secondhand shops


"Legend has it that you don't fully quality for your West End passport unless at least one item in your house comes from Relics." I have only lived in Glasgow for four years, but by that standard not only do I carry a West End passport, I'm an ambassador for the West End. I love Relics and visit a least a couple of times a week - which you need to do in order to snap up the really good stuff. Through the years I've picked up vintage buttons, Dave's bought me the best knitting bag, we have found Soviet ceramic tiles, a Muirhead Bone drawing/lithograph from the trenches at Ypres (behind the vase), and dozens of other small pieces.

This week I found this beautiful 1930s vase you see in the photo. It may look a bit naff in the photo, but in real life it has a wonderfully subtle glaze and the flowers have a gentle glow. I fell in love with it the second I saw it, but it was not until I saw a woman pick it up saying "I might get this later.." that I realised that it had to belong to me or it would haunt me as The Vase That Got Away. And so I forked out my £3 and went on my merry way.. It is now sitting in front of the living room fireplace. I absolutely love it.

But sometimes my secondhand purchases get slightly out of hand. Today, in a different secondhand shop, I picked up some 1950s sewing patterns. This is all well and good, except both patterns are for 32" busts and my sewing machine does not work. I am pondering listing them on eBay, so they can go to a good home and I get (some of) my money back. Or I might hang on to them. Because I tend to hang on to things.

A few links to tide things over until I finish some projects/we have enough light for decent photos/anything to happen:

Next up: dinner. Slow roasted pork shoulder in jerk sauce with baby potatoes and a fresh garden salad. Rainy days always make me eager to cook proper food.

Vintage Buttons

Sometimes you get lucky. Before David's birthday dinner, we went walking around Glasgow's West End and eventually dipped into our favourite second-hand shop.

Dave spotted a tin filled with old buttons and asked the owner how much they'd be. "Oh, I have plenty more.. haven't really looked through 'em. So many, you know. Was going to throw most of them out," the owner said, in his characteristically abrupt way. And a few seconds later he emerged with three more tins and a big shopping bag.

You know what happened next.

At first I reckoned I had scored maybe 200 vintage buttons but I was way off the mark. I have tentatively sorted maybe half of the buttons (the big 'uns first!) into three boxes. The large plastic bag remains uncharted territory. You can see some of the already-paired-up buttons in the picture on the left. Judging from the style and a few Canadian(!) coins I found, the button collection appears to have been amassed between mid-1930s to late 1970s: a few buttons have a distinct late Art Deco feel to them, some are definitely made from Bakelite and some are still on the original cardboard.

An early Christmas gift from me to me. How much? You wouldn't believe me..