Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holiday Wishes From Let's Go Thrifting

Grabbag selection of 18 vintage decorations: $6. 

As Christmas night draws towards a close, I do hope that all my dear friends and family are having a wonderful holiday. I know I am. I'm just taking a bit of downtime before devouring a slice of pie. 

In the coming days I'll post all about the food, the gifts and everything in between. 

But for now this is your Let's Go Thrifting blogger, Jackie Jardine, wishing you   a happy, healthy and of course thrifty holiday season.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: A Festive Feline

Nothing says Christmas cheer quite like the family cat preparing to attack the tree. 

Interestingly enough, this polaroid was stuck in a family album that included no other Christmas photos. Just one shot...of this cat. 

Well, Merry Christmas, family cat circa 1970. You look like you had a lovely holiday. 

I cannot believe Tuesday is Christmas day, and furthermore I can't believe I was unable to find a single thrifted gift for any friend or family member. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without a thrifted gift under the tree. 

Maybe one of you fine thrifters had better luck in secondhand shopping this holiday season. I certainly hope you did. So tell me. Did anyone partake in our National Thrift-A-Gift Week?

Who made your nice list and scored all the vintage kitsch you could salvage? Who made your naughty list and is getting secondhand granny panties? 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's National Thrift-A-Gift Week!

Why is it National Thrift-A-Gift Week? It's National Thrift-A-Gift Week because we thrifters know how to pick great presents, gifts made better by the fact that we didn't max out our credit cards to buy them.

We thrift some of life's essentials. We thrift novelties and decor. We thrift for entertainment, for sport and even as fodder for our blogs. 

Why not thrift some gifts this holiday season?

Let's give it a week... a week's time to hunt our favorite secondhand stores for someone special in our lives.

With a little luck and maybe some secondhand Christmas spirit, I'm sure we can find something someone will love...at a price that'll really deck some halls. 

So let's hit those thrifts. I'll check back in seven days to see who really celebrated our Thrift-A-Gift Week. Until then, happy holiday thrifting, everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: The Zombie Faculty of '43

Voted Most Likely To Eat Brains.

Sad to say, it's been slim thrift pickings lately. Aside from the ever-popular hideous holiday sweaters, and discounted wrapping paper, I haven't been spotting any real secondhand gems that must come home with me.

But I have found ample time to crack open a few scholastic memories from yesteryear and I'm eager to share them with all of you.

This Vintage Photo Friday, I give you the yearbook picture of Mrs. Melrose E. Weed, a university secretary of 1943. And she bares a resemblance to...well...the living dead. 

You think?

So I've been light on the thrifted wares. It's true.    But there's plenty of Thrift Rants, Thrifted Gift Ideas, New-To-You-Years Resolutions... and more to come. But when I do find that special secondhand something, you'll be the first to know. 

In the meantime, happy thrift hunting, everyone. 

What have you been thrifting? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Like A Leaf Falls From A Branch...

Connie Francis record, 50 cents.

A few weeks ago, I was thumbing through the small stack of records at the thrift store when my sister asked me what I was looking for. 

Usually I'm just looking, assessing the typical inventory of Herb Alpert, big band compilations and old show tunes. But I actually did have a mission. I was looking for a Connie Francis record. I just love the sweetness of her voice. 

But it just wasn't to be. At least, it wasn't to be on that particular day. However, on my most recent visit to Goodwill, when I was about to call it quits after sorting through the massive piles of Engelbert Humperdinck LPs, I found it.

Connie's Greatest Hits.
Received by it's original owner: May 29th, 1963.
Thrifted by me: November 15th, 2012. 

Almost 50 years later and this record is still a hit in my book. And now for your listening enjoyment... my favorite Connie Francis tune.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: A Bit Of Serendipity

While scavenging the shelves of the Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop, I noticed a corner dedicated solely to photo albums. This is where I was standing when I met Nina, the manger of BATS. We talked of thrifting, blogging and the cyclical nature of it all. I also happened to mention my obsession for other people's family photographs and how it was rare to encounter enough to keep Vintage Photo Friday a regular occurrence here on Let's Go Thrifting!

Our conversation was interrupted when Nina had to price items for a  few customers, giving me a few minutes to flip through my selections from the shelf.

Vintage album of snapshots.... 75 cents.

And this is where I found the  lone photograph stuck between the pages  of an otherwise empty album. Of course I pointed out the find to Nina, who, much like myself, was just a little bit amazed by the discovery. 

Don't you love when you put something out into the universe? Something simple... like "Oh, how I'd love a vintage photograph today," and if by some means of thrift magic...it suddenly and serendipitously appears. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

BATS in the Barn: The Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop

Never mind the belfry. There's BATS in the barn.

In traveling the winding curves of Tomlinson Road in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, it would be easy to dismiss this building as a barn belonging to an old orchard on the grounds of the Bryn Athyn Church.

But this is what is lovingly known as BATS.

This is the Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop. And this barn of secondhand treasures has been a fixture in this tightly knit community for 17 years. Yet somehow, I had not been there until just a few short days ago.

After stepping inside for the first time, I greeted one of the employees to seek permission for snapping a few photos. And much to my surprise, both the co-manager and manager were eager to give me an inside look of what BATS truly means to both the shoppers and staff.

Between taking photos of the shelves, displays and decor and talking shop with Nina Finkeldey, the manager of the Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop, I spent upwards of 90 minutes in total awe of my surroundings. 

There was kitsch. There was vintage. And there was a passion for the business that was palpable. And as I learned from Nina, BATS is a shared and collaborative passion among its 12 employees and 190 volunteers. The proceeds may benefit the Bryn Athyn Church, but the benefits are beyond  mere monetary value. Nina was quick to note that BATS serves the community first and acts as a fundraiser second. 

A lot of love, a lot of creativity and a whole lot of hard labor has gone into  to make this thrift shop into something more than just your average Goodwill. And there's much more on the horizon for this secondhand wonderland. More than just a retail environment, BATS  serves as an antiques gallery, with records,  bicycles, movie posters, hardware and more hanging from every nook and cranny. 

These thoughtfully arranged display pieces within BATS are marked "NFS." What I would typically dread as a vintage-seeking thrifter, I've come to admire.  Nina explained that  these pieces are not for sale so that all might  see and appreciate them. These vintage vignettes give the already historic barn added nostalgic charm. And who can complain about stepping into a time capsule?

Just admire the view. Snap a photo. Be a little jealous and move along. There's 6000 square feet to explore, after all.

And after a friendly exchange between management, some browsing with fellow shoppers and a lot of handshaking with the volunteer staff, I can officially endorse The Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop as one the must-see secondhand stores in all of Pennsylvania.

Of course I couldn't help but snatch up a few vintage bargains during my BATS exploration. But that's for another post. 

The Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop is located at 510 Tomlinson Road, P.O. Box 277 Bryn Athyn, PA  19009. For announcements of sales and future thrift happenings, stop by the Bryn Athyn Thrift Shop Facebook page. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thrift Style: How I Became A Vintage Doll

About a month ago, when browsing the racks of Impact Thrift, I found a vintage floral and lace skirt, and I had a brilliant idea. I was going to be a vintage doll for Halloween this year.

It didn't take long to achieve the look. After adding a pair of pink tights, a pink sparkly sweater, a frilly white shirt and a pair flats, I was ready to be a vintage doll.

All I needed was the baby doll wig, some makeup and a spot of tea.

And of course I had to document my doll adventure...

So, thrifters, I bet you're wondering how much this costume cost. Let's tally it up.

Vintage Skirt   $3.00 Impact Thrift
Sweater  never-worn with tags $4.00 2nd Ave
Frilly shirt  already owned $0.00
Brown flats already owed $0.00
Vintage tea cup 50 cents, Impact Thrift
Baby Doll Wig $25.00, Masquerade.
Tights $15.00, Lane Bryant.
Total cost: $47.50

Buuuuttttt....Since I will be wearing the sweater and tights again in the future...(just maybe not together) I'll deduct those off the cost of the costume. Heck, I can even deduct the 50 cent teacup, beings I can use it at home. This makes the final cost for what was solely used for the costume just $28.00!!! So for just under $30 I got to be a thrifty vintage doll this Halloween.  

So what do you think? Do I make a good doll?

Let's Go Thrifting recommends... 
It's Katniss in doll form!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: The Halloween Edition

The photo isn't vintage. But my costume sure is. Anyone wanna guess what I am for this year's annual Halloween Costume Party? 

It's kinda cute. It's kinda creepy. It's very me...

Well...gotta dash. I have a party to throw!

What was your Halloween costume this year ? 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Ultimate Secondhand Scare

I brought it home for a buck. And this thing has been haunting me ever since. I was actually able to catch his creepy antics on video. 

Incidentally, did you know that the fear of clowns is called coulrophobia?

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Greetings, thrifters. While I had such timely things planned for Let's Go Thrifting readers this Halloween, my plans will likely be taking a backseat to Hurricane Sandy, which is quickly approaching the Philadelphia area. 

Schools have closed, a state of emergency is in effect and there are predictions of possible longterm power failure. 

To my friends and readers on the east coast, be safe. If you are in mandatory evacuation areas, please do so before it becomes too dangerous. 

To my other friends and readers around the world, I hope to give you thrifty updates soon. 

Here's hoping we don't get blown away in what is being called the second largest hurricane in recorded history. 

Stay thrifty, my friends. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Yamato Suzuki Cuteness

How cute is this little book? My Very Own Seasons represents a trifecta of my thrifted interests: 
  1. Vintage
  2. Children's books
  3. Japanese culture
Featuring poems by Chisachi Suehiro and the most adorable illustrations by Yamato Suzuki, this little book was too charming to resist. 

And guess what! I also found  How I Grow and Finding My Way...two other little books in the  Petals series by the same author and illustrator.

I scored all three books from Impact Thrift for $1.50 and was happy to fork over the money for the abundance of cuteness within those tiny pages. 

For this Friday's vintage photo, I decided to share with you this heart-tugging interpretation of Fall.  

My Very Own Seasons, 1967. 

What vintage wonders did you find this week? 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thrift Rant: Trash Talking Thrifters

"OMG, Becky did you see what she's buying?"

When I visit the thrift, I tend to just browse and mind my own business. I'll occasionally smile and comment on nice things other thrifters find, be it fashion or otherwise. But lately I've been noticing a trend that I'm not enjoying. 

My Thrift Rant? Trash talking thrifters, those loose tongued secondhand shoppers who just can't help but find some flaw with what I'm choosing to buy. Ever have it happen? 

My most memorable trash talking thrifter was way back in August, when I was hunting the aisles of the thrift with friends for the $20 Thrift Store Challenge. I was perusing the shoe racks in search for a pair of boots for Fall. As some of you know, me finding shoes is something of a challenge in itself, beings that I'm a size 10-11. So when I spot anything in my size, I assess the situation thoroughly. But I digress.

On that particular day I happened to see a pair of boots in my size. I wasn't sure that I was totally in love with them. So I picked them up for a closer look, turned to my friend and said "What do you think of these?"  And then...out of nowhere comes this haggard looking woman with a scowl on her face...swear to God, people. A scowl. And she scoffs at me:

"Oh, those are awful. The color... it looks like poop." 

Um.  What? Firstly, I was speaking to my friend, mind you, who surely would've warned me that my potential boots weren't the most flattering shade of brown, if this was the case. Secondly, who was this random shopper who interjected in our conversation? And lastly, who above the age of 8 years old seriously uses the word poop? 

Like I said, I occasionally will comment on strangers' thrift finds, but never to insult their taste. My comments are of the "nice find" variety, even if my sentiment is slightly tinged with jealousy over me not finding them first. 

In the end, I didn't buy the boots. But it wasn't out of the supposed helpful advice of the other thrifter. It would have broken my $20 Thrift Challenge budget!

I believe the moral of the story, dear friends, is exactly this: Don't tell other thrifters something they're eyeing resembles poop...unless you want the poop kicked out of you. 

And since the general public pisses me off with some regularity even at the thrift store, be sure to check out the next installment of Thrift Rant. 

So... what has your secondhand panties in a bunch?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Use Your Braaains... A $10 or Less Costume Idea

Make this Halloween a BYOB. Bring Your Own Brains!

Halloween is the second most expensive holiday in the United States. And we don't even exchange gifts! Between the candy, the costumes and the decorations, it can get pretty costly. 

But if you're looking for something cheap, something easy and something with a little bite... you need to become  a zombie. 

In order to pass as undead you'll need two things...the attitude and the ensemble. So let's first discuss how to get the zombie look. 
  1. First, you'll need to dig through your closet for some clothes you don't mind destroying. If you can't part with anything from your wardrobe, take a trip to the thrift store.  I estimate a cheap shirt and pant combo costing an average of $7. Make several tears and holes in these garments. You were attacked by the clawing hands of the undead and you did not survive. It's gonna get messy.
  2. The dollar store is your friend. Most dollar stores have a small cosmetics section. Look for eyeshadows in green/gray/light blue and black...something to give you the perfect postmortem look. You might even find a tube of theatrical blood for a buck. If not, those can be bought cheaply elsewhere. 
  3. Take a few cotton balls to your eyeshadows and dust over your face and any visible skin. Go dark under the eyes. Zombies don't sleep, so you want those under-eye circles! Don't forget to coat your mouth with a bit of the blood and maybe apply a few liberal squirts to the holes of your clothing. Finally, ladies, muss the hair in an undead up-do that looks like there was a struggle, or simply let it hang in your face. Like I said, it's messy being dead.

Now, as per the zombie attitude...  It's all about the movements and the moaning. Keep the eyes cold and unfocused. Think slow, painful motions combined with an exaggerated stupor. "Like a drunk who's lost a bet."

Since I like to get reaaaallly into Halloween and was acting in a neighborhood haunted house, I invested in edible theatrical blood capsules to dribble from my mouth. (Warning: they taste like cough medicine, but have a pretty horrific effect). I also borrowed a brain from my friend (literally) and gnawed on it a great deal. 

In short, I make a pretty unconvincing undead cannibal. Don't ya think?

Clothes: From my own closet $0
Eyeshadow palette in gray/green/blue: $1 from Dollar Store
Black eyeshadow: $1 from Dollar Store
Cotton balls: $1 from Dollar Store
Theatrical blood: $3 from convenience store
Edible blood capsules $3 from Halloween store
Brain: Free meal

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Beautiful Abandon

This is The Ball House as it stood in 1949. Built in 1903, the estate was renowned for its Victorian style in what is now Skagit County, Washington.

The property was first abandoned in 1913, following a terrible flood which terrified John Ball and his family and sadly, killed two of the family dogs. 

Ever since its last occupants in the 1930s, the house became something of a local legend. A regular attraction for spectators of the supernatural, The Ball House would succumb to natural wear and tear as the years went by. 

How do I know any of this?

The previous owner and presumed photographer personally inscribed this photo. With a bit of research, I found that the rest was history.

And sadly, the tangible history of this mysterious house is no more. 

According to The Skagit River Journal The Ball House fell mercy to the  Washington winds, and finally tumbled down back in 1996.

What a shame. It's the decrepit buildings, rich with history but in desperate need of repair, that most fascinate me. I would have loved to visit The Ball House. But in some small way, thanks to this thrifted piece of history, I feel almost as if I had. 

The Ball House   
Skagit County, Washington
Built in 1903.
Photographed in 1949 by Bill Osbourne
Thrifted in 2011 by Jackie Jardine

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Go Haunting: You Are Getting Very Sleepy...

Advanced Techniques of Hypnosis Book, Philly AIDs Thrift $2 

I hope that you are enjoying the special October editions of Let's Go Thrifting Haunting. In the last installment of delightfully spooky secondhand entertainment, I busted out the vintage Ouija board.

But for this evening's entertainment, I suggest you gather a few impressionable friends for some good ol' fashioned hypnotism. Ladies, don't forget to  get glam for the occasion, Old Hollywood style. 

Some swear by the power of suggestion for the treatment of addiction. Some enjoy self-guided hypnosis for meditation. I just want to make my friends cluck like chickens and other equally embarrassing shenanigans. 

No Hypnosis disk? No problem. (If you have epilepsy and are prone to seizures, please do not risk your health for hypnotism).  

Everybody else, give it a shot! 

Who's sleepy? 

And who's ready to come to school in the nude and cluck like a chicken...?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just Gettin' Dolled Up

Anyone care to venture a guess on what I'm being for Halloween this year? 

Well here's a sneak peek of the thrifted find that inspired the entire costume idea.

And once I get the whole ensemble picture-perfect, you thrifters will be the first to see the finished product. 

Now, don't worry. I have plenty of thrift-friendly costume ideas to go around. So if you're short on some cost-saving costume ideas, click back over in the coming weeks for my series  of Halloween-themed thrift posts.

Who else is planning on hitting the thrift for their Halloween costume this year? 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Let's Go Haunting: The Vintage Ouija Edition

The date was September 22nd. It was a breezy Saturday morning and knowing that the flea market season would soon come to an end here in Philadelphia, I decided to take a look around a few local spots.

I didn't find much, just a few records. When I was about to leave my second flea market, I spotted a sign. Across the street, tucked away just behind a sharp turn of a small residential street, was a homemade cardboard sign marked "Yard Sale." I decided to check it out before grabbing a cup of coffee. 

There was a small assortment of inexpensive dolls, scuffed and worn handbags and Christmas crafting supplies. Then, I saw it. Seemingly out of place, I found this William Fuld Talking Board.

While the Ouija board in its earliest form was born in 1890, this particular incarnation  of the Mystifying Oracle was sold to Parker Brothers in 1966.

I love the solid masonite board...

...and the cream color of the plastic message indicator...

...and the graphics with the detailed instructions on the back of the box.

Did you know that the Ouija rules state a preference to the two persons using the board being "a gentleman and a lady?"

According to the instructions, "it draws two people using it into close companionship and weaves about them a feeling of mysterious isolation..."

And in keeping with the mysterious, above all else I love this flea market find because...

September 22nd, if you recall, was the start of the autumnal equinox. Yes, I bought a vintage Ouija board.... secondhand... from some random yard sale...on the autumnal equinox---the celestial equilibrium between day and night.

OOOOHHHH creepy. Of course, you know my theories on secondhand scares and personal the imprint of the former owners. And with me bringing a secondhand Ouija board into the house, I feel like I'm just sending an open invitation to any ghost who just happens to be hanging 'round the neighborhood. Well, it is October after all.

Incidentally, this is how Regan's problems started. Just saying...

William Fuld Talking Board Ouija, 1966: $2
Ghost: Free with purchase

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thrift Style: Well, Label Me Frugal

It's a rare occurrence. But one fateful day it just may happen to you. The stars may perfectly align and you might find your way...to thrifted designer clothing.

It's true that some lucky thrifters may find their labels for less with far more ease than others. But, me? Generally, I fall into that dreaded "others" category. 

Not only do I have to luck into lovely designer wares, but I have to pray that they're in my size, a curvy XL. Today, however, was my time to shine. 

Dont' you love this creamy white shirt with ruffle detail?

 $4.50 from 2nd Ave. 
The designer?

And that lovely gray and black print skirt? That's a...

...for $6. I estimate this find alone to be worth upwards of $60. And that  Lauren shirt was likely $50 or more at retail cost.

Who scored some thrifted labels? I scored some thrifted labels!

Lauren by Ralph Lauren Shirt: $4.50
Calvin Klein Skirt: $6
Finding designer labels...in my size...at the thrift: Priceless.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to Me!

I cannot believe that two years ago today marks the very beginning of Let's Go Thrifting!      

Ya know, I was tempted to call this remarkably special event a birthday. But, really it's an anniversary. It truly is a partnership---a union between my passion for secondhand wares and my passion for blogging. And it's a partnership between me, the blogger, and all of you wonderful readers. Together we have created an online thrift community and I love you all for that, more than you know.

I'd like to thank you all so much for reading, sharing, commenting, for sponsoring me, for shopping from my Etsy store and for thrifting your little hearts out.  

Let's Go Thrifting...the early days.

I've come a long way with Let's Go Thrifting! I've made so many connections, colleagues and friends and hope to continue doing so for a very long time. I have exciting things in the works...interviews..giveaways...thrift styles...thrifty tips and more. 

But until then, grab yourself a piece of cake. Maybe buy a balloon or two and have yourself a thriftacular day!   

Dress: Thrifted
Shrug: Thrifted
Red tights: Lane Bryant, Clearance
Mary Jane T-Strap Wedges: Torrid, Clearance