Stealing from Charity!

No, I didn’t actually steal anything, but I almost feel like I have.  Note the word almost.   I got such amazing bargains that it almost felt like stealing.

I have been working on a beast of a piece of furniture for my dining room and needed a much needed break from it.  So, I did what I usually do on a sunny day when I am not working for money, I hit the charity shops!  It is a form of entertainment for me and I never know if something will jump out at me and ask me to take it home.

Just so you know, I actually don’t really need anything.  I do have an idea to expand a piece of furniture and took some measurements before I went out, just in case I saw something I could use.  I also thought it might be nice to find some interesting artwork.  I am always on the lookout for a lovely painting.  I don’t think you can own too much art.  Charity shops are great places to score some nice paintings or frames.  Sometimes I find nice things that I didn’t even know I wanted!  Anyway, I had two intentions when I went out:  I was looking for a bookcase of sorts and I was looking for artwork.

It didn’t take long before I scored big time on the artwork.  Here is what I got today:


1) I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spied this painting by Nigel Greaves for £20!  The picture frame is worth more than £20!  And the painting is definitely worth more than that.  I should know because I own one of Nigel’s paintings.  I felt sick with excitement and felt like a naughty schoolgirl when I handed over my money.  How this painting came to be in a charity shop I will never know.  Usually, something of this worth gets given away when someone passes away and the relatives don’t like it or don’t know its value.  Although other people’s abstracts are really not my thing unless your name is Kandinsky, I do like this painting and have the perfect spot for it.  I still would have purchased it even if I didn’t like it.  I would just stick it on E-bay otherwise.

2)  This is a postcard of the All Saints Convalescent Hospital in Eastbourne and was sent to someone in London postmarked 1916.  I need to find a frame for it.  I like collecting historical items like this.  This little gem cost £1.50!  I am amazed that it found its way back to Eastbourne!  The building still stands, but it has been turned into very expensive apartments.

3)  I found this chess set for £2.00!  This chess set is nothing special, but it is just the right size and I want to learn how to play again.  I need to find a little box for the pieces.  This was one of those things that I didn’t even know I wanted!

4)  This painting was half price, for £2.00!  It’s a pretty watercolour of ‘Christmas Roses’ by Brian Neylan.  From what I could find on the internet, Brian Neylan was a resident of Eastbourne.  He passed away in 2001.  That was all that I could find out about this man.  This painting was done in 1999.  There is something really lovely and simple about this painting and I was surprised to see it going for a song.  Brian may be gone, but now he won’t be forgotten.

So, I now have a few more pieces to add to my collection.  You never know what you are going to learn about that little gem you take home with you.

What interesting things have you discovered in a charity shop?

Clearing the clutter, again!

I have been a big fan of space clearing for many years.  Karen Kingston is the queen of space clearing.  I might not do things exactly the way she does things, but I give it a good go.  Even though I have downsized to a two-bedroom house, I still find myself decluttering on a regular basis.  Getting rid of unwanted or unused items makes room for things you might actually need, provided you have the space.

Sometimes, you don’t want to replace items.  You just want to get rid of stuff to create space and flow or to just get better organised.  While getting down the Christmas decorations from the loft, I realised that I could have better storage boxes (i.e. smaller) to lug up and down the loft ladder without killing myself.  I made a mental note to re-organise everything and buy some new storage boxes (see through) when it came time to put everything away.   While emptying the boxes, I also did a decoration purge, and I still didn’t use them all!

Today was the day that I was going to put all of the decorations away, so I hauled down all of the boxes I had been using to store them away.  They were all cardboard and all different sizes.  It was a bit awkward taking down the boxes as I really couldn’t get a good grip on them.  I am glad no-one saw me do it!  Before putting everything away, I realised that I had things in clear storage boxes that needed to be looked at first.  It was interesting going through items I had put away for the kids.  It can be very dangerous opening up a box with items from the past, especially if you are trying to get rid of stuff.  Your heart wants to keep things while your mind is telling you that it is essentially clutter as it is no longer being used by anyone.  I really did enjoy looking at all of the cards my children had given me over the years and won’t be throwing them out.  However, I did get rid of a lot of other stuff and ideas came to me on how to utilize these sentimental items in the future.

I had to draw a line about the box with photos. I swear that I will go through them and make a collage or put them in albums.  Some I will frame, I swear, truly.  I found things I had forgotten I had put away and other things that I couldn’t believe I put away.  I found documents and photos that can be shredded and re-cycled.  After going through all this stuff in my loft, I ended up with two empty boxes that I can use to store the Christmas decorations!  I call that a result!

It took me all day to go through everything.  It probably would have taken less time if I had help, but then I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself so much by indulging in a bit of nostalgia.  (I also did laundry, made a panettone pudding, and did some cleaning!)  Tomorrow I will be going to B&Q or Homebase to buy some storage boxes for my decorations and then I can start looking for other things to clear out!  I think I saw some shoes and clothes I no longer need…:)

January seems to be a good month to have a good clear out with it being the start of a new year.  Out with the old and all that.  You never know what wonderful thing will come into your life when you make some space for it.  Here is to another New Year and a new beginning!

A New Year’s Walk – From Beachy Head to The Lighthouse

Christmas 2012 has been a bit of a wash out.  Literally!  It was wet, wet, wet!  Last year we had snow.  This year we had rain.  The rain didn’t make the Christmas experience less enjoyable, but it did limit what we could do.  Mainly go outside for nice long walks.  I do not like to walk in the cold rain.  So, after a week of horrible, wet and windy weather, we got a break!  Today, on New Year’s Day, we had sunshine and hardly a cloud in the sky!  Yay!

After a hearty breakfast, we drove up to Beachy Head for a walk to the Belle Tout Lighthouse and back.    I thought it was going to be a bit of a struggle after all the amazing food I had eaten in the last week, but it was a very nice and breezy, walk.  It is amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for your spirit.

Beachy Head New Year 2013

On the way back to the car, we stopped into The Beachy Head Pub. 😉  Happy New Year 2013 People!  Here is to another New Beginning!