Posts from the “Thrift Finds” Category

5 euro and two Charity Shops

Posted on 9 July, 2015

Very very soon we are heading off on holidays, whoop whoop. As we are staying in Ireland there is a possibility it will rain. There is a possibility that walking in the rain might not cut it for very long and there is a possibility that we might have to entertain Ewan for hours with only our wits and good humour to pull us through. This last bit made me think we needed some new books, and sharpish.

My criteria for holiday children’s books is multi-faceted: second hand, cheap,light and easy to carry, minimal scribbles, no torn pages and last but not least something different to what we already have. We headed to Ballincollig where I wanted to test my theory that outside the city centre are charity shops filled with great things at cheaper prices because they don’t have to pay city rents.  This theory will need further testing post-holiday but I’m pretty chuffed with what my 5 euro got me.

Firstly 7 books for 3 euro  and 50 cents

IMG_1715 price

Next my impromptu purchase of an Old Navy Stripey Jumper  50 cents and Mini Boden pants 50cents.

IMG_1714 better price

Before we headed for home, it turns out two charity shops is the maximum this toddler can handle, Ewan made his own impulse purchase request for a 50 cents toy bus. He loves it dearly.

IMG_1750 p

An arm full of bargains in any ones book I’d say.  I’ve only given them a cursory glance to the books (I don’t want to spoil the surprise:) but so far the “Dinosaur that pooped a lot ” has caught my attention and I’ve never read ( or don’t remember reading) Three Billy Goats Gruff so hold on to your hats this holiday is going to be mental!!

Follow Me. It will be fun!

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:)

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Busy on Etsy

Posted on 17 November, 2014

At the weekend I put the head down and started doing some work in the shop. It felt really  good to tackle my to-do list. I’m still not close to having everything listed in the shop but I am certainly an incy bit closer than I was this time last week and that feels really good.

The shop is now filled with everything from 1930’s snack sets, to a cosy house , to the very latest Arklow Pottery installment!

PicMonkey Collage 2

I have also had a few trips to the post office to say goodbye to a few vintage treasures so pop over to the shop to see if your favourites are still there!


Tuesday Tune and Stardust

Posted on 11 November, 2014

I was getting this Arklow pottery plate all sparkly and ready for the shop when I noticed the name of the pattern was called Stardust. I am unable to hear the word stardust without thinking of the lines ” We are stardust ,we are golden” from the Joni Mitchell song Woodstock.

When I was in transition year in school a friend and I edited video of clips of Woodstock for a music project. Through the process of  trying to make our edited masterpiece I will always remember this song.  I think it’s so ingrained that I might even be wandering the corridors of a nursing home singing this well into my 80’s!

I choose the Crosby Stills and Nash version purely based on a better video, no offence to Joni was meant!


Sneaky preview

Posted on 7 November, 2014

This little beauty will be making it’s way into the shop in the coming days  but I couldn’t let Friday pass without sharing it with you.

Last year I found a lovely enamel tea pot  that stole my heart. It hung around the shops digital shelf for a while and I started to imagine that I might get to keep it. When it did sell I was a little bereft but tried to be happy for it as it headed off on a new adventure to Canada. So when I saw this one I decided to snap it up quickly. I am technically breaking my “do not buy anything until I have everything I listed in the shop”  rule but if you’re a regular reader you know I have my weaknesses and beautiful enamel is one of them!

IMG_8034 IMG_8038 IMG_8039

IMG_8042Isn’t she a beauty? This too will find a new home some day and I am positive that it’ll bring extra cheer to whatever table it finds itself on. I’m pretty sure that it’s a scientific fact that pretty enamel really does gladden the heart:)


Follow Me. It will be fun!

A week in photos

Posted on 26 September, 2014

Ahh tapes…IMG_6776

This week I’ve been trying to find a purpose for the 5 tea packets I bought at a car boot sale ( I love the humble request just to try his teas , comparison is all he asks!). The only thing I’ve got so far is to make my own tea. If you have any more inventive suggestions please let me know…IMG_7042



…we bought the booster seat I bought for Ewan at last weekends car boot sale to good use. Although I’m sorry to see his little clip on seat go. I’m a big fan of the seat because it meant he could sit at the table with us even as a tiny 5 month old. Plus we don’t have room for a high chair so it worked perfectly.We got a full year out of it and we can still use when he is out and about so I won’t mourn it quiet yet.

Plus the wooden booster seat was a complete bargain and still in it’s original box. He seems pretty pleased with himself too and looks all grown up at 17 month old!


To finish off the week here are some gratuitous Ewan shots just because…

IMG_7112 IMG_7126 IMG_7135 IMG_7138Have a childish weekend!

Follow Me. It will be fun!

Call off the hounds…

Posted on 22 September, 2014

The search is over. I have found a reasonably priced winter coat.  On a whim I thought the charity shop in Carrigaline might be a good place to look for a winter coat. I have exhausted every shop in the city so it was time to spread my wings.

In my mind Carrigaline is a posh suburb and therefore their charity shops should be full of good quality coats and their native pottery, Carrigaline pottery. Well, I was right on one count they did have some good quality clothing on offer in the St Vincent’s de Paul charity shop.

And I picked up this coat for a bargain €7 !!!!



It also goes pretty well with the leather bag I bought at the car boot sale in Rathcormac yesterday.

IMG_6983It’s warm, lined and makes me feel like I work for Aer Lingus in the 1960’s and for €7 how could I go wrong!

IMG_6984 IMG_6990


A big thanks to Steve, my pro photographer, for giving up some of his lunch time to take pictures of me in the garden.


Follow Me. It will be fun!

Ikea and Vintage

Posted on 17 September, 2014

When we first moved into the house I went Ikea mad. Both Steve and I were working so our weekends consisted of driving to Ikea, buying all around us, eating meatballs, driving back,unloading the heaving car to get ready for an assembly marathon the next day.  Four years later the house is looking less like it stepped out of the Ikea catalogue.  Mixing in vintage bits and bobs with the Ikea stuff takes the newness away and suits our old house much more.



The latest vintage addition is this second hand cast iron fireplace in the bedroom. Steve spotted it at a second hand market when we were in Wexford and I had great hopes that he might become a thrifting enthusiast. Alas he has confirmed that his thrifting days are over just as quickly as they begun. Still for a first timer he shows promise…



I’m actually in love with it and feel like it has been in the room forever.


I’ve been playing around with putting things on the mantle piece. Almost every time I pass it I move something, add something or take it away.  I haven’t figured that out yet but that’s all part of helping the fireplace settle in.


Ewan was determined to photo bomb  the pictures so after cutting his wayward hands and feet out of most of the pictures I decided to give him one of his own.


In comparison to this Instagram picture  from 9 months ago both he and the room look all grown up now!

It will be a cold winter

Posted on 10 September, 2014

Today I picked the hottest day in September to  launch a search for a winter coat. I am determined to have a coat that actually fits me. I have donated all of my old coats to charity after the “clear out of all clear outs” so the need is definitely there. Yet after only two high street shops and two vintage shops I abandoned the “proper” shops and hit the second hand shops.

From there it was one pleasant distraction after another. So my winter coat turned into two pretty vases/candle holder type things….

photo 3 (5)

.. an Oxford dictionary printed in 1929 and a Tolstoy book…

photo 5 (1)

… and to top it off,  a summer dress.



My attempts at looking refined were ruined by Ewan pulling on the end of my dress.


If my thrift excursions keep going like this it will be a cold winter for me but at least I’ll be well read!

Heart over head

Posted on 8 September, 2014

This weekend I made a heart over head thrift purchase. I bought this Salter scales in a shop that would frighten any self respecting minimalist. It’s the the type of place where you could take something off the shelf, and end up buried under years worth of miscellaneous crap, never be found again. Basically, my find of place.


The reason this is not such a good purchase for the shop is that it measures coins rather than grams or ounces. It measures old silver and new 5ps and 10ps and the likes. This I think is brilliant but I can understand why the rest of the consumer world may not agree.


Another reason it may not be the best purchase for the shop is that it weighs a tonne. I have no idea how I am going to ship it and I’m praying someone in Cork will buy it to save me figuring out the posting logistics.


But when you look at it you can see why I bought it, surely?

It helped it’s previous owner, H. Evans and Sons of Capel Street in Dublin, figure out how much money they had for years and years. It helped them get over the transition between old and new money. When the euro came they didn’t throw it out the stuck on little markers with great care and it lived on still serving its purpose.

Plus it’s pretty!

This is not the kind of thing I could leave behind!

So while it might sit in my shop for a while at least it’ll look good while it’s there:)

IMG_6571 IMG_6601

Follow Me. It will be fun!