Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The craft fairy was in Daylesford today! I don't usually get excited about our local op shops (see below) but while Jacob was getting a haircut today I snuck into the MS Shop and unearthed someone's lifetime collection of crafty patterns! My stash included hundreds of embroidery transfers and applique designs from the 1950s - 1970s.

Some of the mod appliques are really fab, I love them.

Some good craft books that I've never seen before.

Ovr 65 Golden Hands books for 20 cents each!

And also some vintage knitting patterns and 1950s curtains that I forgot to photograph. I couldn't believe it, and I also found lots of lovely old children's books of course.

As it's school holidays I thought I might write a post about thrifting in Daylesford, for any vintage-lovers planning to visit during the break, so here are my top tips:

Junk Style on Vincent Street: it's tucked away above a staid-looking antiques shop in the heart of Vincent Street, just look for the sign and head up the stairs to vintage heaven. Junk Style is a fab little shop selling gorgeous old furniture that has a shabby, lived-in look - think overstuffed floral armchairs, art deco dressing tables, 1960s bar stools and vintage suitcases. I bought a pair of 1950s upholstered chairs just last week for only $70 each, and a while ago I found a set of vintage drawers covered in an original old linen roses fabric for only $100. The shop shares its space with two other stores, Absinthe (new clothes made from vintage fabrics) and a shop full of Indonesian goodies and retro sofas. Don't miss it, this is the best!

Garage Sales: grab a copy of the Advocate (free from the local supermarkets) and scan the classifieds for garage sales. There are always at least two or three on a Saturday morning and sometimes they can be pretty good. You'll need a map, though, as sometimes they are very much off-the-beaten-track. There are lots of churches in Dayelsford too, with regular 'trash and treasure' sales, these are fantastic, great for finding old china, linens, jars and books, so if you see a sign for one, stop that car!!

The Mill: this is a huge barn full of vintage/second-hand/craft stalls. On Central Springs Road, heading out towards Ballarat. It's great for books, small stuff like vintage tins and aprons, and vintage clothes, but at the moment I'm looking for lots of furniture and it's a bit disappointing in that respect. There's a groovy cafe, though, so it's a good place to have lunch, and there's also plenty of room for kids to run about.

New store without a name: this is exciting news, a new vintage store just opened around the corner from me on Vincent Street, you'll find it leaving town towards Hepburn Springs (on the right-hand side just past the big hardware store). It's kind of a breakaway from the Mill, some stall-holders have opened up a new place selling lot of old stuff, vintage clothes, pinball machines, bric-a-brac. It's small and friendly, I like it!

Op shops: there's only Vinnies and the MS Society, both are just behind the main street. Sadly, Vinnies is very lacking in anything pre-1980 (I check regularly, the eternal optimist, but the best thing I ever found was one 1970s embroidery book). The MS Shop is a little better (see above, I was lucky today!), but if you want to find good op shops, head to Kyneton (or even Castlemaine or Bendigo).

Newlyn Antiques: ok it's not in Daylesford, but Newlyn antiques is only a 15-minute drive towards Ballarat and is well worth the short drive. The owners are a lovely couple who run his-and-hers shops, with their own house in the middle of the two! His shop is full of fine furniture with impeccable taste. Hers is more a cosy little cottage, with rooms stuffed full of old armchairs, vintage signs, tea sets, kitchenalia, tools, and old novels. I have made some great finds here, including a huge old wicker laundry basket and a 1930s standard lamp base (just last week). There's also a shed full of waiting-to-be-repaired wooden furniture at bargain prices. This is such a friendly place to shop, the owners love to chat, and if you are a gardener there is a pretty nursery at the back which is full of pear trees, olive trees and almond tress at the moment.

Daylesford can sometimes appear a bit overpriced and stuffy (and there are certainly some ridiculously priced antique shops in town), but as you can see there are also loads of good places for thrifty vintage shoppers and it really is worth a day trip from Melbourne or a leisurely weekend trip!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

I was stopped in my tracks today by this gorgeous 1950s fairy tale fabric.

Unfortunately it is covering a mattress in a vintage cot that I saw in a local thrift shop. It looked in pretty good condition, I wonder if I could remove the fabric and use it for something else?

Hmm... I LOVE vintage children's story books, and 1950s fabrics, so this is a dream of a print for me! I might not be able to resist.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

On Sunday we met up with friends at the Talbot Farmers Market. I had been looking forward to it - the market is well-known as the best farmer's market in the region, and it lived up to my expectations.

I saw around sixty local producers with their yummy food - breads, cupcakes, organic veggies, honey, European pastries, black tomatoes, home-grown flowers, wine and lots more. I stocked up on Janey Bee Cinnamon Bumble Bee Biscuits - Janey lives near Daylesford and I always look out for her delicious home-baked goodies!

Jules and I were assigned to buy the bread and cakes, and we managed to fit in lots of tasting!

Talbot is a picturesque country town and the whole market had a nice vibe, with friendly sellers, music and sunshine.

Best of all for me, alongside the food stalls were several garage sales and lots of second-hand stalls with vintage goodies.

After we shopped the kids had a picnic in the playground, stuffing their faces on pastries and strawberries. Later, at home, Jules and I made a tortilla with some of the eggs we had bought. I'm always amazed at the difference between local, free-range eggs and the ones you buy at the supermarket. The eggs were a dazzling yellow and they tasted just like I remember eggs tasting when I was little!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

I'm always pleased to receive a new craft book in the mail, and I was so excited today to receive my copy of Softies from Readings, hurrah! There are some gorgeous projects from crafty bloggers in here. I want to make them all but I'm going to start off with the Beetle Bug from Nest Studio in South Australia. Jacob and I have already picked out some fabrics and are going to make him this weekend.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

L Letter A R K

I've been playing with this new Flickr tool.

Monday, 10 September 2007

All you market girls / daytrippers out there might like to know that there is a new craft market at Creswick (between Ballarat and Daylesford) on the first Sunday of each month from 10-3. As it's close to my home, I took a stall at the first one and it was a really nice, laid-back day. I didn't sell much, it's a brand new market, but I really enjoyed a day out on my own chatting to like-minded crafty people. Of course, being me, I spent more than I earnt, and I came home with some gorgeous handmade soaps in the shape of seed pods from Cossé and a pretty button necklace from The Button Lady's Daughter (that's her name - her mum was a button expert). Here it is, along with some cute vintage buttons I also couldn't resist buying from her.

Also in the photo is a Children's Button Bracelet from Violet & Rose . These are handmade by Jo in Melbourne using vintage fabric scraps and the cutest buttons from her vast collection. Jo has made a little batch especially for me and they will soon be listed on my British website, as I think these will go down a treat with my UK customers. Aren't they gorgeous? I wish I had a little girl to wear one of these!

Also this week I have been up to my usual thrifting, in Castlemaine, Kyneton and at the Mill Markets in Daylesford, where I found this amazing 1950s dress, made from a beautiful printed cotton.

And a little girl's kilt dress, just like I used to wear when I was three, in 1971!

Also some cute tins, swap cards and vintage children's books including these...

Here is a page from one of the books I found, which really made me smile! (I love ironing).

And thanks Angela for these photos of the Genki Springtime Caravan. You can see my tray of cupcakes next to the sink, and Angela's Miss Buttons up above! The contents of the caravan were auctioned off last week and the proceeds went to the Melbourne City Mission.

Monday, 3 September 2007

We went to Bendigo on a shopping trip last week. Paul grew up in Bendigo and as usual spent the whole day reminiscing about his boyhood/teeenage years, and bemoaning the changes that have taken place in the town in recent years. I must admit, I share his horror at the Bendigo Bank building, a huge new monstrosity that was somehow allowed to be built opposite the cathedral in the most beautiful part of town, blocking out the skyline and ruining a once-pretty view.

Fortunately, Bendigo still has many charms, including some lovely old shop buildings (one of my passions, as you know). Some have been turned into apartments or offices but a few have survived as shops. This is one of my favourites, 'Sweet Goldmine'. The window is just what a lolly shop should be - full of flashing lights and signs like 'Hey Kids, Free Gumballs'! The old awning outside proudly states that this is 'Bendigo's Biggest lolly Shop'.

I recently came across a wonderful Flicker group called Still Open , all about old shops that are still going strong, thanks to Anne of I Like. Here are a few of my favourites...

I have just started working on Christmas products for the cool online children's shop Lily & Agathe . This is a sneak preview of some of the vintage materials Tanya has sourced for her unique made-by-Lark goodies. I will be turning them into children's tops, baby shoes, hottie covers and more, watch this space... I love working with Tanya, she has her own take on everything, and it is so much fun turning her ideas and materials into pretty, one-off pieces.

Spring has arrived in Daylesford (well, sort of). I've got mixed feelings about it - I'm glad that a long cold winter is over, excited about bringing out my summer clothes and looking forward to long afternoons on the verandah with my boys. But I'm worried about the lack of rain, scared of what the drought may bring.