Friday, 30 March 2012

Found Friday

So I am away at the moment back home at my parents on the North Coast of NSW for a little over a week - finding myself on walks along the river and hopefully at the beach staring out at the ocean.

I could tell you exactly where I am but then I would have to do something drastic - like a good journalist a keen Op Shopper never reveals their sources. I think this trip I set a new record, 5 Op Shops before midday on my first day. A finding blitz! Here are treasures - so far!

Old fashioned folding paper decorations

Crochet doily #782 (I haven't really counted but this figure would not surprise me)

Crochet blanket #143 (again not really but possible)



Aprons #67, 68 & 69 (just kidding - maybe - but you get the point). The children's ones are particularly sweet

Beaded coin purse

70's looking placemats. I hope to use one of these to cover a small lampshade on a new glass lamp in the loungeroom - these are the exact colours I was looking for to introduce some pattern into the space as it's looking a little flat - fingers crossed it works out

Fabric - oh the pants suit that exists somewhere in this - or so I imagine. 

A whole week left of spending time with family, catching up with long time great friends, relaxing and of course finding. Several more small little towns in the area with some of my favourite Op Shops to go - I love coming home.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A tour from the couch

Another walk down memory lane - here is a tour of the loungeroom from our old house complete with the finds I displayed there.

The couch - a delicious Danish mid-century style hand me down from my lovely sister in-law. I hope to give it the facelift it deserves soon with grey linen fabric.

The cushions - secondhand finds excepting the red one - an Irish holiday find in Blarney while visiting my other lovely sister in-law (I am super lucky - 2 great sisters and 2 great sister in-laws!)

The 70's 3D mounted mountain print - beautifully kitsch - picked up secondhand for next to nothing, all it's worth to many probably but not us.

The vintage office chair - an abandoned warehouse discovery of Craig's. It is now our absolute favourite and the chair for our little mans yearly portrait (by his photographer dad) - well starting this year as he is only 1 - eventually he will have all his photos from each year and we will give him the chair.

The globe - found in a secondhand shop in Marrickville one lazy browsing Sunday for a song

Then there is the rest of the knickknackery, the scenes I like to create and having four mantlepieces in that house enabled me to indulge this to its full.

The main mantlepiece (shown above with one of Craig's etchings) was decorated with all manner of found objects. I don't believe in limiting yourself to objects that are 'meant' to be or just bought to be displayed. I like to include anything that I find beautiful, interesting or unique. Why not fishing reels, grass fronds, metal tins, old cameras, bottles, cotton spools, letter press stamps - all of these things for me mean something and add history, texture and warmth that you just can't create when only displaying shiny new things. It is also autobiographical. It is like curating your own little museum - I would rotate it , with some favourite things staying in the permanent collection so to speak.

Having a whole second loungeroom/office with another vast mantlepiece begging
to be dressed we were in collector heaven.

Bring in the birds. These birds are contentious. They are a love or hate affair. For me it was definitely love at first sight. I found them at Husskisson Easter markets about 7 years ago on a stall of knickknackery, my favourite kind.

My general rule with these things is you pick the thing up examining it for a longer than acceptable time while you contemplate the purchase just in case someone else wants them - hands on is temporary ownership (same rules at Op Shops). In this case for me there was nothing to contemplate - I loved them and they were only a few dollars each but against my judgement, and the rules, I briefly walked away. I had to find Craig to gauge his reaction to them - if he didn't love them too I didn't know if I could go ahead with it - not because I was considering his feelings, oh no I was considering mine - I couldn't bear to have them and not be able to put them on show. He loved them too, luckily - in all their resplendent glory - they had to come home with us. The rest was built around them, West German Ceramics, Deco glass, 70's bottles and my little but growing collection of white milk glass.

And there you have it - my old loungeroom - minus a few great etchings of Craig's I haven't shown and the bits I didn't like - like the blue carpet. It's mostly now in storage but I will start to curate again soon enough - I can't help myself.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Cheap colour

They are the worst thing environmentally speaking and the epitome of consumerism gone wrong but I can't help it - my name is Siobhain and I love $2 shops.

There my dirty little secret is out!

I do love them and today I figured out why, apart from me just being a cheap skate which you have all figured out by now, they are an explosion of plastic fantastic colour inspiration everywhere you look. So today as I was looking for little easter bits and bobs and bunnies and this is what I saw - what's not to love.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Found Friday

I am often asked how I manage to find things - little vintage this and thats or little treasures. I also understand when people ask this there is really a 2nd part to the question that is implied - for that price? Because let's face it you can find anything with enough
money - supposedly not happiness but I have never really been given the opportunity to thoroughly test that out - might I just say
that I am more than willing to be an experimental case for anyone willing to offer.

The secret thing for me about 'finding' is no secret at all - it's looking. Everywhere and ALL the time.

Today's FF is the perfect example. A few weeks ago I was sampling what one of my new local op shops had to offer and discovered these oh so cute little yellow wood and metal children's chairs. There was no price only a big green dot sticker on them - not to be deterred I took them to the counter only to be shown the sign that clearly states big green dot sticker items are 'Not For Sale'.

Presumably no children came into the shop needing to sit in the weeks since because on return this week there they were no longer sporting green dots but little white stickers that said $3.

Now they are mine - I can sit on one just. More truthfully they are my sons and his cousin and friends when they visit.

Now the looking, and hopefully finding, continues for the perfect little table. A few years back I found the best little one for my nephew which was a round 60's coffee table with wooden legs. I painted the top with chalk paint and it has served him well.

Let the looking begin!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

This boutonniere by Martha Stewart reminded me fondly of the paper shamrock pins my father would make for us to wear to school every St Patrick's Day when we were younger. I had great intentions of making them myself - maybe next year.

On this green of green days I thought I would also share with you my
Top 17 'It is Easy Being Green' Pinterest Posts.
Including things for wearing, lounging, working, cooking, bathing, playing, making and just having.
Oh and I am sorry I couldn't resist just the 1 apple - it's such a cool idea.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Found Friday

Firstly to all those who received a strange incomplete email version of this earlier today apologies - lesson learnt - don't leave
the page open with a curious toddler on your lap - one mouse click and oh - published - it's that kind of day.

Now to my FF. In the move we did recently I found all of my design boards from my Interior Decoration and Design Tafe course.

This one caught my eye in particular because it was my plans for a makeover our now former loungeroom (no that's not a picture
of it just an inspiration). As I am moving on from that room I was wondering what I would still keep.

Among the ideas of what I would have done - money and ownership of said house permitting was the grey knit
'Urchin Pouf' ottoman by Thomas Eyck - this one 

Now I am a huge believer in supporting original design and where possible buying the real thing. Is it always possible though?
In some cases they don't ship to Australia, in most cases they do but ouch the price. So with that philosophy in mind I share with you my Friday Find with some guilt but also a lot of pleasure. 

I won't name the major haberdasher chain store where I bought this ottoman that is reminiscent of the one above but it was a bargain - a find of sorts for sure. Is it really close to the one of my dreams - maybe. Is it as delightfully thick knitted and textural as the original? No. Will it last as long? Probably not. Is it 100% New Zealand wool? I doubt it (I must admit I didn't check), but is it 27 times cheaper? Yes. Thus is my reality and many peoples. And there it is my guilty, pleasurable FF.

It has taken pride of place in our loungeroom - not just as an ottoman, a role it performs well in the evening for 4 sometimes weary feet, but during the day it is a giant 'ball' that can be climbed on and dived off - endless fun.

I do still very much love the Urchin Pouf and maybe someday it too will be mine.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Apple A Day - Day 7 - Lamps

Before I do the final apple in this week of An Apple A Day apple madness I thought I would recap on the apples so far

Day 1 - A little space of his own - an apple inspired nursery for my son
Day 2 - Found Friday - an apple chalkboard
Day 3 - Apple cushions - and I just must add this to the mix - I can't believe I forgot this one the other day it is by far my favourite and it even sits on a red chair like mine

Day 4 - Apple Brooch - a gift with crunch. I didn't get to give it it's outing but I may well have found the right outfit for it when the weather is a little cooler. Green woollen pants, chartreuse woollen jacket, red pointy flats and a red and white diagonal stripe top. Bold I know. What do you think?

Day 5 - Kitschspiration - an 80's tile and some glass fruit inspires an eclectic and colourful display in my former kitchen
Day 6 - 3 Bites of the apple - special guest post by one of my lovely sisters who in part inspired the whole apple mania

How do you like them apples?

That brings me to Day 7 - I was struggling here to just do the one thing or theme. There are so many apple things I have found that I love and want to share. I may need to revisit An Apple A Day again - maybe for 2 weeks or even a month! And don't get me started on the related topic of pears - that other gorgeous shaped pome of delight. I haven't even touched on the main thing - they taste great and are fresh and good and crunchy - I feel some apple related recipe testing coming on.

For now though here are 2 gorgeous glowing examples of lighted appley goodness

Qualy Design's Happle Lamp. They also make a Happle Container/ Fruit tray and a lot of other cute and quirky products.

Follow's limited edition Red Apple Fabric lamp

In searching for apples I found Follow, a new design concept store based in Surry Hills, Sydney. I am yet to visit the physical store but I can already tell from their online selection that they may well become a new go to for all my gift purchases - for myself and others. They have art prints, jewellery, clothing, textiles and homewares. And look what I found when searching through their products, this wooden apple brooch by Andrea Smith.

OK that is enough apples - for now.

If you don't care to wait for An Apple A Day round 2 or to see me go all pear shaped then you can always follow my growing Pinterest Board Pome Pome - in celebration of these 2 ever tempting fruits of delight.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Apple A Day - Day 6 - 3 bites of the apple

3 bites of the apple
By guest blogger Kelly O'Leary

If you’re like us and have a 4-year-old boy who is active, inquisitive and who loves to build (is there another kind?), then there’s a good chance you’ve already amassed an impressive collection of LEGO. It’s as ubiquitous in our house as matchbox cars and as on equally high rotation as the breakfast milkshake.

A few weeks ago we decided to indulge Cohen’s LEGO passion and took him to see The Art of the Brick exhibition on its final day in Sydney. Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist whose creates large-scale sculptures and portraits using LEGO. His works were surprising and impressive and included a series of skulls, the Earth and a several full-scale human figures (the swimmer mid-stroke was a standout). 

Unsurprisingly, Cohen’s favourite was the massive T-Rex skeleton. But the apples were what caught my eye:

Also unsurprisingly, after Cohen took a lightning quick lap of the exhibition space with the requisite “this is so cool… awesome cool”, within about five minutes came the familiar “please can I have some LEGO, Mumma?” While his consumer instinct is already finely attuned, not so much his appreciation of (albeit pop) culture. Maybe we’ll just have to slap a bit more yoghurt on him. 

From Cohen’s passion to one of mine: children’s books. Well, it’s more of an obsession, really. I love kids’ books – mad for them. I especially love the ones that rhyme cleverly and the ones where the illustration takes up the whole page and don’t even get me started on the books that have both. I try to limit my purchases to a few a month, supplemented with a hit from the local library every three weeks. I have it under control and it’s for Cohen and I can stop whenever I want, okay?

While I was researching appley goodness for this post I happened upon this book:

How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world by Marjorie Priceman. It starts, “Making an apple pie is really very easy…. Unless, of course, the market is closed. In that case go home and pack a suitcase.” The book then takes readers on a journey around the world to collect the necessary ingredients and at last bake the pie (recipe included). 

I’m usually a touch-it-before-I-buy-it kinda gal, and in the case of a kids’ book, want to read it cover to cover and be swept away by it before I make it mine, I mean, Cohen’s. But finding little finds is not always a predictable business. Sometimes you stumble across a treasured trinket in the council toss-out pile in front of your neighbour’s house; others, you spend days or weeks scouring the internet and wearing out your dialling digit to no avail. Alas ‘twas the case with this book. After many failed attempts to track down a copy in Sydney, I gave in and ordered it online. 

I was taken by the whimsy of this book and hope that I love it, I mean, I hope Cohen loves it when it arrives next week.

My final nibble of the apple is the Big Apple, New York. It started late January 2012 when a friend sent me this clip, part of the marketing campaign for the movie, The Chronicle. It features three human-shaped remote control planes flying around New York. 

I showed Cohen and he was enthralled. His first question with wide-eyed wonder: “Mumma, where is that? I want to go there.” 
Ever since then the idea of a holiday to New York has been a faint but fairly constant buzz in the back of my mind…kind of like the low hum of a party down the street that you’d like to crash. Then last week, I came across this photo on Pinterest:

Painters on the Brooklyn Bridge Suspender Cables-October 7, 1914, Eugene de Salignac

There’s something about this picture that I find utterly enticing. I want to climb up on the suspension cables and disappear into the vanishing point, into New York’s vanishing point. 

Logic and a quick glance at my bank balance tell me it’s unlikely that we’ll find our way to New York this year. Then again, there’s that background buzz, which I’m rather enjoying, so who knows. 

Some people would probably say that New York is drawing a bit of a long bow in terms of ‘an apple a day’. I guess I can only say this… long bow; bow and arrow; William Tell, famed 14th century marksman; William Tell, famed 14th century marksman who is said to have shot an apple off his son’s head; apple.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Apple A Day - Day 5 - Kitschspiration

Today I am killing two birds with one stone - a little reminiscing about my old house and the finds I displayed there and this weeks theme - apples.

Thinking about apples I realised the whole thing started at our old house well before we were planning a nursery.

When we first moved in we were confronted with the kitchen/dining room and what on earth we could do with it. There were brown, yellow and orange floor tiles straight out of an 80's nightmare with brown laminate bench tops and beige walls. The only saving grace was this rather cute apple tile which featured on the splash back behind the bench and sink.

I realised I had only one choice - there was no way I could fight this I would have to join it. Consequently I went straight to a bargain shop and bought some glass fruit, a red and green glass apple and an orange.

This became the starting point for the collection of kitchenalia, glassware and enamelware that then graced my kitchen display shelf.
It was a salute to kitsch and generally cheered the place up for me.

I am also addicted to retro tea and coffee pots and have gathered quite a few in finding expeditions so I wanted to display them in the kitchen as well. I found a glass cabinet which I think was once the top of a larger dresser but fits the bill for me just fine. This too allowed me to kitsch it up and go with the brown, orange and beige colour scheme we inherited from the bad 80's renovation. I loved having everything on display. Alas for now there is not enough room at the new place so most is in storage but I look forward to discovering it again when we extend or move.

Tomorrow's daily apple is going to be bought to you by my sister Kelly who largely inspired me to start this whole apple caper. 
I am lucky to have two very creative, compassionate and caring sisters. I hope tomorrow will not be the last guest post from 
either of them.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Apple A Day - Day 4 - Brooch

I am a big fan and collector of brooches - it is the vintage girl in me but also because I tend to have allergic reactions to earrings and even bracelets and necklaces - brooches are safe - apart from potential prick injuries - which I have done.

With this and my apple cravings in mind my sister recently bought me this beautiful gift - a green apple brooch from Love Hate in Tasmania. I do absolutely love it and hope to give it a first outing tomorrow.

It also made me seek out other apple brooches (you can never have too much of a good thing). Two of my favourite finds are this vintage plastic one via Kitten Loves Vintage blog

And this fantastic one off apple tree brooch by Irish jewellery designer Grainne Morton
(shown here with detachable rabbit and flower pins).

Now I need to go check out the wardrobe and see if I have the perfect thing to wear with my green apple brooch tomorrow - if not I will definitely need to shop soon!