Lovely patterned old tins

I seem to be adding old vintage and second-hand tins to the list of things I find myself collecting these days! I've picked up the above beauties over several months from various different places - second-hand shops, vintage markets, and the rather lovely blue willow patterned tin was given to me by a very sweet friend. 

The blue willow tin and the yellow floral tin are old Australian 'Willow' brand designs, whilst the tin with the bird illustrations and the gorgeous floral tin tray are vintage designs made in England. 

Vintage teapot & jug

Several months ago I bought this very sweet vintage teapot (I think I bought it when I visited Inglewood), which is made in England by Arthur Wood, with a pattern called 'Summertime'.  I was really drawn to the stylised floral pattern, and the colour palette of the florals on the yellow glazed teapot - definitely not the usual old-fashioned florals found on English vintage ceramics. 

Then a few weeks later in Daylesford I came across this large jug, and instantly recognised the pattern as being the same as the teapot.  I thought it was a bit unusual that the jug was white, whilst the teapot had a yellow glaze - and on turning the jug over I learnt the jug was made in New Zealand, and wasn't part of the English Arthur Wood collection. 

It's a bit of a mystery how the two pieces have the same pattern (maybe the pattern was licensed for the Australia-Pacific region?) but either way I like that the two pieces don't match perfectly, and they make a great addition to my random collection of vintage chinaware.

Kitchen sketches & illustrations

During the past few weeks I've been working on some sketches and illustrations, based on
things in the kitchen - pots and pans, utensils, food items and condiments etc. The majority
of the sketches have been created using an ink dip pen - I don't very often use a dip pen to
do my artwork, so it's been a fun excercise to practise with this medium and experiment
with drawing in a slightly different way.

As a left-handed person I've had to get special left-handed nibs to use, and I don't think I'm
holding the pen 'correctly', but I like the effect nontheless and I've gradually started to find
my way with how to acheive the quality of line I'm after. I've predominantly used a Speedball
C-3 nib for the outlines, and a much thinner C-6 nib for any fine detailed areas.


Several of the illustrations have been created quite loosly with ink and a paintbrush, or I've used a wash of ink to add in a few subtle shadow details.  I've found the ink dip pen forces me to be quite simple with linear markings, but I like how the contrast between thick and thin lines is enough to create a sense of detail, perspective and shadow in a very minimal way.         

Here we go again!

It was just over a year ago that we packed up our life in Melbourne, and did our own little Escape to the Country, moving north and settling in Kyneton. We've absolutely loved making the move out of the city, and have formed great friendships (with many other 'ex-pat' Melbournians) as well as enjoying fabulous local food, wineries, markets and lots of new vintage places to explore.

We've made our life in the country a little more permanent, as a few weeks ago we purchased a house here in Kyneton. And so I find myself again surrounded by boxes, packing up daily life and carefully wrapping treasured items for the short journey across town to our new home.

Many of the items I'm carefully wrapping up aren't worth anything - teacups and teapots found in the bric-a-brac section of the local op-shop, plates gathered at vintage markets and miscellaneous ceramics and kitchenalia from garage sales. However, I'd be devastated if I lost my collection of bits and pieces. If my TV / DVD / bike / kettle / toaster etc breaks - so what - I just get a new one. No big deal. Go to the shop...choose new item.....purchase....bring home. Easy.

However, my favourite teacup or plate might only be worth $5 - but I bought it because it was different, unusual, individual. I bought it because I loved the pattern, the shape, the colour, the old-fashioned feel and look of it. I bought it because it's not something you find everyday in every high street shop - but because I might never come across that same item ever again. Not so easy to replace.

It will be exciting unpacking and finding new homes for all of our belongings (many of which need a little dusting!) and I'll look forward to sharing some of our new house adventures here.  Above is a sneak-peek of the house - we've gone for a cheeky 1970's number.  Wish us luck for the move and fingers crossed my ceramic treasures survive the journey!

Little Golden Book - Animal Book

Cats cuddle. Cats purr. Nothing's as smooth as cats' fur.
Mice scuttle. Mice squeak. When the cat's about, Mice sneak.

Owls hoot and Owls blink. No one knows just what Owls think.

I'm always on the hunt for second-hand Little Golden Books, and I've collected some fabulous ones recently.  One of my favourites is this My Little Golden Animal Book, which is full of very cute animal illustrations - farm animals, domestic animals, flying animals and swimming animals are all here.

The book is dated 1963 and features little rhyming dities to accompany each animal, with the very sweet illustrations drawn by Moritz Kennel.