Sunday, October 30, 2016

Finally Feeling The Fall, Thanks To Therapeutic Thrifting


Sometimes it's a struggle to get out of bed and sometimes it's a struggle to get out of my own head. If you or anyone you know and love suffers the daily torments of a chronic illness, you know the struggle is all too real. As mentioned in my last blog post, a new medical setback has put me in an all-time low. And what was originally intended to be my week of fun Halloween-themed outings and day trips has been more about rest than recreation.

But you know something? Some days I really think I benefit from getting out there, even if it means practically forcing myself to do it. So the other day, when the weather was cool and the wind was blustery, I spent the afternoon picking pumpkins and thrift store hopping.

I was determined to make my annual Fall vacation mean more than just loafing around. I wanted to feel how I usually feel in the Fall...refreshed and inspired. So I first went to Styer Orchard in Langhorne. Sadly, their apple-picking season same to an early end due to poor weather conditions. But I loaded up on butternut squash and a variety of small pumpkins. 





Just check out the twirl on that pumpkin stem. Isn't that the cutest? I haven't bought a large pumpkin to carve or decorate in years. I'm more inclined to feature a few well-placed mini pumpkins. Is six too many? I don't think so. A few in the front garden with my gnomes. A few on the countertop, a few on the entryway table. Done! 

And speaking of pumpkins... Check out this adorable little knick-knack. 




I'd love to put this whimsical rustic pumpkin kettle outside in the gnome garden. But I'm afraid it would be too fragile and get ruined by either the elements or landscaping crew. Oh well. It's an adorable little addition to my indoor fall display, which is coming along a little late this year. 

I found both the pumpkin kettle and vintage made-in-Japan scarecrow figure above for a dollar each during my thrift trip. I also found a shirt for 59 cents and a too-cute pair of colorful Kenneth Cole flats. But those are for another blog post. 

Needless to say, that after a doctor's appointment, a stop at the bank, an orchard, and three thrift stores, all across several counties...I was exhausted. But it was the best kind of exhaustion...the exhaustion that comes from an enjoyable, productive day. 





And in seeing the end results, I'm glad to have spent some time outdoors, and to do some therapeutic thrift shopping. Owls, pumpkins, scarecrows, and sunflowers...all thrifted, gifted, or picked right out of the ground. Now you don't get much more Fall than that. 

Happy Halloween, thrift shoppers! 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Human Body: Illustrated, Vintage, And In Shocking 3D!



The human body is a marvelous machine of autonomous functions, artful movements, complex thoughts, and fragile components...all layered together. And with 'The Fold-Out Atlas Of The Human Body: An Illustrated Replica Of The Body With Movable Parts That Show How The Body Works In Full Color,' those layers can be peeled back for an in-depth look of our anatomy. Originally published in 1906, this 1991 edition keeps the original illustrations in all of their vintage glory---down to the hair styles. 

I've always had a fondness for vintage medical texts, specifically outdated entries into the study of gender and sexuality. The "facts" presented in those are more akin to charm school etiquette than valuable medical knowledge. Though there is disclaimer in the beginning of this book that this Atlas shouldn't be used in place of a modern medical textbook, there is still much to see and learn.


Make no bones about it. These vintage, three-dimensional illustrations are still vital.  Medical puns. Sorry, had to do it. But all in all, I'd say that my humor has been a coping mechanism. 

In all seriousness, it's refreshing to look at bodies as efficient and interesting instead of a personal source of pain and heartbreak. After a a series of discreetly described "female troubles" had me in the emergency room, I had to undergo a few tests to determine the problem. And that problem was Adenomyosis, a medical condition that is causing my endometrial lining to grow inward, puncturing the wall of my uterus. While I'm trying to remain optimistic, this condition---if it progresses---will mean infertility. 

Just when I thought the chronic pain of Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disc Disease had worn me down, this new development has all but broken me. In truth I was always uncertain about the prospect of children. That was until I fell in love with James, and we started building a life together. Seeing him interact with children, I knew what I wanted---what we wanted. And now to have this newfound desire, to see the best of both us in a child we would raise together, as something that may not ever happen...well...it's been difficult. 


In truth, vacation couldn't come at a better time. Though what usually would be time to frolic in the leaves, and do all the Fall-themed day trips that I typically do this time of year... has just been more like a few days of quiet contemplation. And I finally decided that after a week of knowing my diagnosis, it was time to go public with what has been weighing on my mind. 

No fake smiles. No questions. No explaining.  And what's more? This week off from work has also given me time to get our home office up and running. Now if only I could find a desk, so I don't have to balance my Macbook on a pillow, on the couch in front of the TV while I make stream-of-consciousness blog posts.

So what does it all mean? This was supposed to be just a little blog post about the super cool vintage medical book I got for a $1. Then all these emotions just came pouring out. What gives? I guess we're all just layers of blood and bones, thoughts and feelings. And if you look close enough sometimes, you'll see the pain that someone is trying so hard to keep hidden. So be genuine. Be understanding. Empathize and be kind always.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Bloggers United: Chronically Vintage Needs YOUR Help

Scenes of the tragedy. Photo credit, Jessica Cangiano. 

I'm not in the business of begging for money in times such as these. But when I read that one of our own had suffered such a tremendous loss, I felt the need to make a plea. I doubt that there is a Let's Go Thrifting reader out there who doesn't follow Jessica Cangiano's blog, Chronically Vintage. The woman is a vintage fashion plate, a pioneer in secondhand blogging, and just an all-around sweet lady. And on October 13th, she and her husband Tony lost their home and everything they own in a fire. 

An act of arson against an adjacent home quickly spread and consumed the Cangiano home within minutes. All of Jessica's beautiful vintage fashion and jewelry, all of the computers and cameras used for Chronically Vintage, her entire inventory for her Etsy business....gone. And sadly, her beloved cat, Stella, was lost in this tragic fire. How do you even begin to rebuild after a home and lifetime of collections and personal passions are lost? 

I'll tell you how: through the power of the blogging community. Jessica is a top-rated fashion and vintage blogger. On Google Connect alone, she has over 2,220 followers. If each follower could spare a $5 donation to help Jessica and Tony in this time of need, that would mean over $11,000 of assistance.

I will tell you that Jessica has been a true supporter of Let's Go Thrifting over the years. Some of you may have even found Let's Go Thrifting from her very recommendation. My heart breaks for what Jessica and Tony have lost. So let's stand together as bloggers, as blog readers, as vintage enthusiasts, and as friends. 

You can donate a monetary amount of your choosing through the secure YouCaring fundraising site. Care packages and other donations can also be sent, with specific items of mention detailed in the fundraising Facebook site, 'Helping The Cangianos.'  

I don't doubt for one second that Jessica would do this for any of us. So please give what you can. Thank you very much. 

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Teeny, Tiny Secondhand Treasures: Crystal Creatures



While on vacation this summer, James and I spent an entire day seeking out thrift stores and consignment shops in the Ocean City, NJ area and beyond. And right on Asbury Avenue in downtown Ocean City was Mew To You, a combination thrift store and nonprofit cat rescue. It's the perfect pairing because if you don't find a vintage treasure to take home, at the very least you could visit the kitties in the back that are up for adoption through the Cape Atlantic Cats organization. Well, except for James. His allergies had to keep him waiting outside while I perused the shop and cooed at all of the cats. 

For being a small business, Mew To You had a surprisingly full stock of vintage toys, paperbacks, dinnerware, and knick-knacks. I went home with these vintage beauties. Made by Manon in 1984, this mythical pairing has Swarovski crystals for a torso. SO 80's AND I LOVE IT. 

Individually they can fetch a considerable profit on Ebay and Etsy, especially since they only cost me $3.00 (originally $6.00 but found at 50% off on a bric-a-brac sale). But I'm not interested in selling. They look right at home on our entry way display self. Of course, James is proud of me for indulging in fantasy nerddom. And admittedly, they are so us. Clearly, I'm the unicorn. He's the fire-breathing dragon. 

Thrilled to have found these gorgeous creatures at such a great price, I stuffed a dollar in the donation jar and we continued on our vacation thrift trip. 

If you are visiting the Ocean City area and are looking for an adorable thrift shop whose benefits go to cats in need, pay Mew To You a visit. And if you're a local and looking for a family pet, that's even better! Though I can't guarantee you'll find any crystal unicorns. 

Have you ever visited a thrift store/pet rescue combo?


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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The 6th Blogiversary List Of Top 6 Secondhand Finds


To best celebrate my 6th year of helming the Let's Go Thrifting ship into the great secondhand sea, I thought it would be fun to appreciate what I already have. This isn't to say that I won't be having any celebratory trips to the thrift (I already have, in fact). But I've been thinking of these last 6 years, and suffice it to say that I've found some truly awesome things---items that I couldn't imagine I'd ever be so fortunate to find

So welcome to the Let's Go Thrifting Top 6 Secondhand Finds Blogiversary List.

And at the top of that list would be be the beautiful framed lithograph of Margaret Keane's "No Dogs Allowed." Interestingly, much of her early Big-Eyed paintings were improperly credited to her husband, an interesting legal battle that makes her kitschy saucer eyed waifs all the more rare to find in the thrift store. 











Any regular reader of Let's Go Thrifting knows I just adore my collection of vintage photographs. But this doubly-vintage framed group portrait might be my favorite of the bunch. Two couples from the late 1960s posed with a novelty 1930s Ford in front of a  faux sprawling suburban landscape? Take my 99 cents, Goodwill!









I always wanted to have a vintage Ouija board. So when I found this secondhand William Fuld Talking Board Set at a yard sale on the Fall Equinox...I thought it as an especially fortuitous... maybe even magical find. This 1966 edition of the Ouija took spiritualism into polite society...with the instructions encouraging "a gentleman and a lady" to sit opposite each other and summon up some ghosts for a little chit-chat. Another dollar spent, another awesome secondhand find. 




Ah yes, the dream car. Or at least the Fisher Price version of the dream car I'll likely never be able to afford. I always wanted an original VW Minibus. In a burnt sienna, or pea soup green...a color fitting to the era. But this adorable 1969 toy replica will have to do.  And it was unearthed from one of the many bins of the Goodwill by-the-pound outlet for mere pennies.  It can comfortably seat six...so who wants to hit the open road? 





Here a key. There a key. Everywhere a skeleton key! But seriously. I love keys. You all know that by now, as I've featured them several times over the years here on Let's Go Thrifting. But this key is my very favorite. The patina and rust. The heart. And the tattoo design that came later. This is the one. I don't know what was once locked that this key opened. But I hope it was as secretive and special as I imagined it to be.




Originally an impulse buy for 99 cents from Impact Thrift, I had the intentions of adding this dilapidated house to my collection of beloved vintage photographs. Little did I know this house was the sole remaining photograph of a legend local to Skagit County, Washington. Built in 1903, The Ball House was the site of several tragedies and natural disasters, leading to abandonment and decay. It fell to the Washington winds in 1996. And aside from a few sketches, there were no known surviving photographs of the estate. Except for this one that I found at a Montgomery County thrift store, which I later sold to an eager buyer from Washington state looking to relive the memories of the property that she passed by with family until it's eventual demise. 99 cents was well worth the sense of mystery and adventure that this photograph brought me. 

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If you would like to know more about these items, be sure to click on the photos to read the original blog post in which they were first featured. While it was originally somewhat difficult to narrow my favorite secondhand finds to just 6...I had to consider what qualities I found to be most important. Sure, there's affordability and monetary value...but those qualities are present in every thrifted item I own, of which there are many. It had to be more than that. It had to be about personal desirability and what I found to be most sentimentally valuable. And I think these were the best of the best. Hopefully the next 6 years will bring even more. 

Thank you, dear readers, for being part of the Let's Go Thrifting community these last 6 years. 



Which Let's Go Thrifting finds have been your favorite? 


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Goodbye, Summer 2016: A Pictorial

With the official start of the fall season upon us, I thought I'd do a little catch-up post of just a few fun things I've done over the summer. Nothing grandiose, just a celebration of the little things. And speaking of little... early in the summer I decided to assemble a fairy and gnome garden. While I just couldn't find all the little toys and trinkets that I would have liked to find secondhand, I did find them cheaply from Big Lots and Michael's Craft Store. 

While I would've loved to have even more tiny gnome-scaled furniture and accessories, I was afraid the landscaping crew in our complex would accidentally destroy them in one of their bi-weekly mowing and mulching sessions. But these survived the summer just fine. And they'll hopefully make an appearance next summer...with additions. 

Back in June, our neighbors likely saw me skulking around the grounds of the complex with my DSLR and telephoto lens to catch the Strawberry Moon on the summer solstice. Being a novice nature photographer, I thought this was the best of the bunch. On the otherwise cloudy night, the skies cleared only briefly. I was lucky to see the moon, extremely lucky to capture it. 

In August, James and I were fortunate enough to have a week of spectacular weather for our Ocean City vacation. It was blazing hot, but not a cloud in sight. We spent several mornings on the beach reading, and afternoons walking the boards and shops. And of course there was thrifting. 

There was actually a number of thrift and consignment shops in downtown Ocean City, but only a few items I was actually interested in buying. We even took an excursion to Egg Harbor Township and neighboring areas in search of better thrifting. Ultimately I found a few items on our mini thrift trip, which I'll save for a later post. 


And in my new quest to lead a gluten-free life, following some GI troubles...I spent several summer days experimenting in the kitchen. This gluten free vegetable lasagne that used layered eggplant in place of noodles was a smashing success. 

Hopefully with the progression of fall days I'll find new thrifting territory, to recipes to try,  new horizons to look toward. Now onward!  To fall landscapes, pumpkin patches, comfy sweaters, worn boots, and horror movie marathons! 




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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thriftspiration: A Trip To Yellowstone Park And Beyond, 1957


Way back when in the spring, while I was chatting up a lively vintage vendor at the Columbus Flea Market and found the child's celebrity scrapbook that inspired this post, I also found this incredible travel scrapbook. Documenting a  road trip adventure across the western Unites States, the photos and ephemera inside are in absolutely beautiful condition.  








The travelers include: Sara, Chet, Betty, Estelle...





...Bill, and presumably a fifth person who isn't photographed, but is documenting the journey. And I don't know much of these young travelers, except that their summer wanderlust began in July of 1957...and that Estelle is a total glamazon. I mean, look at that outfit. Oh...and at least one member of the party is from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, as it is faintly written in pencil on one of their motel receipt slips.  










Their travels took them to several diners, motels, drug stores, and several scenic stops toned in sepia. The Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, and many long desert roads in-between. But perhaps my favorite part of this scrapbook isn't the collection of snapshots...but the mementos kept within. 







Matchbooks, motel slips, and menus. Everyone is sure to take dashboard photos of the desert road, and Old Faithful. But only true travelers save the mementos along the way, the little things. And if this isn't a solid entry of Thriftspiration---hitting the open road in search of adventure,  back when a fountain lemonade cost 15 cents---then I don't know what is.


Happy trails, thrifters! 


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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Teeny, Tiny Secondhand Treasures: Keys and Keyholes


It's no secret that I have an affinity for skeleton keys, and  have accumulated a small collection of them over the years. So when I saw that one of the many junkers at the Columbus Flea Market had a few keys, keyholes, and locks in their heaps of rusted tools and trinkets, I snatched them up. I admittedly paid a little more than what I usually would---but immediately fell in in love with the rust and patina, and forked over the cash without hesitation. 


And due to a funny little exchange at work the other day, I may come to inherit a few more keys for my beloved collection. I was chatting with a delightful older woman the other day---a woman with Revlon red cat eye frames and an arm-full of jangling costume jewelry. Her bright colors and sassy demeanor reminded me of a younger Iris Apfel. So when she inquired about the tattoo on my wrist/forearm, I was obliged to tell her all about it. 



This was the first skeleton key I purchased secondhand and I loved it so, that I brought to the tattoo parlor and asked for the closest rendering the artist could give me. The result was breathtaking. I would like to get a matching keyhole for the other wrist, eventually. 



My sassy septuagenarian  customer then turned to her daughter who was shopping with her and asked that she reminds her to bring her old keys next time she comes in. She would like to give them to me. How sweet is that? Before she left she said that she always wanted to get a tattoo. I told her she should go get one. This brief exchange was the highlight of my day/week/month. I didn't even catch her name. 






I find it funny that I'm frequently complimented for being "a nice young lady." And I'm saddened to think that being nice really may be an attribute in a cruel world. That a please and thank you, or a simple greeting and a smile, when genuine, is really noticeable and maybe even appreciated for something special. But I think the key is this...you just never know what hidden grief a stranger carries with them. Maybe a simple exchange of pleasantries is all they really needed, and maybe you just made their day a little brighter. 

And THAT is a real treasure. 


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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Spritz By Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau


Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Apertivo Cocktail, with Recipes is one informative and bubbly little book. Opening with a brief introduction on the history and classic bartender's definition of a classic spritz, the average reader may be surprised to find that the modern day drink has evolved considerably since it's best estimated arrival in Greek and Roman times. And that the partly bitter, partly sweet carbonated refreshment is best in the afternoon, as a low-alcohol cocktail with appetizers during the social hour. 

I knew from the very cover art of Spritz that I would fall in love with the content. The colors, the font---very classic cocktail hour, from a time and a place when consumption was classy not trashy. The photography within is bright and enticing. And the few dining suggestions in the back of the book from a simple crostini to a slightly more complicated 'Sarde In Saor' are a tempting pairing with many of the spritz recipes within, from the classics to the modern craft barroom interpretations. 

While some may think drink recipe books to be pretentious or simply reserved for people with a preexisting knowledge of bartending, the authors of Spritz make no such assumptions. It's written for  anyone with a taste for good food and drink with friends. And what is especially handy in addition to simplified versions of recipe ingredients, is a full list of what any novice needs to build a spritz bar. Because, let's face it. There's nothing worse than preparing a recipe and realizing you don't have that one key ingredient. 

So grab some friends for a few pre-dinner drinks after work, "Because who isn't better, and perhaps more oneself, with a spritz in hand?" 

And with the kind permission of TEN SPEED PRESS, you can sample these two spritz recipes for yourself. Cheers!

Venetian Spritz
GLASS rocks or wine glass • GARNISH olive and orange half-wheel

The spritz that launched a thousand spritzes, the Venetian Spritz is made with a range of bitter liqueurs, including the ubiquitous Aperol from Padua and the more locally beloved Select (thought to be the original bitter used in the Venetian Spritz). Always garnished with a skewered olive and a slice of citrus, this style of spritz is the most widely recognized classic and the standard-bearer of spritz living across Italy.

2 OUNCES BITTER LIQUEUR (SEE NOTE) 
3 TO 4 OUNCES PROSECCO 
2 OUNCES SODA WATER

Build the ingredients in a rocks or wine glass, over ice, and add the garnish. 

NOTE: Aperol is the most widely available bitter liqueur; it is also the sweetest. If you prefer a more bracingly bitter spritz, try splitting Aperol with Campari (1:1). And if you can find them, Contratto Aperitif, Contratto Bitter, Mauro Vergano Americano, and Cappelletti Aperitivo Americano are four aperitivo bitters we find ourselves returning to over and over again in this classic formula.


ROSÉ ALL DAY
GABRIEL ORTA & ELAD ZVI Broken Shaker, Miami, FL 
GLASS wine glass • GARNISH lemon half-wheel and mint sprig

The sunshine-soaked cult of rosĂ© has finally reached fever pitch and is now making regular appearances in cocktails all over America. Here it shows up—rather appropriately—in a spritz variation at Miami Beach’s Broken Shaker, a backyard cocktail grove of palm trees and beautiful pool-goers who line up for seasonal Caipirinhas and Mojitos every day of the year. The rosĂ© creates a background for bittersweet Cocchi Americano and sweet-and-sour papaya shrub, all bound together with a dose of prosecco.

2 OUNCES ROSÉ 
1 OUNCE COCCHI AMERICANO 
1 OUNCE PAPAYA SHRUB (SEE RECIPE)
½ OUNCE FRESH LEMON JUICE 
1 OUNCE PROSECCO

Add the rosĂ©, Cocchi, papaya shrub, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Stir well and strain into a wine glass filled with ice. Top with the prosecco and add the garnish. 

PAPAYA SHRUB.  Add 5 to 8 chunks papaya, 1 cup rice wine vinegar, and 1⁄4 cup sugar to a saucepan. Simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate for up to one month.



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I have received a complimentary copy of Spritz from BloggingForBooks.com for the purposes of product review. 

Photos and recipes provided by TEN SPEED PRESS, subject to copyright. 


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Novel Idea: Must-Have Books For Secondhand Inspiration

Books For Secondhand Inspiration Vintage Flea Market Thrift Shopping

Make no mistake. I'm a bibliophile. Libraries, secondhand bookstores, Barnes & Noble---I love it all. My boyfriend and I make almost a weekly outing of browsing the shelves, often making purchases if not wish lists of titles to buy in the future. At any given time I'm reading three books simultaneously, typically one nonfiction, one fiction, one home reference/craft/cookbook. So you might say that this post is a long time in the making. 

Over the years I've curated a collection of the very best books for secondhand inspiration. From fashion to furniture, decor and more...I've read it, loved it, lived by it. And now I'm sharing my must-have list of books with all of you! While by no means is this list exhaustive, it's certainly a good starting point for vintage enthusiasts everywhere. 


Cheap Chic Thrift Store Paintings Flea Market Fabulous I Brake For Yard Sales Thrift Score
A hefty stack of secondhand inspiration. 


Fashion & Personal Style

 


Perfect for fashion-forward girls with a craving for technical know-how on fabrics, alterations, and classic style. While it's not as visually stimulating for thriftspiration, knowledge is indeed power. And if you want to know about what flaws can be fixed, how to identify genuine designer labels, and the best pieces to invest money in...this book is an excellent resource.

Cheap Chic: Hundreds of Money-Saving Hints To Create Your Own Great Look                           
 By Caterine Milinaire

The 40th Anniversary edition of this style-bible is a visual delight when it comes to classic vintage fashion. With interviews and tips from iconic designers, this books proves that personal style doesn't have to come at a high cost. It's all about knowing what to look for to make a versatile wardrobe. And with an introduction from Tim "Make-it-Work" Gunn, a whole new generation will know what it means to be Cheap Chic. (Many thanks to the eternally stylish Jessica at Chronically Vintage, for hosting the giveaway that won me my very own copy!) 

       

Furniture & Decor 


By Lara Spencer 

You might know Lara Spencer as the always smiling cohost of Good Morning America, but ever since her development and hosting gig of the HGTV hit Flea Market Flip, America's fans of the secondhand have come to know her as a thrift-loving, flea market expert with a penchant for cool and quirky vintage finds that she reimagines and repurposes with great success as a interior designer. Her love of color and pattern, along with her know-how of furniture and keen eye for decor are really the selling points behind these books. I Brake For Yard Sales has great tips on fabrics, furniture and design with wonderful little backstories on specific pieces in Lara's collection. Flea Market Fabulous puts those tips into practice with a room-by-room makeover using thrifted finds, flea market upgrades and Lara's own creative expertise. Both are indispensable resources for secondhand inspiration, and each is a fun read to boot! 

Better Homes and Gardens Books

This book was an impulse add-on to my Amazon cart that I snagged for a song. And you should too. Filled with vintage visuals that will have you aching for a trip to the flea market, the featured collections within this book are a secondhand shopper's dream. With helpful hints on what to look for/what to leave behind, and interesting reimagining of commonly found flea market wares, this beautiful book is as informative and inspiring as it is pleasantly displayed on a upcycled vintage coffee table it can help create. 

              

Seminal Secondhand Must-Haves 


By Al Hoff

If you're looking for information, this isn't the book for you. But if you're looking to relive that retro vibe with someone with a shared thrift-philosophy, then this is it. Based on the original zine of same name, Thrift Score is a fun little read that documents quirky finds from another time. Back in college I had the privilege of conducting a phone interview with Al Hoff and let me tell you---she had some interesting and refreshing things to say when it came to the thrifting culture, as she had began thrift shopping when there was a greater social stigma attached. Now there are books, TV shows...and blogs dedicated to the pursuit of the secondhand! It's now a competitive treasure hunt of cheap finds. And I freaking love it.

By Mary Randolph Carter

If there was truly an aficionado of Junk, Mary Randolph Carter would tout that title with pride, I'd imagine. With a handful of beloved books on 'Junk' under her belt, Carter takes her love of the old and the rustic and displays it in such a way that the clutter is enviable. In a wonderful stroke of luck with a dash of irony, I actually scored a hardcover of American Junk from Impact Thrift. It has since become a valuable asset of mine whenever I get behind the wheel on the way to the thrift store or flea market, as a reminder of what the possibilities could hold

By Jim Shaw

A celebration of unknown artists whose work, though sometimes lacking in technical skill, isn't short of wonder. Jim Shaw saw this and in turn opened an exhibition in 2000 in London of found secondhand art. This book published in 1992 was the prelude to the exhibition. And it's hilarious. I mean, what better coffee table book could there possibly be? Scale, perspective...it means nothing to these thrift store arteests. And if you've ever seen some truly horrendous art at the thrift store and were tempted to buy it 'just because'...you really need to own this book. 


             


A Word Or Two On Periodicals 






Now most of you know my love for magazines. And it's such a low cost impulse buy at the register, so it's seemingly the most innocent of guilty pleasures. Well, except for special interest magazines. Those add up quickly, with a cover charge of $10 or more. And while it might be slightly more cost efficient to subscribe for a slightly lower cost, these quarterly publications may very well not be worth it over time. Flea Market Decor, Flea Market Style, Secondhand Treasures, these three periodicals are the only specialty magazines that I've purchased. While I've been tempted to buy many more, these are the only ones whose contents I've found to be well worth the price. 

Specialty periodicals tend to feature evergreen stories that can be published, and even reprinted in later issues, at any given time. And while the photographs and layout may be appealing, much of the information can be found elsewhere for free. I tend to purchase maybe one or two titles a year, after much debating at the Barnes & Noble cafe as to whether I really need them. 

But hey, if these titles are what truly inspire you to be the best thrift shopper that you can be, who am I to tell you differently? 

So head on over to Amazon or to your local book store if you're looking for tips on vintage fashion, flea market decor, antique furniture upgrades and more. Because we can never have enough secondhand inspiration!

What inspires your secondhand ventures? 


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