Monday, 28 March 2011
Aren't these the most gorgeous vintage illustrations? This book is called 'The Red School Bag' - it was written by Willis Mloduch, illustrated by Ann Justina, published by Danny Books Inc and printed in Sweden. I only came across one reference to it on Amazon and it was a 1953 publication.
The romanticism of the illustrations speak straight to my heart. Growing up in the 1970s, I found my books were all still brightly coloured, romantic illustrations. I love woodland. I love bluebirds. I love mushrooms. I love goblins and witches and secret places. Love it.
I thought you vintage lovers out there would get a kick out of 1950s childrens illustrations - so here are some of the finest...
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Close your eyes. Sit back. Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Open your eyes slowly. Very slowly.
Let your love of vintage fabric be your guiding light.
Enjoy the wonderful designs of 1920s vintage fabrics - one still nouveau orientated, one definitely art deco inspired.
Inhale. Exhale. Live in the 1920s for a few moments. Think of the dresses moving as the ladies walked. Think of the hands resting on skirts made of this fabric. Think of the hankies being tucked away in a fold or a hidden pocket.
Inhale. Think in another time. Exhale.
Monday, 21 March 2011
This vintage fabric image is probably the kindred opposite to the music I am listening to at the moment - the fabulous Chris Cornell and Audioslave are rocking my little world this evening. I needed something loud - something thumping - something to bring me back to life. Cos I realised something today. After the quake in New Zealand, floods in Victoria and Queensland, the cyclone in Queensland, the quake in Japan and my Nan's passing I think my spirit has lost it's zest. It's zip. It's spark. It's life force.
So it's time to start feeding my spirit. Yes, I have to overcome grieving en mass. But at least I realise that now and I can work day-by-day to get my life force back. No more flat Stanley for me, I say. There is lots of living to do. Don't forget, peeps - live today and tomorrow as well as you can...cos you'll never get yesterday back.
Sunday, 20 March 2011
When one door closes, another opens...or, at least, that's what they say. I think the Mother Superior said that to Maria in The Sound of Music...so it must be true.
I have allowed myself a lot of time and space over the past 48 hours to just be. My world seems a smaller place after losing my Nan - but that is to be expected. I have a post about her I will publish when I have saturated my memory. For now - my body, soul and spirit is tired and has been rung out through the wash. It's been hung up on the line and is slowly drying in the light breeze.
I spent three hours today photographing lots and lots of fabric. It was a quiet time for me - I love it when I can work in absolutely quiet, with no one around, no radio on, no iTunes blaring etc. Today was a day for working in peace.
Tomorrow I return to Retro Age to once again return to a routine I am comfortable with. I have to return to my life some time...so tomorrow is as good a time as any. All of my family are returning to work tomorrow - none of us want to, but you just have to, don't you? Life must go on.
Posted by xx Ness at Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday, 18 March 2011
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
I get shivers when I hear this song. Whether it's the original from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - or the sweet softness of the orchestra for S&M, Metallica...well, it makes no difference to my soul. This piece makes my spirit soar and yearn for more, it makes me feel invincible, it makes the world beautiful, it makes me want to dance in ecstasy....the master Ennio Morricone has always had this effect on me.
I bow to Mr Morricone. Your music is truly from the gods...
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
This week is a time for contemplation. I am still working, but my mind is with my Nan and her pending service on Friday. But what I feel is a calm abiding. I am not too emotional, nor am I emotionless. I feel like I am building a barrier around me to stop searing pain from punishing my heart on Friday afternoon. I can't imagine watching the hearse drive away - I simply can't imagine it.
It is also evident I have moved up a generation. I remember a co-worker saying to me some years ago, after the death of her Mother, that "her generation is next". I am not next (in a linear sense), but I definitely feel closer to that side of life than the grade two class I was reading with today.I feel the gravity of age, I think - even though death can visit anyone at any age.
But, as a good friend said to me today, life has many seasons - and this is just one of them. I know the blooms will come out anew and I know the dew drops will be there in the morning. And that is very important - to know, no matter what, that life will go on.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
At 12.50am this morning my Nan, Maureen Collier, passed away. She just wasn't a Nan to me - she was a friend, another Mum and has been a constant in my life for 37 years.
I took this photo of her two months ago - it's not the best one of her, but I think it fitting for a day like today. I saw her after she passed away this morning and unfortunately she didn't look at peace - so I am trying to find ways of remembering what she looked like the last time I saw her. This is the closest photo to it.
She always spoke about a passage in the Bible about God having a room ready for you when you die. Perhaps that's where she is right now - getting all settled, pulling her covers down on her bed and looking forward to reading the paper before going to sleep, the warm orange glow of the lamp and the snoring of a dog keeping her company. Every year she would bring this Christmas set out as a way of her remembering what Christmas is for.
I am still in shock and just so very, very tired. But I wanted to pay homage to Nan on the day her 86 years came to an end.
Love you and kissy kissy, Nan. Keep an eye on us when you can.
Thursday, 10 March 2011
I am getting all of those small, niggly jobs all completed this week...finally. You know the ones I mean...they loiter for weeks, even months, baiting you to finish them...and you don't.
Well, this week I have. I am so proud of myself - there is a definite sense of achievement there. Yes - you can laugh at me - I give you permission to. But I seriously recommend doing those small, crappy jobs you have been putting off...go on, do them now! Once they're finished, they're gone...from mind as well as to do lists...
We have finally put a bolt up we have had for a couple of months...it's one of those bolts where you need to spend some time looking at it in detail and seeing what can be sold and what can't. This entire bolt has small holes in it and some marks as well - but, as it's a gorgeous light cotton rayon from the 1930s and there's still loads of fabric to use for lots of projects, we have still put it up on the website. It's only $9.99phm - a steal for a fabric 80 years old...
The lovely Kim from Kijaro popped in some of her wonderful creations in the mail some time ago - it was a surprise for us and I was simply delighted when I opened the parcel. It's a delight to see creativity in different sorts using the same media - cards - whether it is vintage fabric, old paper or old magazines.
Kim has just entered there world of blogging here (welcome, Kim!) and you can also see/purchase her creations here and here.
Thank you for sending us your pieces, Kim - these are the only ones left to go out to our customers :) And it's lovely to see our fabrics used in such loving ways...
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
I worry sometimes that the speed of my life doesn't offer enough down time - and me time. There are too many days between being able to lie down in a new environment and do...well...nothing.
I need to journey to exotic places soon, I think. I need the stillness of a deck chair, the crisp taste of a chilled alcoholic beverage and the silence of the wind and the ocean. I am not one for beach or sunny holidays (gimme an old town, any day)...but, gee, my soul is yearning for my body and mind to be still.
I can truly visualise myself here. I may have to make it a goal for this year.
Images found here.
Posted by xx Ness at Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Monday, 7 March 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
Of course, when you pack all of your fabric inventory into a bucket load of containers, it means each container holds a mixture of fabric types, ages and styles. I put these up onto the site today and have 20 more all photographed and ready to go up soon, too. It keeps me curious as to what fabric layer I will reveal next, I can tell you. Today was a super productive day - it came out of know-where. I have all of the 'live' fabric back up in order on the shelves, a box opened to put the contents up onto the website, all orders from the last two days packed and posted and I am tidying and cleaning our entire workspace.
Happy Friday, all!
Thursday, 3 March 2011
Imagine you were in one of the best lolly shops in the world...kind of like that one in the original Willy Wonka movie with Gene Wilder. You know the shop I mean...the one where the shop guy throws lollies all over the children, gives them as much chocolate as they want, makes them thick, delicious thick shakes...and then has the gumption, later on in the movie, to make poor Charlie pay for his tiny bars of chocolate. The nerve!
I feel a little bit like that working here. It's wonderful to be surrounded by fabric that is on the website - they are all neatly stored on bolts on rows and rows of shelving. They twinkle at us as we work.
But what isn't nice is looking at the thousands of pieces that need to still be put up for sale. I felt like it was pushing me down...almost suffocating me. I couldn't escape all of the work that needed to be done.
So I packed that fabric up. Yes - it's back in storage. I just couldn't work like that any longer. So now I pull a box out every week and work with what stock I've stacked in it. It makes for an easier way to work and I don't feel as overwhelmed. I am not going to tell you how many boxes there are - suffice it to say there are rows and rows and they are three or four boxes high.
I highly recommend distilling your work space into a clutterless environment. It has already made such a difference to us and we still have several boxes to finish packing.
And then you get surprised with the lovelies each box holds...like the vintage sheeting above. She's so sweet, isn't she?
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
I couldn't help myself - sorry for the pet post. Our gorgeous whippet Syd is a vintage fan, thank goodness. Instead of the modern carpet the boy loves his wool Rya rug on the floor and loves his white flokati on the chair. That's my boy.