Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From pre-loved to loved again

In line with my recent Date & Walnut loaf tins, discovered at our local Op Shop (Thrift store) I also came across another serendipitous item. I say serendipitous, because I was just thinking the week before, I need a mirror for our 6 year old daughter. We have a mirror in our room and the bathroom has one of course, but she's now of an age where dressing up is fun and having her own mirror would be useful.

She spotted it while I was looking through the furniture section and pointed it out to me. She didn't ask for it, she just said how pretty it looked. Well, I almost turned it down because it was $25, but after I'm done with it, I'm sure the price will be long forgotten. Here's what she found:

Of course, I had a piece of furniture in mind when I bought it - another pre-loved item, way back when my now 24 year old brother, was a wee little newborn. It was back in the mid 80's and my mum bought this second-hand dresser for $35. Which by today's currency value, would equate to forking over $100. But when it first came home, it was used by my older sister in the bedroom we shared together. I think I got to use the bottom drawers because I was shorter, LOL. Then it became my brothers set of drawers, when he was older.

My mum gave it to us after we moved into our new house, as a family heirloom. But it's like the two pieces (when put together) were made for each other. Of course, I'm going to give them a new paint job with pastel coloured paints, to suit a young ladies bedroom. I want to do this for my daughter, as I can remember how my mum would buy pre-loved furniture and tailor it to our needs at the time.

As a kid, it felt great to have a parent dress up the bedroom. It made you feel special, especially when they found a new way to store all your favourite books and toys.

Speaking of which, my mum also gave us one of her bookshelves recently. It's one of those cheap MDF made ones, but I loved the thought of extending it's life a little further. With a new lick of paint, it too will be transformed into a young ladies bookshelf. I even managed to find some gorgeous teddy-bear family bookends, from the second-hand shop too.

It may take me a while to finish decorating her room with pre-loved items, but I hope I can share with her the adventure of creating new stuff from old stuff - rather than buying it new. Why stop at furniture though? We also found some pre-loved books for her to re-discover.

Dave actually found these and thought she'd like to do some of the craft projects inside. I hadn't looked inside the books until we got home; but guess what I found upon opening the first page of one of the books?

A decorated kids bedroom, all with handmade stuff! Our daughter is a bit over the dinosaur stage (as a bedroom theme) but it just re-enforced the sentiment that creating stuff for your child's bedroom has a charm all of it's own. It says..."I had you in mind when I made this"...and they get to keep those memories for a lifetime.

But I also had to take a few goodies home for myself too, as I want to start bringing more pre-loved items into the home. In many cases, they're far superior than a new item, as they've stood the test of time and wear. Many are often personalised too.

Like this notes holder, made from wood but decorated with flower decopage and covered with clear varnish. I can hang it on the wall in our office. But I'm always looking for storage items to organise things better. The wicker basket with carry handles is always a handy thing to have around too. I can store my knitting projects in it, craft stuff or anything I may need to take on the run. But I also found something I have been looking for, and that's a scrap-book tote.

Not brand new - pre-loved, but it only cost a dollar and it will get a second lease of life. To think I've turned down buying a brand new tote on several occasions - I'm glad I did!

If you're prepared to be patient and wait for what you're looking for, buying pre-loved items (even being given them) becomes a very satisfying exercise. Not just because you were prepared to wait for it, but it also asks you to take part in a personal journey - what do I need and who has needed it before me?

That's where the satisfaction comes into it - rediscovering what someone else had a use for in their life, and transforming it into something new in your life.

While it looks like I bought a lot, I actually spent very little - and each piece has an intended purpose. Pre-loved can be loved again...and again...and again. :)


  1. Well done. It's great to find things that can be given a new lease of life and not end up in landfill.

    I have become a great fan of Vinnies, I only get my books from there now and today I got 3 pairs of knitting needles for $3.00. There was a man in there buying the most fabulous old linens, I almost cried when he took the pure linen tea towels embroidered with the days of the week. I so hoped he would leave them for me.:-(

    BTW How are the chicks?

  2. I'll have to do an update on the chicks, as there's lots to share.

    Bummer on missing out on the linens though. They sure get some interesting pre-loved things in the Op shops. I'm waiting to stumble upon a sock darning mushroom. One day it will show up, LOL.

  3. Oh Chris, I'd love to go shopping with you! Pity we're at other ends of the country... I love my local vinnies, they always have exactly what I need at the right time. Or, maybe I just can't resist a bargain? Yesterday I bought a black bin bag (not kidding) full of stuff for $4!!! kids crafts, books, cake storer thingy, whistling kettle, Xmas napkins... and more. I signed up for yoga the day before, walked in to vinnies and they were selling yoga mats for $2. Serendipity. Bought 2 so my friend might come. $8 nearly filled my car- and I'll use everything.
    Love the cheap linen too for transforming into new items.

    You got some great bargains there.
    That mirror and drawer set will look fabulous with a girly transformation, I can't wait to see it! Then you have added a little extra to your family heirloom. Maybe your grandchildren will use it one day :)
    (I mean a LONG time from now!!)

  4. I'll keep my eyes open for a mushroom, can't see me ever darning socks somehow. :-)

  5. Dave wears the heels out of his socks every few weeks, LOL, so I'm thinking there's got to be a cheaper way than buying new ones.

    I'll give the darning a try to see if it helps. He may just wear them out quicker! Thanks for joining the mushroom hunt though. :)

    I was thinking the same thing about grandchildren, Mw. If I have any in the future, I'd like to pass special items of furniture on. Our daughter takes a lot of pride when she says, "Nanny gave me this," or "that used to belong to Nanny."

    It's a reminder that she's here even when she's not. I don't mean she's passed away, it's just nearly a two hour drive to her place, LOL.

    Good finds at Vinnies though, well done!

  6. What a great find the mirror was, it is really lovely. I do my rounds of the op shops once a fortnight. It has taken me a long time 'realise' I do not need to buy every bargin I see. I often stand in front of the item and debate do I really need it, but it is only $2! The ladies must think I am mad!
    This week I found 3 basket balls for 50c each! The kids are thrilled as their last one bounced into the tank and we can't reach it until it rains again....

    I am looking forward to seeing the finsihed product! Emily


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