Second hand ceramics

Anyone who's familiar with me and my blog knows I can't resist snapping up second-hand ceramics and kitchen goodies!  I found these little beauties last week on a trip to the other side of the city where I went op-shop exploring for a few hours.  The stainless steel teapot (top) I've decided to use as a plant pot as its a perfect size. 

The Wade (England) vintage ceramic salad bowl and serving spoons I thought were particularly cute too!        
I also bought a mixed selection of little teacups and glasses, with the glasses being perfect for serving strawberries, blueberries and ice-cream.  Yum!! 

Orla Kiely 'Pattern'

I'm still trying to plod my way through my Christmas books, and this lovely book by Orla Kiely has been on my list to share for a while.  The book is called 'Pattern' and is full of fab images of Orla's colourful and fun graphic prints, fashion ranges and bags.  Its also a book I'm enjoying reading, as well as oohing and ahhing over the images. 
The book covers the background of how Orla created her own business, the path she took and how she started out.  I love reading about how other designers have set up a business, what they have learnt from the process, and the highs and lows of running your own creative enterprise.  Its reassuring to know successful brands started out as small businesses, with many of the same problems and hurdles to jump that other small start-ups face. 
The book is divided up into chapters on inspiration, colour, print and home etc, and is punctuated with lots of beautiful photography of her products and designs.  However, it makes me want to go shopping and spend too much money on gorgeous bags.  I LOVE the orange bag above!! 
I love that much of Orla Kiely's design and styling has quite a retro look to it - with many pictures used for brochures shot in old 1950's houses and cafes.  Her clothing range also has a modern-retro aesthetic, with often very simple pieces in stunning colours and her signature bold prints.
I'm such a big fan of the simplicity and graphic nature of Orla's prints and designs.  Yet again I'm drawn to this bold and graphic style of design - which is so different to my own work.  There's something about being attracted to a style of design which is opposite to how I naturally work and create designs, and I'm fascinated by the style and strong brand image she has.  Oooh envy!  
Orla Kiely 'Pattern' published by Conran Octopus, 2010

Lost & Found Market

After my recent trip to the Lost & Found Market I thought it deserved a post all of its own.  Lost & Found Market is based in Smith Street (near Gertrude Street) and is jam packed with funky vintage, retro, second-hand and gloriously kitsch items!
Its quite overwhelming at first as there is so much to see spread over four levels, so you need to allow plenty of time to rummage!  There's furniture, bric-a-brac, fashion, kitchen goodies, books, records etc etc....
I can happily lose myself for quite sometime whenever I pop by for a looksy, and it takes some serious will power not to go mad!  The only downside is it's cash only - although this can help to curb the spending!  Happy shopping - I might see you in there! :)

Latest second-hand finds

Busy, busy week this week!  I've been pretty flat out with some freelance design work, but I did manage to find time to pop into the fabulous Lost & Found market in Smith Street yesturday.  Always very dangerous - as I always manage to find things to buy! 
I bought this retro tomato ketchup sauce bottle in the shape of a tomato - genious!  I've actually wanted one for ages as it really reminds me of visiting old-fashioned cafes in England as a child!  Tomato ketchup, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and HP sauce - ahh the best of Bristish!!  
I also picked up this rather stunning long-length vintage green leather coat!  Green is my favourite colour and this leather coat is a beautiful dark British racing green colour.  Its in superb condition - the brand is Merivale which was apparantly the first specialty fashion boutique in Melbourne.  This quote about Merivale is from The Powerhouse site - which I found via Circa Vintage Clothing;

Established by John and Merivale Hemmes, the landmark House of Merivale and clothing designed by Merivale revolutionised the Australian fashion scene. John and Merivale Hemmes were mavericks in Australian fashion. Modelled on London’s famous concept boutiques and catering to 18-25 year olds, the House of Merivale was the first specialty fashion boutique in Australia.

The House of Merivale was not just a shop; it was a phenomenon that significantly influenced a generation of young Australian’s attitude to shopping and the fashion experience. The House of Merivale was the place to go to for the latest trends in music, fashion and make-up and was the first store in Australia to sell the mini. The popularity of the boutique was such that teenagers would be lined up outside the door.

Town & Country

I spied this very cute children's book in a second hand bookshop a few weeks ago.  Its not a particularly old book (it was first published in 1984) but I really loved the naive style of illustrations and the story about the difference between living in a town or big city, and living in the country. 
In a big city, you may live in a furnished room or a town house or a mansion, but most people who live in a really big city live in a block of flats and almost everyone who visits a big city stays in a hotel.
When you are hungry you can go out to eat in a restaurant - any kind of restaurant, an Indian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant,, or a French cafe.  There are Kosher restaurants and Fish Bars and Salad Bars and Health-food cafeterias.
A farm in the country is a quiet place with lots of space.  Beside your house there are barns and stables and tool sheds and tractor sheds.  There are fields and fences and streams and trees.
There are lots of things you grow, like eggs and apples and all kinds of vegetables.  Everything tastes so good when its fresh from your garden.  Digging, raking, planting and weeding a garden is a lot of work, but it is worth it. 
It sums up my dilemma - do I want to live in a city where I can eat at any kind of restaurant, or in the country where I can have a quiet place with lots of space..... 

Town & Country by Alice and Martin Provensen.