Thursday, 30 January 2014

three-line thursday: creative blouse by Bespeling

Art Blouse by Bespeling

It probably would take a mathematician to tell how many possible looks this blouse has.
Mathematician I am not, so I cannot tell.
All I can say is that this playful design looks like stylishly endless fun!

Friday, 24 January 2014

flea friday: a mirror, a clock and some starbursts and polkadots on the side

Oh how I like finding quirky vintage stuff in the thrifts! It's one of my favourite pastimes and hobbies after all. But to prevent acute hoarding I do set limits and follow a count-to-ten discipline when out hunting. I still allow myself to collect certain things that I don't necessarily need, if they come very cheap and if they really speak to me. Otherwise I want my vintage finds to have a useful purpose in my home, in my wardrobe or in our everyday life.

This group of finds belong to the latter group - they have the age, they have the look, they had a cheap pricetag and they found a good home with us, being used again to their purpose.

This mid century modern mirror is a huge find for me - for a long time I've been wanting a good vintage mirror with teak details and a nice shape, but prices always prevented me to acquire one. Then one day I happened upon this example. It was buried under a whole lot of uninspiring junk on a lower shelf. The teak bits were dried out and faded, but I do like a little restoration project. So even the few small nicks on the edges couldn't spoil my joy. It cost a fiver. It's up on the wall now in our apartment, the teak has been fed with almond oil and polished. It is enjoyed every day, for example when I do my hair in the mornings.

Doing my hair usually involves tying a scarf into it - it tames my fly-away strands and allows me to forget about bad hair day, which I seem to get a lot... I'm pleased to have found a new favourite head scarf for a single coin, in such a happy polkadotty colourway. It is a good non-slippery matt rayon weave, and it was made in Japan sometime in the 60s.

And then, a ceramic wall clock of vintage dreams. Just like the mirror, I have been after a good vintage wall clock for yonks. In fact, we bought one last year, a 70's German plastic one in a fun brown and orange colourway, but after an hour of having it installed on the kitchen wall it stopped working. After tinkering with it a bit and running it on a new battery, it was clear that the motion was broken. I'm still looking for a replacement motion for it - have not found the right one yet.

I don't need to hurry with the search because this gorgeous green Vedette keeps the time in our home now. Vedette seems to be a really cool French vintage brand. Amongst all the covetable examples online, I haven't come across this particular green model - could it mean that they produced each design in small quantities? Or could it be that the lovely but breakable materials didn't survive the test of time? Could be either or even both. Mine is missing its glass dome cover, but I don't actually mind that much - its looks and inner workings survived the test of time and it came to us cheap cheap cheap.

Good vintage tins are also always welcome in our home - we like using ones with spotless interiors for storing dry foodstuffs. Remember this and this? As well as our coffees, now our granulated sugar is also in a vintage tin. I like that it features a doodle starburst pattern, and the word sugar in both Estonian and Russian. My affinity for vintage Soviet stuff is very pleased with this tin!

Sharing my finds with A Living Space, with Sir Thrift a Lot, with We Call It Junking, and with Me and My Shadow.

Friday, 17 January 2014

flea friday: a Don Freedman-esque wall hanging

We LOVE a nice vintage wall hanging, be it tapestry, rya rug, fibre art or school maps.  So when we see a real beauty at a low price, we buy it. Real beauties are normally very expensive which is kind of lucky from a hoarding-prevention point of view... Sometimes however, a rare opportunity comes by when it's possible to snatch up a real beauty for very very cheap, which is also very lucky.

This Don Freedman-esque autumnal landscape is amongst the examples of such rare opportunities. It cost less than a cinema-ticket but gazing at it gives me more joy than most current productions in the movie theatre. I'm very happy to see it every morning as I sit up from bed.

Isn't it nice, in all of its 1970s chunky textured, hand crafted glory?

Sharing this week with A Living Space, with Sir Thrift a Lot, with We Call It Junking and with Me and My Shadow.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

long time no see

Three things which I have not seen for a while:

- blossoming ice on the windowpane
- my shadow
- and clear blue skies...

At last, it's sunny, bright and very very cold!

Monday, 13 January 2014

seeds in the post

Unexpected gifts and nice mail are the best stuff in the mail box, in my opinion. I have been lucky enough to enjoy both just recently, courtesy of Steph from the Mini Matriarchin blog.

She sent me one of her lovely handmade postcards and a secret surprise, which was revealed once I opened the card to read.

I'm so excited at the prospect of growing heirloom tomatoes from seed this summer!

Sometime last year I was admiring Steph's roof garden and especially the striped tomato - how very nice that she sent me some little seeds!

Thank you Steph! With your letter and the enclosed surprise, springtime feels a little closer!

Do you think sending flower of veggie seeds in the post is a nice idea?

Friday, 10 January 2014

flea friday: cocktail napkins, a cake stand and a Nokia surprise

Aha, so where is the Nokia brick phone, I hear you say upon seeing my little still life photo up here - we'll get to the surprise bit soon, not to worry!

This batch of finds go back as far as last November. The reason for showing them off only now is that I tend to get unhappy with low light conditions and the less than crystal clear image quality they promote...Well, between now and November there's been barely a half hour window when it was other than grayscale light...grumble, grumble.

But hey-ho, onto the finds.

There were a couple of things I didn't necessarily need, yet both things proved irresistible in their vintageness. As usually, my buying decision was reinforced by the cheep price tags attached. Besides, they are useful and usable objects - both the orange melamine cake stand and the a couple of 50's cocktail napkins in emerald green. I like how these mini tablecloths were printed in a way to give the impression of tipsy double vision.

I always look at the reverse side of an object as a rule of thumb - it helps finding out the maker, determining true age and origin, just to mention a few amongst all the factors important when you are trying to find genuine vintage articles. Sometimes the reverse side reveals hidden surprises too, like faults or signatures.

Luckily both my items were faultless, even on the reverse side. The textile napkins proved to be of age, showing off that typical weave of utility cottons from decades ago when this type of strong fabric was used quite often in tablecloths and curtains. I cannot think of the actual term or name of this weave - any ideas? It's the same weave as seen in the cute elves table runner I picked up just before Xmas. The cake stand revealed a stamp that told me it was made in Sweden.

So that Nokia surprise - well, it is not a phone. Did you know that Nokia used to make gumboots? In fact, they still do.

In November it was raining so much and I was so fed up with getting wet toes in wet-through shoes that I started to hanker after a pair of their supercool wedge-heeled gumboots, which is, alas, priced well above what my budget can afford.

Next thing you know, I spot a pair of factory fresh 70's Nokia gumboots on a quick dip into a charity shop on my way home. I'm not the type who'd normally buy rubber boots from anywhere, let alone secondhand, but these have been never used, they are in as new condition and by far the best gumboots a tenner will buy me, like ever. Plus they have very comfy, well-balanced, supportive medium high heels, and they are le couleur de melted chocolat (ie. lush deep brown). No wonder this model was named City. Beyond looks, they are virtually indestructible - they are of vulcanized rubber which withstands subzero temperatures up to - 40 degrees C.

As well as on my feet on a rainy or slushy day, they can also be seen here in the museum in Tampere.

Sharing my finds with A Living Space, with Sir Thrift a Lot, with Me and My Shadow and with We Call It Junking.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

the Hello Shop

My guy got into growing himself a beard. So last month I set out to find a lovely grooming product for him as a present for Christmas. It seemed the perfect time to also try out Etsy as a shopping destination, and support someone creative with a small business somewhere in Europe.

This is how I came across Beau in Utrecht and her lovely hand-made and all-natural pampering products in her Hello Shop. I ordered this nourishing beard oil spray in Earth scent and also a little pot of lemongrass salve. They arrived beautifully gift-wrapped in charcoal tissue paper and a brown craft paper pouch, tied with black and white bakers twine. In the big Christmas rush I forgot to take a picture of the gift wrapping, but believe me it was spot on for a guy gift!

And what's more, my boyfriend loves the oil and the beard is looking healthy and feeling soft. If we had better light conditions right now allowing for good beard portraiture, I'd snap a shot of the beard to show, but as it is, it has to wait until the sun breaks through the seemingly permanent greyness...

Going to The Hello Shop and placing an order with Beau really made Christmas shopping that much easier, and I'm so impressed with her product that I really wanted to make a  little feature of it here. I'm also pretty sure I will return for some more - Beau has just listed some great sounding new products for girls too! - I have my eye particularly on this soap and this lippy, so I don't think I'll wait until the beard oil runs out...

Thank you Beau for the truly great shopping experience and the brilliant beard oil!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Craft It Forward 2013 reveal

It's time to show you what has been made for the Craft It Forward challenge I swore to complete last year - and I did complete it so, just before the year expired. I took my time, but I was rather enamored with the idea of making everybody a perfect little needle case for their 'idle' needles, so I exercised my precision stitching and my love of tiny handstitches to the max.

Here are the results below:

What else was in the packet? Here is Helene's, Anna's and Evdokia's example. I know that most of you have received the parcel and I'm so glad you all liked it too, and I trust that the others did so too.

It was a fun project, I'm definitely tempted to do something similar sometime again. I also really like both the sending and the receiving aspect of snail mail, I'm set on finding ways to enjoy it more!

Friday, 3 January 2014

three-line thursday: typewriter calendar by SkyGoodies

Print-your-own typewriter calendar via SkyGoodies
A nice way to start the year is with a nice new calendar...
...which is in the shape of a little typewriter?
Oh yes.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

happy 'neigh' year!

Being the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese - and me being an Earth Horse too according to them - I could not resist this, and the title... So with this silly, fun first post of the year, I'm wishing all of you a brilliant, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2014! Here's for all the newness and all the goodness it will bring!

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