Thursday, 31 May 2012

Better than new, nappy bag

I called into the Salvo's in Mt Waverley while I was in the area on Tuesday and found this AWESOME leather bag!

Mind you it didn't look like this when I bought it.  It was pretty manky.  It was very dirty and had some white powdery patches which I think were some kind of mould.  It didn't smell though and the leather seemed in pretty good condition, ie still flexible.  I nearly didn't take it, it was $25 which I thought was a bit steep for something that needed a lot of work.

I've been looking for a largish bag to use a nappy bag though and this looked like it'd fit the bill so I thought it was worth the risk.  Who needs the fancy nappy bag that Angelina Jolie has!!

It took a lot of elbow grease to clean it up.  I cleaned it with the leather cleaner I use for the sofa and scrubbed it all over with a toothbrush :)  Then cleaned the brass hardware with brasso and finally applied two coats of (sofa) leather conditioner.

Very pleased with myself now :)

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My version of the Nine Opshops trip!

That was such a great post, Jess! I felt like I was reliving our day all over again, grinning to myself as I was recalling the fun we had! I would not have been able to recall all those details without writing everything down as we went, but that's the advantage of being on your home territory. Sadly, my camera is stuffed. I took it to two camera shops and they told me the same thing - the message on the screen about the stabiliser meant that a little electronic device inside the camera was broken and not worth fixing. The quote for fixing it was $160, which would be silly to spend, considering that the camera as good as it was, is now about 5 years old, and I could buy a new one for under $100 which will be far superior to the old one. So I did. But that's another story for another blog. Suffice to say, I haven't learnt enough about new camera to photograph my goodies from yesterday, so I'll just write about them.
This N That opshop was as good as everyone has said. I bought two ties for $2 each, and a handbag for $3, to replace the one I was using until the zip broke. (I'm not really happy with it though, and it's going to the BSL on Friday).
YES opshop was also fanastic. I bought a paperback novel for $2.90 (my SIL had recommended it just last week), a quilt magazine $1.50 (bit expensive I thought), some stabiliser fabric pieces (for use in patchwork) $3.50 and a length of patchwork fabric for $3.50 which was a bargain considering it retails for about $23 a metre.
The Epilepsy Opshop was good. I bought a book on calligraphy for $2 and a pair of white slacks for $6.40 which had been reduced by 20% for some reason. I have been after white pants for ages but could never find anything that fit me, so when I tried these on and they were a perfect fit, I would have paid double the price for them!
The new Mission Opshop which we discovered as we walked past it and I saw the sign on the window, was tiny but interesting. I bought an apron with Aboriginal art print on it for $3 and an interesting looking book for $5.
At Animal Aid I found four more ties that I can use in my patchwork, for $1 each (that's more like it - This N That could take a hint on the pricing of their ties), and four sheets of gift wrap paper for $1.
All in all a very productive day and not TOO expensive ($39.80 is not a lot for me, lol). Our next day out will be at High Street Kew, where there are six shops all within walking distance, and some very nice cafes to stop for lunch.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

9 op shops, 2 pooped women, 1 broken camera

Howdy folks. Today Gina and I op shopped ourselves silly between Forest Hill and Blackburn. My intention was to visit 8 op shops, but we fit a bonus NEW op shop in, so that took us up to 9:

1 - This 'n' That Community Store (Brentford Square), Forest Hill
2 - Doncare Op Shop (Brentford Square), Forest Hill
3 - YES Op Shop (Youth Education Support), Forest Hill
4 - Salvos Store, Forest Hill
5 - Animal Aid Op Shop, Blackburn Sth
6 - Mission Op Shop, Blackburn Sth (!! new op shop, just opened !!)
7 - Rotary Recycled Treasures, Blackburn Sth
8 - Epilepsy Op Shop, Blackburn
9 - Salvos Store, Blackburn

First stop, This 'n' That, and nothing there tempted me enough to buy it. I ummed and ahhed over a pretty wooden frame, but decided the size was too impractical and put it aside. Am pretty sure Gina found some crafty bits and bobs here though.

Strolled up to the Doncare Op Shop and again, I was out of luck. No goodies screamed 'buy me'. Gina found a nice soft leather bag here.

Next, a short drive over to Mahoneys Road and the two op shops there. As we were getting out of the car, Gina finished transferring her stuff from her old handbag into her 'new' handbag. She noticed the new handbag didn't have a zip, only a flap, but made a comment about how she never drops her handbag so it shouldn't be a problem.

So onwards and into the YES Op Shop we went. Ahhh, the fabulous YES shop - it never disappoints. We spent a fair bit of time here. I tried on a couple of pairs of pants (too short, DRATS), drooled over some of the furniture in the shop, and ended up buying these....

....2 tall jars. Discovered when I got home that one of them leans a bit like the Tower of Pisa due to a wonky bottom. Oh well, it's character, I say. $3.50 each. two bracelets, $1.50 each,

....and a ballerina-pink t-shirt for the odd price of $4.90.

And while Gina and I were at the counter, what do you think happened? Aha, crash goes Gina's bag down on the floor. Never tempt fate! Fortunately I think everything stayed in the bag, but Gina's poor camera had a hissy fit and decided it wasn't going to take any more photos. Gina, I hope you managed to figure out what was wrong and fixed it when you got home!

OK, so after the drama with the bag/camera, we carried on down the road to the Salvos. I never have much luck here, and today was no exception. Don't think Gina found anything here either.

Back to the car and a short drive down Canterbury Road to Blackburn South. Into the Animal Aid shop we popped (ahhh, my favourite place, bliss). I found a large, new, Maxwell & Williams tomato-red glass platter thingy for $3, artfully placed in the crack between 2 sets of drawers. (Maybe hidden there for later purchasing by someone else? Muuuahahaha, it did not escape my roving eagle eye.) 4 bits of wrapping paper for $1.

As we were walking from the Animal Aid shop to the Rotary shop, we spotted a new op shop having a 'Grand Opening' (not so grand in reality, but hey, I'm not complaining!). It's an eensy-weensy Mission op shop, in one of the side streets just round the corner from the Animal Aid shop. I snapped up this super long nightie for $4. I like the groovy tulip-type print it has.

A rummage through the nearby Rotary Recycled Treasures (where I didn't find anything), and I was stunned to find it was 1.30 pm. We headed on up to Blackburn for lunch (hellllloooooo Mr Baked Potato) and to rest our tired feet.

After lunch we walked up to the Epilepsy Op Shop (found nothing there for me, but had a giggle at the electric mug warmer that was on sale there).

Our last stop was the Salvos in Blackburn. I lingered for a while under the nice patio heater inside the shop (Mmmm, warmth), and purchased a necklace for $3... well as top that was on the bargain half-price rack for $2.50. Not so sure about this top - it's a bit odd as it's a fake top and cardigan... it's just the front of a top sort of sewn into a cardigan. But for $2.50 I thought I'd give it a go as a top to wear to work.

Gina and I were well and truly stuffed by this time, so we called it a day and resolved to do it all over again on her side of town in about 3 weeks time. Silvia, we just didn't have time to get to Balwyn. I'm thinking that I'll lump the Box Hill / Mont Albert / Balwyn op shops into an opping trip one time, and we'll try and seek you out then.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bargains Galore

Hi everyone, this is my first post here.

I am a mad Op Shop and Thrift store shopper, I love the thrill of looking for bargains, finding vintage tablecloths, doilies and glass ware and good quality cheap clothes for myself and my family. 

My husband and I usually make a day of it and try to visit as many shops as we can in a day - why waste a bargain hunting opportunity by only visiting a shop or two.

Last Thursday we went to 8 shops in total - that's a record for us I think.

First stop was Doncare in Tunstall Square - this was a new one for us.  Its a tiny shop but still has lots crammed in there.

I bought a tiny tiny round doily probably only 10cm across and a hand towel that I will probably use as a tray cloth, both beautifully embroidered.  I also found a wonderful, unused linen tea towel and a white damask tablecloth that needs a good soak - score!

My husband Rene convinced me that he needed to buy the worlds ugliest silk dressing gown - be thankful I didnt take photos of it - and books - he always buys books.

Next we went to the Red store - the newish Red Cross store.  Hmm, not very impressed though - lots of very expensive, not that good quality clothes. 

Bought a black shirt for Rene - $9.95 - not really a bargain but looked to be new.

Then on to Brentwood Square.  The first stop was the This and That store - wow they have some beautiful stuff there, more like an antique store than just an op shop, with prices to match!

Only bought some much needed forks there - 8 forks for $5.  Then on to the Doncare store in the same shopping strip.  Another black shirt for Rene, this time only $3.

Next was a small shop on the corner of Boronia Road and Canterbury road - I am not sure of the name.

There I found a pasta maker with a ravioli attachment for $15 and a new Country Road skirt, tags still attached with a $135 price tag, for just $15.

Finally on the way home we stopped at the Rotary Store and the Animal Aid Shop on Canterbury Road in Box Hill South - looked at lots but didnt buy anything.

Last stop was the Salvos store at Balwyn on Whitehorse Road where I scored another great skirt for Winter for just $10.

All in all a great but exhausting day.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Batik ... again

Oops! I just noticed that this has been sitting around in the "drafts" section of this blog for quite a while. So although, as a summer skirt, it's the least appropriate time to post it with all the rain Melbourne is having today, here it is. You can never have too many batik wrap skirts, especially when travelling in tropical climes as I did recently - they're handy when you need to cover up in a modest country and the print hides stains & sweat! This one was about $7 from the Uniting Care op shop in Dandenong.

Eastern suburbs opshops

Frolicking Froggy suggested to me a while ago that we should have a group opshop trawl one day, but I disagreed, saying I'd been on one, and it was chaos, with some people wanting to stay in one shop longer than others, parking cars at the same place doesn't always work, and so on. But in the last few posts, I've seen Silvia, Froggy, Lisa and Brenda all shopping in one area, so I'm thinking it might work assuming you all live around there and know your way around. Froggy and I meet up every three weeks or so, and next week we'll be on that side of town. What do you reckon, girls?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Ladies of the Northern Auxiliary

These ladies started the CPS Op Shop 28 years ago in 1984. Dulcie is nearly ninety, Wilma sits on the CPS board, Betty and Marjorie manage the shop on Tuesdays and the group still meet regularly.

The auxiliary itself was started in 1980 by local wives of Rotarians and the idea to establish the op shop as a fundraiser came from the UK. The CPS first opened its doors in 1896 as the Victorian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and is one of the oldest independent child welfare organisations in Victoria. Since its inception, the Northern Auxiliary has raised close to a million dollars for the CPS!

Now the op shop has three paid managers who share the demanding job of sorting and pricing the high volume of donations. The shop continues to provide significant funds to the CPS thanks to its managers, 60+ awesome volunteers and the community who donate quality items on the way into the shop and buy something on their way out!

The commitment of the ladies of the Northern Auxiliary over so many years is truly inspiring and the difference their work has made to many lives is inestimable. I would love to hear the stories of other op shops as I am sure there are many great histories out there.

First Post from Yuski

Being my first post, I’ll keep it short and sweet 

I have recently discovered the joy of Op Shopping and would like to share my finds and also some comments on the op shops I visited.

Found this Villeroy and Boch plate in perfect condition.  Not even a hairline crack!  I’m so thrilled as I have been and still looking for beautiful good quality dinnerware for my food blog photographs.  Only $4 at Blackburn Animal Aid Op Shop.

Also bought a knitted Dotti vest for $5.99, seemed like brand new to me and never been worn from Salvo in Blackburn near the train station.  This shop is a bit lacking in homewares but more than compensated by lots of women fashion.  Items are reasonable priced and very helpful male manager/staff on the Sat morning.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Epilepsy op shop, Blackburn - 2 tops for the price of 1

The Epilepsy op shop in Blackburn is currently having a sale on their tops - 2 tops for the price of 1 (for the price of the most expensive top). Not sure how long the sale lasts for.

The prices of most tops were around $4/$5 dollars. These two cost me $5 in total. I was a happy camper as they're both in excellent nick.

Gina, I also found this tie at the Animal Aid shop, which I just had to get for you cos it was too darn cute to leave there!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

More Treasures

I was having coffee in Blackburn North and just round the corner was an oppie and I just couldn't resist . Of course one op shop did not satisy me for long and because I needed to travel further afield I went on quite a tour. This time I'l mention just one other shop from my grab bag. 

These terrific stretch pants are so easy to wear. They are from Doncare in Blackburn North and at $4.00 I had to have them

This book was only $1.00 from Vinnies in My Albert. It is very useful for keeping friends entertained with amazing information about absolutely everything.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Recent purchases from my regular haunts

At the Animal Aid shop in Blackburn South last week (which was freakishly busy for some reason), I spied this long, baggy cotton top for $3. Aha! It was soon off the hanger and into my hands, the perfect accompaniment to slobby afternoons at home on the couch watching Judge Judy.

Rumaging through the bargain rack outside Doncare (Doncaster East) netted me this deep v-necked top with gold thread through it for $1.50. It's a little tooooo low in the front, so I'll wear something underneath so I'm not all boobs ahoy.

At the Doncare shop in Blackburn North (where there always seems to be a Dean Martin song playing) I found these pretty little sherry glasses with daisies painted on them for $1 each. How could I say no? :-) I don't drink so they'll just go in my cabinet for decoration.

And lastly, at the Harrison Community Services op shop in Nunawading (which I've often been to but rarely find anything I like), I picked up this gold seed bead necklace for 50c. Wheeeee. 

lions for sale (it doesn't get old, does it?)

Blackburn North Lions Club will hold its next monster trash and treasure sale on Saturday, 2 June 2012.

Time: 8 am to 1 pm

Usual place: 1st Vermont Scout Hall, near the corner of Canterbury Rd and Mitcham Rd, Vermont.

As usual we have loads of bargains for everyone, and for this sale we have been donated lots of hand knitted baby clothes.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 20 May 2012


Remember when I was saying I should try to visit other op shops, you know out of my general living area? Well come Saturday morning I dragged a friend and fellow op shopper - out in the rain to see how many we can fit in before they all closed for the day.

First stop was the Watsonia Rd trifecta.

Salvos, Red Cross and BSL all in walking distance of each other. I picked up this tiny tiny leather bag @Salvos for $5.99. I was a little unsure at first but the lining on the inside pushed me over the edge!

@BSL I picked up this gorgeous scarf for $3 this really cute golden rose statuette for $1. Its actually a bell and it still works. I can imagine using this when I am sick or bedridden, ha. Also a Frank Sinatra cassette @ 50c for my car because tape decks are so cool doncha know? j/k.

Next we visited the Vinnies in Eltham. Here I picked up the woven storage box for $2 (above) and some bits and pieces for my diy projects on the go @ 50c each.

My favourite thing in the world: BACON. So when i saw this i had to get it, if just for the vintage packaging. What a hoot. It seems to be in working order so will give it a test run soon. Stay tuned.

Then Eltham BSL which gave us an excuse to explore that little shopping area. Very lovely. I didn't pick anything up here this time but did stop to buy a jar of homemade jam. I will have to get her name next time (how rude of me!!!) because these jams are BEAUTIFUL. I bought the blood plum. yum.

I am in love with Eltham by the way. The streets are beautiful and the houses are so lovely. I didn't mind the undulation which most people seem put off by - it gives it a sense of authenticity. And I had the best coffee I had for a while there. Can't wait to go back.

The last stop of the day was Fairfield, it was close to 3pm which is closing time for most oppies. We found the Salvos on Station street and I bought some lionel ritchie tapes @ 50c because I wanted to hear ballerina girl again.

A glorious day despite the weather. Next on my list: Heidelberg, Ivanhoe and Rosanna.

Winter Warmth

This is my first time on this blog. Op shops have been part of my lifefor thirty years, depending on what I am doing, there is always op shopping in the background waiting for me. The Epilepsy op shop in Blackburn had a half price sale on clothing and bric a brac and I got a grey Yarra Trail vest in size 14 for $2.50. It is soooo warm now the weather is colder.

Still on my quest for winter woollies I visited BSL in Mt Waverley and for $6.00 bought a little black jumper. I actually paid full price for another jumper in the shop practically next door and guess which one I'm always wearing?

I've enjoyed making contact and next time I'll post photos.


Friday, 18 May 2012

BSL Eltham this week.

I must be going through a Purple Phase of my life...or perhaps there are just a lot of purple clothes around the opshops lately, and I'm finding the ones that fit me! This is either a jacket or blouse - NOW brand (Target?) and is made of a heavy fabric that I found today is both warm and windproof, but not heavy. I would wear it on its own, or over a teeshirt or skivvy, with a scarf to dress it up. $4.50.

In some years I can never find any jumpers that I like. This year I've found heaps, which has given me the chance to chuck out (back to the opshop) the older ones that I've been wearing and hating! I love this wool with metallic thread knitted through the design. $4.

You can always find jewellery in an opshop to match the clothes you buy there. Well most of the time. This chunky bracelet isn't too chunky for my skinny wrist, and matches both jumper and jacket. It is a bit more purple that what it looks like in this pic. 50 cents.

Art magazine for my stash of same, 20 cents.

An elderly lady came in today with two boxes of magazines on one of those home-trolley things. She was really struggling; I don't know how she made it from her car to our shop in the arcade, as the boxes weighed a ton! She said "There will be more; I've been buying these magazines for many years, and haven't got the room to keep them all. You might not be able to sell some of them because I've cut out a few patterns that I want to keep". I assured her that people will still buy them, as for 20 cents, you can't really complain! What I didn't tell her was that I would be taking most of them home to check out before we put them out for sale!! Years worth of Patchwork And Quilting mags! There were also quite a lot of gardening mags, but I put them out for sale immediately. The manager laughed at me, drooling over the patchwork mags on the counter! She knows she can trust me to pay for the ones I keep, and bring back the rest.
We got two stunning examples of cross stitch donated - framed samplers. The person who priced them earlier this week put $5 on them, but the manager held them back until I'd seen them. I was SOOOOO tempted to buy them but I just haven't got any more room on our walls. It wasn't hard to persuade my boss to change the price to $25 each, and believe me, they are well worth it. I am still tempted to buy at least one of them, so I'm hoping they will both sell before next Friday :-(

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Blame it on the Hormones

Sometimes it's best not to set forth with money buring a whole in your pocket and just stay home and eat a packet of chocolate bullets.

Otherwise you're likely to come home with a red satin cowboy shirt.

Or one of these (the description defies me).

Actually I love the red satin shirt. It got a horrified reaction when I took in back to work but it got the big thumbs up on Saturday night. Taste is all a matter of context I guess. The office is not place for satin or cowboys. And the Kaftan top? Love that too. Both were bought at the Save the Children's oppy cnr Glenferrie Road and Riversdale in Hawthorn. $20 for the shirt which is well over twice the amount I would normally pay but...hey? I can't remember how much for the kaftan top.

Now where did I put those chocolate bullets?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Vinnies Briar Hill.

I didn't buy anything at the BSL where I work on Friday, but afterwards I dropped into Vinnies with a friend, and scored some nice bits and pieces. A brand new toaster cover and matching oven mitt ($2)in colours that match my kitchen perfectly. Now I can get rid of the blue cover and mitt that I've had for years, and DON'T match the kitchen!
Nice warm bed socks $2.50
Gut Busters recipe book 50c.  My hubby is always worrying about his gut, which isn't a gut at all - just a few extra inches around his waist.  But he was always a tall skinny type, and can't handle any sign of middle aged spread, or should I say old aged spread - he's long past middle age!  Anyway, I figured if I started cooking meals from this book, he might lose an inch or two. ..
I love books that make me laugh, and this one certainly does - "Born To Shop",  $1.  A lot of the sayings have been printed on greeting cards that I've bought people in recent years, so I don't know if the cards were taken from this book or this book is based on the cards.  Whatever.   It has some very pithy comments:

Friday, 11 May 2012


Home sick on a friday night, having a great time reading my fav blogs sigh, I wish it was my full time job!

Got me a new camera (oh how flashy, pun intended) so now my tins look very glam.

I found these lovely ones a few weeks ago but haven't found a use for them yet. I love when you find a tea tin and it still smells like tea inside. Then you wake up and go wash the hell out of it because hey who knows what could have been inside. Sorry but I can't be unknowingly ingesting the cremains of your beloved corgi, its bad for my health (physical but mostly mental ;P )

99c a piece @ Saver's Mill Park. It's my go to when i need an oppy fix. I think I should cast my line a bit further than a few blocks from my house, but I always find gems there. Always.

If a tin can fit inside the palm of my hand then I'm walking on sunshine.

I know it's strictly not an op shop so I won't post it here but come visit me and check out my recent buys at camberwell market two weeks ago - best market i've been to in ages :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Another fun day with Frolicking Froggy!

As FF has just posted, it was my turn to show her my side of town today. I think I outdid her again in the spending stakes - not that I'm trying to - she has more self control than me! we are planning to do it all again over her way in three weeks time. Gives my wallet a chance to re-group. Greensborough Savers was my biggest downfall. JAG jumper with owl (I am an owl-aholic, so couldn't resist this for $2.99)

Suzanne Gray cardigan, $9.99. Sounds expensive, but it is almost new and very good quality.

"Now" brand teal coloured jumper $5.99

Three fabulous scarves $2.99 each except for the third one which has a Picasso design and name printed on it, and that was $4.99.

Vintage Aussie craft book $1.99

Two paperback novels $2.99 each.

I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have bought all that, but knowing I was going to get 20% discount off everything because Monday is Seniors Discount day at Savers, I was very happy to part with $30.40!

At the Brotherhood Shop in Greensborough I found a purple sweater for $4 and a turquoise skivvy for $2.

At Vinnies in Briar Hill (not quite Greensborough) I found a cute pink singlet for $1.50, a tie and a cat book for $1.50. (the other book in the photo was bought at the BSL in Watsonia)

At the Red Cross opshop in Watsonia, I found a big roll of quilt wadding for $3, another aqua coloured top for $3.50 and a doiley for $2.