Archive for the ‘Op Shops’ Category

Yesterday I bought this little dripping pot at Salvos for $3. What a beautiful relic of times gone by. It’s from a more frugal era when everything was used and nothing was wasted.

After cooking your meat, you would pour your roasting tray full of remnants and juices into the dripping pot, over the metal sieve. The sieve would catch any chunks and separate all the fatty juices into the pot below where it would form a thick, jelly-like substance.

Dripping was very fatty and flavoursome and usually served with bread. I have relatives who lived on missions and this was one of their staple foods. It was poor man’s food, though perhaps the ultimate in comfort food.

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Last week I bought my daughter a Barbie doll from an op shop. I stood in the store with the Barbie in my hand and hesitated. Would this plastic doll be a bad influence on my daughter and contribute to negative body image later down the track? Then I thought…she’s a beautiful black doll with a groovy hairdo, and so ultimately the hair won the day. All she was wearing at the time was a $1 price tag on her stomach, so I decided that I would buy her an outfit. I imagined something along the lines of a tailored grey pant suit with some groovy Converse style sneakers or ballet flats.

Later in the week while I was getting some photos processed at Big W, I ducked over to the toy section and headed to the Barbie doll clothing. Perhaps I’m naïve, but I was shocked. Let me take a moment to describe the choices that were before me:

Pink sequins, pink ruffles or pink diamontes?
The 5-inch twist your ankle heels or the 6-inch break your neck heels?
The barely cover your behind micro mini skirt or the wildly inappropriate for any real life occasion fluorescent pink ball gown with matching gloves and tiara?

As far as I could see, there wasn’t a single item that a woman would wear to the shops, a picnic or let’s say, to work.  I had Barbie when I was a girl and I don’t remember her being like this. Has Barbie fashion changed over the past 30 years or am I simply seeing her now with ‘mum’ eyes? I left the store with a naked doll and a grudge against Mattel.

Later in the week when I was doing some grocery shopping, I stumbled across a little find in the baby aisle, hidden amongst a small assortment of toys.  A blue astronaut space suit from the Barbie I Can Be range. Yes, blue! And it even came with practical, flat space boots.

I was surprised to discover that when I dressed Barbie in her astronaut suit, she became irresistible to my 2½ year old son. Barbie was suddenly elevated to the dizzying heights of Buzz Lightyear.  My son spent the afternoon in the backyard flying Barbie around chanting “To Infinity and Beyond”.

Amazing what the right outfit can do.

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These past two weeks I’ve had an unexpected and extended stay with my sister in The Land of Bunt. Let’s say we were ‘focused’ making fabulous, pretty things to sell at her children’s school fete. Unfortunately these trips do not come without their price. A messy house, stressful last minute meals and of course those little tiny, teensy bits of fabric EVERYWHERE. Since my return I have been cleaning, cuddling my kids, washing, cooking and looking at the world anew. Six loads of washing later and I’m starting to make some inroads. Today when the novelty of cleaning was starting to wear thin, daughter and I decided on some retail therapy of the eco-friendly and frugalicious variety.

From L-R:

Woollen skirt, $5

Emu puppet, $1

New Bonds PJs, $2

Barbie doll with groovy hair, $1

Books, $2

Toys for the boy, $1.50

Clothes for the girl, $3

Thomas Beach Towel, $2

Doll’s house bath, 50c (You wouldn’t believe what a hit this has been with the 2 year old boy)

1970s Aboriginal print scarf, $7

$25, not a bad haul.

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