Monday, July 14, 2014

Top 5 Reasons Why Vintage Toys Are Better......

We live in a world these days where there are all manner of toys, games and gadgets imaginable for kids to while away their time with. There's such a huge difference in the toys I see kids playing with in comparison to the toys I had as a child. It's funny to see kids abandon all their latest and modern toys when some old toys come out. Why is that?
My answer: Because simply vintage toys are better, here's why:

1. Let's face it straight up the toys we used to play with were made to last. Toys today don't seem to last the test of time and bashing that little people can give them, they're massed produced at a rapid rate with materials that break as soon as a child gives it a good toss. Doesn't seem like fun does it? Rather disappointing to if you're a kid?

2. Toys when I was growing up had less gender bias associated with them through the bias of colored pink and blue gender roles. Go to any toy store now and you'll be hard pressed to find a dolls pram or kitchen set that isn't pink and purple and solely targeted at girls. Back in my day there were blues, yellows and red, color themes that appealed to both boys and girls with all sorts of toys. Talk about gender equality, so much of today's modern toys are solely marketed at girls or boys not a cross section of children and keeping them within the out dated gender and perceived domestic roles.

3. If you were born in the 1970's or early we had toys, great toys that still allowed us to use our imaginations. Toys of our time added to our imaginative play and games we played. Toys didn't do all the thinking for children back then. So many toys today say and do everything and all a child needs to do is press a button and sit and watch. Parents wonder today why their kids end up more interested in the box the toy came in. My answer a box has endless possibilities in a child's imagination.

4. Old school toys are and were unique and different to anything on the modern market. Just look at the modern day toy market and many of the toy company's relaunching old school favourites. Why are they doing it? Vintage and retro is so much more in the general consciousness of the mainstream market now. Companies wouldn't be investing time and money in relaunching old school favorites if there wasn't fun in it and most of all profit for them. Hence vintage toys are better, if big toy companies see the need to re-launch old faithfuls from back in the day.

5. Finally the reason vintage toys are better is because when mums and dads reminisce and come by or drag out their old toys, memories flood back. Kids and parents alike a enjoying quality time together reliving childhood memories and making new ones with their children whilst they play. What a beautiful way to spend time with your kids then to show and teach them a little about who you were as a kid and what you enjoyed, it'll make them feel closer to you.

Really what's better than that?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Of late....

I've tried to write this post several times recently, every time I've tried the words haven't flowed freely and I've failed to publish my ramblings and sharing. So here I go again determined to finish the post and hit publish. You might of noticed in the last month or so I haven't been blogging as regularly as I normally do. It's not for a lack of things to write but it is due to a lack of time recently. So I've tried to slow down in the day to day moments to take things in, and catch glimpses of the little things and share some with you all.

I've been busy with several opportunities to grow and expand myself both personally and professionally recently, as well as looking after my family. As a result I've simply had to scale some things back to a minimum for a short while to still be able to do everything I need and want to do. So although I still can't tell you the details of everything that has been happening, I wanted to share a few ramblings and pictures of what has been going on, until I can share more news with you all.

The of late and every day regardless of anything else happening, always looks a little like this!

The everyday with the kids is busy, breakfast starts it all, they wake hungry!

These two get loud with tales, games and squabbles.

And he has enough of it.

In the last two months I've had both Fraser and Sarah undergo minor but very necessary operations. Both of them have recovered well and are doing more than fine. I've been at the hospital myself in a completely different capacity doing some public speaking, at a Bereavement Workshop for midwives about our twins loss and grief. I wrote about it here and what I wore, it was a privilege to be asked to assist with the workshop after also becoming a Sands blogger in May, where I shared some of our journey on their newly launched blog assisting other bereaved parents.

Our Etsy shop has been busy and lots of new listings have been going up and lots of new stock being found. Fairs and events are also booked and others being investigated, you might remember I've opted out of doing most markets and concentrating on fairs and events. There has also been something else that has been going on here all to do with the busy buzz on the home front, it's the thing I can't say much more about for another fortnight. All I can say is it has been exciting, but busy and has taken all my down time. But it's been an opportunity to relish and grasp with two hands and I'm so looking forward to sharing more with you all.

Amongst the crazy I've had everyone in the family bar myself struck down with terrible colds, chronic coughs, asthma and more. As luck would have it has all aligned as we hit school holidays and Cohen has been home for two weeks, the poor kid has literally spent all the holidays sick.

However this man midst all the above and sickness himself has taken annual leave to enjoy some of the school holidays with the family. During a few days break of the kids sickness we've tried to steal moments and mornings doing free fun things like a walk on the beach in winter.

You wouldn't know it's winter here on the Gold Coast accept the giveaway being long sleeves. Still not temperatures I'd take my warm clothes off to sun bake in though, although there were sun chasers in bikinis happily doing so. I largely suspect those crazy enough to do so might be English and are thinking us Aussie's are wimps about our winter temperatures.

This is life of late and I thought you'd all like to see more of the part of the world I live in. I so often get caught up in showing you everything else in my vintage loving world. So I thought it was nice to show you some of the every day and check in with things of late. I'll be back on deck and posting more than once or twice a week soon enough, with all my adventures, treasures and fun.

How are you all, I'm missing you all terribly?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Safe Price Tags for Vintage Books

Keeping vintage stock in the best condition possible for sale at markets, fairs and events is key to making sales and having repeat customers. The way you attach a price tag, ticket or sticker can often be one of the first things that will turn a serious buyer or collector off purchasing from you.

You always want to have the integrity of a book and it's condition kept to the best standard possible for the state you acquired the book in the first place. This includes both the front and back covers and pages of books.

Two things to avoid when price tagging vintage books:

* Avoid writing on the flyleaf (inside blank or ornamental page after the book cover). Definitely don't use pen of any sort, as you can not remove any trace of it. Pencil is not much better although you can use an eraser to remove writing, it won't remove indentations from the pressure of writing, this can affect the value of a vintage or antique book.

* Avoid price stickers on the covers of books as well as the inside cover or flyleaf. Some stickers leave adhesive marks which can't be removed. Other stickers if you choose badly can't be removed at all without causing further damage to a book.

How to price tag vintage books
You'll need:
* The book you're wanting to price
* String or twine
* Pen
* Business card or a small piece of card stock to write price and book details on - I prefer to use a business card (I'll explain why shortly)
The how to:
1. Cut a length of string or twine that is twice the length of the books spine plus an extra few centimetres for tying a knot. Prepare a piece of card stock or business card by writing price and further important details on the card that you wish to convey to sell the book. I'll provide some tips after this "how to" on what kind information to include on your tag . If your card doesn't have a hole punch to thread string or twine through, do so with pin or needle and thread your string or twine through.

2 & 3. Take the book you're pricing and open the front cover and in between the front cover and flyleaf loop your tag and twine around, refer to pic an tie off.

4. You'll want to ensure the string or twine has enough movement you can gently slide off the tag as also pictured.

Pricing tag information and display tips

I find the above one of the best ways to price vintage books. Some sellers like to have a piece of paper or card stock sitting free inside the cover and flyleaf of a book. I find the trouble with this method is when interested buyers pick up books to take a look the loose paper often falls out. This can cause it to be lost and can then create confusion and frustration for both you the seller and the buyer. Using the method I've demonstrated above ensures your price tag stays with your book and is safe from causing damage. Not to mention limiting frustrations to you and potential buyers.

I personally advise using a business card for a price tag, in particular a business card that is blank on the back. I believe any chance you have to show your business name to someone is an opportunity to cement your business name and what you do into a buyers mind. On the business card come price tag I include the book title, author, year of publication and or edition and finally the price.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Polka Dot Dress and Public Speaking.....

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been invited to speak to a workshop of midwives at the Gold Coast University Hospital about our journey with loosing our twin girls Elle and Meg. It was a bereavement workshop designed to assist midwives and other health professionals in having more insight and understanding  with the extremes when dealing with mums like myself.

Well Monday was the day that I addressed the workshop, it all went well of course. No need for imaging the audience naked or other tactics. Just plain old getting up there with some points of my speech written and speaking from the heart. Friends and family threw love and support at me as well as some pointers. It was suggested I should wear clothing and shoes familiar and comfortable to me, so I could focus on the emotionally heavy content.

Emotionally heavy content or not, I was having none of this familiar business and wore a new to me vintage style modern frock I op shopped recently for $2. I felt fabulous, professional, together and most of all me and still true to myself.
 Dress - op shopped
Nude Wedges - retail years ago
Mumma ad Daughter Brooch - op shooped
Painted Flower Brooch - car boot sale
1960's Bow Brooch - hand down to me from my Mother in Law

Wanting to keep jewelry and accessories on my wrist and neck to a minimum (because it would have annoyed in me during my speech), I decided it was best to bling myself out with brooches instead. So out came three of my favorite brooches.

I'm so pleased to of had an opportunity to speak in such a setting to professionals, and further opportunities look like they will be on the horizon. If I'm able to help doctors, nurses, hospitals and health professionals examine their practices dealing with bereaved parents suffering miscarriage, still birth or newborn death, and have parents well supported it's the least I could do in honoring my girls memory.

Overall it was a wonderful morning, topped with a massive bunch lilies which are divinely scenting my home. The morning was followed by coming home to an email about something that has been keeping me busy and away from the blog, which I'm busting to share (just don't want to jinx things just yet). But all I can say for now is that I'm doing back flips and am just a tad excited to say the least.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Storybook Gift Wrapping Pouches & How To....

When July hits next month it will mark one year that my Etsy store MyVintageChildhoodxo has been opened. Although I've been collecting and selling vintage children's items for a lot, lot longer than I've had an official on line store, but it's an exciting milestone to mark.

One thing that has been on my to do list for my store has been to develop some unique or fun ways to package up people's purchases. You might know I have a thing with up-cycling damaged vintage children's books, so it only seems fitting that my packaging idea has come from some damaged books I have laying around.

I'm pretty pleased to say that purchases from my store are now going to be packaged up sweetly. These storybook gift wrapping pouches will be for small items and single pieces of babies clothes, whilst I work on complimentary packaging ideas for larger items that are sold.

Below I've included a simple pic and text explanation of how to create these pouches yourself, so you can set about whipping up some of these to have on hand and ready to go at anytime.
How To:
Simply remove single pages from a damaged vintage children's book. A craft blade and ruler will be handy in getting as close to the spine of the book as possible and cutting a straight edge. Then using your sewing machine and a straight stitch sew together two pages along a short edge followed by a long edge and then the remaining short edge. You can tack back a few small stitches at the start and finish to reinforce your stitch.

Now that you have the final long edge unsewn, you're free to slide in your folded garment or small item to wrap. Ensure your item is still small enough (not too wide or fat) so that you can still bring the final unsewn edges together to be sewn together. On your sewing machine slowly take care of sewing the final edge (tacking back and forth at beginning and end) being careful not to sew through the item(s) in the pouch.

Finally your pouch will look like the final product pictured and you can add some ribbon or gift tag details. The recipient of the parcel will be able to open their pouch simply by tearing a edge like a perforated section in magazine.

If you give this How To a go please let me know.
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