Category Archives: books

Deptford Market ‘haul’ – 15th January 2011

I’ve been stuck in bed for nearly a week with norovirus – so this weekend – when I was on the mend I got my ass down to Deptford Market.  As we’re on a budget at the moment I set myself a £5 limit.  It’s quite fun setting yourself a limit because then you don’t come home with just anything – although you may feel that looking at what I did buy that’s what I did!

Things that got away:

  • A set of 1930s camera magazines – £4
  • A 1970s coffee table – no idea on price – wouldn’t fit in our tiny lickle flat!

However we managed to get some bits of cutlery.  I don’t like having matching crockery and cutlery – it just reeks of my old life.  So we got ourselves some bits of cutlery:

Cutlery

Air France and Saint Spoon 🙂

The flat based ones are actually Air France forks – Thrifty Boy has a real obsession with logos and branded items and these fit our collection perfectly.  On the left is what I’ve always known as a ‘Saint Spoon’ – however apparently they’re called Apostle Spoons .  When I was growing up my neighbour, Hilda (who was like a grandmother to us) always used these spoons and I’ve had a fascination with them ever since for some bizarre reason.  So here is my first Apostle Spoon 🙂

Next to the Apostle Spoon is a knife.  I really liked the handle of it and although it isn’t silver I thought it might make a nice piece for a charm necklace along the lines of:

Damselflygemma on Flickr

Stumpy25's Flickr

I’m really not sure how to start – also I’m allergic to most metal so I’ll have to coat it in something – but it’s so pretty.

Next mugs:

For our collections!

I really love The Little Prince (in fact my next tattoo is going to be a Little Prince one) so finding this cute little plastic mug will add to my collection of bits and pieces well.  I would like to turn it into one of these cute little pin-cushions:

Sister Valentine on Flickr

but it has this cute little design in bottom of it:

Stars

and I don’t really want to lose that.

We also love Commemorative/ Royal Wedding/ Jubilee mugs and found this lovely one:

Stoneware Charles and Di wedding mug

We’re very excited about the upcoming wedding in April between Kate and Wills – hopefully the junk markets and charity shops will be full of tat very soon!

Finally the obvious wander to the book stall – I really must get some photographs of Deptford Market to accompany my ‘hauls’ from there! It has to be seen to be believed :):

I bought this book as I love Britishness.  I’m proud of being British – not something a lot of people say.  I love our eccentricities, our small houses, our quirks, our crap weather etc.  This book collects together some fantastic photographs that capture British life very simply – AND it opens with a postcard showing Ipswich my home town 🙂  The photography reminds me of Martin Parr – which is NEVER a bad thing 🙂

Smash Hits Shit Book

I actually said to Thrifty Boy the other day that I really wanted this book – and what happened? It turned up on the market so I had to pick it up.  Why do I call it a Shit Book? Well, this is my really classy way of referring to the books we have in the bathroom for reading while we’re on the toilet!  This book is perfect for that.  As Thrifty Boy is a few years younger than me he lost out of being brought up with Smash Hits so it’s a whole new world being opened up to him.

And finally a book that I wanted as a teenager and never got round to buying because I was too busy buying music and tickets to gigs:

At last!

So my total spend?:

  • Books – £2
  • Cutlery and mugs: £2
  • Total spend: £4

HURRAH!

 

 

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Filed under books, Deptford Junk Market Finds, House and Home

What to do with books #2

Back again – thought I’d continue the blog (curtailed this morning because I really felt awful – was awake at 3:30am with my cold playing up).

So far, we have bags and art.  Of COURSE there is way more that you can do with books.

Turn books into jewellery

I LOVE jewellery – as a girlie – I really don’t think one can have too many accessories.  Especially if they aren’t from Primarni (!) or Claire’s Accessories – but are made from sustainable sources – and if possible – using your own fair hands.  However, if you don’t feel that you have the ability to create your own beautiful jewellery – I’m sure that these wonderful women would be willing to sell you some of their work:

Effemeral Life

Effemeral Life

Liz Hamman is a mixed media artist from Manchester – and I am in total awe of her work. She doesn’t appear to have a store although you can contact her here

Her work is a mixture of origami and a vivid imagination.  Obviously with paper – it has ephemeral nature – is it really meant to last? It’s fragile and so delicate.

I find it hard to actually pick a piece of her work to choose as my favourite – so I’m going to link to her slideshow here. Goggle her innovation and let your imagination FLY!

Betty Pepper

Betty Pepper

Betty Pepper’s designs are stunning – I would love to be able to buy just one piece of this beautiful work.  I think what makes her jewellery even more special is the way that she presents it.  Showing the necklaces simply falling from the books they were made from.

“Betty calls the books orphans and she finds them in charity shops already carrying their own secret stories, looking for new homes. The jewellery finds solace in the books as it too has a story attached to it, who it belonged to, when it was given, why… Betty likes to use second hand textile in her work as she says it has a tactile, human quality and, like the books, it carries scents and stories, wears and fades like memories.”

Ann Martin is a quilling expert – and she creates some beautiful pieces.  She essentially uses quilling paper – however I wonder to myself whether it’s possible to use paper from books.  The results may not be as delicate or as uniform as hers but it could be worth trying. You can find the tutorial here.

And finally Frucci Designs.  I can’t post the images here but I urge you to visit her blog and LOVE her designs.  They are truly truly beautiful.

Hopefully this has been interesting.  There are more ideas coming up but I don’t want to overload you!

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Filed under books, jewellery, Upcycling

What to do with books – #1

A home without books is a body without soul.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

BOOK SHELVES

BOOK SHELVES

However – I sometimes wonder if the time comes when you have TOO many books.  There are days when I virtually salivate over the sight of peoples’ libraries, their shelves stocked floor to ceiling with books, and there are other days I want to take all my books and throw them out, because I don’t know when I’ll ever get round to reading every single book I’ve ever wanted to read and re-read every book I’ve loved reading.

Next to my bed right now

Next to my bed right now

Not that you can really see them – however for some reason the Stephanie Meyer ones are standing out!  Yes, I’ve read all of the Twilights – I bought The Host – however my better half says it’s rubbish.  So whether I get round to watching it is debatable. Suffice to say that’s a pile of books next to my bed.  We have 4 shelves in the bedroom full of books, 6 in the study and 9 in the living room.  That doesn’t include all of the books in the loft that still haven’t been unpacked in the 7 years we’ve been here.

Ok – so I decided to look around to see what to do with all of these books, apart from the obvious.  As I’ve blogged before – I’ve started Bookcrossing – I’m yet to see what happens there.  And of course I give books to charity shops etc.  However I do have a lot of books that are in a SHIT condition.  So decided to search around this wonderful thing we call the world wide web to see what other people do with books – upcycling wonderfulness abounds:

Turning books into purses/bags

Book Bag

Book Bag

If you click on the photo you will be taken to a video tutorial that looks pretty easy to follow – so I recommend trying this out.  I’m yet to find a book that I think will work well for this – but as soon as I do I will post it here so you can see my efforts.

SO cute

SO cute

Cute star bags

Cute star bags

These are some cute examples of books turned into purses.  There are SO many on the internet now – just search and see what you can find.

Turn books into art

Click on the photo to take you to a whole set by a school.

Click on the photo to take you to a whole set by a school.

Books of course, are art. However – to turn this form of art into more art looks so much fun.  I saw a wonderful exhibition at Fulham Palace last month entitled ‘Butterfly’ about the obsessiveness of a butterfly collector – using copies of The Collector by John Fowles (one of my favourite books).  The exhibition was very interesting and really made me want to try something similar in my purse designs.  I’ll post them when I’ve created my final design 😉

Here are some other links showcasing books into art:

Rag and Bone Blog – some collected examples of beautiful paper art – I LOVE the octopus

Books into vases

Reversing vandalism – San Francisco public library’s exhibition on old books turned into art

Fun Forever – another blog that collects some wonderful examples of books into art

{part #2 – coming up}

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Book-crossing

I’ve started a blog about second hand books, my obsession with them and the wonderful things that people have created with them. However the blog is taking longer than I thought it would (I keep getting distracted – it’s easy for me to get distracted) – so I thought I’d just quickly blog about something I’ve been meaning to do for a looooooong time – I finally signed up with BookCrossing.com. Tomorrow is the first day I release a book into the wild; Communion is being released in Lewisham at approximately 8am – by the library! I’ve put my note into the front and hopefully someone will find it, pick it up and the love will be spread.
I’m also going to ‘release’ Animal Farm on Thursday – we’ll see how that goes too.

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Recession hits charity shops

Yesterday I went on my usual lunch time wander – and was shocked at how few clothes there are in the charity shops.  The stress of the recession on thrifting – there are so many of us now going to charity shops – many of whom didn’t go before – and less clothing donations – which means less clothes.  Also you have the swappers, the ‘vintage’ clothing stores and car boot sales (where people can earn money from their own discarded clothes) – this means that there are less and less clothes going into these shops.

Saturday I’m taking a bag of clothes to the two shops I regularly plunder – Cancer Research and British Red Cross.  I owe it to them!  I was saving clothes for a swap but I’ve realised what effect I’m having.  Arghhhhhhhh by trying to be ‘green’ I’m having and adverse effect on charity shops – can a woman never win???? ha ha

Here are a few more links about this ‘crisis’ in charity shops:

Third Sector Report

KnowHow, NonProfit

Also – there have been complaints (can you believe this?) about Oxfam’s book shops.  Oxfam have been accused of almost ‘Tesco’ and (for the States) ‘Walmart’ style targeting of areas.  They open up their stores near other second hand bookshops and the owners of these have seen their profits plummet. This is so sad – yes I support the independent booksellers – however I support a charity over personal profit.  There’s always a problem, someone is always going to suffer when someone else (in this case a charity) profits.  However it can be said that Oxfam are behaving like a large corporation – plunging their shops onto high streets and ‘taking business away’ from the smaller shops.

New York Times article – “Oxfam killed my bookshop”

Inprint – plans to open more stores

I think what is sad is that you’re not going to get ‘gems’ in Oxfam stores.  The send them off to sell on the internet – which means browsing the store isn’t going to turn up anything of wonder.  They’re generally clean and tidy stores – unlike the ‘typical’ British second-hand bookstores – which are generally a health and safety issue to enter (and more the interesting for it). I think Oxfam should be thinking about the overall effect they are having.  They are more than capable of going into areas where there is a lack of second hand book stores and they will be successful.

I personally don’t go into the stores – not out of any principle – just that they’re completely over-priced!  I don’t like Oxfam stores – there’s something too ‘clean and tidy’ about them.  When I go thrifting I want to smell the dust, I want to have to take a hit of my asthma inhaler, I want to HUNT for the bargain.  Too many charity shops are becoming sanitised and pretty – I know that this attracts NEW clients but I miss the ramshackle charity shops of my childhood.

So in my second hand life I’m going to support everyone I can.  The smaller shops, the independent traders and as many charities as I can!

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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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Filed under Bags, Billy Bargains, books, Upcycling