be temporarily out of work, out of traditional exercise and out of the driver’s seat.

I guess it could always be worse. I could’ve been stuck with a cast and crutches. Those aren’t pleasant in the least, especially as we’re approaching a summer heat wave. At least I can kick off this boot for sleeping and showering. That is a major plus.

Well, I suppose it always pays to be more careful. No one likes being broken, even if only temporary. And thrift store finds sure don't like being mishandled. For now, dear readers, I am mostly house-bound. But of course I still fear any future wrath of that busted thrift store clown.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Join in the Conversation!

Woman in chair

Why, hello, thrifters! After you’re done updating your status, checking in and playing Farmville, don’t forget to stop by the official Let’s Go Thrifting! Facebook fan page. Sure, you can proclaim that you “like” us through the sidebar widget here on the blog.

But I’m always looking to start a nice discussion on all things thrift. And with Facebook, you can upload your own pictures or links, make suggestions for the blog and ask or answer questions.

Let’s have a nice chat, maybe create a forum for secondhand bloggers and readers to share and share alike, then…Let’s Go Thrifting!