Sunday, January 31, 2010

Project Day - Quick art

I feel a bit guilty about the Project Day this week. We had a  masive storm on Thursday,  and the last three days has been spent cleaning up the property, so I haven't had alot of time to potter.

I picked up these gift cards by Angie Lewin on my recent visit to Queensland Art Gallery. Teamed with el-cheapo Big-W picture frames, two for 5 bucks, and I have immediate art.

While I was on a roll, I framed the prints that my daughter made at school. She gets to look at them everday and hopefully will become inspired and motivated. a Bunya Nut

It's Bunya season around the North Coast, which means you must be VERY careful where you park your car. There seems to be a glut of cones around the area this year, and they are massive.

I picked up this one on a road I haven't travelled on for ten years. The owners of the property had a massive pile with a sign,"FREE, grow your own." I recognised it as the place I had bought some old bridge supports at auction all those years ago.

It doesn't matter if I come upon an op-shop, garage sale, or free items by the side of the seems I must collect things!

The natural place to put it when I got home, was on one of  the old timber bridge supports that now mark the entrance of my orchard. It fits just like a pineapple finial.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Suitcases and ballet dancers

My daughter and I did another op-shop run today. She has inherited "the eye" from her aunty explaining that she senses a bargain. I think she may soon become an op-shop guerilla and start infiltrating that sacred of all places, the back sorting room. She has already done volunteer work for school in op-shops, so she knows her way around.

I had to stop her from jumping the barricades today. Her eagle eyes saw  this ballet picture shoved behind a wooden beam  in the RESTRICTED AREA. Determined, Clancie Jane got somebody to retrieve it and bought it for Aunty Lou as a thank-you for some glass beads.

The suitcases were bought for nix for some art suppies storage. They are not flash but will serve the purpose.
The cute little red case was got on our last trip to Brissie at a great Lifeline in Paddington. It has a little leather handle and is adorable.

The ugly gondola was picked up in Tamworth. It somehow belongs to the same family as the white broken egg vase. I can imagine gladidolas in it as it seems to be some kind of vase. There must be something in my childhood that is drawing me to these items. I know they are ugly, but they are kitsch as well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Tisket a Tasket

One of my dreams in beoming a "Earth Mother Country Woman",  is to stroll through my vege patch, basket on arm with a Laura Ashley floral skirt, all-a-flowing-and-billowing quite charmingly, and pick the produce of the day. All the while I am channelling Anne of Green Gables and maybe Laura Inglis (Little House on the Prarie) and moving ethereally through the landscape like some beautious Victorian heroine.

Well, I am most of the way there. On a recent trip to Adelaide I picked up these two colourful baskets for my harvesting rituals. (Sounds a bit Children of the 

do fill up a basket every couple of days mostly with cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplant. However, I am usually dressed in my husbands castoff workshirts, full of holes and stains, and about five sizes too big for me. My graceful meanderings ususally translate to  running into massive spiderwebs (because I am short sighted) and having my hair full of half digested spider meals and cobwebs. On the occasion that the spider is actually in residence, I run shrieking through the orchard, tripping over and bumping into anything in my way. 'Tis true, I am the picture of grace and elegance.

I will perservere. My next goal is to get some attire very much like those chicks in Country Living wear...and maybe some glasses.

Wildlife on the farm

Giddy Goannas

One of the things that make life worth living in the country is the abundance of wildlife that shares our space.
This last week has seen a couple of very hungry, very cheeky goanna's come visiting. The are each about a metre long, from nose to tip of tail, with one of them, probably the male having bright yellow markings.
They targeted the chook house first, sending the girls into a frenzy and proceeded to feast on the eggs everday.  They soon moved on after we squirted them with the hose only to climb our very tall trees in search of poor little birdy eggs.  If Lou would have seen them she would have had a coronry!

They are pretty amiable though and not at all agressive.

Penny Turtles

Yesterday my husband and I went to feed the chooks, looked down to the grass and found to our amazement little turtles were everywhere! They would have just hatched and were heading down to the dam which is about 80 metres away! What a long and dangerous hike for such little bitty fellas.
We collected them all up, (we found nine) and took them to the water edge and placed them on a lily pad. Within minutes they jumped into the water. We hope we have helped them survive but more than likely they were gobbled up by a bird or eel, because they need the long march to gain strength and co-ordination.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brisbane trip

The family took a trip to Brisbane yesterday to have a look at the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

It was fabulous, with some beautiful works made with bubbles and glass mosaics and glitter. Very inspiring and aeshetically pleasing. The kids programme was creative and fun and not restricted to those under the age of 12. You don't have to be a child to participate, my daughter and I proved that. We could have spent two days sticking sequins on paper, playing with plasticine, making fruit and endless other activities.

As we ran out of time we took some of the fun away with us and purchased these fruit templates to make at home. The work is by Wit Pimkanchanapong and the donation goes to a  charity. You also have the option to make a piece of fruit at the gallery and donate it to be included in the exhibition. They are displayed in the forecourt of the GoMA as a large fruit stall and are striking to look at.

This is an activity that is more suited to adults and not classified as a kids activity. It is very finicky and I took a whole day to make these five items. The fruit bowl now sits pride of place on my Parker coffee table. Very pop art.

If you are up this way, take some time out to visit the exhibition, you won't be sorry.

Op-shop luck

I am finding it increasingly hard to find quality items at the Northern Rivers's all shopped out and the secondhand dealers seem to have cornered the market and snatched everything up before it hits the shelves. But, I hit the jackpot last week. I got erverything for $3.50!!!

For my sis, I found a marvellous old card box...filled with hobbytex!! It is the nicest one I have seen with old cards from the 50's used.

For myself I found this Bissoni ashtray. No, I don't smoke, but it is Bissoni and it is yellow as opposed to blue which is unusual. Maybe I can use it as a nut bowl.

And last but not least, there is this vase that looks like a broken eggshell. It is handpainted with '695' on the bottom, so I am guessing that it is a factory made item. I am not sure if it is ugly or not, but I am strangley drawn to it. If anyone has an idea of its maker please contact me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, here is our first blog. We are two sisters separated by distance, but together in our hearts. We have been trawling op-shops and garage sales for years trying to find that treasure amongst the trash. It has become an obsession and a therapy. The pieces that we find are individual and unique.  When you are feeling low, there is no other feeling like trotting off to Vinnies with $2.00 in your pocket and coming home with a veritable treasure trove! Lou has become so successful at it that she has set up a small stall at Vintage Fairs and markets in Sydney. She has a nose like a bloodhound for a bargain and an eye for the fabulous!
You will also be sharing Nick's attempts to become an Earth Mother, living creatively and authentically, and in Gods Country, in little green valley near Lismore. The image is the view from her lounge room window.
This blog was inspired by a sermon given at our mothers funeral. It stuck a chord with both of us and delivered some solace. Join us on our journey to finding beauty in life.

We look forward to sharing our experiences with you. Nick and Lou

Project Day:Electric candles

I am determined to be more creative, so much like Beach Vintage I will undertake one project a week. I will not set myself too high a goal, it must be something I have made or transformed.
My husband, always considerate,recently bought me home a box of old electrical insulators. (He has been instructed to be always on the look out for anything that may be worthwile salvage.) Some of them are very rare, and are stamped with "Made in Occupied Japan."

A fair few had to be thrown out as they we chipped and cracked. Normally I would hoarde and keep things for a rainy day but I am being strong and editing from my life that which is damaged.
All that was needed was the removal of cabling and a thorough washing. Luckily I had visited Ikea and stocked up on candles. Voila!

Movie escapism

I went to see "It's Complicated" at the movies yesterday with my daughter and was blown away by the house and the garden. I actually got quite emotional, the garden bought a tear to my was so perfect.
Nancy Meyers, writer-director, also did fabulous houses in "Somethings Gotta Give" and "The Holiday".
After some research I have found that yes, the garden was  grown in hothouses up until the shoot, with only perfect specimens appearing, and the tomatoes were tied onto the plant...but that doesn't make it any less pretty.
The house is adobe, just like mine, which makes me feel pretty smug and self satisfied.
I am however determined to paint my house white, contstruct some spiffy tomato trellises, put a fence around the vege patch and somehow channel Meryl Streep. (Looking good, she has had work, but not too much to make you cringe) She owned a mouth watering bakery/cafe where I could set up camp quite easily.
Yes, I know she played a character, that life isn't anything like a movie, but one can live in a dreamworld. Oh, to be able to eat warm chocolate croissants all day and live in design splendour. Those movie characters have all the luck!

Images from Remodilista

Israeli Pottery

Israeli pottery, the new West German Pottery, or so the bloke down at the Lismore car boot market informed me. (This time I am determined to be one of the first on the bandwagon!)
Grouped with some lovely Bissoni pieces found by my sis in Sydney. The colours are luscious. Whoever said "Blue and green should never been seen" were crazy!


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