Saturday, 18 July 2009


In the morning (or middle of the night... cab is collecting us at 4.15am) we're off on our holidays, so no updates for about 10 days I'm afraid. I shall be perusing flea markets, swimming in the sea, reading books and generally chilling out in the sun. I hope.

I'm on a different computer today, otherwise I'd post a new picture of our little kitten. She's not so little any more, and getting very cheeky. She's worked out how to climb up the curtains and swing from them.... Also, she's trying to chew everything at the moment. Do cats teeth? (sp?) I hope all her baby teeth don't fall our whilst we're away. That'll give our lovely friend who's moving in to care for Millie a real shock!

Have a lovely couple of weeks! x

Friday, 17 July 2009

The wonder and joy that is Ebay

Ok, so I acknowledge that it's harder to get bargains on ebay these days, now that everyone is at it, and knows where to look, but it's still unbeatable if you know exactly what you want. We managed to get a car radio part for example, which was so much cheaper than buying a whole new radio, after our car was vandalised for a third time...

Other ebay purchases in the Thrifty Household have included a victorian settle; a barcelona chair and footstool; six cushions; some vintage fabric that I'm going to use to cover a small footstool and numerous music/recording bits and pieces. Having written that long list I realise that perhaps I'm not quite the ebay novice I thought I was, but I haven’t quite worked out the sneaky ways of bidding that ensure I beat off competition every time! However, a while back the Guardian Weekend magazine had some useful tips -

How to win on eBay:
1. The best interiors bargains can be found in the categories Antiques, collectibles (50s, 60s and 70s) and Architectural Antiques (best for old tiles and salvage)
2. When searching use buzzwords such as ‘retro’, ‘old’ and ‘vintage’. For example, search for ‘old French bed’ rather than Corbeille bed - a seller who lists is as Corbeille will know its value.
3. When you’ve found an item you like, check the ‘completed items’ search. This will give you an idea of its market value.
4. Ask the seller questions, request more photographs and check postage or pick-up distances if the item is big.
5. Look for misspelled items - it’s a great way of finding a bargain no one else will see.
6. Be prepared to do a little work: if a sofa has a good structure, you could re-cover it or dye the cushion covers to bring it up to date.
7. Stick to your guns: have your top price in mind before you bid.
8. Bid with obscure prices like £5.51 - it gives you more chance of pipping someone to the post for a few pence.
9. Remember, you can always resell your buy on eBay if you don’t like it.
10. Have a clear out yourself, and turn your clutter into cash to fund your new buys.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Bookshelves galore

Books are very important in our house, and we're lucky that when we moved in the previous owners had already fitted brackets to wall in the downstairs hallway and added some shelves. So, we just got three extra shelves cut at the local hardware store, painted all the shelves white, and voila we had a home for our books. Here's a picture of our mini library. It's actually twice as long as it looks here, but the hallway is a bit of an L-shape, so extends to the right a few feet further.

We're running out of space now, so I'm considering adding shelves above the doorways downstairs...

Here are some pics that I found on flikr that made me drool!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Bedroom help needed

Have you ever had one of those rooms that just doesn't seem to look right? Individually things look ok, but all together it doesn't look welcoming or cohesive or cosy or stylish... Our large bedroom is one such room. I call it the large bedroom, rather than the master bedroom, because we don't actually sleep in it. We much prefer our cute, small room (with the lovely bird wallpaper), so this room is actually our guest room. It's also where we keep our clothes, so I suppose that for all intents and purposes really it's a dressing room. Although if there has ever been a dressing room with worse storage then I'd like to hear about it. I must get the camera out and take more shots, but imagine this - one double ikea leksvik wardrobe and one ikea chest of drawers. In total. For the two of us... I have lots of my dresses actually hung on the side of the wardrboe, and the boy's work clothes spend most of their time in the ironing basket, which frees up a bit more space, but still, it's far from ideal.

Anyway, there are a few pictures below...I'll take more tomorrow, with a view of the whole room, and the window and curtains etc. I realise I took these trying to make the place look as nice as possible, rather than the reverse!

The problem, I think, is the white paint. I love white, and it seems to work well in the rest of the house, but maybe it's just too harsh in this room. I'm wondering whether a pale grey might look nice, to coordinate with the Laura Ashley Erin wallpaper (in charcoal). Also, maybe the pictures aren't quite right... Are the frames too matchy matchy?

The look I'd really like to go for is a little bit vintage, or a bit quirky. It's a bit too late (and way past my bedtime) to be very articulate about this, but what I don't really like is the sparse hotel look.

Anyway, any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated! (Although please don't tell me to paint the furniture!)

thanks x

Sunday, 5 July 2009

We're off on our holiday soon...

I'm very excited that we've finally booked a trip away. We were considering doing a big trip to Australia and New Zealand in December, but because of one thing and another (mainly the fact that the boy is making the move to go freelance) we thought it might not be the wisest idea after all. Instead we're going to the South of France for 10 glorious days of swimming in the sea, drinking wine, eating yummy food, reading lots of books, pottering around markets, taking clifftop walks and travelling about on the train that goes all along the coast. Brilliantly we've managed to borrow an apartment too, so the trip will also be tres inexpensive.

A few little bits that I found on Flikr and that put me in the mood for France!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Thank you to Poppy ( for the exciting!

1. respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add more one question of your own.
2. tag eight other people

Marmite or Jam It would have to be jam I think. Strawberry jam, eaten with a cream tea, whilst overlooking the sea. YUM! Scones, jam, cream and a cuppa - what's not to love?!

Coffee or Tea?
I will have to say coffee.... even though technically I prefer the taste of tea. I love drinking coffee whilst chatting to friends, or with the boy whilst reading the papers...or if I'm feeling peckish in the afternoon then a coffee does wonders, instead of a piece of cake!

Whats for dinner? Well I've eaten dinner already, and it was a veggie Spag Bol. My mum is staying this weekend, and so I felt the need to make a 'proper meal'!

Champagne or beer? It would have to be champers I'm afraid - unless it's an afternoon in the sunshine, and then you can't beat a nice cold beer.

What would you eat for your last meal? Hmmm, tricky. I suppose it depends on the time of year that I was to go and meet my maker, but at the moment I think it would be a simple meal comprising of lots and lots of different salads, some potato wedges and lots of cheese. Yum. Cheese.

What was the last thing you bought? I bought two small birthday presents for the boy today...We're on hols this year for his birthday and so the pressies have to be things that I can squidge in the suitcase. And before that it was two flights to the south of France. YIPPEE!!!!

Whats the best gift you have ever been given? For my 30th birthday my Mum gave me a stunning blue enamel ring with a diamond in the middle and pearls around the edge. It had been my grandmother's, and she had given it to Mum on her 30th birthday, so that was a pretty special present. A weekend away always goes down very well too.

What is your favorite ice cream flavour? Chocolate - with proper chunks of chocolate in it.

What do you think of the person who tagged you? I really like Poppy's blog, and can't wait to read more of it. I think she started writing at about the same time as I started thriftystylishhome.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour where would you go? I think I'd go to Whitstable, and sit on the beach outside the Neptune pub and have a lovely white wine spritzer. In the morning I'd mooch around the cute little shops and then go for a nice long walk.

Which language do you want to learn? I'd like to learn Italian. My grandfather, who was killed in the war (so obviously I never knew him), was Italian and we have family in Milan. It was always quite embarrassing at gatherings with that side of the family that everyone would have to speak English just so I could understand!

Whats your favorite quote (for now)?
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." Maya Angelou

What is your favorite colour? I think it would have to be green - a nice pale green, bordering on lime green, but not quite. I have a few little knick knacks in that colour. I also love turquoise - especially if it's jewellery and I've got a bit of a tan.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? I think it would have to be a yellowy, mustardy coloured jacket. It's quite Jackie O, and no one ever believes how cheap it was!! I love jackets, they're just the best way of making an outfit look a little bit different. I also love a blue fifties style dress that I've got, with white spots.

What is your dream job? I'm quite lucky with my job, but I do like the idea of doing something in a freelance capacity... Maybe a little bit of PR, a little bit of writing, and maybe helping organise a literary festival or something.

What is your worst habit? I suppose it could be said that I can, on occasion, be a little bossy. I just don't see the point of keeping quiet if you can think of a better way of doing something. The boy doesn't like this.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on? I think I would treat us to a nice night away in a lovely hotel...I'd love to go to the George in Rye, or the Bull in Bridport.

Do you admire anyone's style? Audrey Hepburn. Always. I also think that Laura Bailey always looks stunning! I love her boho-chic look, and she always seems to wear amazing jewellery.

Describe your personal style? I've got a little bit of a boho vibe, and although I rarely wear it I do love vintage stuff. I'm quite an accessoriser - so have lots of jewellery, pretty bags, jackets and shoes. It's an amazing what a difference a cool necklace can make to an outfit.

What are you doing after this? Possibly having a glass of wine and playing quiddler. And Australian friend introduced it to me and it's brilliant. A word came but soooo much better than scrabble, which I always find very frustrating.

What are your favorite movies? Breakfast at Tiffanys, Roman Holiday, Charade (or pretty much anything with Audrey Hepburn in it), Brokeback Mountain, Into the West, Pretty Woman, Gosford Park, Some Life it Hot and... now don't judge me...Mamma Mia!

What is your favorite fruit? Berries of most kinds... raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries.

What inspires you? Great books, or wonderful pictures tend to be what do it for me.

What is your favorite book? Too, too hard. I have to read LOTS of books, and just think I can't pick only one.

Do you collect something? I seem to collect birds. I have small glass ornaments, some metal ones, some wooden ones... And, in our bedroom, wallpaper that is covered it birds!

What is your favorite smell? Freshly laundered linen, coffee and lilies. Though now we have a kitten we can't have lilies. They cause liver failure apparently!

What are you most proud of? Maintaining some really brilliant friendships.

How many times do you press the snooze button before you get up? At least three times. And the boy gets cross and wishes we could just set the alarm later and then leap straight out of bed, thus getting more sleep. He just doesn't understand that I need to wake up slowly!

Cats or Dogs? Ha! Until about a month ago I'd have said dogs. Without question. But then we got our kitten, and now I'm so very smitten...

What's your biggest fashion mistake? I think my baggy batik style dungarees were probably the least flattering thing I've ever worn. Plus they always seemed to dye my skin blue. Not a good look.

Complete the following: Love is...? absolutely essential!

I'm going to tag: Homebug, Making It Lovely, Patchwork Harmony, Her Little Place, This Young House, Poppytalk, sfgirlbay