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A Vendor\’s Take On The Mile High Flea Market

September 30th, 2012

A Vendor\’s Take On The Mile High Flea Market By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert Enthralled by the grandeur of the Mile High Flea Market, I took the four-day challenge. As a shopper and as a vendor, I visited this sprawling bazaar, farmers market and antiques fair northeast of Denver on a consecutive Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is the oldest of the area\’s flea markets and a virtual Disney World for resale devotees. Earlier this year, its owners ditched a rebranding effort, so once again its official name, and the one the event launched with in 1975, is Mile... Read More

The Thrift-Mobile

June 18th, 2012

The Thrift-Mobile By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert Years ago, I thrift shopped with complete abandon. Little thought was given to equipment, packing material or how I would get my new-to-me treasures home. Today, as garage sale season approaches, I plan, and turn my vehicle into a well-stocked machine…the “thrift-mobile.” The extra coat, the bags of sand and the collapsible snow shovel (I live in the mountains) make way for an assortment of thrifting essentials. I\’ve always been fond of big, over-the-top items, so transporting monstrous finds was always a... Read More

Thrifting For Savvy Shoppers

March 17th, 2012

Thrifting For Savvy Shoppers By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert Most of us have less cash to burn these days, so buying other folks castoffs is a great way to save a buck … particularly when searching for short-term items. The Internet, specialty shops, bookstores, and going out of business sales carry drastically reduced items that are perfectly good for occasional needs or events. Moms-To-Be While some pregnant celebrities bare their bellies for posterity, the majority of expectant mothers are concerned with being covered and comfortable. Most can squeak by for three or four... Read More

The Bustling Thrift Scene … from Dicey to Divine

March 15th, 2012

The Bustling Thrift Scene … from Dicey to Divine By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert As the economy spiraled downward, Americans tightened their belts and secondhand shops made their move onto Main Street. Spencer James, lead writer of the Brigham Young University Study, states that thrift shopping increases when the economy slows, and that middle class families are shopping at thrift stores with the same regularity as lower income families. The study goes on to suggest that while high-income shoppers scour the secondhand market for antiques and unique finds, the average family is... Read More

How I Became A Garage Sale Junkie

March 15th, 2012

How I Became A Garage Sale Junkie By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert It wasn\’t a planned event. I was simply curious after spotting a lopsided Garage Sale sign dangling from a post on the side of a road. At the time I was a single mom struggling to eke out a living for my son and myself, so I yielded to my nosy nature and the prospect of finding a few treasures. Following the arrow with heady anticipation, my hopes were dashed as I pulled up to the house, scarred by piles of clutter strewn across the lawn. After jockeying my car into a spot across from the sale, I hesitated,... Read More

The Dress

January 31st, 2012

The Dress By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert I\’m all grown up. And, I think I have a pretty good handle on who I am. After all, I\’ve spent years assessing and reassessing my actions … my directions … my choices. Along the way, I\’ve thrown out the bad and kept the good. At least I\’ve tried to. But, some things just seem to stick and I\’m unable to shake that old feeling or experience. That\’s when I realize that, despite my efforts, I\’m still a slave to my past. One event, in particular, still haunts me. It has shadows my life in many... Read More

A Holiday Note from “The Diva”

December 8th, 2011

A Holiday Note from “The Diva” By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert I become reflective with the turning of the leaves and the fast approach of the holidays. During this time I am reminded of the days and things and people that colored my 2011 canvas. It was an amazing, pigheaded and magical year. As this last month continues to wane, I look back on the year with a bit of reflection, much gratitude and the hope for a bright future. Reflection. I reflect on what I have learned. Ah…so much. Yet, I still wonder why the lessons are so bumpy. Not that my awareness is limited... Read More

Christmas Decorating with the Thrift Talk Diva

November 15th, 2011

Christmas Decorating with the Thrift Talk Diva By Barb Tobias, NABBW’s Thrifting Expert I know, I know. It\’s just November…I mean the Thanksgiving stuff isn\’t out and my holiday meal isn\’t even organized. Yet, here I am planning my Christmas decorations. My rationalization is this … it takes me a month or two to orchestrate the festive bedecking of my home in the spirit of frugal yet chic décor. I enjoy this creative holiday endeavor, and dive into producing grand arrangements with gusto. After all, I am a collector of orphans … the savior of parts … creatively... Read More

Living Life on the Cheap … A Green Case for Shopping Thrift

September 12th, 2011

Living Life on the Cheap … A Green Case for Shopping Thrift By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert Years ago, after I got over myself, and realized that where I shopped didn’t define me, I actually allowed myself to love the art of thrifting. I’ve always been a blissful shopper and I took great thrill in discovering the vast array of treasures hidden beneath the rubble of someone else’s discards. The hunt became my game. Another motivation was the simple fact that during that frugal discovery period … I was broke. Therefore, the realization that I could buy fabulous things for... Read More

Tips & Tricks to Shopping Thrift

July 5th, 2011

Tips & Tricks to Shopping Thrift By Barb Tobias NABBW’s Thrifting Expert Ahhh, the “thrifting season” is in full swing! What a glorious time of year for the ardent thrift shopper. Now is the time for those serious about treasure hunting to pull up their bootstraps, hone their tracking skills and beseech the garage sale fairies for a bit-o-luck. It took me quite a few years, and many mistakes, to become an astute thrifter; spotting the treasures beneath the tarnish and figuring out how to bargain with a gentle hand. When I started hitting garage sales, some thirty odd... Read More