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Do you ever stop to think about the Windows that you pass on the high street every day? What is your perception of charity shops? Do you see them, in your mind’s eye with Windows that are crammed full of things that other people have donated? Or do you expect the outside of all charity shops to have baskets and items outside on the pavement exposed to the elements? Now, how much of this do you think would have been saleable after the downpours we had yesterday? Most of it I would suggest would have been ruined, and therefore they would not have made the money out of the items, which is really sad, since people have donated in good faith.
The window dressing itself is not too bad:
Most charity shops these days tend to have a well thought through window display with the sole intention of drawing you in. Some shops these days also produce their own brand new items which also support the charity. Although sometimes I find that this can be a bit defeatist, as the idea of the shop in the first place was to make money out of goods some people didn’t want by selling them to people that did want them, so by definition a lot of people would not want to buy new, as it defeats the object of that particular shop.
However I do see that there is a place for new items, if they are unusual or are supporting others in a different way. For instance Oxfam sell their own Coffee, Tea and Chocolate and it is all to make a living wage for the farmers in the countries where the raw ingredients are grown, this tends to be the male population in most of those countries.
In order to empower the women of those countries, they employ and teach the women how to make things for us to sell, so they can send their children to school and at least improve the lot of these famillies who have absolutely nothing. Some of them live on the rubbish dumps, and sell small things to try and make their lives better, but most of them cannot scrape enough money together to put food on the table.
The windows in effect are trying to get you to feed the poorest of the poor in the world, by buying what you would like to have in your home!! Some Charity shops are better than others but the end result they are trying to achieve is always the same: Raising money for their particular cause.
Now unless you were asleep reading my last post, you will know that I have a house full of plants and orchids! Charity shops have helped me immensely with this hobby of mine, by being able to provide me with decorative humidity trays and pebbles for the orchids, as well as, Decorative pots and trays for the other houseplants in order to protect the surfaces my plants sit on when I water them. I also like to have vases and if you read the introduction I try and live by what William Morris said: You should have nothing in your home that you do not believe to be beautiful or useful, which is what inspired me for this item:
It weighs a ton, but I had never seen anything like it before or since. It is coloured moulded glass and was made in France, but I just love it for the decoration. Cost £6. Nothing really, when you consider what it might have cost in a high street store.
The penultimate image here is of something I fashioned myself out of a very unusual charity shop find. I believe it cost me something ridiculous like £1 or £1.50, and I’m guessing whoever donated had no idea what to do with the sculpture. I think it is made of soapstone and is obviously designed for decorative purposes as there is felt underneath the bottom. The article came with no green on it at all and just as an ornament. I had bought some air plants (Tillandsia, Argentea are the bottom 3, the top one is still a Tillandsia but a different one) and needed some way of displaying them that didn’t involve hanging them from the ceiling, so with a bit of garden wire and some imagination I created their own stand, which everyone has admired ever since!! The other photos are of the different decorative pots I have acquired, and even some with their own saucers! Just to give you an idea of what you can use the decorative items for.
Plant pics from Top to Bottom, left to right:
1.Saucer, now with my mum as was holding my Peace Lily.
2.Glass cube, with beads (humidity tray) ceramic pot painted in blue and white holding my Dendrobium (Orchid) Spring Dream Apollon Keiki (baby plant) that came off the mother plant last year. Looks like it might flower for me this year too.
3. The very first Decorative pot I ever bought from a charity shop, cost me £1.50 to hold my Thanksgiving/Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera Truncata), unfortunately I now can’t remember if this is the red one or the pink one! (I also have a red and white one, and an orange one!) But I shall find out fairly soon as it is now covered in buds.
4. Epiphyllum Cactus (orchid Cactus) in a flowerpot with saucer that cost me £1. So the whole combination only cost me £2!
5. Air plants x 4 as above.
6. Blue and White Hexagonal Pot with saucer, holding my now flowering African Violet. The orchid Phalaenopsis type) also in the picture, is in a Decorative pot, and humidity cube with beads that also came from a charity shop.
The only items in the pictures that did not come from a charity shop are the flowers/plants themselves, but even those were discounted too!
Go on, go and have a look, I know you want to.
Part 2. Decorative items will be coming soon!