Sunday, January 29, 2012

Style Sunday - Bollywood Rocks

   Thrifting for clothes can be a real cultural experience.  Sure the racks tend to be full of eighties and nineties castoffs.  If you are patient, you can find some real oddities hidden among the shoulder pads.  This sari top was in the dress section.  I fell in love with the color.  Even Mama Thrift could see its possibilities (well, she didn't roll her eyes anyway.)  It was only $4...well worth it.
    The jacket is every thrifter's dream find.  I found it in a Goodwill a few years ago.  It is heavy leather and was in the coat section which means it was $8.  I almost passed it by.  When you are only paying $2 and $3 for things, $8 seems steep.  Fortunately, I came to my senses and saw it for what it was...a leather motorcycle jacket for $8!  (Sometimes, my cheap side tries to take control.)
   The boots are Charlotte Russe.  My brother calls them my Amelia Earhart boots.  I see a lot of great footwear at thrift stores....just never in size 10.  This is one of those outfits that can be casual dressy or funky casual.  I love it

Thrift Chick

Saturday, January 28, 2012

For Vintage's Sake

   Sometimes you come across vintage pieces that are so full of history that you could sit on gaze on their patina for hours.  Such was the case for these little pieces from my mother's life. 
   My mom was born in 1933.  By the time she she finished high school in the early 50's, girls pursued one of three professions....secretary, teacher or nurse.  My mom came from a family of four girls.  Three became nurses and one a secretary.  That is just how it was.
   These are a few relics from my mom's early nursing career.
 The watch is a basic no nonsense nurse's watch.  Thrift Chick loves its simple retro feel.  She often wears it.
   The name tag is gorgeous.  It is a mother of pearl base with her name engraved in black.  No lanyard, no plastic sleeve.  This is a piece of jewelry, not a name tag.
   Check out her nursing board scores.  She was one smart cookie.  If she had been born thirty years later, she would have been the CEO of a Fortune 500 company..  Her organization skills are scary.  This is a woman who when she threw a party,  set up days ahead and labeled where everything would go.  My college roommate got married three years after I did.  She called my mom to ask about the florist I used.  My mom still had her notebook that listed every wedding detail.   After my father finished dental school, she only worked occasionally.  However, she always got requests from non profit organizations to serve as treasurer.  She would have raked Uncle Billy over the coals and whipped George Bailey's Building and Loan into a multinational corporation.
   Here's to the women you came before us.  We should revere the things of their past.
Mama Thrift

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Touch of Blue

   Winter decor obviously means white.  I felt like I was drowning in a sea of white.  I thought I should add a touch of color.  However, I wanted it to still have that icy winter feel.  I really wanted some aqua glass balls. With Christmas over, I knew my chances of finding any at a reasonable price were slim.  I decided to try tinting glass.  I had these glass bulbs I found at the Goodwill for $1.
   Working from a tutorial I found here at Momtastic, I began by mixing up food coloring and a tiny bit of water to get the icy blue I wanted.  I then mixed in about 1/2 C of Mod Podge.  It looked like this when I was finished which made me a little nervous because that was definitely not icy blue.
   I then poured a little in each bulb.  I turned and twisted and turned and twisted until every inch was covered.  I then poured out the extra and put them upside down in the box for about 30 minutes.  I did learn it is key to get the excess out or you will end up with darker splotches.
   I then put the upside down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in a my oven at 250 degrees.  After 15 minutes, I turned them over and left them in the oven for another 30-45 minutes.  The results were amazing.

   Now Thrift Chick and I are eying anything we see that is plain glass.  The possibilities are endless!

Mama Thrift

 I am linking to:

The Shabby Nest

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Style Sunday -Mumu Glam

   Are you adventuresome in your clothes?  Are you willing to wear things that fit your style, but maybe not the style of those around you?  I am and I make no apologies.  I am quite used to comments like, "Oh I wish I could pull off outfits like you do."  I am still not sure if that is a compliment or a polite way of saying, "What the heck are you wearing?"  I am even used to my mother's doubtful look when I show her something I am thinking of buying.  However, when I showed her this tribal mumu in a thrift shop, she didn't give me a doubtful look.  Oh no, she flat out told me I was crazy.  I told her I had a vision.  Here is my vision.   Here is how a girl today wears a mumu.
    First the particulars: The mumu was $2.50 at a Salvation Army.  The scarf was a lost and found score. (I worked at a camp for three summers.  At the end of the summer, we raided the unclaimed lost and found items)  The boots were a $10 clearance item at Walmart. Mama Thrift says there is probably not a lot of shoppers out there dying to find a pair of purple suede boots.  Their loss, my gain.
    When I got home.  I took the mumu and chopped off about three feet of it.  I wear it paired with a belt and leggings.

   I love this outfit.  It is so comfortable.  I wear it everywhere.  Now my college roommates loved to have me wear it too.  They loved to see it without the belt in all its mumu glory.  Here is an example of the sheer volume.  You probably could fit three of me in it.  Looks kind of like a citizen of Whoville, doesn't it.
       So now all of you can run right out to your nearest thrift store and grab your own mumu.  I am telling you, you won't be sorry.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Knockoff Try Number 2

  This is a reality blog.  We pledge to show you our good, our bad and our so-so.   So in the interest of honesty, I bring you my second attempt with a knock off decor item.
     I saw these wooden balls on the West Elm site.  Unusual, weathered and looked to be quite simple.
However, $34 for the large and $19 for the small seemed a bit steep for wood sticks in a ball.  I thought  I could duplicate it using sticks and a Styrofoam ball.
   I saw these balsa wood sticks at Hobby Lobby on sale for .60 cents each.  I thought I could cut them, stain them and stick them in the ball and tah dah...a weathered sphere.  Well it started out all right.

   Then when I started to put the cut sticks in the ball, the ball just fell apart as more and more sticks went in.  So on to Plan gluing them together.  It was messy and time consuming and very painful.


   The final product looks nothing like the inspiration.  I like the unusual shape and the dark wood quality, but you can see the hot glue.  My son suggested I spray paint it.  I may do that after my burned fingers stop smarting.
   Maybe sometime in the future I will have evolved to the level of the crafters at Knock Off Decor.  In the meantime I will continue to treat you to my attempts.  maybe they will inspire you...or make you smile... or make you feel better about your failures. (Not that I am saying you have failure....maybe I should say less than desired outcomes.  Do you have "less than desired outcomes"?)

Mama Thrift

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Style Sunday

   When we thrift, we do not just find things for around the house.  We also find awesome clothing.  In fact, most of Thrift Chick's wardrobe comes from thrift stores and resale shops.  We are always amazed at what you can find for just pennies on the dollar.  We have decided to start a new feature...Style Sunday.  Each week we will highlight some of the outfits, Thrift Chick has put together from her bargain hunting.
   Today we go back a few years to where it all began.  Thrift Chick made her stage debut in fifth grade playing Gracie Shinn in our community theater's production of Music Man.  I really think it was there that she fell in love with vintage style.
   By the time she was a senior she had been in numerous other shows there and with other area theaters, worn countless costumes from various decades and developed a love for fashion from eras gone by.  When the time for her senior picture rolled around, she knew she wanted something unusual.  She took me to a resale shop called Retroactive where we unearthed this wool jacket from the 40's.  Her pictures looked like something from the past.  (It was in the high 90's that day.  She was dying....but who said fashion was easy!)
   We paid just $25 for the jacket.  She paired it with a brown pencil skirt.   I told her she looked liked a career woman from the 40's waiting for her man to return from war.
   And since we are going back to the beginning, I will show you another senior picture.  This is definitely a modern outfit, but it showcases the beginning of her obsession with boots.  This fuchsia pair she found at a resale shop.  She paid $10 for them and still wears them today.
   Next week we will flash forward a few years and show you her more recent finds, but it was fun to go back to the beginning of what I am sure will be a life long love.

Mama Thrift

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Pals - Pete the Cat

   We have just made our second book pal and we are in love.  If you haven't read the picture book series Pete the Cat  by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, you are missing out.  To get an idea, click on the books and rock away.  Just imagine a class of first graders singing will fall in love too.
    We knew we wanted to create Pete, but weren't sure we what to do about shoes.  We thought we might find infant shoes at a thrift store, but no luck.  Then we found these at Marshall's.  Perfect!

   We dug some blue fabric out of the fabric scrap box.  It was a little dark, but we thought it would work.  Mama Thrift just cut it out by eyeballing it.  She is so good, she only had to re-cut the head twice.  The eyes and nose were from felt and the mouth and eyebrows were black floss.  My job was the stuffing the body.  I love the final result.

    Since Pete is a four footed friend, we are left with four rockin' shoes that while very cute, do not match.
   We have decided to have a giveaway.  If you think you want to make your own Pete, leave us a comment and we will select someone at random to send them too (Of course, the most comments we have ever had were five so your chances are pretty good.)

   "And we 're rockin' in our thriftin' shoes.  Oh we're rockin' in our thriftin' shoes"   Catchy isn't?

Thrift Chick

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Day, Snow Decor

Today is our first snow day of the year.  One of the best things about being a teacher is the occasional unexpected day off in the middle of my least favorite months.  In honor of the snow day, I am going to show you my winter decor.

 I am still very poor at styling a picture.  I forget to check and make sure my curtains are hanging nicely.  I forget to make sure the rest of my clutter is hidden or to clean.  See the dirty brick on our fireplace.  About two years ago we removed the dated brass glass cover and protector hood.  We love the open look, but I have to clean the brick more often (obviously I have not gotten around to that in a while.)  Let's just say I am a so so housekeeper and leave it at that.
 The ampersand was on sale the day after Christmas at Hobby Lobby.  I love their large letters, but I am not a fan of metallic anything (although I did read that metallic is one of the top trends of 2012...doesn't matter unless it is tarnished silver, I am not a fan.)  The snowflakes were three candle holders for $5 at the Goodwill half off sale.  I tried to take off the candle holder part because I just liked the snowflake part, but it was welded on there to stay for eternity. 
The silver pedestal is a Slavo find for 75 cents.  The chunky white candle holders I think came from Hobby Lobby's 66% off clearance aisle a few years back.  (Do you hit that aisle first when you go to Hobby Lobby?  Thrift Chick and I never shop the front of a store...we head right to the back for the sale racks)
This old church attendance/hymn number sign is one of my favorite purchases as of late and it was a real impulse purchase.  Last fall we were checking out of Salvo and I gave one last look back (you know in case I missed some treasure)  There it was leaning against a post.  I paid three dollars for it and left it in all of it's old shiny varnished state for my fall mantle.  I liked the height it had, but just wasn't sure about it overall.  Thrift Chick has been after me to put words in it.  I gave it a coat of spray paint and sanded it for this display.  I like it better, but I think it still needs some work.  For this quote I did each letter separately on velum to mimic the old letters churches used.  It was very tedious and I am not sure it was worth may have worked just as well to do whole words.

 These weird wooden ball things are another so-so knock off I tried.  That post is coming up shortly.

Whenever I am doing these seasonal vignettes, I always worry that they are too crafty...those of you who are a little older remember when we all had tons of homemade craft goodies displayed for every holiday.  I don't want to return to those days.  However, I do enjoy changing things up every few months.

Mama Thrift

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

So-So Knockoff

Do you ever have a project in mind that you just love and then when you complete it, it just seems so so?  Happens to me all the time.  I have been reading DYI blogs for about a year now.  I have been intrigued by all the knock off projects.  These talented ladies take an expensive item from a home store like Pottery Barn and create their own less expensive version.  I thought I would give it a try.  Here is my inspiration item:
I saw this on the Grandin Road website.  I like the color, the vintage look and the birds (I have had a thing for birds lately.)  I thought maybe I could do something similar with this tin I got thrifting.
So I sprayed it with my favorite vintage green.  I drew birds and painted them with ModPodge to give it some texture.  I then painted the birds brown and splattered it some to rough it up.  I then painted it with stain and then wiped it off.  I gave it a sanding.

Tahdah! annnd I am just not in love with it.  It just feels too crafty homemade to me.  Thrift Chcik says I am too hard on myself.  I am sure it will be repurposed soon, but for now it is a part of the decor.

Mama Thrift