Sunday, 27 April 2008

Long weekend frocktastic goodness

How great is a long weekend?! It's one of my favourite things. Having nothing to do except be utterly lazy, I took myself back to the Posh Opp Shop (1226 Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly) for some thorough browsing. And joy, it was half as busy as last time, making the experience much more enjoyable. Word has obviously got out about this op shop but I guess everyone was away this weekend.

There seemed to be fewer clothes but still plenty of goodies - and how to choose?! I wanted everything. After much browsing, trying on of frocks, changing my mind and spending far too long picking through the trays of costume jewellery while a bossy man behind me ordered the cute little old lady behind the counter to serve him (do people need to be so rude in an op shop?), I finally decided on these:

A pair of simple black ballet flats - Nine West, brand new and only $10! Woo hoo! I've been looking for a simple pair for weeks but have only found them with ugly buckles or fussy decorations on the toes. There were another pair for only $8 (Marks & Spencer, size 6.5, in almost new condition) but I had to tell myself I didn't need two pairs. Now I kind of wish I did get both. For such cheap prices, who cares!

A pair of costume earrings for only $4. There were so many earrings and pieces of jewellery. I went through three trays piled to the brim with all sorts of goodies, and could have bought at least 5 pairs but was trying to be sensible as I SO don't need more earrings! But I can feel myself caving in. I'm going back for more...

A scarf with bold colours and strong geometric patterns, just my taste. And only $4! Yay! I've been wearing it around my neck all day and don't want to take it off.

An oversized, burgundy/wine red scarf that goes and goes and goes. It's acrylic but for only $5, I don't mind.

All this juicy goodness. How good is op shopping?!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Past + present purchases

I've unintentionally begun a "dolls from foreign lands" collection.. it started when i was six and Aunty Merril sent me a doll from Bangkok who is sadly looking worse for wear but lives quite happily on a shelf with other hapless creatures. Over the past few op-shopping visits i've added a few more. For some reason i'm drawn to the odd characters, the great fabrics in the costumes and the forlorn quality as they age. Old Gertie (in the middle) even looks a wee bit mad.
And in other op-shop buys i grabbed this nightie ($3) more for the fabric (lovely fine cotton) but now that i've hung it up it seems quite a fetching style, maybe a shorter hemline though.
Could look good copied in another fabric!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Op Shopping Extravaganza

On a recent Mental Health Day, I decided to revive my spirits by heading down Glenhuntly Road and stopping at every single op shop on the way. The purpose, so I told myself, was to find material that I could use for the patchwork quilt I am imagining myself whipping up for my friend's soon-to-arrive baby, but know I never actually will. Mainly because first I have to learn how to sew. I can sew buttons back on. That's about it when it comes to a needle and thread, and as for using a sewing machine - well, I did one class at a Spotlight sewing class once. I think I learned how to sew sort-of straight. But really, the real reason for the Op Shopping Extravaganza was to SHOP!

I knew there'd be a dazzling selection to visit, having lived around Glenhuntly Road over the last few years. Sadly a few have closed down, but there were still enough to completely exhaust me and cause me to eat 5 dark chocolate Tim Tams in a row.

The Glenhuntly Road Op Shopping Extravaganza commenced at the Elsternwick end of the road where I made the best purchases of the day - not that you'd expect the Uniting Care Op Shop (at #302) to contain many goodies if you were just strolling by. It's dingy and overflowing to the brim with a lot of rubbishy looking old clothes and knick knacks. But I persevered through the dregs, mainly because I felt sorry for the little old man behind the counter who was happily chatting away to me whilst boiling a pot of tea up the back, and came up triumphant with a pair of Gap cords that looked just about brand new, for only $6.

It was totally meant to be. I was looking for something which would be fine to "filth up" in when on a camping weekend, and these tan cords are perfect for that. And they fit me like a dream - SO important when camping out, as one does want to look particularly stylish when trying to set up the tent or getting fire smoke in one's eyes.

Most of the clothes are in pretty shabby shape, but surprisingly there were a few nice brands there, such as some DKNY cords and a pair of Marcs BabyDoll cords that looked brand new - still with the new fold creases down the front. You can't tell I was checking out cords, can you.

I also scored some great blue velvety material and pale blue and white striped cotton, both of which will be used on the baby quilt. And I couldn't resist some 70's style floral material which could be turned into a little retro apron (once I learn how to sew) and some dark green cord to be used on another quilt some day - because obviously, once I finish the baby quilt, I'll be bang up for making more.

When I got home, I put together the material with some other bits and pieces to see how the quilt colours could possibly work together and came up with this:

Hmmm, its not quite right yet, is it? I think I'll stick with the yellow and blues and find some more yellow and some white to mix in. That's the dark green cord on the right.

Next up the road, at #366, is the Salvos and what a difference their shop is! Bright, spacious and clean. As there was no material, I moved on. It's not for a couple of suburbs down the road that you get to the next op shop, since the two in between have both closed. The Brotherhood of St Laurence Community Store, at #143, is packed to overflowing and didn't have anything particularly appealing. I did find a little apron with a dodgy yellow and black 70's floral pattern for only $2.50 for my retro apron collection.

The most spectacular op shop of the day was the Posh Opp Shop, at the corner of Grange Road and Glenhuntly Road. I'd driven past before, but never stopped in, and what a mistake that was! This op shop is crazy busy - packed with just as many people as clothes. And no wonder, as there's some pretty awesome finds to be had. There was a fabulous bright orange vintage Escada pants and jacket set, definitely not for the faint hearted. There were some interesting old watches in the cabinet next to the front counter. There were some funky 80's cardigan-y tops.

There were lots and lots of leather jackets, and a few too many leather pants. Leather pants are a fashion faux pas that I hope will never be repeated. And now that I've just said that, they probably will come wildly back into fashion and I'll be desperately longing for a pair. Actually, I've seen pics on street style blogs where the cool people in London, Manchester and NYC are wearing them, so... get yourself down to the Posh Opp Shop and score a pair before they can't be found anywhere!

Two large carboard boxes plus a long table were overflowing with shoes, some of which were pretty awesome vintage but unfortunately too large for me. Not all of it is that cheap. The charocoal wool turtleneck I picked up was $18, but as it was in such great condition, I didn't mind - considering I also recently found a fab jumper at Hunter Gatherer that was in worse condition for almost twice as much.

And my favourite part of the Op Shopping Extravaganza was being served by the awesome little old ladies behind the counter, covered in gold bling, bright coral pink lippie and sporting incredible wrinkles from too many exotic holidays in the sun when they were young and beautiful and their husbands were rich and successful. I wanted to adopt them as my grandma's because they were definitely not the kind of grandma's who'd bake you cookies but instead the kind of grandma's who'd give you amazing vintage Lanvin or Givenchy jewellery and tell you it was from their Italian lover they succumbed to when they were lonely on the beach while their husbands sat in the hotel room on the phone all day.

And I just love the name: Posh Opp Shop. Is that an oxymoron? Maybe so, but if any op shop is posh, this one is!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Where to first?

So we moved here two weeks ago today and now that I've got the basics I am ready to find some op-shops. Any recommendations on where to start?

pretty pink flanellette

The Lions Opportunity Shop in Main Street Mordialloc currently has a few bundles of pretty pink printed flanellette fabric, all brand new and ready to go. There looks like there is enough in each bundle for a pair of kid's PJs or perhaps some winter wraps for a baby.

This store also has a good selection of buttons. Some of them on cards, others sealed up in jars ($4.00 per jar).

I bought two jars yesterday and was thrilled to find some really good bakelite buttons inside. Hopefully some of the remaining jars will have such hidden treasures inside too.


Green Collect and Baptcare have partnered to recently launch a new ‘ethical and earth-kind op shop’ (eekos) in Brunswick. EEKOS promotes sustainable purchasing through offering reused, recycled, local, fair-trade and environmentally friendly products, including:

* 100% recycled content copy paper and stationery
* fair-trade sport balls, sneakers, tea, coffee and chocolate
* bric a brac, pre-loved clothing, toys and books
* environmentally friendly cleaning products and body care *

318 Victoria St, Brunswick, Vic 3056, ph: (03) 9387 5926

Details found at Sustainable Melbourne, a little late for the Open Day - sorry.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Recent fashion finds...

Hey all,

haven't posted in ages as i've just been flat out, but i wanted to share some of my fav op shop finds from the past month. Don't worry i've given myself a slap on the wrists, i will be posting more often...:)


Leather biker jacket...i'm thinking 80's....i've taken out the shoulder pads..pricey but good


Authentic cream Glomesh in MINT CONDITION. It was in the very bottom of a huge box of bags at the normally expensive Salvo's for $4.75 or some weird price like that. Little did they know what a gem they had on their hands.....cue evil laugh....hahahahaah


SHOES. I'm actually obsessed at the moment. Black ones are "Brando", Made in Italy. Love the gold detail... Brown ones are"holidays" mad in Oz. They're so good with dresses as they blend in with skin colour and don't give you the stumpy leg look...


and now for my MOST FAVOURITE SHOES! Filippo Raphael, made in Italy, great condition....a bit expensive ($15) but SO WORTH IT!!!!!!! I've worn them to death


A red linen shirt dress that the flash on my camera truely does no justice to. Well made, a bit faded but after i took out the shoulder pads, shortened it and took it in a little it sits great. Oh and the belt to...a nice caramel colour reptile skin with cool buckle...

SO thats about it for now....Sorry about the horrible flash photographs but its late....and i miss day-light savings!

everything $1 - or not

Sob - I've just had an unpleasant op shopping experience. Double sob. Now, I am a really committed op shopper, I barely buy anything new that I haven't searched for in my op shopping travels beforehand and through my op shopping I contribute, I admit, hundreds of dollars to charity each year. And I really enjoy op shopping, it's one of my favourite activities, so to have a bad encounter is quite, well, distressing actually. Perhaps we could institute an 'I'm-a-good-op-shopper' scheme, a little badge that you could wear when you go shopping so that people will be nice to you.

So, one of the rules on this blog is 'keep it nice' (which I must say all contributors adhere to admirably well - thank you) so I won't be naming names but where else can I get this off my chest??

At issue was the 'everything $1' box of children's clothes. Everything that is except half of the things in there which are priced otherwise. How is one to know if there is a special little 'discount-this-to-$1' squiggle somewhere on the tag which means that it actually is $1, not $5 or $2 or whatever as marked. Honestly, I didn't expect to pay $1 for a Seed 100 per cent lambswool jumper but I did, politely, comment that it was in the $1 box and wasn't that a bit confusing, perhaps it would be better to organise things a bit differently.

The response I received was positively frosty, 'well, we're very busy, you try doing it', and implied that it was the fault of shoppers that things were incorrectly in the box. Hmm, I'm sure that it is sloppy op shoppers who put things where they are not supposed to be (they won't be getting a badge) but I think that it is up to the op shop to institute pricing systems and arrangements that aren't confusing or open to such consumer-initiated price fiddling. And that lady upset me with her tone of voice.

Hhhhhhhha. Much better now that I have that off my chest. The jumper in question:

It will look lovely on blue-eyed, blonde baby bear. $12.


a vintage apron which was without a price tag and in a different $1 box and after the preceding conversation was indeed $1.

One day when I write an economic thesis on how to run an op shop I will be recommending against the 'everything $x' box.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Latest finds!

From the top:
Vintage patterns - Vogue, Butterick and Simplicity. 50c each.
Cut glass decorated punch set with 6 cups - $10
Close up of the punch bowl decals.
Cherry tin - 50c. Two linen place mats - $3
All from Doncaster Salvos, Doncaster Rd.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

It's all in the timing...

Sometimes the op-shop genie makes things appear just at the right time. I'd done the usual walk through of my local Sacred Heart Mission op shop (Cnr Inkerman & Hotham), tried on a couple of skirts (bad fit = no purchase) when there on the counter, just unpacked and priced was this gorgeous sewing basket. As you can see, it's pretty darn cute and functional too. Quite roomy inside, and perfect for holding a sewing project on the go. Whoever made this was quite the floral arranger as seen by the top. Thanks Genie!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

$5 Bag Sale - Woodend Church Op Shop

My local church op shop (in Woodend) always seems to have some kind of awesome sale on (for about 4 weeks over Christmas/New Year everything way 50% off). This was probably the best it has ever had.
$5 for a garbage bag, packed with as many clothes, shoes, toys, books, whatever as you can fit without it bursting.
My sister and I arrived 20 minutes prior to the store opening at 9.30, enough time to grab brekkie and wait for the ladies to open, and then we got straight down to cleaning to shop out before anyone else did (apologies to anyone who turned up hoping for any half decent clothing - I'm afraid it was all gone by 10).

So how many clothes can two girls stuff into two garbage bags? I hear you ask. Well, lets see..

1. Colourful Plaid Vest/Velvet Mini, 2. Tie-Dye Dress/Short-sleeve Cardi, 3. GORGEOUS long blue dress - it's made of the softest fabric ever/Plated Belt.

4. Cute dress out of the costume box, 5. two floral print shirts (one short sleeved, one long sleeved), 6. Floral print vest/loong pleated skirt..

7. Oversized tartan shirt, 8. oversized wool vest, 9. A hat with a feather/black lace-up shoes/slouchy beanie/Scarf/bow-tie/Brown lace-up shoes.

Top Row:
Blazer with back pleat detail, 2 plaid blazers
Second Row:
"Cruella Deville" Blazer, Black Double-Breasted Blazer, Beautiful Dress.
Last Row:
Floral Skirt, Yellow Checkered Vest.
By the end of it we were pretty exhausted, but we managed to waddle across the road to salvos to pick up a vintage dresser for my sister..
(if you want to see bigger photo's of everything, head on over to my blog; )

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Fabbo op-shop finds in Oakleigh and Glen Waverley

Visited Vinnies in Oakleigh, off Warrigal Road; tricky to get to, but oh, what a treasure trove.

I shall start my show and tell with:
a pair of Stunning Italian Leather pumps! Fitting perfectly; they were molded to my feet by little italian cobblers!

Metres of soft printed corduroy; I really think that it may be Liberty - anyone know?

My favourite find of the year: truly I kid you not, but I found a Kaffe Fassett shirt! Excellently made by hand by someone who knew and understood the quality of his material, pattern and colour.

It even came with a Spare Covered Button!

Gorgeously soft and beautifully printed vintage sheet; photo does no justice

MS Shop in Kingsway, Glen Waverley:
Another embroidered toaster cover; how many toasters do I have?
Two facinating Kuglehopf or Bundt molds; sort-of ugly but cute too. I actually saw one in a Antique store in Flinders, speciallising in French antiques, for $40!

( Anyone who loves the 70s era, there was a pair of really true-to-life iconic table lamps - very orange and brown, so ugly they were cool! oh, and also an crockery set with orange/brown pattern. I'm sure someone will love them again.)

I have turned a pretty but naff skirt from local op-shop into a makeshift cushion cover for Retreat Couch (it's becoming rather pink, with oranges and golds, mainly to hide split material on very old handmedown couch)
(Third last post til 100th giveaway - hang in there lurkers @ whippetgood