Category Archives: favorites

Goodwill Roadshow: Picture Perfect

These days, we all walk around with cameras in our phones, snapping photos and instantly posting them for our friends and family to see. Goodwill offers us a chance to take a step back and remember photography’s past. Photos let us glimpse into history and allow us to see the world through a different lens. Goodwill is a great place for anyone with a love of photography to stock up on unique cameras, books, décor, and more. You can get a lot of flash, for little cash.

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Vintage cameras have themselves become works of art. They look great on bookshelves or can be easily made into fantastic nightlights.

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This framed Ansel Adams photo is a steal at $6.99. Plus, the tag is green, which means this Saturday, January 25, it will be only 99 cents!

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Take your photo album offline with these stylish frames and brand new photo books, ranging from $1.99 to $3.99 each.

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There’s a huge difference between a snapshot and a photograph. Learn how to shoot like a pro or find inspiration in others’ work through books found at Goodwill.

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I found this antique flash unit in its original box and complete with bulb. I love that it has a “Built-in Kal-Q-Lator,” whatever that means!

You never know what treasures you’ll come across at Goodwill. Exploring the shelves with a theme like photography in mind is a fun way to thrift. Knowing that Goodwill is focused on improving our community makes it even better.

Goodwill Roadshow: He’s Comin’ To Town

The jolly guy from the North Pole will be very busy next Wednesday night, but do you know Santa’s real history? Old St. Nick comes in many shapes and sizes, many of which can be found in the aisles of Goodwill. Check out what I found at the Goodwill in Fort Collins. There were so many Santas to choose from, and they were all less than $5 a piece!


This Santa figurine is real old school. The story of St. Nicholas actually dates back to 280 A.D. (REALLY old school) in what is now Turkey. He gave up his fortune to wander the country helping the poor and the sick. It is unclear where Rudolph was at this time.


Here’s a great antique glass Santa Claus. Santa is especially popular in Holland, where he is known as Sinterklaas. He arrives each year on a boat from Spain. He gives nice children gifts in their shoes (I’d choose some giant wooden clogs), and takes naughty children back to Spain. Hey, what’s wrong with Spain?


Here’s a great music box featuring a more modern-day Santa preparing for his big day.


There’s also the long-lost legend of the super-skinny twin Santa brothers who carry giant candles on their heads.


Finally, here’s the Santa Claus I grew up anxiously waiting for on Christmas Eve. Despite his varied pasts and methods, Santa remains one of the world’s most beloved characters. Head to your neighborhood Goodwill and see what Santas you can find! Oh, and don’t forget the milk and cookies!


Holiday Organization 101

Don’t worry, there won’t be a test. Though, sometimes the stress and chaos of the holidays are enough to test anyone’s patience! In my mind, a happy holiday is an organized holiday, so keep your holiday decor as simple and stress-free with these great DIY displays.

My family has a tradition of collecting rare and unique ornaments. In fact, we’ve collected so many over the years that we often don’t have room for all of them on the tree. That’s why this simple centerpiece is so great! It allows you to display all those great ornaments or holiday items that you wouldn’t otherwise have room for, all in one place. And it’s a great way to hold on to those cherished memories, spark a conversation, and liven up your table with something truly special and unique.

Display your one of a kind finds this holiday with this simple project.

Display your one of a kind finds this holiday with this simple project.

Holiday cards are a great reminder of how many wonderful friends and memories we’ve made throughout the year, but they can also clutter up your home quickly, leaving you feeling buried under a pile of torn envelopes and well wishes. To avoid this clutter catastrophe, you can display your cards by using this great ribbon board found at the Goodwill location at Archer and Broadway. The bold fabric lends a nice contrast of pattern and color, and the ribbon holds your cards safely in place without them being damaged by pushpin holes.

Preserve your holiday memories this season with a ribbon board!

Preserve your holiday memories this season with a ribbon board!

All items shown (minus the cookies!) were found at Goodwill!

DIY: Summer Birthday Terrariums


Kids go to a million birthday parties by the time they get into middle school. Coming up with activities for these parties isn’t always the easiest thing to do since most of the ideas have already been done throughout the years.

With all of the popularity around terrariums this last year, I thought that would be a cool activity that doubles as a party favor for a birthday party. Goodwill is a great place to get activity supplies for birthday parties, they may not all be the same . . . but variety is so much more interesting anyway!

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The Art of Thrift Decor

I have a little treat for you today and tomorrow. A local artist, stylist and pro thrifter, let me take photos of his apartment and I get to share them with you. Meet Fernando and his amazing studio apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Today he shares how he has acquired and made so many cool pieces that complete his small but extremely cool pad.

Hi, I’m Fernando and I’m really excited to show you my apartment and all of my favorite thrift finds. First, let me tell you that 95% of the furnishings and decor in my place are either from Goodwill or flea markets. I have also found a couple of things next to the dumpster in my alley . . . people get rid of such cool stuff! Being an artist and stylist, I’ve always loved making my own creations from unique and inexpensive things that I find at Goodwill. For example, I bought fabric that was unused at Deja Blue and I made them into my curtains. I did a similar thing with another fabric that I found at the Goodwill store on Broadway and Archer, I made a fabric covered headboard. These headboards are very popular right now, but I love mine because it is original and I know I won’t have the same one as my neighbor or best friend. Anyone can order something out of a catalog but it gives you a real feeling of accomplishment and pride when you create your own pieces.

Now, I didn’t just decorate my apartment in a day with one trip to Goodwill. I have been going to thrift stores and flea markets for years and I have always bought anything that I think is interesting or fits my style. I’m very particular though, I don’t have a lot of space, so I choose only the things that I really love. By the way, Vincent, not from a thrift store . . . but everything else in the picture is!

photo wall
You can find frames of all sizes at Goodwill. Use them to make a collage on your wall of family photos or use vintage photos that you can find at flea markets. I used a combination of both.

I didn’t find the butterfly or sea anemone at Goodwill, but the other pieces I did find there. Goodwill always has odds and ends that a lot of people don’t know what to do with but if you use your imagination, you can find cool things to do with ordinary objects.

coffee table
I found my Pottery Barn coffee table/dining table at Deja Blue. It’s the perfect size for my apartment and displays some of my favorite things that I have found at Goodwill. Coffee tables are a great place to display collections that you may have picked up at your shopping trips to Goodwill.

Have you ever checked Goodwill Denver’s e-commerce website out? If not, I highly recommend it . . . I got this bicycle for $15, and it barely needed any work! You can find here.

I’ll see you tomorrow with more thrift finds that I have decorated my apartment with. I will also show you the bow ties that I make and sell from thrifted fabric. Until then . . . have a great day and go and find some unique things to add to your home at Goodwill!


Old . . . and New


Like a lot of avid thrift shoppers, I have a severe love for vintage clothing and decor. My favorite style is to mix something old (vintage) with something new (on trend currently.) Since thrifting has become much more popular in recent years, it’s not as easy to find vintage items, but…vintage is still out there! I usually find at least a few pieces at every Goodwill I visit (and that’s a lot of Goodwills!) If it’s clothing that I find, I usually have to do an  alteration or two to get the correct fit and maybe make it a little more modern. This dress however, was good to go! It’s a vintage 1960′s wool dress by Gay Gibson.


What really makes this dress is the stand-out red and white stitching on the dark grey. And the classic shape and subdued color palette of this vintage dress made it perfect for today without a single alteration. Next time you’re at Goodwill, take a closer look and see if that vintage frock you found just might be able to be turned into your favorite!

If you are looking for more inspiration on how to use your vintage pieces (home decor and clothing), check out this article: Style At Home: Pamela Castillo Of Market Publique . . . the girl can decorate!


I love cuckoo clocks, and lucky for us, they show up at Goodwill every so often.  If you would like one keep looking!  I love this collection of traditional cuckoo clocks, but the vibrant painted ones are so fun!

So I decided to make one for myself.  It was a tiny bit complicated, but I just took everything out (it was no longer working) and then put it back together keeping the parts that I wanted.

This is the cuckoo clock that I started with.  It was $10.99, but it didn’t work, and the weights were missing.

I removed the insides, and took the clock face apart.  Remember that I’m not using it to tell time,  but as a decorative piece.

I stuffed the insides with newspaper, primed and then painted it.

Then I reassembled it from the inside, using only the parts that I wanted.  I glued the face back on and glued the doors open with the cuckoo bird and little German man peeking out of the door.

How’s that for Goodwill Glamour?  Everything on the table including the table are from my favorite shopping destination…Goodwill!
shabby creek cottage

The Men of Goodwill

Can you find nice looking clothing for men at Goodwill?  You be the judge.  I talk a lot about women’s fashion, beautiful items for your home but I never intended to leave out the men.  This is a small sampling of the fashionable clothing that can be found for men at your local Goodwill store.

(images from Jeff Ball)

Good Exchange for Change Clothing Swap and Fashion Show

The Good Exchange and Fashion Show was a huge hit.  Mondo Guerra, Fallene Wells, and Julie Tierney came out to judge our amazing fashion show featuring students from our Goodwill High School  programs in the Denver area.  The EXDO event center was the perfect venue for food, fashion, and frantic swapping!

Uriel Moreno before the show.  He was the big winner of the night!  His Goodwill Creation was voted the favorite by our celebrity judges.

Here are some behind the scene shots before the fashion show.  The students are so talented.  I can’t wait to follow their accomplishments!

You have to come next year!

Ball Jars

Ball canning jars can be used for just about anything. This ball jar is holding a bouquet of flowers in my laundry room.  Of course, I found it at Goodwill.  There are entire boards on Pinterest celebrating this American icon.

Goodwill is an amalgamation of items with infinite variation.  You have no idea what you will find each time you walk into a store.  I think that is why I find it so interesting.  It is somehow a study of American life.  Things coming in and going back out, changing tastes, and items becoming obsolete.  Or so we think.

Did you know the Ball company has been around since 1880 and now is based in Broomfield, Colorado?  The company started with manufacturing Ball canning jars and evolved into a space engineering company, how’s that for evolutionary transformation?

A Colorado author just wrote a book entitled From Jars to Stars.   “This aptly titled book describes how the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company of Muncie, Indiana, evolved into the Ball Aerospace Company of Boulder, Colorado. Ball Aerospace is a big player in the orbiting satellite business and made the Deep Impact spacecraft that intercepted a comet and struck it–an outstanding engineering achievement. Writer/journalist Neff relates how Ball searched for a compatible evolving field of business activity to maintain its viability. Thus, this is not only a work on the history of space technology, but also the story of how a company that made jars for home canning and food preservation had to change to survive as refrigeration and year-round fresh produce became available throughout the nation. The book is, of course, also a history of the evolution of scientific satellites in the US from the Sputnik era to today. The author describes how the University of Colorado, NASA, and Ball cooperated to produce some of the most advanced and reliable scientific satellites in the world. This is a well-written book that successfully weaves people, organizations, science, and engineering together to make a very readable and valuable history.”

How’s that for a history lesson?  Fascinating!