Sunday 30 November 2008

A little rocker

A little rocker
Originally uploaded by
This is the find for the week for me.....A little rocker for a small person who loves to rock - which until yesterday was usually things not intended to rock.....Not exactly from an op shop find - this red beast was found at the Gorman House Markets....along with two lovely bacon and egg rolls and a much needed coffee and cake....quiet and relxed they are the nicest way to start a Saturday....

....there was also short trip to the Jamison Salvos....and a few lovely bits of fabric and some knitting patterns made there way back home with us - no photos yet.

Curtains and carrots

The net curtains in my front upstairs room (aka The Room of Shame) are fugly. Two layers of flouncy patterned fugly. They're also ever so slightly torn (a wee accident when shifting a dolls house which I haven't got around to sewing up just yet, mainly because I was hoping to replace them rather than mend them)
The curtains in the other two upstairs rooms are not my taste but at least they don't give me the screaming heebie jeebies every time I see them:(frugalled here)

Finally, yesterday, I found another pair of not my taste net curtains to replace the heebie jeebie curtains: Bargain Hunter, $6. I haven't put them up yet so there's a very slight possibility they won't fit.

The only other thing I bought in my Queanbeyan Crawl was a pure cotton single sheet:Bargain Hunter again, $5. I plan to turn it into a Christmas present.

And the carrots and broad beans? A gift from Happy Spider 's garden.

Friday 28 November 2008

Taph FAFing About - Take a Seat

Date: Sunday 15 November
Place: Second-hand Sunday participant, Kaleen
Objects: Concrete surrounds and two vintage kitchen chairs.
Investment: $0
Notes: For the thrifty gardener, this concrete edging is fantastic. I was given a whole heap of it a couple of years ago which edged my driveway. Makes mowing easier, too. Had to bring this home when I saw it - Dad would be proud. The chairs are for my front porch and may not last long, but they were free and sometimes I just have to have something for the sake of it.

Also on Unravelled.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Taph FAFing About - White Wash

Date: Saturday 22 November
Place: Garage sale, Ngunnawal
Object: Lightly used laundry trolley
Investment: $10
Notes: Replaces the expensive and very short-lived version from Howard's Storage World bought a few years back and which only lasted a couple of months. The problem - welded supports which kept breaking. This one has the metal supports through the frame and should last MUCH longer.

Also on Unravelled.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

The case: opened and closed

Did I pay $5 for the beautiful vintage luggage tag?I mean, I really don't need yet another vintage suitcase... Even though it's black and white
and very very cute.

Yep, I think it was the tag that did it...(Anyone want to buy
a vintage blue and white suitcase? All offers considered...)

Taph's FAFing About* - Second-Hand Sunday 20 November

After an early night and a leisurely breakfast, we hit the streets of Gungahlin for Second-Hand Sunday. We are really looking for a decent two-seater sofa, but we set out with open minds and hope in our hearts.

We score within the first hour - a 4 burner BBQ with gas bottle. I stand guard while the Old Flame returns home for the trailer. The owner is downsizing and is pleased to get rid of her almost new bbq. We've been discussing the need for a BBQ for months and have even spent time in retail outlets checking them out. This will do for now and suits the budget very well indeed.

We also picked up a crock for vinegar making (still looking for a vinegar mother - anyone?), a box of books, a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, some concrete garden edging and two 50s dining chairs.

We left this fella behind. Poor Humpty looked lonely on this hideous couch. It's not obvious, but his eyes and belt buckle are gorgeous paua shells and he nearly came home for those alone.

Tips for a successful Second-Hand Sunday.

1. Take your trailer or your brother's transit van if you're after big stuff, particularly if you're on your own. If there are two or more of you, then one can stand guard while the other goes back for the trailer, for example, but it's time consuming and dull (I had my knitting, so it was fine)

2. Do your homework. All of the participating addresses are up on the website in the preceding days. The night before, print out the areas you are interested in (we did Gungahlin and some of Belconnen), and make notes.

3. If you have a programmable GPS so much the better, program the streets and away you go.

4. Alternatively mark a map (or copy of a map) with the locations and devise a plan of attack. Frugal tip - there's a street directory that covers most of Canberra in the back of the Yellow Pages.

*FAF = Frugal and/or Free
Reprinted and enlarged from Unravelled Blog

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Taph FAFing* About - Release the Moths

Date: Saturday 22 November
Place: St Vincent de Paul op-shop, Gungahlin
Object: Brand new Oroton wallet (kanagroo leather, buttery soft)
Investment: $9
Notes: Replaces the $3 op-shop wallet which I've had exactly a year

*FAF = Frugal and/or Free
Reprinted from Unravelled Blog

Monday 24 November 2008

Northside news

1. Lifeline Bookfair's depot has moved down the road in Mitchell to 40 Heffernan Street (that groovy* new blue building on the corner at the roundabout). Parking at the side. Sorry no picture as I forgot my camera.

And a reminder: they have the dates for
future bookfairs to 2011 on their site so you have no excuse to miss one!

2. Salvos Mitchell has done a little remodel with the addition of two new changing rooms and the removal of the Coke machine (actually it was stolen!) They reminded me that the current Loyalty Card programme expires on 31st December 2008 and they haven't heard word that it will be extended (or replaced) for 2009. Oh: and this week's magic tag colour? Blue.

3. Salvos Belconnen is overflowing with furniture (and rather nice pieces at that). They also have two knitting machines in stock (you'll need to dig through the furniture to find them!)

4. If you're after Christmas goodies at fabulous prices check out the new "Christmas Store" at Vinnies Belconnen. Decorations, costumes, gifts: they've got them, and at very good prices.(And remember: there's usually free parking round the back...)

What's new in your neck of the woods?

(* Literally as it's corrugated iron)

Sunday 23 November 2008

The best laid plans...

...for a quiet day at home pottering round, sorting stuff out and cleaning stuff up all fell over at 8:30am yesterday morning when there was a hammering on the door.

It was
Janet and hubby who were out garage saling and thought I might like to come along. I tried saying no, honest I did ("No, now I'm underemployed I'm not spending money except on the necessities") but her plea that she needed The Voice of Frugal Reason along had me heading up the stairs, out of my PJs and into some clothes.

I declared I'd only spend what was in my wallet. Which happened to be a whopping $5.75. Which was all fine and dandy until we got our first garage sale which had a huge stack of CDs for $2 each. But I was strong. Picked out just one (The best of Nick Cave) and wandered round a bit. Found
a book for 50 cents then spotted these: which would be perfect for trying to deal with the mountain of stock which has invaded my home over the past month or so. Asked the price. $5. The CD was returned to the rack and I staggered off down the drive happy with my $5.50s worth.

The next garage sale was small and disappointing. Until I noticed an interesting looking case in the corner. And since Frugaller's Rule Number One is "Always look inside things" I did. And discovered an old sewing machine which the owner declared I could have for free. Of course I said yes as I know Janet's hubby is a dab hand at sewing machine sorting out and Janet is always looking for more machines for a craft group she runs. Once the owner saw how excited we were she mentioned she had another machine inside if we wanted that as well: which turned out to be a beautiful old Singer. Janet was ecstatic!

At this stage we swung past home to drop off my drawer unit. I should have stopped then, right? Budget spent, fun had? But no. Somehow I found myself over the road at the ATM picking up another $20 before we were off again down the road to the Holy Cross Fete at St Margaret's in Hackett. Where I spotted a carton full of interesting looking boxes:which were full of interesting looking sewing bits:Under the boxes were knitting needles, including some torties and some other random stuff.Rather than pick through the contents I figured it was easier to just ask a price on the whole carton. And for $5 it was mine. I paid before I considered the impact this might have on my Seven Things tally this week...

And then I went home. And we sorted the contents over cups of tea. And I was very happy.

(Reprinted from The Shopping Sherpa)

Saturday 22 November 2008

Frugalling fun....

This morning, on my weekly date with my darling, we visited some fetes - first one useless, and then called into tss for a comfort stop, and managed to convince her to become my "voice of frugal reason". (Hahaha - she can't do that!!) After checking out two places which seemed not be open yet, we finally found a garage sale that was open, and I found what is possibly a silver tea pot.

The second garage sale was a bonus - Look - 2 sewing machines - well and truly vintage) - for NOTHING - nada - free - gratis. The owner was pleased to have them go to a place where they could be loved.
Then to the Catholic Church fete in Dickson - and found... 2 bead door hangings, some baking trays, a couple of dolls and this gorgeous teapot... TSS found the mother load - a box full of sewing goodies (watch her blog for more details.

Friday 21 November 2008

Bargain at Aussie Junk - Mitchell

DH called into Aussie Junk this afternoon for a wander, and wanted to spend a little bit of money on his EFTPOS card - but we needed to make it up to $10. There was an unusual tin on the counter, and upon inspection, inside was 80+ Hobbytex paint tubes. Bargain for $13 wasn't it. Funny thing is that I have had 2 conversations recently with people saying they would love to find some HobbyTex... Now I have some (again - yes I used to do HobbyTex). some of them even work without having to replace the tip...

After a fashion

Taph pointed me to a very interesting article in G magazine about what happens to your clothes after you've made the ruthless decision to part with them and send them to the Vinnies bin.

To be truly green you should reserve G Magzine July 2008 from the library and read the whole thing, or a very truncated version can be found here.

eBay finds - a DIY project

As many of you were trawling through the various garage sales and markets on Saturday, I woke that morning with a clear knowledge of exactly what I was buying that day.

Hurrah! It was eBay-win-pickup day.

Having spied some fabulously 60's Parker-esque chairs on eBay two weeks ago, I had my battleplan all set out. Add to watch list - check. Bide my time and wait patiently for auction end - check. Swoop in within the last couple of minutes of the auction, fighting a short but brutal bidding war with just one other bidder - check.

Two minutes and $72.30 later, the chairs were mine for collection.
The orange fabric isn't quite to my liking, so that will have to go. I intended that the green fabric should go too, but it's a suprisingly sedate colour in person (and when it's not wedged in the middle of a citrus-coloured furniture sandwich). So the green might stay. A quick internet hunt for Florence Broadhurst-style print fabrics show that I would be paying more for one metre of fabric than I paid for the three chairs themselves! Scratch that idea. has shown me that there's meant to be a big fabric sale on the 29th November at Calvary Chapel in Chifley (10am - 3pm, McLaurin Cres) so I'll be hunting there for some medium-weight prints to reupholster these orange beauties - otherwise, I have a nice selection of internet fabric purchases lined up, all ready for negotiation with the man of the house..... stay tuned.

As long as my procrastination brain cell doesn't peer pressure the rest of the team into going on Chrissie holidays early, I'm hoping to having brand-new-old-non-orange-chairs to complement my Parker sideboard and dining table. Updates to follow! And look! they even recline.Some tips for other eBay thrifty hunters out there - searching for items within Canberra is ridiculously unreliable, as eBay's 'search by distance' function seems to place certain ACT postcodes well outside the ACT. I know (through my own trial and error) that the eBay system seems to think that 2600, 2601 and 2903 are all located somewhere in country NSW. Terribly frustrating for both buyers and sellers, but complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. Try searching from a few different postcodes to cover the bases... but if you come across the gleaming polished teak of a piece of genuine 60's Parker... the battle is on. You'll have ME to contend with ;)

[photos courtesy of eBay seller dblfizzion]

Thursday 20 November 2008

Shop early at Mitchell Salvos

Yesterday at lunch a colleague and I found ourselves in Mitchell, so we dropped into the Salvation Army shop (cnr Hoskings & Lysaght Sts) for a browse. The shop was humming; two different people were unloading goods as we shopped, so evidently there's a reasonable donation / turnover rate there. A lot of clothing, some furniture and a little bric-a-brac.

My colleague picked out about 6 items to clothe her entire family, while I found a very colourful shirt with a retro-esque pattern ($3.50), and a next-to-new black cardigan ($6) (ex-Melbourne girls can't have enough black cardis) which will be put away for winter.

What was interesting was when we went to the counter to pay. The staff member explained that they have 'specials' on different coloured tags on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. I got the impression that this might be a strategy used by some other Salvos shops as well; in any case, they're very strict about applying it here. Yesterday, orange tags were half price, and green tags were reduced to $3 and $5 depending on the starting price. This meant my colourful shirt was reduced from $3.50 to $1.75 - a bargain in anyone's language.

So, as the Salvos lady said to us, "Make sure you shop early in the week!"

Sunday 16 November 2008

A thrifty find at the YMCA Garage Sale

Thanks to both our human and canine alarms sleeping in...and a pre-arranged vet's appointment......I didnt have time to get much past the boxes of manchester at yesterday's YMCA garage sale...but i did strike gold there...this is one of the 5 table clothes I managed to stuff into my $4 bag - along with napkins, sheets, and a great little crochet granny square....although this one was bought with the intention of being chopped up and made into toys....after washing it seems too lovely to slice and dice and might end up on our table instead!

Nothing better than a good op shop on the weekend to make the coming week seem quite insignificant! Hope your hunting went well too.

The Shopping Sherpa (and friends) in Secondhand Land

(Reprinted from The Shopping Sherpa)

The full Saturday report as promised:

After an 8am pick up, our first stop was the YMCA Garage Sale. Which I found quite disappointing. We figured it's probably because they're now so regular I'm starting to recognise the same items over and over again: items I chose not to buy on my first visit and also passed over on visit two (and, possibly, three)

I forgot to take photos but I suppose one YMCA Garage Sale is pretty much like another. I spent $12 on a gift (so no photo, sorry) and $3 on this little orange school case which I plan to decoupage with images from 1960s annuals. The giant crochet hook was free (biro to show size)
Next stop was St Paul's Fete in Manuka where I remained *ahem* on the case:
Two brown cases to add to my ever growing pile ($2 each) and, also in a case, a fabulous child sized battery operated Singer sewing machine ($10)Is small. Is cute. It had to come home even though it was a little expensive!

Also picked up for $1 was this set of carafe and glasses destined for a friend:I actually only paid for the carafe. The glasses were free: I think they felt bad for me that 4 intact glasses became three intact glasses and one smashed glass when I set them down to pay for them :-(

Speaking of feeling bad, this is what was in one of the cases:someone's treasures from the Masonic Lodge. I'll be passing these on to someone who will deal with them properly.

There was book buying too (one a gift, one which you'll see later)

Back down Adelaide Avenue we headed, to the St Andrew's Village Fair where we were piped in by a kilt wearing bagpipe player. Taph found the perfect tool to deal with handknitted ack bears (I suspect she's imagining a sacrificial fire under it)I found a completely useless but utterly entrancing round thing full of round things ($5)and bought 6 books for $12. This one I picked out for the cover alone:It looks so good (pity it's full beauty is hidden by a swan's bum, huh?)Next on the list was a visit to Tuggeranong. We started at Salvos as the Arch Bishop was visiting Vinnies doing the official stuff so we thought we'd miss the crowd. But the crowd appeared to be at Salvos (I've never seen it so full!)

Shirley, one of my favorite Salvos Ladies, was there and had a choice of two lots of headgear, this: and a spangly pink tiara.

There were mammoth amounts of Da Vinci Codes(sorry, couldn't help it!):

I bought 2 Simple Minds CDs for $3 each (and ended up giving one to Taph as I realised when I got home that I already had it with a different cover), 2 books ($1.50 total: they had 50% off all books, bric a brac and manchester) and 1 banded ball of Jo Sharp Silkroad DK tweed (50 cents! Yes, my Jo Sharp frugalling Fairy was obviously in town again)

Here's the Vinnie's extention. Not sure if it looks like a castle or a prison...

Inside it's all bright and fresh and smells like new carpet:This dinner set stayed right where it was (aren't I good?):And so did this lounge set (but note the covetous and calculating look in my eye...):I did buy a book, though.

Oh yes, books...This was yesterday's haul:Don't the colours go so nicely (including the wool)?

From top to bottom: $8 (Vinnies Tuggeranong), $2 (St Andrew's Fete), 50 cents (Salvos Tuggeranong), $2, $2, $2 (St Andrew's Fete), $2 (St Paul's Fete) and $1 (Salvos Tuggeranong - I'm rather pleased with this one as I've never seen a copy of Alison Holst's Meals without Red Meat second hand before)

C and G Auctions - Next Sunday

Let me introduce you to my very favourite frugalling opportunity. I do so with great reluctance because I don't want you as a competitor and thus push the prices up further.

Auctions held 2 Sundays a month - usually on the south side of Canberra. Go to this link for more information about next Sunday's auction (23 November) to be held in Martens Street, Weston.

You will notice the links down the left hand side - where you can pick up a catalogue (HTML or PDF format) and also see some pictures of what is available. For your pleasure, and temptation, I add a couple of small pictures of what is available in next Sunday' auction. The pictures on their web site are very large, and much easier to see the details.
The place of the auction opens at 9.00 - which is your time to go and examine the goods available. You buy all goods 'as is" - but I have found they are usually in excellent condition - or marked as otherwise. You must register at the auction - and use your number to indicate that you are bidding. Thy are very good auctioneers, and there is very little likelihood you will bid accidentally, unless you use the number card to wave away flies, or try to attract the attention of a friend across the room. Even then, you need to be looking directly at the auctioneer for him to take your bid.

Auction starts at 10.30 – and if you are not able to stay for the actual auction, you can register your bid with the auctioneer and he will bid for you. You would usually register your lowest / opening bid, and then the maximum you are willing to pay. If he has more than one bid on his books, he will automatically bid them out at the beginning – and lets us know this is happening.
The things I may be interested in at this auction would be
  • Selection of linen, pillowcases etc (make great material for sewing with)
  • Plastic drawers with knitting and sewing gear
  • Selection of children toys (Christmas presents)
  • Hand crocheted vintage knee rugs
  • Retro handbags, scarves, gloves and hats
  • Lace cloths
  • Scarves & Jumpers

Have fun - I find the prices are very reasonable - many times I get good stuff for $20.00 or less.

Janet McKinney