Hipster beardy-ness

Valet Auto-Strop Safety Razor
made in England 1950s

With so much attention to shaving [or wrt to beards = not shaving] recently I’ve had so many inquiries about razors.

I meet a lovely sustainable activist who says NO to disposable razors and is on a mission to recover all the vintage razors that can be used over and over – and are not disposable. So much landfill is single-use razors.

I love this Valet Auto-Strop Safety Razor- in it’s original bakelite box. Made in England, it has a couple of old blades for examples- still available- and is entirely made of stainless steel.

It ticks all the boxes- bakelite, stainless steel, useable, and good-ol’ timey shavin”! Buy one now [and for god’s sake- loose that horrible beard!]- for sale: $AU65
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Glomesh bling

Glomesh purse, 1960Glomesh purse,
made in Sydney, 1960

Glomesh is an international brand that makes these instantly recognisable ‘chain-mail’ handbags and purses in white, silver and gold. The company was founded by Hungarian immigrants Louis and Alice Kennedy in Bondi, in 1958. The company continues today, without much variation from the original design ideal.

I am not a handbag person – BUT my sister is. She has a thing for Glomesh. It’s the tactile and blingy nature of the bags –a reaction she shares with many. Naturally I support her in her Australian-made ideal.

This is a very early purse- in gold- which has an internal label: “GLOMESH, Made in NSW, Australia”, which marks it as such. A few of the gold plates at the base are worn and a bit bent, but the purse is entire and its lining is intact.

This is a piece of Glomesh history: and it’s for sale: $AU45

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60s Chinese silk brocade

Chinese silk brocade
made in Hong Kong, 1960s

This is a selection of Chinese silk brocade – brocade is a fabric woven with a raised pattern, typically with gold or silver thread. There are four pieces, and they all feature traditional Chinese motifs – albeit traditional as seen through the lens of the 1960s;

– red : 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– gold: 780mm wide x 2.75m long; with a flower motif
– cyan: 750mm wide x 3.25m long; with a bamboo motif
– dark blue: 750mm wide x 2.75m long; with a crane and landscape motif.

I bought the fabric from a vintage fabric seller with the intention of making brocade kimonos/smoking jackets but must now concede I don’t have the time or inclination any more. The pieces are all in excellent condition [often vintage fabric can be faded at the fold lines or in creases] and are all long enough to make a full length kimono/dressing gown. Or a cheongsam – the traditional Chinese dress form that uses silk brocade.

The four pieces of fabric are for sale: $AU125

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Christmas decorations #hipsterstyle [sold]

Hipster Christmas decorations
made in Sydney, Australia 2013

How cool are these Christmas baubles? Hand-knitted – in pure Australian wool-  these decorations will lend your Christmas tree some real hipster cred.

Made by a lovely Nanna using a 1970 knitting pattern, this set of 20 baubles is both environmentally sustainable and – quite hilarious. Environmentally sustainable because she used her left over wool pieces, and hilarious because she used her left over wool pieces [~not so much the red and green or tinselly colours.]

You’ve seen the urban art of knitted wraps around trees and poles – now see the knitted Christmas decorations! Christmas just got 1970 crafty!

The set of 20 [all different] Christmas baubles is for sale: $AUD40.

50s earrings

50s earrings50s earrings
made in Australia

This is a set of six pairs of earrings- all screw-on or clip-ons. I started collecting 50s jewellery in the 80s- I would wear them with my op-shop bought clothes to university. The 80s was a time that fashion forgot – and although I was wearing ‘old’ stuff- at least it was well designed and didn’t sport leopard print or that horrible olive/gold colour scheme.

Now 50s clothes and jewellery is very collectible. These earrings are beautifully designed and made and stand up well against modern costume jewellery. There’s a colour / diamante to suit every outfit!

For sale: $AUD90

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Bakelite perfume-holder

Bourjois bakelite owl perfume-holder
made in England, 1930s

I am very interested in bakelite, as you know: and blue bakelite is the rarest. I came across this owl-shaped perfume holder, and though it is a little time-worn, I had to have him.

The owl was made to open at the back to take a bottle of ‘Evening in Paris’ perfume. He would have been in every elegant ladies bag in the 30s. It’s made of ‘marbleised’ bakelite : and when you open it you can see the colour of the original [now eighty-year old] bakelite. But his eyes, hinges and feathery detail are all still intact.

The inscription on the back reads: ‘Bourjois, London-Paris, Reg No 825,003, Made in England’. I love the idea of a perfume-holder; no-one uses them these days. You are considered sophisticated if you walk around with perfume in your backpack. This owl harks back to the 30s- and days of glamour!

I’ve teamed the bakelite owl with a plastic telephone toy from the 50s. I kinda like the disparaging look on the owl’s face…

The bakelite perfume-holder is for sale: $AU40

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Golliwogs #70sstyle

Basic Soft Toys
by Sister Mary Bertrand, published by Reed, 1974, Wellington NZ

So – Sister Bertrand – shows you how to make golliwogs in 1974. I love this book! The goofiness, the un-PC quality, the terrible shot of St. Bertrand on the cover.

And I confess, I got her name mixed up with the flying nun – who was Sister Betrille.

Nineteen soft toy patterns : “every pattern is actual size”! Wow and hurray! if only I had the time/emotional energy to make every pattern in this book. I would. If only to realise the 1974 kitschiness / Sister Betrand factor.

I am asking you, dear reader, and dear soft toy maker, to do this on my behalf. Go on – I know you want to.

Plus – soft toy makers in NZ – I have thrown down the gauntlet. The soft toy gauntlet.

This wonderful tome is for sale: $AU15

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Australian linens [sold]

Australian linens
made in Australia, 1960s-70s

Here is a selection of Australian souvenir tea towels from the 60s and 70s. I love the colours and graphics of these linens- and since they have never been used [they are ‘new old stock’]- they remain vibrant. As souvenirware, the graphics are of Australian towns and feature Australian flora and fauna. Wattle, grevillea and koalas abound.

I bought these tea towels with the intention of making cushion covers [see examples in posts, below] – but came to the realisation that actually I have far too many and nobody could actually use a thousand pillows, not even in the most optimistic of circumstances.

The set comprises ten ‘as new’ linens, and they are for sale: $AU50

Purple reign!

Purple costume brooches, 50s, AustraliaPurple costume jewellery
made in Australia, 1950s

These are large, 50s costume brooches: all with atomic stylings and all featuring purple glass. They were made to make a bold statement – and I think you’ll agree they are still making quite the bold statement!

50s jewellery went out of fashion for a period in the 70s and 80s but is now retro enough to be coming back with a splash. I have always loved purple and collected these brooches one at a time until I had a triumvirate to display/offer them as a group.

The brooches would look great worn singly- but wow! would pack a punch worn altogether. They are all in great vintage condition, and are offered for sale: $75

Buy Now

Glomesh bling

Glomesh purse, 1960Glomesh purse,
made in Sydney, 1960

Glomesh is an international brand that makes these instantly recognisable ‘chain-mail’ handbags and purses in white, silver and gold. The company was founded by Hungarian immigrants Louis and Alice Kennedy in Bondi, in 1958. The company continues today, without much variation from the original design ideal.

I am not a handbag person – BUT my sister is. She has a thing for Glomesh. It’s the tactile and blingy nature of the bags –a reaction she shares with many. Naturally I support her in her Australian-made ideal.

This is a very early purse- in gold- which has an internal label: “GLOMESH, Made in NSW, Australia”, which marks it as such. A few of the gold plates at the base are worn and a bit bent, but the purse is entire and its lining is intact.

This is a piece of Glomesh history: and it’s for sale: $AU45

Buy Now