Getting thrifty with it

I’ve posted before about my love of second hand shopping here but I feel it’s time for another rant. I have pretty much decorated our whole house with awesome thrifty finds and while it’s not everyone’s style it suits me for a lot of reasons (and lucky for me Dave likes it, or graciously tolerates it for my benefit). One reason is I am working within a budget but mostly I like things that are a bit spesh, quirky or interesting. Or just plain pretty to look at. I like things that I think might have stories behind them, something that was someones treasure, something that was made with beautiful craftsmanship. And I find a lot of things that fit that description are second-hand. Sometimes I do wonder though whether I am just filling the house with junk or clutter. Whether someone might walk in, look around and just think “what is this girl doing?

Mandi from Vintage Revivals has written a few great posts on guides to ‘thrifting’ (as they call it in the US of A) and I just love her style and her style philosophy which is to stop worrying what people will think and just surround yourself with things that you love. And she’s right, how can you go wrong really, because if you decorate with what you love, your home with be a true reflection of who you are and what makes you happy. Thrifting is also about compromise and improvisation. For example if we had access to everything we wanted and no budget our house would look different to what it does now (we’d actually be in a different house for starters) but I think the overall style would be very similar. Because I do have to worry about budgets and such I keep ideas and lists of things I love and look out for something similar or something I can DIY or revamp for a much lower cost.

There is also the thrill of the chase and that amazing satisfaction of finding something you’ve been searching for for ages.

Again Mandi (can you tell I think she’s awesome?) has also coined the definition Thrift Shop Glam which is a much better sounding name than ‘all the weird bits and pieces I keep bringing home and putting around the house’.

I do have a few things I am mindful of when I am hunting around second hand shops though and I thought I would share them.

1. Try to know the value of something so you dont over pay but if you love something and you know you won’t find it anywhere else don’t be a tight arse – just buy it. It’s much better to pay, say $20 more than you’d like to if something is AMAZING and one of a kind, than live with regret (like the great cuckoo clock & ten pin incident of 2012), even though $20 can be big money in the second hand world. If you use the Cost Per Wear Index but changed it to Cost Per Smile Every Time You Look At Something For The Rest Of Your Days Index it’s a damn sound investment if you ask me.

2. Shop with your gut. If something connects with you then take that sucker home, even if you don’t know how it will fit into your life yet. Some things just make you take them home because of their shape/colour/material or overall fabulousness.

3. If you’re the crafty type try to keep a mental or actual list of things you’re on the look out for and go through it before you shop because if you have a whole heap of ideas you might forget what you need.

4. Look beyond the reality and focus on the possibility. Do I sound like Confucius? But seriously, it’s not a clapped out old piece of crud you see before you but a potential awesome piece of decor/furniture if you’re willing to clean it, paint it or glue it onto something else.

5. Know your favourites and make sure you cover all your top areas when you go into a shop. My plan of attack goes a little something like this: vintage books with cool covers, vintage/ornate frames and mirrors, vases/glassware, candlesticks, old cameras, the shelves that hold the quirky decor/bits and pieces, interesting clocks, lamps, furniture, artworks, fabric, floor rugs.

4. Sometimes if you want something bad enough it just appears in a second hand shop like a shiny beacon of hope & awesomeness. Take my recent absolute need for a gold and glass coffee/side table for the lounge room (to counter all the brown/wood). Well, on Saturday I walked straight into one that was reduced from $19.95 to $14.95. Granted it isn’t the faux gold bamboo one of my dreams that Nicole from So Haute Style recommends but it satisfies a lot of the criteria – it’s gold, it’s glass, heck it’s even a table. It’s also a little marked but I like to think of that as character.

Remember it’s a game of chance, sometimes you find nothing and sometimes you come home with armfuls of stuff but the more you go the more likely you are you hit the jackpot.

And just to put it out there to the Gods of Thirfting, here are the things on the very top of my list of “the best things I could find in an op shop”: vintage globes, mercury glass, a mounted deer head and the piece de resistance…a Moroccan Wedding Blanket. I can dream can’t I?

Here is a little taste of some of my fabulous finds:

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The Midas Touch

Ok, I don’t have the *fascinating* post I was planning on posting. Which means that rather than making fascinators on Friday for the Spring Racing Carnival, my bestie and I polished off a good red and a big chunk of triple cream brie. Awesome. But, I promise they will be done this Friday!

What I did do was get my crafting mojo back with my trusty friend Mr Spray Paint. Isn’t is funny how, even when you love something, if you get out of the habit of doing it, it can be hard to get started again? Like the gym? Except I hate the gym. I have been so busy lately and so used to trying to just ‘chill’ after being busy that I stopped focussing my energy on getting creative in my (limited) spare time. And I tell ya what, it wasn’t good for the ol’ soul. I am just one of those people who is better busy.

I have been on a bit of a gold craze at the moment. There is just something lovely about the richness and glam of gold that warms up a room and adds a luxe feel. I especially love it paired with natural elements like wood (Rustic+Gold=Fabulousness). So naturally I am obsessed with painting everything gold (similar to the time I painted everything white and black).

I have also picked up some amazing gold pieces recently while out op-shopping (thrifting). Stay tuned for an op-shop dedicated post coming up soon!

I updated a $1.99 second hand bin for our bedroom. We had this ugly green plastic thing that Angus and Tinks had used as a chew toy and it was just killing the room. I love how the new bin looks now and smile every time I throw rubbish away. Call me crazy.

I also wanted a cute little vase for the guestroom so I glued a sundae glass and a tumbler together with my crazy hobby glue (medium setting cyanoacrylate super glue to be precise) and gave it a few good coats. Love it!

Here are the thrifted gold lovelies that I got for a steal:

Gold leaf ceramic bowl – $0.99

Gorgeous floral oil painting with gold frame to add to my collection – $20

Gold stemmed cocktail glasses – $0.99 each. I LOVE these pretty things!

Gold goodies to warm up any room in the house!

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It’s all white

No, it’s better than all white! Being on holidays has meant I’ve finally been able to make time for some crafty things around the house and these three projects are ones I have been eyeing off for a while. They’re all really simple and rather than posting a tutorial myself, some other more dedicated bloggers have already done so, so I have included their links instead!

I picked up the doilies and glassware on a few trips to my local Savers, along with a brass candle stick, some ready-to-hang curtains that I have put up in the kitchen (finally!) and two gorgeous summer dresses for my divine little Niece, baby Rose, who is 3 days old. I’ve never seen anything sweeter than that little girl, with her peachy cheeks and wisps of fair hair.  Things are pretty good in this neck of the woods at the moment.

But back on track now, the three projects were a table runner made from vintage doilies, a doily bowl and some faux milk glass vases.

The doily table runner was super easy (see tutorial at Under the Sycamore), although mine is not so ‘runner’ like in length, and needed only stitches at the joins to hold it in place. The doily bowl (see  tutorial at The Thrillz of Hillz) was also easy, requiring only fabric stiffener, cling wrap and a suitable mould and the faux milk glass (see tutorial at Antebellum Collections) needed only the glassware and some white gloss spray paint. The round object which is actually a ceiling light cover was already white so I didn’t even need to paint that one, bonus!

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