Elizabeth: “I moved house last weekend and will be probably be without internet for a bit. So whilst I am knee-deep in cardboard boxes and frantically searching for the box containing the kettle I have some very lovely Guest Bloggers looking after Rosalilium. Please make them feel at home and share the love. See you on the flipside!”

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Confessions of a Thrift-aholic

Back in 2010, I came across a new blog – one written by a well-travelled gal, with gorgeous hair, and a penchant for car boot sales and charity shop hunting that matched (if not outdid) my own.

As she began posting her thrifty finds, I was hooked – both impressed and seriously jealous of her hauls. And when she started her lovely shop, Three Jelly Moulds & a Wardrobe… well, I couldn’t have been more proud.

So I’m delighted and rather honoured to be doing a guest post for the lovely Elizabeth… In her honour, here’s a pic of my favourite jelly moulds – and may your new home always be filled with lots of treasures.
jelly mould
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So as to my own car boot confessions?
Where did it all start?
How did I become a thrift-aholic?

As a kid, I had the most amazing, stupendous, huge collection… of, um, badges. Yes, you heard me. I was THAT kid. Unfortunately (or fortunately perhaps) there’s no photographic evidence of my collection, which ranged from teeny tiny badges to ones as big as my face.
badgesAnd what did I do with them? Wore them with pride at every occasion? Did I heck. I pinned them to a huge cork pinboard and admired them. Yup, I was that cool.

Fast-forward some years and after living in LA for a short while, I came home with a few vintage tees and a new love of thrift. Admittedly Scottish charity shops didn’t quite hold the same appeal as the sun drenched second hand shops but I persevered regardless.

My first charity shop loves were vintage Art Deco mirrors. I now have so many that I can’t even remember which one came first. Then came Babycham glasses (I have about 20) and vintage clutch bags (I have about 40).
clutch bagsThen something happened that changed the way I thrifted forever. (Not to be too dramatic or anything!) We bought a flat.

More specifically, we bought a flat that was missing windows, had no heating, no kitchen, no modern plugs and the most modern thing in it was illegal by the 70s.
chairsLike the crazy people we are, we then moved in.
We left everything behind in our old flat… so we were starting again. With pretty much no money.

So freecycle, charity shops and eventually car boot sales became my new Habitat and Ikea. It may have been born out of necessity but the sheer wonder of taking an old run down thing and reworking it became a new passion of mine.
before and after chairOur cowboy print charity started life as a ‘naughty chair’. When we picked it up, the little girl who’s naughty chair it had been was dancing with glee.

Our kitchen chairs are old church chairs. My 50s dressing table another freebie. My favourite sideboard a hand-down.
sideboardAnd then another strange thing happened… once you have some lovely, unique things, each with their own stories and history, well it doesn’t feel right to pair them with generic stuff.

Suddenly I was tracking down vintage china, old tin globes, typewriters… and even a butter churner.
tin globes

vintage butter churnerI now am the happy owner of a rather lovely flat, filled with vintage and curiosities that make me smile every day. So I should really stop thrifting now…
potIn my Dad’s speech at my wedding, he describes me as a little girl, huge smile on my face, bringing him a pretty flower I’d found. He said I’ve never lost my love of searching out ‘pretty things’ and he’s right. So maybe I’ll never lose my love of thrifting either. I hope not.
sometimes plan sometimes wing it

About The Author

Elizabeth is a freelance blogger, writer, public speaker and social media consultant. When she doesn't have her nose in her laptop she can be found travelling the world as a digital nomad, trawling through car boot sales or rustling up her favourite foods in the kitchen.

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17 Responses

  1. Siobhan

    I love this post. It is so very smily. Three Jelly Moulds and a Wardrobe is great (and fantastic for people like me who want to find beautiful things but seem to have lost the knack for rummaging for them).

    Your place makes me smile – it is so beautiful and happy. I also had a badge collection when younger (including some rather odd ones) but I pinned them all to a canvas army bag I picked up in a surplus store. I think keeping them at home might have been cooler to be honest!

    Reply
  2. Lisa-Marie

    I hope not too.

    When we thrift, I think we add a chapter to that items story, much like when we buy a flat. We take care of it and then someone else gets to look after it.

    I’m glad yours are being well cared for now!

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    You flat looks amazing!
    I love what you have done with the Naughty Chair – am very jelous!

    Reply
    • Zoë {Conversation Pieces}

      ha ha, love how your mind works! 😉 it was rather more boring than all of those… it was the gas pipe that was connected to the gas fire. (the 40s cooker, the lead pipes, the pin plugs were all pretty illegal too!)

      Reply
  4. Zoë {Conversation Pieces}

    Thanks everyone (and Elizabeth for having me!) :)

    @Siobhan – I’m not sure cool and badge collection go together at all but I think your way was maybe a bit more rockin’ than mine 😉

    @Lisa-Marie – I like the theory of adding an extra bit to their story :)

    @Ruth – thank you :) You’d be in tears at the whole thing then… he wrote/delivered a very good if rather emotional for the listeners speech! 😉

    @Sarah – thanks :) yeah, it looks like a well-behaved chair now, doesn’t it? 😉

    Reply
  5. Fran

    Wow what great finds! I especially love your chairs (probably because I have some similar ones) and reupholstering the “naughty chair” with cowboy fabric is a great idea! I currently have a beaten up wheel backed chair i picked up for £7 at a second hand shop. The fabric is gorgeous but it’s very worn and dark and no amount of cleaning will make it happy so am going to cover it in some new modern fabric.

    I adore the sideboard too! I’m going to have to go check out your blog now!

    Reply
  6. Kat got the cream

    Lovely post! I used to collect rubbers as a kid or should I say ‘erasers’ to avoid confusion!!

    Your flat is filled with things you love and that is brilliant.

    PS I want that coffee pot!!!!

    Reply
  7. Anna

    Yay! Someone else you colourblocks their books.

    Such lovely finds- I am so jealous of those globes! and the seats and the.. oh OK everything!

    Love Kirsty’s comment. Please answer. ha.

    Great guest post.

    Reply
  8. Karyn18

    Zoe, you have a very nice haven. I do have lots of badges collection too! What I did was I made it as our center table design. I made our table just like a frame and put the badges inside the glass. It’s cool really!

    Reply
  9. Emily

    I love this! I really like the unusual touches in your home and it just works. I think you’re right aboiut pairing the thrifted finds with generic things. Sometimes it can make the vintage stuff stick out but when it’s all together it just works.

    Emily x

    P.S. Hope the move is going well Elizabeth!

    Reply
  10. Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping]

    Hmm, I just checked out your blog yesterday and now here you are again! Spooky. I love the look of your place. I also had loads of badges – sadly my mum says they’d rusted so they got chucked – however my eldest appears to be starting a collection of his own.

    Reply
  11. Dawn0977

    Hi Zoe! i like your new home and love your collections specially the bags. Love it! Thanks for the post and i’m looking forward to read more from you.

    Reply

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