thrifty chic

I don’t really approve of photographing other people’s photographs but recently my sister bought me a gorgeous book for my birthday called ‘thrifty chic’.

These top 4 images are from the book, they are delicious and very inspiring.  

It makes you look around and remind yourself of what you have, where it came from and whether it is being used and seen.  If it’s not out on show, it can’t be enjoyed and when things are pretty, there seems very little point in keeping them hidden away.

We have miles of shelves in our home and they are filled to brimming with novels, reference books, sketch books and vintage books (from car boot sales even though I have, very reluctantly, at times had a cull and sent some of them BACK to car boot sales).

vintage books and my gran's suitcase


Amongst the books though, we have bits and bobs (like my gran’s old leather suitcase with her initials on the top) and family photographs too.

old books and pens


I’m a consumate tidier and sorter which is in complete conflict with my desire to have interesting things arranged around and about my environment.

a pot of coloured pencils


Pens, pencils & crayons for example, are so tasty to look at, it seems such a shame to have them all boxed up and out of the way….  They have a use but they are such gorgeously colourful and varied things, why not enjoy looking at them every day.

Anyway, I used to walk miles around our home looking for something to sketch or scribble a list with but now there are lots of little collections of these delightful implements dotted about to take your pick from.

old books, irons & jars (and quite a bit of dust! eeek!!!)


The best ‘things’ are those that are completely free. Now that is thrift…..Like the pebbles from places all over the world and shells from our weekend walks,

shells from holcombe beach


Some were only pennies like the old keys, old irons on their stands, stools, an old bakelite phone (that still works) and prints of all kinds of things.

some old and not so old keys on the wall in our spare bedroom


The idea of anything having a second use and not contributing to the mass of waste that we seem to enjoy producing in this country has always appealed to me.  

our lovely carboot bobbin train, abacus, truncheon & stool


Last summer, we met an amazing lady called carol from whom I bought some fabrics but also a gorgeous little train that was made of the redundant bobbins from a traditional fabric weaving mill when it went out of service,  I love it!

pebbles from around the world


Our side bench is saved from a skip outside a restaurant and was brought back to life with a bit of nitromorse, wire wool and beeswax.  It now has books, old irons and jars sitting under it.

celery jar and cut glass for candles


Our dining table was being thrown out by someone along with the 4 chairs that my sister now has. 

wardrobe door mirror


The mirror in our spare bedroom was £3 from an amazing place called brian’s trading post and used to be a wardrobe door. The list goes on.

I used to be an arran sweater


In these hard times, it makes you appreciate how valuable a skill like sewing or knitting is when you can give something a second life and be thifty while you are at it. Some of my favourites are still my makes that have had another life like the aran cushion that used to be a sweater and cushions that were off cuts of curtains etc.

old beads & one of my collection of evening bags


I am very excited that the car boot sales around our way are starting again in March.  Lets see what people want to throw out this year and what carboot bingo throws up.

The thrifting continues……

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