Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Tea Cosie Christmas

Some of my favourite op shops are already closed for the Christmas break, but the Salvos were still open as of yesterday. I dropped by my favourite Salvos on High Street in Ashburton and found a collection of tea cosies retailing at $2-3 each:

I didn't buy them, so they're probably still there if anyone's looking for a last minute present.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Thrift trip.

I went op shopping a few weeks ago at St Vinnies in Altona. I found a great selection of clothing which I will someday wear/alter. Otherwise, they will end up on Ebay or Etsy. Here are a few of my recent purchases.

The cream number is my fave!


Op Shop Closure

Unfortunately, the Fairfield SPACE / St Paul's op shop has closed.  It's the one in the church building on Station Street in Fairfield.  Thanks for everyone who has supported the shop over the years.

Monday, 21 December 2009

best furniture op-shops?

I was wondering which are the best op-shops for second hand furniture? I have been a keen op-shopper for years but have been more into clothes and pretty things (rather than practical things like table & chairs).
Advice from veteran op-shoppers would be much appreciated!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Funky finds: old telephone and dressing table stool

Visited the Salvos (High Street, Ashburton) again today and found a dressing table stool in good nick for $10. The phone I found for $4 at Kindilan op shop (Mont Albert) a few months back now lives on top of it. :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Burwood RSPCA finds: pony books, tea cosies and a suitcase

I visited the Burwood RSPCA op shops today, and found a couple of goodies in the posh bric n brac shop:

Pony novels for tweens. $5 each. So much more cooler than Saddle Club. I've stopped reading pony novels but I'm sure someone out there wants to read Rebel Pony.

Hand-embroidered tea cosies for $10. The second one was prettier but it had a couple of stains on it, so I left it behind. :(

White suitcase in good nick for $12. This one's put on hold for a friend. I hope she likes it.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Gold from Josie's on Balaclava

It’s delightfully old-fashioned, and I’m not sure I’ll ever use it. I found this letter and bill holder at Josie’s Opportunity Shop in Balaclava. There are a few small cracks in the wood and the gold lettering has faded a little, but it’s lovely.

When it comes to vintage and second-hand items, I really think that wood is a material that retains it look and feel. It’s such a tactile object and I have to say I love the smell. The volunteer at Josie’s appraised it and it was haggled it down to $3.

Has anyone else found unique items at Josie's Opportunity in Balaclava, or in other opshops in Balaclava ... I've believe it's a bit of a staple for quirky, vintage pieces.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Vinnies in Briar Hill (near Greensborough)

I was on my way home from having lunch with a friend, and as I was passing Vinnies, of course I had to stop and see what they had in stock. This store is a bit hard to find if you don't know where to look. It is in Para Road, and the entrance is down a ramp on the left side of the road coming up a hill. Well worth finding though. The store is large, fairly tidy, and has a good range of clothing, books, household goods such as glass and china, and usual bricabrac. Prices are very reasonable. I found this gorgeous leather shoulder bag for $5 -

As well as some craft magazines for 50c each (there were about 30 in the pile, and I sat on a chair and spent half an hour going through the whole lot to find what I wanted!)

And ANOTHER tie - $3...I've never seen one before with postage stamps printed on it.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

anyone in montmorency?

Hello fellow op shoppers,

I have received a query regarding the 'Little Angels Op Shop' which is apparently in Montmorency. Not knowing that part of town myself, does anyone else have any details on this op shop? Address, telephone number, opening hours?

Please leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Brief visit to the Brotherhood in Eltham.

Today I wanted to drop some clothes and books into our local opshop, and while I was there, look for a 100% cotton long sleeved blouse. Living in a high level bushfire risk area, I've been reading literature about what people should do if they are going to defend their properties against fire. One important aspect was the clothing you should wear, and it should be natural fibres such as cotton, wool, or leather. (Imagine being too close to a fire if you are wearing polyester - it would melt all over you...OUCH). On checking my vast wardrobe (mostly courtesy of Savers), I was shocked to find that I had not one item of clothing made of cotton, apart from two pairs of denim jeans. I do have leather motorcycle boots, and an Akubra hat, so along with the jeans, all I needed was a cotton blouse. And I found it. Laura Ashley, pale blue cotton for $3.

As usual, I didn't stop with one item. I found another tie (75 cents) to add to my bag of wannabee patchwork ties - this one has little elephants all over it.

A quick peek into the remnants box revealed a nice clean piece of calico (homespun) - great for my patchwork and other stitching projects!

The cashier put all three goodies into this calico bag - whooee! Another calico totebag to add to my collection! I much prefer using these to shop instead of those awful green supermarket bags, as handy as they are.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Exciting news!

Hey guys!!
Just here to announce I've grown in my opshopping adventures, I'm no longer just a buyer/collector (Hoarder or whatever you wish to call it... ) but I'm now officially selling the goodies I find!
I've finally opened an online shop which is now up and running!

You can visit by clicking!

In other news, here are some of the goodies I've picked up lately!!

Until next time :):)

Happy opshopping!

- Trish

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Can I recycle, recycled clothes?

Dear reader,

A new piece of furniture has come into my life. A lovely oak wardrobe from the late 1940s. It smells like chestnuts and has wonderful brass hooks and a heart-shaped lock and key. But its arrival has caused heartache, it’s been filled already by my robust collection of new and vintage clothes and shoes.

(LEFT: the wardrobe)

So, contemplating a life with no more purchases, I’m seeking some advice … can you recycle recycled clothes?

When you buy second-hand, it’s almost like giving an unwanted puppy a home. Shoulder-padded jackets, embroidered shift dresses and heavy winter coats with big brass buttons demand to be loved again. It’s this tangible sense of memory and history that you can hold in your hands.

It always seemed as if I would be the person providing a “final resting spot” for an item that had been disregarded. They would be resurrected again as part of my daily Dynasty and 1950s fashion fantasies, a glorious “autumn age” for an unwanted garment.

So, I unloaded the wardrobe and laid everything out on the floor. If I was going to do this, there would be some sort of fair process to it. There laid before me was a shimmering anthology (yes, literally shimmering, I have a thing for bright, shiny things) of the last few years. I couldn’t throw out a faux-fur lined cropped jacket from Fat Helen’s (Chapel St) or a red-leopard print shirt (with a scoop neck) from Grey’s Op-Shop in St Kilda.

Neither the shirt with the pearly embroidery around the collar, a bright green dress (in at the waist, out at the hips) or this cropped long-sleeved black lace top from Brunswick Salvos. Every item had some excuse, and some vague sense of attachment and story.

A blue top (which I had hacked from a dress) reminded me of a boy I once kissed and a crumpled red jacket of the time I left my car lights on at Coles and ran the battery flat on a rainy day. So there I was, reliving my own memories in other people’s unwanted clothes.

I’ve repacked everything back into the wardrobe. It remains a crowded, musky space. I’ve considered wearing as many clothes as I can during the day to maximise the amount of space in my wardrobe. Though with the current heatwave, this seems like a sweaty and uncomfortable option.

Can I send recycled clothes back to the op-shop? Will they be loved again? What should I look to throw away first? I’d love to hear thoughts from anyone!

love and regards,


(p.s - I'm new to I op therefor I am, so thanks for reading! come check out my blog if you have some time!)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

I really don't need this but I'm going to buy it anyway

Ashburton's new Salvation Army Store (formerly Bargain Browser) at 401-403 High Street was sporting some funky retro furniture today:
Retro armchair - the chair was in pretty good nick, though the cushions probably need replacing. It didn't have a price on it, and I was too scared to ask. Behind it, leaning against the glass window, was a fold-up rattan chair going for $15.

Wooden high chair for toddler with stickers - this one was going for $30. 

Retro wheeled tray with tiled surface - this was my favourite. I managed to resist grabbing everything else, but this I had to buy, though a) I don't have anywhere to put it and b) it cost $50. The Elmo cookie jar was going for $2, but somebody knocked it over five minutes later.

On my way out, I also picked up some retro-inspired canisters for $7/set. 

Like Heartofpearl, I am also a newbie on this blog. I'll be posting up pictures of cool things that I find but can't afford to buy. Hopefully you'll have the space/cash to buy them instead. :) 

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

What would you use this for

I've always thought of how pretty glass ashtrays were, although I found no use of them being a nonsmoker. Recently when I was hunting for some goodies at the Doncaster Salvation Army, I found myself staring at this beautiful, heavy & undamaged piece of glass and thought what a perfect jewellery holder it'd be! 

So, now I  have this pretty little jewellery holder, it fits my bits & pieces and it cost me about $2, what a bargain! 

Just like to say a big 'HELLO' to everyone who reads this blog. I'm a new contibutor as of today, and would like to start sharing all the little treasures I find in our Melbourne secondhand stores. Hope you enjoyed my first post! x

kreativ award

Hooray - we won an award!! Many thanks to Carli of Minilala for the kudos.

Now, there are a set of rules that come with this award:

1. Copy the picture and post it on your blog.
2. Thank the person that gave it to you and link to their blog.
3. Write 7 things about yourself we don't know.
4. Choose 7 other bloggers to pass the award to.
5. Link to those 7 other bloggers.
6. Notify your 7 bloggers.

So, seven things about me/this blog/op shopping that you may not have known ...

  1. I set this blog up, inspired by Nikkishell's Wardrobe Refashion, which was itself inspired by the excellent fiftyrx3.
  2. One of the very first things that I recall buying at the op shop was a gold crochet sleeveless cardigan from the Salvation Army on Chapel St in Windsor. When I was about twelve mind you.
  3. The most recent thing that I bought at an op shop was a t-shirt for my daughter (a bit more prosaic).
  4. This blog has 93 authors registered to post to it - would you like to be number 94? Let me know!
  5. There are some 355 op shops in Melbourne - what a great city.
  6. Canberra and surrounds are busy with their own version of I op therefore I am.
  7. And from The Age: "Op-shop workers have handed in thousands of dollars left behind in furniture donated by a mystery person in Melbourne's south-east....Police are hunting for the owner of the large amount of cash forgotten in furniture left at the Salvation Army Store in Rowville last Friday."

A number of people who post to this blog also have their own blogs, including:

heart of pearl
mildly crafty
sparkly green knickers
running amok with an ax
emily kate
trish hunter finds
patra's place of stitching and vintage linens

All of whom deserve their own Kreativ Blogger award.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Pulp fiction

Two books, $1 each, from St Vinnies in Oakleigh. I had to have them because of the fabulous pulp fiction covers. The DA Takes A Chance is by the author of the Perry Mason stories. They're resting on a short length of fabulous tie dye fabric, also $1 from an op Shop in Glenhuntly (the name of which escapes me, but it's near the railway station).

Also $1 from Vinnies in Oakleigh, this book is Practical Home Mending Made Easy, published in 1946. I love books like this, it's full of great ideas for frugal me; I am building quite a collection of how-to sewing books. I particularly love this page, One Yard of Fabric-To Make a Dress.

Gorgeous book of colour photography of Chesapeake Bay, $2 from the nameless Glenhuntly op shop. I may not be able to travel at the moment, but I can dream! I'm fascinated by the personal inscription in the front and a note about osprey watching - I love the little glimpses of other people's lives via the op shop (I am such a sticky beak).

A little bag-o-yarn, $2 from Vinnies, and freebie box of little books shaped like fish from the Glenhuntly op shop. A good day!

Sunday, 15 November 2009


Upstart is the magazine for emerging Australian journalists and Susan Munro has recently had an article published all about op shopping - hooray! And I op therefore I am gets a good mention (as do I - as for representing op shopping at the elite level, I promise that is Susan's description, not mine).

Have a read:
Finding your vintage soul: underground fashion Melbourne style

Lions Trash and Treasure Sale - Saturday, 21 November

Blackburn North Lions Club is holding its next (and last for the year) trash and treasure sale next Saturday, 21 November.
Where: 1st Vermont Scout Hall located near the corner of Canterbury Rd and Mitcham Rd in Vermont.
Time: 8 am to 1 pm.
Our shed is bulging with generous donations from the community, so come along and grab a bargain or three.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Goodies found at The Brotherhood shop in Eltham.

This shop is only a little one, but they have a good range of clothing and bricabrac. I couldn't pass up this framed cross stitch for $3!

On the same day, I also bought two paperbacks and some other items that were apparently so trivial that I can't remember what they were!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Op Shop Tour This Saturday

You all heard how much fun it was in the Fringe festival from those lucky few who got free tickets, however as a Halloween special Op Shop Tours Australis is offering $10 tickets at the door to anyone who mentions this blog. To secure your seat on the bus email

Meet this Saturday the 31st of October at Salvos stores 69 Bourke st, Melbourne.
Arrive at 9.15 am for a 9.30 am departure.

Bookings essential
See you there!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

my green australia

Ah, what a nice change from dry brown land! It's a great website about eco living in Australia and I op therefore I am got a mention in an article on op shops. Thanks Wendy!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A good day at Savers in Greensborough.

Some days I go into Savers and come out empty handed (but with money still in my wallet). Today was different. I went in with one purpose in mind - to buy a single bed flannelette sheet to use as backing on a small patchwork quilt I'm finishing off. I found a suitable sheet for $3, but just along the same row, I saw this patchwork singlebed quilt for $19.95, and I just could not leave that behind! It is just right for our spare room, where I had a smaller quilt which didn't cover the bed, but look at this - perfect! I've just thrown it across the bed without pulling it down over the side but you can see why I grabbed it!

Well, after that I had to keep looking, didn't I? Didn't want to risk not finding any more bargains like these two tablecloths:
A gingham-style check supper cloth with some nice cross stitch and a gorgeous hand crocheted edging for $6.

This has to be the most enormous banquet cloth I've ever seen! I think it is one of those mass-produced Chinese cloths, but nevertheless, beautifully hand stitched. You can't see how big it is in this photo where I've tried to spread it on the floor; it would have been better if I'd hung it on the clothes line, or thrown it over our QS bed, but even then. For $19.95 it was a steal! I've seen these go on eBay for about $60!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The things that come into the Op Shop

This t-shirt didn't make it onto the racks in our Op Shop for fairly obvious reasons!  But I thought I'd share it with you all ...