Tag Archives: thrifting

Fleamarket Finds

I’m lucky that I have a BIG monthly fleamarket/collectors fair locally … it’s just as much fun as car boots and charity shops, and the treasure-to-junk ratio is slightly higher …. though sometimes the amount of little china shepherdess figurines is a teeny bit depressing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them, per se, but they’re really not my thing)

I always go along with a ‘wish list’ of things I’m particularly looking for … it helps me keep my magpie instincts under control.

This time I was looking for a clock for my workroom … I saw an art-deco clock which I ummed over for a while, and then wandered off to have a think about …. and of course, once I’d decided I did want it and went back, it’d gone. And in a failing to learn to strike while the iron is hot, I did exactly the same thing with another clock, not ten minutes later! I’m consoling myself with the notion that they weren’t the RIGHT clock for me.

No such hesitation when I spotted these bad boys …. a pair of rusted old wine crates, covered in dust and spiderweb, but EXACTLY what I needed to replace the nasty old pine wine rack we’ve had since forever.

And the same with these vintage picture frames …. I have a project in mind for these, involving the wartime postcards in an old phot0-album of my grandfathers that I ‘inherited’.

A fair amount of cleaning is going to be needed first, though.

Taking the time to go slow paid off, when I had a good old rummage through the ‘everthing in this box 20p each’ on one stall … I turned up some old linen napkins in varying stages of battered, a couple of embroidery hoops and double-pointed knitting needles …. WIN!

But the star of the show – for me – was a stall absolutely DRIPPING with old linen, lace, ribbon … gloves, hats, oh, heaven! I could have just put the whole lot in my bag and brought it home, but managed to control myself (and I didn’t think the husband would be terribly impressed if I spent the summer holiday fund on old fabric!!)

My stash of linen and lace has grown just that little bit bigger … and do you see that little bonnet at the front there?

It is simply one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen … so fragile, but in such great condition. I can see it playing a big part in a memory cloth, very, very, soon … I have a scrap of a smocked baby dress that it will work with perfectly.

Happy sighs …. and as if old things attract, my lovely mother-in-law gave me a tiny travel secretaire that had been in the family forever, but she didn’t want anymore, when I saw her this week. AND THEN, as if my cup wasn’t already in a runneth-over state, my mum had cleared out some of her old linen and asked me if I wanted it. Umm, bears, woods?

This is one happy magpie!

Fabulous finds

Making the decision to avoid using new materials and equipment, as far as possible, has thrown up some interesting challenges over the years – some I’ve solved happily, some have gone the way of ‘interim solutions’ (with varying degrees of success) and occasionally I’ve had to cave in and buy something new to fill the gap.

But, equally, over time I’ve learnt to keep my eyes open for interesting pieces – supplies, equipment, reference material and fabrics – and to grab them when I see them. I’ve also turned into the sort of person who can’t resist a good old rummage through a charity shop, car boot sale, village fair and garage sale – you never know what you might turn up!

I was having a nosy around our local charity shop – actually looking for a butterdish, since our old one met an untimely end – when I happened across these two gorgeous art-deco-ish plates in my favourite colours. And, excitement! Two embroidery hoops – unused, still with their original tags on them! I couldn’t pass up on them …. something that’ll always come in useful – especially the super-big one, which will come in handy for quilting.

The village fair last weekend didn’t look too promising, but I can never resist browsing a second-hand book stall … and found this book on printmaking – for only 50p! Bargain! It’s a wonderful reference text – clear instructions on the techniques, beautifully illustrated, and with some gorgeous photos inside. I know that it will come in useful one day … I’m already turning over a few ideas 😉

And finally, tucked away in the corner of the bric-a-brac stall, a collection of discontinued designer fabric sample books. I’m still annoyed that someone else swooped and grabbed a gorgeous book of silks while I was gathering my treasure, but I’m pretty pleased with the four I managed to snaffle … some of the upholstery fabrics might prove to be too heavy for fine work, but I’m really pleased with the little book of linen squares. And at only £2 each, that’s a fair selection of fabric 🙂

What’s your favourite recent find? I’d love to hear about it!