Thrifted Wicker Lunch Box

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This little gem cost me $2.99 at my Goodwill. I have torn the inside lining out because it was stained and the elastic was dry-rotted (the elastic was intended to hold utensils and condiments), and plan to use it as a handbag.

 

 

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Recent Thrifted Finds – Winter 2012 Review

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A thick black leather belt with an awesome silver crescent moon belt buckle. $2 at my local animal shelter thrift store.

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Thick white leather belt with a big gold buckle. Again, $2.

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This little gem was found at my all time favorite vintage shop EVER, Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb in Carlisle, PA. If you live in the area, hit it up. I have found some awesome pieces here. This belt was $6. From the geometric shape of it, it looks to be from the eighties.

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White leather ankle boots. Slouchy and cute. I found this at my nearest Goodwill. They were $6.95, which admittedly is a little expensive for thrifting, but I find good shoes so rarely, I just had to.

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Wild West velvet waistcoat. I can’t say no to velvet vests or jackets. $3.95 at Goodwill.

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Long-sleeve button-up blouse with black cording detail. It is repeated on the cuffs as well. It’s a little Grandma-ish but I like that. I am still questing for the perfect white button-up blouse, and this one is pretty awesome, but I am looking for one that’s silkier and has pockets. The quest continues! $3 at the animal shelter thrift store.

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This bag is what thrifting dreams are made of. It’s a 50s/60s era snap-closure handbag. Just awesome. The outside is like those heavy velvety curtains your Grandma had. $4, local thrift store.

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part II: Greenwich Village’s Curated Goodwill Store

My record shop craving having been fulfilled, I now wanted to seek out some thrift stores and swanky vintage boutiques.

2. “Curated” Goodwill Thrift Store 

Address: W. 8th Street between MacDougal and Sixth Avenue

In my pre-trip research, I read this article about a curated Goodwill store in Greenwich Village. With all the talk of Ferragamo, vintage Dior, Ann Taylor, and other name-drops, I was so excited to check it out, I could hardly keep my pants on. Maybe I just have bad luck, but the only designer items I saw were in the window display, and those there being held for a silent auction. The window had some 90s Jimmy Choo clogs and Kate Spade heels, but nothing really relevant to current trends.

Don’t get me wrong, you can certain tell that someone was hand-picking all the items — there wasn’t any junk or damaged items like you might see in your average Goodwill, but all in all, it seemed like it had already been picked over. It is in a swanky neighborhood with a lot of vintage stores in the vicinity, after all… but, it was still fun to look. The store was clean and well organized, which is impressive, considering the amount of people who are in and out each day. Long story short, I left empty handed.

Final thoughts: Check it out if you’re in the area, but don’t make a special trip.

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part I: Bleecker Bob’s Record Store

From Saturday to Tuesday, I stayed with my mother in New York City, where she lives. (You can read her blog here.) Before heading up there, I had spent a few hours researching vintage boutiques, record stores, and thrift shops that I might want to visit while in the city. Let me tell you, there are so many of these stores in NYC, it feels overwhelming if you want to narrow it down to a doable number, and there wasn’t any good reliable list of vintage/thrift stores to fall back on. Anywho, one click led to another and I ended up finding a bunch of stores with addresses on Bleecker Street, so I decided to make it easy on everyone with me and just try and shop on and around that street. I didn’t get to every store I had on my list but I did get to see quite a bit. Here is what I did.

1. Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies Record Shop

Address:118 West 3rd St, New York, NY 10012 (Greenwich Village)

Hours: Sun-Thur 11-1am Fri-Sat 11-3am (Crazy weird hours, right?)

I did not get a shot of the exterior of the store, but this is a good one. The prices were reasonable and based on rarity and condition. The place was not picked over, as is the case with a lot of record shops. The majority of the records are organized alphabetically/by genre, so you didn’t have to dig for all eternity if you had something particular in mind. I spent more than I normally do on records, but I was on vacation, so I got crazy. I bought The Ramones: End of the Century ($24), Kraftwerk: The Man Machine ($13), and a Siouxsie and the Banshees single Cities in Dust ($10). These are bands that I have never found on vinyl in any of my travels, and they are three of my favorite bands, so it was worth the money. Sadly, the Ramones album skips (not sure if it is my record player or what, because I can’t see a scratch).

Final thoughts: Go there!

More Eyeball Jewelry: Eyeball Ear Cuff

 

I am eyeball obsessed these days. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I work for an optometrist? And for some crazy reason, eyeballs are all the rage right now. I found this rad ear cuff on eBay. Seriously, people, eBay is the new frontier for fashionistas. There is a lot of crap to dig through, but you can find some real fashion gems on eBay. I got mine from this seller for $1.49.

About a week ago, I got this lovely bracelet in the mail, also from ebay:

 

The next piece I need is an eyeball ring, which I am in the process of making, once I get the ring bases in the mail. Thanks eBay!

 

 

Small End of Summer Yard Sale Haul and Yard Sale Tips

 

 

 

Went to a few yard sales today with my grandma, who has recently started her own etsy shop. I haven’t had much luck at finding good stuff at yard sales this summer, but today my luck changed.

I found an awesome old bag that I assume was for a camera. It’s real leather, but the strap is very dried out and it’s cracking, so I will probably have to replace it. The best part — it was free! Then I found a wicker handbag at a Mennonite garage sale for $0.50. Not too shabby. At one garage sale, I found a neat bag of old Halloween decorations, which had these two blinking buttons that you see pictured above. Not pictured, I found three pairs of vintage earrings that need some TLC, 90s Tupperware brooches (I know, weird), and an old advertising yard stick for my workspace/craft room. (Oh, yeah, I made myself a work space that I will have to share with you guys. It’s furnished completely with second-hand awesome-ness, including a mid-century TV stand I found on the curb and carried home.)

Yard Sale Tips

1. Here’s a good tip I learned from my grandma — a lot of yard sales start on Thursdays, so it’s the best time to get the good stuff. Antiques dealers and vintage hunters get their early for the best stuff. They’re your competition!

2. Late Saturday afternoon is the best time to get cheap prices, because sellers are ready to throw in the towel. They are probably more willing to negotiate, and start throwing items to the curb, free to anyone who wants them. Being late has its advantages!

3. Check the free boxes! That is where I find the weirdest, coolest stuff. I found that cowhide bag in a free box. Once, I found an 1800s Bible that sold on eBay for $60. So, you just never know! Just be shameless and raid those boxes! Remember, they want that stuff gone.

4. An effective  haggling maneuver at yard sales is bundling. If a seller has items marked higher than what you’d feel comfortable paying, suggest a single price for multiple items. Take them to the seller and ask, “Would you take $5 for all of this?” and insert your offer as you see fit. The seller feels like they are getting more money and you get more for your buck.

5. Try to see the potential in an item, while still being realistic. For example, today I saw an awesome black wool coat that looked like it was from the 40s at a garage sale. It was marked $5. I thought about haggling, but I smelled it, and it smelled like mildew. Mildew is a difficult thing to get rid of, and in the end it was going to cost me too much, so I decided to pass.

6.To build on the last point,  use all of your senses to help you make the right choice. Be realistic about whether you will give an item the TLC it needs. I have a lot of stuff sitting around that I said I’d fix up, but haven’t. Don’t be like me!

Good luck with your yard sales while the weather permits!

 

 

I picked up this lovely collar necklace at a local antique mall called Route 30 for $5. The price seemed a little steep since it probably isn’t any older than the eighties or nineties but it was one of those times where I felt like I’d regret it if I didn’t get it.

And here are some snapshots of the jewelry I’verecently made for my etsy shop, The Betwixt Boutique:

For my rad readers, I have created a coupon code for you for The Betwixt Boutique. Enter coupon code THRIFTY at checkout.

 

Favorite Sandals of the Summer

I actually got these sandals back when it was still cold outside. I had an Amazon Gift Card I received for a work project, so I decided to splurge and spend it on these. At the time, I paid something like $39 for these. Excuse my awful feet. Ahem.

Blowfish /Seadream Flat Sandals 

Ebay Find: Metal Bird Claw Bangle

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I very recently scored this sweet bird talon bangle on, believe it or not, eBay! I first saw something like this on Nasty Gal, a site I like to ogle but can NOT afford, and was intrigued but wrote it off as out of my bank account league.  And then, the amazing youtuber Jen Im of CLOTHES ENCOUNTERS wore a metal claw bangle in one of her videos. I saw how awesome yet effortless it looked on her wrist. When she said she bought it on ebay, I paused the video and went directly to ebay. I actually found the very same bracelet, bought it, and also found the one you see above. I paid $1.04 (including shipping!) for it.

And here it is with the rest of today’s arm jewelry. The faceted stone ring is from Forever 21 (for $3.80) and the big weird red ring is from a dollar store in my local mall (for $0.99).

New shoes from TJMaxx

I need some new heeled shoes for work, so I picked these up at my local TJMaxx, a discount clothing store, for $34.99, a bit more than I usually pay for shoes. They normally would have retailed for a higher price in a normal store.

In some cases, you get what you pay for, and cheap shoes just don’t last.  At an event for one of my work-study jobs in college, one of my shoes broke, so I was stuck wearing my snow boots for the entire evening. The shoes were $15 from K-mart. Live and learn, right?

They remind me of these shoes I have been seeing on Japanese and Chinese fashion blogs:

 

Thanks for reading, thrifters!

Thrifting Haul – Spring Inspired

So I haven’t been doing as much thrifting and yard sale hopping as I’d like to (dumb full-time job work schedule — curse you!), but although they are few and far between, I have found some real gems.

Find #1:

I picked up this cute little needlepoint shoulder bag for $3.50. I reminds me of the old-fashioned needlepoint handbags (like this) but with a more rustic pattern. I don’t think it is vintage, in fact it seems quite new. But, hey, at $3.50, I’m down with that.

Find #2:

I also found this cute watermelon-esque polka-dot scarf for $1.  It needs pressed, but I think this will help me add some color to my work outfits. I tend to slide into either too much black or too much beige at work.

Find #3:

I am totally enamoured with this high contrast 90s Gitino cross-body. $2 from a church thrift store in the next town over.

Find #4:

This poor bag is a little worse for wear, but I still love it. It’s a 1960s pillbox handbag from an awesome vintage boutique in Harrisburg called the Atomic Warehouse. The owner gave me a good deal on it: $10! I have seen these only a handful of times, and usually priced at $30 to $60!

Find #5:

This skirt has side pockets and buttons up the front. I found this for $3.50. Not sure if this will become part of my skirt collection or if it will end up on etsy. I need to give it a test run. I have an outfit concept in mind, but I am not sure if I’ll be venturing too far on the granny side. I was inspired by this:

 

Don’t worry, there’s plenty more to share! Stay tuned, thrifters.