:: Thrift Shop * Thrift Swap ::

I’m feeling rather sparky today so I thought I would do a couple of fun things here on my blog.

Firstly, the lovely Miss StilettoHeights has inspired me to write up a list of things that provide inspiration to me lately. What a fun exercise, no?

What inspires you lately? For me, it includes…

  • Vintage shoes – I have found so many wonderful ones lately! I get the extra-fab ones to list in my store as I love to have a good vintage shoe selection there. So many fabulous and unique vintage shoes out there… great quality too.

  • Colored tights / leggings – Crazy, yes, but they go with so many things and really give an added flair! Besides, they fashionably cover my stark white legs.
  • Lame – A fabulous gold lame tank literally jumped off the rack at me the other day and I’ve been smitten since. Everyone needs to sparkle.
  • Belts, belts, BELTS! Need I say more?
  • My new store banner… so pretty and so wonderfully done! Thanks, PixelCafe!

  • Vintage artwork, especially crewel-work.
  • Homemade iced coffee.
  • Ruffles and Scarlett O’Hara.

  • Sex and the City re-runs… until I get finally get out to see the new movie!
  • Russian architecture

  • Anything at all to do with Paris… specifically living there someday.
  • Tomatoes… fresh with a bit of pepper. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…
  • Vintage bedding… LOTS of it!
  • A gorgeous white gauze babydoll top that I bought when I was sixteen. I found it again the other day and have been wearing it with skinnies and my flats. Scavenging in my own closet is very fun!
  • Yard sales… ’tis the season. It makes Saturday mornings SUCH fun! I look forward to them all week!

Speaking of yard sales…

How about a swap? As all of you know and can tell from my list above, I’m terribly inspired by things that I find at thrift stores and yard sales. I love things that others cast-off that I can make good use of. It is the ultimate recycling and such fun too!

I also know that many of my readers here are thrift store / yard sale mavens, also loving the hunt for what they can re-use and give another life to.

So, since it is the prime thrifting / yard sale season… how about a “Thrift Shop Thrift Swap“? Here is how I propose for it to work:

  1. Leave a comment on this post that you want to participate. Right after you leave your comment, please contact me at msred5@yahoo.com with your contact information, i.e. name, address, blog and email address. Sign-up will close on June 15.
  2. On June 16, I will pair those who have signed up with a partner and send each of you their information. In order to get to know new people better – as that, I believe, is part of the fun of a swap – this will be a one-on-one swap.
  3. After being in touch with your swap partner, compile a package of things you think they would like. Here is the catch… ALL items that you send MUST be from a thrift store / garage sale / yard sale / porch sale / estate sale / tag sale / etc… you get the idea. Of course, make sure they are nice items and not junk but I think we all know how to do this… how to find the treasures out there! Bonus points if your packaging comes from thrifting too. (Not that there will be a winner or anything but.. that would be cool, huh?) Spend between $10 – 15 on your package, not including shipping.
  4. Send your packages out by July 1. If you can’t make it by then, let me AND your partner know of the delay.

(International participants welcome. Please be willing to ship Internationally if you decide to participate. If you leave comment on this post, I will assume that you wish to participate. Please realize when signing up that sometimes there are bum swappers.  I can’t control this.)

Sound fun?

Join us!

Tell your friends!

Any questions?  Feel free to contact me!

::::::::::::::::::::::: Happy scavenging! ::::::::::::::::::::::

Psst… Want to join my Etsy store mailing list? Email me at msred5@yahoo.com to join. Repeat customers who are on my mailing list get 10% off every purchase (the subtotal).


Ten on Tuesday – Wanderlust

My future SIL has joined in this fun meme called Ten on Tuesday and since I like memes and numerical lists and thinking about places I’d like to go, I thought I’d do it too. It is an every-Tuesday thing so we will see if I do it every Tuesday or not. I guess it depends on what the questions are.

For today…

Ten places that I’d love to travel to… places that I’ve not gone yet:

  1. Australia
  2. Bohemia
  3. Côte d’Azur
  4. English countryside… anywhere really…
  5. Greece
  6. Hawaii
  7. Ireland
  8. Morocco
  9. Provence
  10. Tuscany

I really like to travel anywhere and there are lots of places I’ve been that I’d LOVE to re-visit. For example, I’d go to New York City or Paris anyday I could! No problem! But, the ten listed above are all places I’d really love to see.

Speaking of travel, check out these beautiful travel photos from Etsy:

pAris by labokoff

Manhattan Skyline by Butcher

bridges of Prague by jacqphoto

Morrocan Bicycle by EmmaJane

Poppies, No. 1 (Umbria, Italy) by BarbaraCarter


So, I know after all these beautiful photos and talk of wonderful destinations, you are getting
a hefty dose of wanderlust. Tell me… where do you want to go?

Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. ~Anatole France

{ Stay tuned for a book giveaway here at Zazazu later in the week… }

Aimer à première vue…





If you are anything like me, you have just experienced aimer à première vue (aka. love at first sight.

Most of you know that I love anything to do with France and that I also love beautiful photographs found on Etsy. Well, never have I found the two combined more beautifully than when I recently ran across Cherie Lester‘s work. The beautiful photos above are just a few examples of her work. Stunning, aren’t they?

Upon first glance, if you are like me, you won’t be able to tell if Cherie’s photos are new or old, photos or paintings. They are actually hand-tinted photos and the result, as you can see, is just amazing.

Here is what Cherie says about herself and her art:

I’ve been a photographer for about 15 years, living and working in my studio here in Washington, DC. I went to a small fine arts college in Atlanta, GA. which is where I studied photography and fell in love with the art of handtinting. I love the effects: the vintage postcard-like feeling, the light, the texture, the softness and overall dreamlike quality. I’ve been doing it ever since!

Travel, depicting places that I love, has been an important part of my work. A few years ago, I decided what I wanted most was to spend a month in Paris, France – photographing the city and getting to know it. It turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had. All of the Paris images you see in my Etsy Shop are from that trip, taken in the winter – one of my favorite times to shoot.

The majority of the photos are archival pigment prints of my originals. I’ve used a photographic emulsion to print the image onto watercolor paper, then tinted it entirely with photo oils and pencils. The other process involves b/w film, darkroom printing, and then again handtinting the entire image with photo oils and pencils. Images come unmatted, matted or framed – depending on preference.

Check out Cherie’s work through any of her links:


or by email at cherielester@prodigy.net

I don’t normally “feature” Etsy artists here on my blog but this particular artist combines so many of the things I love into one amazing product that I couldn’t help myself. So, check out her store and drop her a line. She is relatively new to Etsy so I’m sure she’d love to hear from any of you out there.

Share the Etsy love!

Au revoir!

Six Random Things

What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner. ~ Colette


I’ve been tagged by the lovely and talented Melissa of Just Me. The game is to name six random things about myself and then tag six others. Very out of character for me, I do plan to tag six others because many people that I know are needing ideas for the last couple of days of NaBloPoMo. So, this is my gift to you. And, just to keep up with Melissa, I’m posting some pictures along with my six items of interest as well. Here goes:

No. 1 … This is my favorite tree on the whole property. I think this tree is the perfect shape, height and overhangs on the yard just amazingly. Of course, being a fallish girl, I like it when it turns the beautiful hues of fall the best but I really do like it all the time.


No. 2 … For some odd reason, even though they are the epitome of messiness, I love my bookshelves. They represent the very odd, eclectic, cluttered-yet-spirited side of me. I like them just as they are.



::: The cool “KBM” initials were a swap gift. :::


No. 3 … These are my two favorite people right now – Mr. and Mrs. Rice Farmer.


No. 4 … I get UBER-COOL swap packages. It almost makes me wonder why I’m getting OUT of swapping. Check out these neato things…




::: And this is only a sampling of the cool things I’ve gotten!!! :::


::: NOEL garland was a swap gift too… can you spot it? :::

No. 5 … My favorite Christmas decoration of all is a large ceramic Santa that I got once at Big Lots for 7$. I almost didn’t buy it but I did and have loved it so much ever since.


No. 6 … As if you couldn’t tell from all these pictures, I love the Eiffel Tower and all things associated with it. I’m a bonafide Francophile! I aspire to someday have a Christmas tree decorated only with Eiffel Tower ornaments, although I’ve found that they are somewhat hard to come by. Le malheur à moi…


So, while not very interesting at all, there are a few things that you might not have previously known. Now, onto the tagging. I bestow the honor onto Colette, Kristen, Leah, Rebecca, Polly, and Kelly.

Have at it girls!