Sunday, 28 February 2010

Decluttering your home

One of my goals for 2010 is to declutter my home. We are renovating - this year is the year for cosmetic changes and next year is a year for some big stuff. To ensure we have more time and space to manage renovations - and live! - I wanted our home as simple and as neat as possible. Nothing is to be left unturned.

I started decluttering on January 1 and am continuing to move through the house. I have slowed down a little over the last couple of weeks, mainly due to breaking my toe, but I have renewed vigour and have set myself some major deluttering goals over the next three months.
Life is just too precious to incessantly clean and organise and clean and organise. So I read Sorted and have decided 2010 is the year to remove everything from my life - from my house and surroundings - that is not needed. This includes all my sentimental stuff I have been dragging around for 36 years - yes, everything.

My goal is to declutter, clean and tidy one room in my house each week. Yes - one room in one week! I am going slowly so I don't expect too much from myself and perhaps some rooms will need more than one week - perhaps just cleaning in one week and tidying the next and decluttering the week after - but, for now, it is one room in one week.

This is my first week and I have opted for a seemingly easy one - but, it's in fact very difficult! It's our cluttered with everything other than clothing walk-in-robe. This is one room that is getting an overhaul next year. The floor is covered with boxes, guitars and craft things, the clothing racks need to be cleaned out and other clothes need to be hung up and the shelves all need to be cleaned and every item needs to find a new home, be thrown out or put back all clean and tidy.

What I am doing in the walk-in-robe this week is:

1. Starting from top to bottom - first off is getting all of the cobwebs out
2. Clearing the floor so I can move about - ensure all things on floor finds new home, is thrown out or put in bedroom to await shelf space
3. Going through racks to donate old clothes we never wear and to hang up clothes we always wear
4. Go through shelves - decide whether to keep items or where to store them
5. Clean as I go - dust, vacuum
6. Stand back and view my amazing decluttering work.

I have learned the art of knowing what to keep and what to throw away - if you have to think twice about keeping it - if you pause and are unsure what to do - it's time to throw it away or to donate it to your local thrift store or op shop.

If you'd like to declutter your home room-by-room link below - you can choose whichever room you like! We'll come back and visit each Sunday for the next three months :)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

New arrivals

Lots of new arrivals this week - this is just a sample! Click on the photos to be taken to the listings...

A new beginning at the back shed

It's a fresh new start for the back quarter of our back yard today. We had it all cleared (apart from the apple and plum trees) to make way for brand new vegie beds, a large chicken coop and a large compost area. I took these shots at dusk.

This is the corner behind the old shed - a deceptively large space. We've decided to keep the shed instead of replacing it with a new steele thing - we're going to paint it and fix the roofing. All of the windows are in perfect nick and the wood is fine as it's raised on its own slab. This corner is where the raised chicken coop will be - and the compost area.

We'll clean the shed up - I am debating whether to paint it white with a retro trim. Don't know why I want white - white in the garden is a no no...but the space oozes a white quaintness. We'll see. I can also see it's own water tank somewhere - but just don't know where, yet!

This is the other side of the garden - this is where the raised vegie beds will be. We want to start slow but build up and plant as much as we can. I honestly can't wait to get stuck into it. I'll be covering most of the fences with railing for beans and peas and anything else that wants to grow!

Just found this magazine, too - Green. Does anyone read it? It looks fabulous on the site - I can't believe I haven't come across it before...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Dhammapada verses

Yes, well things never go to plan in life. I want to put the doubles of the American Fabrics mags up...have I? I was too busy with other things, unfortunately. I think I have to stop expecting so much from myself. I have a to do list as long as my arm each day - each month - and I rarely complete it 100%. I think I have to stop spending life looking for more time and expecting so you do that?

There are some lovely verses in the Dhammapada that are ringing true for me at the moment:

18. Flaws, Verses 244 & 245
For a person without conscience, life seems easy.
For a person striving to be pure, the journey is hard.

4. Flowers, Verse 49
A wise person does not damage his or her environment.

Perhaps instead of striving so much we have to live a little more in the moment. I find that very hard to do...but perhaps this will be my goal for tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Moving in the right slothful direction

I read somewhere 98% of people who make New Years resolutions have forgotten or put their resolutions to the side by mid-February. That means, in just six weeks, our hopes and our dreams and our wishes for our future don't become a priority. It means day-to-day living is what there is. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But it's not for me. Without goals I become a sloth - I love nothing better than to laze in the sun, enjoy a good book, write and muse day after day after day. I am the type of person who would give up work and only volunteer if I won Tattslotto. Work doesn't makeme - I don't want to be thinking "I should have worked more" on my deathbed, so to speak.

I just wanted to write myself a note today - to say - Ness, give yourself a pat on the back. You're still following your dreams and goals for 2010 and moving towards turning them into a reality at a great pace. I am proud of you. I know some days are hard and slower than others, but on the whole, you are trying day-in-day-out to make your world - and the world around you - a better place. Good on you - keep going, sloth!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

American Fabrics magazines for sale - number 37

When I bought my giant collection of American Fabrics magazines last year I received six doubles. I have finally gotten around to photographing them today and shall be putting them onto the website in the next 48 hours.

These photos are from the Summer 1956 magazine - number 37. The others I will have for sale are Fall 1956 - number 38, Spring 1959 - number 46, Winter-Spring 1964 - number 63, Winter 1964-1965 - number 66 and Spring 1965 - number 67.

These magazines are huge - a whopping 28cm x 36cms and most are around 100 pages. They have swatches of real fabric throughout and wonderful articles on fibers, trends of the day and designers - they are an excellent resource for those of you who are in fashion or textiles...

I am selling the magazines for the price I paid for them - $40 each. The postage will be the same as any other order via the website - $2 Australia-wide or postage/packaging costs for international orders.

If you're interested in seeing extra shots of each edition, let me know - in the mean time, I shall upload them onto the website and feature the editions singularly on the blog. This particular edition - number 37 - has a features on rayons, colour coordination in rayons, Indian fabrics, Arnel (manufacturer), textile maintenance, creativity, Donald Brooks, Stefan, Shannon Rodgers, Gif Johnston, beautiful fabrics, art from ancient lands, Paris styled blouses for America, a new direction in zippers, all-silk chiffon, acrilan blankets, Dixie Mercanizing Company, vinyls which breathe, fastion factors etc.

It has been a hot weekend so I am very thankful for the cool breeze this evening. It has been another busy weekend - but one of those weekends where you never complete what you want to get done! I must plot out this week tomorrow and keep myself on a timeline - otherwise I know the week will ebb away!

Have a lovely week, everyone!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday night

Justin has Friday night all set - it's our favourite night of the week. Tonight he has organised some chips, cheese and chives dip, Lindt dark mint chocolate, a nice bottle of scotch and the kitsch 80s movie Tango and Cash. We've been living in the 80s recently - we've just watched the Die Hard series and completed Lethal Weapon 1, 2, 3 and 4. Tonight we're going for the complete b-grade Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell. It's going to be a night of laughs...gawd, how bad are we? I just have to wait for Justin to finish watching Ricky and Bianca getting married on Eastenders. Yes, you have to wonder about him, don't you? He can sew and he watches Eastenders. Oh dear.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Change and improvement

We are nearing the end of creating new beds for our organic garden. We need to get some good fertilized top soil and build some little gabion walls (we refuse to buy wood slats etc), but so far it's coming a long nicely. This is just a small part of it - it's going to take up around 1/4 of our back yard. And share the space with a compost area and some chickens. And two cats...who might like the chickens? Oh dear.

I am also seeing some massive improvement in my sewing - I'm truly now getting the hang of so much of it, although I know it will take a lot of time and hours to truly come even close to mastering it. I am happy with my evolution thus far - still doing patterns I know, but I shall be doing different stuff at class next week. Exciting to push my boundaries!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Atomic niceness & disappointment

Went to see the financial advisor to get ourselves all sorted for the next year. Fab. Then on to tax man at end of week. More fab.

The fabric is always a ray of sunshine, though. I photographed 20 more pieces to pop onto the website over the next few days. I managed to get just one up today - a lovely 1960s cotton crepe with modern atomic shapes. Lots more to come tomorrow.

There was a little disappointment today - slight embarrassment, actually. I recommended an online store - quite a well known one - to a friend who has been hesitant purchasing online. But when she saw the store and the stock she just couldn't resist, so she ordered that day. She left work early to pick her parcel up from the post office, drove home like a mad-woman and settled herself on the couch to open the parcel from the store I recommended - to savour the moment. She opened an envelope to cut cardboard wrapping and a piece of scrunched tissue paper surrounding her purchase. No thank you note. No business card. Nothing personal at all. Her purchase was okay, but the customer service was very disappointing to her and she won't shop there again.

I feel like a total dill for recommeding the store - but that's the thing with online, isn't it? Your experience is at the envelope end...not as you walk through the store door.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The sewing bug

Methinks I have been hit by the sewing bug. I am learning so much at sewing class I am no longer laughing - I am so surprised at how much there is to know! I sewed up a storm last night and thoroughly enjoyed creating.

We are continue to clear our backyard for our new vegie patch and we're taking a good deal of time to ensure the soil is nourished. We're just about to order our new herb seeds from Eden Seeds. We're going organic from the start to ensure our herbs, fruit and vegies get the best possible start. Once we start sowing I'll take some shots of our little lovelies in their little glass house...

Oh - and ever wondered what you can do with your meat trays you get at your local butcher or supermarket?? I just found out I can donate them to my local animal welfare agency as that's what they use to feed the cats and dogs with - so I have found another (recycling) use for another 'throw away' packaging! My first impulse is no packaging, but where that's the only option at least now you'll have somewhere to donate it to!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Is there any way back from 3D?

Justin took me on a date today - Valentines Day and all that (even though we don't do the Valentines thing!) We went to the movies on one of those rare just the two of us - no kids! - outings and saw Avatar in 3D. I don't know whether it was the popcorn or the lollies or motion sickness but I was ill half-way through. We sat in row three to get the full 3D impact so perhaps I was too close to all that impressive 3D action. I was so impressed the world seemed 'flat' when we left the cinema....more 2D than our real 3D world. I felt the same way after seeing The Matrix in Bourke St, Melbourne - I remember walking through Chinatown at 10pm spooking myself out about whether I was in The Matrix and what was real. Silly me.

I have had to be off my feet for the last couple of days as my broken toe isn't healing and I've had to strap it etc. So things have been a little quieter. Back to sewing class tomorrow - so much away to get ready for it! Class comes around very, very quickly - wish the weekend was like that! I have to get a handle on these overlockers - man, are they fast suckers!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Whirring, whirring, whirring...

Apparently you tape broken toes to it's 'sibling'. I just found that out via Dr Google. As I have a horrid feeling I not only dislocated my toe, but broke it. It is worse than Sunday or Monday and I am now truly hobbling. Apparently they don't have little toe casts. I dare say they would be too cute for the medical world...

Lots on here at Retro Age. The sewing machine is now out 24/7 and in our study. I have collected all of the bobbins and thread from the estate sales pieces I have collected over the years - lots and lots of cottons and sewing bits and pieces. I am thoroughly enjoying myself - especially with some music on!

I put some new arrivals up onto the site today - the photos are just some of them - for the complete new arrival collection view here.

PS. I watched the Trishna and Kirsha documentary last night. Once again I was reminded how very, very special Moira Kelly is. I have long admired her - she is one of our angels, don't you think? She gives me so much faith humanity is still strong, full of love and compassion...and those little girls are just adorable!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Vintage fabric new arrivals

oooohhh....two posts in one day! I forgot to mention I put five new vintage fabrics up onto the website today - if you click the images it will take you to the actual listing...

Have a lovely day!

What would you say to the future you?

I just received the Sorted email and, as usual, there was lots of great information on how to sort out the clutter in your life.

There was one part in particular that I am interested in. There is now a website called Future Me - it's where you're able to email yourself a message and it will be delivered on a date in the future nominated by you. So, if you want to remind yourself about life, goals, happiness etc you can do it this novel way!

I am crashing some goals this year - since getting the right drugs to treat my stomach issues I have found a new energy and motivation. The software that helped me do it is Goalscape. I love this software so much I have put a banner link on the top of my blog - and anyone who knows me knows I never do that! Have a look at it - if you're goal driven and want to achieve some specifics, this may be the perfect software for you!

Or email the Future You to have a look at Goalscape at some stage :)

Monday, 8 February 2010

I am not who I thought I was...

Well here I am walking around thinking I am a complete novice at sewing - and I find out this evening I am far from it. Somehow I know how to sew with a great tension without knowing how to put a bobbin in that hole thing under the needle and put the cotton on the whatsit at the top of the sewing machine. Tonight I finally learnt how to do those things - whoa - has my world opened up or what??? - but Justin is attributing my 'not being a beginner' to his wonderful sewing teaching. Ahem.

Okay - I admit it - he does have a point.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

What does one do with a recovering dislocated toe?

For some reason I have cooked and baked up a storm the whole weekend. Since dislocating my little toe yesterday I have done nothing but stand and move on it...silly. silly me! I made some delicious family favourites today - above is ye ole Banana Cake with cinamon and brown sugar sprinklings and four mashed bananas stuffed in the middle....

And here is the yummy Zucchini Slice - always great for a healthy snack in the kiddies lunch box...

And then I made a big treat - a Chocolate Weetbix Slice with a light chocolate icing. I had never come across this recipe before - but I spied it in today's Sunday Herald Sun and it was so easy I had to squish it into my day. And then for dinner it was Chow Mein - but I didn't take a shot of that one as it's so darn ugly!

On top of that I have been preparing for my first sewing class tomorrow night - 2.5hours of sewing with an instructor in a creative environment....ooohhhh....I am excited. I know (kind of) how to sew, but doing a two month course should enable me to learn more about patterns and will give me the skills to reach a few creative goals I have for my house!

PS If anyone wants a recipe or two let me know and I'll post them...

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Do you believe in a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Since I am slowly getting over the blasted virus playing in my body this week I decided to venture to the supermarket to stock up on food. I decided to get ahead in my cooking as my sewing course starts on Monday night and I am always one for a fully cooked and nutritious hot meal on the table (me there or not). Meal planning included chow mein and sweet and sour meatballs. And some yummy sausage rolls for the freezer and occasional lunch or dinner treat.

Do you believe in self fulfilling prophesies? Something strange happened today so I am now questioning this belief system. I was walking out of the shops to the car and all of a sudden Kara Smith and her recent happenings popped into my head - in particular, her little toes that seem to get broken more than they should. The thoughts flew out of my head as quickly as they arrived, but less than a minute later I hit my little toe on the supermarket trolley wheel.

I looked down - and whilst there wasn't much pain, there was a toe. At a very odd angle. And numb. And at a very odd angle.

So I bent down to check it against the other little toe on the other foot and, sure enough, the toe was to the side and pointing up at a 45 degree angle. So what did I do? What any sane person would do - I prodded it. And without feeling a great deal it went 'back down' - so I hobbled to the car and got home. By the time I arrived I couldn't walk and my toe is still facing out this evening, ever so sore and bruised. If I look at it from above I can barely see my nail, such is the angle. Oh dear.

But I cooked 60 sausage rolls and double quantity sweet and sour meatballs for the family this afternoon - all the while thinking about the self fulfilling prophecy.

Kara - I am thinking tomorrow is going to be a better day!

Friday, 5 February 2010

My new vintage fabric favourite

This is my new favourite fabric. Yes - atomic birdies in atomic cages hanging via mobiles. Textile perfection - and the whole bolt is going on the website this weekend (10+m)...

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Nan - Mrs Maureen Collier


My Nan turned 85 last Sunday. My Mother thought of a wonderful idea - to buy her a digital photo frame and to put a large selection of photos on it for Nan to enjoy. You see, she has 98% full blown dementia and has all but forgotten her life. She goes in and out with us, but the time is nearing for when we walk in to her nursing home and she looks at us all vacantly, unable to place us in her mind. I am dreading that day. I couldn't help but put some of the photos on this blog as I adore my Nan - and I love thinking of her as a young, happy woman with the rest of her life before her....she now lives mostly back in her younger days, when she was growing up at the family home 'Cyprus' in Rockley Road, South Yarra, Melbourne. She has all but forgotten her husband and their own family home, so I have chosen to put her earlier shots on as that is where her mind in now...

Her name is Maureen. I hope you like meeting her.

Nan and Pop

Nan and Pop

Nan and Pop

Nan and Pop on the moon at Luna Park, Melbourne. Justin and I sat on this very same moon last year at the Melbourne Museum.

Nan and her Grandmother at Rockley Road, South Yarra

One of my favourite photos of Nan - on the steps at Rockley Road, South Yarra

This was taken in 1985 when she was 60

A toddler Maureen with her beloved Aunt 'Georgie' Georgina. A favourite photo to all of our family.