Wednesday, September 21, 2005

all year round

one thing i love about shopping second hand is that the stores i haunt don't discriminate against seasons. what most complain about (having to look through everything) is my big advantage. since i'm not a follower of fashion rules, i like to utilize my entire wardrobe all year round. and thrift stores usually organize by items: skirts, pants, sweaters, coats, etc. so when i find something i love? i take it home with me and find a way to wear it, not store it for later.

my favorite season is upon us. and with the weather cooling, that means one thing for my ensemble wear~layering. this doesn't take as much bravery as it sounds, just look inside your closet and mix things up a little bit. instead of putting away your summer clothes, keep them around and see what you can do with them. one way to get the full use of my clothing finds is to organize my closet by color, not style or type. we live in an old house with the tiniest closets i have ever seen! even the doors are extremely narrow and not standard size. i look forward to the day when we can have walk-in closets...but until then, i abide by an organized tip of a regular thrifter...once i acquire something, i get rid of an old item to replace it.

here are just some ways to mix up your clothes:
  • use your favorite tank and wear over a long sleeve top.
  • everything matches as long as it clashes. try it.
  • yes to brown & black. navy & black. white accessories all the time.
  • capris with boots in the winter, flats in the summer.
  • use your floaty delicate spring skirts with tights & a jacket to anchor them for fall.
  • boleros, shrugs, wraps all make a short sleeve top different for cold weather.
  • wrap a leather belt around a top and pair with pants or a skirt.
  • don't underestimate your accessories. a vintage cotton or silk scarf can wrap your hair off your face in the summer and warm your neck in the winter.
  • keep out those cute shoes and see if some colored tights will change their look.
  • select items by color and see how elegant monochromatic dressing really is.
  • add some artistic jewelry to your most basic items, be bright and bold!
  • try corduroy with silk, velvet with flannel, wool with cotton. be about texture.
hope this helps you live more creatively and express yourself in fashion! dare to be different, special and unique. who knows? you might just encourage someone else to do the same. and let us know what you are doing to mix things up this season.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Garden design on a dime.

No matter what kind of neighborhood we were living in growing up, my mom always made space for flowers. When I moved out, I quickly realized that my home would never feel complete without them. Finding the space to do so had been my only obstacle. For years I'd been renting apartments and houses with no yards to speak of, so I had no choice but to be creative with the small space I had.

My first "real" garden was planted in a sideyard (basically a walkway between houses). Being very narrow but determined, I found that the best idea was to direct the eye upward to the sky for the illusion of space. Using antique iron scroll brackets, and three metal watering cans that were purchased at a local flea market we built an outdoor shelf with recycled wood to hang on the fence . Since our living room window faced this walkway, we aligned this shelf at eye level so it could be enjoyed from inside the house too. Then we planted the cans with trailing flowers. This little idea was a turning point that inspired many more ways to adorn that tiny outdoor space. From there pieces of old tin ceilings were converted into wall planter boxes and also used with scrap wood for bird houses, cheap lanterns from china town were hung above the walkway to light the path at night, stones collected from the dry river bed were used as edgers, and an old mirror hung at the end of the walkway to reflect everything making the space seem endless. There is something about recycling old objects, and using them in a new way that makes a space seem magical.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hi everyone....

I'm Cassi from Bella Dia and I'm really excited to be a part of this new venture with all these creative and talented ladies! I've been contemplating what to write as an introduction and thinking of how I came to be interested in all things vintage. My first thoughts are of my grandmothers, especially my paternal grandmother, Polly, a lifelong collector. She lived in a small town in East Texas and her house was a virtual museum where we slept in four poster beds and ate our meals on antique Limoge dishes. Polly's main love was bottles, thousands of bottles. They lined her sunporch windows where the afternoon sun lit up the many shades of lavender, aqua, and blue. As a child, the feeling of that room was pure magic and fantasy. The majority of the bottles she dug up herself from old dump sites. One of my sister and I's favorite things to do was to go out to her shed and take an old chuckwagon stove that she had (it looked like a miniature cast iron stove) out into the woods and cook on it, pretending we were pioneers making our way West. Looking back, I really love the fact that she *used* her treasures. Too often you have all these wonderful items packed in boxes or on a high shelf waiting for a special occasion or when the kids are older. One of the things I hope to do here is inspire you with some ideas on how to use your finds in your daily life and get more enjoyment from them. Thanks for including me Jenny!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

the 3 Rs

ok, ladies (and gentlemen, if any). let me give you some examples of how i interpret the 3 Rs in our tag sale tales motto. look at the photo. these are the things i'm going to describe.

ceramic bowl: i discovered menorquina ice cream in a restaurant last summer. there are lots of delicious flavors and prices are reasonable, but what i love the most about them is the fact that i get to keep the bowls . i use them all the time, they are great for serving nuts, dried fruit, candy. they also make nice candleholders.
water glass and plate: flea market.

paper balls: bought at a christmas decorations final sale. i thought they would make an original decoration, no matter what season.

an icon: brought from south africa. i spotted this beautiful image of an angel in a church storage on the floor. i asked if i could keep it, just like that, and it was mine right away.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

hello, hello!'s nice to meet you!
melissa from lucky olive here, and i'm terribly excited to join these lovely, inspiring ladies as a contributor to tag sale tales.

my specialty has been unearthing midcentury and danish modern furniture at unassuming yard sales, but i'm always up for a trip to the flea market or goodwill for anything gorgeous or peculiar.

let's see...a little background...
i once worked in the photography world in manhattan, but now i'm living a subversive rural/suburban lifestyle behind a sheep farm in upstate new york with a husband and a toddler. being so isolated from the city has a distinct advantage - bargains. the past summer has begun an all-out quest to fill our new house with a lifetime's worth of furnishings and accessories, and i'd love to share with you what i find and learn as i comb through the histories of strangers.

oh, and one more thing - you'd be surprised what a few good finds can do to change your life's path. last week i went back to school after 13 years...this time, for interior design. :)

thank you for reading, and i look forward to all the thrifty goodness you all have to share!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

don't hesitate

if you see it and love it, (and can afford it) get it.

you will always find a place for it if you truly love it.

try not to always be too practical when it comes to findings. it's nice to make a list of wishes and wants, carry that with you in your bag. it will come in handy later. just don't stick to it too closely. those things will be sought out and purchased eventually...but the one of a kind item that won't be there tomorrow might just be your regret if you pass it by.

tag sales let you afford to be decisive. save the reluctant shopper's mindset when you are in the upscale boutique.

and let us know what you find.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


And this is me, Kasia from Poland. I still can't believe I have been invited to take part in this fabulous project!

I'm into interior decoration and design. I'm addicted to the adrenaline kick I get in thrift stores and flea markets. I love finding treasures among piles of dusty, rusty garbage. Which doesn't mean I'm not selective. In fact, I rarely buy everything I like. I only buy what I l o v e. If I spend several hours at a flea market and come back home with just one coffee cup, I'm perfectly satisfied.

I'll be happy to share my finds, renovation projects and inspiration with you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

have you ever...

striped acid wash skirt

...had one of those days when you look down, or catch a flash of yourself in a mirror, and you realize: "almost everything i am wearing is thrifted!"?

i simply LIVE for those moments. because, after all, thriftiness and creativity and personal style are things to be celebrated!

...and, i also delight in responding to commenters and complimenters, who occasionally remark upon on this accessory or that piece of clothing on my person: "i only paid $x dollars for this at a thrift/garagesale/tagsale!" i love to watch them gasp and gape (sometimes with incredulousness, and sometimes in horror). it always evokes a smug feeling inside of me, because hey, they either missed out, or or they miss the point.

so what if it's been worn or used? why not keep using it, if it's still of value? i firmly believe that trash has often got a little more treasure to offer to another, though it may not seem so to many in our throw-away world.

"recycling, reinventing, rediscovering."