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January 25, 2013

What I found this week...and how to find it

It has been quite a while since I did a post showing some of my finds, but today I've decided to show you what I have bought this week.

I get asked all the time...where do you find the furniture you upcycle?  My answer...all locally, mainly at op shops and tender centres.

I do the 'rounds' of my favourite local haunts alot.  Like several times each week.  Sometimes I set out to go there, other times I am going to Bunnings or the supermarket, butcher or wherever my errands take me, and it seems silly not to just pop in on my way past and see what treasures are on offer!  I never seem to have any trouble finding what I am after, and I always find great stuff that I never knew I 'needed' till I spotted it there for sale ;)  Consistency is the key to finding great treasures.  You can't go in once and write the place off as smelly, full of junk and a waste of time.  You never know what is being unloaded off the next truck to pull in there!  

I may have *ahem* been known to hang around when I see a truck being unloaded...hey...you snooze you lose!  I have bought great pieces that way, straight off the truck before they have even priced them.  

I live in a small regional area so even though there may be more places to hunt, such as estate auctions, on offer in the big cities, don't write off small towns as not having good stuff. They do...it never ceases to amaze me what people get rid of.  Actually the fact that ebay, gumtree and the like don't seem very well used in small towns like this is probably why the op shops have great stock...it is too hard for most people to get rid of stuff online. Or maybe we are just a charitable bunch that like to support the local op shops...I know I certainly hand over a fair bit of money to them :)

Of course, I miss out on a lot of awesome things too.  The upside is, I don't know about them because they are in and out of the stores before I even see them.  (I go there a lot but I don't live there!)   It almost goes without saying, but...if you see something you love, grab it, don't walk around and think about it, don't come back tomorrow, next week, whatever.  
It won't be there.

So this is what I found this week:
A large solid wood sofa bed for out on our back deck.  I have been after one of these for a while, and most of the ones I have seen were the tubular metal type...not exactly the look I was after, and they all seemed to be priced too high - at around $85-$100.  More than I wanted to pay for something that wasn't quite what I wanted.  Luck/good timing/persistence/call it what you will was on my side this week as I found this one for....$15.  The shop was overstocked and had put all their furniture on half price.  This would have been a bargain at full price, but I wasn't going to argue!  The mattress is a bit tired and obviously the frame requires painting, and I will sort those things out as time permits.  In the meantime, a duvet cover over the mattress makes it a comfortable and welcoming spot to sit.

Today I needed to go to Bunnings, and the paint shop.  So it was a 'I'll just pop in on my way past' sort of a trip.  I found myself staring at these prints of some pencil sketches of Bath, England.  Not even my usual thing but there was something about them that I really liked.
I had been wanting something different to put on the wall behind the bed in the guest bedroom and I just found it, for $6 a piece.  
I love all the detail in them.

I think this 'Old Bond Street' one is my favourite.
There were actually six in the shop but I thought four was plenty behind the bed and I didn't really like the other two, plus the frames were slightly different.
(I actually did a quick frame switcheroo on the floor of the shop to ensure that the four frames I bought were the same.  That left the two in the shop with matching frames so I think I was helping everyone by doing it!)
Sometimes I have no shame ;)

My best find of the week has to go to this lamp...

It is a really pretty cut glass table lamp, really heavy and well just gorgeous.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.  Why? Well, because about 15 months ago, I found the exact same lamp in a local op shop...and now I had a pair!  I thought I had posted about it, and I know I shared photos on my Facebook page at the time, but I can't seem to find them now.  Here is a photo of my other one...
I pulled the lamp to bits and painted all the brass coloured pieces white to freshen it up.  The base on this one was in just as bad a condition as the one I got today, so I know it will come up nicely with a bit of work.  Hope I can get the same silver shade...or if not, I'll just buy another two that match :)

How much did I pay for the lamps? They were both $15, at two different op shops, 15 months apart. Funny!

Last find for today is this solid wooden desk...
Just a sweet little simple desk that will look gorgeous with a coat of paint.  Watch this space! 

January 16, 2013

Happy New Year, halfway through January!

I'm a bit late for a Happy New Year post, aren't I!?  

I am still enjoying holidays with the kids, they start back at school at the end of the month...gosh 6 weeks goes so fast, I am loving having them home and not at all missing the school morning and afternoon routine!

We had our first trip back to New Zealand since moving to Australia in 2011, and it was wonderful.  We got to catch up with our much loved and missed family and friends, and enjoyed it very much.  It was so nice for the kids to see their mates, too.  They miss them a lot.  We had two weeks there and it went so fast, as holidays tend to do.  Would have been nice if we could have spent longer with everyone but that is one of the downsides of choosing to move away, and I accept that.  
This is where we spent the bulk our of two weeks - at my parents' home in the Marlborough Sounds.  You can't drive there, it is boat access only which makes it even more special.  I took this photo standing on the deck of their home.  It is an absolutely stunning spot, and I am so glad that my parents had the foresight to buy a block of land in the bush 30 years ago (even though we had to go from a nice home to a doer-upper in order for them to afford it!)  They have worked really, really hard over the years to create a beautiful home and stunning landscaped gardens, and recently they have decided to share a piece of their paradise with others, renting out their holiday cottage on the property.  It is proving very popular and I think it is wonderful that they've done this.

Christmas morning fun getting dragged around behind a boat...we went faster once we got further out!

During our time in Christchurch, we had a wander around the CBD (what is left of it) and it was pretty overwhelming.  The lack of tall buildings left was a real eye opener, as was seeing our old work building (the Westpac Canterbury Centre) completely down.  I absolutely loved the Cashel Street container mall though, it was far better in person than I was expecting it to be, what a lovely buzz the place had about it...seeing and experiencing that gave me real hope and excitement for the future of Christchurch.  It will take a long time to rebuild but it will be an amazing city once it is all done.
Excuse the quality, this was taken from our moving car.  This was a large department store, Farmers.  The building still standing is the Central Library, also to come down I believe.
Again a moving car shot, and in the rain, not great sorry.  This lovely clock tower on Victoria Street stopped at at the time of the Feb 2011 earthquake...12.51pm, and still sits stuck on that time almost 2 years later.  Still can't believe this happened to my city!

Before we knew it we were saying our goodbyes and back on the plane to Sydney.  After a night there, (and a Saturday morning trip to Ikea!) we were in the car on our final leg home.  

Isn't home always sweeter after you've been away from it for a while?  Doesn't everything look a little bit different for the first day or so?  Or is that just me, lol!  When we opened the front door Geoff commented that it 'smelt like home', and it did.  You can only ever notice that once you've been away for a while.  I hope it is a good smell ;)

A week after we got home it was market day (last Saturday). 
It was a great day, and thankfully not windy like December.  My oilcloth doorstops proved very popular again, which is exciting.  I am waiting on the delivery of the next lot of oilcloth, which should arrive any day now.  I have lots more projects in mind for that, including a super cute retro kitchen step stool, will show you soon.  

Over the next couple of days I am picking up two custom jobs to start work on - a writing desk and a dining suite.  I am also dropping off some of my smaller painted items (and some more doorstops) to a local store - Paradiso in Hastings River Drive.  I've also been doing a few renovation jobs around home since we got home (I always do that...I miss my home so I come back all inspired to get stuck into it!)

So although it is still holidays, things are starting to wind up again, and I feel rested and ready for it...2013...bring it on!