26 May 2015
too much op shopping
Tucked behind a "World's Greatest Dad" mug and a half used scented candle, is a hint of powder blue. A delicate curve, a gold embossed rim - an ornate platter of days gone by. And so I quicken my step and snatch up this treasure for my own. All too often this scenario unfolds whilst op shopping and as a result our cupboards have been bursting with gilded, vintage treasures. I have dutifully applied a rule of "beautiful yet practical" to my purchases but how many platters does one family need?
Op shopping or thrifting is a wonderful way of making do; it is the epitome of recycling. One man's trash is another man's treasure but the hard part isn't wading through the abundance of discarded "trash" , it's saying no to the "treasures".
Clutter comes in all guises and nostalgic pretties have the same habit of accumulating as less appealing fripperies. My hunting for delicate treasures made op shopping less about purchasing essentials and all about the "collecting" of something. I'd be heard exclaiming, "Oh, I don't have that particular pattern of Pyrex bowl!", regardless of whether I needed any more bowls or not (for the record, I did not!)
So I started taking note of my kitchen comings and goings. I noticed that I reached for the same tea cup day after day. The stacks of plates and platters, no matter how beautiful, were rarely used bar a few. Balanced in hard to reach places, they made meal preparations difficult; the constant un -stacking of fragile pieces in order to reach the one I wanted was frustrating. These bargain beauties were not only cramping my cupboards but stifling my kitchen creativity. And so a purge ensued.
I took everything out and spread it across the kitchen benches and spent a pretty moment casting my eyes over pastel hues. Those items that hadn't seen the light of day were quickly boxed up and passed on for others to enjoy. The fence sitters needed a little more thought - what exactly would I use it for, and how often? Finally I had a small selection of pieces, the old favourites, that I happily reach for time and time again. Coupled with pieces made with soul these vintage treasures grace our table daily; they bring joy. And isn't that really the aim of simplifying?