Thursday, 17 March 2011

Magpie Monday Back to Basics

As you all know, I'm thrilled each week when people visit and link up to Magpie Monday.

A couple of things came up this week which have made me think about the whole feature, and I felt I should write this little post.

Firstly, Kate suggested we could have a theme next Monday, and it being Comic Relief time, the theme could be 'something that makes you laugh'.  Now, I'm all for a focus and the idea was met with approval on Twitter, although it has now morphed slightly into 'something that makes you laugh or smile' or 'something red'!

Then I got a bit worried.  I saw a few comments that people didn't want to link up because they felt their 2nd-hand finds weren't 'good enough' or they hadn't managed to find anything this week.

Now, I don't want to get all draconian about this but I am slightly worried I've created a monster!

Here's my nightmare scenario - people are going out each week on a frantic charity shopping spree, buying up anything and everything that they think people would like to see.  Angry partners are hunting me down, because their homes are now full of toot they don't like and don't want.  Babies are going hungry because people are spending their family allowance on chintz plates. People start buying dodgy Jimmy Carr DVDs in order to fit the theme...I wake up sweat-soaked and panicky. You get my drift?

My Magpie Monday concept was originally anti-commercialism.  It was about encouraging people to think differently about how they shopped. To realise that you can decorate your home/clothe your children/stock your bookshelves without buying new and using up resources and raw materials.  It was about recycling and re-using.

William Morris famously said:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful

I would be lying if I said I followed his mantra.  I am a shopaholic.  However, that doesn't mean I should encourage others to be the same.

I hate the thought that people feel they can't join in because their finds aren't good enough. It's not a competition. I'm equally happy if someone has found a book they need, or a new toy their kid will enjoy, as if someone has found the perfect vintage dinner service. If you want to share something you found in a skip last year, that's fabulous, or something you got from Freecycle last month then you're very welcome.

I want Magpie Monday to thrive and grow, I want people to feel they can dip in and out week by week, with no pressure. I want you to be proud that you've obtained something second-hand rather than new - whatever it may be.

I will run the 'Comic Relief' theme this week but it is absolutely not mandatory.  If you want to post something that doesn't fit the theme, then I'll still love you!

I'd love to hear what others think on this, so over to you, my marvelous magpies x


  1. I for one am really pleased that I came across Magpie Monday, it gave me an insight into second hand charity shopping, it showed me that you can buy really nice items for your home, clothes for your children and yourself ect... without having to spend a fortune. I have always given to charity shops, but must confess to being a bit of a snob when it came to buying from them, but I now realise that I was being very silly.

    As you know Liz, I had 2 great items to share with everyone this week, but I'm going to be honest I don't think I'll be joining in next week because I haven't up to now found anything that I want or need. I don't though feel under any pressure to buy just any old thing just so I can join in. I am happy to dip in and out as and when.

    I love Magpie Monday!!

    Carole x

  2. Magpie Monday is fantastic just to let people see what can be found in charity shops. Some of our family's most loved books and toys are second hand, nevermind the espresso machine :)

    I certainly don't go in them every week and therefore won't be linking up every week but I still like to have a nosey at what everyone has found.

  3. Carole, Kat : Thank you x

    So glad that you're enjoying it and we're always here (well, for as long as I've got the energy anyway!)


  4. I love your Magpie Monday. I haven't actually contributed because I'm desperately clearing out (I was considering a reverse #magpiemonday where I show you the lovely things I'm giving to charity shops!).
    I love looking at the posts but agree that people shouldn't be looking for stuff just to join in, they could post items they picked up ages ago, it still counts.
    People also shouldn't worry about finds not being good enough as 'one man's trash is another man's treasure.' Don't forget, that everything that is found in charity shops etc is something that someone else was bored with & didn't think was 'good enough' anymore.

  5. Thanks CherryTweep.

    I have an idea...I can save your petrol money to the charity shop, I'll pop round with plenty of shopping bags :0)

  6. Morning sweetie,
    So sorry to read that you are concerned.
    It is not the point at all. As you know I love to shop charity shops and pop in most days because it is on my way to the post office, but I would certainly never buy something just to take part in MagpieMonday. I will admit the theme thing made me think hhhmm! but as I said to you on twitter, I haven't found anything that made me laugh out loud, although I did find something that I knew would raise a smile with a fellow twitter friend. I did not buy it just because of the theme though, all will become clear on Monday .
    Please do not worry about it as people have said above they will pop in and out as and when they feel they want to join in.
    Karen xx

  7. Phew! Thanks Karen, I don't know why but I had a little panic! x

  8. Ah! Bless you! What a lovely post...I love magpie Monday and even if I don't have anything for a week I love to read/look at everyone elses offerings. I agree with you when you say it's about re using and recycling. It's not a competition! I love it!!!!! And so does everyone else!! Big hugs!! X x x

  9. Morning Lizzie,

    I Love your Magpie Monday and I look forward to showing my many second hand bargains and I really enjoy seeing what everyone else finds. Almost everything in my home is second hand because my taste is more retro & vintage. I go to my charity shop once a week and every week I find something I love for the home.

    When I go this week I will keep my eye open for something that fits the comic relief theme but I wont stress out if I dont spot anything and I never buy for the sake of it but I will still join in on Monday with or without something funny or red...try keeping me away, lol! x

  10. Well as you know liz i love magpiemonday but saying that i certainly wouldnt just go out buying random stuff just to take part lol as you've seen from my linkups if i havn't brought anything that week then i blog about something ive brought in the past but there will be times when i wont be able to take part but will still stop by and check out everyone else's buys wouldnt be a monday for me without sitting down with a cuppa and having a good nosey hehe

    As for people being worrried about linking up as they dont think they're buys are good enough pah! my buys are mostly clothes books etc that are needed they're not rare antiques or vintage items they're just everyday bits but its lovely for me to show others that you can dress a child in lovely 2nd hand clothes etc ..... yes a lovely vintage teacup for 20p would be a nice find but hey do i really need one??? lol

    As for the theme idea id say maybe just do a monthly theme that way ppl have a whole month to see if they come across anything they want/need that would suit a theme you are running x

  11. I just wrote a long comment and then blogger would not let me send it.
    1. I did not mean to cause you or anyone else hassle. I did a theme for my own amusement (that might make me very sad) and nearly all my items were old purchases so the kids did get fed this week.
    2. Blog hops probably do develop over time but this is your blog hop so your rules/guidance are key and I am sorry if content on my blog led to any grief. That was not the intention at all.
    3. You are helping people make contacts, save money, drive blog traffic, be amused, share, give to good causes or at least know about them.
    I think you are fab!

  12. 4. I buy things that I think make my home beautiful or that I need (need is very wide term here but that applied since I started charity shopping as a little girl so does not lay at the door of Magpie Monday).
    My husband knows that charity shop is an absolute joy for me and is used to me filling his home with all manner of cheap and cheerful things. Better than me going and working up huge amounts on credit cards he may think but actually so long as I am happy so is he.
    I never worry about whether people think my finds are "good enough". I worry about what people think generally but do use my blog as a place where I can feel safe to be totally myself warts, life issues, cock-ups and tatty finds included.
    Hoping all the lovely feedback above as reassured you that you are great and very much appreciated.

  13. Hi MissDaisy, thank you for your lovely comments. xx

    Ahh Kate, thank you.

    Absolutely your idea has not caused any hassle. I think it's a lovely idea. I had a momentary panic that is all!!

    Not sure what came over me, but I am reassured.

    Thanks everyone.

  14. Glad you are feeling better.
    Sending love

  15. I'm another one who loves Magpie Monday but I much prefer the randomness of not having a theme.

    It's a fab idea and I love reading about the things people have bought x x

  16. I think people are missing the point of thrifty shopping if they are just buying items so they can take part in Magpie Monday. I have been lucky enough to find gems that I have wanted to blog about (Magpie Monday or no Magpie Monday) most weeks but I like the fact can also get my fix vicariously through others when I have slow weeks. Let's keep Mondays magpie! x

  17. I LOVE Magpie Monday, actually I have always given to charity shops, hastily depositing lots of bags and running out. but now, I do look and browse and me like others I think will dip in and out. Remember Liz yoru mantra for Magpie Monday should be one mans trash is another ones treasure. We all don;t like the same things, have the same colour schemes or same ideas, but that is actually the whole point. Also, if like me you are constantly changing and evolving then Magpie Monday is great! And if you happen to fall upon a bargain then that is great, but if you just love what you bought isn't that enough. Long Live Magpie Monday!
    Ellie xx