Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Way We Wear Fairs. (WWWFairs) November & December

A slightly strange name but it is sort of cute and comes with the appropriate twist. These Fairs are run by Keith and Fiona Baverstock from Victoria. They are amazing in their energy and enthusiasm, driving marathons from one state to another nearly every weekend. The WWWFairs are 2 or 3 days affairs that are on in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra twice a year. They always have a wonderful themed display of fashion/clothing items from their extensive antique and vintage collection and Fiona gives an insightful talk about it.

This is a really busy time of year for me with many big fairs close together all wanting to take advantage of the spring and summer weather and the party atmosphere. People get out more, feel better, and look better. It's also starting to get into party time, tax cheques being received (for those lucky enough), there's racing carnivals, music festivals, end of study year celebrations......
....which is all great. However, whilst we may have great things to go to, it's also nice to spend time shopping for an unusual item to wear or appropriate bag to take to these many events.

It's also the traditional time for what is tenderly called "spring cleaning"--gee, makes it all sound so romantic!--but I don't reckon there's much romance in an itchy nose after the lounges have been turned upside down--but .... good reason to not disturb the dust. Seriously though--there's more people house hunting, and more redecorating or changing a small item or two to make their place feel different.

So with so much activity going on I am going to assist many by taking my items to the following places.....

Canberra this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 5th, 6th, and 7th November, 2010.

The Way We Wear Fair at the Albert Hall, Commonwealth Avenue, Yarralumla. ACT.

Fri 6-9pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm

Entry cost: adults $12, child 10+ $6. This ticket is valid for the whole weekend.

The Albert Hall is a beautiful venue built in 1928 in a Georgian style. It has very large windows which is rather unusual for an old building--this allows lots of natural light in. I will be on the stage--no not performing...but the place will be packed with dealers selling a wide variety of items from antique to retro.

Sydney, Friday, 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December, 2010.

Another Way We Wear Fair at Marrickville Town Hall--in the trendy areas of Newtown, Erskineville and St Peters.

303 Marrickville Road, Marrickville. (cnr Petersham Road).

Easy to get to either from Old Canterbury Road or Princes Highway and within easy walking distance of Marrickville Station. Plus there are buses from the city.

Times: Fri 6-9pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm

Entry cost: adults $12, child 10+ $6. This ticket is valid for the whole weekend.

This is the first time the WWWF is being held here after a few years at Hunters Hill. The Town Hall from photos looks magnificent and was built in 1922.
This fair will be at a great time of year to get your artsy vintage clothing to wear around the holiday season--and to buy presents for those secretly longing to receive vintage--but were always afraid to ask.

For further information on both of these fairs visit...

I won't be at the November and December Wentworth Park Fair but will focus my attention to my stalls at Mitchell Road Antiques and Design Gallery as it is traditionally a busy time of year there. I have many fantastic timber/industrial pieces needing cleaning and restoration which I keep putting off, so having a market or 2 less will help me get things going.
I will also be putting in some great new and quirky clothing, accessory and textile items after the November WWWFair, so come on in for an inspiring browse--although anytime is always a good time there!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Today I went for a walk around the streets of Narellan. I do this sometimes esp as I get to walk through this gorgeous park alongside the Library and Camden Council Chambers. This park as a guess is about 4-5 years old although parts have been added later--like the childrens' play area. I don't normally focus on kids things, as mine have grown up now, but you can't help but notice what an enchanting and intelligent play area for kids this is. It's also an aesthetically pleasing place for adults and families, with quieter more spacious areas towards the back and plenty of seating and shelter.

What I particularly like is the focus on Australian native plants and animals and how they feature throughout the park and play area. What a great way to learn about our native species--something that has been lacking in recently past decades. We seem to know about and grow so much of other countries fauna and flora but little of our own. And as time goes on we are seeing less and less of our birds in suburbia.... (animals went a long time ago, although if you're lucky you can see a dead wallaby as part of roadkill).... and more of exotic pest species such as Indian Mynahs (which sadly are a pest throughout much of the world). We have such charming birds that I know most people adore, but seem to know little about keeping them around...councils seem to be little interested in doing their bit too. This, I get the feeling, is due to developers having the upper hand and clearing new housing land completely of native trees and shrubs that are used as food and nesting by these birds. No food, no home for breeding, no birds--think of it in the human sense and we really are selfish. There is no reason we both cannot exist together.

So here we are with some hopefully wonderfully inspiring photos for your own garden or play area. I am so glad Camden Council were visionary in this park plan. They left tall Eucalyptus trees that have been there for many decades which hopefully will provide nesting hollows and food for birds, insects and bats. I hope they will upkeep it to do it justice.

Grevillea row, looking down to the Library and right to Narellan Town Centre. So nice to have this large open space next to a shopping centre.

Council chambers in the background. Dianella species or Flax Lily in the foreground. Has sprays of tiny blue flowers.

Possum on the pathway. Themeda species or Kangaroo grass to the right.

Close up of Kangaroo Grass--I love this grass --it is so decorative--not much left around the place though--most (99.9999%) of yards remove it and plant Kikuyu or something. However, it is being used more as decorative planting-yay!

Crimson Rosella stencil with Panicum species grass planting. The recent persistent rains have brought everything to its best. Colours become so much richer and everything sits upright.

Rubberised Platypus sculpture. The kids can sit/play on this without getting hurt.

A wood Goanna. Goannas are large lizards that are famous for running up trees when threatened.

Eucalyptus leaf stencil. How nice to decorate plain cement with something like this.

A great mosaic seat where the local school kids were able to fire their own mosaics to use in the seat. How proud they must feel when they play here.

I even think the drain has been aesthetically landscaped. Go the landscaper!

Looking towards the more open back area. The lower waterline has been planted out with native plants including sedges which like a wetter area.

This is a Melaleuca--water loving but drought resistant--there were many planted in the waterway and all coming into flower so perfectly. I actually love the buds just as much as the flowers.

This was growing under one of the Eucalypts....Dicondra repens or Kidney Weed. It's not a weed at all but a native ground cover that likes the slightly wetter areas. Again rarely seen in suburbia due to everyone wanting a "lawn".
Having said that though, I do think many many people just do what they do from innocent ignorance, and what everyone else and the "experts" tell them to do. If they only knew how easy it is to grow many native species and how unusual and interesting they can look. I know many would use them more.
Here's hoping this can inspire just one person to give them a try!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sydney Vintage Clothing Jewellery and Textiles Show

I was so busy at the fair last weekend that I did not have time to take decent photos and when I did it was more to grab some food and drink and check out the other stalls. I have included one photo of one corner of my stall below. I managed to get a dressing area in which was a godsend. The floral fabric you can see is a 50s bedspread, and is divine. The material has flecks of shine in the weave and there are little tight frills at the joins. A friend wanted to buy it to make dresses out of and I told her she couldn't. Some things are just out of bounds for destruction IMHO.

The best dressed in vintage competition was held on the Friday night. As always it was a great fun event although not as many entrants as in the past. Not sure why, as there were so many walking around in vintage that would have done themselves proud had they entered. I have some photos of the men's division winner. I have also added a photo of the last fair and some of its contestants--namely my sister and her friend. My sister is wearing our mums 50s day dress and her accessories. Have you noticed the famous Dame Edna Everidge there?

To look at these photos you would think...hmmm, not many of the young crowd there, however I can assure you there was--more and more are coming to this sort of event as they become free and confident to create their own style, and know they can buy good quality items at very reasonable prices.

The next Show will be held April 2011. As always it will be the 3rd weekend, the 15th, 16th and 17th April. Make the date in your diary--it will be massive as always!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


....AND PREPARING FOR SYDNEY'S FAMOUS VINTAGE FAIR...(this Friday, Sat and Sun--see below post for details)

I think I have a bag fetish....I am drawn to vintage bags that have good wholesome design and use good leather--which I think happens to be the vast majority of them.

But I'm also drawn to old vinyl bags.

However....I lament that.....
the vinyl of a few decades ago is not the same as today's. What I have found the last 10 years or so is that the non leather bags are either too stiff, too smooth and plastic feeling, and have been poorly cast. They are awful in cold weather, becoming even stiffer. The vinyl of the 50s, 60s and 70s, and even into the 80s, have a superior firmer yet pliable quality that makes them sit well, have even pattern and can be easily manipulated.

The worst and almost depressing aspect though, is that even many of the leather bags of the last decade have decreased in quality. The leather doesn't smell like the leather of the past, doesn't feel like it and often doesn't even look like it. ... One of the most hedonistic things about leather is the smell--it is rich and unique and somehow matches the look. Warm, comforting and giving. It tells us we are all connected to the natural world in some way, that things discarded can be used, that we are tribal. And so this feeling and connection is gone for me.

I have checked the new bags out many times--what I can deduce is a number of things. The leather now mostly comes from China where cost efficiency is demanded by designers and is very well executed by the experienced makers, so....
....the leather used is of poor quality, is thin, is not treated with the same chemicals.
This reason may be twofold--dearer cost of traditional chemical, and dangerous effects of some of the older treatments.

So...because the leather is thin and poor quality (meaning it will wear and tear easily) it must need to be coated with a plastic like material which gives it strength. When the leather is extra thin, it is glued onto a plastic type material. Both of these aspects give the leather an unnatural look and feel. Add to that the uneven surface commonly found in the leather used, where one side can be soft even grain and another side creased and hard, and you have a poor handbag experience.

Also what I see, is that the outside of the bag can be leather, but on the inside plastic additions are used. Cheap, thin synthetic lining is also used and is another grievance of mine--it simply feels awful.

I have seen this issue in mainstream shops and I have seen it in designer areas--sometimes you can be lucky and somehow they get it right. And I can see also many get it sort of close--but put an older vintage bag next to them and you can immediately see the difference. Vintage bags have often stood the test of time--they last longer, wear better and mostly look better with age. The patina on an older bag can be enticing in itself--it shows warmth, and steadfastness-- it says it is your rock solid companion for ever...even if it may not be.

Here are some great bags I have been cleaning and polishing up today to take to the Show. I took them onto the front verandah--their great earthy colours seemed to say "take us to that climber and sit us on the weathered timber for our photo shoot". My favourite is the little red carry case. It has so much character and feels great in your hand. It has a cute tartan lining as was common in the 50s/60s.

The weather was overcast yet a pleasant temperature today. We have had a lot of rain over a long period of time through winter and early spring and so this is shaping up to be the best spring for our plants here for at least 20 years. Everything is a vivid green, rich lighter colour new leaves are sprouting and plants have, have had or will have wonderful flowering. The purple splash of colour to the back is a batch of Australian native Mintbushes or Prostanthera species. They are delightful in colour, flower shape and I adore the minty with a hint of lavender smell they have. Sometimes you can smell it quite a distance. They are a very under-utilised group of plants in my opinion. So many Australians have never even heard of them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sydney Collectibles and Antique Fair Sunday 3rd October

Here are some photos what I had for sale yesterday. I sell a diverse variety of things:-

1. Because there isn't much I don't have an interest in in some form or other. One thing leads to another to another. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. Easy to do with the internet at hand! (Ohhh, but very time wasting--oops I meant time consuming).

2. Because the ancient saying "don't put all your eggs in one basket" still applies. I have always managed to make stall fees and some sort of profit even on very quiet days.

3. There are so many different people out there with the most amazing variety of interests and I love meeting them and catering to their taste.

60's small aluminium stovetop coffee maker on the top. Never used still with original sticker. Could probably be used for warming milk too.--or most anything.
These are the coffee cookers whereby you grind the beans, boil water in this cooker--enough for how many cups of coffee you want, then add the coffee grinds--bring to the boil again--this will happen quickly-- then promptly take it off the stove and pour into your cup. Add some pure cream and you have the most delicious cup of coffee ever! My mother used to make these coffees often, esp as a treat on weekends with a home made torte.

Green tin Australian Kande brand spring loaded one handed sifter. Have a look at the trouble they went to with the fancy writing. This is my favourite colour green and is the basis of most of my collections, homewares and decorating.

Here is some mostly 60s wares apart from the aluminium 3 tiered canister. This one is 1930s/40s and has a green bakelite handle and green painted metal labels which say scones, biscuits, cakes. These canisters are a really clever and practical idea I think--just as much at home in today's kitchen. They keep things together, look good and are airtight. Perfect for the popular industrial/rustic country look.

More great old kitchen wares. As you can see I love kitchen wares and kitchenalia. But I especially love the way they are all just as useful and interesting to look at today as decades ago. Most of those are 1930s-50s apart from the Arnott's commemorative mug. It's probably from the last 10 years or so. Hmmm but it's reminded me of how Arnott's biscuits don't taste as good as they used to. So many of them I don't buy anymore.

Owl collecting is very popular and I know this would please someone immensely. It's a 60s/70s era canister--mostly these were used for storing biscuits or sweets in an attractive way--great for enticing kids--but so very much fun just to sit there. This will go into my stall at Mitchell Road Gallery this week.

Some 50s/60s Australian pottery pieces on the top shelf and pretty floral dishes on the bottom.

Ahhh, delightful in their prettiness are these plates, especially together like that. These have decreased in popularity the last 2 or so years. They used to fly out the door--now hardly anyone even looks at them. The shabby chic look only hangs in there with the true lovers of this style.
I find people can take time to work out what their real heartfelt decor loves are, and until they do they will drift in and out of what is seen to be in vogue, what their friends have or what's in the latest magazines. But that's a good thing to go through these phases. And well really, we can all get sick of seeing the same thing all the time.

Some 60s/70's modernist pieces. They would enhance and sit well in any new interior with their streamlined looks and neutral colouring.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hi fellow vintage lovers,

I know some of you have been asking for a schedule of where and when I will be and what great vintage and retro events will be on in the near future.

Here is a bit of a calendar about the next few weeks: I will try and update this regularly as I know more about what I’m doing.

Come and say hi, and if you want to tell me where you saw this info I just might be able to give you a good discount if you find something of mine you would like to buy!

This Sunday October 3rd,.

Wentworth Park Greyhound Track Function Centre, Wentworth Park Road, Glebe, for the

Sydney Collectables and Antique Fair.


Entry cost about $5. Early birds 8am. Entry cost $10.

Over 140 stallholders selling almost anything!

Saturday October 9th:

Paddington RSL Club. 220-232 Oxford Street, Paddington, for the
Vanity Fair Vintage Fashion Market.

10am – 3pm.

There is an entry cost but unfortunately I am not sure how much it is and it’s not on their website. Maybe about $6.

Always great to shop indoors for clothes, hats, bags and shoes.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday October 15th, 16th & 17th:

Canterbury Racecourse Function Centre, King Street Canterbury, Sydney, for the

Sydney Vintage Clothing Jewellery and Textiles Show.

Fri—5.30pm -9.30pm


Sun—9.30am-4.30pm. Entry $12 for one day, $20 for a 2 day ticket.


There are free shuttle buses going every half hour from Canterbury and Strathfield Railway Stations—so really, they try and make it easy for everyone!

Also—there is all day entertainment simply worth coming for.

Please check out the website—it is REALLY informative.

So come and enjoy some great shopping that you know will be unique and keep its value!