One of my collaging efforts from the weekend, this pretty little kitty in her fabulous blue dress. I must admit I have been hammering that brick stencil quite a lot lately – it just gets me out of a fix when I can’t decide on a suitable background. It always works and always looks good. I should have positioned “Maddie” a little better, because she looks like she’s floating in mid-air. But then, in that lovely dress, who wouldn’t be? I also love her ruby t-bar shoes. She’s so caught up in how fetching she looks, she isn’t even bothered by that wee mousey by her feet. I added the little heart brooch to give the outfit some more colour and detail – can’t have a girl looking unaccessorised! 🙂
This weekend was a busy one, with everything from car crashes to crafting. My cousin and I were in a minor bingle – no one was hurt, just lots of damage to the cars. But even a minor bingle can cause major dramas and really shake you up. We were both a bit stiff and achey afterwards, possibly more from the stress of it rather than any injury or physical issue. But we consider ourselves lucky that it wasn’t a worse accident and that we didn’t have any of the kids in the car at the time.
It seemed to be a weekend of dealing with dramas, so Sunday afternoon and a few hours free for crafting was a welcome distraction. I actually got lots done in a really short space of time. I am still struggling with the crappy weather and its effects on glue-drying time. I keep getting lots of wrinkled paper and creases where I don’t want creases! But this is mostly due to my impatience and lack of care taken, so I can’t really blame the weather (though I will continue to do so).
The first piece I finished was this framed collage. Very simple but I liked how it turned out and I might do some more framed pieces. For some reason “Thoroughly Modern Millie” kept popping into my head when I looked at this little mousey-girl, even though her style of dress is not of the right era. She’s definitely a “Millie” though, and ready to take on the world, as a single girl (rather than the original Millie had planned).
Hope your weekend was drama-free and full of creativity and fun.
I’ve gotta say… I am lovin’ the bricks on this collage. They turned out really well (*pats self on back*) and just seemed to fit with the rest of the design. The pantsuit (isn’t it fabulous?) came from a vintage seventies pattern I found in an op-shop. I picked up a few for 50c each – I love old dressmaking patterns and their gorgeous illustrations. And then I cut them up ha ha.
This Deer Lady went through several changes before I settled on this head for her – she was almost a camel at one stage. I toyed with the idea of her being a rabbit and an ostrich momentarily too, but the deer head seemed most appropriate and ladylike.
It’s one of the first times I’ve used my own quotes, rather than stealing a well-known one from someone much wiser than myself. But it also seemed to fit. Sometimes you’ve just gotta go with what feels right, right?
Thank you for stopping by. Hope your day is amazing 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
So, I finally got my hair chopped off. It usually takes me FOREVER to decide to do it and then I procrastinate because I hate spending the money, and there never seems to be any free time to get it done. My hair really needed a trim though. It was ratty and dry and I was starting to resemble something the proverbial cat had dragged in (through a hedge, backwards). I present you with Exhibit A :
…and most days I woke up like this : (Exhibit B)
So, I got it all cut off. Well, about 5 inches anyway.
Haircut 101 : Bobbed and Bouncy
I’m going to try and keep it short for a while and not just be slack and let it all grow back. That is what I normally do. I am starting to be aware of the fact that I am getting older and don’t want to be one of those women who keeps the same hairstyle for 50 years and ends up on a talk show having a makeover. Although the makeover bit would be pretty awesome, I just don’t really want to be one of those people. You know the ones I mean.
I need to dye my hair as the ghost of grey hair past is starting to show through again. Which sucks but is inevitable. At least I have less hair to dye now and will be able to get it done quicker and with minimal swearing (and dye all over the place).
How do you prefer your hair? Short or long, straight or wavy? I am lucky, I suppose, in that my hair is very thick and strong and wavy. But it does drive me nuts, because I am rubbish at doing anything with it. I have no skills in this department. Having it this shorter length means I have to be less lazy and not just tie it back but, by the same token, it is quicker to wash, looks ok if I just let it dry and do it’s own thing, and is definitely healthier. Now that the weather is getting cooler (woe is me), I have less need to tie it back anyway, and shorter-messy is better than longer-messy. I went to the beach on Monday night and even after being blown to bits by the wind, my hair looked ok. Windswept, rather than tornado-whipped, which is how it would normally respond.
Thanks for dropping by – may all your days be good hair days 🙂 And if you have any tips for “doing” your hair when you are completely useless at it, let me know.
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 :
Nice, lightweight top for Summer days. Beachy and bingo-wing covering!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s a known fact that I enjoy op-shopping (thrifting) just a wee little bit. If by a “wee little bit” you mean “more than ANYTHING IN THE WORLD!!!!”
If op-shopping was an actual job, I would be quitting the one I already have and preparing to have an awesome, joy-filled career.
In the meantime, here are a few tips and tricks if you are a newbie to op-shopping, or just one of those people who doesn’t really understand it and thinks everything will be stinky and gross and smell like old people :
Be Prepared to Rummage : Op shops are not like regular stores – everything isn’t always neatly set out in sizes and colours with multiples of everything. This is half the fun – you never know what you are going to find. I know some people hate that. They want to walk in and walk out with the item they wanted within minutes. They do not enjoy the chase. They are missing out on so much. You have to be prepared to rummage and look through lots of racks and explore. I personally think it is best to not go in with an exact “want” list in your head because, chances are, you won’t find what you’re looking for. Just enjoy the search and see what treasures you can unearth.
Wear sensible stuff : What I mean by this is you should wear easy-to-remove clothing items so that, when trying things on, it doesn’t take you forever and you don’t get hot and gross or annoyed. Don’t wear button-up things (unless they are also easy to just pull off over your head) or pants that need belts. In fact, avoid trousers if you can. A skirt is a better option because you can pull things on underneath them. That way, you don’t even have to get undressed or risk the dreaded op-shop curtain fling (that scary moment when someone yanks open your changing room curtain to “see if anyone is in here” – happens all the time, makes me want to punch people) when you’re sans clothing. Ideally, a skirt and loose-fitting top works best – then you only have to get half-undressed at any given moment. Wearing a dress means you have to take it all off if you’re trying on another dress. But, then, I have been known to try things on over or under whatever I’m wearing. It’s up to you. Just go for simple and comfortable and easy to pull on and off. Same goes for shoes, obviously – don’t wear things that have straps or buckles that need undoing. It just makes the whole process more laborious.
Where to go : When you’ve been op-shopping for most of your life, you learn the best places to go, and the places to avoid. I have certain shops that I always frequent because they are cheap, clean and always have great stuff. In WA, I really like Good Sammy’s. They have the best prices (which are generally consistent across all of their stores) and they are organised well. They have regular sales too – 50% off days which apply to all recycled clothing (as opposed to particular colour-tagged items). I live in hope of those 50% off signs – they make me so happy 🙂 I find Good Sammy’s to be excellent for dresses, shoes and handbags, as well as for books, knick-knacks and other household items.
Don’t Haggle : Op Shops are usually run by charities, who have to make a certain amount of money each week in order to remain viable. Their stock is already very cheap so please don’t ask for a discount of any kind, or haggle, or ask for the price to be reduced if you have bulk items. Just don’t. It’s rude. If you don’t want to pay $3 for that cute little top (that is probably worth $25 new), don’t. Walk away from it and look for something else. I am the biggest cheapskate out, but even I won’t ask for a price to be reduced, regardless of condition of the item.
What to buy : Obviously, buy what you like but don’t get caught up in the :Ooooh, it’s so cheap!” frenzy that sometimes affects us all. Yes, you may be able to buy 15 black t-shirts for under $30, but do you really need to? Find the one you like best and buy that one. Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean you need it. It’s not a bargain if you don’t wear it. Keep a look out for designer items you might be able to sell on Ebay, if that’s your thing. Don’t buy items that require something else in order for you to wear them eg a sheer dress that needs a slip underneath it. Sure, if you have a slip that would go perfectly underneath, then cool, but if not, put the dress back on the rack and keep looking. It’s not very clever to buy something that costs you $5, if you then have to go and buy something to go with it that costs $25. It’s false economy, and the chances of you ACTUALLY going out and buying the extra item are pretty slim. Trust me, I know this. I have learnt my lesson.
Don’t shop hungry : As I said before, op-shopping is generally not a quick expedition, where you’re in and out in two minutes. It takes time to rummage and try things on plus, if you’re lucky, you will have several op-shops in a row in one place, so you’ll be there a while. Make sure you take some water with you so you don’t get dehydrated (shopping is thirsty work!) and it’s a good idea to have a little snack with you too – some muesli bars or a handful of nuts or whatever. You make better decisions when you’re not hungry or thirsty. You don’t want to go home with a pair of lime green stretch pants just because your bloody sugar was low and you momentarily lost your brain.
Know your colours : It makes life easier if you know what suits you and what colours look best with your complexion. You can scan past a whole rack of stuff and dismiss what doesn’t fit in with your ideal. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new colours once in a while but, generally, you should stick to what works for you and makes you feel good about yourself. For instance, I love yellow and mustardy colours, but I know I look like death-warmed-up in them. They make me look like I am about to be violently ill or have some sort of plague. I avoid them.
Donate : There is a universal law that what you give out, you get back. So donate your unwanted clothes often. Have a good sort out and drop stuff off at the op-shop. While you’re there, you might as well have a look round, right?
Don’t discriminate : Go thrifting in lots of different places. I know one particular op-shop that is situated in a less than salubrious suburb that has the BEST stuff. Sometimes the “posh” towns have crappy op-shops. There’s no guarantee that postcode equals quality – not in this case anyway. Some of the smaller, slightly dingy shops in out of the way places have really neat stuff and, because it hasn’t been picked over by all and sundry, you can often find a bargain on some quality items.
Don’t be snooty : Within reason, everything can be washed and disinfected. I draw the line at buying underpants, but everything else is fair game. I’ve bought some lovely kitchenware and mugs, Tupperware and cutlery from op-shops. It just needs a good scrub and some hot soapy water. A lot of the stuff hasn’t even been used – you can tell by looking at something if it’s lived a hard life. Use your discretion.
Take a buddy : I personally am happy to shop on my own, but there is something to be said for taking a like-minded friend along. My cousin and I thrift together often, and we have a pretty good system. Usually this system consists of me finding awesome things for HER to try on (because she is super skinny and fit and can wear anything) but we always have fun. It’s good to have a second opinion on items you’re not sure of. Someone who can shake their head and say “Um, no….” when you try to squeeze into that crushed velvet boob-tube. If the other person knows your size, they can be on the lookout for things you may not have spotted as you trawl the racks. A buddy can also guard your changing room for you and stop people barging in, or hold the curtain closed for you if it’s a tad on the not-wide-enough side.
They have new stuff too! Thrift shops sometimes also stock brand new items. They get bulk amounts of “reject” products, ie things that haven’t sold somewhere else. There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just excess stock. You can get undies and socks, clothing, and other items brand new, but at a fraction of the normal cost. I must admit to buying my undies from my local op-shop quite often. They’re $2.25. I refuse to pay $10 or $12 for a pair of undies. They’re a nice fit (I hate undies that ride up your butt!!!) and they are good quality and long-wearing. I’ve also bought one of those new-fangled bamboo pillows at the thrift shop for about half the price of one in the regular stores.
So, there’s nothing to it, really. Just go in with an open mind and find some treasures. And be prepared to walk away with nothing and be ok with that. The hunt is half the fun.