We were itching to leave the house on Sunday.
I had been checking weather forecasts all week in hopes that the cold snap causing snow to fall across parts of the state would spread to the Blue Mountains and we would be able to give Little A his first snow experience.
It wasn’t to be as the snow stopped short but temperatures remained quite cold so instead of feeling thwarted we made a split decision late in the morning to go anyway – why not? Let’s rug up warm, go for a lovely drive and do a bit of treasure hunting in the antique shops up the mountains.
As luck would have it we stumbled on some markets half way up the mountain and enjoyed rummaging through an eclectic mix of 2nd hand (modern) toys, hand knits, vintage clothes, collectables, industrial bits and pieces and lots of great food. Little A enjoyed the fact it was held in a primary school, preferring to run around like a nutter instead of eating a freshly made waffle with spice poached fruit, SAH and I had no choice but to scarf it down ourselves.
I picked up a gorgeous little mid-century modern planter, 3 old greyhound racing muzzles (I am thinking of hanging them on the well) and 4 x 2 metre pieces of atomic print 50s fabric. Score!
Finally coaxing Little A back in the car we bypassed most of the collectible shops, heading instead to large Blackheath antique centre with a plan to hit the rest on our way back down the mountain.
I still have memories of combing antique stores with my mum as a kid, even now the smell of linseed oil is a powerful reminder of those times. Little A often accompanies me on my treasure hunts, whether it’s a string of thrift shops, markets or the odd collectible shop. The results are varied, as they usually are with a small person.
Thrift shops are the most enjoyed as there is often other children to play with or toys to (lightly) interact with – although there was that one time last year when a small Little A emptied an entire box of a 1000 piece jigsaw on the ground, danced on it then ran off, leaving me literally left to pick up all the pieces.
Markets are a lot of fun too, it’s easier to run around and there are usually some pretty good boxes to rummage through but collectible shops are very tricky and often require more restraint and they are not a lot of fun for small people so we generally keep those outings to a minimum and add points of interest for A to break the monotony of piles of junk that I am inexplicably drawn to.
And that’s why after a whip around the Blackheath antique centre, we refueled with some rather dull chicken schnitzels then spent some time exploring a large park, running out the pent-up-car sillies and while that was happening I got to experiment with the video feature on my (loaned) Olympus OM-D E-M10.
This is my first ever blog video! I am quite proud of it.
Little A was beside himself, running in between trees, making ‘camp fires’ with collected twigs. At one point he tripped and rolled down a hill. Laughing he picked himself up, climbed back up the (small) hill and rolled down again and again.
Calling it time when the sun started to set and the temperature dropped we stopped to watch some local kids cutting shapes on their BMX’s (or whatever the kids of today do now) on our way back to the car.
By this time it was late in the day and we decided to forgo stopping at any more places bar one – The Pink Flamingo. Where I got chatting to the proprietors about Australian Modernist Design after discovering we were both involved in this book – they wrote an article and I was interviewed for one. They have a local MAD weekend coming up touring some fine modernist architecture in the mountains, so I signed myself up for it… and I possibly signed myself up to talk about modernist stuff at the event too. Eep!
I love treasure hunting and it was such an awesome day to have both my fella’s cruise and mosey with me. And the more I play with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 the more I am enjoying it. I am slowly working out how to take better photos and get the depth of field and aperture to my liking. But it’s the whistles and bells that is pushing me over – the video and tilting screen was fantastic fun but the best thing I played with this weekend was the remote control feature. Running the Olympus app through my iPhone via the camera’s in-built wifi I used it as a remote control to document my treasures. My awesome selfies where created thanks to ‘live view’ on the iPhone screen meaning you see exactly what the camera is seeing so you can position yourself better and get rid of those double chins or stupid expressions. Very, very impressed.
In fact I foresee this feature being the answer to many harried partner’s prayers. Gone will be the days when they are instructed to take OOTD’s or document new hair only to be scolded for taking out of focus images or not directing the model enough: lift your chin, suck in your tummy, you have crazy eyes…
This post was part of the Olympus My Family Lens challenge, in conjunction with Kidspot Voices of Australia awards, which I am participating in for 2 months. All opinions are my own. You can follow my Olympus OM-D E-M10 adventures through my instagram, twitter or Facebook page – or simply searching #myfamilylens
Last year I happened to drive past what would turn out to be one of the best hard rubbish piles I have ever had the good fortune of rummaging through. You may remember it, I wrote about the spoils here.
Amongst the beautiful vintage bits and pieces I saved from landfill were a few linoleum samples. I have often wondered if the owner of the house was a lino salesman or just saved the samples from a fabulous kitchen renovation in the 50s – these thoughts that have made me desperately want to knock on their door and take a peek at their (possibly) amazing interiors.
Do you think they’d mind? How would your grandparents feel if some redhead in an old frock came knocking asking to sniff around their house? Well, with the best intentions I assure you. But it might be a little confrontational … but then again nothing ventured nothing gained!
Never the less, I had acquired lovely lino samples, some of which were a little cracked with age and all of which were dirty and needed a bit of a clean. What to do with them? I mentioned framing them on facebook and a friend suggested a solution that her picture-framing-parents employ: mount them on pre-stretched canvases. She added that the best place to get them was a $2 shop. Thanking her I locked the suggestion away in my head and stored the cleaned lino to await the day that I may have the time or energy to mount them.
Miraculously that day came last month. Waking to a lovely sunshine morning, SAH and Bub curled up next to me I announced that I wanted to make something that day.
So off I trotted to the shopping centre to pick up the necessary equipment (cheap canvas frames, all I could find where ones with images to colour in!) and returned home to get to mounting these bits of old plastic. Meanwhile SAH and Bub played around me (occasionally trying to assist). In the end I produced 4 framed pieces and I think they look lovely. However I have no idea where I am going to put them, erm yes I didn’t think of that before I started!
I am sure I will find somewhere, even in their age worn state the patterns and textures are too pleasing not to have them displayed.
The other week I was coming back from the beauty salon, when I drove past a large council chuck-out pile in front of a pristine 1950s blonde brick house in my neighbourhood. I had to go back for a peek.
Thinking I would only cast my eye over the pile, as I was freshly prettied up and in a nice 50s sundress, I jumped out of the car and found I was soon (neatly) unpacking every box, crate, and bag. Finding more and more goodies, I delved as deep as I could go. I stopped and thought about going home to get some gloves so I could pick up the wooden crates without fear of splinters but it really was a two person job. So I was a little disappointed I couldn’t pack a few of those wooden crates in my car, but my haul was so amazing that I can not in good grace complain.
I found wonderful old lino samples, wooden children’s games, a child’s broom, school chalk, light fittings, gold tiles, picture frames, leather belts (for suitcases that I think I will actually wear) and more. This is what my boot looked like:
A closer look at my score
I am going to hang the wooden boardgames in the Bub’s room and the Art Deco light fitting has found a new home in a friend’s 1930s bungalow (I rescued it to give away, it was too perfect to let it pass). I think I may frame or mount the lino (another friend has given me some tips on how to do this) and as for the rest, I have no idea what will become of them but I am sure I’ll make it work.
I love, love, love riffling through council throw out piles because I cannot bear to think about all those wonderful vintage objects getting crushed in a garage truck and taken to be landfil. The horror!
This was my best score in a while.
Are you a trash trawler? What was your best score?