Never enough


I sulked last weekend. The sun was shining, the birds were singing (our resident butcher bird family warbled happily in the tree out back), the weekend was three days long, and I was sulking.

In an effort to throw of the sulk I enlisted SAH to help me cross off a few things on my to do list. And while I was oiling the wood that would eventually be attached to a large vintage school map and allowing it to be re-hung in our dining room, I started to think – stay with me here it’s all relevant, if a little circular.

The smell of Linseed oil makes me sentimental and when I mixed up a jar of furniture restorer (from my mum’s fantastic recipe) I was reminded of my childhood.

I grew up tagging behind my mum as she searched markets, antique stores and op shops adding to her already impressive collection of stuff. My mum grew up tagging behind her father as he picked his way through markets, junk piles and collectable fairs adding to his impressive collection of.. erm junk. Hoarding is in our blood.

It’s also a time honoured family tradition – past from my grandfather to his children and now their children – to slow down as you drive past council collection junk piles, looking for any gold – I’ve heard it referred to as ‘Roadsidia’. Garage sale signs are equally thrilling to spot and follow to as X marks the spot to another’s trash and our potential treasure.

In the days preceding my sulk SAH, Little A and I decided to take a mini road trip down the coast. Obviously this meant honouring the family tradition by stopping whenever I wanted to pick my way through stores or sales – bless SAH and his patience.

At our last stop, Little A could take being in such close proximity to the beach no longer and SAH took him across the road for a splash in the waves, while I looked through a large garage sale.

I stopped in my tracks as I spotted one of my ‘white whales’.

Most collectors I know have a small list of items that they are always on the look out for, sometimes searching for years being driven mad by their elusiveness. My white whales are chairs. I have a thing for them (as well as a surplus of them at home) but I don’t want just any old chairs. I want Eames and Featherston chairs – not too much for ask for right? Well considering I’ve been search for over a decade, apparently yes. The thing that makes these items (that are actually readily available in a few large collectable stores) ‘white whales’ is the price. I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for them. In fact I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for them. I want them for a bargain.

So on this day my palms went sweaty as I saw two green fibreglass Eames chairs. Approaching the seller anticipating finding they were out of my price range I was CRUSHED to find they were already sold and had been $80.

Walking away with the bowling ball of disappointment in my stomach I messaged the only person who would know my pain. My mum. She shared my disappointment and cheekily suggested I stop going to garage sales to avoid such future disappointment. I replied that when I stopped riffling through junk for too long it started impacting my sleep as I would start going to markets in my dreams and find excellent things only to wake up the next morning annoyed at my cruel subconscious.

There was nothing for it, so I sulked. For two days.

Until kind, patient SAH pointed out that it should in fact give me hope that the white whales where still out there, not yet relegated to myth I actually stood a chance of finding them again. At some point. I hope.

I sighed and agreed with him, as I slumped in my chair and SAH laughed at me, gently pointing out the chair I was currently drooped in was a ‘white whale’ – a stamped Eames fibre glass bucket chair bought for a steal a garage sale a few years ago – and I really wasn’t that hard done by.

He was right (don’t tell him that). The thrill of the chase makes collecting addictive and the wanting and needing and (not so attractive) jealously clouds the view to the amazing possessions I have already found.

New mantra? Buck up and enjoy what you have.

Oh and keep your eyes peeled! I’m sorry! I can’t help it!!

Captains-Flat-Tip-webCarrying on family tradition: my Mum, her brothers and sisters-in-law trawling the tip at Captains Flat


The family’s youngest market hunter with his finds: a 70s matchbox truck and ‘Kam Kit Cuba’ camera bag turned man-bag.


Thrift Life: the brag


Thrift Life is a sporadic feature created to showcase various op shop, charity shop and thrift shop vintage finds. 

I love a good thrift shop. It’s the adventure of the hunt. A quick nip into that op shop you just happen to drive by, never know what you’re going to find (it’s a bit like a box of chocolates in that way). Charting errands by importance of how close they are to Vinnies or Salvos.

Of course I have my favourites, ones that reward my persistence but I do tend to cast my thrift-net wide. Travelling far and wide for my finds, all over Sydney and sometimes outside the city altogether.

The nature of our vintage style means the majority of stuff I buy is second hand, and the nature of my spending is that I am a tight-arse and don’t like parting with large amounts of money.

But the thing is I don’t just like finding stuff, I love seeing other people’s found treasures too. It’s the excitement in other people’s good fortune and the slight zing of jealously. It spurs me on to keep hunting.

So that’s why I am launching a little social media show and tell: the Thrift Life Brag.

Have you ever had the “find of a life time” in a thrift shop? Have you felt the pull of the thrift and scored?

Here’s your chance to show it off and have a thrift brag!

Just take of photo of your score or scores and send them to me hello{at} or join me on instagram @astredcherry , posting your images with the hashtag #thriftlifebrag

I will compile all the images in one big thrift life brag post in the coming weeks!

What are you waiting for? Send me your images! Let’s see your awesome finds.

This morning I picked up a toy fridge for Little A, to add to the garage sale bought oven and SAH built kitchen.

Then later in the day, after the neighbourhood experienced a black out I was forced to take a break, what to do? Oh let me see, I’ll take a trip to an Op Shop I hadn’t been to in a long time. Bingo! 1 tea towel, set of cups and saucers and a little painting. But the scores I’ve been so crazy happy with, so much so I almost peed with I found them are my novelty hats. YEARS of thrifting and this is the first time I’ve ever found 60s sun hats. Then there is this telephone graphic bed spread. And this awesome fitted and flat sheet set. The finds are too numerous too list and frankly if I don’t photograph it when I get it home, I won’t bother to later as it becomes a part of the house.
So come on- share your finds with us!



week 5

“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

We were meant to go to the Rock’n’Roll markets as a family today and watch rockabilly band The Satellites, but Bub was sick so I went solo. I returned home to a toddler that didn’t know how to be sick. He decided to rearrange part of the lounge room, starting with some of my letter moulds.

My 52 week portrait project

52 a portrait a week link group / Che & Fidel

Change is as good as a…

Well after weeks of illness the bub and I were finally starting to feel better* so one afternoon while bub was at his grandparents I cleaned the house! I know, shocked right?

It was a real brothel. I have to say I was embarrassed with the state of the house but something had to give, and quite frankly I wasn’t going to scrub the loo when I had the flu. Other than general scrub, spit and shine I did a bit of rearranging.

The lounge room displays got a bit of a rotate and restyle, and I love it. It makes the lounge room feel different and refreshed.

I am not a master stylist but I do enjoy using my ‘design eye’ to display and arrange our house. It has always been something I’ve loved doing and is more for our own creative expression and stimulation than anyone else’s. It’s lovely to live in an interesting home.

*We’re sick again, can’t catch a break. Bub has his top set of teeth coming through and the snots, so is very out of sorts. And I am fighting with all my might against another stupid cold.

Clean house, here’s proof

In late June I was asked to take part in a project by photographer Louise Whelan. She was photographing rockabilly and vintage people in their homes/natural surroundings (i.e. in their workshop working on their hot rods). And I was the token preggers vintage lady. I was very happy to be asked and accepted before I had to time think – my house looks like a bombsite!

Luckily my beleaguered mother agreed to come around the day before the photo shoot and help me clean the dust covered, brothel that was our house. After vacuuming, wiping everything down with a warm wet cloth and generally giving the living and dinning areas a good tszuj, I moved on to my dressing room. It wasn’t so bad, I just needed to put a lot of washing away and dust.

The house sparkled and was glorious to behold. So glorious in fact that I had to take photos myself to commemorate such a feat.

Lounge room and reading nook

Dinning room sideboard

Our delightful 50s faux fireplace

The concrete planter SNH got from his old barber when it closed

My dressing room

Rockin' Hawaiian lady Barsony Lamp and pigeon holes filled with trinkets

Chair and hat box

Found objects make great storage devices

Diana ware and bakelite


Scary toys watch over the confetti lucite

Canisters and chalk ware

Betty Page original photos * My fab parents at Les Girls, Kings Cross in the 60s


More bags!

Pride and joy: My Diana lamp/clock * Old blender holds plastic pearls

More Barsony

Speaking of Barsony, I have been getting a lot of google hits from people searching for Barsony. SNH and I have been collecting for over 11 years and we have a large collection of lamps, ashtrays, wall hangings and figures. We have so many lamps there is at least one in each room of our house. We haven’t bought any Barsony in years though as I always refused to pay over $200 for a lamp (I only ever paid over $100 for 3 of ours). But I have seen some ballerina lamps lately that had the most over inflated prices on them. Personally I think it’s crazy, especially for the ballerina lamps (of which I am not a fan and we don’t own one).

So, people searching for Barsony: what are you looking for? Pieces to buy? Photos of lamps? Information? Is there anything I can help you with?
The ABC TV show Collectors did a great special on the history of Barsony, you can view it here.

Colourful crafty

I started crocheting Granny squares at the end of January. Picking up the hook sporadically when I was bored watching telly or sick on the couch I was very happy with my little pile of squares. But being the fickle crafter that I am I knew that I would soon bore of this lark and would be destined to own a pile of squares until the day came, very far in the future, that I would pick up the crochet hook again… or simply push the pile to the side with all my other unfinished craft projects – come on I know you all have them.
So my goal was, finish as many squares you can with a certain amount of yarn. And that is what I did today. I have 30 squares, they look awesome and make a tiny blanket. Possibly a future gift for someone’s newborn? (Don’t look at me mother-in-law)

I took over the dining table to arrange my pattern, and start to prepare for the next faze – joining. Luckily Pip at Meet Me at Mikes posted a helpful link in her crochet tutorial for a great way to finish of my blanket, here it is Carina’s Craft blog.

So this is what my currently blanket looks like

Laying out the pattern for my blanket

Hopefully in the next week or so it will be finished and my knees will be warm!

I am building up my craft cupboard and have 2 suitcases filled with yarn, material, bias binding, buttons and much more. Which I brought home from my Grandma’s house last weekend. She was an avid crafter and I know she would have wanted me to have what she left behind. Including fabulous pink yarn!

But this little number I nicked from my mum. It’s an ace knitting bag and lined with plastic, this is what I store my current projects in. I picked up the very helpful knitting needle box at an op shop.

My favourite piece of knitting ephemera, my mum's old knitting bag

Along with enough bias binding to last me a life time, there were a few other gems unearthed as we were cleaning out Grandma’s house. My sister discovered this Atomic Coffee maker in a plastic bag under the sink. It still had all the parts and the instruction manual and sales booklet with it. What a find! I have to confess I may have performed a rather embarrassingly spazzy dance upon this awesome discovery.

My pretty Atomic Coffee Machine, too afraid to use it so it becomes decoration

And while I am on an image roll, I thought I may as well post a few photos of the mantle. I am reorganising the house at the moment and I particularly happy with the way the mantle has turned out.

A few of my favourite things

I love my quirky little things. Like the ruler from my Grandpa's shed, primary school Tasmania stencil, vintage books from our wedding decorations and the awesome Fowler 'Beehive' ashtray

My posie of knitting needles, Barsony lamp and a photo of the registry signing at our wedding

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