Wednesday, 28 December 2011


I don't like xmas.  I'm not going to go on about it, because I know that most of the bloggers I follow love it and do it wholeheartedly, but I don't and so my favourite time of the year is just beginning.

There are many benefits to not "doing" xmas, but one I really noticed this year was that while most people were prowling the aisles of the supermarkets being super-organised with huge lists, the charity shops were almost empty.

Although I've yet to find a candle that really fits well in them, I still love these Dansk candle holders.  They sit on the window ledge halfway up my stairs, and everyone who passes them re-arranges them.  The two I bought last week will just allow more permutations.

I was attracted to this little vase, and thought the embossed pattern was very Hornsea-like.  It's stamped Withernsea Eastgate, and a bit of Googling revealed that Eastgate is just down the coast from Hornsea, and Eastgate pottery bought a lot of Hornsea's old moulds from them.

I hope everyone who celebrates xmas had a good one.

Linking up with Thrift Share Monday

Monday, 19 December 2011


I seem to be finding a lot of brown items lately, but I suppose if I'm attracted to 70s stuff I'm going to have to embrace the colour brown.
This ashtray will be re-sold when I get around to doing some ebay listing.

The writing on the base, in a typical 70s font, reads: maru Trend Pacific Inc, Los Angeles Calif.
Design Isamu Kenmochi, Japan.

I really miss Habitat.  I know there are still a couple of branches in London, but I rarely go to London, and I've kind of fallen out of love with Habitat since it was bought out by Argos (ugh).

When I find Habitat stuff in charity shops I feel like I've re-discovered a long-lost friend.

These "Hennie" mugs, designed by the wonderful Hennie Haworth make me happy.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Thrifting Update

There's been a lot of wallpaper-stripping and preparation for decorating going on around here, and therefore not much thrifting.

Also, due to the time of the year, the charity shops are all full of hideous shiny tat (bah, humbug!).

Thrift-score number 1 is this lovely bowl by Egersund of Norway.
I especially like its bottom.

These Ravenhead Siesta glasses were impossible to resist - we had the same ones when I was a kid.

Brown is really not one of my 
favourite colours, but I had to 
buy this chopping board.  

There's no clue as to the manufacturer - Taunton Vale would be my best guess, but I haven't found a match on Google images.
Clearly "inspired" by Marimekko,though.
Any chopping board collectors out there who can help with identification?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

This week's thrifting

Just a couple of charity shop finds this week, both of which will eventually be re-sold.

I'm always happy to find bakelite beehive wool-holders, they are generally priced low, and sell for a good price on ebay.

I am really confused by this Portmeirion Totem dish and lid.  Love the colour, the pattern, the dish, but hate the lid.  
Ms Williams-Ellis, what were you thinking?
I guess it's fairly rare to still have the lid after nearly 50 years, especially as the particularly hideous design seems to be just asking to be broken.
Maybe its previous owner also hated the lid and kept it safely in a cupboard, because it is in absolutely pristine condition.
This is heading for ebay as soon as I can find a suitably sized strong box for shipping.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bird-themed Thrifting

Not for the first time I find myself with an accidental thrifting theme - this time it's birds.

This lovely fat little crystal bird turned out to be made by Hadeland of Norway when I got it home and removed the price label from the bottom.  I'm not normally a big fan of crystal, but this is such an attractive, simple shape.  

I am a big fan of John Clappison's designs, especially his animal mugs, so I was really happy to find this Hornsea chicken family mug.  It must be 40+ years old, but the glaze is still as rich and glossy as new.

This owl vase/pot is a bit of a mystery item, and I paid a bit more than my usual thrifting limit for it.  

Confession time : I was immediately drawn to it, not sure if it was the slightly John Clappison style of the design or the red lava-style glaze.  I carried it around while I browsed the rest of the shop, decided it was too expensive and then hid it behind some books while I went to have a think about it.  Does anyone else ever do that?  

Well, obviously I went back for it, having Googled it on my phone in the meantime and found no trace of it, therefore convincing myself that I was unlikely to ever find another one and would regret not buying it.  It's made by the Tyn Llan pottery in Wales, but that's all I know.  Googling has only brought up images of big chunky pottery mugs with Celtic knotwork designs - no animals.  Any information gratefully received.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I'm back

after a slightly longer break than intended.
Having spent most of the summer holiday de-cluttering and tidying, I've been trying to exercise some self-control in my thrifting.
It's rude not to browse charity shops after you've just donated bags of stuff, though, isn't it?

I seem to have accidentally adopted a red/orange theme in my recent buys.  They're not colours I normally buy, but I am enjoying their cheerful presence in my kitchen at the moment.

This "Thetford" heat-proof tray was the first of my red buys.   I was looking at a huge tub of old buttons on the counter, and the helpful volunteer fetched this tray from the back of the shop for me to empty them onto.
The buttons were all a bit manky and boring, but after I thanked her for getting the tray, I asked if it was for sale.  She seemed surprised that I would want it, and said "£2?".  Yes please!

These storage canisters were still wrapped in their original tissue paper, so until I got them home I thought I'd just bought three.  I specially love the tiny ones.  A real bargain at £1.

I love everything about this Myott Ceramite coffee pot, another £1 bargain that I almost didn't buy because I never use coffee pots, though I drink so much coffee I probably should give it a go!

These Hornsea salt and pepper pots were actually put out on the shelf after I'd looked at the bric a brac and was browsing the books at the back of the shop.  As I was walking back through the shop I just glanced back to make sure I hadn't missed anything and there they were.  Even better, they were marked at 50p for the pair I've never seen this pattern before and have had no luck with Googling - does anyone know the name of this design?

Hope everyone has had good thrifting luck, I'm looking forward to catching up with all my favourite blogs.
I'll be linking up to Selena's Thrift Share Monday, and anyone else who'll have me!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The drizzle in Brizzle...

...prevented me from taking any photos, but didn't stop me having a sneaky thrifting break.
Last week we went to Bristol to visit my 90 year old Gran, who started me off on this whole thrifting thing many years ago. It was a good visit, lovely to see her and she especially enjoyed spending time with her great-grandson, who is now a good few inches taller than her.
Sadly she doesn't get around so well now, and she isn't able to get up the steps to her garden, so she gave me this wonderful copper-topped table, which is just what I needed.
It has the most beautiful patina, and apparently cost 50p at a car boot sale about 20 years ago from someone who was refurbishing a pub.
I love it!

(Yes - I do have a garden gnome. He was here when we moved in, buried under a ton of undergrowth, it didn't seem right to evict him and his wheelbarrow makes a good outdoor ashtray).

We did have a little wander around the local area in the drizzle and I was horrified by the prices in the charity shops, until my thrifting-spidey-senses spotted a Salvation Army shop down a sidestreet. It was one of those lovely shops where you just know you're going to find something if you rummage hard enough, and sure enough......

I love pigs, love Dansk, love £1 bargains, my work here was done!

I hope everyone else had a good week.

For non-English readers : Drizzle - very fine misty rain
Brizzle - Bristol, as it sounds when said by the locals

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Should they stay or should they go?

After a few weeks of feeling hopelessly overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, I have this week begun to clear my small spare room, in preparation for some major sorting-out.

This has meant no thrifting. I have really missed it, but clearly I have enough tat and should not be allowed any more until I have regained control of the room.

It was good to be re-united with some of my vintage sewing supplies, boxed up for nearly 2 years since my house move.

These are just the pink ones, I have loads of old wooden cotton reels.
I'm never going to sew with them, they are beautiful, but there is nowhere to display them, and whereas they looked great displayed in my previous Victorian property, they don't quite work in this 50s house.

So, should I pack them up and keep them or give them a go on ebay? All advice gratefully received, as usual.

Hope everyone else has been out and about finding thrifty treasures, not barricaded in a small room by boxes!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Friday French Favourites

Some Paris photos this week, all taken almost exactly 6 years ago.

Scorching August morning, under the Eiffel Tower. Well worth making an early start to avoid the queues.

Beautiful bridge detail with dramatic sky, taken from the Batobus on a very hot, overcast afternoon.

There are so many wonderful buildings in Paris, but this was one of my favourites.

For more French loveliness, pop over and visit Selina's Friday French Favourites

Monday, 8 August 2011

Blogger.... Grrrr.....

A message to all my followers - Blogger is failing to display my "Followers" gadget, which is making me very angry and frustrated (which is why I keep changing the design of my blog, in the hope that a change of template will bring it back!).

Fortunately, I still have you all on my dashboard, and am still able to visit your blogs.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Quality not Quantity

So much for not thrifting during the school holidays - this week I have been in only one charity shop and somehow managed to spend the most I've ever spent on one charity shop item!

I saw this table in my local British Heart Foundation furniture shop late on Wednesday evening, thought I recognised it as being in the style of John Piper, agonised over spending £25 on it and more practically, over the prospect of either carrying it home on a rush hour bus or coughing up £10 for a taxi ride.

Late on Wednesday night, when I admitted to myself that I wasn't going to stop obsessing over it, I Googled it and found that it was a John Piper design, which made me realise that I had no chance of ever getting another one for £25.

In the manner of an Oscar acceptance speech, I'd like to thank the following people, without whom this table would not be sitting in my living room right now :

Thanks go to -

The best boy in the world, for getting up at the crack of dawn during his precious school holidays and accompanying his mother to a charity shop

The very lovely barista from our favourite coffee shop who whisked the table out of my (slightly struggling) arms and effortlessly carried it to the bus stop whilst reassuring me that I had done the right thing in buying it

The bus driver who merely raised an eyebrow as I very casually boarded his bus with a table under my arm

The local bus company for choosing to put the bus stop directly outside my house

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Saturday French Favourites!

Some beautiful shops, all in the lovely city of Nantes, starting with Passage Pommeraye, the best shopping arcade ever!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

School holiday thrifting

I managed to sneak a bit in!

A lovely mixed bag of sewing bits and bobs which still needs to be sorted. Hoping some of the bobbins and feet will fit my machine, but if not they'll be heading for ebay eventually.

I can never resist wooden alphabet blocks, and the little partitioned tray these came in is especially nice.

Love this tiny letter rack. Almost all my "nice" communications come by email and text, and this is far too nice for bills and junk mail, so I think it will be perfect for storing some of my notepads.

Hope everyone had a good week.
I'll be linking to Flea Market Finds and Thrift Share Monday.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Friday French Favourites

I was wandering around the blogosphere the other day when I came across the wonderful selina's vintage .
Not only is Selina's blog full of thrifty, crafty loveliness, but also some beautiful photos she has taken on her travels in France.

I love France. I love reading about other people's love of France, and especially seeing their photos. When Selina suggested that other francophiles might like to join in with her on a regular Friday French Favourites post I knew that I would not be able to resist an invitation to blog some of my own favourite photos of France.

I'm starting with the place I love the most in the whole world - St Malo.
Does it sound weird when I say that just looking at these photos again (taken in 2007) makes my heart flip over?
The view (above) of Intra Muros from Parame beach is one of my favourites.

And here's the view from almost the same spot but looking the other way, along Parame beach towards Rotheneuf.

And another one, just because.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Help Needed!

Bloggers and thrifters, can you help me?

I have just thrifted these four plates, purely on the basis that they are so unusual (and that they were only £1 for the lot!).
Although they are not my usual style, I am kind of drawn to them for their over-the-top madness, but will probably end up re-selling them due to lack of space in my kitchen cupboards.

My question to you is - what's going on with the mad multi-transfer thing?

My best guess is that they were factory samples. There is nothing on the back other than hand-painted numbers, so unless someone recognises one of the transfers I have no way of knowing which factory they came from.
I'm finding it impossible to Google them as I don't know what they would be called.

So - any ideas?
And equally importantly - Nice or nasty? Would you have bought them?
Do you think anyone else will buy them?

All comments and wild guesses gratefully received.

Linking up to Flea Market Finds and Thrift Share Monday

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Beautiful Packaging

This afternoon I made a start on my big spare-room clearout. It wasn't long before I decided I'd earned a break, so I collapsed in a heap with a big cup of coffee and a Tunnock's Teacake.

For those who don't know, these little beauties consist of a soft biscuit base, topped with marshmallow, and encased in milk chocolate (there is now a dark chocolate version but much as I love dark chocolate I'm a traditionalist where these are concerned).

Coincidentally, I've just read Six Balloons comment on my previous post, and although agreeing with her that we do have much less variety in packaging nowadays, I felt the need to share this wonderful iconic box.

The caramel wafers are pretty good, too.
The lovely retro design is continued on their website.

I can't end this post without mentioning something that's really important to me as a vegetarian, - the marshmallow is veggie! No "bovine (bleeurgh) gelatine", no "pork (ugh) gelatine".

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Last thrifting day until September

Now that schools have broken up for the summer my thrifting will be down to a bare minimum, and even that will cost me dearly (in terms of time and sanity, not money, fortunately). We have an arrangement whereby for every charity shop I go in, my son gets to look in some horrible, boring game shop or similar. It's only fair.

It would have been typical if the last morning I had free to check out my favourite charity shops had been disappointing, as it so often can be, but this week the thrifting fairies were kind to me.

Hostess Tableware Balck Velvet
These awesome 1970s Hostess Tableware "Black Velvet" bowls appear to be brand new. They still have the corrugated cardboard stacking inserts. £1 for 5!

As regular readers of this blog will know, I love fonts, so I was really happy to find this old book for 50p. I'm guessing it's from the 1930s/40s period, and it's really not in bad condition considering. The pages are lovely, heavy, slightly textured paper, and the spine is in good shape, though you can kind of feel that it is a bit brittle and the pages might start to come out if it's handled too much. If this does happen, almost every page would look wonderful framed, so it's a win-win situation.

1970s coasters
I can't seem to get the dark purple of these 70s coasters to look quite right in a photo, but you get the idea. They are in good condition, and good quality, although I can't find anything similar in a Google Images search. They cost £1.50 for 6, and will be re-sold, as I can't stand purple!

Just as I was about to finish my thrifting trip I spotted two ornate, textured, narrow boxes at the bottom of a pile of ugly sheets. They were marked at 50p each, and each contains an unused Irish Linen traycloth.
They will be for re-sold, as they are not my style, but they are very good quality and the boxes and labels are lovely, too.
No idea as to the age of them, the Sundew Linens one looks 1930s style to me, the Webb's Irish Linens one seems newer, 50s or 60s, maybe?

Look at this gorgeous label! I really, really hope that the Irish Peasants were paid well for their work.
I suspect not.

Oh, by the way, the toilet door signs were 10p each. I may put them on the toilet door. I couldn't help thinking what fun could be had with them in a public building, though.

For the rest of the summer I will be excavating my spare room, re-discovering past thrift finds and listing them on ebay, on the grounds that if they have been in a box for 2 years and I haven't missed them it's time for them to go. That's the plan, anyway.