Friday, March 29, 2013

What to do When You Need Traffic, Marketing Guidance, and Exposure...

HA HA, sorry, couldn't help myself. I LOVE my vintage Transformers comic books. Scans from my favorite pages will have to work their way into more posts soon. But I digress. It's nearly April and it's time I let you guys know about what I offer with advertising and helping websites grow. It's a genuine passion of mine, nearly as big or as big as my eternal love for Transformers, Robots in Disguise and all humanoid beings made of shiny, colorful metal. I LIVE to help indie businesses and blogs thrive!

Need An Advertising Banner? I'll make it for ya! Venture here to read more about advertising, read testimonials, and to buy an ad. I'd love to place your ad this April!

Need Specific Marketing Guidance: I increase sales and traffic for my clients. Check out my services.

I'd love to chat with you and help you out. Just send me an e-mail if you have a question! Transform and Roll  Out, have a creative weekend, and I'll be back next week with lots of juicy, vintage-filled, informative posts. And pie. :)
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Let's Talk Semantics: "Vintage" and "Reselling"- Starting to Hate Those Words

Are we really "resellers"? Is what we sell "vintage"? Does the dictionary just need to play catch-up?

On "Reseller": "Reseller" comes with negative connotations. Ocassional flea market vendors and thrift store owners dislike us. To others it sounds second-class or scavenger-like. The stigma is unfounded; all retailers are resellers unless they're creating all the merchandise they sell. I classify myself as a vintage curator because I'm very particular about what I select to sell and how I stage and present it. What creative spin can you put on your brand of reselling?

On "Vintage": Then there's the word "vintage" which I have a love/hate relationship with. Saying I curate "vintage" helps people understand I specialize in retro rather than antique merchandise, but if you look it up in the dictionary, "vintage" isn't a word in that context yet. Instead, it references a the year a wine was produced. I embrace it since it's a keyword that sells (hell, it's a category for selling on Etsy, semantics-be-damned) but what do you think? Are there better words to use? Should we be more specific when categorizing every single thing we sell? (Mid Century Modern, Retro, Antique, etc.)

Let's discuss semantics in the comments: What do you call your style of thrifty picking and reselling? How do you classify what you sell? You getting sick of using the same words over-and-over, too?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thrifty Idea: Free DIY Faux Woodgrain Patterned "Dry Erase Board"


I scribble notes and plans frantically all day long, and my notes tend to end up scattered everywhere. I've needed a dry erase white board for my marketing notes and brainstorming forever but I wanted an attractive alternative. I fell in love with the faux bamboo veneer on this design (Three by Three Small Bare Panel, Bamboo):

I nearly bit the $33.00 bullet to purchase it (hey, it's tax deductible at least) but stuck to my "Buy Nothing New" guns instead and searched the house for something to craft into a board. My first idea involved using the same faux wood laminate I used on my desk, but then I remembered the faux wood floor panels I'd hoarded saved when a friend was going to toss them. They finally came in handy, I was about to pass them on the next victim!

I simply nailed the faux wood laminate floor panels to the wall, sticking the nail through the particle board parts that stick out of the bottoms. They're the type that "snap together" on the floor to create a faux wood floor for your home. I have to use a spray bottle of water and a rag to erase it thoroughly without leaving ghosting, but hell, it's free! Can't beat free! If you choose to use faux wood stick-on laminate like I have on my desk to make a dry erase board you'd need to erase it the same way.

It didn't take me long to fill up my new board, transferring ideas from scraps of paper that were littering my desk. I love the cozy vibe the wood provides and working on a nice, clean surface. It clears the mind of clutter, too! Now I need to figure out how to make some display shelves for free, find a rug, make a merchandise packing section...

Got any clever ways to reuse disgarded items to share? What are some office essentials you're on the prowl for at the thrifts- or on the curbsides?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thrift Haul: A Vintage Kitchen, Mod Housewares Will Charm Your Pants Off


I just can't quit pretty vintage plates and housewares, they suck me in at the thrifts and they're so fun to photograph and stage. All of the scores in this post have a lot of personality and beauty. Check 'em out:

I wrote about leaving this piece behind in early February and Hunting Tigress kindly pointed out that it was a valuable mod set and even listed the value of the pieces for me! I loved the look of it regardless so I knew if it was still where I left I'd buy it next time I saw it.

Midwinter Ltd (England), Moon Pattern, Stonehenge Line, 1973, Rare Collectible Dining Set is on Etsy. I love using it for tea, soups, food's just a gorgeous set.

The groovy 1970s typography on this pair won me over. I thought it would be fun to sell it as a set.

The napkin holder would be fun to host notepads or scraps of paper for writing quick ideas. I have it listed over on Etsy

This beautiful Royal Haegar vase was a donation from BF's mom, she found it at a yard sale. I love the piece, lovely shape and texture!

It's chilling with me at the house until it sells on Etsy. Inspiring me with it's atomic era beauty.

I believe this kitschy collection of plates slipped under the radar. I love the welcoming messages they evoke, they make a kitchen or any room in your home feel cozy.

Until they sell on Etsy they're one of the first things you'll see when you enter my apartment. I especially love that first one depicting all the creature comforts: a smoke, a black coffee, a cozy bed and an earthy den with a big fireplace. That's what keeps bringing me back to vintage housewares, especially small ones for the kitchen and home, that sense of homeyness one piece can instantly provide.

So tell me, what did you score at the thrifts? If you like any piece you see, e-mail me, it's all for sale!

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Groovy Waltz Through the Woods: Remembering What Matters


I used to spend hours exploring "the woods" with my friends when I first moved to Florida. We caught dozens of tadpoles, catfish,  lighting-fast emerald-like anole lizards with long flicking tails, sticky green tree frogs, and lumpy brown toads. My favorite animal discoveries were the jewel hued skinks, elegant, ebony lizards with luminous scales and electric blue tails. You had to be lucky to catch them darting beneath decaying leaves were they felt safe.

I know I've "grown up" when I'm content to just be there in nature with the same creatures rather than going out of my way to disturb them. Then again, I just don't see them even on the rare occasion I make it back out to the "woods" I love. The North Florida biodiversity just isn't what it used to be in the late 90s. Regardless, getting back to nature is a special source for creativity and inspiration.

It reminds me that all the hours I spend here on the internet making dat buck, writing away, and selling away, through pleasurable times and stressful times, is for one thing. I do it all because I want MORE time to spend out there: in the woods, at the beach, in the water, exploring urban and natural scenes, just exploring! Being in nature, experiencing this planet and its art and culture is what I live for. And working for myself gives me the flexible schedule to get into whenever I want to.

What inspires you when you're in a rut with work? Your family/kid, walks, pets, dinosaurs, murder?  (Ha, just making sure you're paying attention.)
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thrifted Table Before and After: From Bland Brown to Sunshine Yellow


This "primitive" handmade table dates back to the 1940-60s. It's a classic, utilitarian piece with great lines, and replacing the brown with a saturated bright yellow was destiny Yellow and the table were fated to be, it just looks that right!

It took one can of Krylon Indoor/Outdoor White Primer and one and a half cans of Krylon Spray Sun Yellow Gloss spray paint to cover the brown but the result was worth it. In the words of the immortal autobot leader Optimus Prime, "Transform, and roll out!" Couldn't help the 1980s cartoon references  this saturated school bus yellow reminds me of the cartoons I grew on:

I like it hosting a printer as a side table and as a night stand, where the drawer comes in handy for housing little night-time necessities. I bought the table to sell at Southern Crossing Antique Mall but now it'll be hard to sell it, I kind of love seeing it around the house. Send me an e-mail if you're interested in the table.

Working on any interesting upcycled projects lately? Did you like this table better before or after its transformation?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Creamy Onion Raw Vegan Soup: A Three-in-One Recipe. Dressing, Soup, and Dip.


The recipe was inspired by my love affair with onion powder. Oh baby, luscious  luscious onion powder. It makes everything delicious. It gives anything a homey, soupy, rich flavor without being overpowering. This recipe is fun because the thick, creamy consistency let's you use it as a salad dressing, soup, or veggie/chip dip.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 CUPS cashews- soaked for at least 1 to 2 hours, 1 CUP water, 1 TBSP onion powder, 1 TBSP tamari, 1/8 to 1/4 TSP salt, 1/8 to 1/4 TSP black or white pepper

Directions: Blend all of your ingredients together. If you have a vitamix or another high speed blender, let it run in your blender a little longer to warm it up. Otherwise, you can heat it briefly in your microwave.

I love to dip cucumbers in my soup as "crackers" to eat it up. Pour this white gold over your kale salad and it won't know what happened to it. The assault will be brutal, and you will be so satisfied. Your filthy salad rapist, you. My god, my mouth is watering just looking at the photos of the carnage. I'm off to the kitchen to make more of this masterpiece, stat!

Got a triple-threat recipe to share? I'd love to read it! What's your favorite easy lunch go-tos. I love my soups, salads, and smoothies.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Favorite Japanese Souvenir: A Detailed Book on Vintage Fire King Goodness

My friend JR took me to a Spencers-like novelty store in a shopping mall while I was visiting him in Okinawa, Japan. Every square inch of the space was filled with eclectic, colorful, kitschy merchandise, and in traditional Japanese fashion, it was all expertly curated. Deliberate organized chaos. I was lucky to uncover this "Giorni Fire King and American Vintage" book on one of the shelves:

It's filled with gorgeous photos of personal vintage Fire King mug and kitchenware collections and how owners stationed around the world display and use them in their homes.

I never get tired of flipping through the pages for inspiration in staging my antique mall booths, photos, or even my home.

Even the ads in the back are sufficiently drool-worthy, depicting stores full of colorful quality vintage around the world that I'd love to explore.

Oh shops, beautiful things for you to hump with your eyes. You know you want to explore those stores.

The photos below even inspire my online shop photo-taking. I need to be more mindful of keeping my scale consistent for a tidy appearance.

The impact of grouping likes is important to remember too when staging my antique mall AND online spaces. Some damn beautiful examples:

And a final reminder that vintage is just so damn cozy and nostalgic. When you don't have heirlooms of your own, it can really make your shelter a home:

Ah, nothing like a good book to make us feel better about our organized hoarding thrift collecting habit.

I'm enabling you today, get thee to the thrifts and find new treasures. Or use the creative boost to use what you have in fun new ways. What's your favorite thrift porn to drool over as your hunting muse?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Giveaway: Needlepoint Art and Piggie Bank from Stella & Stanley's Antiques and Collectibles


Stella and Stanley's Antiques and Collectibles is offering a sweet giveaway duo! There's not a thread out of place in that needlepoint artwork, and the round "window" to view it from is beautiful. I'm smitten! To enter to win, simply:

Step 1.) Check out the new Stella and Stanley's Antiques and Collectibles blog, look at photos of their booth and choose which item is your favorite.

Step 2.) Come back to this post and leave a comment letting me know which item is your favorite! Include your e-mail so I contact you if you win!

For Extra Entires:

- Follow Stella and Stanley on Facebook
- Follow the Stella and Stanley blog
- Follow Thrift Core on Facebook
- Follow Thrift Core on Twitter
- Follow the Thrift Core Blog via Google

Good Luck! I'll announce the winner March 25, 2013! The last giveaway winner with The Blue Eyed Night Owl, can't wait to see how the goods will be settling into their new home in the Netherlands!

If you're ever in South Florida, check out Stella and Stanley's booths located in Lily Lace Antiques 160 Lake Advenue Maitland Florida and College Park Antique Marker 4321 Edgewater Dr. Orlando, Florida. Ask for Kim's Booths!

* Stella and Stanley is a Thrift Core Sponsor. Check out my info page if you'd like to sponsor Thrift Core or host a giveaway.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Color Would You Choose? + Paint or No Paint? The Vintage Painting Discussion


An excellent way to improve sales as a reseller is to paint, revamp, and upcycle your vintage scores and/or incorporate art into your line. I'm back to painting, making art, and plotting several lines and I love it! I thought this would be a good chance to ask a couple questions.

I tend to try to keep items the original color as long as possible to preserve the history and won't paint things until I've been toting them around for months without luck selling them. Another good reason to paint an item is to cover up damage. I found the table above behind a favorite thrift store that closed down about a year ago. It's sadly lived under my bed after my first unsuccessful attempts to sell it. It's time for some paint! The legs are very rusted and the wood sides are in shabby shape. Someone suggested minty mod green for the top and orange or yellow for the legs. What do you think?

Got any paint color suggestions for the table above? Should I paint the sides/legs? How do you feel about painting vintage items? Expect more painted before/afters and DIYS in the near future!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do Your Own Thing with Integrity: A Special Artist's Quote + Silencing Your Inner Critic


There's truth to the tortured artist facade, creators experience crippling self-doubt. I live to encourage freelancers, but no one sees my self-critic. She's a bitch, that one. She nags about every. little. thing. I. do. I'm sick of her shit, honestly. I didn't work and innovate to my full potential last year (haha, there she goes again), so I've turned up the heat on my work load. It's hard, but quotes, books, and recordings from creators I respect inspires me when it gets rough. I really love this one:
"Try to remember that being an artist doesn’t mean you’re in a great big art contest.  In specific instances, you might have competitors for jobs and opportunities, but on the whole it’s not a zero sum game.  You’re only losing the game if you think of it that way, so don’t conjure up a paralytic sense of failure by worrying about what everyone else is doing.  Just do your thing.  Do it well and with integrity, and know that’s a measure of success."      -Tracy ButlerLackadaisy Cats (My favorite webcomic!)

I think of that last line all the time while I'm working. My current focus is improving the hell out of quality to make the best brand I can. I'm not looking at what everyone else is doing for ideas. In the past I'd wish I was as far-along as some of my peers, now I don't. I focus on my quality instead. Putting your all into making the best work you possibly can is it's own satisfaction- and success usually comes with it! A final excellent quote from Tracy:

"Appreciate that you have a little something special on your hands, even if it can take you to some deeply unhappy places at times.  Not everyone can see the world through an artistic lens or alchemize their reality into paintings and stories.  Not everyone has a great enduring passion in life.  Take advantage of it and feel lucky."

Remember this when will power to power through writing blog posts, take 500 photos, write out 100 price tags, and further inevitable creative-biz monotony is lacking. Not one else can thrift to curate a collection like you do or write a blog from your special perspective.

Take advantage of your gifts and use them to the fullest every day, with gratitude and a positive attitude! What do you do to stay inspired and working hard?
Daily updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook + Shop Online!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thrift Haul: Groovy Mid Century Modern Furniture Scores, Yuko-Chan Cat Approved


I'd suspended thrifting, focusing instead on the dozens (ur, hundreds?) of pieces I already have in stock and on redesigning the blog and client's projects. Sales are good and it inspired me to take risks and buy large furniture pieces I don't normally attempt to squeeze into my apartment. They're damn beautiful and fun to stage! Behold the glory of my mid century modern furniture scores:

This shining glass front lawyers bookshelf is resplendent in the setting sun! I've been dying to get my hands on a piece like this and finally found one at a decent price. I'm housing it in the apartment but it's going off to live in Southern Crossing soon. If you're local and would like to buy it, e-mail me!

It is just as damn gorgeous open and airy as it is with the glass doors pulled down (they shut garage door style). I like how the shelves house your books and precious collectibles behind glass like dainty macaroons and treats in a bakery's glass-front fridge.

Another beauty I've been "hiding" from you is this Nutone stereo council, with a stunning mid century modern shape it's a work of art  on display as well as a functioning radio, record player, and eight track player! It was photographed in the dark cave-tomb that is my guy's house where it temporarily lives. The photo doesn't show off its full glory.

I love how the record player folds in-and-out for a very streamlined, tidy appearance  Again if you're interested, drop me a line! She's a 'beau, I tells you!

And my favorite score from this week, a mid century modern vanity! I've always wanted one of these beauties, and I'll enjoy using it in my room until a customer takes it off my hands. I may be able to squeeze it into my new Southern Crossing booth this April but I bet it'll sell before that.

This vanity came with the beautiful matching side table and the boomerang stool above! So mod, you fly away on it like a hoover car from The Jetsons! The mirror is set behind the piece instead of properly drilled to it with three (scary) precarious pieces of wood. I'm going to assemble it today and follow-up with photos of the vanity fully assembled next week.

A final small house score  is this beautiful gold shoe rack. It's got equal mod appeal!

My friend suggested using it to showcase clear glass tumblers in the antique mall booth and I like the idea. Can you think of any other fun uses for it? There's obvious use as a vintage shoe display but I don't sell 'em.

LIKE IT? BUY IT: Every find in the post is for sale! Send me an e-mail if you want to buy something. Many more new finds will be making their way to Etsy this morning. Also, I have hundreds of items in stock. Contact me if you need anything in particular!

So tell me...what have you found at the thrifts lately? Sharein the comments below!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Raw Vegan 101: Preparing Easy, Healthy, Damn Delicious Living Meals

You want to eat and prepare food that's healthy, easy, simple, and damn delicious. Raw vegan uncooking goes to the next level: it's anti-aging, healing, and detoxifying! I've decided to share raw vegan recipes exclusively on Thrift Core for good reason! Consider me a passionate advocate. Let's discuss why we should incorporate more raw in our lives:

Part One)  What is Raw Vegan Food? 

Q: What is a "Raw Vegan"? I'm scared and possibly disgusted. 
Don't let the "raw" part intimidate you! A raw vegan's diet consists of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Most raw food is unheated but can be heated (usually in a dehydrator) up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Meat, eggs, dairy, and animal-based products are not eaten on a raw vegan diet.

Q: Will eating raw vegan food make me sick? 
Highly doubtful. You've eaten lots of raw vegan food without issue: salads, guacamole, salsa- all fundamentally raw. Just think of it as a different way to get more whole, unprocessed fruits and veggies into your diet!

Q: Why don't Raw Vegans heat their food? 
Raw Vegan foods are also called "living foods" because they're still alive (!) and teaming with enzymes! Research shows a percentage of enzymes and nutrients are destroyed when food is heated to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Sounds corny but when you eat food that's alive, you're more alive!

Q: Can I lose a lot of weight on a raw vegan diet?
Not necessarily. Most people that switch to a diet of mostly plant based foods will experience initial weight loss, but you still have to balance what you eat. The numbers on the scale creep back up when I indulge in too many raw chocolates and pies just like it would when I'd have the cooked versions, but not as dramatically. (Bonus: raw deserts rock because they digest easy, provide nutrients, and help you feel healthy because they're made from plants based foods rather than refined sugar and flour.) 

Q: Where do you get your protein on a raw vegan diet?
Nuts and seeds are rich is protein, minerals, and omegas. Many fruits and vegetables have ample protein as well. Something to consider: we don't need as much protein as is often taught. Too much protein is detrimental- source. And another good one here.

 Are you 100% raw vegan? 
I'm about 98% raw vegan. I travel, go out, and receive food from friends. I'll make certain exceptions for cultural and social experiences. You don't have to be 100% raw to feel and see a difference!

Part Two)  How Do You Prepare Raw Vegan Food? 

Raw recipes can be just as time intensive and complex as cooked ones, the creativity involved is addictive! I typically mix mine up salad style and blend delicious pâtés, soups, and dressings with my trusty vitamix blender. You can make raw version of everything: soup, sandwiches, smoothies, salad, cookies, pie, candy, sky's the limit!
Essential Tools include:

Blending: Blender (usually a vitamix or blentec), Food Processor, Citrus juicer, Juicer (machine), Blixer
Slicing: spiralizer, mandolin slicer, peeler, good slicing knives, cutting board
Food Prep: funnel, grater, strainer, measuring cups and spoons, dehydrator, mixing bowls, nut milk bags
Utensils: whisk, spatulas, tongs, ice cream scooper, ladel, mixing spoons

Part Three)  So Tell Me About Those Health Benefits! 

Guess the ages of the three beautiful raw vegan authors and advocates below. Got your guesses down?

Alright, the reveal!: 1) Ani Phyo: 45 3) Annette Larkins: 70 (!) 3) Mimi Kirk: 72 (!!!) Witches! Vampires! Aaah!

Mimi and are Annette nearly three times my age and they would easily beat me in a swimsuit competition. The proof abounds, the abundance of enzymes and nutrients in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds alkalize your body. It's literally anti-aging food!

I will continue to write on the science behind raw vegan eating, tools and techniques, and of course, with more delicious recipes. When I slip from eating mostly raw plant based foods I see and feel the difference immediately: I gain weight, lose energy, and my complexion looks dull. Eating raw keeps me energetic, lean, and happy! I never feel deprived, my skin glows, and it's creatively fulfilling and environmentally friendly. I want you to feel the same way and incorporate a few of the simple, healthy, and delicious raw recipes I share into your life. Increase yo fruit and veggie intake, you will feel the difference! I promise.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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