Beat the Monday Blues - Colour My Week with Silver

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Colour My Week' is back today; an initiative to introduce a colour at the start of a working week, to help eliminate the 'Monday Blues'. I invite blog readers to participate, by linking your own colour related fashion items back to this blog post. I wanted to focus on a sparkly shiny colour this week, because Christmas is less than a month away, so lets all share something Silver!

Image c/o we heart it

According to an article written by on "Silver, especially a shiny, metallic silver, is cool like gray but livelier, more playful. Silver can be sleek and modern or impart a feeling of ornate riches."

Silver is... classic movies (the silver screen), coins, metal, glitter, keys, cars, cutlery..

A pair of my favourite thrifted shoes, by Melbourne fashion label Kinki Gerlinki, purchased in Salvos last year for just $7. I discovered they are *ahem* .. a size too small for me.. but I can't get rid of them, I love them too much! I wear them if we are going out and sitting down somewhere.. is that terrible?!

And some second-hand/recycled/handmade Silver beauties found online:

Reconstructed silver vintage dress US$115 from SweetTeaNY on etsy

Upcycled Metal Dragonfly Buckle AU$25 from Celtsmith on Ethikl

Handmade Marla Wrap Skirt NZ$60 by New Zealand designer desiree for sale on

Recycled Long Circles Necklace AU$59 by Australian designer Epheriell on BlueCaravan

Come on then folks, what silver goodies have you found recently? Do you have a silver jacket hiding away in your wardrobe? Perhaps you are making a pair of silver earrings for a Christmas gift? Have you spotted a silver dress for sale on eBay that you would like to wear to a party? Share your recycled Silver finds on the linky link below.

Thrifting in Well-Heeled Suburbs

Sunday, November 28, 2010

There is a lot to be said for thrifting in a prosperous part of town, with an array of second hand designer labels; Ralph Lauren, Armani, and a huge collection of high end retail labels Country Road, SATCH and Saba for sale.

:: Storehouse Op Shop, 519 Hampton Street, Hampton ::

 :: Lots of labels ::

 :: A boat caught my eye, but I didn't buy it ::

What I did buy was a delightful pair of Italian made white leather clog sandals for $10, and a Country Road button front pencil skirt for $7.

Which worn together look like this:

A couple of other mentions, including these beautiful glass bowls that were given to me from a friend moving overseas. She bought them from our local op shop, but decided they wouldn't be making the journey to Europe with her. I ♥ them

And very last of all, something for one of my craft projects, a Bambi childrens book. Who doesn't love Bambi?! A lady in an Op Shop in Cheltenham gave this to me for free because some of the pages have been drawn on. I only really like to cut up books that have been damaged, so this is fantastic.

Bambi coasters project coming soon!

For more thrifty goodness, check out Sophie @ Her Library Adventures weekly blog post, where people from around the world share their 'flea market' finds of the week!

Psst. ..come and join me on the last Melbourne Op Shop Tour of the year on Saturday 11th December, and do your Christmas shopping the sustainable way!

A Recycled Christmas

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas; it isn't called 'The Silly Season' for nothing. We, as consumers, are encouraged to spend our earnings new things for our family and friends, which can really get out of control.

Image c/o we heart it

There is nothing wrong with spoiling our nearest and dearest, but instead of buying new, have you given a thought to seeking out second-hand gifts?!

Second-hand purchases from op shops, markets, even garage sales, can be the way to go toward a greener, more sustainable Christmas. Not only that, but second-hand shopping is so much friendlier to our bank account balances too.

Op shopping and Christmas may conjure up images of Mr Darcy in Bridget Jones sporting that delightful Christmas jumper:

But there are more appropriate second-hand gifts you could buy. Here are some ideas:

1. Scarves

Choosing brand new clothes for our loved ones is hard enough, therefore trying to buy second-hand clothing may be very challenging. Finding a simple scarf for a gift shouldn't be too hard. Thrifters in the Northern Hemisphere can choose knits to keep warm in the cold months, whereas here in the Southern Hemisphere we experience warmer temperatures, therefore a thinner silk scarf may be more appropriate. A simple scarf can brighten up any outfit.

Photograph c/o we heart it

2. Mens Neckties

Mens neckties are a common choice of Christmas gift for an office-working gent. Instead of buying a new necktie this Christmas, why not check out second-hand neckties. Look carefully and you may well find silk Armani ties in amongst the cartoon character polyesters in thrift shops.

3. Picture Frames

Picture frames in charitable shops are often found with the household goods, or sometimes tucked away in a box on the floor of the shop somewhere. Print a family portrait, a photograph of yourself, your child, or your dog if you like, frame it, and there you have a simple but personal Christmas gift.

Photograph c/o we heart it

4. Tea cups

Your grandmother, mother or your friends might love a cup of tea, so what about a nice pretty vintage tea cup and saucer, that you could perhaps pack into a nicely wrapped box. A simple purchase, because you are quite likely to find cups and saucers in opportunity shops.

5. Books

Books are in abundance in second-hand shops, most of them in fantastic condition having been read once and donated. Books are not limited to fiction, you could find a nice cook book as a gift, or maybe a Lonley Planet guide for a traveller?

Photograph c/o we heart it

Get into your local op shop and see what you can find, or you come and join me on the last Melbourne Op Shop Tour of the year on Saturday 11th December, and do your Christmas shopping the sustainable way!

If you would like to sign up to Melbourne Op Shop Tours newsletter to find out about up and coming tours for 2011, you can do so here.

The Dress I Made - Blogger

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let me introduce you to the rather stylish Renske Solkesz, a designer from The Hague in The Netherlands, who loves (I quote) "fashion and surf, textiles and bicycles. And above all my sewing machine". She is the creator of an inspirational fashion blog; The dress I made.

Renske introduces herself on her blog, which commenced in May 2010 .."When I stood in front of my closet and didn't know what to wear for the umptieth time, I decided it was time for a change: from now on I will only wear clothes I designed and made myself."

Thats right, Renske now makes all of her clothes. She is not a fashion designer by training, but designs and creates fabulous outfits from dresses, tops, bags, bracelets, trousers, skirts...

Some of my favourite Renske designs include:

Renske wears her clothes beautifully, which are captured in images by photographer Eelke Dekker ; a friend of hers.

Words that spring to mind; clean, elegant, simplistic and stylish. Renske is what I would consider, a fashion inspiration for anyone that makes (or would like to make) their own clothes.

Mens shirt to tunic top and boys pants

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Here is another half price garment I purchased from Salvos, a mens shirt. I saw it the week before I bought it, labelled with a yellow tag at $5. I loved the print, but decided not to buy it. However, the following week, all yellow tags were half price, and with the shirt still for sale, how could I resist it this time?

It was (past tense because it is no longer) a completely reversable shirt, it could be worn with the green floral print on the outside, or inside, with buttons on each side.

I cut off the sleeves to make a tunic top for myself. It wasnt intentionally going to be a tunic top, I was going to make it into a cap sleeve shirt, but liked how it looked with a belt with the length remaining:

And the good thing about keeping the length - I can also tie the bottom of the tunic top at the front for a different look:

Nothing goes to waste in this house, the shirt sleeves I used to make a pair of trousers (pants) for my little boy. It is cool that I can fold up the cuffs on the bottom of the trousers, or leave them down:

And I still have a little bit of fabric left over from the top of the sleeves which I could use for cap sleeves for my top if I decide to later. I'm glad I bought this shirt for $2.50!

Cheese grating and patching the old denim shorts!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I initially purchased these shorts for 50c in the childrens 'bucket' at the back of my local op shop last summer. This is not the first time I've thrifted adult clothing in the kids 'department'! They've had a lot of wear out of them in the past year, but I got bored with them, so time for a face lift.

Cheap, but boring

An easy refashion, I picked out a few shiny buttons from my sewing kit to sew around the pockets, I cut off the turn ups, and used the cheese grater (!!) to rough them up a bit

Hope not to find bits of denim in my cheese sandwich next time!

And lastly, added some tie fabric for patches, including this delightful polyester coca cola necktie I got for $1 from the Family Life op shop in Cheltenham. I don't even drink the stuff, but thought the tie was pretty cool! I will be using the rest of the coca cola fabric for another project in the future.

A new lease of life for the 50c pair of shorts this summer...

Necktie owl arrival with talented artist

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hoot-hoot! Another set of necktie owls have arrived in their new home. Here is a picture of Chrissy Foreman, wearing one little owlet:

Chrissy is a Brisbane-based artist specialising in mixed media, community art, public art, teaching, working with kids and eco art projects. A likeminded soul, she works with re-used, recycled, salvaged, vintage and ethical materials in much of her work. Chrissy draws inspiration from the natural world as well as her daily life and memories.

Here are some of her gorgeous jewellery pieces for sale on Bluecaravan:

REVERSIBLE FABRIC NECKLACE in Pastel Garden, made from gorgeous vintage fabric, embellished with decorative machine stitching

Super Comfy Fabric Ring in PURPLE made from selected vintage and ethically
sourced fabrics.

Check out more of Chrissy's work on her website, she is a very talented lady. This little set of owls will be right at home with Chrissy =)

Half price $2 skirt

In my top tips for op shopping blog post, I have mentioned half price bargains to be found in Salvos (Australian) op shops. Each week items labelled with a certain colour; blue, yellow, purple, orange, pink are half price.

Here is an 80's pleated skirt purchased for $2 a few months back, labelled with a half price coloured tag of the week. The skirt looks really terrible at full length because I am too short....

But the fabric is so pretty, almost like a painting....

So a simple chop off the length, sew of the hem, and it looks much better:

Look out for half price coloured tagged clothes in Salvos. Whilst half price tags relate to garments that have been in store the longest, and are reduced to clear, you may find some treats!

A holiday for the floral dress

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tomorrow I shall be heading north to Queensland for a little adventure, and this little number is coming with me.. a pretty strapless second-hand floral dress c/o eBay seller Dogstar Bazaar. Slotting in with this week's Colour My Week, she (the dress) is printed with gorgeous red flowers, isn't she pretty?...

Have a good week everyone!!

Photo c/o

Upcycled umbrella coats and hoods

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taryn Zychal of Recyclingzychal creates products from unused umbrella nylon. The most popular product; the amusing-yet-efficient Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat and Winter Dog Coat

Zychal, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, creates eco-friendly doggy coats to keep your pooch dry on the outside, and warm on the inside, with a choice of Eco-Fi felt, or a vintage lining.

Don't have a dog? How about a hood for yo'self?!

"The HOOD is a modern day babushka for the woman of today! They are individually handmade using either a handpicked/vintage lining or Eco-Fi Felt, optional Green Dream insulation and the salvaged material from a broken umbrella that has been washed, cleaned and given a new life.

Available in a wide variety of colors and styles, the HOOD offers a warm, chic, water-resistant option for keeping your head dry without the hassle of wrestling with a lousy umbrella through the city. Great when riding a bike!

All HOODs are completely customizable for an additional charge."

Would you like to donate a broken umbrella? Check out this 'how to' instruction video on how to strip an umbrella from its base:

"Saving umbrellas from the bottomless landfills they would have wound up in is only half of it, we are currently accepting any and all broken umbrellas that you may have or find. At this time we will be donating $1 to the Morris Animal Refuge for each broken umbrella donated! If you are interested in donating some of your broken umbrellas or setting up a broken umbrella collection bin at your business, please message me for details!" words from * Recyclingzychal

Thank you to Melbourne blogger and friend wotsfortea for sending me a link to Recyclingzychal a few months back.

Owls have landed

Good afternoon bloggers! Do you remember my request to the winners of my necktie owl giveaway - to email photographs back to me showing the little owls in their new nests? The first owls have landed in Western Australia! Vanessa over at the The Clip Cafe Blog, has found some delightful places to put her paisley necktie owls, thank you Vanessa!:

Now where did all the other owls go? We'll have to wait and see..