Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

I’m in the Mood to Brag February 13, 2010

It’s been written about before, by myself and more eloquently by others, but thrifting is a modern day treasure hunt.  People either have the hunger or they don’t, more scores for the rest of us!   A few weeks ago I scored big.  I was in line to pay for a couple of vintage children’s books at the Good Will when a woman dropped off a couple of big blue boxes.

The boxes looked beat to hell but what was inside was unused.

I imagine she got them as a wedding present and they had been sitting in her basement for ages.  The biggest box contained 4 column candlesticks.

I paid $9.99 for them.  SHAZAM.

I have not added candles yet (or taken off the blue paper on 2 of them, tacky!) but slapped them up on the mantel as a trophy, like the head of a beast.

The other box contained a set of hand-blown champagne flutes.  Also unused and nestled safely in their original box.  I paid $4.99 for those.

The woman who dropped them off was still there as I snatched them up and appeared horrified at the price I paid.  She kept saying, “They are Tiffany!”  “Stop thrift blocking, Lady!”. I wanted to say but did not want to antagonize her.  I tried not to make eye contact and scurried out with my spoils as quickly as possible but I could sense that it may have been her last thrift donation.  Pleased as punch I got to be her send off!

Do I like crystal?  Not really.  I had some non-Tiffany sitting in my basement for years up until our move last summer.  It was over cut and not my style at all.  Would I have looked twice at the candlesticks had they not been Tiffany?  Maybe not.  I am not ashamed to say that I am caught up in the wonder of the blue box just a little bit.  Not enough to buy anything at retail but thrifted?  You bet.

Plus they really are elegant and just calling out for me to rustle up a dinner party…


Altered Thrift March 23, 2009

Filed under: Craft,Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 12:03 pm
Tags: , , , ,

My favorite thrift store folks, Charlie and Pat, gave me two ceramic wall hangings when they were closing up their shop for the winter months.  I mostly took them because my granny taught me it was polite to take what is offered to you.  I have since found this to be a cultural/regional thing.  Southerners generally think you rude if you don’t take what is offered and Northerners think you rude if you do.  Just my take on it, feel free to share if you have a different opinion (I’ll let you decide if I mean that in a Southern or Northern way!).



Anyhoo, the hangings were ugly not to my liking so I painted them.  My original plan was to paint them one color but I couldn’t decide between the green or the blue and my craft group said go for it with both colors.  I hope to do one more coat of a high gloss finish but for now I hung them up.  I might have to take them down later as my husband diplomatically said last night, “I like what you have done with those, I’m just not sure if I like them enough to hang them in the living room.”



I think I might need to move my hippo and green man if they stay but more than likely they are headed to the craft room.  No worries.  It really was about the process for me on this one.  It was fun to paint and see them transform from fugly to less fugly (says me).

I had to stop myself from painting more things blue.


Alphabet Sunday :: T March 22, 2009

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday — twlowenstein @ 6:55 pm
Tags: ,

Lauren said T was for “Tapped Out” but then she rallied and now says, T is for Toes:


Tracey says, T is for Thrift Store.  Could there have been any other choice?



The Thrift Whisperer June 12, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie,Uncategorized — twlowenstein @ 3:29 pm
Tags: , ,

The store called me today, the kind of call that doesn’t need a phone. The textile portion of the store was one score after another. I went looking for something to hang at the end of the hallway to try and stop the cool air from escaping and found a thick plain white cotton curtain with big ole grommets at the top. It may have been a shower curtain in another life but will be perfect in the living room doorway. I also went looking for a some sheets to sew together and make a light summer comforter cover. Our current cover is dark brown with black circles and I love it but I’m feeling like something a little lighter would be good for summer. I found this and it’s already sewn on three sides. I just have to put on some button holes or more than likely, sew on some velcro to make a closure. I really like the colors and the swirly flower pattern that’s not too sickeningly floral. And then I came across these vintage gold brocade curtains. Yes! I am not usually a big brocade gal but these will do nicely, if not in the bedroom then somewhere else for sure.  edit:  This IKEA comforter is so scratchy.  Going to have to keep looking…

As I was jamming the stroller with all this yardage, I spied this little beauty on the floor in the children’s section. I grabbed it and took it to the register to ask the price. The guy asked if it was worth $5 to me and I said it WAS marked up with crayons and so he said, “$2.99?”!!!!!!!!!!! SOLD. It also came with some wooden doll furniture and a sofa set that looks like it came from the doll house thrift store.

If you think this house is really cute and would be great in your kid’s playroom, you should probably stop reading as we have big remodeling plans for this house. She is going to be turned into a HAUNTED HALLOWEEN HOUSE! Think black paint, spider webs, blood red shutters and many more spooky surprises. We will have to do something terrifying with this television. Maybe a tiny print of this photo taken at the zoo yesterday. It was in some weird little closed off cabin. My big guy said, “That is creepy!” and I immediately thought of Lost. It’s my nod to Jacob’s Cabin:

I will share the photos once we’ve finished, closer to Halloween. I’ll also share the story of how I went from a “it’s a manufactured, commercialized, sugar-filled’ Halloween hater to a full on Halloween enthusiast.

Hold your breath.

edit: Tone check. I’m totally mocking myself. I reread the title and along with the end of my last post I was afraid I was sounding like I was getting too big for my own (thrifted) britches!


Money Well Spent June 5, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 1:35 pm
Tags: , ,

We’ve had a rainy couple of days here and as you may have discerned yesterday, in the battle of grey day vs my camera, grey and cloudy kicks my butt every time. And my homemade light box had lots of spunk but not much light. But I just can not wait to share these scores.

I got most of these gems from Charlie and Pat’s (their big sale is this Saturday if you are local). A few are from a recent church rummage sale. I toy with the idea of getting a tattoo from time to time, and really, deep down I know it’ll never happen. But the word Rummage tops my current never gonna get it tattoo list. I also keep a mental list of punk band names and you and I both know that will never pan out. Maybe someday (maybe this summer?) I’ll open my own junk shop and there will always be rockin’ tunes playing and classic Bollywood clips showing and craft circles craftin’ in the back room with tattooed types lingering amongst my riches. It’s a nice daydream. Let me see if I can get an etsy shop up first or manage my first eBay sale. Baby steps.

I picked up this vintage weaving loom, primarily for the graphics. I was also impressed it had a boy on the cover. Maybe he was able to weave a toy gun cozy or something. Whatever he made, I’m sure it was lots of fun!

I wrongly imagined our stairway to be light-filled and photogenic and yet still I will show you this darling mug. As you may have read from my previous post, Spelling Lesson, (I’ve always wanted to reference myself) I am not afraid of the traditionally defined “bad words” but I do, however, feel like washing my own mouth out with soap after merely typing the word, “darling”. Please excuse. But she is cute, right?

I got a whole series of these wonderful cookbooks. The illustrations deserve to be set free from the binding and framed but I have a hard time cutting into books. I’ve done it a few times but it feels illegal.

I also got a huge plastic orange tray and the smaller purple one you can see here with the cookbooks. They aren’t even part of a set, these two trays, but they are perfect together. I had visions of cupcakes and birthday parties when I saw them and for $4 it would have been wrong NOT to get them.

Here are some of the illustrations. Believe it or not, I am trying to edit my photographs and not plaster this post with them all but it’s kind of hard.

I bought this because I am not one to pass by anything touting an E-Z pour function.

This vintage beauty is the only thrift store score from today’s collection. I got her for 99 cents. I do not usually dig in the stuffed animal bins of my favorite thrift store. Mostly because it’s terrifying and sneezy but she drew me to her and now she sits atop a massive pile of crap in my craft room. Not totally unlike her previous residence.

I can’t find any marking on her. Any toy experts know anything about her? I reckon she’s German made but I have no idea.

And here is some cheer to brighten this rainy day. A portion of my collection of thrifted and family tins with a little bit of my childhood doll collection thrown in. These are also in my craft room that I hope to have finished to share with you sometime THIS SUMMER.

I hope you enjoy looking at this crap as much as I enjoying finding it!


Thrift Store Book Score April 25, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 5:02 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m not always good at taking time away from the kids and doing something just by myself. My sweet one pushed me out of the door the other morning and I spent 5 glorious hours farting around. It was lovely.

The first place I hit was the Goodwill, as any sane person would. It was pretty much a no go for kids clothes but the book bins were overflowing with vintage goodness. When I took my stash to the counter, the previously frowning tattooed chick who rung me up totally admired my taste in books and I quote, “These went out before I could take them myself!” I’m not too ashamed to admit it put a little lift in my step.

I’m still swooning over this ebay find, a vintage toy wash bucket that I’m storing my new finds in.

This is my new favorite old book. Check out the illustrations! I think the first and last book are in Swedish. Anyone know? Katie?

And I hope I don’t get in trouble with the Magicians for sharing the following with you!

I’m not that familiar with the Pippi stories but you’ve got to admire her spunk and style.

Can you see the red hair stuck in the pages of the Pippi book? Hair from a little redheaded fan, a Pippi doll or maybe from Pippi herself?!

(I took these photos in the closet dressed in a Darth Vader costume with my eyes closed. Well kinda.)


Thrift Therapy April 3, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Scores & Pat and Charlie — twlowenstein @ 11:39 am
Tags: ,

I was hoping for some good news yesterday and I didn’t get it. But as my good friend Vonda said, “I mean, damn, it’s not like you’re 5. You know the world doesn’t revolve around you and you don’t always get everything you want!” Everyone needs a friend like Vonda!

As far as bad news goes, it wasn’t so bad. I comported myself well and would not have changed a thing I had control over -so what’s a girl to do?

Thrift therapy!!!

I’m hesitant to share my secret spot. It really is my own little Cheers. But if the crowd on opening day is an indicator, the cat’s already out of the bag! So here goes – In the church garage down the street from me, there is an ongoing rummage sale. Charlie and Pat, nicest folks in town, run the biannual church rummage sale and open the garage 3 days a week in the spring for folks to pick from the donations. I’ve been going for years and they know me and my kiddos by name (and just about everybody else who walks in). My oldest son wanted to take the morning off from school to go but sent them a drawing in his stead.

Here are Charlie and Pat standing by the vintage washer, it’s not for sale so don’t even ask!



Here are the gems I passed on (I’ll do a post of my greatest hits another time):


Pink heaven!


Craft goodness at a fair price.


Jet setting John!


I dare you to hang this in your nursery.


This terrifies me.


As does this. O hai, Big Bird!


These did make it home with us (little guy’s choice) and they are much smaller than they look in this photo.

And just in case anyone thinks I’m handling my disappointment in a healthy fashion, here’s a shot of a different kind of therapy!