Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tobruk, taxidermy, and trainers

A sunny few days - warm to the point of bored with it now. Never mind, I'm sure it is just a small hiccup and it will rain again soon, so best to enjoy it while it lasts. I took advantage of the day to bath the dog - he was unamused and remains somewhat sniffy about the whole business.

I spent some time yesterday looking through a pile of Pix magazines from 1941 - 43. I've been meaning to do it for ages and a chance conversation with someone who is looking for items on Tobruk, combined with the need to sit in the cool on the front verandah, proved fruitful.

I decided to scan a few bits which I think I might find a use for in particular, some great images, interesting articles, and some lovely ads. I shall devote some more attention to them soon. I have included a few favourite bits here.

The spin on the war articles, the fashion items, the stories of Hollywood glamour, all made riveting reading.
We went out saling (garage saling, that is) today, although we usually have a rest day on Sunday. This is, of course, because we have usually spent the cash allocation on Saturday. We ended up at a deceased estate sale, slightly out of town, full of rusty bits. I do love a good shed sale.

I felt a bit sorry for the kids hopping out of the car to go in to look for toys.

Although I gathered a number of interesting things, including a (coffee) tin of brass sprinklers - to become the bases of small sculptures - some unidentified bits the best of all was scrap from the big bins marked 'free'. I did point out that all the copper pipe in the free bins could be used by the lady for conversion to cash - they are worth a bit. She dragged them back into the shed, for the benefit of the nice lady selling the stuff.

From the content of the sale, the owner of the shed had been a horse trainer, possibly a farrier. There were lots of things to do with horses hooves, as well as tack. It's so sad to see that sort of equipment, and the skills, dispersing. I know there are still farriers about and that their skills are highly prized, but those skills of working with your hands are so important.

I can see why the handmade movement is growing around the world.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not sunny here

The weekend has drizzled into greyness, luckily the rain thinned out the crowds on Saturday's treasure trail. We took an apprentice with us, it's always good to see a new convert.

This is really just an update on the weekend's acquisitions - although there was some treasure left behind - some fantastic chairs, an ornate wooden inlay box, for example - but sometimes you just have to prioritise space and money. There are only so many chairs you can sit on and I am deficient in the shed area.

This won my heart when I opened it - so cute!! Like I really neeed another suitcase. The inside is fantastic, maybe a little tidying on the outside.

Another hatbox - note to self - probably enough suitcases, hatcases, collar boxes and trunks now.


Someone had decided to cover it (quite well) but had missed the important step of not closing it till AFTER the glue dried. Time, patience and a chisel will generally open most things. Eventually.

There were also quite a lot of nice picture frames, another interesting jigsaw puzzle, and this:
Strangely compelling.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I AM vintage mid-century modern!

As those treasures from the 1950's and 60's become so, so desirable, I must point out that I am myself of that era and hence 'mid-century modern'. I kinda like it.
I have been experimenting with collage, mixed media fish - just for a change.

I was reasonably happy with this as a first attempt, although the work is too big to scan and therefore photographed a bit unevenly.

I have finished and framed some more ink on shipping charts fish, which will probably debut soon.

I'm also working on some jewellery and other frippery, as well as a special project for a friend's wedding.
I'm also contemplating t-shirts - I have to do some investigating first - and probably also some serious saving!

I have been reading widely and well - OK, widely. I discovered John D MacDonald via a reference in someone else's biography. He was one of the best of the 60's crime/thriller authors. His protagonist, Travis McGee is Jack Reacher without the overdeveloped ordinance, with a smattering of Robicheaux. Because they are not all currently in print, I have spent some time scouring all possible sources.

I finally found 10 novels for $20 including post on Ebay, and am awaiting the thunk of delivery on the front verandah. While I read those I will be searching for the remainder of the series. He was certainly ahead of his time.

Also in the pile, The Gorton Experiment (The fall of John Grey Gorton) by Alan Reid; The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton, by Kathryn Hughes; and today's find, Boy with a Camera, the Story of Jacques-Henri Lartigue by John Cech.

The slightly chilly dampness which has been falling from the sky - for those in Perth, we call it 'rain' - has been refreshing and leaving lovely droplets on the biiig spider web on the clothesline. The spider himself must be very patient, as the odd easterly breeze sometimes wrecks the web and he (she?) has to start again.

Meanwhile, some of the moths and other insects are making away while the sun doesn't shine.