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! 🙂

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 🙂  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 🙂

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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 🙂

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  7. Blue and White Tiered Dress – This 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 🙂

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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,.

🙂

Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shop/Thrift Haul (#? in a series of many)

Op-Shops are my Kryptonite.  That is to say, they don’t kill me or anything, but they do render me powerless and somewhat weak at the knees.  I probably wouldn’t be able to leap over a building either (although it is possible I could if the bargains on the other side were awesome enough).  I just like the thrill of the chase, the rummaging around in junk looking for some treasure.  I know it’s not for everyone – lots of my friends don’t get it and I understand that (although I myself don’t understand why they pay full price for anything or think that $80 is a reasonable price to pay for a t-shirt).  I guess I just like looking for things that aren’t the same old stuff everyone else has.  I like quirky and different, old or vintage.  I think it’s the Aquarian in me (quirky) and the Scot (thrifty) in my blood.  Or it’s neither of those things – I don’t know.

This week (having promised myself I wouldn’t make any purchases that weren’t absolutely essential) I stopped in at a local op-shop on my way home from an exceedingly tiresome day at work. Nothing cheers me faster that a haven of 2nd-hand knick-knackery.
I had wanted to find some more little pots for popping succulents into and I found a couple that would work wonderfully well.

Firstly this lovely little earthenware cooking dish with its crackled glaze and its vintage charm.  It might not be vintage but it looks is and I liked it (so there!).  It’s nice and shallow too which is good for a happy little succulent.  I also bought a larger sized bowl (exactly the same, just bigger) which I will use for actual cooking I think.
(Please excuse photos – I had to take them outside on my porch as it was getting dark and my house had the WORST lighting ever for taking pictures…)

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Next up, these AMAZING glazed pottery mugs.  Swoon.  I loved the colours – purply/blue with the brown terracotta swirled through it.  I saw one of the mugs and thought “Oh that might be nice to plant a little cactus or succulent in…” and then I saw that is was actually a WHOLE SET (i.e. 6 mugs).  They were only $1.25 each and practically brand new so I had to buy them.  Well, by “had to” I mean I “wanted to” with every fibre of my being.  So I did.  I still haven’t decided whether to plant succulents in them or use them as actual coffee mugs.  They’re quite small though as is my kitchen cupboard which is already groaning under the weight of a million coffee and tea cups/mugs.  Might have to do a cull…

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Then I found this lovely little dish (I guess it is like a tapas dish or one that you’d put olives in or something…).  Nice and shallow and in perfect condition.  The price tag said $3 but the lady at the counter gave it to me for $1.  Bargain!  I like the colours and design on the inside of the bowl so it seems a shame to cover it up with a plant, but I will anyway methinks!  Or have a tapas night…which seems just as pleasant and good for the soul.

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Then I spotted these two little trinket dishes.  So cute and in pretty good condition.  I thought I might give them to a couple of vintage-loving friends as gifts.  Or keep them for myself – I am undecided.  They’re so pretty and dainty (and I need all the help I can get on those two fronts!).

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So that was a pretty good haul for one afternoon and one shop.  I am binge-spending so much right now (Mum and I went to the Save the Children Fund Book Sale today and I bought 26 books…I have nowhere to put them!) and it is on par with my binge-eating.  I am going to try harder from tomorrow to curb both my emotional-eating and my emotional-purchasing.  I know it is all because I am now in the process of divorce and it is easier to feed my face or empty my purse than deal with the feelings I am trying so hard not to feel.  But I am also buying things that I can sell on and make some extra money with (at swap-meets and my mini-markets) so I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  I assuage my guilt by giving to charity (and op-shops are for charities, right?  That counts!) and reminding myself that I am mostly buying 2nd hand things which is a form of recycling.  These justifications work if I don’t dwell on it too hard.

Happy Monday everyone… x

Beadin’ heck…

Beadin’ heck…

Beads.  I am a bit obsessed.  It is so weird how jewellery (or, rather, jewellery-making) has taken over my life.  I’m not particularly blingy, don’t wear a lot of jewellery myself and shy away from colourful baubles and trinkets to adorn myself with.  But I like making stuff for other people to wear.  Maybe I am living vicariously, letting my inner colour wheel get it’s groove on.  I don’t know.  But I am currently obsessed with beads of all colours and shapes, sizes and styles.  In case you hadn’t noticed.

I’ve been having a crappy time of things this last week or so and I am trying to remain cheerful and not let things get me down, like I always do.  I am in danger of becoming an unsociable hermit (again), am really tired (again) and have been having horrible nightmares (again) so I’m a bit drained and in need of some pick-me-ups.

Yesterday, at lunchtime, desperately needing time away from work after an exceedingly trying morning, I nipped out to visit a local op-shop in order to fossick through their jewellery piles to see what beady treasures I could come up with.  After wasting time perusing a rather lack-lustre display on one counter, I started to look around the shop for other things (I broke yet another pair of shoes that morning – I am just about down to my last pair and cannot find anything in the shops at the moment to fit me).  As I passed the counter, my eyes just about exploded, for there, almost hidden from view (or at least my obviously short-sighted view) was a WHOLE WALL of necklaces, bracelets and earrings!  Flipping heck!  I have been in that shop before and NEVER seen that wall.
Where were my eyes? What have I been doing all this time, completely ignoring this treasure trove?

Anyway, hyperventilation under control, I rummaged through (oh how I do love a rummage and a fossick!) and found some pretty nice stuff, at reasonable prices.  I still am yet to find some nice yellow beads (is there some sort of yellow-bead-boycott that I don’t know about?) but I picked up plenty of other pretty things:

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These turquoise beads are nice and heavy and are a good shape and size.
I know I have a tonne of turquoise already, but you can never have enough, right?

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I really loved these black “rose” beads – they look like they may be vintage
but I don’t know.  I just liked them 🙂

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Red beads on a bracelet with this cute little butterfly charm.  
The red goes so well with turquoise and is a combination I use often.

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Loved this necklace.  The beads are lovely and glossy and remind me of sweets.
Probably why I have been craving jersey caramels…

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These purple/pink beads were a nice surprise as I thought the smaller round beads were plastic
but they are actually heavy glass.  Love the big square ones…

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Yummy berry-toned glass beads, that came with…

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these interesting silver rods which will make some fab earrings.

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Lastly, I bought this pendant for me, just ’cause I liked it.  I probably should have given it a wipe-over before
taking the photo…it’s a bit dusty!  I just thought it was pretty.  A bit more glitzy than I would normally wear but it’s black so
not too outrageous!

I also went to a couple of markets on the weekend.  I would have photos of the markets themselves but, as per usual, let my phone die before I could take any pictures.  Duh.  I did, however, buy some cool stuff, including some lovely felt balls, metres of porcelain beads in pale blue, coral red and cream (the lady at the stall didn’t look very happy when I told her I wasn’t going to wear them as necklaces but break them up for the beads…), wooden cube beads, a pottery ring and a metal crow!  Actually, he is supposed to be a blackbird but I choose to call him a crow (because I love crows & ravens and have them in various forms throughout my house).

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So, all I need now is some time, maybe a nice weekend at home and I can actually start making some things with these goodies.  I REALLY want to start making some clay beads and other bits and pieces, plus some plaited bracelets.  And make some cards (which I haven’t done for AGES).  And get into watercolours again.  And start an art journal.  And make myself a skirt.  And do some embroidery.

So basically I want to do lots of things and need to find approximately 48 extra hours in each day to get any of them done, or even started.  Sigh.

Hope your week is going well so far, and that you are succeeding in bringing a little bit of creativity and colour into every day.  I’m trying 🙂

PS to “K” – I’m sorry I didn’t ask you along to the markets…hope I am forgiven x

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

High Tea Fun(d)raiser

Happy Sunday all!  Boy the weeks are flying by – I can’t believe it will be Christmas again in just over four months!  We’ve been in our new place for 8 months now and soon will have to think about whether we want to continue with the lease or find somewhere else to rent.  I can’t bear the thought of moving again so I am trying to just not think about it at all!  I haven’t even unpacked all my packing boxes yet…

This week at work we had a High Tea fundraiser.  Each of our departments had a separate day to come up with a theme and organise food to go along with it (as reported in my post here) and our Client Services team decided to have a High Tea, complete with “vintage” stalls, raffles and “Best Dressed” competitions.  Cupcakes and thrift-shopping during work hours?  Don’t mind if I do!  Such a lot of work went into organising it and setting it all up on the day.  It all looked beautiful – the food was gorgeous and so pretty with everything from dainty cupcakes to scones, pastries and sandwiches, lots of different teas and champagne.  The ladies all did an amazing job and deserve a pat on the back.  Client Services is one of our busiest departments and I have no idea how they managed to find time to put together such a wonderful afternoon of treats and fun.

Here’s a few pics of the lovely goodies on offer…..

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Everything was so tempting…but I’ve been on a diet this week and trying desperately hard to be good and not eat naughty things.  I had a couple of tiny things – so delicious – and spent the rest of my time wandering about, taking photos and perusing the “vintage stalls”.  I picked up quite a few bargains (and only spent about $5!) and had to control myself in terms of spending or seeming a bit overexcited – you know me and shopping, especially anything that resembles op-shopping/thrifting.  There were some gorgeous items for sale – brand new pairs of shoes and lovely jewellery and accessories.  I bought a few necklaces that had nice beads on them…they’ve already been pulled apart and stored in my bead boxes to turn into other things later on.  I got this lovely bracelet, which I thought I would alter and make into a pendant:

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I also got a couple of rings – the paler one is way to big for me but I really liked it and so I got it anyway.  Maybe I can change it or make it into a brooch or something… I like the darker one – it looks kinda like marcasite (which I love) and is adjustable so I can make it fit my teeny fingers.  It does have a little stone missing but I’m sure I’ve got one I can just glue in there:

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I also got this bracelet (purely for the beads – I liked the stripey ones!):

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I picked out a pretty pink scarf for Mum…

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…and this “pearl” bracelet (again for the beads) for me:

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When all was said and done and packed up, the department raised about $1000 for Alzheimer’s Australia, which was pretty awesome.  They deserved to do well because they really went all out (and put the rest of our departments to shame – even though EVERYONE did a great job in their themes, this one really took the (cup)cake!).  At the end of the afternoon the ladies on the thrift stall said I could rummage through and have whatever I wanted for free, as they really didn’t want to pack it all up again.  I felt a bit weird about doing that so I offered to take it all to an op-shop for them instead.  That way I could get to go through it (great for me!) and also do them a favour and save them some work.  So that’s what I did yesterday.  Four boxes of stuff I had to go through!  Lots of jewellery has now been dissected and separated into nice beads, charms and findings.  There were some lovely shoes – brand new – but not in my size, so I had to let them go but I’ve got a couple of people in mind who might like them.  I also nabbed a couple of accessories for myself, such as…

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…this green brooch.  It looks sort of vintage although I’m quite sure it’s not.  I just liked the green colour.  I would definitely wear this.

This cuff bracelet – a bit chunkier than what I would normally wear…I always wear my plain silver bangle that my cousin gave me for my 30th.  It never comes off.  The only time I have taken it off is when I was in hospital – and then my cousin wore it for two months to keep it safe until I was discharged.  Anyway, I liked this cuff – it will go with a lot of things I wear…

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I also picked up this brooch which is definitely not vintage and probably not something I would wear (as it features gold and I never wear gold) but I like to have a few brooches on hand for tizzying up presents when I want some glam wrapping.  This will be perfect….

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I did get a few other bits and pieces, but I won’t bore you with everything.  Let’s just say I am a magpie and leave it at that (in other words, I collected lots of stuff).  There were a couple of pairs of very expensive shoes that I did contemplate putting on Ebay (I know, I’m dreadful) but then thought it would be better if I gave them to the op-shop.  Better that a charity get some money for them than my wallet!

Anyway, I’ve done NO CRAFTING this week due to a horrible, horrible neck and equally horrible stress and depression this week.  Haven’t been eating much at all so no cooking to show you either.  I’m an epic failure at blogging this week!  Hope my round up of “what I bought” suffices for this weekend’s post.  I am going out with friends for brunch today and so I’m hoping they lift my spirits and take my mind off things.  Friends are amazing that way 🙂

Hope your weekend is fun and fabulous!  Thanks for visiting 🙂