Sunday, 13 February 2011

Original art and 60's beauty tips!

Hi everyone - here's all my finds from the week, some good bargains to share.

There was a half price sale on at St Christopher's Hospice shop (my favourite local one, without the 'vintage' know-how and pricing of those in more up-market areas), and it really brought the bargain hunters in. I had the smallest boy with me, so no chance to look at clothes - I just had a quick glance at the homewares whilst we had our usual battle over the china. (Me hissing 'put that down!' and him attempting to use a plate as a steering wheel whilst making engine noises).

Anyway, I found a pale blue bud vase to add to my collection - it was filthy, but is now sparkling again and was only 50p. I also got a couple of cheap and cheerful Indian style shell bangles, but my favourite treasure from St Christopher's this week was a framed original watercolour of the Place du Teatre in Paris. I can't make out the signature (cos obviously I'm usually an art expert) but I love the style and with the 50% discount it cost the princely sum of £1.25. What do you think, was it a good buy?

The Gods of charity shopping were also smiling on me in the Mencap shop next door, where I found an embroidery hoop for £1.00. Ok, it's not a thrilling buy, but at my craft group the evening before we'd been told that it would be helpful to bring one the following week as we'd be learning some stitching skills. And there it was, the first thing I saw when I walked in. So now I will fit right in on the tram to Croydon, like Jane Austen at a crunk night.

Me - on my holidays

There are four charity shops on the main drag in Beckenham, but my trip there was pretty much fruitless. Anything remotely 'vintage' is pounced on immediately - and to my mind, usually overpriced. All I came home with was a cheap but sparkly 'emerald' look brooch for use in a craft project, and a glass jar (smelling strongly of synthetic vanilla) which I've put my buttons in.

A trip to West Wickham (fairly posh village-y high street) just yielded books, but included a couple I was pleased to find. Farmhouse Cookery: Recipes from the Country Kitchen (£2.00, St Christopher's) is a fantastic Readers Digest book from 1980 which I can really recommend. It has all kinds of idiosyncratic regional specialities - savouries, baking, preserves and beverages - and a section at the end of each chapter including favourites from around the world. My mum has a copy, and I remember being fascinated as a child by the section on making sweets. I think this photo had a lot to do with it.

I'll be sure to report back if I ever get around to making Acid Drops or Peppermint Mice, although looking at it now the Toffee Apples look positively medieval!

Finally, I was amused by this piece of personal grooming advice from a 1969 copy of The Dairy Book of Home Management (£1.99, Oxfam)

Legs must be slim, trim and well shaped, and free from hair and fuzz, dry skin and scorch marks, to be really beautiful.

Scorch marks?! What did they use to depilate back then - a flame thrower? Sheesh.

I'm linking up this post with more Flea |Market Finds over at Her Library Adventures and Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday.


  1. Hey!
    You got some great stuff yourself! I LOVE the books! My mom collects them as well and we always get a good chuckle from the advise and recipes (food styling and ingredient choices have thankfully come a ways since then). This Christmas eve we plan to cook entirely from her "The Dinner Party Cookbook" and serving it up in all of our vintage cookware...
    I have a friend who is relatively new to England and wants to start thrifting, I am going to tell her about your spots...
    Have a great day.

  2. I'm depressed. My legs are clearly the opposite of beautiful. DO NOT iron in the nude. Scorch free legs will never be mine....

  3. love the lego metrics! I think my boys would be curious about that name too. And I especially love to see what you find thrifting in England!

  4. Well this is a coincidence.Just last week I decided to use a d. cream (first time since I was 17)as my legs are a bit horrific and I got scorched! No joke. I was walking like a wharfie!

  5. laughing at your commentary! it really was a different world for women back then.

  6. Another collection of fab finds! That is so funny about the lego metrics, and scorch free issue, what IS that?! Love all your other finds too and the picture is lovely - can't believe you got it for £1.25 that really is a total bargain... Sarah x

  7. The painting is fantastic, lucky you. I also love the sweet vase.

    Scorch free legs! What The!!!

  8. These are some fantastic finds! I especially like the farm cookbook, and the print. The button jar is really nice too and the vase will be great with your beautiful collection of vases. What a cool collection to have.

    (p.s. found you on penny worthy projects. I linked up too. I have lots of thrift finds on my blog.)

  9. thank you for your comment - i am going to paint one of the trays white and leave one because it has lovely markings. I am going to hang both in different rooms and use them for treasured nic naks like my nans brooches, heart shaped stones, small photos etc xx

  10. Maybe scorch is code for razor burn?

  11. Excellent bargains - particularly love that watercolour - and what an amazing price!

  12. DO NOT iron in the nude.

    Well said, Lucewoman. My mother did that once - at least once that I know of. And I know this because, when I was little (no more than six years of age), I saw her doing it! One night I walked to the doorway of her bedroom, inside of which had an ironing room, and there she was ironing in the buff! LOL Her back was turned away just enough so that she didn't see me. But I quietly walked away and never told her or anybody else what I had seen, which meant that I probably prevented the situation from becoming more awkward than it already was.


Thanks for your comment - it's no fun unless I know what you think!

If you ask a question others might want answering too I'll reply here in the comments - if it's personal, I'll reply directly by email if you're set up.