Monday, February 13, 2012

The Recession, Thrift, and the Need for Revolution

Every now and then, trying to get a grip on the tottering piles of shite around JunkMonkey Mansions, and spurred on by a need to bring a little more dosh into our cash-starved home I have been attacking the piles of old magazines lying around here. The glory days are gone but time was I occasionally used to get really stupid prices on eBay for Sunday supplement magazines with the right celebrity on the cover. (Over £100 for a week-old Sunday Herald Magazine with a picture of Ewan McGregor once.) These days a lot more people are at it but I still have a go from time to time.

Winnowing out what is worth the effort of putting up for sale is a pain but for the moment I have been getting rid of those magazines that don't have a 'celeb' on the front cover. I do have a flip through the magazine first on the off chance there is someone floggable on the inside. Occasionally an item or article will catch my attention and I will read it.

So it was with the Sunday Telegraph's Stella Magazine for 5th June 2011. No one on the cover - well, no one famous - but on Pg. 32 I was stopped by the headline,

'Do You Get My Thrift? 40 ways to save money stylishly'.

Always one for money saving ideas I had a look...

Let me share some of them with you.

For a touch of authentic Caribbean style serve margaritas in recycled jam jars (salt rimmed of course) as they do at Hartwood, a trendy new resteraunt in Tulum, Mexico.

Lulu Kennedy - fashion talent spotter
Not just jam jars mind you, but 'recycled' jam jars. I guess that means you wash them first? or fish them out of the local bottle bank and then wash them? who knows? And how authentically 'Caribbean' is something they do in a trendy restaurant in Mexico? I think the word 'style' here is being used in the same way as Lidl's use it in packaging their products. 'Italian Style' Lasagne, 'English style' sausages, or 'Scottish style' haggis, anyone? And is a 'Fashion Talent Spotter' a real job? or is it one of those 'let's give the boss's new shag a poncy title and hope she doesn't actually do anything' 'jobs'?

Learn to make things you love. My whole career emerged out of not having the money to buy taxidermy - I decided to learn how to do it instead.

Polly Morgan Taxidermist

I can see how this would work around our house:

Dad, I want this weasel
stuffed! and I want it now!

But, love of my life,
we can't afford it.

Then, by Jingo! I'll do it
myself - pass me that spoon!

Skin care:
Whenever I'm in America I buy Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream in bulk from Duane Reade. It's only $10...
Jo Malone Perfumer
"Whenever I'm in America"? Which planet are these people living on? (This one I guess given they visit America a lot and, elsewhere in the article, urge people to "head to Campden Passage market in Islington" - presumably to distract attention from the real hunting grounds somewhere else.)

How about this one though? I'm pretty sure she's from Earth...

Find bargain gold frames at antique markets or charity shops and put your own images inside to make them look grander and much more expensive!

Emilia Wickstead fashion designer
...but not this one. She's from a Bizarro World, parallel Earth where everyone eats breakfast late at night, wears gravy as earrings, and even the simplest of concepts take years to understand. Fuck me sideways with a trout! Putting images in gold frames makes them look more expensive! Did anyone tell the entire History of Western Art about this? The exclamation mark at the end of the above quote is not me dramatizing things for comic effect, it is there on the page. This witless twit thought this was such a earth-shattering idea that she shouted it. I love that 'find bargains' too. Just go out and find bargains, that's what I'll do today. Go find some drooling proles who don't know the value of what they are selling and have it off them for a few beads and shiny things. (This woman dresses the Prime Minister's wife. Explains a lot.)

I really love this one:
Spray fleamarket finds with high-gloss paint. I cheat and go to car sprayers. You can do it yourself but it is a messy business and I find the finish is never as good. Car spray is almost like lacquer so suddenly your tired old standard lamp is transformed into something way more playful, bold and super-glossy. Make inquiries with the garage first (don't do as I did and just turn up with a pile of stuff), and don't expect them to do any of the prep work - the rubbing down and filling. For a standard lamp expect to pay about £50 and between £100 and £150 for a table.

Abigail Ahern - interior designer and author

Mr Pooter lives!

I would have loved to have been there when our Abigail turned up at her local garage with ' a pile of stuff' and asked them to spray paint it for her.


Winston, a paint stained, car re-sprayer is shoving license plates into a dustbin when he is approached by a wealthy woman with an armful of miscellaneous tat.

They start to talk.


"You what, love?"

"I said, would you spray this lot for me?
I can pay you. Look, I have shiny things.
Beads... and mirrors."

"What? you wannus to spray this lot for you?"

"Yes, please."

"Even the stuffed weasel? Nah, Fuck off. You're
'avin us on. This is a wind-up innit? Here, Burt, come
over 'ere. This bird wants us to spray this lot of junk."

"Wassall this then? This all knocked off is it? We usually
do cars. You know hot Rollers and that. Drive 'em in,
give 'em a quick once over, and off to the Saudis with
it on the next boat. Don't fink there's no profit in
repainting crap like this though... is that a stoat?"

"No, I'm really rather serious. I thought a new coat of
paint would make it all you know, playful, bold
and super-glossy!"

"Right... where's the cameras..."

Suddenly Winston tugs Burt's sleeve, whispers in his ear, and points up the road to where an expensive car is parked.

"'ere, is that your Lamborghini? Tell you what,
love. Leave it here and come back in a couple of
hours. Why don't you take the bus? Leave the car
and we can pop the stuff in the boot for you
when we've done, 'ow about that?"

How I wish...

More soon.

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