Monday, October 25, 2010

Lifeline Loot

I went with my friend Emma to what I call the op shop strip mall last week, in Wallsend. There are 5 op shops in close proximity on the main street. Wallsend used to be the place to go for op shopping when I was a student. A couple of op shops have closed down since then, but there's still a variety of mostly higher priced merchandise. If I was a size 10-14 I would have bought a lot of clothes, so if you are that size I'd recommend taking a look.

At the very last op shop I found some loot. Lifeline is the most reasonably priced of all the op shops. 

Cushion covers. I'm always on the lookout for these to change up my living room. $2 each. The pattern on the left is flocked, it feels nice. :-) 

A tupperware container for $2. A good size for cakes. There were three identical containers there.

Swimmers for R. I'd been looking for some for a while. $3.

A cute small table cloth, $2.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pretty bowls

Here's a few random items I accumulated last week:

The glass bowls were found at Belmont Salvos, for $15 (I know, a little pricey). It is a gorgeous op shop, everything is displayed beautifully, but prices aren't very cheap. These bowls were still in their original box, and looked like they had never been used. An unwanted wedding present, perhaps? I love the grapevine decoration, and the colours. The box was marked "Aderia Glass". I couldn't find much info on Aderia glass online, anyone know anything about it?

This basket is the perfect size to hold R's little board books. And I needed some hooks to hang my peg basket on the clothes line. These items were found at Salvos on Newcastle Rd. $1 for the hooks, $2 for the basket.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Painting Find

This week I scored a painting at the Salvos on Newcastle Rd. I was one of the first people inside, saw this painting straight away and fell in love with it. It's so peaceful, and I love the autumn colours. Getting it home took some doing, luckily R was at playgroup and not with me. I finally managed to wedge it in the back seat, and couldn't see out the rear window all the way home. It was only $10, for a big framed painting- it's about 1 1/2 metres by 1 metre. It's a print, and the artist's name is Robert Wood, which after some googling discovered that he was a popular American landscape painter.

The painting is dusty and still needs to be cleaned up, but I'm very happy with it. :-)

Close up of the right side.

Close up of the left side.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holiday Finds 2

This is last of my finds during the school holidays. Books were the main haul this time, and I'm going to show you all the brooch again because I love it so much! :-)

This was my favourite find of the holidays. I think it's silver-plated. The detail is lovely, and I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia books. There was a flying horse in the early books. I think the figure is a child, don't you love the little Arabian nights theme pants and shoes? You can see them just sticking out below the horse's wing.

Buttons! I'm always collecting buttons. I thought the red ones might come in handy for decorating Christmas cards and presents.

An assortment of books. I remember reading Z for Zachariah at school. Chrysalis is the sequel to Thunderwith, a book that made me cry every time I read it. My mum used to read The String Family (top right) to me, so I snapped it up to read to my boys when they're a bit older. The Little White Horse is another childhood book, written in 1946. The language is charming and I enjoyed reading it again.
More Milly-Molly-Mandy, I've been reading some of these books to A. And then having to explain what a cottage is, what a thatched roof is, what a penny/tuppence/shilling is, and so on.
Galaxarena (top left) is by Australian children's author Gillian Rubenstein- she wrote Space Demons and Skymaze. Great writer. When I saw Flower Fairies I couldn't pass it up- I have a little collection of miniature versions of them from childhood, but they're falling apart.

Some classic golden books to read to my boys, along with a few others. I love this wooden puzzle, the pictures on the pieces appeal to me. The box and the pieces are still in great condition.

A couple of Nancy Drews (apologies for the bad photo) and a hardback copy of Charlotte's Web- love the illustration on the cover.

The last find. My son A found these- activity books on phonic word families. None of the pages were written on. He had great fun filling it out- I think he was missing school! :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Holiday Finds 1

Hi everyone!

I had a great time perusing the country op shops during the school holidays. Every school holiday we spend a week with my parents in the country town of Scone. It's a lovely break for me. I enjoy a week of sleeping in (my boys are early risers), and shopping without being distracted. My boys who love their Granny and Grandad enjoy a week being showered with attention. :-)

Scone has two op shops, a Red Cross, and another one in the Baptist church hall. The Red Cross is open most days, the Baptist one is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 2 pm. The Baptist op shop has an old bus permanently parked in the yard that they use for storage. I think it's pretty cool.

20 mins drive away is Muswellbrook, another town, that has 3 op shops, a Lifeline, a Vinnies, and an Anglican one. Lifeline and Vinnies are the main ones I visit there. The Lifeline often has a good variety of children's clothes.

I had a good haul these holidays, here's a few pictures of some of my finds.

Two tops for me! This rarely happens, as the larger sizes aren't always very stylish or interesting to me.
But I scored big in the Red Cross op shop. I'm planning to wear a singlet/cami under the red one, it's a bit see-through. :-)

Clothes for my boys. I could have bought much more, but I didn't need it. I was particularly looking for shirts for R this time. The stripey shirts and shirts are his, the green shirts are for A, who needs less clothes now he wears a school uniform everyday. The items were around $2 each.

A variety of books. I grew up singing songs from the blue songbook on the left there, so I couldn't pass it up. A novel that looks interesting. I've started collecting Charlaine Harris and her Sookie series. Some books with helpful information. I've read the Divorce one, it was pretty good. Not sure of the individual prices, but all up maybe $8?

I was an early childhood teacher, and am always looking to build up my stash. Some craft and game ideas here. Love the drawings on the second book, it was an 80s one I think. Old game and activities are still able to be used in the new school curriculum, they are adaptable, and often cover similar subject matter.

Who can resist a bit of food porn? The Donna Hay mags were $3 each., the others $1. I have the other "Fed Up" book by Sue Dengate, and thought the asthma one would be an interesting read.

That's all for now, I'll have more pics from my holiday shop soon.

Great reasons to op-shop

Hello! Welcome to the first post of my op shopping blog!

Op shopping (or thrift shopping if you don't live in Australia), is one of my favourite things to do.
While perusing thrift shopping blogs during the school holidays, I realised that I was halfway to a blog already- I took photos of my finds, and raved about them to long-suffering friends. Now I have the opportunity to share my finds with the op/thrift community, which will make for less glazed-over eyes and surreptitious edging away from my enthusiasm...I hope.

2 great finds for the little girls in my life. I only have boys, so I'm grateful to my mum friends for allowing me to indulge the need to buy pretty girl clothes. Don't you love the candy stripes on the pink dress? The dress on the right has a gorgeous pattern of little teddies. $4 for the candy dress, $2 for the teddy dress.

I thought I'd start my blog with all the great reasons to op-shop. Of course, YOU already know all this, but now you'll have something to show to your skeptical friends and family.

10 Great Reasons to Op Shop

1.   It is ethical and environmentally friendly

Being ethical and kind to the environment is so "in" right now, but we've been doing it for years. Buying clothes at the op shops cuts out the worry of whether or not it was made in a sweat shop. Buying second hand clothes and goods is recycling, keeping stuff out of the landfills. We interrupt the cycle of buy, use, throw away.

2.   It saves you money

The obvious one. Why buy brand-new clothes for hundreds of dollars when you can buy a whole new wardrobe for the cost of one of those brand-new clothes? Why buy brand-new clothes for your children that they grow out of in 6 months, when you can stock their drawers full of op-shop goodness for a quarter of the price? Why buy brand new items of furniture and home ware when the same things are available in the op shops where they are cheaper, built to last and have character?

3.   It supports charity work

All the money you spend goes towards helping others less fortunate in your community. Some people suggest that op shop merchandise should be left for only the truly needy. But this is not correct as op shops have tons of merchandise they need to move, so shopping there helps everyone out.

4.   It gives you an alternative to the mainstream

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find the latest fashions and trends truly boring. Or they don't suit my style or my body type. I often struggle to find clothes for my boys that aren't covered with annoying slogans, skulls or other non-appropriate things. Op shops have a variety of clothes from eras and seasons, and home wares with character and quirkiness. I have much more luck finding clothes I like for my boys there than in the mainstream stores.

My mum's op shop find- a quirky brass crocodile. His jaws move and snap together. My boys love this guy. 

5.   It provides a higher satisfaction/purchase ratio than in the mainstream stores

At any time, the average person can go to a store, find at least one item of clothing/shoes/homewares they like, buy it and take it home. Instant gratification, instant satisfaction. But how much satisfaction, really? Compare that experience to finding a brand new skirt at the op shop, still with its price tag of $39.99, for $5. Or patiently visiting the op shops every week until you find that perfect jacket that fits you beautifully, for a mere $8. Or finding some beautiful vintage wooden well-made toys for your children, for $1. I know which experience I would value more.

6.   It can offer better quality than the mainstream stores

Most of the clothes in an op shop have been worn and played in by their previous owners. They've gone through the washing machine many a time, before ending up in the store. Therefore, you know that these clothes will not disintegrate in the first wash, or shrink. Clothes that have survived to make it to the op shop are generally of a better quality that your average sweatshop shrink-in-the-wash t-shirt.

7.   It encourages the development of patience, creativity, delayed gratification

Browsing through every single item of clothing on the rack, looking for something that catches your eye. Flipping through every book in the children's section. Coming back to the shop each week, patiently searching for treasures. And what a thrill when your patience is rewarded with a great find! And how much more do you value what you have been looking for, when gratification has been denied? Creativity is developed as you think of how to use your new finds, how to alter that dress, giving a new coat of paint to an old item of furniture, using old cards, pictures and buttons for your craft projects. You're only limited by your imagination.

A beautiful silver-plated brooch picked up in my favourite country town op shop.

8.   It offers the opportunity to experiment

Maybe you've never worn a shirt in that colour before. Or a dress in that style. Maybe you spy something you'd like to dye a different colour, or some furniture you could alter. Take the chance and see what happens! Unlike mainstream stores, if the experiment doesn't work, you're only out of pocket in gold coins.

9.   It offers more variety than the current trends

Op shops stores can potentially have anything. What kind of store has clothing, books, furniture, jewelry, knick knacks, all in the one place? Every option for the style you prefer can potentially be there for the finding. If you don't like the current trend, go have a look in the op shop!

10. It's fun!

Op shopping is like treasure hunting. You have the thrill of shopping without the guilt of maxing out the credit card. The anticipation of not knowing what lies inside, but it could be something wonderful....