Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Frugal Fun: Tin Terrific!


Here's a pretty tin I found last Saturday on my trip to Film Biz Recycling in Brooklyn. It'll make the perfect container for a gift of Christmas cookies -- if I don't keep it for myself!

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Object of My Desire: Hot Stuff

Photograph by Stan Williams

It's the devil with a red suit on, and he's riding a sled!

This sporty red imp atop a wooden bucket caught my eye at the Allaire New Jersey flea market this fall. This brazen little guy will magically keep your cold goods icy and of course your hot stuff, hot!  Handmade in the 1950s, this useful, insulated canister once belonged to a man who loved to entertain to a house full of friends, his niece told me. Based on the theme of this treasure  I picked up for my own party throwing, I can only imagine that her uncle's gatherings were sizzling good times.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reuse & Repurpose: A Sweet Thanksgiving

Photograph by Stan Williams
The best thing about Thanksgiving is being able to use all my thrifted serving dishes. Yesterday, I shared the 75-cent turkey platter I found at a church rummage sale that is now holding a country ham. For my pumpkin caramel cheesecake, I picked another $1 platter, this one from a garage sale in New Jersey.

This pretty yellow Pyrex dish is making its Thanksgiving debut -- at least with my cooking in it -- holding an old-fashioned cornbread dressing. It, too, was found at a New Jersey garage sale for about $5, but I think it looks like a million (vintage) bucks!

Photograph by Stan Williams
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with all your family and friends.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter




Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Frugal Fun: Gobble Gobble

I'm trying to decide if I should use my 75-cent, rummage-sale turkey platter to serve my caramel praline cheesecake or my country ham.

Photograph by Stan Williams

What do you think?

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter

The Find: Winter Warmth


There's something irresistible about the simplicity of a beach cottage -- one practically under-decorated with finishes that have faded under the sun's constant caress and textures speckled and splotched by the salty air's kiss.

Photograph by Stan Williams
With winter weather fast approaching, I thought I'd share some heartwarming images that I photographed on the Fire Island community of Saltaire while doing research for The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.

Photograph by Stan Williams

Mary-Ellen Weinrib, a home and food stylist who has spent her summers on Saltaire for more than 20 year, took me on a tour of her home and I snapped away inspiration  -- a framed poppy canvas casually leaned on the mantle of a weathered fireplace, an intimate view through a painted screen door into a crisp-white guest room, or even just a sunny window seat lapping up the season's final rays. 
  
Photograph by Stan Williams
May your coming holidays be warm and sunny, even if it is cold and snowy outdoors!

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

The Elegant Thrifter

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reuse & Repurpose: You Spin Me Round

Photograph by Stan Williams


Mirror, mirror on the wall, what to do with all the 45s in the hall?

If you're artist Jeff Davis, you take those round vinyl discs and turn them into a mirror frame like this one on display at Mongo on Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. 

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrfiter

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reuse & Repurpose: Cups of Design

Photograph by Stan Williams
If you thought you saw fancifully embellished coffee cups floating in the prow of the Flatiron Building in New York City, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Until December 31, you can catch artist Gwyneth Leech drawing on used, paper coffee cups (no Styrofoam, please!) inside the glass enclosure dedicated to her work, Hypergraphia. Go visit Gwyneth, and have a cup or two, or three, or four....

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Frugal Fun: Paper Kisses


When I was asked by Swarovski to recreate the decorative elements of a 1962 prom for its Spring/Summer 2012 editor meetings, I immediately enlisted the endlessly talents of Michael Quinn to help me execute this vintage affair.

It took hours of planning, thrift shopping and crafting -- all the things I adore doing, especially with Michael, who always has a few surprises up his sleeve. At one of our impromptu crafting sessions just days before our looming installation, I worked on the floor of Michael's Brooklyn kitchen covering books with colorful paper to serve as vintage yearbooks as Michael nonchalantly folded paper and applied hot glue at his dining table, which is a repurposed green door. I wasn't really paying attention to what he was creating until I realized they were paper corsages and boutonnieres for our imagined party people.


Here are the dazzling results -- paper flowers on vintage dresses. Don't you love the pink paper lips that complement the handmade theme of our Swarovski Prom?

Pucker up! XOXO

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,




The Elegant Thrifter


Friday, November 4, 2011

Project Prom

Photograph by Stan Williams
Here's a peek into the Swarovski prom I curated for the brand's editor previews.

Happy Weekend!

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter

The Gift of Thrift: Kick Up Your Heels


To me, when it comes to giving a special person a heartfelt gift, it really doesn't matter how much money you spend, but how much care goes into the offering. As hokey as it may sound, it really is the thought that counts, so that's why whenever I go to a flea market or garage sale, I'm always on the lookout for items destined for those who are dear to me.

This card, appropriate for a friend who loves to dance, is a"Slim Jims by Hallmark" card that someone back in the late 1960s or early 1970s purchased for a whole 15 cents! I found this  cheery, colorful piece of stationery with dated lingo ("as gay as the Cha Cha") at an Independence, Missouri garage sale. It reminds me of a time not so long ago when most birthday wishes came in a post box rather than in an e-mail. While the number of letters and cards I receive has dwindled while my electronic in-box has burgeoned, I still get excited about checking my mailbox downstairs. And on the occasion that someone has actually mailed me a note, I'm always delighted!

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Frugal Fun: Flying High

Photograph by Stan Williams
If you happen to be a vendor at a flea market, one thing that will catch my eye is if you have taken the time to humorously display your wares. The moment I walked up to this table, its proprietress had plopped this tiny Christmas into this glass vessel, drawing my attention to the nearby Hazel Atlas flying pheasant piece of barware that reminded me of one my aunt and uncle had many years ago. I was also amused by the plastic fruit in the dish and the blue tassel, but it was the pitcher I was after.  For the bargain price of $1, it flew right into the shopping bag of goodies I had already acquired that day.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reuse & Repurpose: Time to Book!

Photograph by Jim Franco

Here's another favorite image from The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.  The host of this "Sweet vs. Savory" party Michael Quinn looked took unused library check-out pockets and refashioned them into an appropriate invitation to "an autumnal match, a culinary victory."


Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Find: Party Makers

Photograph by Jim Franco

Since the amazingly creative Michael Quinn and I have been working together over the past few weeks to re-create a 1962 prom in the Swarovski Crystal showroom, I felt it appropriate to share an image from The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details, that shows off Michael's talent. This scenario comes from the vintage tailgate party that Michael and his friends dreamed up and executed with exquisite handmade charm exclusively for The Find.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,


The Elegant Thrifter


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