Monday, 30 November 2009
Vintage scrap pack - sold out...
Just a quick blog today - sorry! I have tonnes to show you but not the time today - so I thought I would leave a friendly reminder to leave a comment to win a vintage fabric scrap pack here!
Sunday, 29 November 2009
It felt like I was dancing all day, but in actual fact we were rushing about finishing flatterning our front garden for some dirt and rock deliveries, finishing our courtyard for a pending pergola and paving and then...yes....drum roll, please....I cooked the plum pudding. Five hours after putting it on to the low boil we had a house smelling like Christmas and a delicious soft plum pudding cooling in the pot. It'll be 'fed' until Christmas Day (brandy is the food of choice) and then devoured with custard and cream...
As I found this pic on Flickr I'll put the plum pudding recipe up on the blog seperately...
Lots of new fabrics coming your way this week - I have finally booked them all in! Yes - some were in storage for more than three years...but...well, I got there in the end!
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Photo of plum pudding recipe - Frankie magazine, issue Nov/Dec 2008
I made my first plum pudding for Christmas last year. I had grown up with a family friend making our plum pudding - in muslin, with coinage - and when she passed a couple of years back we started to purchase our plum pudding. No matter how nice the puddings were it just wasn't the same...
Lo and behold I entered the amazing world of Frankie last year and in the Nov/Dec 2008 edition they had a wonderful plum pudding recipe. I don't know why but I decided to make it. The older I get the more sentimental I get (and I was already sentimental) - but I thought the ritual of making the plum pudding could start a new family tradition. I was so proud I took a photo on Christmas Day...it tasted just a lovely as it looked :) I'll write the recipe out tomorrow and post it on the blog...
This year I decided to find out when the right time was to make the plum pudding. I came across Stir Up Sunday. Even though I am a Buddhist this seemed like such a wonderful ritual and tradition - the family time, the sharing in the stirring of the plum pudding mixture, the official start to Christmas etc. Sunday 29 November is Stir Up Sunday this year so today I set about cutting my fruit and peel with the help of all of the boys so it had overnight to bathe in the brandy. We're ready for Stir Up Sunday tomorrow and the 'steaming of the pudd'...I can't wait.
Friday, 27 November 2009
But before I start my tranquil evening (see post below) I just had to show you these amazing bird houses! Gretchen has the most amazing creative talent! Click on the link to visit her Flickr and enjoy her world...
Serenity is my aim this evening. We're off to enjoy each other's company, soak up some silence and lay still for a little bit...
I hope your find some serenity in your day today!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Picture from http://umatji.blogspot.com/
One of the blogs I regularly read is too many thangs in my head - written by Umatji.
She has been writing a some wonderful posts in the last couple of days - well, she always does, but she is doing a 'ten days and ten ways of slowing down' series that I am loving. As I always seem to live life too fast to (truly) enjoy it I have been reading avidly...and her advice is spot on and beautifully conveyed!
Another happy moment today was winning the Sorted book offered on Peta Pledger's blog - woot! I couldn't believe I won - I really need this book! I don't like clutter but clutter seems to love me. Have you seen Peta's amazing creations? She has a great Etsy store and bigcartel one as well. I love the era she loves - her designs are lovely and her sewing skills are second to none! Oh...and did I mention I went to school with her and we worked at Safeway Carlton together way back in the 80s (we were check out chicks - even though I can't remember her on a register!!)...- bar ha ha, Peta, had to get it in :)
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
When I studied art for (what seems like) 50 million years I, of course, studied the magnificent work of photographer Max Dupain. He was an iconic Australian artist who captured the very spirit of Australian beach lifestyle, our heritage and created scenes so Australian they still resonate today.
The most famous of his photos would undoubtedly be The Sunbaker, 1937. It's only a small image of it below - I have seen it at exhibition and the detail on his skin is amazing.
The other favourite would be Bondi, 1939.
You can imagine how excited I was to come across an article about his house. I was flicking through a 1956 Home Beautiful mag when the title Max Dupain's House took my breath away. We could look into his world from so long ago...
The following text and photos were taken from the Home Beautiful magazine...
The living room of Max Dupain's house is seperated from the rest of the house, but joined by a roofed terrace. The terrace also serves as an entrance hall. A glass screen forms a wind-break towards the street side. The front door leading to the terrace (the door is open in the pic above) is made of Queensland maple and painted with clear laquer.
For 15 years Sydney photographer Max Dupain has been specialising in taking pictures of modern buildings. There is hardly a house of striking architectural features in Sydney whose special points have not been recorded by Dupain's camera lense. No wonder that Dupain's own home at Castlecrag, Sydney, is one of the most modern homes to come off the drawing boards of Australian architects.
Dupain, a artist among Australian photographers, likes simple forms in architectural designs and abhors ornaments. He asked Sydney architect Arthur Baldwinson to design his home because he was impressed by the simplicity of his style.
Dupains home is perched on the edge of a solid rock and overlooks part of Middle Harbour. "As there was only a narrow ledge between the road and the cliff edge, the building had to be designed to fit into this limited space. This makes its shape a bit irregular," said Baldwinson.
The most prominent 'irregularity' or innovation is you prefer that viewpoint, is the seperation of the living room from the rest of the house. Baldwinson said his client wanted the living room set apart so that the children couldn't be disturbed by his musical events (he has an extensive record library) and the children wouldn't disturb him (a corner of the living room serves as his study). The top picture is the living room at night - the room has an atmosphere of drama and mystery in the evenings when its reading lamp spotlights nearby gum trees. The picture below is the dining room in daylight
Dupain said that the seperate living room gave the open design of his house balance and distinction. The living room projects four feet over the cliff edge and faces south. It's aluminium framed, double hung windows give a grandstand view of a harbour inlet and surrounding bushland.
The walls of the house are of painted bagged brickwork, with the exception of the south wall of the living room which is of tallowwood weatherboard. The top floor, which includes three bedrooms and a bathroom, has a reinforced concrete floor which is surfaced with tallowwood boards.
Max Dupain's house at Castlecrag, Sydney, consists of three sections: the living room, the roofed terrace and the two-storied main building. The design was governed by the unusual site: a narrow ledge between the road and cliff edge. The architect's plans are above.
I would love to know if this house is still standing - anyone out there is blogland who knows this wonderful home?
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
The lovely Pip from Meet Me at Mikes is having a wonderful week of happy thoughts and happy things - and what better way to be happy than by giving something away to make someone else happy! Phew - that was a mouthful...did it make sense?
We've decided to be a part of her giveaway central and would like to offer a lucky ready the chance to win one of our famous scrap packs. And we're offering two packs! Yes - that's right - two lucky readers have the chance to win one pack of 10 lovely vintage fabrics! For more info on our scrap packs see here.
To win one of these packs simply leave a comment to this post finishing the sentence "I love scrap fabric because...."
Giveaway closes Tuesday 1 December at around 8pm - good luck!
**Please note photo is not of actual scrap pack fabric :)
NOW CLOSED - THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN DRAWN - THANK YOU FOR LEAVING A WONDERFUL COMMENT!!
I love mid-century furniture. I think our home is in a time warp. People who love new furniture walk into our house and usually don't know what to make of it. Nothing really modern - all old furniture and collectables with old prints of nudies decorating the wall. Lots of glassware. Lots of Aussie pottery. Lots of things made in the 1970s and before...
I have always dreamt of coming across a Grant Featherston chair - no design in particular - any of them would do! I love his form and silhouette - particularly the legs, for some reason. His design epitomises mid-century chic to me...
Perhaps I will come across that old furniture place in the back blocks somewhere - some place no antiques dealer has visited. And I'll walk through the old hallways...on one side shall be a room filled with vintage fabric...and in the other shall be a Grant Featherston chair. Just waiting for me.
Monday, 23 November 2009
What do you think is going on here? There is such a casualness about this shot. Are they posing? Are they between shots? What is in that basket, do you think?
I want her pencil skirt and the classic stripped top.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Does this still exist? Every time I spy this pic (the front of a 1956 Home Beautiful magazine) I can almost feel her relaxation. Her jobs are done. Her patio edging is complete. Now is the time for her to sit back, grab that romance and wile away the afternoon...
I remember Sunday afternoons were once like that - but that was when I was a kid.
Now the days are filled, filled, filled!
We had a busy week last week so we're taking things a little slower around these parts this week. I am reminding myself what life is supposed to be filled up with - anything but toil! So we've had lovely guests, a jam-packed happy weekend and we're looking forward to some quiet (and not so hot!) days this week. Perhaps I can even pop in some exercise (eeeekkkk) and dash around the block a little? Don't laugh if you drive by.....
Thursday, 19 November 2009
This arrived in my inbox this morning - I thought it was a lovely way to remember the aprons of years past...
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material - but, along with that, it served as a pot holder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasions was even used for cleaning our dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying egg, fussy chicks, and sometimes half hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal for hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought in to the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the Autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in for dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Grandma used to set her hot, baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.
Her grand-daughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs was on that apron...
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
It's a quick blog update today as it's a rather special day for a little someone who became a part of our family two years ago. What a special day! I love two-year-olds - well, apart from the arguing with his brother and the cry of MINE 20 million times a day. And the shopping trips when he wants his own basket, like below. Happy Birthday my little one - we adore you :)
Of course I couldn't let today pass without some American Fabrics advertisement love from 1947. I love that black bird on the moon - very myserious. I have got some gorgeous pieces from the 1950s coming up soon.
And thank you to the very special Kim from True Up for posting about this blog today. She made me feel very, very special - all warm and gooey and loved :) - thanks, Kim!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Aren't these the bomb? I love the use of textiles in the actual advertisement - you can almost feel the texture! We are flat stick at the moment and our little one turns two tomorrow - so recent days we've been run off our feet! More information on our little Retro Age lives in the coming days...for now, I hope you love these gorgeous vintage advertisements from 1947!
Monday, 16 November 2009
I love wearing black. I am always in black. Almost seven days a week. I truly respect the wonderful yin and yang of black and white. Such a classic colourway. These shots are from the Summer season, 1947 - American Fabrics magazines. Enjoy!
Sunday, 15 November 2009
These shots are taken from a great page of swatches 'for the coming season' from the Summer 1947 edition of American Fabrics. They depict a classic 1940s palette - I just couldn't help but share the colours and their names with you. So many of our vintage fabrics have mixtures of these colours.
The above pic has evergreen, woodland green, sapphire blue and sky blue.
The above pic has apple green, berkshire green, moonstone gray, pink ruby and peacock blue.
The above pic has shamrock green, guardsman blue, cranberry and clair de lune.
This final shot has capri blue, haze blue, beaver brown and pernod.
It's wonderful to get an idea of the colour hues and names. Aren't they a classic? If you take three to four of those colours you get so many classic fabric colourways - looking at them, they are a trul complement to each other.
I hope more of the AF mags have these type of swatch pages - it's one of the first I have come across in my many hours of pouring over the mags. On the next page to the fabric swatches I came across a table of what colours people were choosing to wear - I found them quite interesting, too - and I am sure you can see why. Favourites of 'classes'? Amazing. And Teen-Age Tallies???
Saturday, 14 November 2009
If it's one thing I would wish for it would be to make some more time. But you can't make time, I hear - bah! So that means I have to use my time very wisely. I make lists, lists and more lists. I strike through the completed things, but then more things are added to the list. It's a veritable merry-go-round of black handwriting and red lines.
If I can't make more time does that mean I have to use my time more effectively?
One of the business tasks I would like to do more of is list the hundreds - thousands? - of fabrics I have stored that haven't seen the Retro Age Vintage Fabrics light of day. I think I am averaging around 30 new fabric additions to the website a week - but some weeks it's only ten. Days get away from me - paperwork, tax, photos, booking in - and then normal life takes over - like kiddies, appointment, Christmas shopping and the like.
Do you have any hints on how to use time more efffectively? Do you get up earlier to get more done? Not do housework? etc. I would love any hints!
These photos are of some fabrics coming to the website soon! The lovely mint Tootal (the last one) is a particular favourite of mine at the moment. Tootal really was a top quality cotton...
I totally dig this hat. Yes, I know - it's not really a hat - it's one of those fascinator thingies or box hats or...well, lets just say I am no hat chick, so I have no idea really. But I likee it. I totally love her suit. If that's fur I totally don't dig it. If it's a fakey then I likee. I love her hair. I love her bling. I love the 1940s...