Purse Full of Pennies

Second-hand gems, charity shop finds and venerable vintage

Leave a comment

I’ve started an Etsy shop!

I don’t know about you, but my wardrobe is bursting with lots of lovely items that I just don’t wear anymore. I figured it would be good to pass them onto a new, loving home via the medium of an Etsy shop. To that end I’ve started a wee shop called The Vintage Scot, which you’re welcome to follow and check out :) It’s just a small shop as the plan is to pass on my pre-loved and well-worn (or not so well worn) vintage finds.

I regularly clear out my cupboards with bags of donations for charity shops (like here and here), but some of the garments I spent cash on via vintage fairs and so forth, and it would be nice to recoup some of the costs.

Sooo, at the moment I have this wonderful vintage tuxedo dress shirt on the shop. I bought it as I loved the pleats, but haven’t had it on for a good while, so it’s time for a new owner. £16 odds for an original 1960s dress shirt isn’t too bad, right? See it here.

vintage 1960s tuxedo shirt

vintage 1960s tuxedo shirt

It’s not all clothing, though. I have this gorgeous Norwegian casserole dish that I just absolutely love on the shop. I’m hoping to move house soon, so need to downsize some of the crockery I am currently in ownership of, so this is up for grabs too.

Egersund casserole dish

Egersund casserole dish

So feel free to have a quick mooch around. Maybe you’ll see something you like? :) It’s by no means a career move, but it is fun to see people enjoy my already-loved garments and items!



Some recent vintage jewellery finds

I’ve bagged myself a couple of beautiful old vintage costume jewellery pieces recently. The Out of the Blue Drill Hall monthly flea market is the place to forage if this is your kind of thing; every month there are some great stalls for you to pick and choose from. I wrote about the flea market in a previous post.

Anyway. I love love love this necklace. It’s an original 1940s costume piece, with the most delicate of fasteners so hope desperately my clumsy fingers don’t break the mechanism.

costume necklace, 1940s bow

costume necklace, 1940s bow

I paid £8 for the necklace. Which, to be fair, doesn’t even come close to the price you’d pay for something similar in Accessorize or Marks and Spencer or whatever. I’ve had it on a lot too, so I’m very pleased I spotted it on the table amongst so many other sparkly items.

The second find is this cute little pair of 1970s costume earrings, which pay homage to 1930s art deco sunbursts. Aren’t they pretty? I know they are just cheap imitations, but as soon as I saw them I thought they were perfect for fancy dress or a night out on the tiles.

sunburst earrings

sunburst earrings

I think I paid 50p for them. I haven’t had these on yet, but am waiting for the Christmas parties to arrive so I can get them on and strut my sunbursting stuff! They would also be perfect for any Ancient Egyptian themed night… Now I just need to find the rest of my Cleopatra outfit ;)



Edinburgh and its ghost signs

I’m pretty lucky to live in Edinburgh. This city of 500,000 people is gorgeous, with so many secrets and surprises around every corner. This works out in a vintage bargain hunter’s favour; there are so many old things to find and explore. You could say it’s sometimes a bit of a magical place.

Double rainbow at the Shore

Double rainbow at the Shore – beautiful!

For the astute amongst us, when we walk along the street there are lots of signs that Edinburgh has had a long and intriguing history. I thought some of the vintage fans of this blog might like to see some of the quite literal signs of this that I’ve been spotting and snapping.

Ghost signs on Nicholson Street Square

Ghost signs on Nicholson Street Square

I love ghost signs. Especially in Edinburgh. They are these delicious little hints about what the city used to hold for its inhabitants. And they are all over the place if you take the time to spy them.

Ghost sign at a flat buzzer

Ghost sign at a flat buzzer at Old College

The landscape of the city changes all the time, but I find these old reminders about the time past awfully romantic. I wonder about what beautiful hats or leather belts or furs that these old shops must have produced however many years ago.

Ghost sign on Infirmary Street

Ghost sign on Infirmary Street

Of course, Edinburgh’s not the only Scottish city to cling on to such visual gems. Glasgow is host to plenty of them too.

Ghost sign at the Trongate in Glasgow

Ghost sign at the Trongate in Glasgow

For the life of me, I have no idea what an alice belt is. Do any readers know about this type of belt? Maybe it was just the name of the shop? Or the owner? I wonder what the shop looked like? So many questions from one ghostly little sign…

Another ghost sign at Trongate

Another ghost sign at Trongate

Do you have ghost signs where you live? I love spotting them wherever I am. You can often get great sightings on railway lines when you’re on the train, as the route cuts through old buildings via bridges that the cars and pavements don’t reach.

If you’re a fan of these lovely old advertisements, check out this blog post which has pictures of plenty more Edinburgh memories. I will keep my eyes peeled for more of them!


These shoes were made for walking

I’ve been extremely busy these last few months, not least because I am in the process of painting and decorating my flat. I think it not even a slight exaggeration when I say that painting and decorating is probably the worst of all things to do as a grown up, except perhaps taxes. I am absolutely hating it.

My flat is a complete tip right now, as I try to sort through all the various bits and pieces accumulated through years of charity shopping. As part of the mass exodus of items, I’ve already taken a large wedge of books down to the charity shop and shoes are next on the list.

I couldn’t believe it when I had to move my shoe rack and discovered I had over 40 pairs of shoes. FORTY. Who on this great green earth needs as many pairs of shoes as that?! So I’ve lined these ones up for donation…

selection of shoes

more shoes for donation

Of the six pairs above, only two were bought new in a shop. The rest have been donated to me or bought in car boots or charity shops. At least the virtuous cycle goes on and the great circle of charity shopping continues! There were about another four pairs that I didn’t take snaps of, mainly because they weren’t as nice.

Hopefully these shoes will go on to lovely new owners :) Do you like any of them?

Let me know about your shoe accumulations. Is there truly a need for us ladies to have so many pairs? I am definitely in the “I think not” camp due to flat decorating. Honestly, shifting dozens of pairs from place to place is no fun at all…


Getting my cycle groove on with Belles on Bikes

This post is going to be about riding bikes. Yep. I’ve gone and done it – I’ve violated the theme of this charity shop blog and messed it all up with some cycling chat. Apologies, regular readers. But I feel this is a worthy tangent, especially if you’re based in Edinburgh.

Also, I figure that quite a lot of thrifty missys out there probably enjoy a good, proper pootle on their bikes. After all, cycling is by far the most bargain-tastic of all modes of transport (other than feet, but they are pretty slow in comparison to the two-wheeled joy of a bike).

Anyway, I love my bike. Well, actually, bikes. I have two. Well, actually, three. But the third is quite decrepit right now.

claire on her bike

I am so happy with my bike!

Cycling is just brilliant. For so many reasons which I’m not going to get into right now. However, I would love to introduce more ladies to the love of the bike. To that end I’ve started to get involved with Belles on Bikes, a women-specific project that aims to get more ladies on their bikes. Funded by CTC and supported by the Bike Station, it’s been doing fantastically well in Glasgow, so it’s time we got our groove on in Edinburgh too.

The second Edinburgh ride is going to be on this Saturday coming, the 22 February. It’s starting from the Beach House on Portobello promenade at 10.30am, and if you are in the area and fancy enjoying a splendid run around East Lothian in the sunshine then I definitely think you should come along. We are a very friendly and welcoming bunch that would love to have you with us. More details here.

Fancy it? :)

1 Comment

Wrapping up warm for winter, charity shop style

The weather has been so unseasonably mild in Edinburgh over most of December that I wasn’t sure I would need to break out the big guns with respect to jackets. But then it happened; winter arrived along with the rain and wind and sleet. Hurrah!

vintage rabbit fur jacketThe perfect excuse to wear this; a vintage rabbit fur coat that I bought in a charity shop in Inverness last year. It wasn’t the cheapest of the cheap at £50, but the quality of the fur and cut of the coat made me snap it up pronto anyway. It’s very neat – an unusual thing with fur coats as they are often quite big and heavy on (at least for my price bracket).

Some people have issues with real fur, but I have several vintage coats and have no problem with giving clothing a second chance. If I wasn’t wearing them the furs would be going to waste and neglected on a clothes rail somewhere or in the local tip. I would never buy a new coat but the old ones most certainly need love.

vintage fur coatThis is my other coat. It’s a musquash fur, again at £50 and purchased from a second-hand dealer in Callander. It’s much heavier than the rabbit but the fur is much harder wearing. And what beautiful stripes in the furs.

So what do you think of the coats? Own any furry items yourself or steer clear of them completely? :) How are you keeping winter at bay?

1 Comment

Happy Book Week Scotland, readers!

Book Week Scotland logo

For those not in the know this week is Book Week Scotland, the national celebration of reading, books and writing. I’m a major bookworm myself and sometimes writer, so have embraced the week wholeheartedly. After all, it’s about books. What’s not to love?

In true bookish style, once you let me loose near a bookshop or bookshelves it’s a considerable danger on both the wallet and space situation in my house. For these exact reasons I tend to steer clear of the book sections in charity shops. But not this weekend past…

charity shop book findsErr, only six books purchased of an afternoon. That’s not so bad, is it? The charity shop shelves were screaming out to me, and the books were on average £2 per paperback… It’s all a bit odd that I ended up with three cities for titles, but hey, that’s what the shelves were offering up…

Have you read any of the titles above? Would love to hear what you think about them if so.

So I needed to choose my book to read for Book Week Scotland. In the end I’ve opted for the two books below. Counting Sheep is half-read already and a really interesting book about how we dream and the science of sleep, so I hope to get that finished this week. Heft was lent to me by a friend and I look forward to giving it a bash too.

books for book week scotlandAre you participating in the week? Would really love to hear what you’re choosing to read if so. I love a good book recommendation, I do. Happy reading, readers!