Op Shopping Q&A with Her Library Adventures

I’ve been following Her Library Adventure’s for a few years now, probably one of the first I began to follow from memory I think.  A few of these pictures supplied by Sophie will show it’s a glorious hit of whimsical creativity and stylish op shop chic.

I was so pleased when Sophie responded to an email I’d sent out quizzing her briefly on her op shopping habits.

I knew she was an op shop fan as she’s blogged numerous times on it and you can  have a browse at some of her past treasures and adventures here

Quality over quantity - Her Library Adventures

Quality over quantity – Her Library Adventures

I asked the following five questions

1.  What has been your most treasured op shop find and why?

We found an amazing pair of vintage arm chairs at the local tip shop a few years back and I am so glad they came home with us.  They have been such a unique addiction to our home and they are wonderful and comfortable to sit in.  Definitely a winner!

2.  Do you have an op shop tip? 

My favourite tip is quality over quantity.  Something I’ve leant over the years.  If it’s not in really good condition, or exactly what you’re after you might find yourself donating it back to the same op shop in a year or two.  Quality pieces, especially furniture, clothing and homewares can stay with you for a lifetime.

Kitchenalia obsession - Her Library Adventures

Kitchenalia obsession – Her Library Adventures

3.  Do you have a favourite op shop?

We have a great local Salvation Army store here in Mildura that I’ve had some great finds at.  They are really well organised and I think that can help if you get easily overwhelmed by all the racks and shelves. The local tip shop is often wonderful too, especially for crockery.

Op shop chic - Her Library Adventures

Op shop chic – Her Library Adventures

4.  What department do you head for first in an op shop?

Always the kitchenware, followed closely by linen. I have a soft spot for vintage canisters and fabulous floral sheets.

Vintage op shop goodies - Her Library Adventures

Vintage op shop goodies – Her Library Adventures

5.  Who is your favourite person to take op shopping?

I have a couple of fabulous friends who love a good op shop and we always have fun raiding the fabric and sheets, but I’ll tell you a secret, I always do my best op-shopping my myself.  I especially love looking through books, craft supplies and old records for something special.


Sophie and Tallow - Her Library Adventures

Sophie and Tallow – Her Library Adventures

You can check out Her Library Adventure’s blog here – http://herlibraryadventures.blogspot.com.au/

Buy some gorgeous creations from her shop Wilde Asher here (I’m in envy over her studio lol) – http://www.wildeasher.com/ 

Wilde Asher Studio

Wilde Asher Studio


And keep up to date with her posts on Instagram here – http://instagram.com/herlibraryadventures

Huge thanks Sophie, thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I think you’ll agree she has a fabulous eye and I need her to come over and style my house!

How to Deal with Consumer Guilt

How to Deal with Consumer Guilt

Consumer guilt and what we can do about it.

Ethical buying makes a difference

Ethical buying makes a difference

I’ve struggled for a while now since I’ve slowly switched to op shopping as my habit of buying choice.  As I write this I hear trucks from our local council crushing tonnes of hard rubbish. While the opportunity to dispose of rubbish like this rather than forcing those who cannot afford tipping fees has some benefits I think people have become lazy and are using it as an opportunity to legally dump almost anything.

Perfectly useable items are getting crushed on a huge scale and it makes me so uneasy.  I try to put my mind at rest a little though by knowing I am trying to do my part to minimise the waste and reduce this where I can.

This article is split into two parts, input and output (or buying and disposing).


  1. Op Shopping
    Well as this website is about op shopping this was probably going to be no surprise!  Op shops provide a host of shopping opportunities for buying preowned items which as a huge bonus also support community, national and international charities.  You can by almost anything from an op shop and many are now open 5-7 days a week, some also offer postage and some sell online via their own websites.
  2. Ebay
    An easy to use alternative where you can choose a preowned or used option during your search, you can also specify it’s distance if you’re keen to pick up locally. The Ebay website is here
  3. Gumtree
    This can also be used to search locally for items, many of which are second-hand and the variety of items available is limitless, The Gumtree website is here.
  4. Garage Sales
    Literally reducing the hard rubbish piles from your own neighbourhood.  The awesome Garage Sale Trail is almost here and there is still time to register for the Saturday 25th October garage sale bonanza happening all over Australia. Find out more on their website here
  5. Markets
    These can include trash and treasure markets, rotary markets and farmers markets which mean you’re supporting local businesses and reducing your carbon footprint on your food and produce purchases.
    If you’re looking to buy clothing try a market based specifically on what you’re looking for such as Take2Markets or Round She Goes Markets .
    If you’re looking for children’s items try a market like The Bumble Bee Markets
  6. Freecycle Groups
    As the name suggests this online group (well there are over 5,000 of them now) are designed to recycle items for free, they have local groups all over the world.  Try searching for one in a suburb or city close to you. Check out the Freecycle website here
  7. Facebook Groups and Pages
    These have really taken off over the past 2-3 years and are easy to take part in but not that easy to search or source specific items.
  8. Swapping
    Get some friends together and swap some stuff, what’s left can be donated en mass to charity.  See sites like he Clothing Exchange for organised events and tips.



See above, yes it’s that simple – Donate to the op shop, sell on Ebay, list on Gumtree, have a garage sale, take part in a market, give away on Freecycle, take some pictures and share them on a group on Facebook.

Ethical buying babits

Ethical buying babits

What’s left after you’ve tried a few of these is probably the rubbish, this is what should be left on the kerb.

Have I missed something?  Let me know what else you do to shop with a clear conscious.


Please Like Me Interview – Op Shop Chic

I’ve been a massive fan of ABC2’s Please Like Me since it aired with its first season.  It’s just enjoyable,  sweet, clever, raw at times and it makes me laugh out loud and cringe for the characters minutes later.  Series three can’t come soon enough for me, I’m hooked.

I was watching this week’s opening scene taking place in the kitchen shared by Josh and Tom (played by Josh Thomas and Thomas Ward) and I began thinking how does this happen, how does the magic of creating the scenes and the set that make the characters that little bit more realistic and believable happen?
There is a look to their home, I call it “op shop chic” It’s a mixture of retro, kitsch and modern.  It’s warm, packed full of personality and very unique.
Once I’d finished watching I thought bugger it I’ll try to find out.
I was shocked and stoked to actually get a reply from the Production Designer Penelope Southgate.
Please Like Me - Taken from Zap2it

Please Like Me – Taken from Zap2it – Loving the mismatched cushions, granny blankets, lamps.  Great mixture of retro and kitsch.


What was your brief for the Please Like Me, did Josh Thomas have much input or an idea of the look he wanted to create for the house?
Josh definitely had ideas on the house what the characters would have, he has quite a strong visual sense. The show is very character driven so it’s really all about what they would have and the type of house they would live in. Obviously being young they would look in particular areas within a price range. But both Tom and Josh have certain interests, talents and lifestyles that are hopefully reflected in the house.
Josh Thomas Image c/o Vox.com

Josh Thomas (Ben Timony) Image c/o Vox.com

How did you source the item for the house shared by Josh, Tom, Claire and Geoffrey? Did you visit op shops, antique shops or garage sales or is there a secret ABC Aladdin’s cave hidden somewhere?

There is an excellent Aladdin’s cave at the ABC that was the source for a lot of the props & dressings. This was particularly as the show is very low-budget but also because they have some fantastic stuff that was perfect for the show. There was a lot of ebaying going on as well as op shopping and hiring from prop stores such as Prop-A-Ganda & The Prop Store.

Josh, Tom and Jenny - Please Like Me

Josh, Tom and Jenny – Please Like Me

What sort of time frame did you have to put the house together?

I think the pre-production on the first series was about 5 weeks but that’s to do everything for the whole series. We also didn’t get the actual house location till down the track a bit. Once we did, I think we had access for about 4 days before filming, firstly to move everything in the house out into storage, then wallpaper & paint, then move all our furniture & dressings in.

Did you have any favourite pieces that seemed to suit the show’s feel?

I loved the dog collection & a couple of them in particular. I also loved the Mickey Mouse phone that is from the ABC props store. Unfortunately we were asked to remove it from set because of copyright concerns. I loved a lot of the pictures we had as well, again a lot from the ABC store.

From the ABC's Aladdin's Cave Prop Department

From the ABC’s Aladdin’s Cave Prop Department

What was the best bit about being involved in the show?

I think working with Josh. He’s such a smart guy and thinks in a really interesting way. I also loved working with the director Matt Saville and of course the wonderful art department team. It’s all about the people.


Are you an op shopper?  If so can you tell us what you enjoy most about op shopping.

I don’t do as much as I would like, it’s mostly others in the art department that get out and about. I’m stuck in the office or on recce’s quite a bit. That’s why I tend to buy on ebay. It isn’t quite the same as seeing & feeling the object though, it only works for some things, I try and get out on the weekends though

Taken from SFGATE

Image c/o PIVOT

Huge thanks Penelope for taking time out of your weekend to answer a random e-mail from me.

Does anyone else want to see what’s in this ABC Aladdin’s Cave or is it just me?

Please Like me can be seen on ABC2 at the moment on a Tuesday at 9.30pm or you can catch up on ABCIview

National Council of Jewish Women’s Op Shop

National Council of Jewish Women’s Oppe Shoppe is open this Sunday 11am-2pm (trial Sunday opening).

Fabulous books and kids sections, including lots of young adult fiction.

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia – The Oppe Shoppe

National Council of Jewish Women of Australia – The Oppe Shoppe

Where –  227 Hawthorn Rd Caulfield. VIC

Thanks Kate A for sharing on the Facebook page

If you’d like your op shop to be a featured op shop on the site please just drop me a message on the form below.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Op Shop’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Website or Facebook Page’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

North Perth Red Cross Op Shop

The North Perth Red Cross store is fantastic. Great quality clothes and accessories, well curated, there is always a find.

Professional clothes or casual chic.

They are interested in sizes 14+ and have an expanding range of quality menswear. Drop in and see Kristine and her lovely staff – they’re doing a great job.

North Perth Red Cross Op Shop

North Perth Red Cross Op Shop

Shared by Laura R via the Facebook page

Where – 428 Fitzgerald St,  North Perth, WA  (Opposite the shopping Centre).

You can find out more about the Red Cross op shops on their website here

If you’d like to send me some info on one of your locals hit the contact me page or drop me an e-mail.

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