In Australia, Op Shops/Charity Shops are no longer bargain-tastic. Gone are the days of finding a remarkable piece of china or silver plate for a steal.
When I was a student I depended on them almost entirely (mostly for clothing) and was so grateful for the reasonably priced, good quality jumpers, coats, dresses and scarves that made up my 1980's wardrobe in the north of England.
So called Opportunity Shops are now extremely commercially driven, and some of the smaller curios are often ludicrously priced - beyond the prices of genuine antiques' shops or online shopping sites like Gumtree or Ebay. On one hand I can see that this benefits the end recipient of their charitable works; presumably the shops' profits are invested in people who need support. On the other hand, I wonder who is buying silver-plate milk jugs for $45, when I can find them in an antique shop for less than half that price?
Anyhow, I did find this wonky, grubby little trolley in a local St Vinnies a couple of weeks ago. Although not terribly robust, I decided that it was worth the $20 and happily wheeled it out of the shop and down to where I'd parked my car (underneath Woolworths).
It was painted a dirty green colour (which actually looks quite pleasing under a tree) but as I was keen to add it to the guest bedroom, I painted it a lovely bright white.
It's now dressed for guests, with spare towels, a scented candle, a lantern, eucalypt leaves and lots of toiletries for pampering.
I collected the pine cones from the grass under the pine trees that fringe the cricket oval next to our house.
I like to feed the cones with essential oils, which fragrance the room and give a new life to these beautiful seed pods.
We have friends coming to stay for Easter, and I'm looking forward to sharing more of our Easter preparations soon. It's not going to be all yellow and spring, given that it's Autumn here.