Sunday, October 30, 2011


It's not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful.   
Elle MacPherson

This weekend we are in Denver, Colorado.  Our Patient Man is speaking at a youth conference and Thrift Chick and I came along for the ride (and who doesn't love the chance to be pampered in a hotel and to shop in a different city!)  We stayed at the Crowne Plaza near the airport.  A wonderful hotel where the staff remembered your name and your room included things like this:
and a bed like this 

Notice the cute little gift bag. It had ear plugs, sleep mask and lavender spray
...not to mention the cute little bag.

So when we found this little vanity kit, we wondered just what would be considered "vanity."  
This is what was inside.
That's it ladies.  Forget the ten pound cosmetic bag you lugged through security (keeping it with you for fear your luggage and  precious cargo would be lost.)  Forget the creams, lotions, bronzer, mascara and other products that we consider necessary to look gorgeous.  The Crowne Plaza believes all we need is three cotton balls, three Q tips and an emery board... and even that they label "vanity."  Wouldn't life be simpler if we all believed this?

Mama Thrift

P.S.  Stayed tuned.  We did hit a thrift store on our trip.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tell About It Tuesday: Sunday Crossbow

Today is "Tell About It Tuesday"  I have several blogs that I love to frequent because of the bloggers amazing style!  I want to take the time to direct you in the direction of one of my favorites.... Sunday Crossbow!  This girl is a genius when it comes to putting together unexpected things and rocking them!  I have this fantasy where I am in the movie "Chronicles of Narnia: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe" but instead of the wardrobe going to Narnia, it goes to Sunday Crossbow's closet.  I would be in clothes heaven!  So check her out....she is amazing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Views

The only holiday I used to decorate for was Christmas, but in recent years, I have discovered the fun of changing things up with the seasons.  Not only does it prevent the boredom of the same old thing, but it also gives me more of an excuse to hit the thrift stores!
The pilgrims are Byer's Choice and a gift from my Mom.  The pumpkins are Target clearance and the candle stand is thrifted.
The goblet was Hobby Lobby clearance as was the foilage (The hardest about buying on clearance is waiting a year to use it!) The wrought iron arch was thrifted.
The old church attendance sign was thrifted. ($3.00 at Salvo!)  Thriftchick says I need to put some words in there.  Any ideas?
The lantern was thrifted and the jug was from an estate sale.  The estate sales in our area are half off on the second fun!

After a week of rain and wind, we are supposed to have sunshine...I hope to get out and enjoy some real fall views.

Happy Thrifting!
Mama Thrift

I'm linking
Home Stories A2Z

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alligators, Old Mink and New Money

I have been rereading one of my all time favorite books, Alligators, Old Mink, and New Money: One Women's Adventures in Vintage Clothing by: Allison Houtte and Melissa Houtte (Yes, I read! I am a teacher after all!).  It is a wonderful read about Allison Houtte's life in fashion and her experiences with her vintage clothing store "Hootie Couture" in New York City. I highly suggest reading it if you love thrifting and vintage clothes.  It will inspire your thrifting brain!

     There is a part in the book where Allison talks about why people buy vintage clothes and it pretty much sums up the main reason I love to thrift!

...But what makes vintage so hot as a fashion trend is also its biggest hurdle, especially for time-pressed shoppers and anyone who hates to shop.  Hunting for the perfect fur-collar coat, mod dress or rhinestone brooch takes time and energy, even when the owners of your favorite shops know your likes and dislikes and their stores are packed to the eaves with goodies....

...The good news is that when something fits, or completes a look in just the right way, customers feel like they've hit the jackpot. The odds were against them, but they got lucky...

...But that's why most of my customers love vintage. For them, dressing is an adventure, not a chore.

     That last sentences basically sums up why I thrift and why I love wearing what a lot of people look down at and label "old and used" clothing.  For me, dressing is an adventure, not a chore.

Happy Thrifting! Thriftchick

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Nod to Halloween

It is Halloween season and even though our kids are grown, we still have to mark what is my husband's favorite holiday.  When he was a child growing up in poverty, Halloween was an amazing day where people gave you free candy...all you had to do was be willing to dress up and walk for blocks.  To top it off, when a local church invited the neighborhood kids to a Halloween party, he heard his first presentation of the Gospel.  So Halloween marks his road into the ministry. 

Since we now live in the country and don't have trick or treaters, most of our fall decorations are of the general fall themes.  We do have one small nod to the holiday.
The mirror dresser tray  was a Salvation Army find...only 60 cents!  I sprayed painted it black.  The candlabra was also a Salvo find revamped with black spray paint.  All the pumpkins are plastic ones that I purchased last year on clearance from Walmart.  (It is hard for me to buy anything in season when I know it is going to be just a tenth of the price in a few short weeks.)  I sprayed the pumpkins with ivory paint.  I printed the letters on shipping labels and then cut them out to stick on the pumpkins.
Of course the only thing missing is a big bowl of candy.  That will come later.  One small fun size Snickers does not destroy a diet.  However, six do.

Mama Thrift

I am linking up to:

Home Stories A2Z

Thursday, October 13, 2011

DYI Vintage Hat Rack

A year ago I came across this project on Sawdust and Paper Scraps. She made this wonderful candelabra out of table lamps and an old chandelier.  I thought it was so creative.

As I was working on ThriftChick's room, I was looking for a creative way to display her collection of vintage hats.  I was in Goodwill when I found this four pronged candelabra top. The base was missing.   I remembered the Halloween candelabra and it occurred to me that  the candelabra could double as a hat rack.  I started looking for lamps for the base and just couldn't find two lamps that fit together nicely and had the vintage vibe I was looking for.  I was ready to give up when I remembered that in the basement, I had an old brass lamp that I had purchased at an estate sale because I wanted the vintage shade. I never used the lamp because it was so old, modern bulbs did not fit in the socket.  It was perfect.

I took apart the lamp and then began the task of attaching the candelabra to the lamp stand.  I tried super glue.  No luck.  I tried Gorilla Glue.  No luck.  It just didn't feel secure enough.  (That candelabra is one heavy sucker)  Patient Man volunteered to take it to our local auto body shop to see if they would weld it for me.  Turned out it wasn't real metal, but an aluminum composite so welding was out, but the owner said he had some special bonding material that would work.  He not only glued it together, but he also molded it so it looked as if the two pieces were meant to be together....and he didn't even charge me!

The last step was to give a few coats of spray paint.
The best part is that if we ever need a candelabra, we are set! (you know how many times you just wish you had a candelabra!)  Altogether, the cost of the project  about $20.  $6.00 for the top piece, $10.00 for the lamp (and that includes a cool retro shade) and $4.00 of spray paint.  Can't beat that!

Happy Thrifting

Mama Thrift

By the way, this Saturday is 1/2 off days at our area Goodwill Stores...we plan to hit all five of them!

We're linking to:

Monday, October 10, 2011

SecondHand Rose

We are going to try to give you some ideas for outfits that are thrifted.  Sometimes you are lucky enough to score pieces that are just great without any altering...what one girl trashes, another girl treasures.  Usually I find some pieces that Mama Thrift thinks are just way too out there.  Today's pieces are really a bit "normal" for me but, they were comfortable, cute and appropriate for the classroom. (Mama Thrift needs some practice at photography...excuse the less than stellar quality)
Pants: Goodwill  $4.50
Shirt: Forever 21 found at Salvo. $2.50 
Costume jewelry from Grandma's stash.  Free!
Red sandals: American Eagle clearance  $14.95
Total outfit $21.95!  Don't you just love a deal!

Happy Thrifting!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

ThriftChick's Room

For the last decade, ThriftChick's room has been a bright colored middle school girl's dream.  Among the yellow walls and white furniture, wild funky colors reigned.  Flash forward a decade and ThriftChick is planning to live at home while she does her student teaching semester.  Somehow her collection of vintage records and cameras just didn't fit into the middle school room.  Enter Mama Thrift.  While she was in Michigan working this summer, the family got to work to transform her room from middle school to adulthood.

It was a family affair.  Her brothers pulled up and hauled out ugly blue carpet and pulled up a million tacks and nails.  We put up beadboard wallpaper (our old farmhouse has nightmare walls...that is a post for another day).  Her sister-in-law and I painted.  Her father, younger brother and I put in the floor.  Then the fun began.  We started hauling in all the pieces we had been thrifting and saving for the last two years.  Her father (whom we shall now refer to as Patient Man) got so into it, that I thought he actually was channeling HGTV.  Everything in the room was thrifted or was a piece we had somewhere in the house except for her record player and the carpet on the floor.  See what you think.
The bed was a Goodwill find for $60.00.  The chenille spread and old wool blanket were from Salvation Army (or Salvo as it is known in our house) that I dyed.  Did you know you can go to Rit Dye's website and find out how to create any color you want?  So fun!  The end table was purchased from an estate sale as was the bird cage.
The embroidered pillow is thrifted.  The round pillow is the sprocket pillow whose tutorial I found at Cluck, Cluck Sew
We have had this shelf from ThriftChick's great great aunt for years and never hung it up.  It was perfect for her vintage cameras and postcards.
Chair and ottoman are from Salvo.  The pink table was a beat up $5 thrift store find that I knew spray paint could rescue.
The dresser was previously white with orange, purple and green drawers and was the crowning piece in the middle school room.  I sanded the top, stained and sealed it.  The bottom green was a paint store "Oops" can.  The drawer pulls came from ReStore.  The curtains were a tablecloth I cut down.  The hat stand is a lamp and candelabra...details coming soon.
The floor is Norvalis peel and stick wood planks.  Yes it is vinyl, but it looks great, costs little aaannnd I could install it myself.

An important note....if you spray paint Styrofoam like the wig head sort of disintegrates.  We just called it  "interesting texture."

ThriftChick was blown away when she got home.  She is so in love with it that she keeps it that is the measure of a great redo!

Happy Thrifting!
Mama Thrift

I'm linking to:

Vintage Train Case

A couple of years ago, I found this vintage round train case in an antique store.  It spoke to my yearning to channel Audrey Hepburn.  After much deliberation,  I bought as a birthday gift for myself (because really every girly girl should own a train case don't you think?). 

It has sat in my room plain and unadorned.  Today I decided that something must be done to give it a little more vintage flair! Besides a little wear and tear, it seemed to be missing something that said it had seen the world.   Mama Thrift brought home a sticker maker that someone was getting rid of (Who does that??? ) I decided travel stickers would just be thing to give a little nostalgia to the piece.

I found some really cool pictures of vintage luggage stickers online and printed them off.  All I had to do was  run the pictures through the sticker maker and I had my very own travel sticker.  The hardest part of the entire project was trying to decided which of the stickers to use.  It was moment of dreaming of the places I would to visit.  After placing them where I wanted on my train case, I sanded them with some sand paper to give them an older look.

I am pleased with the final product and think the case looks awesome in my vintage room!

Happy Thrifting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I've Got You Under My Skin

I know you are all dying to know what designer has been under my skin lately!  Drumroll please.......KATE SPADE! Her clothes are my current obsession and I want to find myself a handsome husband who makes oodles of money so that I can buy every single piece of clothing in her line! In all seriousness, her dresses are to die for!   And let us not forget her coats....which send me in a tizzy!

Sadly, being a broke teacher I can only dream of owning a closet full of Kate Spade!  However stay tuned because I will be attempting to create a Kate Spade inspired dress (with the help of my dear thrifty mother, of course!)  Check back in the next couple of days to see my finished masterpiece or disaster!