Saturday, 28 June 2008

This is... my favourite op shop find

This week's challenge is a really tough one. I am very passionate about finding vintage treasures in op shops, junk shops and on eBay. I've boasted about lots of my best finds here on my blog, but as to which is my favourite ... will it be the cuckoo clock and vintage Sylko sewing display, the 1950s eiderdowns, the Daphne Padden posters, the Twinings tea tins and Ladybird books, Woolly the Lamb, the 1950s South Seas tea set, or the Figgjo set?

Or maybe I would choose one of my pre-blog finds from when I was living in England, which include 6 boxes of large wooden vintage printer's type blocks in Huddersfield, a new Boden tea dress in Saffron Walden, a 1940s patchwork quilt in Essex, a 1970s Gaggia espresso maker found at my local tip for £4, and a beautiful old haberdashery shop counter in Norwich, with hundreds of little wooden drawers (sadly we couldn't bring this with us when we moved to Australia, I miss it every day).

I am constantly amazed by the beautiful things you can find when out thrifting, and it is hard to nominate a favourite, I love everything, so I have decided to cheat a bit and just show my best thrift finds for this week.

Lots and lots of doilies from my favourite op shop in Castlemaine. There are about 40, in different shapes and shades of white cotton, and some heavier yellow ones. I love these, and was thrilled to find such a perfect batch after being inspired earlier in the week by Posy . I washed them and hung them all up to dry in the laundry, prompting an unimpressed look from Mr. Lark, and the wry comment that 'without women, doilies would not exist'.

A pair of Beatrix Potter curtains in a vintage cotton print from the local church sale. Love these!

Giant old commercial bread tins bought on eBay. My boys had the idea to make these into Ned Kelly masks, but I don't think so!

A plasticised basket for my collection (I store fabric in these), an old ballet print and a set of linen place mats, also at the local church sale.

An old two-story doll's house cupboard, found at the Mill Market in Daylesford. I jumped for joy when I saw this - my plan is to give it a lick of paint, fit out the inside with vintage wallpaper, hang some cute curtains and use it as a display for my new knitted toys at our forthcoming trade fair. My son has already put his name on it for after the fair!

And this, my favourite and best thing at the moment. Found at the junk shop near my house, a 1940s/50s wooden beauty shop display. It was made to promote Cashmere Bouquet lipstick, rouge and face powder. The lipsticks came in intriguing shades called Dream Rose, Scandal Red, Stop Press and Orchid Red. The face powder samples are all still there in little tubes, I even tried some out (my colour is Rachel). At the back there is space for keeping the products and a little guide to what colours might suit you (Brunette = Dream Rose or Peche). I can just picture ladies in pretty dresses and gloves making a trip to Myer to choose a new Cashmere Bouquet lipstick. I have always loved old shops and shop fittings, so this is a really special find for me.

Even better, it came with some tubes of vintage beauty creams - Cashmere Bouquet Cold Cream, and Three Flowers Foundation Vanishing Cream. I am so inspired by the packaging designs from this period. I can feel a vintage beauty collection starting...

Along with these lovelies, I also found a pretty pin tin. And the woollen crochet granny blanket at the top of this post, which is currently hanging out to dry on my verandah!

When we first moved to Australia I was a little disappointed with op shops, as it is very hard to find pre-1970s things here, but I am coming to appreciate that Australian vintage has its own special appeal, and that the older beauties are still out there if you know where to look!

Thanks to Lino Forest for a great theme this week - you too can join THIS IS on Angela's Three Buttons blog!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Avon Small World Collection - Love It!

Avon Small World Collection, originally uploaded by Snaggs.

This weekend's Work In Progress...

A Yu-Gi-Oh costume for my son's dress-up day at primary school this week. Quite a challenge, I have to say. I was quite pleased with my efforts on the 'hair' but I am nervous about making the purple trouser suit, millenium chain and card machine!

Sunday, 15 June 2008


We're quite a creative family and we tend to use all the spaces in our home for creative purposes - the kitchen for baking, cake-making and concocting deliciousness, the dining room table for drawing, writing and painting, I knit and crochet in bed, and even the bathroom is a creative space, frequently used by my sons for 'boy's own' scientific experiments! But the focus of our creativity is our studio, which we use for both work and play. When we moved to this house it was two very old cottages and we joined them together, with the oldest cottage becoming the big studio and office space. It's a really cosy space at this time of year as it has a huge wood burning stove, and a TV for the evenings. Much thinking and making goes on in these rooms!

Thanks to Quilting Mick for this week's theme!

Sunday, 8 June 2008


Summer 2002. Trip to the Spanish Pyrenees. First son was a very cute 9-months old. We caught a boat from England to France and drove the length of France, just the three of us. A week to explore little towns in Northern Spain, stopping frequently for feeding and sightseeing. The Jardins Artigans. Singing in the car, badly. A strange 'car blessing ceremony' in Cardona. Then to Cal Petraco, the rural shack belonging to lovely Catalan friends, that holds so many happy memories from our various visits over the years. Our son's naming ceremony, six special friends (one now sadly missed), a fat cat. A rainbow. Shopping in the market at La Seu d'Urgell for a fiesta. Driving back through a snowstorm in Andorra. How simple life seemed back then!

Thanks to Your Cover's Blown for this week's theme!