Category Archives: Billy Bargains

Deptford Junk Market strikes again

It’s ridiculous that I don’t blog here more because I’ve turned into the biggest magpie possible recently.  I will definitely blog more – I promise!  Anyway – while I’m here I thought I’d let you know about the wonderful find I had on Deptford Junk Market [or as I heard a middle-class lady tell her long-haired 3 year old called Oscar – the ‘flea’ market] today.

Awesome Scrapbook Find

This, my dear friends, is a beautiful scrapbook created from a 1968 catalogue of Christmas cards. The colour instantly grabbed my attention. Imagine my joy when I opened its pages:

Awesome Scrapbook Find

Look at this beautiful woman. She appears throughout the album and I just wonder if the scrapbook belonged to her.

Awesome Scrapbook Find

Awesome Scrapbook Find
Lots of notes and letters – some in Spanish – beautiful handwriting.

Awesome Scrapbook Find
A couple of pages of stamps – some of which I’ll turn into Photoshop Brushes to give away here.

Awesome Scrapbook Find

Awesome Scrapbook Find
Some great matchbook covers and Christmas cards

Awesome Scrapbook Find
Sketches [not very good unfortunately]

Awesome Scrapbook Find

The dates on these range from 1968 to 1969 as far as I can see – so it’s 40 years old. Most of the items on the stall I bought this from come from house clearances so the sad thing is is that it feels as though perhaps this woman no longer is around. That this was just thrown into a pile along with other belongings.

I don’t know what to do with it now. Part of me wants to turn it into my own scrapbook because the book is so gorgeous. Perhaps remove all the items [most of which are held in by photo corners] and reuse the book. Or I could keep it how it is. Or create my own art around it. I just don’t know. At the moment I’m just enjoying flicking through it and marvelling at this woman’s collection and craving to do my own now!

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Kitting out the flat Second-Hand Life stylee

Unfortunately I’ve not been able to take any photos of our new Second-Hand Life but I will soon.  It’s wonderful however, to be living with someone who embraces the lifestyle wholeheartedly.  It’s so much fun looking round charity shops knowing that he’s going to be blown away by any little bargain I find for the flat.  A couple of weeks ago I found a fantastic 1970s PE bag, red and white, for £3.49.  He’s a big White Stripes fan so we’ve named it Jack White’s PE kit bag.  Unfortunately it fits my laptop PERFECTLY and I’m hankering after nicking it back! ha ha. (I will add photos later – I’m at work at the moment and don’t have the photos with me!).

Once we get paid again I think we’re going to go a bit crazy going around reclamation yards and junk shops looking for billy bargains.  It’s so much fun.  I used to have a habit of looking through the Ikea catalogue and the laminated book of dreams (see Bill Bailey if you don’t know what this is) in order to deck the house out in matching furniture – but now it seems so shallow.  Much more fun to find freaky wonderfullness hidden away in some corner of a junk shop 🙂

One thing I didn’t mention is the fact that down The Blue in Bermondsey (about 2 mins walk from where I’m working now) we have two pretty fantastic charity shops.  Mind is totally awesome – in the past month I’ve bought about 4 dresses from there – none of them coming to over £6.50 – as well as a coffee maker and some other bits and pieces.  When I finally have broadband at home I’ll definitely start to post pictures because I’m so proud of my bargains 🙂

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UPDATE

Well life takes twists and turns and winds up being better than when it started.

Despite his hatred of all things upcycled my husband and I managed 13 years together – unfortunately my marriage is now over.  It’s sad, obviously, however I am positive about the way my life is going.

It DOES mean however that I am having to be the thriftiest of the thrifties as I’m having to deck out a flat almost entirely from freebies, second hand goodies and upcycled loveliness.  It’s actually really exciting.  So hopefully this blog will be continued with the new and wonderful ways that the flat is being decorated.

So far I have managed to acquire, for free, a mattress, some crockery and a toaster.  Freecycle has become my best friend and people at work are offering me their cast offs.  Hopefully I can post some of the bargains/ freebies when I have proper access to the internet.

So sorry for the silence, I will be back at full throttle soon 🙂

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my best thrifty purchase

Prada Kitten Heels.  £9.95 from the British Red Cross charity shop in Lewisham.

Pradas

Pradas

I bought these firstly because they were SO comfortable – they fit like a glove.  I spoke to the assistant and said ‘did you realise these were Pradas?’ – apparently they did and that’s why they were in there for the princely sum of £9.95. Then I wasn’t sure if they were real, however they apparently are as my friend who used to work for Jimmy Choo’s has testified.

Definitely my best find so far 🙂

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Billy Bargains #2

Yesterday I went on my usual lunchtime wander.  I’m starting to tire of the shops we have in Lewisham – the only thing that seems to change are the books.  And there are only so many books one can own!

So I bought two more:

books books and more books

books books and more books

I’ve wanted to read Mr Toppit for a while and I’m sure that M will love it.  He’s always looking for new books to read.  He’s trying to get through The Host at the moment and hates it.

The other book, Blek Le Rat is a book about stencil art.  Literally it looks like it’s never been opened.  So it’s going to form part of M’s birthday present.  I’m taking him out for the rest of it so don’t think I’m being uber tight with my husband.  It’s just that although we always buy each other trips or holidays for our birthdays, it IS always nice to have a little something to open.

These books were bought from the Cancer Research shop in Lewisham – 75p a book 🙂  So I think these are bargains 😉

To be upcycled

To be upcycled

I found this t-shirt in the British Red Cross shop – I think I’m going to upcycle it into a halter shirt – it’s so cute – however I might dye it first.  Yellow really isn’t my colour.

Finally the records I bought on Monday:

To be upcycled

To be upcycled

Dontcha just LOVE Engelbert? I can’t believe he actually chose to be called that.  Anyway – these are to be some bags.  However my first attempt at making a vinyl record bag fell flat on its face:

First attempt at a vinyl record bag

First attempt at a vinyl record bag

I didn’t actually make the ‘bag’ big enough for the album – and too big for a single.  So I’ve had to kind of ‘shove’ the single into the middle of the bag – and sew around it.  It really doesn’t look very good does it?  I started sewing around it to try and make it look better but I really think it looks a bit poo.  Any ideas so that my couple of hours of work isn’t completely wasted?

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We’re off to button moon …

A few months ago one of my favourite markets closed down.  Greenwich is renowned for it’s craft market – however I was fonder of the second hand stalls that occupied the less ‘pretty’ part of the market.  Then the area was closed down – probably to make way for flats or office blocks knowing this current climate.  My husband and I went to the market on the last day – we hadn’t been there for ages.  I was at the beginning of my obsession with crafting and sewing.  One of the stalls was almost giving their stuff away – and I asked how much their buttons would be.  Instead of me going through them to find my faves, he offered me the whole lot for £10.  I jumped at the chance and have ended up with boxes full of buttons (as well as various other trinkets that were hidden in with them):

(if you so desire to see more – there are more photos here )

However – once you own that many buttons you realise you need to make something with them.  I’ve used them to decorate my bags and various bits and bobs.  I then thought about jewelry after seeing a colleague’s necklace.  So I started looking up button jewellery.  I’m still to make something of any worth – but I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite upcycled button beauties 🙂

First up is Lorimarsha – honestly – I think this talented woman will appear in many of my blog posts.  I love the boldness and brightness of her colourful designs.  She truly is an amazing crafter –  click on the photos to take you to her etsy store.

Lorimarsha - original bakelite jewelry

Lorimarsha - original bakelite jewelry

How cute are these bracelets? Wonderfully bright colours and I love the addition of the beads at the end.

Lorimarsha original bakelite designs

Lorimarsha original bakelite designs

I’m in love with these rings too – so bold and exciting.  If only I didn’t have such horrible stubby fingers (I’m not a huge fan of my hands) I’d be buying these straight away!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH … I have totally fallen in love with the beautiful vintage buttons used by Buttonz – honestly – the Blondie is the most beautiful button bracelet I’ve ever seen:

Blondie

Blondie

I want want want want! 🙂

Upcycling at its best I think – to make buttons look this classy is so awesome.  Most of the time when you use buttons they can look quirky and kitschy – and there is NOTHING wrong with that – however I believe that Buttonz produces jewellery that is classy and classic – in keeping with their vintage feel.

As we get classier – let’s look at Grandmother’s Buttons:

Stunning vintage buttons set into stunning pieces of jewellery:

Grandmother's Buttons

Grandmother's Buttons

Grandmother's Buttons

Grandmother's Buttons

And now for those all important tutorials:

Shank Button Designs
Simple button bracelet tutorial
Crafty Suzanne’s tutorial

If you have any others you’d like to share there’s space here to add them 🙂

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Billy Bargains week 1

Well my first week has gone well – no new purchases and some right old billy bargains.

The thing is, I’m NOT a fashionable person, I never have been.  I’ve never been obsessed with fashion apart from fashion photography (I pour over magazines like Vogue etc. – I never buy them – just in the doctors surgery! ha ha)  I find fashion to be an art that I cannot be part of – I have an awkward body (small boobs, bloaty belly, big hips and thighs) and I’m not pretty in the slightest – however – I love looking at well thought out fashion.  I’m fascinated by people who rock an individual look and can carry off crazy styles – and as I get older – and less bothered about what people think of me – I’m more confident in wearing what I want to wear.  So I’ve started taking risks with my clothes and hopefully as time goes on I’ll get more confident.

So … here are my finds from mooching around Lewisham Charity Shops this week on my lunch breaks … firstly my books:

billybargain1 (15 of 15) billybargain1 (14 of 15)

The first four were from the Red Cross shop – they sell 2 for 1 – and these books just jumped out at me.  I love horror – and I am fascinated about the history of horror – I even taught the history of horror at school to Post-16 – so the books on horror and vampires were perfect for me.  The other two were more political/ cultural books – I’m always up for reading books that critiscise the Right in the USA – and I really liked No Logo – so again – they jumped out at me.

The other two I’d looked at a couple of times in the Cancer Research shop – I’m interested in China – so that was an obvious one.  The Savage Garden just looked intriguing.

Enough of books – let’s look at clothes 🙂 ha ha:

Birdies from French Connection

Birdies from French Connection

I fell in love with the design on this.  Not only is it red and black (my favourite combination) but the pattern went all the way round 🙂  So I picked this up for £3.50.  Not bad I thought especially as it’s French Connection:

Price

Price

However I’m not going to keep it like this.  I really don’t like wearing the standard ‘t-shirt’ style.  Usually my band tees etc. get hacked up.  However I don’t want to ‘hack’ this one, so I’m going to try and turn it into a halter top somehow.  I’ll post photos when I’m done.

Frumpy Cardi from M&S

Frumpy Cardi from M&S

This cardi may look a tad frumpy, it IS afterall an M&S one 😉  I LOVE this and have been wearing it to death.  It’s so toasty, soft and gorgeous.  Looks lovely with a short dress and is so cute.  I think it cost me £4.50 from British Red Cross.

Greenwich Market bags

Greenwich Market bags

I’ve been after some red handbags for a while and I found these last week on Greenwich Market – they were 2 for £5 – and both were used.  The one of the right is ridiculously large, with so many pockets for me to fill.  So it’s definitely a day wear bag for holding all my daily crap.  The one on the left is just so lovely, but a pain to get into when it’s held over your shoulder 🙂

So that was my weeks shopping – can you see a theme? As you can possibly tell, I AM obsessed with black and red.  Both colours suit me because I have such pale skin, black hair and dark brown eyes.

Today, I went to Deptford, a vibrant part of South-East London just a short bus ride from my home.  I spend a lot of time there as I photograph at The Albany and love the vibe (man).  However, I do really love to go there to shop.  They have a market with too many uber bargains on it, however under my new rules I have to avoid that market (except for food and flowers).  So I go to the two charity shops (Sense and Salvation Army) as well as the second hand clothes shop – whose name has escaped me for now.  There’s also the infamous Deptford Junk Market.  It really is a ‘get in and dig’ market which puts a lot of people off.  There is only so much I can dig around there – but dig I did today:

Polstar the Pest top

Polstar the Pest top

I found this on the market.  There is a clothing stall there that is literally a jumble sale (but not Jumble Sale prices!) – and I’ve found a couple of really lovely skirts there before.  This I HAD to have (of course) – it’s made by George (a clothing line from Asda – the UK’s Walmart) which isn’t too great but it’s second hand so I’m allowed it 🙂

As I walked into Sense, the first charity shop I come across, look what I found on the book stand as soon as I walked in:

MY SEARCH IS OVER!

MY SEARCH IS OVER!

YES! If you read my last post you’ll know that this was the book I’ve been after and there it was.  £1.20 – thank you very much 🙂  I really hope that it’s as good as her other one.  Anyway – my search is over, so now I need to set myself a new challenge! ha ha.

BOOTS!

BOOTS!

I’m becoming obsessed with boots lately – mainly because I’ve never really been able to afford decent boots, and then I realised that I could get them second-hand!  These ones were … wait for it … £4!!!! FOUR POUNDS!  They’ve hardly been worn and they’re from Wallis, so they’re at least a decent make.

Side view

Side view

They’re pretty high for me – I don’t do stilettos really – however I thought I’d give these a go. The funny thing was that a girl was trying on another pair of boots in the shop and she kept looking over at me.  Later on, I saw her in the Salvation Army shop and she came up to me asking if I’d bought the boots and did they fit me!  I thought she was going to wrestle me to the ground for them – but she didn’t.  Thankfully.  I don’t like to get in fights – especially about boots 😉  She then consoled herself with buying jeans made of about 6 different versions of denim – I wasn’t going to take them off her!

So that was Sense – I went on to the Salvation Army shop after that.  I’d never been in there before (although I’m a regular at the one in Catford) and it was definitely worth it.  Everything is SO godamned cheap it’s really quite worrying:

Jaeger Loveliness

Jaeger Loveliness

So this was my ‘high risk’ item – a Jaeger jumper.  It’s not really the kind of style I wear however, I thought I’d give it a go this winter and see if I can pull it off.  If not, I’m sure I can give it back to a charity shop.  It cost me ALL of £2.49 – so really not an expensive risk!

Work clothes

I also bought myself a sweater for work – not very exciting but again – £2.49 -cheaper than Primark where I used to buy my work clothes! (although I do wonder if this is indeed a Primark top!)

And finally, my BEST bargain of the day, and it wasn’t for me, and I don’t have a photo of it because I forgot.  I managed to buy my (much thinner) friend what looked like an almost unworn Ted Baker skirt for £2.49.  Honestly, it was so gorgeous, with beautiful detail on the back and a lovely greeny/grey colour.  She loved it when I took it round – I must grab a photo of it when I next go round as it truly is a bargain and a half!

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