Opshopping highlights – February/March

My opshopping habits have changed in recent years. I go much less often, I buy much less, and I try not to buy stuff for other people like I used to. (Sometimes I see absolutely perfect gifts, and break this rule…mind you.) However, I do still love a good rummage. Here are the best ‘thrift scores’ of the last two months.

I bought these two cups just because I instantly fell for the colours, the glossy glaze and the leaf motif. The mark on the bottom says ‘Tams ENGLAND’. After some internet research, I found that they were from a pottery in Staffordshire started by John Tams in 1875. These cups are from the 1970s.

thrift_march_1 thrift_march_2

We have PLENTY of cups (I have a weakness for a nice cup) and Fraser has forbidden me to buy more…but if there are new cups I really can’t resist, I wriggle around this rule by culling a couple from the cupboard and returning them to the flow of the shop of opportunity…

I also found this raised relief rose vase – I’ve been on the scope for one for a long time, found plenty, but they are usually chipped to hell and in shabby condition. This one does have a couple of tiny chips, but is in the best condition I have ever seen. Very stoked to find this. I’ve probably been looking for one for at least five years. (Do you have a running list of things you are searching for from the op-shop?)


Cotton 1970s tunic, in amazing condition, given it’s vintage – who could resist this happy green and navy print?


A PRISTINE Poole dish in the most dreamy colour. I may have panted slightly when I spotted this.


& in the category of ‘bought just for my amusement’ – this 1940s recipe book. I love the font on the cover, it’s full of classic wartime NZ advertisements, lots of gag-worthy recipes, unmentionable things done to offal (like poaching it in milk) and horrible slimey desserts (junket with nutmeg, anyone?)


I love this diagram of the best way to organise your kitchen shelves, a la Mrs Beeton, 1943:


I thought it was odd that there was a section on ‘Marketing’ in the sub-title. I thought ‘Oh maybe they mean how to present your jams and cakes for selling at stalls, etc’ but no! The verb ‘marketing’ in 1943 meant GOING TO THE MARKET, and the ‘marketing’ section is tips for savvy and frugal shopping and how to not be outwitted by shop-owners.


Maybe we should reclaim it and instead of ‘going to the supermarket’ we could say ‘I’m supermarketing?’ Aaaand, maybe not.

Anyway, thank you PN op-shop goddesses, for some great finds so far this year.



from the op-shop

Here are some things I have op-shopped recently:

This owl trivet, 70s enamel. I quite like owls. My mother used to call me ‘Brown Owl’ when I was a kid, because I have brown eyes and (apparently) used to go very tanned in the summer. (Well, it was the 70s. We used to slather coconut oil on ourselves then for extra roasting!) ¬†Anyway, I thought he was very sweet.

This little green butter dish lid. There was no base, but I just sit it on a vintage plate. I like mixy-matchy anyway.

This wee vintage crocheted dresses. The one on the left is a doll’s dress and the other, as there is no neck hole, is a sugar bowl cover, I think.

Why did I buy these? Good question! There were 20 cents each and I thought they were sweet.

What am I going to do with them now? No idea. Such is the nature of the impulsive op shop purchase!

And finally, this tui triptych. I like them a lot, but I imagine they were at the op shop because the artist who did them wasn’t happy with their efforts. Thank you, anonymous artist, I very much like what you made.

They had ‘$1’ written on the back of each one and when I took them to the counter, the old lady said gravely:

‘Now that means $1 EACH, not $1 for the three.’

‘That’s fine,’ I said ‘I still want them.’

I love the old ladies who volunteer at op-shops. (I especially love them even more now that most of them have worked out how to use the eft-pos machines…)

Anyway, these are the highlights of my recent op-shopping. Random enough for you?