Thrifty Giving: Darth Vader

Thrifty Giving is a reoccurring column dedicated to thrift store and second-hand shopping for gift-giving, proving that fantastic gifts don’t have to come with a high price tag or even be brand new. 

Today’s post is a bit of a flashback to when I was much healthier physically but not so healthy that I wasn’t behind the times in getting posts written. We’re time traveling all the way back to November for our good buddy Kingston’s birthday. His first and true love will probably always be boats and pirate ships, but occasionally he branches out and adores things like Lego, Minecraft, and Star Wars. He has shared his love of Darth Vader (Isobel is convinced he’s called Dark Bader) with us, and remembering I saw a cool-looking Star Wars encyclopedia at a local thrift store, I popped by to see if it was still there to be picked up for King King’s birthday. Looking back this seems like a million years ago because since this trip in November I think I’ve been to a thrift store twice, which, if you know me, is nothing. I look forward to being well enough to thrift regularly again.

I didn’t find the cool Star Wars book sadly, but the trip was hardly a waste. I found this amazing Darth Vader two-part mask helmet that included a voice modulator that made a variety of sounds, such as DV’s signature air-whoosh for breathing, voice distorter and more. It needed nothing more than a touch of cleaning and some batteries. The Dark Lord must have a butler who follows him around with a shamwow to buff out all the inevitable fingerprints and dust his outfit attracts. It was in great shape.

Isobel wanted to try it on but was intimidated by the mask. She insisted on wearing on the “hair.”

The orange square is actually the price tag that I cleaned off before giving it to K. I should have taken it off for the pics but oh well. I think it was ten dollars, and I consider that money well spent.

I found him some Minecraft pixel sunglasses, too, because I wasn’t sure if I’d find anything at the thrifts. I picked those up online–Think Geek, probably.

Fortunately Kingston got over any mask misgivings pretty quickly.

You can see the mic for voice modulating in the pic above.

The buttons on the front activated the various Darth-sounds. Thanks to Anthony for being such a willing model!

Thrifty Giving: Metal Card Catalogs & Vintage Tablecloths

Thrifty Giving is a reoccurring column dedicated to thrift store and second-hand shopping for gift-giving, proving that fantastic gifts don’t have to come with a high price tag or from a strip mall. 

This year I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to give Angela for her birthday. I don’t normally go about thrifted presents this way, because the beauty of thrifting is you never know what you are going to find. Usually I wait until I find something that cries out from the metal shelves WOULDN’T THIS LOOK GREAT ON THEIR BOOKSHELF? Or THEY COULD USE ME TO HOLD BOOZE! Or even SCOTT NEEDS A BEAR RIDING A BICYCLE! But this time I knew what I needed to find before I started the hunt.

Once or sometimes twice a year Angela participates in craft fairs and sells her stationery. I often come along to be booth babe/booth bitch both for moral support (i.e. conversation) and to man the stall when she has to go to the bathroom. I also provided things like vintage tablecloths or jewelry boxes for display purposes from my embarrassingly large vintage hoard. After our last event, I washed the tablecloth as usual and noticed it had ripped and would have to be thrown out. My mission was clear: Angela needed tablecloths.

I didn’t have much luck finding anything while thrifting. So it goes, it’s the nature of the beast.

Thank goodness for my secret weapon, Etsy. After a bit of searching I found the perfect thing: a vintage card tablecloth for bridge with the suits of cards embroidered in the corners. The other is a gauzy white organdy trimmed with a thick cloth in a red-and-white checkered pattern. These fit in perfectly with her wildly popular Alice in Wonderland invitation and card series, as well as the grungy-surrealistic vision of her store. They could be used separately or layered for effect.

I came up short thrifting for linens but hit the jackpot in the vintage metal card catalog department. These were the unintentionally perfect finds I usually happen upon for birthday presents. These were the perfect size and shape for card displays and definitely fit in with her aesthetic.

Angela’s birthday is actually on Valentine’s Day, so Isobel included some specially decorated valentines just for her. I also bought her a Bitch necklace from Hello Holiday because she’s one of my favorite bitches. Bitches get stuff done, and few people get as much done as Angela. I have one, too, so now it’s sort of a warped BFF necklace.

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