Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Friendly Reminder (and a vintage tea towel tacked on at the end)

image Woman's World.

The countdown has begun. Only five days until the Hung Up On Retro/Lucy Violet Vintage, It's A Retro Cook-Off!

Saturday's going to be a big day round these parts with over sixteen wonderful bloggers bringing their best (or worst!) retro offerings to our bloggy 'table'.

Donna and I can't wait to see what's for breakfast, lunch, or dinner...we think it's going to be an interesting spread to say the least, and while we can't guarantee you're going to get through the morning without gagging(!), we do know you're in for a wonderful culinary trip down memory lane.

If you'd like to pop on an apron, and channel some old-school:

image via

image via

I hope that's not Fanny's finger Johnnie's sucking?!

or share a favourite recipe from your childhood...something you loved that your Mum, Dad or Grandparents used to whip up, that'd be great too!

IT'S NOT TOO LATE!!! we'd love you to join us.

For more info, just click the not-so-pretty pic you can see in the top-left hand corner. Or drop us a note in the comments.

We will have a proper link set up on the day
(it would be really lovely and nice if you could add your link to both of our blogs, cause Donna and I are in this together)
and don't worry too much if you can't make it for lunch AEDT, stragglers* most welcome.

How's this for a kitchen

image from The Golden Homes Book of Kitchens and Living rooms, 1972.

to whip up some 'Devils on Horsebacks' in?

(had to sneak it in, because I love the design of the oven/stove/rangehood)

And now, here's the ugliest t.t. I've had the misfortune to find. So ugly, it had to come home with me!

I hope it's not a precursor of things to come on Saturday.
(well actually, maybe a small part of me does!)


* Straggler: a person who strays or falls behind.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Softies for Mirabel

I know you probably don't know if you're Arthur or Martha when you swing by this blog...one day it's retro interiors, the next treasures I've found in the oppies, and today, inspired by the Pipstars post (here), I've got my craft-thing on.

(actually the Pipstar not only inspired my rare foray into the world of making, she also set me up with instructions. That's how she rolls you know, she's an all round good egg)

Meet Owly, my contribution to 2012's Softies for Mirabel toy drive...

he's rather cute isn't he...

(thankfully for me, with softies like these, the more wonk the better!)

My Owly is based on these sweet owlies designed by Heidi Iverson.

image via More Softies

Pippa said they'd be a nice place for a wonky stitcher like me to start, and she was right. Tres facile! (and you know if I say that, it's the honest to God's truth!)

Pippa also said "everyone needs an owl friend" I hope so.

he'd wink, if he could.

If you'd like to make a softie for the Mirabel kids too, go for it! Click the link up top, or this one for more info.

Friday, October 26, 2012

So Bad, it's Good!

I'm thinking of starting a new series here on Lucy Violet, to showcase some of the incredible interiors in my collection of vintage home decorating books. As you can see, I'm calling it 'So Bad, it's Good!' Although once you've had a perve at some of these interiors you might think a more appropriate name would be 'So Bad, it's Bl***y Awesome!'

Have a look at today's installment and please let me know if you'd like me to continue it.

(some of you may think I should call it 'So Bad, it's Bl***y Awful!'and that's okay too...)

First up for your viewing pleasure (or otherwise!) is this "delightful family retreat" 

There's alot I like about this room and not much I don't. Good stuff first - I love the copper fireplace and flu, and the 'bench' it's resting on (although I would definetely reduce the 'clutter' on it - a few nice pieces of pottery, maybe a plant would be fab, but not much more. Truth be told I'd probably keep it rather bare - I think a fireplace like this one deserves all the attention, don't you?)
I also like the triangular windows, sunburst floor rug (well, I love that!), the wicker lampshade base, and the checked fabric covering the couches.

I'm not so keen on that boxy looking couch against the wall (it looks like it would be really uncomfortable to sit on) or the maroon-ish wall colour.

What's your verdict, good, bad, or ugly?

You might prefer this room...

I reckon Ure Smith's (the author) description is perfection:

"Here modern goes all the way to Mod in a room which has been planned as a dazzling composition of shapes and colours. White lacquered frames support fascinating cocktail table and club chairs, covered in Caprolan stretch knit."

(sounds like a commentary from a fashion show)

This room is very disco, very glam (dur!) I like aspects of it - the b&w painting, purple foot stool, maybe one of those chairs...In isolation those pieces are lovely, but crammed into a small room like this? I'm not really feeling alot of love. You???

This bathroom however, is another matter, entirely.

I'm head-over-heels for it, BIG TIME!

(I know getting out of that bath could prove tricky, but seriously, tell someone who cares!)

Note: those wall tiles are stainless steel!

Next up?

A dining room

(who said blue and green should never be seen?)

to die for? You tell me.

(looks like someone's been shopping at Franco Cozzo!)

The blurb about this one is all about privacy, or rather the illusion of privacy, that can be accomplished by hanging a beaded room divider like this one. Hmmmmmm? that might be drawing a long bow...

I'll end with a couple of rooms for the kiddos

This bedroom was designed for teen-aged sisters. The wall paper is described as sizzling(!)

It's all "hardy and rugged" in the boy's room...

which was achieved by hanging wallpaper that "most successfully fakes the grain of outdoor shingles"

Is that a woolf head above the bed? That wouldn't go down too well these days, just read the response to Lucy's latest Home Tour on The Design Files. I myself am not adverse to the odd bit of taxidermy.

Note: I said odd bit, I wouldn't fill my house with it!
Shingled wallpaper on the other hand...

Thanks for reading and don't forget to let me know if you're "clamouring for more"!

All images form Practical Decorating. Fawcett Publications. First published in USA in 1969, my copy published in Australia in 1973.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uncle Arthur (part two)

Although my recent Uncle Arthur post (click here if you missed it) didn't elicit quite this response,

Lady from Zululand:

 "I can honestly say that it was through them (Bedtime Stories) that I got a desire for the better things in life...

(new car? swimming pool? French perfume? five star holidays? NOPE! Read on...)

I am now married to a Methodist minister."


many of you did ask me to post more of his groovy pics and hilarious captions, (which Curtise describes perfectly as "retro commedy gold") so this post is for you...

from "How Mother Learned to Drive"

(lets just say it involved divine intervention...)

"Nine year-old Dora didn't like it a bit. All her friends had mothers who could drive. Why couldn't her mother? What a good time they could have if only Mother could drive!"

Dora sounds like a pain in the patootie!

from "Bottom of the Class"

This is the story of Jerry, a "fixture at the bottom of his class". Until one exciting, wonderful day when he "moves one up from bottom". There's cake and ice cream all round, until Mum pops into school to thank Jerry's teacher. 

"I'm so glad he isn't bottom any more," she said.
"So am I," said Teacher.
"I wonder who is bottom now?" said Mother.
"He's a little boy from Pakistan," said teacher; "he doesn't speak any English".
A strange look came over Mother's face.

Safe to say, I think Jerry's ice cream days were numbered.

This stuff really is "retro commedy gold!" Uncle Artie would not get away with stories like this these days. That's for sure.

from "Carrying the Pennant"

(included because I like "Bridget's" candlewick bedspread, lamp, curtain, etc)

from "Mysterious Stranger"

(and yet they look strangely happy to see him. What about 'Stranger Danger'?)

from "Jimmy, Timmy and the Snowballs"

"I'm sorry," said Jimmy.
"That's all right," said the man. "just don't do it again."
"I won't," said Jimmy. And he didn't.
Mother saw to that.

I bet she did!

from "Slow Coach Sandy"

 Sandy can run like the wind when he wants to, but "as for church, well, perhaps I shouldn't mention it." Ha-ha!

One of the reasons Uncle Arthur wrote Bedtime Stories was to "make bad children good and good children better" In the forward of one of his Volumes he writes "children loved them because, well, they just loved them" Right!? He also writes "and so there was a great clamour for more and yet more" Clamour? Nice word, but seriously?

If you clamour for more Uncle Arthur let me know. I aim to please.

Now I'm wondering if the great man himself had anything to do with this tea towel I picked up the other day? Not vintage, but too good to leave behind

and currently winging sailing its way across the sea to someone who I think, will appreciate its irony...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vintage Tea Towel Tuesday

I didn't intend to post two fishing-themed vintage tea towels in a row, and both of them "Crying Towels"* at that (those fisherman types must be big sooky-la-la's!) but this is the next t.t. in a teetering pile - if I don't deal with them as I find them, all semblance of order will topple before my eyes and I'll have t.t chaos on my hands! 
And that could be scary messy.  
Midge distributors W.A. Pure Cotton. Hand Printed.

Today's vintage crying tea towel is my favourite of the two (and not just because I love that combo of red, aqua and yellow) it harks back to another era when people actually thought this sort of stuff was funny. 

Side splitting? No. It does make me smile though, you?

(although I bet people of my Grand-parents vintage would've had a good chuckle)

Sweetly amusing and reminiscent of simpler times? Absolutely.

(and some things never change as far as fishermen and their tall stories are concerned, do they?)

Here's a link to last week's tea towel in case you missed it first time around, or want another look-see to compare. I'm afraid you'll have to scroll all the way to the end because I plonked it without any fanfare, at the end of my post.

(which isn't fair really...tea towels should have a starring role here on Tuesdays. Even those I'm not mad about)

Which do you like best? It'll be interesting to read your comments...

Btw, there's a vintage Crying Towel out there to suit every occasion...

via (nice tea towels here too)

* A crying towel is a "figurative towel for wiping tears of a self pitying individual" via

(but, of course, you already know that. I was just surprised to find a definition...)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

of the op-shopped variety...

I know, a few days ago I make a grandiose announcement to the world (ahem!) that op-shopping and I are almost over. On the verge of breaking up. A few treasures later and we're falling in love all over again!

I reckon you'd weaken too if you found stuff like this:

You would, wouldn't you?

I think we had some of these zodiac 'teaspoons' in our cutlery drawer when I was a kiddo...

How to transform an ugly couch?

cover it with this.

Are words really necessary?

For my new desk

Anth is going to build me one when he gets home. Hopefully it'll look a bit like this (in case you're curious)

(unfortunately I can't credit this pic, I've had it saved for ages and cannot remember details. Sorry. I love your work though, whoever you are...)

EDIT: This is Kate Alexander's desk. You were right Sally, it does belong to a Kiwi - thanks for tweaking my memory.
Found via the always interesting, Studio Home. 

The lamp has a very cool label

Won't it look good on my very cool desk? (the pressure's on, Anth!)

Golden brown

We've had these handsome chaps for ages. My first West German, the one that started it all, is second on the right. Twenty cents, school fete, but I had to pay big bucks for it's newest contemporary,

this planter (ten, in fact). There was quite a bit of ummming and ahhhing involved before I bought this baby...I thought a tenner was a little bit steep, you?

The best design on a Johnson of Australia plate I've ever seen!

I'll end with

a tin
(made in Great Britain and full of old buttons which I gave to a friend)
its lid, which I love.


more tins
(Willow Australia, found this morning)

Just some of the reasons op-shops and I are on again. To be continued...


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chez Oramski and a Vintage T (because I forgot yesterday)

A few things around our house that make me happy...


I'm beginning to wonder if our tiny hallway is starting to look a bit cluttered...

Rogues Gallery #1

#2 I bought these brass horses for a friend, but when I got them home I found I couldn't part with them.

#3 that's little Tommy next to Mary (Lucy Violet's husband)

Annabel's vintage curtains which I've just had made into Roman blinds. Very pleased with how they turned out.

I've used this Frankie S quote on my blog before, but it's true, "orange (really) is the happiest colour"

Here's more proof.

This baby has come to live at our house. It's a beautiful modern dream catcher, handmade by Pippa, who even named it after moi! If that's not special I don't know what is! You can read all about it here. Just gotta paint our bedroom walls, and then it's sweet dreams every night.

frock still up for grabs btw

I like blue too. This op-shopped doily has made me want to dye all my doilies, then I might actually use them...

Look, babies! I'm sure they weren't there a couple of days ago, I'm so excited about this! Does anyone know if you can grow these (Rosary Bead Plant) from cuttings?

Finally hanging our Cornish painting, (this thing's huge! bigger than me! bigger than Texas, Dana) has made me really happy. I call this Madonna and Child, I don't know it's real name. It was painted by West Australian artist Campbell Frederick Cornish in 1972. My Mum, who used to work at the Art Gallery of WA, won it from him in a bet. She gave it to us a few years ago, but it hasn't had a proper place till now. Would you find it disconcerting to have this on the wall while you're eating?

The Art Gallery of WA has several Cornish pieces, and we think know we are very lucky to have one too.


The cactus in the black pot is a newby, bought from an old Italian man at a garage sale. Do you know what it's called?

My Mum was going to ditch the little Buddha, so I brought him home to live with us.

Lime green bottle brush on our verge, the only one, the rest are red. Very nice of the local council to co-ordinate their planting so perfectly with our house!

Freshly planted garden bed, flamingos enjoying a frolic under the sprinklers.
(Frangipani just about to burst into leaf, excited about that too. We've just planted three. I wish they were bigger, but gosh those things are expensive!)

Bored yet?

Here's the t.t