Since Christmas I have only done a bit of op shopping. My kids are able to tolerate the
obsession activity in moderation. When one of my daughters was little we did get to a point where we would just have to arrive at the door of a certain cavernous warehouse op shop (where one was never sure the further in you got, whether you'd ever be able to get out), and she would immediately fall to the ground wailing: Oh no Mum, not this shop. I hate this shop!
My eight year old has been fixating on old encyclopedias so I try not to take him very often as that is one thing the op shops are full of, and strangely enough no one else is buying. He still hasn't quite forgiven me for refusing to buy him an entire box of illustrated animal encyclopedias (circa 1977 for pete's sake) that some guy at a garage sale tried to sell us for $3 (that's $3 for the whole box, not per book). I felt incredibly slack for saying no and disappointing my son, but the thought of trying to store these huge, heavy and dated tomes was just too much.
So what have I found recently that fitted in to my 'favourite things' category?
The T&G Green (otherwise known as Cornishware) measuring milk jug pictured above was a great find. It is in as new condition, but has the now rarer "Made in England" stamp (there have always been cheaper inferior copies of this range, but even T&G Green has had to go offshore, with they assure us, no drop in quality). I don't normally collect this range, but I've just looked at their website, and I can feel a new obsession about to begin. Beside the wonderful sky blue range is a red striped collection that looks incredible en masse. Ebay here we come!
This is a genuine Sid Dickens memory block, it was still in its packing box. I recognised the piece as I've seen them before in trendy decorating shops. Sid Dickens is Canadian and makes these imaginative pieces out of wood and plaster. They are often aged with cracked patinas and the silver or gold detail is painted by hand. They are dead heavy. They often look best in a grouping, which makes them an expensive decorating item (they retail for over $100 each). Artistic, historic and romantic images are common themes in his work. Have a look at the amazing range of designs if you haven't seen them before. Go to: http://www.siddickens.com/ This pattern is a 'retired' piece from 2007 and stamped on the back it says: "For you, no dragon too difficult to slay, precious Princess. May you live happily ever after." Mine cost $8 at a salvos store and I'm really looking forward to seeing how we can use it in the girls' room.
These are gorgeous new editions in hardcover of Enid Blyton's Famous Five - using the original cover designs and illustrations. I was as excited as the kids when we discovered them in a retro shop while away on holidays (for $5 each!). I loved these stories as a child, and my two older kids have been devouring them just as I remember doing. They were the quintessential Blyton stories complete with smugglers and conniving criminals, overly-curious children (were they even teenagers?) and plenty of picnics where the dubiously sounding potted meat sandwiches were eaten, followed by treacle cakes and lashings of ginger beer. Yum.