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Friday, 22 May 2015

Antique-ing on Bourke Street, Sydney. The beginning of a journey.

The most bizarre aspect of antique-ing on Bourke Street is that my first port of call is Mitchell Road Antiques. I can't find a "Mitchell Road" anywhere in the vicinity but, there it is, Mitchell Road Antiques on Bourke Road. 


Yes, that's not an error, "road" it is and then, at the traffic lights, it becomes "street". I'm sure there's some history behind all this Bourke-road-street-Mitchell Road madness, but I haven't yet discovered what it is.

If you can fill me in, I'd be very appreciative.

So, my journey on Bourke Street/Road begins.


Behind this enticing facade, there lives a monster of a warehouse filled to the brim with the most amazing treasures.


Oh, be still my beating heart. This is Libby heaven.

But where to begin? And again the Virgo traits kick in and an orderly plan of attack is formulated. Up and down each row so nothing is missed.

First treasure to catch my eye is this.


My pineapple-loving-friend-Linda would be in raptures if she were here.
A pineapple ice bucket. (I think the kewpie doll is sweet too.)

And then there are these.


I have a soft spot for shoe lasts. During the depression, my maternal grandfather used to mend shoes to try to bring in money to feed nanna, mum and her three brothers. I have one of his lasts and, to me, it is very special.

But I am interested in children's shoe lasts … one day I'll come across some, but not today.

There are aisles and aisles of treasures upon treasures. How long am I going to be here? I had planned on venturing further up Bourke Street to another treasure haven I have heard of … maybe that won't happen today.



Industrial style lights anyone?


A dentist's chair perhaps?


Or what about a wringer washing machine. How many little arms went up to their elbows in that wringer I wonder? At least mothers don't have that worry these days.


Retro kitchenalia is another weakness of mine. Aprons and baking and licking the wooden spoon … cherished childhood memories.



And then I spotted this. A blue Sunbeam. Wow. I have one; it's yellow with one yellow bowl.  I use it whenever I bake. If I could find a large yellow bowl to complete the set ...


And then there was this one. It even has the original manual.



And look at that table and chairs. How cool are they.


And a kitchen step-stool just like the one I managed to find at The Junk Yard earlier this year.


And there's Mid-century modern goodies with their streamlined appeal.





Yes, Linda, that is another pineapple ice bucket hiding in that scene.


A Tiki style bar anyone?


And these lamps would go very well with that bar.


And this lounge in the nearby cabana.


And then I spy this.


A dead ringer for my Jaundice. Yes, Jaundice, not a very complimentary name for a doll, but it has stuck. Her name evolved out of her poorly skin colour. My Jaundice is currently in need of repair … one arm is … well, both her arms need to be reconnected. Poor thing. But I still love her and one day she will visit the doll doctor and come home with arms in place.

And then there' 70s retro, super cool stuff.


I have a need for a retro phone. I nearly bought one in London last year, but decided it was too heavy to carry. My phone day will come.


And then I spied this. Now, this is VERY special. In my teenage years, I received one of these, a yellow one in fact, which I have loved and loved.


It's a wrist radio. Yes, the VERY cool people, like me, wore these on their wrist and listened to VERY cool music right on the end of their arm. Impressed? I hope so.



I could see this in my sewing room. I've not seen a timber one before.


And this last photo is specifically for my sister. I know she will laugh out loud.


My nanna, and my mother were of the era when making all things domestic from chopped up pieces of plastic was de rigueur. Placemats, coasters, handbags … they made them all. I remember attending night craft groups with mum where I too engaged in this highly artistic pursuit.

And now they're selling in antique shops! Am I THAT old?

And, yes, the other treasure trove up Bourke Street will have to wait for another day when the antique-ing journey continues. Stay posted.



Friday, 15 May 2015

Finders Keepers Market, Sydney, 2015. I found and I kept.

What is a Finders and Keepers Market? I didn't really know. I'd never been, never seen, but I had heard whispers and my expectations were high. So, off I went to find and keep.


Well, there are markets and there are M.A.R.K.E.T.S. and this was one of the latter. Huge. Amazing. Inspiring. Fuelled by the most talented people selling, showcasing their most wonderful arts and crafts. It was THE market of all markets.

In through these doors


under this little sign,


and I was ready to venture forth into the unknown.

Well, almost. First a coffee and a Portuguese tart to give me strength.


And then into the market hall with just a few other people,


but there was plenty of room and plenty of stalls, huge variety and everyone was in a happy place.

I formulated a plan of attack: up and down the aisles in an orderly manner, in true Virgo style. I didn't want to miss anything.

First to catch my eye were these cute stamped vintage spoons. Names of herbs, inspiring quotes, messages of love.


And then this


and this


and so much more.

Here comes an avalanche of wonder to feast your eyes upon.









Macrame is back. Trendy and revitalised after its mothballing at the end of the 70s. Who would have thought?




I was fixated here for quite some time. Beautiful letter pressed cards and tags.


And here … vintage caravan fabric, cushions, aprons. Who doesn't love a vintage caravan?


And chocolate wrapped in the most delightful papers.


What about a leather belt made to order as you watch?


A bow tie made by hand?


Or entertainment while you rest your weary feet?


Did I enjoy myself?

Oh yeah!

Did I buy a few bits and bobs?

Oh yeah!

Can you see them?

No. That would spoil a few birthday and Christmas surprises.

So, my advice, search Mr Google for a Finders and Keepers Market in your closest capital city, usually twice a year, and mark it on your calendar. Make a date with your BFF. Allocate at least a morning. Go with cash in hand or credit card at the ready.

Find and keep.

I did. And I loved it. I'm sure you will too.

Oh, no word from the toaster manufacturer
One reader suggested I try their Facebook page. 
That might be on my to-do list this weekend.