Stamp Collecting

Did you collect stamps as a child?

I did – Mum worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs before she had my brother and I – one of her friends saved a big box of stamps and Mum planned to repackage them and sell them for the church fete!  She seemed to always get such labour intensive tasks assigned to her!

Guess who had first pick?!  I think my brother and I probably had the best collections on the street!

I spent hours looking at the stamps as a kid and imagining the far away lands.  Quite educational.

Last year at the Fifties Fair there were a few lengths of fabric printed with stamps designs which I had never seen before.  They were, as most things at that event, quite pricey so I held back and didn’t buy anything.  So I have now spend the past year dreaming about stamp fabric!

This year there was very little fabric for sale, probably due to the rain – disappointingly.

So thrilled to find this stamp print at Spotlight recently!   And at just $8 per metre.  It reminds me of that time as a child and the stamps are vintage, not like some other similar fabrics currently available.

Can’t wait to make it up – perfect for yet another Fifties Style Novelty Skirt!

Vintage Australian Stamp with Crocodile

Vintage Australian Stamp with Crocodile





Fabric Printed with Vintage Stamps - French Stamp picturing the Arc de Triomphe





Sydney’s Best Opshop

Those of you in the know will not be surprised to hear this.  I declare Sydney’s Best Op Shop to be the wonderful Salvos at Tempe / St Peters – AKA Tempe Tip!

And those of you who might be visiting Sydney will be thrilled to learn this place is a short car ride from the Airport! And it’s just near Ikea – if that takes your fancy after your flight too!

This store never fails to disappoint in coming up with the goods – and I usually find myself gasping from how good it is at least a few times!

I fount this gorgeous “Vintage Glamourpuss” handbag. In my early days of attending the Fifites Fair, I remember seeing the maker of this great range of bags selling her wares, however they were always well out of my price range so I am just so pleased to have finally nabbed one and for just $8 – yay!

One went on Ebay recently – you might find one there

Looking for wool for winter sewing? I picked up this lovely double Faced black and grey wool it is a beautiful quality – 3 meters were $15 – there was a few on the rack – one was labelled Smouha fabrics – an exclusive fabric importer in Sydney – now defunct.

I always check out the furniture, though I am banned from bringing another stick of furniture into the house, and the lighting section.  The fifties kitchen set was about $600, the the antique chair was a steal I thought at under $200.

And remember my tip for great op shop karma – always take something to keep the awesomeness coming!



7 Bellevue Street










Birthday Treats!

On my birthday* my lovely friend/enabler and I had a shopping jaunt. There was coffee and treats.

We visited a junk/antique shop in Epping that was closing down.

My friend very kindly let me buy a Vogue Patterns 1968 Counter Book, she had asked the owner if he had any of these and he brought it to us.

We had a big trawl through what was on offer – like pigs in mud, you might say. Isn’t it the best to spend time with like-minded friends?


* My birthday is in March and yes I know its been a long time since I blogged, thanks for sticking with me.











20140625-164553-60353665.jpgVogue 1968 Counter Book - Woman in Black and Red A Line Striped Dress with White High Crowned Hat

Treasure from a Pre-TV World

Gosh, the beginning of the school year is so busy isn’t it?

I must make a note to watch our commitments and make sure I have at least cleared off the notice board of the previous year of school before the year starts!

We have been busy teaching Sunday School, getting our youngest organized for his first year of club soccer, as well as the usual round of Parent/Teacher meetings – there literally is a deluge of paper to contend with, and lists of stationary to buy, and I still don’t feel like I have gotten on top of things since we got back from NZ!

The kids are busy, the little one joined the Drama Club (!!!) and will do Gymnastics next term. The eldest one with also do Senior Gymnastics

So here’s the bit about Opera. This is a book I found many years ago in an Op Shop – It’s a guide to Operas. My Dad, who is a bit of an Opera buff, comes to Sydney he likes to go to the Opera House and catch one, so we study before we go. The handmade cover is very beautifully embroidered isn’t it. It’s a much loved book from a Pre-TV world. It’s nearly 100 years old. It fell off the book case the other day and this postcard was hiding inside. I have no idea where the building is but its sweet. Don’t you think?

A book cover, that’s a nice easy sewing project, make it as simple or crochet the edges?

Hope you are managing to juggle your load successfully…





Crown Lynn and Excess Baggage

As its Waitangi Day today – let’s take a look at the Crown Lynn crockery I bought in NZ shall we?!

Now, I tried very hard not to spend lots while in NZ but when in op shops and tip shops (we need more of these in Australia) I went to town!

Consequently my kid’s, husband’s and my two bags were all a little heavier and fatter on the trip home.

These goodies came from The Motueka Sunday Morning Market, op shops in Motueka, The Tip Shop at Motueka, and the Tip Shop in Nelson.

They were all around a dollar, I may have paid $5 for a bigger dinner plate at the market.

Do you stuff excess items in your family’s bags when traveling? Come on – ‘fess up!

Crown Lynn Cups and Saucers


Kelston Ceramics "Melody"

Kelston Ceramics “Melody”



A collective sticky-beak at thrift scores and op shop finds – care to join in?


Holiday Reading – The Australian Women’s Mirror April 1947

Happy New Year!!  Still no sewing projects completed despite my having six weeks off, however I read four books while I was on holiday so that was something.  It’s been so long since I read a book that I wasn’t sure if I still could.  My reading consists mostly of Facebook updates, online articles and interiors magazines.  So as a result – I am pretty up to date with current events and my house looks fab!

We traveled to New Zealand – here we are at Kaiteriteri Beach under Mum’s fifty year old beach umbrella (I tried to fit it in my bag but it would not fit).

One day while out bike riding I dropped into the local library where I found three Australian Women’s Mirror magazines from the late forties.

I hope no-one is offended by the racist by lines on the cover – I can crop this or remove the photo – I hope you let know if you think I should do this.

I sat there and photographed my favorite fashion images and adverts. Aren’t they great? I particularly like the hairstyles and the illustrations.

The actress on the cover is Virginia Mayo.  I had never heard of her but I learned that she was in the original version (need to see that!) of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” which we saw while in NZ – it was fun.  Nothing like free babysitting – thanks for that Mum and Dad and for lovely holiday.

I hope your new year is starting well.








Stop me, before I volunteer again

Peonies and baubles in pink cake stand with vintage sheet as tablecloth

Peonies and baubles in pink cake stand with vintage sheet as tablecloth

What?! Christmas is the day after tomorrow?!! Life has been a blur of work, domestics, supporting my husband in his business, final chats with the kids teachers, decoration my church’s Christmas Party (for 200 guests) coordinating two gifts, flowers and cards for two teachers, and trying to get to the gym and sew, before we go to New Zealand in Saturday.

Vintage ceramic Santa Chimney Vase, Deer Planter and Japanese Fifties Musical Carousel Ornament

Vintage ceramic Santa Chimney Vase, Deer Planter and Japanese Fifties Musical Carousel Ornament

I know everyone’s busy but I really seem to have overdone it this year but it’s been blogging that has suffered the most.

Glass Vase filled with Tortured Willow, decorated with tiny Mason Jars, with cakestand filled with baubles

Vintage New Zealand Map, Tortured Willow in vase (so 90’s) decorated with miniature Mason Jars

It’s hard to devote lots of time to something that doesn’t make any money especially when Instagram is so immediate and gratifying.  So I am not apologizing for my slackness, but my life seems busier than when I started this blog and my lack of sewing has become frustrates me.  This blog should be called Silent Vintage Sewing, or more aptly, Copious Amounts of Opshopping, as that is the direction things are going!

Vintage tins in my kitchen with Acrylic Handbad Decorations

Vintage tins in my kitchen with Acrylic Handbag Decorations

The needs of my kids keep growing and I need to focus on my youngest one in particular next year. He’s had a rough time at school and I want next year to be great for him.

Vintage 60's glassware and comportes with baubles in blye, green and pink

Vintage 60’s glassware and comportes with baubles in blue, green and pink

Anyway – I will not make any promises I am unlikely to keep!

Christmas Tree from the garden in a Fifties Concrete Tree Trunk Pot

Christmas Tree from the garden, with vintage decorations, in a Fifties Concrete Tree Trunk Pot

I hope you swing by once in a while to see what I bought, rather than what I have made!

Baubles in Chrystal Cakestand and Cloche, with Red Diana Vase and Australia Tray

Baubles in Crystal Cakestand and Cloche, with Red Diana Vase and Australia Tray

Meanwhile here are some pretty pictures of the minimal decorations I have put up this year.

Red Baubles in Glass vase, Fifities Aluminium Apple Ice Bucket, Vintage Maori Dolls

Red Baubles in Glass vase, Fifties Aluminium Apple Ice Bucket, Vintage Maori Dolls

I wish you a peaceful, reflective Christmas and thanks so much for your support this year.

Fifties Hairstyle by Alyce at Sterling Hair, Surry Hills

Fifties Hairstyle by Alyce at Sterling Hair, Surry Hills

Lots of love

Trish xxxx

PS – here’s a link to my Hairdressers