Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flea Market Finds

Well it has simply been an absolute age since I have joined in with Sophie's meme. There hasn't been too much thrifting going on of late but this week, to celebrate the end of the Uni semester, I took myself off to some favourite haunts.

With the long Summer holidays in mind, I picked up a bunch of books - I love that people donate their books to charity so that we can share the love! I couldn't really go past the retro gorgeousness of the tea-pot - I love the exuberant colours. 

 That little spaceman is actually a fridge magnet bit I think he could become a brooch ...

This cute little critter is actually a vase - I love that this fawn is channeling its inner Miranda Carmen and chomping on some cherries.

Just look at that face - who could resist!

These dear wee beasties were especially lovely to find as I had, as recently as Friday, been chastised by The Denouncer for even contemplating the purchase of new woodland critters in Bauhaus. Mwahahah ... - not one but two sweet woodland critters unearthed in the oppie!

Clearly this fawn is delighted to have found a home in my studio - that face is a veritable study in delight!

Finally this very smug looking cat was rescued from the dusty thrift store shelves. I liberated it because it is an old Avon bottle and because best of all - its head comes off!

Ha ha ha - not so smug now Kitty! All in all a really fun fossick. I hope you have all had a lovely rummage in the op shops this week and found things that make your heart sing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beachy Peachy Christmas!

The very best part of the Christmas Season is the effort everyone makes to catch up and acknowledge the year that has passed - especially as the years seem to pass so quickly  these days! The besties and our menfolk had a wonderful get together by the ocean in what must be the quirkiest and cutest cafe in all of South Australia. The lovely Judy who owns the place cooks the most divine food - home-cooked tucker with flair - would probably best describe her style. Her Mum, Nancy is "front-of-house", acting as maitre de, waitress and yarn spinner - at a sprightly 80 years old mind you! The view of the ocean is unadulterated and you get to experience the beach first-hand when Nancy ushers you off for a walk between courses ("of you go - keeps you young you know!" - who can argue with that coming from an 80 year old who looks like she could run the London Marathon and then go out dancing for the evening?!). Of course we also opted for a little champagne on the beach...

Honestly, we ate all day - literally! There was seafood that Judy's husband had caught, local meats and home-grown vegies and fruit. My dessert even featured mulberries from my friends' garden!

This place is luxurious in the truest sense of the word - there is no rush, you can linger and chat and meander on the beach pretty much to your hearts content. One fellow diner stretched out on a thoughtfully provided couch on the verandah and caught a few Zeds in the afternoon sun! If the breeze gets a bit chilly, there are crocheted rugs to keep your toes warm. Add to that your waitress not only delivers yummy and very generous serves of food, she also dispenses pearls of wisdom and funny stories collected over 80 years of a well-lived life. Truly this is Heaven!

The garden is a riot of herbs and vegies and an eclectic assortment of plants. Despite the soil and proximity to the sea, everything seems to grow - perhaps it is because everything this family does seems to be done with love and care. (would this be the appropriate time to mention that Nancy is also the "unofficial" carer for her 91 year old neighbour who lives down the road?!). Judy is a a bit of an op-shop hound so all the crockery and tableware is a mis-matched assortment of vintage and retro stuff. We were all so relaxed after our day together that we could barely keep our eyes open but then Melissa presented us with a pressie each, and our eyes nearly popped out of our heads ....!

This has to be the most beautifully made bunting I have ever seen - isn't it gorgeous?! Bunting is always festive, but to have dedicated Christmas bunting is a bit extra-special I think! All this was a timely reminder that as we hurtle towards the close of the year and our focus is drawn inextricably to all our must-do-before-Xmas lists, the most valuable and important thing in life is the people you share it with.
And Moet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Steampunk Renos ....

Well my lovelies, it has certainly been a long time between posts - apologies for being such an absentee blogger. I won't bore you with the details - suffice to say it has been pretty hectic around here and as always the first sacrifice on the pyre of busy-ness is blogging! I have been playing around with some quasi-steampunk jewellery over the last few days and today I decided I wanted a point-of-sale display for my jewels that has a quasi-steampunk aesthetic! I had a rummage in the shed and a quick dash to the oppie where I unearthed these treasures ...

I also fished out my paint supplies and a skerrik of really lovely mulberry paper. Firstly I stripped the exisiting paper lining ( it was pretty shredded already!) and gave the case a coat of black paint.

After the black, I slapped on some red - a really cheap brand which in this instance works in my favour because the cheap stuff doesn't have as much pigment as the good stuff so it can be great if you want a sort of translucent colour. Which I did!

Painted up and ready to deal with the inside. I had to do some careful cutting because I didn't have a huge amount of paper but I made it work ...

Above you can see it all papered up - then I started arranging elements for that steampunk appeal ...

Hhmm - something is still missing - maybe a splash of colour behind the big key?

Yep - that is just what it need! I dismantled the ice-bucket I had purchased at the oppie and used the outside vinyl as well as the "coat-of-arms". I should fess up and tell you that at this point everything is just hanging together with double-sided tape - I really wanted to get an idea of how it would work before I commit myself to epoxy and nails!

And here it is housing some of my latest bits and pieces ...

I think it will work a treat don't you? Now for an up-close squizz at the new jewellery!

This piece has been made from a watch face, key plate, vintage key and the bunny is made from pewter that I have reclaimed and cast into a mould I have made. I had to make the little "cog" too because I didn't have one to suit! I riveted the vintage shell button to some brass as a dangle from the bottom and if you look at the very top part of the first pic you might be able to make out a sweet little vintage ear-ring that just seemed to beg to join this piece.

 It seems I haven't gotten over my "Alice" phase yet. This piece is made from old teaspoons, some kind of doo-hickey brass thing, and a watch face. All cold connected. I stamped "seek" on the doo-hickey and altered a small religious medal that you can see joining the chain in the top pic. This was great fun to make as it required quite a bit of ferreting about in various corners of the studio to find just the right doo-hickey!

I also made a couple of much simpler pieces. These are made from old spoons, reclaimed pewter that I have cut and etched and some watch bits. Again all cold connected. Oh wait a minute that is not quite true - I soldered the jumpring to the top of the heart ... I think they are pretty.

Finally, this watch case reliquary - it has a pretty vintage image and lace inside, along with a pearl and a mother of pearl button. Other components include that lovely chunk of rough quartz, a handmade chain and a vintage chandelier crystal. It is rather romantic isn't it?! Well that is my little lot for now. I am hoping to Be a Better Blogger from now on ...