Buy Nothing New October, Reviews, Second-hand Scavengers

A stylish lesson in how to make do: Flea Market Style

Most books on interiors encourage readers to buy in on a certain trend. Flea Market Style is no exception with its double-page spreads of what could only be described as Frankie chic.

For most of the book, stylist Emily Chalmers, interiors writer Ali Hanan and photographer Debi Treloar focus on how to recreate ‘flea market style’; after all ‘there are guidelines and quiet rules that any decorator wanting to attain that shabby-chic look must follow to avoid falling into the dreaded “anything goes” trap’ (Andrew Ritchie from Martha Moments). There’s sections like ‘Furniture’, ‘Pattern and colour’, ‘Lighting’, and ‘Collections and display’. Pictures and words are also grouped according to space: living, dining, sleeping, etc., making the book more user-friendly for those needing help with a particular room. Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Gardening on a Budget, My Suburb is My Gym, Second-hand Scavengers, Thrills without frills

Frugal thrills: spring in Melbourne

It’s past the midway mark for spring and the weather is finally warming up in Melbourne. Time to try 5 outdoorsy activities:

1) Bike it, hike it

Grab your bike, a mate or a date and pedal along the Capital City Trail, the Merri Creek Trail, or any other of Melbourne’s dedicated bike and pedestrian trails. For details on specific routes in and around the city, check out The Bicycle Network’s Melbourne’s Metro Trail Network page.

If you prefer a slower travelling pace, put on the hiking boots and explore one of the region’s many walks. I haven’t done Werribee Gorge yet, but apparently it’s a stunner.

Bike it, hike it, whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to take drinks and food so that you’re not spending a fortune on lunch along the way. Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Dress to Impress (for Less), Footnote Frivolity***, Gen DIY-er, Second-hand Scavengers

Second-hand rags to second-hand riches

Once there was a shirt from the flea market. Despite its lovely seventies floral print and one-dollar pricing, passers by would pick it up only to put it down because it was missing half a dozen buttons. Then a Mustbethrifty godmother came along. Even though she couldn’t turn pumpkins into coaches*, she saw some potential in the flea-market shirt and decided to give it a makeover.

Firstly, she moved what was left of the original cuff buttons to the central placket**. Old stitches were removed with a seam ripper. Some double length thread was secured to the back of the work. The needle was pushed through the fabric and the button shank until several loops were formed, securing the button to the shirt. Winding the thread around the shank added more support. The work was finalised with a couple of knots at the back.

The Mustbethrifty godmother then added some shankless buttons to the cuffs; these matched the blue of the shirt’s floral print. A couple of pins inserted into the fabric formed the shape of a cross, raising the button above the fabric like an actual shank as well as helping keep the buttons straight***. Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Footnote Frivolity***, Going Green, Second-hand Scavengers

Cheaper than Ikea? Yes, we can!

We’re not going to try to explain life, but we know there’s more to life than furniture. And everyone deserves to have a beautiful home and still have money left over for other things. At IKEA, we’re inspired by all the magical moments that happen every day. These moments keep us going, evolving and constantly thinking of how to make life at home better, more beautiful, simpler and more affordable. (2012 Ikea catalogue)

Unfortunately, affordable for IKEA is a $1899 Kivik three-seat leather sofa. A flick through their 2012 catalogue inspired me to throw together some IKEA looks that were truly affordable. Many of the items featured in my mockups are second-hand, found, or repurposed objects that I’ve brought home over the years. Most cost me less than $30; some were even free*.

IKEA:

Hektar pendant lamp ($99), Bravur wall clock ($79), Bracke tealight holder ($9.99/each), Ursula throw ($39.99), Ivar cabinet ($129), Kaustby chair ($39), Raskog kitchen trolley ($79), Ursula cushion cover ($20), Ludde sheepskin ($59/each).

Mustbethrifty:

Metal megaphone from op shop ($35), grandpa blanket from op shop ($25), ladder from garage sale ($30), Airflow fan from op shop ($20), Harvest literary journals (some free, some not), secretaire from hard rubbish week (free!), repurposed incandescent light globe & tap fittings (free!), wire milk crate from hard rubbish week (free!), cushions were probably bought in a store (but they belong to Cheap Geek so they don’t count). Continue reading

Clever Cooks, Gardening on a Budget, Second-hand Scavengers

Growing herbs for next to nada

According to Frugavore’s Arabella Forge, growing your own food saves time and money, as well as giving you access to the freshest of produce. Unfortunately, fruit trees and veggie plots are a big investment (time, space, money, etc.) but as I’ve explained before, growing herbs should be a ‘fiscal no-brainer’. After all, why pay four dollars at the supermarket for a sprig of herbs, when you can pay four dollars at the nursery for a plant that will keep on giving? In fact, why pay four dollars at all when you can grow your herbs for free? Continue reading