Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One thousand and one



Who would have thunk it?

I suppose I should mark the occasion with a giveaway or something but since life here's hitting crazyville status and will remain that way for the next two weeks I'll give up on that idea.

For now at least.

Melbourne: so much culture I damned near curdled...

Friday, 9pm: Margaritas at Fiesta Saturday, 7am: View down the hall at Hotel Claremont (No Mrs Palfrey, but there was an unexpected Cousin Lynne for S with the Sensational Sleepwear)Saturday, sometime: S's Sensational Sleepwear which I wanted desperately to run out and buy my own pair of until I reminded myself I no longer buy Pjs as I can make them... Saturday, 8:30am: View of our Hotel as we headed off for a walk along Chapel Street. Saturday, 9:45 am: The Arts Centre, Melbourne and Seamless: where costume meets dance
Saturday, 10:15am: NGV and Art Deco 1910-1939 (no photos allowed)

Saturday, 11:30am: NGV and Remaking Fashion
Saturday 1:15pm: Heide Museum of Modern Art
Saturday, 2pm: Guided tour of Heide 1
Saturday, 4pm: A walk across the park back to the railway station
Saturday, 6pm: Dinner at Soulmama Global Vegetarian Cafe at The St Kilda Baths.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Fifteen

Not really a house at all. The Irwin Interior Decorator Set was produced in the USA for Christmas 1964. There were a number of different sized sets available: I believe this is the biggest.You clip the walls onto the edges of the flooring sheets, chose which side of the double-sided wall panels you wish to display and then attach the legs of your choice to the seat of your choice.Interestingly, the front of the instruction booklet shows a different colourway. In all my browsing of eBay and other online photos of this set I've only seen the colourway I have: yellow kitchen, aqua bathroom and fawn lounge cabinets...(If I've inspired you there's a set on eBay at the moment with a BIN of $US125 )

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some more Sunday numbers for you:

7: the number of people I caught up with in Melbourne this weekend

57: the number of emails I have to wade through after a weekend cold turkey on the computer front

192: the number of photos I've just downloaded from my camera

1: the number of weird coincediences that happened this weekend

120.90: the number of dollars I saved on just three books I saw in the NGV bookshop that I bought 2 days earlier at the Lifeline Bookfair. (And with one of those, I'm comparing (my) hardback with (their) softcover... Mwahahahaha! )

100: the number of dollars I took out of the money machine unexpectedly in order to stay within my aim of not using my credit card this weekend

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seven Things Spring/ Summer 2008 Week 4: In which I'm gobsmacked I made it after the Lifeline Bookfair blowout!


* 1 black string bag (gift from a friend)
* 1 silver dolls house Christmas tree (eBay)
* 1 Liner book to go with the video series I bought (Amazon UK)
* 1 Modernism magazine (subscription)
* 3 pieces of Lundby Blue Heaven bedroom furniture. (eBay)
* 1 pair shoes (gift from a colleague)
* 1 laptop desk thingy for watching DVDs in bed without cooking your legs, 3 black canvases and a tube of black acrylic paint and
3 balls Powder Puff: gift from a friend who's clearing out her flat in readiness for her return to the USA.
* 1 copy of The Lundby Letter (subscription)
* 1 Wallpaper magazine (newsagents)

* 29 books and 11 CDs (Lifeline Bookfair fallout)
* 1 stripy T shirt, 1 pair black shoes and 3 CDs (like I needed any more!): Salvos.
* 2 bookmarks, 2 books: Melbourne trip (one of these books is super-exciting: more info in the next couple of days!)

Total In this week: 67


* 2 pairs of opaque pantihose which are fine except for the fact they slowly fall down every time I wear them and drive me nuts (bin)
* 2 magazines: donated to the lunchroom at work
* 1 image software: donated to a friend who says she doesn't have any on her computer.
* 15 books: posted to a friend as post-study candyfloss for the brain
* 2 coathangers: finally returned to the drycleaners after hanging off my banister for so long it's embarrassing!

* 1 pair size 7 Converse One Stars, one size too big, bought off eBay a couple of years ago in desperation (I thought I could wear thick socks with them). They make me feel like Ronald McDonald: donated to a friend.
* 50 old Elle Decoration mags: sitting in the boot of the car waiting to go to the Lifeline Bookfair collection box first thing in the morning.
* 2 comic books: donated to my favorite 10 year old.
* 1 Sept US Vogue: given to Miggs for airplane reading

Total Out this week: 76


2 mini shaggy rugs

Net items out so far during Seven Things Spring/ Summer: 98

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm glad I decided to check my post box this morning...*

Crappy photo of my opening invite taken with colleague's camera phone as I don't have my card reader with me at work and the attachment my lovely Curator sent me is too bid to fit through Pop mail. And, of course, I'm far too excited to wait until I return home from Melbourne to share it with you!

If you're coming to the opening let me know if you're interested in either (or both!) of the following:

1. Dinner in the evening. I was thinking The Thai Garden in Dickson.
2. A group visit to Cockington Green on Sunday.

And when you ring CMAG to RSVP your place, maybe you'd like to book in for one of the floortalks as well? (Thursday 16th October 2008, 12:30pm - 1:30pm and Saturday 18th October 2008 2pm-3pm.)

(* I needed to be at work super early this morning and wasn't planning to swing past the Post Office)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

In which, in an odd twist of fate, I have to eat my words about ack yarn

I went to friend Helen's house last night to help her clear some more stuff out in readiness for her shift to the US next month.

One of the things we found in her cupboard was a green bag full of ack (mainly
Powder Puff in all it's colourful glory.) I said I'd find a good home for it. I didn't quite expect that home to be Chateau TSS!

I've been going through 5 years' worth of Elle Decoration back issues this week (only
8 months after I first tried) and have been seeing lots of fluffy rugs. I had a flash of inspiration, pulled out the knitting needles and:Anyone in the market for a mini Flokati rug?

Oh dear...

It would seem I got a little carried away at The Lifeline Bookfair. 32 books and 11CDs worth of carried away, to be precise. Sunday's Seven Things will be fun, especially as only three of the teetering pile are presents.

As I said to the chap at checkout, that's my reading sorted til around 2015...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's been a while since I did one of those online quiz things

so when Bijou Kaleidoscope mentioned the mydeco Style Test on what turned out to be a pretty crappy day here in TSS Land it was just the escapism I needed. Better than a blog post that went "blah blah work sucked, crappy day, blah blah wanted to thwack a number of people upside the head blah blah at least I was getting paid to be there which is handy cause the Lifeline Bookfair starts tomorrow and I fly to Melbourne on Friday"

And my results?

You're going for the ultimate living environment. You like a home that is sleek, masculine and generally understated. Only those in the know will be able to spot the touches of genuinely 'flash' kit - the designer logos, the top-of-the-range gizmos. In the end it'll all looks effortlessly cool but there's still a bit more time, thought and hard graft to be done to get everything spot on.

Living Room
Playboy, gent, aesthete - your living room is a shrine to bachelorism. The masculine look finds its apogee in the bachelor pad, and at the heart of every bachelor pad is the living space, with its sharp lines and a hedonistic approach to life that's all about having fun and very little to do with mundane chores. This is the lifestyle of a Gatsby or a 007, and the fact that both are fictional characters says it all: this look is about illusion and seduction and a dash of hustler chutzpah. This is a look that can't take clutter: accessories should be carefully considered for style as well as impact, although adaptable lighting is an essential element. Dark colours work well if you use the room mainly during the evenings and at night, while eclectic black and white make for a bold, yet chic statement. Whether you're chilling out, socialising or surfing the net, your living room's a place that reflects the way you live your life.

Yours is a 'modern master' bedroom. Sleep is fundamentally important to our well being. In busy towns and cities, noise can often hamper a good night's sleep. Soft furnishings really do absorb sound, and touch is such an important sense in the bedroom, from crisp, linen sheets to wool or even sheepskin underfoot. You make quite a statement with clean, strong lines in your bedroom, using vibrant colours to make a bold statement.

Dining Room
You're a bonafide alpha-male entertainer. At home, cool, sleek masculine lines and shades set the tone. Avoid harsh primary colour and opt instead for linen napkins in muted or jewel shades, say, and dine by candlelight to add a moody vibe to evening meals. When it comes to entertaining, you like to make an effort for family and friends.

Home Office
There's no doubting who's boss in your home office. No matter how independent you might be, like everybody else you'll have bills to pay. A dedicated home office will help you keep on top of the 'boring bits'. Black leather upholstery twinned with stainless steel and glass can hover on the edge of cliche. Look for inspiration from classic Sixties films such as The Thomas Crown Affair and early [James] Bond movies to see just how well the look works when it's done with style and conviction.

You're the consummate international playboy, at home around the world, but never more so than in your elegant 'pad' with its emphasis on hedonism and the finer things in life.

Cheers. Pity they didn't notice the fact I said I was a girl-person!

Want to take the test? Head over here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One I'm not even considering (except in my dreams)

Triang Spot on Jennys Home. MIP: "Fabulous rare vintage Triang Jennys Home in original box. Consists of two big rooms and one little one. Comes complete with furniture (see photo) - everything listed on the box appears to be present although there are slight variations in colour, design etc. Jenny is also present (although again different from the one on the box and she is lacking her clothes!). In addition there are a few electrical bits and bobs which are not in the photo (these have not been tested). Most items seem to be in pretty good played with condition for their age - there is a small crack in one of the clear ceiling panels. The box exhibits a little wear and tear but again not bad for its age. "

Opening bid is £49.25. I'm not even considering it as the last one I saw on eBay went for £160.

But if you have the inclination and the readies, knock yourself out. I'll be checking back and promise to be very jealous of whoever wins...

Modern Miniatures on Monday: Parade of Houses, Part Fourteen (Kaleidoscope House)

The Kaleidoscope House is the only house in the exhibition not in 3/4" scale.

I'm not sure what to say about it which I didn't already say
here. So maybe I'll just shut up and let the photos speak for themselves...Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house bathroom. Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house study nook.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house bed.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house bedroom.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house living room corner with water chiller and crash helmet..Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house dining room corner.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house living room view from an espresso machine.Modern miniature 1950s-style ceramic cat ornament and bowl on a white fluffy rug.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house dining room.Modern miniature Kaleidoscope doll's house car port with Smart car.(The full nitty gritty, as usual, on FLICKR)

One that got away too

It was love at first sight when I spotted this on UK eBay: And, happily, it sat squarely within the ol' Collection Development Policy. After a couple of grovelly emails to the seller (and a few days of fingernail biting!) I was given permission to bid.

Unfortunately it would seem it was love at first sight for a number of other people as well. I entered my highest ouch this will hurt if by some miracle I win it bid and went to bed. Where I dreamed of furnishing it as a block of Bauhaus bedsits.
As I expected, I awoke this morning to find myself severely outbid. The auction ended at £112.55 which actually pleased me as it was almost exactly double my top bid: much better than being beaten by one measly pound...

(Size: 53cm wide, 55cm tall, 25cm deep)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Seven Things Spring/ Summer 2008 Week 3: a problem of mass

The numbers look good this week. But if you decide to measure mass it doesn't quite work. For instance one desk chair and one suitcase take up a hell of a lot more room than 34 hair elastics, 8 hairclips and 2 small bottles of perfume!


* 1 US Elle (subscription)
* 1
desk chair
* 1
vintage suitcase, 1 1971 Fisher Price schoolhouse (I didn't mention that, did I?) * 1 IKEA catalogue
* 1 Lundby dolls house light, 2 Tomy dolls house planter boxes, 1 Tomy dolls house towel. (eBay)
* 1 Madison magazine (subscription) * 1 dolls house bearskin rug (which cracks me up), 1 picture, 1 bath and 1 toilet. (eBay)
* 1 hand made bracelet (gift from a friend)
* 1 souvenir pad from Alice Springs given to me by my boss
* 2 pairs knitting needles plus 9 loose (let's just say 7 pairs, shall we?), 6 magazines, 1 CD, 1 ornament and 1 apron from yesterday's
frugalling foray.

Total In this week: 32


* 16 items of clothing and 7 bags: sent off to be checked over by various people and the leftovers donated.
* The contents of a tin I discovered from the very short period of time when I had hair long enough to consider doing something with: 34 hair elastics, 8 hairclips. Plus 2 small bottles of perfume: donated to a friend's daughter.

Total Out this week: 67

Shake-it-all-about: * 2 mini mattresses, 2 mini sheets, 2 mini blankets (I decided it was idiotic deciding to handsew them as no one is going to be looking that closely at them and most of the edges would be tucked in anyway...)

Net items out so far during Seven Things Spring/ Summer 2008: 89

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One that got away

Which is probably just as well as The Collection Development Policy clearly states "no metal houses with plastic furniture."But that was before I saw this beauty of a modern bungalow! It's produced by British firm Mettoy and measures 25cm tall, 22cm deep, and 32cm wide. Apparently this particular model was only made in 1964 and then replaced with a wooden version (now that's one house I'd like to see pop up on eBay)
It's furnished with Superior brand furniture in 3/4" scale.

It was the postage from the UK which killed the bidding for me.


"100 ways to hide your stash"

is the name of one of the songs on this CD which I picked up for $3 on this morning's frugalling foray:Just in case I'm not the last person in the world to discover The Singing Quilter, you can listen to the song here.

The rest of my haul was rather ordinary: some knitting needles (of course), some magazines at 25 cents each, a brass owl ornament and an apron which wants to be turned into dolls house curtains.

I have frugalling news, though: Vinnies Tuggeranong will be closed from 7 October to an as yet unspecified date in November for refurbishment (and, I suspect, enlargement and there's building work going on next door.) Until then everything in the shop (except religious items) is half price. Even their $3 torties under the counter.

And spotted at Bargain Hunter Queanbeyan: not one but two knitting machines. Just thought I'd mention it...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aarrr! I be feeling some sewing coming on...

Don't panic, that's all the pirate talk you'll find on this blog for today. How was International Talk Like a Pirate Day for you? I planned to wear my skull and cross needles T to work but piked out at the last minute. One other colleague was "yo ho" and "Aarrr!"ing but apart from that it was pretty low key.

Anyway. Sewing. Roving Reporter Rowan mentioned that the
1957 Lundby house's beds were bereft of any bedding which concerned her. And she wasn't buying my tale of a plague and a bedding-burning.

So I dug around in the stash mountain for suitably 1957 vintagey bits. Luckily I had a bed here which matches the armchair and footstools in the bedroom so I could use it for colour matching (in case you're wondering why I don't just use this bed, there's only one and I wanted 2 beds in the room)

I found an old doona cover in cheater fabric which had two designs that I thought would work. Apart from the glaringly white background. After a good soaking in a bowl full of several pots of strong tea (to which was added some vintage lace which came with the sewing tin Taph gave me, some bias binding I discovered and, belatedly, some soft fleecy fabric) I have this:High on the list for tomorrow is hand sewing two mattresses, two pillows, two sheets and two soft fluffy blankets. I'd use the machine but I don't think that would quite give them the proper "vintage actually" feel. I want the results to look like they've been around as long as the furniture...

Speaking of "vintage actually", I've been meaning to share this chart from my 1939 edition of Dressmaking is Easy which shows the measurements for patterns of the time: (
Larger version on FLICKR)

Perhaps it might clear up some confusion along the lines of "I bought a vintage size 12 pattern but it doesn't go anywhere near me. I'm a size 12, I swear!"

I also have to share the opening paragraph:

"Sewing is quite properly spoken of as an art. It is an art in that it is a form of creative expression. The woman or girl who sews finds the same relaxation and release that the painter discovers in his canvas, or the writer in his manuscript."

The book also explains that

"If you do much sewing, an electric machine will be of great advantage. It will save time, because of its speed and quick response; it will take the drudgery out of sewing, for the motor does all the work and the light illuminates the goods; and you will enjoy everything you do on it."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I castor round for a solution, and I'm wheely happy with the outcome

Ross at Recon to the rescue!

$16.50 later we have castors.

Discombobulated and bereft

I feel like someone's taken all my toys.Oh, wait... someone HAS taken all my toys!

It's quite a weird feeling, knowing that I've almost achieved something I originally set out to do 4 years ago. Back in July 2006 I went to the Clarice Cliff exhibition at CMAG and said:

"I have plans to see a room full of contemporary dolls houses and furniture from 1947-2007 here. Once I get my exhibition proposal in to them. Which has only been sitting round for about 18 months now waiting to be filled out..."

Taph hit the nail on the head when she said a while back "The challenge was about getting the proposal in, wasn't it? You never really expected the exhibition to happen..."

The other thing I'm finding disconcerting is that, after 13 weeks of pretty constant attention to and working on my houses, they're now entirely in the hands of someone else. I'm able to go visit but I'm sure CMAG doesn't want me camping out there and making a nuisance of myself while they do what they're trained to do.
Then there's the little matter of privacy. I don't know if you've noticed but there are many things I've not mentioned on this blog. One of them is my name. And now with the exhibition I feel like the curtain of anonymity has been ripped open and I'm left sheepishly grinning and waving in the light.
So last night I escaped coming home to my lounge which is oddly flat without the pop of colour which is the Kaleidoscope House and a still echoey house and visited friend Helen to help her sort out which clothes she's getting rid of before she leaves town to return the the USA. On the day of my opening. In retrospect it may have been a silly way to spend the evening as it brought up more feelings of loss and change in my life.And the photos? Just to prove the top landing has been restored to order. And to show off my "new" $5 suitcase (on the top of the pile). Two suitcases look silly. Three make it look like a collection.