Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Knit, knit, knit.

We have had a couple of cooler days here in Melbourne after some real scorchers.
I even had two fires in scrubland waaaay too close to my home for comfort recently.
The cooler weather has wet my appetite and I have been dreaming of the cooler months. Not freezing cold mind you, just cool enough to be able to pop on a little capelet (yes I am obsessed with capelets at the moment) or cardigan and not feel like I have had a bucket of warm water thrown on me. Ahhh perspiration, such a lovely topic of discussion. A wise lady once told me that ladies don't sweat , they glow. The lady may have been very wise but I'm pretty sure I sweat bullets!
When I unearthed this darling little vintage knit in a charity shop recently I instantly wanted more dinky knitwear, and the opportunity to wear them. (Strangely enough when I saw this top I also began to crave fruit. Isn't it the juiciest watermelon pink colour you have ever seen?)
Knit top - $3.50 - Charity shop
Black skirt - Dangerfield
Black hair bow (worn at throat) - Pumpkin Patch
I remembered that in my stash I had some amazing vintage knitting patterns which I had bought  despite the fact that I'd have more chance of flying an aeroplane than being able to follow a knitting pattern. Knitting is on my list of goals for 2013 and I really admire and totally envy amazing bloggers like the girls from Vintage Vixen, Casey's Elegant Musings and By Gum, By Golly, that can click clack their way through a fab cardigan or vintage jumper. I vow to become part of their woollen sisterhood before long! As God as my witness and all that.
There are so many divine little numbers in these booklets that take my fancy.
You can never have too many angora bolero's can you.
Look at that detail on the shoulder and how I love her scarf.
Look at her, just chewing on some wheat looking adorable!
I've realised that I have an obsession with knits with collars. And puffy sleeves.
Yep you guessed it. Another knit with a collar. But look at how cute the scalloping is on the collar. I think this cardigan would become a wardrobe staple very quickly.
Get the freak out! How amazing is this dress. It's a red knitted dress people.
With a collar! Am I the only one to swoon over this?
So I am really going to pull my finger out, buckle down, pull my socks up and all those metaphors and begin honing my knitting skills before Autumn comes. I do work in aged care so I don't have a shortage of beautiful ladies of the blue rinse set to teach me.
If that fails I may even have to beg my wonderful mother-in-law to knit one for me.
It is my birthday in April and wouldn't a little cardigan with a scalloped collar be the perfect present!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Happy Australia Day! (and my fave Aussie books)

Image found on Pinterest

Happy Australia Day to all who reside in our great southern land and to those who may have left our beautiful shores for far off exotic places but in their hearts call Australia home.
I have had a relaxed day, spent pottering and hanging with my little clan, and thinking about how fantastic Australia is.
Yes we all know we have the most amazing landscapes,
Image found on Pinterest - Western Australia
 yummiest cuisine,
Image found on Pinterest.
fantastic weather, cutest critters and warmest and friendliest people, but did you know besides all those well known claims to fame we also have the blobfish.


Cute lil fella isn't he? Yeah, you can have those much loved and lauded koalas and kangaroos, cause when I think of what symbolises Australia I think of this guy.
Image found on Pinterest
OK so this albino peacock is utterly breathtaking, but you know, the blob fish has character!
Image found on Pinterest.
Bet you didn't know we also have a  strange turtle frog, or Myobatrachus gouldii.
 Or as I prefer to call it, the Frurtle. Pretty amazing, huh?
(So, as you can see I have been a little too into Pinterest today.)
I could go on and on about why I love Australia, but instead I thought I would share some of my favourite Aussie books that capture the Australian spirit and also cater to my love of all things vintage. If you are person like me who has a passion for days of yore check out these wonderful Australian novels;
The Harp in the South - Ruth Park 
Poor Mans Orange - Ruth Park.
Come in Spinner - Dympna Cusack and Florence James.
My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin (Stella Marie Sarah Miles Franklin)
The Getting of Wisdom - Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson)
Picnic at Hanging Rock  - Joan Lindsay
Oscar and Lucinda - Peter Carey
Cloudstreet - Peter Carey
I have included links so you can read a brief synopsis to wet your appetite.
Happy reading and Happy Australia Day!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Wanna play Eye Spy? - The story of Angelique

Have you ever experienced that moment when your eyes glance across a crowded room and alight upon a creature that makes your breath catch and your heart pound? A moment when suddenly you believe in karma, fate, providence, serendipity, God!
I had that moment a little while ago.
I still can't believe that it happened. I'm still reeling; still in shock; still trying to calm the mayhem of my senses.
Let me introduce you to the object of my amour. My new love -a dress I have christened, Angelique!
(Sorry to my lovely husband, but I think he understands. Its a wonderful man that tolerates the special kind of love that can blossom between a girl and her frock.)
Isn't she divine?
There is a great store near me that stocks a lovely collection of vintage as well as new duds called Eye Spy Clothing in Frankston. I'd gone to try on a couple of 50's skirts, but alas they had already gone to live elsewhere. Thankfully my grief was very short lived because I discovered not one but two vintage stunners!
Wearing this dress makes me feel like a 1950's film siren, so I thought it fitting that I try out my most dramatic poses.
I could go on and on about the amazing design of this dress with its nipped in waist, double breasted button detail and the most fabulous collar I have ever seen.
The  blue-grey fabric is a weighty cotton that almost feels like a silk with a bird like pattern in bold black strokes
What captured my heart most is the construction. No over locking in sight, the seams have been finished with a teeny tiny hem.
I have searched for the manufacturer, Trevola, and whilst I haven't found much, have learnt that the company was Melbourne based from the 40's to the 60's. I would love to learn more so if anyone has any info on the company please let me know.
I haven't had an opportunity to hit the town with Angelique but I'm sure I will find some excuse to frock up soon and dance the night away. And I'm imagining a full crinolin petticoat and long black gloves to complete the look.
Melbourne, look out!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The holidays roll on....and so do I!

Image found here
School holidays are still rolling on here in Australia. Rolling on and on and on. Am I going to sound like a crotchety old codger if I say that the whipper snappers these days seem to get so many holidays. In my day..... no it's best if I just stop right there before I really get started.
Anyhoo, the holidays have given me an abundance of opportunities to act like a big kid and have some good wholesome fun. The kids and I have eaten buckets of popcorn at the cinema's, bowled our hearts out, romped at the beach, frolicked at parks, splashed in pools and, most exciting of all, gone roller skating! (Whew, even remembering all of our activities is exhausting.)

Image found here
Oh, roller skating! I had forgotten how much I LOVE ROLLER SKATING !
Image found here.here
(You could say I wheely wheely love it . Boom boom!. I'm so sorry for the terrible pun, I've been hanging with kids a lot lately.)
I don't think I can even describe the utter joy and passion I used to have for strapping on my Red stone skates, popping on my hot pink skate skirt and roller dancing it out to "Hey Mickey".
(I used to imagine that I'd been born with roller skates instead of feet. Don't tell me that you all didn't do that too.)
Image found here
Heading back to the world of the roller rink was such a crazy nostalgic trip back in time that I felt like I needed to go tease my hair and stuff tissues down my bra. The roller rink even smelt the same; a heady concoction of adrenalin, puberty and raspberry slushy.
Image found here
I may have been the only adult on the rink, but you know what? I KILLED IT! I felt freakin' awesome! Until an 8 year old began lapping me. Whilst she was going backwards. Bubble burst!
That's OK though because I had an absolute blast and can't wait to talk my son into going again
with me.
Has anyone else been up to any fun holiday adventures?
PS -  Now that I am practically a professional skater I am thinking that I really NEED these skates!
Image found here

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pretty in pink...And turquoise... And grey... And green.

There are so many lovelies that are on my permanent  WANT! WANT! WANT! list. Like that antique day bed, art deco ring and fur cape. You know, just everyday stuff that may appear before you one day in a monumental example of thrift shopping providence. 
There is always so much to covet but alas, so little cash to buy. Ho hum.
But a little miracle occurred in a curiosity filled rabbit warren of a store called Aunty's Place in
 Lang Lang. I! Found! Vintage! Canisters! Squeeeeeeel!
I have been searching in shops and lurking on eBay for retro Gayware and Nally ware for the longest time, but have always been hampered in my quest by the ridiculous prices. So, in the last place I would have expected, I found this beautiful Nally set of four kitchen canisters. A little worn. A tad abused. Definitely much used and I'm sure very well loved. Huzzah! And for a pittance !
Now they sit atop my kitchen shelves as if they have always been there, in beautiful pastel shades that suit the spot perfectly and lift my spirits every time I walk by.
Have you been lucky lately and found anything on your wish list?
I will leave you with some other wonders from Aunty's Place.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Me made funkalicious ottoman cover.

I am of the school of thought that says, "It's a bargain - buy it now!"even if I don't really need it.
 (I'm sure I'm not alone here am I people?)
So I have lots of excess goodies (my husband may differ in his opinion and call it 'crap') just hanging about in the spare room until the day arises when it shall become useful and beautiful once more.
 I discovered two of these sad creatures in the cutest retirement village run op shop ( you know the type - the retirees all take turns staffing the shops and drink endless cups of tea, gossiping and bustling about energetically and you can have everything you can fit into a shopping bag for $5).
The lovely gent who volunteered at the shop insisted I have them for the princely sum of $5.
Yep, you heard me. Both of them. For $5!!!!! Huzzah!
Look at those cute angled legs! Not plastic, faux wood but real wood!
OK, so they were cream vinyl and someone had slapped an odd blanket type fabric on them, but I could see that they could become handsome and handy fella's again.
After sitting about catching dust for a couple of months, inspiration hit, and with the assistance of Nance my grouchy old sewing machine and some cool ottomans on pinterest, I whipped
up a bright and cheerful cover.
 I adore this fabric from Spotlight, with it looking like I've done alot more work than I actually have.
I think its very cute and snazzy and it is helping wonderfully in the "Brighten up boring lounge room" campaign.
And even better, it is a pleasure to rest tired feet upon after a long day.
Or rest a tired little bottom on.
Now I just have to tackle my ottomans twin, but I can't decide if I make a matching little guy or go crazy and use a completely different fabric. What do you think?
What unnecessary but completly necessary bargains have you been finding lately?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Galivanting at the gallery - or the attainment of culture

There comes a time in your life when you say to yourself, " I must endeavour to introduce my offspring to culture , dahhhhling". It's usually when you spy your child picking their nose whilst watching Spongbob, slack-jawed, in  nothing but their underwear.
And where can I go to improve myself, to help shape my children's artistic temperaments and inspire creativity? Why, the National Gallery of Victoria of course!
Not to mention that the NGV is bloody good fun as well as being educational!
My kids and I visited the Big Smoke (that's what we suburban dwellers call Melbourne), and had a lovely day traipsing around the gallery and especially loved the interactive kids area. I did, at times, fear for the safety of some of the art, but the gallery thankfully remained intact and unscathed after our visit - whew!
Melbourne is such a wonderful city, beautiful and vibrant, and I always feel energised and inspired when I spend time wandering through its streets.
Were my children somehow improved intellectually and artistically from our day trip I hear you ask.
Well I was pretty tickled when, upon closely pondering "Garden of Love" (Master of the Stories of Helen - Antonio Vivarini) - above, and reading the title my 6 year old said, " It is about the garden of love and you can tell they are all in love because they have rosy cheeks".
Culture? You bet your arse we've got it!