Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vintage Tea Towel Tuesday


Made in Ireland. All Linen. Lamont.

about this one!

I know, lame as.
(it's late, I'm tired and I, I want to go to bed...)
What more can I say about The Big Banana?

It was built by John Landi, in 1964 to encourage people to stop for a perve at his banana plantation. Gotta hand (get it?) it to him, he knew it would have a-peel (sorry!) How could anyone in their right mind (or with kids in the back seat) drive past the Big Banana? Impossible!

On our tortuous family trip accross the Nullabour a few years ago we stopped for pics in front of The Big Camera, The Big Ram (Western Australia), The Big Lobster, The Big Galah (South Australia), and The Big Koala (Victoria) Not to mention the stops we made when Anthony threatened to dump the girls on the side-of-the-road if they didn't stop fighting (too many of those to count!)
I don't think a road trip to Coffs Harbour is on the cards (there'd be no survivers!) until we're old and grey and we've ditched the kids, but at least I've got a tea towel(s )

This guy likes Bananas

this guy is bananas!
image, and more if you're curious, here

And Woody Allen knew a thing or two about (big) bananas

here he is as Miles Munroe in Sleeper (1973)

 Sleep(er), Bananas, Good night x

(Bananas are meant to help you sleep btw - they contain melatonin and seratonin, chemicals important for sleep)


Edit: I forgot to add this

you can buy one here

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pleased to Meet You, Cathrine

I knew these

Cathrineholm kitchen canisters

were in the shed, somewhere! In fact, Anth has been storing bolts, nails and other manly sheddy bits in them for years (I know!) On Saturday I decided it was time for a S A R operation - I needed to find these babies and bring them home back into the kitchen where they belong. And I did.

Unfortunately, life has not been kind to these canisters over the years (particularly since we've had them, ahem!) 

the labels are original and were supplied on purchase with the canisters

Sadly, there's nothing I can do about the scratches (and even...sob, dents!) but they're clean (thank you Chux Magic Eraser), their teak lids are nice and shiny (I used this) and they're back in the kitchen in (almost all of) their Scandinavian mid-century glory (although in saying that, they were manufactured in Japan)

The leaf-like design is known as the lotus pattern (betcha knew that already) it was designed by Arne Clausen in 1962, and you can see it on all sorts of vintage C H kitchenware (usually enamelware) from kettles to serving dishes. The form, and colours, and enamel these pieces were made of, was designed by Grete Prytz Kittelson (one of the most influential designers in the history of Scandinavian design) You can read more about Grete here

(her amazing home is definetely worth checking out too. Click here     

Btw, (and I'm embarrassed to mention this) am I the only person out there who thought Cathrineholm was a person? Please tell me I'm not (the only ignoramus )?
Cathrineholm was actually the factory in Norway where this stuff was manufactured! (it ceased production in 1970)
Well, durr!!! (that's what you're probably thinking...)
Sorry, but C H sounded like a person to me.
You live and learn. Don't you?

Moving on (quickly) I'm thinking of buying this print to hang in our kitchen

like it?
more here


where did I take photos before I painted that pantry yellow? Hmmm, hope it's not getting too boring...


p.s. went to the flicks yesterday and finally saw Moonrise Kingdom, we loved it. Annabel wants to be Suzy and live in a house like the Bishops. (she also wants to be Margot Tenenbaum)  
A sumptuous but quiet little film. Watch it. 

p.p.s. thanks for spellcheck Sally, noted and corrected x   


Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Things

1. Look what I spotted during a spot of real estate stalking/tea drinking/time wasting this arvo

back yard

It's another mid century beauty across the border in Bellevue Heights, South Australia. Anth said we could buy it and move there (and he was only half joking!)

front yard

I wish.

Don't get me wrong, Perth's a lovely place, but you could never buy a house as terrific as this one and in a similar location, for so little $$$. Houses here (in my humble opinion) are waaaay overpriced. And I'm not exactly sure what we're paying the extra bucks for??? 

Just look at this light-filled living room, and that view!

Here's the link for any of you South Australian folks house hunting at the moment.
(and the rest of you? you can look at the pretty pics like me and dream...)

2. Check my new cushion, beautifully hand-made by Zara from a vintage tea towel, sheet and zip.


Lovely or what?
And yes, that is the chair I picked up from the verge collection last year...the chair I was going to paint yellow, and still will. Eventually.
(although with Zara's cushion atop it, I don't think a paint job's necessary)
Thank you Zara, it's perfect.

3. Now, I know I haven't re-invented the wheel(!) but I'm going to show you this

can you pick the embroidery I did? Ha! 

anyway, because I am so pleased with myself. Inordinately so. This is a great way to use those vintage doilies you can't resist buying from the oppy (even though you know they will never grace a surface in your home!) A bit of wonky stitching* (back stitch I think?), a blank card from the two dollar shop, and Bob's Your Uncle!

I hope Claire doesn't mind a bit of wonk, and likes it.

* some may say the wonky stitching gives it a certain Je ne sais quoi!

4. At last enough violets to fill a vase

A teeny-tiny one.

I love this little blue vase. From someone's ceramic class I think. Her name is written underneath. NAN. I like to think a Nanna made it. For a while I did, and then the penny dropped and I realised it was probably made by someone called Nancy. She could've been a Nanna though...Nanna Nancy. Yep, I like that.

5And finally, this movie has hit town.
(I wrote about it here way back in January!)

Advance screenings here this weekend. Annabel and I are sooo going! Sorry Anth, can't wait (any longer!)

That's it, better take the dog for a walk before it gets too dark. Thanks for reading and have a lovely weekend x

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vintage Tea Towel Tuesday, The Kindness of Strangers and a Winner

Business first. The winner of the beautiful hand-made (cough! cough!) vintage t.t. apron (selected by is...

Commiserations  Congratulations Donna, and thank you to everyone else who took the time to write a note.

It was hard to resist middle-aged Mum's lovely offer (read bribe) of a vintage Canadian t.t. but The Catholic school girl in me did the right thing, and resisited temptation. The Nun's would be so proud.

Anyway to sweeten the deal (and compensate for my dodgy stiching) Donna, who is hung up on retro (she especially digs the 70's) will also receive:


Can't get much more 70's in the kitchen than tinned pineapple, can you?

It was so hard to choose a pic to share - the recipes are all so disgustingly awesome, that in the end I went with this one

because I've got a bit of a thing for breeze blocks.


a pair of vintage Japanese stacking mugs

and my personal favourite, this

very cool wall hanging

I hope you like what I've chosen for you Donna, posting tomorrow. And don't forget to wear your apron next time you're whipping up a Sunny Island Roast, okay.

Now to the Blanch Dubois reference...

Whilst I don't depend on the kindness of strangers, I'm ever hopeful that people will be kind to each other. I think it's nice to be nice. I like nice people. Forget what you look like, dress like, how much money you've got, blah blah. If you're nice I'll like you.

And what's the point of all this soppiness? Yesterday I was the v.lucky recipient of a stranger's kindness. Her email says it all, so (with her permission) here it is:

Hi there Kylie,

I discovered your blog recently, and have really enjoyed reading your posts  :)
Thanks for the heads up on the Gayware FART canisters, I bought them!!

I thought you may be interested in some new additions to your tea towel family.
I am not sure how many unused tea towels there are at my Mum's, but at least half a dozen at first glance.
I think they are probably all from my family's circa 1975 tour to England!

My mum is 84 and moving to a residential care facility, and I have to downsize her belongings.

Would you like them?, I would love them to go to a good home!

Let me know, if you are interested and I can pop them in the post for you...

How about that eh?

To say I was surprised, thrilled, happy etc would be a massive understatement.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned an unpleasant encounter with a stranger, that's all forgotten, especially now.

And did you read the bit about the Gayware fart canisters? As chuffed as I am about the t.ts. that's almost better. Look, here they are (keeping good company with some handsome Germans) in my mysterious benefactors house.

Yep, she even sent me a pic!

You just know m.b's. nice don't you - anyone who appreciates a good fart joke's got to be. (well nearly anyone...) 
And I promise to show-off her Mum's t.ts. here when I receive them.

Long post, best end with today's tea towel

pure linen, handprinted, fast colours, made in Poland

 Thanks for reading and for being nice x

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Alas, poor Yorick!..."
ram skull picked up at a swap meet yesterday for five bucks
(just gotta keep the Jedster away from it!)

my take on these much more beautiful shadows and our front gate

violets for Lucy
Last year the old dear I worked with at the op-shop gave me a clump of these from her garden. It was a stinking hot day and by the time I got home they were almost dead. I stuck them in the ground anyway, kept up the water to them over Summer, and almost a year later, yesterday in fact, I've discovered my first violets...

I remember Lucy Violet telling me that Tom would bring her a bunch of violets wrappped up in a damp hanky when they were courting. I have wanted violets of my own ever since. And now, I've got them. Special.

Sticking with gardening, I've finally hunted down

or Air Plant

(pic from The Golden Treasury of Natural History by Bertha Morris Parker, 1952)

Here's mine, sitting pretty in one of Pippa's lovely modern macrame's

and I say hunted, because these things are as rare as hens teeth here in Perth. Rare that is, if you prefer yours without goggly eyes and fluro hair...air plants with hideous attachments are in good supply, I assure you!

I've been housing house plants

And beginning a new collection

remember these?
I'm sure I had some to cut out from for school projects...

This one's my favourite

"a history of homes from the most primitive and crudely dug pits to the ultramodern homes of the present day"

Paul E. Blackwood 1963

Its cover was enough, but then inside,

on page forty-five, and one of the ultramodern homes Mr Blackwood refers to, The Kaufmann House (a.k.a. Fallingwater). Designed by Frank Llyod Wright (dur!) and built 1936 - 1939. And here's the real deal

image from, and more info here

For all its chalky, psychedelic purple haze, I really like Robert Doremus' drawing of it, don't you?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vintage Tea Towel Tuesday (and a wonky little give-away)

It's o.k. you're not seeing double. There's two of them. If you look closely though, you'll see that they are not identical. For starters the tt on the left is made of cotton, the tt to its right, pure linen.

Imitation, the sincerest form of flattery...

The colours of the linen tea towel are much brighter and fresher than the one made of cotton...the linen tt is the real deal, cotton's trying hard, but not quite pulling it off. It's the poor relation from the wrong side of the tt tracks.

There's something else too. See

Posh tt was made to celebrate the centenary of the Mt. Lyall Mining Company (not the centenary of the Mt. Lyall Disaster, which will be commemorated in October this year - an interesting and poignant read if you've got time)

Queenstown is on the West Coast of Tasmania, 250kms from Hobart. It was developed to service the copper fields of Mt Lyall, but there's alot more going for it which you can read about here, it sounds like a lovely place to visit.

Right, that's it. School's out. I bought these tts from the same op-shop, with twenty two others (I know!) most of them from the U.K. and all in the most beautiful, never dried a dish in their lives condition. It was a good day.

Most of you know I never use my vintage tts. Sacre bleu! That would be akin to selling my children! (although I'd give them away at the mo!) So would you believe it if I told you I attacked these two with a pair of scissors? And my sewing machine? Well (in a moment of madness) I did. Think I'm fibbing? Here's proof

Ta - daaa!
bit cutesy perhaps, but no mind...
(check other ta-daahs at Lakota's)

my first ever frill
(can't believe how easy this was!)

pocket detail - this is a beautiful vintage Italian handkerchief from the 70's

See, I did it!
And I'm giving it away!
if you don't like the apron you can always unpick all the extras and you've got yourself a vintage tea towel.
If you'd like it, just say so in the comments. I'll choose and announce the winner (and I say that tongue-in-cheek - I'm no sewer!) next Tuesday. See you again then.
and I'll chuck in some other vintagey bits I think the winner would like too...


  p.s. inspiration from

p.p.s. I received a lovely little note from Janet Lee about my paint-by-number makeover which was very nice, don't you think...

Monday, August 13, 2012

(lovely) Stuff and Nonsense

It's not all dodging vomit bags, soiled nappies (I didn't mention those did I?) and weirdo's round here. There's always some lovely, somewhere, like:

this little Italian planter

and this little

Japanese one. Atop a 'Franco Cozzo' hall console - a recent find from a Garage Sale.
Anth and I have always referred to this kind of tacky rococo furniture as "Franco Cozzo furniture" (we say it with an accent of course!) 
Franco is a Melbourne icon. A legend, no less. It was Anthony who introduced us, because I'm a Perth girl and we didn't have him here. 
Never heard of him?  Watch this, it's a classic.

Lovely is also finally, after years and years of neglect, giving this little marble topped table (from Anthony's childhood home in Singapore) and these rickety old Brentwood chairs the attention and makeover they deserve
so that we can actually use them!
(lovely also = vintage Adelaide tablecloth)
Lovely is finding someone flogging their wares on Gumtree with a sense of humour                                                                                                                                                                                            
Well I think it's funny, we're quite fond of our fart jokes in this house - obviously. 
Sixty dollars. Here's the link if you're interested...
And it's spending a night at the thee-atre with your girlies
this pic was taken before the usher shone a torch in my face and told me no camera's allowed! That ceiling in His Majesty's Theatre is a fake btw. It's all tromp l'oeil, and
I can't believe its taken me this long to notice. Maybe that usher knew I was going to spill the beans...                        
and this one was taken during my scuffle with said usher as she wrestled the camera from my hands.
Only joking! I don't know what this is...actually.                               
This house is lovely too                              
it was known as The Party House in its heyday and it's for sale at the moment. I wish we could buy a house as awesome as this one for the same price in Perth. It's in South Australia which is practically next door when you think about it...that drive across The Nullarbor each day would be a killer commute though.  More info and pics here  (that tapestry looks familiar Carmel)                                                                                                 And what's not lovely is Blogger. Typing this has been a nightmare, especially for a Virgo like me. Nothing is going where I want it to! Maybe this computer's on the blink...I'd be the last to know. Or maybe it's just me? There will be no tea towel tomorrow at this rate! Giving up now before I smash something!!!