Thursday, August 21, 2014

Me, myself and I at the Cinema

Yesterday afternoon I did something I haven't done for a very, very (since I was a teenager!) long time. I went to the cinema on my own (it's all spine-tingling, mind blowing stuff around here!) Now I'm guessing this isn't a big deal for you, but for me, it really was. So much so I'm documenting it here. I saw this

The Hundred-Foot Journey.

I took a photo for posterity's sake - my own, not my offspring's - they just think I'm sad (and I know my taking of this photo probably proves them right)

While I liked the movie 
(I only felt like a loner for the first five minutes)
the best bit was actually going solo. I felt (and I feel silly saying this) a little bit brave and quite grown-up as I sat in an empty cinema, munching on my choc-bomb. Solo. 

When you think about it going to the cinema sans friend is quite sensible:
you don't have to share your popcorn or put up with the person next to you sighing and shifting in their seat every five seconds 
(or snoring like Anthony did during one of the Harry Potter films. Can't remember which one - I wasn't a huge fan either) 
because they hate the movie you've chosen.
It's not like you're going to chat to the person next you either.
In a strange way it's even quite romantic. 

It's nice to escape on your own every now and then, and watching a movie for an hour or so is a perfect way to do this. After my little epiphany yesterday I'm going to do it more often. Next week I'm taking myself to the new Woody Allen flick (Magic in the Moonlight), the reviews aren't kind but I'll make up my own mind.

Speaking of Woody and going to the cinema alone, has reminded me of The Purple Rose of Cairo - one of my favourite Woody Allen films, in which one of the main character's, Cecelia (Mia Farrow), goes to the cinema every day (on her own) to distract herself from her worries and miserable life. Eventually she falls in love with the hero of the movie, Tom Baxter, who steps out of the screen and falls in love with her.
(there's more to it than this - forgive my brief synopsis)

I digress (kind-of). Now I'd like to know:

Do you go to the cinema on your own?

Do you worry (unnecessarily) that people might think you're a loser, or is was that just me?!

I'd really love to read your comments on this. Thanks as always for reading x

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vintage Tea Towel Cushions

I know vintage tea towel cushions have been around the traps for yonks, but even though I've bought a couple
(and I've been the happy/lucky recipient of some really lovely ones too) 
until recently (I'm talking this week) I have never sewn my own.

There were two main reasons for this:
(and lord knows a deficit of vintage tea towels to make 'em with wasn't one of them!)
1. I couldn't bring myself to go near them with a pair of scissors, 
2. Fear of zippers (i.e. inserting them)

Anyway, as mentioned above that's all 
(or almost all - I still feel like a vandal, and sewing zippers still = mucho unpicking)
in the past, because as of today I have made three.

Here are two of them 
(the third - my first attempt, is on its way to a bona-fide vintage tea towel cushion connoisseur in South Australia. Scary!) 
they are for my Mum whose Grandfather was Scottish (and her Father was the President of "The Thistle Club" here in Western Australia in the 50's). Just explaining the Scottish thing... 
Pom-pom trim (Grrrr! Hideous to attach!) and all!

Robbie Burns on one.

Amazing Grace on t'other.

Do you think she'll like them?
I hope so.
We're all (Mum, my sisters and me) going out for lunch tomorrow so I'll let you know next time I'm here.
Annabel says she doesn't like them...but she admires me for giving it a go! Ha! There's nothing like a (brutally) honest teenager! 

Vintage Scottish postcards. Try hard. Me?!

Thanks for reading. Ye ar verra kin!

p.s. those gorgeous aqua baskets are from K-Mart. $9.00!

p.p.s. I found this tutorial on how to sew a concealed zipper very useful.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Sometimes it's good when things don't turn out the way you thought you wanted them too.
This is a photo of our laundry and bathroom doors. Anthony has just(-ish) hung them.

Months and months ago (six months ago? longer? I can't remember...) when we were renovating our bathroom and laundry we ordered two new doors. Opaque glass framed with timber. I was going to paint the timber bits Murobond Dark Night - which is just a fancy name for black really ;)

You would not believe the drama that ensued...although knowing our track record, perhaps you would?

The doors we ordered - nothing special (at all!) were going to cost us over two thousand bucks because they had to be made to measure to fit the crooked little doorways in our wonky old house. 

note: if our doorways were a standard size, we could've picked up the same doors from the local Hardware for a few hundred. That's for both of them! Crazy!

Anyway to cut a long story short, as you can see we didn't end up with the doors I ordered, but with these fifty five dollar cheapies (ex dunny doors from a salvage yard) instead. And now they're up I really, really like them. I didn't want to

because you know, sometimes when you have your heart set on something it's hard to let it go (even when you know you're being a twit about it)

but I do.

Actually I'm glad that the company we dealt with didn't know one end of a tape measure from the other(!), their incompetence saved us a LOT of money and the quality of our old Jarrah doors is vastly superior to their doors too.
Which brings me to the moral of this story :)  

I was going to paint them black, but I think I'm going to leave them as we found them...What do you think? Do you like them? Would you go all matchey-matchey and paint them, or leave them as is? Maybe you would've persisted with the door company? If your experience with them was the same as ours, I don't think so!

The door on the right (our bathroom door) needed a lot of sanding. I loved the traces of original blue paint left behind so I've given it a few coats of Gilly Stephenson's Carnauba Polish (smells delicious and it's made in Western Australia)

The door on the left (laundry) was in good nick so I just gave it a good scrub.
Who knows what lovely colours are hiding underneath?!

The End.

Thanks for reading. I know this post is as boring as bat sh**! 

p.s. you see that concrete wall? There's a story behind that too. Of course there is! 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Of Nothing In Particular

or seven things about me that no one knows...

and no one probably wants to know about them either;) but this is the drill if you're nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award like I was (yonks ago!) by Taz of Butter and Buntings and Hundreds and Thousands Magazine fame)

Thank-you for nominating me Taz and apologies for my tardy response.

I'm just going to bang these things out as they come to me which is tricky for me because I like to consider the stuff I write here - which brings me to 'thing' numero uno:

1. I am a chronic over-thinker and worrier.
Not a good combo.

Freshly picked Violets - a heavenly little nosegay.

Why is it that Yardley's April Violets smell like your Nanna (no offence to your Nanna) and real Violets smell so lovely you just can't stop sniffing them?

2. Speaking of noses, mine is the nose that knows. Nothing gets past mine. Nothing! I am sure it is more sensitive than other peoples noses - which is a good thing when you're talking delicious smells, and a really, really, really bad thing when you're not. Obviously.

3. It is also the only thing I like about my face - I am childishly proud and vain about my snozz (or button - that's what I call it. I know!)  
Anth and the girls often taunt me (and my perfect nose) but when they do I just hold it up higher and stick it out* as far as I can in a proud and noble manner.

*not an easy feat because it is tres petit ;) 

Swan River, five minutes from home. Pic taken while walking the dog on Sunday morning. Lucky, aren't we?

4. Another photo, another segue!
I get really cross at people who don't pick up their dog' (I'm yet to confront anyone - but I've wanted to!) In our town it is an "Offence to Excrete" (Dog Act 1976, Dogs Local Law) but this has not been enforced properly until recently. You'd think the threat of a $200 fine would be enough to encourage dog owners to pick up their dogs poop, but for many of them it isn't. There are free Poo*Ch Pouches ("the no-touch solution to problems that dog you") everywhere too, but some people are just too lazy/ignorant/selfish/squeamish(?)to use them - and I just don't get it! I mean I don't really want to stand there, hand encased in plastic, watching the Jedster do a "jobby" (this is what my Nan called them), let alone get close enough to pick it up (remember my nose!), but I do it - because you've just got to - don't you?!

5. We have just chipped off the plaster in our passage way to reveal the beautiful, hand-made, 100+ year old bricks hiding underneath. A hideous job (dust and rubble from you-know-what to you-know-where!) but so worth the blood, sweat, dust and...swear words. Well we think so 

It's taken a few years, but I've finally started to like the creaky old bones of our funny shop house.

6. I am totally (and in some cases - embarrassingly) addicted to British crime and mystery television series. This is another thing (along with my nose) that I cop a lot of flack about from the family. I don't know why...

Inspectors Morse, Lynley and Lewis. Bergerac, Cracker, Dalziel and Pascoe. Father Brown, George Gently, Jonathan Creek. Marple, Poirot, Pie in the Sky. A Touch of Frost, Rebus, Taggart. New Tricks, Hustler, Murphy's Law. Midsomer Murders (and I'm loathe to admit this) Rosemary and Thyme. I've watched (and re-watched!), and loved them all.

Did you know the Midsomer Murders theme is played on a theremin?
Do you even know what a theremin is?
If I wasn't a M.M. fan I wouldn't either! (riveting drama, educational too!) 

A theremin is the world's first electronic instrument. It was invented by Lev Theramin, a Russian scientist, in 1920.

Go on, have a look!

A corner of our garden, messy but filling out nicely.

7. As soon as I finish this post I'm off to the Parcel Collection Centre to pick up two pairs of Lotta From Stockholm clogs. Tan and navy. I hope I like them (and they fit). I also hope it's clogs inside the parcel, and not something boring Anthony ordered. 

I don't think this is quite what the Versatile Blogger Award people were thinking of, but it's something you don't know about me and it's the best I can come up with - I also love custard! (if the clog thing doesn't cut it...)

Right that's it. I'm off to get my clogs. If you'd like to 'win' The Versatile Blogger award feel free to jump on board. Nominations are open - I'm not gonna dob you in. I know your time is precious.

Still waiting for a response from my Blog Hop nominees. Ahem ;)  

Thanks for reading - you can wake up now!



Monday, July 28, 2014

"Who Loves Ya Baby?"

If you're talking vintage tea towels, in particular this one:

Kojak - The Lollypop Cop, MCA 1975, Irish linen by Ulster

I do!

Actually "love is too weak a word for what I feel" I "luff" it, "two F's"! 

Alvy singer to Annie, Annie Hall, 1977. I'm paraphrasing.

(I've used this quote before, I know, but I'm not sorry because I luff it)

Do you luff it (the tea towel and the quote) too?

As most of you know, I've got a lot of vintage tea towels, but I think it's safe to say, none of them are as cool as this one.
Anthony found it in an op-shop this morning. It cost ten dollars - a fortune as far as my expenditure on vintage tea towels is concerned - but worth every cent IMO. Yours?

My parents wouldn't let me watch Kojak when it was on telly (October 1973 - March 1978)
they thought it was too violent, the stuff of childhood nightmares etc (they had five kids - they needed their sleep!) 
so I was at a complete loss when I started High School and saw all (well it seemed like that to me) the girls in my year sucking on Chupa Chups at recess. The rich ones, on two or three at once!
Sheltered and deprived, and jealous. That was me at twelve, watching the cool kids, munching on
Feeling sorry for me? Well don't, because now I've got a Kojak tea towel, na-na na-na naaaaa! So suck on!

I'm sure the "who loves ya baby?" line was trotted out too. It all sounds a bit lame and cringe-worthy when I look back on it, but that's the way things were in 1978, until the Great Coca-Cola Yo-Yo Craze of '79. 
(me walking the dog? yeah, right!)

Would you dry your dishes on a face like this?

Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak (Telly Savalas)

Thanks for reading, love ya baby(ies) x

p.s. did you know the Chupa Chups logo was designed by Salvador Dali? In 1969? Well you do now! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Run in the Country

Yesterday A and I went for a "run in the country" 

that's what my Nan and Pop used to call their weekly drive in the Ford Anglia to "keep the battery ticking over".
Soon we'll be keeping a jar of toffees in the glove box like they used to!

Our first stop was Northam, 96km East of Perth.

(I've written a post about Northam before - you can read it here if you want to...)

My favourite building in Northam (and there are heaps to choose from - whatever design-style you fancy!) is the Iwan Iwanoff designed Public Library and Council building. Constructed between 1971-1974, I bet it had local tongues wagging! It is so unlike anything else in (what appears to be) an archetypal Australian country town. Seriously, the mind boggles!

Here is a photo I took yesterday (I've posted pics before, but they weren't mine) Next time I'm in Northam I'm going to check out the interior.
Another building I've always loved is this ex-butcher shop on the main street. Last time we were in Northam it was still operational, it's currently vacant and for sale ($450 000+ from memory) 
Roediger Bros was a favourite among post WW2 migrants who settled in the area because it sold European-style meat.  
I love its door, signage, tiles, everything about it really.

We also checked out every op-shop in town. I bought a tooled leather bag for three bucks and this Saga snack plate,
designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver for Figgjo Flint, for two. It's missing its cup, but hey?! I think I am going to use it as a soap dish...

Next stop was the town of Kellerberrin. Significant for me because I lived there for a few years when I was a little (very little, ha-ha!) girl. I had my ears pierced in Kellerberrin, went to the local Catholic Primary School there (St Joseph's, Sister Finbar, Grade Two) and was a Kellerberrin Brownie! (a Tintookie. Got to find a photo - I looked like a small and not very attractive boy - due to a bad haircut referred to back then as a shaggy dog! Woof! In 2014 we'd call it a mullet! Nice one Mum!)

Like Northam, Kellerberrin has some beautiful old buildings. Look at the deep recessed doorway in "Succulent Foods" (cakes made from scratch! Best carrot cake ever - worth the drive!)
And what about the beautiful copper framed windows and lead lights on the exterior of the old drapery?!
I still remember the glamorous bouffant-haired, long-lashed mannequins on display in the windows.
(probably from the 50's, but still in use in the 70's and I daresay, beyond...)

The Post Office (like many country post offices) is grand and rather imposing.

There is an antique/vintage shop in Kellerberrin called Old With Style. I spotted this Martin Boyd demi-tasse coffee set among the treaures for sale, but unfortunately it was $750 so it didn't make the trip home with us :(

Sadly the house we lived in is long-gone, but I'll end with a photo of this classic Mid-century fibro
I wish we could buy something affordable just like this close to Perth! Sigh! Check the patio furniture! Original cushions (a little worse for wear) and all!

(you'll be able to buy this sort of lovely stuff at Concrete Swan when it's up and running...)

Thanks for ploughing your way through another long post. As always I appreciate it x

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vintage Tea Towels

I still love vintage/retro tea towels in case you're wondering...

Once upon-a-time I used to consider myself the Queen of the Vintage T (bit up myself in this regard - I'm sure there were loads of folk out there with a much more enviable collection than mine!) I was so la-di-da about my tea towels it was funny. Or not - depending on the way you look at things.

Tea towel tragic, that was me.

Anyway even though the days of me buying almost any old vintage t.t. I lay my eyes on in an oppy are long gone 

I'm much more discerning these days - even to the point of trying to flog a pile I'd fallen out of love with at a garage sale we held recently. There were no takers (which surprised me) so back to the oppy from whence they came, they went (I felt a bit mean/sad, but it had to be done!)

I'm still a big fan - and why wouldn't I be? They're just so gorgeous! - especially the Australian souviner tea towels of the 60's and 70's. There is something about a kitschy kangaroo (or is it a koala? sometimes it's hard to tell!), an Aboriginal wearing a lioncloth(?!), or a brightly coloured bunch of wildflowers that melts my heart. That feeling of crisp unused, (often) beautifully ironed linen sucks me in too. As do all those holidays they're mementos of...

So after all this time, why another post about tea towels?

Well because yesterday, squashed into our mailbox I found this

 A present from lovely Lea, too special not to share...

pure linen tea towel, designed in Australia by Neil

It's funny the way things, um, 'go'(?) my thank-you email to Lea I asked if she had any interesting ideas for displaying t.towels (not involving pegs - not a fan!) - I haven't heard back from Lea yet, but this morning I received a note from Zara which included a link to this 

amazing quilt. 

Made by Madeleine Sargant of MadebyMosey, to raise funds for victims of drought in East Africa way back in 2011.

If this isn't inspirational (on many levels) I don't know what is! And now that I can sew...why not?!

Thanks for reading - it's very nice of you x

(and Kate (@decobroad), if by a slim chance you're reading this, thank-you for taking the time to look me up to say goodbye. I really appreciate it x)