Battersea Booty

Hello!
It’s that time of year again where I go absolutely crazy for visiting car boot sales every Sunday (hence the thrift-heavy blog posts of late).

Since Thursday one of my best friends has been staying with us and so I booked two days off work to hang out. It’s been really fun! On Thursday we visited Spitafield’s antique market, on Friday we went to the Horniman Museum, Saturday we ambled about Covent Garden and got Chinese takeaway, then today we went to the Battersea car boot.

I’d been doing some research into the car boot sales nearest to Peckham and loved the sound of the Battersea one for two reasons:

1. It’s a large and very established car boot
2. It’s on in the afternoon

That second reason was what really won me over. I’m really not a morning person and in truth usually only make it to other car boots right before they close! This whole afternoon thing sounded like a dream to me.

After a short(ish) bus journey we found ourselves walking into a rather large queue of fellow car booters. Luckily the weather was lovely and the queue moved quickly, so it wasn’t too bad. You pay a 50p entrance fee and then the thrifting can begin.

The first thing I spotted was these vintage roller skates:

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I haven’t used roller skates since I was about eight but have been wanting to buy some for a while now. I love the idea of roller skating places this summer (though after my attempts outside the flat earlier, It’s going to take some practice!)

The next item I found was this beautiful 1970’s vintage dress:

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Dreamiest pattern ever?

My friend managed to find some great stuff too, including a large elephant throw and a £2 St. Michael jumper. While the Battersea booty definitely led us to some fruitful treasures, there were some downsides. Firstly, it’s more expensive than your average boot sale. Most items I enquired about were selling for £5 and above, which compared to Hook Road, where most things go for 50p upwards, seemed like quite a lot.

Secondly, it’s VERY busy. This is to be expected, but the narrow lanes meant my friend and I were sometimes trapped for a while trying to get through the crowds.

I’d still definitely recommend it for anyone looking to find some unique things on a Sunday afternoon. The area of Battersea nearby also has lots of cute little shops, including charity shops filled with bric a brac (heaven!) I made one more purchase on our way back, because, how could I leave this behind?!

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Have a lovely week everyone!
Amber xx

Hook Road Car Boot Sale

Hey hey,
I thought I’d finish off the Bank holiday with a quick little blog post about some of the vintage, kitschy treasures I found today at the Hook Road car boot sale.

My dad got married on Saturday, which was lovely, but I’ve felt in this permanent state of sleepiness lately. Life has been strangely busy for me and as an introverted, sloth-like soul who spends most of their time hibernating, I don’t think my body’s coping too well with having so many plans! I can’t really complain though, having spent yesterday recovering at my dads with my dog, boyfriend, cheese strings and cozy TV.

I also managed to persuade my dad to drive me to the Hook Road car boot sale this morning. He may grumble about the early start but I know that he quite enjoys perusing too! I haven’t been to very many other car boot sales, but the Hook Road one really is great. The atmosphere’s always bustling and friendly, with an ice cream van and lots of cute little dogs about (always a plus!)

Today’s car boot was the largest yet, stretching all the way to the very back of the field. An hour and a half, along with three bags of kitschy treasure later I headed back home. Here are some highlights of what I found:

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A little vintage poodle, which just so happens to match the lamp version I own. I love finding long lost sets of things!

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A set of vintage deer for just £1.

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This wally dog was sold to me by a man turning them into lamp bases. He told me about how he’d not got around to completing a lot of them so had ended up with a lot of ornaments with holes in their head! I loved his idea though so still bought one for £2 and am going to buy a vintage pleated lamp shade for it.

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It’s a little Fred Flour! He now has pride of place on the kitchen shelf, alongside all the cacti and my succulent.

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Of all my finds these are my favourite. The lady that sold them to me mentioned they used to be popular in the 70s as bedroom decor for little girls.

Is there a better way to end a lovely Bank holiday weekend than with a brilliant car boot haul? I don’t think so! I hope you all had lovely weekends too.
Now, I’m off to bed — g’night!
Amber xxx

My Kitschen

I live by the rule of, “if I need a thing I’m going to make it a cute thing.” cat Nowhere is this rule truer than with my kitchenwares. Forget the fact that I’m a rubbish cook and only have a tiny kitchen, a girl can still dream of one day opening her own diner by buying the kitschiest versions of every essential, right? Here are a handful of my favourites…. flamingo This pastel balloon patterned cocktail glass is part of a set that I found on Ebay. It’s pretty much the most adorable set ever and when I bought them I was totally visualising becoming a cocktail master, shaking up fancy concoctions at parties. bananas These banana plates are meant for banana splits. They’re another vintage Ebay purchase though I think the original make is called Carlton. I’m planning on using them for snacks mainly (and maybe an actual banana split at some point!) icecream Knowing I’m obsessed with ice cream, my mum sweetly bought me these little ice cream bowls, complete with teeny tiny spoons! babycham Next up: Babycham glasses! I think these are 1950s ones due to the style of the Babycham deer. Apologies for the grubby glass! babycham2 And here’s another picture, featuring my little Babycham figure. coffee Lastly, a Czechoslovakian pink coffee set! I found this in a dusty corner of an antiques store and managed to buy the coffee pot, 6 cups, 6 saucers and a sugar pot for £20. Bargain! Do you like collecting cute kitchenwares too?

Visiting Crystal Palace Park

Today we went to Crystal Palace Park (cue Jurassic Park theme tune).

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Visiting a park is a pretty ideal way to spend a sunny Saturday, but a park with dinosaurs?! How could it not be amazing?

Crystal Palace is about a twenty minute train journey from where we live. After grabbing a coffee and apricot pastry we were all set to go (even if I was slightly regretting wearing such a light dress — it was unexpectedly windy out!)

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The park is right next to the station, so after arriving we excitedly headed for the dinosaurs. Right after taking a picture with this dinosaur mural, that is…

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The park itself really was beautiful. Having read some more about it since getting home, I found out that the life-sized dinosaur models were built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and completed by 1854 (thanks Wikipedia!) These particular dinosaurs were newly discovered at the time.

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These weren’t the only sculptures built back in the 1800’s though…

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The above is called a megatherium! Also known as the largest ground sloth. I couldn’t get a better picture of it annoyingly, but like to think this back-of-head shot has more of a mysterious quality to it.

And then there was this majestic stag…

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… that was right beside a pedalo ticket office, which would have been great if we hadn’t forgotten to bring any cash with us :(. So instead we went for ice cream (which luckily did accept card AND had mint choc chip!)

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I couldn’t not photograph this creepy cute lil’ elephant ride outside the cafe too.

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Other strange sights seen include this headless statue…

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And a gorilla

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It was just so nice to be outside with a camera! I’m definitely planning on visiting this park again too, and if you’re in the south London area and looking for an unusual park to visit, this is the place to go.

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Thanks for reading — RAWR!

Stuff & things.

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Last month I went to see an exhibition at the Barbican Centre called, “Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector”. Each room was filled with bits and pieces, all so strange looking within the blank spaces. I felt as though I’d walked into a locked away part of each artist’s brain, the odd details of their worlds floating aimlessly in front of me.

As I let my eye’s dart from the dusty old witch puppet to vintage pinball machine to large horse statue in Hanne Darboven’s collection, it made my heart sore. I felt like if I could just stare at each object for long enough, I might understand all the mysteries behind it: Where had it come from? What era? What was it about that old Turkish shoe that Peter Blake loved? Would Andy Warhol and I have been friends because of our similar taste in cookie jars?

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…Then you’re brought back to reality. It’s just a thing. There’s no answers or connections to be found within the ceramic structures of a mouse figurine, or the fragile wooden frame of an old chair. It’s breakable. Disposable. Nothing, right?

But I can’t follow that argument through, because I too collect things. When I was younger it was car models and limited edition chocolate bars, while nowadays it’s patterned jumpers, Babycham merchandise and vintage figurines. These are more than just things to me. They’re the narratives people have given them, and will continue to give them. They’re the still portals to different minds and different times. They’re something to focus on in the midst of worry, stress and sadness, enabling you to curate and organise your own little microcosmic worlds.

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When I think about collecting, I also think of one of my favourite films, Ghost World, in which there is a character called Seymour. Struggling to make connections with other people, he’s turned to collecting objects from the past as a way to connect with life instead. In his case, he’s not happy. It’s something that’s completely taken over his life, creating even more of a barrier between him and others.

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One of the most interesting things I read at the Barbican's exhibition was that Andy Warhol's cookie jars had been mostly found in the bags he'd bought them in, sitting in the corners of his apartment untouched. This made me think about the negative side to it too; about the ways we all try to fill our lives with meaning through stuff, and how when that stuff becomes destructive to your life it's a trait that has to go.

And so maybe I'm romanticising collections when they're just clutter, or a distraction from facing life, but I can't give up the argument completely. Because whenever someone laughs at the ridiculous amount of ornaments I have or looks despondent and weirded out by it all, I do get a little concerned, but then snap myself out of it. Because you have to be confident in your choices and trust yourself. And because everyone needs to find the things that make them happy and different, and for me that's holding still these fragments of life that intrigue me.

I like to think the things I own aren't all just things, but will rather one day be a way for others to understand a little part of me, as distant and abstract as they may seem in the larger scheme of things.

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Visiting Hyper Japan

Yesterday I went to the Hyper Japan Christmas market. It was really fun!

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I LOVE going to conventions. Even though the busy-ness can be stressful, experiencing an insight into the microcosmic worlds certain interests (or countries in this case) have created is fascinating.

I’d seen Hyper Japan advertised before but been unable to go at the time, so when I spotted it in the Metro on my morning commute last week I excitedly booked tickets straight away.

In an attempt to try and not blow all my money (which easily happens at these kinds of events!) I made a mental list of things I’d get:

1. Strange flavoured kit kats
2. A bonsai tree
3. A plush llama
4. Presents for OTHER people

I just about stuck to the above, by which I mean, I did get number 2 & 3 (plus a whole bunch of other kawaii things, but all for myself. Oops.)

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Everything was just SO cute.

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All the sellers were super friendly too, especially the lovely lady that handmade this kawaii banana necklace:

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As well as staring longingly at all the alpacasso merchandise (alpacasso is the official name for the cute llamas) we also took advantage of the delicious free alcohol samples on offer. I can’t remember the names of all the drinks we tried, but know one was a very strong Japanese whiskey and the rest sweet favoured variations of saki.

We bought a cup of warm saki to wander around with and stopped for a while to watch the cosplay competition contestants show off their character moves on a catwalk styled stage. Even though I had no idea who a lot of the characters were, I still was in complete awe of the amazing detail each person had gone to with their costumes. Also, there was a giant, burly man in a huge Hello Kitty outfit, which might have been my favourite. (I was too busy eating noodles at this time to take any pictures!)

Also, check out our beautiful bonsai!

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I bought way more than I should have, but hey ho, that’s always the way! It was really fun and I’d definitely like to go back when it’s next on.

Have any of you been before? Let me know in the comments!

Have an eggcelent Sunday 🙂

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Amber x

A little spring in autumn

It’s been a while since I’ve done a charity shop post on here and seeing as I’m having a very lazy Sunday (with a Chinese takeaway on the way and pj bottoms already on) it seems like the perfect time for an update.

Over the last few months I’ve found a lot of treasures here and there, though mostly at car boot sales throughout the summer. Now that the colder weather’s set in and car boot season is over, I’m back to popping into the charity shops when I can for a quick browse. I’ll be moving from my dad’s house further into London next month too, so am making the most of my local haunts and on the lookout for any cute home wares while I’m at it!

Yesterday was a cold, rainy, errand running day (not the most exciting of Saturdays!) The positive was that I found two cute hand knitted blankets, a pastel pink cardigan, vintage floral dress and little rabbit figurine. I feel like the below pictured purchases are especially spring themed, but work also as cosy items to brighten up these darker months.

IMG_0315-1.PNGI collect kitschy ceramics so was ecstatic when I found this little one at the bottom of a bargain box for 50p!IMG_0310-1.JPGI’m in love with pastel colours and the fact this cardigan is cropped too should make it perfect for wearing with high waisted trousers or over long dresses.

IMG_0317-0.PNGI think this dress will be great for wearing to work with thick black tights, boots and a chunky cardi. That’s what I love about this sort of style of floral vintage dress, they can be dressed up or down really easily and work perfectly to brighten up winter outfits. I also love how comfortable they are! The one above is a medium but fits fine, with just enough slouch without looking swampy.

So there it is, a quick little charity shop haul. Until the next post, ciao!