Beautiful celluloid buttons…

I just love these buttons. They’re made of celluloid and are called wafer buttons. They have the most beautiful geometric designs incorporated into their subtle, natural colours. Most are really big – over 3 cm, and all are originals from the 1920s. Don’t you think they’re works of art?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,


I’ve recently returned from 2 weeks working (on citrus diseases) in Indonesia. It was a great trip but oh! so tiring. We worked / travelled 15 out of 16 days but I managed to take a few photos while I was there. When I downloaded them, lots of beautiful textures caught my eye, so I’m uploading them here for posterity:

Top to Bottom:

1. Moss on a stone sculpture, Borobudur temple.   2. Dragonfruit.   3. Prop roots.   4. Stone wall in Tugu hotel, Malang.   5. Curious topiaries.   6. Stone garden art, Hilton hotel, Jakarta.  7. Snake fruit, Salak pondoh, an edible palm.  8. Seed pod silhouettes.  9. Sculptural street lamp.   10. Fruit displays at a roadside stall.  11. Latticed stupas at Borobudur temple near Jogjakarta.

Over 40 participants from 16 countries attended the workshop. Here we all are, yours truly in the back row.
Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Op shop crawl, part 2…

Last week I shared some of my finds from my short holiday in central west NSW. This week I’m continuing the blogging journey, kicking it off in Parkes, home of that great Aussie film, The Dish.

Parkes has a lovely op shop, the kind where you can still buy a vintage hankie or some pyrex for 50c. I found a basket of hankies and as I was going through them, the lady in the shop watched as I unfolded each one to have a look. It was obviously a trip down memory lane for her as well as me.

These are nylon hankies with flocked designs, made in Japan. I remember having some of these when I was a child in the 1960s.

As I was going through them, little slips of paper with people’s names on them fell out of the folds… Auntie Annie, Mrs Stewart. I picked out 17  hankies and the lady said ‘that’s $8.50 dear, is that OK?’ Indeed it was.

On to Forbes and Grenfell, and a few vintage linens were found. I love the little gingham apron with floral terylene overlay

I stayed overnight in Yass, then headed for Goulburn. At Vinnies I got these two vintage suitcases for a tiny $9. The smaller one nests perfectly inside the larger one:

3 antique shops yielded some lovely bakelite and celluloid trinkets, including the red bakelite denture holder!.

But the Salvo’s in Goulburn was THE BEST… I couldn’t believe it when I saw this 1950s drink tray for $5, woven in plastic ‘cane’

And then there was this sweet little donkey planter just waiting for a new home. I’m wondering if these really are planters as they have no drainage holes. Maybe they were made to hold easter eggs or something like that. I remember that my best friend had one in her room when we were kids in the 1960s.

I also bought lots of pyrex ramekins and mugs, and some vintage tupperware in green and red which fits in nicely with my kitchen.

I found this lovely Arnotts tin for 50c – it’s not vintage but the picture is. I have exactly the same picture on a rectangular tin that I’ve had since the 60s, and which holds birthday, Christmas and other cards I’ve received since I was eight years old.

And to finish up a great few days away, this little stash of chippy vintage enamel dishes.

So I’m off to Sophie’s to check out the other flea market finds for this week – cheers!

Op shop crawl – or what I did on my holidays….

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, and there’s a lot of catching up to do! I’m enjoying 5 lovely weeks off work, so I decided to treat myself to a few days away. A nostalgic holiday visiting places that I travelled through many times as a child when on holidays with my parents. And what better to do than to take in every op shop, antique and collectible shop I could find.

First stop was Darcy’s – the big tin shed at Lucknow just out of Orange NSW. I wandered down aisles and aisles filled with an eclectic mix of memorabilia. I came away with some vintage sheet music, a lacy bakelite plate and a colourful set of spice jars

after visiting two op shops in Orange I loaded the car with a fabulous square vintage suitcase, some colourful glassware and a gorgeous vintage cloth in my favourite colours… love that green!

I travelled on through Molong, Wellington and Dubbo and on to Narromine. I seem to make this trip every few years. My partner lived and worked in Narromine for a few years. He was killed in a car accident 9 years ago, but I still feel the need to revisit this place even though it holds only memories for me. It’s still one of the prettiest small country towns I’ve visited.

Next day I took the road down towards Parkes, and passed through the old gold mining town of Peak Hill. There were three antique shops there so naturally I visited all three. In one I found some great old postcards and photos…

and I couldn’t resist the urge to buy this fabulous photo album. The picture on the cover is a bit deceptive, as most of the photos inside were much older. It was filled with original photos, most were 6″ x 8″, some tinted…

I love this sepia one with the turban and dropped waist

not so sure about the colours for this wedding – definitely not my cup of tea!

I was astounded to find this original photo – it’s of Florence Broadhurst, the wallpaper designer, who was a friend of my parents. If you Google Florence Broadhurst, this is the picture you’ll get. It’s also on the cover of the book written about her life and tragic death, A Life by Design.

More finds in Peak Hill…

Vintage bread bin, now holding spuds and onions in my kitchen

WonderfulDoulton plate – love the design!, and some old magnets, some are made of celluloid.

Well that’s halfway through my holiday, I’ll leave the rest for next week!

More great Flea Market Finds over at Sophies”s….

Flea Market Finds….

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Flea Market Finds hosted by Sophie.

I’m very fond of vintage graphics, so this weeks post is all about stuff I’ve bought because I like the packaging.

I found these cute little Golden Books at Vinnies a few days ago. They come complete with their own little vinyl record and were just 50c each.

Found this cooking aide at a local school fete, I was half expecting a free set of steak knives – it’s round about the correct vintage:

Love the packaging for this trivet, even though it’s a bit erk on one side. Looks like Betty Rubble on the cover (from the Flintstones, for all you young ones)!

A great vintage scale bought at the local aged care fete.

Also bought the ‘Spong” mincer there – just love that name,

S P O N G. I’m sure we had one of these when I was growing up in the 70’s.

And this little package of knitting goodies for a ridiculously small amount of money.

Have a great week!

Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , ,

Flea Market Finds….

I’m always on the look out for vintage tea cosies, and this one is such a great find. Lovely warm colours with that fabulous inverted crochet design. I also have a pattern to make this tea cosy, but I was very happy to find an ‘original’.

I don’t usually buy books at the oppy, but I couldn’t go past these three C S Lewis books from the Narnia series for $1 each – they bring back memories of school holiday reading when I was a child. And that great hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice for just $2.

Colourful knitting needles, some lovely vintage linens……

And these lovely souvenir teatowels from Canada – I love this one with the maple leaf symbol done in many different colours. The other has native plants of Canada – just gorgeous!

Hope you’ve had a great week. More vintage lovelies at Sophies!

Published in: on September 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Flea Market Finds….

Hi and welcome to another fabulous week of flea market finds hosted by Sophie!

A fifteen minute drive from where I work takes me to my favourite secondhand furniture shop. I haven’t been there for a while so I decided to pop down there at lunchtime on Thursday. And I was so I glad I did! I think the owner had just bought out an old sewing machine repair shop. He literally had hundreds of sewing machines there. Most seemed to be quite old, you know, the old-fashioned 50s kind. There were green ones, yellow ones,  pink ones –  he hit the motherlode. There were so many they were stacked on top of each other about 8 high. Lots of overlockers too. But what caught my eye were the props:

A genuine Singer sewing machine sign!  And this:

A great display board for buttons that I can take to the vintage fairs I sell at (sorry – needs a good clean!)

And these:

a largish cotton display cabinet, and

two smaller ones.  Needless to say my car was a bit heavier on the trip back to work, and my purse a bit lighter.  The whole lot cost me only $40!!

Plus I nipped across the road to Vinnies and picked up a few more things:

That was a Jenny Kee plate in the front….was until I dropped it and it smashed into lots of pieces. I could have kicked myself for being so careless. I did keep the pieces. Anyone out there make mosaics??

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 9:40 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , ,

Flea Market Finds….

I felt so restless today. I just had to get out of the house, but I needed a nice quiet drive. So I headed ‘down the mountain” and ‘up the other side’. A nice drive of about 45 minutes with a few of my favourite places to stop at along the way.

The first was a spot nicknamed ‘the 5 acre garage sale’. As its name suggests, it’s pretty extensive. You can buy just about anything from a bottle top to a train carriage (yes, they cost $7000). I settled for something in-between. I have a passion for vintage green (you know, the spearmint kind) and pink/red. So these were perfect. A 50s cake tin, minus the lid, but that’s OK, it was cheap enough. I practically bought the metal cake tin for the handle alone. Lovely bakelite in a rich, glowing cherry red.

I rather liked these 50s-ish dishes with their sketchy, food designs for only $5.

A little vintage wallpaper box, and two 50s vegemite glasses with green floral design.

A bit further along my drive I found an open air antique market. I couldn’t resist this gorgeous little bunny planter – pink and green – perfect!  He’s in remarkably good condition for his age, especially with those delicate flowers.

Lovely old kitchen utensils, red/cream and green/cream.

And this wonderful xylonite brush case – look at the delicate latch, all in perfect condition.

There’s nothing like a bit of retail therapy, especially the vintage kind. Now I feel much more able to face the working week!

More flea market finds at Sophie’s!

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , ,

Flea Market Finds…

Last Sunday was the annual 50s fair at Rose Seidler House in Sydney. It’s always a fun day with lots of people getting into the spirit of the 50s by dressing up, arriving in some souped up cars and generally having a great time. This year I met up with my blogging friend Marian who travelled up from Victoria with her partner to experience some 50s magic, and of course to take a few tidbits home (well didn’t we all!).. I was so glad to meet Marian, who really got me started with blogging. We’ve been corresponding for a couple of years so it was high time we met!  That’s us sitting on the rock enjoying a coffee.

We exchanged some lovely gifts – funny that we gave each other a load of vintage goodies! The lovely spotted apron with the crinoline ladies, and the 50s tablecloth are just a couple of the lovely gifts I received.

There were lots of fab 50s things to buy at the fair. I couldn’t go past the lazy susan  – and doesn’t it match perfectly with the tablecloth Marian gave me? I also picked up the pink and black shopping bag and the orange, yellow, green and white shopping basket, which I love and have been using all week. I saw so many things there that took me straight back to my childhood, growing up in Beecroft, a leafy suburb of Sydney.


A few other finds this week: buttons – you can never have too many of them!, and this cute little hand-made cosy for a ‘fan’ pack of stocking darning thread. I also found the fab vintage sheet which it’s sitting on. I don’t have many in blue or purple so it’s a welcome addition to my collection.

Well I hope you had a great week. Pop over to Sophie’s for more great flea market finds!

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , ,

Vintage cards of hand-painted children’s buttons…

I know I’ve posted some of these buttons before – but I just can’t resist them! My friend just came back from England and  brought a whole lot of these home with her.  1930’s – 40’s vintage.

Hand painted cowbells…

Mice rowing in a bathtub…

Rabbits bearing gifts…

Baby birds birds cheeping for their dinner…

Big hats, little hats…

Sailors making music….

And my favourites – these beautiful bold hand-painted ducks.

How I love old button cards!