Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flea Market Finds...for Around Five Bucks

Why, yes! That is a giant wooden elephant. 

Last Saturday morning, my sister Ashley, her boyfriend Brian and I stumbled upon this friendly wooden beast at a local flea market. He was affixed with a price tag for $7, which was later crossed-out and replaced with $5. And boy were the previous owners thrilled to not have to lug this thing back into the truck once I set my eyes upon it. In the end, Ashley talked me into forking over the $5 and having the kind sellers hold it for us until we were finished trekking around the rest of the market. I do love elephants...especially wooden elephants with big ol' googly eyes.

But what is it? Well the previous owners used it as an oversized magazine rack, but also suggested that I could weather-proof it and use it as a planter. No,  thanks. I had something else in mind.

Form and function. I love this thing!

No magazines. No plants. This trusty old elephant is the new home for my novelty LPs. Music To Strip By, Nutty Numbers and my latest thrift acquisition... Bar Room Piano by Joe "Fingers" Carr are just a few classic titles, to name a few. I'll get more into that last record in a later post.

Thank God, Brian was on hand to carry this thing back to the car. It's a sturdy piece, to say the least. Plus, this left Ashley and I some free hands to dig for other fun flea market finds. Ashley found herself a lovely pair of vintage sunglasses. I found yet another owl figurine to be photographed with better lighting in a future post, and the Parker Brother's  slightly condescending game of Careers for Girls. It was worth the $2 to experience the five, that's right, five available careers for girls circa 1990. It was an all-around awful experience for everyone involved.

But don't worry. I totally redeemed my flea market prowess with this:

Where's Ellen Ripley when you need her?

This is a Facehugger from the Alien franchise. And for a buck, it makes a nice addition to my shelf of horrors. Don't ya think?

The Facehugger is just hanging with Sadako from Ringu

So admittedly the total for the elephant rack, the alien creature, the little owl and the awful board game tallied over $5. But the night before I recovered $6 from my pants pocket while doing the laundry. Bonus! 

But wait...there's more! Me...Ashley...Brian....We, the Three Flea-Marketeers also bought something else...a super secret surprise. This can only be revealed after a photo shoot that will inspire, amaze or at the very least...confuse every last one of you. It's going to be...huge. And that's all I'm saying for now. Hehehe.

What flea finds have you scored lately? 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Let's Go Thrifting Guide to Thrift-Gifting

A lovely vintage jewelry box. 

As a diehard thrifter who enjoys secondhand shopping both solo and with friends, I have no qualms with finding one-of-a-kind thrifted wonders as gifts for others. I snagged this gorgeous jewelry box for my sister just last week. Her birthday was quickly approaching and I didn't want to just hand her a gift card for the mall.  I wanted to find something I knew she would love. Seeing that my sister has an arsenal of costume jewelry and a love for cameo pendants, I knew she'd flip over this find. The fact that this didn't have a price tag and the Impact bric-a-brac department priced it on the spot for me was also quite serendipitous. 


Funnily enough, a week before I found this treasure, I ordered Ashley this vintage wooden bead necklace from Etsy. Little did I know I would find a nice little vintage box to store it in!  Needless to say, she loves both gifts. And of course, since she's a total fashionista I still got her a gift card to New York And Co. 

While this jewelry box sure was a lucky thrifted-gift find for my little sis, I bet some of you may be wondering if there  is an etiquette to thrift-gifting. And while I'm not sure there's an exhaustive set of guidelines on the subject, I tend to abide by the the following:

  • A gift from one thrifter to another is almost always welcome, provided the item is in clean, sanitized, operable condition. 
  • A gift for a non-thrifter should be used with discretion to the individual. If you are convinced the item is rare, a fine addition to the recipient's collection or  has a special personal significance, then thrift away!
  • Given time and patience, thrift-gifting in theme is usually a welcomed gesture. Last Christmas, a close friend of mine had just moved into a new apartment. From October until December 23rd I was on the hunt for kitschy fun finds for her kitchen, since she's one hell of a baker and her boyfriend is a chef. From 70's style salt 'n' pepper shakers to placemats, to oven mitts. I found a bunch of never and barely-used one-of-a-kind kitchenware.
  • If you have a friend or family member that is eco-conscious and lives to thrift but can't find them anything they love, have you considered a gift certificate to their favorite secondhand store? I gave a thrift gift card to a friend for $25. She bought herself a funky 1970s couch, with some money to spare! 
  • Thrift-gifting demands a sharp eye and a solid knowledge of what the recipient's interests are. Does she collect unicorns? Is she a b-horror fanatic? Does he have an unhealthy obsession with Pogs? Keep this in mind when thrifting.
  • Unless your friends or family have complete contempt for secondhand wares, ere on the side of throwing your usual caution to the wind. If the price is right and the item is just too perfect to pass up, I say buy it. He or she could be so impressed by your amazing find, you might just find yourself the hero of the holiday. Heck, maybe you'll make a thrift shopper out of 'em yet! 

Thrift-Gifting: Frugal fun with a personal touch.

  • As a general rule (that could be broken at any time) I tend to avoid thrift-gifting clothing...Unless there's a vintage wonder never to be seen again or a designer piece that I know without a shadow of doubt will be nothing short of adored by the recipient. Typically, fit tends to be the main issue. But if you thrift-gift some amazing ensembles for someone else..don't forget to get 'em professionally dry cleaned. 
  • Bric-a-brac is a veritable treasure trove for secondhand gift thrifters! Take a look around. You never know what will turn up. 

Thrift-Gifting: Would give someone a present from a previous owner's past? 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

I wouldn't mind getting one of these either...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Two Sassy Ladies

 "Hurry up and take the picture, Harold!!"

I don't know about you. But this looks like a pair of no-nonsense ladies to me. They've got sass and class to spare. Just look at the purses! Heck, maybe they're getting ready for a trip to the thrift store!


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

I hear good things! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: Good Day To You, Sir.

Check out this dapper gentleman.

Don't let the pipe and casually crossed legs fool you. Back in the day, this kindly gent probably kicked a lot of ass. The photo might seem docile, sweet even. But I'm betting this guy could throw down something fierce. Look at him. You know he fights dirty.


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Do you know Tyler Durden?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thriftspiration: The Boudoir of Dita Von Teese.

Dita Von Teese,  from In Style Magazine. 

Burlesque star Dita Von Teese may very well be known for her scandalous stage acts and Old Hollywood beauty. But she is also a collector of vintage fashion from the 1930s and 40s. She operates an entire kithen of pastel pink vintage appliances and even keeps up the lavish lifestyle of a pinup girl of yesteryear with a classically glamourous boudoir. 

Sigh. I wish I had a pink vintage kitchen and a room full of 1940s dresses and lacy vintage lingerie for my  own boudoir. Well at least I can look to Dita for some thriftspiration. Lord knows I've found some scandalous thrift scores. 

But here is my first thrifted find for the boudoir.  

A lovely floral print perfume atomizer.......95 cents 

I found this 70's style perfume atomizer just sitting in the bric-a-brac section of Impact Thrift. It's not exactly "Old Hollywood" but for under a buck, it's a good start. I think Dita would be proud. Now if only I could perfect my sashay in six inch heels...


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Winner, Winner!

Chicken Dinner...?

Sorry. I can't very well mail you a chicken dinner. But I might have something better for you! How about three handcrafted pop-wonderful notebooks from The Really Cool Notebooks Etsy shop? After plugging in the 13 entries to the handy dandy Random Number Generator...out popped the winning number. And the winner of the Really Cool Notebook Giveaway is...

Lucky number 12 belongs to the comment from fellow blogger Eartha Kitsch!!! So, Miss Kitsch, I'll be contacting you shortly on how to claim your prize from Rich Wilhelm, our thriftastic prize provider. Congrats and enjoy all the note-taking and jotting-down and doodling in your fun, new notebooks! 

Hells yeah, it's Something Cool!

Thank you, everyone for your entries and a great big good-thrift-karma thanks to Rich from Really Cool Notebooks for providing the awesome prizes!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Last Day For The Really Cool Notebook Giveaway!

Just one of many to choose from!

Have you entered The Really Cool Notebook Giveaway yet? Well you're running out of time. Because at 11:59:59, the entries will be closed and the winner will be picked to announce on Monday May 14th. 

Rich from Really Cool Notebooks will be giving one lucky winner three of this handcrafted notebooks made from recycled albums, VHS covers and cassette inserts. Very cool, indeed!

If you want to gain your entries, just follow the directions on the original post. Come on! It's thrifty. It's crafty....and it's a giveaway worth over $25. Woo woo!


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Stay organized for under $9!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Come One, Come All To....

...The Creepy Time Spectacular! 

Turn the volume up, the lights down and expand to full-screen for some frightful thrifted finds set to some equally creepy music. 

I may not have a stage or a studio to display my creepy collection of thrifted playthings. But I still have YouTube, damn it! And this is just the first of what will be many videos, slideshows and perhaps even podcasts from Let's Go Thrifting! I hope to feature thrifted collections, thrifty tips, thrift-spirational stories and more. Be sure to tune in to the Let's Go Thrifting YouTube channel again in the future.

So, if I didn't scare you all away...what thrifted finds would be cast in your Creepy Time Spectacular? 

Don't forget to enter The Really Cool Notebook Giveaway!! 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Remember these grade school scares? 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday: The Ghostly Bridal Party

Something old...Something new.

The prize of my vintage photo collection, this shot from 1955 has something of an eerie vibe to it. I'm convinced this is a double-exposure and not some kind of spirit photograph. It's likely that the photographer failed to advance the film and mistakenly layered one image on top of the other. It's just so strange that the face of that wedding guest is aligned perfectly with the super close-up of the bride's face. Spoooooky.

Something borrowed...Something blue. 

And here's the tell-tale sign that a double-exposure has occurred due to mechanical defect or photographer's error: The same the same shot...twice. Unless of course, there happens to be a set of twins...both of which are the same of which appears to be....deceased. Notice how the bridal party seems transparent behind the staircase banister? Again, spoooooky.

Stay tuned to Let's Go Thrifting! for more vintage thrills and chills, including the soon-to-be posted YouTube slideshow The Creepy Time Spectacular.  

And...don't forget to enter The Really Cool Notebook Giveaway!! 

Let's Go Thrifting recommends... 


Monday, May 7, 2012

The Really Cool Notebook Giveaway!!

You'd have to be "crazy" not to enter this giveaway!

I am very excited to announce that Rich Wilhelm, owner of Really Cool Notebooks on Etsy has partnered with Let's Go Thrifting for a giveaway prize that I know you will all love. But before I get into the details, I'm going to tell you a little about our gracious giveaway host. Rich is a writer, an editor and a crafter living in Pennsylvania. He is also an avid philanthropist who donates a percentage of his business proceeds to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. 

Both thrifty and crafty with his creations, Rich uses recycled album covers, VHS covers and cassette inserts to assemble a miscellany of pop-culture bound paper. And thanks to Rich, one of you lucky Let's Go Thrifting readers will be a winner of not one, not two, but three notebooks from the Really Cool Notebook inventory. 

One lucky winner will have a pick of: 
  • One album cover notebook (worth $12)
  • One VHS cover notebook (worth $8)
  • One cassette cover notebook (worth $4) 

Including free shipping, this giveaway prize is worth over $25!! 

"I'm gonna need you to go ahead..." and win this notebook. 

All national and international readers of Let's Go Thrifting are eligible to enter. All entries are in the form of comments on this post. 

**For your first entry, visit Really Cool Notebooks and leave a comment here on which notebook is your favorite.** 

For additional entries for this giveaway:

Please leave a separate comment letting me know that you qualify for each of these additional entries. Each comment must be counted as an individual entry, so you have more chances to win! Also, be sure that your name and email address are included so you can be contacted if you are the lucky winner. 

(At Rich's request, we ask that you do not choose any of the Dirty Dancing themed notebooks for your prize, as 100% of the proceeds from those sales go to the American Cancer Society.)

The winner will be chosen via Random Number Generator on Monday May 14th.

One of my favorite notebook form

So click on over to Really Cool Notebooks. Get to Tweeting. Blog away.  Hit those Facebook “like” buttons.  And let me see those comments.

Good luck, thrifters! 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

The classic fountain pen from Office Max. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday

"Pass the SPF 45, Ethel."

Don't these stylish ladies look just lovely on the beach? This polaroid looks to be from the 1950's. It's just bursting with vintage charm. Don't ya think? 

Vintage Photo Friday is brought to you from my own collection. Each Friday I will present you with a visual delight from the past, until I run out of resources...that is. Enjoy!


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Vintage style play kitchen for your kitschy kids. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Building A Better Thrifted Library

"Take a look. It's in a book"

If you're keeping it old school like me and prefer settling down with a cup of hot tea and a good book as opposed to firing up a Kindle, Nook or whatever new digital ebook device will be next, I have good news. Print isn't dead. It's alive and well at your local thrift store. And you could be paying a fraction of the price as compared to national book store prices.

Chances are, your typical Goodwill is stocked full of microwave cookbooks and dated computer software manuals, but don't write off the possibility of finding a good read just yet.

Building a better thrifted library can mean embracing the virtue of patience if you are looking for a particular title. But there are may be a few titles on your to-read list that you can find at the thrift.  Think about it. Between the thousands, literally thousands, of the same title from the bestsellers list that have circulated the masses, I'd bet a good percentage have found their way to the thrift store shelves. Add those Oprah book club reads and all the fodder from high school book reports and required college reading into the mix and you have a sporting chance at finding something that will catch your interest.

If you are ashamed of the fact that you've never read Moby Dick or maybe you're looking to rediscover some of the Beat writings of Kerouac, fear not. I've amassed a number of the classics for pennies on the dollar thanks to Goodwill. 

Here's my book shelf on Japan! 

Even if you're not looking for something in the classics category, you still may one day find something specific in a niche topic. Several of my books on Japanese culture were even bought secondhand, at both thrift stores and flea markets. 

Some Tips for Thrifting Books
  1. Some thrift stores have taken the initiative to separate books be genre. If you have time, scan the entire section. You never know what bodice-ripping romance novel will end up in the children's books by mistake. 
  2. Always check the binding. You can maybe tolerate a few dog-earred pages, but shoddy binding means eventually losing pages. Cracks in the spine, loose pages or a book that can lay entirely flat when opening at the halfway point are typical signs of binding ware.
  3. Check the copyright and edition. If you are a re-seller, it's best to know these things and it never hurts to know otherwise. You could be thrifting something valuable!
  4. Give a book a chance! Not sure if that sci-fi adventure will get your imagination going? Ah, for fifty cents, it's worth finding out. 
  5. Spread the word(s). If you're reading to enjoy the story and aren't necessarily interested in keeping the book for your collection, donate it back to the thrift store. Think of the 50 cents as a mere rental fee for a good read. 
           Recall this thrifted book on...voyeurism...?

While I don't encourage reckless stockpiling of thrifted books, for fear of ending up on Hoarders, it's quite possible to build an enviable collection for your personal library. Classics, recent bestsellers, DIY craft books and even the occasional literary oddity like Body Watching is Fun can all be yours for less than the price of a pack of gum. Chew on that, you thriftin' leisurely readers! 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Perfect for displaying books and thrifted knick knacks!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

True Tales of Thrifted Terror

"Hi there! Wanna play?"

I've always loved horror moves. Don't ask me why crazed killers, mysteries of the macabre or demonically possessed playthings are appealing. I guess that, in most cases, the horror genre is such an elaborate demonstration of fiction. And maybe it's this totally false imagery and information that I'm attracted seeing just how far the imagination can reach to scare the living crap out us. 

So it's no surprise that I've begun a little collection fit for just this occasion. Welcome to the True Tales of Thrifted Terror. 

And with this thrifted doll, the imagination doesn't have to reach very far at all. Just look at it. 

Oddly reminiscent of Hannibal. Am I right? 

Evil baby doll says, "I don't do tea parties." 

This porcelain doll was salvaged from the Montgomeryville Impact for $1.50

I don't know much about it except for it's off-set blue eyes, painted lashes and brows, creepy grin and...oh yeah...missing scalp!?!? Maybe it was attacked during some sort of zombie-doll apocalypse? 

Sweet dreams, thrifters. 

Until next time...keep those creepy dolls locked in the basement where they belong. Or just don't buy them in the first place. Leave that to the professionals. Now if you will excuse me, I have to install a new deadbolt on the bedroom door. 


Let's Go Thrifting recommends...

Grace Kelly in Barbie form! Classy.