Archives For October 2013

Feelin’ like Gold

October 31, 2013 — 1 Comment

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Gold spray painted mason jars for Halloween or Christmas // We So Thrifty

Happy Halloween you Halloweirdos!

I hope you’re all having a glorious day filled with more tiny chocolate bars that you’ll ever admit to a single living soul. While I am currently decked out in a pretty sweet Starfleet uniform today, I’ve been celebrating the season of scary for a good 6 days already. On Friday night, I had my third annual Halloween party, and it was a hootenanny. Before the party, though, I spent a little time doing something I never do – I got kinda crafty, and not in the 1996 Neve Campbell way.

A few weeks back, I read this post from the lovely Meg over at Ginger Snaps, and I feel in love with those shiny little skull heads. I immediately wanted to spray paint all the things gold. I decided to forgo acts of vandalism (although how cool would gold stop signs be!?) and round up the small collection of jars accumulating in my cupboard – Classico jars, jam jars, apple sauce jars and an Arizona Green Tea bottle. I then taped some stripey designs over each of the jars, and paid a visit to Currys, my local arts supply store. A couple of coats later (Ok, just one coat, I’m lazy), and my old jars were transformed. I spray painted a few spiders, bought some tea lights, fresh princess lilies and gourds to finish the scene. Fun fact: that windowed backdrop is from my mom-in-law! She restores old things and makes them pretty again.

ANYSCHWAYS, I set up different various of jars and gourds around my living room for the party, and they perfectly tempered all the other tacky orange and black crap I hung up!

And while I’d like to say my costume was intentionally designed to coordinate to my decor, it was just happenstance that I too was decked out in gold for the party. I went as Vanna White, complete with a functioning wheel (again with the crafts!) and Matt was Pat Sajak. This costume was a stroke of genius because I got to thrift a sparkly dress from Salvation Army for $10, and Matt got to wear a suit. So we both basically went as ourselves.

My guests, though, took things to a whole ‘nother LEVEL. They, too, thrifted the majority of their costumes, and made the “Best Costume” award a particularly tight race this year. Really though? We all got to place dress up and eat candy, so I’d hardly say anyone lost.

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Pledge Season

October 25, 2013 — 8 Comments

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage Plaid Blazer + Denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + fraternity pin // We So Thrifty

I did good at the thrift shop this weekend. Well, I suppose I should say I did well, but either way you say it, I left the store feeling quite satisfied. In one trip, I thrifted most of what I’m wearing today. I found this amazing, unworn vintage wool blazer for $3.50, and this Liz Clairborne denim tunic (okay okay – a dress for the normal-sized among us) for $5. If those prices seem crazy-good, it’s because I used my Salvation Army stamp card – 10 visits to the Salvation Army and your 11th visit is 50% off. I am both proud and horrified by how easy it was for me to amass 10 stamps. Most pleasingly, I think these two items are new closet favourites separately, but also work quite well together. I completed the look with some antique fair jewelery, and my trusty Ralph Lauren leather belt from the Bibles for Missions. The item that gives this outfit its story, though, is the smallest one – the pin on my left.

This pin isn’t from the thrift store. This pin is from my jewellery box. It was, until recently, one of those items I never thought about. However, it caught my eye in a burst of organizational behaviour a few weeks ago, when I pulled it out of the dark corners of my jewellery box to the messy chaos of my coffee table. I hazily recalled it coming from from my grandma’s jewellery box, shortly after she passed away in 2007, but it never came with any details. It sat on the coffee table for a few more days, and I’d occasionally pick it up and twirl it around during commercial breaks. I thought I’d wear it someday and feel like I belonged to the house of Ravenclaw (but that doesn’t make any sense, because we all know I’d be a Gryffindor).

Once I finally l took a closer look, though, I saw a rough-but-clear inscription on the back – “Lambert P. Konyndyk” – my grampa, who passed away nearly 13 years ago. Upon this discovery, I showed the pin to Matt, to see if he had any insights. He then made me feel rather embarrassed for not recognizing this pin for what it so obviously was – a fraternity pin! I didn’t know where my Grandpa went to university, much less his frat house. But I knew my dad grew up (mostly) in the Michigan area, so the University of Michigan was the obvious contender for its origins. I then deciphered the Greek symbols (thanks, Internet!), and discovered that my grandpa was at some point a member of Phi Alpha Kappa at the University of Michigan.

Rather excited by my discovery, I made a call to my Dad, and he filled in all the gaps: Grandpa went to the University of Michigan for his first (of two!) masters degrees. His initially completed his masters in education at Michigan, and later returned to schoolΒ (in his 50s!) at the University of Ohio for a second masters in economics of education. This, of course, prompted a few more stories from dad about that move to Ohio, alongside other memories about Grandpa and Grandma that I hadn’t heard before. This pin was a little piece in the big story about two people I still miss very much.

I love old things from the thrift store. I love old things from my family even more.

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Vintage plaid blazer + denim // We So Thrifty

Blazer: Salvation Army | $3.50
Denim Tunic: Salvation Army | $5
Necklace: Christie’s Antique Fair | $5
Purse: Talize | $9
Belt: Bibles for Missions | $0.99

Ahoy!

October 4, 2013 — 7 Comments

Nautical dress // We So Thrifty

Nautical dress // We So Thrifty

Nautical dress // We So Thrifty

It’s October!

Remember all that resistance I outlined in previous posts about gettin’ in the Fall spirit? All gone. Bring me all the pumpkin spice you have. All of it. And while you’re at it, please make me this.

Seeing as we’re less than 30 days away from my favourite fright night, Halloween, I thought it’d be cool to showcase different easy, thrifted Halloween costumes. But since I never plan anything that far in advance, this is probably the only one you’ll get. This 100% thrifted ensemble was pulled together for my friend Sandra’s 30th birthday. She lives at an old apartment in Hamilton that actually says “The Anchor” on the front door (maybe it used to be a pub for sailors weary from their travels on Lake Ontario?). Given this appropriate location, and Sandra’s love for the high seas, she hosted a nautical theme party.

Initially, I thought I could easily pull something together from what I already have. I’ve dressed like a sailor by accident and by design on many’an occassion. But my sister also needed some nautical wears, so I gave her my sailor shorts, and headed to the thrift store the day before the party. Risky, I know, but I’m a sailor. Not TWO MINUTES into my trip, I pulled out this vintage dress (with the red belt!) and tried it on. $8 later, I was ready to tighten up the cunningham, despite having no idea what that means. I finished the look with these $2 clip on earrings (because if you can’t wear tacky clip-ons to a theme party, then when can you?), and a scarf from Deja Vu on King Street in Hamilton that I’ve had for years.

The night was a success on all counts: a photobooth, dance party, snacks, and more stripes than a chain gang from O’ Brother Where Art Thou. And since we weren’t actually on a boat, nobody pulled a Rachel:

Nautical dress // We So Thrifty

Nautical dress // We So Thrifty

Dress: Salvation Army | $8
Scarf: Deja Vu | $2
Earrings: Salvation Army | $2
Purse: Clothing Swap | $0.50
Shoes: Talize | $10