Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Hooray for charity shops!

One thing my crappy home town of Slough has going for it is the charity shops, filled with bizarrely good stuff. I have no idea if this is because old people moved to Slough when it was filled with promise and have now died and passed on their possessions, or if it's because people from Windsor drive all the way to Slough to drop off their second hand stuff, lest they risk being seen by neighbours at their local Oxfam.

Yesterday I went to British Heart Foundation and Oxfam. I would have had a nosy around Scope too, but it wasn't in the direction I was headed, and my arms hurt. BHF usually has a good range of quality clothing, but it tends to be a little bit more expensive than other shops. They have an excellent DVD selection- I got a 2 disk edition of Grave of the Fireflies there for £2- and the books aren't bad. Oxfam has an amazing selection of vinyl and a good assortment of books and brick-a-brac.

Here's what I picked up:

From BHS:
-The Beatrix Potter Knitting Book (£2). It has some absolutely horrendous faux Victorian knits in there, but there's a nice range of picture knits of woodland creatures.
Some, like Tom Kitten, look a little off.

But most of the bunnies are adorable. And that's what I like. Adorable bunnies (when did I become such a softie?)
If you added up all the good picture knits and knitted them in blocks, you could make a really lovely blanket for someone who likes woodland critters.

-The Encyclopedia of Advanced Dressmaking (£2). Dated 1978, this thing is another gem in my growing vintage sewing book collection. It's got information on working with lots of difficult fabrics; not just velvet and sequins, but even leather and suede, and there are patterns included. You just have to photocopy them to a million times their size. The highlight has to be this wedding dress:

Anyway, an excellent resource for hacking out authentic late 70s wear.

From Oxfam, I got:

-hand painted carp design tea cup and plate set (£3.50). There are 5 tea cups but only 2 plates. On the back "Made in China" is stamped. These are fairly low quality, so I think they might be a souvenir set brought back from holiday or from Chinatown. I like them though! The hand painted fish all look different and have their own personalities.
Now I can think of everyone's favourite pokémon- MAGICARP- while I drink tea.

-Bizarre possibly Russian fabric/tablecloth (£2.99). I have no idea where this came from. It's quite offensive to the eyes, and what worries me most is that as this is a commercial fabric print, it's possible some other sap has matching homewares D:

The background is a khaki green, with panels of royal blue covered in tiny flowers which surround larger panels that portray scenes of somewhere with spires similar to the Kremlin. There's no design name or any other clue printed on the selvage, but it definitely looks like a piece of fabric that someone hemmed to turn into a tablecloth.
I have no idea what I am going to do with this. Hide it from the world and unleash it on unsuspecting people, probably. It honestly looks like a plot token from an adventure film. My brother suggested converting it into a cape and benefiting from the talisman properties it nearly certainly possesses.

-60s/70s pillowcases, set of 4, (69p each). 
Second hand pillowcases are a very affordable way of getting interesting fabrics (every time I de-construct one, I'm amazed how much fabric is in there) . I bought a couple in a very similar print while in Wales a few years ago and used the fabric in a quilt, which is probably what I'll do with these too.

-a 12inch record of Hawaiian Songs (99p). This is the second piece of vinyl I own with sounds of Hawaii on it. I don't even have access to a record player at the moment, my parents put their's in the attic.


How could I resist that face?! I need to get some of those record frames you use to display 12 inch sleeves on the wall.

I also bought my mum a tea set (£10.99), because she's having a tea party for her wedding anniversary this year, but I don't have a photo of that, it's all wrapped and I can't be bothered unwrapping and re-wrapping and bleh.

1 comment:

  1. I too love to visit charity shops, though we call them thrift stores on this side of the pond. :)

    I once found some great floral fabric from the 1970's that I use to repair worn spots in my best pair of blue jeans. My sewing skills are dreadful though!