Saturday, 28 February 2009


Yay, Friday passed with no major fire dramas in Victoria (thanks, CFA!) although it was a horridly hot day. Daylesford is not out of the woods yet (so to speak), it's going to be hot again on Tuesday, but we are getting there and hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

I have to confess, I have been secretly enjoying being tucked away in our friend's house in Melbourne. It is so luxurious compared to our rustic old cottage, with carpet and air-conditioning and all that stuff. It has an en-suite, and a pond in the garden, and a bar fridge. And Melbourne's best Sunday flea market is just nearby. And IKEA!

But I am looking forward to going home tomorrow, though, just for the little conveniences like being able to download photos onto my computer (sorry for these boring posts with no photos!), and getting the boys settled back into a routine.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Thanks for all the lovely messages of support! The latest is that the fire is under control, but the weather is looking really bad for Friday and extra fire troops are coming in from other states in preparation. We have put our pets into pet hotels and taken most of our precious things to our friends house in Melbourne. We are all ok, a bit tired, and struggling to keep on top of everything but our friends have all been amazing with offers of help. Sydney was a blast by the way, I'll report on the trade fair when things are back to normal. But it was ace! X

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

New bush fires

There is a major bushfire happening around Daylesford. Luckily Paul and I and the kids and Steph have been in Sydney so we are safe, and we are in constant contact with friends and neighbours who are there. Everyone is ok, a few people have left but most are still in town. We are desperately hoping that today will not bring the fire right into town. We are going to try and get in to grab some things and pick up our pets then we'll stay in Melbourne for a few days while we see what is happening. This is horrible.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

New things!

We've been making lots of new things to stock up our webshop - see them all here!

Vintage Fabric Balls

Belle & Boo Soaps

Vintage Swap Card Writing Sets

Vintage Wallpaper Coasters

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Off to Sydney, any travel tips?

Speed Boat, originally uploaded by Kent Johnson.

We will shortly be off to Sydney for Life in Style. It's mostly business but our kids will be joining us for part of the time.

I'd love to know if anyone has any tips for:

Fun excursions with two young boys, museums, ferry trips, parks etc.

Great restaurants, especially Middle Eastern, Thai, Italian etc.

Any vintage shops I mustn't miss?

Thanks so much, please email me or leave a comment if you can help.

It's a trade-only event but if you are intending to come please stop by and say hello! It's usually frantically busy on the Thursday and Friday so my tip is to come on the weekend when people have more time to chat.


Choosing wallpaper

We're packing today for the Life in Style trade show next week. I haven't even finalised the stand design yet (which is unusual for me, but my mind has been elsewhere) although I'm thinking of incorporating some vintage wallpaper. I think I will just take a few rolls along in my suitcase and then see what works on the day. Here are some of the papers I am selecting from, I am pretty much decided on the yellow, pink and turquoise flower rolls on the left and the purple roll on the far right.

Daylesford Sunday Market

Pyrex dish

'Nice Buns' from my favourite baker, Red Beard.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


We drove over to Castlemaine today. There is a little row of shops I particularly like, opposite the old swimming pool. In the op shop there I picked up a huge $1 bag of fabric remnants. There were a few of those dreaded poyester dress fabrics inside, but also a surprisingly good quantity of vintage pieces in cotton, brushed cotton, terry and viyella (viyella is one of my favourite fabrics, I love its cosy wool/cotton blend).

There is also a beautiful old hotel on this street.

With mysterious windows.

Inside is room after room of vintage outfits.

The old building itself is beautiful, with pressed tin on the walls and pretty windows, and amazing doorways.

I want to paint the inside of my house in the colours of these faded flowers.

Next door is a deli that my kids love, another big old place with painted brickwork. The grown-up food is disappointing so we all tuck in to milkshakes and jaffles, which are the best thing ever after a swim. My son tried his first lemonade spider today.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Handmade Help! Support the bush fire appeal!

Hand Made Help has been set up to auction and sell lovely handmade products with all proceeds going to the Victorian bush fire appeals.

I am donating this hand-knitted Lambie to the appeal - all purchases of Lambie from our web shop during February will be donated to the bush fire appeal. Click here to find out more!

Lambie is hand-knitted in 100% cotton, he is completely fair trade so you will also be helping the women we support in rural Bangladesh. He has a sweet daisy chain necklace and is about 30cms long.

Please visit the Hand Made Help site for lots more lovelies in aid of this very important cause. As you may know, I am based here in country Victoria and some of the personal stories we are hearing are just so dreadful.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Graziela Preiser

I have recently discovered the work of Graziela Preiser, a German designer whose iconic images were hugely popular in the 1970s. They decorated everything from kids' bedding to hostess aprons, cups, clothes and cushions.

Gabriela and her daughter Nina Nägel have started to re-iusse some of the prints onto children's bedding and nightwear in the UK. I am a huge fan and can't wait to see what they come up with!

You can visit the By Graziela website here, and see an archive of inspiring 1970s textile designs.

Victorian Bushfires Appeal

The Australian Red Cross has launched an appeal to help the hundreds of families affected by the devastating bushfires. Please donate a little if you can, phone 1800 811 700 or donate online here. The phone line and website are both very busy so you have to persevere. Money is badly needed to help people get through this.

Update: Meet Me at Mikes has listed some other ways you can help too, and they are collecting toys and donated goods in their Fitzroy shop.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

It's nice to know...

that people care! We've received a whole heap of emails, calls and comments today from friends concerned about the terrible bush fires that have been happening in country Victoria this weekend. Thank you so much, we are all fine. In fact we didn't notice anything at all in our little town other than the sweltering heat and murky sky. But it could just as easily have been us, we are after all surrounded on all sides by a dense forest.

I can't imagine how it must be for those people who have lost their homes, or worse. We put together an emergency plan today, what we would do (evacuate), what we would take with us if there was time... emergency stuff like camping gear, tinned food and cash, practical stuff like our back-up hard drive and copies of our documents, and sentimental stuff like my dad's football trophies and the kids' memory boxes. I hate to even think about it, but I guess you have to. I just read about a woman who died in her car trying to escape, with her crockery on the passenger seat next to her. My heart goes out to the people who've been affected by these fires.

Daylesford Sunday Market

Hot Chocolate



Saturday, 7 February 2009

Where has the sky gone?

That is what my son asked today. The temperature outside is at least 45 degrees but there is no blue sky, instead just a grey haze, with a few barely visible clouds. And a vicious wind. The papers say today it is the worst weather for fifty years, in Melbourne the hottest day ever, the highest risk of bush fires out here in country Victoria. We haven't had rain in our town for weeks. My friends in England are snowed in and freezing, like never before. This is horrible.

Friday, 6 February 2009

New Coasters

We have a new press for making coasters and so we've been playing with it this week. Here are some of the new-design coasters made with vintage storybooks. They are much better than the old plastic ones as they are lighter, made from metal and have a cork back. Available here.

Monday, 2 February 2009


I am excited because my webshop is featured in the Bondville blog today, This is a really great Australian design blog that I read regularly. Have a peek!

First Day of School

First day of the new school year. At least the weather has cooled down a bit, it was 40+ all of last week!

For my little son this is the first day of his school life. He has been a bit anxious, mainly about learning to read and write, as he is the sort of person who puts a lot of pressure on himself. A perfectionist. Like me. I am not worried about him socially as he has always been good at making friends and he has a group of classmates who he has known for the past two years from childcare and kinder. And he has the BEST teacher in town, she is awesome. In the classroom he went right to his new desk and started drawing. I was so proud and brave, I didn't shed a tear! I can't wait to pick him up this afternoon and give him a huge cuddle!

Big son is in grade 2 this year and has started a new class with a lovely young teacher. He knows a few people from last year so he wont be on his own, but I still get anxious for him as he is not so good at making friends. He is more the sensitive, creative type. Like me. One of the big problems is that we moved here when he was five so he was only at kinder for two months, and then we changed schools after grade prep because it wasn't working out for us. The school we go to now is a good school, we're much happier here as a family, but some of the other parents can be a bit traditional and cliquey (don't mention the school fete to me!). But he has managed to make a little group of friends and I am proud of him for that.

So today, on the first day of school, the boy he considers as one of his best friends turns up at the same time as us and starts handing out birthday invites but not to my son, who stood there expectantly, and didn't say anything when he was overlooked, though I know from experience that he will have taken it to heart. I get so mad about this kind of thing (call me overprotective, but I can't ever bear to see anyone being rejected) and I had to ask the boy's father why he wasn't invited. Turns out they can 'only invite six kids' and they have chosen the boys who were at kinder with their son, leaving my son as the only one not invited from this particular group of friends. I mean, move on, people, let's make new friends and try different things from time to time. And more to the point, if you have to exclude some kids (and these parents know that our sons are close friends and played together most of last year even if they are in different grades now), then how about handing out the invites a bit more discreetly? Some kids have feelings, you know, especially on the first day of school. And hey, wasn't your boy invited to our boy's party? And wont I still keep inviting him to playdates because that's the nice thing to do? Grrrr... sorry, I just had to let that out.

But getting back to the positives, I now am a fully-fledged school mom! Yay (I think)! This means the school run is cut in half (it's now 10 minutes instead of 20!), more time for my own work and play, and soon I will have two boys who love to read books to me rather than just one! I am loving it already.