Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Tis the Season

The busiest shopping season of the year is upon us, but it doesn't have to include headaches, and overdraft fees! A friend of mine has offered up a challenge this year: instead of taking shopping centers and chain stores by storm, why not hit up your local thrift store for creative gifts? The holidays are a perfect time to express your inventive side, and a gift from the heart is always appreciated. 
Holiday festivity with friends.
Maybe you're a knitting savant, or perhaps you've got a technologically-inept digital immigrant in the family that would appreciate a new stationary. Hit up your local craft store for rubber stamps (or create your own), and some fancy paper. There are a plethora of great steals at the thrift store if you're willing to dig. I've found clothing from Urban Outfitters, Free People, etc., along with full sets of name-brand dishware, fondu kits, kitschy artwork, antiques, funny mugs, etc. Use your imagination, and sign up for the "anti-consumerism" challenge at Things I Found (at the thrift store). The holidays should be about cookies, and carols, not keeping up with the Joneses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Forest Frolics

Hello, friends! It's been quite some time since my last post- forgive me! This semester has presented me with a particularly heavy workload, and the time for finals draws near, but I thought I would take a moment to share with you the beautiful handiwork of a dear friend of mine, who hails from Portland! The products of Pine Martin, the brain child of Miss Gaudet, are crafted using a myriad of natural elements (wood, leaves, etc.), as well as handmade papers, and various other kitschy treasures. I recently purchased a  necklace from her 'kraphtwurk' line, and it makes for a gorgeous accent piece (I'll snap a photo of myself sporting my purchased baubles when I have more time)! This little Etsy shop is fresh from the cerebral womb, so I advise you check back frequently for new merchandise. I'm off to blend up an avocado, honey, and banana smoothie. Apparently, my odd cravings refuse to mesh with the seasons. Ah, well!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Autumn's Wares.

   It's late afternoon here in St. Paul, and what a gorgeous afternoon it is! Today I thought I would just share a few photographs of this morning's venture to the St. Paul Farmer's market. My grandmother came to visit for the weekend, and I thought to myself "Self, what better way to introduce dear grams to your old stomping grounds than to show her one of the Twin Cities' greatest attributes?" It turned out to be a bit chipper early on, but we managed to stay warm wrapped in sweaters, with hot coffee and cider in our mugs.

Gorgeous bird-houses carved from gourds.

Wolf Honey Farms: The greatest honey in the Twin Cities.

Kale bouquets. I couldn't resist them.

I am now fully stocked in regards to honey, and I also scooped a gorgeous flower arrangement accented with kale, along with a bushel of honeycrisp (or as I like to call them honey "crack"- because they're addictive) apples.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Early-Morning Buzz

Good morning, bloggers! It's been a while since I've updated this puppy, and now that I'm a few weeks into a new semester I imagine I'll probably do a pretty poor job in regards to upkeep. I haven't had much time to get thrifty this summer, but I did run across a few goodies, and I'll post a couple of them:
   As many of my close friends are already aware, I'm a huge fan of the button-down/cardigan combo, and am always on the lookout for the perfect, white, collared number. I finally ran across one at my local Savers, and I am smitten! I can pair it with just about anything, and it looks pretty sharp. The cardigan is also a thrift-store find from Arc's Value Village; the first, and probably the only, thing I'll ever like from The Gap.
   The gold bangles on my arm were a gift from the "Giving Tree" at Harvest Fest (perhaps I'll write about that experience at a later date). I also happened upon an adorable cream sweater from Urban Outfitters for under eight dollars, and with the Minnesota chill upon us, it's well-proved its worth. I tend to get pretty lucky when it comes to vintage, and higher-end discoveries, but I'd like to take at least some of the credit for my willingness to dig, and a sharp eye.
   It never fails that I find a knick-knack, or two, when rummaging, but I've tried to refrain from coming home with anything that I don't actually need (God forbid I end up on an episode of "Hoarders"). My mug cabinet is chock-full of treasures, and space is tight, but I had to make room for two new additions that I couldn't bear to pass over. I happened upon a set of two 1976 Fire King glass McDonald's mugs. I know very little about the process used in crafting them at the time, but a friend of mine at Things I Found explained it to me, and much to his dismay, passed over these relics, leaving me the opportunity to snatch them. I personally am not a McDonald's patron, but these mugs play catalyst to feelings of nostalgia; they remind me of early-morning McD's coffee runs with my grandmother- long before my interest in food knowledge, and my repulsion to inhumanely, and cheaply- produced meals. Aside from those adorable little numbers, I've been very good about purging myself of excess rubbish as opposed to piling it up. I'm planning a move to smaller quarters next month, so be sure to look for my "junk" at your nearby thrift store.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"Channel News", and cheap grub.

Afternoon, kittens! Well it is safe to say that the evening of the premier went swimmingly. I found an adorable floral print dress (no surprise there), shoes, and jewelry in the nick of time, and all for under forty dollars! The first two films (titled "Scissu", and "The Vern") were interesting to say the least, and reminded me a little too much of movies I had already seen ("Requiem for a Dream", and "The Big Lebowski", respectively). The third and fourth I enjoyed very much- "Channel News" especially, but of course I'm a little biased. I grabbed a copy courtesy of the director/producer at the after-party (the lovely lady who's cheek I am kissing plays a starring role, and happens to be my partner-in crime). I had the opportunity to speak with some of the actors, and drink on someone else's dollar (who doesn't love that). I did end up annihilating my toe later on in the evening, but luckily a patrol car happened by, and performed first-aid on my wounded digit.
   The following morning I took a trip up to the St. Paul Farmers Market, and returned with a plethora of goodies: bean sprouts, local wildflower honey, fresh rosemary olive oil loaf, kohlrahbi, rhubarb, etc. I plan to get down and dirty with the rhubarb, and whip up some jam sometime in the very near future. I look forward to the farmers market more than anything; the produce is so fresh (and inexpensive), and I know that everything is grown/harvested sustainably, and free of chemicals. I'm not militant when it comes to eating well, but I like to make sure that the majority of my diet is free of "extras". I can never manage to leave the market without snagging a bagel piled with fresh veggies from the participating stands. I have yet to find a late-morning meal more satisfying.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple Décor (and I mean REALLY simple).

I am a lover of all (well, most) things kitschy-cute. I take pride in my ability to create a cozy environment, and tie the old in with the new. I love antiques, and many things that some would consider very cottage-esque, and since I’m procrastinating the writing of a final paper, I decided to post a couple of things I found at recent garage sales that fit said description. I adore garage sale season because it’s that time of year when one can find an otherwise expensive item for less than twenty dollars (i.e.:nice furniture, etc) with a bit of haggling. I wish I could give a better example of how everything ties together, but my living quarters are a bit of a mess thanks to the nearing of finals, and the insanity that ensues; however, these are just a couple of simple finds that I wanted to share, and as I’ve said before, once I have more time, and decent photographer on hand, the posts will start to get more in-depth, and helpful!

Although I am highly allergic to most pollen (sneezing, itching, the works), I am willing to tough out the couple of days it takes to dry out a gorgeous bouquet. I adore dried flowers because they don’t require watering, and they last for quite a while (granted you keep them out of direct sunlight in order to hold their color, and prevent the already dry flowers from becoming brittle). You can pull up a list of the various types of flowers that are best for drying, but I generally just wing it, and hope for the best. This bunch is from the farmer’s market, and I really loved this bouquet when it was fresh because the colors were so deep, and the arrangement was really interesting with all of the reds. I hung this bouquet upside-down for about three days, and then I put it in an old milk bottle I had purchased at Arc's Value Village for about fifty cents, and then wrapped a bit of twine around it simply because I thought it was cute.

I found this really cute, decorative, bird cage at a garage sale near my mother’s neighborhood for about two dollars. I figure once I actually have the space, tools, and time, I’ll find more use for it as a fancy lamp, etc., but for now it is perched on my bookcase, and houses a sweet little owl ornament that I bought as a pack of six for a dollar at a post-holiday Target sale. I developed an affinity for owls, and all things avian, when I was very young. I kept a couple of budgies as a girl, but the owl collection started when I was in grade school thanks to an amazing lamp given to me by my grandfather; he apparently took it out of a bar when he was a young man, and a very mischievous one at that! I'll post a photo, or two, of this inspirational lamp whence I have time, but I should probably get back to the aforementioned essay, and prepare for a pizza date with friends. I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this beautiful spring day! Au revoir!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In the name of all things deliciously adorable!

As many of you know, I am very conscious about where I spend my money, and to whom it is going/what it's supporting; however, I am not militant about sticking solely to used goods when it is either nearly impossible, or if it's something that I find I can not live without. So, I find myself swooning over goodies such as this:

I ran across a collection of these fantastic, food-inspired, rings by SouZouCreations while perusing Etsy: Mecca of All Things Crafty and Delightful. I can not believe how completely adorable they are, and so well made (not to mention they're very reasonably priced)! I ordered a few of them on the spot, and I can't wait to get more! These are so unique- unlike any jewelry I've seen- and you can rest assured knowing that you are supporting a stand-alone seller! Stop by the shop, and take a look at all of the other pieces available!! You could make an entire meal of it!
Oh, and a quick update: I am nearly finished with my courses (the two-week countdown begins!), and although I'll be working full-time, and volunteering at the shelter over the summer, I'll definitely squeeze in some time to blog here, and there. I know I'm a bit rusty, but I'm very excited to share my new/old finds, as well as anything else I may dream up in the near and distant future. Ah, now to finish a paper, and hopefully I'll have time to enjoy this beautiful Spring day! Ciao!