Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in St. Augustine, 2009


My Favorite Shot of the evening.
After dinner with the family and the present exchanging session was through Mike and I drove 40 minutes south to enjoy the empty, charming streets of St. Augustine. Here's a few "Postcards" of a very Florida Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chasing the Rainbow Candy Muse with Dr. Sketchy


I had a blast at Dr. Sketchy's at the Sinclair the other night. A sexy Burlesque dancer posed in a vibrant set, I was incredibly impressed and inspired.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How Thrift Shopping Makes you More Creatively Productive

I was introduced to "The Artists Way" yesterday, referenced as "Writing the Artist's Way". What Marketing Writer and budding Art Collector could resist?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Weekend Thrifting, Japanese Plates & Jackson 5 Records

My surreal Thanksgiving weekend is already over, it was the first four days I've had off from work in a row in a year and two months. I don't know when I'll have another long weekend, so I'll savor my favorite pictures and dream of another some day in the future.

I found this awesome Horizon Otagiri hand crafted Japanese plate set at Goodwill for about $15.00 total.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Odd Thrift Store Finds


The Goodwill yielded some interesting finds this Friday. I only took home a 1940s era book and an orange planter shaped like a vintage phone, but these large "Greek Urns" were very interesting.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The New Project: Meet My Brown Chair

My quarry, sitting, waiting- just for me.

I hesitated at first, but 5 minutes before closing time last night I purchased two chairs from "The Thrift Center". They'll need some cleaning up, but I think I love them already.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Make Your Own Twitter Beer Koozie


Social Network nerds rejoice, now you can protect your hands from the condensation of a cold beer while being reminded of the Glory of Twitter. Cut up those old, itchy sweaters and make a Twitter Beer Koozie.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thrify Magic City: St. Augustine the Twilight Town

Approximately 41.1 miles south of my home is a little piece of ancient Europe. (The nation's oldest city.) St. Augustine is my playground, and a rather thrifty destination for weekend fun and exploration.

The Lightner Museum, St. Augustine. Wonderful Destination for Thrifters & Crafters, various collections of buttons & yarn within, among other things...

St. Augustine reminds me of my childhood in Naples, Italy. I really miss Italy, European design, street artists, texture, and culture. St. Augustine fills the void.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Inspirational Installation

This past Friday I wrote about a book, American Junk. I took thoughts of junking with me to the opening a friend's bar/art gallery, Underbelly.

I knew Underbelly would feature art, but I didn't expect to see this interesting Installation entitled “Strategies for Making Time Stand Still”.

The vignettes are beautiful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hello Again. I'm Van. This is my Office.

Name: Vanessa Alvarado, Alias Van
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Occupation: Marketing Writer full time, Part Time Freelance Writer and Artist

Portfolio: http://www.vanwrites.com/
Blog: You're Here

Inspired by this inspirational website, I decided to write about a few key items I love in my office. I've written about my office (and its various forms) three times before, which is excessive. The thing is, clocking in at 50 hours per week- I practically live here. My office walls are lined with colorful fabric to prevent insanity.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Book for a True Thrifter: American Junk


I apologize for the mediocre photography composition in all photos
Mary Randolph Carter's book of eclectic treasures American Junk was a lucky find from a local antique store, Fans And Stoves.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sexy Misogynist Booze Cards- Only From Your Local Thrift Store!

I went to Goodwill this weekend. The thought train went something like, "I'm bored. Forgot what I was supposed to do. Oh look, a Goodwill."

"Run along now, Man Talk." -James Bond

Thursday, October 8, 2009

7 Things I Love About Thrifting

1. The Adventure

Thrifting is like playing pirate and seeking treasure- X Marks the Spot. That spot happens to be a thrift store; treasure within is nearly guaranteed. Finding the rare, distinguished item is a challenge. Your quarry is hidden beneath layers of dust, ugly 80s posters, and dated electronics. Yet finding a valuable trinket at a low price makes the treasure hunt worthwhile.

2. Soul: Finding our Unique Identity

My Pimpin' coelacanth lamp once sat on my desk at work
Mass produced items are intrinsically devoid of originality. Anyone can own art prints from Wal-Mart . The ubiquity of these products is soul-crushing. Mass produced items don’t have a unique identity. When you shop in thrift stores you’ll find hard crafted chairs, odd bottles from different continents, fishing nets from Brazil, garish lamps and paintings, and mysterious pastel portraits by unknown artists. You find unique items, pieces with soul.

3. Art: Pattern, Texture, Color

Giant machines shooting hot plastic pellets into a mold to form thousands of smooth, bland items is the status quo. Texture, unique patterns, and exceptional colors are rare- but thrift stores have this in abundance. Unique items from the thrift store often have admirable pattern, texture, or color.

4. Craft

Our old Art Market Booth, most things made from thrifted/vintage Fabrics.

Thrift inspires craft, which forces us to rekindle innate human abilities. Sometimes you find the perfect chair, “if only.” The “if only” forces some creativity on your part to create the perfect item. Suddenly you remember how to sand, paint, and use the saw. You’re a creator again.

More thrifty craft creations.
5. Connections with the past

My old Bedroom, filled with thrifty goodness. Detailed Cuttlefish Anatomy Poster from the 60s, Mexican Star Lamp. 4 Bookshelves in bedroom alone!

Thrifting is a lot like an archeological excavation. Some compare thrift stores to trash heaps, but trash heaps can hold the most valuable data on past civilizations. Thrift shopping can lend a lot of historical details about a region.

6. Budget

A thrifty used book/antique store. Books for $5 that are worth hundreds, helps the budget.

Luckily for thrift hobbyists, thrifting is an addition that doesn’t hurt the budget. You can buy much-needed furniture and clothing pieces for a substantial discount, literally pennies on the dollar.

7. Pleasure

Thrifted "Morpheus" chair and my free record player. Art Prints $5 each from the artist herself.
Finding a long sought-after item for under a dollar is exhilarating! Bringing it home and using it is a pleasure. Admiring different, unique items is a pleasure. Thrifting can be a truly enjoyable experience that satisfies the human need to hunt and gather. Get started, and you might just get addicted.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Ruins" in Jacksonville, Florida & Portraits

I was raised in Naples, Italy. I'm debating it, but I think I miss the "ruins" more than the food.

The picture above is from our family albums. I miss places like this. History, texture, nature reclaiming the land. There's very little of this in Florida.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amazing Thrifted Lamp


I finally gave in and bought this gorgeous lamp at a local antique store. I had no idea how awesome it was going to look when I took it to the office, he's the pimp of all fish lamps! I mistook it for a Coelacanth, the most beautiful rediscovered prehistoric fish there ever was, but after closer inspection that's not the case. Either way, he's perking up my office right when I needed a new lamp. And he'll always be a Coelacanth in my eyes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Create a Plushie in 5 Simple Steps


People ask me how I make plushies at the Riverside Arts Market. I told them the truth, I doodle on paper, pin it, cut it, sew it. This can be deceptively difficult depending on the amount of details you want your creature to have. For example, last week I attempted to make a quick and easy plushie tutorial that turned into a 5 hour nightmare! This time I opted for something simple.

[Note, July 8, 2010: Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post, the old pictures were lost. Will do a remake of this post soon!]

Friday, May 1, 2009

Thriftcore Idea for the Office

Tired of staring at the four dull Grey corners of your cubicle?

Do what I did:

My new workspace.

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