I can’t say for certain that creativity and love of op shops absolutely go together ( I haven’t done the research), but there does seem to be a strong correlation. Op shops tend to contain the sort of chaotic mix of anything and everything that spurs creation through the happy juxtaposition of unlikely partners. And they are full of the promise of glorious possibilities – you just never know what you will find!
We visited a couple of oppies on Monday, with no particular object in mind – apart from my ongoing quest for scraps of green (or other leaf colour) yarns for a yarnbomb I am working on. I found a few balls in the first shop we went to.
After carefully examining all their fabric lengths (no joy) and a trawl through books, crockery, notions, I spotted this old plastic case for storing spools and bobbins of thread – funky, useful and a bargain at $2! I bought it for Zoe’s sewing room, and now harbour a faint hope of finding myself one someday.
Zoe found the odd little cat teapot, and I found the cute demi-tasse coffee cup for Juniper – perfect for a tiny cup of tea (rooibos) or a frothy soy milk in the afternoon.
We also visited a large Salvos store, by which time Juni was sound asleep. The books were all $1 – I collected three in about four minutes, and decided I should step away form the book department, and not look back…”Where cats Meditate”, a book of cat pictures and meditative quotes, Garrison Keillor‘s wonderful “Lake Wobegon Days” to re-read, and a 1980 book on modern family life (always fascinating). Zoe found an Agatha Christie for Matt. I went through ALL the old dressmaking patterns, but came up with nothing very inspiring. I’ll admit to sometimes buying old (ie 70’s and 80’s) patterns for the hilarious hair and shoulderpads…On the front counter, we found a basket of packaged old buttons and chose a few we thought we could use – one pack had small black beads, ideal for eyes for the amigurumi bees Zoe is planning to make. That’s not something we would have set out looking for! You just never know what you’ll find – very rarely it will be nothing, but that just makes you more keen for the next visit!
Three creative op shopping quotes from the cat book_
“He who hunts for flowers will find flowers; and he who loves weeds will find weeds.” – Henry Ward Beecher
(Good news for thrifters….)
“One is not idle because one is absorbed. there is both visible and invisible labour. To contemplate is to toil, to think is to do. The crossed arms work, the clasped hands act. The eyes upturned to heaven are an act of creation.” – Victor Hugo
(My kind of guy…)
“Put all your eggs in the one basket and watch that basket” – Mark Twain
(Substitute “finds” for “eggs”…)
I bought this cabinet in an op shop – it was very tired, but I thought it could become both useful and beautiful, and it did, with a good clean and some fresh paint. Part of being creative comes down to seeing potential where others might not, plus a good dollop of old fashioned elbow-grease. Happy hunting!