Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Upholstery Store Castoffs Pillows

Years ago a local furniture store in town donated their old fabric swatches to school.  No one wanted them.  I took these home because I loved the colors.  I put them in my craft tote and forgot about them until this winter when I was doing some cleaning purging.
 I decided that they would make some awesome pillows.  Since the swatches were precut and all the same size, the project was ulttra simple. 

 I had enough for three pillows and a super large tote bag.  All for free.  Now that is thrifty!

Mama Thrift

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Style Sunday - Channeling Kate (Hepburn That Is)

I used to wear this to class in college all the time.  I didn't think it was anything special, but a friend of my called it my Katherine Hepburn outfit.  Since I do not mind being compared to any Hepburn, I went with it.
Pants are harder to find when thrifting.  Although there are racks and racks of them, they tend to be 80's high waisted jeans.  Also pants tend to bit more worn looking.  However, if you are patient, you can find some great deals and unique styles.  Ditto for shoes.  Shoes and pants in this pix set me back $6.00.

Finding great vintage jewelry at a price you can afford is more of challenge.  You have to search, search, search your favorite thrift stores display always checking it each time you visit.  You need to put the word out that you love the stuff and you need check with your family.  I get a lot of my jewelry at estate sales on the second day (half off!)  However the above pieces were free!  The watch and bracelet came from a friend's grandmother (no one in their family wanted it...can you believe that??) and the owl necklace came from my grandmother.

Thrifting doesn't always take place at a store!

Thrift Chick

Friday, February 24, 2012

Project Surprise

We all have those projects where the vision in our head is breathtaking  and the reality in front of us in no way matches the that vision.  Once in a blue moon the opposite occurs.  The DIY gods smile upon you and what had no potential evolves into something that is quite creative.  Such was the case with Thrift Chick and my "tacky birthday gift."

A colleague of ours was turning 60.  The special ed department was charged with giving her 60 items or a really tacky gift.  I inherited the materials and room of a hoarder this year.  We have about 1000 paperclips (I kid you not.)  My assistant and I decided we should make her something out of 60 paperclips.  I scooped up about a hundred to take home.  Flash forward to the night before the big day.  At 9:00 pm, Thrift Chick reminds me we need to get the present ready.  I was too lazy   engrossed in Modern Family  busy to go out to my car to get the paperclips so we broke Thrift Chicks supply of colored clips.

A little hot glue, buttons from the button tin and a small vase and we were done.  We both looked at each other and laughed.  It wasn't tacky.  It wasn't ugly.  It was ...cute.  It even had 60 paperclips.

 Don't you just love surprsies!

Mama Thrift

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Make Your Own Vintage Bottles

Years ago, I found these hymn racks in an antique store.  I brought them home and put them up in my bathroom.
They have sat empty because I haven't been able to find anything to put in them.  I wanted something that made sense in a bathroom.  I tried old advertising, but they flopped over.  I was in an antique store when I saw some old bottles with some of their original apothecary  labels still on.  I loved the nostalgia look of them.  I thought they would be perfect for the bathroom hymn racks.  Then I looked at the prices.  They were a little too steep.  I thought I could duplicate them with thrift store finds.
 Each of these cost less than a $1.00.  They have great shapes and are flat enough to fit , but they are boring.
 I went to Graphics Fairy and found some great vintage labels and printed them on white, pink and tan paper.
 I cut out the labels and glued them on with rubber cement.  Now they looked too new, so I roughed them up with steel wool and stained them up a little with coffee.  Now they look like found vintage objects.

The aqua bottle is one I tinted using the technique found here.  Start to finish my vintage bottle project took about 15 minutes.  Now that is an easy DYI project.

Mama Thrift

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Style Sunday - Mother Does Not Know Best

When you are on the hunt in a thrift store, you sometimes find things that make your heart go pitty pat.  Sometimes your shopping companions do not share your excitement.  When I showed Mama Thrift this dress, she laughed and said it looked like a house dress from the seventies.  She didn't like the material or the style.  I told her I had a vision. (of course, I always have a vision)
 The motorcycle boots were a from a thrift store I visited two years ago.  I paid $5 for them.  They are great and authentic, but are such a pain to get on and off.  No zippers. or hidden elastic. I have to tug and tug.  Of course this year, this style has become the trend.  There were tons of similar boots out there....they all had zippers.  I was tempted to let go of these and get some a bit .less.... authentic
Once I do get the boots on, I love the outfit.  It's a bit biker, a bit preppy, a bit odd and overall very comfortable.  I guess I will hang on to the boots.  Now excuse me, I have to go show Mama Thrift how wrong she was about the dress.

Thrift Chick

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's at The Snug

I grew up in a large city so when we moved to our small rural town, I had a bit of a culture shock.  Suddenly my shopping and eating options were drastically reduced.  However, there are a lot of advantages to small town life.  A lot of interesting experiences can be had in a small town.  Our Valentine's date is the perfect example.. 

This is The Snug Cafe
    It is a small diner in our town that has been around since 1927.  You know the kind of place with paper placements and furnishings that haven't changed over the decades.  It is a landmark in our town.
    The Snug seats about 50 with booths on one side and a counter on the other.  It is open for breakfast and lunch.  This is the kind of diner where the majority of customers are regulars and call each other by name.  The staff are like family and the food is like your grandma used to make.
    Last year The Snug changed hands and the new owners decided to start a new tradition.  They opened the restaurant for Valentine's dinner.  Reservations were required and seating was limited.  When we arrived, this is what greeted us.
    That is one of the owners.  The booths were draped in linens.  Everyday glasses were joined by fine stemware.  Lighted candles gave a romantic glow.
  We were then served a five course meal.  We started out with bruschetta.  That was followed by roasted eggplant soup.  Our salad course was accompanied by a loaf of nutty homemade bread (my Valentine was sweet enough to give me the bigger half because he knows I could love on bread alone.)  Our entree was a baked potato, asparagus, filet migon and lobster tail.  For dessert we had a choice of cheesecake or creme brulee.  Everything was homemade right there in this tiny diner.  It was so yummy. 
   The owner kicked off the night by introducing everyone right down to the dish washer.  The chef and the owner mingled with us constantly checking to see how we were enjoying our food,  To top off the night, each lady was presented with a rose.  It was so fun and unexpected.
   You know there are wonderful four star restaurants in the "big city" that have classically trained chefs with menus written in a language I couldn't pronounce let alone read.  I am sure their food is sublime and romance abounds.  But give me The Snug any day.  Laughing with my sweetie over a great meal surrounded by friends wins out every time.

Hope you has an equally fun Valentine's Day!

Mama Thrift

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Style Sunday - Bookworm

   One of Mama Thrift's favorite clothing found at thrift stores are "dad" sweaters from the 50's and 60's.  She loves the retro cut and feel of them.    She says they remind her of her grandfather.  She found this gray sweater in a Salvation a nearby town.  It is made of wool and the black stripes are some kind of soft velvet or velor.
     The sweater was $3.50 and the corduroy skirt was $2.50. The black boots are also a rare thrifted find.  Footwear size 10 are pretty hard to find at thrift stores.  If you wear size 6 or 7, there are bargains galore out there.  
      The glasses were a .25 cent find in the budget room in our local antique store (You heard that correctly...our antique mall has a budget room.  It is like a garage sale of antiques.  So fun)  Don't you love patterned tight?.  Sometimes I wish I was a little girl again.  There are tons and tons of fun patterns in girls tights.  Anyway this is one comfortable outfit.

Thrift Chick


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Pals and the Saga of a Turtle

   So another recent thrifting revelation we have had is that if you dig through those bins of stuffed toys, you can find Book Pals for very very cheap.  If you are not a teacher or a children's book lover, you may not know about Book Pals.  They are stuffed versions of the characters in a book.  It is like having a book come to life.  After pricing them online, (anywhere from $15- $50) we decided to try and recreate them.  See our Fancy Nancy here and our Pete the Cat here.  While out recently, we were looking for stuffed characters we could adapt and re-purpose for pals when we came across these friends.

That's the dinosaur from How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? (among other sequels.)  Next is Thing 1 from Cat in the Hat.  He is sitting next to Sam I Am from Green Eggs and Ham.  On his left is Franklin the Turtle.  Finally there is a dinosaur that we do not know the name.  He looked familiar and he is a Kohl's for Kids creature which is usually a book pal. Any ideas of the book?  We didn't pay over $1.50 for any of them.  WooHoo!

   So we first found this guy at a Goodwill.  We thought he looked just like Franklin without a hat.  We thought we could create a hat for him.  We were sure we had found our Franklin.
  Then we stopped at another Goodwill and found this guy.
   What were we thinking???  We hang our heads in shame.  How can we call ourselves book lovers when we make this kind of mistake???  They look NOTHING alike.  
   So now we have this unnamed turtle.  Maybe we can find a rabbit and then we will have the characters from The Tortoise and the Hare.  Despite our confusion, we still think we scored big in our search for book characters.  What do you think?

Mama Thrift and Thrift Chick

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Simple Valentine Display

   I have to admit, I am not a fan of those  holiday garlands or bunting.  It is just to crafty crafty for me.  Plus you have to cut out and glue all those little pieces.  Too tedious.  Thrift Chick, however, likes them.  She has been after me to do one.  She suggested a Valentine display.  I knew if I was going to do a display, it was going to have to be simple without a lot of cutting and gluing.  Enter playing cards, shipping labels,  and gumdrops.
    The garland is hearts from a deck of cards.  I printed the letters on shipping labels and cut them out.  Notice I used the word love instead of Happy Valentine's....a lot less cutting!
    Red and white gumdrops....I couldn't find valentine ones so I picked just the red and whites one out of a large bag of spice drops.  The lengths we go to for holiday decor.
   Kitschy vintage fake.  I printed off vintage valentine graphics on cardstock and cut them out.  They look pretty good don't they?  My mother has a framed collection of valentines from the early 1900's.  My grandmother taught school before she was married and they are from her students.  Thrift Chick and I salivate over them every time we visit.
    My favorite silver trumpet vase.  I found it at an antique store marked $14.  The store owner thought that was too high and gave it to me for $4.  She thought it was too tarnished and worn to charge full price.  One person's trash, anther's treasure.

  A little vintage, a little kitsch in just a little bit of kind of DYI decor.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Mama Thrift

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Ivy and Elephants

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pillows and PomPoms

   Thrift Chick found these vintage handkerchiefs with a map design last fall.  It was a two for one find.  She has a love of old maps and a passion for handkerchiefs. She snapped them up. (Actually she almost start hyperventilating when she saw them.)  They were so unique she was afraid to check out the price.  Amazingly they were each priced only for $1.
    Because they are so kitschy, we decided to make pillows out of them.  We went with a pom pom trim to give them that retro campy feel.  Boy, are trims expensive.  The most expensive part of this project was the red pompom trim.

    Aren't they fun?  Don't you wonder who carried around map handkerchiefs.  Most vintage handkerchiefs are very flowery and feminine.  I just imagine a pile of gorgeous floral hankies with these two buried at the bottom.  Someone saw their potential and snatched them up.  Thank goodness they preserved them for Thrift Chick.

Mama Thrift

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