Monday, July 29, 2013


Dear nice people who read this blog,

I've decided to call it (lucy violet vintage) quits.

I'll always be a blog reader - it's just the writing bit I'm quitting.

Thanks very much for reading, following and for your lovely comments - which are always good reading - usually better than the blog itself actually. They're always funnier that's for sure!

Thank you too for your bloggy friendship. That's been the best part of this whole catastrophe. It's the thing about blogging that took me by surprise and what I will remember and miss the most.

So as a nod to our love for handsome Germans (I'm talking pottery of the fat larva variety), auf weidershen - and to those of you who can't stand the stuff (I know a lot of you think it's ugly) cheerio.

Take care, 

Kylie x

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Teak + Copper = Gold!

That's what a friend of mine said when she saw my most recent splurge, this gorgeous

70's hall table.
I think she's on the money, do you?
Teak, plus those lovely, Brutalist copper inlay panels on the drawers, definitely equals gold in my opinion, but I know it sat in the shop for at least a year (because I've had my eye on it for that long!) so maybe I'm the only one who thinks so...
Apart from:

my friend who came up with the whole teak, copper, gold equation - obviously!

Anthony who says he likes it too,

and its newest fans, that's you guys! Right?!) 
I bought it from Revival Hill, a shop in Perth that offers a good selection of mid century vintage furniture and homewares. If you're hunting for a vintage Danish sideboard here in the West, this is definitely the place to go to (although it can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many nice ones to choose from).
Like my little teak apple? I picked it up a few days later from Industriart - actually it was a freebie from Veronica who runs the show there - but I did buy the adonised planter you can see in the pic below
I know it's not the best pic, but I'll take another one when I pop some plants in it.
Btw, my favourite thing in Industriart at the moment is a beautiful Noblett 60's teak tea trolley (I'm mentioning this just in case you're on the hunt for one - I keep thinking about it, so pop in and buy it before my resolve not to, wavers)
My flowers (last week's splurge) are still looking good - admittedly I've had to pluck out a few droopy looking tulips, and ditch most of the freesias and roses, but the lillies have just opened and their perfume is heavenly.








Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flower Power

On Friday I bought myself a bunch of flowers from a proper florist (not a supermarket or a petrol station!) This self indulgent, extravagant behaviour is unheard of round here. I love flowers - I just don't buy them for me.

The flowers I plonk in a vase are usually picked locally, or cobbled together from bits and pieces in our own garden. (I've been known to stick pretty weeds in a jar when the pickings are slim) 

Our house looks like a bomb's hit it at the moment.
(here comes a long-winded justification for my floral splurge.
Splurge because that's 45 bucks worth of flowers in that vase!) 
Enamel paint
(hideous stuff, but I couldn't avoid using it. I tried to convince myself water-based would be fine, but in my heart I'd knew I'd regret taking the easy way out down the track. The 'good angel' won that battle)
takes ages to dry. The bits I'm painting will have four coats by the time I'm finished. 24 hours between coats, that's a lot of me screaming like a banshee at anyone brave/stupid enough to venture into the kitchen!
(even the dog, and he usually gets away with murder because he's so cute)
While I paint and wait (and repeat the process over and over and over again!), the contents of the cupboards that I dumped in piles on every available surface, are tottering dangerously. No-one can find anything. We've been eating cr**. I've been drinking instant coffee. Etc. If you've renovated before, you know what it's like, but no-one put a gun to my head to do this, so I'll stop whinging now. 
Anyway back to those flowers. What I've been trying not so eloquently to say is this: as soon as I got home and popped them in a vase I felt happy. Four days have passed and they're still making me happy. I said it with flowers to myself, and it feels good (and I will probably do it again)  

Irish Bells - I love them.
(does anyone know if you can get seeds for these here?)

I found this little fellow in an op-shop across the road from the paint shop (I'm always in the paint shop these days, hardly ever in an op-shop). I used to hate stuff like this. In the olden days, I used to think it was (whisper) tacky. I think my taste has matured. Ha-ha!

In Chinese culture cranes represent happiness and a soaring spirit, an appropriate find: I've smashed that tricky cutting-in (thanks Loo), mastered enamel (not a brush stroke in sight!), found some lovely new knobs (thanks Sue), happy days and soaring spirits are just around the corner! 

lovely new knob here .





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kitchen Bitchen (continued)

Jase didn't call it Dark Night for nothing!

Speaking of Jason Grant, I see on his website he loves to paint.  Well if that's the case Jase, you're welcome to do some painting in our kitchen - especially if you know how to get a nice sharp line when you're painting with a dark colour against a snow white, extremely wonky pressed tin ceiling, that doesn't have a cornice - so no straight line to guide you -  ANYtime!

And if anyone else knows how to do this please share, because I am not going to be able to sleep tonight until I get this perfect (sadly, not joking) or at least have a plan of attack in mind. 
these snaps were taken just before I knocked my open tin of paint off the kitchen bench all over the floor! Thank God it was only a litre! Clumsy* = my middle name (Anth will laugh and nod when he reads this)
*probably why I have issues with the above.
Now close your eyes (only joking) and try to imagine the cabinet doors back on and painted the same colour...and a Dark Night floor to ceiling pantry next to the oven...and (if I get my way?) at least one of those horrible track lighting fittings replaced with something - if not blingier, definitely snazzier...and a nice rug covering those hideous apricot floor tiles in front of the stove... I know I'm asking a lot, but is it working for you?
Two more questions/requests for advice:
1. I am thinking of applying wallpaper to this wall
the window wall (stating the obvious!)

Here's my little moodboard thingy
Vintage 70's wallpaper - still in packaging when I found it. Originally from K-Mart of all places! 

What do you think? Yay or nay? No need to be nice okay, feel free to tell me if you think it's the dumbest idea ever. If you think it'll look crap(py), tell me. I can take it. I suppose I should mention that Abigail recommended I paint the window frame dark, of which I am 99% sure I will. Oh, and if the wall's not papered it (the wall) will remain white.
and 2. Do you think it's absolutely necessary to paint the Tasmanian Oak trim/frame? This is what you see when the cabinet doors are on...
so I'm wondering if:
a) painting them would be a waste of time, and
b) I could live with myself if I left them...(I know ,it's a sickness!)
Thanking you in anticipation, Kylie x

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Old School, New Cool

Which do you prefer?

image: How to make your Windows Beautiful, A Kirsch Publication, 1965.
or this?
image: same source as first pic.

or this?
image: Better Homes and Gardens House Plants, 1959.
or this?
image: kip and co.
(and you might find these amusing(?) from F*** Your Noguchi Coffee Table)
image: How To Make Plant Hangers by Lynn Paulin, 1974.
(via Cathy of California - if you like craft and design from the 60's and 70's, you'll really like this blog)
or this?
image: ouchflower.
image: The House Book by Terrence Conran, 1974.
or this?
image: Loom .

And one more (and you know I could keep going because this is such fun!)
This (it gets an extra-large pic because I love it so),
image: Contemporary, by Lesley Jackson.
(this incredible feature fireplace was designed in 1964 by Crites of Crites and McConnell in the USA)
or this?
image: Designer Heat.
For the record, in most cases, I like both schools*.
for another take on that old chestnut - "what goes around comes around" read Eamon Donnelly's post: "On-trend Ideas for Your Home Renovations" on his excellent blog  The Island Continent .

*not a huge fan of peacock chairs. They look lovely, but have you ever tried sitting in one? Maybe The Family Love Tree have upped the comfort factor in their version...the vintage one's I've sat in are tre inconfortable (my nod to Bastille Day), to say the least.  


Friday, July 12, 2013


Acacia echinula (or Hedgehog Wattle to you and me), picked locally.
By day,
and night.
Gorgeous, but you could do yourself an injury (or catch a fish!) on those leaves - best left for the truly dedicated local picker.
A lovely blogger, this one (although she doesn't blog that often these days - which is a pity because I loved her simple words and beautiful pictures) sent me these last year. I've been loathe to use them because I didn't want to wreck their pretty packaging. A couple of nights ago I was cooking moussaka for dinner, the recipe called for bay leaves, so
in they went.
I wish this was a little green corner at our house...
I'd be a copy-cat and pop one or two on the sidey,
and hang another from the ceiling.
From onefortythree. You should check their lighting (and their plywood furniture) Speaking of lighting (and ply) I've got my eye on a pair of Logan's tripod lamps for our new ply bedside tables (designed by me and built by Anth - pics soon).
Kitchen Bitchin - a few notes.
Yesterday our kitchen was stripped bare. It's surprising how much better it looks without those Tassie oak doors (the white melamine shelves, ugly as they are, look much better naked - even though the mess inside them isn't hidden anymore!)
This morning I am off to the two-pac man (I'm not sure what else to call him...) to check his colour match to Mr Jason Grant's Dark Night (funny on that, when I did a brush-out to compare colours, my first instinct was to go with Farrier - all I could see was the khaki/olive green tinge in Dark Night. My initial reaction was "Jaaase, what were you thinking?!" Turns out, it's that little hint of murky green that adds depth and makes it interesting. By the time I'd painted three coats, I liked it more and more). The two-pac man, however, reckons I should go white. He says no-one is getting dark kitchens anymore. According to him dark is out. White is in. He also says interior designers are a pain in the you-know-what! (in saying that, he is a perfectionist and does beautiful work) I wonder what he would've said if I asked him to spray my cabinets apple green...
(something I seriously considered doing - even now it's in the back of my mind. Which is not a good thing at this point in time. Ahem!)
One more thing on the kitchen: in her Style Surgery remedy Abigail suggested we replace our "stumpy" upper cabinets with elongated doors made from MDF. She said not to worry about the carcass behind the doors being smaller because no-one would notice, but the thing is: I would notice! and it would drive me crazy! Also we wanted to keep the oak and not replace it with a cheaper material - so those cabinet doors are staying put. What we have done instead, is boxed in the space above them with gyprock - I suppose if you were talking fancy you would call it a bulkhead (it kind-of sort-of is). The plan is to paint this Dark Night like the cabinet doors underneath it, which we're hoping will give the illusion of longer doors. At this stage I think we're onto a winner, because even undercoated it looks much better. The big test will be when the cabinet doors are back in situ. Time will tell.
I'm looking forward to writing a post called Bitchin Kitchen, it's some way off though...these things take more time that you think they would...or I think they should!
A sight for sore eyes, but strangely, much better than before.
(we are installing a wall to ceiling pantry in the space next to the oven - it will be painted Dark Night like the rest of the cabinetry. Btw it is my job to paint the oak trims you can see in this pic - that's gonna be fun! NOT!)
Thanks for reading x
p.s. one more thing, I'm planning to leave that 'box' above the rangehood as is (i.e. unpainted). Do you think it's a good idea, or do you reckon it would look better painted?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Words and Pictures

Cold Fish
We found this on the side of the road a few years ago.
I know some of you will be thinking we should've left it there(!) but I love it. Words (and probably good taste) defy how much.
I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to pop her out in the garden (apart from the fact that she's solid concrete and bl**dy heavy!) because every time she catches my eye she makes me smile.
You might think yuk, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to feel the lurve-thing for Fishy - notice how a previous owner has taken the time to pick out her fins and things in gaudy gold paint. And look at that 'lippy'! (might be time for a touch-up though...)
She's missing her bird bath, but I don't care - she makes a gorgeous pot-plant stand, and when my Winter Cactus (Schlumbergera) starts trailing down the sides of its (equally lovely old) concrete pot, she's gonna look even better. I think every garden needs a touch of concrete quirk, don't you?
Warm Trees 
These trees are on the very top end of the street in which we live. All the colours of the rainbow, plus extras.
Forgive my crappy photo,
(I feel like a bit of a dill taking photos in public, and these trees are right in front of our local. Its verandah was full of lunchtime drinkers at the time which upped the dill factor, hugely)
it was taken furtively and on-the-run.
I'm fine when it comes to a bit of friendly neighbourhood pruning (more evidence below), but it's a whole other story when it comes to taking photographs out in the open, just tattoo an 'L' on my forehead! (or maybe a "d' for Dag) A 'proper' blogger I'll never be.
Picked Locally 
Leucadendon 'Sundance', amber coloured vase (60's Japanese Whitefriars rip-off), atomic laminate. 
Pretty Girls 
That's Dot on the left (my favourite) and Snowbird on the right. Beautiful black ink silhouettes by my newest bloggy acquaintance Nelly. These would look amazing anywhere you put them (and particularly bangin (or should that be hangin?) in the boudoir! I can't believe I just said that!) but I'm picturing them in a shared girls bedroom, one above each bed. Nelly can be contacted here, and you can check more of her work on her blog retro revolver.
Cute Pup 
It's all an illusion. He's waiting to pounce on the next passer-by. He's our Pit Bull in Chihuahua's clothing.
(don't worry, he can't get out - he just scares the you-know-what out of them as they walk past)
Colour Swatch 
My Murobond paint samples for our kitchen cabinets (as recommended by Abigail Ahern, see here) finally arrived from N.S.W. (I couldn't get them here in little old Perth).
So which colour do you think I've chosen?
The Society Inc by Sibella Court's Farrier on the left?
Mr Jason Grant's  Dark Night on the right?
I wonder if you'll get it right? I'll let you know next time...



Friday, July 5, 2013

It's A Small World...'meeting' Helmut Gritscher.

and just when you thought this was turning into a cooking blog!

Helmut Gritscher is one of the photographers whose work appeared in my 1968, much loved, tip-shopped, copy of Life in Australia (see here, here, here and here - and that's just for starters! There's more - hit the search button if you're interested...)

Windsor Castle Hotel

Sadly, I haven't really had the pleasure of meeting him, but about a month ago I received this email:

My name is Romedia and I live in Austria. I found a Photo in your Blog of Helmut Gritscher - Surf girl. Do you know the Photographer? - He is my neighbour... His family lives in Australia... I think he is looking for it!
Hope for an answer,
Romedia Fischler

I replied to Romedia straight away.
(I was just a little bit excited! You get that, right?)

I thought it was so cool (and a little bit crazy!), that a smelly old book I'd picked up at the tip for peanuts, elicited a response from someone on the other-side-of-the world, with a very real connection to a man whose (wonderful) photos of life in Australia appeared among its pages.
There are photos of:

"battlers, hippies in duffle coats and Beatle mops, fat pudgy Mums with moustaches and shopping bags, wharfies and waiters, God botherers, nymphos, dragsters, not-so-handsome stockbrokers, plus a fair sprinkling of Aborigines"

to quote the intro written by Craig McGregor. These are just some of his descriptions btw, a few of my favourites, but it was hard to choose - they're all fabulous (and very funny!)

Youth full Activites 1

In my email to Romedia, I offered to send my copy of Life in Australia to Mr Gritscher - it is his more than mine after all, don't you reckon?*

Our conversation continued:

I think he would be lucky if he could get a copy. Please send it to me. I think he has no computer... He is now about 80 years old and he was ill, now he could not speak any more but he is still okay and he he takes a few photos... He is a great person. My father nows him well. We live in that house already for 2 years. My grandma lives here. Now I see him every 2 days when he is going for a walk. I also love taking photos. I think he was a great photographer in Australia, right? His family - his wife and son I think went home to Austraila a long time ago and he is very sad because he didn't see them any more. Now he is 80 years old. Is there something in the book about his family? Perhaps you could`t help me to find his family?


It has taken me far too long to write this post. I meant to get it up and out there much sooner than this - that's just how it goes sometimes...but please, if there is anybody out there who knows anything about Mr Gritscher's family here in Australia, drop me a note (there's a link to my email address up there on the right hand side), if you are happy for me to pass on your details to Romedia I will.  

I know it's a long shot, but you "never know your luck in the big city" - after all, I never, ever expected to hear from Romedia in the first place!

(photographs of milk bars and delis like this one, are all the rage at the moment, according to Anth)

Of course, I have no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Mr Gritscher's separation from his family. It's none of my business either. However as you read above, he is a very old man and it would be pretty special if he could be reunited with them. I'll leave it with you and the rest of the blogosphere. Feel free to copy and share bits of this post if you're so inclined (I'm being a bit hopeful here, I know).

All the best to you and your family, Kylie x

* After a visit to Australia Post I will be unable to send the whole book to Austria. Even by sea it was going to cost a bomb (and I'm not entirely confident sending things by sea - too many parcels to far flung places have gone AWOL in my experience) Instead I am going to have Mr Gritscher's photographs copied professionally, and post those instead. I felt I needed to mention this in the spirit of honesty. 

Youth full Activities 2
All photographs Helmut Gritscher.
Life in Australia edited by Craig McGregor and David Beal, 1968.