Monday, 30 June 2008

seattle challenge - week 3

Miffy - very popular in our house. Josies, Balaclava.

Salvation Army Opshops

I generally find the good old Salvos to be among the tidiest and cleanest of all the opshops, and Salvation Army 916 Doncaster Rd Doncaster East is no exception. I popped in there today to see if they had any linens. They didn't, but look what I found!

There was a huge selection of ties to choose from (they make great quilts and tote bags among other things), but I restrained myself and settled for these at $2 each.
I used to do a lot of sketching when I was at school and decided to take it up again. This was a great find for $5!
Jumped for joy when I found this! I had the plate and cup but not the saucer -until today. Would you believe $6??

I said there were no linens to be found but these two beautifully stitched vintage handkies will be a nice addition to my collection. 50c each.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Thursday, 26 June 2008

seattle challenge - week 2

Just a quick snap of the first item that came to hand - stretch cotton zip front top from H&M, purchased at Prahran Mission on Chapel St. Great op shop, very cheap. It's a really useful item, great extra layer for Melbourne weather. Looks a bit worse for wear now as I have washed it so many times.

(It makes me giggle that H&M stuff ends up on the 'designer rack' in Australian op shops.)

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Stitchin fingers

Some bloggers who buy op shop clothes to alter may be interested in a group that has started on the Stitchin Fingers Ning site by Sharon Boggon(textile artist and teacher/lecturer). There are many interest groups on this site (I have joined the hand embroidery and stash-busting groups) but the one that may be of most interest is wearable art/altered clothing. The link is here.

Discovery shopping and art up front in Upper Ferntree Gully

The PWP Op Shop, 7 Rose Street, Upper Ferntree Gully

What is it that provides us with a satisfying Op Shop experience? Well, I can tell you what turns me off. You know how some Op Shops these days have been given over to professionalism and paid staff. Not all but many of these provide a sterile experience and while I might wander into this type of shop from time to time, I rarely buy anything. I am, at my shopping best, a discovery shopper. And my guess is that the readers and writers of this blog are discovery shoppers too.

The phrase "discovery shopper" was coined by trend consultant Faith Popcorn about a decade ago. The discovery shopper is an explorer. Prepared to discover new territory. The discovery shopper will take time - not just wander into the major chain in the shopping mall and busily take something off the hanger and march to the check-out. The discovery shopper is quite happy NOT following the latest trend or the majority of other consumers. The discovery shopper will favour the unique, the different. The discovery shopper is a person who favours original style. And the discovery shopper does NOT want a marketing concept laid out just to take up an item and walk off with whatever the store buyer has decided is the thing to have this season.

And so it is with Op Shops. This is why I believe my local, favouritest Op Shop deserves full marks - in fact, 11 out 10.

Take a look at its shop front at the top of this post. And below is the eye-catching artwork of the dressing room:

For more pictures, please pop over here.

And then there are the bargains. Herself (I live with my adult daughter) came home with these the other day. We love good quality botanical prints and paintings. These fitted the bill and at $5 each - a total of $20 - fitted the purse as well. Be-yoot-ee-ful!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Rosebud oppy's

I have just been catching up on some reading of posts and saw the reference to the Rosebud op shops. I'm off on the ferry from Queenscliff to go to an afternoon party at Mt Martha on Saturday. Anyone know what time the Rosebud op shops close on Saturdays???
Here is a little artwork with one of my op shop scarfs, It's a textile postcard for a swap with Susan in the US.

Charity Shopping: on thrift street

I've received some information about a fantastic forthcoming title - Charity Shopping: on thrift street. The book will look at some of the best charity (opportunity) shops in the UK, as well as some in cities outside the UK: specifically New York, San Franciso and Portland in the US and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia.

And the publisher would like some input from I op therefore I am readers and writers alike - which is your favourite op shop and why? Which should have a chance at being included in the book?

Please - leave a comment and support the glorious practice of treasure hunting and supporting charity that is op shopping.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Boots fit for a glam rocker

A trip to the Salvos in Atherton Road, Oakleigh, netted me the sewing book above for $2.75. Another sewing book to add to my collection! I also scored a plain white long sleeved t-shirt to refashion by tie dyeing, blue tags were half-price off, so that was the grand price of $2.35.

Three "How and Why Wonder Books", 75 cents each. Initially, these were destined for taking apart to use as found paper for my printmaking or painting, but I'm getting attached to the mathematics and western ones. The maths one has some interesting facts and explanations (including googol!), which for a definitely maths-averse me is saying something! And the western one is getting cuter and cuter. Perhaps only 'Caves to Skyscrapers' will fulfill it's destiny to become art...

And these FABULOUS seventies glam rocker boots! I had to have them. Blame it on acquisitive lust and retail therapy deprivation, because I have no idea what I'm going to do with them! I saw them on Friday when I bought the books and tshirt, thought "Wow!", and managed to leave the shop without them. But I thought about them all night, wishing I'd given in to temptation. I dreamed about them. I woke up Saturday morning and said "I'm going back to the Salvos, and if those boots are still there and less than $20, they are MINE." They were still there, priced at $14.75, and they ARE mine :)
And they even fit, except around my chubby calves, but I don't care. I didn't plan to wear them. I just needed to have them. Perhaps they'll turn up in an art piece. Perhaps I will just get a piece of shiny red satin and mount the boots on top of a plinth, and call them found art.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

seattle challenge - week 1

I will always be a Melbourne op shopper, I promise. My husband's work has brought me to Seattle but as I have reassured people, that will stop neither the blog nor the blogging!

We brought six big suitcases to the US between us and I am sure that there are enough Melbourne op shop purchases in there for me to post weekly. So that's the Seattle challenge. Fifty-two weeks, 52 posts (ok, maybe Melbourne and surrounds - better change the rules now rather than later).

So to begin - here is a purchase that I know some people would be uncomfortable with but these shoes were hardly worn when I bought them. I don't know whether they were smelly, I didn't actively check but I've been wearing them for months and they're not smelly now!

Sacred Heart Mission, East St Kilda, $15.00

Friday, 13 June 2008

tessuti fabric samples at st vinnies warehouse

a sweet little gem for my very first post! i popped into the st vinnies warehouse in brooklyn yesterday and discovered a huge bin FULL of fabric samples from tessuti for 50¢ each. most are 100% linen or linen blends and, although i stocked up on a bunch for future small projects, there's still heaps available. this shop is worth a visit anyway: all clothing is $2.50, they have a bin of baby clothes at 50¢ each (a bit hit and miss there) and tons of books. i can never seem to leave without at least a few things...

st vinnies warehouse
19-23 Paramount Road, Brooklyn
open 8:30am to 4:30 pm monday to friday

Thursday, 12 June 2008

south east sweep

I have done a bit of a sweep across the south east these last few days, visiting a few shops along the way. Some I have never been to before, a few others are old favourites.

My first stop was the Amaroo Neighbourhood House Op Shop at Amaroo Drive, Mount Waverley. This shop is hidden down a quiet neighbourhood street and did not look promising from the outside. I was so glad I did as its a fantastic shop, staffed by really friendly volunteers.

Its quite a big shop, with heaps of stock. Like all good op shops, its not too tidy, so there's always the opportunity for a good rummage around. They have lots of interesting linen and another highlight was the shelves of old fashioned champagne bowls filled with buttons, pre sorted by colour.
Next stop was the Oakleigh Centre Op Shop in Huntingdale Road, Huntingdale. This is one I visit fairly regularly and from which I never seem to come away empty handed . Again, this is a good shop for buttons and at 5c each, they are dirt cheap. Here's some of my favourites from my last visit. I also bought the pre printed softie panel shown at the top for 50c.

From there I ventured to Hughesdale outlet of the Oakleigh Centre Op Shop. This is another of my favourites in that its a shop over many rooms. I do like a multi roomed op shop! No purchases from there this time, but its often a good shop to pick up a book or wrapping paper.

Further down Poath Road is another shop, the name of which I don't know. Its on the corner of Kangaroo Road. Only a tiny little shop, its also good for a bit of a rummage (you've probably figured out that this is a euphemism for messy).

On another day I headed in the opposite direction with my first stop being St Augustines Op Shop at 46 Bay Road Sandringham. This shop always seems to have a good supply of doilies and on this occasion I picked up a few more, including one large one embroidered with ballerinas. I also collected a pair of knitting needles as to replace the one I sat on whilst watching the SATC marathon over the weekend. At $1.50 they were less than a third of the price of a new pair.

From there I headed to the Family Life shop at 355 Bluff Road in Hampton. This shop has a great haberdashery selection behind the counter, including tiny little drawers that stock a good selection of buttons, zips, etc. It has a good range of clothes, including some expensive labels, which I imagine is a result of its Hampton location.

Last stop was the Keysborough Animal Shelter Op Shop on Station Street, Moorabbin. The Golden Hands book shown at the top was bought from here, much to the amusement of the elderly lady behind the counter. "What do you want that daggy old book for ?" she asked me.

I was lucky enough to find the entire set of Golden Hands at the Salvos in Oakleigh a few months back, so have no need for this single hardcover one. I'd be happy to send it to anyone who would like it. Please either leave a comment here or over at my Sheeps Clothing blog.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Bus Trip and other things.

Is there still going to be a bus trip organised? With Amelia disappearing off overseas very shortly, I'm wondering if (a) I've already missed it or (b) it is on somebody's back burner to organise? I've been through the posts again, and it seems to be Joanne's project.
This has to be one of the best and most informative blogs in Australian blogworld!There is an earlier post discussing the pros and cons of Savers. I don't care where their profits go to - and while some of their 'vintage' china is a bit over the top pricewise, I buy 99% of my clothes at the Greensborough shop (not underwear though). I'm not a brand name expert so the labels don't mean anything to me, but I always manage to find good quality well fitting clothes about $5 or under. Incidentally, they are not the only opshop/secondhand shop to overprice their china. I've found the Salvos opshops put ridiculous prices on some of their items, and I've been tempted to say "Are you an antique shop or an opshop?" There is a Lions Opshop in Healesville which also have over the top prices, probably because they get so much tourist trade up there and figure they can get away with it.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Golden Hands found

I had a hugely successful op-shopping morning on Thursday! I started off with the three op shops in the Bell Street Mall, in Heidelberg. It is such a dodgy mall but the op shops there seem to come up with the goods! The hardest bit is being there when they are actually open - the hospital one and the church one tend to only be open for about three hours in the middle of the day.
I managed to find: a vintage sheet to add to the fat quarters I’m sending off to the vintage sheet patchwork swap; some buttons; vintage hand-embroidered linens that will become part of clothing or a bag; a pillowcase that will become yet another pillowcase dress; extremely old knitting/crochet books; and a girls dress pattern that I’m sure I remember from my childhood. But the most exciting find of the day was this:

A complete set of Golden Hands sewing & embroidery magazines! Oh joy oh rapture. They are from the early seventies - Mum had a set when I was a child, and it went off to an op shop somewhere about ten years ago after I reassured Mum that “no, I won’t want these”. Well, fast-forward ten years and yes, I do want these! I had a look through a set at Brown Owls last week and realised what a fantastic resource they are. I was absurdly excited to find them for the grand total of $12. I really hope Andi that I haven't gazumped you and they weren't the ones that you were after! Now to keep an eye out for the Golden Hands crafts set (the ones in the white folders).
I also picked up a pair of Barbie roller-skates for my 5 year old daughter at the St Andrew's Op Shop in Fairfield. The other two Station Street oppies didn't come up with anything, but I reckon that I had a very successful morning!