Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! It's Kitschy Florida Halloween Decoration Admiration Time!

I took a bike ride around my beautiful historic neighborhood to document the Halloween decor last week. I took hundreds of photos before I (embarrassingly) had to be picked up from nearly passing out from some kind of low-blood pressure or heat exhaustion attack. That's Halloween in Florida for ya! It's still hot as hell down here by midday! Sometimes we have Halloween pool parties and fall foliage is a rare sight. The explosion of (kitsch) and color instead comes from the brave few who still outfit their homes in colorful decorations and I love them for it!

I'm going to spend Halloween like I spend every day...watching horror movies and taking as many product photos as possible. Seriously, I watch horror movies nearly every day all day, I wish it was Halloween forever :) Have fun partying, trick-or-treating, and other Halloween shenanigans. I'm turning comments off on this post but will be back tomorrow.

Check out the second photo from the last, I was photographing a house and didn't notice until I was going to bike away that they had a demonic-ass-looking doll in the top window there! The Hell! That's glorious! Also, check out this and this video with "Weird" retro Halloween special recommendations. I want to watch all of them especially the weird Scarecrow Disney-knock off one!

Got some Halloween movie recommendations of my own here and here if you're stuck indoors watching movies. Have fun today!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drawing a Sexy Sorceress This Halloween with Dr. Sketchy's Anti Art School

Lots of last-second Halloweening has been going on around these parts. I'm happy to say that with pumpkin pies, healthier candies, haunted explorations, horror movie marathons (my picks here and here), and last-second costume and decoration making. (Look for a post on that tomorrow me-thinks.)

My favorite Halloween event by far was a surprise Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School event. We arrived at Atticus bar at the Golden Hour, art supplies in hand and ready to sketch. With creative art all over the walls and a dark interior, it's the perfect Sketchy interior for a night of art making.

We waited inside for the fun to begin, the stage set for mischief. These are the fellow early birds getting their art supplies sharpened and ready.

For those who've missed past posts on it, Dr. Sketchy's is part burlesque show part figure drawing class. The models and stage are decked out elaborately with imagination-sparking props and costumes aplenty, the hosts are kitschy and commentary is kitschy/cutely pervy, and the model loses more and more clothing throughout the evening.

You may have a Dr. Sketchy's chapter near you, look it up if you love to draw or photograph, I'm always incredibly inspired after leaving a Dr. Sketchy's.

Slowly the model emerges from the cape and cat-eye glasses.

Enchanting a witches' brew atop the bubbling caldron.

(There was dry ice inside for the proper smokey affect. Very creative idea for a Halloween part of your own!)

Or looking up a spell in the book of curses. The elaborate book acting as a guest book for the rest of the evening.

We sketched our witch into the evening.

I sketched a few things I may have to finish coloring later. I love the group drawing camaraderie, drawing as a pack is so relaxing and stimulating.

When our model remerged there was a little less covering her. Here you see one of my favorite props other than the lovely Eva herself, a bat mobile. Get it? Batmobile! I need one of those above my bed ASAP.

For gender equality our host Edward Morningwood also lost some clothing along with our model.

She was asked to lose some more clothing but first, a tease! Damn, those big hats can be concealing in a pinch.

And then there were boobs, with fun concealing spiderweb pasties. Actually more modest than your traditional figure-drawing class where your model is fully nude.

If you're local, check out the next event in December! Have you ever attended a Dr. Sketchy's event in your area?

What kind of Halloweening are you getting into this year? I've gone haunted school sleuthing, decoration documenting, treat making, fun times!
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Thrift Haul: Atomic Era Mid Century Modern Furniture, Fabric, and Owls Galore

Time to play catch-up, I've scored some beautiful mid century modern pieces behind-the-scenes that I didn't get a chance to showcase properly. Some I'm very tempted to keep but as you know, it's all for sale. Behold the goodness:

From the same fun yard sale I also scored this gorgeous black atomic style self. So tempted to keep it for my own collection but I'll be putting it in front of Southern Crossing Antique Mall and on Craigslist soon. Let me know if you're interested, it's a beautiful bookshelf and I haven't seen one like it in person before. For now it's doing a wonderful job as my printer stand.

I'm not sure where this plaque is from or even if it's vintage, loved the look of it though. Let me know if you have any information on this piece. It's chilling in my kitchen for the moment.

I love this raffiaware set, I've always wanted to find a big lot of them. Thrifters and their nerd ambitions. This picnic-ready set comes with a large pitcher and seven cups, perfect for a pool party or anytime use. See it on Etsy.

These atomic era busy brown curtains are absolutely gorgeous, the fabric is thick and very sturdy. They're in like-new condition. Anyone have any information on these pieces? I didn't occur to me until later that they could be reproductions. I have four panels awaiting their new home on Etsy.

How about an adorable little owl plaque for your home? I love this guy stayed in a gallery wall. See him on Etsy.

I almost painted these frames bright orange as a before/after for glad I went against it. The artist Leland Brewsaugh was a fellow north Floridian that painted marshland birds and natural scenes. See these two beautiful pieces on Etsy.

I like this pretty donkey candy dish as a vanity jar to hold cotton balls and q-tips. See him in action On Etsy.

I love that this owl key hook piece is also a memo board and letter holder! See 'em on Etsy.

And now must get back to taking hundreds of photos! I want to get the rest of my merchandise on Etsy before the Christmas rush! Speaking of Christmas rushes and business crazyiness, I have advertising available for November and December as well as business help services. Check out what I offer and details on why it works in this post. (Also see my Advertising page or e-mail me for more info.)

Don't Be Shy: If you like anything on the Etsy shop or in this post, send me an e-mail . I will work out a shipping deal for multiple items. Much of this will be added to my Southern Crossing Antique Mall booth as well for you to scoop up if you're local. You can also meet-up with me if you're local if you'd like to buy anything you see.

Find anything amazing at the thrifts this weekend?! Do share your finds and posts in the comments.

Linked to: [Nifty Thrifty] [Thrift Share Monday] [Thrifter|Maker|Fixer
] [Sir Thrift a Lot]
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Run Your Business Like THE Batman This Christmas and Into the New Year!

The rare deciduous tree in North Florida. One day after Halloween is "Christmas" in retail-land. Yuck!

Right now, this very second, is the time to prepare your ass off for Christmas sales. It's also the time to think of dream business goals into the new year. 2013 is almost over! It has absolutely flown by! Be smart about your enterprise like suave billionaire Bruce Wayne of Batman infamy, advertise and get help from the pros when you need it!

Below are my Etsy Shop traffic stats from the last 30 days. You can see most of my traffic (outside of the obvious Google and Etsy sources) comes from my own blog by far. A lot if not most of the Direct Traffic is related to Thrift Core as well. When you buy an ad on Thrift Core you're going to get eyeballs on your website, store, or blog! I get more traffic from Thrift Core than for ads I've paid for on other higher traffic sources. You'll also receive shout-outs on social media (thousands of followers strong) and a free banner ad design on me if you're approved as a Thrift Core advertiser! (Buy and ad here or E-mail me if you have questions.)

I also make blog/eBay/etsy store banners and blog designers and offer counseling services for those in need. I've years of experience and would love to help you out :)  E-mail me if you'd like some help, I have years of marketing/product photography/web/graphic design experience under my belt.

I've noticed a big set-back with would-be entrepreneurs is fear of investing in their business and taking risks. You absolutely have to do this to accomplish your dreams and goals. Your future is worth spending the time, effort, and money on. You won't regret it! Good luck with the rest of this year, let's hit it and wrap up the year with a bang! (Hopefully a BIG SALES one!)

Check out the advertising page here  for more info, see sample ads, and/or buy an ad. E-mail me if you wanna chat about promoting or improving your blog or online store.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I Found a Naked Lady Photograph in a Flea Market Book. Wanna See?


Isn't she lovely? I'm still in the midst of home and merchandise purging sessions. I was flipping through books from the flea market when this vintage photograph, a re-creation of Eve in the garden with a nude model holding an apple, daintily flipped out of the book.

I remembered she likely came from the vendor who still hosts my sought-after "golden genitalia" vintage kitschy wall-hangings. When I heard a flea market seller had these in stock I hunted him down to find them, but he's never bought them back to the market again. I'm on a brief thrifting hiatus for the rest of October while I get caffeinated and attempt to list every single vintage item for sale in my apartment on my Etsy Shop. (Hundreds of photos, ho! I need more tea!)

This photo is a fun reminder of why I enjoy the hunt so much. It really is junk culture anthropology, a scavenger hunt. You never know what you're going to find! (Lady Eve here will be listed on Etsy soon, but send me an e-mail if you'd like to buy 'er.)

What's the weirdest thing you've ever encountered at the thrift store or flea market?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe: No-Bake, Six Ingredients, Damn Delicious


A collective favorite element of the holiday season is the Pumpkin Pie, hands down. I fondly recall making a breakfast of pumpkin pie the morning after the feast orgies that are Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. I made my switch to vegan knowing I could keep my seasonal pie feasting on the menu; in fact it's even better now! Easier to make, nutritious, and lower in calories, this is pie you can eat guilt-free, knowing your absorbing loads of nutrients along the way.

Crust1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 cup pitted dates
Syrup1 cup pitted dates, 1 1/4 cup water
Filling4 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds whole, before peeled), 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or more to taste), 1 tbsp psyllium powder


1) Powder: To make the curst, process sunflower seeds into a fine powder in your food processor. Use this to "flour" the bottom of the pie dish.

2) Crust: Next, process pumpkin seeds and salt into a coarse meal. Slowly add 1 cup dates to your "Dough" then press it into the pie dish and set it aside.

3) Syrup: To make syrup, blend 1 cup dates with water until smooth. Set it aside.

4) Filling: To make filling, process small batches of cubed pumpkin and cinnamon into a puree. Slowly add the syrup. Process until completely smooth. Place pumpkin filling in a bowl and hand mix in psyllium powder really well.

5) Assemble:  Scoop the pie filling in to the crust and smooth it to resemble a baked pie. You can eat it immediately but it will hold better once it's been in the fridge overnight or at least for thirty minutes.

Notes: I used my vitamix blender (order one here and get free shipping!) for the whole recipe. Your food processor would work beautifully. If you're using a standard blender the filling will be trickier, cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces and blend everything slowly. This recipe was adapted from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, an excellent book raw vegan beginners. I always adapt the recipes so they have a little less fat and salt.

This will keep for a week in the fridge- not that it will be around this long! It'll be gobbled up before too long! By the way, you can replace the four cups of pumpkin with sweet potato or butternut squash and yield a similar delicious pie! Mine is served in the photo about with delicious walnut milk (recipe here) that I blended with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, goes perfectly with the pie and it's reminiscent of Horchata, a Mexican rice milk my mom used to make, highly recommended!

Make Plenty for Friends and Enjoy! What's your favorite holiday menu treat? Got any recipes to share? I'd love to read 'em.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who Else Wants Free Organic Vegetables? Our Inspiring Food Park Opening


I recently attended a fascinating lecture comparing the nutrient content of organic and non-organic produce down to the cellular level. I could bore you with detailed comparisons on the phenol and amino acid qualities but the main focus was on knowing where and how our food is grown.  Everyone should be mindful of where their food comes from, it's good for your health, community, and the planet. Bonus points if you actually know how to grow the green goodness, then you'll be a valued asset in the zombie apocalypse! Let's get the gardening creative juices flowing while looking at the opening of an awe-inspiring local community garden.

I've been volunteering with Our Fertile Earth a local non-profit organization dedicated to creating urban "food parks" all around Jacksonville, Florida. Using "permaculture" techniques that replicate how plants grow in their wild native environment we've created a productive food source and relaxing retreat for retired residents that won't need fertilizing or watering.

Okra, Pumpkins, Tomatoes, Basil, Mint, Swiss Chard, Kale, Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit, Eggplants, and many baskets of organic goodness are being bountifully produced in what was once a lot of half-dead grass sandwiched between two apartment communities.

It's so inspiring to witness. It sets me to dreaming of all the available plots of lands being cultivated as food producing spaces.

Can you imagine an eden, an oasis of food on every median or empty lot?

Can you imagine saving hundreds per month because we can step outside and pick fresh greens for our salads and smoothies daily?

I don't have a yard of my own, but I'm going to start gardens in the happily volunteered yards of friends and family; nourishing soil and bodies along the way.

Food can be free, even if you start with a single potted plant on the windowsill.

I'm excited to keep growing and learning from the garden- and eating the literal fruits of our labors!

I leave you with a beautiful local pumpkin variety, the seminole pumpkin! I'll stop here, I could post hundreds of photos from the garden if I don't check myself.

Do you garden? How do you like to grow or save money on food?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Photos of Jacksonville Florida's Infamous "Haunted" School Number Four


I was in high school the first time I heard the tale of haunted School Number Four, one of the first schools in Jacksonville, Florida's long, eclectic history and formerly known as Riverside Park School, then Annie Lytle Elementary School before its doors closed in the 1960s. It was condemned in the 1970s. Some say a basement boiler exploded, killing helpless students and teachers, and their unsettled spirits now haunt the grounds. Others said the basement was a portal to hell! (It's sometimes called "The Devil's School"!)

All of the stories are merely local legend, but it didn't stop my classmates from staging break-ins in search of the supernatural. I went with a group of friends one night years back, but all entrances were barred. As a vintage seller and history lover I am enamored by the gorgeous building minutes away from my apartment and finally ignored the No-Trespassing signs and threatening graffiti tags to get shots of the inside.

I snuck in around back and parked a little ways from the building to avoid suspicion. Right when I was about step out of my car a patrolling police officer in a small white go-cart zoomed around the building, when he was out of sight I ventured within the foreboding chain link fence to examine the decaying exterior.

The architecture is beautiful, it's amazing to witness all the supplies and details that went into making our Nation's earlier schools. You rarely see character like this in newer buildings. The white columns are striking.

The vines and ferns are lush, nature's reclaiming its territory. The tagging adds more texture to the haunting beauty of the building. A slim black cat darted inside a hole on the side of the building right before I snapped this shot. I love exploring areas like this, pensive quiet places to contemplate humanity's place in the universe. When we're gone, plants and animals will thrive without our meddling intervention.

I didn't intend to fully go inside but the peeks inside from the exterior were so enticing, I thought I might have to scale one of these windows.

Luckily I found another entrance. This door was boarded up the last time I drove by. The board had "THIS SCHOOL IS NOT HAUNTED" written boldly across the front, perhaps written by property owners tired of us meddling kids sneaking inside to seek ghosts, demons, and thrills.

The first look within. Brick walls, the raw industrial aesthetic and urban decay recalled the original Nightmare of Elm Street with a mix of Candy Man and more recently, the gorgeous Last of Us video game. I was a little wary of going further alone and encountering a violent vagrant but I was at least armed tripod; could wield it like a club and bash someone! I kept exploring.

I loved thinking of what the school must have been like it when it in session, will our high schools end up like this someday?

Under my feet at some parts were the original rotting floor boards, and others just the foundation where plant seeds took root.

The graffiti was just as interesting as the old building its self, juxtaposed beautifully against the texture of wood, stone, and brick, adding color to the now "lifeless" building.

The classrooms were scattered with debris, broken glass, wood, beer and liquor bottles. I wanted to explore every room and corridor but that was too risky. The large holes at the bottom of the floor, are those vents? Anyone else immediately think of movies and video games where you have to crawl through similar ones to survive? Any time you try you encounter mutant roaches, killer dogs, and shotgun toting psychos. I watch too many horror movies/games...

No wall was without artwork and tagging. I especially love "Fuck who ever ruined this" in orange at the bottom.

I just love the sight of that original flooring painting a picture of what this school was like in the distant past.

I'm fascinated by the array of trash trespassers left behind, too.

This was in the center of the school, probably a stage where assemblies took place. My research says a fire transients started caused the collapse of the roof.

It's fun to make theories about the various clandestine holes and cubbyholes in the building.

My camera battery was dying and I felt like my luck of not running into a cop or fellow intruder was running out so I didn't explore more of the second floor. I'm still dying to document every inch of this gorgeous building.

A funny note, the front of the second floor is surrounded by the expressway, it's an interesting passage of time, to see what was a place of learning now decrepit with cars zooming past on the highway from the windows. And fun to be inside the place I'd frequently pass on the high way and think, "I need to get in there!"

Could you imagine exploring this place as a teenager at night? I'd still love to come in here for nighttime exploration but you'd need a big group for that.

I left with hundreds of pricklies to pull off my boots and dress and a renewed desire to explore abandoned spaces and tell their story.

Do you have any "haunted" places where you live? Do tell! Would love any ghost town recommendations to explore, too.

Interesting links: A YouTube video of "ghostly voices" recorded in the school and some history and a write-up of the school by Weird US. Reading more online makes me want to go explore the creepy basement, too! But I need back-up for that one!
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