Friday, 30 April 2010


As of Monday 3 May, 2010, I will be entirely yours, dear Retro Age Vintage Fabrics. We'll meet and say hello at around 8.30am, I'll have my vanilla latte in hand - and the biggest grin on my face. All you have to do is delight me with your fabric designs...

Retro Age Vintage Fabrics is changing. Exciting. Times. I can't wait to just be yours on Monday....



Thursday, 29 April 2010

One - yes, just you is enough

The Power of the World in One

I write to the individual because all world change starts within each of us. You are the only entity that matters for change.

I want to see a world with no war, so I try to show you peace inside.

I want to see a world where we live in harmony with nature, so I seek to remind you of the simple joy you have while outside on a sunny spring day.

I want to see a world where people value experience more than material things, so I strive to show you that love, joy, excitement, and laughter come from experience, not the objects around you.

I want to see cities designed around pedestrians, so I encourage you feel the beauty of walking.

I want to be a part of this world, so I write to create this world and to connect with others that feel it too.

Thank you for reading and for being.


This was written today by The Artist Farm Ideas - aren't the thoughts beautiful?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Recipes - basic scones & caramel scones

Vintage fabric news will resume soon - I promise! But I wanted to share these recipes with you while I can locate the ingredient list. I baked these last weekend - these recipes are from NZ (Justin's Mum)...and, like all recipes I follow - they are super easy!

I first baked the caramel scones (aka cinnamon scrolls). That recipe has:

Caramel Scones
2 x cups of flour
2 x heaped ts baking powder
pinch salt
1 x tbsp of butter
1 x egg
1 x cup of milk
Topping is 1 x cup of brown sugar and 1 x tbsp butter (1 x ts of cinnamon is optional - we added this)...

Rub butter into flour, baking powder, salt - in centre of dry ingredients add milk and break egg into milk and combine these two - then mix everything quickly with a knife. Roll or pat out on a floured surface, making an oblong shape and spread topping over. Roll up like a chocolate roll, cut into slices and put onto a cold tray. Place in a 450f degree oven (220c) for 8-10 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack.

Basic scones
2 x cups of flour
2 x heaped ts of baking powder
pinch salt
1 x tbsp sugar
1 x tbsp butter
1 x cup of milk

Rub butter into flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, into centre of dry ingredients add milk - mix quickly with a knife. Roll of pat out lightly, cut into shapes or squares. Place in a 450f degree oven (220c) for 8-10 minutes and then let cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Recipes - baking your own bread

Our lives are changing in 2010 - there is now no doubt about that for us. Our move in to a more frugal - or simple - way of living has been an effortless and a welcoming change for us. One of these changes concerns our food - our focus now is to grow what we can and to make what we can.

This weekend I baked seven loaves of amazing bread - it is a no fault recipe I got via Nikkishell some time back. Knowing we were moving towards this lifestyle, I stashed the link to the bread recipe and have a ball of a weekend, filling the house with the addictive aroma of baking bread...

If I can do it - you can do it! This is all you need to do:

Get 1kg of strong bakers flour (I got this at my local bulk foodstore - 25kg for AUD$27 - I buy in bulk!)
1 tbsp of dried yeast (supermarket)
1 tbsp of salt (supermarket)
950ml of luke warm water

1. Basically mix the dried ingredients and then mix the water in well. Leave in bowl, cover and put in the fridge to prove overnight.

2. Take the mixture out early in the morning and allow to come to room temperature. This takes around an hour for me.

3. Put bowl on its side and take the mixture out (quite sticky) onto a floured surface. Shape. Flop over. Shape again.

4. Put in a tin or on an oven tray and put it into a cold oven*, turn on temp to 450 degrees (220c). Close door. Walk away for 45-50 mins. Take out when the bottom of the loaf sounds 'hollow'.

* I don't have a fan forced oven, so turn on my oven around 2-3 mins before putting the tins into the oven.

This bread has turned out perfectly every time - and, as you can see, we have tried different pans. It's a slightly dense Italian/French style bread with a nice crusty crust, perfect for sandwiches, dipping - anything, really!

I baked up a storm this weekend - I baked Easter buns, scones and cinnamon scrolls. I'll put the recipes up soon...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Updated vintage fabric listings - Monday

This long weekend has been a very busy one - lots of yummy baked treats and lots of work in the garden. We even visited our local auction house to see their antique auction pieces. We came across a manual butter churn - two of them, in fact. Even though they are old and one didn't work it gave us hope full sustainability can still be attained, even today. I'd be willing to churn our own butter!

I've updated around 20 listings on the website - these photos are just a snap shot of a few! Photos link directly to individual listings...

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Updated vintage fabric listings

I have just updated all of these listings on the website - we have re-measured the bolts to ensure the fabric is available, put some on sale and upraded each listing information. Click on any picture to go straight to the listing on our website...have a lovely Sunday (or long weekend, as it is here in Australia)...

Saturday, 24 April 2010

12 month list of vegetables...sustainability

Every day is full at the moment - we are working towards so much. A lot of it is business - but we are also working towards being as sustainable as possible.

Our top priority is to use as much of our back yard as possible to grow our own food, create a worm farm, caretake two compost heaps and look after a brood of chickens for eggs and organic manure.

I'll take pics of the garden tomorrow - sorry I didn't take any today. As it is now, we have two large vegie beds, one of which is fully fertilised, mulched and strawed and just awaiting seedlings - the other is new and needs to be built up. Justin retrieved an old massive fowl pen from a local produce/farm seller and he is setting about turning one bay of it into a spacey chicken coop and the other two bays will be a large cat cage to meet the requirements of new local Council laws.

We have mushrooms fungii now (not activated yet) and have a list of what we'd like to grow over the next 12 months. We'll be planting:

Sweet potatoes

And there is sure to be more! I also want fruit trees, if I can fit them in - we already have a lovely plum tree, but I'd love an orange, an apple and a lemon tree. Some of these you can get in miniature - we'll have to investigate those...

This blog will follow our garden (so if you live in the Southern part of Australia and interested in doing your own/have your own vegie patch keep in touch!) over the coming 12 months - but it won't be the priority of the blog. The drive is still to keep you all informed of Retro Age - and to see what we're up to on the side. And there is so much we're up to!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Freedom this time next week

.freedom., originally uploaded by .krish.Tipirneni..

After next Friday I am all yours. I will be free from freelancing - free from routine and available 24/7 to service Retro Age Vintage Fabrics customers worldwide. I have dreams - and I am just about to start living one.

I can't wait. I am so excited I seriously think I am going to burst.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

I can't wait to share with you...

I can't wait to share all of the vintage fabric goodness with you. I want every last piece we have on the website. Every last piece. And then I want to share all my vintage magazines and advertisements with you...and lots of other vintage fashion-y stuff.

I can't wait.

Monday 3 May.

Oh boy!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Good Life

Justin has been telling me about The Good Life - a BBC series produced from 1975-1978. It's about a couple who leave the rat race to try and live their lives as sustainably as possible...

I loved the idea of it so he got the first series and we settled down to watch the first couple of episodes last night. It's a wag - I love it. It's funny - and it hits the right nerve for us at the moment. In episode two they waited for their chickens to lay their first eggs - I think I'll be exactly the same...

I have tried to Google the script for the first episode, as some lines were very pertinent. The main character - Tom Good - realises what the 'it' is that he has been yearning for. He realises the 'it' is getting out of life's circle - to work to live instead of living to work (and living more than working). Love those lines...they are very true in 2010, I feel.

Monday, 19 April 2010

The path is not always clear

You have probably heard the saying “life is a journey.” The definition of journey is “the act of traveling from one place to another.” We often consider this a metaphor since our normal use of the word “journey” implies covering a distance. But it’s not a metaphor at all. Life really is a journey, a journey that we travel in time, not distance. In life the paths aren’t on the ground but instead exist only in our minds.

In life, we don’t have road signs and often times the paths aren’t clearly marked.

In hiking (and in life) you know the feeling of finding a long flat, clear, grassy stretch where you can see the path unfold in front of you. The sun is high overhead and it is so obvious where the path is headed that you can pick up some momentum. But no matter how great you are at navigating the trails you will inevitably come to places where the path splits off into 10 different directions or the path seems to disappear all together. In life there aren’t usually obvious road signs to guide you. You need to use your intuition to find the way. These moments can seem scary. They can seem daunting. You can feel lost. I’d propose that instead of freaking out at these junctures, just sit down and enjoy where you are. Take in the sunshine, take in your surroundings… maybe enjoy some lunch. Let go of everything and just be in this place. If you wait patiently and enjoy the moment your path will eventually show itself.

This blog post is from one of my favourite blogs - The Artist Farm Ideas. I think this is so apt at some stage in everyone's lives - it is for me at this moment...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Green cleaning...

Sunday is my day to get up early and let the man sleep in. I quite like Sunday mornings - I grab the Sunday papers off the lawn (ahem...weeds), make a vanilla coffee, get the kiddies their Weetbix and toast and settle down to have a read. Then, while the boys are amusing themselves, I catch up on a little tidying, washing and cleaning...

Today the games room shag rugs are out on the line getting some fresh air and sunshine. I love watching them in the sunlight. That room has a double later of shags - I put the red one on top of the slightly larger white one for a la retro effect. But I think the red one is just about to make it's way into our's my favourite...

Cleaning is easily done in this household - we use one product only. 100% pure eucalyptus oil is my cleaner of choice. We clean benches, baths, mirrors, floors, toilets - everything - with it. You can get it at any supermarket in Australia (not sure about overseas) for not much more than those horrid chemicals in the cleaning aisle. The versatility is amazing - put on cuts, scratches, soothe muscles...I love eucalyptus oil, as you can tell. I would highly recommend using it instead of any other cleaner - and it sure does beat having a billion cleaners in the laundry cupboards...

Bah - the website is down - sorry, peeps! Oh well - I can control cleaning products but I can't control servers...

The sun is shining here - off to enjoy a slow Sunday. Have a great day, all!


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Vintage fabric new arrivals

I managed to get five pieces of vintage fabric up onto the website today - some of these are the last of bolts, some of them longer...but I think you'll agree they all have rather special designs! Click on the pictures to be taken to the website listing...

Daily reminders

One of the reasons I want to simplify my life is because I recognise, if I am to become a better human being, (more compassionate, more caring, more relaxed!) I need time to think and just be. Doing everything I have done over the past years has given me little time to be me. Now I want that time.

I have some notes I am carrying around that resonate in me at the moment - especially the second and third ones:

Support your parents, and care for your own family. Follow peace at all times. This is a true blessing. Mahamangala Sutra.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly. Buddha.

As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life. Buddha.

These sayings remind me to always be in the present - as I have a tendency to think about the future too much!

There will be more daily reminders coming to this blog - I have less than two weeks to go before Retro Age gets my 24/7 attention...woot!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Living your dreams...the announcement

Well, I am definitely living my dreams in 2010.

Today I took a big step into my perfect world. I resigned from my writing position, effective immediately. I am two weeks away from dedicating my entire day, Monday to Friday, to Retro Age Vintage Fabrics.

What this resignation heralds is a new pathway for Justin and I. We are now both servicing the business full-time - and this means we can triple, almost quadruple - the time we spend on it. It means we're available to our customers 24/7, seven days a week, basically.

And what we're also aiming for is to be sustainable and off-the-grid (don't know how long this part will take). I'll be baking our bread, making our custards, making our yoghurts and cheeses and we'll be tending our vegetable garden, herb patch and patting our chickens.

I hope you'll enjoy our stories along the way. We're living our dreams, owning and running our own business and hope to be self-sufficient. If you're interested in any of these things you're welcome to visit any time...

I'll be in touch more in two weeks...can't wait! So much to tell you all about...

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Vintage fabric new arrivals #take two

I couldn't help it - I uploaded another 10 fabrics this afternoon. No ryhme or reason - they were just the first batch of fabrics I grabbed. They range from the 1940s to the 1980s, from fine cottons to lovely cotton twills...lots of great ones for Winter! Click on the photos to go to each individual listing...

Vintage fabric - new arrivals and updates

I am sick so I have sat here for a little bit to ensure I complete my goals for today. I am on the up and up and am feeling better with each minute. Nothing like just sitting here and doing things slowly, but surely...

I updated some listings on the website - if you click the picture it will link directly to the arrivals are also listed below...


I also got some lovely new arrivals into website stock - I have to admit, the atomic barkcloth is my favourite in this bunch, closely followed by the beautiful velvet...