Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Thrifted Life: A Fresh Perspective

Ever feel like you just need a hand?
Jointed Wooden Hand, $3 @ Goodwill.

Hello, readers. And welcome back to Let's Go Thrifting! Following my official vacation, I took some time off from the blog and other writing projects to gain some fresh perspective. I'm not sure if that's something that actually happened or just something writers say to keep from pulling their hair out in a ferver of creative overload.

While I am working toward keeping a regular schedule, keeping it all together has been increasingly difficult. Wake up at this time. Exercise at this time. Write, edit and photograph at this time. Go to work at this time. This is not to slam my time management skills. If anything, I'm having problems in the motivational department. Sleep disturbances and the chronic pain from my medical issues are preventing me from forming and keeping a schedule that allows for work, exercise, creative endeavors and employment opportunities to fit neatly into allotted boxes of time.

It could always be worse and I am thankful that what I deal with isn't life threatening. But when it comes to chronic pain, chronic fatigue and degenerative conditions, the stress of trying to keep everything in balance does pose a threat to the quality of life.

So perhaps taking some time for perspective, or whatever justification I can muster to call it...was something I just needed.

I was even able to make time to hash out an idea...a manifesto of sorts. The topic? Thrifting, of course. While I hail the low costs and high variety, I also argue the validity of thrifting as a means of cultural resistance. I've been peddling the piece to local print media but, it's just not reaching the right readership. I guess this just only serves to prove the point of thrifting as subversive, huh? But I'll be sure to keep you posted.

In the meantime, I thank you for reading and would love to know how you escape the daily grind...

I want to know...

What gives you a fresh perspective?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Week in Review: Getting Away

Well thrifters, the time has come to leave my home in search of a new adventure in exotic and faraway lands. Sure, the adventure will be limited to five the exotic faraway lands of  New Jersey. But I couldn't be more excited. I've packed my bags, made a music playlist for the road and am ready for some much deserved time off. Drinks, good food, the beach, a bit of gambling with the family. Who knows?  Maybe I'll win the big one and be able to fund my future Let's Go Thrifting! ideas and other projects on the horizon.

Of course this time away also means time away from all of you. So take a gander through our inventory of archived posts, throw some suggestions and comment love at me to read when I return. And don't forget to go out and thrift yourselves something nice!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Thrifted Life: A Trip to Amish Country

This afternoon the family took a little daytrip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from the roadside scenery of vast farmland, Lancaster is known for a few things.

  1. The Amish. The reserved, hard-working and deeply religious folk who toil away to make an honest living with their livestock, wood crafts and homegrown harvest.
  2. Antiques. Furniture, decor and relics of field laborers past.
  3. Outlet Shopping. From discount socks to designer goods, Lancaster County has it.     
Since my parents aren't especially fond of antiquing, I just admired the drive past the many antique shops and their porch and curbside wares. We, did however stop into a few outlet shops. Since I returned too late to photograph with natural lighting, some of the goods I did purchase will have to be visually supported another time. But I did happen into The Book Cellar...where everything was a cool 50 cents. Here were my picks:

Graphic novel on a weighty issue.

Band journal and 4 Track EP from The Hermans

Oh, the controversy!
While I didn't want to make everyone wait in the car without me, as this was a family outting, I did have one request: That I could stop into a Goodwill we passed while outlet shopping. While this wasn't a successful hunt because I fell under time contraints, I did manage to track down something that will hopefully be quite useful in the future:

The Goodwill Bargain Room.
I was beginning to think that the so-called Goodwill Outlet was the stuff of fiction. But today...some two hours from home, I finally found one. Oh the bins and boxes were filled to the brim, my friends. And the piles were high for the diggin'

Again, being that the family was waiting on me, I just stopped in for a few minutes to see what it was about. Fill-a-bag sales! Stacks of records! Bins of bags and totes! Oh it was magical. I will return again one day, Bargain Room.

What bargains have you found lately?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Week in Review: A Preview of Things To Come

It's true. I am always working on the blog regardless of the day or time. I'm brainstorming, taking photos, observing interactions in the thrift and documenting all of my little secondhand adventures.

But come the end of the week wrap-up, Sunday is a reality check. This is when I come to realize that yet another week has come and gone. I am very pleased to say that Let's Go Thrifting! is beginning to look the format I've had envisioned for some time. We are also near 14,000 views, very exciting! And though I was unable to thrift anything useful, wacky or tacky, I've devoted some serious time to the blog this week. I've also been working toward other goals and opportunities.

I've been vigorously exercising every single day, no excuses. I've been to a few social engagements with friends, been trying to put myself out new people. I have a new writing project in the works and am planning fun photo shoots.

But I digress.

I know this is a blog about thrifting, about celebrating the weird and wonderful secondhand lifestyle. But sometimes I find it difficult to separate my personal life from my torrid love affair with the thrift. Maybe it's because, dear thrifters,I value your time and your input as readers. I love sharing my vintage finds, crazy clothes, oddball vinyl compilation albums and the many, many clown sightings. But I also love sharing about my life in general. But I'll try to keep it thrifty, I promise.

Speaking of keeping it thrifty. I'd like my readers to have the first look at the business end of Let's Go Thrifting! as we wouldn't have a business without you. So here is just a little preview of a few items that will soon be filling the virtual shelves of The Let's Go Thrifting Etsy Shop.

Vintage Multi-Colored Owl Candle

Rainbow Brite Snow Globe
Snuggle Bear Coin Purse Clip

Stay tuned for more thriftacular antics, and maybe just maybe a bit of the ol' personal life all wrapped up in one glorious package.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Odds 'n' Ends Thursday: The Little Things in Life

Being thrifty means saving money, shopping sales and buying secondhand. "Thrifty" is a quantitative term, measured by dollars and cents. But sometimes, being thrifty could mean more than how much is in your wallet or what is bagged up in the back seat of your car following a trip to Goodwill.

Sometimes being thrifty means taking the time to pause, to breathe, to think and to enjoy the little things in life...things that happen everyday that are often overlooked.

These shots were taken this evening while watching my best friend practice for the Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Race. The colors alternated from a golden glow to a deep blue, to shades of gray with each passing moment. And I adjusted the aperture trying to capture the shift of color in anticipation. But these are my favorite from the bunch.

And you know what? Sitting along the Schuylkill River, entranced by the rippling of the water, feeling the cool breeze and capturing that moment when the sun makes its dramatic's free. Entirely free.

Now hopefully next week, I can tote my entire lot of cameras around the town and better appreciate the little things in life...sunsets over skyscrapers, dingy back alleys, businessmen, crosswalks, hiking trails. Just pause, breathe, take it all in, point and shoot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Thrifted Life: New Developments

Since gathering a meager collection of thrifted cameras, I've noticed an increased urge to travel. While it would be nice to hop in my fantasy VW minibus and hit the back roads of America, or even better....revisit the bright and beautiful Tokyo metropolis...that just isn't a financial possibility right now.

But I can scrounge together enough money for a nearby adventure. Weather permitting, some time next week I will gather my thrifted 35mm, my thrifted Polaroid, my (not thrifted but decidedly awesome) Lomography fisheye camera and hop on the train for a trip downtown. There I will wander aimlessly. I will sit drinking iced coffee and inconspicuously people-watch. I'll bring the tripod for scenic pictures. And in others I'll just shoot from the hip and see what happens.

Though I've only taken a few college classes on visual media, I've never been specifically trained in photography. But that hasn't stopped me yet. Of course finding ridiculously cheap and reliable vintage equipment for the job doesn't hurt the process either.

With any luck I'll find some incredible people, places and random events to capture on film that I may share with all of you.


And speaking of developments, Drew of Kitsch Café has been so kind as to share Let's Go Thrifting! with his readers through free, yes, FREE advertising for the month of August. So, fellow thrifters, let us return the virtual favor by flooding his blog with positive feedback. Click on over for dazzling photography and informative descriptions of vintage decor, hip mid-century modern furniture and bold graphic design. Maybe even something from the Kitsch Cafe Etsy Shop will strike your fancy.

As for me, I'm currently exploring options for affiliate advertising as a way to network with other bloggers, artists and thrift-minded folks. So if anyone out there would be interested in some cross-promotion, do contact me. There are exciting things planned for the future of Let's Go Thrifting!

What are some of your new developments?