DIY: Make a sock bun

When I first saw my sister make a sock bun I was amazed. Much to my distress through, my hair is too short and layered to create one successfully.

I decided to show everyone how to make one though, just in case – like me – you are in the dark.

What you will need:

  • Scissors
  • A sock
  • A hair tie
  • Possibly hair pins or product to better secure the bun (optional)

 

A sock bun is a simple way to create a perfect bun. They are also known as ballerina buns, because that’s exactly what they look like.

Firstly, you need to take a sock and cut off the toe. Different types of socks create different buns – use a smaller sock to create a small bun, and a longer sock to create a big bun.

 

socks

 

cut off the toe of the sock

 

(This is the point where you steal an old thick woolly sock from your boyfriend, who is not impressed when he gets home and finds his favourite socks cut up.)

Then you need to roll it up into a circle, or tube.

 

roll up the sock

 

Tie your hair into a ponytail. Thread your hair through the sock, but keep it at the end of your ponytail. Fan your hair as evenly as possible around the sock and tuck it in underneath. You will still be able to see the sock, but it should be covered with hear when you’re finished.

 

place the sock at the end of the ponytail

 

The sock then gets rolled down the length of your ponytail to where your hair tie is. At this point you should have created a bun! I love the idea because you can easily make either a messy or perfect bun.

 

tuck the edges in underneath the sock

 

fold the sock down the length of the ponytail...

 

until you reach the hair tie

 

a perfect bun from the back

 

a perfect bun

 

messy bun from the back

 

a messy bun

 

 

I watched a step-by-step on how to make these by Wendy’s Look Book on You Tube. You can also watch it here. The original concept was introduced to me by my sister though, and a big thanks to Jo for that and for modelling for my pics.

Australia Day clean out

Happy ‘Straya day mate! That’s what I’ve been seeing continuously plastered on Facebook.

And what a day I have had. I am not at any of the music festivals, or at a barbecue. No, I have been doing a massive wardrobe clean out. (Whilst listening to Triple J’s hottest 100, of course!)

And when I say massive, that is not an understatement. Having a walk-in wardrobe has been a blessing to some one like me, but I didn’t realise quite how much ‘stuff’ I had accumulated.

Exploring the top shelfs of the cupboard led me to discover half used bath product packs, unused bath product packs, a 2G iPod shuffle I was gifted at my old job when I began it three years ago, wedding shoes I purchased for a dress-up party and much, much more.

wardrobeIsn’t it amazing what we accrue?

After a trip to the op-shop with some overladen bags and boxes, I continued cleaning out. I ruthlessly culled everything into piles of ‘op-shop’, ‘things my sisters and/or friends might like’ and ‘keep’.

The amazing thing is, even with about three garbage bags worth of stuff taken away, it still looks the same!! Perhaps a bit neater, but that’s all.

On the plus side, I finally got my jewellery sorted. My sister got me a fantastic jewellery ‘tree’ for my birthday, although in my case it was a love heart.

 

Jewellery heart

 

So I finally have somewhere to showcase my costume jewellery. I love adding a bit of bling to an outfit in the morning, and when you’re running late for the train trying to untangle a necklace in a drawer is so not helpful.

Ditto for earrings. Thankfully, this has a million little holes I can attach hang earrings from, and there is space for plenty more… hehe.

 

My bling

 

So I am partially more organised. Or rather, my wardrobe is. Don’t tell Beau, but our other closets and the kitchen are about to get the same treatment. I need to break it to him slowly.

 

 

 

First image is from here.

Hunter Gatherer in St Kilda

The Hunter Gatherer store in Acland StreetI fell in love at this store. It had such an amazing variety of stock.

I only live five minutes away, and I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve never been. All of the Hunter Gatherer stores are fantastic, but this one has a slightly more ‘op-shop’ feel. So while I’m amazed by the beautiful displays in Fitzroy and smiling at the quaintness of the store in the city, I almost have to say this is my favourite.

Awesome vintage vest

I can’t always say exactly why a store appeals to me. It might be the customer service (outstanding at every Hunter Gatherer store I’ve been too), it might be because I find something I love, a pretty display or just a general vibe. In this store, I think it was the vibe. It really felt like a retro op-shop.

I had to restrain myself. (Funds after Chrissy are a little low!) I saw several things I loved, including a tapestry-patterned vest (pictured right) – Beau just looked at me like ‘WTF’ when I pointed it out. Sigh.

I did manage to walk away with a really cute vintage onesie though. I have never worn one of these in my life, but this just suited me to the ground. I’m much more comfortable in shorts than a skirt, and there were several more pretty onesies I would like to go back to try on…

 

My onesie

 

Onesie print and belt

 

The one downfall was the prices. The sale racks were great, but an average dress was about $20. I understand the reasoning behind this (Hunter Gatherer is an initiative of the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence where some of their nicer donations go), but I still think at times it can get a little steep. My onesie was $25, for example (although I’m planning for it to have a LOT of wear, hehe).

I loved the displays. I think it would be really difficult to do a bad display with so many beautiful vintage dresses to play with, but I thought the mannequins displayed the clothes perfectly. I particularly liked the use of an old ladder to display belts.

 

Scarves on a ladder

 

Jewellery counter

 

Scarf display

 

This store has both male and female clothes, although with a focus on female. (No complaints from me there!)

St Kilda is an area where you can find some very distinct styles, and I think this store is a great place to shop if you’re looking for an individual look.

The final thing that topped the cake, in my opinion, was that there were lucky dip bags for $2.50 on the counter. I couldn’t resist and had to get one…

 

Lucky dip bag

 

Items from the lucky dip

 

Seriously, what is not to love about a store with a lucky dip at the counter?

You can see it for yourself at:

82a Acland Street
St Kilda Vic. 3182
Tel: (03) 9593 8168
Tue–Thu 10 am to 6.30 pm
Fri 10 am to 7.30 pm
Sat 10 am to 6.30 pm
Sun 10 am to 5 pm

 

Do your accessories make the outfit?

I had a very interesting conversation recently. A friend was telling me that one of her friends lived by the statement that ‘all you need to look fabulous is a silk scarf and a great hand bag’.

This friend of a friend bought investment scarves and hand bags and the rest of her wardrobe from Target, but apparently she always looked well-dressed.

Simple but true, or grossly overrated? I decided to test this theory.

 

http___makeagif.com_media_1-19-2013_OjA0qs

 

To start with I put the question on Facebook. As Vicky from I Love to Op Shop pointed out, vegans and vegetarians may disagree with the notion of using silk. A great hand bag does not, of course, have to be leather.

Kamini from Op Shop Diva had another opinion: ‘When it comes to styling and looking fashionable, I live by this mantra. Minimal accessories and one staple accessory, ie a large jeweled ring, a graphic inspired scarf (doesn’t have to be silk) or a humble striking handbag paired against a power suit! Let’s not forget about hair. More women should spend more time managing their tresses. Enter fabulousness and confidence! xx’.

Personally, I live by this too. I tend to wear a staple piece to dress up an outfit. In fact, all of my friends agreed that a simple statement piece was often the best way to accentuate an outfit.

I had a go at dressing up an outfit in different ways, using both a scarf and a hand bag, and both combined!

Here are the results:

 

a scarf as a headband

 

a scarf as a shoulder wrap

 

scarf wrap

 

close up classic knot

 

wearing bag and scarf

 

Vintage Burberry bag and silk scarf

 

Gucci bag and scarf

 

Scarf with a large accessory

 

All of the scarves and the two hand bags were from op-shops, or hand-me-downs from Mum. I tried to mix it up a little in the way I used them.

I got some of my ideas from a great YouTube video I found on different ways to tie scarves. It’s very cute, and you can watch it here.

As usual, Charlie came on the scene and decided to help us out with our photo shoot.

 

Poser

 

Charlie in the scarf

 

Charlie and I

 

Charlie and the Gucci bag

 

To be honest, I think he might be more photogenic than me.

 

A very big thanks to my sister Joanne for taking the pictures. :)

 

Arthritis Victoria Opportunity Shop on High Street

Please note: this store has unfortunately now closed down.

I finally got a chance to visit a new op-shop today though. I didn’t actually know this store existed until recently. It’s the Arthritis Victoria Opportunity Shop in Malvern. The store is staffed by volunteers, and all proceeds go towards people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions.

 

Arthritis Opportunity Shop

 

It was a bit of a hidden gem. It’s set up like a small church op-shop, and a bit jumbled. That just adds to the fun though, I reckon!

And an obvious plus of this is that it has prices that are a bit cheaper than many op-shops. (I spotted a BCBG Maxazria silk dress in the Malvern Vinnies that I fell in love with, but then I saw the price tag and nearly fell over. Forty-five dollars! Beau thought I said it was $25 and said that was too expensive.)

Back to the op-shop, though. It was great fun to have a bit of a dig through everything. I very much liked the idea they had to keep shoes together with elastic bands. If a lot of shoes are in a small smack, it’s a good organisational tactic.

 

bag wall

 

pictures

 

fuzzy bag!The shop had quite a lot of nice stock. (That may be because it was in Malvern!) It was quite varied, too. For example, you don’t often see a brand new cat flap or a ceiling fan for sale in op-shops!

You can see the store for yourself at:

Address
1428 High Street Malvern
Telephone
9509 6263
Hours
Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm
Saturday 9am to 12pm

or read more on their website.

Salvos in Cheltenham

front of store

 

What an amazing store. I have to say, my head was turned when I visited the Salvos in Cheltenham.

There was just a big assortment of everything, and it all seemed to be in great condition. And surprisingly, my head was most turned in the books, toys, home wares and furniture sections.

 

cool bag

 

Gallaz skate shoes

 

Beau came with me and was seriously diverted by the DVD section. (Also extensive.)

 

Beau searching the DVD collection

 

The store just seemed to stretch on forever. You’d explore one corner and it would take a good ten minutes. In reality, it is actually a decently sized store, but by no means one of the biggest I’ve seen.

This is one of the Salvos stores which stocks a lot of furniture, including mattresses. There were lots of desks, couches, casual chairs and arm chairs to choose from. I loved the desks in particular, because there were some great old vintage ones mixed in with stylish new mod styles.

 

furniture

 

The toys are all in superb condition. I was quite diverted by this section, wishing that I could still fit on a scooter or play with a robot dog. (I suppose I still could, but my friends might find it a little strange.)

One of the things that most caught my attention though, was a reptile enclosure. Perfect condition, with all parts for $20. I kid you not. These things cost about $400 to set up.

 

reptile enclosure

 

 

I should know, because I have wanted a bearded dragon for aaaages. Sadly, we really don’t have the room in our apartment though. So I stood and looked at the reptile enclosure for a good fifteen minutes before I could walk away, because it was perfect. Sigh.

The clothes seemed alright, although to be honest I spent less time there. My main concerns at the moment are finding comfy shoes for work and a new bag. No luck at this store, but fingers crossed for next time!

Beau managed to grab some DVDs (I have a sneaking suspicion he only comes along to op-shops with me to grow his – now extensive – DVD collection), although I didn’t buy anything. Only the reptile enclosure and a little piggy bank tempted me. Why a piggy bank? See the photo below! Beau roared with laughter when he saw it.

 

bling fund

 

 

You can check out this store at:

1216 Nepean Highway
Cheltenham
VIC 3192

(03) 9583 1598

Op shop rules apply to eBay too

I am getting complacent and forgetting my own rules!

One of the first rules of op-shopping is: If you see something you like, either pick it up or buy it straight away because if you don’t some one else will!

I was browsing Balenciaga bags on eBay to see if anything nice was around (at a reasonable price). I came across a lovely green vintage bag that wasn’t too expensive. It had both a buy-it-now option and a make-an-offer option.

 

The Balenciaga bag I liked

 

It was at this point I was considering asking the seller if they could consider shipping to Australia (it was international), and if they would accept an offer I was prepared to make.

I then realised that it was nearly 6pm, and I had told Beau I was going to make him home made gnocchi so I’d better get cracking with dinner. I figured the bag would still be there when I got back.

Gnocchi takes forever to make. No joke. It took me two hours to make a basic potato gnocchi with a cream sauce. (It was sort of an experiment to prove that I could, if you get my drift.)

 

cooking

 

gnocchi

 

I won’t be modest. It was fantastic.

BUT I lost out on the bag because of it. I could have spent an extra five minutes messaging the seller, but I didn’t.

 

sad face

 

Moral of the story: it is much easier to buy store-bought gnocchi then make it yourself. (No, not really). The moral is, if you see something you like: do something about it immediately!

 

 

 

Bag images are from the original eBay listing

Apparently baby things are dangerous

I recently wrote a post about Mixing Business with Op-Shops, where I had a very interesting chat with the acting manager.

What I didn’t mention at the time was that I was also quite enraged by another conversation I overheard this manager having on the phone.

Some one called to ask if they could donate their cot to the op-shop. He (very apologetically) told them that they couldn’t accept most baby things in case of diseases. If they sold a second-hand crib or cot and the next baby using got sick, he said they could be sued.

 

pram

 

I’ve noticed this in a lot of op-shops. There is very rarely any baby furniture. It’s one reason why I was so pleasantly surprised when I visited the Leopold Salvos and saw all of the toys and children’s furniture.

Each charity organisation has it’s own rules regarding op-shops. I know this because I have spoken to people from the Salvos, Vinnies, and many other smaller organisations. Some will not accept electrical goods because they have no qualified electricians to check them. Some won’t accept make up. There is a is a big variety out there.

But not accepting baby things in case of disease seemed a little excessive to me. I do not have children, so perhaps I am no judge. But I have watched my neighbours across the road put out a children’s play ground on the nature strip, and then seen some one pick it up within an hour. (And that couple sure looked worried about diseases… not.)

 

baby shoes

 

I am starting to understand why I see strollers and high chairs in perfect condition on nature strips all the time. It’s not because the families are too lazy to donate them, it’s because no where accepts them. As I said, you don’t often see these things in op-shops, but I see them on the kerb all the time.

I’m pretty sure when I was younger all second-hand baby things were not only appreciated, they were kept in case another child came along. (I have two much younger sisters, and I’m sure I remember most of our things being second-hand.)

I know things are changing, but surely the rules and regulations are getting a little bit too much?

 

 

 

Image are from here.

Op-Shop Luck

I am beginning to believe that I have a limited monthly amount of luck to use in op-shops. Generally, I don’t believe in op-shop luck. I think that a lot of the time it is through sheer perseverance that I manage to find so many amazing things.

Allow me to illustrate my point. I would like a new handbag. Specifically, I want to find a nice tote or shoulder bag for everyday use. I will admit that I’m a bag snob and generally only buy expensive labels. (You can read about my views on handbags here.) But surprisingly, usually it’s not too hard to find designer bags in op-shops.

But today, my luck ran out. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I did find some shoes that I think will be fantastic for work (read: comfy!). But I visited seven op-shops and one consignment store today and couldn’t find a bag!

 

Gabor sandals

 

I think it is because when I got back from Thailand I found a fantastic Chloe winter jacket, a Jaeger bag and a Vivienne Westwood bag within a week. But the Jaeger bag was bought for a friend and the Vivienne Westwood bag for re-selling purposes. They weren’t actually for me! But I suspect they may have used up my ‘luck’ for the month.

 

Vivienne Westwood bag

 

Jaeger bag

 

Of course, this is one of the things that makes op-shopping so exciting, and so frustrating. One week you can find so many amazing things, and the next week… nothing. Nada.

I have not given up hope. I will find my dream tote one day.

 

Mulberry Bayswater

 

All it takes is perseverance. And I’m beginning to think, perhaps a little luck.

But I will leave you with this nugget of wisdom: if you find you are having a good op-shopping day, don’t stop! Visit as many as you can!