Tag Archives: fashion

my best thrifty purchase

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



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 🙂



Filed under Billy Bargains

sustainable living with a snob!

It’s increasingly difficult sometimes to have this ‘sustainable’ life when your other half can be such a snob.  On Saturday he bought our sister-in-law’s birthday present – now – obviously buying a ‘new’ gift went against ‘my’ principles – however he refused to purchase something used or handmade – then when he went to look for wrapping paper I said ‘We have newspaper at home – use that’ – he refused.

Does anyone else come up against problems when trying to live ‘second-hand’ with their partners?

I’m not going to force him into my way of thinking – afterall he should want to come to that place in his own way.  I once picked him up a shirt at a jumble sale for 20p – he’s never worn it however much he said that he ‘did’ like it! ha ha.  He has nothing against reading second-hand books, or buying second-hand dvds and cds, however when it comes to textiles (ie: clothes) for some reason he is completely turned off.  I will do it slowly – picking up awesome pieces that he loves then hopefully he will come around!

Deptford Junk Market

Deptford Junk Market

Today I start my internship – can’t wait.  I’m full of cold but who cares?  I’m also obviously looking forward to trawling the bargain charity shops while I’m there – naughty naughty! hee hee.  It’s also right next to the famous Deptford Junk Market which again will be my downfall.  This is a flea market with a difference, you literally are buying fleas! ha ha … of course I’m joking, however it’s a naughty place with naughty things that I end up buying because I think I can turn them into something.  Generally I can’t however it’s a fantastic place to rummage. I’ll try to be good!


Filed under Life

M’s Birthday Weekend

Yesterday was ENTIRELY unsuccessful in the second-hand tour of East London. We walked from Monument to Mile End Road to look through the East End Thrift Store. Don’t believe the flyer when it says that ‘almost all’ are £10 or less. I didn’t see one dress under £15. I’m not going to criticise the store for not having anything that didn’t suit my personal style – because I think that actually the store is really good. If you like 80s clothing, a lot of flowery dresses, plaid shirts (for men) etc. We didn’t really see anything that we liked which was unfortunate as we’d walked so far to get there – however I can see why it’s popular. It’s off the beaten track, it’s well organised and friendly. So if you like your fashion flowery or plaid – go there. It’s reasonably cheap and well stocked.

After failing there we wandered towards Brick Lane and went into my favourite shop – Junky Styling. I can’t afford anything there but I love to look at their new designs – they had a beautiful OAK dress styled from a man’s suit. At £250 it was a real steal – just not a real steal for my pocket! They didn’t really have a lot in stock though – which was really disappointing – I was hoping to introduce M to my favourite store!

Then we wandered to my favourite vintage store – Beyond Retro. I remember finding it with a friend of mine a couple of years back when we went on one of our wanders around East London. It’s a treasure trove of retro clothing that’s simply fun to trawl through. Unfortunately M’s not into trying on jump suits and wedding dresses – so it wasn’t such an enjoyable experience.

We then wandered, and wandered and wandered. The world of vintage and upcycling is becoming EXTREMELY trendy and unfortunately, when something becomes trendy in London it become expensive. I think I’m going to stick to my charity shops, car boot sales and jumble sales.

Sorry that this post is so dull – I’m very very tired from going out for a wonderful meal last night – and I want to sleep.

Leave a comment

Filed under Shops

tut tut

I had to buy something new today – but they were crafting materials so I don’t feel SO bad.  However, I will donate some books and clothes to a charity shop tomorrow to make up for my purchase of a glue gun and some vinyl.  Naughty naughty.  However I don’t feel so bad as I’m going to use them both in some upcycling projects.

As soon as I got home today I started on my vinyl record bag after seeing this on ThreadBanger:

Vinyl record bag

Vinyl record bag

(click on the image for the link)

I fell in love.  After all  – what could be more original than a bag made out of your favourite (or indeed tackiest) records?  So today, at lunchtime, I took myself off to the local charity shops and came back with a few second hand records – Engelbert Humperdink, Prince and Val Doonican 🙂  What more could a girl love on her bag?  As soon as I got in, I put my husband to work on burning the holes through the vinyl, which resulted in a lot of swearing and burned fingers 🙂  Since then I’ve decided to ‘go it alone’ on the design of the bag.  Rather than try to follow any tutorials I’ve found (most are for smaller bags with the record cut in half) I’ve decided to see how I get on.  So far it’s not going great, but this is a first try.  I did hope to finish the bag tonight however my back is really hurting, and I don’t fancy leaning over a sewing machine tonight.

Tomorrow my first ever record bag should be made and I will post it for you here 🙂

In the meantime here are some other vinyl bags that others have created.  As always, where there are photos, click on the photo to take you to their page.

These rock – Broken Record Designs are apparently the ‘original’ record purses – and I just LOVE that Pat Benatar one 🙂  However I’m not a huge fan of rivets etc.  I just think they look a bit ‘high street’ and less hand made.  There’s something ‘manufactured’ about them that I’m not keen on. They also have a ‘patent pending’ on their design – so beware of copying them (too much!).

The 45 by Luce Belanger

The 45 by Luce Belanger

This is a real old-school bag – apparently they’ve been around since the sixties – this idea of creating bags using records.  I really like this one – small and compact yet ultimately groovy! There’s nothing like an old 45 to make you feel a tad nostalgic!

I love the yellow on this and I’m really thinking carefully about the colours I choose for my vinyl record bags – I’m considering some gorgeous upcycled fake fur and velvet.

Album cover bag

Album cover bag

You have NO idea how much I LOVE this bag.  This album was one of my favourites as a child – I just loved how it opened up and you got the portraits of Karen and her brother.  Kind of creepy yet reminds me of my childhood.

I might try something similar when I finish the bag with the actual record.  I’m sure someone will LOVE an Engelbert Humperdink bag for Christmas!

Mighty Mighty Bosstones purse

Mighty Mighty Bosstones purse

Honestly – how freakin’ awesome is THIS bag? I absolutely love it.  SO groovy! 🙂

I’m getting so excited about creating my bag.  I know it’s not going to look so great as I’m not really using great material to make the bag itself (as this is a first go) – however I’m already thinking about what I want to hunt out in order to create my bag.  And yes … I will make sure that the material I use is either material I already own or upcycled.  That’s REALLY important to me at the moment – to not buy more material.

Wish me luck!

1 Comment

Filed under Bags, Upcycling

The Rules …

Well – this is an experiment at first – for the rest of the year.

1) I am not to buy anything NEW unless essential e.g. underwear, food, drinks etc.

2) If I DO buy something new (ie: if I lose my nose-stud for example) then I have to donate at least 2 items to a charity shop

3) I can buy a new item as a present IF it’s handmade

4) I must post photos and details about all my second hand goodness

5) I can buy second hand goods from charity shops, vintage shops, car boot sales, jumble sales, ebay and from friends

Simple enough? I think so.  I mostly buy second hand anyway – it’s just getting into the habit of doing it.

I’m not doing this as some sort of ‘this is my green life’ or anything like that.  It’s just a way for me to document my second hand buys – I absolutely love thrift shopping.  There is something intrinsically joyous about finding a bargain at a car boot sale, or in a charity shop and KNOWING that other people can’t just go out and buy the same thing straight away.

Or, I love knowing that I’m looking for something (generally a book) and searching everywhere for that elusive second hand bargain.  I remember when I was at the book market on the South Bank with a friend of mine, and I said to her ‘I could really do with finding a great book about cemeteries’ (I photograph cemeteries – http://www.londonnecropolis.com) and straight away I found one 🙂  Currently I’m looking for a used copy of “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton.  I really enjoyed “The House at Riverton”, but I refuse to pay ridiculous prices for new books.  I know that the authors must be paid but I just can’t afford it at the moment and I’ve always bought second hand books.

So there you go … the start of my quest to live the second-hand life.


Filed under Uncategorized