Tuesday, 29 January 2008

the simple things....

....a set of 4 Japanese egg cups 50c each bought by a daughter for her mummy. (Vinnie's Ringwood)

Flowers picked by her for me.

Simple, lovely!I think shes buttering me up for something!??!!

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Salvos, Oakleigh

I'm a regular visitor to the Oakleigh Op shops and in particular, The Salvos at 50 Atherton Road. Like all Salvos stores, I find them to be a bit pricey at times, but it is a large store with a wide variety of goodies.

My most recent finds include this pristine set of Golden Hands craft magazines, which despite what I said about The Salvos often being pricey, cost a measly $5.75.

They were published as hardcover books in the late 1960s with a particularly lurid mustard yellow cover and I remember my Mum had a well thumbed set. Golden Hands was also published in a magazine "collect one each week and get your free binder with edition 1" format, which is what excitedly uncovered a month or so back. They are in amazing condition, with all 70 magazines in place, with all pull out patterns and leaflets unused.

Although some of the creations are a bit questionable (ie. the Beefeater pjama bag above), the patterns, tips and instructions are fantastic. I find the great thing with this series is the wide variety of crafts covered - knitting, sewing, crocheting, embroidery, etc.

Another one of my favourite buys from this store is this pretty pressed glass bowl which I think was about $5.00.

Last week this store had an Alannah Hill lurex knit top for $14.75. I think from memory it was a size 14.

Friday, 25 January 2008


So what's the deal with Savers? Is it an op shop or not? I must admit that I was reluctant to put them on the op shop list until some one pointed out that their proceeds go to Diabetes Australia (and contributing to charity is one of op shopping's charms for me). Then I discovered a great new blog the other day - The Vintage Detective - which alerted me that the charity partners (ie Diabetes Australia and apparently YMCA) receive as little as 3 per cent of the eventual retail price.

Hmm, does Savers deserve its op shop status? Perhaps I'll put a little note in there about their commercial arrangements. Debate welcome in the comments!

Llama tie

About two years ago I went for a short holiday in Tasmania and bought three vintage ties from different shops: my favourite is this green woollen one with what I believe are llamas on it. It has a nice fuzzy texture but doesn't knot particularly well. It cost me one dollar.


Australians all, let us rejoice, for we wipe dishes clean!

Amelia posted her Tassie teatowel earlier this week, so I thought I'd continue the Australia Day theme and add a few of my finds to the blog. I love Australiana, and usually the more kitsch, the better. As one of my sidelines is making handbags, I've turned many a pretty souvenir teatowel into a nice colourful bag with a retro feel. And as Amelia pointed out, the quality of the fabric is usually excellent.
Here's a couple of bags:

Kanga tote from a 1974 teatowel.

Bag made from a souvenir teatowel from the Pinnacles, WA. (Ended up with more flowers on the bag than Pinnacles.)

I've got a few more linen souvenir teatowels kicking around in my fabric stash...I'll try and dig them out for Monday.

Here's some more recent scores, I think all of these came from Frankston Savers.

Some cheeky cockies, 50s or 60s I'd say.

Koalas and wildflowers, off to a friend in Arizona for her collection.

And for the same friend, an apron:
This one is modern and says "Made in India", but has printed on the front "designed in Australia by Buck Marketing."

I'm a big fan of native plants, they dominate my garden and my favourites are banksias. So I was stoked to find this yesterday:

I know I've got a couple of other souvenir silk scarves somewhere, finding them will be my task for the weekend. Any suggestions as to what to use them for, given the fact that if I tie one round my neck I feel somewhat like an air hostess?

As I collect vintage linen, I'm always excited to find Aussie themed examples of stitching, and am still sulking about missing out on a traced linen tablecloth with blue wrens and gum blossoms that I couldn't buy from Savers due to lack of funds. Yep, of course it was gone when I went back. But I've found other pretty things:

Flowering gum doiley.

Mr. Koala doiley, given the style of the background, I'm guessing this is from the 40s.

And speaking of Mr. Koalas, here's Sid. Technically he doesn't belong here as he didn't come from an oppy, but from a nature strip in Narre Warren. Now he's an ornament in my front garden, facing towards the lounge room window. However I had to share him as he's such a treasure!

Happy Australia Day peeps, and let's raise our beer glasses to the souvenir buyers of the past whose hoarding allows such op-shopping joy!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

When good crafting goes bad...

Hi all, it's me of the arse issues again. Yesterday I was all souped up on op-shop finds, so I stopped at the Carrum Downs Salvos after work. The only notable thing about the store really is that it's one of the few op-shops I've been in that smells good. Overall the stock was unimpressive, but once again, I really wasn't looking for clothes.

However, clothing was looking for me, and as I walked past the end of the row of ladies jackets, this little beauty jumped out at me:

You know that thing in cartoons where the character's eyes widen, pop outta their sockets on stalks and then wrap around each other a few times before reversing the whole process... well, my eyes did that. OMG! The humanity!

The back view didn't improve matters:

My first thought was, to quote Wayne: "It will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine." When I took it to the counter, the assistant looked at me quizically, and I couldn't stop myself from trying to explain, saying "I plan to deconstruct it." This just caused her to furrow her brow and continue to look puzzled. So scary jacket and I headed home, my head filled with visions of a previous owner taking it on the Seniors bus trips, perhaps wearing it to the Bingo, and on Bowls presentation night. And then I tried to imagine the various embroiderers and how they'd react if they saw the current resting place of their handiwork. The oldest piece attached was labelled in satin stitch "duster tidy" and must have been from the 1930's (or older). They silently screamed at me all the way home, so as soon as I got through the front door, I had to show my husband the horror and immediately set to removing them from their jacket hell and letting them be free again.

Thanks to a nice husband that cooks dinner, three and a half hours on the couch later, I had unpicked 11 doileys, and then decided I'd had enough for the night. They were lined up on the back of the couch, and I nicknamed them "The Liberated Doiley Front"... here's a crappy-taken-with-the-flash picture:

Only one of them had been wrecked by being cut up for the "achy breaky" style shoulder and back upper panels.

As I write, they're all taking a nice bath in some Velvet soap-y water. I plan to add the prettiest ones to my collection, and inspired by Amelia's post, add the others to my Doiley Quilt Project.

Remember, friends don't let friends make and wear stuff like this (even in 1985!)

Disclaimer: My apologies if I've offended you greatly because you own, wore or made one like this anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Sorry.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

My first time

It's my first time posting here which i'm very ashamed about since Amelia added me as an author when she started the blog.
Anyway i thought i'd show you what i managed to pick up from The Brotherhood of St Lawrence in Bentleigh this past week. It's my favourite local op shop, it always has something for me when i go in there and it's nice and big, perfect for pushchairs!
First i picked up this denim skirt from the 50c rack,
which i turned into this,
And yesterday i scored some cool skirt patterns,

i LOOOOOVE sewing patterns and collect them, especially those that are pre 60's, which these obviously aren't but will most probably be made and worn (as soon as i have my pre pregnancy figure back!).

Lunchtime op-break

In the interests of “research”, I looked up two local oppies from Amelia’s fab list, and decided to spend my lunchtime scavenging.
The first oppy I went to was St. Vinnie’s in Seaford, it’s tucked away in a suburban shopping strip, and is quite dinky. Their speciality seems to be clothes, and maybe books. There wasn’t much in the way of nice old china or homewares (which are my favourites.) However the prices were dirt cheap and the little craft rack yielded all this:

Which added up to $2.50, but the nice woman behind the counter let me have it for $2.40 as that was all the change I had in my wallet. I was stoked to find a Semco traced doiley – barely worked and with holes for crochet edging which I might have a go at doing. Also there was the folder and first volume of ‘Discovering Needlework’ which was a weekly “how to” magazine, with transfers, a free kit, and lots of ideas. I used to have almost the whole set of these, 5 or 6 folders worth, and in the early 90’s, picking this up in the newsagency got me keen on stitching again. (By the way, if any of you Melbournians picked up 5 or 6 folders from the op-shop, with the transfers and kits mostly used, yep, they were mine. I foolishly turfed them back in 2003.)
So all in all, I was pleased with my scores there. I grabbed the zipper basically because I liked the packaging, and the slogan on the side “disaster-proof”! Ah yes, I’ve had a zipper disaster involving a vintage burgundy velvet dress and going to a gig at The Old Greek Theatre. Should’a had one of these.

Now on the other hand, the Seaford Brotherhood shop was somewhat disappointing. Just around the corner from the Nepean Hwy and the Seaford shops, it’s a reasonable size, but again, mostly clothes (oh and a nice collection of dodgy LP’s). At the moment I’m not really buying clothes due to my giant arse issues, so I can’t really say if there was any gold there. But it was quite busy, there were about 5 or 6 women under the age of 40 seriously looking for new threads. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing – that is, they could be either buying all the “good stuff” or because my definition of “good stuff” differs from most of the population, they might be leaving things I like such as old 60’s frocks and 50’s coats behind, so that would be great. Anyway, I promise next time I pop up that way, I’ll have a good fossick and re-evaluate.

map of tassie

Don't worry, this is a family-friendly blog!

I bought this lovely linen tea towel actually at an op shop in Tasmania. It's designed there, made in Poland and is just one of the several linen tea towels that I have found at various op shops. I do like the absorbency of the pre-loved linen and particularly love the design on this one.

Monday, 21 January 2008

The eyes have it

I recently did the same op-shop circuit as Starashan (Strathalan and Watsonia x3).

Some single bed sheets caught my fancy, and when I saw the matching/contrasting pillowcase (right) I knew they were mine. I think they will soon become a little girl's set of clothing.

I have never seen buttons or eyes like these, and even though I don't have a project in mind for them I simply had to buy a few. I'm agonising over whether to go back and get the rest of them. What is this called? Hologram? Not quite, eh? But the eyes open and shut depending on the angle from which you're looking at them. Very fun.

And this old woven tape/ribbon jumped into my hand and wouldn't be put back down. I wish I knew how to find out about the origins of things like this.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

frock anyone???

.... I love to collect old, dresses, coats, blouses well anything really!

It's one of those real hit and miss affairs, waiting patiently to discover a forgotten gem.
Going for ages and coming away with nothing, such is this game we all play!

I struck it pretty lucky on Friday though with 4 amazing dresses in one place and for only $2 a piece.
Sheer orange/tangeriney goodness, with a very full skirt and petticoat.

Both are tiny sizes and I would have to have several ribs removed and lose about 30 kgs to even try them on.
I think I will keep them for the girls to wear to their first dance or fancy party or just to dress up and swan around!

The huge amount of pleating and pin tucking with starchy yellow polyester makes my heart sing!!

Not sure of their ages as I'm pretty shocking at dating this kind of thing.

Now to some frocks that actually fit! All from the same shop Vietnam Vets Op Shop, Erica St Boronia. Both handmade from what I can make out.

A pull on stretchy blue number with a sweet scalloped neckline, missing the tie but I'm sure I can improvise!

And finally a watermelon georgette beauty,I think this one is begging to be worn to church!

So I may go for months or even longer before i hit it this lucky again, and that's fine by me!!

love fi

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Tea, anyone?

For years I have been dragging my boys out to Watsonia for their hair to be cut- my eldest son was always a major wrigger/screamer at the hairdressers, so we went there to go to Hair for Kids. On the way there, we pass a retirement village with an op shop. (Have just checked the google map on the side bar, and Amelia has already marked this one “Strathalan Opportunity Shop, Macleod” – yeesh! My first post here, and I wanted to bring something new, lol) I always meant to check it out, thinking that an out of the way oppie in a retirement village may house a few treasures. I finally made it there the other day, and scored big time in the teacup department! I have had serious teacup lust for ages. I always see those beautiful old fashioned tea cups in op shops, but can’t bring myself to spend over $30 on them. The ones I found aren’t quite as amazing as some I’ve seen elsewhere, but at “one dollar for three pieces, dear” you can’t go wrong. I’m not sure how old these are, but seeing how rosey they are, and because there is a lot of gold trim and detailing, I am guessing somewhere around the 1950’s? If anyone has a better guess, I’d love to hear it!

Seeing as I was already out that way, I thought I would cruise along the Watsonia shopping strip to see what other oppies were in the area. I found three: the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and I think it’s the Brotherhood of St Lawrence which is in the church. (All of these are within I reckon 50m of each other. These are in the google map as well.)

And at the Brotherhood I discovered the perfect way to get further discounts on already dirt cheap stuff: I was at the counter looking through some vintage cards, and the woman behind the counter asks me politely, “So how far along are you?” I reply, flatly, “I’m not pregnant.” She looked so embarrassed, it was hilarious. Now I am not a fat woman, but after three children and an extreme case of laziness, let’s just say I carry around a happy little pot. I reckon she halved the total cost of my purchase!

I love this Mothers Day card. It is printed on such flimsy paper, and has such an old world feel to it. It's hard to tell from my woeful photography skills, by the writing on the front is all glittery. I love the idea of actually using this card, but I don't know if I could bring myself to write in it.
Maybe it would be different for these cards:

Again, the cardstock is really flimsy, but there are TWO of them!

These ones are so cute. Great to see the owls and birds in their last lap around the circuit...And what trip to the op shop would be complete without yet *another* apron I ask?! Or more patterns and zips??

Phew. That was one photo heavy post!!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

primrose pringle

I'm not usually fond of the colour yellow but this jumper caught my attention and just wouldn't let go when I visited the Brotherhood of St Laurence on Glenferrie Road, Malvern last weekend.

It's made by Pringle of Scotland "by appointment to her Majesty the Queen" and cost $10. It's lovely and soft and has grosgrain ribbon trim on the button band. That's something I love about op shopping - you can afford to buy things that you otherwise wouldn't risk. You can also buy things that you otherwise wouldn't end up anywhere near under normal shopping circumstances (I could open my own Supré store with all their stuff that I find in the op shop but that's another story altogether).

I bought this fabulous blouse a few weeks ago from the Salvation Army. I find it very difficult to get blouses that fit me well, without, er, straining across the front and as such spend my life in t-shirts. This one, however, is perfect. Rusty is a surf and streetwear label that I would never have considered otherwise. Thank god for the Salvos!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The thrifting thrill.

I usually go to op shops alone, but as it is school holidays I had the kids with me today.

Everyone had their arms full of Salvo's good stuff. As we were standing in line waiting to pay I was fossicking through the bargain bins. Just look
what I found...

It was just a calico folder - nothing special. When I opened it & saw this Strawberry Shortcake stationery I squealed with delight. I'm young enough (just) to remember when Strawberry Shortcake first hit the scene. I got her show bag at the Royal Melbourne Show that year & I had the shoelaces in my Dunlop Volleys.

My big girl said to me: "Mum, do you always do that when you find things you like in Oppies?"
Me to big girl: "Do what?"
Big girl to me: "Squeal & dance around like you need to go to the toilet!"

The thrill of a great op shop find is surely worth a little squeal & dance.

I can't believe I never knew

I've lived within 20 minutes drive of this op shop for 7 years, and I never knew it existed. Apparently it's been around for over 30 years. Down a little gravel driveway off the roundabout is St John of God Accord's Op Shop. It is one of the biggest op shops I've been in (except for those huge chain-store type ones) and it's full of surpises. Inside an old dorm house are rooms full, mostly with clothes. It's a good thing they are having a sale this week and next week - $1 a piece, for all clothes and shoes. My favourite room was the linen and craft dorm. DH's favourite was the books and music (read: vinyls) dorm. I think this may become one of my very favourite shops. Very friendly staff.

Check it out: 108-130 Diamond Creek Road, Greensborough. Open Tues-Thurs 9am-3pm.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Little gem for DH

On the way to an appointment today, DH and I were debating which Op Shop to visit. We had only left enough time for one, but there were two we wanted to check out. I won!

However, DH wasn't disappointed in losing that particular debate after scoring what he described as one of the best finds in his search for vinyls. As a total 1970's music buff, he was stoked to find a near-mint copy of "The Best of The Doors" double album. The crowning feature? A price of 75 cents.

This little gem was found at one of Doncare's five Op Shops.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

pimping my ride..

...in the nicest possible way i can assure you!

I have been after a buggy for a while, and for $6 she was mine!

Found at my favorite oppy, Knox Community Care ( 48 parkhurst drive knoxfield mel 64 c11) a fantastic warehouse style op shop with really great prices.

She needed something though! the last of my favorite red fabric, some handmade orange felt and a big vintage button.Much better!

Betty follows me everywhere, camberwell market, stitching where the ladies have renamed her the 'tardis', and down the shops.

I can fit in so much stuff (crap), I'm keeping my eye out so as to add to my fleet!

happy hunting!!