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Tag Archives: charity shops

My new (ancient) Zig-Zag-o-matic sewing machine. Guess what it does?

ZIG ZAG!

For my birthday this year my husband bought me a beautiful retro Singer sewing machine, but we quickly discovered it didn’t do zig zag stitching. I use zig zag alot as it requires less precision  with pesky single stitch you have to follow a line and can easily come away from the fabric, especially if you are talking/ holding the baby/ eating breakfast at the same time. Zig zag is like playing snooker with the cue the wrong way round.

So we have been keeping our eyes peeled for another old machine (it has to be aesthetically pleasing as I don’t want to have to hide it away when not using it) but within zig zag era.

We were in a charity shop in Sevenoaks last week (worth a visit for charity shopping-  5  mostly  overpriced shops but with a good selection of quality wool jumpers, boots and DVD’s) and like some kind of cosmic joke there sat an old sewing machine called the ZIG -ZAG-O-MATIC! It was £50 but when the guy heard our discussion (not intentionally loud, I’d never try and rip off a charity shop. When I say “never” I mostly mean “not that much”, and often rather than trying to bargain down I just don’t buy and then complain about how charity shops are soooo expensive. I know, I know, what a cheapskate) about how we only had a £30 budget he piped up with “How about £30 then?!”  Despite dropping it on the way to the train station it survived the journey home, and here it is, in all it’s glory. Our De Luxe, Grand, Zig-Zag-0-Matic, with it’s little box of extra goodies and quaint manual.

I love that they couldn’t really decide on the name so just called it all three things. You can see that diplomatic outcome taking it’s course in their boardroom, eh.

I really like all these little badges. So styley. More badges please, you people of the current design world!

All the little details, the dials, etc. They don’t make stuff this classy these days, eh.

And, I don’t know if I mentioned this but, this machine, yeah, it does ZIG ZAG.

The manual explains “This machine, by virtur (sic) of it’s design, permits you to do zig zag sewing…” Ummm. As if you could have got to page 35 of the manual without realising this feature.

These were the great days when you could just add “omatic” to everything and create an instant “does what it says on the tin” brand. Now you have to read the back of things to figure out what they do because product names are so cryptic. Ipods: Musicomatic. Easy. Although, it could get a little unweildy. Iphones: everything-you-can-ever-conceive-of -finding-out- or-buying-or-playing-or planning- plus – talking-on-the-phone- omatic.

Hmmm, also imagine what the 50’s would have called tampons.

And here is the little accompanying box, which I probably would have paid £30 for by itself because it is so cute.

Today I am linking up with Miss Lizzie B’s spectacular Magpie Monday where basically people get together to show of their recent bargainous swag. I have since been introduced to the most tenacious charity shopping extraordinaires- I mean, I thought I was obsessed, but some of these vintage-hooked peeps make my efforts look totally feeble. I am in awe.

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Extreme (budget) Makeover – the recycled lounge

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“Apart from a handful of things given to us, our entire house is created from stuff we have found on the side of the road, or in charity shops” I explained to a friend. He scanned the lounge where we were sitting and said “Yup… I can beleive it”.

Bahaha.

So maybe the random array of furniture and funny little odds and ends (and the smell of cat wee) (just kidding) gives it away a little. But we love it, and that is what counts, eh?

Here are some horrendoes befores:


We had carpet put in on Monday, and Tim scored some amazing bits of furniture from a skip the day after which just completed it all for us. So here is the Big Reveal of the lounge, a year after we began!

The big soldier was £5 from Oxfam in Streatham (I have raved about this shop before. It is amazing!)

The little soldiers were £5 from the Fara kids shop in Pimlico

The curtains were £70 from the Mind shop in East Dulwich. Yep. 7 0. But they are lovely and thick and long and we had been searching for some time. Plus, it all goes to charity innit.

Then we have a big deep drawer next to the sofa which is great for holding all of Ramona’s toys. We found it round the corner, minus the desk!

This sofa is also from Streatham Oxfam, it was £35 and is so huge it is possible to sleep on it. Love. The cushions are from various charity shops, or made for us by our lovely friend.

Here is the other end of the lounge, and apologies for the even worse photos these puppies will make you feel dizzy. It is so dark down there and my camera hates on it.

This sofa/bench and the bureau were the bits Tim found in the skip. The school bench was £8 from a junk shop in Peckham. The old school pull along duck was £1 from a little school car boot (those are the BEST for kids stuff, unbelieveably cheap.)

This white book case was once pine and in the bin of a neighbours house, we pulled it out and painted it white. It’s not flash but it does a job! One of these sewing machines was found on the street, the other given to me for my birthday, but originated from Oxfam in West Wickham. The abacus was 50p from a charity shop – Ramona loves it! And the various frames were picked up from charity shops.

The desk lamp was £1 from another school car boot. I love finding glass things and putting stuff in them- jars full of pegs or scrabble letters.

So there it is, the recycled lounge- a mixture of charity shopping obsession and pure – finding – things – on – the- street- luck.