Sydney’s Best Opshop

Those of you in the know will not be surprised to hear this.  I declare Sydney’s Best Op Shop to be the wonderful Salvos at Tempe / St Peters – AKA Tempe Tip!

And those of you who might be visiting Sydney will be thrilled to learn this place is a short car ride from the Airport! And it’s just near Ikea – if that takes your fancy after your flight too!

This store never fails to disappoint in coming up with the goods – and I usually find myself gasping from how good it is at least a few times!

I fount this gorgeous “Vintage Glamourpuss” handbag. In my early days of attending the Fifites Fair, I remember seeing the maker of this great range of bags selling her wares, however they were always well out of my price range so I am just so pleased to have finally nabbed one and for just $8 – yay!

One went on Ebay recently – you might find one there

Looking for wool for winter sewing? I picked up this lovely double Faced black and grey wool it is a beautiful quality – 3 meters were $15 – there was a few on the rack – one was labelled Smouha fabrics – an exclusive fabric importer in Sydney – now defunct.

I always check out the furniture, though I am banned from bringing another stick of furniture into the house, and the lighting section.  The fifties kitchen set was about $600, the the antique chair was a steal I thought at under $200.

And remember my tip for great op shop karma – always take something to keep the awesomeness coming!



7 Bellevue Street











A walk home

20's Castle-like house

20’s Castle-like house

I found myself without a car on Friday for a few hours so I walked home – I snapped a few of the houses and gardens on my way with my phone.
It was a lovely warm spring day – perfect for noticing details that it’s hard to see when you are whizzing past in a car, with two bickering kids in the back!  I hope you enjoy peeking over fences and through shrubs with me!!

Spanish Mission apartments

Twenties Bungalows

A "Federation" in compulsory colour scheme and wonderful dracaena plants - one day mine will look like this!

Another cutey - look at that blue sky - and the palm!Bungalow with original timber struts – you see lots of these replaced with Greek or Roman Columns.

Orange native rock orchids - I have dozens of these in the garden - let me know if you would like some!

Triffid - and a little neglect.

Even the house numbers are stylish

Coprosma repens – reminds me of NZ – it grows everywhere there.

A little Mid-Century Modern! Love the agave plants!

Another one - peeking through the Grevillea and the Bottle Brush plants.

I only had one woman come out and complain to me and ask me not to photograph her house – it’s of course not shown here.  Shame – as it had lovely Art Deco leadlight windows – just like the one I used to live in in Jenkins Street with Louise, Tina and Diana – those were crazy days!  Not much money, or food, fun parties, candles melting onto the carpet and lots of love.

Op Shop Tour – Sydney’s Inner West

A few weeks some friends and I took an Op Shop Tour!  Part of the Sydney Fringe Festival it was compared by the gorgeous and curly-haired Joanne  O’Callaghan – it rocked!

Joanne is funny and she sings!  We got some great stuff!  It cost $30 and was totally worthwhile.  It was so pleasant to not have to drive ourselves around Sydney’s Inner West – it can be very congested.

We met up at The Marrickville Community Centre which houses Reverse Garbage and the Bower – it’s on Addison Road and these places are worth a look on their own!  Off we go!

Our first stop was at the Anglicare Op Shop at Summer Hill,105 Carlton Crescent, Summer Hill NSW 2130.  It is  a big warehouse, with a small quite exxy shop to one side or, do you own sorting from great big bales of clothing, linens and fabrics.  They sell the stuff by weight – I got 3kg at about $8 per kg.

I was on the search for 50’s fabric – look what I got at the first stop!  I think it’s 50’s – what do you think?  I think it’s linen but I haven’t done a burn test.   Should be enough to make a dress with.

Isn't it beautiful?! I love the fish!

This woman wanted a Flapper’s 20’s hat – also found at the first stop ! – Amazing!

I found this pretty crepe embroidered in gold metallic thread vintage evening bag – appearing on Ebay shortly!

A 50’s evening dress!  This dress is tiny – not my size but it was such a treasure I had to preserve it for fashion history!  It is constructed with a technique which I believe is called couching –  an ugly name for a beautiful thing!  Yes all that cord is manipulated into the fern and flower shapes and  hand sewn down!  The fabric is sheer and disintegrating in places, only one strap is left – half off – The dress is hanging up in my equally shabby sewing room – looking gorgeous!

Next we visited a small Presbyterian Op Shop in Dulwich Hill where I got a whole stack of amazing Notebook mag early editions, another woman got the coolest home-made quilt and a motorbike helmet decorated in a mosaic of small mirror tiles – like a disco ball!  Where she was going to wear that  – I can’t imagine!  Just up the road  Toni and I tried to get Coffee and Lebanese pastry from Abla Patisserie. 425A New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill,’s best kept secret – but you need patience – we had to get back on the bus so missed out! Wah!

Here we all are, myself, Toni, Sam and Sarah.  Don’t we look happy?  We are outside our next stop;  Lady Coco NimetClothing Store   at 161 Canterbury Road, Canterbury NSW, where we were all excited by our purchases, as the sign says, everything in the shop is $10 and its for charity!  Amazing.  It got a sheer beaded cardi (I love a beaded cardi!) a Witchery wool wrap cardi and a leather belt which was $1!  The smiles could also be from the pink champagne!  Thank you!

On to the Salvos at 7 Bellevue St, St Peters NSW 2044, known by some as the Tempe Tip – I think my friends were getting tired by then but I did really well here with:

Charlie Brown beach wear in glamorous giraffe print!  I got a beach chair too – set for summer!

This silk retro style print – which is begging to be up-cycled into a 50’s wrap style shirt I think.  I got a 30’s DVD and some other bits and pieces, I did find you really had to search – as the place is huge.

Last was back to Marrickville to the  AFTER-A-FASHION, Recycled Clothing 245 Marrickville Rd MARRICKVILLE 2204.  Ah The ‘Vale.  Vietnamese Butchers and Grocers (so cheap), fabric shops, two amazing op shops (the Salvos is just down the road), – I think I love you.  But not your air traffic.

These two lovelies are studying costume at Nida and they are from Melbourne – you can tell by their shoes I reckon, don’t they look great?  They had fun.  Wonder what movies they are going to make costumes for – how much fun!

A few bits of fabric above, two pieces of  funny Swiss flannelette – should be good for PJs.  Wool skirt and a lovely bright prints both destined for up -cycling.

After 4 hours, I was hungry and exhausted.  The rest of the gang went home through Newtown and ate lunch – then shopped more!  I had to go and collect my flesh and blood however.

Next time I would take a packed lunch!  But I can’t complain about anything – it was a brilliant day out – we supported charity and saved stuff from going to landfill – win!  Do check it out!

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Mad Men in Chatswood! Or Alex and Noah go to the shops!

What a fun outing mummy had planned this week the day of the teacher’s strike, I dragged the boys along with me to our local shops, the fancy schmancy – Chatswood Chase.  This month is hosting the Icons of Style exhibition curated by Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant – for a desperate two-minute slice of Me time!

The kids were ecstatic (not) about a fashion exhibition, even after a visit to Kmart and KFC (we are such bogans).  It is only a small collection of costumes, and some other items from the era.  I could hardly look at the prettys cos the kids were leaning over the cordon ropes then Noah actually touched the vintage record player and managed to dislodge a piece from it – I was mortified.

I have some vague recollections of what I saw whilst kid wrangling, these were the standouts:

Betty’s beautiful Polka Dot Chiffon number – I did notice it was coming away around the straps – such a shame – but not unexpected for such a delicate fabric, but as this is one of my favourite dresses from the show – I was thrilled to see it in person.

There were also some props which were a nice touch for kids who have never seen a record player before, but I suggest leaving the little darlings at home!

And if you haven’t seen the show – I highly recommend it!

The 50’s Fair 2011 – “People watching”

Yee haa! What a great day!  The ladies and gents that attend go all out with their ensembles.  Some of my shots are not as good as I would like, but I try to document what people are wearing – ‘cos that is my focus.  It gets crowded which makes it hard to get a full length shot, or you can’t  get close enough – so it makes for mixed results.  Sometimes you feel a bit like a stalker!  Usually if you ask permission politely, people are happy to pose for you – which is nice! Anyway I hope you enjoy the eye candy!

Watch out for further posts on “Shopping at the Fifties Fair” and “Fabric at the 50’s Fair”!

Sorry that some of the photos are the wrong way up – still struggling with this bit. If anyone can suggest anything.

(Sometimes the images can’t be saved after turning).

I have the fabric she used for her skirt, still trying to make my my mind up about whether I love it or hate it !

Much photographed!

Love that 40's cherry necklace (actually she had two on!)

Rosalie won the best dressed this year - stunning! Word is she bought her hat on the day!