Friday, April 29, 2011

You Need an Adventure: The Vegas and Philly Recap


My Philadelphia and Vegas adventure was so necessary. This was my first week off from work in three years. I was run down not merely from overwork, but the bizarre betrayal incident I alluded to in my Risk post. I left Jacksonville broken-hearted, anxious, and tired. I returned revitalized.

I didn't do anything special. No shows, gambling or events. Instead I walked and walked, took pictures, and slowly absorbed the fresh environment. When I returned I finally felt like my old self again: social, fun-seeking, and adventurous.

I was only in Philadelphia for one day to meet up with my buddy Kira, her sister Stosha took me around downtown Philadelphia where I peeked at historical monuments. The highlight was their Chinatown, I wish we had one here in Jacksonville!

 [Glued to the hotel window, I watched the scene outside transform]

Tuesday night Kira and I arrived in Vegas (We had a Boondocks and Transformers marathon on the 5 hour flight there, it was lovely)! Glued to the 30th floor hotel window, I watched the Vegas scene transform from daytime to the glittering night view.

 [Snuck into the pool. Watched people on Cops. Watched people pass out.]

The rest of the days were spent exploring every crevice possible, basically walking the entire strip from one end to the other. I wanted to leave the strip to go thrifting, but we never found a chance before my four days in Vegas were up. The environment was addictive, and strangely homey for me.

Highlights of my Vegas/Philly Trip: 

  • Philadelphia's China Town 
  • Introducing Kira to "Transformers the Movie" (1986) and "The Boondocks" 
  • Walking, walking, walking the night and day away
  • Sneaking into the Ceaser's Palace pool, subsequently being escorted out of the casino by security
  • Dubbing the specter the kept causing Kira and I to lose our paperwork "Luigi"
  • Tipsy conversations with people from all around the world
  • Magically surviving the trip without losing anything vital or breaking my camera
  • Watching the Vegas view gradually shift from day to night, growing more splendid every second

I'm glad to be back in the mood for solitary adventuring around my deliciously tacky Florida home. I hope you won't mind when I share bits of my adventures here on the blog, of course I'll stop at our numerous thrift and junking stops along the way!

Make sure you go on an adventure this weekend, too!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The 90s is Now Vintage: How Do You Feel? (Old?)

[Photos are of my friend Kira's 90s-tastic Guest Bedroom in Philly

Some people feel offended that the 1990s are now considered vintage. They don't like the 90s being coined as retro; but I don't share that sentiment. I very much feel like we're in a different era. I miss the 90s, but at least the thrift stores have plenty of its clothing and other tacky fun to collect or resell.

Here's what my fellow thrifters on Twitter have to say about the "90s" being officially retro-cool enough to use as keywords for reselling:

ChicModern I guess you can consider 90s clothing vintage
thevintagecabin yea, i'd say it's vintage. if it's trendy then sell it! docs/grunge is all back so... for decor, that is another story tho.

FHCShopping Pah, it ain't vintage, but if people want to buy it, label away! I still have things in my wardrobe from university (just)

Tudorks Do we say "retro" or "vintage"? 90s are back. Bust out the mini backpacks!

alamodern I sorta do,but if means I can sell all my college crap as vintage... =) RT @thriftcore: .. 90s considered "vintage": who disagrees? 

Thrifting4Good Can't think of a thing that makes me think of the 90s (in terms of vintage) but I suppose it is.

vintagedamage   for me: Is the item strongly of-its-time and does it represent how we view the era?

sputnikmoss 90s belted high waisted GAP jeans with a bodysuit, not that I have any actual photos or anything!

SllabStudios I actually still wear Chucks. They saw heavy rotation w/ Doc Martin boots in the early 90s. cc: @Thrifting4Good @thriftcore

alamodern Flannel shirt,jeans,old ratty Vans=90s outfit

fennarama Retro for anything that is less than 20 years old. Vintage for 20 years old and older.

FHCShopping Ugh, who wants to emphasise back flab with a teeny weeny rucksack? You know how gammon is tied up with string?

Thank you everyone for participating with enthusiasm! (I love the retro college/high school photos we shared, anyone brave enough to share those in the comments, too?) Who's had success reselling 90s clothes? How about decor? (Although that gaudy plastic crap is likely filling landfills and guest bedrooms for the most part!) 

Also, what are your 90s favorites? Here's mine:

Movie: Anything Batman! (Since Michael Jackson Moonwalker and Transformers The Movie are 80s) 

Cartoon: Rocko's Modern Life, Ren and Stimpy, though "Batman the Animated Series" was amazing for many reasons. The 90s is the Cartoon Renaissance!

Music: Michael and Janet Jackson, Prince

Video Games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Resident Evil 1 & 2, Parasite Eve 

Fashion: Neon-colored things

Activities: Science/Astronomy Clubs, watching cartoons, drawing, writing, playing "teacher" (never "doctor"!), bouncing off the walls like a gnat on crack.

Tell me about your 90s favorites and your 90s reselling successes!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Writing Career Confession: From The Me of the Past

Do you ever feel like you'll never find your calling in life? Like you'll never find the work that sets your heart aflame with passion? You're trying to be a successful writer, antique reseller, blogger, it feels like it will never happen.... Well, I just received some career inspiration from "the me of the past". I'm sure it will help you, too.

Seven years ago when I first started college my professor had us write letters to our future selves. I naturally forgot all about it until the letter came in the mail this week. When I wrote this letter I'd just turned 18, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life.

Here's what 18-year-old me had to say to 24-year-old me:  

Dear whomever it may concern (which would be you which is also me),

This letter is addressed to the me of the future from the me of the past, if that is at all logical. I am your past self which still has within herself hope and ambition. Perhaps by the time you read this all of that will have been sucked straight out of your with a vacuum cleaner of despair. But instead I wish you happiness. I wish you complete euphoria with all your decisions and career choices.
The purpose of this letter, me, is to measure up- see what you've done with your sloth-like bulbous self the years while this state of myself have been eradicated from your consciousness as you've grown and matured. 

As of November 2, 2004 (election day, I might add) I am still uncertain about my choice of careers. My passion remains in writing, my ultimate talent. Journalism is a consideration. Another choice would be graphic design- too easy, too much competition, and not enough money. Advertising manager/designer would be fun! Anything that involves design with some writing or writing with some design is perfect. Perhaps a magazine editor, a magazine designer, or a writer for a magazine, hell- I could publish a magazine all my own. So am I conflicted? Oh yes sir, I am, I am!!! 

So what have you decided? Did you do what you had to do and are you successful and happy!? If not, well, I hate you. Go and get happy. Because if you aren't happy, nor am I.  

After reading the memories of that first year of college rushed back. I didn't know what I'd major in, so I took the recommended "Career Planning" elective. I was 17 when the class started, the youngest kid in there. Did I become what I wanted to? Did I fulfill those teenage dreams?

I'm shocked that the answer is yes- overwhelmingly so! I am an advertising manager and designer. My job incorporates both writing and design (like the letter said!), the perfect mix to keep me satisfied. I even get my "magazine editing" kicks by updating this blog, which incorporates a little of everything I love and keeps me creatively fulfilled.

Here's a confession about my success as a writer/designer/marketer... I dropped out of college. Most people assume I majored in advertising, graphic design, and even lofty aspirations like computer science, but after 2 years bumbling along in community college I quit cold turkey and went right to work.

I didn't stop applying for writing jobs until I found one, and when they saw how quickly and efficiently I write and make websites I was hired right away. I was 21 years old. (And it's funny, every recruiter who looked at my resume while I was job hunting said, "This looks like a marketing resume. You should work in advertising...")

Sometimes I want to go back to college, but I feel grateful that things ended up like this. I feel like I paid my dues and learned my skills from experience, by coding and writing websites since I was 11-years-old. I didn't need school to get where I am today. Now I'm free of student loans, and to be honest, I'm in a better position than a few of the friends I shared graphic design classes with.

The lesson here is the same as my Risk post. If you want creative work, take risks, put yourself out there, work hard for it. Take Risks and keep striving for success, and you'll get it!

Or in other words, if you wanna write: WRITE. If you want to draw: DRAW. I know a lot of you want to be antique resellers: SELL IT. Live your passion and don't look back.

Now, who wants to fulfill my 18-year-old prophesy and hire me to work on your magazine? :)

Are you living your childhood dreams now?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thrift Haul: Beautiful Boat and Vegas Swag

I'm back! Did you miss my inane weekday ramblings? My trips to Vegas and Philly were amazing, and I'm ready to write and thrift with a vengeance after my brief hiatus.

The boat above was found at a cluttered and messy yard sale two weekends ago. The homeowner noticed me admiring boats outside and invited me in to select from her personal vintage boat collection! The shape of this big one really appealed to me, so I snagged it for $10. It took a long soak to get it clean but it was worth it.

I also bought this awesome shadowbox display shelf and the books below for about $3 from the same yard sale! I was excited because I never find the shadowbox shelves for a low price.

I really tried to squeeze in some Vegas and Philly thrifting, but with all the chaos going on it just didn't happen. Instead I picked up some souvenirs for friends from both cities. The mini realistic food key chains are from Philly's Chinatown, I love them. I'm a sucker for mini-food-anything. These are so tiny and realistic- my favorite one is the Pho soup. I kept one and gave the rest to my friends, but I kind of wanted to keep them all...

I also thought you'd like to admire this Vegas coin bank I scooped up as my sole souvenir. The sign was Mid Century Modern and goes with my home's fun animated aesthetic.

Vegas did provide me with some thrifty fun though: in the form of the smut books people hand out in excess on every street corner. I picked up some for all of my friends to "enjoy"! (Vegas gag gifts for free!)

I love how they promise delivery in 20 minutes or less, just like pizza! I gave these to my friends in ubiquitous brown bags and enjoyed their reactions! These are like the pokémon cards of smut, gotta catch 'em all!

I do believe I'll have to share some more Vegas fun later. I really felt at home in Sin City, it's odd how comforting the environment was for me. It's the perfect place for an adventurous night owl and her camera! I'll definitely go back one day...
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thrift Core Vacation: Hitting up Vegas and Philly

 [My travel bags in my friend Kira's amazing 90s retro guest bedroom: more pictures coming soon!]

I'm on vacation this week, my first vacation in three years! I'm at my friend Kira's house in Philly, we randomly had the same week off and decided to go for the ultimate spontaneous vacation: from here we head to Vegas! I'll probably update periodically during the week with my Vegas thrifting adventures. Any pro Vegas thrifters out there have tips to share with me? I'd love to hear 'em!

I'll be back to my regular posting schedule next week, but do check in during the week for my vacation thrifting adventures!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thrifters Around the World: Kimberly's Thrifting From France to Germany

[Kimberly and her beautiful home in Germany. She writes the blog]

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Kimberly: I am 43 years old. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and moved to Norway in 1993 to be with my Norwegian husband. We are temporarily living in Germany for my husband’s work. I love photography, traveling, cooking, and fixing up old things. I started to keep myself out of trouble while in Germany.

When and why did you start thrifting? 

In my 20s I started liking things with character. I felt like new things did not have any “soul”.

Can you briefly describe your garage sale hunting in Minnesota? 

After a Saturday trip to the Farmers Market in Minneapolis, we would follow the signs for garage sales, weaving our way back to suburbia. The older homes in the city always yielded more interesting objects than new homes in the ‘burbs.

What makes thrifting in other countries (like Germany, Norway, France, and the Netherlands) different than thrifted in the United States?

It is definitely easier to find sales in the States, great signage and predictability, but other than that; thrifting is pretty much the same.

What terms from around the world have you encountered for "thrifting"? 

Flea market in German and Dutch is Flohmarkt, in Norwegian it is Loppemarket. All are literal translations but I have still never found a flea!

Have you encountered a dumpster diving/curb-side shopping culture in any of the places in the world you've thrifted? 

Curb shopping was alive and well in Minneapolis and when I was an Au Pair in London there was a lot of talk about reclaiming road side trash. I remember several programs from the BBC about just that, but that would NEVER happen in Norway or Germany.

You have been thrifting in Germany, Norway, France, Italy, and the Netherlands! Which country is your favorite place to thrift? 

As a Francophile, I would definitely say France! They have such beautiful linens and simply elegant things.

Out of all the places, you have lived in and visited, which one has the biggest second hand/thrift/craft culture? 

I think the US and Germany are fighting for top position, Germans with their flea markets and Americans with garage sales.

What is the second-hand shopping scene like in Norway? 

As the nouveau riche of Europe, Norwegians enjoy showing off their newly gained wealth. I have heard stores of people inheriting from older family members and burning furniture for firewood. They have a heart-breaking lack of appreciation for the value of things older than they are, but I think that is changing with the younger generation.

What would you typically find at the church flea markets and The Salvation Army thrift shops in Norway? 

You see a lot of teak furniture, Apartment Therapy followers would be in 7th heaven.

What is thrifting in Germany like? 

Wonderful! Everything is cheap. I can pick up vases and knick-knacks for 50 cents, which is about 3 Norwegian Kroner. You cannot buy anything in Norway for 3 kroner so I have a blast at the flea market!

How about thrifting in the Netherlands? 

There are some great thrift shops in the “nine streets” of Amsterdam. The shops have a great mix of old and new. Check out Juffrow Splinter and Raw Materials.

How would you describe the flea markets in France (are they expensive)? 

The antique markets in l’isle sur la Sorgue are notoriously overpriced but not expensive compared to Norwegian prices. We came across a local flea market in Mazan last year and I came away with Depression glass molded candlesticks for 5 euros, both the seller and I were very pleased with this price.

Have you encountered stigmas against second hand shopping during your worldwide thrifting adventures?

I think baby boomers have the strongest opinion about used items and old things. I notice in Norway that many things I treasure are considered junk, but to each his own. I love the character and charm that my thrifting gives our home.

Surprise Giveaway:  Kimberly is hosting a giveaway to go along with this interview! The prize is a copy of  The Flea Markets of France, by Sandy Price. visit her site for a chance to win!


If you would like to be featured in Thrifters Around the World, shoot me an e-mail. I would love your feedback on this new segment, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Past Thrifters Around The World Interviews:
[3/01/2011] Thrifting Pro Miss P From the UK (Part II)
[3/08/2011] Switcheroom's Elle From the Philippines
[3/16/2011] eLousion's Cindy From Puerto Rico
[3/30/2011] Ashleigh's Thrifting Tales from Taiwan and Tokyo
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artist Interview: Edbot5000 and His Retro Robot Nintendo Art

Edbot5000 (Edmund Dansart) is another artist that specializes in the wacky animated style I can't get enough of. We share simular influences: comic books, cartoons, anime, manga, retro junk, robots, and video games.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Ed: Here's my obligatory art statement: Robots of all forms have always fascinated me. From vintage sci-fi toys to large industrial machinery, they always seem to be the subject of drawings and paintings. Growing up reading comics and watching Japanese kaiju movies certainly planted seeds at an early age. The "edbot5000" moniker I have adapted is my homage to the space toys of the 50's and 60's. I also like walks on the beach, retro gaming, hugs, kung-fu movies and pro wrestling.

1. One clear influence over your art is Nintendo era video games. What's your #1 favorite Nintendo video game? How about an all-time favorite video game, too?

Wow... #1 favorite? That's tough! Can I do a top 3? (haha) It's too tough to pick 1. Let's see in no particular order: River City Ransom, Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man. All time fave would probably be the arcade Double Dragon. That's tough too!

2. If you had to list one comic book/manga that has inspired your style the most, which would it be? 

Another tough one! I would have to say Battle Angel Alita is my all time fave.

Watch Ed Dansart and Nick Dunkenstein’s masterpiece come to life in this time-lapse documentary about inspiration, art and robots. The documentary was shot over the course of 49 days in the lobby of 5ivecanons, the ballers of advertising.

3. What's your favorite animated movie?

There is so much good stuff out there...I'd say anything by Hayao Miyazaki . His films are absolute magic.

4. Who is your favorite animator? 

This one's a bit easier. John K. hands down. In my opinion he is the most influential animator of the last 20 years. His style has influenced so many cartoons in the 90's to current cartoons.

5. What medium do you specialize in? 

Specialize is a strong word :D ! I don't know about specialize, but I use acrylic and I do digital work as well.

6. Can you describe your art process for us? 

It depends. A lot of the time I just sit down to a blank canvas or piece of paper and see what happens. There are pieces I actually do sketches and plan out with a little more forethought. Most of the time it's like: "Hmmm... I feel like drawing a cute girl with a mace for a hand." 

7. What about the thrift stores and thrifting inspires your art the most? 

I love the crazy art pieces you can find. From old paintings to attempts at painting, stitchwork, old toys etc. Retro kids books have really cool drawings as well. I am planning to collect little paintings and incorporating my art into it.

8. If you had to pick a favorite type of toy, which would it be? (Personally, I don't know if I can choose between robots and dinosaurs.) 

I absolutely love old space toys from the 50's-60's! The boxy robots that don't make any sense. Definitely on the lookout for those at thrift stores!

9. What are your favorite colors to use in your art, and why? I see a lot of bright reds/pinks in your paintings, it gives your work an unique look and makes it stand out.

I am a big fan of folk art and the bright colors that style uses. I am really liking the bright reds and pinks for backgrounds with a cool color figure in the foreground. I think it pops along with the big black lines. Although I think I am going in a more painterly direction this year.

10. What are your future art plans, what direction do you see yourself moving in? 

Doing more prints and getting an e-commerce site are the current goals. The initial print run did very well at ArtWalk. I have a couple shows lined up the next few months I need to work on. I also want to expand into comics and apparel. Toys would be killer too. Lots of things I want to do, just trying to figure out how to get there.

How to Find Edbot 5000: You can check out his Sketch Blog, or listen to him on Mesh Radio. Follow him on twitter, @edbot5000. He sells his affordable art prints ($5 each!) at Jacksonville's Downtown Art Walk. (I'm now the proud owner of three, his "Mega Girls" based on my favorite Nintendo game Megaman 2 is a favorite!)
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Office Cubicle Decorating: Thrifty Ways to Make Your Cubicle Cozy

I'm no longer a cubicle dweller, I have my own little office where I keep the lights dim and the oolong tea plentiful (coworkers call it "the cave"). Yet if I go back to cubicle land, I know I can make it a cozy spot to work. Here are my thrifty tips for decorate your office cubicle:

Colorful Walls: That gray, it physically kills my psyche to look at it every day. I like to switch up the design. Be creative with the fabric or paper you add, mix and match to make it unique.

Office Plants: Most tropical houseplants will thrive, even in the sometimes dim cubicle environment. Make sure to water them at least 2-3 times and week.

Thrifted Lamp: A lamp in a cubicle just makes it a cozier space for to write and work.

Personal Items: You might be at the office 40 or more hours per week. I clock in an average of 50 hours per week myself! I want the space I work to feel as natural for me as possible, so I always have some original local artwork hanging. Add small personal things that makes your cubicle more homey. (I love it when people fill their cubicles with toys and comic book action figures, for instance!)

 [My cubicle about 3 years ago. They move me around the office a lot!]

How do you like to "decorate" your office or cubicle? 
What do you need to work efficiently?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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