Bloggy Birthday Thanks

Well, The Thrift Shop Romantic is officially one year old. (Sniff! wiping a tear away). They grow up so fast, don’t they? Pretty soon it will want the keys to the car.

But this has been a truly AMAZING year, for which I owe you all my most sincere thanks. You’re undoubtedly aware by now I kid around a lot, but I also try to be up-front--

So I wanted to make sure I expressed how much I’ve appreciated your choosing to spend some of your valuable time here... For sharing your great stories and ideas... For your kind emails and encouragement... For your inside scoops on new thrifty adventures... And for putting up with my yammering once a week for a whole darned year.

Heck, I have family members who aren’t up to that! :-)

Because of this blog, I’ve experienced the fabulous, ornery sense of humor of the ladies who do trash-to-treasure projects. They’ve helped me realize that though pride and grace while curb-shopping might be an art, curb-shopping misadventures are their own masterpieces.

I’ve also gotten a chance to be a part of activities on the BlogCatalog forum, where my fellow bloggers have been insightful, inclusive, and have always been willing to share their online experiences. (Thanks so much, gang!)

I’ve been fortunate enough to break the third wall, so to speak, by exchanging goody packages in tangible decorating swaps with my lovely online Cottage Living forum friends. They’re some of the sweetest, most down-to-earth people you’d ever want to meet. It’s no wonder photos of their homes are so inviting.

I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie and creativity of so many of my fellow crafters who have unhesitatingly shared their expertise and wit, and who have welcomed me into their discussions... One kind lady had actually contacted me specifically to participate more regularly in a certain forum-- and to be honest, I’d thought for a while that surely she must have had me confused with someone else! (Finding out I was mistaken was just a little bit awe-inspiring.) The strong sense of community of these crafters is amazing. It’s definitely not gone unappreciated.

And I’ve learned so much from other thrifters on, who are as cheap and obsessive about thrifting as I am...

And I mean that in the best possible way!

In an age where the instant and semi-anonymous nature of the Web tends to make the Internet take on a Wild West “Anything Goes” mentality, I feel extremely fortunate to have had the enriching, positive experiences such as the ones mentioned above.

So in the coming year, I hope to bring the same to you.

Like new decorating ideas, and interesting collectibles...

We’ll share crafting successes-- and failures (if for nothing else but learning and a laugh!)...
I hope to take you on more “Field Trips” to new places for cheap ‘tiquing...

And I have a little CONTEST I’ll be unleashing next week with real-and-for true PRIZES, just to mix things up a bit. (I hope you’ll come back to join in on that!!)...

As always, I’d LOVE to hear any suggestions for features you’d like to see or ways to improve the site. Or if there are any shops or blogs you believe should be included in the Resources section that merit a look-see.

I would like to thank you again for making this such a marvelous, memorable year. There’s no real way to express what it’s meant to me, but I hope this week’s blog has given you some sense of it.

Now-- have a nice big piece of virtual birthday cake! It’s calorie-free!