Friday, May 22, 2009

The Gift of Thrift: Picture Perfect!

You may have seen this story before, but I think it bears repeating, especially as we enter the festive season of summer celebrations. I am a firm believer in a hostess gift -- even if its an offering for a male host! Now we all have enough meaningful candles, and flowers are nice, but last just a couple of days. And then there's the delightful bottle of bubbly --love that too! But that precious nectar quickly disappears. For pennies on the dollar, you can give an easy, thoughtful gift that the receiver will love and keep forever!

Last summer while touring the Istrian Coast of Croatia, I ran into a duo of tourist information panels that my Parisian travel pal Catherine Jouault and I thought were so funny that we had to capture them in photographs. The signs were at the entry to the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec alerting tourists as to what was forbidden within the church grounds: bikinis, copious cones of gelato, cigarette smoking, pointers or cocker spaniels and mobile phones.

The graphics of the signs caught our attention – one in contemporary black and white and another in realistic pastel sketches. So when it came time for Catherine’s visit last fall, I wanted to offer her a memory of our wonderful time there, so I created this thrifty duo out of next to nothing.

I touched up the images a bit on my Mac, printed them out on photo paper and then placed them in black metal frames I found at Housing Works for 75 cents apiece. The themes of the images and the black frames tie them together as a unit, but the style of each one makes them a unique set of original art for Catherine to take back home to Paris.

For more ideas on how to reuse and repurpose others' castoffs, pick up my book pick up a copy of my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble,Amazon or Powell's

Anticipating an invitation to a fabulous party -- The Elegant Thrifter

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

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