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

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?

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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Thrifting on a rainy Saturday

Today has been a strange one. My plans were a bit all over the place and then a combination of a bad headache and the grey, rainy outdoors put me in this really sludgy state of mind. In an attempt to perk myself up I decided to go for a walk, have a coffee and maybe look around a few charity shops.

A town near me has about seven charity shops. That’s right – seven. They’re also, rather conveniently, all located next to each other or opposite the road from one another, so you can literally hop from one to the next.

Some days though, no matter how many charity shops you look around or carboots you go to, you won’t end up finding anything that catches your eye. It’s really just down to luck. Today unfortunately wasn’t very lucky (at the start). Of the seven charity shops I only ended up finding two of the below Cadbury mugs. I was still really happy about this though! I’d been wanting these mugs for a while and I feel like they’re going to make all future hot chocolates taste ten times more delicious!

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After getting the train back home I couldn’t resist just having a quick look in the charity shops that sit right by my local station (I’m truly surrounded by the things!) I just thought, if I’ve already done seven, why not do a few more? I think it’s always that “what if?” element of thrifting that urges you to keep going too, and despite the rain and my tired legs, I was so glad I did look.

The first things I found were these two little mice ornaments:

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Aaaaand then this came into view…

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A grand piano! And no, not an actual grand piano (that would be quite a find!) just a little vintage toy one.

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Isn’t she lovely? I didn’t have to think twice about buying her, even though she’s broken in places. My sister suggested re-painting and looking online for a new key to replace her broken one, though I’m not sure if I will. I like when things look a little weathered, as it reminds you of their age and gives them more of a nostalgic presence.

I’ve placed the two little mice ornaments on top, so that it looks as if they’re eagerly awaiting whoever is about to play!

Anyway! That’s it from me tonight. I’m really going to try updating this blog more regularly over the coming weeks because it’s been a bit neglected of late!

Whoever is reading this, I hope that you have a lovely rest of your weekend! If you too happen to have done some thrifting this weekend, please do share your finds in the comments! 🙂

Amber x