Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Green and gold

I wasn't planning a trip to the op shop, but since I was paying bills just a few doors away I found myself giving in to the siren call of the Salvos in Atherton Road, Oakleigh, last week. And, woohoo, I'm glad I did because this pair of lime green beauties in my size were waiting for me. Lime green is my current favourite colour, at least on those days when my favourite colour isn't purple, and this pair will go perfectly with the skirt I made out of an op-shopped seventies sheet a couple of weeks ago.

And almost even better than the shoes, all six volumes of the Golden Hands magazine from the seventies, which I have lusted after for such a long time, were also languishing on a shelf as if just for me. The lady behind the counter said she'd only put them out ten minutes before, so I was very lucky with my timing - just as well I succumbed to the unscheduled visit!

It's not just the craftiness of Golden Hands that I love, though there are more than enough projects and inspiration within the pages to keep me busy for several lifetimes, but also the illustrations. As a child of the seventies, this is both nostalgic and familiar.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Op Shop Tour of Tassie

25 Op Shops - 7 days - all off the main land!

I just had the most amazing week of bargain hunting in Tassie, it was incredible so I thought I'd share some pics with you. I set out with two of my close friends one car and a $100 to spend at the op shops. I ended up posting home 12kg of op shop goodness to avoid excess baggade with Jet star, but still it all came to under my budget. I can't list all of the baragins but my family did score some extra op shop goodness for christmas. Oh and remember the 50cent bins Salvos used to have...... well I managed to find lots of them all stocked full of great finds, like glowmesh purces, and leather hand bags, and querky braces all for 50cents. If anyone is going on holidays in Tassie let me know and I will fill you in on some great op shops, boy they know how to run a good oppie down there. Hopefully Op Shop Tours Australia will offer an annual Tassie weekend full of op shop goodness.
Some great Retro finds in the Hobart Vinnies.
The Boot after one day!
"excuse me I think the cafe is this way"
Watch out Borders there is an oppie with everything inside including a cafe!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Buttons and glassware

Today I was looking for buttons to finish some of my Christmas presents (you will see photos of the "recycled" gifts on my blog after I have given them away).

The Salvos in Sunbury did not have any buttons, but they did have this lovely set:

The price sticker on the jug reads $9.99 (including the glasses). I snaffled them up straight away!

It is not crystal, nor are there any identifying marks. It certainly looks vintage though, and I like that.

Won't they be pretty for the Christmas table? Or, a posh way to drink home-made lemonade (or should that be margueritas??).

Friday, 19 December 2008

Everybody is doing well!

I'm doing okay too! I just wish I had time to visit all the opshops you all go to, but I guess some of you wish you could come to the ones I frequent. Such as the Brotherhood of St.Lawrence opshop in Eltham. It is in a little arcade, and if you don't know Eltham, you'd never find it. They had a half price day yesterday and here is what I bought:

These three teeshirts were $1 each.

The pattern on this skirt is like Japanese craft paper, which I love, so I had to have this for $2, didn't I?

Black stretch fabric pants for $2.

Gorgeous soft leather handbag for $2

I don't wear ear-rings, but I collect unusual ones to use in my craft projects, in particular crazy patchwork. Marked $4, but got them for $2.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Salvo's in Wells Rd Chelsea Heights

Was driving by this store and thought I should have a look. Looks to have plenty of clothes but not sure if they were any good. Most of the doodads were a bit on the new side for me, not much in the way of retroie goodness. I did buy a nice Citizen Quartz watch with a brown analogue face and the day date display underneath on a led panel, nice gold band, glass badly scratched but it was only $6 and it works and I'm wearing it now.
I spied a lovely glass elephant about 7-8 cm high, from memory blue glass with green flakes inside, looked to be in very good condition. The price was $70 approx, I asked the man and he said it was Murano glass. So if anyone is in to collecting elephants or Murano glass probably worth a look. Its in the display case against the wall near the counter on the right as you walk in. Could be a nice Chrissy pressie for someone.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Woodland sprite gives me a fright

I love freakish, silly-looking ceramics and a year or so ago I went to Oakleigh St Vincent de Paul (Crewe Rd) and hit the motherlode- there were a huge number of seriously weird ceramic vases, ornaments and containers that featured insane-looking characters, and this guy was one of the many I bought that day. The photo doesn't give justice to the sinister expression on his little face- you get the feeling he's plotting something, and you're going to find out what it is in the middle of the night...

My sister actually smashed the thing by accident two weeks ago- the 'wood' surrounds broke into several large pieces that were fairly easy to superglue back together. The little leprechaun-person was unharmed no doubt saved by his own dark power...

As an aside, a few months ago I was in the same opshop and overheard some in-charge sounding person telling another staff-member that they were intending to get less bric-a-brac and furniture at this store in the future as the money in other stores was apparently in clothes, but then went on to say that particular store did very very well out of its non-clothing sections- which made me sad! It seems fewer and fewer opshops have the floorspace or manpower to cope with larger items. I know many- maybe even most?- people go to opshops for the clothes but I've always gone to them for doodads, gadgets and household things, and this shop consistently turns up treasures. I was going to pipe up but felt rude interrupting... the charity's imperative is to make the highest turnover in the space provided so they can run their social programs and help folks in need so I can't fault them at all for following what they beleive to be the profitable path...

BUT I was thinking, if you're in the area, and you're a bric-a-bracky type like me, you really should check it out. If enough of us haunt the place and buy up the doodads, maybe they won't feel the need to go clothing-focused...

New boutique opp shop

Gisborne is only 15 minutes from Sunbury (so it's on the outskirts of the Western suburbs).

Lucky us! We have been selected to host a boutique opp shop which they describe as aiming to be the "best in Melbourne". Selected items are put aside for sale in our shop. The models in the window are dressed for Cup Day.

There are new items with tags (probably unsold from department stores) as well as excellent condition and specialty pre-loved items. The change rooms are very good.

Currently there is a Singer sewing machine (with treadle table), and a sofa-bed, but otherwise there is not much furniture. It's nic-nacs, linen, clothing, jewellery, handbags and footwear especially.

I bought Kermit for $2. He hasn't been used - his tag is still attached.

This home-made cushion was donated directly to the opp shop - it was $5.

The opp shop first opened 2 weeks ago. I bought Jump and Target brand clothes. There is a lot to choose from.

The Gisborne Salvos is situated at:
1/50 Aitken St Gisborne.

Opening hours: 9-5 weekdays and 9-1 Saturday

Where is it? Travelling from Melbourne towards Bendigo on the Calder freeway take the first exit where the sign reads only "Gisborne". Turn left at the T intersection on the exit, travel down the hill to the roundabout with a fountain in the centre and turn left. The Salvos is on the right opposite Mitre 10 in a group of 5 new shops. Street parking is available.

I am not affiliated with the shop, just a happy customer spreading the love!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

vintage sewing patterns

I tend to gravitate straight to the sewing/crafty section of an op shop (just as my son goes straight for the toys!). I'm a big fan of vintage notions and vintage sewing patterns. I recently came across a large box filled to the brim with sewing patterns from the 50's onwards, and could barely contain my excitement!! Only 50 cents a pattern! Below are some of the patterns from the 50's and 60's,
and the 70's.
There were also a couple of cute kids patterns, probably 1960's I think.
Who knows if I'll ever make something from the patterns, but I love to think that someone did!

Friday, 5 December 2008

op shop garage sale

There will be a Garage Sale at Churinga Op Shop (108-130 Diamond Creek Road, Greensborough) on Saturday 13th December 8.30am – 3pm.

There will be a ½ price sale at the op shop on December 16th, 17th and 18th of December.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Lemony goodness

I haven't done much op-shopping lately, due to the press of study. BUT, having finished classes last week, I indulged in a little foray to the Salvos in Oakleigh as a detour/reward after paying some bills. The book above I'd have bought for the title and cover alone - it's so fabulous! - but it was a good read, too, so bonus (I devoured it in an afternoon - haven't done that in a very long time). There's a certain type of book that always catches my eye: 1930s through to early 1960s, great evocative covers, creamy paper, slightly musty, esoteric subjects. This fits into that category and will join my other treasures, mostly also op-shop sourced.

I also succumbed to the lemony goodness of the above cotton jumper. I've been wanting to knit with cotton, having learned to knit just a (relatively) short while ago, and kept an eye on the op-shops racks for a likely candidate to de-construct and refashion. This jumper looked to have the necessary 'zipline' construction to frog stitch back into yarn, and it took me just another afternoon (and a lot of wiggly yellow wormlets distributed liberally all over my person and the living room) to rip it back into its original constituent, pictured below. I foresee a pair of sunny yellow socks and perhaps several lemon dishcloths in my future knitting.

A grand total of $7.80, since it was pensioner's day :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Just Passing

I was in Melbourne for the Drama Victoria conference on Friday and was shopping briefly in Bourke St afterwards, looking for a nice bag for my daughter's valedictory dinner, which, by the way, was that night!!!
Found the itty bitty Brotherhood shop in Royal Arcade and spotted this in the window. By the way they had a sale on! $8 reduced to $6.
Unfortunately I didn't have more time to browse (train to catch, event to attend) as there looked to be some interesting clothing items there.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Frog Collectors Alert

The Salvo's shop in Koornang Rd Carnegie has a shelf with assorted frogs which have just arrived. If you're in to frog collecting be quick. The lady said some had sold already.
Good Luck.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

{old finds}

I found these two treasures back in May of this year, long before I started blogging about op-shopping goodness!
I seem to have a knack for finding gorgeous linen, the pink sheet pictured is part of a DOUBLE bed size set, flat sheet + fitted sheet + pillow cases = $7.50

White coat is a little girls size 2 and in MINT condition, pure wool, genuine vintage and a few small marks on the front that I think will come out with a hand wash - $9.50. I almost fell over myself to get to this coat when I saw it, there was a lot of squealling with delight when I brought it home.

The best part is that this will probably fit my baby girl Cait next winter.......bring on the snow I say!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


I have been AWOL, I have still been shopping I just haven't been blogging!
What: Vintage Sheet Set - two flat KING size singles
How Much: $7.50
Where: Brotherhood of St Lawerence - Knox City Shopping Centre
I pop into this op-shop at least once a week; every week they seem to have a 'fill a $5 bag' special going and they have a HUGE rack of $5 jeans.
I like this oppy because even though the rummagability (yes I made that word up) factor is low, it is neat, tidy, easy to navigate with the pram + 3 kiddies and the stock seems to turn over quite fast.

Prices are at the higher end of the scale, but the staff are friendly and the location and parking is great especially when I am already there and running errands.

Opposite the library on the ground floor if you are ever over at Knox!

Friday, 21 November 2008


Had to show you guys this piece, I think it's one of the best things I've found to date!



Bigger pictures at my blog: forevayoungvintage

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

on op shopping and ebaying

There's been a bit of activity around the traps lately about the practice of purchasing goods from op shops for resale on ebay. I have a few observations to make on this issue:

1. Economically, I don't see how the resale of items purchased at the op shop drives prices up at the op shop, or certainly how it could be the sole cause of rising prices. Paid staff members, increasing rents, greater need for the services funded by the charities - these are all factors as well. The pricing issue has previously been written about very thoughtfully (along with a great many other issues) by The Vintage Detective.

I once looked at a very sweet vintage needlepoint bag at a second-hand dealer. It was pricey and I was a bit affronted when I saw that the Salvo's receipt was still actually in the bag. But then I figured well, the dealer has made the shopping effort, been in the right place at the right time, has rent and utility overheads and needs to feed him or herself as well. Everything second-hand comes from somewhere - an estate sale, an auction house, the op shop. Is one source more pure than another? The internet, and ebay in particular, has made it possible for anyone with an internet connection and paypal account to be a second-hand dealer. Is it any wonder that on this new scale of second-hand selling that the source of goods has moved to the op shop?

2. On the ethics of reselling items - I defer again to TVD for a summary of some of the issues here. I think that to object to this practice assumes that everyone is there looking for the same thing. I also don't think that op shops are short of stock - I once heard that Brotherhood of St Laurence has something like a phenomenal 20 tonnes of donated goods coming through its sorting warehouse - everyday. As soon as something is off the shelf, wherever it goes to, there is room for something else fresh out of the back room. And no vintage dealer can be everywhere at once.

And just to finish, my own personal view? I've thought about doing it many times, have seen things at the op shop and thought that it would certainly sell elsewhere for more, have even gone so far as to purchase something with the intention of on-selling ... but haven't quite been able to bring myself to do so.

This blog is a great forum to discuss and debate these issues. Your views and comments are welcome but please be aware that any comments that may be construed as hurtful or unpleasant (by me) will be removed.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Altered Dress

I just wanted to show off my altered skirt that I picked up from a small op shop.


This was actually a huge dress which was extremely ugly. The skirt had nice pockets and a nice balloon shape to it, so I tackled the garment with some scissors and decided to cut it off. Next, I found an old elastic band which I then sewed around the stomach area. I think it really spruced up this garment!

More at my blog---> forevayoungvintage

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Diesel dress find!

Hi there, Dani here.
I've been trying to avoid shopping of late but the lure of the op shop is always too strong for this old girl. I quickly ducked in to SPACE in Fairfield last week and found this little Diesel dress in tencel. Two whole dollars it set me back. It was originally ankle length which looked (and felt) a little awkward but it was a matter of five minutes work to bring it back to just above the knee. The photo makes it appear shapeless but it has a lovely shape when worn.

Posh Oppe Shoppe Sale

Just in case anyone is interested, the Posh Oppe Shoppe in Glenhuntly Road, Glenhuntly, has a sale on at the moment (not sure if it's ongoing, or today only). They have 50% off a range of items, like China, Kitchenware and Clothing (except jeans). They are usually a bit expensive for my liking, so grab a bargain while you can!

An Op Shopping Excursion

Witchery dress found at St Vincent's in Hampton

I haven't posted here for quite a while.  Not that I haven't been op shopping all this time, of course not!, but if you ever drop by my blog you will be aware of our house moving project.  It has been selfishly hogging my time so that blogging is a rare occurrence. However, I had to share a recent jaunt to some of my favourite op shops with you.  

Two new Melbourne friends (1 from Sydney & 1 from Chicago) are very keen thrifters, but lack a local's knowledge of all the secret haunts where treasure can be found.  So I planned a day (from school drop off to pick up) to share 4 of my favourite haunts. The trip was such a success that a plan is developing for fortnightly jaunts.  Lucky I still have a few secrets up my sleeve.  Here is our itinerary if you would like to go on your own excursion.

1.  Sacred Heart Mission Op Shop - cnr Inkerman Rd & Hotham St, St Kilda East:
great for adult and children's clothes, ties and jewellery.

2. St Stephen's Op Shop - 116 Martin St, Brighton:
run by a lovely bunch of nanna's who will help you find just what you are looking for, and at a great price!

3. Gibney's Gourmet Foods - Martin St, Brighton:
we stopped here for a scrumptious lunch and coffee break.

4. St Vincent's Hampton - 501 Hampton St, Hampton:
large collection of china, glassware, clothes, books and furniture.  I always go home with something from here.

5. Oppe Shoppe - Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North:
shoes, clothes, bags - they often get Olga Berg and Nine West seconds.

I wish I had photos to share of the bootful of goodies 3 girls can accumulate on one excursion, but well we were just to busy searching!  I'll let you know how the next goes.
Happy thrifting.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

More things

I probably should stop buying vintage jumpers and jackets and big, furry zip vests since it's now heating up here in oz-land, but op-shopping isn't very seasonal and I can never turn down a great find based purely on the weather!


Fur is always a touchy subject. Actually, this vest is made from faux fur but it reminded me of a real vintage fur cape that I sold in the past that got me a few nasty emails during the listing. I wouldn't wear fur myself (don't really like the look) but I'm not against anyone who chooses to wear vintage ones. Personally I feel like this is a sustainable way of dealing with the fur that already exists. I guess the other argument is that wearing these garments still makes them desirable and therefore promotes the trade. What are your thoughts?

More at my blog> forevayoungvintage

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Careful with your "donations"...

Some years ago a friend was working in a local op shop in a country town.
It was coming up to Christmas and the volunteer staff had been run off their feet but were looking forward to having a month-long break with the op shop closed until after the New Year.
My friend was called into the back room by one of the senior staff and was profusely thanked for all the hard work she'd done and told how much they appreciated her efforts.
"Here's a little something to say thank you and we thought it would look lovely on your table at Christmas,"
She was handed a green and gold painted glass bowl with angels around the outside of it and an odd lid firmly stuck on top that had been donated to the shop sometime earlier in the week.
My friend packed it into her bag and took it home, thinking no more about it until shortly before her husband got home.
Taking the bowl out she saw that it was pretty dusty and needed a wash to sparkle properly.
Try as she could the lid was stuck fast but after a while she managed to get it off, just as her husband walked in the door.
"What have you got there?" He asked, peering over her shoulder.
She explained how she came by the bowl, adding,
"But it's full of this dust or dirt or whatever,"
Hubby made some choking noises as he grabbed it out of her hands, stopping her from dumping the "dirt" in the bin.
"That's not dirt, that's somebody's ashes!  They've given you an urn with a cremated person's ashes inside!"

They never were able to trace where the "donation" had come from, despite many discreet enquiries!

Friday, 31 October 2008

And so it begins....

Has anyone else noticed that the op shops are bringing out their Christmas stock? A few of my semi-regular haunts in the Oakleigh/Clayton area certainly are. Or maybe it's just that I have Christmas on the brain, thinking of all the gifts I need to make....

I picked up these super sweet wooden decorations for a steal the other day!
I think they used to be hanging decorations, but have all lost their loops. Regardless, I thought they were too cute to pass up.

I'll be blogging more about my Christmas finds - and handmade Christmas gifts - at Sparkly Green Knickers.

Vintage dress!

I've always been on the hunt for a scalloped white, lace dress but hadn't had much luck. I spotted a lady umming and ahhing over this so I tried to make myself look discreet and tailed her around the store until she finally decided to leave the garment behind. Success! Of course, I pounced and now this pretty little number is in my possession.


The dress has a fabulous "V" back and floaty, capped lace sleeves. It was actually a few tiers longer in the skirt but I cut a few layers off so it's shorter and more "dolly" like.

More pictures and a small halloween rant at my blog forevayoungvintage

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Yet another sugar bowl

Hello. Dani from The Kitchen Playground, newly arrived over here in the blog of all things op. Today was a fortuitous day to receive an invitation to post here as I had a little oppy victory.

The back story being that, much as I love my husband, I do wish he wouldn't break my sugar bowl which such regularity. Particularly as I am somewhat fussy. I prefer glass. It must have a lid. It must be reasonably plain. Must be cheap as it will, in all likelihood be broken in the not too distant future. Sounds easy but isn't.

I've had my eyes pen for a couple of weeks now since the last breakage occurred. I hit pay dirt in a musty little church op shop at The Mall in West Heidelberg. I found this little gem for $2. Perfect.

oppy thursday

After an extra op shop day yesterday, due to illness, (see my other blog) I ventured out today to a shop I heard about in williamstown, at the St Andrews Presb Curch in Cecil St Williamstown. It is amazing, so old and everything a treasure. I have a friend who works there, so I was excitedly telling her about my overlocker, and that I would need a table, and presto, I noticed this, for....$10! The middle bit is a drawer, and the sides have shelves, perfect to put at right angles to my Horn cabinet. I also got all these for $3
and haby items, including a handmade runner. The pink and blue bags are beaded fringing, for $5 a roll. And a lone self covered button as well
After seeing the jumble of handbags, I thought to myself "there's a Prada in there, for sure". Sure enough, there was- check out the great size
and stamp on the front. there are always sceptics who suggest it isn't authentic, but I'm not that fussed, it's pretty old and authentic enough for me!
A bag of Tupperware was bought as well, what a great day!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Vintage Finds

Are you all sick of me yet? ;)


So. More things to show! I don't normally find too many nice tops or cardigans so the two you see above are probably my favourite picks this week. The mesh, bandage top seen pictured with the skirt is actually a leotard! It's very 80s and I felt a bit Madonna-ish prancing about in it. I also quite like the slouchy cardigan, it's got some sort of animal/zebra print on it and has pockets, which as you know immeidiately caught my attention. Last but not least, the purple dress is actually tagged a vintage Cue design - I don't know if this is the current brand Cue or something else, but it has the best cinched waist.

As always, bigger photos at my blog forevayoungvintage

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bundoora / Thomastown Market

Trish from trish hunter finds

Today was market morning.
I was very excited as I had never been to this market before.

My boss and I went to Bundoora/Thomastown market.

Amongst old bike chains? I think they were bike chains, and a couple of cameras, and an old old old tv remote, was this...

Its a 1950's or 60's Bakelite telephone. The dial's plastic cover has been opened, but I can easily get another whole dial from QLD for $18 so that's no problem.
After a good clean it'll polish up to be a gem.
It cost me $15 Bargain!

This is the other phone I bought. It was on a ladys table who had lots of nice things, but I think it was items from her personal belongings, and maybe some of her kids old things. I dont think she was a collector. Anyway this phone had $20 on it, and I am 50/50 on if I have seen this in a book or not.
Well no. I have seen a see through light up phone that looks identical in a book I read maybe a year ago? And I believe its price was around the $300 mark. But I can't remember it's brand.
So I bargained with her and surprisingly got it down to $10, and figured, if it isn't the one in the book I saw, I'm at no loss because it's a rad 80's phone anyway and will increase in value at some stage. And if it is the one I saw, then SWEET!

That's all I bought. Oh no I bought a lighter for my stove haha.

So yep, I was very pleased with todays finds. And more pleased because I have something to research. Very fun.

Feel free to check out other finds, and stories at my personal blog

Have a lovely Sunday




I think you'll remember this dress from a couple of posts back. In the end I decided the dress would be more wearable and versatile if I chopped it, which was what I did (obviously). I really love the look of it when worn - it's very glamourous, sexy and quite elegant looking at the same time. This was from my local op shop which is located 5 mins from my house and I check out everytime I do the grocery shopping. I think it's one of those garments that look much better on the person than on a rack - it had been hanging on a rack for a few weeks already and I was a bit apprehensive about getting it at first. I'm glad I did though, I love the mesh back detailing and the golden halter straps!


I'm not sure what era these dresses would be from - I'm thinking 70s? I have a thing for dresses which cinch in at the waist, a billow top and soft, pleated skirt. These ones were a great find! I must admit I did hem them a little to take up the skirt length, but otherwise they're all in mint condition.

Although I buy lots of vintage clothing, I must confess I'm not very well educated in what styles are from which era. When I go op shopping I tend to assess the asthetic appeal first before I take into consideration of the garment's age or history, which is probably wrong of me. This is definitely something that I hope to further educate myself on!

For more ramble and better pictures head to my blog forevayoungvintage

Friday, 24 October 2008

Variety of stuff at Savers Greensborough.

I just love fabrics with high heeled shoes prints! This is a long scarf - $2.99.

This little chest of drawers could be paper mache(?) or decoupage...I don't know, but I had to have it - great to put some of my craft bits in!

This blouse is much nicer than in the photo. It's black with silver embroidered leaves on it, really smart. The red scarf was separate - I just hung it over the blouse for the photo.

I've got to stop buying tins - I can't resist an unusual one, and this one is so cute. I'm going to keep my ATC collection in it.

Hey Sarah, if you like Black and gold, have a look at this gorgeous totebag I picked up yesterday!