Saturday, 31 December 2011

Looking back...


Looking back, this year has been a pivotal year, I think. It will be one of those years I will always remember - as you know there are some that just disappear into the ether. 2011 isn't one of them. We've had tremendous highs and lows of the lows. When I think of 2011 I think of my Nan passing. I think of Justin's awful fight with viral encephalitis (that is still continuing) and Gabriel's surgery at the Royal Children's Hospital to remove a coin that had lodged itself in his chest after he swallowed it. Then there's the arthritis. But then I think of all of our wonderful celebratory birthdays, the arrival of Syd-the-whippet, loving working with fabrics each and every day and the love Justin and I continue to have for each other. Even through the dark days we truly feel blessed to live where and how we do. I am also so thankful for having the loveliest Mum who continues to support us with each step in life we take. Our boys had great years at school and kindy and we move into different grades and levels next year - new challenges to excite us all.

We went to the beach this evening - I felt the need to wash 2011 away, to cleanse the end of the year to start the new one afresh. I feel a new life coming on, to be honest. Bigger and better things. New horizons. I am ready. Oh yes - I am so ready.


Thursday, 29 December 2011

It's all this and that...

This time of year is all family and all fun. Lots of water play and lots of slothing. We are doing the basics with the business, but we want to make sure our little ones have a fun and memorable Summer. After all - we can work any time, any who wants to work now when it's Christmas and New Year? Not us. No, siree. Just a tad of work here and there - and the rest is play. As you can see, lots of time lazing on huge blow-up donuts and riding down green slides...with dancing kidlets to the side. Hurrah for Summer...hurrah for family and fun times...hurrah for life...xx


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Just mine

I am on the other side of Christmas and I am waiting at the door to open for 2012. I am already calling it twenty twelve. Shame how it rolls off the tongue before I even get to the year.

Christmas was lovely. Too much food. Lots of laughter. Lots of family time. Lots of lovely pressies. I am now thinking of taking the kidlets to a welfare center/soup kitchen next year to remind them of what Christmas means to some. For not everyone is as blessed in life - and I would like my kids to learn about how hard, sad and difficult life can be for some, no matter how or why they got there.

Business returned to normal today and I started on the backlog of orders that have come through in the last week. I'll continue tomorrow and Friday and will definitely have everything off by then. Hurrah for Saturday dinners and then drinks, celebrations and then toasts and midnight smooches and then slight hangovers on Sunday.

Before the year ends I have been 'spring cleaning' the house and have created a new little nook for myself. I love it. I turn the red lights on of an evening and all of a sudden the spirit and the body relaxes and I can just be. Just. Be. Me. Perfection.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas vintage fabric lovers!

It's that time of year when we say adieu to the online world to spend as much quality time with our loved ones as possible. We are still working here at Retro Age and will continue to post when it's not a public holiday. I may pop some pics up on here - or I may not. We'll just see how everything rolls...

Merry Christmas, vintage fabric lovers! May all of your Christmas dreams come true - and may 2012 be all that you wish it to be!

Thank you for such a fantastic 2011, too - it's been another blast of a year!

xNess, Justin & boys (waiting for Santa on the firetruck to arrive, above)

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Welcome to the new Retro Age Vintage Fabrics...and a world first

Our entire theme for 2011 has been 'think big'. Reasons for this theme haven't always been clear to us as we were mainly running on pure gut instinct, but in recent months it's become very clear. Retro Age Vintage Fabrics is now not only the world's largest vintage fabric store, but it's now the first and only one to offer video footage of the fabrics. Yes, that's right - in each listing (time permitting - lots of work in this!) there will be a short piece of video footage of the fabric with moi chatting away about colour, drape, rustle - anything I can feel and hear, really. I also want to show weaves and any shine the fabric may have. This is one of my first efforts, so to have a laugh for Christmas I have uploaded it onto our new YouTube channel. Our channel is called retrovintagefabric and you can easily subscribe to see the videos as they are uploaded.

We are totally excited about our new direction and we know our wonderful customers are too - now you can see the fabric moving! What a virtual store we shall be...hurrah!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Ye gads

Ye gads.
I am bloody tired.
I am totes enjoying the festive season.
I am loving the homemade egg nog (and the bottle of scotch and white rum that goes into it)
I am bowled over by the amount of orders coming in each and every day.
I am taking lots of quiet time to think and ponder and question and evaluate and grow.
I am loving taking my kidlets to see Christmas lights, Santa and special local window displays.
I am looking forward to the Summer break (a little).
I look forward to slumber every day.
So...this is Christmas!


Monday, 12 December 2011

Paring back...


I am minimizing and de-cluttering our environment again. I am horrified at how much stuff we still have - in fact, anything more than 'one of' is just starting to seem excessive. I started early last year and regularly go through the whole house to par every thing back. It's cathartic, to be honest. This last weekend was going through the boys rooms top to bottom, inside and out, and donating what they no longer use and throwing out what they have used and abused. I am also paring back our linen - who needs five doona covers? Who needs 25 towels for a family of four? Not us. Time to minimise and simplify even more, I say. Since starting to eat primal our pantry has reduced, too - full of lots of herbs and goodness and bereft of packaged foods - yee har for that!

I got a great list from here and am starting to adapt it to my own gives me a basis to continue on from! I shall fill in the blanks more as I think of them...
  1. Glassware - yes - need to do more
  2. Cookbooks - yes - need to do more
  3. Kitchen gadgets - yes - need to do more
  4. Kitchen appliances - yes - done!
  5. Pots / pans - yes, done!
  6. Mixing bowls - yes - need to do more
  7. Tupperware - yes, done!
  8. Water pitchers - yes, done!
  9. Magazines - yes, done!
  10. Newspapers - yes, done!
  11. Books - yes - need to do more
  12. Over-the-counter medicine/medicine cabinet - yes, done!
  13. Make-up - yes, done!
  14. Barretts / hair clips / ponytail holders - yes, done!
  15. Cleaning supplies - yes - need to do more
  16. Personal beauty appliances (hair dryer/curlers, electric razors) - yes, done!
  17. Bottles of shampoo/conditioner - yes, done!
  18. Photos - nope - all in boxes...
  19. Personal memorabilia - nope - all in boxes
  20. Sewing supplies - oh dear
  21. Craft supplies - oh dear
  22. CD’s - yes, done!
  23. DVD’s - yes, done! - but husbie could do more!
  24. Decorative items - yes - need to do more
  25. Interior decoration items
  26. Personal journals and writing - nope - all in boxes
  27. Kids memorabilia - nope - all in boxes
  28. Vases - oh dear
  29. Audio/visual components - ask the husbie
  30. Audio/visual cables - ask the husbie
  31. Computer equipment - ask the husbie

  32. Furniture - yes, thanks to the crazy whippet
  33. Video game systems - ask the husbie and the boys
  34. Video games - ask the husbie and the boys
  35. Video game accessories - ask the husbie and the boys
  36. His clothing
  37. Her clothing
  38. Kids clothing
  39. Shoes - yes - all done!
  40. Laundry cabinet
  41. Kitchen cabinets
  42. Kitchen drawers
  43. Piano room shelving
  44. Jewelry - yes, done!
  45. Purses/bags - yes, done!
  46. Bed side tables - to be done
  47. Bedroom wardrobes - almost done
  48. Towels - to do
  49. Linen sets - to do
  50. Televisions - ask the husbie and the boys

  51. Artwork - oh dear...what do I do with all of my vintage prints?

  52. Home office supplies - yes, done!
  53. Pens/pencils - yes, done!
  54. Old batteries - yes, done!
  55. Tools
  56. Hardware
  57. Rolls of duct tape - yes, done!

  58. Manuals - yes, done!

  59. Sporting good supplies - yes, done!

  60. Aluminum cans - recycled
  61. Glass bottles - recycled
  62. Garden - to be done
  63. Automobiles - yes, done!
  64. Scrap pieces of wood - work in progress
  65. Brooms - work in progress
  66. Rakes - work in progress
  67. Shovels - work in progress
  68. Garden tools - work in progress
  69. Plant containers - work in progress
  70. Empty cardboard boxes - work in progress
  71. Board games - done!
  72. Puzzles - done!
  73. Decks of cards - done!
  74. Unused wedding gifts - done!
  75. Baby clothes - done!
  76. Baby supplies - done!
  77. Old schoolbooks/papers - oh dear

  78. Bath toys- done!
  79. Toy balls - done!
  80. Toy cars/trucks - done!
  81. Toy musical instruments - done!
  82. Stuffed animals - done!
  83. Plastic toys - done!
  84. Childrens’ old school papers - what should I keep for them?
  85. Pantry
  86. Fridge and freezer
  87. Christmas / seasonal decorations - oh dear

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Extra! Extra! Our big news is out...

It's out!
It's started!
Herald the vintage fabric Christmas fun!

There is too much to say...but I will hint that we've got some wonderful offers on the website to double your vintage fabric money! For example - buy a $10 offer and we'll create your very own special website credit for $20! Yep, we sure are going to have fun with this. Spread the word, peeps - we have several listings up and they will remain up on the website until Christmas Eve...and then the 'double your vintage fabric' fun stops!

You'll find the listings here. Merry Christmas, vintage fabric loving peeps!


Monday, 5 December 2011

25% off at Retro Age Vintage Fabrics - ends Wednesday!

Oh yes, dear vintage fabric peeps - we have a sale going on over at Retro Age Vintage Fabrics headquarters for those of you who are in dire need of fabric beauty before Christmas. Use the code 'Christmas' at Checkout to receive 25% off your total - no minimum spend, either! Hurrah for fabulous vintage fabric sales! Sale ends this Wednesday evening, AEST. And then...well...we have a little treat some of you may love...


Friday, 2 December 2011

Where have all of the original vintage stores gone?


While cleaning up around here I came across these pages I had ripped out of a 1973 Woman's Day magazine. They had obviously struck a cord with me for me to keep them - and I can instantly understand why.'Cos me being me and thinking of silly things I realised that if you fill up a shop right now with all cool stuff from today and not sell a thing, you could sell it for a bomb 20-30 years later! How's that for an investment and a retail space of the time? Apart from that, it's quite sad that some of our retail spaces just don't last the decades....

Monday, 28 November 2011

A bolt from the vintage fabric blue...

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Wow - what a work of art, to me. I have had this around me while I work for some weeks - I just love looking at it. I got a very old piece of cotton on this wooden bolt and couldn't help but capture it's age for all you vintage fabric lovers to enjoy. It originally had light-as-a-feather paper around the middle, but it just crumbled as I unwrapped the fabric, unfortunately...

I wish we still got divine fabric on pieces of art like this. It makes the fabric seem ever so much more loved, to me.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

It's not the tallest or the longest...

Organisation is, indeed, key. I took this photo on a whim, have no idea why - sorry it's a little shabby. This is part of our vintage fabric storage...ahem...yes, a small part. One day I will show you it all...I'll have to warn you not to fall off your chair first, though. This is not the tallest or longest aisle! This is what I did last February when I went on a big declutter bender...and it's still sitting there...waiting...waiting...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dating the fabric in your stash...

As I slow down I am hearing a little voice hint things to me. Simplify. Minimize. Pack up differently. So I am heeding these little messages and working with them. Even though the work room is now worse than it was two days ago it is also strangely better - there is a different light at the end of the tunnel and I just have to walk towards it.

I put up a part of a collection from a lady who dated her fabrics when she purchased them - either with a year, a cost or the actual receipt. The fabric above is one from her collection, purchased in 1970 from Woolworths for $2.85. It's a totes great idea to date when you purchase your fabric - that way your stash will have a story and a history...

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The message is...

Photobucket ...simplify and minimize. Yep. That's what I am hearing.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Happy birthday little man...

Happy birthday sweet little man. Today you turned four. You got up at 4am and told us it was your birthday and you haven't stopped since petering out tonight at 8pm.You wanted lots of Smurf things and lots of Lego and lots of cars and tracks. You don't much care for the cake (never have), so that was the simple part of the day. But you loved getting the angry bird when we went out to dinner and loved all of your new trashies (The Trash Pack). More pressies and more family tomorrow, Mr Lucky One.

Most of all - we love you....


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Arrive alive

Sorry for today being a kind of serious post , but I was taking photos of this truck fabric today and all I could think about was all of the recent road fatalities that we've had here in Victoria - and so many of them seem to be young girls and boys. I am continuously saddened by this - it just seems to senseless to me...what a waste of exciting lives. I would be devastated at losing my boys in those circumstances. Now there is a move to teach driver education in our secondary schools - and I want to second that right here in the public domain. I used to be of the 'it won't happen to me' age group, too - and now that I am in the 'heck, it could happen to me - any day' I feel it's important to try and education these kids as much as possible about cars, traffic, weather and driver distraction - not to mention the drugs and alcohol that may be involved, too! There is education about drugs and booze - so why not driving? It can be just as dangerous...

*steps off soap box*
*thank you for reading*

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A change for the better - or worse?

I have been quite the organic gal of late. Eating only grass fed lamb and beef, organic vegies, free range eggs and free range chicken. No seeds or legumes. Minimal fruit and nuts. It's a primal thing and it seems to be working well with my body. More movement. Less boring sitting. More life. More good fats, more protein, less junk and seeds and wheat my body can't seem to tolerate!

We are going through a strange Spring in these parts - it appears like Southern Australia is now tropical, whereas a generation ago it was dry heat. So now I am experiencing fierce winds and high humidity and rain and electrical storms when usually it's a mild 23 degrees and you can sit and read in peace. But everything is change, isn't it?

I am currently loving the organic strawberries I pick at a local strawberry farm and organic dark chocolate sweetened with agave. I am loving crisp salads and my roast pumpkin soup or turnip and cauliflower mash. We eat to the sounds of tropical thunderstorms, wearing Summer clothing and Birks, all the while wondering where 2011 went and how fast bloody Santa is coming.

But it's all good. Life is bloody good.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Have you got your tartan on? Heel, kick...heel, kick...

I am coming up for air. From constant Christmas orders (thank you, lovely customers!), new fabric arrivals (some day I will stop buying fabric, I am sure!) and this awful humid Spring, these current days are just...well...flying by in a silent whooossssssssshhhhhh. I am trying to make myself gear up for Christmas - very unsuccessfully, I may add - and think of presents for my own loved ones. Why is everything I want for them hideously expensive? I don't have expensive taste, that's for perhaps they do! Bah. Anyhoo, when I feel some fear coming on I'll have a look at these old oatmeal bags I have and the dancing duo never cease to cheer me up. Wouldn't you love to get your oatmeal mix in a bag as lively as this?


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Checking in....

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I decided to have a little fun on ebay yesterday and uploaded these lovely bolt ends for auction. Why, you ask...why oh why would you put those lovelies up on ebay, that monolith of corporation and greed??? I have no idea. I just wanted to have a little bit o' fun and I felt like doing it yesterday. Strange, I know.

In other fun news, I have given up wheat and legumes, processed sugar and basically processed's all meat, fish, chicken, pork, eggs and vegies and many organic and grass fed animals as possible. I am working on cutting the meat down, but the protein is great for my body, at the moment. And, man, I feel fantastic...absolutely fantastic. And in other fun news...we want to build out own BBQ and get off the grid for our eating. Big call, I know - but what a challenge. And we want more chickens so we don't have to get rid of the ol' loves that don't lay as much, anymore...after all, it's not their fault they are entering menopause. And we're attempting to train Syd the Whippet to be a fully trained dog. It's very interesting, but we have had small successes.He doesn't seem to be eating as much furniture anymore...thank the furniture gods...


I am reading - and loving - the final Millenium trilogy book. Go Salander, I say.
I am doing exercise. Yes, I just choked, too.
I am studying nutrition...and, man, I am learning a lot.

That is all...just wanted to check in :)


Sunday, 30 October 2011

New functionalities on the website

The website now has some new gizmos for our lovely customers. Now, at the top of each fabric listing, you can also choose to send the listing directly to someone via email, you can 'like' it to send it to your Facebook profile, you can 'tweet' it so show up on your Twitter feed and you can 'plus 1' it for your Google + feed.

Most importantly, our customers can now leave personalised reviews of any fabric they have ordered and can give a rating out of five stars for the fabric. How good is this! We are totes excited about these new gizmos - it gives the Retro Age community some great platforms to recommend particular fabrics for particular projects...hurrah!

Back to work for me - I am uploading today...

Have a great Sunday...


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

There is Fanfare today....hurrah!

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Yes, there are fabrics that are magical...absolutely magical. This Jonelle fabric is called 'Fanfare' and it's one of the most magical fabrics we have seen in a while. The design is intricate and has many eye-catching motifs. It's also a lovely cotton sateen...certainly a piece to covet. Most of one piece is already sold, but if you're interested, we have another here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A five cent coin can buy a lot

I don't know where to start. And I don't know where to end.

Somehow we were in another vortex of a different reality over the last 24 hours.

Our little three-year-old Gabriel choked on a five cent coin yesterday. We were talking in the dining room and heard strange gurgling sounds from the lounge room - I rushed in and noted he was struggling to breathe, bright red and completely scared - realising he was choking on something, I performed the Heimlich hug on him and out came vomit, but nothing else. It took us a couple of minutes to convince him to tell us what he had in his mouth - it was a 'doin' (his version of coin). Within minutes there was a pain onset around the chest and spasms started around the same area. We had a mad dash to emergency, who took us straight through to x-ray to find the rogue 'doin'. It was lodged in his esophagus, right in the middle of his chest. And then there was a transfer to the Royal Children's Hospital for the quick surgery to remove the 'doin', which in the end turned out to be five cents. He went under a general, was scared like any little boy or girl would be, and spent the night being monitored in the Short Stay Unit. We were discharged today and have now returned home utterly exhausted but oh so thankful we got the coin to move out of his throat, to the RCH team, the surgeons and the special care the RCH nurses take with out little ones.

The universe is giving my family some strong messages this year. We are hearing them. Now we just have to put it all together.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Today was a public holiday at these parts, so we took part of the day off and journeyed to a local sanctuary to enjoy a BBQ, some company and relax a little. So we connected with water, land, flora and fauna. A lovely day with much needed time to relax...


PS. Yes, I got that photo of the swan just as the feathers were coming up and an ominous snake-like hiss came out of the beak. It was a gorgeous couple of swans - beautiful lovers - with their goslings in tow. Sweet - but defensive...and rightly so!

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Friday, 14 October 2011

Psychedelic 60s and beautiful 50s...

I put these lovelies up onto the website today - you can tell they are a personal favourite by the way I describe them! My favourite eras for fabric is the 40s, 50s and 60s and I adore psychedelic patterns. These two are hard to part with...but I may have already taken just a little cut for my own stash to remind me of their splendour.

Happy Friday, all! Have a fabulous and safe weekend...

PS. Happy birthday to Justin for tomorrow...we're getting on a bit, babe, but gosh you're still gorgeous :)


Thursday, 13 October 2011

History and what it may have seen...

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Some of my favourite times in our business is the photographing of the fabric and the uploading of the stock onto the website. When I photograph the piece I often find myself wondering what history it's had, who owned it and what the fabric has been a part of. The amazing piece at the top is an original Art Nouveau fabric , as you can see - the fabric feels so soft and silky, but it's just cotton. When I ironed it I smelt perfume...gorgeous, feminine perfume. I wonder what that piece has seen in its decades of existence? It was an estate purchase with a lot of other fabrics and was well stored, with it's owner obviously loving it enough to keep it for a lifetime (perhaps). Perhaps it will find a new home just as loving....

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It's always tomorrow, lately...


Gosh - I am hoping this totally continues. Well, kind of., I am totally hoping. Recent weeks have seen a deluge of many, in fact, that we are struggling to upload fabric onto the website every day. And that is a first in a long time! I started this morning at 8.30am and ran into the post office at 3.10pm to make today's mail, then came back and we worked on another three orders, all of which are going to Europe. A customer mentioned us in the a big newspaper this week and took the time to scan the article and email it to us...with these lovely words...

Just letting you know about an article that was published last week featuring my business. Don't know if it's legible enough to see that I have mentioned Retro Age Vintage Fabrics as one of my favourite websites. I have always been really happy and impressed with the quality of the beautiful little gems of fabric I've received from you guys. It shows that you take alot of pride in what you do, as do I with my business. So I was more than happy to mention you in the article.

We are getting more and more customers referred by family and friends and we couldn't be happier with how the business is going. We're working to offer a larger style and date of vintage fabric, a larger range of price point and a larger range of fabric sizes - and, as many of our customers know, we are still treating every order personally from start to finish, including wrapping the fabrics.

So tomorrow I am hoping to sit for a while and upload fabrics to the website...I have to, as the storage is just building and building. We get more fabric than I can list...which may mean we need staff in the future! Oh, how I would love that...I could list to my hearts content and someone would help with the booking in and out and customer orders...sigh, these are what dreams are made of!

PS. Sorry to the person who scanned the Bloomcraft Picasso advertisement - I have saved it and lost your credit! Many, many apologies!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The oak tree, the vintage fabric and one great Sunday

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This morning brought me a tip off to some fabrics for sale at an auction, which meant a mad dash into the country and, frenzied bidding later, the stash was in the car and coming back with us.

Then it was another drive (shorter this time) to the annual 'Bathurst' family and friends event at Teesdale. Love this day on our calendar.

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This means we get to visit the big oak tree we got married under four years ago this month. I got married barefoot, nine months pregnant and in sheer black - everything opposite to the society average- but it was a wonderful day I wouldn't have any other way. I love our big oak tree.

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