Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thrift store chic

I realize that in writing about thrift store shopping, I have one major problem - I don't buy clothing at thrift stores. Here are my reasons:

1. I'm not a real clotheshorse.
2. My clothing style tends toward hippie-ish, which tends to not wear well. Good thrift store clothing finds are usually in the tailored/fashionable style.
3. I am, frankly, fat. When people my size find an item of clothing they like, they usually wear it until it's threadbare. It's the people who are slender and look good in most anything that give good quality clothing away or sell it to resale shops.

So I was glad to see an article on Thrift Store Couture from dfw.com. Check it out: Make a sparkly statement this spring

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's too pretty out there!

When the weather turns warm and sunny in the spring, I'm not as interested in shopping as I am in getting outside to enjoy the pretty flowers. Fortunately, there are lots of nice places around here to go. I volunteer at the Child Study Center on Tuesdays, so this week after I went there, I headed over to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy the spring blooms.

I didn't know Lily of the Valley even grew in Texas!

(They probably had it in a hothouse until it was time for it to bloom)

Get on the back paths and you never know who you might meet:

(Go away, you young whippersnapper)

Mexican Plum:

This guy didn't seem to be phased by me (but the toddler coming down the path behind me was another matter)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fun things for under 5 dollars?

Just to show that I'm not armchair quarterbacking on that previous post, I'm going to start posting fun stuff that I find that can be purchased locally for less than 5 bucks(as well as any ideas I come up with).

My first entry in this series involves shopping on Etsy, but all of the items are made and sold by Fort Worth artists.

Finds from Fort Worth artists for Five bucks or less

As of this writing, there are over 60 items for sale, but this is a dynamic list!

Some of my favorites:

Art Print of Original Prismacolor Illustration EBSQ
Mumbles Ponytail Holder
Little Lamb Soap- Shea Butter Soap
Yummy gift tags - Set of 6
Make a Wish Scrabble Tile Pendant

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Two posts in one day? Don't get used to it.

Let's file this under things you want to go to the thrift stores to get supplies for:

From Casa Sugar

50 things to do with 5 dollars?

I picked up the current issue of Woman's Day this week because I was interested in the article 50 Things to Do With $5. I was rather disappointed.

Quite a few of the "ideas" boil down to "go get something at a store that sells cheap stuff". There were two entries just for Walmart, and the list also included Crate & Barrel, Target, and Ikea. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods share an entry. I wonder if the mag is getting a kickback for these?

And speaking of kickbacks:
Pull an "awesome mom" move in the checkout line. ... What kid doesn’t love an unexpected sweet treat?

And have fun the next time you go to the store with your munchkin who is going to try to wrangle this treat again. (I don't have kids, but I passed this by Mom and this was her reaction)

Maybe I'm just not the type, but this one sounded depressing:
Enjoy a posh cocktail hour with friends the way [one woman] does: "Dress to the nines and trot down to the bar at a luxury hotel. One drink may be all you can afford, but you can eat all the nuts you want."
Really? Stand around pretending you're one of the beautiful people while you try to make your one drink last a couple of hours? Am I the only person who thinks this sounds pitiful?

Other ideas just seem uninspired: hide the five dollars, give it to your church, buy lottery tickets.

There were a lot of interesting URLs - prettybitter.com is amusing, but may be NSFW.

There were only a couple of ideas I liked -

  • Buy five dollars worth of lemons and use them for a centerpiece

  • Get a deck of cards and play penny ante poker

  • Get glow in the dark sticks and have an after dark game of tag

  • Get some cheap cards and write loving messages to your closest friends

This makes me think about what I expected from an article like this. Certainly not recommendations to go to Wally World, or buy specific items, or give your kid a "treat" that only took 5 seconds of your time. Give me ideas that may take a little extra time, but give me a lot more quality for my buck. If it is going to be a specific item, make it something that most people know can be bought, but never think of buying outside of certain parameters (For instance, does anyone but me buy themselves flowers, just to enjoy?)

What do you expect from an article like this?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Get your shopper on

As I mentioned in my inaugural post, thrift shopping is as much about finding items that are not what every chain store is selling right now.

In that spirit, I can heartily recommend this event!

It may be vintage, handmade, or whatever, but what you will not find here is the same old chain store merchandise. Bonus: your money is going to small time entrepreneurs and craftspeople trying to get by, not to people who already have millions of dollars.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Garnering Goodwill

Goodwill is a lot like the Walmart of thrift stores - they're everywhere, and when you spend too much time in one, you may get confused as to what neighborhood you were in when you drove there. It's pretty reliable as to what they have (and where they are going to put it).

I sometimes daydream about opening a coffee shop. If I did, I'd go to Goodwill and buy up all of the mugs they have to stock the shop (and I'd be getting as much as I could in the way of other furnishings from thrift stores as well).

Today we went to the Goodwill on Rufe Snow, in N. Fort Worth. (You'd think it would be in Watauga, but it must be on a gerrymander.) I had some real colorful finds today:

Soylent yellow?
From blog

Oh look, it's a pepto-bismol and cherry parfait!
From blog

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a tiki god, or an alien:
From blog

And then there's this. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be.
From blog

Friday, March 5, 2010

Need something cheap to do Sunday?

The Fort Worth Public library has a free movie the first Sunday of every month. This month, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, they are showing Darby O'Gill and the Little People . Show time is at 2 PM.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thoughts on thrift stores

As I've go to the various thrift stores around here, I've noticed that the stores fall into two basic types:

Chez Cheap
Chez Cheap stores are the higher end thrift/resell stores. These stores are in better areas and have nicer merchandise, but the prices are a bit higher and the selection is quite a bit smaller, because they have a much smaller store. Names tend to the cute/punny: Second Glance and Grace-ful Buys, for example. They tend to be much more vocal about the charitable organizations they support.

Rehash Houses
Rehash houses are the stores at the lower end of the scale. Because they are more aimed at providing cheap goods to people who need a break, their names tend to reflect that, such as Thrift Town; although Salvation Army and Goodwill are also re-hash houses. These stores tend to have a lot of the same stuff, as it is the re-selling of the mass-produced that they do. These stores are large (generally in old grocery stores) and they have acres of clothes, and often a rather predictable selection of other goods.

I'm currently coming up with a list of items that you will always find at rehash houses...