Monday, March 31, 2014

Freshly Curated: A "Thrift Break" Cheat (Globes, Kittens, Art!) and Work Thoughts


My morning routine is simple: wipe the sleep out of eyes/brush teeth/maybe comb hair a little ("Beauty" done. There's a reason I don't do fashion posts. For now.), feed the incessant and begging Yuko, drink four glasses of water, a little coffee (usually a fruit smoothie but I'm so tired these days), edit or finish blog post for the day, publish. Since starting the #100happydays (read more) project I find myself wanting to take a picture of my computer every morning and type about how much I love writing and editing while stimulants flow through my system give a creative rush.

My work gives me anxiety. (Thought stream: Where are the sales? Need more merchandise? I have too much now. Gotta clean. I want my posts and photos to be better. AAAAH! Never caught up!), sometimes I think of quitting, but I have a deep, abiding love for it- especially writing, staging/editing photos and getting lost to the work flow for hours. I'm still on a thrifting break but damn, turns out I still love my job even when I "hate" it. (Let's work it out, work, baby. We can make it work.) I went to a couple of thrifts this week and couldn't put back the goodies in today's post:

A vintage seller can always use a well-priced globe in their inventory. Not sure if this guy is vintage but it does look like the ones I remember from school. It will be going to my Southern Crossing booth for $25.00- unless you'd like it? Let me know. (E-mail.)

Don't mind the blurry Yuko-head. My mom found this beautiful retro clutch at the Goodwill pound store and bought it over to me. I don't sell these well, not apparel to stage purses with perhaps? It will go to Etsy soon, but make me an offer!

I picked up and put down this adorable Calico kitten big eye art piece so many times and decided it had to join my inventory. It'll go to Etsy and the Antique Mall booth soon.

The face on this thing is just too precious! And I not-so-secretly want a Calico of my own someday. She has big olive eyes just like...

The Yuko. This is her "hurry, hurry, feed me now" face, she's lingering around her food bowl. She never speaks unless she wants food or is telling a stranger to back off. Blurry, sorry, she wouldn't hold still.

I've been lucky finding silver storage baskets, they're usually expensive when I encounter them but this guys was as cheap as the last. Going to use it to organize some things in my pantry for now. The typewriter was my moms, one of our very scant family heirlooms. Not for sale.

My mom also found this guy at the Goodwill by-the-pound store, it's perfect! Surprised to find the old gal in such great shape, you really can find good, unbroken mod things at the "pound store" level with persistence and a hand from Lady Serendipity.

Mom also gave me these fans, she bought a lot of these Philippines souvenirs from the Goodwill store. They are gorgeous, I'll be putting them in Southern Crossing soon.

She's going to take her lot with her on her upcoming trip to Puerto Rico to pass out to family members as gifts.

For any who wonder where The Yuko hides in shots these days, she's usually perched high somewhere watching me work, biding her time until her next feed.

Buy It. You Know You Want it.... All of these items will be listed online (or ebay or Etsy) soon (will update with links) if you'd like to buy anything you see PLEASE do e-mail me! Get it all away from me! Halp!

Did you find anything interesting this weekend? To tell of your thrifting/finding adventures in the comments.

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

100 Happy Days Project Progress- Join in and Get Your Happy On. Good for the Soul.

Some say hard work and dedication alone are the secret to success and happiness and that affirmations are hippie nonsense. I think it's both- you need a positive attitude toward life to go far, too. When I heard about the 100 Happy Days project of course I was game! Here are results people have reported from participating in this project:

I could go for a little of all that! I just ended a two year relationship and I'm feeling fatigued, I like the idea of pausing to reflect of my blessings once a day. To participate is simple, you snap a photo a day of something that makes you happy give yourself a moment to reflect on why. You can do this on your own in a notebook or share it online, I'm sharing mine daily on instagram. (using hashtag #100happydays) I may follow-up with weekly updates or share on at the end of the project, let me know if you'd like to see weekly updates every weekend or just a big one in 100 days this July!

Day 1) Morning writing, stimulant creativity flow, blissful self-employment. 
Day 2) Grateful to work part time in this little raw #vegan kitchen & nibble new dishes 
Day 3) Broke up w/ BF. Sad, but grateful my roomie is my best friend. Never alone. 
Day 4) Love packing colorful orders. They always come with a personal note. 
Day 5) Grateful to have an enduring life passion. Love hitting work "zen" flow.

I hope you join the challenge,Let me know your screen-name if you join in so I can watch your progress. I notice these posts get more likes, favorites, and comments. A positive attitude goes far and inspires others, this project is already a great reminder. Sign up on 100 Happy Days if you decide to join in.

/ Comments Off but will reply swiftly on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter or E-mail.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Make This: DIY Etched Glass Food (or Anything) Storage or Kitschy Decor Jars


In my epic goal list from the start of the year I expressed a desire to attempt some glass etching and perhaps make a line of etched glass jars if the process was a natural fit. The minimal look of etched glass on jars is somehow 1890s retro to me, there's something so "apothecary" about it that woos me. And labeled jars are for/thrifting for storing bulk-bought food, craft supplies, and pet food. My finished product (above) didn't come out perfect, but I'm excited to play with this more.

Supplies Armour Etch Cream, Alphabet Stickers, Foam Brushes, Painter's Tape use jars you have, ask friends to save sauce jars for you or try this 4 Piece Jar Set or 5 Piece Set. Terry cloth rag.

All supplies can be found at your local Michael's (though not JoAnn) store. Don't forget their weekly coupon!  (40% Any one non-sale item. It's up every week.)

There are stencils to use with your etching cream but went with the alphabet stickers because those stencil letters are usually cursive or unappealing. For this craft you'll need jars (I like these ones, you can save instead of tossing your own sauce jars), drafting tape, paint brush , gloves and Armour Etch.

Spell what you will, mark off the "label" portion with your drafting tape. These would be hilarious with curse and random silliness (can't wait to make goofy ones) but I contained myself. For now. I'd wear gloves and protect your work space with newspaper, the armor etch is an acid. Press down your tape and letters really hard so the armor etch does not leak underneath!

Layer on thick layer of your armor etch with your paint brush. Let it sit for the instructed time, usually 10 minutes, then wipe off the armor etch cream to reveal your newly etched glass. I used dry terrycloth then washed it with soap and water to get the rest of the residue off.

Stick your stickers and tape down hard, it's easy for the etching cream to slip under the adhesives otherwise. Have fun experimenting, I think I need to play with homemade stencils next! I need to make horror movie version of these. Eye of Newt, etc...

Getting into any DIY Shenanigans this weekend? I want to get to making lots of shelves for my 1 million curios next.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Household and Small Business Accounting Method: How Do You Track Spending?


In a perfect world we'd all have accountants to organize our receipts, paperwork, and spreadsheets, but most of us don't. I refuse if I can do it myself- for now. I love to track every cent I spend for not only my business but my personal life to analyze trends, keep myself accountable, to save and for taxes. Here's how I keep it all organized:

1) Upcycled Manila Envelope(s) to hold business receipts 2) Manila Envelope of Personal Receipts 3) Mini File Organizer 4) Envelopes 5) Small Notebook and Pen 6) Binder Clips

I've seen the same portable organizer at The Dollar Tree, you can try to find one near you for a buck. This is great to carry with you in your purse or car so you organize your receipts properly on-the-go instead of having a receipt pile in your bag or pockets. I carry the little notebook with me to note yard sale/flea market and write down what I pay for finds as I go, the notebook lives in the file folder.

From there I sort my receipts into their respective envelopes within the Manila Envelopes. Yes I'm Old School, I also didn't get a cell phone until I was literally forced to (age: 20) and didn't switch to a smart phone until last year! Above are my personal envelopes. I spend money on more than groceries and a tiny bit of "random" things but the rest of my expenses (cell phone, cable, rent) are scheduled as automated direct-deposits (highly recommend the auto-magical way! So simple, so clean!) so I don't print receipts for those expenses.

These are what my business expense envelopes look like. I write it all in pencil in case I want to use my envelopes for something else later with my cheap self. The business receipts include: supplies, thrifting, southern crossing rent, gas and post office trips (good to keep for tracking numbers, too). I clip them together by month.

Columns: Date (found) | Item (description) | Cost | Estimated Value | Where Found | Condition | Retail (Price) | Date Sold | Profit | Quantity | (Where) Stored | Wholesale | Item #  ------>> Am I leaving anything out?

From there I enter the expenses into a spreadsheet. I use Google Documents, it's free and you can share the spreadsheets with partners to edit together if need be. I keep tabs at the bottom to separate types of merchandise for easy-hunting. My personal spending spreadsheet looks much the same, divided at the bottom by type of expense. I highlight in groups by date with different colors for easier scanning, it really helps the eye find things.

Another step people miss- receipts should be scanned. Not merely to have the files digitally but because they fade completely -sometimes within mere months! I've yet to scan mine, when I do I'm going to sort them in digital folders the same way they're stored in my envelopes. You should keep your receipts for 7 years, that's the IRS audit expiration date.

How do you store/organize your receipts or track expenses? Any tips? I do this an antiquated way but I like the process, it keeps my spending tangible to have so much of it "in-hand". Going through all these steps every time I buy anything definitely discourages me from spending more than absolutely necessary, too!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Raw Vegan 101: Straightening Out "Diet" Misconceptions and My True Mission

I'll get back to my scheduled Raw Vegan 101 programing this time next week. First I wanted to clear the air about why I'm writing this series. I occasionally sound like I'm evangelizing raw veganism as the "only way" to healthy body heaven, that's not my intent. That was me attempting a fun writing style on- what's to many, a boring-ass topic. I want to get to the root of why I choose to share "raw vegan'' recipes and information on Thrift Core. With embarrassing old photos! Lookie:

Dear god, those under-eye bags though. Wasn't kidding when I said I don't sleep. Next hurdle to clear...

First of all, I don't diss meat eaters or say that it's unhealthy to eat eggs, dairy, or beast of land and sea. There are plenty of healthy omnivores. My boyfriend, roommate, and family all eat meat- no one I know in my personal life outside of my co-workers at the lovely raw vegan kitchen I part-time at are vegan. Just putting that out there, I'm not trying to convert the unwilling- especially if you're healthy. I feel it's especially important for the meat/dairy/eggs we eat to be ethically sourced because America's meat-processing is filthy and hormone/chemical-laden, but we do the best we can.

Yesterday's lunch. Smoothie and popcorn. I mix raw and cooked, haven't found the best way to feed yet. 

I get resistance for these posts and in day-to-day conversations on my lifestyle. I'll hear stories about your friend's grandpa, the 110-year-old lumberjack with chiseled abs that smokes 2 packs a day, washes with gunpowder, thrives on a diet of bacon grease and farts spring daisies. Well, if that bacon grease is from ethically sourced pigs it's a whole food and it's better than living off Doritos. Seriously. The problem is not meat, eggs, and cheese, the real problem is the mass production of it and heavily processed food with less nutritional value than it had 40 years ago.

My twin older bros (yes, biological, frequently asked childhood question). I'm 9, they're 14. Slim & Healthy, we didn't eat perfectly but did eat less processed food.

I stand by plant foods being healing inside and out. If you can't shed weight, often feel sick or sluggish, this may be what you need. It does not need to be raw, cooked will help, too. My mission is to inspire others to put some more plants in their life to feel/live healthier.

Me, 11ish with my mom (woman with her arms around me) and her friends. Still a string-bean.

There is no universally agreed-upon way to eat healthfully in science circles and different camps will hotly debate it. I want to bring up stats I've read about the American diet being lower in nutrition, causing us to overeat because we are seeking the nutrients we're missing, or how we're 20 lbs heavier than we were on average since the 1970s, but those can be backed up by anything else someone dredges up from the web and turn into a zero sum game. But think about it: diet books were hard to find before the 1980s.

My bros and I on ample processed food. What happened? Aaaah! Arms crossed over my middle in conscious I-gained-weight-don't-look teenage fashion. We'd continue to gain from here. I'm about 14 here, bros about 19. I know you gain as you age but this was not healthy weight gain.

This is why I choose to write from my experience. When I was 14 I abruptly switched to a mostly processed food diet. I guzzled more Mountain Dew Code Red than water. In the months that followed I gained weight rapidly, was often sick with a cold and began to develop debilitating back pain. When I couldn't walk without limping like an octogenarian, hand on my arched back, mom took me to the emergency room. I was poked, urine/blood-tested and x-rayed. The doctor pointed to cloudy miasma in my lower torso on the x-ray and said that it was stool. 

Yep, TMI, sorry. I hadn't crapped in who knows how long because I was eating nothing but junk and I was lucky my body gave me a sign quickly! I was so congested from processed food I could barely move without feeling sharp pain. Others don't receive any (or ignore) daily pains, eat poorly for years then bam- heart attack!  The doctor didn't discuss diet. He didn't tell my mom to make more salads, he prescribed castor oil and that was that. The answer was simple and delicious: plants! 

Left: I try to add as many veggies into my day as possible Right: I still eat cooked vegan treats occasionally. I go back and forth between fully and partly raw.

I wrote about my journey to healthy food/weight loss in detail, but to recap, adding as more plants and water to my diet helped me finally lose a stubborn thirty pounds and feel much healthier. I'm rarely sick, rarely have pains. I stand by the plants! They are my friends, I will eat them and roll around in a field of them and hug them and murder their brethren so they may heal my insides. I'm not trying to come at you as a holier-than-thou figure or make you feel guilty for your food choices. I was there, I loved my delicious frozen dinners, soda and nearly-daily hamburgers and paid the price for it. I still have weight to lose from those times. I just want to share what helped me and inspire others than need help, too. You don't have to cut everything you enjoy cold turkey, in fact that rarely works. It's all about moderation and adding healthy alternatives, and I shall continue to share those alternatives and tips here on Thrift Core.

Note: I feel you can be healthy/happy at any size. I was decently confident 165- but hated taking photos. I'm the same size in these side-by-sides, definitely look bigger on right, right? Taking photos was unpredictable. Now I don't fear the camera! When I set out on my veggie eating journey my goal was to get healthy, the weight loss was incidental.

But of course, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on what's work for you. Thrift Core is a not a podium for me to prosthelatize, it's a forum from discussion and you teach me, too. Would love for us to discuss ways to be healthy frugally in the comments. And if you think I'm wrong, feel free to let me know. I will listen.

I usually turn comments off on these posts because no one comments on them so I don't see the point of allowing conversation but I would love to start one, do discuss what works for you or ask any questions below.

The Raw Vegan 101 Series: 
Part 1) What is it and Why is it Good for You?
 + Another Raw Info Post
Part 2) My Raw Routines, FAQ, and Tips to Stick to It (April 1)
Part 3) Essential Raw Vegan Tools, Books, and Resources (April 8)
Part 4) Pantry Staples for Creating any Dish you Crave Rawfully (April 15)
Part 5) Adding More Raw Healthfulness to Your Diet On-The-Cheap (April 22)

Extra) Straightening Out Misconceptions and My True Mission You Are Here
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Banish Inertia and Seize Your Life Once and For All With Two Simple Action Steps

The inertia cycle is like hitting the gas and spinning your wheels in the mud; you won't make it out without a push. We all get stuck, making the same resolutions for years instead of completing them! Luckily, once you get the momentum rolling it's just as easy to burst into kinetic action. I read the two tips below in Wake Up and Live and they've been immensely helpful in forcing- as we often must- the will power to work my ass off. I'm so excited to work it's hard to sleep! I hope they help you to accomplish the big goals in life you've been putting off, too.

My insane, ambitious A Beautiful Mind-skitzo-rambling Project To-Do Lists & mind-dumps. Need white boards...

Tip 1: Act As if Failure is Impossible

We only have so many heart beats in our life; stress will snuff you out like a candle, it wears on your body and psyche. It would make sense that evolutionarily, our body would have less momentum under stressful situations to conserve precious energy. Negative thoughts make you less likely to start work- who wants to apply themselves when failure seems inevitable?

Do This: Don't pretend you've already hit success, just work at whatever the day's tasks is as if you won't fail at your ultimate goal. It works!

Tip 2: Work Until You Feel Exhausted Every Single Day. Really, Really, Apply Yourself.

This is the big one. Mental change is important, and so is actually working. Most people are not truly applying 100% of themselves to their goals every single day. Just one hour of hard application is better than a whole day of half-assed effort.

Do This: Write a detailed set of action-steps for every work day and set a timer for accomplishing each one. You may think you're applying yourself but when you really track your time you'll be surprised at how much time was wasted on non-vital tasks, loafing on social media or getting sucked into a show that's supposed to be playing in the background.

Sometimes we need simple, common-sense reminders to get us back on track. These two simple action steps are the big ones you need to get our of the painful inertia slump. Exercise that will power and work as hard as you possibly can and monetary and spiritual rewards will come your way. Truly going the distance is its own reward that can't be beat.

What do you do when work and stress is driving you nuts and you can't go on? Do share in the comments.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Freshly Curated: Science Club Nostalgia, Handmade Pouches, Playboy, Monster Toy


Holy hell it's been two straight days of working on this post you're reading now on-and-off between the picture snapping, editing, listing, and now writing here! My current mission: get away ahead on work so I can actually have days off! I'm burning the candle at both ends trying, but I'm grateful to be out of my inertia slump (hinted at here and here). I even crafted, more will be up soon.

I'll update with progress on my epic goal list and helpful tips for others trying to will themselves to work harder this week. For now, behold my latest batch of curated bits. Despite the work put into the photos, not too happy with the compositions this week. Gotta work on that!:

This large Horizon Otagiri salad bowl is from the first "valuable" set I ever scored. The other bowls broke over time (oh, my heart, why all of our favorite things?) so I decided to sell this large bowl before it meets the same fate. I'd rather ship it out to someone who will preserve it than doom it. ----->>> On Etsy

I have SO...MANY...books and ephemera bits to photograph and scan! I started with this hilarious Playboy collection of comics from the late 60s and early 70s.

It contains different artists and styles in distinctive expressive retro style, gotta love it. A lot of the jokes are actually hilarious and I'm enjoying looking at the mod fashions/furniture in the backgrounds, too. I wish I had time to scan then all but absolutely don't for now, boo. ----->>> On Etsy

And then there's this guy, is it a candy dish, vase? I haven't been able to ID it for ages and I believe I received it for free along with the ones below but I can't recall. ------>>> On Etsy

I think this one is certainly a candy dish? Love how the light shines through vintage colored glass. ----->>> On Etsy

And yet another one to behold. I would love it if anyone had ID for the three green glasses above to share for me? ----->>> On Etsy

And I almost forgot about this ornate beauty, too. On Etsy

I finally got to photographing and listing this nifty "small" - it's a brilliant piece for terrariums, potted arrangements and dioramas.

It's livening up an obviously Yuko-nibbled succulent on my desk at the moment.  ------->>> On Etsy

And this bear vase got some fresh new photos, it still needs some new ones against a gray backdrop perhaps since it blends in with the white background. I love the veggies on this milkglass vase. ------->>> On Etsy
This Chevron serving bowl also got itself a much-needed re-shoot. I'll update with a new goal list here soon but one of them is attempting to re-shoot my worst photos at the least. Ideally I'd like to re-shoot nearly everything in my Etsy shop in... ------->>> On Etsy

I've held off on photographing this gorgeous ice bucket for a while because it's so hard to photograph- it reflect my apartment (and me!) for one and agains get lost with the white background, will have to play with shooting things like this more. Reflections are a bitch. ------->>> On Etsy

And yet another book finally getting shot is the Super Market Cook Book from the 1950s, throughly charmed by times where most American still cooked the majority of their meals from scratch from whole, minimally processed food at home. ------->>> On Etsy

This guy will be harder to pick a venue for selling, perhaps the antique mall booth? It's a really well done reproduction...but still a reproduction. Love this style of book from the 20s-40s.

The illustrations are gorgeous. Let me know if you're interested in it, I'll give you a good deal.

The real time-sucker of the past couple of days was finally getting these vintage pouches re-shot. I've been selling them on-and-off in my antique mall booths for a couple of years and finally have them wittled down to the lot above. I've shot the entire collection three times! I've never pleased with it, they're so gorgeous in person and they're really hard to shoot without them looking "fuzzy" or asymmetrical.

I have four large ones hanging out in my shop's apparel section. ------->>> On Etsy

And a few small coin purses to check out, too. They're only $5.00 each, check 'em out if you're in the market for some adorable hand-made coin purses. ------->>> On Etsy

I love seeing all the colors together, taste the coin purse rainbow! They are a skittles bag of fun. Let me know if you'd like more than one and I'll combine the shipping for you, can also meet locally if you'd like to scoop them up that way.

This beau along with Creature from the Black Lagoon toy above have been my latest creative muses. They bring me back to spending hours in the lab after school for Science club. This anatomic man wasd fun to shoot.

He's already getting some positive attention on Etsy.  ------->>> On Etsy
And I have yet another interesting anatomic man that was much fun to photograph. Unlike the rubbery one above this guys is hard plastic. I could see myself starting a collection of Science lab extras and anatomy-things, I love 'em.

But wait, there's more, when you press the button at the base his heart lights up! A nifty piece that I'm not sure where to place? I'm not sure on the date for Etsy or it's value for eBay, it may go to the antique mall booth though I'll miss seeing it around.

I like my muses so much they appeared in my latest product shoot idea. I have two in mind for shooting my art prints behind-the-scenes. I have a line of them in my Etsy shop and do custom signs of various sizes- let me know if you're interested. (Big Thriftin' sign here, the others here). They're only $15 each, can't beat it for unique wall art and supporting a good cause *coughack*thisbloghere*coughspit*.

Buy It. You Know You Want it.... All of these items will be listed online (or ebay or Etsy) soon (will update with links) if you'd like to buy anything you see PLEASE do e-mail me! Get it all away from me! Halp!

Did you find anything interesting this weekend? To tell of your thrifting/finding adventures in the comments.

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

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