Christian Travelers Guide + you got that at an op shop

Witchy Woman – The Flying Wardrobe, Witchcliffe Review

A few years ago Nath and I had the opportunity (and pleasure) of relocating ourselves from Perth down to Margaret River. We did move onto Cowaramup during that time and then of course Bunvegas, but I have to say the best part of that experience was ending up with some amazing friends. I dunno about you, but as I start to get a little older, I find the thought of making new friends a little too hard. But being new to the area, I figured while I was down there I might as well give “meeting new people” a try. And wouldn't you know it, it worked! That's how we came to know Bec, and her partner Pete.

Now that Nath and I are back in Perth, and busy reconnecting with all the wonderful friends and family we left behind, we haven’t been able to get “down south” as often as we would have liked. So last weekend was our first weekend back to the old stomping ground, and to share a wooded chardonnay (or five) with our wonderful friends.

Bec normally works weekends, however she was able to take some time off to spend with us on the Saturday which was great. We had made grand plans the night before to do the op shop trail over in Busselton (Nath thought Ozbet was perhaps a little more exciting) however after a late night/late rise those plans kinda got put on hold. So we decided to head down to Witchcliffe instead and check out the local second hand store, The Flying Wardrobe.

Now, in all my time living down this way, I have to put my hand on my heart and admit I never checked this place out. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but apart from the odd Augusta trip here and there, I wasn’t always down that way. Lazy I know, but hey, I admit it!

Given we then decided to meet Pete for a late brewery lunch (I won’tmention publicly where, cause it was shit, but if you are interested to know I’ll private message you!), a quick trip down to Witchy was doable. And even Nath and Bec’s fur-babies decided to tag along.

Not knowing what to expect, my hangover lessened quite considerably when upon entering the door, I could see the bric-a-brac shelves and all their wonders. But before I got to that, the three of us split up. I chose the room to the right, Bec straight ahead, and Nath out back. This place is huge!

I would describe the room on the right as the “fashion” room. There’s a small little change room and some glorious retro and vintage clothes to suss out (including delightful wedding dresses).

Along with that, there was no end to glomesh, silk, feathers and shoes. What you’ll find with this shop is that random stuff is littered throughout the place – and it looks fantastic! So while you might be in the clothing area, you’re likely to come across antique postcards, 50’s stockings and tablecloths. Case in point, I came out of this section with a rattan-type bill holder and alarge tea towel, crocheted on the edges for that added nanna touch.

The main room you enter from the front door holds all manner of things,vintage records, a meat safe decorated with clothes and a stuffed cat,wardrobes converted into seats, lampshades, small collectablekeys/bottles/snuff boxes – you name it, it’s here. It’s fabulous. The back of the counter is decorated in vintage images, china lids and some of the most hideously fantastic dolls you'll ever see (not to mention reminding me of my own toys from a few, ahem,years ago).

There’s also a table in the middle of the room featuring all those old gawdy vintage canisters (think oranges & browns), cutlery, tins, placemats. I wanted them all. So while I couldn’t really take it all home,I did come away with a vintage salt ‘n’ pepper set (with mustard container as Pete pointed out later that night) and my nanna crocheted cushion. Socool.

The next main room you walk into features an amazing collection of books. I know Nath spent a fair bit of time in that section….He’s always on the lookout for books on WWII.

Bec on the other hand was sussing out the bric-a-brac. I took it as my time to shine;I had to show her how I do it!

So with the command of “get on the floor, lady and start rummaging” – we pulled out gorgeous plates, saucers, mugs, pots, glasses, Corningware, pottery and plastic. We had the ground covered in stuff, it was so much fun. Which brings me to:

Op Shop Rule No 6: Do YourResearch!
Now that Bec has discovered her inner Johnson love, she has been trawling the net about styles, prices and availability of Johnson pieces. And I urge you too, if you want to start collecting something – get to know your stuff.

I know how easy it is to get caught in the thrill of thrifting (I still maintain my Victoriana wedding images are beautiful), but if you are keen to start a “real” collection of something, do your homework otherwise you may endup doing something regretful like paying through the nose/purchasing a fake/hating it.

Ask yourself, why do you like it in particular? Will you still like it adorning/featuring/sitting in your home 2 weeks from now? Can you justify paying money for it?

In Bec’s case, not only is she a very retro-inspired woman and has done her homework but she also had a bigger reason for hunting some goodies - both her and Pete had purchased themselves a 1973 Royal Viscount caravan (complete with turquoise studded booth!) and having Johnson pieces decorating the new addition is just what she was after.

So, my advice is to check out the net or schedule a visit to your next collectors fair and see what other people are doing – getting to know your passion is part of the fun!

I was lucky enough to be able to pull out some of my own Johnson sideplates, a pattern of which I hadn’t seen before, so I was pretty stoked. So we popped all our finds on the convenient coffee table (complete with 50’s magazines) and ventured onto the next rooms.

Perhaps I could describe the next room as a sort of “boy” room – lots of car collectable type things, bottles, cans, Chopper Read, mannequins, tools,tins and canisters. It’s a great room todo a bit of less-delicate rummaging, if that makes sense. I actually wish I had purchased the camphor oil bottle I saw (hmmm Bec, if you’re down that way?? Haha!), “For Man or Beast”– awesome!

The final area to discover is the yard area which holds some great larger treasures including couches, pot plant holders, mirrors and a turquoise blue canoe!! I have to admit once I hit the yard I was a little bummed as I wanted more but having said that, this is a place you could/need to do several rounds of – there is so much to discover.

So upon regrouping and admitting to the husband what I was actually hoping to purchase (hey, he came away with his Bell's Whiskey bottle too!), Bec and I enjoyed a final browse at the counter where someof the finer things are for checking out (ie teacup trios, jewellery and an old Avon Humpty Dumpty soap – who didn’t have one of those??) and, upon discovering said husband had retreated to the car, the puppies and his Dream Team, it was time to head off with our goodies.

Bec came away with some lovely additions for the new caravan (and a cute pair of puppy earrings) and me with my vintage-y goodies (including the “sssh don't tell Nath” salt’n’pepper shakers).

As I said earlier, I really wished I had made the time to visit this place when I lived down there, but hey, better late than never right? But I do urge any of you who head down that way and enjoy your second-hand fossicking, to pop The Flying Wardrobe into your agenda. And make sure you find out how it got it’s name!!!!

And that, my dear readers, can only be completed with one thing. A cold glass of Margaret River’s finest chardy. K xx

The Flying Wardrobe
10411 Bussell Highway
Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm / Sat 10am-4pm / Sun 10am-3pm

bric-a-brac, clothes, family, furniture, kelly wayne, love, margaret river, op shop, retro, secondhand, the flying wardrobe, thrift, vintage, vinyl, witchcliffe, and more:

Witchy Woman – The Flying Wardrobe, Witchcliffe Review + you got that at an op shop