Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shops are my Kryptonite.  That is to say, they don’t kill me or anything, but they do render me powerless and somewhat weak at the knees.  I probably wouldn’t be able to leap over a building either (although it is possible I could if the bargains on the other side were awesome enough).  I just like the thrill of the chase, the rummaging around in junk looking for some treasure.  I know it’s not for everyone – lots of my friends don’t get it and I understand that (although I myself don’t understand why they pay full price for anything or think that $80 is a reasonable price to pay for a t-shirt).  I guess I just like looking for things that aren’t the same old stuff everyone else has.  I like quirky and different, old or vintage.  I think it’s the Aquarian in me (quirky) and the Scot (thrifty) in my blood.  Or it’s neither of those things – I don’t know.

This week (having promised myself I wouldn’t make any purchases that weren’t absolutely essential) I stopped in at a local op-shop on my way home from an exceedingly tiresome day at work. Nothing cheers me faster that a haven of 2nd-hand knick-knackery.
I had wanted to find some more little pots for popping succulents into and I found a couple that would work wonderfully well.

Firstly this lovely little earthenware cooking dish with its crackled glaze and its vintage charm.  It might not be vintage but it looks is and I liked it (so there!).  It’s nice and shallow too which is good for a happy little succulent.  I also bought a larger sized bowl (exactly the same, just bigger) which I will use for actual cooking I think.
(Please excuse photos – I had to take them outside on my porch as it was getting dark and my house had the WORST lighting ever for taking pictures…)

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Next up, these AMAZING glazed pottery mugs.  Swoon.  I loved the colours – purply/blue with the brown terracotta swirled through it.  I saw one of the mugs and thought “Oh that might be nice to plant a little cactus or succulent in…” and then I saw that is was actually a WHOLE SET (i.e. 6 mugs).  They were only $1.25 each and practically brand new so I had to buy them.  Well, by “had to” I mean I “wanted to” with every fibre of my being.  So I did.  I still haven’t decided whether to plant succulents in them or use them as actual coffee mugs.  They’re quite small though as is my kitchen cupboard which is already groaning under the weight of a million coffee and tea cups/mugs.  Might have to do a cull…

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Then I found this lovely little dish (I guess it is like a tapas dish or one that you’d put olives in or something…).  Nice and shallow and in perfect condition.  The price tag said $3 but the lady at the counter gave it to me for $1.  Bargain!  I like the colours and design on the inside of the bowl so it seems a shame to cover it up with a plant, but I will anyway methinks!  Or have a tapas night…which seems just as pleasant and good for the soul.

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Then I spotted these two little trinket dishes.  So cute and in pretty good condition.  I thought I might give them to a couple of vintage-loving friends as gifts.  Or keep them for myself – I am undecided.  They’re so pretty and dainty (and I need all the help I can get on those two fronts!).

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So that was a pretty good haul for one afternoon and one shop.  I am binge-spending so much right now (Mum and I went to the Save the Children Fund Book Sale today and I bought 26 books…I have nowhere to put them!) and it is on par with my binge-eating.  I am going to try harder from tomorrow to curb both my emotional-eating and my emotional-purchasing.  I know it is all because I am now in the process of divorce and it is easier to feed my face or empty my purse than deal with the feelings I am trying so hard not to feel.  But I am also buying things that I can sell on and make some extra money with (at swap-meets and my mini-markets) so I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  I assuage my guilt by giving to charity (and op-shops are for charities, right?  That counts!) and reminding myself that I am mostly buying 2nd hand things which is a form of recycling.  These justifications work if I don’t dwell on it too hard.

Happy Monday everyone… x

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Trash and Treasure

Trash and Treasure

A quick post about my weekend’s finds.  It will be a quick post because I am a bit disgusted about my recent lack of self control where my spending is concerned.
If I type fast, maybe it won’t seem so bad to me….(actually, who am I kidding?  I can never do short posts when I want to…this one will be no different).

On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  “I just need a couple of things…” I said dismissively, knowing full well I am incapable of actually controlling myself where shopping is concerned. Now, normally this isn’t such a bad thing because I generally buy 2nd hand items from op-shops etc.  I don’t buy “new” things very often and even when I do I rarely pay full price.  However, having visited my brother the night before and seeing some lovely household items his equally lovely partner had bought for the house, I was immediately overcome with waves of decorator envy and NEEDED to buy similar items for my house.  As you do.

So, we headed to The Reject Shop, the kind of store that is dangerous for me because I go in to buy wrapping paper and come out with three clocks shaped like frogs, a packet of weird sweets with unpronounceable names and a self-cleaning kitty litter tray.  When I don’t own a cat.  There’s just stuff in there you never knew you needed.  It’s dangerous, as I said.  So I don’t go in there very much unless I have a strict plan and stick to it.

On this particular day I walked out with a large cork-lidded jar with a stag head on it and some white shabby-chic-looking photos frames.  So not too ridiculous I suppose.

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Then we went to Typo, another shop that I have trouble controlling myself in.  They have so much stuff in there that I NEED.  I NEED more notebooks! (I don’t, I have about 48 currently).  I NEED stickers that look like french patisserie! (I don’t – I should be on a diet and food-shaped stickers will not help the situation).  I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  (Erm, I really DO want one of those…I have no idea why.  I’m vegetarian and find hunting abhorrent.  But I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  I do!).  In the end I walked out with a wooden ampersand for my book shelf and a white ceramic fox pen holder.  Both were heavily reduced in price so I didn’t break the bank, but guilt was already starting to set in.

On Sunday morning, very early, I went to a swap meet with my good friends MD and FK.  Ah, swap meets!  The smell of dewey grass trampled on by eager bargain hunters!  Nothing is more enticing to those of us with a taste for the quirky, the trashy and the downright odd.  There is always the hope that you will find something AMAZING that you’ve been hunting for for years.  That somewhere out there is a stall that has that pink/white/blue/polka-dotted pig/duck/skateboard you’ve been looking for all your life (or at least since last Tuesday when you saw it in a magazine and knew you NEEDED to have one).

We were looking for plants and pots and cute stuff and handy stuff and storage stuff.  So, stuff, basically.  MD and FK bought practically an entire nursery of plants (the car on the way home looked like a travelling botanic exhibit) as well as some garden pots, terrariums and interesting containers for succulents.  I picked up (after a bit of fruitless searching when I thought I wasn’t going to find anything at all…) a rather funky granny trolley…

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…which then came in handy for carrying other purchases (it was a bargain at only $6.00! – very sturdy and new and roomy) and will be good for fetching my groceries in…

…I also bought a delightful little succulent that had the prettiest of pastel colours on its leaves (love the yellow and pink tinges) and deserves an equally pretty pot when I find one…

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…I found this little wooden shelf/stool which I am going to paint white and distress (maybe add a vintage image to it) and either put plants or use in my craft room as storage.  I picked up the little book too which is actually a notebook (erm…what was I saying about notebooks?) with nice brown, kraft paper pages…only $2.50 for the two items….

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…I bought this pretty cup and saucer for $5.00, not knowing MD had been eyeing it off too.  It’s a vintage design but I don’t know how old it is.  Probably not very!  Doesn’t matter to me, it’s sweet and my favourite colour.  If I don’t use it for tea, it will be a nice container for a succulent.

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We stayed at the swap meet for about three hours then decided we couldn’t carry any more and had to leave.  Across the road was a “garage sale” sign so we made a bit of a detour…several plants and more pots later for FK and MD, we headed off again.  A few miles up the road we came across a sign that said “Vintage Garage Sale”.  Well, a screeching of brakes and a quick turn into another street, we found ourselves at a lovely little garage sale, indeed selling vintage pieces (china, furniture and other items) at very reasonable prices.  I got a few pieces (couldn’t help myself…why stop now?) starting with this sweet little Wade Heath trinket dish.  It’s in good condition – no chips or staining.  I considered using it as a pot for a wee little succulent, but I’m not sure yet…

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…I loved this bowl, even though it is clearly not vintage.  I liked the colours and the shape.  Very pretty and only $5.00…

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…this Meakin strainer dish was so pretty and the colours were very bright and un-faded.  There is a bit of staining in one corner, but is in otherwise great condition, and at only $5.00, was a no-brainer for me.  I love Meakin dinnerware and the flowers on this piece were just so pretty…

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So, a good morning indeed.  But then, after also getting some fruit and veg on the way home, from the markets, and also buying some DVDs to watch later in the week (whoops), my purse is decidedly lighter than I would like it to be and buyer’s remorse has definitely set in.  I am aware of the fact that I am not only binge-eating at the moment, but have also taken on a tendency to binge-spend, even if by other people’s standards it isn’t worth worrying about.  I keep saying I am not procrastinating about getting my divorce paperwork in, but I probably am.  By spending money on other things, I can somehow, deep in my sub-conscious, “forget” to submit the papers and pay for the divorce application, not to mention filling a huge emotional void.  I’m kidding myself if I think otherwise.  But really, isn’t buying vintage china, A LOT more satisfying than paying for a divorce???  I’m not going to put my divorce papers up on the wall, for all to see my failures, but I will happily display that Meakin dish and serve tea in that sweet little cup and saucer.  Now, if I could just save up for that stag head…

Have a happy week everyone.  Hope you find some treasure (or at least avoid any trash!) 🙂

Op-Shopping is good for the Soul (but not so good for the purse…)

Op-Shopping is good for the Soul (but not so good for the purse…)

It has been a long week.  A. Long. Week.  At short notice I had to empty my entire library within the space of two days.  Not an easy feat, even with a tiny library such as mine.  But it was done with the kind help of several of my workmates (not library staff – counsellors and other lovely staff members just giving me a hand) and as of Friday afternoon we had moved everything out and covered what was left with plastic sheeting, ready for several walls to be knocked out over the weekend.  I am exhausted to say the least.  I’ve been getting to work at 7:45 and working until 5.30, trying to get it all done while still attempting to get some of my normal work completed (I gave up on that by friday morning – it was just too hard).  I’d like to say when I go in to work tomorrow morning that all I will have to do it move everything back, but, unfortunately, we are also, at some stage soon, having the entire building painted and re-carpeted.  I am having slight stress-outs about the whole process, but have so far not collapsed in a heap or burst into tears.

I haven’t had time to really miss all my other colleagues.  Which is probably a good thing.  I have had phone calls and emails and some visits from them so I’ve not been abandoned entirely.  When the library is all back in one piece and things have settled, I will “feel” the loss of my work buddies and be sad, but right now I don’t have time.

Anyway, the weekend was very, very welcome by the time it came around and although I had promised myself I wouldn’t spend money, I failed miserably and did exactly that.  After meeting up with a friend in the morning for a coffee and catch-up session, I drove over to my Mum’s as we had planned to go to a movie together.  Both of us were so tired and really not in the mood to go to a noisy shopping centre and deal with people and lining up for a movie etc.  So we piked on that idea and decided to just go op-shopping and then back to my house for dinner and a DVD.  Bliss!  So much better to be comfy at home and chill out with cups of tea and a good movie.  Mum has been planning and designing her garden – she’s been painting little models of the plants she wants so she can have them standing up on the design plans, to show what they will look like as you look over the garden.  Smart huh?  And how pretty are her little painted models?

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And the op-shopping!  Oh Lord, the op-shopping!  You can do a lot of damage to your purse over the course of an hour in a good op-shop!  Yesterday was no exception.  I was looking for some nice knits – cardigans and jumpers and tops – and boy did I find them!  I ended up buying seven.  Ridiculous!  I have nowhere to fit them all so have had to have a bit of a cull this morning of my old stuff (time for a clear-out anyway, I’m starting to look like a bag lady).  The knits I found were in such good condition (which can sometimes be hard to find where 2nd hand knits are concerned) and in lovely colours and styles.  I got stripes ( I have a thing for stripes…I blame it on Tim Burton) and plains, studded details and interesting necklines.  Anyway, this is what my couch looked like when I brought them all home…

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I also bought a few magazines and a little plastic bead box (only 75c and I can never have enough bead storage).  I found a cute little salt shaker for a dollar – it is just right for storing some of my little beads and will look pretty on the shelf with all my others jars…

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I also went a bit crazy with scarves…I’d already gotten two on Ebay this week (couldn’t find any in the shops I liked) – an animal print one and a butterfly-patterened one :

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…and then Mum found two pretty ones in the op-shop that I really liked (if I’m truthful she went “Oh, these are nice!” and I sorta-maybe-kinda snatched them up for myself – hey, it’s every man for himself when you’re op-shopping!  She stopped me feeling too guilty by grabbing a photo frame I had spotted, so we’re even now) :

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…how cute is the cat one?  And I love polka dots, plus that magenta colour is awesome 🙂

I had a quick look at the jewellery section to see if there were any nice beads…found this bracelet made with heavy glass beads (love the purple) so I bought it too:

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So, all in all, a pretty successful day.  My purse may be a tad on the light side now, but I didn’t really spend that much, all things considered (a heck of a lot less than I would have spent in a shop selling new stuff) and it was a nice way to spend a couple of hours, instead of moving furniture and bookshelves.  I’ve done some gardening this morning and hoovered the house, done a couple of loads of laundry and washed the dishes.  That’s enough housework for one day.  If I’m feeling energetic I should go for a walk later (was supposed to go this morning with a friend but she had to cancel) but I can see that not happening.  It’s cold and miserable outside – better to stay indoors and do some crafting or, if I’m sensible, some ironing (how does one person accumulate so many baskets of ironing???). I should also be completing my tax return (ugh!) and sorting out my divorce papers (double ugh!) but I am procrastinating on both.  Neither fills me with joy or happiness, and I think things like that should be avoided…although I really did mean to get the divorce stuff sorted this week – just ran out of time and kept working late each day.

Hope you are having a good weekend, doing whatever you enjoy doing most 🙂  I don’t suggest filling out divorce papers OR tax returns.
Filling your tummy would be far more acceptable – go eat a cookie (on me) 🙂

My Week in Pictures (July)

My Week in Pictures (July)

How did it get to be Sunday already?  Where did the week go?  Did I sleep through it?  Why am I asking so many questions?

I’ve had a busy week, despite having three days off (not due to illness or anything medical, for once.  Just needed a few days off to prepare my house for rent inspection – which was cancelled! Gah!  I did housework for nothing!!!)  and being quite lazy and un-motivated.  My desk at work had so much stuff piled up on it but the time I came back from my mini-break, that it looked as though I would be staying back every day for the next three years in order to get through it all and catch up.
But I ploughed through it on Friday and am now back to just being regular busy, instead of frenzied busy.

I did go for a couple of walks during my lunch breaks, just to force myself to get off my bottom and get some fresh air.  It is not unusual for me to spend 3 or 4 hours at my desk without getting up at all and that’s pretty bad, not just for my waistline and backside but for my general health and mental state, not to mention my eyes and back.  I had been told there was an op-shop down the road from our work place but had, as yet, not visited it (shame!).  I toddled down there one day last week and, boy-oh-boy, had I been missing out!  This place was huge with lots of lovely things to browse through.  They had a huge shoe collection – check out these “classy” numbers:

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I was good and didn’t buy anything (mostly because I had not taken my purse with me…) but I will return again another day!  Next door was the “Book Bazaar” which was also a dangerous place to visit.  Sooooo many books!  Everything from craft to language books, fiction to gardening…will be back there soon…

On my walks I took the opportunity to take a few snaps of the various pretty flowers, plants and foliage around my work.  As there is lots of bushland there are often wildflowers in bloom, but on this occasion it was mostly weeds and introduced species:

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I think these flowers are African Daisies…(but don’t quote me on that!)…

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These too…

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…A pretty little vignette designed by nature 🙂

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…even weeds can be pretty…(a type of oxalis)…

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…bee butt!  I can’t help myself…if you are a bee and you’re butt is poking out of a flower, watch out!
This little guy would NOT keep still, but eventually he found this Soursop (another type of oxalis) flower enticing enough to be worth lingering on…

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…soursop foliage…

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…even the sky was beautiful on this day (though those clouds brought rain later on…)

The weather this week has been alternating between blue skies and sunshine (though still cold), to freakish winds and thunderstorms.  At any rate, it has been too cold for me and I long for Summer.  I am tired of dressing like I live in the Antarctic.  I feel fat and lumpy, pale, bulky and sad in the cooler months.  I wish there was a giant beanie than would not just cover my head but my entire body in wooly warmth.

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I helped my brother run a stall at a local toy and collector’s fair last week.  My soon-to-be-ex normally gives him a hand but was unable to, due to being on holiday overseas ( will not bitch, I will not bitch) so I said I would be his assistant for the day.  We did pretty well – there wasn’t a big crowd but we made steady sales (my brother sells model kits and figurines).  I had dinner with my brother’s family that night and got to hang out with my little nieces and nephews, including this cutie (whose smiles and happy face is enough to cure any Winter blues I might be experiencing) :

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Yesterday, I bought a couch.  I went out to buy toilet paper, took a bit of a detour and bought a couch.  As you do.  I have been putting it off forever and I finally bit the bullet and ordered one.  No photos as yet as they have to make the couch to order.  I have to wait 4-6 weeks which seems like an age but I have heard that some people wait 3 months, so I won’t complain.  I want my lounge room to be inviting and cosy, as well as slightly quirky and stylish.  My brother and his partner were getting rid of an old mirror and I grabbed it before it got put out onto the verge collection.  I’ve put it up in my lounge room behind my twiggy tree, along with my squirrel ornament and metal crow.  When the tree is lit up with the tiny fairy lights I got at Christmas, and it all reflects off the mirror, it is so pretty and pleasing to the eye.  Well, my eye anyway, and I guess that’s what is important.

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Today I slept in (I’ve been so tired lately – I think it’s just a bit of sadness weighing me down) and then faffed about until mid afternoon when I went out to the movies with my friend K from work.  The day was bright and crisp, with blue skies and a gentle breeze.  The pretty Autumn leaves on all the trees were such gorgeous combinations of colour…

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The movie we saw was the French film, “Belle & Sebastian“.  So lovely.  The scenery in the movie was beautiful and the story itself (though a little bit cutesy and Lassie-ish) was compelling and tear-jerking.  Mind you, all the snow and ice in the movie left me feeling absolutely freezing and it was nice to get into a nice warm car and drive home to my PJs and Ugg boots 🙂

I had some nice news this week – my kidney function has increased to 49%!  I am so happy about that and also grateful and surprised.  Every percent is an absolute gift.  I am still praying I get to 50% but am very content with 49!

Hope you have had a good weekend xxx

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Swap Meet Sunday

Swap Meet Sunday

Brrrr….2 degrees?  Really, Mother Nature?  Really?  Don’t I have enough trouble getting up already?  I can’t physically wear any more layers of clothing and I’ve forgotten what it is like to be able to feel my extremities.  This is Australia for Goodness’ sake!  Sure, it’s Winter, but really!

Got up early on this bright and sunny (but frickin’ freezing!) Sunday morning to go bargain hunting at a huge swap meet in the Northern suburb of Wanneroo.  My two friends, FK and MD, asked me if I wanted to go (last night) and I thought about it for two seconds before saying an enthusiastic “Yes please!”  We set off early as the real “pro” bargain hunters go at the crack of dawn and we wanted to make sure there were still treasures to be found.  We rugged up (I even wore my knitted hat – that only comes out when I am beyond caring about what I look like and aiming for the prevention of frost-bite) and set out into the crowds, ready to snap up some cool stuff (hopefully).  We struck gold at the very first stall (always a good sign if you spend straight away) – lots of lovely plants for sale, predominantly succulents.  MD and FK LOVE their succulents and so they parted ways with the cash pretty quickly.  I too bought a little cactus – an adorable little guy that looked like a bunny.  Had to have it.  It was only $3.00. Will try not to kill it (yes, I can murder even a cactus with my black thumbs).

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Further on, I picked up a lovely white geranium – have wanted one for ages but they are always so expensive.  This one was just $4.00 and a good size and in great condition.  Gotta find a nice spot for it to go in my garden.  MD and FK bought a few more succulents to go in their respective gardens at home.  FK also snagged a bright green wheelie bin that she is going to use as a compost bin on her balcony.  Those bins are normally around the $20 – $30 mark.  She got it for $3.00!  Another stall-holder tried to buy it from her for $10.00 so he could sell it for more himself.  No chance!  Unfortunately, another gentleman thought it was a real bin and threw his half-eaten burger in it.  Ew.  He removed it again though 🙂

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MD herself also found a great bin, suitable for compost.  It’s asking price was $14.00 but we haggled the guy down to $9.60.  Bargain!  Of course they were now lugging around two big bins but it was too far to go back to put them in the car (we’d already done that with the plants).  I managed to pick up an awesome spice rack for $9.00 (I should have haggled but I’m not so good at that…still, it was a good price) which I am going to use for my beads.  It’s perfect for that and fairly compact in size so will save space and free up some room in my other bead boxes and jars.  It was bloody heavy though…wish I’d found it at the end of the day instead of the beginning!

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I also picked up these pretty Wood & Sons “Yuan” vintage plates for $3.00 (for the three plates).  Such a nice design and I love the blue. I’ve had a look around on the internet for prices for these plates and they’re going for anything from $5 to $40 per plate!  Definitely got a bargain here!  Doesn’t matter to me really though – I just thought they were pretty! 🙂

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FK found a watering can and paid $5.00 for it – it fitted nicely in her wheelie bin so at least she didn’t have to carry it as well.  I was happy to grab some paint brushes that were being sold by the bundle – only $3.00 a bunch.  The lady at that stall was eyeing off my spice rack – but I wasn’t giving it up!

MD got the biggest item of the day – a six-seat dining setting for $130.00 including delivery!  It was a nice set – expandable table with good, solid chairs.  We were amazed that the stall-holder would deliver on a Sunday and only charge $20.  Crazy!  But such a bargain.  The seat cushions were a little grubby but will probably come up nice and clean again with a bit of sponging or MD could maybe re-upholster them pretty easily and cheaply.

After three hours we were pretty pooped and ready to go home for a nice hot cup of tea and to look at our purchases.  Will definitely go again – maybe take Mum as she needs some new plants that won’t cost the Earth.  Love a good bargain hunt and today was no disappointment in that category.  The weather actually was pretty nice after the first chilly hour or so – beautiful blue skies and sunshine (although I still had a big jacket, scarf and my hat on!).  A nice way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.  I came home and made one card (meh…I’m still getting back into the groove with card-making) and a necklace (trying to use up my chunkier beads…).

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Hope you have had a good weekend – enjoy your week! 🙂

Beadin’ heck…

Beadin’ heck…

Beads.  I am a bit obsessed.  It is so weird how jewellery (or, rather, jewellery-making) has taken over my life.  I’m not particularly blingy, don’t wear a lot of jewellery myself and shy away from colourful baubles and trinkets to adorn myself with.  But I like making stuff for other people to wear.  Maybe I am living vicariously, letting my inner colour wheel get it’s groove on.  I don’t know.  But I am currently obsessed with beads of all colours and shapes, sizes and styles.  In case you hadn’t noticed.

I’ve been having a crappy time of things this last week or so and I am trying to remain cheerful and not let things get me down, like I always do.  I am in danger of becoming an unsociable hermit (again), am really tired (again) and have been having horrible nightmares (again) so I’m a bit drained and in need of some pick-me-ups.

Yesterday, at lunchtime, desperately needing time away from work after an exceedingly trying morning, I nipped out to visit a local op-shop in order to fossick through their jewellery piles to see what beady treasures I could come up with.  After wasting time perusing a rather lack-lustre display on one counter, I started to look around the shop for other things (I broke yet another pair of shoes that morning – I am just about down to my last pair and cannot find anything in the shops at the moment to fit me).  As I passed the counter, my eyes just about exploded, for there, almost hidden from view (or at least my obviously short-sighted view) was a WHOLE WALL of necklaces, bracelets and earrings!  Flipping heck!  I have been in that shop before and NEVER seen that wall.
Where were my eyes? What have I been doing all this time, completely ignoring this treasure trove?

Anyway, hyperventilation under control, I rummaged through (oh how I do love a rummage and a fossick!) and found some pretty nice stuff, at reasonable prices.  I still am yet to find some nice yellow beads (is there some sort of yellow-bead-boycott that I don’t know about?) but I picked up plenty of other pretty things:

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These turquoise beads are nice and heavy and are a good shape and size.
I know I have a tonne of turquoise already, but you can never have enough, right?

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I really loved these black “rose” beads – they look like they may be vintage
but I don’t know.  I just liked them 🙂

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Red beads on a bracelet with this cute little butterfly charm.  
The red goes so well with turquoise and is a combination I use often.

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Loved this necklace.  The beads are lovely and glossy and remind me of sweets.
Probably why I have been craving jersey caramels…

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These purple/pink beads were a nice surprise as I thought the smaller round beads were plastic
but they are actually heavy glass.  Love the big square ones…

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Yummy berry-toned glass beads, that came with…

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these interesting silver rods which will make some fab earrings.

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Lastly, I bought this pendant for me, just ’cause I liked it.  I probably should have given it a wipe-over before
taking the photo…it’s a bit dusty!  I just thought it was pretty.  A bit more glitzy than I would normally wear but it’s black so
not too outrageous!

I also went to a couple of markets on the weekend.  I would have photos of the markets themselves but, as per usual, let my phone die before I could take any pictures.  Duh.  I did, however, buy some cool stuff, including some lovely felt balls, metres of porcelain beads in pale blue, coral red and cream (the lady at the stall didn’t look very happy when I told her I wasn’t going to wear them as necklaces but break them up for the beads…), wooden cube beads, a pottery ring and a metal crow!  Actually, he is supposed to be a blackbird but I choose to call him a crow (because I love crows & ravens and have them in various forms throughout my house).

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So, all I need now is some time, maybe a nice weekend at home and I can actually start making some things with these goodies.  I REALLY want to start making some clay beads and other bits and pieces, plus some plaited bracelets.  And make some cards (which I haven’t done for AGES).  And get into watercolours again.  And start an art journal.  And make myself a skirt.  And do some embroidery.

So basically I want to do lots of things and need to find approximately 48 extra hours in each day to get any of them done, or even started.  Sigh.

Hope your week is going well so far, and that you are succeeding in bringing a little bit of creativity and colour into every day.  I’m trying 🙂

PS to “K” – I’m sorry I didn’t ask you along to the markets…hope I am forgiven x

Book Heaven (or how to spend money VERY quickly)

Book Heaven (or how to spend money VERY quickly)

Today was the start of the annual Save the Children Fund‘s Book Sale.  It is an event my Mum and I look forward to with almost religious fervour.  We both love to read but also just love BOOKS – the look of them, the feel of them, the stories they tell, the warmth and personality they give to a room, how they keep you company on a cold winter’s night and, well, ok, I may have exaggerated there a little, but basically we lurve books.  The STCF Book Sale is so worth going to because the books are 2nd hand but generally in great condition and cheap, cheap, cheap (compared to regular retail prices which are getting ridiculously expensive, almost prohibitively so) and there’s tables and tables and boxes and stands of them in every genre, style and language.  Awesome-sauce!  Books are the one thing I do not feel guilty about buying.  I watch every penny I spend generally and am known as quite the cheapskate (in a good way – I just like a bargain and make my money stretch as far as I can.  An example of this is I bought a pair of shoes and a skirt for $3.50 this weekend) but, where books are concerned, I have no guilt.  My house is already over-flowing with the titles I already have.  My hubby and I have 6 large and 2 small bookcases that no longer can contain all the books we have collected.  So there are piles on the floor, teetering towers by the bookcases themselves and even more books shoved in any other space I can squeeze them into.  We just love to read (which you would expect from two library people – but it isn’t always that way, lots of library folks don’t (gasp!) read at all) and I personally hate getting rid of any book once I have finished it.  It’s like an old friend or something.  You don’t discard those  do you?  But, I’ve talked about my love of books before so…

Anyway, the Book Sale…ah, such a glorious thing it was.  It had obviously been very well advertised this year because it was crowded with people and they’ve already plundered quite a bit by the time we got there.  But never fear, new stocks were brought out and so there was pretty much an unending supply for us to sift through.  Yay!  My Mum and I quickly decided to divide and conquer so we split up and headed to separate ends of the hall.  Mum reads more crime & suspense fiction than I do (actually, I really DON’T read that stuff…only very occasionally) and I tend towards what would be known as “General” or “Litererary” in public libraries.  I like human tales – they can be set in any era and have any main subject but I like them to be very character driven and have a feel about them…I like to read about people’s lives and overcoming stuff and I also like a quirky plot and humour.  Actually, having just said all that, I will pretty much read anything except romance.  And even then, I will read romance if it it’s got some over sub-text going on.  I just like to read.

So, I quickly got a bag of books (13 titles in all) gathered up and luckily, many of them were under $5.  I got :

  • Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho
  •  Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry  (Have been meaning to read this one for ages…)
  • The Truth about Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell
  • The Reinvention of Ivy Brown by Roberta Taylor
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martell  (Again, another one I feel I should have read by now…)
  • The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx  (Ditto…)
  • The River Wife by Heather Rose
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle  (My doctor has been on at me to read this one – I have anxiety and stress issues!  I was happy paying $2 for it today rather than the $25.00)
  • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Fish Castle by Elizabeth Stead
  • The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole by Stephanie Doyon

My Mum nabbed two big bagfuls and got about 20 books in total.  Pretty awesome.  The sale is on all week.  At the end of the week they sell things for half price or you can fill a box for $10…guess where I’ll be going at the end of the week?!  I didn’t even look at the non-fiction tables properly so I’m hoping to pick up a few craft, cooking or gardening books super cheap.

So now I have to re-organise my groaning shelves to accommodate the newbies…I may even bite the bullet and get rid of a few.  Maybe…