Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Form-o-matic Daisy

I have finally got around to making my cardboard lady. I had left her a little long in storage and she had begun to have some discolouration. I should have resealed the box, but I was a  lazy Daisy.
I made her to a Misses size 12, and she looks pretty tiny.
She took about three hours to put together and gave me the dry rots towards the end.
Fitting the torso and the bum together was so frustrating, I nearly took a knife to her.
Her first dress is this amazing apple green bridesmaid's dress. I have named the dress Joelene after the Dolly Parton song. It is so bad it is good. The sleeves are fabulous. It would look great on a 'bright young thing!' Now I have Daisy finished, I will try listing some clothes in my Laughing Duck Vintage shop on the weekend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hessian banners

I am often asked to make custom items by customers. Sometimes it is a variation of what I have in my online shops, sometimes it is a completely new item.

Lovely Kate asked me to make up a 'Sweet Love' hessian banner for an engagement party and Kathy has asked me to do a 'Photo Booth' for her wedding. Normally I wouldn't have done them, there are quite alot of these on Etsy but...the engagement party banner was a bit of a rush job...the shop in the US that Kate had picked was on holidays, and from the look of it, shipping for 'Photo Booth' was $30.

So yesterday I spent and lovely morning screenprinting these new banners. I had such a great time. I wish I had majored in  printmaking instead of sculpture, it was so theraputic and calming. I know they were just letters and not art, but the process was so happy making!

I have decided to open a Made It shop for these banners, primarily for Aussie sales. I have done a bit of research and there doesn't seem to be anyone doing them here. (saying that I will receive a hundred angry comments from people who make them here in Oz) I have decided to carry stock...the US shops seem to take about two weeks to make an order. I haven't thought of a name yet...most probably  Number Five Shop!

If there are any word combintations that you think may be popular, please share them withl me. I assume that I will be targeting weddings, so I was thinking: love, I love you, Mr & Mrs, just married, sweet love, love love love...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Very Busy Little Black Duck

No op-shopping this week, just head down, bum up, and make, make, make!

I have been so busy this week! My oh my! I dropped off lots of new bits and bobs at Little Polli and the Blackbird, here in Lismore...stuff that I never have time to list on Etsy, or indeed photograph for my blog.

 If you are local, pop into Sharon and and her mum Rosie's lovely little shop. It is choc a bloc full of goodies and with clothes that they make in the store. You can see the whole process, from cutting to finishing, which is very special and connects you with the the product, making it a very personal experience.
 I have also been talking to Nicky McLaughan and Victoria Spring about their new shop, NV due to open in Byron Bay next Monday, July 4. I will be stocking them with my purty vintage garlands. I can't wait to see the store. When Nicky described it to me, I had visions of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in my mind!

Just by chance, Victoria's house in Mullumbimby has been featured in this months Women's Weekly. How about this for eclectic.
A drum for a coffee table, Mid Century Modern table with an antique embroidered shawl, casually  flung over it, topped off with a chandelier!

When I got home after visiting at Victoria's house, I cast a very critical eye indeed over my quite stark and minimalist abode. "More character sweetie!" I muttered to myself under my breath, in full Eddie mode. Flinging my arms around wildly, I yelled (to nobody but moi) "Your home should reflect who you are, don't be afraid sweetie! Don't be afraid!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Auction day and a Glass Necklace

I cleaned out my studio yesterday, sorting through the piles, and I mean piles baby, of stuff I had hauled home from a deceased estate auction, about a month ago. (Yes I am tardy, in fact I am still posting about the Tassie holiday, and we came back six weeks ago!) Moving on.
The lady who had died was a real crafter. She tried anything and everything. The trouble is she didn't seem to finish alot of things. There are about twenty knitting projects ranging from just started to just needing to be pieced together. There are half finished toilet dolls, tea cosies, embroideries, tapestries, clothing, macrame, and crotchet what-nots. With all of this there were jars of supplies. Pins, beads, buttons, curtain rings, zippers, and broken necklaces. Except, on tipping out one of the jars of white Czech beads I found this little beauty, a complete necklace.
These have been a favourite of mine since I can remember. I don't think that my mother ever had any czech glass, but I can remember glamourous women wearing them. I used to be fixated by their brooches and earrings and red lipstick.

from here

Here are some examples I found from the net. Ofcourse, Etsy had the nicest ones. They aren't expensive, but as I don't wear jewellery it is a moot point. But, I can give it to my little girlie, because, let's face it, if I didn't give it to her, she would steal it from me. 

from here

from here

I was going to go further and show some pics of an Aussie auction, and heaps more 'stuff', but I think that is enough for tonight. Big yawn. Time for beddy-byes. I am playing with Sophie at Her Library Adventures and Apron Thrift Girl.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Like Moths to a Flame

Here are some more bits of jewellery that I have on my stall at the markets. Wood Moth necklaces on a brass antiqued chain.
In a falsetto voice, aka the lover of Bridget Jones mother on the jewellery informercial, "Attached to their wings are little drops of vintage beads,  like shimmering droplets of water on gossamer moon kissed wings."

 "Will you be the bright light, the flickering flame of beauty that attracts these desirable creatures?"

Yes, I think I could be a copywriter. I am feeling it! They are available from my Made It shop. Flutter by!

Friday, June 17, 2011

What am I Gunda take?

Yesterday Kylie at Lucy Violet Vintage showed an item she would save from her house if there was a fire, kids, pets and photos being a given. It got me thinking. Plus, my ever lovin' daughter is always asking me that question, "What would you save if the house was on fire?" Or, even more disturbingly, "What vintage clothing can I have when you die?"

Well, I have thought about it, and funnily enough, the two items I would take with me are sitting right next to the front door.
My Gunda vase, signed Gunda 12
I got this at the Channon Markets years ago for next to nothing. I can  remember buying it, very, very, clearly, because somebody was destashing their collection of Australian pottery, for prices next to nothing! (It was like a lolly shop!) I, fool that I was, only got the Gunda. This is one of the deep regrets of my life. I know that it is said that one shouldn't live with regrets, but as god is my witness, I will go to my death bed declaring, "Why oh why didn't I buy more of that mid century pottery at that market!"

 These pics are from Craft Victoria pagefor Gunda. His work was a bit of an enigma until recently. He was a Latvian ...who came to Australia in the 50's and was influenced by European, rather that Australian designs. I love his early modernist designs, and would love to collect the black and yellow pieces.

This Gunda pic from KittysVintage Kitsch
My other treasured possession, Jedda bowl, signed Jedda Australia, 36
My little bowl is meticulously handpainted and has a lovely elliptical shape.

I got it on one of my trips back to Adelaide in a little town in the Barossa.  It was one of the best antique shops my sister and I had ever been to. We got a massive haul. When I returned to Adelaide six months later, I had forgotten its name and location, so for ever more that town is called Brigadoon to us.

The brand Jedda was a pottery manufacturer that set up manufacturing  in 1955, to cash in on Australia's first colour movie Jedda. They are identified by their faux aboriginal motifs and were popular in homewares and tourist items.  I think my little bowl looks more African than Australian Aboriginal but I still love the colours.

Jedda ramekins at Rameking
There is a really blog here to the Rameking where you can learn anything about ramekins. It is the only place I have found any mention of Jedda on the net.

I am playing with Vintage Thingy Thursday

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ballerina Brooches

I have a godawful head cold and so have been sitting on the couch for two days with a box of tissues and a laptop. I thought I would list some of the jewellery pieces I sell at the markets on my Made It store. Now , I am not a jewelley kind of gal. I wear my Oprah necklace (because I have constructed all sorts of meaning around it), my wedding ring, and diamond earrings that my husband replaces every year as I loose one of them. That's it, no fuss. I don't adorn myself. I really can't be bothered.

Having said that, I started making jewellery for my market stall, because frankly, it sells. It fills in the gaps and gives people an opportunity to spend 'a little bit' and not feel guilty about it. (They haven't got a problem with self adornment)

These are some little wooden ballerinas brooches attached to re-purposed tortoise shell belt buckles. There must be a little bit of 'shabby' deep inside me, trying to claw itself out...even though I am  more of a mid-century kind of girl. They look very sweet on though.

They all have different names. This is  Miss Gertie and Miss Ivy. I wanted to make them look Art Deco-ee, and also give them a bit more substance. I got a few bags of the rectangular belt buckles at an op shop in Sydney when I went to see Oprah. I am kicking myself I didn't get more. They had hundreds of them...and ofcourse I erred on the side of caution.

 This is Bertha and Myrtle. Altogether, there are ten in the series. These ladies have a bit of grunge and attitude to them. I have made up a story, (as I usually do) and they are all prostitutes working as dancers in Paris, or is that the other way around...dancers working as prostitutes or should I say courtesans. Nah, they are downright scarlet women, trying to eek a living in the bright lights, big city that is Paris in the 1920's. Most probably they all ended up in the gutter, toothless hags, forever reliving their youth, just like Fergie.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tassie Trip: Back in Hobart

Today we drove from Bicheno to Hobart. It was such a relief to get to a city, I tell you now baby! We have realised that as we live in the country, in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, that holidays will not be in the country, but in cities. We miss the culture and the energy of inner cities. On reflection, we should have split up the holiday between Hobart and Launceston. That way we wouldn't be unpacking every day, and we could do nice little day trips from our base, without getting exhausted. I barely saw any of the culture of Tassie, we were driving too much!

We missed the Salamander Markets (edit:My apologies Salamanca...I have a bad head cold and can't think) as we arrived on a Sunday, however the Salamanca Precinct was packed. There was a great energy, great shops, great art, great food...and Battery Park the next suburb was gorgeous! Full of lovely Georgian houses with lovely little cottage gardens.

My favourite shop was closed, but that didn't stop me "stalker like" pressing myself up against the window and taking many, many, many pics. It is called The Maker and Leonie Struthers who owns this shop, has another one called Love and Clutter.

I have one of these cardboard dressmaking dummies, I call them cardboard ladies that I still haven't constructed. I might wait 'til I have my own shop so it can look this fabulous. (I think I will be waiting 'til the cows come home!)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More dress patterns

This is a kind of part two of my previous Laughing Duck Vintage post. I bought a whole lot of Weigel's paper patterns a few months ago for my sis, but in the end, she didn't want I have put them up for sale.The packets look a bit worse for wear, the scanner seemed to pick up marks that I can hardly see.There are a few varmint nibbles, but the patterns are in good nick.

I had never heard of Weigel's before this (because I am from Adelaide??) and was delighted by the story of Madame Weigel. It is wonderful to discover about the lives of Australian women, we often just hear about the men in history.

Madame Weigel was born in Poland and travelled to the US where she worked as a designer for McCalls. She married and came to Melbourne on her honeymoon and stayed.

By her own account, after many requests from friends who admired her dress sense Johanna Weigel started to cut patterns from her own clothes and give them away. The easy-to-follow instructions for measuring, cutting and sewing made the patterns popular and their increasing success led her and Oscar to start their fashion business in 1877 in premises in Lennox Street, Richmond. They imported all their printing machines and tissue paper and soon established offices in central Melbourne and Sydney and agencies throughout Australia and New Zealand.

In 1880 they started Weigel's Journal of Fashion, a monthly subscription journal that claimed to be the first fashion magazine to be designed, published and printed in Australia. It included illustrated fashion articles, housekeeping hints and serialized fiction. The impact of her patterns and journal on women and their families, particularly in country areas, was considerable. Miles Franklin later wrote that her mother was a regular subscriber to the Journal:
It was an 'elegancy' to which she clung through the leanest lean years . . . Mother always dressed herself and us by Madame W's paper patterns . . . Madame Weigel was to me a figure of legend as Mrs Beeton or 'The Ingoldsby Legends'.
What impressed me most about the woman is the legacy that she left after her death in 1940. Amongst other beneficiaries she left the residue of her estate  to the employees of Madame Weigel Pty Ltd, which continued until at least the 1960s. On the death of the last surviving employee in 1972 the final distribution of her estate was made to five hospitals named in her will.

How generous is that! I assume that money helped people keep their jobs, and kept an Australian  iconic business going.

I particularly love this little frock. It came with the receipt for the fabric, 1 yard of nylon and 2 yards of lace dated 31 October, 1957. It somehow makes it very real and personal. I imagine so many little scenarios, a special party frock for a daughter, or maybe it was made for a wedding in a country hall.

 My web stalking has found this great  pic of Madame Weigel's magazine.
Pic here at Poppalina

If you would like to make the koala tea cosy, which is way cute, click here for the pattern, It is considered to be in the public domain, and therefore OK to publish.

Here are a couple of good links to her story, Poppalina was as curious as I (But in 2006! Geez get with the programme Nick!) and this biography.

Sorry about the long post  guys, I am tying to make them short and sweet, but then I start researching...


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