Sunday, January 31, 2010

Flea Market Finds

Well, it is Sunday so time to join in Sophie's meme and share this weeks Flea Market Finds.
On Friday I had some time up my sleeve and got to check out a few Oppies in the city. I was pretty underwhelmed by the stock and gob-smacked at the prices! Still, I did manage to ferret out a few pieces ...

This cloth has been handmade for sure. I am getting a few of these together and plan to dye them for my daughters' High Tea themed 21st Birthday Party.

Who could resist this lovely basket? Not me obviously! It is in excellent nick and only cost $1.95 - it had to come home with me at that price - I mean you can't blame a girl ...

This pretty bangle is enamelled and has already been claimed by the eldest daughter! It is actually a very pretty robins egg blue but some how that hasn't shown up well in the photo.

Now these will probably get all you knitters out there salivating - vintage pattern books. I don't knit and the instructions look very complex but I loved the glam girls pictured within the booklets.

 I mean just check out these two- totally glam and just a little bit saucy!

A knitted cap for fashion and practicality - flirty and fun!

And this stylish minx all ready for a spot of yodelling or knee-slapping!
Love them all!

When I come across images like these, I am immediately transported to a time that seems, to my 21st Century eyes, to be a bit quieter, a little less rushed - maybe a gentler time. I mean who has time these days to remember their matching hat and gloves as you are barreling out of the door trying to get kids to school and you to work on time? And as for having the fortitude to knit yourself an entire suit ... well it beggars belief! Hope you all had some fun and luck in the oppies this week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Over at Check My Shelf you can have a bit of a squizz into other peoples lives as they post pics of their shelves. The whole blog is dedicated to shelves and anyone can join in. You can see mine here. I was a bit ashamed of how messy they are but thought what the heck - it is all just a bit of fun and you aren't gonna be making any judgments. Umm - you aren't are you? Certainly not. Anyways I have a good few years worth of collecting stuff on those shelves and in those pots and I am sure it will all come in handy sometime ......


Some days are diamonds - and this was one of them! Perfect venue (the park), perfect guests (friends and family), perfect weather (hot but with a gentle southerly) and the perfect reason to celebrate - Felixs' First Birthday!
Check out some of the yummy treats!
Yummo - happy- face cupcakes! Mostly the adults enjoyed these - the kids loved the fruit kebabs and mini pies and pasties!

The cup-cakes looked so lovely on the stand I think people were reluctant to take one and wreck the display - not me, I tucked right in!

The whole thing looked pretty inviting.

I couldn't resist making some owly biscuits to tie in with the theme - they kept the dinosaur  and giraffe bickies company.
All in all it was a HOOT! (sorry but it had to be said!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parliment is sitting ...

... or should that be hanging?! Did you know a group of owls is called a Parliment?
My little great-nephew is turning one and having a party in the park and we are invited! Goodeeeee! His Mum, my niece, sent us a lovely invite featuring a really cute owl illustration so I decided to make some owls for the table centrepiece. I thought the kids might like to take one home each so I have made them without any bits that can come off so hopefully no-one will choke on them! I used up scrapollas of felt and fabric and even had enough stuffing in the cupboard. My niece is trying to keep the party as green as possible - bio-degradable plates made of cornstarch etc. No sweets in the party bags - t is an afternoon tea with fairy cakes and bickies so there will be more than enough sugar consumed. Might rustle up some owly biscuits ...
So, here they are - my Parliment of Owls.
 This one is the family favourite and my big girls (19 and 20 ) are begging me to make them one each!
 He is probably the most owly-looking one - maybe that is why he is the fave?
Yep I really did use up some old fabrics - reckon that purple stuff belonged to my Mum circa 1972!
 Same purple stuff with a different contrasting colour.
And these are the "pretty ones" Some of the fabric used came from a shirt my niece was sending to the oppie - recycling at its best!
There has been some dissension in the ranks re the eyes on these critters - some critics think they might frighten the little kids - hope not 'cos I think there cute - just a little psychedelic maybe?

Bust Refurbishment

They were tired, a bit shabby and a quite careworn. It was time to take action and restore them to their former perky glory. So it was with a trembling hand that I began the deconstruction that led to the re-construction and refurbishment of my now lovely busts!

See, this one has definitely seen better days and I have come to dread displaying jewellery on it.

Now with the help of the hot-glue gun and a bit of gumption, I have several like the one below. I plan to Scotchguard them all before I use them.

I had some concerns about the colour and used the "wrong" side because the stripe was much less defined. It turns out that it is quite neutral and different colours look ok on it.

This bright one still stands out against the background of the new bust - in fact I like it better than on black, sometimes the black can suck the colour right out of the jewels!

This one has more earthy tones and I think it looks fine on this background too. Thank goodness because it was quite an adventure with the glue gun - I'm surprised I can type this, given the number of times I burnt my fingers! Hot-Glue is the best of stuff and the worst of stuff!

Still, the pain and suffering have proven to be worth it 'cos I am happy with the result, feel righteous in my recycling and didn't have to fork out a whole bunch of cash to replace those poor old busts.
( my very own bust could do with some refurbishment too but I don't think hot glue is gonna do the trick - thank goodness for underwires!)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flea Market Finds

 Over at Her Library Adventures, Sophie is having a weekly posting where we can share our thrifted treasures. These are mine!

This little cutie was my first find - it isn't Bakelite but is a lovely green!

Egg cups seemed to be the thing of the day - this owl had a smidgen of scarlet paint left on his tummy so I scrubbed it off and now he looks lovely.

Here he is in situ.

I admit this critter is a bit odd looking . I have been toying with the idea of collecting deer and I think the Universe is trying to tell me something because I keep finding them in my path! Odd but inexpensive - a fabo fifty cent find methinks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Home again, home again, jigetty jig ....

Just got back from a little beach holiday. Feeling very relaxed and sleepy after a few days of sun and ocean. We stayed at this cute little place. It is all decked out in retro style. Very fun and close to the beach too.

We ate and drank more than is probably healthy and laughed soooo hard ....well lets just say there were a number of Teena Lady moments! This is one of the best parts of having quasi-adult kids - they are really FUNNY (and get funnier when we have shared a few Gin and Lemonades!).
We trundled off to all the little towns nearby and imagined what it would be like to live there.
We fossicked on the beach and found -
- pretty "Painted Ladies" - not quite all in a row like this but we marveled at their complicated patterns and decided Nature could teach us all a thing or two about natty design.
The beaches were splendid - some rolling waves and some calm coves and always reminders of a seafaring past.

No matter how lovely a holiday is, it is always great to return home. For just a minute I am not going to think about school and uni and timetables and all those things that impose themselves upon our family time. Instead I will dwell on all the laughter and sunsets and walks we shared and remember to just be -

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Speaking of Owls ...

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday!

Melissa sent me these two cuties - aren't they lovely? Getting a parcel in the mail is he BEST! Thanks hon!
Below is the diary I covered for Daughter1 - the owl was her request. It came together well and once again because I am a complete cheapskate, I used up scraps!

Speaking of Owls ...

Small projects

After a long sewing drought I think choosing to make little projects is a smart idea. Since they are quick to make you get that almost instant gratification that comes from actually completing something! This is a little coin purse made of patterned denim from the op-shop and some Japanese-style cotton from the Quilting shop - leftover from a previous obsession with those little drawstring Cicada bags. I used a little wooden flower on the zipper-pull. I like it but overall I think it is a bit large so I might modify it. The other thing is a revamped camera case. My old camera case was bright red which made it easy to spot in the bottom of your handbag but it was made of that neoprene stuff and eventually it got just too grotty. Now, my camera is a bit old and a whole lot more chunky than newer digital cameras, so finding a replacement case has been bit of a challenge and forget finding a red one! Eventually I found a boring black one which, despite its less than glorious colour was perfect! I hacked off the front pocket, got out the hot- glue gun and covered it with a bit of this vintage fabric - which I have metres of and only ever seem to use in small amounts! I even found a scrap of ric-rac to complete the job. I love the way it looks - colourful and easily identifiable. Someone actually asked me the other day if it was from Bauhaus (upmarket gifty shop in Rundle Street). I love hot glue!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whooooo doesn't love a good 'owl ?

(sorry that was a crap pun! )
Of course owls are everywhere right now - t-shirts, bags, jewellery - you name it and there is probably an owl version of it somewhere! I refuse to give up my love of owls just 'cos they are popular - the actual birds are intensely interesting and owly stuff is usually cute and often amusing. I am currently interested in using wood in some of my jewellery and since making a stylized owl seemed fairly straightforward I decided that it would be a good place to start.

Clearly I have a way to go - I managed to split the ply and leave a few dents here and there but it was good to get the feel of sawing wood  as opposed to metal.
Here is the real deal - photo taken at The Gorge Wildlife Park the other day - a Tawny Frogmouth. These guys would probably not feature on anyones "Cutest Owl Ever" list but I think they are great! This one looks quite regal.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Days.

Got to spend the day with my dear friend Melissa at long last! With some friends the hours spent in their company fly by yet you leave feeling you have been at their place forever. Thanks darl!

heatwave crafting

Thanks to the extreme hot weather we recently experienced and being trapped indoors I actually dragged the sewing machine into the living room (studio was just TOO hot!) and made a few little crafty projects. It was great. I rarely sew these days because jewellery-making keeps me fully occupied. I had forgotten the joys of a good old fossick through the fabric cupboard and the little butterfly jump you get in your tummy when you rediscover a piece of fabric you had forgotten you had and is just perfect for the project you have in mind!

This little chap is for my great-nephew who will soon be one year old. He is made of felt (the bug silly - NOT the nephew!),and some cotton scraps.I figure the baby will be able to grab those legs and swing the bug about or have a good chew on them. I used wool felt - it is so much lovelier than acrylic felt. We haven't named him yet so if you have any suggestions ...

I used a pattern from the "softies" book which is a compilation from a bunch of different crafters. This pattern was made by Carly Schwerdt of Nest Studio. The photos in the book are lovely and most of the patterns are straightforward. There is a second book out called "more softies" apparently - I borrowed this one from the library - just before the heat-wave - so I must have known I would be sewing!

I usually make my daughters a covered diary each at Christmas time and put it in their Christmas stockings ( are you ever too old for a Christmas stocking?) but this year the Christmas spirit didn't kick in until after Daughter 2 returned to Oz after a year in the UK - and that left me with just 9 days until Christmas Day! Eeeek! Needless to say a number of would-be projects were shelved. So, they became post-Christmas gifts. I made the one pictured below for said returning Daughter and she just loves it! Both of the girls have a penchant for being organised and keeping things sorted (sadly NOT their bedrooms though!) so these diaries are a practical gift and the girls can often be spotted scribbling in all those social arrangements that young adults have. Handy to keep work shifts sorted as well. I doubt my darling Son even knows what organised means, so he misses out on a diary. Besides all his social arrangements seem to take place in that murky environment called online-gaming - he and his friends talk to each other in real-time via our Skype headsets but through the actual game they are playing! Have to admit I don't really get it, technology defeats me sometimes.
I didn't purchase any fabrics for these - just used up scraps of felt I had. If I can ever wrestle the other one from Daughter 1, I will post a piccie - she wanted an owl ...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creative Challenge.

Over at Finki, Jay is hosting a crafty challenge - hit the button on my side bar and check it out. Sounds like lots of fun - and I love her thinking behind it. Come and play too!

Compulsions, traditions and Mum.

I'm not sure exactly when or how my compulsion to Op Shop became so embedded in my physche  but I do feel that some of the blame (or maybe that should be credit?) lies at my Mums' feet. Mum was an Op-shopper back in the way-back-when, before there was op-shop chic and vintage was something that only applied to cars or cheese. She loved second-hand stuff - it seemed to be her preference and although like many women of her generation, she was thrifty, I am fairly certain it wasn't thrift that motivated her choices. My Mum was a child migrant, separated from her younger brother and sent to Australia from England at just 14 years of age. She was delivered into the not so merciful hands of the Sisters of Mercy. Upon arrival she was issued a number - apparently names weren't that important. She received no more education and was placed into "service" very quickly. In short she was essentially an indentured employee of the Commonwealth. As a ward of the State she had few rights and had to seek permission to marry. And marry she did. Once she began creating her own home and family she seemed drawn to old things - not really antiques but things that had had a previous life. Things that were imbued with someone elses personal history. I think this in some way compensated for what she perceived as her own lack of personal history. She never spoke of the past. I grew up hunting in second hand stores with her for cutlery and lamps and old tablecloths - domestic stuff with the patina of family life upon it.
I like to think I am carrying on the tradition and hunting up interesting objects in op-shops is second nature to me. If I actually need something for my home I will generally look at the secondhand option first! For me it is about economy and environment and - well I like the way old stuff looks - like old jeans, it just seems to be the most comfy fit for my life. I reckon Mum would approve!

 Here is a box of treasure unearthed at a couple of local Oppies. Do you remember Penelope from the Thunderbirds? There is some holiday reading in there too - a couple of novels to take away to the beach next week! The box was just $2 and I love it - not sure how I will use it yet!

A cute deer to add to what might become my next collection - how cute and kitschy is she? I couldn't resist the childrens  encyclopedia either although I may have to guard it from daughter number 2 who has taken to making art out of old books  (will share a pic of that sometime) but the bestest thing has to be the bird tea set - I think it is a cross between a cockatoo and a kookaburra and it has seen a bit of wear and tear but I love it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oh I wish ...

The wretched heat had me dreaming of life in a cooler place - pity that I just don't like snow!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Summer brings many happy things - Christmas and the New Year being just two that spring to mind! I think one of the loveliest signs of Summer are yummy ripe red tomatoes - especially homegrown ones - they even smell better than shop bought ones! This was the first of a fantastic crop grown by the justifiably proud Nigel and I felt it was definitely photo-worthy!