Friday, November 28, 2014

Three More Fridays 'Till Christmas! Thrift Core Epic Vintage Black Friday Sale

I'm so excited to share another Black Friday sale with you!  This year I'm offering 10% off my already super-discounted shop. I love online Black Friday shopping, support an awesome cause, get low-priced, original gifts no retailer would have delivered to your door, and skip the Christmas shopping mess! Win/win/win. Check it out!

I've also put all of my prints on sale, marked down from $15.00! :) See 'em all here. Simply e-mail any custom-sign requests.

Of course I can deliver to your gift recipient and include a cute note and doodle for you as pictured above! The post office is super busy this time of year even if you order priority, it's hard to get your presents on time the closer it gets to Christmas. Order now and you'll definitely get your goodies on time!

I'm entertaining group deals and offers. Simply e-mail me if you need me to calculate a lower shipping rate. I can meet with you if you'd like to see anything in person or shop the remaining collection if you're local. Contact me if you have any questions.

I'll be back next week with recipes, interviews, and photos of my recent explorations. I'm feeling so re-invigorated about writing and business after truly following the tip in this post! Have an awesome Holiday weekend!

/Comments Off so I can explore, take photos, interview times!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

CoRk Open Studios: Vintage Pieces, Inspiring Artwork, Collections, and Artist's Workspaces

CoRk is a sprawling collection of art studios a stone's throw away from my King St. Riverside apartment. The outside of the building is covered with colorful murals by artists occupying the studios; it's inspiring to see a former empty warehouse transformed into a vibrant space for artists to spread out and create. I adore seeing artists workspaces so I couldn't resist an opportunity to walk over and snap some photos:

CoRk Lobby

Amazing Space-Age "Jetson's" Table. The little boomerang shape to the left had a motion sensor. Wave your hand over it and it says over 70 quotes fro Sci-Fi movies. The lights continuously blinked. -By Rocket Studio Art

This serene studio illuminated by the soft glow of white aper lamps was one of my favorites, so tidy. It reminded me of a New York studio apartment. The chalkboard wall was gorgeous.

Love the riot of color and art style. It smelled of fragrant incense.  Artist: Morrison Pierce

Pithy art prices. I can bring Pizza, please, give me beautiful arts. Thanks.

Classic style, gorgeous assemblage. I think assemblage is my favorite style. Artist: Laurie Hitzig

Amazing sculpture by Larry Wilson

Love this painterly studio. The storage unit here is a perfect mix of inspiring objects, supplies and reference materials. Artist: Mary St. Germain

Took the most photos in Crystal Floyd's Wunderkammer of awesome.  Love her natural style and can appreciate a fellow vintage collector anfd magpie's workspace. I think I'll have to come back and showcase this whole space in a separate post.

Paul Ladnier's studio wins "Best Door" hands-down. Love the colorful painted faces and the easel sign. My mom and I were enchanted by his Old World oil paintings of landscapes and portraits, they bought us back to memories of artists painting (the many) scenic vistas in Italy.

Another studio after my own art. Crafts, color, vintage a bookshelf full of kitsch books. Her paintings were gorgeous. Loved her colorful DIY'd pillows. She and I were working on some identical projects.

The courtyard (CoRkyard, as it's known) separating studios is dreamy! Would love to help garden and paint the walls out here. I love string light ambience.

Another space I may need to return to. Karen Kurycki's gorgeous "punny" watercolors fo perfect with her bright, kitschy studio. Love her style and how she's arranged her space.

Loved the clothes by Love Brigade, beautiful studio.

I'd be remiss to exclude portraits on these muses outside of a closed studio. The first one is Eva, a friend and art model. The second is Jennifer Chase, playwright and musician. Painted by Tony Wood.

Who could ask for a cozier creative space? Robert Leedy was very friendly and told us an funny story about a commission for a wine bar featuring a Geisha serving wine that was rejected, the client wanted something more "literal"; but his art friends loved it! Me too. Would hang that in my house in a heartbeat.

"When my friends saw studio they asked, 'Are you going through a divorce'?" Robert jokes about the homeyness of his "art cave".

Photo-bombed a green screen room. (George Deacon Photography )

In a word: Incredible. This photography by Doug Eng was mind-blowing. Loved the huge high-quality prints, cityscapes and environmental messages.

I wish I'd have had more time to chat with every single artist. CoRk should do these gallery openings once a month! There was a great turnout and it was so inspiring to see so much art and innovation happening right down the street. Read more about CoRk on their website.

Any favorite studio peeks? I love 'em all, don't make me choose!
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Monday, November 24, 2014

A Better Business for December, 2015 and Beyond: Make Goals and Hit 'Em

I am already so excited for 2015. Arbitrary number change on the calendar not, it's a motivating list-making time of the year and I love it. Next year I'm transitioning. I'll be focusing more on indie business help/showcasing, productivity, creativity, design (interior and otherwise) and being happy/healthy. I'm excited to focus on helping others live a happier, healthier life outside the status quo.

Already making lots of lists and plotting at headquarters. Calendars are boards are quite full!

Advertising: December is an excellent time to advertise on Thrift Core. Sales go through the roof for me And my blog is one of my #1 traffic sources. It's a great way to showcase your blog or business into the new year, too. Read more here or e-mail me.

Indie Business Help: Whether it's making a simple logo or banner, doing product photography, setting up a blog/portfolio, business coaching or creating an entire online presence, I adore helping others accomplish their dream of fruitful self-employment. I am a perfectionist, dedicated to high quality presentation for your business. E-mail me if you need help.

Writing: Just throwing this one out there, I'm looking for creative editorial work for websites, magazines, and newspapers. Just throwing it out there. I have years of experience. If anyone needs a writer that can throw in graphic design and photography skills (or if you know of someone) let me know. I have a resume and references available upon request, but of course!

And with that, back to work with me! I want to clean my apartment from top-to-bottom, ship some orders, and organize some more, as always. My shop still has loads of wares on sale. I'm open to deals/group deals and can estimate lower shipping for you! This is a great time to load up on merchandise or get the ones you love something unique for Christmas.

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Want More Money? Readers? Followers? Stop. You're Exactly Where You Need to Be.

If you're like me you tend to beat yourself up for not being where you "want to be". You don't have what you want in the bank or you may be working for an employer when you want to work for yourself. We tend to draw a timeline for our accomplishments, once we reach one we strive for the other and there's never a moment to pause and appreciate where you are. We're never satisfied.

I tunnel-vision on future weight loss, never satisfied. BUT when I look at my progress I realize I've come VERY FAR with my fitness and healthy eating. From fast food/sedentary to raw vegan/active. A feat I thought was impossible three years ago.

Thanks to some inspiring reading and introspection I've realized how important it is to realize We Are Exactly Where We Need to Be. Constantly berating yourself for not being exactly where you "want" to be is negative thinking that will lead to malaise and lack of productivity. The knee-jerk reaction is often to punish ourselves into action, stop that! Let me tell you from experience, you will just needlessly torture yourself and get nowhere!

Look at the bright side: You're here reading this right now, which means you care about the future for your projects and you're actively studying to improve. Every item you list to sell, every plan you make, every blog post, are steps toward success. Keep working hard and you will get there. In the meantime, you're learning, growing, improving. A couple of action steps I recommend for being more productive:

Action 1) Sit down and write a list of everything you're grateful for and/or your accomplishments. Start with 100! Action 2) Reflect on your progress since you started your journey- look at your first listings, photos, or blog posts- damn, that's some improvement, right? Action 3) Do what it takes to truly enjoy the ride and where you're at now. It can simple things: Buy dollar store office supplies, re-decorate your work-space, re-arrange your schedule so you have more time to spend reading or enjoying your loved ones.




One of my earliest blog posts, a poorly done "plushie" tutorial from about five years ago. Photos at night! Tungsten lightning! I didn't even know how to shoot in manual. Progress shows!

You'll be more successful when you change your mindset to the positive and stop focusing on your ideal "perfect" future-self. You're already there; you are already literally where you wanted to be when  you first started on your journey. Besides, you'll need something to look back on later once you reach your next landmark! Sometimes we're so blindly focused on the future we're not reflecting on how we've progressed from the past or how good the present is.

Update, I Challenge You! Start with me now, list three accomplishments and/or three things you're grateful for in the comments (or on paper, but write it!) I dare you! You'll immediately feel lighter.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MODify: Thrifted Serving Tray Decoupage Skeleton Transformation. Great Gift!


I love how trays help you make an immediate composition in a space, how they help you serve guests in style and how they protect your furniture from moisture. The quirkier the tray, the better. A flea market vendor gave me a plain wooden tray for free as part of a "fill a bag for $5.00" deal and the muse to transform it finally struck. I'm keeping it on my living room coffee table for serving drinks and wrangling extras. This is a great beginner craft for experimenting resin. It's a tricky medium but the deep, shining, professional finish it leaves is worth it!

Materials: Wooden serving tray with tall sides, glue stick or spray adhesive, printed image for the background (I blew up a "La Muerte" playing card from a Loteria deck), Tabletop Resin, Gloves, Clear Varnish and Paint Optional

Step 1) Get exact measurements for your tray and enlarge and print the image you want to use for the background yourself OR go to a local print shop with the dimensions and they'll do this for you. I used card stock for this craft and had a local print shop blow the image up for me. It cost $3.10.

Step 2) Glue your paper to the base of your tray. Use a glue stick or spray adhesive to control the amount of paint used (unless you want to carefully paint on white glue with a sponge brush).  Make sure to press down your image firmly, especially around all of the edges to keep resin from seeping under the paper.

Step 3) Follow the directions on your resin to mix it up very precesicely to ensure the proper chemical reaction, then pour the resin inside your tray. From here you can tilt your tray carefully until the level of resin is even. If large bubbles form at the top of the resin layer gently blow on them to pop 'em. The smaller ones should disappear as the resin dries.

Step 4) You may want to paint the sides of your trays, I liked the natural white distressed finish I received the tray in so I simply coated it with clear varnish for a shiny, professional finish.

Step 5) Set your tray somewhere safe. You want a dry place free of floating dust or hair that could settle into the slow-curing resin. It usually takes 24 full hours before it's fully hard and no longer tacky. Be patient, don't touch it to "test it" until 24 hours pass or you may mess up your finish. Don't set very hot objects on the serving tray.

Transform any trays you have around or thrift for new ones, they're ample 2nd hand. I have a plain black one I use to wrangle my smoothie goodies that'll get a makeover next. Make 'em for your friends, coupled with crafted coasters they make a gorgeous and practical Christmas or housewarming gift. I love the depth the shiny resin adds to the tray.

You getting any creative crafting on? I think my favorite type of craft is transforming something bland into something beautiful. You don't have to spend a cent to get creative.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How Would You React to an "Imminent Extreme" Tornado ? My Tornado Story

1:07 PM: Loud sirens interrupt reading at the 3 Layers Cafe. All cell phones buzzed with the following text:  11/17/2014 Imminent extreme alert Tornado Warning in this area til 2:00 PM EST. Take shelter now. Check local media - NWS. 

It went ignored. Maybe we get too many warnings that go unfounded, too many numbing "tests" of the emergency sirens. Maybe I'm stupid.

Anonymous First Coast News photo of the storm. It looks like The Nothing from Neverending Story.

1:20 PM: Massive storm clouds roll in as we drive home. A chill cuts through the former toasty 75 degrees. There's a sonic boom as a lightning bolt "sizzles" to our right. I've never seen lightning so close, holding, flickering like a dying bulb

1:37 PM: I call work to let them know I'll be late. I watch the windows, I start to think it's probably safe to drive after all.

1:40 PM: Nature roars. The rainfall is so thick you can't see anything but grey outside. I say, "Oh, HELL NO, I ain't going out there." Lightning flickers all around, high winds split trees. The storm tosses anything in its path with seemingly deliberate fury. The apartment lights go on and off.

1:47 PM: In mere minutes the storm's finished with my street. AJ and I turn on the local news to get an update. The tornado was slicing through Jacksonville like a knife. Its path is ironically the same one as my drive to work...

"5 minutes, we missed it by 5 minutes. It makes you question your [my] agnosticism, doesn't it? If we'd had left a few minutes later we'd have been out there in it." 

He holds me on the couch and describes how he would have protected me if the storm was any worse.

"Sorry, I'd have to push you to the ground in the hallway and throw myself on top of you to keep you safe. But I'd try to tuck the right side of my head under your ass!"

AJ has a metal plate in the right side of his head from a football injury and understandably takes lightning very seriously. One strike and sleep. Forever.

2:10 PM:  There's water pooling at the bottom of the stairwell, it "washed" a box of vintage goods I had near the door. Luckily all ceramics. We step outside to survey the damage:

The nearby corner store owner (I live above it) and a customer step out. The glass-front store must have had a retina monitor-clear view of the weather carnage.

"I couldn't see the house in front of us. I've never seen anything that before! Ever! Never!" The agitated customer keeps walking down the side walk. 

He stops and calls to us, "Come LOOK AT THIS!" he points to a large tree split in half. The new chill in the air dropped temperatures to the fifties or lower.

2:15 PM: Traffic lights were off on the way to work. I was tempted to take my camera out and photograph random damages I see along the way, but keep driving.

10:46 PM: A loud electronic buzz goes off, it sounds like an electric shock mixed with a gun shot. Like an electric-type Pokemon attack. The power goes off, ceasing my customer e-mail answering and blog post editing. Marianne and I scream and run to each other.

10:48 PM: Every time the lights go off we half-joke about our apocalypse survival plan. "We have enough food for a little while before we have to start looting for supplies," I joke. "The only entrance is the narrow stairwell unless they use grappling hooks to scale the walls and break through the windows. We can throw things at looters if they try to come up. God knows there's plenty of shit in here to throw at them."

"They're too stupid to figure that [grappling hooks] out." Marianne responds. "They" is our neighbors and corner store shoppers, who's cat-calls are a daily annoyance to ignore.

Marianne and I watch too many zombie shows/movies and play too many violent video games...

10:50 PM: We settle into Marianne's room to read by the light of her laptop and small Glade 2-in-one Hawaiian Breeze and Vanilla Passionfruit candle. I start to feel a calm drowsiness, the darkness increasing melatonin levels. I think, "This is the way it's supposed to be." I recall when frequent power outages in Italy bought us closer together as a family. We'd sit on the balcony and watch our lovely Neapolitan neighborhood, watch the sky change from light to dark or play Uno by candlelight. I chuckle remembering the bat that flew at my mom's head on one such night, tangling in her hair.

10:55 PM: I consider making a nightly ritual of reading by candlelight and avoiding using lights, like nature intended. When humans had healthier sleeping and less stress. Energy bill savings imminent.

Thoughts: Living in the south east, this isn't the first big storm I've seen. I've watched hurrican force winds uproot a might willow. This F1 tornado was far from the worst it could be, though a couple of roofs were blown off and fallen trees damaged some cars and a local trailer home. I'm grateful we weren't caught out in the storm. Today is chilly but bright, refreshed after the storm. No one was hurt, loved ones are safe. Take all The Things, storm, but not our people.

My roomie and kitty, safe and sound.

I had other plans for today's post but the experience stuck in my mind; demanding to be shared. I'm not scared and wasn't at the time until the electric buzz that sounded like our apartment was on fire. I'm thinking of the biggest take-away from this experience. Perhaps...listen to the damn severe storm alerts when you hear them, this ain't for play? Yep, that's what I'll take away from this.

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Loads of Vintage for the Lowest Prices EVUH. Only Five More Fridays Until Christmas!

Are you getting that Christmas shopping craziness out of the way? No? Me either, it turns out. But I have a solution for you if you're on the hunt, after all, only Five More Fridays until Christmas! Everything in my online shop and in my Southern Crossing Antique Mall booth is marked down. Check it out online and pick carefully curated vintage goodness for the ones you love- or for yourself, you deserve it. I'll do group deals on shipping, can calculate lower shipping rates or take group offers. Just drop me a line if you have any questions.

If you're local ask for Booth #4504 at Southern Crossing Antique Mall, I'll be adding more good everyday. Address: 2718 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205. You can also e-mail to meet up and look at my wares and pick through if you'd like! Clearing out space for the new, give my vintage goods a loving home! I'm even selling my "Famous" often-asked-for Mid Century Modern couch. The whole apartment's getting a fresh start along with my business. Speaking of which...

A Fresh New Business for 2015, Join Me!!!

Thrift Core is changing names January 2015. I'll have more details in a post later this week. I love the new year; I'll take any arbitrary date for positive change. I'm reading self-improvement books, taking notes, and just plain busting ass behind-the-scenes. I'm anxious to help more people get started living the creative, healthy, self-employed lives of their dreams.

Services to Start Living Your Dreams 2015, Stop Putting It Off!: I offer product photography (example above and of course, in my online shop), blog/web/portfolio design services, website advertising and business consulting. I have an eye for design/composition, an organized mind-set for business and over a decade of combined experience making websites and in web marketing. I love using these skills to help others create fresh starts for themselves. Please do e-mail me if you need help with any of the above! I am dedicated to providing the highest quality work and take great pride and pleasure in it.

And an Inspiring Quote for You: Frustrated with your present state of affairs? Goals not reached? Stressed? Think of The Present as a reflection of The Past. It is not who you are right now. Right now you are recognizing the problems from the past so you can learn from them, improve, and move on. From now on focus on the future. Be the change you want to be. It's never too late, start on your future-self right now. This shifts your mind from the negative (Why I am I not 'x'?) to the positive (I WILL be 'x'). You'll have a positive attitude, and that positive attitude will help you be less frustrated and more successful!

With that said...I am off to do some exploring in an abandoned mansion (photos soon!) before a shift at the raw vegan kitchen. Then more writing, crafting, selling, and craziness throughout the week! Many more posts to come, of course!

Update: Yep, I will meet for pick-ups if you're local. Will take offers on ANY item. :)

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