Image

First Rate Second Hand Buys

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

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

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

IMG_1442

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.

IMG_9806IMG_9807IMG_9808

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.

IMG_0704

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.

 IMG_0309

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.

IMG_0960

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!

IMG_0983

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

Thanks for stopping by x

Image

How to Have a Happy Birthday

Birthdays have always been a bit tricky for me.  For a long time I believed that something bad would always happen on my special day (mostly because, for several years in a row, I had disastrous birthdays where loved ones became gravely ill, pets died, people got in car accidents and general chaos and doom reigned) and so I tended to try to just get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

As I got older and, particularly after surviving a life-threatening illness, I starting believing that having another birthday was actually pretty good.  Bad stuff could still happen, but then it could on any other day, so why worry about it?

Usually, I try and organise a dinner out, or a get-together of some description with friends or family or both.  This year, I just wanted time on my own.  I didn’t want to involve anyone else, which sounds really selfish and unsociable, but I just wanted to spend my day pottering about by myself, doing as I pleased and not having any schedule to follow.  I highly recommend it 🙂  I don’t get lonely and am quite happy with my own company.  I wanted a stress-free, restorative, recharging kind of day.

So, my idea of a good birthday goes something like this…..

1. Dress in a comfortable outfit, in your favourite colours.  
Makeup and hair done for no one else but yourself.

img_5222
I don’t feel blue wearing blue!

 

2. Take yourself out for a delicious, hearty breakfast…….

img_5203
Field Mushrooms on Sourdough, with Goat’s Cheese and Poached Eggs…

3…..and eat it all up.  Don’t feel guilty at all.

img_5207
All gone!

4.  Visit a favourite, gorgeous shop.  Wander around for an hour or so and don’t buy anything.  Feel good that you didn’t spend unnecessarily (even if it is because you’re a bit poor right now and couldn’t afford to even if you wanted to).

img_5204
Antidote in Mount Hawthorn
img_5208
Hammered and stamped recycled spoons at Antidote – Love them!

 

5. Make yourself a birthday cake and share it with loved ones at dinner time.   It doesn’t matter if the cake is a bit homely looking.  People will be polite and eat it anyway.

img_5213

6.  Drink vast quantities of tea, preferably out of pretty china so you feel like a lady.

img_5206
Tea for one!

 

7.  Go op-shopping.  Buy shoes for a ridiculously low price (in this case $4.25).

img_5219
New shoes! (well, 2nd hand new!)

 

So, for me, a perfect birthday is one in which I spend time doing things I enjoy, with no schedule or plan.  I ended the day with my brother and his family, which was lovely – I even had candles on my cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me.  Delightful. Maybe spending a day on your own isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was exactly what I needed and I’m so glad I did it.

So how do you spend your birthday?  Do you like to ignore it, go all out and spoil yourself, or plan a quiet day of solitude and reflection?  Whatever you do, I hope you always feel loved and appreciated on your special day.

Thanks for dropping by x

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

All Things Vintage Car Boot Sale

A couple of weekends ago, Mum and I attended a vintage market in the hills.   So many treasures and things to look at!  It was very windy and many stalls were in danger of being blown away (literally – it nearly happened a couple of times) which was a bit worrying with all the breakables and china.  A few vintage dresses went flying across the oval, their frantic sellers chasing after them.  Anyway, here are a few pics from the day:

IMG_8269

Loved this hot air balloon.  Wish I had bought it… I have no idea what it was for – it opened up to reveal a section inside which appeared to be for holding eggs!  Not sure about that though…

  IMG_8274Lots of lovely blue and white china…

IMG_8271

Trillions of trios!

IMG_8277

My Mum was eyeing off these old posts.  They were gorgeous but very pricey, so we had to leave them and walk away (sadly, and with a wistful look on our faces)…

 

IMG_8276

IMG_8272 IMG_8273 IMG_8275

All kinds of treasures!

 

My find for the day came early on and I was so thrilled to get it : this gorgeous old doll house (looks Georgian in architectural design but is not actually that old), unfinished and in need of some TLC.  A lick of paint and some gentle distressing and I think this little beauty will be a welcome addition to my home.  I’m going to use it either as storage in my craft room, or as a spice/tea cabinet in the kitchen.  It’s quite large but sits happily on my bench and will save space because of all the things I can fit inside it.  I think I will “wallpaper” the inside “walls” as well to add a bit of colour and interest.  Love it!  It was only $20 – I didn’t even bother haggling!  It’s very well made and has lots of fine detail, with spaces inside for what would have been staircases (the gentleman who was constructing it didn’t finish unfortunately) and the front opens up like a door, giving you access to the “rooms” inside.  I was very happy with my purchase 🙂

IMG_8254

My Georgian Mansion!

I love a good market, car boot sale or swap meet.  So much fun!  And you can pick up such great bargains.

Can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

 

Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Ugh.  I think I am getting a cold.  I hardly ever get them and, when I do, I am quite pathetic.  Sniffly and moany and pathetic.  I think I hate the time they waste.  When you’re sick you can’t do anything constructive and you just want to curl up in a ball and die, loudly with lots of complaining and coughing.  Right now I feel a bit hot in the face and my throat is dry and scratchy.  I have loaded myself up with Vitamin C, Garlic and Horseradish.  I hate bought throat lozenges and will be making myself soup for dinner (capsicum with added horseradish and ginger and garlic – it is possible no one will want to come near me for a few days).  I am drinking lemon and ginger tea and am about to pour a jar of honey down my throat.  Ugh.  I think I am even more pathetic now I am on my own – not that hubby was particularly good at playing nursey but it is always better to have someone around to fetch you tissues and get you hot water bottles and look sympathetic.

However, I shall try not to give in to the lurgy.  I have one more day of my short holiday left and I do not want to waste it.  I have had a few nice days of crafting with my Mum and I don’t want to stop now that I am back home again.  Today we went to a big craft show at the show grounds and had a great time – but I will update you on that next post.  The days before were spent collaging and playing with clay at my Mum’s.  We had been wanting to make some clay ornaments and beads for some time and decided this would be the week we made a commitment to do so.  We soon learned we are lacking in sculpting skills and probably had visions of elaborate finished pieces that were way beyond our actual abilities.  Never mind, we had fun and made a mess which is the important bit 🙂

I made a few round beads that I want to paint once they are dry.  I also made some pendants (again, faces) and a brooch and a little “L.O.V.E” statue that I think is kinda cute.  They all need to be sanded a bit and/or painted and varnished.  Fun!  Time-consuming!  Messy!  But definitely fun.

IMG_5362

Little L.O.V.E statue.  (you can’t see the word very clearly here but it is near the bottom.
Speaking of bottoms, she has one.  A butt that is!..but you can’t see that either here)

IMG_5363

“Goddess” brooch

IMG_5364

“Face” beads and pendant…

Now I have to unpack all my bags (I’ve been staying at Mum’s and I always overpack) and find my house under all the rubble.  I want to be ready to get up early tomorrow, possibly go for a walk if I can get motivated enough and then do a solid day’s crafting as I won’t get to do any for a while due to pesky work commitments (so inconvenient this work business!).  I also plan on eating the fudge I bought at the craft show in a moment of weakness.  I want to get back onto my healthy eating so will have to consume the fudge quickly so as not to ruin my healthy week.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  Fudge is good for sore throats, right?

Hope you are having a great weekend, free from lurgies and full of fun and fabulousness! 🙂

Everything I Know, I Learned from the Kids…

Everything I Know, I Learned from the Kids…

I have been babysitting a lot this weekend.  My brother and his partner have four BEAUTIFUL children under the age of 7 (the youngest just a few weeks old) and they are a delight.  Most of the time.  They are children after all and they do have their moments of not-so-delightfulness.  But, on the whole, they are developing into charming little people that I like as well as love.  They have empathy for others and a care for their siblings.  They’re just so nice to be around.

I learn a lot from them.  Mostly, I am just happy they love me and we have fun together.  I am constantly amazed by their wisdom and insight.  They are creative (thank goodness), funny and energetic. They make me laugh ( a lot – sometimes when I should be telling them off) and I wish I could wrap them up in cotton wool and protect them from the world forever.

Today we did painting (hey, a sun can be black, right?) and papier mache (I’m still hoping to get glue out of my denim skirt), did magic tricks (how many times can you “pull” something out of a kid’s ear before it gets boring? Apparently many, many times…), baked cookies and watched dvds involving trains and sing-alongs.  It was too hot to do anything outside for any length of time and I let them watch tv a little more than usual – just because it was so darn warm.

As much as we adults teach children about life, I think they show us a few things too.  They are wise and courageous in many ways and live the heck out of life every single moment of every single day.  We can learn so much from them if we just listen and watch:

Stuff I have Learned from Kids

1. It is never too cold, too hot, too sunny, too wet, too windy, too anything to go outside and play, even just for 5 minutes.  Embrace the great outdoors and be amongst nature.

2. Hugs.  One size fits all, always.

3. Build a bridge and get over it.  Literally.  There is nothing Lego can’t fix.  Or build.

4. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  This includes mess, unmade beds, toys on the floor and cereal in your hair.  Worrying about these things only takes time away from more important stuff, like playing. And making more mess.

5. Baking cookies is an anytime kind of activity.  Licking the spoon is obligatory and non-fattening.

6. Colouring outside the lines is ok.  In fact, it is recommended.

7. Jokes are funnier when they don’t make any sense.

8. Sometimes you just need to cry.  For no reason.  Let it out.

9. Wearing pants should be optional.

10. Saying “Fart” is always hilarious.

11. Meals should be looked at as intermission between snacks.

12. Sometimes you just have to dance.

 

I hope you have some little people in your life.  They make the world a much nicer place to be in. 
Have a happy week everybody 🙂

 

Craft Convention Madness!

Craft Convention Madness!

I like a craft show.  All that paper and ribbon and buttons and crafty goodness all over the place.  My purse shudders in terror because it knows it will be given a work-out.  And today at the 2013 Perth Craft & Quilt Fair, it was no exception!  Mum and I started out early in the morning so we could get there just after it opened for the last day of trading.  We did our usual “sweep” of the place first, deciding what we wanted to go back to later on, buying a few bits and pieces we didn’t want to risk losing or missing out on, and “oohed and ahhed” over the stuff on display.  The Fair is great because it is mostly supplies which is what we are interested in.  It also features a lot of companies and shops from over East that we can usually only shop at via online methods.

So many inspiring stalls and things to see.  Beads and buttons and fabric and quilts and wool and scrapbooking supplies and tools and paper crafting…

I wasn’t able to take photos as they had a no photo policy (unless you had express permission from each stall holder and I couldn’t be bothered with all of that!) so I can only show you my “haul” for the day.  I did come home with money in my purse so that’s a good thing.  It was rather less money than I started out with though!

It was a lovely day out with my Mum but we were both pretty tired by the end of it…now we just want to make stuff with all our goodies! So, here’s a sampling of what I bought:

Pretty, lacey edging…

Image

…Victorian scrap…

Image

…dainty little ceramic beads…

Image

…Copic markers…

Image

…pastel seam binding…

Image

…teeny, weeny buttons…

Image

…tiny acrylic blossoms and leaves…Image

…mini french postcards…Image

…paper flower cutouts…Image

…gorgeous green glass beads…Image

…more buttons…Image

…rustic trim…Image

..delicate pom-pommed trim…Image

…tiny (but sharp!) scissors and blending card…Image

…co-ordinating papers…Image

…jewellery findings…Image

…don’t you love this little “door” locket?  Love, love, love…Image

…paper flowers in lovely, dusty shades…Image

…shabby snowflakes…Image

…and cute cabochons…

Image

It was so much fun and we got lots of bargains.  Now I just want to get stuck in and make things!  But it is Sunday night, it’s dark and cold, I have to iron tomorrow’s clothes and make my lunch – so no crafting for me.  But I will sleep well tonight with dreams of all things creative and arty, until I get some time next weekend to create a few new items and have a play with all these goodies 🙂

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

My beautiful little niece, Finlay, celebrated her 3rd birthday this week.  As all little princesses should, she had a party on the weekend with family and friends (including her two brothers, deacon and Marlon, my gorgeous nephews), lots of pink and plenty of fun.  Her Mum did an amazing job of decorating the house and yard with all things pretty and pink with a candy bar, balloons, bunting and banners.  Finlay was well and truly spoilt – but if you can’t be spoilt when you’re three, when can you?  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

IMG_2916

Waiting for parties to start is VERY tiresome!

IMG_2912

But it soon starts a-happenin’!

IMG_2910

Big Brother Deacon enjoying the donut-eating contest …

IMG_2911

…which ended satisfyingly!

IMG_2915

Big Brother # 2, Marlon with lollipop # 2 (and counting…)

IMG_2914

IMG_2917

Hmmm, not sure about this one…

IMG_2913

…here, you have it!

IMG_2908

A lady never gets ice cream on her party dress…

IMG_2927

IMG_2885

Brothers are ok sometimes…

IMG_2924

IMG_2923

IMG_2918

IMG_2922

IMG_2921

IMG_2920

IMG_2919

IMG_2907

The party was fabulous darling!

IMG_2909

Hurry up and cut the cake!

Thanks for reading!  🙂