Thursday, December 17, 2009

christmas card 2009

Tis the time for the unveiling of ye olde christmas card 2009. Arthur's back and the santa headband may no longer be flashing and fitting quite so well, but we did it in record time with no kerfuffles. If you want to peek at 2008 head here and 2007 is here

Thursday, December 10, 2009

oh no ho ho ho

we are open for a wee bit longer over the next 2 on the pic to see and read.

Friday, December 4, 2009

heading to market

tomorrow I am taking the circus to the Yarravillle Christmas market. Nick will be in the shop and after Arthur's (ahem) help at the previous market he's off to play elsewhere. It's open from 10am but sometimes people sneak in a little earlier and on until 3pm. If you need more details and a list of some the lovely stall holders attending head here. It's also on Sunday too, some stallholders the same some different.

Friday, November 20, 2009

random home photo

I have been meaning to do a blogpost for about 10 days now but figured I'd only be whinging about the hot November weather, the fact that Arthur and I have colds and that Arthur is having grommets put in and adenoids taken out in the very near future. See not very exciting, no wondrous tales of second hand finds or fancy photographs to share. See I told you I would whine, but I am working on some new ideas and a fun project too - I just can't share that stuff as yet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

we're back again

the shop is now open again and I have spent the day re-arranging (more about that soon) and getting back to shop life, including photographing some new (old) things to put online. Which may or may not happen today. Tomorrow is a day in the shop dedicated to breathing some new life into the online shop and perhaps a foray into ebay... we have some things that really don't suit the shop but like most people don't want to just give away. But I do have 3 bags of old clothes and stuff to donate to the op shop. It seems a spring cleaning be on me.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

tis the time of the year

to take a break.... it seems like this time last year one of us in the land of Arthur's Circus hit the wall - now it is my turn. To keep it short and not delve too much info, I have been struggling to balance the life, shop and mother load. This year Arthur has had a never ending supply of bugs and colds and ear infections.( We're now heading down the ENT path). So for the next 2 weeks I want to be hanging out with my little fella, looking after him and not running a shop.
Also thanks to everyone who came to see our Milkbar show. It was fun and encouraging to meet new people who share a love for nostalgia and 20 cent paddle pops...So we're open tomorrow and Saturday 11-5pm and then will be back the first week of November. Please call us if you're planning a visit from afar, we can arrange a time for you to visit whilst we take this time out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

catching bugs

unfortunately we've been catching bugs of the cold and flu kind, as opposed to the creepy crawlie ones....although maybe not so unfortunate after all. We do have a huntsman spider lurking upstairs, whom Arthur has named Tigger. Our last resident spider a few years ago was called perhaps I should get Arthur to set his bug catcher trap... Which is circa 1970's by the way and unused me thinks. We have a couple of these bug catchers and I'll be putting them online today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

a to the y to the z - an online guide

today I photographed some new things to add to the online shop, once I started a pattern emerged and the next thing it was the abc's. Most are yet to be added, I cheated a little as a few are already in the online shop. I only wish the alphabet consisted of 25 letters, though I'm not sure which letter I'd leave out.
UPDATE: all up and online here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

not quite exhibition pics

I had planned on uploading a few new photos taken around the shop of our exhibition (and re-arrangement), however in my cleaning frenzy I can't seem to find my card reader to upload photos. So instead a pic of a sweet old child's toy and a link to Gemma's flickr where she has some snaps from opening night.
A big thanks to all those who came and ate way too many lollies and those who have visited us in the pouring Melbourne rain. My favourite part of the night was manning the milkbar / lolly counter with Arthur and watch people umming and aaahing trying to decide what to buy with their $1. (Everything was 20 cents).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a sneak peek and 20 cent sunnyboys

A quick reminder that our exhibition opens tonight from 6pm. After a trek halfway across Melbourne and back we have procured some tasty milkbar treats....and all for yesteryear prices of 20 cents. The best and freshest snowballs in town, sunnyboys, mixed lollies and more. So raid your money box and re-live your childhood and enjoy Gemma, Nat, Miikel and Eamo's look at the fading history of the milkbar, laundromat and urban beauty.
Gallery/shop hours for the exhibition are Thursday to Sunday 11am - 5pm. And contact us for an appointment outside those hours.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

awesome squared

we happen to stock a very awesome kid's (and adults) book, which is incidently called "an awesome book" by Dallas Clayton. Well things have gotten even more awesome as he has now set up a kids book foundation. Basically for every copy he sells, Dallas donates one copy to a child or school or hospital etc... So please take a look at this link and go buy an awesome book and dream big.
PS I have just added it to our online shop. Buy from him or us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

snowballs, sunnyboys and sherbert cones

figuring out the logistics and all important opening night treats... the shop is now closed for the week. Our online shop is open for business as usual. And Arthur has been helping me out with a little milkbar etc magnet and badge making. And to answer many a question you don't need to RSVP to attend. So come and hang out at our milkbar for the melbourne fringe festival.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

milkbars, laundromats & urban beauty

Back from the printers is our exhibition invite for our upcoming photography show here at Arthur's Circus. Featuring the photographic talents of Gemma Jones, Eamo Donnelly, Miikel Doomernik and moi - Natalie Jeffcott. The exhibition is part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and also celebrates our 2nd year in business. Opening night is Tuesday 22 September from 6 - 8pm . We will be extending our hours for the duration of the festival. And fingers crossed we'll have less circus and juggling in Arthur's Circus and be able to open an extra day of the week. We shall keep you posted.

Monday, August 31, 2009


We received an unhappy (and anonymous) note under our door yesterday, so I thought I would reply on the off chance that the disappointed person / people will read it. I am sorry you drove 1.5 hours to visit our shop only to find us closed. However our website clearly states that we are only open Thursday - Saturday 11am - 5pm, or by appointment. We have not been open on Sundays since the beginning of this year. If you had rung the telephone number on the door, we would have answered and been more than happy to come and open the shop for you. We were not far away....
On a similar note, we also endeavour to post information on this blog, our door and our website if we have any changes in regards to our opening times. And it so happens that we do. This Saturday 4th September we will closing early at 3.30pm. Also in preparation for our upcoming photography exhibition (more info soon) we will be closing the shop for the week of the 13th - 19th September in order to prepare and re-arrange the shop. Please call us on 0408557459 or 0412713202 if you want to arrange a time or have any questions.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

new to the shop

in no particular order (though the top one is my favourite)....
framed vintage tea week sign

map magnets made by me

magnets made from old (and incomplete) children's lotto pieces

a new range of screenprints from the UK heading to the online shop to add a few things too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

flour sack cushions

Here is the latest in our cushions created from vintage flour sacks. I am attempting to put these up in the online shop today - though it depends on Arthur and his television watching while I do may be this evening I have a feeling. A big thankyou goes to Miss Peta Pledger for helping sew up a the way she makes the best dresses, skirts and tops in town.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

cushions online

since our article in Inside Out magazine, we have had a few enquiries in regards to our cushions made from old flour sacks and army blankets. So I have photographed what we currently have in stock and have added them to the online shop. I plan to get my sewing on this evening and create a few more. Fingers crossed I won't fall asleep before Arthur and actually get some done.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

vintage toys + photography

= me happy. I have been working on a photo job (shh dont tell them I told you) which incorporates the use of vintage toys. Perfect for me really. So I thought that I would share one of the rejects so to speak. Some of you may remember this space set from your own childhood. It got me thinking about my favourite toys which I didn't have - but got to play with at friends' houses. Kenner family treehouse, this space set and simon (electronic game).

Friday, August 7, 2009

thread den market

the above photo has nothing really to do with the fact that the lovely thread den girls have organised a market and we are having at stall at it. It is on this Sunday August 9 from 10am -2pm at the Lithuanian club, 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne. There will be over 50 market stalls, activities for the kids and great door prizes. Entry via gold coin donation...the money raised is going towards their spring fashion show. And also thankyou to all the lovely comments and emails re: our feature in Inside Out. Whilst articles about ourselves and our shop / home have been seen in other mags and websites, this is by far my favourite. Yay...

Monday, August 3, 2009

I had been thinking...

that I hadn't posted anything for a while and lo and behold, it's this week sees our house in the latest edition of Inside Out magazine. It's due to hit the stands August 4 or 5. This week we are being interviewed by a newspaper, along with photos of our kitchen and bathroom - so the mad cleaning panic is about to begin and lastly over the weekend the lovely Jenny and Ian from lmnop popped into the shop. So I think that has the media covered.
On Friday I embarked on a wee shop re-arranging, kind of like a giant game of tetris. I sometimes have some crazy idea and won't let up on it - such as moving large pieces of furniture that you cant get to, nor move by oneself. Yet somehow I think it is possible. Luckily Nick got back to the shop with Arthur and helped. (Once I had emptied almost everything from under the stairs into the shop - to get to large piece of furniture)...but I did get to finding some buried vintage treasure, which I'm hoping to add online this week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

kit cat clocks

our shipment of kit cat clocks has finally arrived and they are very ace. We have only 2 versions of the clocks at this stage - being the black and red 75th anniversary ones (as seen in the pics.) Now I just need to get to the shop to buy some batteries to see them tick tock in all their eye moving, tail wagging glory. Oh and I'm about to put on sale in the online shop too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

for your listening (and viewing) pleasure

I have uploaded a few photos from our trip up north to our flickr site. Just don't be expecting your usual touristy and family snaps, as you wont find them there. Whilst I was uploading and photoshopping I was listening to an album, by James Yuill. You should check his music out. I'm not good at musical descriptions so I won't try but here is a link to one on you tube. I have decided that now is the time to improve my feedback skills and linking to other people. I am hopeless at it. You should see how much feedback I have never left for ebay, etsy, comments on flickr etc. We receive many kind words, in person and via the web. So I actually emailed James Yuill, to tell him I liked his music and do you know what, he emailed back and said thankyou. So I would now like to thank everyone who visits us and leaves comments, we do appreciate it and may I also apologise to all the folk I've never feedbacked (except the ones who don't package things properly) and left nice comments on blogs I regularly read.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the big pineapple

Arthur and I snuck out of town, (while Nick manned the shop) on a wee break with my sister and her family. Hence the lack of Arthur's Circus internet ramblings. We stayed on the sunshine coast and of course had to visit the big pineapple. It has been a good 32 years since I was last there. It opened around 1971 I think and my sister and I went there as children, probably around the same age that our kids are. Nothing much has changed which is nice, but also highlights what was once a thriving tourist destination that the main motorway has now bypassed. No fancy amusement park rides here. A slow rickety pineapple express train and macadamia nut car is as good as it gets for thrills and spills. We loved it, although I was disappointed they didn't sell a giant pencil with a plastic pineapple on top anymore.

Friday, June 26, 2009

they're back

Vintage galaxy bottles have returned to the shop and about to head over online too. If you don't know the history, they are an original, old-stock glass bottle, designed for syrup - think sodastream here in Australia, but oh so much snazzier. Designed to turn into a money box after you've consumed all that sugary goodness. Unfortunately they went belly up before the bottles were used, which is good news for us, as it means we can enjoy or their vintage, mint condition loveliness.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

how good is this box?

it's better than the game. I'm planning on framing this next week. I'd like to say it's for the shop, but I have a feeling this one may sneak upstairs for a wee bit.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

as sweet as, sweet mama cotton candy

I have finally (well bigartel behaved itself) uploaded a few new items online, and thought I'd show you the other set of super sweet (and salty) letterpress prints from Yeehaw. I can't decide between careless love and salty tears, but I think the crying pretzel may just have it. They are all great.

Friday, June 12, 2009


how sweet is this set of prints...very I say. The set is called Jr Rangers - even more sweet. There's another set of yeehaw prints that arrived in the shop today called Careless Love, Salty Tears, Sweet Mama and Cold Turkey. They're just as ace. I'm putting some in the online shop today - once I figure my exchange rates.
On another note for the rest of June we are only going to be open in the real world on Fridays and Saturdays. You can call for an appointment still, but at the moment the climate both economically and meteorologically (is that a word?) - is a wee bit cold. So I'm taking a break and doing some personal photography instead. so 2 yeehaws it is for me today.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I speak, I laugh, I sing...

just at the twist of the handle...oh humpty if only it were that simple....and also you're broken...but I still love you.

PG - artwork may contain bad language

well actually it does. Super new giclee prints have arrived in the shop this week by the talented Mr Gary Taxali. Sneak peek of one which is my favourite. I'll be framing next week and show it off better then. My week this week is better, thanks to friends old and new, who have helped me better understand the land of retail and the juggle we all have in varying degrees, of work, kids, life, relationships etc. I really appreciate it, a big thankyou....well that and the 14715 viewed item in the shop has SOLD. yes indeedy do and to someone I don't know.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

making amends

Thankyou for your comments, after reading them and re-reading my blog post, I apologise if I sounded way too grumpy. I have never been great with expressing my thoughts into words. That's one of the reasons why I studied photography. I had been talking to friends about the similarity of some products seen recently, by different people / companies. And wonder how the original creator feels about the mutation of their idea or design. Also, how people can simultaneously create something with no knowledge of the other. The internet is a great tool for sharing ideas, creating and seeking inspiration but unfortunately people do get ideas stolen.
At the moment I am finding the balance of running a shop in person, maintaining it on-line and being a Mum a little tricky. As you may know Arthur heads to school next year, so time with him is precious. I wish our shop could be open more than 3 days a week, and that sometimes Arthur wasn't around when the shop is supposed to be open. But for the time being it is how we're running things and after all it is called Arthur's Circus for a reason. So to Anthony, Lisa, Kate, Clare, Jessi and LotelIT shoot me an email at with your address and a little something will be coming your way. I really appreciate your feedback, though I still can't figure out of 14,000+ views of one item in our shop, why no one has bought it. ;-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

mama's makin' bunting

I've been making bunting from vintage children book pages for a while now and quietly selling them in our shop. I haven't seen the idea elsewhere but knowing what this online world is like, it's more than likely someone else makes something kinda the same too. And if not, here's my idea - and go forth and copy it, because that's what happens in this ole world. We share, we inspire and then we rip off. Yes I am feeling cynical today. : ) By "we" I mean people not specifially "us". BUT seeing as this is my 200th blog post, who would have thought I could manage that. So if you help me out with an answer to a question, then one or two of you will randomly receive a paper bunting and / or other Arthur's Circus treats. It appears we have a lot of viewers to our online shop. So here is my question what does or doesn't make you buy something from it or perhaps other online shops? Is it the price, is it the postage or is it something else? What are you looking for when you look online? You can email us if you don't want the world to see, although I moderate comments so no one has to know. Oh and you could also buy our bunting here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

adding a few new things

Plugging away on my computer getting distracted by other links, blogs and things when I should just upload some pics to the online shop. Anyways a few new items added so far. Trying to have a bit of an online dust, sweep and clean. Other news is that this Saturday we will be closing early at 3.30pm. Yes I found the lost tickets which means we can go. I did actually sit down after a good frantic 1 hour search and ask out aloud "where are the tickets St Anthony". Lay down on my bed quietly and bam the answer came to me, I kid you not. Found inside a handbag used over one month ago, which was in the laundry, inside a large backpack. Obvious place to leave tickets right?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

a day in bed...

Some day I would like a day in bed, with nothing but books and magazines sprawled around me. It seems that day could be today but not quite as I imagined. My neck is out and I cannot move it....Lucky we use a laptop. However the many things I had planned to get done today are now not happening. My parenting skills are out the window, whilst Arthur is glued to ABC Kids television. With my regular yelling out, are you okay. He even got his breakfast this morning. Lucky the dishes were clean in the dishwasher is all I can say. Next noise of concern was dog food hitting the metal bowl. All good. Dog fed, child fed and I'm still in bed. Nick is working elsewhere. I wonder how much longer I have until I resume to 'mother' life. 10am I reckon, after Playschool finishes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

small shop update

a sneak peek of two things added to the online shop today. I am trying to add a few more but with Arthur lurking in and out of the shop, armed with our water sprayer and window squeegie (how do you spell that) I'm keeping my eyes on him. Anyone in need of some cheap-child-window-cleaning labour? Oh the very lovely tea towel is by Susan aka spin spin. She hand screenprints them here in Melbourne on 100% linen and I didn't iron it for the photo., does that make me a bad photographer/shopkeeper ?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

thankyou St Anthony

I promise I won't call you Tony or Tone..... Yes my camera charger randomly turned up last night without me spending hours searching throughout our house and car. So now I can resume posting as I just can't have words on this here blog. So this week has seen me framing - first up a custom framing job for a customer who asked about us framing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that he had spied in the shop. It was a tricky and time consuming one but I think it turned out well. Also more screenprints in store from the UK. Now I can finally make a start on photographing and uploading some new stock to the neglected online shop. Oh we were also were reviewed in The Age newspaper at the weekend. 4 stars ( I hope that's out of 5 ) and next time I'll try to remember to unlock the front door before a customer attempts to get in.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

we've been busy

I feel like I've been neglecting the online world of Arthur's Circus of recent. We have been rather busy with this wee project. Fingers crossed it will all be dandy asap. I haven't planned a fancy blog post, as it's been a week of Arthur having an ear infection and me feeling torn between being a mother and a shopkeeper and doing neither exceptionally well. I'm about ready for a new week to begin, finding my awol camera charger and awol tickets to Yo Gabba Gabba. Which Saint is it that I need to pray to for finding lost things?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

stop me if you think you've heard this one before...

I think I may have mentioned that we have too much stuff. Home stuff, shop stuff, child stuff etc etc... so sometimes I need to think outside the square when it comes to finding a home for certain stuff. We seriously lack cupboards, shelving, storage etc so what does one do? Well with a partner who collects old toy service stations (many of which young Arthur is not allowed to play with) and no more shelves available I have found a new home in our ensuite. Perfect to house yet more bathroom type stuff.

Friday, May 1, 2009

it runs in the family....

Without going into too much detail, a little bribery was required a few weeks ago for a certain 4 year old, involving a toileting change in behaviour. Nothing too serious, so we asked if he would like to choose something for himself and if after 2 weeks of the new and improved behaviour he could have that chosen something. So he asked for our guide to vintage Fisher Price. Yes it's true. After much flipping of pages and ummming it was announced that he would like the huffy puffy train. Jeepers, lucky he didn't choose a 1930's original pull toy.... So a little internet searching I had found huffy puffy in the USA. It's a little tattered, but well loved and the postage cost way more than the train itself. But behaviour has changed for good.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

all in all

I have a photo in the above group show at famous when dead gallery, a hop skip and a jump away from us. Well a 10 minute walk really. It's with a group of artists who all work or live in the north / west melbourne neighbourhood. That's all I know, other than there's an opening for it tomorrow night from 6pm. So if you fancy a beer and a perusal come on by.

Friday, April 24, 2009


It seems my photos have been tarting themselves about the web of recent. Having been spied at bloesem kids, small magazine and spearmint baby. So a big thankyou to those blogs for giving them a mention... and I thought that I really should let you see what they look like framed. Not shown in Ikea, but tarted-up, custom-made frames - the same size as a 30 x 40cm Ikea ribba that they are designed to fit into.
Also I have been unsure whether we will be open for Anzac day tomorrow. We have decided that we will be closed. Not because we fancy a day off (but that is very Australian of us) but feel it's important to stop and think about the men and women who sacrificed so much for us.