Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas Eve at the BSL Eltham.

Our manager opened the shop before 9 am and we closed at 1 pm.  I was surprised at how quiet it was, but as M. said, most people have done all their shopping by Xmas Eve and don't need to be opshopping by then.  I'd made a gingerbread house to take to my husband's family Xmas lunch, but he decided not to go there this year, so I took it to the opshop, thinking people could have a bite of it as they wandered in and out, but the few people that did come in admired it briefly and moved on

Except for one elderly lady who stopped to have a good look.  She said "Oh that is so beautiful.  My four grandchildren will be with me tomorrow, and they would love it - is it for sale?" and I told her the story, and said I may as well sell it because we can't eat it at home.  She asked how much and I asked how much would she pay, and she said "Oh I don't know - $25?"   In the meantime another customer had come up for a look.  This bloke is one of our regulars and can be rather obnoxious.  He said "I'll give you $35" and the lady started to say "I'll pay that much" but I interrupted.  I said "You can have it for $20  - the kit only cost me $12, and I had fun making it, so I'm glad to know it will be enjoyed tomorrow by your grandchildren!"
The man was a bit miffed, and walked out of the shop, but I didn't care!

Here is my bunting decorating the shop.  I took it down when we closed the shop, and it is now hanging around our front verandah.

This will be my last post for the year, as our shop is now closed until January 13th.  So unless I go opshopping anywhere else in the meantime, there won't be anything for me to post here, so I wish you all the best for the New Year ;-)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Last days before Christmas at the Brotherhood of St.L at Eltham.

We are open next Monday and Tuesday, then we close for Christmas and New Year period, to re-open on Monday 13th January.   Our last two days will be frantic, as we want to get rid of as much stock as possible before the donations start arriving in January.  Remember, 50% off everthing in the store except books and the $1 clothing rack.  I got some great bargains today!
Two ties for 70c each.
Italian panty hose, 50cents
Selection of books ranging from 70cents to $1 each.
Back pack with a difference.
It opens up to be a sophisticated four piece picnic setting -plates, cutlery, wine glasses, s and p shakers,mini cheese board and corkscrew.

And in the other side of the back pack, two insulated drink bags.  All for $20.
Pair of sandals, $3.

The total was $24.  With the half price discount, I paid $12.  How good is that?!!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Buy Christmas lunch for someone experiencing homelessness

This Christmas, Sacred Heart Mission op shop customers are being encouraged to think about all the meals that will be dished up over the festive period to people who are homeless.

Customers are being asked to donate $3.80 - the cost of a three course lunch served in the Mission’s St Kilda dining hall - to put a bauble on the Christmas trees displayed in each of its seven op shops.

The initiative was piloted last year at the Mission’s South Melbourne op shop with great success - 1,080 baubles were sold, decorating 24 wire trees hanging from the store’s ceiling.

The baubles represent the meals that Sacred Heart Mission will provide over the festive period as sitting down and sharing a Christmas meal is something that resonates with most people.

Over Christmas Eve and Day, the Mission will serve more than 700 traditional meals with all the trimmings to people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage.

You can make a donation and hang a bauble at any of Sacred Heart Mission’s op shops:

86 Chapel Street, Windsor
1/486 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick
86 Riversdale Road (cnr Glenferrie Road), Hawthorn
87a Grey Street, St Kilda
365 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
415 Inkerman Street, East St Kilda

Saturday, 14 December 2013

 We are having the family over for lunch on Christmas day and so we are going to eat in the room downstairs:  it is a big room which is used for storage, sewing or a spare bedroom when the grandkids come to stay.  I am in the midst of painting it so it looks like a building site at present.  

I need to be sure we have enough room and place settings so I have set the tables up and I have spent some time at op shops picking up some crockery and glassware. Tomorrow I will pack all of this up and clean up the room before the big day.

I am using three folding tables, stronger than the usual card tables, which I bought at the Salvos in Tyabb Rd.  Plates and glasses are from Vinnies, Salvos and the Wilson Rd oppy as well as one in Mount Eliza.  

There are lovely bottle bags to hold the soft drink bottles and a soda syphon (also Salvos).

The table cloths are ones I have collected on my many opping trips over the last couple of years.

Santa hats are also from various oppies.

There is also a punch bowl and glasses and serving dishes from Vinnies.

I would love to know if anyone else is decorating their tables with oppy bargains.  It is more economical than plastic/paper plates etc.  After Christmas I shall donate the pieces I don't want to keep so the cupboards will not be cluttered.

50% off nearly everything!

We need to clear our little shop out by Christmas Eve, so everything in the shop (except books which are already very cheap, and the $1 clothing rack out the front of the shop) is half price until Christmas Eve. I'll be working there on the day, and from my past experience, we'll probably close a bit earlier than usual, and will be literally throwing books out for 20c if we still have too many on the shelves! Brotherhood Of St Lawrence Opshop, National Bank Mall, Arthur Street, Eltham.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

BSL Eltham Friday.

As Christmas looms closer, we get more and more bags and boxes of donations.  Unlike some opshops, ours all get sorted the same day it arrives; we just do not have the room to store stuff.   Books get priced quickly and on to the shelves, and if we run out of space there, we mark down books that have been there for a while, to 50cents, and put them in a box out the front.  Clothes are priced and hung on racks, and again, anything that has been there longer than a few weeks gets put out the front for $1.  Bric a brac isn't usually a problem  - it is priced and shelved each day, and the older stuff taken off the shelves and sent back to the Brotherhood head office for distribution to other shops.  Now and then, we put bric a brac out the front for 20 cents or so, just to get rid of it.  But our customers are usually responsible for the fast turnover.  We have regulars that come in at least once a week, sometimes every day - just to see what is new.  Christmas decorations fly out the door as fast as we stock our special Christmas corner.  My bunting is still there thank goodness!

Anyway, here is what I brought home today.  A very old salt and pepper shaker set.  The chooks sit on ceramic pipes which used to have a cork in the end to hold the spices, but are long since gone.  They kind of 'rock' when you touch them.  No makers name underneath, but not made in China eithere ;-)  Very cute - I've never seen anything like them before.  $6.

Chicken spoon rest 50 cents.

Steve Parrish How to draw Aust. Wildlife book - 50 cents

Big hardcover book on cars $20.  I brought this home to show Ken, but he is not a bookish person, so after he's had a browse, I'll probably take it back to the shop.

DVD of world wide national anthems - $3.  I love listening to anthems of different countries at sports events, and often wonder what the words are.  I haven't opened this yet, but apparently the words are provided.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A bag full of surprises

At this time of year it can be difficult to make time for opping but I do manage a couple of stores each week.

Yesterday I was looking for tinsel and decorations at the Salvos when I noticed a bag of "fabric" on the floor.  It was zipped and secured so it was not possible to know what was inside but at $6.95 I thought it was worth taking a chance.

When I opened the bag last night I found it crammed with gorgeous fabrics and lace (small pieces mostly).  There are some partly made garments and I wonder if these have been cut up to be used for something else or perhaps experimental pieces.

Anyway there are lots of sequins and trims on these pieces and as well as those there are pieces of new fabrics. Two pieces of aboriginal designed cotton and a piece of fine white linen.

There are two Christmas panels which I have not even had a look at yet.  These might be useful for the little ones next door.

There are also assorted plain and printed fabrics and some glittery shear cloth.

As well there is some very fancy metallic fabric and a pack of stabiliser.

When I reached the bottom of the bag I discovered some very pretty and fine lace, some of which appears to be hand made.  So you see it was a lucky find and good value at $6.95.   Some of the fabric will not be of any use to me so I will just donate it back again.


Monday, 2 December 2013

BSL Eltham last Friday.

Here are my bargains from last Friday. An unusual silk scarf with kookaburras on; I think it might be hand painted. Most of our scarves are priced at 50 cents, so I was very happy to pay that for this one.
Nice little Millers tee shirt with pretty beading embellishment. $3.
Another tee shirt with a bit of sparkle, $3.
Gorgeous pair of vintage hand embroidered pillowslips. I'm not saying how much I paid for these, suffice to say it was a lot less than what I would have paid on eBay!
I'd made this Xmas bunting to decorate our home, but I took it to the opshop to show the ladies, and they persuaded me to hang it in the shop. Next thing I knew, customers were wanting to buy it! What would you pay for bunting? I made this from old patchwork fabric I've had for years, so it didn't cost me a lot, and didn't take more than an hour to make. I suggested $5 a metre to one customer and she seemed happy with that. But I'm not selling this until I've got around to making some more!

Farewell Melbourne!

Well ladies, it's been a while since I posted, but it's for a kind of sad reason. I have moved away, back to Sydney. Unfortunately things just didn't work out for me in Melbourne.

I will certainly miss the awesome opshops though - Sydney doesn't have nearly as many, and most of them aren't open on weekends! And, we don't have Savers!!! Imagine that, if you can!

So I'd like to say thanks for welcoming me into the op-shopping community and I will regularly be checking the blog to see all your wonderful finds!

In parting, I'd like to share a couple of op-shopping adventures with you. This little sewing table I found at a Salvo's up here for $20. (the sewing machine I already had!)

It's perfect, as I'm currently staying in my sister's spare room which does not have a desk, and I can use it as a table for my sewing machine or my laptop computer. The floral fabric is a couple of napkins I picked up for 50c. 
In the same trip I scored a retro slow cooker for $15. I was ecstatic about this because it's exactly the same as my old flatmate's, which I used all the time but no longer have access to!

Finally, I'd like to brag about this - a costume I made entirely from op-shopped clothes!

Well, except for the shoes which I already had. I wore it to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special a couple of weeks ago. I'm a Whovian. :-)
If you'd like to see more pictures of the dress, or just want to stop by and say hi, drop by my blog

Wishing you a merry Christmas and may the new year bring many thrifty bargains!!


Saturday, 30 November 2013

darn it!

Wow, a darning mushroom from the Hunter Gatherer op shop in the Royal Arcade in the city. It's beautifully made, so smooth and gorgeous tones. It was $40 which is a bit pricey. I'm not sure how much they cost new but I'm very happy to have that money go to the Brotherhood of St Laurence.