Second Hand or Vintage?

Fortunately thrift store shopping has become trendy, meaning it might be fun to find vintage, collectibles, antiques, even wearable fashionable clothing.  I’m from a time period when shopping at thrift stores was not a happy symbol of status in society, rather a need based on income, so thrifty though it might be, it was worrisome to wear the badge of experience I have earned and learned over the years in being thrifty.  Now the terminology of thrift shopping, vintage, collectibles, antiques, diy,  make overs,  recycle, upcycle and repurpose take in the broadness of the definitions of thrifty.  And sometimes it isn’t thrifty at all, yet with the crash of the economy it has become fashionable to approach projects in a thrifty way.   So goodbye to the awkwardness, even embarrassment of using the word thrifty as having yesterday’s meanings attached to it.

The ol' Skinflint --- from thrifty to downright cheap.

The ol’ Skinflint — from thrifty to downright cheap.

Today, shopping at thrift stores could well mean a number of things.  It could mean a vintage consignment store, it could mean give aways that have more to do with the mercurial changing fashions, or changing tastes, impulse buys causing second thoughts post purchase, re-gifting, or just flat out items that don’t fit well, don’t work well in fashion, or decor.  It could mean looking for those hard to find items that are yesterday’s treasures and part of a movement back to retro is cool today.  With advances made over the years in social media,  Pinterest, Facebook, even smart phones with selfies and instant photos, my little corner of the world has been assimilated into a much broader spectrum.   And on that note, it helps me to think about expanding what I post to this blog on a different scale.  I so worried about copyright in those early days of blogging, and now well as long as the credit goes to where the idea came from ….. right?

How to make a vase out of Wine Corks

Hey, I know the Thrifty Skinflint Curmudgeon is not a diy blog, and in reblogging this project, it is Thrifty! I know I have a bag full of wine corks in our new place – somewhere – just don’t know where …. yet. Part of the problem in a move, is that I knew where stuff was where we lived before and haven’t found yet all the places of honor for my stuff since we moved. I can make this project, so can you … now where is that bag of wine corks? Notice also her recommendation that making these vases could be an idea for rustic type wedding decor, or rustic type bbq or back yard picnic gathering

Where My Soles Go

I love saving wine corks. I have hundreds of them. They make a cute decoration in a large hurricane glass or mason jar, and I always think of ways to use them for a fun DIY cork project (but never end up following through, which is how I ended up collecting so many).

This week I decided it was time to make something fun with the corks. So, I dusted off my hot glue gun and made an adorable wine cork vase. It is perfect with Spring right around the corner, and gives me an excuse to (a) buy flowers at the corner bodega, and (b) drink more wine to replace the corks I used from the Mason Jar on my coffee table.

Below are quick and easy instructions to make your own vase.

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Here is what you’ll need:

-8″ Square Vase. They can be hard to find in stores so I bought mine on Amazon

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Salt Water Spray for Hair

after washing hair, spray salt water, scrunch hair as it dries …..

When I came across a little tidbit that recommended spraying salt water on your hair after washing it, then allowing it to dry, scrunching the hair from time to time, I was like ‘yeah’ …. that is why my hair was behaving differently when we did live on the coast.  Salt in the air, salted water, salt spray – of course, that will work.

We aren’t living on the coast any more, no salted air exposure, so I immediately put some sea salt into a spray bottle, added water and now spray my hair after each wash to give it that extra bounce.  Sometimes I let it dry naturally, scrunching as time passes; sometimes I have a hurry up and blow dry my hair, scrunching as I go.  I am liking the results!

Hints from Heloise live on

and here comes Hints from Heloise with those wonderful tidbits that older generations found useful – in the days of frugal, thrifty which now often times neatly fits into category of sustainable living! There was that former mantra of reduce, reuse, and recycle, which still has reference in today’s time. Of course, taken to the extreme, not so much. So here is the hint:

Fay Mayfield from Kentucky says, “I use tea-bag covers as little note-papers and never run out. Also, the string tags are great for price tags at yard sales and such.” Why didn’t I think of that?

Reading Hints from Heloise in this morning’s paper reminded me that the passing of depression-era members of our population does not mean the end of our appetite for how to do things better, cheaper or more efficiently. While Martha Stewart has her own special arsenal of how-to tips, they’ll never be as folksy and down-to-earth as those carried on by Heloise’s daughter in her syndicated newspaper column.

If your old rubber boots are beyond repair, turn them into an art installation.If your old rubber boots are beyond repair, turn them into an art installation.

As Boomers and Gen X’ers, we have a lot to learn about saving the planet from the Greatest Generation who never wasted an atom if it could be re-used. Is there a Boomer who doesn’t remember her Dad patching her brown rubber boots with a cheese-grater thingie, a rubber patch and some glue. Sometimes we wrapped our shoes in waxed paper inside our boots to help keep our shoes…

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Ditch your dryer sheets!

AFeatured image Skinflint kind of idea, except now some of the thrifty ideas are considered as being good to our universe – sustainable living.

Sustainable Stories

Written by Bethany Kogut

One thing that you can’t live without doing is your laundry, but sadly it is not the most sustainable action. On average, an older washing machine, like those typically in on-campus residence halls, use 40-45 gallons of water per load. In order to do your part and run a sustainable load of laundry, it is important to make sure you don’t run a load until it is completely full. I know I am not very committed to the rules of colors and temperatures, and I’ve only dyed one white tank top pink. It may be beneficial to mix together some colors to fill up a complete load, with caution of course! One other way to make your laundry more sustainable is to make your own reusable dryer ball to keep your dryer, clothes, and planet away from toxic chemicals used as a softener. This can be…

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Nothing since the year 2008, why do I keep this blog anyway?

Long time no see.   Visiting this blog I started so many years ago, the technology has moved on with Etsy, Pinterest, so many others of this type along with the so many cottage industries and books in organizing, crafting, home decor, recycle, upcycle, reuse, repurpose and there really is no need for my little blog at all.   But then it’s an old friend, like looking at an old snapshot of a time gone by.   I’ll keep it for now, see what I can do to freshen it up.  Maybe I can repurpose my ol’ Skinflint … I started back in the very early 90’s and had some fun with the early technology that has since made enormous strides.  Just call me and my Skinflint .. ..   wait for it  .. .. ..  left behind.

Craftivism, what is it? Where did it come from? Who thought that one up?

Well, whewww, someone put it together – activism + craft = craftivism.  That works for me!

Because it is possible to go beyond banners, email petitions and chants as ways of fighting for a cause you believe in. You could have a knit-in, papier-mache puppets, teach a crafty class for kids- all ways of turning that energy into a more positive, more useful, force. Atrocities are happening in our front yards and on our televisions and we need to find ways to react against what is happening without either giving up or exploding.

This is less about mass action or more about realizing what you can do to makes things around you better.

Read more – link here   –, created by Betsy Greer, who advanced ‘craftivism’ as a Masters thesis.    Now she’s talking, no, excuse me, now she’s crafting — with a message!

Gives me that elusive concept that I have been struggling with for over a year now.  How can I go from 5 years of intense and passionate activism to end the Iraq war to dabbling in exploration of hobby crafts – how are those two things congruent at all?   Looks like maybe there is a common thread, after all.