I hate buying things new when there is a whole world of other people's cast offs to furnish my home and life with. I pull things out of skips, friends know to give me first dibs on their unloved belongings and I love trawling eBay and charity shops for bargains, but I rarely get the time to do it these days. My children's tolerance for shopping is quite rightfully low in the best of circumstances (toy shops), they appreciate trawling around looking at old furniture and bric-a-brac even less.
Usually I have to stay close to home, the only charity shop within quick walking distance. I dropped in on saturday and returned home with a set of bright cheerful curtains and some dining plates. The curtains cost £3.50 and are handmade linen blend fabric, fit my windows perfectly and replace the horrible thin nylon drapes (£20 in a sale and not worth a fraction of that) that I bought in desperation from Wilkos last year. One of those curtains now temporarily covers a nursing chair that I acquired from a friend and am looking for time to reupholster, so has not gone entirely to waste. At some point I will add a lining to these new curtains in preparation for the winter, until then they are a huge improvement on the old.
My womble nature does need to be reigned in. Following the great declutter of 2011, new rules apply. I have a list of things that we need and buy only from that list. At the moment, the list does include room for some pretty, decorative items, though my preference is that they are functional too. Our nice decluttered house needs to be turned into a home. As it is my birthday today, my request was that we went a little further afield and looked around secondhand shops - wild thing, I know. My day was a success, though I am still looking for a 4mm crochet hook and a cutlery drainer, I did tick off a few items of clothing from the list.
Occasionally I come across something that I only realise I need in the moment I find it:
Gus is off for his first ever solo trip away from home with Gran and Grandad in a few days. It was only when I stumbled upon this I realized we don't have suitably sized luggage for him. It should be adequate for all the adventures he will have in the next few years; and in between trips can store out of season clothing. A sprinkle of bicarb to freshen it and a rub with some oil and it will be as good as new. I didn't think I could top my delight at the curtains, but this is one of my favorite finds ever and Gus seems pretty happy with it too.
What thrifted treasures have you found recently?