Located in the beautiful Derwent Valley, Tasmania

Friday, March 30, 2012

Easter time with cute bunnies and French antique chocolate moulds

Image from www.theberry.com

Easter is a week away and I am getting warm and fuzzy feelings of time spent with family...curling up with hot chocolate and spicy hot cross buns. How cute is this bunny, by the way? Instant warm and fuzzies just looking at this beautiful image...

Speaking of bunnies, we have these wonderful French chocolate moulds to make your very own chocolate bunnies! I have not attempted this myself yet, but if they do not sell before Easter, this may be my chance. Hold that thought...

Other Easter related goodies are these jelly moulds. On the left is a rare French 19th century mould depicting what appears to be a rabbit jumping. In the middle is a vintage English glass mould, depicting a rabbit. And the mould on the right is also English and is made by a company Greens, depicting a nesting chicken.

And lastly, for the children, these French wire work egg baskets would be great for an Easter egg hunt!

Friday, March 23, 2012

new in store...hand printed gift tags using antique printer's stamps!

We have been very busy at the store making these hand printed gift tags using antique printer's stamps. We believe they will make a unique addition to a gift and are an alternative to madly hunting for the right card for the right person. I am sure you all know what I mean...last minute searching in the nearest newsagents amongst cards that just don't seem right?
The owl has already proved very popular, look at the detail of the press!
For those that are interested, this is how it works. Firstly the stamp is placed in a frame called a chase and locked into postition using conerstones.
We then use our vintage English made Adana press machine to impress on the tags. We add ink, of course!
And voila...the image on the tag. Well, to be honest, it is not that simple. There is a lot of trial and error involved with "working" the ink, the amount of ink to use, the amount of pressure to apply etc. But it is all fun.
Too much ink would mean the lovely detail of the feathers would not come out so clearly.
We use Hungarian hemp string for ties.
The tags on our counter after the ties are put on.
I think the heart design is adorable...for the romantic in us all. These would be great on wedding gifts.
These gift tags are $1 each for small and $1.50 for large. I am pretty sure they will not make us wealthy...actually, I am definitely sure!
But we have all had enormous fun making them. And that is what life is about, isn't it? Finding things that give us pleasure... Here are some other designs that will soon be made into tags, watch this space!

Friday, March 16, 2012

mona market on the roof of the museum on Saturdays, Tasmania

If you are wanting something great to do this Saturday afternoon, you could perhaps visit the new market named MoMa at the famous MONA museum in Berriedale. I had a rare Saturday off last weekend so I took the opportunity to see what all the hype was about. I was not disappointed.

Large pink beanbags are scattered for sitting around and relaxing on the green near Mona's restaurant, Source. And the steps down to the market which is located on the rooftop of the museum revealed an area with a great market atmosphere. People were everywhere!

This stall was enormously popular, people were lining up to sample the cider and grill.

The stallholders were offering their customers free apples, from what I could see. They were displayed in this 19th century copper preserving pan.

Possibly the largest paella in the world? It was 20 minutes from being ready when I saw it and it smelled delicious.

The Agrarian Kitchen had a stall selling their wonderful preserves and produce.

It was all so beautifully displayed.

I love the antique French chopping board, and look at the colour of that tomato ketchup!

Agrarian Kitchen heirloom beetroots are displayed in a traditional English Sussex trug. I used a bunch of these beetroots in a roasted vegetable salad and they were so sweet.

Nearby was this stand named Harvest Feast. They had a great selection of local produce such as pumpkins, berries and also Jay's famous Pigeon Hole Bread, which I couldn't resist.

Lastly I bought some mature seedlings from the stand named Hobart Kitchen Gardens including Chinese cabbage, broccoli and mustard greens. I couldn't wait to get home and plant my little plants. And at 50 cents each I thought I got a real bargain!

MoMa market is definitely a special place to visit for us locals stocking up on great local produce, but I can imagine visitors will have a great time too sampling all the wonderful Tasmania food and offerings.

For more, visit MONA website www.mona.net.au. MoMa will run every Saturday from 12.30 until 5pm until 14th April.

Friday, March 9, 2012

french antiques at cote provence in melbourne and a find for me!

I have just returned from a little break in Melbourne and am excited to share some of my images. The first few days were filled with deliveries for the store but once I got my work out of the way I decided to find inspiration at one of my favourite stores in Melbourne, Cote Provence (www.coteprovence.com.au). Whilst the shop front of Cote Provence is beautiful, I am actually more in love with the back of the shop, above, with its French doors opening to a brick courtyard. Here is where you will find tin tubs, watering cans, garden pots and the like.
Inside the store one can find French copper on shelving, and French grape picking baskets.
The owners cleverly mix old and new, usually utilitarian objects like these scrubbing brushes, above.
More copper to warm the heart.
They had some of these gorgeous little silver hotel ware dishes for serving. They seemed quite art deco in style, so they probably date from the 1920s. The silver platter is fantastic, too.
For the linen lover, the upstairs of the shop is filled with embroidered bed linens, both old and new, such as these pillow shams, above. How dreamy!
Vintage French shelving (I covet these shelves, terribly, you must know) displaying more French linen.
Look at this gorgeous embroidered pillow in the French basket. I almost want to change my name to suit the monogram!
This French iron day bed was downstairs, it is set up to suit a little girl's room. I love the red and beige linens together, and the checked bolster cushions work well against the iron.
Pigeon shelves filled with bits and pieces, including classic French enamel street numbers.
More rustic linens downstairs, with texture you can see!
French jars with original old tags inside.
A French oyster basket covering chemist's bottles makes a nice display.
A rack with many vintage French tea towels, these make the perfect gift especially at Christmas time, I think. They also make unique small table cloths or place mats.
I adore these blue drawers...a perfect way to store (or lose?) all your bits and pieces.
Now for my find. Later in the day I happened upon this English iron and glass garden terrarium on wheels! I once saw such a contraption on one of my overseas buying trips, but I felt it was a bit fragile to get home in the shipment. I sadly walked away at the time. So I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across this one, it honestly felt like it was meant to be! You must excuse the terrible image, I was so excited that I had to take a photo as it was loaded into the van. Here is a better photo...
On home soil in Tasmania. I can't wait to use it! Both of the angled roof parts open up and can be propped open for ventilation or for watering, or they can be flipped right over. It also has 2 fold down handles at the other end so that you can pick it up and wheel it around. I feel like a child at Christmas! Can you all see why I am so excited?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

new in store...french grain sack, mercury bottle lamps, log basket, painted trunk and more!

We have only just had these French mercurised bottles converted to table lamps, I think they are fantastic and very unique.

They are silvered on the interior of the bottle and have muted gold French lettering. There are only 2 of these in the store.

Also new in this week is this decorative French grain sack, again with French lettering. This would date to the early 1900s.

This pine French orchard ladder arrived with our last shipment but we have only just had a chance to wax it. It has heaps of character.

This sea grass verandah chair has also just arrived. It is in such good condition for its age, and extremely comfortable. Lemonade, anyone?

I was excited to find this large wicker basket in Hobart during the week. It has rope handles and would make a great log basket. It has a wonderful weathered look to it, too. Baskets of this proportion are becoming increasingly hard to find.

A collection of tin buckets...

Some of which have maker's names impressed into them.

And last but not least we have all fallen in love with this 19th century trunk with original grey painted finish. The top is unpainted and makes a good contrast. It has a name lettered on the front...

I am not sure why this particular gentleman was "wanted". . . any ideas?