Issue No. 8
Online Thrift Shopper Magazine
Mar. 2007
SELLING VINTAGE CLOTHES FOR A LIVING
Thrift Store Fashion Show
About Occupied Japan Products
Dying Easter Eggs With Thrifted Neckties

Charity Spotlight
Thrifter of the Month
Zodiac Thrifter
Thrift Kitten Tips
Thrifted Recipe
Calling All Thrifters

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARTICLES

SELLING VINTAGE CLOTHES FOR A LIVING
Interview with Laura Brehmer, a.k.a. Miss Kitty of The Cat's Pajamas
By: Cookie

THRIFT STORE FASHION SHOW
By: Cookie

ABOUT OCCUPIED JAPAN PRODUCTS
By: Annette Nolan of annetiquesinc

THRIFTER'S GUIDE TO PARTY GAMES
By: Brent Wolgemuth a.k.a. Krackelman

DYING EASTER EGGS WITH THRIFTED NECKTIES
By: Cookie

DOLL IDENTIFICATION 101
By: April Granade a.k.a. Thrift Store Queen

FEATURES

CHARITY SPOTLIGHT
MOHMS and SILAS

THRIFTER OF THE MONTH
"Thrifty Momma"
By: Virginia Watson

ZODIAC THRIFTER
March Horoscope

THRIFT KITTEN TIPS
Bring a Stain Remover Stick

THRIFTED RECIPE
Hot Dog Whirlaways

Calling All Thrifters!

Read Back Issues of The National Thrifter

 

SELLING VINTAGE FOR A LIVING
Interview with Laura Brehmer, a.k.a. Miss Kitty of The Cat's Pajamas



Laura Brehmer, or Miss Kitty as she's known on her website CatsPajamas.com, fell in love with vintage more than 25 years ago when she was offered a cleaning job that entailed getting rid of a huge collection of old clothing. Miss Kitty began selling her vintage clothing from a little shop called "Puttin' on the Ritz" in Blackfoot, Idaho, back in 1980, and she eventually acquired enough inventory to create an eBay store for her merchandise in 1996. The vintage clothing offered at The Cat's Pajamas spans the years from the Victorian era all the way to the 1980's, and now The Cat's Pajamas also has a "wear-house" located on the lower level of a huge Victorian home in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is just a few short hours from New York City. However, the majority of The Cat's Pajamas vast collection of clothing and accessories is sold on the website and by exhibiting at vintage shows. Members of the Hollywood elite like Actress Frances McDormand love to shop at The Cat's Pajamas, and Miss Kitty's vintage clothing has appeared in dozens of movies, including Walk the Line, Titanic, and Little Women, as well as Broadway productions like Hairspray. Her inventory includes men's, women's, and children's clothing, and Miss Kitty has clever names for her categories of merchandise like Friskies (lingerie), The Glitterbox (jewelry), and Ninth Life (bargain basement). If you'd like to open your own online vintage store, Miss Kitty has some valuable information to share with you, and keep in mind that patience and dedication are important virtues to have in any business venture.

THE NATIONAL THRIFTER: Are you able to support yourself solely with the money you make from The Cat's Pajamas?
MISS KITTY: Not until 1998!
TNT: How long did it take you to build up the business to the point where you could quit your day job? MK: Well, let's see, about 18 years! I also sold at flea markets and some shows, which also helped. I used to schlep my stuff to NYC 26th St, and Brimfield, too.
TNT: What is your approximate annual income from The Cat's Pajamas?
MK: I can't reveal that, but let's say it is six figures now. However, it took 18 years to get there with that. No one can expect to come close to that starting out.
TNT: About how many items do you have available for sale on an average day?
MK: Around 1300-1400 on my eBay store.



TNT: How often to you go to estate sales and thrift stores?
MK: I get estates every so often and hit thrift stores when I am near them, maybe three times a month.
TNT: Do you find the best items at estate sales or thrift stores?
MK: Definitely estate sales, but thrift stores yield a lot of great stuff, too!
TNT: How do you decide how much is too much to pay for a garment you want to purchase for resale?
MK: I figure out what's the least I'd have to take if it didn't sell the way I wanted it to, and I won't pay more than that. I guess I figure the worst case scenario if I have to dump it. If it is more than that, it's too much. Goodwill here has become a bit exorbitant. They all think they know what they have, but oftentimes they are way off the mark.
TNT: How do figure out the pricing for your merchandise? Is it based on what you paid for it?
MK: Sometimes. I can get what the market bears regardless of what I pay because I have a reputation. I'm at the top of the food chain now instead of the bottom! But it averages out in that some things I pay high just because I really want to have it to sell, even if I only make a little on it.



TNT: Is there a lot of competition at estate sales from other eBay resellers wanting the same merchandise as you? Have you ever gotten in a fight because of it?
MK: I am the only game in town here. No one else really buys clothes, so I get called to look, and there simply is no competition, which makes it GREAT for me. So there are no arguments or cats fights in my area anyway. I hear there's a lot of that in NYC! I occasionally buy on eBay too, but I don't like competing, so I rarely buy there.
TNT: Can you describe the best and worst parts of having a business like The Cats Pajamas?
MK: The worst is never EVER getting completely done with adding to the stock of the online store. Oh wait, that's also the best part! :)
TNT: What are some of the best finds you've purchased in thrift stores, either for resale or for your personal use? I'm just assuming you like to thrift shop.
MK: I Do shop thrift stores! I LOVE it. My sister lives in Kansas and has a vintage shop called Naturally Girly Vintage. We always go shopping at thrift stores when we visit each other. She is ALWAYS finding GREAT stuff, even in the smallest towns. I have found gorgeous Goldworm dresses, loads of designer labels. Goodness, there's too much to even mention. There is always SOMETHING every time I go. Thank goodness they don't know what's there as a rule.

TNT: How did you get interested in thrift shopping originally?
MK: Actually, I started doing it when I had small children and some friends did it, mostly for need of clothes for the kids. Yard sales and thrift stores became a sort of sport to see how much you could save by finding designer clothes for next to nothing. I never went as a kid. I think my mom would have died over that!
TNT: You must be a cat lover, Miss Kitty. How many cats do you have and what are their names?
MK: YES! I love cats. I have two, Thelma and Louise. I used to have a guy cat named Sparky. He's gone now, but his picture appears on http://www.catspajamas.com/press.php




The Real Miss Kitty, Laura Brehmer


THRIFT STORE FASHION SHOW
By: Cookie

Good Buddy has a good buddy that heard about a thrift store fashion show happening not too far from where we live here in Winter Park, Florida, so we drove out to Enterprise on Saturday, February 24th, to check it out. We arrived early at the All Saints church where the fashion show was taking place hoping to get a peek at the thrift store, but it was closed that day because all the thrift store volunteers were modeling in the show. Since it was still about 40 minutes before showtime, we got great seats right next to the runway.



Each table was decorated with tablecloths and flowering plants, and church volunteers were setting out platters of homemade cookies and finger sandwiches. Coffee and punch were served right before the fashion show started, and Good Buddy gallantly offered to get drinks for the ladies seated at our table, who were all from the same nearby campground. These ladies had been attending the fashion show together for the past four years, and they told me that the person who used to run the fashion show had recently passed away and that they didn't feel the new format was as interesting. Apparently, the former fashion show emcee would make up wonderful stories about the outfits being modeled and had a great way of describing the clothing. They said they believed that the fashion show hadn't been as crowded the past couple of years since things had changed. Although there were some empty seats during the fashion show, the church did fill up pretty quickly and all the good seats were taken by the time the show started. Out of the approximately 200 attendees, I counted only three men in the audience and only a handful of people younger than 50. Two elderly men also worked for the fashion show selling tickets and videotaping the event. Long before the show started, early arrivals staked out the best tables, played cards, and chatted with friends. I had expected to see at least a couple of vintage high fashion outfits in the audience, but most of the women were wearing modern dressy/casual clothing that looked comfortable. One woman with her own sense of style who looked to be about 80 years old showed up in a hot pink ensemble, complete with matching jacket and hat.


The emcee for the fashion show was Joanne, a very petite and spunky senior. At the start of the show, Joanne marched up to the podium in her sequined dress and

announced, "We will entertain you, we will feed you, and you will buy, buy, buy," which got a big laugh from the audience. I knew Joanne had her work cut out for her in trying to measure up to the previous emcee, and I hoped she'd win everyone over.


A live pianist supplied the background music as the models began parading down the runway in their thrift store duds. Joanne did a great job as emcee suggesting occasions for wearing the outfits and describing the clothing, and she even pointed out which pants and skirts had elastic waistbands. "We need those elastic waistbands for comfort," the ladies at our table explained. As the models finished walking the runway and headed toward the exit, Joanne would dramatically reveal the price of each ensemble, and the audience would gasp in amazement at the bargains.


The 15 models that participated in the show ranged in age from 11 to 78. The two youngest girls, aged 11 and 12, delighted the audience with their adorable outfits and shy smiles. There was also one teenager in the show who modeled with her mother, the church secretary. The remainder of the models looked to be 50 and over, like most of the audience, and the outfits they chose reflected the current fashion trends for that age group.

Halfway through the fashion show there was an intermission featuring a vocalist who sang old favorites like "People Who Need People" and "Wind Beneath My Wings." A man in a blue windbreaker jacket sitting against the wall sang along with several songs, even though he didn't always know all the words.

The thrift store sets aside donations all year specifically for the fashion show, and the models select their own outfits to wear in the show from this batch of clothing. A few of the models even supplied their own accessories to compliment the outfits they chose. When Joanne neglected to mention the price of a hat, a spectator called out, "How much for the hat?" Joanne laughed and answered, "It's her hat. Leave her alone."



The fashion show finale had a Mardi Gras theme, and a younger male model appeared in a tuxedo to escort the female models, who were dressed in carnival masks and ball gowns. The models danced up and down the runway handing out beads and then gathered on the stage to model their formal attire. After the show, Joanne called out ticket numbers and distributed door prizes. Ladies took home the cookies and sandwiches that were still left and divvied up the potted plants at each table, too.

As people started filing out, we made our way to the back room of the church where the fashion show clothing was available for purchase. They had a small selection of nice clothing, some dresses that I didn't recognize from the fashion show, and a table full of jewelry that was crowded with shoppers. Before we left, Good Buddy told the fashion show organizers that we wanted to participate in next year's show, and they were very gracious and said they'd be glad to have us. I was kind of surprised that Good Buddy had such a great time because, after all, it is a fashion show. The fact that it was a thrift store fashion show must have made all the difference. Everyone was relaxed and having fun, and it was an interesting social event to watch. Whether we bake cookies, serve coffee, or model thrift store clothing, we're planning on being involved somehow next year when the All Saints Church Thrift Shop fashion show happens again.

ABOUT OCCUPIED JAPAN PRODUCTS
By: Annette Nolan of annetiquesinc

Like Nippon, Occupied Japanese objects are increasingly growing in value and collectibility, and more dealers are scrambling to provide these items to their buyers. Identification is simple, of course. The trademark is self-explanatory: "Made in Occupied Japan" or "Occupied Japan." Do not be put off by Westernized motifs and design. The Japanese were, after all, in a state of national transition, marking the beginning of their conversion to Westernized ideals, style of living, and retaining their rich heritage.


Why Occupied Japan Mark Is Used

It was August 14, 1945, when Emperor Hirohito accepted the stipulations of the Potsdam Declaration (can be found at en.wikisource.org/wiki/Potsdam_Agreement).


It was V-J Day, the end of World War II, and the beginning of an extensive resurgence for a shattered Japan. Years later, collectibles representing Japanese exported items made after World War II from 1945 to 1952 are sought after because they were made when
Japan was "occupied" by a foreign country for the first time in history. The term "occupied"

was essential to Japanese economic resurgence. Because the hostile mindset toward the Eastern nation stayed elevated for many years following the war, some people absolutely refused to purchase anything with "Made in Japan" as its trademark.


They believed that American dollars could not go to a more unworthy cause than to support a country responsible for economic, personal, and political worldwide cataclysm. Since Japanese exports retained such superior craftsmanship, beauty, and aesthetic symmetry despite the scarcity of materials and manpower, the trademark "Occupied Japan" assured consumers that they were in no way contributing their hard-earned dollars to the ominous powers of the pre-war era. There are many opinions and feeling about our pre-war and post-war history, but the fact is history cannot be rewritten. We can only learn from mistakes of the past and move forward, hopefully in a positive manner. I was apprehensive on even writing this guide but decided that hiding or not mentioning a fact in history does not make it go away or change the past.



THRIFTER'S GUIDE TO PARTY GAMES
By: Brent Wolgemuth a.k.a. Krackelman

As a thrifter, I am always looking for games that I can pick up cheap, in great condition, and then sell on eBay. This is how I get money to buy the games I really want (and also keeps my wife off my back). This leads to the question about what party games to buy. The problem with picking up the wrong party game is that the profit margin is not worth the effort to sell it on eBay. Games like Trivial Pursuit and Tribond fall into this category. I find tons of these, but they will not give enough of a profit margin to be worth the effort. Yet, by accident I let Moods go by not realizing that it regularly sells for more than $40+ dollars right now on eBay. I could have kicked myself. So how is a thrifter to know, considering most of us may ignore said party games like the plague? The idea here is to give a list that thrifters can use as a guide to buy party games that will give a good margin of return on eBay. I figure if you can buy a game for $3.00 or less at a thrift store and then sell it for $20.00 or more on eBay, that would definitely make it worth your while. Another assumption here is that the game is complete and in excellent condition.

(Editor's note: eBay's completed auction prices for the following games will be highest during the Christmas season.)

Beyond Balderdash
eBay Completed Auction Prices: $20-$30



What Were You Thinking?
eBay Completed Auction Prices: $50-$80


Guesstures
eBay Completed Auction Prices: $30-$60

Taboo
This is not for the original Taboo but for the 2001 Platinum Edition Taboo
eBay Completed Auction Prices: $70-$150


Compatibility
The original version of Compatibility (for 6 players) used to sell well on eBay for $40.00 or more. Looks like it's down to only $20.00 now, but it's still worth picking up if you find it for a few bucks in a thrift store.

DYING EASTER EGGS WITH THRIFTED NECKTIES
By: Cookie

MATERIALS NEEDED:
Small to medium size raw eggs
Glass or enamel pot
Several silk neckties
White sheet, pillowcase, or tablecloth cut into squares
Twist ties
3 tablespoons of white vinegar
Warm water
Tongs


HOW TO:
First and foremost, make sure that you get silk neckties for this project. Unfortunately, this Easter egg dying technique won't work with those great polyester ties that you can find in every thrift store, but anything made out of silk will work, like dresses, blouses, or even boxer shorts. You'll want about six to eight silk ties in case some don't come out as expected. If you shop carefully, you can find a thrift store that will only charge 25 to 50 cents for ties. I got really lucky and found all eight of the ties I chose at one thrift store for 25 cents each. The most obnoxious silk ties will make the best Easter eggs, so look for bright colors and interesting
patterns. Even ugly ties

make great Easter eggs.


Measure about eight or nine inches up from the wide, pointy end of the tie and cut the tie off there. (If you're using a dress or other silk garment, cut it into squares that are seven inches by seven inches or larger.) Cut through the stitching on the tie to open it up, and then cut out any lining or padding inside, too. Lay the piece of tie open flat on the table, right side up. Place an egg in the center of the tie piece and wrap it up tightly like a piece of hard candy, twisting each end and securing with a twist tie. Make sure that the right side of the tie is facing the egg so that the pattern will transfer.


Cut the white sheet, pillowcase, or tablecloth into squares that are big enough to cover the silk-wrapped eggs, about eight inches

square. Wrap the piece of sheet around the egg and secure with a small rubber band or another twist tie. Place the wrapped eggs in the ceramic or glass pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Add the three tablespoons of vinegar.


Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat and let the eggs simmer for 25 minutes. Take the eggs out of the water with the tongs and let cool. Remove the silk from the cooled egg. If you want your finished eggs to look shiny, wipe them with vegetable oil.


Here is the finished product. Each egg is matched up with the tie that was used to dye it.


I think these two eggs came out the best.

DOLL IDENTIFICATION 101
By: April Granade a.k.a. Thrift Store Queen

Collecting dolls is by far the largest of all collecting groups and the reason why is simple: WE LOVE DOLLS!  Who among us doesn't remember their first doll, or the second, or third, and so on?  Do you occasionally go back into your childhood memories and desperately want to re-live those special moments with your baby dolls?  Then you are a doll collector or at least a "potential" doll collector. Here are a few basic tips when searching through a box of assorted dolls in the back corner of your local thrift store, estate sale, or antique shop: 

(1). Quality And Condition

In order for you to be able to re-sell a doll on eBay or in your brick-and-mortar store, you must have a doll worth selling.  Sometimes you can purchase a very old doll that is in really bad condition, but it will probably only sell as body parts.  (That is the morbid doll info I have).  In other words, if you buy a doll (even an "antique" doll) and its head is cracked into pieces, or if it has hands and feet that have found their way into a dog's mouth then you will have a harder time selling it.  There are exceptions to every rule, however, and be


Betsy McCall

aware that truly vintage dolls, even those of good quality, oftentimes have cracks and crazing due to their age.  To get a basic understanding of what buyers consider acceptable, check out the completed listings on eBay to research what dolls are selling and what condition they're in. The quality of your doll can be visible at first sight once you get accustomed to what you are looking for in each doll.

(2). Maker Marks And Where To Find Them

Most of the dolls you will ever come across in your search for the Holy Grail of Dolls will have a maker's mark located somewhere on its body.  The first place to look is on the back of their necks underneath the hair.  Another choice place for the maker's mark is on the doll's back between the shoulders.  It is a good thing

if the marks on the neck and back are the same, as some people have been scammed by a truly rare doll head stuck on a worthless body.  If every doll was marked on both the neck and body with the same maker's mark, this would indeed be a perfect world.  Unfortunately, not all dolls are quite as forthcoming on their creators, so you need to spend some time getting familiar with different doll maker characteristics through eBay auctions.  Check out the different makers and get to know your dolls and what to look for when you are on the hunt.


Jumeau

Listed below are some of the doll maker bigwigs to be on the lookout for:

•  Bru
•  Gaultier
•  Jumeau
•  Kestner
•  Kewpie
•  Lenci
•  Armand Marseille
•  Schmitt
•  Steiff (mostly bears, but a few dolls)
•  Jules Steiner
•  Madame Alexander
•  Arranbee
•  Betsy McCall
•  EFFanBEE
•  Horsman
•  Ideal
•  Vogue


Kewpie and Doodle Dog

(3). What The Heck Is This Doll Made Of?

Now that we know some of the big name doll makers, let's concentrate on the different materials used to make dolls.  The following list includes some of the most desirable materials that doll collectors look for:

Bisque - Unglazed (flat) porcelain, usually flesh-colored or tinted.  This type of material can be used for the entire body or only the doll's head.
China - This is glazed (shiny) porcelain, and can be used for the doll's head, arms, and legs.
Composition - Anything and everything available to a doll

maker in the past few centuries, such as wood pulp, glue, sawdust, flour, rags, and cloth.
Hard Plastic - This material is, well, hard plastic.  Hard material used for making dolls after 1948.
Kid Body - Body is made of leather, usually white or pink in color.
Mohair - A vintage doll's wig made out of goat's hair. Paper-mache' -  This material was used for some dolls' heads and bodies.  It can be made out of paper, wood pulp, glue, clay, flour and so on.  Yes, this does sound a lot like composition.  The easiest way to tell the difference is paper mache' is lightweight, and composition is heavier.
Vinyl - This is a soft plastic material that has only been around in the doll collector world since the 1950's.  It is probably the material of the baby doll you played with as a child if you were born after 1950.  It is best described as squishy plastic.
Wax-over - This doll's head and/or arms and legs were made of paper mache' or composition and then dipped in wax.  The wax layer covering was meant to give the doll a lifelike finish.


Madame Alexander- Rhett Butler

(4). Will Anyone Buy This Doll After All My Hard Work?

Now that you have a basic understanding of what the doll buyers of the world want, how will you sell it?  Take good pictures of the doll you have and give buyers close-ups of the face, original clothing, maker's mark, anything that makes your doll special.  If you know the maker, put their name in your title.  Do the doll's eyes stay open or do they close when you lay it down?  Are the facial features hand-painted? What kind of material is it made of?  Put all of this information in your description.  You must tell your buyers everything you have learned about your doll and let them know what makes your doll unique.

(5).   HAVE FUN! Remember, You Began By Simply Loving Dolls.


CHARITY SPOTLIGHT
MOHMS and SILAS

Fourteen years ago, Reverend Harry Waller started handing out sack lunches to homeless people. He eventually expanded to a meals-on-wheels bus and later built the MOHMS facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is operated by Tri Star Ministry. The MOHMS facility includes MOHMS Place, a daytime shelter offering hot meals to the homeless, and MOHMS Thrift Store and the church. On March 15th, 2007, Waller's New Visions facility will break ground. This new project will have a 40-bed emergency shelter, a transitional living facility with 26 one-bedroom apartments, and an expanded MOHMS Place that will seat 300 for meals.
Inspired by a few homeless men, Waller also recently created the SILAS Project, a program designed to turn street people into productive citizens. The program name comes from the Biblical character Silas who Christian disciple Paul took under his wing. SILAS participants Kevin Dooley and Rick Reicks are two of the men SILAS was built around, and both have a past history of drug abuse and suicide attempts. Some of the men participating in the SILAS program are recovering addicts, and others have health problems.
Waller sees potential in people and gives them small jobs until he thinks they can handle bigger ones. He allows three men to live above the church, and the only condition is no drugs or alcohol. As the men improve, they get a stipend and eventually end up working for the SILAS Program full-time. There are ten men currently in the program, and five have temporary employment through a staffing company. SILAS provides food, clothing, and shelter so that the program participants can focus on working through difficulties like identity issues, lack of confidence, coping skills, and past drug and/or criminal history.
The program offers small opportunities for success, and these opportunities expand over time as participants demonstrate commitment to the program and establish trust. If a SILAS participant needs cigarettes, Waller will buy him a pack. After trust has been built up, Waller will give him $3.00 to buy his own pack. When participants are successful with small opportunities, they are also given more responsibility.
When Reverend Waller first met Reicks, he had him install some lights. After that job was successfully completed, he then hired Reicks to be a maintenance man at a building he owned. Waller allowed Reicks to live in an apartment at the building rent-free as long as he stayed off drugs. Reicks then progressed from maintenance man to overseeing the Tri Star Ministry operations, which includes MOHMS Place, MOHMS Thrift Store and the church. His office at the thrift store is full of donated items and pictures of his new wife and children, and he even plans on buying a house soon.
SILAS participant Kevin Dooley is now the kitchen manager of MOHMS Place. He plans and prepares the meals. "I went from being homeless to cooking meals for the homeless," he says. Even though the shelter is usually only open during the daytime, Dooley keeps the doors open all night and allows people to sleep inside when the temperature drops too low. He calls feeding the homeless his new career, and says it's the best thing that has happened in his life. Most of the homeless people he meets want to work, Waller says, and both Reicks and Dooley are glad to have the chance to help others get out of where they once were.

Thrifter of the Month
"Thrifty Momma"
By: Virginia Watson



My thrift shopping began long ago, and I've been at it ever since. One motivation was my husband refused to wear shirts with only one pocket, and the only place I could find any was at garage sales and thrift shops. The Goodwill here has a color-coded day where the items are 50 cents. I found lovely things for an unemployed cousin there that she was thankful to get. I wanted a small kitchen island, but they are so pricey. I got a sturdy, white baby changing table with two lower shelves for $10 at a garage sale. It's so handy now. I put plastic containers on the shelves for measuring cups, another for cocoa and tea and set coffee cups there. I
have so many small appliances, a Crockpot, a waffle iron, a crepe maker, electric fryer, juicer, and had so little storage space. I got a small ornamental bookcase at a garage sale, set it up on the kitchen counter, and put my appliances on there. A local thrift shop had upholstery fabric, and I found some silky batik and made drapes using shower curtain rings over a wood dowel rod. I made pillowcases trimmed with lace with some other fabric I bought at a thrift store, too. It's just straight stitching to make pillows, but it means big savings. I will go miles to library book sales as I'm an avid reader and can get boxes of them for little cost. So many places sell videotapes for 50 cents or $1.00 because of the new DVD's. I invested in a new VCR player and loaded up on tapes. One FUN thing I found was a fabric fish about 5 feet long. I put it on an outside lounger and told my husband "someone" was out there that wanted to see him. What a laugh I had looking through the window when he went out there. I'll pull that same gag on a friend with the fish. I got several old ornamental bed ends and put them in the flower beds for trellises, and it only cost a few dollars. They now have vines on them. I get picture albums to put recipes in. I paint with iridescent nail polish tarnished silver trays they practically give away. I have gotten a set of small, colorful pepper bowls to put candy and cookies in. I wrap them in plastic wrap and put on a bow to give to others. Once I found a huge oval pearl earring with no mate for 10 cents, so I hung it on a chain for a pendant. So I will continue to frequent estate, garage, and church sales and the local thrift shops because of the thrill of never knowing what will be there that I need, will get a laugh from, or can make into something else.

ZODIAC THRIFTER March Horoscope

Pisces

Your sparkling personality will be at its peak in the first week of March, Pisces, and you'll captivate potential romantic partners with your sharp wit and quick mind. Even financial matters will resolve in your favor during this time. You're a valuable person because of your ideas and plans, and a raise or increased cash flow are on the horizon for you. Others will notice your commanding personality and think of you as highly articulate, so make the most of it. Try to focus on remembering your dreams when you wake up and writing them down toward the end of the month. Doing this will keep your mind clear for important tasks during the day.

Aries

An inner voice will guide you when you are obligated to follow another person's orders. Don't neglect routines and details. You'll have a hard time being practical in the second week of March when a strong desire for creative learning will pull you in that direction, but you will be able to resolve this conflict in a most rewarding way. Consider looking into a home business that will enable you to do what you love and make money at the same time. Your ambition will inspire others to look to you for leadership, and you'll feel optimistic about your future. Take care to not be impulsive in your new endeavor.

Taurus

Those who can make a worthwhile contribution to your ideas will be attracted to your enthusiasm. Show your appreciation for their support by keeping yourself on the straight and narrow. Finances relating to property will become important before mid-month. You might hit a bump in the road with a pending application, but just keep your cool and do what needs to be done to work things out. This situation can definitely be resolved. Spend some time alone with your thoughts and meditate about your future. A conflict between two loved ones might infringe on your quiet time, but a compromise is possible at the end of March when a social occasion will bring you all together.

Gemini

A move is on the agenda, Gemini, whether it's a move up in your company or a move to another town. Higher-ups will give you the details. Take the time to communicate with your family about joint decisions. Your family has been unhappy and will express concerns now. Try to resolve any and all issues around mid-month by taking positive steps to help others with their personal situations. Be cautious when traveling later in March and don't take risks at home or on the road. If possible, postpone any travel this month for another time. Your reflexes and judgment are not trustworthy right now.

Cancer

You'll get an unexpected reward for some work you accomplished in the past, and you should check into getting a long-term benefit from it. Think in terms of taking a small financial gain and investing it to create a bigger financial gain over time. With communication in your corner, you'll be inclined to talk, talk, talk, but be careful when speaking off-the-cuff. Don't push too hard when you're exploring new ideas and trying to move up the career ladder. Keep an eye on your bank account and take decisive action to prevent others from taking risks with your money. Situations that arise will call for assertiveness and careful thinking. You'll have to remain calm when reacting to money issues and try not to upset others.

Leo

Don't lend anyone money until after the first week of March is over. Finances will be puzzling until then and you'll have to get them sorted out first. Once you get control of what's going on with your bank accounts, everything will be fine. Stick to your guns in a squabble over finances with a partner. Time will prove you to be correct. It will be easier to wrap up money issues toward the end of the month when things can be settled in a fair way. As March comes to a close, it will be a challenge to deal with partners, romantic or otherwise, especially those with a link to the past.

Virgo

Someone else's spending spree or investment will cause a noticeable dip in your bank account. Don't be controlling or confrontational in an effort to correct the situation. Subtlety will go a long way in getting the money situation back on track. A vacation to a new place after mid-month will give you a new perspective, and it will be easier to put challenges from the past behind you. You'll be in the mood to work hard and stop procrastinating toward the month's end. Now is a great time to take care of all those things you've been putting off. If you have a lot to catch up on, make sure you pace yourself and don't try to finish everything right now.

Libra

A new friend or a new connection with an old friend will add some zing to your dull routine in the beginning of March. Get ready to have fun as soon as you're done with your work. Old plans and projects will occupy your thoughts when you consider your future. Dusting off one of these old ideas could lead to an income for you, so revisit your shelved dreams and see what's possible. You're ready to set off on a new path, but don't let yourself get impatient. Practical concerns can't be ignored and more planning is in order. Although you may feel like you're moving ahead at full speed, you might just be spinning your wheels if you're merely kicking aside obstacles without addressing problems.

Scorpio

Look before you leap this month, Scorpio. When you're in a creative mood, even bad ideas can sound good. Don't make any big plans for the future until you've considered them carefully for a substantial period of time. The practical aspect of your ideas will weigh you down as family, friends, and possibly even your superiors offer their opinions. As dreary as these practicalities are to you, you will need to work with others to realize your potential. When you're finally ready to put in some hard work on your ideas after mid-March, you'll have to balance this new obligation with your family's needs. Remedy this situation quickly or your family will feel like their interests are second.

Sagittarius

Family members demanding your time will have you feeling put-upon in the first week of March. However, your attitude will change a few days later and loved ones will seem like less of a drag. You'll be in a communicative mood with a desire to explore. A lack of money might be an obstacle in your quest for knowledge, but you'll be able to figure out a solution to this problem if you keep your eyes open for clues. Lingering family pressure problems from earlier this month will make you irritable. Avoid discussions with family members about these issues and resist the urge to express your frustrations in words.

Capricorn

A friend or colleague will recognize a special talent you have and ask you to share it with others. Grab the chance to do so in the first week of March when you'll be especially inspiring. Money issues will distract you and you'll have to be clever and resourceful when a source of funds seems to be drying up. Things will work out in your favor on this matter after mid-month, and you'll need to devote more time to loved ones and tie up loose ends on your money issue that was recently resolved. Don't give in to the temptation to throw money at obstacles that come up. There are consequences that you need to talk over with a friend or loved one before you solve things in an impulsive way.

Aquarius

You'll have second thoughts about a decision someone else makes regarding joint funds. If you end up choosing to manage things on your own, be prepared to defend your decision, even if it is the right one. Your dreams might be bigger than you can handle at times, but the efforts that you make will pay off by mid-month. Supporters will see things your way and give you the backing you need. Make a special effort to handle money matters that haven't resolved by the third week of March. Keep a low profile at the end of the month when it will be almost impossible for you to stay cool and rational. Don't get in the middle of disputes and take great care not to create any of your own.

THRIFT KITTEN TIPS

THRIFTED RECIPE


Hot Dog Whirlaways

Partially slit each of 8 hog dogs lengthwise. Spread with prepared sharp mustard, then with hot dog relish. Insert strips of processed cheese. Wrap bacon slice around each frank; secure with toothpick. Broil franks, turning, until bacon is crisp. Serve in toasted hot dog buns or top with this

barbecue sauce: In 3 tablespoons hot butter, saute 1/3 cup minced onions until tender. Add 1 cup ketchup, 1/3 cup vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons prepared mustard, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt. Simmer covered for 10 minutes