Tag Archives: thrifting

Vintage – Boss Level….

A very good day in the op-shop/vintage hoarding world…. I have accepted that this is probably how I will be making ends meet for the foreseeable future, unless art or book thing gets offered to me on a silver platter… I will be buying a new marquee and returning to the world of markets and fairs…. Days like this remind me that it really is the thing I am good at, and since I deal in “decorator” items, not antiques as such, I seem to be able to find things I find cool everywhere…



This bedside clock had been ignored by the 20 bargain hunters that had got to the op-shop before me this morning…. Maybe because it said Made in China?… China has a points in its history made quite good items… and this wonderfully heavy, glass fronted and enamelled wind up alarm clock is good quality… and the fact that the little cat eyes dart back and forth every tick and tock makes it cool…..



and maybe this one wasn’t vibrant enough? I like it because it has an elegant simplicity of function, while still being very 50s… Made in Germany… Porcelain body and the glass at the front opens so you can adjust the time without taking it off the kitchen wall…..



Not my style of thing, but the set of USA made spice containers will make someone happy… I normally only buy stuff I like, but I make exceptions when I find mint unused older stuff… The original box and unused spice stickers will make someones day when they find it on my market stall in a few months time….



Hand made and tooled bohemian leather goods tend to end up in my shopping basket too… They look great on the stall, if my daughter doesn’t claim them… and there is a very unique pleasure to cleaning up and restoring old leather to live another day (or decade)….



Vintage dress patterns are one of those thing that I got into picking up, possible because it gives me something else to search through at op-shops on a slow day, and partly because it causes giggles from the elderly women that serve me….



Bud vases as plentiful…. I always pick up the good ones…. They make great gifts, and always sell well… Plus I use them at home quite often… I don’t do the whole bunches of flowers thing… But I can manage single flowers from the garden….



Little bottles are always hard to resist, maybe its because in my head I see them each with a little label saying “Drink Me”……



A brass bunny for the bunny collection…. I only buy bunnies that look a bit evil…. No cute little thumper bunnies in my collection!



I actually started out dealing exclusively in video games, many moons ago… So of course I still pick them up when I see them, though the days of finding $1 game and watches at garage sales are long gone….



Ukulele number two…. I am threatening the kids with making us all join the ukulele club when we get back the mountains… So I just need to find one more….



A nice pile of metal vintage frames…. These are being stockpiled at the moment for me to put my own art in….. Luckily most people still find these frames not “kitsch” enough, so I can still get them at reasonable prices….

Photo2-89 A very heavy half a safe, half a filing cabinet…. Locked and with no key…. Hard to say no to a locked box!!!! I will try some of the 200 keys I have… and then I will try to pick the lock….. and then I will resort to drilling out the lock….



It is seriously tempting to keep this after I get the lock function again…. It really is over engineered…. Might make a good lock-up for things that are to big for the safe?



Vintage souvenir tea towels are great… Made from high quality linen, never used by there former owners and cheap… Even if you don’t use them for other purposes they still make very useful items in the kitchen, for drying dishes….



And the final find of the day, A Rabone dress makers ruler…. with waist measure (the curved brass bit)….

So as you can see not a bad haul for a quick morning op-shop run…. and I can relax with a bit of cleaning an polishing treasures till it is time for the school run…. I am trying to embrace the simple pleasures this week….


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Day Tripper….

That confusing day of the week…. Monday sort of feels like my only day without the kids….. Sunday night doesn’t seem to count as my brain thinks they are here…. and Tuesday is spent looking forward to collecting them from school…. Consequently I spend monday trying to stop myself from thinking too much, last week I went on a opshop run looking for stock…. This week I went to the mountains to deliver the items I sold…. I am still running at about 70/30 selling to buying ratio at the moment, that’s 70% selling and 30% buying… So the progress is measurable, especially when a bigger item or two is sold….

I was woken up at 5am by a moody cat…. Not sure what she is moody about? but I have given trying to figure out any female, even the feline ones… A big cup of coffee and some staring at the sky waiting for a sunrise…. and a very lazy drive to the mountains with a Beatles soundtrack…. got to Katoomba to early to deliver the deliveries so coffee and sketching in the main street….


Deliveries made and chats chatted…. More driving….


The op shops are pretty much empty of anything worth the effort of buying and selling, and nothing that I would have in my own house…. Since I was already most of the way there I went to Westfields at Penrith…. Trying to buy art supplies, but the range was a bit limited, and since I may be near proper art shops next weekend I left buying only a small sketch pad…. and a large hot chocolate….



A wrong turn and I found myself in Windsor…. Nothing much at the op-shops there either… maybe I am op-shopped out?


Richmond for a pit stop and Red Bull…. Concentration was starting to drift…. By the way Richmond has the worst (overpriced) op-shop I have ever seen…. It rivals the op-shops in Sydney’s North Shore for prices, however the quality of what they have is rubbish… It is obviously run by an “expert”… A chipped west german vase, which I would be lucky to get $25 for to the right person was priced at $125…. Even in a Sydney retro store they would be pushing it to ask $60…. I don’t mind these charities making money, but the drive to make profit seems to have migrated from the collectables section, to the children’s shoes and clothing and regular furniture….



…and then the skies opened with big buckets of fat raindrops…. which seemed to fit with my mood at this point, so I headed for an old haunt in an attempt to really depress myself…. More coffee and pie…. its kind of being a bit leaving las vegas with food for the last six months… something I am aware of (and not just when I step on the scales)… but more about that later maybe?



I had my final meeting with my government-funded shrink last week… but I didn’t have a chance to process things till today…. I processed with pie….

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Thrift Store Monday….

Seems my holiday has giving the local 2nd hand places a chance to re-stock… an interesting little pile of stuff today…

A few bargains from the 50 cent bin… A pair of vintage egg-cups… a wooden toy car that will get a good hit with the sandpaper and paint… and a vintage leather camera case (no camera)….

Reverse painted on glass… the horseman of the apocalypse… Not a keeper, but I think if I drop it into a heavy gothic frame it would look amazing in a tattoo stop? Maybe….

A sauna door from the refit of a local health club… destined for a coffee table or desk… Thinking maybe it needs big old troll wheels, and a glass frame over the carved at hole with something cool under it…

…and the item that put the biggest dent in my budget for the day…. A vintage x-ray viewer… It also may have resulted in a back strain getting it in and out of the car… It is a dramatic piece… I keep thinking it would make an awesome hall stand… all lit up with old x-rays on it… skull ones would look great… or maybe those ones with the foreign objects imbedded… I am not sure where you get the x-ray of someones hand with a nail in it… but it would be interesting… obviously large old format photo negatives would be cool too….





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From the Shed Friday….

Not my usual retro kind of thing… but I obviously kept them for a reason…

Kind of kitsch and worthy of a better home than the box I was keeping them in…

I imagine they sat on a shelf somewhere as a reminder of a distant island holiday… probably purchased cheaply in a local market…

The rather cool shell lamp, with its vaguely dangerous bakelite fittings still makes a pleasant glow.. though i wont be using it as a nightlight… there is also a large bag of large shells that i don’t remember buying…. there is a lot of that kind of thing in the shed…

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An Adventure, a Small Dog and a Big Pecil Case….

This afternoon I took a two-hour round trip to collect an impulse purchase… Late night ebay browsing is a dangerous hobby, but danger is my middle name… Ok it isn’t but I am feeling in a weird mood after a weird night…

A bad phone line resulted in me entering 1 Cook street and Not 1 Brook Street into the GPS… I arrived at my destination, the outside light was on, as though they were expecting me… I wandered up to the gate to be greeted by a swarm of Chihuahuas, not sure swarm is the right word? maybe a mariachi? The door to house opens, the lady of the house greets me warmly and ushers me inside… You are early she says… I say no traffic… She says did you bring cash or a cheque? I say cash, reaching for my wallet… here is your girl she says, scooping up a small white yappy thing… Do you want to hold her first… Ummmm…..

Now follows Statements like, I came for a case? and much confusion ensued…

So leaving without a small dog I confirm the address by phone and head off for the place I should have been… However between my two calls the seller has received news of a bereavement in her family and is in tears by the time I arrive… A bit awkward, but I am friendly and tell her the tale of the mistaken dogs… She is laughing and thanks me for that…

So with much grunting and draw removal I wedged my new “pencil-case” in the car and took it home… It is in fact a “depression era” set of drawers, all hand-made from scrap and kauri pine… I am particularly happy with the old whiskey bottle tops that have been made into drawer pulls…

I added the steel trolley wheels to the base to allow me to move it around, luckily I had a set lying around….

This is now a piece of furniture with a story… You can’t beat furniture with a tale to tell…

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