Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My place and yours - Collections

This is my newest collection. I won't bother with all the rest of my collections, because I would be here for weeks!
I started off with one bowl, which I have had for years, and yesterday got two more from the newly opened antique shop in Carrington Street, Lismore. There are two fruit bowls and a tray (middle) made from woven plastic in the sixties, but they look more effective hanging on the wall.
In real life the colours are more vibrant and the sizes different. I think they will pack a punch when I get around to putting them on the wall this weekend. (another item for my "to do" list)
Pop over to Hello Owl and see what everyone else have in their collections. xxNick

Classic photo

This is a photo of Welsh national dress at the turn of the century from here. Isn' it marvellous? Look at the face of the middle lady. She looks so sweet. I am sure it had a Macbeth type caption. Most probably they are all 45, but had hard lives, sweating and toiling day and night, supporting their husbands and sons in the  coal mines of Wales.

Or maybe, they are wise women, and the locals go to them in the dead of night, creeping around to their back door, to obtain herbs.

This has got my fancy. I think I will have a look at Welsh history this week. xxNick

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's all about balance

I admit it, I was getting a trifle obsessed. All I could do was sit in front of the computer, looking at blogs, writing my blog, and waiting for my screen to load, because we have an embarrassing slow connection.
That changed today. I decided that I was going to live life in real time, not tenuously through other people's blogs.

I ventured outside.

The weekend newspaper had advised that now is the time to carry out the 3 P's in the garden. My age raddled brain could remember two of them, pruning and planting, but I am buggered if I can remember the third. Nevertheless, I soldiered on. I could have been a perfectionist and decided that a job wasn't worth doing unless it was done well, and if I didn't know the 3 P's, there was no way that I was going to do an incomplete job! But I did a bit of self talk, decided I was ridiculous and just looking for an excuse to turn the computer on, and proceeded to pull on the boots.

My vege garden is looking lovely and neat and tidy. The chinese greens are being harvested and the corn is nearly ready. I have made a whole lot of support frames for the peas and beans and,  because I have a penchant for old fashioned flowers, I have planted three types of sweet peas and some canterbury bells in the middle bed. Hopefully in a couple of months it will look something like Prince Edward Island, and I can wander around at dusk with a dreamy expression on my porcelein features. (For those who have never read Anne of Green should)

My rosella's are coming on and are nearly ready for making jam. (Not a very good pic, better in real life)

I also planted some special Corndale garlic and gathered up our second bowl of pecans. This was done by my daughter wildy waved a tomato stake above her head, bashing at the tree like a pinata, and I scurrying on hands and knees, picking up whatever fell.

Moving on to the garden beds around the house I was amazed that under the jungle we had ginger and russian sage in flower. The benefit of pruning is that you get masses of cut flowers.

It is one of my aims in life to always have flowers in the house. It is so nurturing and celebratory. (Anne always had cut flowers) The two stems of ginger are filling the whole house with a heady, gorgeous perfume. It is sweet, but just stops short of cloying. Kind of like a gardenia.

And the russian sage, well it doesn't smell,  and it is a bit big and scraggly, but the velvety purple flowers are attractive, so I just dumped it , placed it with alot of care and attention, next to the fireplace.

And there my friends you have my productive day of  planting, pruning, picking upping, nurturing and celebrating. (Anne would be proud) xxNick

Monday, March 29, 2010

Everythings coming up pineapples

Have you ever experienced a time when a particular object is more prevalent in your life? I am not sure if it is because they become fashionable, or if you choose to see them, or actively seek them out. Well, everywhere I look lately are pineapples. Have you met Miss Jones is doing them. Apparently this is a container pineapple.

Anyhoo, I found another pineapple tea towel in subtlely different colours and have been busy making up some more bunting.

Thinking out loud: I am a bit concerned though, as I have fully lined them with gingham and as a result they are very time consuming to make. I could overlock the edges but that might look a bit daggy and I wanted them to be double-sided  for outside. If I left them the linen will certainly fray.

I would welcome any feedback. Would you be prepared to pay extra and get a superior product, or pay less knowing the product will be thrown out within a year? And saying that I think I have answered my own question. I treasure the old fabric too much for somebody to throw it out...but if anyone cares about my mental health, please feel free to comment.   xxNick

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Collecting Feathers

I am a bit slow on the uptake, (plus my satellite connection is so slow that I often don't get a chance to look around the net) but this fabulous site has just come to my attention.

It is called a Collection a Day and is the documentation of an artist's collections. It is bloody brilliant. It really hits a note somewhere in my psyche. Ofcourse she does feathers, and off the wall stuff like lead refills for those old pen and pencil sets. I used to adore them! xxNick

Op shop finds - Little wooden Hercule Poirot

 It is Sunday which means I am playing with Sopie at Her Library Adventures. Pop over and see the treasures of the week. Now, just in time for Easter!

I was purusing the net the other day and found a great site Happy Loves Rosie. It is run by a woman called Happy who obviously is very passionate about her aesthetics, and whilst not exactly to my taste, I like her joy for life.

She had these little egg cups  featured which I had never seen before. Hmm, thinks I. They are cute. I will keep my eye out for some such as these. I then added to my op-shop list, "Noddy egg cups"

Now remember, I had never in my life seen egg cups such as these. On Tuesday I did as my sis advised and expected nothing as I entered each op shop, and lo and behold, this little fella popped into view. (Woo-oo-oo-oo, something is in the ether!)

He is not a Noddy character, but he is wooden and careworn and absoulutely gorgeous, and looks a bit Hercule Poirotish.  xxNick

Saturday, March 27, 2010

5 Faves

I am feeling a bit down in the mouth, so to stay positive I am playing Five Faves at Meet me at Mikes.

* Big Love. My daughter and I are watching all of the DVD's again and have just finished Series One. We are well and truly obsessed with it. Look at these great embroidered aprons on these sister wives.

**Have just read "A power of Roses" by Ruth Park.She is one of my favourite authors. Life in Australia after the war wasn't exactly Happy Days. "In the shadow of Sydney's Great bridge...a teeming, colourful mass of slum dwellers." Brilliant read. Do yourself a favour.

***Free pot holder from the op shop. I think the ladies have finally taken pity on me, I am spending most of my money there. This is all hand stitched with wonderful vintage fabrics.

****These lino brooches from Lino Forest are fabulous. I got so excited when I saw them and wrote a creepy, stalking type comment.

*****Teatowels. I am totally immersed in the world of vintage tea towels and making stuff with them.


Tea towel pincushions

I finished these about three weeks ago when I suddenly realised that I had never owned a pin cushion. They are made from a vintage cotton teatowel from 1979. Every cushion features an Australian animal with a green glass bead instead of a button.

To make them stand out a bit I used some vintage soft, soft, suede on the bottom,  which I have hoarded since working in the rag trade, all those years ago. I think from memory it was deer, but I could be completely wrong. It adds a bit of friction to the pincushion so that it doesn't slide everywhere and also stops the needles from pricking through the bottom. Plus it is animal hide and the pincushions are about animals...get it?

But here is the problem, although I researched and researched, I couldn't find any images of pincushions made from tea towels on the net.  However, today I found an example on Lark by Lottielulu. Ofcourse it was from last year. (I am always behind the tee, but then last year I was working my guts out in a job I hated, and didn't have time to look at the net, go to markets and oppies or even look at a magazine.)

Oh well, that's postmodernism for you. xxNick

Friday, March 26, 2010

My creative space - More tea towel repurposing

I have been busy making cushions during the last couple of days with the goal to either set up a stall at one of the markets, or to sell on Etsy, in my little workspace in the spare room. I got that machine 28 years ago, and it is still chugging along.

Ofcouse they are made out of vintage teatowels, what else. I just love the fabric, 100% linen made in Poland or Czechoslovakia. They are made overseas but the graphics are true blue Australian, which I like. Although alot of the British design stuff is fabulous, (such as Union Jack pillows, posters with slogans on them, etc.) it is still British, and I like to retain a bit of Aussie pride and identity. Also using them means that every piece is unique.

However, some of them can be quite offensive, and so I have had to cut them up as banners to remove all meaning. One had the "10 Commandments for living in Queensland."
  • No 1. was "Learn Japanese".
  • No 2. was "Give up all native lands."
It is amazing what they could get away with, and not too long ago.

Enough of my spiel, I made these two cushions that featured cutey pie cartoon animals. (Not really Aussie but they were good to start. People usually buy stuff for their children.) They are edged with fringing, just like the cushions of my childhood. My daughter and I were quite excited by them, thinking they were rather "Frankie". Sparky on the other hand, put a bit of a damper on my enthusiasm, and was visually repulsed. "They look like the Jesus cushions we used to have as kids!" Crikey! Jesus cushions! And the look on his face!

This is the cushion I made this morning. It is quite conservative, and features wildflowers of Australia. Not really retro, but reminds me of  Margaret Preston lino prints. It is very pretty with the natural linen as a background. All have a backing of red and white stripe cotton, to snazz them up, and to give that kind of show/carnival/souvenier feel.

To see other My Creative Spacers, head over to Kootoyoo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Titling my fancy

This morning I am trying to tidy up my desk that has been laden with crockery and other bits and pieces and uncovered this that I got last year. Yes there was quite a bit to uncover.
I was going to spell out something awesome like a quote that would have seemed me to be rather clever but I've had two coffees this morning and have the caffenine shakes (more than usual) and these little letters are fiddly.

Doing a little bit of Miss Marple detection work I have put together that a pharmacist owned this box in 1959. He had used this titling set to present his film in the professional manner to home films, so says the box. He travelled to The continent, London 1952,Ireland the Emerald Isle, Inward AND Outward Bound '52 and various other places. Fascinating.

mucho gracias universo

I found this whole dinner set on the side of the road. I know!!!!!!!!
The people had garage sale the week before and these were left unwanted.
Britamic Mexico Pattern Staffordshire Ironstone. No signature.
I know!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Have You Met Miss Jones

Now we leave the grunge of my youth behind to concentrate on  the purity of my middle years. I had another look on Have You Met Miss Jones today as there was a ceramic pineapple featured in the new Real Living that piqued my interest.

Such gorgeous stuff, and pretty affordable, not that I would buy anything 'cos I am a thrifty Miss, who counts her pennies. (Actually, this couldn't be further from the truth, get me near an op-shop and you might as well take possession of my wallet! My sister warned me today, and sister, I head your warning. Your advice was like a wake up call, a little intervention. Do they have an Op-Shoppers Anonymous I wonder? I think I will take the pledge not to go near an Oppy, garage sale or auction for a week. As god is my witness.)

Anyway I have got off the subject which was Have You Met Miss Jones. Have a look at these beautious objects.

Aren't they great pics! I did similar things at uni, so why oh why can't I get my act together and make stuff now? Where is my mojo? I suppose it comes down to that special gene that drives people to create. I will just keep on plodding along. Little steps. xxNick

My place & yours - Music

I am playing My place and yours over at Hello Owl today, and the theme is top drawers.

I had been racking my brains what I could put up for this post. All, I mean all of  the top drawers in this house are a mess and I would be embarrassed for anyone to take a squizz at them.

However, there is one drawer I haven't looked into for a very, very, very, long time. That drawer duckies is the music cassette drawer. It is in the media cabinet, that used to be a  big kitchen cupboard. The old cutlery drawer is just the size for old cassettes and a bucketful of memories.

Once upon a time my pets, if you wanted to travel with music, it was the choice of either crappy radio or cassettes. All of these casssettes travelled up and down the east coast in our totally cool silver Ford XP Coupe. My memories of these travels are like a sepia TV commercial.

Image from here
If you liked a person, you made a mixed tape. Taping was in real time, so when you made a tape, you listened to the music as you made quick downloads. Girls usually decorated their favourite mixed tape cover with a  collage of magazine pics. We had the time then to do all of that.

There is a plethora of Australia 80's inner city and alternative music there. Classic stuff that never made it out of the inner city because "alternative" hadn't been marketed then. There was a time we lived just to see the next band and had a lot of fun. We had an encyclopedic knowledge of music way back to the 50's and often the 20's and 30's. There was no internet, so we had to retain as much as possible into our heads.

Now I am old and grey, feeble and crooked and I am getting way too maudlin. Music does that to you. So shut the drawer for another ten years. Turn on the tele, have a cuppa, dowload some music and live in the present. xxNick

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flea Market Finds - Kathie Winkle rules OK

Not much of a haul this week, except for some table cloths, doilies and tea-towels and kids books which I won’t bother to put up.

However, I did get this complete eight setting Kathie Winkle dinner set two weeks ago, from an op shop, but at a price that wasn’t necessarily a bargain. (Although time will tell. I am sure I am sitting on a goldmine) The problem was that I didn’t want my husband to see it, so I left it in the car. So far so good. Out of sight, out of mind.

Calypso mon.

Then, when I got my groceries out, I thought that I should bring it inside as it might get broken. (We live in the country on a dirt road) I stood with the very heavy carton of crockery, just outside the front door, feverishly looking around and thinking, “Where shall I put it, where shall I hide it!”

The answer came immediately…hide it in plain sight, just like Agatha Christie! So I placed the box, near the shoes and for seven days our household walked around it and nobody said a word. Not one single word…until yesterday when Sparky discovered it.

He accused me of keeping secrets from him. Now, I ask. How can something be a secret when it is hidden in plain sight? I am sure if a blind man would have tripped over the box, it doesn’t mean he can see? If the man with sight choses not to see does that make him blind? By this reasoning, I am not keeping secrets by being cunning and devious; Sparky has an unfortunate vision impairment. I am sure you all get my drift.

Pop over to Sopie at Her library Adventures to see what everyone else has discovered this week.

 Until next week, my fellow trawlers. xxNick

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In the pink

I am playing My Place & Yours at Hello Owl today and the theme is pink.
Well, I definately am not in the pink. I won't bore you all with the many little misfortunes that have dogged my life this week, but the climax came when the computer crashed and everything of mine was wiped from the hard-drive. Eventually we got everything back again...but it is the process of  it all. I feel like writing a blues song.

Maybe, I thought (with a cartoon light bulb appearing above  my head) the colour pink will bring me out of my miseries.

I had been racking my brains to think of what was pink around the house. "I am just not a pink person" I suggest to myself...until I look. Ye gods! There is pink everywhere. This is a pic of a sculpture I did a few years ago, placed just inside of the front door. And wait for it, I loved the colour so much, I painted the courtyard wall. It is the pink of Schiaparelli, of Kay Wendall in Funny Face, (Think pink) and my heroine, Barbie. Obviously I am not the pastel and fragile kind of pink gal, more the in your face, I'm pink and I'm proud  kind of chick.

That last sentence reads like I have so much vivacity and bravado, however, I confess to having an extended nana nap this arvo, after the rigours of the last couple of days. I hope everyone else had a better week than I, and that next week is even better.  xxNick

da word

I came accross this saying the other day (months really) that resonated with me. Cease expecting and you will have all things. By Buddah or somesuch. It was futher validated when a woman last week said to me nearly the same saying but in a not so wise tone but enough for my ears to prick up to take note.
I try to incorpoarte this philosophy into my daily life, the bigger picture blah blah blah, all very tiring, but more importantly to treasure hunting which is more exciting.
So having said that here is what I didn't expect to find this week. 1930's fabric. Soowee.
Smells to high heaven so it must be old I reckon.
It all sounds very shallow using the wise mans words for my own material gain doesn't it? Don't get me wrong. I'm not dissin'.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

My creative space - Re-purpose frenzy

I have been frantically re-purposing vintage tea towels this week. I just can't get enough of them! My latest craze is bunting. This length was made from a Queensland pineapple tea towel.

I have lined these with green gingham so that they are very robust and the linen of the tea towels doesn't fray in the wind or the wash.

To get an idea of  the size, here is a pic of it on the wall. Please note the gorgeous pineapple we got from Byron Food Markets today. (my daughter just had to put it in.) One day we will get around to going up to IKEA and getting some shelving...until then the books can pile on the floor. xxNick

 I am playing over at Kootoyoo today so pop over and see other creative people. xxNick


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