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 🙂



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!


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.


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.


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


Op-Shopping Naughtiness

It’s been a bit of an unpleasant week.  Stressful days at work, health issues and bizarre pain problems (I am possibly the only person in the world who could strain a tendon in their foot IN THEIR SLEEP) has meant the weekend was VERY welcome.  A morning spent op-shopping was even more welcome.  I haven’t had much luck lately finding clothes and have mostly been out looking for beads and jewellery to take apart and remake into new pieces.  Yesterday, however, I was quite successful in both areas, finding some lovely jewellery items as well as some nice “new” clothes for myself.  My wardrobe is already groaning under the weight of what I already have, but, I reason with myself, I have lots of stuff I don’t wear or that is getting a bit tatty and needs to be rehomed/recycled/gotten rid of.  I kinda have a rule with myself that if I buy clothes, I have to get rid of some clothes.  I don’t always follow that rule (duh!) but I try.  Sometimes.

First up, this lovely little retro-styled cardigan/top.  It’s so cute I can hardly stand it.  It’s really lightweight, I love the
blue colour and the little scotty dog with the matching spotty buttons…


scotty dog with a bow, yo!


Then I found this nice green top/blouse.  Nice and light and I thought the detailing on
the front was kinda unusual…


Next up, this bright red/tangerine shirt dress.  Fits perfectly (buttoning-up things never do for me)
and is cool and quite nice for the office (I think).


Then, I picked up this black dress…it’s very low cut (why do they make things like that? Who’s boobs are they
modelled on? 11 year old girls?) but with a 
cami underneath it will be fine. I don’t need to frighten anyone by
letting it all hang out.  I’m 40 for God’s sake – nobody needs to see that.


The dress was brand new – still had tags on.  I got it for $8.00…$22.00 off the original price ain’t bad.
The size 12 irks me somewhat – it was pretty small and not a size 12 in anyone’s universe.


Next up (I told you it was a successful day), I found this cute little navy and white skirt
(looks kinda like shorts in the picture but it is definitely a skirt!).  Cute!  Nice and thick so will be good for Winter with tights.  


Has an embroidered pattern…


I picked up this great denim skirt for $2.00 (bargain!).  I was actually wearing the same exact skirt whilst shopping.
It is one I wear all the time so I figured why not get another one?  Especially as it is only $2.00!  It looks like a mini-skirt in the
picture, and I guess it would be on anyway with normal length legs, but I am super short and so it is quite respectable and not in the
least bit scary or inappropriate.  I might not bend over while wearing it though 🙂


As I was leaving one of the shops I saw this dress by the door.  I broke my cardinal rule and risked not trying it on… There is a
reason one has a cardinal rule, and that is to avoid purchases that are less than perfect.  The dress fit really well but has those huge armholes so it shows more than I am happy showing to the general public.  Will have to fix/change/sew extra bits on.  We will see.  Could just wear it around the house, but, let’s face it, if I’m home, I’m in pyjamas.


So, on to jewellery and beads… I found these ridiculous earrings first up.  They are about 8 inches long.  Like, seriously, who would
wear an earring that long?  But I thought it would look cool reworked as a pendant for a necklace so that’s what I’m gonna do.
Plus, two earrings means double the necklaces!  Yay!  They were actually more expensive than I would normally like
to pay…but I thought they were really different so I got them anyway.


These wooden earrings were interesting.  I think I will use them on cards though…


Love these coral-toned beads, lots of value here…


These little wooden-beaded bracelets were only 75 cents apiece…can never have enough wooden beads! 🙂


Have been looking for yellow beads everywhere…these ones were almost perfect but not quite
(I’m looking for a more buttery/ochre/mustard yellow…I’m not fussy!)


Made a couple of pieces today for my lovely library assistant who is celebrating her hubby’s 50th birthday in a month or so.  
She asked me to make something to match the dress she had bought.  It had lots of pinks and greens in its pattern so I am hoping
I matched these beads ok in the necklace and bracelet…made these this afternoon.

 IMG_4794 IMG_4795

Now it’s Sunday evening again already and time to think about getting things ready for work tomorrow.  Which means ironing (ugh) and making my lunch.  Better make some dinner too for tonight I guess (actually a bit peckish right now and as per usual have neglected to actually prepare anything to eat).  Am hoping the coming week is better than the last.  It’s my last week of being 39 – bring it on! 🙂