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The Anti-Swank (and check out my orange pop)

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I’ve had a few conversations recently that have made me realise, that when it comes to clothes, furniture and general belongings, Tim and I are like the Anti-Swank.

We take an absurd kind of pride in going as low as you can go. We revel in it and I bet it really annoys people.

Ah, this? Well, this particular suitcase was found in skip, covered in turd. And this chair? From a car boot sale, absolutely ALIVE with FLEAS. And this? Ha, WELL, this old cupboard was dug up from a graveyard and came with decayed flesh in the hinges!

We like to clean things up and say “TADA!” and people often say we’re a bit jammy. (An equal number of people look at the stuff we are TADA-ing over and think “Ugh, looks like it belongs in a turdfilled, cat infested graveyard hole.)

People are mistaking jaminess for total dedication. You see, we can’t walk down a street without peeping up each driveway hoping for something sitting by a bin; we squizz into every skip, take huge diversions to pass by certain bounteous  charity shops.

We absolutely RUIN our days out. When we went to Brighton for a day out on the beach but ended up lugging round a pair of antique scales that, no joke, weighed more than me because we couldn’t resist them in the first charity shop we saw.

We look RIDICULOUS on public transport. The time Tim got three buses home carrying a 6 foot headboard for our bed. Or that surreal time we spent a whole morning unloading a stranger’s giant BeanBag bed into plastic bin bags and then had to get the tube across London, with 4 bags each, thousands of tiny, escaped polystyrene balls whizzing around the carriages on the Underground breeze.

Sometimes our scavengey tactics are foolishness – we think this 100% of the time when we are stranded half way home with a baby, a two bikes and a sofa.

But mostly, when the things end up in our house dolled up and chintzed out, we are pleased.

This corner shelf ruined a perfectly wonderful day out in Putney. It involved scaling a huge fence into a backyard wasteland where we picked through discarded trolleys and tellys. It hung out with us all day and then we had to cycle home with it. We left it plain and enjoyed it immensely until I saw on Pinterest the most WICKED bright shelf and knew I had to recreate it. (Have a look- isn’t it a beaut?)

BEFORE. Do you think I paint funny? Tim mocked my “hold”

So serious was I about making this happen in my kitchen that I WENT TO A SHOP! AND BOUGHT SOMETHING NEW! My sister would be SO proud.  Some lovely bright paint. (Being such a cheapskate however, I only bought the tester pot and it, um, wasn’t enough. I had to blend up my own concoction with some acrylic I had in the draw. Barely perceptible though!)

When we moved into this house two years ago the kitchen was the dreariest, most pinecladded place you didst ever see. Now it is awash with colour and this little corner just totes makes my heart sing. Hopefully in a few weeks time we’ll have some better photos that Pretty Nostalgic took and I’ll do an Extreme Makeover post.

Total Linky WIPEOUT

So many lovely things on Tinternet right now that I have to link up with:

Linking up with the Pinaddicts Crew over at ButWhyMummyWhy – your life will be enhanced by checking out their skills this month..

and the one and only Lakota and her Ta-Dah! Tuesday. She is one of the Charity Shop Oligarchy and you will love her.

Also, it frankly goes without saying, the illustrious Liz and the Magpie Mondays and …


And finally, I, erm, kinda, ah…. GOT THROUGH TO THE FINALS OF THE MADS!!! ARGHHHHH!! I am competely and utterly thrilled. Thank you so much if you voted. Would you mind doing it one more time? You can vote for me in the Thrift and Craft catergories here. Please check out all the other blogs there- they are boombastic.


27 responses »

  1. Wonderful…. and there is very little in my house that didn’t arrive 2nd (or 20th) hand…

    • He he, thanks, twentieth! If only furniture could talk eh?

      • Sometimes I make up stories for them…. and I too love the look of shock/admiration/confusion on peoples face when they find out pretty much everything in my house cost less put together than their new lounge suit….

      • Heheeee, I am totally gonna make up stories now too.

        “So, this chair, he’s Fred. Winston Churchill’s cousin once farted on him.”

  2. Haha, there must be some pithy saying about a good day out being spoiled by second hand finds…along the same lines as golf and good walks. We once bought a sideboard and had to put it in a black cab with me while my husband made his way way home in the car. Then I had to sit on it in the street until he reappeared (us in the taxi could take the bus lane short cuts) as I couldn’t move it by myself. That said I never find anything in skips except rubble and fried chicken boxes. Although I did reach virtually clamber into one after some bit of rubbish with a promotional code on it (probably a coke bottle) when I was in the depths of my comping addiction!

    ANYWAY…I love your shelf (and your painting grip looks ok to me – you have a WOMAN’s hand my lord! etc)

    I bought the first issue of that magazine hoping to nose round your home and you’re not in it yet! Lovely magazine but £8!! £8 freaking quid?? It’d better up its value Mollie Makes stylee is all I can say.

    Ta for ta-dah-ing – I shall endeavour to have it up next week as well

    • Oh serious LOL. Your comments always totally crack me up.

      We’ll be in second issue, out 1st July. Personally I reckon the design alone is worth £8. Although I’ve never bought a magazine in my life ha.

      Love your ta da Tuesday, dam though. I might do this one again on Tuesday!


  3. Tee hee! This is very inspiring. I never see skips though – at least never any that aren’t just filled with brick dust,

  4. THAT is a kick-ass shelf. well done. and i must say, i love the way you write – you make me laugh out loud, which is a rare gift. it’s Mother’s Day here in Canada, so Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  5. You completely inspire me! I think your style is amazing and I give you props for having the guts to search through people’s skips incase you come across some little gem (which you always bloody seem to do!!!). I don’t have enough confidence to go through skips. 1/ because I still worry about what people think of me (I’m working on this) and 2/I would die if someone called the cops screaming “she’s nicking the dust and rubble out of my skip”. When we moved into our little bungalow 6 years ago I had absolutely no decor style at all. After ripping all the old cupboards (that I hated but now think were quirky) out of every room and taking the awful orange and brown 60’s style tiles (that were probably worth a fortune and would actually look tres cool against my plain white kitchen cupboards now), the first thing we did was go buy a sofa from DFS (which I hate because it looks like it came from………..DFS, I so need to make new covers for it). I cannot stand buying new furniture now. Many reasons……………it’s frickin expensive………….it’s made of frickin cardboard (well, MDF but that’s about the same thing yes?)………… has no soul…………..

    I have also become a cheap skate since having our daughter and living on the bread-line (going back to work = needing childcare=costs about the same as I earn?) so am constantly scouring house clearance places but am not happy now most of these places have got wise to the “vintage” trend going on and upped all the prices.

    The Mr is no help as he has absolutely no style whatsoever so I worry that he thinks the stuff I like is a little twee or just scabby but then hey, he probably hopes I’ll just get enough junk that I can’t move the furniture round anymore (it makes him dissorientated!)

    Anyhow, blogs and people like you give me the confidence to carry on with my own little style, it’s unique………………………..just like me (except for the DFS sofa ;-()


      Such an ace comment.
      My motto is “If you love something it doesn’t matter if no one else loves it with you” also “People sometimes come round to decor- my husband and I had different tatses but not have met somewhere in the middle”

      (I am well good at making pithy catch phrases up)

  6. I moved house through London with £15 in my pocket. Bought a sofabed in Croydon off eBay for a tenner and dragged it back on a tram then a train. In two pieces.

    • Oh My, this is Commitment. Love this- such an ace picture!

      • I really had no where to sleep! It moved to the next house with me and served well for a year! Also picked up a vinyl player cabinet from the street. And I know of a few places which are goldmines for old furniture. It’s pretty much the only reason I want to learn to drive because I’m having to leave it all behind 😦 My mum found a plate in a skip once and sold it for £80 which is pretty good.

  7. This is me!! You are me and I am you! How funny – can you imagine us on a day out. Oh my god! x

  8. I was grinning at the bit where you described the little white balls on the tube – I could just imagine it.

  9. Dying of laughter! I spend weeks doing things the cheap way when I could walk into a shop and sort it immediately, but there is a perverse pleasure…. Love the shelves though. I have some unfinished projects to complete which I’m hoping will look just as good when they’re finally done.

  10. I would like you go and look for a bargain any where well done you !

  11. Oh my I love what you have done with it. Great colour and makes such a fab cozy corner now. Well done for inspiring 🙂

  12. I LOVE that you do all that stuff. You are the thriftiest thrifter ever, and deserve some kind of skip-shaped award for extreme recycling 🙂 Your posts are always a joy to read.

  13. That is absolutely fricking awesome!

  14. Pingback: Our recycled kitchen – a makeover from new to old « Lulastic and the Hippyshake

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