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Record Player Kitchen

Posted on 27 January, 2015



Months ago at a car boot sale I bought a broken record player. The man who sold it to me was incredibly honest and said he had tried to fix it but didn’t manage to. I had no reason to buy it. I am not a qualified electrician, a repair man nor am I known for my proficiency with wiring. Nevertheless it was a fiver and red so I obviously wasn’t going to leave it there!

Since then it has sat in our hallway. There are many reasons I never tackled fixing it, the primary one being fear of electrocution but the second also important fact is that we own a functioning record player and so we really don’t need another one.

So after much thought I decided to make it into a toy kitchen for Ewan. I wanted to make a toy kitchen for a while but all the bought options require floor space we don’t have so I decided to use what I have instead.


The first step was to remove all the electrical bit and pieces. I tackled this job after a frustrating time trying to get Ewan to nap and my frustration powered me on to rip the thing apart in record time!

Once everything was out including the broken cigarette and comb that I found inside it I gave it a good clean I set about covering the inside and making an insert for the hob section to sit on. I kept the rubber grip from the record player to make the hob and the record lever makes an excellent wire rack!

It’s unlikely anyone reading this has a broken record player in their hallway that they need to transform into a diy kitchen so I won’t bore you with the steps but instead here is a montage of the steps.  (Bringing Steve on board for the drilling the hole for the record lever was clearly a good idea!)

PicMonkey Collage



And here’s the result…


I’m pleased with how it turned out. I need to buy different hinges to attach the hob sheet to the player but that’s a job for another day. For the moment we have it placed on top and lift it off to put things underneath.


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Check out how the record lever swings around!! That’s a little ergonomic feature I’m pretty chuffed with.



The pots are from the shop. I think stealing from your own shop is one of those allowable things, right? I unlisted the items and gifted them to Ewan and his new kitchen.|X

We do have a slight problem that we both keep leaving the “gas” on but other than that it’s a big hit. Chopping and moving things from pot to pot are the highlights. He’s already developing quiet the menu with offerings of truck stew, apple or eggs.


IMG_9420And most importantly when the kitchen is closed  for the night it fits nicely on the settle in the kitchen!


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Busy with buttons

Posted on 22 January, 2015

You’ll never get rich with buttons is a phrase that I’m sure somebody has said once.  Nevertheless it’s  vintage buttons that I have been spending my time with. As I’ve mentioned before I have stopped buying things for the shop until I manage to list everything I have. This means figuring out how best to list, manage and post some of the heavier, delicate or glass items I’ve brought into the house with the intention of selling.

The reality is that somethings become so costly to ship safely that not only would it be difficult to do but no one would be willing to pay the cost. So I have taken the advice given to me by some of the readers of the blog and followers of the shop and focused on the smaller items that would be easier to ship.

I’m aiming to have my collection of vintage buttons, packaged and ready to go. I realise that the button market isn’t a huge money spinner but right now I’m just experimenting with the shop and trying to see what I can do to change how the shop works to make it more managable. Plus in January no one has a lot of money to go around so buttons would make a nice treat without breaking the bank!  To present the buttons I’ve been getting busy making custom made cards.IMG_9223 less mb


 And these are the results.

IMG_9240IMG_9283 I’m pleased with how they look. Some are already listed in the shop with more to come. So if you have a boring cardi that needs a lift or a craft project on the go then be sure to pop over and have a look. With leather, glass, metal, plastic offerings there is (or will be) something for everyone’s taste.IMG_9270


 What do you think?

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Gone Girl- A book in review

Posted on 16 January, 2015


If, like me, literary trends pass you by as quickly as fashion seasons then I have just the book for you!
Gone Girl was published in 2012 and it has been popular for so long that they  even had time to make in into a film.
This week I decided to see what the fuss was about.

Since Ewan was born reading took a back seat. In the early days I could barely tell when I was awake or asleep and as he grew I had just fallen out of the habit. Unread books would sit by my bed side and haunt me like an unfinished argument. I slugged through books like punishments. My mantra, “You used to read, reading is nice, you should get back into it”. was repeated often but it was half-hearted. Ewan would take out the book mark. I would spend the first 10 minutes of picking up the book trying to find my place again, it was monotonous

I’m glad to say Gone Girl has been the book to pull me out of the abyss. It has all the facets of a good ole page turner. It’s a who dunnit with a
dysfunctional love story,a tale of “he said, she said” with a twist or two to keep you on your toes.

We are not left waiting long before we find out that the girl who has gone is Amy. She disappears on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary and her husband Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect. The story jumps from both their perspectives, Nick’s story is told from the days after his wife’s disappearance and Amy’s through her diary entries. As the story unfolds you see the discrepancies in their accounts. This is where it starts to get interesting as I tried to decide where my allegances lay early on.  Honestly, neither character endeared themselves to me. Nick seems to have fallen into a well of self pity . I realise it’s not a great time in his life what with the police interrogations,a missing wife and failed career,but still, the man lacks a backbone of any kind! All the while Amy’s diary voice grated with a tone of martyrdom which should be reserved only for those seeking sainthood.

Despite not liking the characters they are well drawn and their thoughts are definitely recognisable. Part of the reason I enjoyed the book so much was how the writer played around with the idea of marriage and what it means. How two people at the same point in time can share an experience and understand it completely differently. How well do any couple know each other? Can you ever know anyone completely,or would you want to?

Alternating between the view points of husband and wife in short chapters is also what helps give the book it’s best characteristic: pace. The book swings back to  some small detail while you are on the edge of your seat as to what’s happening to the other character. I’m generally an nauseatingly slow reader but I raced through this during Ewan’s nap times and Fireman Sam’s episodes, when Steve was trying to talk to me, while my tea cooled and housework went undone, basically every second I had was dedicated to discovering what was going to happen next.

There’s a lot of talk about what the female character, Amy, does for feminism. (You can read  some of those articles here but be prepared for spoilers!) To be honest the fact that we are even still talking about female characters all needing to be a homogeneous collection of characteristics to advance the female cause is not only dull but it feels like a failure of some kind. Female characters could and should be anything. I have never seen the same level of reaction for what male characters have done for the image of masculinity. Every male character doesn’t face dissection for what effect this has on women’s perceptions of men.

This is a thriller, so sit up and be thrilled. Let the book sweep you up so entirely that you gasp out loud. I know I did!


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Posted on 14 January, 2015

I have to admit I have turned into such a big child. I LOVE SNOW. Last night I kept peering out from behind the window blind to announce “snowing”, ” not snowing”, “it’s definitely sticking!!”.

This morning I was excited to show Ewan his first snow. I made a big deal about opening up the shutters to show him the white blanket that covered the garden.  His first words when he saw the garden dusted with snow?


Undeterred by his lack of enthusiasm we had breakfast and we wrapped up. It turns out he was even less impressed with snow outside than he was inside. I’m going to plough on with snow propaganda and I hope to have him converted by the end of the day.

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A week in photos

Posted on 9 January, 2015

I thought before the week is out I’d drop in and say hello…

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This week has been filled with rainy days so any break in the weather and we are up and at ’em before you can say “umbrella”IMG_8939 IMG_8997Christmas and New years were delightful but I have to say I’ve enjoyed getting back into the regular routine. We are back swimming, music group and the parent toddler group are back in full swing and myself and the wee man are getting used to just each others company again.


Without a host of grandparents and visits life is quieter around here but that has it’s charms too as we lounge around in pj’s for longer than the civilised world has deemed necessary.



I have saved the biggest news of the week until last. My friend Dee gifted me the Catherineholm teapot that I was so unattractively jealous of. There was many “I can’t take it, it’s yours” ” I’ve decided you’ll just have to take it” “I can’t!”. This went on for some time. In the end the deal was clenched when she said that she likes it but I will LOVE it and it would give me great happiness. I still can’t quiet believe it. It is amazingly generous of her and I am so grateful. The accolade of finding a Catherineholm piece in the wild is all hers. I’m just thrilled to get to look at it. But I have already warned Ewan that he is not to get notions, on my death it is going straight back to it’s rightful owner Dee! IMG_9085In case you are wondering I bought the yellowCatherineholm  bowl from Etsy a few years ago at ridiculous expense when I had more money than sense! And also it’s worth noting that the tea pot pours like a dream and yes, tea definitely does taste better from it!


A surprise first place

Posted on 8 January, 2015

Everything seems to be going a little slower for me over these first few days of the new year. I thinking about changing things up both here and in the shop but a bout of indecision and dose of the January “meh” feeling is making me pause before making any decisions. I have to say this pausing business is a marked improvement from when I was in full time work.  I had a habit of reacting a little too quickly and running with my gut instinct. So for the moment I’m just moving slowly and having a good old think about where I what shape I’d like the blog to take and what the future of the shop will be.

Because of all this pausing and thinking I decided to look at some stats from the blog in 2014 and I got a bit of a surprise.

Last years most popular topic was the series of posts I did about giving up my smart phone.


To be honest I didn’t think the topic was that interesting when I first sat down to write about it but people have really responded to it.  It was also these posts that lead me to being asked to go on the radio to talk about the topic. There was no mention of Thrifty Amos in the radio interview and most people seem to have come across the topic when they were googling giving up their smart phones. It looks like there’s a secret host of people out there thinking about ditching their phones. You can expect another post about how that’s easier said than done!!

Using Google Analytics I can see what phrases people have searched which lead them to my blog . (Don’t worry I can’t tell who searched what, just a list of things people searched that lead them to click on the blog). Most searches make sense as to why people would have landed on my blog, Arklow pottery, Irish birth stories, car boot sales, carrigaline pottery all of these make sense. But here are some of the more unusual Google searches that lead people to Thrifty Amos in 2014:

  • am i aloud to bring my dog to the four seasons flea market
  • 40dboobs (they didn’t stay long!)
  • 1970 irish boy scouts
  • amos is who i am
  • what does amus have to do with the christmas tree
  • blanket to soak up blood (!!!)
  • did not lick that off the lawn
  • does amos white gel tube give stretch marks
  • why is ireland so rocky
  • what era did they make letter openers with items stuck inside clear handles
  • the faith of amos
  • frozen chicken harold laurance

The internet, eh!!! Who knows what array of searches will bring people here in 2015 but I’m looking forward to finding out!

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Green Eyed Thrift Monster

Posted on 5 January, 2015

Yesterday, Steve prompted me to look at our friend Dee’s Instagram account. Knowing me well he forewarned me that I was  going to be jealous. I now check Instagram on my laptop because I’ve chosen to rid my life of the iPhone. So as I scanned and scanned through the images from strangers to try and get to her photo I thought “what could be so great that I have to check now”

. Then there it was, a true vision in olive

catherine holm olive tea pot


Nothing in life can prepare you for the moment that one of your best friends reaches thrifting Mecca. No amount of yogic breath can calm the adrenaline of seeing a Catherine Holm piece on your friends table.  I would love to say I handled it gracefully, but I did not. I rang her instantly to get all the who, what, where, when details. If ,like me, you can’t fathom a Catherine Holm piece (let alone a near mint tea pot!!) turning up in a charity shop in Cork then the details may help you.

Who- Dee found herself.

What Price: I hope you are sitting down 3 euro 50!!

Where: The sneaky charity shop in North Main St Shopping Centre (Cork) that everyone forgets is there .

When: Last Friday (02.01.2015).

If this was a beauty pagent I would have been the sore loser who stormed the stage throwing myself onto my knees screaming “It should have been mmmeeeeeee”. Finding a Catherine Holm teapot in the wild is something I have actually dreamt about and I went on a bit about it in this post!

I tried telling myself all the facts. Dee is a costume and set designer and is constantly in and out of charity shops and has given them so much business that it’s befitting that she find something amazing. She didn’t know it was Catherine Holm or of its significance in the world of vintage enamelware she just bought because she liked it. I reasoned that this was a good thing because she wasn’t swayed by the name or hype around Catherine Holm.

Also while I dreamed about finding a Catherine Holm piece in Cork for less than a fiver once awake I never thought it would happen but it did happen, okay not to me, but the fact that it happened should be cause for thrifting hope.

All of this being said I was not all feeling that reasonable about the whole thing.

I tried just telling myself “there’s no point being jealous” but it’s only now after nearly 24 hours of trying to tame the green eyed monster that I have finally found a solution.

I have made up a scenario of what could have happened to the tea pot if Dee had not bought it. There are a few versions but the most helpful one is this:

Two friends are shopping. One friend wants to go into the charity shop in North Main Shopping centre. The other friend thinks that second hand shops smell but agrees to go in because it’s raining. While she tries not to touch anything her other friend sneaks off to buy her the Catherine Holm tea pot which she is convinced her friend will love.  She meekly thanks her friend for the present but has no idea why her friend thought that she’d like it. It doesn’t even match the style of her kitchen. She goes home and throws the tea pot straight into the bin. The rubbish collection is swift in her area and soon the Catherine Holm tea pot is confined  to the rubbish heap forever.

This scenario has helps endless my jealousy. Dee was meant to find. She will love it and care for it, give it a good home and drink copious amounts of tea from it. As for me, I get to visit the tea pot tomorrow and I’m pretty sure time heals all thrifting wounds:)

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Things I’ve said

Posted on 2 January, 2015

Around this time last year I wrote a post about the supposed effects of babbling to babies. This year I’ve moved from babbling nonsense to just nonsense. From the early nappy filled days of ” we are going to need a bigger bin!” all the way through these 20 months of being a mum I have found my sentences getting stranger and stranger. Along with the daily, “don’t eat that”, “put that down”,”don’t put the breakfast in your hair” I have also started to notice I find myself saying peculiar sentences I had never anticipated hearing from my own mouth” I can’t brush your teeth with a truck in your mouth”. ” if you put that car in the toilet it’s never coming out”, “take that out of your mouth and put in my hand “”Oh god, Is that snot in the sieve?”.



As he is heading towards two I’m seeing all early signs of his strong will getting even stronger. With a year ahead  bringing toilet training, a second birthday and a whole host of unknowns I’m preparing myself for my sentences to get  even stranger, the tantrums get bigger and amongst all the madness I’m pretty hopefully that the craic will be mighty too.



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