Sunday, October 2, 2011

thrifty finds

 Vintage habby finds, I love the paper and raffia netting flowers.

 Mosiac dishes, the one on the left is my favourite.

Pennsylvania plate for the plate wall. 

Candy apple red ukelele (I'm secretly hoping to learn to play this).

Just a bit of thrifty eye candy for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm just starting to catch up on things and have been enjoying a super relaxing Sunday so I thought I would take some time out from my slothernly state to share a few recent finds with you.
My motivation is sloooooowly creeping back after a rough few weeks and with a bit of sleep under my belt and a regular day to myself once a week you should be hearing more from me soon. 

Until next time thrifty peeps, pop over and say hi to Sophie at Her Library Adventures (I hear she's been hitting the New York flea markets).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

transmission interuption

Hello, my life is not very blog friendly at the moment. I am full of things that do not make for nice writing or picture taking so I'm putting 'le blog' on the 'for later' pile and hoping I will see you again soon, life is like that.

Take care



Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's must be Spring

Because Ada want's to know why the Pigeons keep 'fighting' in the front yard, I have a house full of Daffodils and I can't mow my lawn because Fresias have popped up all over the place. Also, there appears to be some frisky Possums having a honeymoon in our roof.

Mr Fortune is on holidays at the moment, it's so nice to have him home and just hanging out. The problem with holidaying at home is the ease with which domestic and familial obligations manage to take up more and more of your free time until you end up with not much of a holiday and a whole bunch of stuff that 'just has to be done'. Last week we sat down with a bottle of wine and wrote down a list of what we wanted to do, then we wrote down what we had to do and finally what other people wanted us to do. By the time we were finished we ended up with no free days and a time deficit of about three weeks......some times it pays NOT to plan things.

So, after some shuffling, cancelling and 're-prioritising' we came up with a new list with a whole lot from list A, a few jobs from list B and basically we are ignoring list C altogether in favour of more from list for me.

So far we have spent a few days at the beach, gone on a date (first time out together in 2 years)! Slept in, started Freddy in Childcare one day a week, had my hair cut, had a long lunch with a bunch of family over from Perth, watched the first 4 seasons of Time Team (my favourite show in the universe), eaten vast amounts of cheese, drank many bottles of wine and managed to keep the obligation monkeys at bay, so far so good.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

bumming around

Do you ever occasionally wish you were still a little kid? I do, and not just because I hate paying bills or dealing with the Tax Office or pap smears. I miss being innocent and curious and unafraid. An impromptu trip to beach with the kids this week reminded me of how good it felt to live completely in the moment and do what feels good, just watching them made me feel so incredibly happy. Luckily for the well heeled folks of Brighton I was able to contain my joy and my lily white and rather hefty backside and did not join my kids in their nudey run, but I freaking well wanted too!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mantelpiece Monday


This baby is pretty much a straight up homage to clutter; a "look at how much pretty shit I can cram on a mantelpiece" piece. I look at this mantel and I think 'Aww - pretty' and then my nose starts itching from all the dust and I get over it.

Have you crammed a heap of shit on your mantelpiece? Take a picture and leave your link, let's spread some of that clutter dust around.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

hundreds & thousands

It's been a very long weekend and I am fully shattered. I have no thrifty finds to share because I sold them all at the market today. They must of been the only things I sold because despite the beautiful weather and hoards of people, I didn't really make a lot of cash. I spent my entire Saturday cleaning out my 'studio' *cough* 'spare room' in preparation for a relative from Holland who arrived late last night AND I had to get up at stupid o'clock to go to the market and make no money. So what this means is, I am tired, I am cranky, I have no spare change and my brain looks like a packet of hundreds and thousands spilled all over a bench (as opposed to artfully arranged on a piece of paper). 

Until tomorrow friends, I wish you sweet dreams and goodnight.

Friday, August 19, 2011

we should probably be feeding some kids, huh?

image from here

Things are looking pretty rough for millions of families on the Horn of Africa right now. The worst drought in 60 years has turned the all ready struggling region into an enormous dust bowl and millions of people have been displaced and are starving. Why this is not on the front page of every paper on the globe is beyond me? Surely the immanent starvation of millions of people is the most pressing social issue the globe is facing at this time?

Social media users are usually pretty quick to respond to a crisis so I thought I would take the opportunity to help you all sleep a little better and encourage you to go to the Red Cross East Africa Drought Appeal and make a donation. Go and feed some folks, you were only going to buy a vintage tea towel with that money anyway.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Colour Play, Olive & Bronze

A bit of  colour therapy on this very grey Melbourne day. I enjoyed doing this post last week so I'm back with some more colour themed pic's and it's all about olive and bronze. Mostly little bits plundered from my own treasure, some velvet, a piece of old mirror and a bunch of magnolia leaves that should have been thrown out decades ago. The button was one of my Oma Ella's and used to reside in her collection of treasure, she passed away this April and I inherited some very special things from her. The large brass bangle was my mum's, she used to wear it with this amazing fitted, indigo velvet, maxi dress in the 70's, she used to look very glamorous and a bit witchy. The other bangle was a recent score and is getting a lot of wear at the moment. I have bakers hands with broad flat palms so finding a bangle that fits always comes as a surprise.

Funny, but when I was preparing to take these photos, I was running around the house looking for things that were the right colour, just trying to get a collection of things together that would photograph well. It's not until I started trying to write about them that I actually started to think about how they made me feel. Accidental reminiscing  has left me feeling a bit melancholy. It's a bit early for wine but I might have to crank the music and indulge myself for the rest of the afternoon.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Mantelpiece Monday, I got nuffink

so here's a little mantel 'test pattern' instead (I wasted a stupid amount of time in Picnik doing this).

Actually got something interesting on your mantel (or equivalent) to show? Why not take a picture and post your link.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

flea market finds

This is going to be brief, I've had a cold all week and now my sinuses have gone on strike on account of all the nose blowing. I am the proverbial 'bear with a sore head' and I think it best if I stay in my cave for a bit. That said i did want to share a few small thrifty wins this week. Two op shop visits and a good day at the local market     came up with a really lovely unsigned painting, a bunch of 1950's Australian pottery vases (all hand signed), a Gus McLaren goat figure and a bitchin little West German vase. I also scored two set's of wool carding brushes for $4 EACH! crazy, I know. 

On further inspection, the first of the three pottery vases has since been chipped by my delinquent son, I will now be selling HIM at next weekends Camberwell Market.......just in case anyone is interested.

For more thrifty finds pop over to visit Sophie at Her Library Adventures and Apron Thrift Girl, I bet their pottery isn't chipped...grumble, grumble.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

colour play, hot pink and yellow

Ada is in Crèche today so Freddy and I spent the morning mucking around with a colourful collection of bits and pieces from around the house. I love looking at crap from a different perspective, how awesome is that ping pong ball and the little balloon dog when you get up close and photograph them? The painting is one of Ada's and is currently brightening up the fridge. Hot pink and yellow is my new favourite colour combination, for real. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

thrifty bizness

It's been a while since I've posted any thrifty finds, not that I haven't been finding things, just not posting them....oops

Here's a few to catch up.

Hobbytex little Indian Chief, I love a bit of Hobbytex art. Rosemaling bowl from Norway. Signed and dates with a brief note inside about it being for a couples wedding anniversary in 1981. Shell art, I love the big eyed Owl and the funny dude with the cigar and lastly a vibrant and rather blue little pot.

Playing along with Sophie from Her Library Adventures and Apron Thrift Girl.

Mantelpiece Monday, Enamelled

Hi, I'm back, sorry for the blog silence. I've been sick, along with everyone else in my house. First with a stomach bug and then a cold. Last weekends birthday party turned out to be more of a Petri dish than usual with about half our guest coming down with colds and gastro, I feel horrendously guilty for making everyone sick and have been hiding out since to avoid a lynching. So with illness behind me and a whole bag of stuff to show you and talk about, this week will see a bit more action in Blogland. Let's kick it off with a bit of show and tell shall we?

Today's mantelpiece is all about one of my favourite things to collect, enamelled copper plates. I hunt for these things almost exclusively these days. I have visions of dozens of them all sitting prettily atop the beautifully warm red surface of a long teak side board, light by single angled spotlight so that all the crazing and imperfections on the glaze sparkle....bliss.

Enamelling a a fairly simple process and quite easy to do at home when you have the right equipment. I've been looking at purchasing a small enamelling kiln so I can have a go making some things myself. The kiln it's self is totally affordable, it's the price of copper that makes me hesitate. I need to get my hands on the inside of a hot water cylinder, that would solve a few problems.

Done something new to your mantel or display? Got something you want to show off? Take a pic and leave your link so we can all have a peek!

Monday, August 1, 2011


When you are four, you get a bike and a circus cake and possibly a super hero watch and also some lollies and some paints. When you are four you get to run around your party wearing dragon wings and rwarring at people, you get to drink fizzy punch and eat chocolate crackles, you get to hide under the couch when it all gets to much, you get to cry and you get to throw at least one tantrum. When you are four you can be bribed with fairy bread, reduced to giggles by a burp and your older cousin can teach to to write 'wee' on the footpath in chalk. When you are four, your best friend is a genius kid called Hatty and your enormous monster dog Norman is allowed to lick the sauce from your cheeks and possibly have just a little nap on your bed, It's good to be four. Happy birthday little Ada.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

some dogs have all the luck

and some dogs are also not supposed to be on the bed, but what can you do.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

washi tape wizard wand

As mother to a junior wizard and dragon slayer I'm always having to pull wands out of my well,  let's just say 'sleeve'. Chop sticks have long been a favourite so I thought I might try and pretty one up with a bit of washi tape and some mummy magic of my own. The slightly transparent tapes are great for building up colours and overlapping patterns. I just started by wrapping the plain and darker coloured tapes around a bamboo chopstick (at a slight angle) and then layered with different tapes from there. I love the mix of colour and pattern, Merlin thinks it's rather fabulous as well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mantelpiece Monday

Something a bit different today. I have a few of mantelpieces in the house and this one is in the back dinning room. It's really just two nooks on either side of a chimney but it's a nice spot to display a bit of Euro pottery and folk art. This collection is a mix of West German and Italian. The small folk art plates are Russian and the big ones off to the side are Rosemaling. I tried to take some snaps of the other half of the mantel but the little light I had made it almost impossible to get anything that wasn't fuzzy. Feel like playing along? Why not show us your mantelpeice (or mantel substitute). Just take a pic and leave your link.

Friday, July 22, 2011

mini quilt-o-rama

This is my first ever quilt, it is very small but it is finished and I have it on good authority that the occupant's Ada's dolls house love it. I used a bunch of left over fabric strips from a rag wreath I made last year. I sewed the strips together and then cut them back into strips and then sewed those strips together again. Straighten it up, cut a piece of material for the back, give it an iron, pin it, sew your bias tape and viola! quilty goodness.

Next up is nice little tapestry rug for the living room.

early morning stitch session

Sleep was a bit hard to come by last night, not sure what was up with Fred but he was super unsettled and kept crying out. I pretty much gave up on trying to go back to sleep after 4 and went and played in my studio, sewing mini doll house quilts and mucking around. Two things struck me in the early morning silence, the back room is freezing and I really need to clean the widows.

I'll show you some pics of the mini quilt later.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

because pants are for boyzez

Ada announced as she was getting dressed the other morning before Kinder that she will no longer wear pants because as she puts it 'pants are for boyzez'. The wee thing has never expressed the slightest interest in what she wears unless it's a costume (junior nerdburger). I've loved being able to dress her however I please and for the last four years there has not been so much as a murmur of mutiny, apparently the honeymoon is over.

So, given that pants are out of the equation and skirts and tights are in, I've been using it as an excuse to get in a bit of sewing time. Three skirts down and four more cut out and in various stages of completion. I've also started a couple of pinafores and a vest, very industrious yes? This should keep a particular pickle happy...I hope.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mantelpiece Monday

Morning Citizens! Today's Mantelpiece Monday is all about green and brown, with lot's of wood , glass and ceramics. I have quite a collection of antique glass bottles collected from old bottle dumps. I have a bit of a thing for brown glass in particular, it reminds me of burnt toffee. The Ginseng vases are a favourite, the one at the top sitting next to the ink wells was pulled out of a 120 year old mine works on the West Coast of Tasmania. My folks were involved in a local history group and we would spend our weekends working off old maps and lease documents trying to find old mining settlements. I dug that vase out of the dirt around the foundations of an old fireplace. Both of the inkwells Also came from old mining works, the ceramic one is Indian and would have to be the prettiest thing I've ever found.
 In the centre of the mantel is a green uranium glass protea vase, a gift from my Aunty. The ceramic pot with the gum tree relief is one of my mums, I used to go to her pottery classes and remember helping put one of the handles on that pot. At the end of the mantel, sitting underneath the rather old bunch of kangaroo paw is my strangest hard rubbish find ever. This weird, pineapple-esque pot was found chipped and left on the footpath outside a mansion in Toorak. The whole piece is incredible and has been made from hand, normally these types of pots would be made from a slip and poured into a mould, but this is a formed piece with each of the little spikes being put on by hand. I have NO idea how old it is, but I can not believe it was sent to the pavement for a couple of chips. 

What's sitting on your Mantelpiece (or mantelpiece substitute) today? Feel like showing off? take a pic and leave your link.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

flea market finds

Here's the pick of my thrifty booty this week. Some Australian pottery vases and an Avon glass 'vase'. A complete ceramic and teak serving set (how ace is the mustard pot), some cute retro glasses (polk-a-dot heaven) and a really lovely enameled necklace (my favourite find of the week).

I'm only popping in to show off for a wee bit today, I appear to have sustained a mild head injury from a certain boisterous lad and require a Bex and a lie down. I'll be back for some more show and tell tomorrow for Mantelpiece Monday. For more thrift magic pop over to Her Library Adventures and Apron Thrift Girl.

Heart you later!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Cooking with Perla beads

I have a bit of a soft spot for brightly coloured plastic  so when I came across this hacked Perla bead bowl on Pinterest I was keen to give it a go. There are few few varying instructions across the internet, the ones on Pinterest were in Danish (I think) and so were not much help but I managed to get the basics together from a couple of sources.

Perla beads are normally pegged out on a little plastic grid or board into pretty pictures, shapes or patterns,  then you cover your picture with greaseproof paper and an iron it to melt the beads together For these large projects you need the oven set at 250 degrees Celsius, some grease proof paper, cooking oil spray and your moulds. 

You can basically melt this stuff into anything you like, here Ada and I started with something easy like coasters. I used some small pie tins I in the cupboard that were the right size as the moulds. We preheated our oven and sprayed the moulds lightly with oil. I had to play around a bit and it took a couple of tries, but we finally worked out that for best results you need to fill you moulds about two bead layers thick. Once our moulds were filled we popped them in the oven for roughly 4 minutes, you have to watch them very closely so they don't over melt or burn. When the beads had melted enough to be soft but still hold their shape a little we took them out of the oven. I used a sixth pie tin to gently press the surface of each coaster so it was nice and even. Once they were cool enough to handle we popped them out of their tins using a butter knife, gave them a wash in hot soapy water and viola! Perla bead coasters. Next up we're going to try and make a bangle and some little buttons to stick on hair clips, Fun Times!