Friday, May 30, 2014

What's in a Busy Bohemian Nerd's Bag: Four Bags for Four Adventures + Kawaii Crap

I love posts where I can peek into creative people's art, photography, travel, and casual bags. I've been documenting what I carry with me throughout the week. I've got a minimalist approach these days and love packing light wherever I go; very liberating:

Everyone enjoys the gun bag! I get a lot of comments from guys on it, in particular. These are my usual suspects: Phone, wallet (by the amazing Poketo, found it brand new at the flea market), favorite sunnies, change case with a kokeshi doll featured and my little notebook for numbers and ideas. I have to carry my passport with me because I lost my driver's license. I need to look into that...

When I know I'm going to be shooting I stuff necessities into my utilitarian camera bag. It was thrifted. I like its simplicity. Blue collar, if you will. It holds my Canon EOS Rebel T1i with Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. I bring my Tamron 12-250mm Macro lens in case I need a wider zoom but usually stick to 50mm lens. I was on the way to Southern Crossing Antique Mall to price some merchandise so you can see my price tags here.

I bought this Makona backpack purse from one of the funnest comic and anime conventions I've ever attended! Makona is a character from the popular Japanese comic book XXXholic. A lot of people think it's a cyclops-bunny but he has closed eyes and a blue gem in the middle of his forehead. I use it exclusively for biking and it's pictured with my bike lock, wallet, keys and bungie cord. I took this photo before I biked to the antique mall to pick up a train case that sold from my Etsy shop. I used the bungie to secure it to the back of my bike. I also picked up some baking soda from the Walgreens nearby to make some more toothpaste.

I like to pretend people are less likely to throttle me with their vehicle with this large rabbit-thing on my back to catch attention. Can't say you didn't see me, it's like wearing a big stuffed animal.

I have a couple of these kawaii Asian Motif shopping bags by Blue Q. I take them with me to my kitchen shifts at Shakti Life Kitchen (and in my car for flea markets/grocery shopping) so I can stuff my bag full of veggies when the shift's up. I wear my Batman hat to keep my locks out of the food and love drinking Kombucha on-the-go, I get a discount on them at the kitchen. My green maneki neko apron's (of course my apron is Japanese with cats on it!)  is usually in the bag but I neglected to get it in the shot.

Edit, Bonus:

I found these photos from January while going through photos. This is what was in my bag on a busy work day. This was before my mini-composition books made my bag a lot lighter!

I packed toiletries because I went straight from running errands to a sleep-over. I love using my little Transformers zip-bags when my purse is full to keep things organized and clean.

What to you keep in your bag these days? I'm thinking of including my toothbrush, floss and toothpaste for use after every meal like the crazy pedantic nut I am. I miss packing art, beach and garden bags, too. Those are next when I finally let myself have some fun!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maggie's Herb Farm Garden Festival: Plant Dreaming in a Hippie Paradise

Maggie's Herb Farm is situated along a particularly scenic part of County Road 214, 20 minutes west of St. Augustine, very close to the St. Johns river. The sell their diverse array of herbs, rare and mainstream alike, at The Riverside Arts Market a few minutes away from me, but I didn't explore the herb farm until a couple of weeks ago.

I went with Lea, a coworker from the raw vegan kitchen I part time at and her mom to explore their charming garden fest. Vendors sold delicious treats, aprons, jewelry, soaps, garden decor and more under the shade of towering trees.

Maggie's herb farm is a licensed nursery owned by an herbalist, the gardens are beautiful and there's a wide variety of medicinal and culinary herbs to purchase.

I loved this charming gift shop on the property, likely where the various classes are held. Next time I visit I'll have to sit and enjoy some treats! I love the paintings all over the walls and ceiling.

I'm taking 4 Valerian tablets at night before bed to help me sleep, by the way. It's 1:24 AM as I write this. It's not working! I want to try the tea next, though. And would love to own the live plant. I enjoy trying different herbs for all ailments.

We left with a back seat full of amazingly fragrant herbs. For a final surprise I was "molested" by a solid white spider on the ride home. Spider crawling up my arm....not a fan. But the spider harassment was worth it for herbal goodness and inspiration. I always want to Do All The Things and I've often dreamed of going to school to be an herbalist (or "Witch Doctor" I joke to friends and family) and starting an Herb Farm of my own. Who knows what the future holds. I'll just enjoy visiting greenhouses and growing as many herbs as possible in the meantime. I'm planting seeds and plotting a new garden.

Check out the Maggie's Herb Farm website if your in the North Florida area. They have lots of plants and interesting classes available.

/Comments Off On This Post
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bianca's Tasmanian Bungalow: An Adorable Artist's Abode Full of Thrifted Finds


Bianca's an artist, mommy, wife, and cat lover. She runs the adorable blog Goodnight Little Spoon. An Avid thrifter in Tasmania, when I saw glimpses of her colorful home on her website I had to ask for a full tour!

Occupants: Myself, my husband Cam, my infant son Theodore and our 4 cats.

Professions: I am a student and work part time at a supermarket and my husband is living his dream of being a stay at home dad. Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. Square Feet: About 1080 square feet Space Type: House Years Occupied: 6 months.

Please tell us a little about yourself: I'm Bianca. I'm in my mid twenties and I live in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia with my little family of three. I am about to finish my Contemporary Art degree and do my Masters of Teaching, before I'll be a primary school teacher. I like to be creative, go opshopping (Australian for thrifting) and ride my bike.

House (or Apartment) History: Our home is owned by family members but hopefully in the next couple of years we'll be in a position to buy it from them. We moved in at the start of the year and although it is compact, it is the perfect size for our family and encourages me to be less of a hoarder. It is a sweet federation cottage in a sweet neighbourhood [sic] close to lots of amenities and a short walk into the city.

Define Your Style: Opshop Eclectic. 

Favorite Thrifted Home Find: All of the items in my son's room, especially the lockers. Our bright orange dining chairs (there are four, but I've stolen one for my studio).

Favorite Home Feature? The whole house has lovely polished boards and four of the rooms have skylights which really brighten up what could have been very dark rooms. I wish there was more of the lovely exposed brick! I also love our very compact but practical kitchen (8ft x 10ft) - I cook so much more in it than I did in our previous home's enormous (13ft x 13ft) kitchen.

What was your biggest challenge with your home? All of the houses in our suburb are prone to moving slightly depending on the weather as it was originally quite a swampy area. As a result, the house is full of little cracks - just aesthetic ones, nothing structural - sometimes it also means that the back door won't open for me after it's been raining for a while!

Visitor's Reactions: They always love the skylights, the polished boards and our sweet garden.

Biggest Embarrassment: Nothing much really. I'm not a big fan of our big red couch (though it is very practical - comfy and easy to clean) and I really should put more effort into gardening.

Proudest DIY: When we own our home we'd love to make a couple of DIYs and mini-renovation projects happen, mostly just licks of paint. I fixed up the green lockers in my son's room after finding them at a second hand shop in pretty bad shape.

Biggest Indulgence: None, we're pretty thrifty!

Best Money-Saving Move: LED lightbulbs & ducted air circulation system (we put on a heater in one room and it shares the warmth amongst all of the rooms - a godsend in a Tasmanian Winter!).

Best Advice: I rarely see things I like in retail stores for my home, but I always find things I like while thrifting and I spend a portion of the price. When I decide I need something in particular I look on Gumtree (like Craigslist), eBay, antique stores, upshops and salvage stores until I find one I really like.  I also try to go to all of the opshops in my city in one day, twice a month (there are thirteen). My best advice would probably be don't keep something in your home unless it is either functional and/or beautiful. 

Thanks so much for showing us around your beautiful home, Bianca! What's your favorite piece in her house? That glass front credenza above! I Want! Badly! 
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5 Vintage-Life Lessons: What I've Learned Running a Creative Business + Tips for You


It's The Dream to do exactly what you want for a living, but it seems impossible. I've had many jobs, even more than I revealed in my biker-asks-to-buy-roses-from-"between-my-tits" confession. I'd been making websites for years before my first crap-job, but I sold myself short. I listened to the status quo that demands ingenues start at shitty jobs and "work their way up." I call bullshit. I've been operating outside the norm my whole life and running a business my way for three years. I ran "Thrift Core" on the side as my creative outlet while I worked full time as a copywriter, three years later the blog and vintage selling became my full time work. Here's what I've learned 2.5 years into being fully creatively self-employed:

1) You Don't Need as Much Money as You May Think

I've always challenged myself to live extremely frugally; it's not about deprivation, it's as simple and finding and using all the free resources available to me. I lost sight of that when I started working full time and earning more than I ever thought I would as a copywriter. With less time and more money it was easy to just "buy" things instead of thinking critically about every purchase. When I left that job I naturally went back to my resourceful ways, it was a painless instinctual switch. I changed to healthier eating saving with bulk-bought fruits and veggies, my best friend coincidentally moved in with me and we split expenses, it all worked out beautifully. Think of ways you can cut corners. You don't need as much money as you may think as you transition to making a living full time pursuing your dreams.

Read: My No Cost Start-Up Ideas and My Epic Cheap Bastard Savings List

2) You Don't Need "Stuff"- Be Healthy Instead

We often buy material possessions as a way to fill an immaterial void. When you're healthy and satisfied you're less likely to go on spending binges. I've sold many possessions since becoming self-employed and I'm more satisfied than ever with less in my life. I have little desire to spend. Four years ago when I was still a full-time marketer I wrote this post on my minimalist living dreams, now I'm living and loving it.

Photos from a flea market trip in the Florida heat. Being a full time blogger and maker takes many hours of dedication.

3) Complete Liberation and Flexibility are Paramount in Life

I could be earning so much more if I chose to go back to copywriting and marketing for online businesses. I've turned down several lucrative offers. I don't let ads or paid posts on to my website that I don't approve of. I'm certainly "poor" compared to my days working with The Man, but my days are flexible and I have complete control of my business. The liberation is priceless.

4) A "Job" is not a necessity in life- an "Income" is

A simple but important lesson. We don't all have to have jobs. There's nothing wrong with it if you do or if you want one, but we CAN create income streams for ourselves that run self-sufficiently rather than slave away at a conventional job. We can choose to earn enough to live while spending time doing what matter: enjoying friends and family. Take the lesson from the Mexican Fisherman story to heart.

5) Creative Work Keeps Me Challenged; Always Innovating, Learning

My work is unpredictable, it's taught me to overcome many random challenges. It forces me to innovate all of my favorite skills. The challenges mean I'm never bored and it keeps me sharp, win/win.

It's Not Easy. I'm Struggling: I had to literally cry to a friend about my business frustrations earlier this month. Working for yourself is hard. You work more hours and the perceived failures are personal. Despite the pained places being a full time artist will take you, it's worth the struggle to live up to your full potential. Everything worth doing is a challenge. I'm in a tricky, transitional place; evolving Thrift Core into the creative space I need it to be, but I love it all, despite the growing pains. I'm learning from my #100happydays challenge  (follow here)  that I feel most content with the world when I'm in my work-zone peacefully composing my content.

(Still loving the hell out of working in my new office by the way, check out the free remodel and fun matching office DIY if you missed it.)

Don't wait to accomplish your life goals and dreams. Make time to work towards it every day. 

Entrepreneurs, crafters, indie business owners, unconventional livers please speak up. I'd love to read your stories and tips in the comments below. Did I leave out anything important?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Few Favs: New Michael Jackson, Incredible Photography, Design & Vegan Nutrition

I've been meaning to do Saturday Favorites and more honest post updates, but is this too much content? Do you want to read this? If you do, e-mail me and let me know. Anywho, here are some weekly favorites. Can anyone identify the source for the incredible image above? That looks like four different photos put together but look closer- it's ALL ONE SCENE! It's arranged with incredible precision. Just. Wow. I aspire to be that creative with photography. Genius!

I love this DIY Dollhouse idea from Modern Thrifter. The thrifted wooden wall shadow box is perfect for storage and play. I need this for my robot toys. Yeah I'm a grown ass woman with two boxes (small ones, but still) of toys. No Shame!

(If you're reading via e-mail, click through to the post to see the video- actually a nice homage)

Now for an MJ rant! I was listening to my Prince/The Heavy Pandora Stations when a familiar, heavenly, light, tenor voice and a beat straight out of 1984 came on. I rushed to the computer to see it was "Love Never Felt So Good" a "new" Michael Jackson song. It's from the new posthumous (bastards!) Xscape album. Everything else on the album sounds incomplete. "A Place With No Name" has a beat straight-up stolen from "Leave Me Alone"! Compare! But where "Leave Me Alone" is a brilliant mix "A Place with No Name" sounds like an extended, incomplete refrain. "Loving You" is okay, but it does sound a bit like an unfinished Off The Wall B-side track."Love Never Felt So Good" hits that sweet spot between "Pretty Young Thing" and "Rock With You" (makes sense, the vocals were recorded between those two albums in the early 1980s) and I actually love it. Shame on me. This is the only posthumous song so far that does Michael justice; it would fit right in on Thriller. Listen, it's the perfect relaxing weekend jam. (Here's an "original" version without Justin Timberlake, I like this one better). I want to play it on repeat all day...

More Link Lovin: 

Love Megan Elizabeth's interview with Scientist Victor VanRambutan on Nutritional loopholes in the low fat raw vegan diet. I don't follow this diet (I switched back to mostly high fat raw vegan, this works better for a busy person, I cannot make myself eat all you have to eat on low fat), you probably don't either, but people on any eating regime can be low in these nutrients. It's a fascinating video with natural and easy solutions for getting our nutrition at optimal levels.

Have an awesome weekend! I'm about to meet some buddies for a nearby rooftop restaurant brunch (I'll take photos on Instagram), squeeze in some yard sales/flea markets/hunting, sneak some item listings on to Etsy + finish some more blog posts before a fun night out at our favorite local bars to finish birthday celebrations!

/Comments Off but E-mail me or hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter if you think there's anything out there I'd love for the next Few Favs post!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hybrid Rainbow Shine: Colorful Undercover Tourist Shopping in Okinawa, Japan

I've yet to met a graphic designer that doesn't appreciate Japan's meticulous eye for design. Mix that with my obsession with kawaii (literally, cute- it infiltrates everything in Japan, even their military logo is adorable) and you have an intoxicating mix. On a drizzly day my friend took me to an undercover shopping center filled with an explosion of color and tempting tourists curios.

The post title is inspired by a favorite Japanese song Hybrid Rainbow, listen (click here) while browsing the photos:

Oh, there are many more photos from my epic Japan adventure to come. I've got more shots to share of interesting Japanese store fronts, beautiful fabric designs, Hello Kitty Explosions, food, cafes, shrines, nature, and more! I enjoy these shops in particular. They squeeze massive amounts of merchandise into every square inch of space without sacrificing appeal. I wish I had this stacking skill for my antique mall booth! Leave to an island nation with limited space to be pros at it.

/Comments Off But I should be back this weekend with a post or two, so check back. :) If you missed it I also posted more posts than usual during the week. I'm on a posting frenzy writing like a madman behind-the-scenes.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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