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Being Yourself

Belated Happy Easter to you all ūüôā¬† Did you indulge in a huge chocolate-fest, or were you restrained and just¬†had a few little treats?¬† Did you spend time with family and friends, or take part in religious events?¬† Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a nice break.

I spent a lot of time with family and friends over the weekend, cleaned my house so it was fit for my Mum to visit and stay in for a couple of nights, and did some crafting.¬† I am still loving the Kelly Rae Roberts Unscripted series I have subscribed to.¬† It’s just makes me want to craft and create and DO STUFF.¬† I am nowhere near her standard of creativity and art, but it is very enjoyable just mucking about with paints and paper and having a go.¬† I am still rubbish at faces, but I keep trying and hope that some day I will get them just right!¬† If only people didn’t have eyes!¬† It would make everything so much simpler for me, at least in terms of drawing and painting (maybe not so much in real life though…) and I wouldn’t end up having tantrums, or just drawing a lot of people with closed eyes (which is my default position these days).

I had this little communion plaque (bought on a recent op-shopping trip for 50c) and I thought it would be perfect to paint over and repurpose.¬† It’s quite small – a little bigger than an iPhone – so perfect for me to do some crafting on!¬† Plus it had the little hanger on it so I didn’t need to worry about adding one myself.

I removed the picture that was already on it ( a communion poem and prayer) and sanded the wood back, then slapped on a layer of white Gesso, just to seal and give it a good working surface.  I then added paint in various colours to create a distressed, rubbed back look.  I used a soft green, some burgundy and a little bit of yellow Рjust dabbing and rubbing it on with my fingers.  When I was happy with the effect, I let it dry whilst figuring out what I was going to put on it.

I decided to draw my little lady on a separate piece of paper, paint her main features and then cut her out, to be glued¬†and finished on the plaque itself.¬† I didn’t trust my drawing/painting skills to just add her straight to the wooden surface.¬† I adhered her with gel medium and then added¬†flowers and wings cut from scrapbooking paper and vintage¬†books.¬† The words were cut from old books or stamped (when I couldn’t find the word I wanted!) and I’m not quite satisfied with them, but they’re stuck on there now!¬† I might go over them with a bit of colour, just to make them look less “new” and pale.¬† I outlined here and there with black and white pencils to give some definition.

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I was a bit heavy-handed with the lady’s¬†features – I was using a very¬†fine black marker, but it was still too heavy.¬† I will do better next time!¬†I’m happy with her top though – it came out very rustic looking and picks up the red colour in the background – and I’m glad I added the¬†“me” heart as it needed an extra little something.

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So, all in all, I was pretty happy with my little lady.¬† I am trying to be myself and be ok with who that is.¬† Even if it means I am not the world’s greatest artist ūüôā¬† I am still trying to find my “niche”, artistically speaking, so this is another part of the journey.¬† I will keep practicing faces and different techniques with paint and drawing and, in the meantime have a lot of messy fun doing it ūüôā

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Thanks for stopping by – may you enjoy the freedom of being yourself,
whoever that is, today and always x

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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 ūüôā

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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! ūüôā

Hope you are having a good day – thank you for dropping by x

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Op-Shopping 101

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¬†:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ūüôā¬†¬† I find Good Sammy’s to be excellent for dresses, shoes and handbags, as well as for books, knick-knacks¬†and other household items.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Happy thrifting everyone ūüôā

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Thrifty Goodness (Even though officially I am banned from buying anything more…)

So, I’ve had three glorious weeks off work. ¬†GLORIOUS. ¬†Not because I have done anything exciting or life-changing, but because I JUST WASN’T AT WORK. ¬†Which is pretty damn good to me. ¬†But the time has gone dizzingly fast. ¬†Depressingly so. ¬†Like, where did the last two weeks go? ¬†Where did the last 5 days go? ¬†The last three hours? ¬†I don’t know. ¬†I am a terrible time-waster, one of those people who is always “busy doing something close to nothing” (Thank you, Prince). ¬†I have so many things I want to do, I end up faffing about doing nothing. ¬†Which is horrible and makes me very annoyed. ¬†I don’t sit around doing nothing, I move around and never sit still, but at the same time doing nothing constructive.

I was supposed to get fit and lose weight on my holiday, but that hasn’t happened. ¬†I have pretty much eaten my way from one end of Perth to the other. ¬†Lots of lunches and breakfasts and dinners out. ¬†A coffee break here, an afternoon tea there – it all adds up. ¬†So, predictably, I gave up on the whole losing weight scenario. ¬†That will have to wait until I am back at work (although the workplace is often THE WORST place for trying to stick to a diet). ¬†But I have caught up with lots of friends and family, so I am not complaining really. ¬†I can’t do up my pants, but I am not complaining.

Because I am looking at moving out soon, I have tried to limit the amount of shopping I do. ¬†I need to declutter, not get more stuff. ¬†I sorted through my wardrobe and culled a bunch of stuff that I no longer needed or fitted in to (giving up the dream of ever being skinny again any time soon). ¬†I didn’t go op-shopping for a few weeks. ¬†I stayed away from those havens of thrifty goodness because I don’t want to fill my wardrobe again. ¬†And I thought it would be incentive to lose weight – the promise of new clothes down the track.

Well, that lasted all of about three weeks, which is actually pretty good for me. ¬†Probably a record, in fact. ¬†I even took stuff TO the op shop in order to donate it, and did not go inside “to have a quick look”. ¬†I was a good girl. ¬†For a little while. ¬†Hey, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how small, right? ¬†I will try and hold out for longer next time.

So, this last week, unable to stand the withdrawal symptoms any longer, I stopped into a couple of my “locals”, ie the op shops that get all my money. ¬†I desperately needed a new pair of black boots for Winter – mine are getting very¬†beaten up and scuffed because I wear them to death, and have done for several Winters – so I did actually have a goal and purpose. ¬†I wasn’t just wandering aimlessly, as I would normally do. Most of the boots in “proper” shops are a.) too expensive and b.) too high in the heel for me. ¬†I have trouble finding shoes in general, but finding boots I like is a nightmare.

Almost immediately, I came across these boots, which were nearly new and in great condition , and in my size (which doesn’t happen very often). ¬†They fit really well and are comfortable so I popped them in my basket (whilst secretly doing a little happy dance).

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Next up, I found this cute little handbag. ¬†My own bag (sorry about cruddy photo – half of these were taken on my rapidly ageing phone) is VERY ANNOYING because it just won’t stay on my shoulder, it sits funny and I am just over it! ¬†This one was a perfect size, nearly new and a great colour (pewter goes with everything) so it too went into my basket. My old bag will be donated – I am trying to donate one thing for every other thing I bring in to the house. ¬†That way, I don’t become an official hoarder.

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Was super pleased to find these little pots for only $1.00 each! ¬†I got five in all different colours. ¬†Perfect for my succulents ūüôā

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Then, I found this denim jacket. ¬†It fits really well (I’m not skinny but I am petite, and jackets are often too wide with ridiculously long arms!) and I like the distressed detail and zip-up front. ¬†It’s fitted so isn’t too bulky on me, but will be nice and warm for the coming colder months (ugh!).

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Another jacket Рthis time a leather-look one.  I did have a nice faux leather one, but it has been worn to death and was starting to fall to pieces, as faux leather will do after a while.

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My cousin actually bought this top¬†but ended up giving it to me. ¬†I like grey, and the little zippered pocket is a nice detail. ¬†It’s long enough to wear with leggings and will be nice with jeans too, if I am brave enough to wear skinny ones this year. ¬†Which seems unlikely, but you never know…

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Yes, I did buy another faux leather jacket – don’t judge me! ¬†This one was so cute and feminine, and super soft. ¬†Brand new with tags on still, it only cost $4.50! ¬†It’s a bit dressier than your run-of-the-mill jacket and I love the detailing on the back (see following photo). ¬†Hard to take a picture of, so hopefully you can get an idea of what it looks like. ¬†It feels like one of those lovely old leather gloves – so soft!

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My friend thrifted this dress (sorry about blurry photo – I am hopeless today) but decided to give it to me. ¬†I’m not sure about the bright colours on me, but it fit well so will probably wear it with some opaque black tights and a cardigan, for work.

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I wore this one today – a comfy oversized top. ¬†Good for this in-between weather that we are currently experiencing. ¬†I like the faux suede on the shoulders and fake pocket area. ¬†I don’t wear a lot of pink but I didn’t mind this one as it had the grey/black through it.

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A cute little knitted jumper.  Not my usual colours, but I kinda liked it and it fits well.  I generally wear a lot of dark things so this will make a nice change.  It is also very soft and cosy, without being bulky or heavy.

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Last, but not least, this jumper. ¬†I am going to go ahead and call it the Muppet jumper. ¬†Because it looks like someone skinned the Cookie Monster. ¬†It is ridiculously soft (I have a thing for soft, apparently) and makes me want to cuddle myself. ¬†It’s a bit more cropped than I would normally wear, but I’m sure with a high-waisted skirt or pants it will be fine. ¬†The lady at the counter charged it as a kid’s knit, so I only paid like $2.00 or something crazy. ¬†I love it. ¬†Have no idea where I will wear it but maybe I will just wear it around the house and stroke myself a lot. ¬†Which would be weird. ¬†So maybe I won’t do that.

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So, that’s it for now. ¬†I tend to get in a bit of a frenzy, where op shopping is concerned. ¬†It’s a bit addictive so I have to pace myself and remind myself that I am supposed to be de-cluttering and culling. ¬†But I have already worn several of these items so I know they weren’t frivolous purchases, and many of them were half price so they cost me less than $5.00 each. ¬†Not gonna feel guilty about that.

Back to work next week. ¬†I’m so sad my time off is over, but I have really needed it and feel somewhat human again after feeling like I was at risk of curling up into a ball under my desk and never coming out. ¬†I may well feel like that on my first day back, but at least I will have new boots¬†to help get me through. ¬†Shoes are very powerful – just ask Dorothy!

May the thrifting Gods smile on you all today ūüôā

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Culling and Doodling

Firstly, apologies for not posting anything this last week or so. ¬†It was a busy, stressful time and I just lost track of the days. ¬†Plus, I had nothing of interest to say! ¬†Which isn’t unusual for me, let’s be honest. ¬†I’m not exactly a thrilling person to be around (or read about)! ¬†But the last week or two was focused on work stuff and other boring tasks and obligations. ¬†I had some friends and family in hospital too, so that took up some time and brain power. ¬†Basically, I didn’t have the “ooomph” to post anything.

I am currently on annual leave (thank the heavens!) for three weeks.  I just really needed time off РI was feeling like I was going to have a nervous breakdown or punch someone in the face (possibly one of those things, followed by the other).  I had time owing,  so I took it.  I was going to travel to Melbourne and have some time there, but decided to save my money and stay home and sort my shit out.

I have so much I want to do. ¬†Most of it involves culling and cleaning. ¬†LOTS of culling. ¬†I have so much stuff and it is overwhelming me. ¬†Most of it is just clutter and junk and silly little things I can’t get rid of, for whatever reason. ¬†Today I went through my wardrobe (precipitated by me going to the op-shop yesterday and buying more clothes) and sorted tonnes of stuff out. ¬†I made up three big garbage bags full of items I know longer need or want. ¬†Shoes and handbags and pants and skirts and tops and EVERYTHING. ¬†I seem to keep more handbags than I actually will ever need, in case I have a wedding to go to. ¬†What kind of crazy reasoning it that??? ¬†If, in the event of being invited to a wedding, I find myself without a suitable handbag, surely I can just go and buy one at the time? ¬†I don’t actually need to keep twenty of them in my house at any given time. ¬†Plus, most of the ones I have are really old now and probably not in style. ¬†Not that that normally bothers me, but it seems a bit ridiculous.

I have put on a lot of weight in the last year or so, so I really needed to bite the bullet and get rid of my “skinnier” clothes that I do not fit in to anymore. ¬†While it pains me, and it does, these items are just sitting around, reminding me that I am a fatty. ¬†I might as well get rid of them and use the promise of being able to buy more when I am thinner as an incentive to lose weight. ¬†So, out they go. ¬†I even have pants from when I was just out of hospital after my meningitis and they are like¬†crazy small sizes. ¬†I will NEVER fit into those again so why keep them? ¬†The op-shop is getting LOTS of stuff from me this week.

I’m also taking the opportunity to sort my remaining clothes in to Summer and Winter stuff – storing the Summer items away in plastic tubs. ¬†There are no in-between seasons for me – I am either freezing cold or warm. ¬†Trans-seasonal does not exist in my house. ¬†So I’m either in shorts or I’m in in thermals and walking around the house wearing a blanket. That’s how I roll. ¬†It is still Autumn here but it may as well be the middle of Winter, as far as I’m concerned. ¬†So, out come the jumpers and cardigans and long pants (ugh – how I loathe pants) and *shudders* jeans. ¬†They all need ironing, mind you, so that’s the next big task. ¬†I hate ironing and avoid it like the plague. ¬†But I am not totally feral, so iron I must, if I don’t want to look creased and prove myself to be failing as an adult yet again.

My craft room will of course be on the list of things that need sorting. ¬†It’s in such a state. ¬†I will have to be brave and get rid of stuff. ¬†I have a few arty-crafty friends who might take it off my hands, otherwise I will box it up and give it to¬†the op-shop as well I guess?

Speaking of crafting…last weekend I spent a few happy hours at a friend’s house, having a lovely card-making day. ¬†It was so nice. ¬†Four of us brought our supplies and things to share and had great fun working away at our own little projects. ¬†I’m not very good at working in a group, to be honest. ¬†I think I am so used to creating on my own that I get a bit self-conscious around other people. ¬†But I had fun anyway and made a couple of cards. ¬†I didn’t bring a lot of supplies with me – I just wanted to finish some things off more than anything. ¬†So I completed a couple of my “doodled” Little Peeps cards and I am reasonably happy with them. ¬†One of the ladies at the table had a Big Shot embossing machine so we were able to have a go with that and create some nice backing papers and card (for example, the dotty white one I used in this Happy Birthday card). ¬†We had some yummy lunch and caught up on each other’s lives and enjoyed some quiet, yet busy creative¬†time.

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I stuffed up the stamping (of the text) in this one but it is ok I suppose…

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I won’t be doing any crafting this week, I don’t think. ¬†I need to knuckle down and sort my life and house out. ¬†I can reward myself later with some mess-making crafting. ¬†For now I have to concentrate on culling and de-cluttering, sorting and organising. Not nearly as much fun, but definitely necessary for my sanity and state of mind.

Sorry for this boring post – just didn’t want to be neglecting my blogging duties altogether. ¬†Have a happy weekend and Happy Anzac Day (tomorrow) to my fellow Aussies and Kiwis! ¬†Lest We Forget x

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Second Hand Shenanigans

Today I had a day off from work.  Tomorrow is a public holiday so I decided to give myself an extra long weekend (thank you to my library assistant for suggesting it!).  So nice to be able to have a Monday off, especially as I have a bit of a dicky back today and did not want to be sitting at a desk all day, or doing shelving or dealing with people.

I went out for a spot of op-shopping this morning, wanting to get some more jewellery bits and bobs and maybe some housewares. ¬†I hit the jackpot with a Salvos store in Mount Hawthorn. ¬†I spent a bit much (whoopsie) and did leave with a slight case of buyer’s remorse, but I don’t think I bought anything I won’t use.

First thing I spotted was this amazing wooden-bead necklace.  Love it!  I will definitely be taking this one apart and using all those scrummy wooden beads.

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Next up, I found this cute little owl necklace. ¬†It’s got lots of owls (not just the ones pictured) so I can definitely make a few pairs of earrings and some pendants out of it. ¬†Very cute and on-trend at the moment.

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Then I saw this necklace Рlots of interesting charms on this one.  I will use it on lots of different pieces, methinks.

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Then I saw this black pendant. ¬†This one’s for me ūüôā ¬†I wear a lot of black so I think I will get a lot of use out of this piece.

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I picked up a few other bits and pieces – some pots for planting succulents in, and some t-shirts, plus a set of coasters with birds on them that I think I will collage on and make little decorative hangers from. ¬†The final thing I grabbed was this lovely clock. ¬†I nearly didn’t buy it – it was a bit pricey at $14.25 – but after picking it up and putting it back several times, I eventually gave in and added it to my haul. ¬†I’m so glad I did. ¬†I’ve been searching for a nice clock for my lounge room and this one fits the bill perfectly. ¬†It suits my woodland theme well and is just the right size and colour. ¬†I was worried it might not work, but I popped in a battery as soon as I got home and it is ticking away happily right now. ¬†Love the owl on it and the vintagey look. ¬†It is probably a cheap-as-chips junk piece, but I don’t care. ¬†I am happy I got it ūüôā

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After spending way too much in that shop, I stopped in at Vinnies, also in Mount Hawthorn. ¬†Such a great little shop! ¬†I haven’t been in there before and was pleasantly surprised. ¬†I thought it would be expensive, because of the upmarket area, but it was very well-priced and much of the stock was half price as well. ¬†Lots of nice clothes – I picked up a little top for work – but most of what I tried on didn’t suit me. ¬†Which is probably a good thing, otherwise I would have bought the lot. ¬†I did grab this lovely pot for planting succulents in – I love the glazing on it and the rustic colours. ¬†A bargain at only $3.00 ūüôā
I can see a Haworthia or cactus growing happily in there on my windowsill.

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So, a good morning of op-shopping and a nice way to distract me from back pain. ¬†I hope it will be a short-lived discomfort – I have been pretty good lately with neck/back issues so I really don’t want it to arc up again. ¬†Maybe too much crafting yesterday and bad posture from leaning over teeny creations!

Hope you are having a good day – thanks for dropping by ūüôā

Op-Shopping to the Max

Op-Shopping to the Max

It is fair to say that op-shopping is one of my favourite things to do.¬† Without question.¬† I am always in the mood for it and will seek out op-shops wherever I go.¬† If I go somewhere and they are thrift-free, I am disappointed and sulky.¬† What kind of town doesn’t have an op-shop??? That’s just craziness and I don’t understand it.

These past couple of weeks, when I should have been saving money after the Christmas spend-up, I did a fair bit of op-shopping.¬† My Mum is my enabler in this.¬† She loves it as much as I do, although she is more restrained than me.¬† I get caught up in a bit of¬† frenzy and end up with bags of stuff that I have no room for in my wardrobe.¬† Which then necessitates a clear-out of said wardrobe, which then leads me to the op-shop again when I go to donate stuff.¬† It’s a bit of a vicious cycle.¬† Vicious, but oh so enjoyable.¬† Plus it isn’t costing me a fortune (I tell myself, too scared to actually add up what I am spending).¬† And it’s a form of recycling, right?¬† So I am being eco-friendly! ūüôā

Here are some things I got recently.¬† I actually bought a ridiculous amount so I won’t bore you with all of it.¬† But I snagged a few bargains and some designer stuff as well as a few things I got for other people (because I really, really like the pieces but am too fat/short/stumpy/long-in-the-tooth to wear them myself). ¬†Apologies for the crappy photos – I am yet to figure out how to take decent photos of clothes…I probably should have worn each of them for the photos, but a page full of pictures of me seemed cruel and unfair punishment to my readers.

  1. Pale Blue Linen Dress – I wasn’t sure about this one as it is very plain and I tend to prefer pattern or dark colours to hide any wobbly bits ha ha.¬† It is very cool though – great for Summer – and easy to wear and accessorise.¬† I’ll wear it with a belt I think to break the monotone-ness up a bit.

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  2. Review Office Dress – Very excited to see this on the rack as I can’t afford Review brand new.¬† Their clothes are very well cut and made and this fits really nicely.¬† I’m trying to be more professional-looking at¬†work and I think this is a good start.

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  3. Simple Shift Dress – Again, I wasn’t sure about this one.¬† I ‘don’t tend to wear a lot of shapeless stuff – it makes me look lumpy and sad.¬† This dress is pretty shapeless, so I might wear it with a belt or just have it as a casual, bumming-around-the-house kind of dress.¬† I do like the print though – nice and bright and Summery.

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  4. Maxi Dress – I suppose this isn’t technically a maxi dress…but I am short and so it is maxi on me ūüôā¬† It sits really nicely and drapes well – I don’t usually wear clingy materials but this is ok.¬† I liked the colours and pattern of the fabric.¬† I’m not sure where I think I will be wearing it – it is fancier than what I would normally get, but will be a good standby if I suddenly become sociable and get invited to lots of soirees ūüôā

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  5. Plain Office Dress – Hard to take a photo of plain black items, but this dress fits nicely and, other than my pudgy arms, is slimming.¬† I will wear it with a coloured belt to break up the black and also to pretend I have a waist ha ha (I do, actually – it is the only part of my body I don’t complain about).

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  6. Sunny Girl Love Heart Dress – LOVE this dress!¬† It’s so cute!¬† I showed my friend last night and I had to wrench it out of her hands because she wanted it for herself.¬† I love the heart print and the style of the dress – the skirt sits just right and isn’t too short, and I think I am just on the cusp of being too old to wear this style but I am going to wear it anyway, so there!¬† I tried to find a similar one from Sunny Girl online last night but couldn’t…so my friend is out of luck ha ha.¬† I think this cost me $2.50 – such a bargain ūüôā

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  7. Blue and White Tiered Dress РThis dress is SO eighties but when I tried it on it actually looked nice and I thought I would give it a go.  The frills at the bottom actually hide my less-than-model-perfect thighs and backside and does a cute swirly thing if I jig about.  It is cool and I love the print.

  8. Print Dress – I REALLY liked this but it is way too small for me.¬† The top part fitted fine which surprised me as it is a size 6 and I am so NOT a size 6 normally.¬† But the bottom part – Jesus, I could barely get half a leg in it.¬† So disappointing.¬† I bought it anyway as I thought it would look great on my friend who is a size 6.¬† She tried it on last night and couldn’t get in to it either.¬† So I’m not sure what kind of woman-child hybrid person they think it is supposed to be worn by, but it made me feel better that maybe I’m not quite the heffalump I think I am.¬† Having a little, skinny friend not fit into something you’ve also tried and failed at is a comfort.¬† Anyway, I might see if I can make the dress in to a top as it fits fine there, and I have run out of tiny friends to offer it to. Please excuse car keys in the first photo – whoops…

  9. Ruby & Kit Floral Backpack – gotta say, I am a bit in love with this little bag.¬† It was brand new and un-used, plus I really like Ruby & Kit stuff.¬† It will be my new op-shopping bag now – hands-free shopping!¬† Could be dangerous actually…¬† This was $7.25 which is more than I would normally pay but I liked it and it was something I have wanted for a while.

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  10. Review Lace-Detail Wrap Dress – now this wasn’t something I purchased (a friend at work gave it to me) but it came in at the same time as the op-shopping haul so I have included it.¬† Love navy blue and the lace detail on the shoulders of this piece is so pretty.¬† I am always wary of wrap dresses – they always seem to gape and threaten to come undone at inappropriate moments with me… However, this seemed to look ok and fit really nicely and I certainly wouldn’t have bought it brand new (because I am a tight-wad).

So, that’s just a bit of the haul I ended up bringing home (with serious buyer’s remorse/guilt, seeing as how it was just after Christmas and I probably didn’t need any more stuff…). ¬†I also got skirts and tops and narrowly avoided buying a clock…and a silver reindeer perfume bottle. ¬†I am now in self-imposed op-shop exile…no more shopping for me for a while. ¬†This is what I tell myself, anyway. ¬†You can all be my witnesses ūüôā