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Antler

Forgot to post this before Christmas…  Just another ornament thingy I made for my handmade stall in December.  I had made a few of the baubles and wanted some less glittery versions, that could maybe serve as all-year-round decorations.  So, I found these lovely little ceramic antlers in Target and thought they would be perfect for embellishing.

I used, as always, recycled beads from old jewellery, including some rather tarnished and battered metallic ones that I really liked the look of.  There are also polished stone, clay, and wooden ones in the mix.  Strung onto some beading wire, attached to the antler and voila!  I was pretty happy with it and kept one for myself (which is now hanging on my wall next to my faux stag head). The ornament itself only cost $2.40 and I used beads I already had in my ridiculously large stash, so it was a pretty cheap creation all round.

Hope your day is a happy one – thank you for stopping in.

x

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Op Shopping Wins

Op Shopping Wins

I’ve been a bit naughty with my spending these last couple of weeks.  I hadn’t been shopping much for the last few months, mainly because I was trying to restore some of my savings after having to pay for my surgery. Besides that, I just wasn’t in the mood somehow.  I’d walk into a shop and lose interest in it by the time I’d made it past the first rack of stuff.  Even in op shops, which are normally a haven for me, I was disheartened and bored.

But that has all changed now, whether for the better or not.  My bank balance would probably say “not”.  I went op shopping a few times in the last ten days or so and picked up loads of things.  Like, LOADS.  A ridiculous amount of clothes (when I already have a wardrobe that is groaning under its own weight) and knick knacks.  Let me give you an example of one shopping trip – in one store alone, I bought 6 skirts, three tops, a dress, a pair of shoes and a jumper.  Like I said, ridiculous.

But I kinda let myself off because it is op shopping and so the prices are low and the money goes to charity.  So, really, I am being very selfless and thrifty!  Maybe?

So without further ado, here are a few of the items I bought this month:

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A fabulous turquoise ring.  It’s enormous.  Who would wear this as a ring???  I just wanted it for its beads…it was only $1.00.

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This good-quality, stoneware plant pot.  With a hole in the bottom.  I
hate it when pots have no drainage holes.  It’s so annoying.  It was $1.25, so even if it didn’t have a drainage hole, I would have bought it.  It’s nice and solid and I think the green will go well with something that has some bright flowers, or variegated leaves that add contrast.

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Stacks of magazines (teapot not included – I forgot to remove him before taking the photo) for 75c each.  I love magazines but they are so expensive now.  Why pay $10.00 for one when you can buy them for less than a dollar?

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This pretty grey and white floral top was only $4.50.  It’s a Portmans piece so would have been a lot more expensive than that originally.  Portmans is a shop I don’t even walk in to – I can’t afford their normal prices.  Because I am a tightwad basically.

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Black and white sheer and lace skirt.  This was $5.00 I think.  The sheer layer over the top covers the shorter one underneath.  I liked the lace details and the pattern.

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Another skirt.  Because I need them apparently.  This one is just a basic pencil skirt, but I really like the small-print floral and it is very comfortable to wear, especially on fat days ha ha.

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Um, another skirt.  I am still trying to figure out if it is brown or purple.  In the shop, I thought it was purple, then I got it home and decided it was actually brown.  Now I am just confused.  The lighting in my room is DREADFUL, so it could be bright green and I wouldn’t be able to tell.  It was also $5.00.  I liked the lace detail on the hem of this one also.  It came with this horrible brooch/chain thingy that was made from lace and ribbons.  Hideous.  That came off straightaway.

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Brown leather shoes.  I don’t normally buy or wear leather, but I will make an exception if the item is second hand.  I figure the damage has already been done to the poor animal.  Me buying these shoes isn’t going to make a lick of difference in the long run.  They’re a little big for me but comfortable and soft.  I might end up giving them to my Mum, if my leather-guilt gets too bad.  She has bigger feet than me so they will probably fit her better anyway.

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Got this cute little brooch for $1.00.  I looked the creator up online and the brooches normally retail for $30.00 each so I think I got a bargain.  I don’t even know if I will wear her, but she might go on a bag or something.  I might even re-gift her.  I’m not opposed to re-gifting things, within reason.  Don’t tell anyone…

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I actually got this book from a 2nd-hand bookstore in Margaret River.  I just liked the illustrations.  It was $7.00, which is more than I would normally pay for anything, but I got sucked in by the pretty pictures inside.

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These gorgeous yellow beads (from a huge necklace that was so heavy it could possibly give you scoliosis of the spine) were like a ray of sunshine to my yellow-bead-deprived heart.  I am always looking for this kind of yellow.  Not plastic or glass, I needed ceramic or clay ones.  And here they are!  And so many too!  They’re hand made and so each bead is a little different to the next, which I kinda like.  Although, if I am trying to make earrings from them, I will probably go insane trying to find a pair that matches.  These were $5.75.

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Finally (for this post anyway), this delightful little Stilton cheese pot.  Love the shape and colours and overall design.  I have no idea what I will keep in it.  It will probably just be a display item on my bookshelves.  It was only $3.00.  I can even see me planting a succulent in it, although that would render the lid a bit redundant.  I just liked it.  It’s cute 🙂  So there.

So, just a few of things I bought this month.  I am not quite sure where this spending frenzy is coming from but it is best not to fight it.  That could get messy and lead to whining and possibly the over-consumption of cookies/cake/insert bad food of choice here.  I think I am also sub-consciously putting off starting the process of buying a house.  I have given myself a year to make a decision about it and the months are already dwindling away and I am no closer to even STARTING to think about it.  Sigh.  It’s too grown-up a decision for me to make without hyperventilating and coming out in hives.  Op-shopping is safer and cheaper and downright nicer.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it,.

🙂

Colour Shop

Colour Shop

My house is a crazy mess right now.  I mean, normally it is a mess but, right now, it is a CRAZY mess.  There are beads everywhere – on the table, under the table, in the nooks and crannies of the couch, rolling around in the kitchen and hiding under furniture.  There is card and paper and glue and paint and tape and scissors and STUFF everywhere.  I am still busily making things for my mini-market on the weekend.  I am trying to make lots of different things in different styles and colours so there is something for everyone.  I always say that, but then I end up worrying that I don’t have enough variation or a big enough mix of items.  But I only have a couple of days left and then I have to go into mega-crazy cleaning mode.  I have to find all those pesky beads and scraps of paper and tidy up so that my house looks the very model of neatness and togetherness.  It will all come together in the end, it always does, but I still worry.  I don’t want anyone to come and be disappointed or not like what I have or not find anything that is suitable for them.

Here’s a few of the latest things I have made this week.  A few more colours this time and maybe some more dangly, bigger styles.  The first pair (the pink and green ones) have already gone (the dangers of putting their pictures on Instagram before the sale day itself) which I am pleased about because I wasn’t sure if anyone would like them.  You just never know what people are going to go for (another reason I try and make lots of different things, not just stuff I myself would like to wear).

Hope your day has been colourful and happy 🙂

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Beadin’ Frenzy.

Beadin’ Frenzy.

I am seriously running out of time to make anything for my mini-market.  I mean seriously.  Like, I have 5 days.  I have been crafting every spare second I get, but this past week I didn’t HAVE any spare seconds.  So I’ve been trying to get things done over the weekend.  I put all my card-making stuff away (doing THAT takes a day in itself) and got out all my bead boxes and accompanying findings and fastenings.  I have banned myself from op-shopping, at least for a little while, so I’ve not had any new (old) beads to fuel my creative mojo.  So, I’ve had to utilise what I already had.  Which, in a way, forces you to become more creative, because you have to look at things a different way.  Sometimes, that is frustrating and you (I) spend a lot of time banging your (my) my head on the table crying “I can’t work under these conditions!!!”

I have tried to use combinations of colour I wouldn’t normally use.  Wooden beads with glass beads.  Bigger things, smaller things.  Beads I have been saving (for whatever reason known only to me) and beads I thought I would never use.

I took bracelets I had made and added extra beads to turn them into necklaces.  I broke up necklaces and made THEM into pairs of earrings.  I stopped being fussy about every little detail.

In the end, I made a lot of stuff.  Over thirty pairs of earrings and 3 necklaces.  I feel like I have accomplished a lot but also, because it is ME we’re talking about here, not nearly enough.  I want to have lots and lots and LOTS of things for people to buy at my sale but I never feel like I’ve done enough.  Which is me in a nutshell really.  I need to start believing I am enough and am doing enough.  Enough with the self-doubt already!  But that’s hard and it’s Sunday evening and I have to concentrate on moping (gotta go to work tomorrow) and watching Masterchef which, in turn, makes me want to eat and then bake cookies at midnight which will then lead to all-consuming self-loathing.

So, for now, I am happy with the things I have created today (some shown below) and hopefully will get more made in the countdown towards the next weekend and my sale.

Hope you’ve had a creative, satisfying day 🙂

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Earring Bling

Earring Bling

Today I made earrings.  Lots of them.  There is nothing else to say, really.  I stayed in my daggy, around-the-house clothes, drank tea and listened to music.  And made earrings.  The market stall I was going to a part of was suddenly cancelled, so I am planning on having another mini-market at my house.  Which means I need lots of stock.  Hence the earring marathon today.  I made ethnic-inspired ones and bright ones and sparkly ones and ones-I-don’t-like-but-maybe-someone-else-will.  Many of these were made with recycled beads, rescued from old jewellery found in op-shops, or given to me by lovely friends.  Waste not, want not!

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I didn’t think these colours would work together but now I kinda like them in this pair…

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I went boho on these ones…

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Copper and green is always peachy keen…or something (I like this colour combination in other words)…

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Pretty in Pink – shells and birdies…

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These elephant, wooden, chunky earrings are, well, chunky, but some people like their bling big, right?

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Cheerful little number, this pair…

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Another bright set (pink not red in this one although it is hard to see in the photo)…

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Always gotta make lots of owls…I already have an order for some of these…

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Pastel pink…one of the butterflies is upside down, I just noticed.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone!

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Another bright and cheery pair – love the yellow in these!

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Feeling fruity…

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Shell and glass and ceramic beads make this pair…

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More shell, and freshwater pearls…

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An oriental pair…

My dining room table is now a state and I haven’t done any ironing or sorted out my lunch for work tomorrow.  My back is aching (ugh – so old!) and I am slightly squinty from having worked in bad light for most of the day.  But I am happy.  A day spent crafting is a good day indeed.

Hope the start of your week has been fulfilling and and a sign of good things to come.  If nothing else, you are one step closer to Friday!  Smile! 🙂

Pots and Such (Another Adventure in Op-Shopping Land)

Pots and Such (Another Adventure in Op-Shopping Land)

Hi everybody! I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. I am gearing up for yet another move at work in the next couple of days and I am very tempted to either hide under my desk until it is all over or move interstate. I can’t wait for everything to be back in its rightful place, neatly organised (or not-so-neatly, I’m not fussy, as we all know), all the library books back on their shelves instead of packed in boxes all over the place, and to be able to run an efficient service again without having to tell people that we can’t access things at the moment. I don’t want to leave the other office though – I like it there with all my colleagues and will miss them (such a sap!) and the sound of chatter and laughter during the day. Hopefully I can make regular visits to see them and ensure the resources there are kept up-to-date and current.

I did do a spot of op-shopping on the weekend. I always call it a “spot” of op-shopping… Why don’t I just say I ran rampant in a few op-shops and emptied my purse? That would be more realistic. I didn’t buy clothes which is a miracle, but lots of china and pottery including a little, vintage porcelain brooch – which I promptly dropped as soon as I got it home and now it is chipped in several places (I am telling myself that it was already chipped and I failed to notice in the shop). This is also the only decent photo I took of anything so be prepared for a less than award-winning photography performance…

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I bought a few different receptacles for succulents including….

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…this cute pottery mug – the colours will go nicely with an aeonium (with it’s pink and yellow-tinged leaves).
Don’t think I am all up on the names of these things; I just had to look that up 🙂

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…these pottery bowls – so nice! I’ve decided to keep them for me and use them in the kitchen. I’ve already had my soup in them as pictured in my last post.
They were only about 25c each so I couldn’t pass them up (well, I could have, but I didn’t!)…

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…this little gobletty-thing. I don’t know what it is, really. I guess it could be a candle holder thingy. I’m going to call it a goblet.
If you know what it is, please tell me so I don’t look like a dufus (any more than usual). It’s made in Ireland and I really just liked the colours…

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…these ceramic clogs! So daggy and twee! But they will look cute with a little succulent in them, right? Not my kind of colours (a lime green clog? I don’t think so…) but they might go with someone else’s decor, you never know…

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…a couple of little white pots. Cacti and succulents always look nice in a fresh white pot, so I picked these up for a cheap price. The smaller one is made in Portugal…

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…I loved this sugar bowl. I’ve always liked this design – 70’s Figgjo Flint, Tor Viking – and this little vintage piece was in really good condition, no chips or cracks.
It was only $3.25 too… They had matching cups and saucers but I controlled myself ha ha… I’ll keep this piece for myself though…not planting anything in that!

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…of course I bought beads (that goes without saying). I found a couple of necklaces that had awesome beads and they were colours or shapes
I didn’t already have anything similar to…these blue/green cubed wooden ones were great and plenty of them on long lengths…

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…they came in a bundle with this necklace, which I probably wouldn’t have picked up on its own (turquoise – I think I have enough of that…
but can you ever have enough turquoise?) but I will use the beads nevertheless…

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…these ethnic-looking beads were perfect, especially as they are lighter in colour than the typically dark wood ones I always seem to get.
The pale terracotta shade is really nice with the white detailing…

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…LOVED this necklace with it array of pretty lampwork beads in shades of green and I’ve already made a pair of earrings with them…

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So, a pretty good afternoon of treasure hunting and actually not much money spent as most things were marked down from their already ridiculously low prices. I’m going to stop looking for and buying pots etc soon – the succulent “thing” is shaping up to be a bit of a fad/phase for me and I haven’t even potted any up yet (although my lovely cousin gave me a load of cuttings and leaves to propagate last night…) so I’d better start growing some before I buy any more containers to put them in. I do like the idea of plants that are hard to kill though…and if you can plant them in cute little pots, all the better!

What do you look for when op-shopping/thrifting? Do you only go for clothes or like looking at lots of different things? Do you go in with a budget, or just wing it? Do you share your favourite spots with friends, or do you keep the locations secret? I’d love to know your op-shopping “style”…

Have a lovely day, everyone x

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) 🙂