Monday, 7 February 2011

Introducing Magpie Monday - link up your 2nd-hand treasure

A while back I wrote a post about my tips for bagging a bargain in charity shops.  I had lots of great feedback from that and it reassured me that I wasn't alone in this pastime!

So, I've decided to post a new weekly feature and link-up here called 'Magpie Monday', to pay homage to all those pre-loved treasures out there.

The idea is simple.  If you have purchased something 2nd-hand, whether it be from a charity shop; car boot sale; eBay or whatever, then I'd love you to write a short post on your blog and link up.  If you don't have a blog, you can post a twitpic on Twitter using the hashtag #MagpieMonday and link the twitpic URL below (I think!). Or you can post a photo and a comment on the Me and My Shadow Facebook page.

I am going to trial this feature for the next 4 weeks and see if there is any interest, but I'm really hoping that lots of you will join in.  I love to share in other's joy at rescuing something useful or beautiful that would otherwise be destined for landfill.  Hopefully if will encourage charity shop virgins to buy second-hand too!  So, whether it's toys for the kids; a best-selling novel; a piece of jewellery or a high street skirt - if you've bought it 2nd-hand I'd love you to join in.

I thought a good way to illustrate my Magpie tendencies would be to introduce you to my spare room.  It occurred to me the other day that, with the exception of the bed and the bedding, pretty much everything else in there has been pre-owned (and I have to admit that there is even a vintage Scottish woollen blanket and a charity shop purchased feather eiderdown on the bed!).  So, here goes, let me show you around...

The wardrobe was bought from our local auction house.  If I remember rightly we paid about £40 for it, and it was in a terrible state.  We glued back the bits of moulding that had fallen off, spent hours and hours glossing it with white paint and added some porcelain handles (bought in the sale at Monsoon).  The vintage leather suitcases on the top were from eBay and hide a multitude of sins!

I know it's OTT but I don't care!! Over the mantel is my bling mirror.  A battered and bashed gilt mirror bought from a charity shop for a fiver.  Some people will be horrified at this, but in my opinion the gilding was beyond repair, with huge chunks missing, so I sprayed it silver!!  A spray can is my best friend as you will see...  The white peacock was from another charity shop and cost me £2, the little bird is a ring holder and I got that in a junk shop for £1.

This is my favourite ever charity shop purchase.  This Singer sewing machine cost me £50 from a Salvation Army shop. Way, way more than I'd ever usually spend in a charity shop, but I fell in love with it.  I had in my mind that I was going to turn it into a functional piece of furniture, but the top was a bit battered.  I had some glass cut and the edges bevelled and lined the top with wallpaper to match the room.  Now it's a dressing table!  The piece of paper I found inside one of the drawers has the model number written on and dates the machine to 1928 - I'm not sure if this is correct, I suspect it is older.

Also in the photo, the stool was from a junk shop (up-cycled with help from my mate the paint spray!) and the feather fan was from a car boot sale.  The little mirror with drawer was from a charity shop, as was the tissue box holder.

The drawers in this picture were an absolute bargain - £8 from the Children's Society charity shop.  I matched the handles to the wardrobe ones.  The glass dressing table set also came from the same shop and cost me £4.  The painted mirror jewellery box was from an antiques fair and the modern repro one was also from a charity shop.  The picture above is one of my favourite and is a Japanese silk embroidery which I bought from a junk shop on the Isle of Wight for a couple of quid.  The glass was cracked, so I replaced it, and managed to refrain myself from doing anything else to it.

These two prints by Marty, cried out to me from the Salvation Army shop.  I paid £6 for the pair.  They may be going a bit crinkled, but I love them!

I spotted this picture in another charity shop for £10.  It had a vile, yellowed pine frame so..yes, you've guessed it!!  It actually has a pencilled signature and number which may be a date or an edition number so maybe it's a limited edition print.  I must get round to researching that one day.

So there you have it!! I am obsessed with old stuff!  I realise not everyone is quite as mad as me.  Most normal people go to normal shops.  Most people don't scream 'STOOOOPPPP' to their other halves on spotting a charity shop when driving through a different town.  Most people don't need to be gently steered away from skips when walking down the street...

But if you have ever bought something pre-owned, then please please do share it.  Grab the Magpie Monday badge below and link-up a short post on your treasure.  This post is just by way of introduction, my future Magpie Monday posts will just be a photo and brief description of what/where/how much.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your finds. x

Me and My Shadow
Grab my button
and link to my blog


  1. Liz, Fab Spare Room, oh you and I are really going to get on : ) Hope you like my first link. Well done. Great idea, I will follow with interest. xx

  2. I love this idea and I love what you have done with your pre-loved items, they are beautiful! Off to have a think about whether I have anything glamorous enough to post about...

  3. Ooooh I likey your stylee!

    Great idea honey x I may have to take inspiration from you, and have a mooch round my charity shops!

  4. Excellent idea - I'm known at our local mum & baby groups as being a bit of a charity shop queen, and I'm off to the NCT sale in a fortnight, which is a mammoth source of beautiful things I wouldn't pay full price for. Now to look through my photos & find Squeaky in some of her bargains.

  5. Oh I'm overwhelmed by the support for this, and so glad to hear it's not just my obsession!!

    Please link up anything you've bought 2nd hand, today's post was an introduction, my future posts will probably be much more everyday stuff, but stuff rescued from landfill nevertheless!

    Please grab the badge (I'm very pleased with my first ever badge!), pop in on your post and use the linky thang to join in. Old posts are welcome, the more the merrier. Can't wait to see all your treasure! x

  6. I couldn't make the button work, but that's probably me, I'm hopeless at things like this.

  7. Glad to find someone as obsessed with second-hand goodies as me! Love your room, especially the mirror and peacock. Just added my link, couldn't get the button to work either (something about a broken link?1) but have linked to you in my post :)

  8. ooh love it, Liz you have to take me junk shopping with you - I LOVE a good nose and bargain but my options always seem very limited. Fab idea for Magpie Monday :) xx

  9. Love it! And I love that wardrobe...Gorgeous!

  10. great idea
    looking forward to contributing every week!
    QWERTY Mum xx

  11. Great idea
    If there were PHDs in charity shopping , car booting and the like, I would have it!
    Love your room by the way - well done you. You will have to go on that telly programme on Best Houses!
    I love charity shops as so many things to look at in comparison with "normal" shops and you know you are doing good as well. Everyone is a winner especially in these recession hit times

  12. I love that mirror!! Fab find!! :)

  13. What a great idea for a post! I'm a total magpie when it comes to charity shops, boot sales and jumbles..... I'll be writing one this evening and linking up :)

  14. I love your bargains and this sounds like it will be right up my street - Great idea x x

  15. Gorgeous, you have done a great job with your spare room.

    Good luck with your new linky, looks like there are plenty of you with a great eye.

    Mich x

  16. I absolutely love your "finds", the fireplace with the peacock and the silver mirror over it is just beautiful, I'm inspired! However my best ever find was a beautiful handbag made by Ravel, I think it was made in the '80s and is a leopard print but it is fab and goes with almost everthing, it was like new and cost £3.00!

  17. Thats lovely and from one magpie to another an impressive swoop.

  18. Lovely idea.
    I've just posted about my latest find on Freegle!

  19. Great finds, great holiday. Thanks for hosting.