Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thrifty Living Room Makeover: Using What We Have for Impact


I'm enjoying being in my living room (where a lot of work and computing happens) much more these days. Before I felt like it had an imbalanced dorm room feel, so I moved existing furniture and art around to yield a better solution, the whole area just feels more open now.

Now the full height of my tall walls is utilized and it makes the space more cozy. It also displays my interests with lots of books, Batman, childhood posters (Ninja Turtles and Transformers) and even some Freddy Krueger.

I love to display collections for visual impact. These are some of my favorite toys. I'll let go of a few of day.

I'm going to work on the TV wall but this will do for now. Pretty thrifty use of decor, with a shoe rack (ha!) supporting my gifted TV and a thrifted shelf from my mom to balance things out and hold my DVDs and my roommate's laptop (connected to the TV so we can watch internet videos and compute on the big screen.)

I've made a vow to buy nothing new (except necessities) and rely on second hand finds to furnish my home. This impacts my home design, but I love the challenge and it certainly exercises my creativity and makes for a unique living space.

I'll soon have to rely on retail for the other side of my large combination living room/dining room space after months of hunting second-hand didn't yield what I wanted. Next week I'll show you what I've done to make a satisfying work space! I'm excited to finally have my entire home completely organized for the first time ever!

How do you decorate your home thriftily? You know me, I need unique finds and color everywhere.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Thrifty Garden Experiment: How Does Your Garden Grow?


I'm curious: how much does gardening really save us on grocery bills? I want exact numbers! This year I'm back to gardening (the original reason I started blogging!) and I'm going to track every cent I spend growing my food and herbs. I'm glad I took a break when life was frenzied, now I'm ready to apply knowledge gained from failing previous years to be successful this year.

I'd love for you to join the challenge and grow a plant, even if it's just one frequently-used herb or one vegetable! To help you start, I'll share my beginner gardening tips. Learn from my crippling defeats!

Start Slow: It's easy to get garden fever and bring home way more plants than you can handle. Start extremely slow, sow or bring home one to three plants and slowly work your way up.

Hit the Library: There's obviously the web and gardening sites and blogs (My favorite is You Grow Girl, but gardening books are incomparable. Read, be inspired, and take that knowledge to your gardens.

Plan it Out: Sit and think about your gardening goals (what do you want to eat all year?) and determine action steps needed to reach them. Keeping a garden journal or blogging your progress is helpful.

Be Cheap!: Stores hawk useless garden "necessities", resist! Ask friends and family for unused pots, check curbsides and craigslist for free or cheap gardening supplies. Comparison shop for necessities and start composting for fertilizer. Save yogurt containers for seed starters. Make it a challenge to spend as little as possible.

I'll share many gardening updates throughout the year! I'm excited to get back into the dirt. Are you growing anything this year? Any gardening dream or plans to share?
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Antique Store Booth Update: The Tale of Three Booths, Now One


This year I've made the decision to go back to running just one antique store booth. I loved my other two spaces and the opportunity to reach out to different consumers in various venues with my brand. I liked the flexibility and the ability to switch merchandise from store to store. It was time to make the hard decision and say goodbye to two spaces, here's why:

Too Much Shopping: I'm not willing to continue to buy, buy, buy enough merchandise to supply three spaces with the necessary amount of vintage to keep sales up.

Not Enough Profit: I thought I'd take a chance on two booths in lower-traffic stores, but my one space at Southern Crossing brings in far more traffic and profit. It makes sense to stick to the one that really produces.

Online Sales Trump All: I sell more via my blog and craigslist than any other option, and the only investment that takes is time. I had a successful first couple of months on Etsy bringing in several high ticket sales. This year I'll be focusing on my Etsy shop, eBay, Craigslist, and other creative venues.

I Don't Regret it: I learned lessons from being in each shop. I'm always going to innovate and try new ways to sell and make connections with other creatives and playful vintage lovers.

It's not an easy decision to move out of two booths, I really want to keep them. I've met wonderful people and even received an exciting opportunity from one of them that I'll write about in the future! But the stores are too great of an investment of time and energy and it's not working out, it's time to move on. I'm excited to pour that energy into my profitable booth, revamping the looks, making a new sign, and making it the best it can be!

How are your sales going online and in your booths? What are the pitfalls you're facing? Sometimes we have to quite to succeed.
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Thrift Haul: Trailer Surprises. Anchors, Dorothy Thrope, Snoopy!


Oh, there is much to photograph and document at Thrift Core headquarters. The vintage trailers I wrote about on Friday yielded the finds above, all selected with great restraint. I'm back to the thrifts but holding back and leaving behind more than I used to. My main motivation for hunting? The antique store booths needed fresh new merch. Here's what I found:

First, a favorite, these beautiful plastic anchor cups. I'm selling the set for $12.00 on the blog if anyone wants them! These and the other finds that aren't already in my Southern Crossing Antique Mall booth will go to my Etsy Shop soon.

How about some Maybe-Dorothy-Thrope glasses? Actually, these probably are not the real deal, but I feel like fans of the look would these to make the bar as sexy as Don Draper himself. Selling the whole set for $15.00.

It was love at first sight for this adorable kawaii kitty cat plaque! I love the fish that's about to chomp on the Huck Finn Kitty's tail. It's hanging in Southern Crossing Antique Mall, I'm selling it for $15.00.

I usually sells these clocks quickly, we'll see what happens! A fun mod-looking General Electric alarm clock that still works. I'm selling this piece for $10.00 if you'd like it.

Why must I be a sucker for such plaques?! I love the combination of green, yellow, and white with some  splashes of black and red. Beautiful piece! You can hang it in your home for $10.00.

This wood grain 1970s condiment set includes a salt and pepper shaker and two bigger containers, maybe for oil and vinegar or ketchup and mustard.

Something makes me feel guilty for scooping this up, but I just love the look of this beauty, and it's a nice practical piece.

And it's suitcase fetish time! This one seemed to be nearly half of my 5'3" frame, it's big, but light. I love the marbled royal blue color.

Inside there's plenty of space to hang your clothes. This would be fun for travel or storage. I like to use pieces like this to store out of season clothing in my closet. I'm selling this beast for $20.00.

Oh, and by the way, the large Snoopy piece is a huge novelty-sized birthday card. I'm selling it for $7.00 if anyone would like it, I may keep it to gift to a friend on their Birthday, it's hilarious large and fun.

Simply send an e-mail if you'd like anything you see in today's post. The prices will go up once they hit Etsy later in the day.

What have you been finding at the thrifts lately? 

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Things I Didn't Buy at the Thrift Store: A "Yard Sale" Surprise

I had $50 to spend and an antique store booth to refresh. It was time to get hunting again! I hit some thrifts and then encountered a innocuous looking yard sale sign.

The yard sale looked like a bust until we saw three trailers filled with vintage! We had to exercise some serious will-power to keep from buying everything in sight. Here's some of the stuff we left behind:

Now that the busy hunting day is up, it's time to clean all the finds and get them into the shops!

Leave anything interesting behind lately? What have you been hunting for at the thrifts?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting it Together 2013: A Detox Review + Detoxing Tips


"Detoxing" sounds intimidating but the concept is simple, when you detox you eat easily digested whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts to give your body a "break". With less time devoted to digesting, your body can focus on cleaning out organs and cells, healing you from the inside out.

I'm a fan of Ani Phyo's simple and delicious recipes so I tried her raw vegan detox/weigh loss book's plan Ani's 15 Day Fat Blast last year. I decided to start the "year off right" and do it again from January 1 to the 22nd, adding another week to the 15 day plan.

The Good: The recipes are AMAZINGLY delicious and easy to make. Some of them have become favorites that I'm going to incorporate into regular cooking! I saw results quickly.

The Bad: Ingredients may be hard to find, it can be expensive, I hated some of the "dinner soup" recipes, and many recipes taste best prepared with a vitamix (I use and recommend the Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500) or another high-speed blender. The first three days with no solid meals is hard, I ain't gonna lie!

I enjoyed what this plan taught me about balancing meals. I'm ready to bring it's teachings into my day-to-day eating. If you're looking to start a detox, I recommend this book!

Why should you detox? If you're broken out (Got a detox plan for that here), sluggish, and/or having trouble with digestion I highly recommend a detox. Even if you eat very healthfully, it's good to take time out to stuff your body with healing foods and give your body a break.

What are the results? I lost 7 lbs in 22 days, but more importantly, I see and feel visible increased in health. My skin is clearer are more evenly toned, my body actually feels and looks more toned, and I actually crave healthy food every day and plan  meals better.

What are the pitfalls? You have to be organized and prepare meals in advance if you expect to socialize or even leave the house! You may get food cravings, I know I did!

Our homes aren't the only things that need cleaning out this year. Don't neglect your body! Your detox can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be. It can be as easy as replacing your normal breakfast with a smoothie and your normal lunch with a salad (I shared many options here). I enjoyed my detox journey and I'm going to continue experimenting with different ways to heal.

Have you tried any detoxes or similar "diets"? What results did you have? Any tips to share? And of course, if you have any questions at all I'll answer them in the comments. Let's discuss!

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting it Together 2013: The Closet Evolution and a Wardrobe Purge


For years I've been forced any and all closets in my apartments for art project or merchandise storage. I worked hard at it to clear out and get my closet back at the start of this year and got rid of as much clothing as possible. Now everything I own to hear is hanging in one closet and easy to access. I can see it all at a glance and appreciate how less is more. It's easier to put outfits together when you own only your best.

I used this thought process to separate feelings and purge my wardrobe. I was brutal and effective  don't let emotion get in the way of a good clothing purge!

Doesn't fit? Donate it! (Don't wait until you "lose weight" again, to the thrifts with it!)
Don't "feel right" in it? Donate!
Don't like that color on me? DONATE!
Don't wear it anymore? DONATE!
Doesn't make me feel AWESOME when I wear it? DONATE!
I liked this in high school but don't wear it anymore... DONATE! 
Doesn't fit quite right...DONATE!
Not clothing or bedding related? Get it out of the bedroom closet!
Work clothes I no longer need or wear? DONATE!
But it was a gift! BITCH, DONATE IT!

And so the thrift stores received a huge donate or pretty clothes I just don't wear anymore and in return I have a normal closet and I can see the floor! This has been my theme with  my home purge this year, keeping only what I use, and only the best. There's no room for anything else.

What thought process do you go through for a purge? There may be a level one or two Hoarder lurking within us, let's defeat it and reclaim our closets this year!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting it Together 2013: Organizing a (Mostly) Vegan Kitchen

I love a fresh new year and the opportunity to start it on the right track by getting the home organized. This week I want to talk about organizing our homes, business, and inner turmoil! I started with a room I've found myself in a lot this year, the kitchen.

I am blessed with an enormous amount of storage space for an apartment dweller, I have a big kitchen outfitted with 6 roomy cabinets and a large pantry space, and I wasn't utilizing it to it's fullest potential. In the before picture above you see wasted space. I can't see my items at a glance.

Now everything can be seen at a glance, I have stations for frequently-performed actions, and I've rearranged the art collections displayed within for better visual balance.

One thing I do to reduce kitchen clutter and dish pile-up is limit the amount of dishes and cups I keep in the kitchen- helpful for a high traffic apartment with a roomie and frequent visitors! If we want more cups, we have to wash the ones we have. I love having all my spices displayed and easy to select now.

For those who are curious about pantry staples for raw vegans, it often looks a lot like this. I love keeping my nuts in sealed glass jars, it has an attractive apothecary look while keeping my food fresh. Not much drinking happens around these parts anymore so they're put in this shelf, out of the way of the main kitchen traffic.

I'm excited about how I re-arranged the kitchen art, too. This watercolor painting looks better above the stove and the thick black frame goes well with the appliances. I like how it's a portrait of the artist's friend cooking with her favorite Sanrio character, My Melody.

And I love my display of masks Ponce carnival masks from Puerto Rico, every time I visit family I bring home a new one. I love how it brings my personal culture into the "heart" of my home.

I set a chopping/juicing station for chopping up my daily salads. The dressings often need some lemon or orange juice for my "Octojuicer" is always on Stand-by. And the Mario and Donkey Kong art just makes me smile!

Then we have the tea station, the kitty and tea set were bought back with me from Japan, and I talk about how I framed the Junko Mizuno art in this post.

I make a smoothie daily and often use these tools and ingredients, so I set up a smoothie station with a vintage tray. The Kirby chef toy kind of adds to the fun Nintendo theme.

The little coffee area is for my roommate, I can't drink coffee. It makes me bounce off the walls like a rabid banshee! I'd have to work up my caffeine tolerance again.

I re-arranged things in our large pantry. My roomie (who isn't vegan) has her food on the top shelf and we share the rest.

And now I'm off to make some luscious grub in the kitchen! Time to blend and chop up some masterpieces.

How do you keep your kitchen organized? Any tips to share? What are you organizing for the new year?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Maiden Voyage Clothing Co. Poster Duo Giveaway Winner

I've chosen a winner for the Maiden Voyage poster giveaway! The winner is commenter #20, Jenny Whiskey! I've e-mailed you to get your address. Thank you everyone for entering, there are more fun giveaways coming up soon!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Last Day to Enter! Maiden Voyage Two Poster Combo Giveaway


Maiden Voyage Clothing Co. has been busy! Their Wunderkamer-Style Etsy Shop of Curiosities is bursting with beautiful antique-style designs on t-shirts, accessories, and now, posters! I'm super excited that Maiden Voyage offered to giveaway one of their pick any two posters pack! You're lucky, I certainly have these on my wish-list! (These would make an excellent V-day gift for that guy, or nautical art lover, in you life!)

How to Enter Win The Maiden Voyage Poster Pack:

  • Check out the beauteous Maiden Voyage Clothing Co.  Etsy Shop, then come back to this post and leave a comment letting us know what your favorite item is. 
  • Leave your e-mail in the comment so I can contact you if you win!

Extra Entries: Leave a comment for each action performed.

  • Follow Maiden Voyage on Twitter
  • Follow Maiden Voyage on Facebook
  • Follow this blog via Googlefriend Connect on the side bar.
  • Follow Thirft Core on Facebook
  • Follow Thrift Core on Twitter

Good Luck! I'll Announce a winner on January 22, 2013! Maiden Voyage is a Thrift Core Sponsor. Contact me if you'd like to sponsor Thrift Core or host a giveaway.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thrifty DIY Idea: Cheap and Easy Wall Art From Magazines


I'm on a purging/organizing kick. It's been exciting to streamline the household and make "stations" for each activity. The next necessary step was adding artwork, I can't thrive without it! Other than local art, my favorite thing to frame and display are pages from book and magazines.

I immediately swooped in on this issue of Hi Fructose at the flea market featuring one of my favorite artists, Junko Mizuno. Her weird, dark style is perfect for adding art to the kitchen, bedroom, and office area with their bright colors, intricate graphic design, and food and crafting themes- what's not to love?!

I start by...this is the heart breaking part...ripping the magazine in half at the seams right at the first page I want to take. This way I can rip out all the pages I want to use without fearing of damaging them.

Next I frame them in matching frames. It would fun to make a Junko gallery wall , but I need these pieces to add color throughout the house.

Three are now living in the kitchen. One by the new "blending station." I love the artichokes and bunnies in this piece, gorgeous!

The next two add color and life to the "tea station," I love the piece with the girl and the blender, so kitchen appropriate.

Next my office area got some love, I adore how the muted colors in the two Junko knitting pieces match my Cuttlefish anatomy poster.

Any finally two pieces are perfectly at home in my bedroom. I thought these were perfect to hang above the dresser with their feminine themes.

Ah, it's the little details that make a house a home. If there's any blank corners in your home that need warming up,  look to the thrifts for old magazines and books for art to fill the walls. I love displaying unconventional masterpieces and thrifted objects in my home.

What do you like to frame and/or display on the walls? It feels good to change things up for the new year. Look out for some home organization posts next week!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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