Sunday, May 24, 2015

Finds: Random finds from random fun adventures with the kids.....

There have been many random adventures lately whether it be a quick drop in to an op shop, a market day or some early morning starts and hitting some garage sales. At any time regardless of the adventure I nearly always have at least one if not all the kids with me.

I don't mind having them on most treasure hunting adventures, as I see how much they are learning about various things along the way. Like the social interactions, money management negotiating, inspecting items, using their imaginations and more. I certainly think the kids are learning valuable lessons along the way.

When we return home from adventures the kids often come with more treasures than I do, but whatever happens we always come home having had fun. Here is collective round up of recent finds from myself, Cohen and Sarah......actually when I say finds, it's actually funny the amount of freebies my kids get offered for various reasons.

You can never sneeze at bargains that don't even see you break a note, but rather searching for a few jingling coins in the bottom of your bag. I have no complaints with this coffee/side table or this lovely vintage floral accented planter made in Japan. Nor will I complain about this sweetly handmade fully jointed teddy bear.

When it comes to Cohen he has an eye for gadgets and all things nature, and I'm thrilled with his pile of nature posters from the year 2000 from the National Parks and Wildlife Service New South Wales he scored for $5. He is such a nature warrior and we will be having one if not a couple framed for him to appreciate. He also managed to have another poster print of an old ship thrown in as well, with a little kiddie wheeling and dealing.

I think I might frame the wildflowers for our living room.

As for the vintage miss, well she is the sparkly, blingy, trinket hunter, she is content if she comes home with a handful of marbles, buttons and beads she has found. But this pass weekend she ended up with purses and bags and it was all like a set of Russian Dolls but with random bags and purses. Carrying her Peppa Peg purse she bought herself another purse at our first garage sale on the weekend, so she could put her Peppa Peg purse in it and then at another garage sale she found a handful or treasures and took a fancy to a little cosmetics bag. When the people holding the garage sale saw her juggling her bags and her collection they offered her this freebie of this old vintage vanity case which had random trinkets, treasure in junk in it. She was in heaven and all her purses and bags promptly went in her case. 

The case is in need of overhaul so with some Annie Sloan paint samples I have leftover from last year and some vintage wallpaper we're going to work together and try make this little case into a sweet little dolls case.

All I can say from our adventures is that the family that thrifts together, stays together.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Free write Friday Night.....

Last Friday I hit publish on a personal post and shared an insight into our everyday here at home. A few times a year I share some deeper personal posts on the blog and when I do the response is always wonderful. Last Friday's post touched on juggling, austim and celebrating our differences and I've been sitting back and taking in the response from others about the post and the writing outside of what you would normally see here.

So the last week has got me thinking about my blog, my hobbies, my differences, my life, my passions and what I share here. It's nice to break away and write freely on the blog about other aspects of my life. I have to confess that in the past with some blog posts I have dumped the idea of a post about things that are "non-vintage" and "personal" because I've thought it might not be of much interest to others.

But the longer I blog (6 years this year) the more I have learnt that others really like to see and learn more about the person behind the blog. I have to say that the blogging friendships that I've made in six years have transcended blogging and some have become deep connected and personal friendships. These are people who six years ago I didn't know, but now know far beyond blog posts and pretty pictures on screens. I've learnt that it's when you share those pieces of yourself and life when blogging, that deeper connections are made when we share beyond the every day and the expected.

As life goes on and it is forever changing and evolving so am I, and undoubtedly so are you wouldn't you agree? Life experiences and opportunities change us, teach us, sometimes break us and sometimes inspire us. New passions and interests form and old ones wain. It's the way life is, it's fluid and ever changing.

I find myself in a period of time now where I'm going through great new shifts and changes, great exciting ones that actually round out my soul and passions, desires and morals more than I ever expected. I spoke earlier in the year in a blog post about wanting to share more of other aspects of my life and since then I have struggled to consider how I could do that and hope to still connect with everyone that drops in.

Then the other day after posting my personal post about our life with Cohen's autism diagnosis, I was saw a Facebook post of Darren Rowse (of ProBlogger) page that enquired to what was everyone's most popular post in the last week and why we thought it was successful. Several people sighted writing posts that were more personal or "off-niche" to what they normally write about.

So it got me thinking about how I'd like to explore and write about the things I wouldn't normally write about here or I don't or haven't written about here for reasons I mentioned earlier. It's feels a bit like the saying "a life not shared is not worth living", so why not share more of the ponderings, experiences, feelings, thoughts and happenings that contribute to a larger picture of life.

My thoughts are this, on Friday nights I'm going to adopt a Free Write Friday Night, where I write and share things, thoughts, feelings, happenings and ponderings that make up a greater picture of me, life, love and everything else. It won't be planned content it'll just be a free write and it won't necessarily be about my vintage loving life, but rather whatever I feel like writing about, sharing and investigating.

If you blog and you'd like to join me for Free Write Friday Night, where you'd like to write about all those things you feel like you sometimes can't because of your niche, leave a comment. If there is a sufficient amount of others eager to join in and push their blogging and communicating to investigate other types of blogging and posts on their own blogs, I'll consider looking at establishing a weekly linky for Free Write Friday Night.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Selling Vintage Children's Clothing: Tips on stock condition for reselling.....

I actually can not pinpoint the time when my interest developed in collecting and then selling vintage baby and children's clothing. I've lived appreciating old things my whole life, but the love of old vintage items for babies and children has been with me some time.

Long, long before we were even considering having children I had wardrobe rails full of vintage baby and children's items. Back in the day (pre-kids) I sold off items to friends, family and collectors for longer then I have been here in this online social community.

When I started out in the early days developing my idea of a vintage children's business offering genuine vintage clothing and items, there were very few others out there doing doing the same. But as time goes by the desire and trend for vintage items is on the rise, people wanting something unique and one of a kind for their little cherubs. As a result I have seen in increase in others joining the ranks to sell off collections of vintage baby and children's clothing.

If you're starting out with your own vintage baby and children's business or you fancy the idea here are some top tips and insights into being a standout in what you do:

* Absolute number one tip above anything else is launder your items. Remember you're selling baby and vintage items, and new and expecting mums are often frenzied and want everything spotless and to be perfect for their little ones. Vintage items often come at cost or premium to mass produced and cheap items bought at chain stores for babies. So your perspective customer doesn't want to have to consider various types of efforts and laundering techniques to make an item wearable for their child even it they do love its vintage and nostalgic allure.

* Keeping with laundering your stock, research and study various techniques for stain removal and repairs of garments. It's a tricky game selling vintage clothing regardless if it's for adults or children. But different stains and spills may need to be dealt with in different manners, not to mention often having to consider fabric types and dyes used for old fabrics. The standard modern day attitude of popping something in a laundry soaking agent could destroy a precious heirloom baby or children's piece with unstable clothing dyes from eras ago.

* Don't be afraid to launder items, take your time through this process you will learn valuable knowledge and skills for the future. The effort you put into presenting your stock at it's very best will give you your best return on investment.

* Selling vintage baby and children's clothes with stains or damage and stating in listings "as is" should be avoided for your best success for resale. If you're not wanting to attempt the laundering it's unlikely a perspective customer will want to. Your garment will have to be a knock out, stand out piece to get people parting with their money for a damaged or soiled item for their little one. You will be stuck with stock, so don't invest funds into pieces with significant issues.

* The only exception to the previous point is in the with earlier garments from the 1930's or earlier including Victorian pieces. There are those collectors out there who are collecting very old and rare pieces. Such pieces are often very delicate and if anyone was wanting to take on laundering or restoration of such pieces it should be taken on by a professional or very skilled and experienced hands.

The collecting and reselling of vintage baby and children's clothing is certainly fun and a oh so cute with some of the most adorable outfits you can imagine and it's always nice to see pieces go off to new forever homes.  But much like many other things condition is everything and just because something is "old" it doesn't necessarily make it desirable to a perspective collector or mother wanting to purchase unique pieces for her little person. Set a standard for your stock condition and you will be rewarded with loyal customers and word of mouth business.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Finds: Lifeline Bookfest Gold Coast Convention Centre 2015.....

You may remember in the past I've shown you some glimpses into the Lifeline Bookfest when I've got along. I'm in no short supply of vintage children's books but that's no excuse to keep me away from having a look. The Gold Coast Lifeline Bookfest has been on since this Friday on the Gold Coast and finishes today, at the Gold Coast Convention in Broadbeach.

With the event starting on Friday and ending on a Sunday afternoon, if you ever get along on a Friday morning you'll spot all the secondhand book dealers, sometimes donning white cotton gloves searching for rare and collectible books. Having said that though the book tables are constantly refreshed throughout the three days, so there is always still a chance of picking up other rare and collectible books if you got along one of the other days of the bookfest.

It really is a massive event with trestle tables lined up and laden with books as far as the eye can see (ok maybe not quite as far as the eye can see but you get what I mean from the pictures). It's a massive area with thousands, upon thousands, upon thousands of books to excite and entice book lovers and knowledge chasers.

Cohen and I popped along with the fair on Friday afternoon after attending an appointment and we had great look through the books with us eventually having to cull our the shopping baskets down to one basket full of books, with everyone in the family getting a few books to interest each member of the family.  Cohen of course added more nature and animal information books to his library.

Where as I had success finding Australian author illustrator Jeff Hook's first edition of Jamie the Jumbo Jet. If you're not familiar with Jeff Hook he started his career as press artist and cartoonist with the Hobart Mercury and went on to work as a full time cartoonist for the Herald Sun. Jeff has been awarded the order of Australia for his service to the print media as a political and social commentator and as a cartoonist. He has also received a lifetime achievement award from the Melbourne Press Club. It's pretty exciting to grab a great first edition from an Order of Australia recipient for his contribution to Australian print media, politics and cartooning.

Such great cartoon illustrations.

As you can see I'm not lying when I say the books go on forever, you can lose a whole day at the fair getting lost in books.

I also picked up a few other additions to vintage children's books and was rather pleased to find a Miller's guide to care and repair of antiques and collectibles. You might also see in the pictures another find was a 1940's fashion source guide book, which is passed onto one my lovelies.

One can never too many reference and resource books when it comes to collecting, selling, restoring and identifying pieces.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Personal: Juggling, autism and celebrating our differences......

I always set out to try and conquer and succeed at all my crazy ideas and thoughts. I'm a hopeless creative with a million ideas and dreams floating around. Ben hears many a crazy ideas and thoughts pass my lips about what I think I'm going to do, but sometimes I feel for you all reading this that you do too.

I know this year through various blog posts I have mentioned new things I have wanted to bring to the blog and if you've noticed some of them haven't happened.  There's good reason for it, but it doesn't mean that things I have spoken of aren't going to happen. It means I've been juggling things and it's something I want to share with you all, because it's such a massive part of our everyday lives here at home.

Two weeks before the end of the school year last year Cohen was diagnosed with Autism. It came as no surprise to me whatsoever as I have always had a knowing. Cohen has certain difference, pizzazz, quirk and charm, he has a beautiful way of looking at the world differently. He has knowing of things beyond his years and has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and life, he always seems to be trying to live out life full tilt 110% all the time from sun up to sun down. We joke that's why he decided to be born two weeks early, he had to get this show on the road.

We've heard many a comment about Cohen from others (strangers and familiar people alike) as being high energy, full on, non-stop, smart, talkative or as being a handful. We've encountered both positive and negative comments about him from others and of course parenting choices and methods have been questioned and criticised.  So when we hear those "he's a handful" comments or response is we're glad that he is our handful, because we love him in handfuls, bucketfuls and more.

The purpose of this post is not to go into a break down of his diagnosis and challenges we have, but this is more about an invitation to understanding us personally. I've been speaking personally more in recent times on the blog about kindness, understanding and opinion and a lot of it has had to do with social incidents concerning the way I dress, present, look and parent.

I'm proud of who I am and I'm proud of who my boy is, I couldn't love him more if I tried, he is truly a most exquisite person. He embraces and accepts my difference as a mum and the way I dress and appear differently from others. He doesn't really get it yet, but he will, but I make every damn effort to wear who I am as person on my sleeve and honor that, to be a role model to him for embracing who you are and accepting that.

So my friends that is life here, it's full with living life, loving life and some days just getting through each day. Our weeks have changed so much since last year with plans, routines, appointments and therapies to support Cohen in having the best future outcome.  Cohen is considered as being high functioning ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and his future is extremely bright, he has bucket loads of charm and smarts and dazzles us everyday with where he is heading in life. He has big dreams and goals, much like his mumma and I know he will be able to do anything he sets his mind to.

Sometimes things are tough, real though with an ASD child and sometimes it's forever changing and I'm running at hundred miles an hour to be on top things and to be something to everyone in my family. But again without going into a list and breakdown to what makes up Cohen's diagnosis, those who have an understanding of ASD will know it is many, many, many little and big things that can make life and the everyday challenging not just for the ASD child but for their parents and caregivers.

I hope from time to time that Cohen and I and can share more here on the blog about how we embrace our points of difference.We're learning and growing from this every day and becoming better for it too.

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