Friday, July 30, 2010

1956 Olympics

Always on the lookout for teatowels I have been narrowing my searches to vintage Melbourne and Victorian examples after making a couple of cushions for a stylish Melbournian.

My net was cast and Christine at Carrington Street Bazaar answered my call. (I think that I am mixing up my metaphors here, but you get the gist)

An unused 1956 Olympics linen tea-towel, made in Ireland was to be had. Sounds good eh! That makes it 54 years old!! My imagination was running amok at the thought of some fabulous 50's atomic kind of futuristic Olympic design.

Maybe, being the 50's and all, the Irish thought we wouldn't know the difference between good design and bad. Maybe they thought that they had to make the design simple, naive and primitive, because of Aboriginal rock paintings that were gaining some popularity. Plus the ultimate snub, Melbourne isn't even mentioned. Maybe the Irish didn't know where it was?

We will never know. But we are blessed to be given this wonderful depiction of a koala.

Don't push me 'cos I'm close to the edge!

The whole teatowel.

Closeups of the sides actually look quite good, though a bit disproportionate. Kind of vintage Boys Own.

It may be ugly, but I am still going to make a cushion from it. It's ugliness is quite endearing. A snapshot of an unsophisticated Australia.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Calico and Co.

Calico and Co. have been nice enough to feature me on their Handmade Heaven section today. My new Moo Cow cushion (made froma vintage tea towel) is looking pretty chuffed with herself in amongst the other goodies.


Pop over and see  the pretty pictures!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fussy Work

This piece of gorgeous retro barkcloth was all but ruined by its original owner who obviously didn't share my phobia of cutting willy-nilly into precious fabric. My sister calls it fussy work, when you cut massive chunks from a fabric, I call it barbarism!

I managed to salvage some fabric to make four adorable cushions complete with white pom-poms and black & white gingham back.

Such a pity I didn't have more. Now I will have to do my own fussy work with the scraps.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fringed vintage cushions for children

I was lucky enough to find a haul of these cute vintage tea towels in Casino a few months ago. With a bit of luscious fringing they turn from a wee bit daggy to way cute.  I say they are for children, but every teenage girl I know lurves them!

My favourite is the tiger that has been bitten by the bee. I have put a lovely golden fringe around her. So purty!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Flea Market Finds - Filling up the spaces!

It has been weeks since I have done a FFF! That is not for want of buying and trawling, mind you! My sis came to stay a couple of weeks ago and stated in no uncertain terms that I have been collecting too much stuff!

For a girl who used to love,"Clean lines. It's all about surfaces sweetie!" (misquoted from Ab Fab), I have certainly done a complete turn around. I think I will have to de-clutter soon, but I will think about it another day.

Okay, first cab off the rank. A 'Butterflies Game'. I got this for the board as I have begun a collection of game boards. Yes, I now have three vintage board games (Hide 'n' Seek, Totopoly and Butterflies) and that officially constitutes a collection. I have no idea where I will put them, but I have a collection nevertheless.

My sis would be freaking out as she has an aversion to butterflies and frankly, the little cardboard butterfly models do look a bit creepy and slug like...kind of like zombie butterflies, but they have given me a seed of an idea to create something. (My teenage daughter asked me in all seriousness recently if I had a Zombie Plan. I had to admit that I did not, so I will have to get cracking on that one, because, when butterflies start looking like zombies, maybe there is a possibility of the need for a Plan!)

Next a little birdy. I used to have an aversion to this type of little ceramic doo-dad. But I like birds, so I think as long as I keep it simple and don't clutter the whole house with thousands of birds and butterflies I will stay safe. Balance is what I need, balance!

Last but not least, for my sis, I got this old wooden hem ruler for her collection. It is very nice and industrial looking with a lovely metal slide. It leans to the left so would be perfect for a woman with a gammy leg!

Pop over to Sophies to see more goodies.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My creative space - paper paper everywhere

Dearie dearie me! I have been so busy filling orders, I have neglected the olde blog.

Yesterday I ran all over the North Coast trying to find fringing for a new batch of cushions that I am making. I drove fom Lismore to Ballina, popping in at every oppy on the way. We are talking nine shops in all. Pretty slim pickin's out there! I got one, yes duckies, one plastic coathanger for my sis and her collection.

Luckily, this morning I finalised everything with a wholesaler in Sydney, so hopefully I won't be in the position of travelling fifty kilometres anymore for a bit of fringing!

Anyhoo, it is very chilly up here today. We haven't had a frost yet, but I am feeling the cold in my bones. There is not much to do than to bunker down in front of the fire. I just made the trip up to our little General Store and purchased some necessary items, a Toblerone and a cake mix at very inflated prices...but I am desperate. I rarely make up cakes from mixes, but I am wanting me some childhood comfort food at the mo, so White Wings sultana cake it is!

Today I am slowly hand cutting all of my paper shapes for a big order of garlands.

My camera has finally died and so I can't show you the massive pile of paper hearts and flowers that I have in front of me, next to the fire, next to my toblerone, next to my cuppa... This picture is about a twentieth of the pile I currently have in front of me! I make sure that I separate the Bach from the Mozart from the Beethoven. I am so paranoid that some savant will see the notes and know the composer immediately. (After all, give me a sentence from Little Women or Anne of Green Gables and I reckon I could place it)

Pop over to Kootoyoo and see what other creatives are up to.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Made It

I nearly forgot! I have been so busy making stock that I forgot to mention that I now have a store on Made It. I have already made a sale so am feeling peachy keen! And...I am featured on "The new quick seller 5!" this week.

Pretty exciting. I don't want to crow or go into too much detail, it is bad luck and it will come back to bite me , but I have had a wonderful week.  I know things go in cycles, and maybe this is a peak, and I count my blessings and hope that I will not plummet to the depths of despair when things are not going so splendidly. (If you didn't know it already, Anne of Green Gables was quite an obsession with me as a young 'un, and I tend to mimic her words when I am fraght with emotion!)

My store is looking a bit bare, as yes, I have sold out of alot of my stock to local stockists. I am itching, positively itching, to get to work and make more stuff. I think I have managed to corner the market on most of the Little Golden Books in the Northern Rivers for my banners. When the ladies in the op-shops see me coming they rub their hands in glee!

I still have my Etsy store and the other day learnt that the unlikely CAN and WILL happen. Two people on opposing sides of the world who both desire the exact same objects at the exact same moment in time! I kid you not! I nearly had a coronary! It all worked out OK, but is there a likelihood of it happening again?Methinks not. I will continue to play with fire and list most of my items on both.

Art Piece Gallery

Lat week, I made a trip to Art Piece Gallery in Mullumbimby to drop off my stock, which will be in the retail section of the next exhibition, and was surprised it had moved. It is now in the main street and is brighter, bigger and more beautiful.

The current show "fragile", an exhibition of textile and fibre art was breathtaking! I could have stayed there for an hour looking at everything reeeally closely! Particularly Louise Saxton's doily tree.

 I ended up buying a lovely little delicate copper crocheted bottle-top by Kate Maurice.

I've got quite an obsession with rusty old bottletops. Years ago at uni, I would pick up the bottletops in the carpark before lectures began. They had to be old and rusty. Don't ask me why. I could never figure out what to do with them.  Sounds like an old cat lady eh!

Imagine an old toothless crone, bent double, a scrunched plastic bag in her crooked arthritic fingers, "Loook ducky, at my lovely collection of rusted flattened bottletops! They are so precious!"

I finally, regretfully, threw my collection away. But I am very happy to have Kate's little bottletop on my wall. It brings a smile to my heart.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pulling Threads

Now, Lismore of late has been the forgotten cousin to the coastal towns, but recently a whole lot of vintage shops have opened their doors. I think I will showcase one every week, mainly because I believe that alot of people don't realise the unbelievable culture that we have in Lismore. It is the main regional centre of the Northern Rivers, and yes, life does exist outside of Byron.

Firstly, I thought I would give everyone a look at my friend Judy's wonderful little haberdashery shop called Pulling Threads. It is absoloutely bee-oo-tiful, chock a block filled with pretty goodies, that you can spend hours looking over.  It brings back the times gone by, when my sister and I would visit Mr Draper at his shop around the corner from us. It wasn't until recently that I realised that Mr Draper most probably had a surname like Smith or Jones, but because 'Draper' was written on the front of the store, we assumed his name was Draper. Anyhoo, getting off the track somewhat.

Judy carries loads of vintage fabrics, buttons and trims. As well as vintage patterns, embroidery kits and lots and lots of pretty vintage goodies associated with sewing, and is soon going to include her lovely vintage clothes in the mix. (Did I repeat vintage a bit too much in that paragraph?)

Pulling Threads is situated in 7 Casino Street, South Lismore, NSW, 2480, just up from South Lismore Lifeline. You can contact Judy on 02 66223375 and she is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm.

For all of you tourists, stray from the beaten path and look forward to a vintage and opshop map that I am in the process of making. It will be ideal for that special sub-sub-genre of tourist opshoppers and vintage detectives.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hawkin' me Wares and Tinkers

Recently, I have  got some gumption together and decided that if the mountain won't go to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain. I did the "circuit" a couple of weeks ago. The circuit being the round trip from Lismore to Alstonville, Ballina, Byron and Bangalow. Literally 'hawkin' me wares.'

On a whole it was a very fruitful and postive exercise. Apart form the woman at Ballina who took to me with a straw broom, chasing me out of her shop, screeching "NO TINKERS!", everyone was lovely.

I now have three stockists in the area and they are really lovely people. I know that I am bandying the word 'lovely' around but the fact is they are. You get a feeling for the spirit of people who truly believe in what they are doing. (Unlike the Tinker Hater! She definitely was NOT a kindred spirit)

Number one is the Little Art Shop in Alstonville, with Georgie Ward and her husband. They are a couple originally from the UK  and have set up a little art shop which is also a gallery, runs lessons and sells supplies and lovely objects. Kindred spirits. (KS)

Two, Echidna Place, Bangalow, was my last port of call on the day. It is owned by Aneka who is gorgeous, and another KS, particularly because she loved my work! Her shop carries childrens items from babies to teenagers. When you walk into the shop you get a comfortable feeling in your belly, unlike the Tinker Hater's shop where I felt I should be paying to stand on her threshold!

Three is Art Piece Gallery, Mullumbimby. I am popping an order over to Nadine this Friday. She saw my work in Echidna Place and like it enough to contact me. Art Piece showcases local and emerging artist of the North Coast area. I am quite sure she is NOT a Tinker Hater.

I have got to do another circuit, as I missed some quite a few people, basically as I cold-called, not making appointments ahead. But first I have to make more stock, as most of it was sold out, paricularly my doily jewellery. The response was so positive, it gave me a new lease of life. I feel as if I can make some sort of living making my art and craft. I just have to do some things that are out of my comfort zone, like put my Tinker cap on and hawk me wares!

Mini garlands

I feel like I have been away forever! My computer seems to have had a stroke, and I am afraid will never be the same again. I will just have to live day by day and accept that I have a disabled computer. Because I haven't been computerising, I have been cleaning, and making pressies for people,  and being very anal cutting tiny little circles of music out of music sheets to make mini garlands. They look a bit daggy in the pic, but in real life they look delightful. In fact, a vistor to the house exclaimed, yes she did, and with great emotion, "How delightful!" (I am not lying)


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