As I was paying for a couple of patterns at the Salvos in Phillip today, the customer in front of me was informed that all books were 50 cents, as they had so many. Not sure how long the special is on for.
I stumbled over a Johnson Brothers dinner setting (well a nearly complete setting for four) in the Regency White patten.
I am now looking for the pieces to make a setting for 12, along with the other table setting bits (gravy boats, soup tureens, serving platters, etc) and I want to do this for around $2 a piece (well, i may pay a bit more for soup tureens and serving platters), so dear readers, if you see something, let me know.
As I find pieces I will post photos and the cost. The 14 pieces found today cost $25, and I got 4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, 2 cereal bowls, 2 cups and saucers.
It's been a long while since I've managed to get out for some good op-shopping. But I'm on a mission - to throw a wedding without spending a fortune. So the hunt for decorations (namely glassware) is on. A good 18 months in advance, no less!
On Monday afternoon I headed to my two usual haunts - Phillip Vinnies and Salvos, both within a kilometre or so of each other.Working with a pale blue and green colour scheme, I picked up a few good glassware pieces from Salvos, namely some blue spanish glass vases for $4 each - matching, and all looked pretty much brand new.
Later at Vinnies, I found a gorgeous little green spouted cup, perfect for holding a little posy of white flowers. $2.50, and totally lovable.
Next to it is one of a pair of milk glasses, with an image of a cow being milked on the side. $4 for the set, multi-functional as both glasses or vases, and damn cute to boot!
But this was the real find of the day:
Olivetti vintage typewriter, $10 - found in the clearance corner at Vinnies. I think it was presumed broken - it wasn't typing properly - but after I 'adjusted' the cover a couple of times (i.e. gave it a good bang) it sorted itself out, and now it works like a dream. I love it!
Vinnies in particular is good for cheap glassware - in the clearance corner you can find pieces for as cheap as 10c - but Salvos has a much larger range. There were a couple of great heavy brass candlesticks in Salvos too - not right for my deco scheme, but a total bargain at $15 for the larger.
Now, off to find some typewriter ribbon.... and start that great 21st century novel.
A Great Green Garage Sale This Saturday 20 June 2009 between 9:30am - 1:30pm North Ainslie Primary School Majura Avenue Ainslie signs says there will befurniture, toys, books and other things I can't remember.
I'm just organising myself to advertise some furniture on All Classifieds, but have been brought up a bit short on the fee for including a photo with the ad. $15! My experience with online trades is that without a photo, you might as well not bother...but at that price, some of my pieces aren't worth advertising at all.
True to the spirit of thrifting, I don't want to make a massive profit. I want to move some things along to people who appreciate them, and in so doing create some space for the new things that I'll inevitably pick up in the future. I like the idea of selling local too.
Should I be a crank and write to allclassifieds.com.au suggesting that it would make good business sense to reduce the price of photo ads and thus attract more customers? At $5 a photo ad, I know I'd list a lot more. And, hopefully, all the vast collective of stuff in greater Canberra would rotate through the population a bit better too.
On a happier note, I went to Mitchell Vinnies today and did very well. It's quite likely I cross paths in op shops with other bloggers from 'I Op' all the time! Is there an secret sign to look out for?
J asked if we could go op shopping last weekend to update her working wardrobe now she's in a less corporate environment. Except I ended up working last Saturday. But this weekend we managed it: my first op shop foray in far far too long.
The Frugalling Fairy had obviously been missing me. Before I left home this morning I realised I'd have to shift my Mac before this afternoon's Photoshop lesson as I only had one high stool to sit at. But then, at Salvos Tuggeranong I spied this for $15.00: Yes I realise it's yellow but I justified it as I figured it would be a temporary resident chez TSS before possibly heading into The Craft ACT shop to replace the current chair which is on wheels and is prone to whizz off across the (vinyl) floor if you so much as shift position.
Except it would now seem that Abode Suite lessons will be a regular occurrence for the next little while. So the either the stool stays or I donate it to Craft ACT with the proviso that I can come and borrow it when required...
I also found a copy of this intriguing looking book at Salvos Tuggeranong. A tad expensive at $10 but too stunning to leave behind. The SuperJesus CD (from Salvos Weston Creek) was a $2 gamble as I didn't know their music but somehow recognised the cover. So far I'm not impressed but I'll give it another listen before deciding if I'm redonating it.
And I also bought a little wool for Taph (not photographed). And a coffee at Chocolate Olive mid quest. And lunch at Ha Ha Bar post quest. And J went home with 3 pairs of trousers for $15.50 and a top (forgot how much it was, but less than $7). All in all a good day...
From The Canberra Times, 23 May 2009. Panorama supplement, p. 3.
Rediscovering thrift by Rosslyn Beeby
We used to call it op shopping, and it was a favourite activity among friends back home in Melbourne. Now, it's called thrifting and it's a blogging phenomenon. There are blogs galore, with authors flashing their latest thrifty finds and offering tips on how to spot a bargain in places politely known as "re-sale shops." Some of this blogged-about thrifting isn't op shopping as we in Australia know, love and pursue it. It seems to be about trawling the big shopping centre sales, outlet stores or seconds shops, and bragging about getting a bargain price on big name brands.
"Americans need to get over this silly, wasteful and spoiled notion that if it's not new it's eww," writes Ms Shopping Golightly in a post on a blogsite about ferreting out treasures at thrift stores. Here in Australia, many of us are not so thrift shy. We love a good rummage in an op shop, whether it's for old woollen hand-knits, wispyhippie scarfs, kitchen gadgets, old cookbooks or lovely old cutlery.
Except for two recycled timber bookcases bought from the shop floor of the company that makes them none of my furniture is new. A cast iron bed was rescued from a pile of building rubble. Cleaned up, painted white and given a new wooden base, it's been eyed off with some envy by posher friends who think it must have come from a cashed-up splurge at an antique dealers.
My workroom desk is an old pine trestle table, bought from a second-hand book shop that was closing down, and the 1970s-style kitchen chairs came from the St Kilda Salvos op shop.
The sofa is a green vinyl (embossed with daffodil design) 1950s vintage number that might get a nod of approval from Adrian Franklin, the expert with an eye for retro-style on ABC television's popular show, Collectors. It's got stumpy little wooden legs, and polished arm rests, sculpted to look like wooden waves. It came with two matching armchairs and was skulking under a pile of magazines in the back room of a second- hand shop. A bargain at $20 a chair and $50 for the sofa, there's no "eww, it's not new" factor here.
My friend Frank, whose job as an economist entails a fair bit of continent hopping, tells me thrifting has hit America's corporate boardrooms. Lavish gourmet lunches with waiters and starched napery have been replaced by "brown bagging" (bags of sandwiches from the local deli) or simpler fare, like a big plate of bagels or help-yourself bowls of salads and bread rolls.
"Can we thrift that?" executives ask. Frank swears he's even met a "thrift manager" in one boardroom. Doesn't "thrifting" at corporate level sound much more genteel than cost cutting, streamlining, pruning back, down-shifting or making savings? If only various Federal governments had told CSIRO they were "science thrifting" instead of just hacking back their budget.
What a pity Ms Beeby didn't find our local op-shopping blog!
Aussie Junk faces charges over underpaying staff By Grahame Downie.
Aussie Junk, which operates two recycling centres in Canberra, is being prosecuted by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman, which alleges the company underpaid some Canberra staff about $280,000.
The company, which trades as Aussie Junk Recycling, operates the Mitchell resource and recycling depot as a sub-contractor to Thiess Services .
Aussie Junk also has a contract with the Department of Territory and Municipal Services for recycling at the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre. In June, 2007, the Government controversially refused to renew a contract with community-based business Revolve, which initiated recycling at Mugga Lane in 1988. After an unsuccessful court action by Revolve, Aussie Junk began its operation at Mugga Lane in August, 2007. The Aussie Junk staff allegedly underpaid, some of whom still work for the company, were employed at the Mitchell depot. The Ombudsman is also prosecuting the company's sole director, Dennis Richter, of Lake Albert, Wagga Wagga, alleging he was complicit in the underpayments and unlawfully sacked three of the workers after they complained.
Documents filed in the Federal Magistrates Court in Canberra allege that Aussie Junk underpaid 10 Canberra employees their entitlements, including the minimum hourly rate, overtime, casual loadings, various allowances and payment on termination of employment between 2004 and 2008. The prosecution papers say Mr Richter terminated the employment of three of the allegedly underpaid workers in July last year as a result of their complaints to the Workplace Ombudsman and the Transport Workers Union. The Ombudsman also alleges Aussie Junk failed to maintain records containing sufficient details of matters such as hours worked and leave taken by employees.
Workplace Ombudsman executive director Michael Campbell said yesterday it would be alleged in court that Aussie Junk had underpaid 10 employees a total of $280,000. The biggest alleged underpayment of an individual was $83,000.
Mr Campbell said it would be alleged some employees had been paid as little as $50 cash- in-hand for nine-hour Sunday shifts at the Mitchell site.
"Our decision to prosecute Aussie Junk and Richter follows their refusals to fully rectify the alleged underpayments or cooperate with workplace inspectors," Mr Campbell said. The Ombudsman is seeking a court order for all money owed to be repaid and for penalties against the company and Mr Richter. The maximum penalty for each breach of the Act is $33,000 for Aussie Junk and $6600 for Mr Richter. __
TOF just pointed me to the disucssion of the issue on the Riot Act there, including information from one commenter
"... if you search ASIC you will find that an application was made for winding up the company Aussie Junk Pty Ltd on the 19th May - only a few days after receiving court papers from the Workplace Ombudsmen (just a coincidence I’m sure).And another business has been registered as Aussie Junk Recyclers with his son named as Sole Proprietor."
Cheap Thrills asked in the comments about the experience of buying trousers in op-shops. "Trousers... I want to ask other bloggers whether they really ever have success in finding good, hip trousers or jeans in op-shops. I just don't think I can pull off baggies, acid wash or faux rips these days." Good point. I've had my share of trews disasters, so thought let's open this topic up for discussion. My general tips - take out everything in your size (or which looks about right). Triage for condition and for cut. Try on.
Make sure the snap and zipper work - replacing either can be a bugger, particularly in jeans.
For larger sizes in particular - look at the inside thigh seams for wear. It's the place of most friction and can make an otherwise great pair of trousers unwearable.
Another place of stress - the fabric around the zipper.
Also stretched out button holes. These can be fairly easily fixed with a few stitches to shorten the button hole, but it might not be worth it.
Look at the condition of the hems. They can be worn out and down-right revolting. Not so bad if you intend taking the trousers up, but can (in my view) completely let down an outfit.
Check for bottom sag and knee bag - once stretched out, they aren't going back in again.
Unless they are new, cords don't often make the grade.
A recent visit to the Salvo's store in Weston, found Sage & I searching through a teaspoon collection. Not something we would normally look at, but the mix of kitch and great art found us purchasing a few.
TOF and I did a wee bit of op and garage sale shopping the weekend past. We got a box of books at the YMCA Garage Sale (about 30 books for $10), and some vintage knitting patterns.
My favourite finds, though Two x TS 14+ shirts for $2 each at Vinnies, Gungahlin. And a lovely old cigar box from Salvos, Belconnen for 20c. I love it. It has dovetail joints, the original labels, a little brass catch and writing on top which indicate it was used as the collection box for a meat raffle. I don't usually buy knick-knacks (well, not any more), but it just had to come home. I'm thinking sewing notions will live in this box once it's been waxed. What were your favourite finds this week?