Can you walk past a op/charity/thrift store without popping in? I certainly can't. What if you decide to pass on by and there just so happens to be treasures waiting in there that should really belong to you? I couldn't live with myself!
I was looking for old books, ones that had seen better days and didn't mind being chopped up so that I could use them in a few crafting ideas I have in my head. Having had a quick whizz around the store I ended up at the book stand and immediately spotted a couple of volumes that had potential. Trouble was, they were way down in the corner and I couldn't get to them as another shopper was crouched down scanning the shelves. Being terribly English I didn't want to disturb him so decided to have one more look around the store until he'd finished. As I was passing the manchester section (for those of you not in New Zealand, Manchester means linens! Don't ask me why - I don't think anybody knows - at least, the people I've asked don't) and a volunteer placed an interesting looking box on the shelf in front of me.
My years of secondhand shopping has taught me that if there's a box, tin or suitcase, it always pays to look inside because that's where the treasures hide. As I opened the tatty cardboard box I gasped as I found it crammed beautiful embroidery that someone had started and not had time to finish.
The cloth had aged beautiful. Some had developed tiny rust marks that I just love.
Underneath the pile of fabric I found yards of wonderfully coloured embroidery silks that had been wound around cardboard and rolled up pieces of newspaper.
I looked at the price on the box and it said $2.50! For friends and family in the UK, that's about 80p.
I'm fascinated by social history and would love to know who this belonged to and when it was packed away and why. But if you look closely, the box holds many clues.
Having unraveled a length of floss wrapped around a piece of newspaper, I discovered that the original owner wound it around the time that Edge of Darkness' was playing at the Regal and 'Casablanca' at the Adelphi. I'll spend time this weekend unwinding each of the threads to see what other clues the box holds.
What can $2.50 buy you nowadays? Well,if you decide to pop in to the op shop and not walk on by, and if there's a sense of hope and a little of bit of luck on your side, it can buy you hours of pleasure.
Until next time...