Monday, December 29, 2008

opening times

We have finally sat down and had a pow wow to figure out our opening times for January. We will re-open on Thursday 8th of January and be open Thursday - Saturday 11am -5pm. Then in February be open on Wednesdays too. Please contact us if you would like an appointment outside of these times or even before the eighth and we shall do our best to accomodate you. Happy 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

so much for christmas...

A certain little boy, (who shall remain nameless) found his vintage fisher price booty that was supposed to be for Christmas. Okay I hadn't hidden it that well, especially for an inquisitive wee fellow, so I have only myself to blame. But in my defense I've had a hideous sinus infection that has beaten me and seen me head to the Doc for a course of fun I tell you.
But at least we have gotten to set it all Fisher Price in our living room and have a little play time fun.
I was at a loss as to how to keep all the little people in one spot without them getting lost / strewn everywhere / eaten by the dog and I happened to find this photo here and ta da. Lucky for us we have a shop with a few printers trays for sale so that I could borrow (ahem) one. So here's hoping everyone has a wonderful, fun and happy Christmas. We're yet to work out which days the shop will be shut other than the 25th so once we've figured it out I'll update our website and here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

ssshh don't tell Arthur...

Oh vintage Fisher Price, you are ace...and ebay I like you too. So here is a peek at part of Arthur's soon to be Christmas haul. A lady had a heap of old Fisher Price toys up for sale recently and it was one of those please, please let me win at least one of those items. I missed out on the hospital and farm yard set, but that would be greedy (and rather expensive) to win all. Have a peek here and you can see another photo or two. Oh and santa's bringing him something shiny and new, as the reality is, it's not all vintage toys in our house.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

viva las yarraville

Okay this a lame attempt at trying to link Elvis and Priscilla paper dolls, to alert you to the fact that I having my first foray into a market stall and I am too lazy to get out my camera and photograph something relevant to highlight this fact. So this Saturday 13th December I'll be having a stall at the Yarraville Christmas Market, which is at the Masonic Hall, situated on the corner of Willis st and Canterbury St Yarraville. It starts at 10am until 4.30pm. Nick will manning the North Melbourne shop 11am - 5pm for all your local shopping convenience.

Monday, December 8, 2008

christmas shop hours

Arthur's pulled out the flashing santa headband and I've taken the Christmas card photos (see last years - click here), so it must be time to expand the shop hours for Christmas.
So the shop will be open this Wednesday 10th - Saturday 13th, then Tuesday 16th right through to Wednesday 24th. Hours are 11am - 5pm. So all you pensioners out there who have no mortgage to pay off, come spend the Rudd-economy-boosting spending-spree/bonus with us.... for the grandkiddies of course.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

flickr friends

I love flickr. There's so many ace photos of things contained there. Not just vintage stuff but photos of artwork, design, interiors etc from all over the world. That is where I found pacolli and now we are selling some of her wares in our shop. She makes adorable and funny illustrations and screenprints them on to bags and other things. She lives all the way over in Brazil and I can no longer imagine a world without the internet for it's ability to connect amazing artists and craftspeople together.

Friday, November 28, 2008

getting all christmassy

It seems that it's never too early in the land of retail to start flogging stuff for Christmas....I've made this years Christmas cards and have them for sale online here as well as in the shop. There are three designs featuring photographs of vintage christmas ornaments and sewn onto card. I hope to add some gift tags too. We also have our Christmas tree up. Sad but true. We were cleaning out a cupboard last weekend and Arthur spied the tree and decorations so it was on. Yes, I caved in to pre- schooler whinging. We had earlier been to the city to see the Myer (shopping department) Christmas windows, so I couldn't bluff that it wasn't time yet.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

online update

Phew, it sure is time consuming photographing, photoshopping and uploading to our bigcartel site. Perhaps that's why I've neglected it of late. Apologies to those out there, as we seem to be getting an awful lot of browsing but not much buying going on of late. So I've added a few Christmas related items that are currently on sale. Also some vintage stuff as well as some artwork. I'll be adding more artwork, now that the hailing and rainy Melbourne day has passed and I have some decent natural light to photograph in and maybe the nong made by leah as it's been a great helper in posing for photographs and has earned some cuddles from someone out there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

six things

I was tagged last week by neryl for 6 quirky tidbits of information about myself. After much ho humming and twiddling of thumbs, I really can't think of much. I think that I have quirky taste so instead here are six of my new favourite vintage artworks. I framed these yesterday and I love them. There's another 10 to frame, take a peek of all of them here. They are created using the covers of old colouring and puzzle books. And yes I am selling these beauties in our shop. They are the original covers, no photocopies etc here. So they are a one well two of a kind as the back covers are the same, some are drawn on so not all will be two and I'm yet to decide what I will keep. Please contact us if you would like to buy one. or phone 0408557459.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

show and tell

We are now back and in the land of the living and our shop hours will be more reliable we promise. To fill you in (and to keep it brief) there was a bit of ill health going on at Arthur's Circus, involving hospital etc. Not fun but all is now well, especially as we snuck off for a wee holiday on the northern nsw coast and got back to Melbourne yesterday. Hence I have posted the above photos of some of my finds whilst on holiday. PS: I have posted a few more photos over at flickr.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

dia de los muertos

In my recent spring cleaning mode I found a set of cards which I bought a good 10 years ago. And today whilst I was wondering what to do with them: frame a few, re-sell a few (is that wrong?) and perhaps even write to someone on them, I realised that it is the days of celebrating dia de los muertos or day of the dead. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November...thanks wikipedia. It is celebrated mostly in Mexico, which is where I was lucky to experience it in 1996. Jeepers, I am getting old, but it would have to be one the most amazing and wonderful celebrations I have experienced and also a good excuse this weekend to celebrate something other than the horse races happening here in Melbourne.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

remember these?

When I was younger I was so jealous of friends who had a Kenner family treetops treehouse, so when I recently saw these new versions I knew I had to get a few for the shop (and Arthur, who spied it in the box and threw an almighty tantrum wanted one as well. I kind of gave in - he now gets to play with the shop display one). They are no longer made by Kenner, they are from France by a company called Vulli. They are almost exactly the same, include Mum, Dad, 2 Kids and the dog, but this version has been tricked up with the sounds of birds chirping when you close the lid. It's been quite amazing how many people have commented on the one in the shop window and how they either had or wanted one.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

my cookie jars

A few of my collection of cookie jars are featured in the latest frankie magazine. Woo hoo. You can enlarge the above photo and read my interview blurb. It's mighty embarassing re-reading the article, if you ask me. I'm quite sure in real life I never say the word cute, but maybe I do.... I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but none of my cookie jars contain cookies. Because biscuits are banned in this house, as we (Nick and I) have no willpower and scoff the whole lot in less than a day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

we're open for sales (and repairs)

Yes we are open again, so it's back to business here Arthur's Circus. This Sunday sees the Spring Fling Festival on in Errol Street, with the Queensberry Street traders having a stall of some sort. We'll also have the shop open for a few hours in the day too, but from then on we shall be closed on Sundays. We've decided that we need a little family and friend time on Sundays and to be honest North Melbourne can be like a sleepy country town on Sundays too. So the shop hours will be Thurs - Sat, 11am - 5pm and also by appointment. We'll be extending our hours mid November, but I'll let you know.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

sorry we are closed (again)

Unfortunately we have had to close the shop this weekend and into next week. We hope to be back up and running our usual shop hours within the next few weeks. Please contact us via email or leave a message on 0408557459 and we'll get back to you asap. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Friday, October 10, 2008

tv quiz

I love this game, it's so darn clever. There's another game with the same concept that's called magic robot. He's cool too. You spin the dude around so that his stick is pointing to a question, then you place him on the mirror and he rotates around to the right answer. Tricky I tell you. Unfortunately I don't know the answer to most of the questions, they're beyond my general knowledge, but one can assume that the magic robot and man know them all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ass / donkey / too much information

I find it hard sometimes to know how much personal information to delve into on this here blog. Many people out there share very personal stuff, amazing, sad, wonderful, happy stories about their lives. Also as I almost failed final year English, words aren't really my thing..... So the photo above is of a board game called 'the donkey and the carrot'. I had been meaning over the past week to upload many a photo to here and flickr of some of our collection of old board games, some of which we have framed and are selling and others that we plan to play with Arthur, but life has a habit of getting in the way. I have a reason and it can somehow relate to the image above, but I ain't going there on this blog. So my apologies for not quite getting there yet.

Friday, October 3, 2008

game artwork one

Not much to report on the blogging front, so I thought that I would share a few photos (over the next few days) of some of the gameboard artwork we have on display for our exhibition.
First up is J'Apprends Tout. I am not certain of the exact date of this piece. I'm placing it around the late 1890 to early 1900's. It is an original lithograph print of a game cover / box art. My French is non existant beyond year 7 bonjours, so I'll leave any attempt at translation alone. I can tell you that it was discovered in an old French printers shop and we have imported it from a dealer in the USA. We have quite a few different French game lithographs that were never used or glued to board. They are really quite amazing. Oh and yes it is for sale.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

a wee shop update

I have just uploaded a few more items to our bigcartel site, so go on, take a peek, go wild and buy something.

Friday, September 26, 2008

a lovely day

It's a bright and sunny day outside here in Melbourne and I wish I was out and about instead of being in the shop. Yesterday we had a new visitor to the shop who also happened to make lovely cushions from vintage fabric. One thing led to another and here are two of her cushions in our shop now for sale. They're big and colourful and I want to keep them for me. Fashioned from a fantastic Australiana tablecloth, which means they're one of a kind... well four of a kind I guess. On the wall above is an old board game called Robinson Crusoe. I find these old games fascinating and my how games have changed.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

we like red dots

Phew what a busy few days, but we did it. Our re-opening celebrations happened last night, launching our new space and exhibition for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. There are more pics over at our flickr site. I'm ready for a snooze. Oh and a big thanks to a few friend/s who helped out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

closed for renovations

If you visit our shop over the next 10 days or so, this is what you'll be greeted with. So apologies in advance if you find us closed, but it will be worth it. We are expanding the shop (as I'm sure you've heard me mention) and organising an exhibition.
If you happen to be visiting Melbourne from afar during this time please contact us and we can try to arrange a time for you to visit the shop, it may be a little chaotic but we're happy to oblige. Opening September 24 at 6-8pm and then normal hours again.

feeling hungry?

I made these last week for Father's day: a set of four magnets featuring dodgy food photos from old recipe books that were my Nana's. mmmmm gelatine, what a checkered and stylish history you have. I actually can't stand the stuff, even jelly gives me the creeps. It's a textural thing. But whoa adding meat and peas is kind of wrong in my books, may as well be a can of dog food. Which brings me to tongue in a can. My dad used to make tongue sandwiches when my sister and I were little and I used to actually eat them. White bread, butter and lamb's tongue from a can. Eeeek. So anyone feeling hungry? Nope I didn't think so. But you can buy the magnets from here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

and we thought we had lots of stuff

I stumbled upon a magazine that I wouldn't normally buy, but for some reason I decided to flick through Romantic Homes and this picture alone made me buy the magazine. I love this image and all it's vintage goodness. So I thought that I would share it here. The home belongs to Adrienne and Ron Caldwell and my favourite quote in the accompanying story re: some of her favourite finds.... came from hunting through her uncle's basement in a 250 year old barn in Pennsylvania. "He was using a prized cookie jar to drain oil from his car".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

more prints than you can poke a stick at

We've been framing up a storm, thanks to the new arrival of these great screen prints from the keep calm folks out of the UK. A slight diversion from our exhibition organisation, but we're slowly getting there. As we're expanding our shop and a bit of re-arranging will be going on, we will be closed from Thursday 18 September until our grand (well pretty darn good) unveiling on Wednesday 24 September. Oh and regarding the above prints, they are all priced at $225 each, framed. Please contact us if you fancy one.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

would you buy a used car from this guy?

If you answered yes then head on over here. Sad but true, we're selling our 1950 chev on ebay. She's a beauty and needs lots of lovin' and restoration and we unfortunately don't have the space or time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

real living

We have a couple of items from our shop featured in this months real living magazine. As seen in the above magazine pages a duck egg blue keep calm screenprint custom framed by us and the yellow standard planet lamp. Also featured inside is some fabrics by one miss aunty cookie woo hoo.
We've had a few enquiries about the keep calm prints, so I'll write my little spiel here. The ones we sell are from the UK. Unfortunately the duck egg blue is currently sold out and we're waiting on a new print run, which should arrive by the end of the month. Currently we have red and as of next week, there will be yellow and a grey / velvety colour. We can custom frame to your liking, but we try to have one or two on the walls already framed and ready to go. Nick and I do the framing ourselves using quality timber frames and that's reflected in the price. I have no doubt that you can do it cheaper by heading to ikea etc, but we choose not to. Oh and we sell them unframed too and can post. Please contact us for details.

Friday, August 29, 2008

oh blog how I neglect thee

dear blog, it's been 1 week since my last posting. I've been busy and haven't had any good photos or stories to tell. I'll try and be more regular, well maybe....

So this will hopefully be of interest, especially to our Melbourne friends.
We are having a wee exhibition beginning september 24 of old toys and games etc. It is part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and these are our invites fresh from the printers. Please let me know if you'd like to come and (if you're in melbourne) I can send you an invite or two. Please leave a comment or email with your postal details. And sorry to overseas folk I'm not that generous in the postage department. I'll no doubt be reminding you all of this in the coming weeks on this here blog. And maybe a sneaky preview.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

oh etsy how I neglect thee

our wee etsy shop has been a little barren of late. I hadn't checked and all of a sudden some things were out of date and poof (as in a puff of magic smoke) they had disappeared. So to make amends I have uploaded this collection of three cards made by me.
They're a digital collage / print sewn onto cards, packaged with an envelope and in a cello bag. The graph paper used in the background came from my Grandad's shed. He once worked at a stationary shop and me being the hoarder that takes after him, I now have a pile of old exercise books, out of date calendars etc. Oh well Grandad at least someone is now using them. One diary is from the year I was born. 1972. Jeepers we hold on to ridiculous stuff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

not so nice...

Yesterday (being our weekend), the three of us trammed it into the city to see the Art Deco exhibition on at the NGV. Of course things didn't quite go to plan. No sooner had we made it to the city, Arthur was hungry and needed the toilet. So a quick detour for coffee (for us) and vegemite on toast for Arthur and we walked to the NGV. As with most 3.5 year olds, walking long distances can be slow going and tiring for all involved. A lot of the time Arthur ends up on my or Nick's shoulders to fasten the pace. We had maybe taken 5 steps in the door of the gallery, with Arthur on my shoulders and not even making it to the counter to buy our tickets, when the cloakroomm attendant told us off. ..."it's gallery policy that you can't have children on your shoulders"... I looked at her dumbfoundedly and instead of asking what the ***? I took Arthur off my shoulders, looked at Nick and we both decided to forget the Art Deco exhibition. Since when do galleries make such policies and for what reason? Maybe someone out there can enlighten my obvious naivety. I would've thought that tired children on shoulders was a better alternative to running around, screaming ones trying to touch artwork. But hey what do I know. Life seems to be made of a load of stupid rules at time. Last week Nick got told off in our local park by a council officer for having our dog off the lead. There's no signs saying that it's not allowed anywhere. But I'm guessing that a dog playing ball with it's owner is a bit better than junkies and alcoholics in our innercity parks
I promise I'll be in a better mood for my next post.

Monday, August 18, 2008

calling Dr Feelgood..

I'm quite sure I'm unable to relate these 2 photos to each other, but they were both part of yesterday, so it's kind of a start...
It was dreary weather in Melbourne yesterday morning when we headed to the market as Arthur decided he was up around 5.30am. It was fairly depressing and not too many second hand gems for us (or our shop either). Except Nick scored the Dr Feelgood album, by Motley Crue. So we've been channeling the big hair bogans in us from yesteryear, with Arthur jumping around on our bed to Kick start my heart. How ace is music, when you haven't listened to a song in years, it can instantly bring you back to a time your life that you had put aside in your brain somewhere.....much like the toys we used to play with when we were a child. I think I had mentioned that I was getting around to framing some photographs of squeak toys to sell in the shop. I've managed two so far.... Yeehaw I did it. Who would've thought you could segue from Motley Crue to squeaky toys. Nice. Maybe I should get a job at Today Tonight or a Current Affair. They're 2 current (ahem) affairs programs here in Australia who are notoriously bad for linking the unlinkable stories together.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

dust, stuff & procrastination

Or should that be stuff the dust, I'm procrastinating? The down side of collecting all sorts of things is the need to dust. Dust likes stuff. I like stuff, but I don't like dust. Although I think I'm good at procrastinating.
I spent around 2 hours dusting and cleaning our bedroom last night and I'm still not completely finished. Damn those big ikea shelving units. Oh well, now that I'm in the shop today I can dust here too, or not and upload photos to flickr and blog about dust and you can peek at our stuff.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

hello cushions

We have recently added some very ace cushions to the shop from bonjourmoncoussin. They've travelled to us all the way from Bordeaux, France. You may have seen their cushions around about many a blog of recent. I'm trying to remember where I saw them first....I know that I placed our order and then saw them here. Today I will be photographing and adding a few of their cushions to our bigcartel shop.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I wonder what happened?

This photo was taken a few years back at bernie's car yard in Flemington. Nick and I used to go there and wander around and dream about cool old vintage cars pre Arthur. In somewhat interesting turn of events, Lombards ( paper / party supplies ) next door went up in smoke, so long car yard and hello urban development. Bernie used to (and maybe still does) hire vintage cars out to tv and movie production. Inside the yard he had a great collection of memorabilia. I printed this photo up for an exhibition a while back, but didn't end up exhibiting it, so it's been living under the stairs. Today I felt like putting it in the shop, because I can. Oh and by the way there still is a bernie's car yard, now in South Melbourne, but it's no where near as ace.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

holy smoke batman

Arthur has spent the last 24 hours dressed as Batman. This morning was no different with him jumping around the house in his batman suit on a bouncey ball hopper thingamy. Kids in costumes are pretty cute.
Yesterday I spent a wee bit of time dusting in the shop, which led to a bit of rearranging, pulling a small shelf off a wall out the back and utilising it for a card display. I love cards and have been making and buying more than a few for the shop. Running out of horizontal space I decided that it was time to go vertical without having to buy some fancy rotating card display.

Friday, August 1, 2008

camera gremlins

My camera has been playing up. Sometimes working, sometimes not. Darn digital age. It wasn't exposing, which I can't really fathom given that it don't work with film. ie: the picture on the back of the camera was black. (And yes I had the lens cap off).Shutter was working etc. I rang the camera clinic, have to bring it in...hmmm the delay to even take a peek at it was around 10 days. Jeepers 10 whole days without my camera. I still have my film camera, but there would be no blog / flickr pics. So I took the lens on and off, battery in and out, blew on it (how very professional and hi-tech of me) fogged up the mirrors. And lo and behold, she's working again. So I've taken a pic of a new little arrangement. Liana's jewellery has been living in the glass counter ever since we opened so I thought it was time to break her out and how sweet it goes with our vintage stacking cups.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

life in cool lands..

We've been finding some ace books recently (totally un-shop related). I love lots of old illustrations such as these from an old scientific pictorial knowledge book.
I haven't felt like blogging, uploading to flickr etc much of late. Trying to find the time to do all house chores, running a small business and entertain our 3 and half year old has become a little tricky. He just seems to love getting into mischief whenever our backs are turned. Today whilst I thought he was playing in his room (and I was in the room next door), he was actually smearing half a tub of zinc cream on his toys and dresser. Trying to make dinner last night, whilst he was out of sight but in ear shot, instead of colouring / drawing on paper, he thought it was better to colour in his hands and I mean completely.
Waaaa..... so not sure how much time I have to blog at the moment. We'll see...

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today I finished wiring up and hanging these lovely screenprinted postcards by Anke Weckmann. They're from a set of eleven. I had bought these for the shop quite a while ago, but there always seems something else to frame by the time Nick or I find the time to frame things. There's still another three to go with these ones....
And on another note, I have a question to pose. Recently I made a wholesale purchase from a company from overseas (who shall remain nameless) and their product didn't live up to my and my customer's expectations as they had noticeable 'imperfections' shall we say. My question is this, would you expect a full refund including postage costs? A partial refund for the product amount only? Offered to be sent a replacement item? Or just grumble to anyone who would listen?
You can probably guess that I am none to happy with the outcome and their response. I guess that with the internet you can never be guaranteed that what you see in a product (often photoshopped) photograph is what you shall receive.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

soapy business

These arrived yesterday in our shop. And they're oh so ace. Yes it's a moustache soap on a stick. Available in blonde, brunette, black and red. These are made from vegan glycerin and natural colours and flavours, perfect for them dirty children. A lovely lady called Kelly makes these in the USA. She makes loads of different soap designs (with 2 young boys in tow). So I've chosen the soapstaches, pickles and ice cream sandwhich soaps for our shop. I may even get a few more of her designs before Christmas. False teeth soap for Grandma anyone?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

card making machine

Making cards, making cards.....years ago when I decided that I wanted to go to university and study to be a photographer, one of my reasons was so I could take good pictures to put on cards. Simple really, no grand plans of where it would take me. 10 or so years later the thought came back to me. And lo and behold I have my own shop to do just that. That way I don't have to make those scary phonecalls (or emails these days), clutch product in sweaty fingers and nervously approach them scary shop keepers. And here they are a series of 6 photographs of five squeaky toys, and one roly poly bear missing a nose. He's my favourite and was my Mum's or Aunts from when they were little. I plan to print these up on either canvas or mount and frame them. No doubt I'll blog about it when that gets done. In the meantime I'm selling the set of cards over at our bigcartel shop.