Mothers Day, Graduation and more!

imageIf you haven’t been to the Thrift Shop lately, come in and see our revamped checkout area. This new setup gives us more working room at the cash registers, so we can ring up your purchases more quickly.

And that’s a GOOD thing because . . . May is super-sale month! We’ll have INCREDIBLE sales all month, because we’re counting down to May 30, when we take inventory. You’ll get amazing deals all month long, so “shop early and often.”

This is a GREAT time to look for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts, and, for those who really plan ahead, Father’s Day presents. With summer approaching, you’ll be going to a lot of parties and barbecues, so you can also pick up some inexpensive hostess gifts to keep on hand. Beach books, small toys for the kids to take on vacation – it’s all here.

Stop in soon to take advantage of our May sales! (And think of us when you’re doing your spring cleaning – we accept donations any time during the hours our Thrift Shop is open.)

 

Blog readers – Help Us Win Free Advertising and continue helping the community!

we-need-your-voteThe Orange County Register is giving away $2MM in FREE ADVERTISING to non-profits! HELP US WIN some of this free advertising!

We’re competing with many other non-profits for a share of these advertising dollars in the Register’s annual “Golden Envelope” contest. With our goal to return at least 67% of our revenue back to the community, our advertising budget is very small. And we don’t have to tell you that newspaper ads are expensive. More money to spend on ads in the Register (at no cost to us!) would really help us tell our story to the community, showcase our philanthropies, recruit new members, and bring more shoppers (and donations!) to the Thrift Shop. But we need your help!

All you have to do is VOTE for Assistance League of Irvine to win. You can vote once a day between now and the end of the contest on March 31. And we’re making it so easy to vote!  Just CLICK HERE to vote and then click on the big CHECK MARK. That’s all you have to do!

Every vote counts, and we sincerely appreciate your votes. Tell your friends – tell your neighbors – and help us win!

 

California Dreamin’ – Thrift Shop Road Trip

If you drove by the thrift shop a couple of Mondays ago and saw a group of ALI volunteers in their blue aprons clustered around a red Thunderbird convertible in front of the shop, you weren’t California Dreamin’. That was a visit from National Assistance League’s Anne Salenger, and her “Thrift Shop Road Trip.”

Anne is traveling around the country, visiting and blogging about different Assistance League thrift stores. We were thrilled to have Anne join us for one of our Monday behind-the-scenes work sessions. Our shop was filled with eager ALI volunteers sorting, cleaning, and changing out the merchandise for the coming week. Anne’s visit came just after our Holiday Extravaganza, so the shop looked especially festive with all our holiday items. Anne was able to see first-hand the incredible effort that goes into getting the shop ready to open for the week each Wednesday morning.

While everything ALI does is for our own community, it’s inspiring for us to be able to share our story with other chapters – and to learn from them as well. We hope Anne and her “Road Trip” come back soon for another visit!

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Our newest gift idea!

iStock_000009799796MediumDid you know that the ALI thrift shop has GIFT CERTIFICATES? These come in $5 denominations and are a perfect solution for those situations where you need an affordable gift. Like these:

  1. You belong to a Bunco group where everyone has to bring a token door prize to award during the evening.
  2. Your 8th grade daughter wants to have a sleepover birthday party, and you need party favors.
  3. The kid down the street, who has been sleeping on his parents’ couch ever since he graduated from college five years ago, because he’s “writing a screenplay,” finally moves into an apartment, and you want to give him something to send him on his way. (You give his parents a bottle of champagne, however.)
  4. You’re the church youth group advisor/band mother/drill team chaperone or some other type of adult volunteer for a high-school group, and need a unisex-type gift or prize for the kids, that isn’t food.

See how easy this could be? Just visit the thrift shop and tell the cashier you want to buy some GIFT CERTIFICATES. (And while you’re at the shop, reward yourself with a little something, too!)

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Spring is here! Spring means prom . .  graduations . . . and weddings. Prom, graduations, and weddings mean . . .  photos! Photos mean . . .  picture frames!

Yes, we all have hundreds of photos on our phones and computers, plus digital scrapbooks somewhere off in the cloud.  But memories like your  high-school prom, graduation, and weddings need to be expressed in something other than pixels.  These are shining moments in our lives that deserve a tangible presence: a printed photo in a special frame.  Think about it – what happens when you visit someone’s home for the first time? You’re immediately drawn to the photographs that are displayed around the house.  Why? Because those are the moments and the people that mean the most to them.

The next few weeks will bring many moments you’ll want to remember.  And the thrift shop ALWAYS has a selection of picture frames  in many styles and sizes.  Classic, casual, elegant or whimsical, portrait or collage-style – we may have the perfect frame to match your photo.

And while we’re on the subject of pictures – check out this link to our VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE THRIFT SHOP http://bit.ly/Q9PghZ

 See our sign and our entrance, and get an up-close look at our merchandising layout.  This is a great way to show your family and friends the shop where you find all those bargains.  (And if you’re having thrift shop-withdrawal symptoms when we’re closed between Sunday and Tuesday, you can take the virtual tour to satisfy your cravings.)

DIY Button Flower Tutorial

Have any old buttons or beads lying around? Grab some floral wire or any wire that will fit through buttonholes and let’s get started! This craft is fun to do with a large selection of all-different shapes and sizes and colors of buttons. The wider selection you have to choose from the better! I prefer to use 18 or 20 gauge floral wire cut to 18” lengths. Anything thinner than 20 gauge may not support the weight.

Buttons 4 Materials

-Selection of buttons

-Wire (18 or 20 gauge green floral wire cut to 18” lengths)

-Small jar or a small vase

-Tape

The buttons you use don’t have to be perfect, scuffs and scratches tend to add character to the finished flowers.

You can stack as few or as many buttons or beads on top of one another to make a flower. You will find that it is a very addictive craft and before you know it you’ll have a whole bouquet!

Steps

1. Choose at least two or more buttons of different sizes that will stack on top of each other.

2. Bend a piece of wire exactly in half.

3. Start threading the buttons onto the wire, make sure that the right side of the button faces towards the top of the flower. When working with 4 holed buttons, be sure to thread them on the wire through two opposite holes to keep spacing even.

4. After threading all the buttons on, turn the flower over and twist the ends of the wire together.

5. After you have finished making as many flowers as you would like, put them together into a bouquet. Twist some tape around the bouquet that you have created before putting them in a jar or vase.

We hope you give this craft a try. It’s a great way to use up your stray buttons!