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First Rate Second Hand Buys

Hello everyone.  I’m so glad it is Friday.  This week was my first back from holidays and, boy-oh-boy, what a long week it was!  Work has been hectic and stress-filled and I don’t feel as though I have even just had a break.

It’s been a while since I did an op-shopping (thrifting) post so I thought I would show you some of the things I have picked up lately.  There is a lot more than is featured here but, in the interest of brevity and not wanting to scare myself with how much stuff I bought, I’ll just show a few.  A selection of goodies, if you will.

  1. Canvases – I recently participated in a school fete (had a little stall selling my cards and other wares) and, at the end of the day, the White Elephant stall was selling all its leftovers for $1.00 (fill a bag for one dollar!).  I had a quick look around and found some kids’ canvases – two sets of five.  The lady at the stall told me they were $3 a set and the price could not be reduced to the $1.00 special.  I figured $6.00 for ten canvases was still pretty awesome anyway, so I went to the counter to ask the lady to hold them for me while I went back to get some money.  Before I could ask her, she said “That’ll be one dollar love…”  I queried whether they should actually be the higher price and she assured me that no, they were reduced.  So I happily paid the dollar and went off with my purchases.  But it didn’t feel right.  So, after feeling guilty for a while, I went back and told the lady I didn’t think the price was correct – that I should have paid more.  She assured me it was ok but I felt bad, like I was ripping the fundraising off, so I gave her a few extra dollars anyway.  So, I think I paid $4.00 in the end for ten really good little canvases – nice and study, ready to paint over, ready to hang and everything.  I’ve already used a couple for paintings.

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2. Vintage soup bowl  – such a pretty little thing, this bowl.  I love the design, and how it is different on each side.  I liked the little bee on it 🙂  I saw the bowl outside an antique shop and I just had to have it.  It’s not in perfect condition, but for $5.00 I can look past that.  I will just use it as a display piece.

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3. Pink shoes – Very pink for me…but super comfy and soft.  I only wear leather if I can buy it second hand (because I’m a vego).  These shoes are tiny too.  I am sure my feet are shrinking.  These were only a size 5 (36).  Plus, they were half price so I only paid $3.00.

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4.  More canvases (and books) – I keep finding old canvases in op shops and, if they’re cheap enough, I snap them up.  Especially if they come in sets.  There’s a selection here – different shapes and sizes.  I also got a few old children’s books for cutting up.  I think this lot cost about $10.00 all up.

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5. Floral Jacket – I recently attended a friend’s wedding and I had to buy something appropriate to wear.  In my search for a nice jacket, I picked this one up for about $5.00.  I didn’t wear it to the wedding though (I borrowed my cousin’s faux leather one for that – it went with the navy blue dress I wore much better) but I will happily wear it to something else.  It’s quite fitted and cropped but nicely made and not too heavy.  Oh and please excuse the bandaged thumb.  My dermatillomania is a bit mental right now so I am picking my fingers to pieces.  Not very attractive.

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6. Books.  Mum and I went to the annual Save the Children Fund Book Sale.  We look forward to this every year.  It’s the highlight of Spring 🙂  This year they didn’t seem to have as much stock, which was a bit disappointing, but I still managed to pick up quite a few bargains.  The books ranged in price from 50c – $4.00 (unless they were antique etc).  I bought about 30 books for roughly $60.00.  I got lots of animal and bird titles, for cutting up for collage etc.  So many lovely birdies!  The “British Birds” volume features beautiful vintage images so I will probably not cut that one up – will colour copy instead.  So of the pics are worth framing.  Books make me happy!

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So, that’s just a few of the things I picked up over the course of a few months.  I love a bargain, but I am trying to only buy things I know I need or will use.  I don’t do the buying frenzies I used to do 🙂  I am trying to not fill my house with more crap, and just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean you necessarily need it.  Books are the exception, ha ha.  I always need those!

Thanks for stopping by x

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Book Bargain Bonanza

I had a day off this week.  A glorious, nothing-scheduled, I-can-do-what-I-want day off.  Work has been very stressful, I’ve been having lots of migraines, and life just seemed a bit craptastic in general.  I’m always exhausted and just needed a break.  So, a day off was necessary, for my mental health if nothing else.

I got up early (not too early – it was a day off, after all!) and hit the op-shops.  I wanted to visit some I hadn’t been to before, and expand my “territory”.  I didn’t have much luck in finding anything good to start with, but eventually I hit book heaven at one particular Salvos store.  Lordy, lordy, they had the BEST book selection, AND it was in alphabetical order so you could actually search properly in the section you were interested in.

I am always on the lookout for Alice Hoffman titles.  She’s one of my favourite authors, but I never buy books new (who can afford them???!) so I have to wait until I find them in second hand shops.  Normally, I don’t find any of her books or, just as annoying, only ones I have already read and have in my shelf at home.  But on this day, dear readers, I found FIVE!  Woo!  I’d already read a couple of them, but I did snap up two for myself – White Horses, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things.  So happy!  I’m cross at myself because I left another one behind – Blue Diary – because I thought I had it at home, but then found that I didn’t.  You know you have too many books when you can’t remember what you have!  Hopefully it will still be there if I visit the shop again…but I’m glad to have found these two anyway 🙂

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Craft books are not always easy to come across in op-shops, and really nice ones are like hen’s teeth.  That’s why I was thrilled to find these two – French-Inspired Jewellery and The Adventurous Scrapbooker.  The latter has lots of off-the-page ideas for scrapbooks and similar projects.  I actually don’t like scrapbooking at all – I don’t do it and have never liked the concept of it – but there are always awesome ideas and techniques you can apply to other crafts.  So this book is great for that.  The jewellery book is gorgeous – not just for the pretty projects inside, but for the beautiful background layouts they have used for display.  Vintage papers and ephemera, ribbon and other embellishments make for beautiful pages, that are works of art in their own right.  So glad to have found this one!  Especially for the bargain price of $2.25!

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I love dogs.  I had them all my life, right up until I was in my 30s.  But now, with full-time work and a little house of my own, on my own, a dog just isn’t practical.  Maybe one day…sigh…  In the meantime, there are books like Rachel Hale’s 101 Salvations to keep me happy.  Rachel Hale’s photography is always a delight, and this book of doggy pictures is gorgeous.  I want to start doing some proper drawing and thought I might start with some canine-inspired sketches (might as well begin with a subject I know and love!) so I am hoping to use the photos as guides.  In any case, it is a beautiful book in excellent condition and, again, at only $2.25 – I’m sure the original RRP would have been well over $35.00 – I got another bargain.

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As I just mentioned, I am trying to improve my drawing skills (such as they are) and need all the help I can get.  So, with that in mind, I picked up this next book – You Can Draw in 30 Days. I’m not necessarily convinced I will only take 30 days, but hey, it’s a start.  I desperately want to be able to draw eyes so I am really hoping this book will help me.

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I also picked up a couple of titles for my Mum, who is a  voracious reader and is always running out of her own books to read.  So, all in all, a very successful visit to this particular op-shop.  I didn’t have room in my basket for anything else, which is probably a good thing.  Didn’t stop me from going to a few more op-shops afterwards though! 🙂

Hope you are having a good day – thank you for dropping by x

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Thrifty-Happy

Op-shopping (thrifting), as I have said many times before, is one of my favourite things to do.  Probably THE favourite thing to do, if I’m honest.  I love the element of surprise, of never knowing what you’re going to find.  I have learnt not to actually go in seeking a particular thing, because I won’t find it.  It’s more of a treasure hunt – and sometimes you don’t find any treasure.  Which can really suck 🙂

Recently, on my birthday week, when I had some time off work, I did a bit of solitary op-shopping.  I had nothing to do and nowhere to be except in the rows of second hand goodness.  The weather last week was dreadful – it’s the middle of Summer and it has been cold and rainy and blah.  Which is probably the best kind of weather for trying on clothes because you don’t get hot and sweaty and cranky.

I have recently put on quite a bit of weight which, aside from being really upsetting and depressing, means that a lot of my clothes don’t fit me.  Ugh.  Is there anything more blues-inducing than trying to squeeze into a skirt that USED to be baggy on you but now makes you look like an overstuffed sausage?  No, there is not.

So, I needed to buy a few more items of clothing that would a.) fit me and b.) be suitable for the weird weather we are having.  Longer sleeves were the order of the day, because it’s too cool for short ones, and my arms are hideous.  That’s right, I said it – HIDEOUS.  They should be hidden away in case they scare someone with their white flabbiness.  There should actually be a law against my arms – seriously.  They could incite people to revolt.

Anyway, I went op-shopping.  I found a really nice shop that I hadn’t been to before and it had a great selection of clothes – so much so that I found myself with a basketful just from the first rack.  Reasonably priced and in my size – what could be better?

So here’s what I got :

  1.  Nice, lightweight top for Summer days.  Beachy and bingo-wing covering!

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Beachy!

2.    Cute little jacket that is still cool enough for Summer, or I could even
wear it as a top – it’s a blousey sort of material.

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Hearts!

3.  Super-soft checked shirt.  I don’t normally get these because I can never find one that looks ok on me.  But this one fits perfectly, is SO SOFT and I loved the blue tones.  It’s good as a cover-up over a t-shirt, or on its own.  I channel Madonna in her “Don’t Tell Me” video when I am wearing it.  Don’t judge me.

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Checks!

4.  Was lucky to find this lovely Review top.  It probably retailed for at least $100 originally, and I got it for $7.  Can’t beat that!  A good one for work.

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Ladylike!

5.  At $10.25, this was perhaps a tad more expensive than I would normally go for in an op-shop.  But it was so pretty, and just what I need for my craft room to organise my paintbrushes, pens, papers etc.

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Shabby Chic!

6.  I found this teeny-weeny religious thingy for only 50c.  It’s about the size of two postage stamps.  So dinky!  I am going to cover it and collage over it and make it completely non-religious, but hey if it has some built-in blessings or divine protection, I won’t argue!  I wish I had been able to find more, so will have to be on the lookout for them.  I guess maybe they are a little travel thingy so you can take your faith with you or something?  Whatever, it’s cute.

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Upcycler!

7.  I snagged this cushion cover for a dollar.  Although it does have a store label on it, it is obviously handmade which neat, little stitches and imperfections.  It is very large so will actually make a nice table mat or it could hang on the back of my couch.  I liked the colours and the slightly rustic quality it has.

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Patchworky!

8.  Shoes!  I have wanted a pair of these chunky heels for ages but have never been able to find exactly the right pair.  So I got these.  They’re a tiny bit small so I might need to stretch them out just slightly.  I got them for $5.  I am a mega klutzoid so I need chunky heels if I am going to wear heels at all.  Otherwise there is falling down and general embarrassment and humiliation.

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Chunky!  I mean the shoes…stop looking at my ankles!!!

So, a good day, and I have already worn a couple of the items which shows they were worthwhile purchases.  I Especially like the checked shirt – I think I will be snuggling up a lot in that in the Autumn months.  And pretending I am Madonna.  When she was still cool and making good music and not gadding about in leotards and pretending she’s 25.

Hope you are having a happy day 🙂

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How to Measure Christmas

Christmas Day is just around the corner.  I can’t believe how quickly it has come up this year.  I probably say that every year, but this last twelve months has whizzed by, and so much has happened.  It’s been such a strange, disturbing year, with a lot of loss and grief for so many people.  I don’t know about you, but I am praying for a much kinder 2017.

My Mum is currently suffering with a nasty cough/virus and it makes me very anxious.  I can’t bear for her to be ill.  She is always so healthy and I sometimes forget she is a senior now, and small illnesses can be potentially dangerous.  Also, being sick at Christmas sucks!  I know she feels miserable and concerned and also annoyed that she can’t do a lot – she hates neglecting her garden and other chores.  I just worry incessantly, especially as I am not just around the corner but 30 minutes drive away, and I can’t keep a close eye on her.  Luckily, my best friend’s Mum is just around the corner – in fact, she is taking Mum to the doctor’s this morning (I would have done but had no one to cover me at work). Hopefully she will get some antibiotics (even though she hates taking them, she admits she probably needs some this time) and be on the mend soon.  We’re meant to be spending Christmas Eve with my brother and his family, but I don’t know if she will be well enough at this stage 😦

It’s funny how, in the lead up to Christmas, you think about all the things you would like, and hope that Santa obliges.  This year, I just want my Mum to be well, and for us all to have a nice, peaceful, stress-free time together, with no dramas.

This week, I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done in record time.  I have less people to buy for this year, for one reason or another, and it made it much easier.  I made a few gifts too, which meant less spending (always a good thing) and less stress (a very good thing).  I also decided not to do the fancy wrapping I always do, which usually ends up with me stressed out of my brain and wrapping gifts every night until midnight, making sure they all fit a “theme” and all look decorative and pretty.  Not this year.  I used store-bought wrapping paper and did nothing fancier than tying them with string.  I didn’t even use matching tags!  *gasps*  It just made everything so much easier and quicker and reduced my stress by about a million percent.  I am wrapped and done, ahead of time.

Whilst looking for gifts for my Mum, I pretty much followed the list she had given me (an Ian Rankin book, some gardening stuff, a Michael Buble CD, pyjamas) but I always like to get her some other little extras too, so she has some surprises.  I found this set of measuring cups in an op-shop and thought she might like them.  They look vintage (although I suspect they are not) and I liked the little Wintery scene on them, which I thought would also make them ideal for Christmas decorating, if Mum didn’t want to use them as actual measuring cups.  I just thought they were sweet.  And at $5.00 for the three, I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

I hope she likes them, and is well enough to enjoy all of her presents.
That’s all I want for Christmas.

Best wishes to you all.  Stay well and take care of each other x

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Thrifty Goodness (Even though officially I am banned from buying anything more…)

So, I’ve had three glorious weeks off work.  GLORIOUS.  Not because I have done anything exciting or life-changing, but because I JUST WASN’T AT WORK.  Which is pretty damn good to me.  But the time has gone dizzingly fast.  Depressingly so.  Like, where did the last two weeks go?  Where did the last 5 days go?  The last three hours?  I don’t know.  I am a terrible time-waster, one of those people who is always “busy doing something close to nothing” (Thank you, Prince).  I have so many things I want to do, I end up faffing about doing nothing.  Which is horrible and makes me very annoyed.  I don’t sit around doing nothing, I move around and never sit still, but at the same time doing nothing constructive.

I was supposed to get fit and lose weight on my holiday, but that hasn’t happened.  I have pretty much eaten my way from one end of Perth to the other.  Lots of lunches and breakfasts and dinners out.  A coffee break here, an afternoon tea there – it all adds up.  So, predictably, I gave up on the whole losing weight scenario.  That will have to wait until I am back at work (although the workplace is often THE WORST place for trying to stick to a diet).  But I have caught up with lots of friends and family, so I am not complaining really.  I can’t do up my pants, but I am not complaining.

Because I am looking at moving out soon, I have tried to limit the amount of shopping I do.  I need to declutter, not get more stuff.  I sorted through my wardrobe and culled a bunch of stuff that I no longer needed or fitted in to (giving up the dream of ever being skinny again any time soon).  I didn’t go op-shopping for a few weeks.  I stayed away from those havens of thrifty goodness because I don’t want to fill my wardrobe again.  And I thought it would be incentive to lose weight – the promise of new clothes down the track.

Well, that lasted all of about three weeks, which is actually pretty good for me.  Probably a record, in fact.  I even took stuff TO the op shop in order to donate it, and did not go inside “to have a quick look”.  I was a good girl.  For a little while.  Hey, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how small, right?  I will try and hold out for longer next time.

So, this last week, unable to stand the withdrawal symptoms any longer, I stopped into a couple of my “locals”, ie the op shops that get all my money.  I desperately needed a new pair of black boots for Winter – mine are getting very beaten up and scuffed because I wear them to death, and have done for several Winters – so I did actually have a goal and purpose.  I wasn’t just wandering aimlessly, as I would normally do. Most of the boots in “proper” shops are a.) too expensive and b.) too high in the heel for me.  I have trouble finding shoes in general, but finding boots I like is a nightmare.

Almost immediately, I came across these boots, which were nearly new and in great condition , and in my size (which doesn’t happen very often).  They fit really well and are comfortable so I popped them in my basket (whilst secretly doing a little happy dance).

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Next up, I found this cute little handbag.  My own bag (sorry about cruddy photo – half of these were taken on my rapidly ageing phone) is VERY ANNOYING because it just won’t stay on my shoulder, it sits funny and I am just over it!  This one was a perfect size, nearly new and a great colour (pewter goes with everything) so it too went into my basket. My old bag will be donated – I am trying to donate one thing for every other thing I bring in to the house.  That way, I don’t become an official hoarder.

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Was super pleased to find these little pots for only $1.00 each!  I got five in all different colours.  Perfect for my succulents 🙂

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Then, I found this denim jacket.  It fits really well (I’m not skinny but I am petite, and jackets are often too wide with ridiculously long arms!) and I like the distressed detail and zip-up front.  It’s fitted so isn’t too bulky on me, but will be nice and warm for the coming colder months (ugh!).

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Another jacket – this time a leather-look one.  I did have a nice faux leather one, but it has been worn to death and was starting to fall to pieces, as faux leather will do after a while.

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My cousin actually bought this top but ended up giving it to me.  I like grey, and the little zippered pocket is a nice detail.  It’s long enough to wear with leggings and will be nice with jeans too, if I am brave enough to wear skinny ones this year.  Which seems unlikely, but you never know…

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Yes, I did buy another faux leather jacket – don’t judge me!  This one was so cute and feminine, and super soft.  Brand new with tags on still, it only cost $4.50!  It’s a bit dressier than your run-of-the-mill jacket and I love the detailing on the back (see following photo).  Hard to take a picture of, so hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like.  It feels like one of those lovely old leather gloves – so soft!

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My friend thrifted this dress (sorry about blurry photo – I am hopeless today) but decided to give it to me.  I’m not sure about the bright colours on me, but it fit well so will probably wear it with some opaque black tights and a cardigan, for work.

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I wore this one today – a comfy oversized top.  Good for this in-between weather that we are currently experiencing.  I like the faux suede on the shoulders and fake pocket area.  I don’t wear a lot of pink but I didn’t mind this one as it had the grey/black through it.

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A cute little knitted jumper.  Not my usual colours, but I kinda liked it and it fits well.  I generally wear a lot of dark things so this will make a nice change.  It is also very soft and cosy, without being bulky or heavy.

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Last, but not least, this jumper.  I am going to go ahead and call it the Muppet jumper.  Because it looks like someone skinned the Cookie Monster.  It is ridiculously soft (I have a thing for soft, apparently) and makes me want to cuddle myself.  It’s a bit more cropped than I would normally wear, but I’m sure with a high-waisted skirt or pants it will be fine.  The lady at the counter charged it as a kid’s knit, so I only paid like $2.00 or something crazy.  I love it.  Have no idea where I will wear it but maybe I will just wear it around the house and stroke myself a lot.  Which would be weird.  So maybe I won’t do that.

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So, that’s it for now.  I tend to get in a bit of a frenzy, where op shopping is concerned.  It’s a bit addictive so I have to pace myself and remind myself that I am supposed to be de-cluttering and culling.  But I have already worn several of these items so I know they weren’t frivolous purchases, and many of them were half price so they cost me less than $5.00 each.  Not gonna feel guilty about that.

Back to work next week.  I’m so sad my time off is over, but I have really needed it and feel somewhat human again after feeling like I was at risk of curling up into a ball under my desk and never coming out.  I may well feel like that on my first day back, but at least I will have new boots to help get me through.  Shoes are very powerful – just ask Dorothy!

May the thrifting Gods smile on you all today 🙂

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Earring Bling

Just a quickie post on some earrings I have made in the last couple of days.  I’m not into jewellery-making so much these days (I never really was – I just sort of fell into it as it was popular and easy to sell and then I got a bit obsessed…) but I had an order this weekend so I thought I would make a few pieces while I was at it…

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This little pair is a simple amber and green number for a friend who doesn’t like anything too flashy. Hope she likes these…

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These jade-looking ones found a home a few minutes after I made them… Funny, I was thinking about getting rid of these beads because I never use them, then changed my mind and made these earrings.  My ex-boss commented on them on my Instagram account and said she loved them.  I decided to let her have them as she has had a rough trot lately.  A little free bling can sometimes brighten things up…

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These red, orange and blue beads were tricky to use – difficult colour combination plus the length of the actual bead made them hard to match with things.  Even the head pin was a little bit too short for them…

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These amber and diamante earrings also gave me grief.  I liked the sapphire blue bead at the bottom, but I couldn’t get anything to go on the top that looked right.  So I had a couple of tiny boho-gold spacers that finished it off.  But I’m not entirely convinced…

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Sold these little owl earrings shortly after making them – ah, the power of Facebook and Instagram!  You might remember these owl charms from a previous post

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The lighting in my house is terrible and I was trying to find other places to do my photography.  Here, an echeveria succulent comes to the rescue.  Again, I have used beads salvaged from other jewellery pieces, as seen in a previous post...

So, that’s it for today, folks. Gotta make some more over the next few days so I will post those as they are finished.  Or, more likely, I will procrastinate and do something else entirely whilst ignoring the mess in my lounge-room (ie beads all over the floor).

Hope your day is bright and happy 🙂

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Second Hand Shenanigans

Today I had a day off from work.  Tomorrow is a public holiday so I decided to give myself an extra long weekend (thank you to my library assistant for suggesting it!).  So nice to be able to have a Monday off, especially as I have a bit of a dicky back today and did not want to be sitting at a desk all day, or doing shelving or dealing with people.

I went out for a spot of op-shopping this morning, wanting to get some more jewellery bits and bobs and maybe some housewares.  I hit the jackpot with a Salvos store in Mount Hawthorn.  I spent a bit much (whoopsie) and did leave with a slight case of buyer’s remorse, but I don’t think I bought anything I won’t use.

First thing I spotted was this amazing wooden-bead necklace.  Love it!  I will definitely be taking this one apart and using all those scrummy wooden beads.

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Next up, I found this cute little owl necklace.  It’s got lots of owls (not just the ones pictured) so I can definitely make a few pairs of earrings and some pendants out of it.  Very cute and on-trend at the moment.

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Then I saw this necklace – lots of interesting charms on this one.  I will use it on lots of different pieces, methinks.

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Then I saw this black pendant.  This one’s for me 🙂  I wear a lot of black so I think I will get a lot of use out of this piece.

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I picked up a few other bits and pieces – some pots for planting succulents in, and some t-shirts, plus a set of coasters with birds on them that I think I will collage on and make little decorative hangers from.  The final thing I grabbed was this lovely clock.  I nearly didn’t buy it – it was a bit pricey at $14.25 – but after picking it up and putting it back several times, I eventually gave in and added it to my haul.  I’m so glad I did.  I’ve been searching for a nice clock for my lounge room and this one fits the bill perfectly.  It suits my woodland theme well and is just the right size and colour.  I was worried it might not work, but I popped in a battery as soon as I got home and it is ticking away happily right now.  Love the owl on it and the vintagey look.  It is probably a cheap-as-chips junk piece, but I don’t care.  I am happy I got it 🙂

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After spending way too much in that shop, I stopped in at Vinnies, also in Mount Hawthorn.  Such a great little shop!  I haven’t been in there before and was pleasantly surprised.  I thought it would be expensive, because of the upmarket area, but it was very well-priced and much of the stock was half price as well.  Lots of nice clothes – I picked up a little top for work – but most of what I tried on didn’t suit me.  Which is probably a good thing, otherwise I would have bought the lot.  I did grab this lovely pot for planting succulents in – I love the glazing on it and the rustic colours.  A bargain at only $3.00 🙂
I can see a Haworthia or cactus growing happily in there on my windowsill.

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So, a good morning of op-shopping and a nice way to distract me from back pain.  I hope it will be a short-lived discomfort – I have been pretty good lately with neck/back issues so I really don’t want it to arc up again.  Maybe too much crafting yesterday and bad posture from leaning over teeny creations!

Hope you are having a good day – thanks for dropping by 🙂