Apr 19, 2014

Worn | Retro Yellow Shoes

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I found these ridiculous shoes for $5 at an opshop a few months back and tried them on and they fit me near perfectly (if a little snug). I had kind of bought them to be what I like to call (and which my husband hates) 'ornamental shoes'. Impractical, but gorgeous. I have quite a lot of ornamental shoes. But I have in fact worn these shoes twice. I wore them to Evandale Markets last weekend and I am sure that if my husband and my friend Holly never hear the sound of them again it will be too soon (they have tiny little metal 'taps' on the toes and make a ridiculous sound when I walk). Anyway, I love them.

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This dress and cardigan were my very first vintage purchases, about ten years ago. I bought them from Raymond Terrace Salvos when I was about fourteen and they're still some of my favourite vintage purchases. The dress came apart in places over the years from over-use but nothing a needle and thread couldn't fix. The teapot buttons on the cardigan were an addition by my teenage self. It is nice to think of my teenage self wearing this outfit around my tiny country home town.

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I have to admit that I rarely buy new clothes for Theo. 80% of his wardrobe is thrifted and the other 20% are things people have given me or that my husband has bought (practical onesies and the like). It's not (just) that I'm cheap when it comes to these things, but moreover that I just never see anything I like in retail stores and I always see something I like when I go opshopping. This little blazer was an exception and it was heavily reduced in price and Theo is in dire need of Winter clothes. And I'll admit, it is nice to have some items that are new for a baby. I wade through a lot of pilly and stained baby onesies to find goodies. My vintage baby girl dress collection hit 40 items last week - my husband thinks I have a problem and is worried we may never have a girl baby to wear them - he is one of 3 boys!

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Theo's top 4 teeth have all broken through now (phew!) and are coming down ever so slowly. It is so sweet when he smiles really big and I catch a glimpse of them and see what he'll look like with teeth. The middle top two are so far apart at the moment - an adorable little gap!

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+ My outfit: all vintage except the tights from Sussan.
+ Theo's outfit: all vintage except blazer from Target.

Apr 18, 2014

Childhood

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I've been absent from this blog for a few weeks, totally unintentionally. Uni has engulfed me, as it always does, and I'm back at work and trying to make more time to spend with my family, so something had to give I guess! Uni has been stressful and time consuming but I am getting a lot out of it. My Studio Project A subject takes up a lot of time and due to it being a self-directed kind of unit, I get to determine the parameters of my project and set myself tasks. At the moment it is mostly drawing based and my subject matter revolves largely around memories and childhood. I thought I'd tell you a little about that and share some photos from my recent whirlwind trip back to NSW (where I grew up).

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I grew up in the country about 4kms away from the nearest town. We lived in a ramshackle old house in the middle of the bush, my mum, sister and I (and in the early days, my brother and later my mum's partner too). We had chickens, dogs, a huge garden, a dam, a creek we'd play in, neighbours far enough away that you could make all the noise you wanted to and we were often visited by the local pythons (we found one in my mum's bed on her pillow once, enjoying the afternoon sun). My mum sold that house about a fortnight ago and I was able to go back and help her to clean it up a bit and say a bit of a goodbye. It was a lovely place to grow up in in many ways, but also a burden as it was always in need of so much work (always being renovated) and a lot of maintenance (a termite's delight!). There are some lovely photos of that house from our wedding picnic.

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Growing up, every second weekend my mum would pick my sister and I up from school and we'd drive the hour trip to the city to stay with my dad. He lived in a housing commission flat in a suburb of Newcastle called Stockton. Stockton is technically a CBD suburb, because across the harbour on the ferry, it is only about 600m from the inner city, but it is about 15kms to drive, so it can have a weird isolated feeling to it. It was one of the first suburbs in Newcastle to be founded and was always a very industrial, working class suburb. There are many housing commission flats there, a minute or so from the beach. Visiting my dad there was exciting and fun and I looked forward to it very much - it was a whole different world.

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My dad's flat had three tiny rooms - a kitchen, a bathroom and a small general purpose room for eating, recreating and sleeping in. We would sleep on mattresses on the floor and watch The Simpsons on the old portable TV. My dad would take us on the ferry across to Newcastle and we'd go window shopping (we didn't have much money but we didn't care). We would play with the neighbourhood kids (who lived permanently in the housing commission flats) and go to the beach and the swimming pool a lot. We'd draw lots and lots of pictures which he'd sticky tape all over the walls of his flat. He let us eat all of the food my mum never let us have (white bread, fishfingers, 2-minute noodles, Milo, Nutella). He, on the other hand, was very healthy, eating good food, surfing and always sitting on the floor with his back to a wall. He was always reading to us, playing games with us and teaching us about things. He had a lot of time for us and never seemed bored or annoyed and never got angry. It wasn't until later on that it occurred to me that we were probably the only thing in his life that brought him any joy (he didn't work, didn't really have possessions or speak to many people).

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My dad liked crosswords and The Rolling Stones and had a little gap between his teeth. Sometimes he had a beard and sometimes he grew his fair hair long. He always wore thongs (flip flops) regardless of the weather. He almost never smiled, except for at my sister and I. He was terrible at singing and spelling but excellent at maths. He had one laugh he did when he was laughing with you and one when he was laughing at you. He liked coffee and pea and ham soup and his favourite colour was green.

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When I was ten my dad died. Since I can remember I was always aware of my dad's substance abuse issues, but I always assumed he'd be around. It was obviously very upsetting and grief is an ongoing process, but I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about memories of that time and how formative and positive they were. As you can imagine, there is lots of fodder within those memories for interpreting through art. I am really enjoying revisiting those memories and remembering things long forgotten. When he died, we went back to Stockton briefly to collect some of his things, but he didn't own much and I guess my mum didn't really see much point in us taking things that weren't of any value and so we basically left it as it was and I suppose the landlord cleared it out. I do remember the landlord letting us in and saying that that my dad "must have loved his kids" because his house was covered with our pictures and besides his clothes and food, most of the things in his flat were our books, toys, boogie boards and the like.

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When my mum asked me last month if I'd be able to make a quick trip up to my childhood home to help her out, I jumped at the chance to visit both places. I went to Stockton first, straight off the plane. My sister picked me up from the airport with our brother (who is ten years older than us and has a different father) and we all went back to Stockton and wandered around, taking it all in. Being there was pretty weird. The place was the same but different and it gave us lots of time to talk through our memories. We walked along the breakwall and through many familiar streets. Our dad's old flat was derelict with smashed windows and full of junk and the back door had been kicked in. It looked like someone might have been squatting there and that many people had lived there after my dad. I suppose I had always assumed that someone would be living there much like my dad had been (living simply, getting by), so it was confronting to see it in such a state. Otherwise, it was an interesting and important time being there. My brother and sister and I ate fish and chips by the water and then we left.

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There was one encounter while we were in Stockton that kind of summarised the visit perfectly - a shirtless, beer-bellied man with only a few teeth standing at the entrance to the breakwall asked us where we were from (I guess we looked out of place) and we said we spent some time growing up in Stockton and were just visiting and he said "It's beautiful isn't it?! I don't know why anyone would leave!" to which I told him about our dad having passed away when we were kids and he said, "Well... we all die occasionally", which was kind of perfect and beautiful.

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Apr 6, 2014

Weekly Thrift



On Saturday we took Isis and Holly with us to the Little Red Tractor Markets in Deloraine and did some opshopping. Deloraine is one of my favourite Tassie towns and I think if/when we move out to the country, it will be high on our list of places we'd like to move to (chickens, fruit trees, dogs, a huge vegetable patch!). Today Theo and I went to the Esk Markets (nearby to our house) - sometimes they're just full of junk, but this week I picked up quite a lot of goodies, including a bunch of little girls dresses (no, I'm not having another baby yet, though C would like that!) - I couldn't afford to buy them all though at $5 a pop. Here are some of the things I snavelled*.

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There are always great old kids toys at the markets, but I try to only buy really special ones because we live in a little house and Theo already has a lot of toys.

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I'm not certain if this outfit is for a child or a doll - it is tiny so probably will never fit any child of mine - Theo was almost 10lbs, but too cute to pass up.

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Ideally I'd like a pot holder collection like this for our lounge room wall. So far, I have two! And a very cute patterned tin to keep my pens in.

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Two lovely green vintage dresses.

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I have decided I'm going to collect vintage children's clothes patterns and try to make some (because they use so little fabric, if I stuff it up, it's not such a waste). I also can't resist a cat themed Golden Book (especially since it was in the 'FREE' box).

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A cute pastel pink baby frock, cute plastic bowl and a hand knitted dishcloth (that lovely Libby at Sunny's gave me for free).

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I'm collecting tiny animals for a tiny shelf with lots of little compartments in Theo's room. I'll show you when it's full.

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These were extras with the ones above, but they're cute too.

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Frilly and floral and lovely.

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1970s ramekins. Possibly to use at the 70s themed party Isis, Holly & I have been talking about having.

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Theo was very enthused about his new pig hat (we call him Piggy as a nickname).

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This is not the best picture of it (hello uni bathrooms), but I got this skirt at Serendipity Bazaar near my house this week, made from vintage tea towels. It has 4 different panels, so I can turn it around to suit what I'm wearing with it.

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Lastly, I got this Japanese hand painted tea/espresso set from the same place as above. My eyes turned into love hearts when I saw the scallops. The cups are TINY, like coffee shot sized. I can't imagine ever using it, but it is looking nice up on a shelf for the moment.

What have you been thrifting lately?

* I just realised this word seems to be an Australian slang word! It means 'steal', though of course I didn't really steal these things. I do wonder how often I use words that are idiosyncratically Australian (like when an American girl asked me what the word 'fortnight' meant).

Mar 29, 2014

Just A Minute | March

In March...

Blue eye
I wore a lot of red lipstick.

Lovely birthday gifts from my sister @sarahjagoe. I'm very spoiled. All the Poscas!
I celebrated my 24th birthday and my sister sent me some lovely things.

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On the morning of my birthday I woke up and C said "I bought you something online but it didn't arrive in time" but he'd made a big hot breakfast. I felt kind of sorry for myself but then he told me to pour some tea and it wasn't our usual tea, it was the Liquorice Legs tea I've been coveting for ages (seriously, you need to try this tea, it is an experience to behold!). And then he gave me an awesome Jellybeads necklace, a pot of body butter and the Smithsonian's List book, so I was a happy, spoiled girl.

#babyjagoe pulling all the toys out that mummy just put away!
This boy got even cheekier somehow!

Studio nook
I spent most of my time here (and moved in one of my armchairs).

#babyjagoe and the gingerbread buttons
I dressed this boy in some dorky outfits.

#babyjagoe doing the squats and playing with a pumpkin.
He also did some squats while holding onto a pumpkin?

Casual #tintinkitty
Tintin had no shame.

Beware of wombats
We took a drive home through a town we'd never been to called Nile. Watch out for wombats apparently (I've never seen a wombat).

Good morning! #babyjagoe
This boy fought with some nasty new teeth, but was a real champ.

Mailbox cluster Pt. 2
I love mailbox clusters.
We took a drive to the new Little Red Tractor Market in Deloraine and had a scenic drive home, wherein I saw two 'mailbox clusters'. I love them, they remind me of where I grew up.

#babyjagoe & #atticuskitty hanging out
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These two boys were good friends.

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I did some doodling.

Watching | Girls - I'm really hooked now after finding it very awkward to begin with. We're still only in S2. Hannah is my hero. Also, Janet King, Harriet The Spy (I showed it to C the other day and he loved it. All the childhood memories!), The Checkout, Twisted (our terrible guilty pleasure show).
Reading | The Secret History - Donna Tartt (slowly, slowly, but I'm hoping to get through a whole lot of it while I catch planes over the next few days).
Consuming | Out of pure necessity I have started drinking coffee, and I like it! I could probably have counted the amount of coffees I'd ever drank on one hand before this week. C makes delicious mochas and they make me feel half human after a night with a teething baby.
Making | Little drawings & writing proposals. Next month will be full of lots of making!
Listening | I made a little mix of some pretty tunes I've been listening to lately.
Looking forward to | More lovely Autumnal weather, spending lots of time in my studio making, Theo's two top teeth finally pushing all the way through so he's not in pain and seeing my family for a whirlwind trip. I'll be going by myself for 5 days to the mainland to help my mum pack up my childhood home. It's my first time leaving Theo for more than a day and though he's beyond capable, I'm just worried C won't get enough rest. It's also probably the end of breastfeeding for Theo & I as he's been showing signs of weaning for a while, but I've held on because I love it so much. I never thought I'd become so attached to it. It will be nice to wear whatever I want again and not have to show the world my breasts all the time and also not have them poked and pinched by Theo at all times. It has been a lovely way to bond with Theo though and I'm proud of myself to have made it this far!

This month I also went back to work! I had told myself I probably wouldn't go back, but they called me last week and asked me if I wanted to and I was like "err, sure!". I've only done one shift so far and it was fine and I actually really enjoyed being back and supervising. I saw one of my favourite customers before I started so I knew it was going to be a good shift. I'll only be doing 2 shifts per week which should be fine and provide some pocket money.

How was your month?