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Showing posts with label op shopping. Show all posts

Tea cosy question

new cosy

 Had an email from a reader about a missing picture of a tea cosy on one of my earlier posts.

I think this is the tea cosy I was talking about in that post.

I found it very dirty and shoved down the back of a shelf at the op shop.

Here are some of my tea cosies, some inherited, some found in op shops, none made by me


just how gorgeous is this rug from the op shop.

Just how gorgeous is this crocheted  rug, 
found dirty and unloved at the op shop ( thrift/charity shop) yesterday.

just how gorgeous is this rug from the op shop.

Now it's washed and cleaned and nearly dry 
and almost ready to go on Kate's bed.

just how gorgeous is this rug from the op shop.

Sunday Magazine

Little Golden Book 1953, A Day at the Playground. Artist Eloise Wilkin

Little Golden Book 1953, A Day at the Playground. Artist Eloise Wilkin

Little Golden Book 1947, Hymns. Artist Corinne Malvern

Little Golden Book 1947, Hymns. Artist Corinne Malvern

These images from my new vintage Little Golden Books
The first two are by my most favourite Golden Book illustrator, Eloise Wilkin 
and the next two are by my second (and almost first) favourite Golden book illustrator Corinne Malvern.

You can see lots of Little Golden Book images on Flickr here

And here are lots of Corinne Malvern images

Plus to truly submerge yourself in wonderful vintage children's book images there is a group for that too

And one last link is one that was sent to me a few weeks ago. 
It is a magazine article about my favourite children's sewing pattern designer from the 1950s and 1960s, Helen Lee.

I wish I knew who was responsible for the beautiful artwork on her patterns. 
Does anyone know?

Oh, and  this Helen Lee pattern below is the one I am working on, slowly at snail's pace.

You can see my progress or lack of at my other blog Sweet Things

McCall's 8123, Helen Lee pattern from 1965

Vintage Little Golden Books

Found some great vintage Little Golden Books at the op shop a couple of weeks ago.

And it was half price books day, so only 50cents each.

Crochet corner


The op shop fairies were smiling on me today. Sitting , waiting patiently were two plump crocheted cushions.
Clean and well made and ready to join the rest of the hooky goodness in crochet corner.

In this corner only second hand and homemade goodies get to sit in the sunshine and glow and make me happy just to look at them.

I must take a picture of the little dolly rug I crocheted, it's all finished except I want to back it with some fabric just like the one my Grannie made for me. 
I'll take a photo of both of them when I remember.

Can you believe it's the first of May tomorrow!


the red umbrella, new blog shop.

Kate and I have opened a little shop, the red umbrella, to share all kinds of treasures with you:

Kate's hand made cards and needle felting,
my vintage finds and second hand books,
hand made goodies of all kinds
perhaps even a doll or two.

( all prices are in Australian dollars, Paypal will convert the amount to your currency)

We will be adding to the shop as we make and find more things to share.

If you have the time, take a look.


How exciting is that!

The wonderful electrician has just been and wired in our "new" ( to us) cook top that we bought before Christmas.

So exciting, no more cooking on a single gas burner as I have been for the past , who knows how many months.

And I will finally get to use the fabulous vintage coffee pot I found at the op shop months ago.

Can you tell I am excited.!!!!

brown paper packages tied up with string


A little while ago I was strolling around the web looking at some of my favourite UK blogs when I came across a link to a little shop called Milly and Dottie's Emporium full of all kinds of vintage goodies.

I popped over and had a poke around and found something special to buy.

It arrived last week or early this week, who can remember. 
A lovely package wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string.

A couple of years ago, may be more I found a charming picture in the back of an old book.
It had been torn out of a magazine, a picture of six children enjoying a birthday party. 
A very 1950s English kind of birthday party.

I framed the picture, it was only small. 
Then I needed the frame for something else and the picture was 'safely' tucked away again.
I have no idea where.

Milly and Dottie had my picture, only it is huge.
It is from and educational magazine from the 1950s and was painted by Herbert Williams.
So I bought it.


It has some children's prayers and a colouring in picture with it as well which will be great to trace parts of and embroider.
If you want to see some close ups of all the wonderful detail in this picture you can go here.

Oh and Millie and Dottie each have a blog, 

Vintage scrumminess


Some months ago I found two lovely vintage ( read 1970s, from my youth) bed sheets at the op shop.

All cotton, very pretty, the one you see above and another blue and mauve floral affair.

I thought I might cut them up for something, it seems to be the thing to do so I bought them home, washed them and hung them on the line, all the while knowing in my heart of hearts that I didn't really want to use them for anything but a bed.
I would have so loved this pink sheet when I was a girl and I had sheets very similar to the other mauve and blue one I mentioned.

I needn't have worried, Kate took one look at them and said they had to be for her bed.

So she sleeps under a pretty vintage sheet and woollen blanket topped with a spectacular op shop crocheted rug.

A girl after my own heart.

Here's a closer look at that rug.
It's in fine 4ply yarn, each square is stitched together rather than crocheted and it is a good single bed size.
Just wonderful.




I think this is politely called Creative clutter.

I think it is actually a big mess.

This is what greeted me this morning, the telling evidence of yesterday's events.

Yesterday afternoon I had to go out to the 'Big School' to pick up Kate after orientation day for Grade 7 next year.
Can you believe she is going to high school next year??!!

She had a great day and so did I.


I don't go over that side of town very often so I took the chance to visit the op shop and found a whole basket of glorious mohair yarn.
I couldn't justify buying all the beautiful colours, I stuck to suitable hair yarns.

The pattern is an etsy buy that both buyer ( me) and seller ( Sonja) had given up for lost, it was waiting in the letter box when I got home.


The other treasure from the op shop, apart from two pairs of trouser and a cute skirt all being washed as we speak, is this dear little book.
I have googled it and can't find anything about it or the author Dominique.
It is a Belgian book, translated into English and the illustrations are gorgeous.
The little boy, Kito, is just the perfect sweet little boy, somewhere between a Betsey Clark and that other Belgian Marcel Marlier.
I would love to be able to make a little doll as sweet as this little character.
The book is dated 1969.
I know I have at least one Belgian reader who is very interested in children's book illustrators so maybe Sabine can help me to find out more.


This little tin isn't an op shop find , it's a relic from my youth but it has found a home on my work table filled with wooden buttons.


And this is the little doll I abandoned when I left to go to school yesterday.

The other very important reason to visit school yesterday was for the official opening of Andy's senior photography exhibition.
His major project was an exploration of camera toss , you can see some examples of his work here.
I sacrificed my old camera to his camera tossing and his bedroom floor disappeared under mattresses and cushions to provide a safe landing.

So much variety in the all students work.
If you are a local you could pop into Poimena Gallery and have a look.

OK time to stop farnarkling and get on.

op shop goodness

Melting Moments of a Japanese Peony ware plate

What could be better than Melting Moments for afternoon tea.


"new" ramekins

Melting Moments and some pretty new- to- me ramekins.

" new ramekins"

New ramekins all washed up and ready to hold some cheesy creamy yummy macaroni and cheese for tea.

Yes I did run away and visit the op shop today and boy did I buy something special, apart from these ramekins that is and a few books set to upcycled into beautiful handmade notebooks for Christmas presents - I'll show you tomorrow.


Kate and I had the best find at the op shop ( thrift/charity shop) on Monday.


This gorgeous rocking deck chair


Isn't it just so pretty?
The cushion is the one Mum made for me a couple of years ago, it suits it don't you think?

Stephen picked up the chair yesterday because we couldn't carry it home on the bus.

Kate and I agree the best thing about it is that both Stephen and Andy think it is uncomfortable whereas the girlie bottoms think it's just fine.

I do have some other old deck chairs that belonged to mum.
She gave them to us years ago and I had them out the other day measuring them for new canvas.


Last night was Brown Owls and the lovely Isis taught a capacity crowd how to make a hand bound book.
I was.
By the way, Isis has an Etsy shop if you want to see some of her work.

We used a method called Coptic binding which once you twigged to the idea was easy and fun.


This blog has some amazing and beautiful examples of coptic binding.
We definitely learned the beginners version.
There is a good tutorial on you tube, and lots more listed, and here is another bloggers tutorial.


I used ordinary copier paper and the covers of a Little Golden Book that I had two copies of, it has illustrations by Corinne Malvern, very cute.
So after I cut the covers off I was left with the lovely story illustrations.
Now I'll have to think of something wonderful to do with them.



new cushion

Here she is, my beautiful cushion, bought at the market for only $4.

She was a little grubby and dusty and she is a little faded but isn't she gorgeous.

The picture doesn't do justice to her charming Christmas pudding plumpness and her kapok filled squishability.

I unpicked part of her backing, a circle cut from an old damask tablecloth or curtain and pulled our her innards.
The inner cushion is made from some old orange and brown and very autumnal cotton.
It had popped its seams in a few places and the soft yellowed kapok had dribbled out.
While the crocheted outer was soaking in a basin of warm soapy water I repaired the inner and then took it outside for a good shake and thump to get rid of all the dust.

The washing water had to be changed several times before it was no longer turning brown then I left the crocheted loveliness to dry on the windowseat.
The inside of the crochet is still very bright, just like new it hasn't faded at all.
The outside colours have become muted, I could have swapped it over but decided the softer colours suit me better at the moment .
And isn't it wonderful to know that when the right time comes I can swap them over and have a whole new cushion.

My inner granny then went on to make yummy scones - with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
Enjoyed in the sunshine on the front step with Andy and Kate


I made mini scones because that was the first non star shaped cookie cutter my hand fell upon.
They took less then 10 minutes to make and I popped them in the oven way before it was any where near hot enough - around 150° rather than 220°C.
I switched the fan on in the oven and blasted them for less than 10 minutes, until we could smell their yummy baked goodness .
Then we sat and ate their deliciousness, a little crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
According to Stephen , who ate the leftovers when he came home from work they even tasted yummy when they were cold.
Don't you love a happy cooking discovery.

a quack of ducks

And I'll leave you with this picture of my lovely felted duck, bought at the Homespun Market on Saturday.
He is a honey but a bit of a dude with his skewed baseball cap.
My more formally dressed china duck doesn't really know how to take this new addition to the flock.

fabulous thrifted linen teatowels - score!


Fabulous linen and linen cotton mix tea towels.

New, bright and beautiful from the Salvos last week.

If you are going to take the time to dry your dishes you might as well use something that makes the job a job well done.

busy work...


The basket in the corner with the broken handles.

Used to hold all the balls of thrifted cotton and a pair of 4mm needles ready for knitters who want a thoughtfree knitting task - dish cloths.

A project shared by mother and daughter and picked up whenever the knitting muse whispers.

Labour of love


Last week I found the most spectacular hand embroidered table cloth at the op shop.


It is the perfect size for our kitchen table , about 6' x4'.
I can't show you the whole cloth because it is too dull in my kitchen at the moment - yes, it is raining again, although we have had enough wind and sunny patches to get this cloth almost dry.


The embroidery thread appears to be a 4 ply cotton and it is an all over design with garlands of flowers.


The only fault with the cloth is a small match head size hole, no stains at all.


The colours are bright and vibrant.


The entire cloth has blanket stitch all round the edge.


It is truly someone's labour of love.


dolly dress inspiration

Some dolly dress inspiration from a Debbie Bliss knitting mag.

Knitting to be accompanied by this op shop bargain DVD.

op shop bargain

What could be a better partner for knitting than a cup of tea, some cherry cake,
and a little low key Bennett:
monologues performed by the likes of Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Thora Hird and the man himself to name just a few.


Late yesterday afternoon , just before making tea I did a little baking to refill the cake tins and biscuit jars.

One thing I made was Louis' current favourite, Lemon slice or to give it its correct name, Lemon Coconut Squares.
It's one of my mum's specialties taken from the 1988 Family Favourites Cookbook produced as a fund raiser by the West Launceston Primary School Mother's Club.

almost vintage cookbook

My Mother helped produce this book.
Mum had a long association with the school firstly as a mother from 1961 through until 1974 when my sister finished primary school.
Mum was a member of the Mother's Club all that time and by the time my sister finished school she had begun working in the office there firstly on a voluntary basis and then as an employee.
She finished working there in 1994 I think it was so that is 33 years of service to the school.

lemon slice

This is a super simple recipe and perfect for making when the weather is hot as it is an uncooked slice.
Also a good one for children to make as they are quite happy to bash the biscuits ( cookies) to make fine crumbs and there are only a couple of steps to do before they can be rewarded with something yummy to eat.

Lemon Coconut Squares

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk ( I make my own with a recipe of Rhonda Jean's , I made half the recipe for this. I can give you the recipe if you need it. I don't usually have condensed milk on hand anymore)

125g ( 4oz) butter

250g (8oz) Milk Arrowroot biscuits ( a very plain biscuit)

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 cup of coconut

Stir the condensed milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted.

Finely crush biscuits.

Add lemon rind, crushed biscuits and coconut to the butter and condensed milk.

Press this mixture into a greased or lined lamington tin ( 11" x 8" x 1 1/2")

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Lemon Icing

3/4 to 1 cup of icing sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons coconut

15g ( 1/2oz) soft butter

Mix together until smooth and spread over base.

When set cut slice into squares

I don't know if slices are popular in other countries or if they are called by the same name but they were hugely popular with my mother's generation and with my children.

frankie cookbook

Yesterday, after a round of errands I was having a look through the various Christmas editions of magazines at the newsagents when I came upon this pretty little cook book.
It has been put out by Frankie magazine which describes itself as a magazine for the twenty-somethings. ( if you go to the Frankie magazine site check out their computer wallpapers I chose the embroidery with the cat to replace my fifties knitting lady).

I do have a copy of one of their issues which I enjoyed mainly because of their obvious nostalgia for my childhood - a very strange sensation.

frankie cookbook

The slice pictured above is caramel slice, a favourite with my whole family and so much nicer home made and cut into small squares rather than the doorstop slices you see in cake shops. A little taste and then maybe another little taste is so much nicer than a whopping great piece that makes you feel ill when you have finished.

Frankie cookbook

This book has many pretty vintage fabrics and plates and doileys throughout including as pretty endpapers and I do love interesting endpapers.

frankie cookbook

The recipes inside could have come straight from the mother's club cookbooks from a thousand schools all over Australia through the 60s and 70s.

The chocolate cake above is one of my mum's favourites and one I took with me when I left home. In fact I also have that very same green plate and cake fork. The fork migrated from Mum's house some years ago.
Isn't it funny.

I guess it happens to every age, to be looked on nostalgically by the new generations who reach an age when the homes of their grandmothers, their parents childhood homes become attractive and interesting.

frankie cookbook

At the back of the book all the contributors have spoken a little about their childhood afternoon tea and cooking memories in a similar way to all your contributions on the give away post.

The power of food, the smells and tastes and warm-this-is-the-way-things-should-be feeling that food can bring us and bring back to us is quite amazing.

kensington ware

I have a nostalgia for the time of my parents' childhood, the imagined homes of my grandparents, I never saw my father's childhood home and my Mum's parents lived in a 1960s weatherboard far away from the home where she lived as a child, still I am drawn to the styles of the thirties and forties.

I found these cups and saucers last week at the op shop.
I liked the hand painted look and the autumn colours.
It turns out they were produced by Kensington Pottery in England in the early twenties to late thirties, the time when my parents were children and around the time this house was built.

I will announce the winner of the give away later today.
I want to read through all your lovely homemade memories again and I think that will be a lunchtime job.