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Friday, December 2, 2011

Vintage Australian Designer Sale!

So this is one of the reasons I have been very busy! Getting all my Christmas items ready to list on ebay: As I plan on heading home pretty soon I am selling my collection of Australian vintage from all the top designers of the decades, have some VERY special items and if you know anyone interested please spread the word. I am hoping to use these funds to set up my store back home so hence parting with some of my top pieces.

I have also been working on my new little veggie and herb garden in the nice weather so will share some picture next week!

Norma Tullo 1960s Wool Dress

This dress is such a classic, and Tullo dresses are super collectible. I think this is a pretty early piece and so nicely made!

House of Youth Silk? 50s 60s Swing Coat

House of Youth are the company that exclusively produced the Christian Dior ready to wear line from 1952. I am sure you can see the influence in this piece. I am sure it is woven silk, such amazing fabric and looks unworn. Buttons are huge and the silk is lined separate to the coat lining. You can see the high end of work that Christian Dior would have been happy with! Hens teeth is the word to describe this one and would look perfectly at home in Paris during the Spring.

Studibaker Hawk Gold 80s Cocktail Mini Dress

An Australian legend of the 80s! Only the coolest chicks rocked these prom dresses to their formals. I LOVE the mini dresses with the puffy skirts, been after one for ages but you cant be picky in this business you get what comes to you, and this has the most amazing print and shape to the bust its lack of puffiness can be forgiven.

Prue Acton 60s Raw Silk Embroidered Dress

The fabric on this is fantastic, saw the same dress for sale at nearly $300 a while ago! The embroidery collar makes it a real statement piece and perfect for festivals provided you posses a VIP pass!

Prue Acton 80s Silk Taffeta Plaid Party Dress

Another fab offering from the legendary Prue.

Chong & Merkel 80s Vamp Cocktail Dress

Now this one is terribly underground, referred to in their day as 'fringe' designers, Rose Chong and Karen Merkel are still in the fashion business today but a lot more reserved than in their youth! They catered for the music and entertainment industry, producing designs for many productions and bands, I'm sure the odd red carpet too. This would look right at home in any of the above, amazing shaping to flatter curves, a pretty rare find!

1950s Peach Lace Circle Rockabilly Swing Dress

A few of my regular offerings to boost up the Christmas stock too, this fab 50s dress with full skirt and....

Diane Freis 80s Pussy Bow Ruffle Dress

So colourful and pretty, you have to love a pussy bow!!

Am uploading these amazing gthings tomorrow along with a heap more names over the next couple of weeks: Ken Done, Farmers, George Gross, Geoff Bade, Harry Who, and more! Check out my store to see more!

I am also off to the markets early on Sunday to hunt for something groovy for sacramento who is my partner on the groovy Christmas swap organised by Lakota over at the brilliant Faith Hope and Charity Shopping blog! Fingers crossed!

Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed my little selection of Australian goodies.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Je T'aime Vintage Circa 1984 & Family

I didn't realise it had been that long since I have blogged! I feel pretty slack, but to be honest have had very little time to go search my usual haunts and anything I do pick up is currently being packed up in boxes to send home for my future store. I know I want to have it in the UK not here so its pointless a whole room of my house being over run with stuff I don't plan to sell for a while. Secondly I seem to be doing full time hours at work, most of it being called in on my days off so when you think your going to have time to do stuff and it suddenly vanishes-means I have just about had enough time to keep my 2 work shirts clean, cook and food shop. I do have a few treasures to share but until I have time to photograph that here is a little bit about my destiny!

Although I love my vintage clothing, I really love my job as a zoo keeper. Not only is it so much fun and you can muck about and act like a kid, wearing feathers in your hairs and getting your face painted but I have been obsessed with animals since was tiny and these photos were taken when I was on holiday visiting my (very cool) Uncle aged 2.

Me in Australia-1984

My mum ended up writing to a zoo to ask if I could hold a monkey when I was a little older. Now I am not sure it was because of this, or this happened on the day but it was the same zoo I had a full on toddler tantrum, lying down screaming blue murder and smacking my fists because I was not allowed to take a monkey home. The zoo shall remain nameless as would like to apply for a job there in the future.

Aged about 6 or 7 my mum made a little book for me because I used to keep chickens and ducks and this is one of the pages out of it! I really didn't have ginger hair, it was dark reddish brown.

So where am I now and what am I doing? Well I got my dream job! Its been fun working there more and we are getting heaps more animals in and getting to design enclosures and develop new talks is great. I hope they are starting to realise I am a pretty good worker, as have often been overlooked before. I don't usually dress as a pirate of course but this was for our Halloween party! The first one is Cocky...

Me in Australia Halloween 2011

 ...and this is Micheal, he can be pretty naughty but also very affectionate, I love birds.

I also had these sent to me by my mum of my Auntys and Uncles in the 60s and 70s! They are a very groovy bunch and loved seeing these pictures I have never seen before.

The Cook Family on Holiday in Italy

The outfits are so brilliant, I am very jealous! My Granny is in the middle with my 2 Aunties Wendy and Penny. Penny, wearing yellow- due to my brothers dyslexia when he was little (Aunty 'Pennys' coming to visit today written Aunty Penis) has been called Aunty Penis since I can remember and as a result has received novelty penis gifts (shaped pasta, chocolates, balloons etc) at Christmas. Do not pity her though, this is the same women that delivered my wooden rocking horse to my mum (I was 2) with a huge dildo strapped underneath which not only got my mum some funny looks from the packing men when we moved house, but also was stolen by my older brother and used during a school Shakespeare play when he came out on stage with it strapped to his head and delivered the line 'Oh horn-ed beast' which got my mum dragged in for a meeting with the headmaster.

Below is Wendy, isn't she pretty and has a lovely outfit. Unfortunately she is a crap person, in many many ways. I highly doubt she would read this, but I wouldn't be bothered if she did, there is a reason I have successfully avoided her for the last 20 years of my life and will continue to do so. I'm not all bitter about anything, I am just a very cheerfully honest person.

Now how is this for a cool chap! I have always loved uncle Colin, he lived out in Australia which is probably why I thought the place was so awesome. I think this was taken in 70s? when he was in the RAF. When I visited him he sat me in the back of his ute and drive around near birds nests who attacked me, probably not your average idea of a good uncle but I loved it!

Hope you enjoyed my vintage pictures! If anyone remembers me that is!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paris Couture Umbrellas from Alexandra Sojfer

So round 2 of my Paris holiday blog, and without wanting to sound to negative, it was a slight disappointment. My plans were to check out vintage stores, markets and fashion museums but they were all pretty much shut. No markets at all, one tiny fashion exhibit thing all in french in an out of way place and the only 2 open vintage fashion stores full of overpriced handmade stuff and the designer store near the Louvre Didier Ludot was incredibly rude and to be honest full of designer labels but lacking in the style stakes. It was not like I didn't have lots of fun with my mum but we both got a bit tired of dragging around to find things had closed, moved without notice or a bit of a let down.

 The French go on holiday for the end of July for most of August, we just didn't expect it would be THAT bad. Obviously the macarons and chocolate cheered me up enormously but there was one extra special highlight for me, the beautiful Parasol shop of Alexandra Sojfer.

'Alexandra Sojfer's grandfather, Georges Gaspard first started handcrafting umbrellas in Paris in 1937 after moving there from Hungary – incidentally he was the one who invented the “frou-frou”. It was close to Madeleine Gely, the oldest umbrella shop (founded 1834) in the heart of the district of Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris. Today the family business merged with Madeleine Gely, and workshops are at the same address as the store, at 218, boulevard Saint-Germain: "repair, restoration, rehabilitation of umbrellas, parasols and canes ; Sale of canes ancient and contemporary, umbrellas, parasols and to fashion accessories . "

The masts of umbrellas and parasols are made ​​of various fine woods, the handles are horn or natural silver. Crystal Swarovski hand sewn adorn the paintings. Alexandra Sojfer uses all types of fabrics for her creations: Silk natural cheese cloth, organza silk, twill fabrics, etc.. All creations "Alexandra Sojfer" are handmade in the Parisian workshop' -Thanks Wikipedia

Her service is second to none. Just so classy, something even the best stores around Paris could not match, in that French confident way that people talk when they know when they can answer every question 'is this real silk?' is this part handmade' with a simple 'Of course madame!' she enthusiastically told us about the history of the shop and the special construction of each handmade piece. Not having much luck with any other shopping plans I decided this was my treat. After all returning to the UK I need something to make me super excited about the rain (which I am!)

So this was my pick of a vast array. The second she opened it I knew it was the one, I love the bright colours.

Its has matching silk tassel, removable hook (which sits perfectly on ones arm!) and a double canopy make of bright purple tulle.

Not only that but it comes with its own snazzy ring to close. They are super strong, and if anything breaks, well just send it back to the store in Paris and it shall be repaired as if by magic! Now that is service, not to mention the little cafe set in the middle of the tiny store where my mum got to rest her feet and got offered Perrier!

Now as I said I was not being negative, other than the pointless walking that blistered my feet to limping status, just being surrounded by the wonderful building in Paris was great enough!

Everything was very big and impressive, you can tell its from and era when they tried to do that beat the Jones thing with the UK in the good ol' historic rivalry.

And although rather disappointed to see a huge lack (zero) fashionable folk in town I did have fun wearing all my favourite dresses!

Best thing about Paris? Seeing glimpses of these amazing buildings down little streets when your walking around, they just spring up from everywhere!

And finally! Not one to be beaten by a challenge this is my 3rd attempt at macarons, and they are FANTASTIC! I only just finished them tonight and you need to leave them filled for24 hours but I was naughty and tried one. The filling is a vanilla white chocolate ganache and is identical to the ones I had in Paris from Laduree. 

Vanilla Macarons

The macaron could be improved as a little grainy, I need to learn how to use my insane blender to grind the almond meal finer without turning it into butter, but the taste is great. I was working in 1/4 batches while I master the technique so not to be too wasteful (first 2 straight in the bin) so think working with larger amounts will also help. They look a little brown as using bean essence rather than waste money on real vanilla beans while still learning.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Laduree: Since 1862, Best Macarons in Paris

Okay so I have not been blogging for a while, with holiday distractions, jet lag, and a general awkwardness in getting back to my daily life in Australia made blogging the last thing on my mind, but I thought I would get back into the swing of things by sharing my Laduree experience with you.

I have never had macarons before I went to Paris, but am now so addicted that I have even tried to master the art of it myself (I havn't yet, just turned the first batch in the oven and half of them look like little mountains) but after trying these I am hooked.

This is their very fancy building on the Champs Elysee.

Laduree have been going since 1862 and still has a shop at the original bakery at 16 rue Royale in Paris. They are said to have some of the worlds best macarons, but I also tried some by Pierre Herme which are also pretty famous, Pierre had a better caramel as enjoyed the whipped center but overall I preferred Laduree on all points: variety flavours, decor and choice of other yummy things.

I had the good fortune to try their limited edition guava macaron and it was my favourite, light as air and so tasty. The vanilla was also pretty good. I really loved the presentation and the pretty boxes and bags.

This strawberry cake is just a work of art. Its made of a very airy sponge and strawberry moose and is utter heaven. I have no idea what the coating is but it looks very cool and was impressed to get ours across Paris back to the apartment totally undamaged.

Another highlight was the best vanilla ice cream I have eaten in my whole life. Each one had a matching macaroon shell on top and I couldn't get enough of these. I really wish I lived next to a Laduree shop.

but maybe a bad idea as here is me stuffing my face outside their St Germain Shop.

and again at another biscuit shop near the Sacre Coeur. See a running theme here? No wonder I have got a little pudgy and probably a good idea I cocked up my batch of macarons.

However for those of you that fancy making some macarons I found some great sites with recipes and advice but its back to the troubleshooting page for me.

Bake it Off a great review of Spanish, Italian and French methods with various tips.

Not So Humble Pie which has a fantastic troubleshooting page.

Now I found heaps of exciting things, especially when back home, and since been back but I feel very unmotivated. I think that the excitement of being home, knowing where I want to be, and aiming to be back there fairly soon to open my shop I sort of want to keep some of the exciting things as a surprise when I open my official website, however I have 4 big name British designers from the 60s among them!

I have added one little find that I picked up last week now back in Australia, I very cute little 'porthole' hand carved wooden money box.
Rabbit Money Box

I hope you all have had a great month, and more posts from my holidays coming soon!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My British Bargains and Back Garden!

I am finally home again! Its summertime and all the little stone houses are covered in roses, and the supermarkets are full of yummy berries so everything feels very English and I love it. Although this is not technically my back garden, it is as close as possible. The back wall of our actual garden is a big cliff that forms into the back wall of Blenheim Palace, which means as residents we get access to palace grounds whenever we want so its about a 2 minute walk for me to be enjoying this not only sprawling but old and beautiful park-I am planning on getting more photos of the stunning trees they have here for my next posts.
So this is the little crop of huge copperbeech trees just as I come into the park.

....and that is the view of the main palace is, just had a huge game fair on so lots of cute little medieval style tents dotted around. The main palace started to be built in 1704 (I think-I should probably check this stuff but been there a million times and sure I'm close enough!) because John Churchill (familiar name?) whooped the French at the Spanish Succession-bit better than a medal! He became the first Duke of Marlborough, and currently up to number 11. Winston Churchill was born here and they are all buried in the little church across from our house. So much history!!!

This is my favourite part of Blenheim Palace, this bridge is HUGE it looks small in the picture but its not. You can see a couple of doorways on each side and these 2 'apartments' are where the young royals used to hold parties, especially in the Summer.

 and this is all the wrong way round because we walk from the back, but this is the main entrance that leads to the cute little historic town of Woodstock, which is where I will be walking to send off my ebay goodies when I do move back

The little sign reads 'Views and Postcard of Blenheim', very picturesque.

This is the famous pub 'The Bear' and you can see why the Aussie pubs just dont match up-Sorry!

Now for my finds of the week! I headed off to a little carboot this morning, and struck gold which I honestly did not expect after seeing the 20 car boot sellers in a little grassy field but these caught my eye instantly.
Punch Magazine 1945-1956

 I was told there was about 50 (actually 88) of these and they had been sitting at their parents house for years. £5 for the lot and includes heaps of special editions and all in really good condition.

 Its so funny to read the old adverts, especially for brands that are still around that I know so well!

 You get some pretty good ones....

 ...Really? I thought it was always a dull and uninspired option when you don't even know what sort of choccy or wine someone likes....

Bulmers cider, apparently it 'suits all the family', not a phrase I would commonly associate with alcoholic beverages but then us Brits are famed for a drinking culture for a reason-we start young.

1930s Plum Silk Velvet Dress

 Here are a couple of pieces from my collection I have back here, its been fun going through all the pieces and been cleaning some others ready to photograph but this is one of my favourites as such a pretty colour, fabric and fit!

1930s Pink Silk Velvet Cut Glass Button Dress

I am obsessed with these buttons and has the most amazing cut and back ruffle. The colour is almost neon, which I find nice in such an old piece because darker tones seem to be much more common.

Collar Work on 30s Velvet Dress

As black never photos well just took a picture of the collar on this beauty, the pearl and rhinestone work are stunning and the dress keeps up with the standard pretty well.

More Car Boot Finds

Cute little picture with frame-I can buy house stuff now as don't have to worry about bring it home-I AM HOME!
Cookie Cutter Sets

 £1 for the lot- its like someone knew I just forked out £20 on squeeze bottles, edible glitter, pearl dust and fancy colours for icing and was gagging to play with my new found cookie skills.

Silver belt with sea creatures AND a mini watering can (can you ever have too many watering cans how ever impractical the size?) all for 50p and below, for 10p, thus getting myself a whole 2 pence of the original purchase price-tailors chalk! It looks unused too.

Now my final items for the day which was pretty chuffed with, these 2 seal presses-which I was advised would make lovely doorstops-£1.50 for the 2 and weigh a ton. I have already e-mailed someong to try and get some replacement text blocks with my logo on-I love the classic font they used on it!

Next blog will be my from my trips to Paris and Amsterdam-my wallet hopes that I don't have too much to show you but not sure I can hold myself back-first proper holiday in 5 years and its Paris-I want EVERYTHING in that place.

If you like you flea market finds remember to drop by:
Sophie @ Her Library Adventures on Flea Market Sunday
Erica @ Fashion Recycled on Thrifty Friday
MissieLizzie @ Me and My Shadow on Magpie Monday
See you there and thanks for stopping by!