Monday, 27 July 2015

Just another manic Monday


Phew, this working for a living malarkey is wearing me out, messing with my blogging routine, and curtailing my social life!

But I'm not moaning, honest; I'm lucky to have a job I like, within walking distance, working with some really lovely people.


I will never cease to be amazed by the donations which come through our door, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I love the fact that you just never know what a bag will contain; washed-out Primark, ancient undies, half-used toiletries, and knackered saucepans? 

Or how do you fancy a 1970s Made in Wales Laura Ashley maxi dress, a 1970s Marimekko-inspired dress by Finnish label Kaisu Heikkila Oy, a 1940-50s ostrich feather stole, a box full of 1960-70s costume jewellery, or a 1950s leather collar case complete with bow ties, cuff links, and a pipe?
 
Charity shops are the great leveller - it's all there, the good, the bad, the downright ugly.
 
 
1970s handmade angel sleeve maxi dress - Ebay
1960s Admyra jacket and shoes - charity shopped 

The colours of this outfit are somewhat autumnal, but then they match the weather.
 
 
Patchwork leather bag and bangles - charity shopped
Brooch - gift from Tania
 
 I'm trying really hard to resist the lure of some of the great stock we have in the shop. I chatted happily about vintage glassware with the customer who snapped up some cool 1960s glasses, and I gladly told the woman who bought a fabulous 1970s metal tray that she had great taste. 
 
I get huge satisfaction from selling items which I love (and which are often about to be consigned to the bin before I intervene with a squeaky Ooh, can I just have a look at that?)
 
 
Here are a few bits which made it home with me after all; a funky 1960s vinyl shopping bag, a funny little turquoise hornbill brooch (judging by the fastening, it might be quite old), and a Bakelite darning mushroom, which I bought purely because it reminds me of my dad. He always darned his own socks. 


Yesterday, despite the incessant rain, Simon, Uncle Gary and the kids went to watch a pre-season friendly match between Sheffield United and Newcastle. Afterwards, we went to Amigos to warm up with some spicy Mexican food.


Guess who had been to a birthday sleepover the night before? 
 
Oh the miraculous restorative powers of a chocolate milkshake and a balloon... 


I have a day off tomorrow, and boy, am I looking forward to the lie-in!

xxx

42 comments:

Mother of Reinvention said...

Bah, if only all wage slavery sounded as good as yours. :)
You look fabulous in that maxi. Autumnal colours are very you. I love your brooch. Old undies don't sound fab. Nice to hear that you are getting good stock too. It's brilliant that it is not goung to landfill and raising some money at the same time. Xx

Mother of Reinvention said...

Oh,first. Go me ! :D xx

Lisa said...

Love the shopper and your dress is really lovely, such a pretty floral pattern.
Sleepovers are great when they are held at someone else's house!
I was constantly amazed when sorting donations somedays when I volunteered in a charity shop, you just never know what's going to be in those bags.
Enjoy your day off tomorrow.
Lisa x

Lesley Extance said...

Love the bag and gorgeous dress ,I am really pleased for you that your job is going so well and you like it , have
have a lovely day off best wishes xxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

It always amazed me that some folk think it acceptable to donate utter rubbish in the form of broken household items and damaged or filthy beyond repair clothing to a charity shop. I've binned complete bags of donations in the past, after sifting through in the vain hope that there might just be something worth selling. It's nice to hear that you are getting vintage and other good stuff to raise funds, and enjoying the interaction with customers too. Charity shops have the most interesting and diverse customers!

Goody said...

We have a shop nearby that displays everything that comes in, and you pretty much have to sort through it yourself-it can be disgusting at times. Still. the lure of something great keeps me going back (with pre-moistened handwipes in my bag, of course).

Oh how I love those old plastic shoppers. They're getting scarce-you were lucky to snag it. Being able to share your enjoyment of vintage items with people happy to have them must be rewarding.

Ah, the cure for a late night is a chocolate milk shake. *Makes mental note*. That's my kind of breakfast.

You've changed my mind on angel sleeves after all this time reading your blog. They'll never look as great on me as you, but you've succeeded in making me look at them differently.

SAM said...

I must channel Curtise when I bag items for donation, and do a good garbage bin purge before donation. I am proud of myself, and annoyed. I bought a fab long cargo short in a green khaki like fabric. Exactly what I wanted for $3.99 at the SA thrift store. I guessed size and were right. Same size, different brand on a pair of blue jeans-and I couldn't get them over my behind. These were half price ticketed, just $2.50, so even if donated back, not much loss, but I really liked them and sad they didn't fit. I'll see if my older daughter would like, but probably too dowdy for her. I'm trying to watch and learn to find the gems.1 for 2 this time.

Ivy Black said...

Hello Gorgeous.I'm so glad your having a ball at work. It sounds perfect for you and there's a lot to be said for a workplace within walking distance I feel. My commute is three minutes which does make up for the contents of some days!! It also means a quick escape1 I would love a rummage at your chazza. I would love a job at your chazza actually! I'm all over Marimekko and all things Finnish/Scandi at the moment. Love the shopping bag and I think darning mushrooms are lovely objects in their own right.
Yup. a choccie milkshake and a balloon always sorts me out.
Right...off to commute to work now.
Loves ya.
xxxxxxxx

Melanie said...

I'm glad you're enjoying your job, even if it's playing havoc with your blogging. I love the hornbill brooch and the darning mushroom is lovely, I have a modern wooden fly agaric one which I use xxx

Sue said...

When I used to sort for one of the Salvation Army stores I used to be horrified by some of the stuff people donated, as in 'their trash'. We used to wear gloves for sorting sometimes. For every fabulous bag there was usually half a dozen bags of straight up crap. But there is nothing quite like the thrill of discovering some good stuff amongst all the crap is there. Glad you are enjoying your job, it is not often we can say that about work. Your kids are cute, especially the sleepover lad!!

Delia West said...

oohhh I love that shopping bag and I love your orange dress your wearing to you look gorgeous. I did a few days in a charity shop and is indeed amazing what comes in and what shocked me was the state of some of the clothes and not even being washed. Hope you enjoyed your lie in this morning, dee xx

beate grigutsch said...

envy your job! really!
:-)
this wonderful buttercream colored tailleur again! trés chic with the flowy dress! great finds - the brooch is to cute and the memories of that darning mushroom.... aww!
your darling kids had a fun day - and owen a fun night too obviously!
i did want to send you some heat - but instead your torrential rain comes over - and now i need my fur vest!
have i wonderful day off my dear!
xxxxxx

mondoagogo said...

Glad you're enjoying your job, and that they're benefiting from your knowledge, learning not to chuck stuff that still has value (if only the charity shops around here had more people like you!)

Poor Owen looks hung over -- when he starts moaning about hangovers when he's older, you can remind him that once upon a time, a balloon was a good cure :D

BadPenny said...

The donations coming into our charity shop can become overwhelming. We've had some pretty awful stuff !
We have an old leather collar box with lots of collars. A dealer wants the box & keeps trying to haggle with us.
Enjoy your day off. I am spending mine with an extra dog for the day - It's a mad house !

Miss Magpie said...

I love the outfit and I'm so pleased you are enjoying the job.

Please don't ever wear the hornbill brooch in my presence because I will steal it, I feel it's only fair to give you warning......

Vix said...

A gorgeously Autumnal outfit for a distinctly grey day. Those fluttery sleeves will always be Curtise Sleeves to me.
You are made of stern stuff to resist snapping up some of those donations and I don't mean the clapped out Primarni and grubby undies but it is good to see them being sold to deserving people with similar tastes to ours.
Love the three purchases. I can't resist a darning mushroom and the bag is ace.
Those kids of yours are made of stern stuff watching footie in the rain. A Mexican would definitely pep me up, give or take the balloon.
Hope the lie-in wasn't interrupted by cats, like ours was!
Love you. xxxx

Laurie Duncan said...

I really love the colors of that dress! I would love a bit of cooler weather right now. It's been so hot and humid here!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Yes, working for a living does put a real damper on your social/blogging life ;) At least you have the advantage of being able to see some cool stuff come your way - all the things you listed in your second paragraph sound wonderful (I like dresses made in Scandinavia). On the other side of it, I can't believe the crap people think is ok to donate to charity; stuff that is torn, stained, etc. Ewwwwww!

It is amazing how chocolate shakes and balloons can perk someone up, isn't it!

Natalia Lialina said...

The dress is gorgeous on you, Curtise, and I can only imagine how strong willed you need to be at your job - so few purchases. :) The hornbill brooch is adorable! Owen obviously had great time! Don't they all look alike after sleepovers? Such cute sleepy heads! :) Enjoy your day off! xxx

Patti said...

Love this! What a gorgeous dress, and I can so relate to the "oooh, may I have a quick look at that?", when I volunteer at the thrift shop. Hee hee! xox

Mrs Bertimus said...

Love, love, love your outfit, and the bag, and the brooch, and..... X

Angels have Red Hair said...

Haha ... his face looks just like all of ours did here on Sunday after the birthday bash the day before.
xx

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

Love your dress!! So good on you and layers beautifully. The children look fab (!!!) and I'm insanely jealous of your autumnal weather. We're stuck in the high 90's with high humidity, and I'm nauseous the minute I go outside, never mind crying because I can't layer a thing. I'm happy for you, having a job you can walk to!! Sounds like a fun one. I've worked retail off and on through the years, and I loved selling clothes (in particular) to people who appreciated my input. Have fun, dear one!! Love you. XXOO

Winter Moon said...

That's such a lovely dress, and looks stunning on you!
So many gorgeous photographs and finds.

I'm glad you're enjoying your job, although some donations are so random (I've actually seen half used cosmetics and toiletries for sale in charity shops).

Owen clearly had fun :D xx

The Style Crone said...

Your maxi is gorgeous and I love it paired with the yellow jacket. This job seems perfect for you. It's wonderful that you have access to so many unique pieces.

Watching your children grow up before my eyes is a pleasure!

Diane said...

Fabulous as ever! I'm just catching up - holiday and now a dodgy laptop!!! You went to Giffords - we are going at the end of August - it looks as amazing as ever. I'd LOVE to work in a charity shop. I was watching for you at the weekend - did you do any Tramlines? Heeley was mental! xxx

Fiona said...

Yes it must be so tempting to grab every lovely thing that comes in. Your brooch is delightful. I'm not surprised you swooped on that, ditto the shopper. Have to confess I send ancient bras to the hospice shop...but only cos the man there says they get good money for them (in the ragbag I assume) Or maybe that's a line and he's a cross-dresser? Can't think of anything I'd like less than to attend a rain-soaked football match - but a Mexican...now you're talking!
Hope you enjoyed that lie in.
x

Suzanne Carillo said...

I think I would be tempted by everything working in a thrift store. I'd be pushing people out of the way every time new bags would come in.

I'm so happy to hear you are enjoying it.

The pattern on the shopping bag is gorgeous.

bisous
Suzanne

Aya in Couturgatory said...

I fully expect with the charity shop job that no outfit will ever be repeated here, ever. :D

Oh, the brooches you featured here are so lovely. There isn't much jewelry in the charity shops here; I'm not sure if they get picked over by people looking for precious metals, or if no one in the States donates jewelry that isn't made of tinfoil. I'll just admire yours. :D

Beth Waltz said...

Alas, the jewelry in the local thrift shops is usually Avon junque and very tired pearls. The little hornbill would have found a new perch on my lapel!

Our low-end thrift has upgraded a spare room (the manager vacated her office, bless the woman!) to display "vintage/fashion" donations that "remain priced as marked". Before, they'd wrap a rubber band around any pair of good leather heels and pitch them into the $1/bin. Now that they've made the effort to distinguish the good stuff from the utility items, they're receiving the best of my closet clean-outs.

Sarah Jane said...

I honestly envy your job. I'd love to have so much potential joy at my fingertips. Crusty old pants and half used toiletries aside. It is a tough old game the world of work though I know. I only work part time and I can barely keep up with that :) xxx

Mim said...

That dress is so glam! You and Vix have really made me look afresh at the 1970s.

If you ever get any part-bottles of old perfume that you can't sell in the shop, do allow me to make an offer! I suspect such things get dumped by most shops.

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Sounds like you have found your perfect job.
Enjoy your day off.
X

Jazzy Jack said...

This reminds me of the rubbish people send to missionaries...namely our family. Used teabags we had once!
All your purchases are right on the money and I love your garish but glorious flower brooch. Of course the hornbill is charming too.
You must need nerves of steel not to buy all the stock. I know, I worked in a book shop once! Aargh!
Glad you are slowly educating the world and glamorising it too! Now enjoy your rest :-) xo Jazzy Jack

Lynn Holland said...

You wear that dress beautifully with "our" jacket and it's given me an idea for a frock I got recently. I hadn't thought of putting my jacket with it.
I like that blue bag. I'd be a nightmare working in the chazzer shop, I'd have to get a second job to pay for all my purchases :)
Enjoy your day off
Lynn xxx

Shawna McComber said...

I love this post. I think you should write a charity donation poem. It's a bit like being an anthropologist as you sift through the donations. Sadly, my local thrift shops contain mostly the bad and the ugly. I imagine that is mainly due to the size of the community and the places available for shopping. So, you can buy your clothes at Walmart or buy Walmart clothing that is cast of at the thrift shop after a couple years of use.

You have some great finds, as always. The flower brooch and the little bird really caught my eye. I also love the dress you are wearing, the lines of it are really flattering and I always love a floral.
xoxo

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Ashley is good quality every time. Best.

Melanie said...

Yes, I can imagine the temptations that cross your path in the shop. It must take a lot of will power not to cart things home every day.
You look gorgeous in your angel sleeve maxi, especially with that jacket, which has always been a favourite of mine among your jackets. And at least it must be a relief to know that a balloon and ice cream are still effective backups. Haha!
I hope your schedule gets easier to manage as time goes on. And I hope you had a relaxing day off!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

It's a bit like opening presents isn't it? You just never know what you're going to find? Something that will make you gasp with delight or make you hold your nose and reach for the gloves before you carry on! Lovely dress. xxxx

Catherine said...

ooh a job within walking distance. i am so envious! that hornbill brooch looks like it could be from the original tropical obsession of the 40s! or was it 30s? i cant seem to remember, but it has that look to it...
That dress is so wonderful, good find!

Trees said...

Oh I LOVE that angel sleeve dress!! So perfect and I'm always a fan of autumnal colours. Sometimes I think I'm used to this working malarky (I should be after 13 years) but then other days I'm like - not again!!

freckleface said...

Work. It's so good when you love it, and I'm so pleased you do. I bet you bring so much to that little shop. All that enthusiasm and knowledge. Lovely. I fancy a sabbatical with a pay rise at the moment. You look lovely in that dress, those colours suit your hair and as for those sleeves. I've decided, if they ever publish a fashion dictionary, Angel sleeves need to have the definition: as worn by Curtise Monk. Oh yes, I totally get why you bought the darning mushroom because of your dad. Look at Owen! He's all tired after a night with his friends. So cute. Days off with lie ins are the best thing in the entire universe. Better than wine even! Xxxxxx