Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have been busy this week, going to a fabulous auction, and making some orders for some special people. Kate has kicked me into gear. She asked if I could do  a 'Sweet Love' hessian banner to go with some garlands that she ordered for her engagement party. 
I have been meaning to get my screen printing gear out and start working on some ideas for over a year now...but was always a bit lazy about it. Now I have started and realised that it was a more enjoyable process to do at home than when I did it at uni, I think it is another technique I will now add to my  repetoire.

These are my two faves, the bright orange flowers looked a bit garish as a hanky, but they look great next to the vintage sheet music "Schubert:Duos fur Piano und Violine, Opus 70,159,160 und 162, Edition Peters"

I have been trying to leave comments on heaps of sites for the last couple of days. Something is wrong with my Blogger and it won't allow me to communicate with people. I have become mute!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A log by any other name...

I have written before here of the fun that I have at Carrington Street Antiques and Collectables, here in Lismore. For those who haven't read about it, Adam places pieces strategically around the shop that he has become a bit tired of seeing. They are usually fifty cents or one dollar. I love it, becuase it is just like a treasure hunt. I always buy the items, no matter how ugly (err interesting) they are.
Last Thursday I got this doozy! It is a very large ceramic vase...maybe for ikebana, except that it kind of defeats the purpose of ikebana if the timber used is a ceramic replica.  Anyhoo, I placed an egg next to it so that you can see the dimensions (It is a very large egg from my chooks, not a small battery raised one, the photograph doesn't quite do justice to its size)

It was a real conversation starter. As I visited shops in town, people would srtike up conversations, and Val, the shop assistant in Spotlight, wanted to buy it from me. Ofcourse I should have sold it on immediately, but I wanted to come home and photograph it for the blog, so that everyone could celebrate its glory!

Other bits and bobs, a napkin or paper holder, leather belt, teak dish (I don't know why I love these as much as I do). Hmm, this weeks haul is looking a bit brown.
I will finish off with a bit of colour.
 Pop over to Sophies and ATG for other goodies

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Let's go shopping

I recently bought one of these pretty little prints from Pool Pony. I love the retro colours...and I love getting surprises in the mail! So I thought I would spend a lazy Saturday night, watching Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones and going shopping with Bris-Style
I am madly coveting Pyrex lately, but have no hope of ever finding the lovely examples found in the US, unless I want to spend over $100! 
I love Kathie Winkle and can spot her at twenty paces. It kills me that anyone is destroying her plates, even to make pretty brooches.
Barkcloth, barkcloth, barkcloth
This is something else you don't see much of in Australia. In fact I can honestly say I have never seen one. Doesn't mean I don't covet them

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tassie trip: It is all about the destination

We hit the road early and started for Launceston. (Blue thread today.) Sorry guys if this is getting boring...but I am determined to document it.

We hit the coast with stunning views of the water and a road that followed the coast. We should have turned left to Wynyard, apparently it is oppy wonderland, but I was feeling sorry for Sparky and the long hours that he had driven, so 'right' it was.
Sparky  was getting increasing stressed as he had to get his NRL Fantasy League tips in.(NRL=National Rugby League, and it is the church of my husband!)) He was going cold turkey! We had been without internet for three days. No-one in Tassie had a NSW newspaper. I know, we stopped and checked every newsagency we could. There was nothing on the news at night about the NRL. It was as if we were living in a world where NRL wasn't important! Wait, we were! Such a place exists! I should have been happy, but I could read his body language. It said we must get to our accommodation before 4.30pm. That would give him time to put in his team. Bugger, it all being about the journey, today was all about the destination.

I still managed a few goodies in the mad rush of the day. There is two metres of plain Irish Linen in that pile. Yahoo!
We stayed at Rosevears Vineyard  which was fabulous accommodation after the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village. The Tamar Valley was gorgeous, with vinyeards, water and hills. Very pretty. We decided to go down to the Rosevears Pub for dinner and we were mighty glad we did. We walked into the front bar, which was chock-a-block full of people,and a nice roaring fire. Very English.

view from our window

As we entered everyone in the room turned around to look at us.(Obviously our cover was blown!) Within minutes a bloke came up and introduced himself to us, then another, then another, then another, then another! Then the women came over and asked if we had had anything to eat! (some food had been bought out) It was mind boggling. I have never met such open, friendly people. I go up to our local pub and no-one will look at me let alone talk to me! (I have lived here 20 years!) One bloke even invited us to his house! Another invited us out to dinner that night!
We just  threw something old on and headed down to the pub for dinner.
Did they think we were somebody famous...Brad and Angelina, perchance? Nicole and Keith? We are such good looking people that  surely we can't be ignored for long in a crowd. Ha-ha! Those locals were lovely and really made us feel special after a grinding day on the road. OK we were strangers, but they took us on face value, warts and all and made us feel so welcome! This night was voted best experience of the trip!

Tomorrow- Launceston, a new stockist and a brilliant cafe!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Art blocks

I thought the ol' blog needed a bit of colour, a bit of pizzazz after the last couple of Tassie posts so I will sneak this Our Creative Spaces post in today. (It has been so long since I have posted a creative post that I didn't know that My creative Space has become Our Creative Spaces...get with the programme Nick!) I also realised yesterday that  Bangalow Markets is on this weekend, and so am frantically making stock.
These are some more collage art blocks that I have been making from vintage papers and fabrics. I was lucky enough to buy a large amount of black and white piping at an oppy when I went ot see Oprah in December, and was racking my brains on different ways to use it.
They are part of  the 'Love is...' range and can be hung on the wall, or being chunky bits of vintage wood, can stand quite substantially on a surface.
I hate any kind of vintage waste and love to recycle. So much so, that I keep all of the off-cuts and covers from the Little Golden Books that are cut up for banners. (Serious 'Hoarder' behaviour I know. I can imagine my husband given the duty to help clean up my studio. He holds up a square inch of cardboard and asks, "Can I throw this out?" I dive across the room, trying to snatch the cardboard from his hands, screaming, "Nooooo! I am going to make something out of that!"
These larger blocks are made from the cardboard covers of the Little Golden Books. Very much like Rosalie Gascoigne whom I adore. I have actually been doing these for years from all kinds of media like lino and old timber doors, and after racking my brains of ways to use these covers, came up with these.  
I will be at Bangalow Markets this weekend, up nice and dry and away from the wind in the Mollier Pavilion. If your in the area, please come up and say g'day, and pop over to Our Creative Space for more creative goodness.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day Three Tassie:Cradle Mountain, Spycraft 101

Everyone raves about Cradle Mountain..."You must see it!" they gush. The people we booked the accommodation with demanded that we stay two nights. It surely had to be a special place. We arrived not knowing what to expect and found this little fella about to cross the road. Well 'little' would be stretching it. He looked just under a metre long and was was very fat! For non Aussies he is a Wombat, and reading the Wiki link, I was surprised to find that he is endangered. I always thought there were heaps of them and that they are pests in some areas. Poor little bugger.
Before I go any further, I had better explain that Cradle Mountain is a pristine wilderness is a World Heritage Area. It was snowing the night before and was very cold and windy.
Moving on, being the kind of folk that we are (undercover spies) we decided not to spend the $60 required to enter the National Park. (We were outlaying a small fortune for some very average accommodation and weren't in a generous mood. Plus the cranky old lady at the cafe wouldn't make me a pot of tea. Also of course, and most importantly it is always best not to leave a paper trail whilst on a mission!)
We nonchalantly drove through to the boom gates. By sheer dumb luck they were being fixed, and so the technician waved us through. Stopping at the first car park halfway into the park, we got out of the car to experience the wilderness for a few minutes. We were about to jump back into the car due to the chill factor, when a NPWL (National Parks and Wildlife) vehicle entered said carpark. What could we do! If we jumped into the car and skedaddled, the Officer would be suspicious. Instead we acted casual. Talked jovially to a few hikers, commented on the frigid cold, and tried to look relaxed, while all the while walking like robots and casting furtive eyes towards the vehicle.
 We eventually continued on our way having aroused no suspicions. (because we are excellent spies)Driving into the final carpark we were shocked to see three NPWL vehicles parked already. Again we couldn't arouse any suspicions. So, out we trot, looking for all the world that we didn't have a care in the world.
Look closely, I have a disguise on!
Now I am afraid I am a bit of a princess. I can't stay at the beach for long as I get very bad ear-aches and the same applies to the freezing Arctic winds that were blowing that day. We couldn't leave though. Who pays $60 to spend five minutes in a carpark! That is not normal tourist behaviour. We had to look normal but stay within sight of the car. So off we trek up the mountain path.

Looking back on it, I had quite a marvellous sensory experience (apart from the pain of a thousand needles in my ears.) I have been in snow before, but this was different. Quite majestic. I know what Heidi and Peter felt.
We eventually made our escape, passing through the boom gates. The technician was still trying to fix them. Sparky wanted to stop and help, but sadly, couldn't because the first rule of Spycraft is : Do not draw attention to yourself.
After a hearty soup at The Lodge we proceeded to practise our Spycraft on a couple of lovely walks around the ground. The Enchanted Walk looked like something from a fairy forest, whilst the King Billy Walk was straight out of Lord of the Rings. It was so quite and green and mossy. Perfect for a Hobbit or an Elf to quietly lay in wait...and then pounce! 
There were no op-shops on the mountain, so I can't show you any booty,  but I did pick up this little Clarice Cliff  plate (from the 50's) recently from the Lismore Carboot Market for a dollar. Funny, I loved it so much, I didn't even look at its markings until the other day. It gave me such a thrill to own a Clarice Cliff even though it isn't her expensive stuff!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day two Tassie:Road kill, acid rain and nylon nighties.

We were on a mission, a mission to circumnavigate Tassie in gut wrenching marathon drives. I found this lovely tea towel on the weekend, and it will give you an indication of the distances we travelled. Today's colour is purple. We expected a drive interspersed with pretty, quaint villages. It wasn't what we found.

We hit the road early after looking at these wee Scottish beasties. Och 'tis was a bonnie dawn and we dinna tary.
These are large enough for a man to stand upright in
Lordy, I didn’t realise the there would be so much infrastructure in Tassie! I photographed quite a bit, only because Sparky is an electrician  and because there was an abundance of it.  To overcome the monotony of trees and infrastructure I imagined that we were spies, operating behind enemy lines. My mission, photograph as much as possible without being seen. This meant stopping at weird  vantage points, darting out of the car, clicking the pic and jumping back in, shouting "Go, go, go!"
What lurks behind these curtains?
We did this until we took a turn onto a place called Bronte Park, sounds idyllic, eh? Instead of leaping out of the car, we ensured that all doors were locked and the foot was at all times on the accelerator! A seriously scary place. I think that at one time in its life it could have been a resort or camp of some kind, but it has degenerated. Here is a picture of some kind of dormitory complete with original disintegrating curtains. I couldn't take any more pictures,  eyes were watching, I could see shadows moving out of the corner of my eyes! We breathed a sigh of relief when we got out of there with all of our organs intact.
The only quaint village was this burnt out shell in Linda Valley. Continuing on our journey, the massive amounts of roadkill blew our minds. In all, on our journey, we saw a total of two dead Tassie Devils, two wombats and hundreds upon hundreds of kangaroos, possums, wallabies and other furry folk. Very sad. 
Anyhoo moving on...after leaving the forests of the Franklin Conservation Area and coming up to Queenstown, we came across the most bizarro thing we had ever seen. All of the hills as far as the eye could see were barren. No trees, nada.  It looked like a moonscape or Mordor in the Lord of the Rings. Apparently the mines in the area had used all the trees for smelters, and with heavy rain fall and evaporation acid rain had eroded all of the soil and killed whatever was still living. The landscape was fascinating.

Op-shop stop at Queenstown and I am regretting not buying more. The oppy was actually the most expensive that I found in all of Tasmania, but what can you do?
There were three sets of these new vintage sheet sets, but they were $10 each. Should I have bought more? The purse has already been stolen by my daughter...I had to retrieve it from her car. Typical.
There was half a rack of these nighties in gelato colours, again brand new vintage. I only got this one, but should I have bought more? They ranged from $6-$10.
Teatowels, that I paid more than I should have. These are destined for cushions, Of course I left about four behind. Why did I do that? They weren't crash hot, but they were linen.
I think this oppy had a monopoly, because as pickings went, there wasn't much in the town. I asked if they had any more stuff out the back, stuff that may have come in the same box, of the nighties, sheets and teatowels. The lady got all cagey and shot me down in flames. I think she saw the gleam of greed in my eyes! Ah, you have to ask.  If any one wants to make a movie set in an old Aussie country town in 1975, I have found your place!

pic from here
Continued through the day to pretty fishing port Strahan where we were told that their seafood came from Thailand. The girl serving us went on the add, "It's really nice, I eat it all the time." (Well darlin' that is dandy, but we travelled across Tassie to sample some local fresh seafood!)

Continued our trip, trees, trees, trees, mine, trees, mine, trees, mine, mine, trees. Arrived at Cradle Mountain exhausted.


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