Sunday, January 29, 2012

Skulls, skellingtons, clockwork dragonflies and tipshops

It's been an event packed week.  Some close friends have been in New York and I am insanely jealous, not least of the snow. The weather here has been hot hot hot until today, and I needed the break.  Today was just windy, windy, windy but much cooler.  There's a cyclone lurking down the west coast so who knows what we'll have this week.

We were out and about today, an early visit to the local tipshop.  My friend picked up a nice little writing desk, and we decided to call on another friend for a cup of tea and to examine a new power tool in her possession.  While we were kicking about in the leaves in her back yard and drinking our tea, she pointed out a not-so-recently departed bird, a gift from a local cat.  Not a parrot, but definitely an ex-bird.

Knowing my strange habits, she presented me with a plastic bag and retreated, making gagging noises.  Unfortunately the skull was not to be found, but I did get a nicely mummified wing, and one little skeletal bird leg.  I'd include a photo here but I don't want to offend the super-sensitive.  Earlier in the week my friend had found a lovely little bird skull, which she gave me (without visibly gagging).

I used it in a little collection:   

I have the feeling this will be the start of a little series.  I'm working on a clockwork dragonfly.

We finished off refurbishing a cabinet from the last verge collection this week, it required the manufacture and replacement of the two back legs and it was a long and time consuming process, but ultimately the cabinet looks fabulous and unless you know just where to look, the repairs aren't obvious.  I was going to give it to another under-furnished friend but in the meantime it's slotted into the front room.
Also from the tipshop today, a gorgeous vintage cane basket, a towrope (long story, involves a landcruiser, a range rover and a lot of mud), a metal gasket, and a shifting spanner.  Not bad for one dollar, but then I did help to unload the ute.

I also repaired, rebuilt and refurbished a cute little mirror during the week.  Pretty chintzy but nice in the right setting.

Next week, I need to japan some tabletops for occasional tables...and maybe buy one of those power tools.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"I've seen better tennis playing in a tampon commercial." *

I spotted this while in Denmark today with a friend.  I like it a lot.

We were on a tip shop trawl on a sunny Sunday and as always the Denmark tip shop did not disappoint.  Being that it was also the art market day in that burgh it was quiet at the tip but there were bargains to be had.  My friend picked up a metal based, solid wood topped table to use as a workbench and a solid wood table top for the stash.  I snapped up some mint Doc Martens, a lovely old wooden box, and a book.

Pausing for a pie from the less-expensive-but-just-as-good-bakery at the other end of town, we observed the native wildlife navigating for parking spaces - an endangered habitat on market day - amongst the introduced species (tourists) who overrun the natives at this time of year.

With room in the car we came home via the Albany tip shop, a poor sad shadow of it's country cousin. There's no real spirit of adventure at the Albany tip shop, and it's sad that so much goes through to landfill.  Kudos, however, to the enterprising employee who was doing his bit for the economy by transferring stuff straight from the incoming line to his own vehicle.  Firm direct action to reduce landfill.  Pity about the PR.

There's an enormous space which could be better used there, and it's a retailing adage that the more you have to choose from, the more you sell.  If stuff sits around and doesn't move, cull and get new bits in.  There's no cost for the stock and it's not like they have to go far to get rid of the stuff that doesn't sell.

We did manage to snag some bargains though, real wrought iron veranda lace and standard lamp base,  a vintage atlas, and various other bits and pieces.  End of the day, I think we spent about $10 between us. I also snapped up the following from various trawling hotspots during the week:

*Girlchild, Facebook status, this week.  Who knew she watched tennis? 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Those who are about to work, I salute you.

Now that was a holiday week!

The weather was beautiful, the company excellent.  A good friend was here from Victoria, it was brilliant catching up and getting together with other old friends. The kind of friends who are completely at ease in each other's company and laugh a lot.  They also truly appreciate ice cream. The five of us had some serious fun.

I had called on Saturday, when she was packing, and was assured that the suitcase was full, no room for purchases.  She arrived with a pair of shoes in her handbag, bought at the airport, and that pretty much set the pace. Getting all the extra shoes into the case paled in the face of the table and chairs, bought Friday.  In between we did lunch and dinner, were taken out and about by his Worship, watched Red Dog (and cried), went to William Bay, op shopping and garage saling, ate oysters and icecream, drank gin and tonics and a LOT of cups of tea and talked.  A lot.  All go but all jolly good fun.

I can say that the Butter Factory in Denmark has some really good handbags and sells (unexpectedly) Elk jewellery, shoes, and clothing. 

The whole thing was pretty special and everyone had a good, good time.

I still have two days before I have to go back to work, and lots of projects to finish.  But the house is clean and tidy(ish) and I've finished quite a lot of things - although I have a lot of new ideas. 

The fabulosity of the week was further enhanced when my baby was returned to me - a vintage diamond and pearl ring which had been misplaced almost 3 years ago while left in the care of a third party who shall remain nameless.  It turned up having mysteriously hidden itself but is now safe and sound - although the legend of the man look is confirmed. I'd missed it a lot, it was given to me by a special lady and it's value to me is much more than just it's monetary worth.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Anthropomorphic personifications and their role in my reality

For those who aren't aware, I like Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.  I really, really like them.  I own them, re-read them. We have finally seen the ABC show some of the films made from the books and tonight is The Hogfather. It's definitely a bonus.
Today topped off a week of  ups and downs.  Tiny downs, it's true.  OK, one tiny down - we went to the Denmark Tip Shop but found it opens only Friday to Monday.  We went on a Wednesday.  Luckily, all the opshops were open, AND we got a pie and a chocolate eclair. 

The highest of the high points was a garage sale today at our very favourite address, with all sorts of interesting paraphernalia.  Rusty shite.  Tools.  Old furniture.  Rocking horses, some headless.  A pedal car.  The nozzle from a petrol bowser. Unidentified weird old objects.

The purveyor of these treasures can be relied upon to provide interpretation, social chitchat and amusing anecdotes.  I ended up going back three times, once yesterday morning with my usual saling partner and her Mum, again in the afternoon with another discerning junk collector, and a third time with a trailer to pick up the fabulous old kitchen table the latter bought to restore.  So much junk, is it worth going back tomorrow?  Other garage sales pale in comparison.

Women 800km away whimper when told where we've been.

I love the galvanised tin bath, the plant stand, the ordnance box, the old tools, the many and varied other bits.  I'd spent the last week clearing up the back veranda and in one afternoon managed to fill it up again.  For those who truly appreciate it, here are some more pics:

Last week I started work on a footstool left over from the verge collection.  I recovered the couch cushions (one of the jobs I'd been putting off for about 10 years) and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. In an outstanding adventure we installed new legs on the couch at the same time.  I knew that meatsafe full of couch and chair legs would come in handy.

After  a week of goofing off, and  a week of working on projects with a spot of above average trawling, it's time for a social week as a good friend from interstate comes for a visit.  A small flurry of housework and all will be well for her arrival.  I love stay at home holidays. Been getting through at least 3 books per week, too.  Luckily, I have lots.

This week's quotable quote:    The absence of evidence isn't evidence of its absence. (unknown)

Right now?  Cheesecake, methinks.

Monday, January 2, 2012

and welcome to 2012.  Around we go again.

I've upgraded to (free) digital TV.  This venture into commercial television has been interesting for an ABC/SBS watcher.  I've learned a lot of things.

I've already watched a lot of the documentaries and (English) sitcoms on the national broadcasters.  In some cases, a long time ago and several times.  Some of the movies are old, but good - the Lethal Weapon series...ah, Mel, all that hair.  Seinfeld. 

Advertising is no less annoying.  I can tell you that it's time to worm your sheep, and apparently it's also a good time to buy a ride-on lawnmower.

I have a confession to make.  A neighbour very kindly helped me out some time ago by mowing my lawns.  He keeps saying that he hopes our other neighbours didn't get the wrong idea - nudge, nudge, wink, wink. I'm sure they won't, I say, in a slightly confused fashion.   Now I realise it's an ad. Oops, not usually that slow on the uptake.  Note to self, must make more experimental forays into the world outside.

There seem to be some no-brainers - the workout thingy which actually says in writing on the screen that the results quoted are NOT typical (surprise!).  There's an ad for an electric fridge.  As opposed to....?  I already have one. Have had for some time.   Ah, electricity, perhaps it's not everywhere in town yet.  That's the same ad which shows the fridge 'growing with you' (as you have kids, blah, blah,blah) but shows a different fridge at each stage - so presumably it doesn't grow with you at all.  Am I overthinking this stuff?

I'm having my annual at-home holidays.  Xmas and New Year - much goofing off, lots of reading books, pottering about, a bit of socialising.  I have lots of projects which are gradually being ticked off:  bit of a tidy up and a sort out; re-cover the cushions on the chairs out the back veranda and sort out the piles of stuff out there;  re-cover the cushions on the sitting room couch;  some mid-week opshop and tip shop trawls; some fairly serious woodwork projects with the help of a friend and her power tools.  And a bit of gardening.

I've started work on this footstool today.  It's a verge treasure and hopefully I'll finish it off in the next few days.