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Vintage Week – Never Underestimate an Op Shop!

This week it’s about all things Vintage.  Once upon a time we talked about antiques, about things being old fashioned or retro.  Shabby Chic is out and Vintage is in.  Here’s a week in the life of TIFFIN’s Vintage Brisbane.

Today we visit some of my latest Op Shop purchases.

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Op Shop round up.  That’s partly because I’ve been very busy in my fake 9 – 5 life but it’s also because it’s getting harder to source those Op Shop bargains.  I also need to be just a little more selective these days as my collecting has well and truly filled the cupboards…

First up is this yellow plastic biscuit barrel.  Regular readers may recall that late last year I stumbled upon a pink version of the same barrel, in an op shop in Murwillumbah.  A former colleague read that post and tucked it away in her memory.  When she sawa  yellow barrel in her travels, she knew she had to buy it.  I’m not sure what to do with it though I’m thinking cotton balls in the upstairs bathroom. And so, my first op shop bargain is a true bargain indeed as it was a gift.  Thanks Justine!

This coffee jar and cup were meant for each other.  With their olive green palette and late 60’s styling, they are a match made in heaven.  I picked up the small glass jar in Tanunda.  It’s Pyrex and made in Australia in 1968.  I can’t imagine too much of it being manufactured here these days.  The jar is from the Store ‘n’ See range and has an amazing locking mechanism based on three small oval bubbles blown into the rim. The glass itself is incredibly thin, like a laboratory beaker. The whole cannister looks as good as the day it was made but if I want to keep it that way, I can’t just have it knocking around.  So, I’ve put some of my favourite coffee in it and tucked it up in the same cupboard as its companion cup.  Short and stout, this simple cream cup circled with a band of green was made in New Zealand.  I suspect it’s Crown Lynn but I’m not going to trawl through 12 765 photos on ebay to confirm my suspicions.  I really enjoy having a smaller coffee cup and the ritual of endless refills from it on Saturday mornings.  $1 and 20c respectively.  The embroidered tray cloth is from a second hand shop I visit every time I go to the Barossa.  Quite unusual with the geometric pattern. 50c

A quick tour of the relatively small selection of books in Vinnies Coorparoo turned up this one. ‘The Big Oyster – New York in the World.  A Molluscular History’ by Mark Kurlansky.  It tells the story of Manhattan, its rise to fame as an oyster centre and the slow decline after centuries of pollution. Filled with maps, photos, stories and even a few recipes, though I’m not a fan of oysters I think this is sure to be an interesting read.  Onto the pile it goes.  $2

This enamel mug has no practical use.  A cheap Chinese knock off, badly chipped and rusted inside and out, it nonetheless has a rustic charm.  Originally printed with a logo and slogan, the only part I can make out is part of the word ‘Tasmania’.  Bought from a Charity shop at Kenilworth in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, it’s a food stylist’s dream. 50c

Quite an eclectic collection.  None of it really vintage though definitely retro and all of it re-used and saved from landfill.

This post is linked with some likeminded thrifting and op shop friends including Blackbird Has Spoken (NZ), Sir Thrift A Lot (Toronto), The Thrify Groove (Michigan), The Brambleberry Cottage (North Carolina), Remnant (Portland).

14 comments… add one
  • Max August 4, 2013, 6:08 pm

    Hi Fiona, ace to have you joining in!
    i love your battered enamelware cup the most of all, i just picked up a billycan in similar condition and stuck a pot plant in it. can't stop looking at it!
    do come again x

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 4, 2013, 6:52 pm

      Thanks Max – great to have someone down this end of the world. I think it will be a while before I stumble upon such another great find.

  • Brisbane Devoured August 4, 2013, 6:30 pm

    There was an interesting read in the paper last weekend about op shop pricing being too expensive… glad to see some bargains here.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 4, 2013, 6:55 pm

      Oh, it is! Particularly Vinnies. I can definitley understand they are there to raise money for charity but honestly, I'm not going to pay $2 for a basic 2nd hand plate or $3 for a simple wine glass when I can get a brand new one from Ikea for less. Still bargains to be had but I find the local church or small charity shops have more on offer. I'm far more likely to spend $10 on a few

  • Aga @ a matter of taste August 4, 2013, 8:34 pm

    ooooh, I love the enamel mug. Nice find!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 4, 2013, 9:36 pm

      I think it will prove populat with other collectors. Thanks for stopping by Aga.

  • Linda @ A La Carte August 5, 2013, 1:26 am

    Saving usable items from the landfill is a great job for us isn't it!! Thanks for sharing your items this week at TTF!


    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 5, 2013, 10:28 am

      Hi Linda – yes every time I think about needing an extra spoon or some knives I think, 'Why would I go to the shop when I know there are literally 1000s sitting in op shops across the country?'

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things August 5, 2013, 2:32 am

    A great roundup Fiona… op shopping is a favourite of mine too… I love enamelware… your cup is a great find!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 5, 2013, 10:30 am

      I always like to build a little op shopping into any holiday. Didn't get to any in Darwin but luggage space was at a premium so I suppose I can live with it

  • Melissa August 7, 2013, 3:25 am

    That book looks really interesting. I love strange old books like that. Great finds!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! August 7, 2013, 7:54 am

      Yes, I'm looking forward to reading it, particularly since the one I'm reading is a bit of a drudge! I see that you're into Pyrex – just picked up an unexpected Pyrex bargain yesterday that I'll write about in coming months. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Mary BYRNE September 14, 2016, 9:18 am

    Hello Fiona! Met you at NOURISH’S PLATE TO PADDOCK @ SOUTH KOLAN back in August. Have just steamed the last of my tiny (and I mean TINY) Taters from BUNDAGINGA’S Anthony Rehbein. A green scourer works a treat to remove the beloved, rich, paprika-red soil. They are now sitting comfortably in the fridge, magically transformed into a Sicilian style salad ready for lunch here @ HILL OF PROMISE WINERY CHILDERS. If/when you are up this way again please call in for
    whatever is on the menu for lunch ….. alla prossima! Mary
    e mangohillcottagebb@bigpond.com
    F Hill of Promise Winery W http://www.hillofpromise.com

    • Fiona Ryan September 14, 2016, 9:23 am

      Hello Mary – thanks for your tips. That soil is definitely persistent but also fabulous for growing. We will certainly be in the area again as we had a wonderful time and will make sure we visit and spend some time tasting and talking. You live in a wonderful part of the world!

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