Friday, 26 October 2007


Yes, the thrift fairy is still working her magic! Here are my finds from the past week or so:

A pile of vintage Twinings tea tins. My friend Jackie has had some of these in her kitchen for years and I thought I wouldn't mind some in my re-vamped kitchen too - so I looked on eBay. Nothing. Then lo and behold, on Saturday I visited the Trentham community op shop and there they were, just waiting for me at 20 cents each!

Lovely vintage children's books from Castlemaine Salvos.

And more, this time from Trentham again.

This is a nice story - for a while now I have been going to the Talbot farmer's market every month. There is a little community library there, in a church, and they open it up for craft and book sales when the market is on. I spotted on the library shelves some months ago a row of vintage Ladybird books in beautiful condition. They weren't for sale, but every month I would go in and look admiringly at them, thinking how they had been there for at least 30 years and were so well-cared for. I am a huge fan and collector of Ladybird books, so I notice these things!

Anyway last Sunday at the market, I was about to pop in and visit 'my' Ladybird books, when the lady who runs the book stall came out with the very books and put them out for sale on the stall. I couldn't quite believe it, after 30 years I just happened to be there at the very moment they were being cleared out. It was clearly meant to be! Op shop karma! I brought the books home to add to my much-loved collection. I photographed just a few but there are lots more too. Sigh!

Vintage fabrics, picked up in various places recently, for a new toy project I am working on.

A beautiful length of vintage children's cotton fabric and a cute sewing pattern, found at a local garage sale.

Lovely vintage trims in an old biscuit tin.

Old Mills & Boon novels - I love the covers on these vintage romances.

A Swinging London biscuit tin, found in the antique shop in Creswick. I love this tin, it has scenes of Carnaby Street, the Apple Boutique, Eros, girls in mini skirts, long-haired buskers, fab clothes shops with names like 'Lord Kitchener's Valet', English taverns, and a rather mundane shot of an old lady at a fruit and veg stall. Every time I look at this, the Austin Powers tune plays in my head. Groovy, Baby!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

1. Gap-toothed people. My partner has a gap and our oldest son has inherited it (for his milk teeth, at least). I often find gap-toothed people quite charming. Several of my best friends are gappy. My younger son and I don't have a gap in our teeth. But we do have a gap between our big toes and the next toes. Aren't genes weird?

2. A day out shopping with Angela, visiting all her favourite shops around Melbourne and of course, being us, chancing on a church garage sale! We both came away with vintage Christmas lights and old books.

3. Receiving in the mail these beautiful hand-made shoes for Jules. They are from Chook Leaf in Mornington, who were our lovely neighbours at the trade fair in August. Rie and Guthrie design these exquisite shoes and they are made by a family in Bali. Look how beautifully they were packaged:

It is so difficult to find beautiful children's shoes at a reasonable price, so I really recommend that you look out for Chook Leaf - you can find their website HERE.

4. Vintage ric rac on my ironing board, ready to be sewn onto cushions for Lily & Agathe.

5. Red Beard Bakery. This traditional bakery is in Trentham, near Daylesford, and they have a huge old Scotch Oven that they use to make their breads, which have names like 'Brunette', 'Red Head' and 'Carmen Miranda'.

They also make delicious cookies and - my favourite - 'Nice Buns', with orange and sultanas and stuff. Yumm. We had a lovely brunch in their bakery café yesterday and, by chance, I got talking to the owner, who it turns out I used to work with in Melbourne, about 14 years ago, in the days when I was working in book publishing. It was nice to meet someone else who has been crazy enough to pack it all in and follow their dream!

6. Sunshine. The sun is finally shining on Daylesford!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

You've got to love Cath Kidston! I used to shop in her first little store in Notting Hill when I was living in London, and I've been a groupie ever since.

In those days she used to sell lots of vintage items alongside her retro prints. I bought a beautiful vintage crochet granny blanket that became Jacob's baby blanket and now graces an armchair. It might all be a bit ubiquitous now, but every season I still find something that makes me gasp in awe! This season it's the Sewing House Basket and Toadstool Pin Cushion (above).

And look, there is a competition on the website to Make Your Own Stanley and win a prize!

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Be still, my heart!

The weekend got off to a great start when I spotted the sign for a Trash and Treasure at the local church. These sales are always an Aladdin's cave of vintage lovelies sold by local nannas, and I was not disappointed, walking away with a vintage suitcase, heaps of old patterns, nice bric-a-brac, vintage Christmas decorations and a small pile of lovely linens.

Afterwards we headed to the Daylesford Farmer's Market, which takes place the first Saturday of the month. It's only a small market but it keeps getting better and it's a great place to catch up with friends, buy great local and organic food and cluck at the newborn Spring chicks!

I am not so hot in the kitchen, but I do make a mean egg and bacon sandwich (with veggie bacon, I should add), and the eggs from our friend's farm ( Daylesford Organics ) are the yummiest and drippiest you have ever tasted!

On Sunday it was the annual Spring Festival at Trentham, a nearby town. We go to this event every year, it's held in beautiful surroundings and is really laid-back and friendly. We sampled lots of wine, chcocolate, pudding and preserves and still managed to fit in a tasty lunch (home made sweet potato soup with dukkah for us, and for the kids there were $5 packs containing vegemite sandwiches, fruit, chocolate, a drink and a bottle of bubbles, how fab!). Later we had scones with fig jam and cream.

We were entertained by local crooner Ranjit and his renditions of such old favourites as 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon Tound the Ole' Oak Tree' and there was an awesome face-painter! On the way home we stopped off at a local junk shop (my idea) and at a farm to pick up some pony poo for the veggie patch (Paul's idea).

Talking of food, the newest Lark stockist is the Little Kitchen Cookery School in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. It's a fantastic venture that I wholly support, it is Australia’s first organic cookery school designed and custom-built especially for children and teenagers. I only wish it was near to our home! The only cooking demonstration my son has received in primary school so far is Fairy Bread (non-Australians: this is white processed bread smeared with margarine and loaded with hundreds and thousands. It's a much-loved tradition and I'm not knocking it, but shouldn't we also teach our kids about real food and where it comes from?).

One of my favourite stockists, Lily & Agathe, has an interview with Lark on her website this week. I feel a bit shy mentioning this, but I promised I would. I'm part-way through making everything for Lily & Agathe's Christmas order now, and here is a sneak preview, which proves that I do actually do something other than eat and shop!...

Friday, 5 October 2007

I am a huge fan and collector of vintage Ladybird books, so I'm delighted with this new book that has just arrived from from the UK. It's published by Penguin.

It's a giant tome, packed with gorgeous illustrations and lots of stuff about childhood, mmm, can't wait to read it all. I remember making this when I was little.