Monday, March 24, 2014

The Thrifting of Two Summer Frocks (and Some Other Stuff)

 Two comfy Summer frocks,
pretty as can be
were waiting at a garage sale,
waiting just for me.

Gleefully I grabbed them up
and asked the girl the price.
She said, "$5 for the both."
I paid her in a trice.

Another sale I overturned
some mottled orange beads
and also bought a silver brooch
with nicely etched leaves.

When I saw this little pup,
with his poor tail docked
I had to take him home with me
as well as the egg box.

Oh what fun can thrifting be!
What goodies will you find?
Hit your local op shops up.
There's treasures to be mined! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Frock Up Brisbane - March '14

It felt like it had been ages since I had last attended a vintage clothing market so when I got an invitation from Poisoned Kitty and TrinnyT to go to Frock Up Brisbane at Mt Gravatt, I ummed and ahhed but gave a last minute affirmative.  Sassy D also joined the party at the eleventh hour so we tackled the market on the Friday night, a cheerful party of four.

Poisoned Kitty, TrinnyT and Sassy D shopping partners and enablers

Poisoned Kitty wore a pretty blue frock she had sewn herself from a vintage 40s pattern.  Matched with simple pearls and white T-bar shoes the outfit looked so fresh and feminine.  TrinnyT wore a skirt she had sewn herself with a popping red cardigan.  Her gorgeous cane handbag was only slightly outdone by her giant head-flowers bought from Kitten D'Amour.  Sassy D was wearing a 50s tiki style skirt she'd sewn herself with a simple modern blouse.
But... about the market itself!  The exhibit this year about clever thriftiness in buying, altering and making clothes during WWII was much smaller than last year's Marilyn themed one but was still worth a view.

The girls looking at the 40s wartime exhibit

Once again, the market used both hall spaces for the event.  The main hall upstairs housed the exhibits as well as a number of sellers stalls The underneath of the hall was a decent-sized space put aside for individuals wanting to sell things from their own wardrobe, the tea room and a little cinema showing fashion shorts from the 40s in black and white.  The other large shed-hall was used for a number of other sellers.   As always, this market impressed me with the range of sellers from those selling high-quality 40s items for $300 to the cheaper options where you can score a cute dress for $20.  There was also a make-up and hair artist booth, a stall selling fashion plates from magazines (don't get me started on what I hate about that particular thing *cranky face*) and a number of stalls offering homewares and vintage haberdashery.  

Hippy Vintage had some excellent items sadly beyond my budget for the night.

I was impressed also by the amount of guy's vintage that has been turning up recently.  Good job sellers!

Something for the boys...

It seems that at every market there is always that one item I see, photograph and don't buy.  Later I love-eye the photo evidence and regret the choice to leave it behind.  My regret this time was this beaded cardigan for $45.  (Upstairs hall, back corner for any Brisbanites who want to dash to the fair this weekend!)

The one that got away.

I did end up buying a dark green patterned 70s frock.  The colour and pattern caught me, it was at the right price and it fit.  I was moved to buy it though 70s is not my favourite era.  I keep saying this but keep wearing more and more 70s in my daily outfits.  No pic of the dress as yet - but soon I promise.

After shopping we attended the tea room under the main hall.  This has become something of a tradition when we visit this particular vintage market.  I adore the way this tea room is run.  They use antique tea cups and tea pots to serve the tea.  They have lovely embroidered table cloths and pretty little greenery table decorations.  And vintage magazines to flick through while you sip your tea.  How perfect.

Tea and vintage magazines afterwards.  How civilised!
 Any girls in Brisbane keen for a vintage hunt this weekend should head to the Mount Gravatt showgrounds today or on Sunday to see if they can find their own treasured piece.  Entrance to the market is $12.

A Mixed Basket of Thrifted Goods

Part of the fun of thrifting is that you never know what you will find.  One time it is a stack of vintage brooches, another time might overturn the cute 70s a-line skirt of your dreams.  Sometimes you don't find a single scrap of clothing or a worthy accessory at all.

But you always find something.

I went to two different sales with Sassy D to overturn this motley pile of goods. 
  • A fabulous picnic basket, with crockery included.  This has already seen a bit of use at three different picnics.
  • A blue-work vase.  I intend to put a hole in the bottom of this and plant some red geraniums in it.  Can't you just imagine it?!
  • A bust of a baroque maiden, now resting atop my piano. 
  • An embroidered sheer tablecloth
  • Two silver-plated high-tea servers.  
  • A crafting pattern to cross-stitch Beatrix Potter characters. 
  • Two lots of fabric, one which became my picnic tablecloth with a bit of stitchery. 
  • A rubber cloth (for my kitchen to help open jars). 
  • A set of rose note-cards
  • A fabulous 60s book called 'Women's World' with all kinds of advice about how to be a women in the modern (1960s) day world.  Some of the advice is priceless.   

Sassy D bought a few bits of haberdashery and a clothing rack to put in her sewing room.  Wins all around!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Carte Postale - Part II

A few weeks ago I posted ( here ) some photos of a bunch of post cards which I had photographed before sending them out to friends and family. 

Now I present the second half!  I hope you enjoyed seeing the results of this little project. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thrifting the Teacup of my Dreams

Above is the produce of visiting two sales. Just three measly purchases.  I learned a valuable lesson that morning - don't go to a yard sale if you are only interested in one or two items in the advertisement photos.    I went to a particular sale because the ad photos showed a small collection of really cute vintage figurines.  You know the type, those cute and kitschy kittens, lambs, puppies and elves that everyone' s parents had as they were growing up.  I was super keen on those figurines.  I was all set to buy the lot.

I made sure I was the first person at the sale and when the seller opened the doors to her garage, I strode in purposefully.  I just knew those cute figurines would be mine!  And they would have been too, if it wasn't for dealers who contacted the seller days before and came and bought nearly every one, leaving only a few damaged and lesser-attractive ones behind.   So the little lucky elf in the picture above became mine, because a dealer decided he wasn't cute enough.  The rest of the sale was a flop and it was a big ol' waste of fuel to get out there.

However the morning wasn't an entire loss.  At the other sale I found the teacup of my dreams.  It was dainty.  It was charming and it was coated in flowers and ribbons of pink and blue.  It had a very fine fracture in the bottom of the cup that meant it wasn't useful for drinking but that was okay by me.  It has a new purpose now.  It sits on my dressing table, holding pretty necklaces and earrings.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Australian Home Journal - May 1946

The Australian Home Journal was a magazine publication which ran from the late 1800s through to 1983.  The magazine had a sewing focus and each edition had free sewing patterns included.  As well as this, each edition had a few pages of models showing the latest mail-order patterns which readers could order. 

You can find Australian Home Journals - as well as the sewing patterns - for sale on Ebay, at charity shops and at jumble sales priced anywhere between 50c to $25.  There's also a selection of them available to read online here at the Australian National Library. 

I thought I'd share a few of the fashion and sewing related sections of the earliest edition in my collection, from May 1946.

Click on the pictures below for full sized views.

The pattern for the two dresses on the left were included in this edition.

This is one page of the catalog of sewing patterns available for mail order

Another page of the mail order catalog

Another page of the mail order catalog.  It's obvious that ruched seams was 'in'. 

Another page of the mail order catalog - this page was for younger fashion.

One of the knitting patterns included - for a pretty twin set.

These segments of fashions worn by current starlets are throughout the magazine.

another starlet fashion segment... I like the big bow!

more fashions from the stars.  They tend to all be Warner Bros. studio starlets.

I'm quite taken by the outfit worn by this starlet.

One of the sewing hints segments - who wants a black velvet peasant waist belt?! I do!

Another sewing hint segment - I also want a 3 tiered apron.

I thought this sewing hint segment was interesting as it showed how women made do without things during the war - like zippers.

Sewing hint segment - applique on skirts.

Frankly, I'd probably only wear hat B...

I had to laugh at the beginning of this Horlicks drink advertisement.  "I was ashamed of him!"
I hope you enjoyed looking through the snippets of this magazine.  I have a decent and growing collection of these magazines and I hope to share bits and pieces from them over time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thrifting Prizes

I did a lot of thrifting last year and I was shamefully lax on updating the blog on the matter.  So readers beware!  There's a backlog of 2013 (July onwards) thrifting posts coming your way!

Here are a bunch of thrifting prizes I scored at 3 different sales on one Saturday morning.  Most of these were from a church jumble sale. 

Plates galore - because I never get sick of eating from a pretty place setting.   There's also a cookie server (not real silver or even silver plated but rather pretty) and a stack of dutch blue napkins.

The vintage airlines cookie tin now stores hair accessories that are out of use while my hair is short.  The smaller Chinese patterned tin holds my crochet hooks while the larger square one stores lace applique pieces in my craft room.   The giant Chinese fan... just because.

So. Many. Nylon. Scarves!  A little heart rhinestone brooch, a few necklaces a 70s metal belt (sadly, too small for me) and a very sweet little tin.  I'm surprised I've still not worn that beautiful red blue and yellow scarf second from the right.  Perhaps today I will.

A closeup of that sweet tin and the long glass bead necklace.  I've worn this a few times now - it's the prettiest minty colour.

A closeup of the plastic necklace with rhinestones.  I love this necklace so much but it's terribly itchy to wear - all those little petal ends scratch.

Does this fabric look a little familiar?  It became a 70s skirt under the needle of my sewing machine and I wrote a post about it here.

And last but not least is a 70s smock and a housecoat.  The housecoat gets more use than I should say - indeed I'm wearing it now while writing this post and drinking my morning coffee. 

It was a very successful morning of hunting.  Have you had any luck with garage sales, yard sales, jumble sales or fete thrifting lately?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Egg and Cheese Omelette

Egg and Cheese Omelette  (Mrs. G. Hutton)
pg 68
  • 1 tab plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tab water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3- 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • pepper to taste
  • bacon (1-2 rashers)

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.  Add enough water to make a smooth paste.  (The amount of water required will differ depending on how old your flour is and other factors like humidity.  Add three whole eggs and beat well.  Add grated cheese and milk and beat until a good batter is made.  Fry in a greased fry pan over a low heat.   When the omelette is almost set, add the shallots and lightly fried cherry tomatoes to the top.    

 Once the omlette is completely set, give it a dusting of freshly cracked pepper and serve it on toast with fried bacon as a side.

Note:  you could also cut up the bacon, fry it and add it on top as well as/in lieu of the tomato.

This was my first meal for 2014, breakfast on New Year's Day.  (So very behind in my blogging right now!)

At first I balked at adding so much salt but I decided to remain faithful to the recipe.  I do admit I made it a very small teaspoon of salt. I certainly didn't add any extra salt along with the pepper as recommended in the recipe. If I were making it again, I would probably halve the salt as I found the finished omelette a little too salty for my tastes.    

I used pre-shredded pizza cheese for my omelette but would maybe consider trying different cheeses to see how I could change the flavour, for example a sharp vintage cheese or a grated swiss cheese might add something extra.

All in all, a very nice omelette recipe and a very nice way to start the year!

We've already seen a recipe by Mrs. G. Hutton on this blog - a cinnamon tea cake which I obviously liked (captioned the 'best cinnamon tea cake ever'.)  With nothing more to add to the write-up, I'll leave you with a picture of myself enjoying the delicious (albeit slightly too salty) omelette for breakfast!

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Woods of Westermain

I need to attend to my garden more often.   I get enthused for short spans of time and then neglect it for too long.  Our Australian Summers are not very forgiving of this.

But somehow, despite my neglect, a few seeds I planted made it to maturity.  Then one day I realised there were beautiful flowers blooming.

The beauty of flowers, especially cottage flowers, is transient so I tried to capture the moment in a photo.   So here it is - the Nigella in the Mist that grew despite my lack of care and a poem by George Mayer.

HIgh Tea at Queenies

Queenies is a charming, old fashioned tea house.  I would dare to say it is the best of it's type in Brisbane, only it's not really in Brisbane.   It's out in the suburbs North of Brisbane - in Nundah to be precise.   But don't let that put you off.

Queenies Tea House is worth a visit for their lemon sponge cake alone.   Their excellent range of teas, including the Marco Polo blend with rhubarb in it (love!) and the atmosphere of the place are further reasons to head out into the suburbs for a visit. 

They also do one of the nicest and best-value high teas in Brisbane.  It is advisable that you book if you want a high tea. 

My lovely friend Poisoned Kitty decided it had been too long since our group of girls got together for a vintage high tea so she organised one at Queenies in early February.    Here are some photos I took of the occasion.

I was rocking a new hair cut - very 20s bob.   Though you can't really such much of it in this shot, I was wearing the gorgeous 50s mint green hat my friend TrinnyT gifted to me and a vintage two strand faceted glass bead necklace I had thrifted.

And here's a pic of the beautiful TrinnyT herself in a 40s frock she sewed last year.  I envy her victory rolls.  Beside her is Lady L in her lovely 60s pink frock - an etsy purchase, I believe.

Sitting beside me was the most stunning Diana Daring.  Her hair is the most amazing mix of colours.  She is entering in the Miss Pinup Australia competition this year!  You can see the beautiful colours in her hair and vote for her here.  

Poisoned Kitty and her wonderful Mum were in attendance.  Poisoned Kitty was wearing a sunny yellow frock she'd sewed from a 40s pattern and a soft white vintage hat.    Her mum was wearing a frock Poisoned Kitty had made for her.

Sweet Bee came along in a pretty blue frock she'd sewn herself from a 50s pattern.  I didn't get to chat with her as much as I'd liked because she was at the other end of the long table to me.  Perhaps next time!

Sassy D was in a utterly gorgeous white and navy polka-dot frock that she'd made herself from a 50s sewing pattern.  It matched the navy and white vintage hat she'd bought perfectly.

Classy K was in a celebratory mood, having just become engaged to her beau that week.  Congratulations Classy K!   She was wearing a charming brown 20s frock she had sewn herself with her hair up in a pretty chignon.

You can see some more photos, including some full-length outfit shots on Poisoned Kitty's blog entry here and TrinnyT's blog entry here.

It was really special to spend a morning with such great company.  We'll have to do it again soon!