Sunday, September 26, 2010

gas mask leather corset octopus hat heels ring goggles brooch art sculpture skirt watch hair comb

Ah, where else but Etsy? This was the keyword list for a particularly interesting treasury. So much fantastic handmade stuff, so little time. Oh how I would like some of those glass taxidermy eyes...

This week I saw an interesting blog entry on Florence and Florence, whose motto is 'Beautiful things, re-loved.' I think it here, it comes out there - suitcases, AND my approach to sifting through garage sales and op shops.

Although I spend far, far too much time on Etsy, I have been as busy as a bee working on the stock for Summer Street, the indie market for handmade, coming up soon on 16,17 and 18 November. So here are some photos of some of the bits I have gathered and some things made from gathered bits.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chance favours the prepared mind

...or so it is said ( possibly by Louis Pasteur). I say possibly because you can't really trust a cheap paperback crime fiction book where the protagonist meets a girl, woos the girl, loves the girl (we are halfway in by now and zero crime so far), only to have her killed, tracks and catches the criminal (a moderately interesting couple of chapters), thence to return to wimpering over his lost love and lawyers fees for the rest of the book.

But what can you seriously expect from a book for 20c at a garage sale? Possibly the reviews on the cover were a hint...
"I loved.....this book!" (famous author's name). The exact quote was probably more like "I loved going to Paris for holidays but the plane trip was completely ruined by having to read this book". I shall, I shall, be more choosy.

A disappointing op shop Friday paled into insignificance behind an almost perfect Saturday. Weather: clear, crisp, sunny. Number of sales: not so many but enough to be going on with. Cash: check. Breakfast: maybe later.

I got this quilt first. Handmade with Indonesian fabrics, the lady said. It has a few spots which need a stitch but nothing which won't be quick and easy. A bit riotous but shows promise.

The next place had a whole houseful of furniture and accoutremonts: dangerous places, these. I did weaken for an old bookshelf, delightfully tatty but the books are beginning to pile up on the floor again. Note to self : be choosy, choosy, choosy. I will, I promise.

The next place looked distinctly... not promising.

It turned out, however, to be the depository of possibly the last of the great grandmothers' button collections. Remember the tin, or jar, or bag of buttons you were allowed to play with? Sometimes? On a wet afternoon? This one was a cardboard carton, full of buttons, some in their original plastic test tubes, some in plastic bags, some on their original cards, and a lot loose just half filling the carton. We are talking cubic lots of buttons.

Sensible me said that I have quite a lot of old buttons. I don't need more. Where will I put them?

Sensible me was shoved rather violently out of the way by the me that just loves bunches of old buttons, pointed out that they could be squished in somewhere, and OMG aren't they fabulous. I put the loose ones in a huge clear IKEA glass vase ($2, Salvo's), in the middle of the kitchen table. Last night's dinner guests spent a happy hour playing with them, rearranging them, remembering the ones they had on their clothes as children, or their mothers did. Savouring the really, truly hideous ones.

Button collections invariably also contain interesting 'others'. In this case, the knob from a 50's stove; a rhinestone earring; a huge darning needle; and a badge, plastic, "Bank C.B.A.", as well as assorted other odds and sods.

At some stage, when everyone has had a play I will give some serious thought to how they can be used.

Light headed with excitement I did also manage to snare a lovely beaded evening bag, just a couple of tiny beads missing but quite repairable.

We pottered on to find a vacuum cleaner for my fellow treasure seeker - hers hasn't a hose and as she points out, it kinda limits its use. This one met all the vital requirements, ie it had a hose and was $20. It was also a nice shade of metallic green, which made it somehow more attractive.

We did a deal and added a bowling ball in its bag for an extra five - I think she now has bowling balls in all the primary colours. There was a moment when the mother of the woman having the sale tried to hold out for $10 for the ball, she was quickly advised by its owner that there was no need for such formality. Pausing only to loosen the seller's grip on her mother's throat, we grabbed our stuff and departed.

As I pointed out, its important to have a bowling ball to complement any outfit. In case the fashion police are having their annual bowling night.

I had just enough cash left to go get some fresh local oysters - 2 dozen , just absolutely brilliant with champagne for dinner last night.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Spring has sprung, the walrus said

... (to misquote just about everyone.)

The kind of spring where it rains overnight and everything is clean in the mornings. It isn't dark till 6.30pm, although its pretty cool outside by then. Still need a fire at night but not during the day - this house has a north-facing kitchen with heaps of windows, so if there's been afternoon sun its lovely and warm.

Yesterday, on the garage sale trail there were Arum lilies everywhere, whole hillsides of them against the most glorious lush green. I know they are a weed and not to be encouraged but they are just gorgeous.

Last week I put in a small herb and veggie garden. You know the ads
where Bunnings say they are the cheapest? Wrong! Way, way wrong. Found this at the Home Hardware store for half the price of the equivalent at the other place. Ah, no dig....the way to go.

And of course, at this time of year Summer Street kicks into gear. From the mess comes some order - eventually, but first, there is a terrible mess.

I finished the first piece today, and was quite pleased with it.

I gathered 5 lovely frames today, from recycled jarrah, aged with bits of old paint clinging to them. They came without glass but - pause to quietly rejoice - they exactly fit the glass from IKEA's frameless clips. And I had gathered some of those, still in the packaging, against a sudden dire need. I must have been channelling a boy scout at the time.

There are other things in construction, but they aren't ready for show and tell yet. Some things are further advanced than others, this one is a work in progress. Why is it that you never have the exact teeny bit you need? I think I need to make a head and face about 1.5cms high, but that's a whole 'nother story.