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When am not doing the everyday stuff of life i am making things. Or thinking about making things....

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Sweet Charity

I have been doing alot of charity shopping these last weeks and apart from thinking that i must stop and getting a bit carried away i have noticed a few things;

- there is not as much good stuff out there or you have to look a lot harder for it!
- it is often totally overpriced. someone is buying it though as it is pretty much gone the next time i go...

i have found some wonderful things over the past month and now i intend to stop and take stock. i need to set up an etsy shoppe and start selling some stuff. of course i do need to make it first....

anyway my tips for goodies to look out for; i lean towards the decorative, vintage vibe, kids stuff and those "i've always wanted one of those" moments

Kids Clothes
yes boring but true, alot of nice clothes, hardly worn get donated. I look for Gap, Hennes, Boden and John Lewis as I know that these are quality and fit my kids. I don't tend to bother if the stuff is too big as they can grow into it and have two large wardrobes to store it in. more than me actually hmmm!
I got a petit batteaux top for O for 99p and some John Lewis pj's for the same price.

being a librarian by trade you generally have to stop me from buying every copy of "Each peach pear plum" by janet and alan alhberg that i see. ( how can anyone give that away?- keep it for the grandkids!) however some books are strange - which is why they are there in the first case, so best go armed with mental lists of what you have seen reviewed in the arty sunday supplements. I got a Lauren Child Pippi Longstocking hardback for £2 and I have always wanted it for o. it is mad and great and o loves it of course. i even bagged a book called thrify the other day.. how apt!
 Halibut Jackson is awesome,  as is Winnie in Winter and My Granny went to Market. The sweetness at the bottom of the pie was good and the Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer a great find. see more of Jane Brocket at
here is another recent selection. the teen book guide had some rather adult books in it - i mean Perfume by Patrick Süskind - for a teenager? maybe i'll think about it. oh and the film was on one night this week - i bet i missed it now.... Julia Golding is great - a girls Anthony Horowitz.

Fabric, Wool and Notions
yes back to the list and next my favourite bit! I look for 100% linen,cotton or wool only  and they are getting less common. old bits of trimmings, lace, buttons, thread etc. I got a rug hooker for £1 recently and some nice navy ric rac for 25p today. I've bought curtains for £3.50 and reused the blackout lining and made shoe bags with the fabric. i have a stash of wool blankets waiting to be used somehow. knitting wool is generally poor quality and not enough to do anything with but i did pick up some lovley pale green rowan stuff about 2 years ago. my mother in law got a lovely pure linen table cloth today for £1. i'd have had it if she hadn't!! even wool jumpers for felting projects are getting hard to find these days too. how sad that most clothing is made from man made fibres.

small montage of Making magazine, lace, buttons, binding, linen hanky and nice key fob thingy with the aforementioned rug hook!

i am enjoying my Making mag subscription - free with Tesco points- how thrifty!

china and glassware
you've made it to the last category of things i generally look for when Charity shopping. when i got married i bought enough second hand tea sets for 100 people to have afternoon tea. all local hospice shop for not much money. for which i am very glad to donate my cash (unlike larger charity's where I truly wonder if the money ever gets where it is meant to go. not going to rant here...) however things are different now. £20 a small boring tea set - no way jose! i have a very lovely Paragon tea set marked harrods that is still in post move storage which i got for a song in 2007! Still the odd teacup is still at large - sometimes chipped but can be used for soya candles or planting small cacti perhaps? I got a wedgewood cream ware plate - slightly crazed- but perfectly lovely for afternoon buns, for £1 Kilner jars and old teaspoons and my latest craze. I even got a Cath Kidston mug for 39p - yes you read right. i looks quite nice with my other Stoke-On-Trent mug collection see below.i usually go for pretty and nice looking and definitely staffordshire made china only. glassware is still reasonable and you can even get the odd cake stand if you scour hard...pewter mugs are still at large and my husband loves to drink beer out of his so if you are looking for a man pressie there you have it!

of course there are other decorative items i pick up not in these categories ( i saw a lovely print of a woman standing in a strong breeze titled "Tulip" the other day. it was without glass, marked and although nice, extremely overpriced. but more to the point WELCOME TULIP - lovely to see you've signed up!!)
emma bridgewater x 2 moorland  on right
cath kidston in foreground
i'll get back to making things next time i promise...