Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Hamper Project # 5: At the Jumble Rummage!

Starting the day with a nice strong coffee to give me the energy for bargain hunting!
Christmas is coming and the hampers are looking good. We've got sweet little jars of home made mincemeat, hot and spicy chilli pepper jelly and toothsome chocolate covered peel done and dusted. Time to go shopping for those quirky extras that will make them really special!

I've mentioned here before my love of antique shop rummaging - if you're lucky enough to live away from a big city then you're likely to have some great charity, antique and jumble rummage shops on your doorstep!

First, let's take a quick look at the different types of shop and what each one could offer:

1) Charity shops - small independent charity shops in sleepy little towns are the best of all! Each one will be completely different, one may specialise in kitchenware whilst another may have great soft furnishings. Visit little and often as new pieces will come in every day - when something that you've been holding out for appears, be ready.

2) Antiques Emporiums - These are the sweet shops of the rummage world! You can browse to your hearts content and develop a keen eye. If there is a particular style of pottery for example that takes your fancy have a good look (and feel) - you'll be more likely to spot that same Orange Tree milk jug or Homemaker plate in a box full of bric-a-brac when it comes to the next car boot.

3) Rummage Shops - Like Robert's Rummage in Hastings Old Town, these are my favourite shops of all. Here, value will be in the eye of the beholder and prices will be sweet and low (think pennies rather than pounds). Everything will be dirty, there may even be spiders. You will literally have to rummage on your hands and knees but you're bound to emerge with a shimmering jewel

Why not pull on your comfiest shoes, oldest jeans, leave your handbag and home and prepare to get your hands dirty!

My top tips for a successful rummage:

1. If you love something, buy it then and there. Don't leave it on the shelf and tell yourself you'll come back for it later, life will get in the way and you probably won't.

2. Don't pay too much - whatever it is you're looking for, if you keep looking long enough you'll find it at the right price, I promise!

3. Unless you're buying antique items as a serious investment, look past any chips or cracks. Especially in the rummage shops, items are often damaged - that's why they're there and that's why they're affordable! Think of it as a unique characteristic!

4. Get involved - forget what your Mum told you when you were little, do touch everything! Pick up plates and bowls and feel their weight in your hand.

5. Give yourself a big pat on the back for supporting local businesses! Not only will your home be full of interesting, one off items with bags of personality (as opposed to Billy bowls and GrÖnkulla lamps from Ikea) you'll also be supporting the little independent shops that matter!

It blows my mind that for a few pounds you can pick up a plate or a vase that's over a hundred years old. It makes me really happy :)

I'll be posting the results of this Christmas rummage in the last installment of the Christmas Hamper series on Christmas Eve!

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