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Thrifty Giving: Black & White

13 Oct

What is Thrifty Giving? I’m recording all of the secondhand and thrifted presents I give to friends and family in an attempt to inspire others and myself to look to thrift stores and other ways to reuse and repurpose gifts in a way that is both thoughtful and generous. I’m doing this for reasons both financial and ecological and hope to shift the focus of giving away from blind consumerism. These are my attempts.

My friend Melynda is passionate and unique, and loves music, fashion, the color black, and birds. I managed to find her a gift that incorporated three of the four in one thrifting trip.

First, let’s talk about that fabulous vintage Japanese-crane mug. I love the elegant, repeating motif and think the single bird on the inside of the mug is a special touch. It’s elegant but still holds a decent amount of liquid. Mugs are among my favorite gifts to give away. Everyone I know (including myself) seems to have plenty of mugs but will gladly make room for one more provided it is exceptionally wonderful.

I felt like I struck gold when I found the large silk black-and-white eagle (or crow?) scarf. The simplicity of the color scheme makes it easy to match with lots of pieces, and the large graphic print creates interest or a bold statement, depending on how it’s styled.

Lastly I found this fantastic silk vintage fold clutch purse with amber-brown Bakelite handles. The details on this purse are great from the intricate black, white and gray pattern to the textured black interior lining. I have a purse in the exact same style as this one and it is so fun to use.

Instead of using wrapping paper I carefully wrapped the mug in the scarf and tucked them both in the purse. Melynda seemed to really love them.

Thrifty Giving: Mother’s Day Surprise

2 Jun

The frame on the left hung in my house for as long as I have memory. It was put together soon after I was born and proudly displays photos of an infant me and my two older girl cousins as toddlers. My younger sister and my cousin Allen were only thoughts at this point–hopes for the future. The orange butterfly frame was as much a fixture in my home as a cat inevitably sleeping on a bed.

I wanted to do something extra special for my Mom this Mother’s Day. I didn’t have the stamina took cook a whole meal, and we were absolutely too broke to afford flowers or a nice gift. I thought and thought because I knew there had to be some way to honor her. I just had to get creative.

As luck would have it, I found another vintage butterfly frame, identical to the one I grew up with, on the dusty shelves of a thrift store. It was covered in a thick layer of dust and still had the original paper it came with. After that thrifting trip, I sneakily swiped our butterfly frame from my parents’ house for inspiration when they weren’t looking.

I filled my frame with photos of her two favorite (only) grandkids plus the photo of Sam and Victoria, the children of one of my cousins from the first photo frame. Fortunately, I take way more photos of everything than is necessary, especially of the children, so I had plenty to choose from. I printed the photos at home so this project was extra-extra-inexpensive. The frame was something like twenty-nine cents. God bless those Catholics and their wonderful thrift store.

Even though we got together for lunch on Mother’s Day, I couldn’t wait and had to give it to her at the Mother’s Day tea the day before. I brought the one I took from her house, too, for comparison. She loved showing them off to all her friends. I consider this edition of thrifty giving a success!


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