All posts filed under: THRIFT SHOPPING

Fall into fun every year with festive decor

I tend to go a little overboard with my holiday lawn decorations. I’m no Chevy Chase, but I do like to have fun with decor. Here are pictures of my fall lawn decor at my old house. This year, I’m in a new house, and I brought the scarecrows out in September and kept them in my yard throughout Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can generally find these for sale for less than $10 each at Walmart, Fred’s or similar dollar stores. I added a new scarecrow to my collection this year. He is  currently guarding my front porch. In the next few days, I’ll try to make a new post about my current fall decor and include photos of my new scarecrow since I recently created a centerpiece and decorated for fall after putting all of my Halloween monsters back in the storage shed to live until next October. Have you done any creative fall decorating? If so, I’d love to see it and even feature it on my blog. Feel free to post a …

Spring wreath

I like to make crafts because I feel more peaceful when I’m creating something. This is a spring wreath I made a while back for my front door. I created it by using an old wreath that I bought at a thrift store for $1 as a base. I hot-glued moss to the wreath to give it a more lively, earthy feel and color. Then I added a few craft store finds, like flowers and birds nest. I try to have a wreath for every holiday, and I usually put this one up during springtime. Save Save

Framing the moment

I stay on the lookout for gold frames that I’ve found at thrift stores for $1 or $2 each. When filled with family photos and grouped together, they make a great focal piece on a table in your home. Here are three that I picked up. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Another repainting project

This is another decor element that I found in a thrift store and thought that it might look better if the colors were tweaked. I painted over the outdated floral background and erased the picture of a window and flowers. I also bought wooden letters at a craft store, painted them black and glued them to the plaque to create a more simple, clean look. This was the end result. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

A bird brain idea

On a recent antique shopping excursion, I spotted this unique ceramic bird, that must have flown into the store straight from the 1960s or ’70s. I didn’t really like the orange color, but knew that I would be able to transform it into something that looked a little more modern. This was the finished result. It reminded me a lot of the owls below that I spotted at Anthropologie, except my bird only cost a few dollars. I’m sure the store’s were $50 plus. You can modernize any ceramic that you find in a thrift store. Some people find birds or owls and paint them all white or a solid color. Keep your eyes open, and you may spot something that you can give new life with a color change. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Mississippians can’t cut those apron ties: New video and more of the story

As one of only two women employed full-time for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Brookhaven deputy Krysten Butler carries a gun and badge, and with versatility, works an array of cases, from narcotics investigations to child abuse and sexual assault crimes. It’s a job that only someone tough could do – someone who must stay in control in any situation. “I can hold my own,” Butler said. “I’m not a girly-girl. I never have been.” But when this hardcore mother of five – who can also stand her ground with three teenagers, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old – gets home from work, she’s still fierce, (in both the fashion and bravery sense of the word), when standing in the kitchen wearing a vintage-style, multi-colored, ruffled apron. “My mom brought me the apron because she said that I made a horrible mess of my clothes when I cooked,” Butler said. “After I put it on, I fell in love with it – not with the actual apron itself, even though it’s pretty cute, but the way …

New video: How to get that Great Gatsby style

When I started researching style from the 1920s because of this weekend’s release of “The Great Gatsby,” I ran across a few fashion terms I’d never heard of before like “hobble skirt,” “Eton crop” and “deerstalker.” Check out the video above to see what a “hobble skirt” is if you’re not familiar with it. An Eton crop is apparently a slicked down hairstyle worn by ladies at the time that helped show off their cloche hats. And a deerstalker is a hat worn by hunters. Think Sherlock Holmes-style, even though the character originated before the 1920s. This week, we ran a story about Gatsby style that you can read here. In it, you’ll learn how you, in 2013, can create the 1920s flapper look. Here are a few suggestions from Stephanie Jo Abby, a third-year MFA costume design candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi who just won the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival National Award for Design Excellence in Costumes. Suggestions to get the “Gatsby” look: • A vintage store can be …

More of the story: Check out the video of some of my latest thrifty finds

Disclaimer: I did video production 20 years ago in college, and I am just reintroducing myself to it again with iMovie, so while I’m no Steven Spielberg, I hope you enjoy the videos. A song called “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore; Ryan Lewis (featuring Wanz) has been on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart the past 26 weeks, and for the past six, it’s been the No. 1 song in America. It’s a tune about archaeologically excavating Americana in second-hand stores — an activity that has become a hipster hobby, but it’s also for anyone who loves salvaging vintage finds and thinking practically in a throw-away world. Fondren resident Dawn Macke, marketing account manager for SourceLink in Madison, popped some tags last weekend at her favorite thrift store, The Orange Peel. As the song says, “One man’s trash is another man’s come-up.” Macke looks for unusual designs or cuts that blend with her eclectic style. This includes long dresses, unusual jewelry, hats and boots of all types. “Items that wind up in consignment as unsuitable for the original …

Pinterest Project # 4: Painting is For the Birds

I’ve been a big fan of the late Texas designer, Enid Collins’, quirky 1960s box purses for many years. I own a few of them, and I’ve even made a few of my own inspired by some of her designs. As I hobby, I like to search for antique furniture pieces and revive them. I recently found a boring wooden cabinet, and it reminded me, in some way, of this Enid Collins purse called “For the Birds.” So I decided to create the same design on my cabinet. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Pinteresting Projects – 1, 2, 3 and 4

I have a variety of furniture and decorating projects that I started at home and have not found time to finish them. So I decided this weekend I would devote some time to completing a few. Here they are: Table – One afternoon, I spotted this table in the back of The Salvation Army for $5 and knew it would be pretty painted. Here’s the finished result. It actually only took about 10 minutes to do using white paint.  I filled in the middle with a touch of turquoise craft paint, and now it sits in front of my bed. Not sure what I’ll put in it yet. Monogram – This was originally an antique mirror, but I broke it during my recent move. I had seen similar things done on Pinterest using letters, so I decided to create one of my own using my initials. At first, I wasn’t happy with the gold color of the letters, so I repainted them light brown. It still didn’t look right, so I changed them back to …

Things you can find for $1

I have been a thrift shopper all of my life. I love finding discarded treasures, saving things with a story and upcycling because it’s a good way to be economically conservative and green. I was tickled to find a few things this weekend for a cool dollar. That’s right 1 buck. My first score was this pair of black Moda boots. At this point, I have become a boot collector, so I was excited to find this pair in my size that look as well or better than some I recently thought of ordering at full price, which would have cost at least 99 more bucks than I paid. I also collect vintage aprons and spotted this one with a pretty little umbrella design. It needs a little love, but lucky for me, I sew, so stitching a tie sash at the waist won’t take long to repair. I keep wishing that someone would discover a trendy way to wear vintage aprons. I have about 10 of them so far, and some are so beautiful, …

My $3 Mad Men Dress

I recently became addicted to the AMC show “Mad Men,” partially because I love the retrospective of ’50s and ’60s fashion. A couple of weeks ago, I found this “Mad Men” dress. Luckily, I recently purchased a tulle slip that makes dresses stand out when worn underneath, and it was a perfect match for my dress. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Repurpose driven life

Fueled by the economy, environmental awareness, and a creative desire to be innovative, repurposing is gaining popularity. The décor style, which appears to be a modern day take on California designer Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic brand (trademarked in 1989) has been updated and propelled by the popularity of Log on, and you’ll see pin after pin that are leading Mississippians to flea markets and thrift stores to salvage remnants of the past that they can transform and incorporate into their décor. It’s about turning trash into treasure, finding new appreciation for obsolete items that some would send to the landfill. If your antique dresser is worn and weathered, don’t stress — distress. Paint it a bright color and embrace it’s wear and tear. Some think the trend represents a generational shift sparked by the desire to save fading 20th century items — a sharp contrast with the recent mod décor revival that began in the new millennium. Mary Katherine McKelroy is trying to capitalize on the repurposing trend. She is taking over The Green …

Vintage treasure hunting

I have always loved thrift shopping for vintage clothing, jewelry and furniture, and these days it’s smart for several reasons. It’s a “green” idea that encourages recycling, and it’s frugal. I like the idea of salvaging items from the past and finding greatness in something others have deemed unimportant. Spending only a few dollars for a unique pair of earrings or dress made of unusual vintage fabric is like finding a treasure. I recently visited three thrift stores in the Jackson metro area. I bought a shift dress with a pleated bottom and psychedelic design at The Orange Peel. It looks like mixed multicolored paint. Each piece has a story, and my dress was labeled “Brenner.” The Web told me that Eleanor P. Brenner was a fashion designer who began her career in 1968 and was very popular in the 1980s. According to a 1989 New York Times article, her clothes were designed for the working woman and sold in 400 stores around the country. The NYU graduate began by sewing clothes for herself and …

The iPhone?. . . Not so much

Apparently back in the 1970s, people weren’t really envisioning the iPhone. Instead, this was someone’s vision of the future, and you were cutting edge if you had one of these portable phone/bags that you could take with you and hook into any phone jack at your convenience. I’m not exactly sure how this was supposed to work, because didn’t most phone jacks generally have phones already plugged into them? So were you supposed to unplug an already existing phone so you could plug in your own phone/bag/purse? That just seems a little unnecessary. A company called La Pochette that sells vintage purses is offering these retro bags for $295 each, and they actually work . . . if you can still find a phone jack. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Trends: Vintage button rings

This is a neat idea, particularly if your grandmother was from a generation of women who made their own clothing. A company called Art Effects is crafting rings from vintage buttons, like the ones your grandmother had in her sewing box. The company mounts its own buttons on rings. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity, and they sell for $48. It’s a cool idea, but would probably be more sentimental to make your own button ring, if you still happen to have some of grandma’s. Got a comment? E-mail me at or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save