Saturday, 3 September 2011

Summer thrifting part 1

A pair of Laura Ashley curtains - they are a bit flowery for my tastes but they are fully lined and ready to hang and I thought they would be perfect for Little I's bedroom when we eventually move. I had originally planned something more modern but these were five pounds, money is strictly limited and I don't think I can make fully lined curtains for a fiver.

Somehow "charity-shop-shopping" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "thrifting". Usually I am not a big fan of using americanisms in my everyday writing but what alternative is there to the easy term "Thrifting"? If I am being pedantic (a family trait for me) isn't it true that US thrift shops are not exactly the same as UK charity shops? Do thrift shops operate for private or charity profit? Are they staffed by volunteers? I am curious...anyone enlighten me? And of course there are op shops in Australia...are they charity based? Anyone else got a catchy alternative name for charity-shop-shopping?

In recent years I have seen many UK charity shops undergo a professionalisation although often they are still mainly staffed by volunteers with a paid manager. I like those charity shops which have a distinctly amatuerish air to them, and which are slightly messy and junky.

Anyway, this post is part one as there is still some stuff in my car boot to photograph. Hispanitas sandals, great for days when I want to hide my chipped nail polish.

An earthenware casserole pot with lid. (£2!) I am thinking warming winter casseroles in here.

A fifties fairground plate. How cute is this? I bought it at the start of the summer at a summer fair held at the sheltered housing complex near our house. It was on the white elephant stall for 50p. I have used it for cakes when we have friends round.


  1. Oh, I love the plate! I'm so bad at thrifting, I usually don't find anything or end up buying something I never use. You clearly have talent for it :)

  2. All your finds are lovely and just the sort of thing that I would buy.I love the curtains...just right for a little one.
    I definitely much prefer the more scruffier charity shops myself.There is a more professional and very well known national charity shop in my town and to be perfectly honest I don't go there any more because they are too much on the slick side for me and, I hate to say it, too expensive.Perhaps my character is more meaner than I realised.

  3. Your finds are gorgeous, particularly the plate and the curtains! Yes, you are right that in Australia we call them op shops, and we go "op-shopping"! These places are entirely charity based. Everything is donated and the shops are usually staffed by either elderly retired people (if they are a church-based charity), or often people with disabilities. There are also "professional" establishments run by dealers selling more expensive goods, sometimes picked up in estate sales and the like, or things/clothes sold on consignment; but these places would be called either antique or second-hand shops, and would not call themselves an op shop.

  4. Ah, interesting, I've never thought about the difference... We have both charity and profit-based second hand / antique shops over here, but they don't have to declare which type they are and I think there are some in-betweens, too...

  5. Great finds ! Your plate reminds me of something (a collection no less) that I didn't buy at last weekend's carboot. A raft of souvenir plates from 60s and 70s perhaps for places like Malta (that's all I can remember) for a £1 each. I was tempted but it felt like someone's granny's, given as holiday presents with some sentimental value. Besides, I bought all that fabric....

  6. As Carolyn says above, op shops in australia are charity based, and we call them 'oppies' and go 'op-shopping' but, because we are the minority, I generalise all my op shopping to 'thrifting' too, because I don't think everyone understands the term op-shopping. I'd always say charity shop shopping in the UK, however, it doesn't seem to have the same ring to it does it?!

    Your curtains are a great find!

  7. I think that in a case like this there is a need for a British verb--you will just have to make it up. We have a couple types of thrift stores. First there are the traditional shops (Salvational Army, and St. Vincent De Paul) run by charities that also provide jobs. These tend to be pretty basic and cheap, but they often have amazing things.
    Then there are for-profit stores like Savers (also Value Village) that give donations to charities for the donated goods. These can be quite vast and have incredible selection, but prices are higher. Finally there are little thrift stores run by individuals that are often pretty awful. Of course, to find the best deals one can spend the day going to garage sales. For rock bottom prices, you can go to Goodwill outlet dig through piles and buy by the pound.

    That fair plate is amazing.