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Never Underestimate An Op Shop!

After seven arduous weeks holidaying in South America, it was time to take a 24 hour mini break to get away from it all and celebrate Anthony’s birthday.  After an action packed evening at Greenmount Resort where the fire alarm went off at 3am and we all had to shuffle down the fire stairs in our PJs, we decided to spend the following day in the Gold Coast and northern NSW hinterland.

Murwillumbah is a favourite haunt of mine as it continues to maintain that big country town charm, with a few little modern twists around the edges.  It also has more than a fair scattering of Art Deco buildings still in very good condition so that’s always a bonus.  The large St Vincent De Paul proved to be a gold mine and although I was tempted to buy many, many more things, I tried to to think about where all of these things would fit in my cupboards.

First up were some bowls – there were lots (and I mean lots) that I could have brought home but I stuck to 3.  Two heatproof ‘corning’ style glass bowls, one in caramel with a ‘Crown’ stamp and the other in a classic late 1960’s early 70’s brown with a little saucepan handle.  Non porous and non flashy, these are perfect for storing tomato based leftovers in the fridge. – $1 each  The Art Deco style tray they are sitting on was $3.

I also spied this lovely blue pudding bowl at the back of a shelf and could tell straight away that it was an original.  Turning it over, I could see the ‘Fowler Ware’ stamp on the bottom.  In very good condition this bowl would be great for making a summer ice cream pudding in but I must confess, I already treasure it too much to probably use it. – $5 (TIFFIN Op Shop rule: ‘Under $5 – just buy’)

Now for the classy section of the post.  The ‘Embassy’ brand pink, plastic biscuit barrel.  Probably 1970’s, this is a curious mix of vinyl plastic barrel, hard platic lid and non matching pink plastic knob.  Embassy is a old brand that Coles used to produce and this is quite possibly the last piece of plastic ever manufactured in Australia (so proudly stamped on the bottom).   I think it’s highly likely that these would have been filled with biscuits and shrink wrapped as part of a Christmas range.  It is in no way air tight so it will have a new life as an ice bucket or for holding matchbooks collected in my travels. – $2

My favourite item from the day – the ‘Queensland – Sunshine State’ souvenir drink coasters.  This ticks all the boxes for me: bar ware, souvenir, retro AND it has Queensland as a motif.  This adds to my growing collection of cocktail paraphernalia.

I ask you – who wouldn’t want a coaster with an image of a cane train and the words ‘Sugar Harvesting’ emblazoned on it? – $2 the set

Finally, I acquired a flashback from my own childhood.  As a child, when I flipped through the Avon catalogues I always lingered on the perfume bottles in the shapes of pretty maidens, young children, cute puppies and kittens and other terribly tasteful trash.  This ornate amethyst bottle in the shape of a cowboy boot was one such vessel and as soon as I saw it on the shelf, I knew it was for me.  Lady GaGa’s perfume bottle has nothing on this.  Perhaps some Avon Avid may be after this to fill a gap in their collection but for me, it’s just a fun trip down memory lane.  It’s not particularly functional or useful but at 50c, the price was right.

So, that’s the latest haul.  Has there been anything in a charity of thrift shop that you’ve been unable to resist, despite its impracticality?  What’s been your best Op Shop purchase?  Leave a comment and let me know.

3 comments… add one
  • Lizzy (Good things) November 21, 2012, 5:05 am

    LOL, good finds Fiona! Love the bowl!

  • rhubarbwhine.com November 21, 2012, 8:06 pm

    You found a FOWLERWARE bowl for 5 bucks? Sweet fanny Annie! Those are the finds I love.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! June 7, 2013, 1:38 pm

      Indeed I did. Can you believe I gave it a 2nd thought?! It's beautiful. Nice use of Fanny Annie by the way.

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