Monday, 31 May 2010

Is the koala high, do you think?

Today is just absolutely beautiful here. After four days of rain and cold winds we have a sunny, cheerful day. Justin is focussed on finishing our chicken coop and painting it today - whereas I am here (and have been since 8.30am) completing all of the weekend's orders and getting ready to list new fabrics. I also was to do a nice pea and ham soup for dinner - yummy!

PS. Is it just me or does that wallaby look suspicious, the koala seems high, the platypus seems angry and the kangaroo seems dazed and confused?

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Are you happy with enough?

Percy in the piano room sunning himself....

I have been thinking about us ol' humans and why us ol' humans think us ol' humans are special. Apparently we rule the world and all that guff - you know, we don't walk on our hands, we can conceptualise, we don't pee in our food...that type of stuff. As a Buddhist, I am told a human form is the most special form as it brings me into closer contact with the Dharma - scripture. It is the best path for Nirvana.

I have been thinking lately about how difficult being a human is. We put so much pressure on ourselves. I think we're the only creatures that gather and keep for prolonged periods (excluding our shelter) - I am talking clothing, ornaments, plants etc. We gather and we gather and so many of us just don't seem happy and satisfied with their lives. I know the booby bird collects things - and beavers do, too - but those are shelters - does anyone know of another animal who collects just literally to collect?

Are we the only creatures who don't truly understand the meaning - the fundamental, true meaning - of the word enough. e n o u g h. When you have enough to live and be happy.

Are we the only creature who doesn't spend days upon days just living? When after you feed yourself, prepare for the short-term future (dinner and tomorrow) and you are warm and you have the correct clothing for your day - then the day is complete and you can rejoice and enjoy company and....just life?

Friday, 28 May 2010

Vintage fabric coming your way...

All of these vintage fabrics will be put up on the new arrivals section of the website some more, if I can find the time! My personal faves are the rose seersucker and the brown floral Sanderson chintz...yes, that's right...a Sanderson chintz!

I am truly thankful for today - it's time to celebrate!

I am celebrating another year of life today. Up until this year I was all very meh about my birthday. "It's just another day...yeh, I am another year older....same ol', same ol'", but something clicked in my psyche in the year past. I thought I was an idiot for being so flippant about my birthday.

I realised it's not a day to lament getting older - it's a day to celebrate achieving an age.

I am so happy to turn 37 today. I am so very grateful for it. I feel wonderful (apart from the 'flu!), life is a blessing and I am thankful to achieve an age when so many people don't reach this time in their lives. I am going to celebrate all day!

PS. I know I don't put many pics up of me on this blog - I am a shy thing. But this is me, according to the six-year-old. It's my birthday card. Do you like my top?

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Inspiring...I think it's possible for you to...

… love your work (almost) every moment of every day
… be the best at something
… contribute and give back to society on your terms
… be at complete peace
… create and foster an amazing community for yourself
… be financially content
… have enough
… love and be loved at work (yes possible), home, and community
… appreciate and respect all people
… feel connected to the earth
… let go
… trust yourself

Found via the inspirational Ben Coe blog...

A thicker set will do us just fine...

I am struggling - I have to admit. This lurgy has hit all of us really hard and I am finding my working day is really short. Enough to get our orders done (thank you, lovely customers!), post a new fabric or two (ebay fabrics are lasting around an hour, at the moment - thank you, lovely ebay customers!), and work on our new ideas. I am thrilled with the start of our new Retro Age Vintage Fabric Lovers Clubs - so many subscribers already!

I am just about to purchase some starter culture to make our own yummy thick yoghurt at home. Yoghurt is a staple food around here - we use the EasiYo system, but I want to get more home-made than that. I read about this starter culture all the way back here and it hasn't left my brain since. That's saying something, as far as I am buy it, I must...

We're also still baking all of our own food - well, as much baking and cooking as we can do without having our own animals and chickens (yet). Next time I buy a big 50kg bag of strong bakers flour I'll keep track of how much our bread is now costing us. We're not even half way through the bag and I've been using it for five weeks to bake bread. It only cost $27 so I am thinking out usually $2-4 a loaf is now way under $1 a loaf - a great saving!

Before I go I wanted to say a huge thanks to two ladies whose blogs I follow - Retro Age was mentioned in their blogs this week - the mentions made my heart glow. Thank you to Living A Simple Life and the lovely Jhoanna of One Red Robin. I am truly honoured, ladies :) - if you want a good read about life and craftiness, visit their inspiring blogs!

Off to pack orders and catch up on emails...have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Some very exciting news - and offers! - from Retro Age Vintage Fabrics!

We've finally launced our very exciting initiative - as of today, we're offering you, our buyers, the opportunity to join our Retro Age Vintage Fabric Lovers Club!

What is a Vintage Fabric Lovers Club, you ask?

Well - it's literally for lovers...of vintage fabric. There are five clubs to choose from:

5. Full Metre Club

This is an exciting initiative for us - as it gives you, our buyer, the opportunity to order the fabric you want, at a price you're happy to pay and for a subscription period you're happy with.

The Scrap and Swatch Packs have multiple pieces on offer (5, 10, 20 or 50 pieces) for three, six or 12 month subscription periods. The FQ, half yard/metre or full metre clubs entitle you to one piece of fabric per month, for three, six or 12 months. You can also select the era of manufacture you prefer - 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s and also the fabric pattern you prefer.
These are limited Clubs - to ensure we can meet the needs of our customers, we have capped each Club at only 25 subscribers.

We're very happy to announce this launch here - we hope you enjoy the Vintage Fabric Lovers Club idea :)



I am a thinker, as you know. My brain constantly churns, evaluating this and that. I have been very thankful this week that I don't have a 'boss' as such to ring and say that I am ill and won't be in. I always dreaded that. Instead we are getting through these days as a team, positives and negatives, and looking forward to the day when the 'flu leaves the four of us!

What is so different in my life now, apart from the lack of an everyday boss? My passion has been reignited - my passion for vintage fabric and running a business. You see, the two go hand-in-hand for me. I have to run a business well if I am to continue offering you lovely vintage fabric. And I have to love the vintage fabric if I am to continue happily in business. Thus - I am more passionate about Retro Age than I have ever been, as I can focus solely on it instead of slotting it in. A big difference.

This letter - all passion - is beautiful. It's from Napoleon Bonaparte to Josephine De Beauharnais, December 1795.

I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my sense in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?...My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelsing which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! It was last night that I fully realised how false an image of you your portrait gives!
You are leaving an noon; I shall see you in three hours.
Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they
set my blood on fire.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Death warmed up

I took this photo at our recent outing to the Melbourne Museum. It's an original 1880s house with furnishings...I need that itty bitty bed now, actually. Even though I am 5'9" I could crawl in there and sleep the day away. I feel like death warmed up. I love that saying - I wonder where it comes from? We are all sick - 'flu - I have made my way here to pack orders and then I have strict instructions to return and go to bed and rest. Yes, please!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Man...they were smaller back then, weren't they?

I am learning to accept I lead a very fortuitous life. For many reasons. For one - I don't have to rush off every morning for the 9-5pm timeslot. I am able to take the days at my pace and be my own boss. It is a blessing in life for me, I think - I sit back every now and then and think how lucky I am. I don't want to take it for granted - ever.

As I have a luxury of time I think I need to spend it wisely. That means not working all day, every day. That means taking quality time off, at whatever time of day, to spend it with my family and to live life. That means providing home cooked, nutritious meals for all my boys. That means quality time away from home, spending the days together, at a slower pace. We took the boys to Captain Cook's Cottage over the weekend. Logan was shocked at how small the house was - and how small everything was in it ("Mum - is that a single bed for two people?") - he also registered how united the house was with the garden, just like we're trying to do with our house. Lots of herbs and vegies growing outside the kitchen - lots of their own food to cook. Just like us, in 2010.

It didn't cost a lot to visit the cottage - just $14 or so. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a cheap, informative day out - both the boys loved it and the eldest walked away with some important historical knowledge. We were also surrounded by the most beautiful park with millions of dried Autumn leaves on the grass just waiting to be tossed at your nearest loved one. So we tossed. And tossed. And tossed. And laughed.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

New arrivals - Saturday

I hope to get around five more fabrics up today - it depends how long I can work for this afternoon! I am here trying to clean up - I am finding that unless I have a (semi) clean space I can't work efficiently. I think that word is the key - efficiently. If I organise everything simply I am totally efficient - if I am in a mess I am unstructured and slow...

This fabric is a craft cotton - very sweet and quite a bright colourway for such a tiny floral.

This is one of my favourite fabrics - so much so I have had it in our own stash for over a year. I popped it up today as there is no more 'our' stash vs Retro Age. It'll all be going up soon - Verner Panton, Lucienne Day, tonnes of Heals of London, Tibor, Zandra Rhodes...the list goes on and on. This is a silk rayon blend - a divine light weight fabric, vintage 40s or 50s.

Friday, 21 May 2010


Friday is now turning into a part-day of rest for me. I need time to catch up on my house and the garden, so I have decided Friday afternoons shall be that catch-up time. If I don't make a time to do it I know I'll never do it...are you like that?

This morning I have more fabric to go up onto the website and a few things to work out for a new Retro Age Vintage Fabric offer. I am excited about it, but it's taken weeks to iron everything out. Now I am almost there - excitement plus! It's a good feeling when you've been working on a project that's almost near completion - it's a time when you can almost pat yourself on the back and give a little smile of satisfaction. I likee likee completing things...

Have a great Friday, all!


Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Vintage fabric new arrivals - Wednesday

1960s Jacobean cotton barkcloth here

1980s Moygashel drapery here

Swiss or German lace here

1960s Swiss cotton here

1960s Swiss cotton here

1960s Swiss cotton here

Delicate dotted Swiss, c. 1950s, here. I'll also be putting a metre of this up on it is...only $11.70 for a full metre of fabric...

This 1980s fancy weave floral cotton is here.

These photos didn't work out - but it's a 1980s cotton voile here. Sorry about the photos!

Sweet 1970s or 1980s cotton blend here.

1970s dress cotton here.

Rare 1950s heavyweight woven upholstery here - look at how much thread it takes to weave this beauty!

This is a lovely 1940s silk and rayon blend - it's as light as a feather and available for only $7.99 per half metre here.

This beautiful 1960s floral cotton damask is here.

I'll publish this post now but will update it throughout the morning as I upload the fabrics....