My Vintage Childhood

My Vintage Childhood: October 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hard Rubbish Rummaging Considered Legal Looting...

Throughout Australia many councils from time to time coordinate hard rubbish collections for local residents in various council divisions. For anyone who doesn't know what hard rubbish collection is, it's an opportunity for residents to have larger household items like large appliances and white goods, furniture, garden waste, building supplies and more to be collected by council from the kerbside. As long it's not normal household refuse (food scraps etc) most household and garden items with a few exclusions can be collected during a determined collection period.

My local division has recently had a hard rubbish collection and driving around the streets there have been all manner of items lined up on kerbsides awaiting collection. Those with eagle eyes have seen opportunities to reuse, recycle or upcycle further and it's been a common sight to see people going through others hard rubbish and taking things they see use or need for.

Now for me I have no issue whatsoever with people going through hard rubbish on the kerbside and taking things that have a use for. I believe we live in a time where recycling and upcycling is essential. However there are others that hold different views about hard rubbish collection.

The Gold Coast Bulletin (our cities major newspaper)  has come out with an article that states that the behaviour of going through hard rubbish at collection times is known as legal looting. Furthermore the article states that outside the hard rubbish collection period the act of rummaging through kerbside hard rubbish is actually illegal and a fineable offence.


Here is the link to the full article and the above image is also credited to the Gold Coast Bulletin: Reckon you can loot from Gold Coast hard rubbish collections? Some Residents are kicking up a stink.

Now whilst it's unlikely any council would send out law enforcement outside collection times to fine those engaging in the act or rummaging or picking, I find it outreageous that it's a treat that it could happen. In Australia by large most people would understand that it is illegal to go through someones household rubbish bins (household waste, food scraps etc) as well as mail box and letters etc. Surely we need to look at hard rubbish differently?

But what does this mean for the well meaning and good intentioned person who wants to pop something out of the kerbside to give someone the chance of picking up are treasure that will be useful for free. Does that mean that the property owner is also opening themselves up to be fined for littering or other offences?

I realise there are many other factors to consider with these laws like public health and safety, and those who take advantage and dump excess amounts of hard rubbish beyond the collection guidelines. But don't we live in a time where we need to look at encouraging more of this freecycling behaviour?

I'm finding this a really interesting topic at the moment, one I will be looking into further, but in meantime I want to hear from others. In the comments below please tell me about your experiences with hard rubbish collection! Have you done a clean out and had people go through your unwanted things? Have you done some kerbside rummaging yourself? Does hard rubbish collection bother you? Share your experiences and opinions, I really want to look at this further!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vintage Children's Books: Orlando the Marmalade Cat....

I have love affair for vintage children's books and it's something that keeps developing and growing. I love finding old annuals and colourful children's story books with whimsical and innocent illustrations. Often it will be a books illustrations that capture my heart and imagination before the story itself.

I know I'm certainly not the only one that feels this way after doing a recent vintage fair where I sold a lot of vintage children's books to people who shared a similar love, or were wanting to add an old childhood favourite to their shelves again.

As a result I have been replenishing our vintage children's book levels with some wonderful rare and collectible books, which I've been eager to share with you.


My most favourite new find is this incredible 1949 copy of Orlando the Marmalade Cat - His Silver Wedding by Kathleen Hale. If you are unaware of Hale she was an incredible talent of her time born in 1898 (dying at 101 years of age) who delighted coloured starved children of the war years with her enchanting tales of the Orlando the Marmalade Cat. Hale pushed the envelope at the time with her use of techniques and colour lithography which ultimately set a new standard for illustrated children's books.


Her stories, characters and wit throughout her stories were often reflective of elements and people within her life. Kathleen was described as being part of an old English art tradition of mild bohemianism and modest bloodymindedness. She once confessed and said that she broke all the rules of decent behaviour.


When it came to literary counterparts she was not a fan of Enid Blyton nicknaming her "the Pied Bligther" and she would never read Blyton's stories to her own children, due to her despise of Enid's value judgements within her stories and didn't much approve of her writing style either.


I'm certainly a fan of Enid Blyton as many are, but I'm always a fan of rule breakers and non-conformist as well and I'm utterly intrigued with the life of Kathleen Hale, and I'm currently searching for a copy of her biography.

With only sixteen Orlando the Marmalade Cat books ever written and illustrated by Kathleen Hale, her bold illustrations of their time, make her books very collectible and valuable.  Seriously how can they not be, she changed the expectation of illustrations for children's books, her images pull you into another world.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finally Forever Fondue....

If you've been coming here for some time you'll know there's been one major thing I have been wanting for my kitchen and it's a fondue set. I've been picky about finding a set because it would be on display in my kitchen. In the search for a great one, I've even had many of my vintage loving friends keeping and eye out for me.

Good thing I have such great vintage loving friends on the lookout, because it was my dear Celia of Kittys Vintage Kitsch who saw this beauty being sold by someone else who alerted me.  Perfect for me in every way and colour that I wanted, I'm thrilled to have my forever fondue pot.


Let the fondue parties begin I say!

Of course since buying this beauty, other "perfect" fondue pots I'd love to own have popped up here, there and everywhere. I'm very tempted to start another collection. There's nothing wrong with that at all is there?

What say you? Do you fondue? Do you have any fabulous fondue recipes I really must try?

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Tend to Our Thrifty Garden in $8 Style....

Did I tell you all recently about how an excessive amount of beautiful jade plants that were dumped near our house? Well upon discovering a ridiculous amount of them had been dumped recently on my way out to collect Cohen from school, I called Ben and told him to get out on the street and collect all of them.

Ben obliged and collected our bounty of fortune and we then lined them in their pots against our fence on service side of our house. The Jade plants looked so nice lined up against the fence like a little hedge that we decided to plant three quarters of them along the fence and let there poor pot bound roots grow free again.

We've been popping out each day to check on our bounty and we are so thrilled with how it looks and that it didn't cost us a cent, that's thrifty garden style right there. I'm all over thrifty style and whether it be in the garden or my wardrobe, and this was me faffing about with the plants the other day.

1960's Sleeveless Top - garage sale
Shoes, Capri Jeans and Belt - all op shopped

This whole outfit cost me $8 in total and I'm thrilled with my new to me 1960's sleeveless top, it's a perfect piece to slip into my Spring/Summer wardrobe. It was a recent score at a garage sale of a women who once had a vintage store in Brisbane here in Queensland. I was very restrained buying pieces from her but I did also pick up the most stunning embroidered Hawaiian maxi dress that deserves its own post.


It always astounds me the things that people giveaway or dump for what I often think is no good reason. My bright blue canvas shoes for $2 that had never been worn, but furthermore those beautiful Jade plants. Would you believe that just last week the same thing happened again? A whole bunch of them just strewn over the roundabout near our house and up the street. We're so happy with the bounty they've added some life and colour to what some might think is an otherwise mundane area of ones property.

We still have several plants still in pots that are heading for new positions around our property and a couple by our front door.  Did you know that the belief is that the Jade Plant is the tree of luck, money and fortune and it's good thing to place them by your front door to bring that goodness into your home. I think we've already had quite a bit of luck and fortune with such a lovely score.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Caring for Sentimental and Vintage Jewellery....

How often do you have your sentimental and valuable vintage jewellery checked over or cleaned by a professional jeweller? I have to say when I didn't have children I'd fluff about a lot more and have cleaning days and get all pretty pieces shiny again.  But since having kids, it's just not something I have even given a second thought too.

Recently I shared a post about losing a diamond from my wedding ring and during the time I was having quotes and repairs done, I was prompted to get onto email and have a chat with Christina from Christina Lowry Designs about the whole situation and about what I should and shouldn't be doing in future regarding my pieces.


Christina gave me loads of great advice and information and I thought it would be great to share those insights here, about what it is that we can do to ensure the longevity of our precious pieces. Firstly though Christina advises that people check jewellery yearly (whoops I certainly haven't been doing that) and more often than that if it's a particularly old piece. You may find that:

* Settings may need tightening.
* Claws retipping
* Fine shanks may need new bands
* Bracelet and necklace clasps and jump rings may need to be checked

All the above are easy enough fixes ranging in cost for repairs, but as long as you attend to the matters before you have a major issue, it's fair less cheaper than having to replace an entire piece or precious valuable stone.

Checking Over Jewellery Yourself

Christina shared some tips of things you can check over at home yourself and if you find any of the following issues it's certainly time to get your pieces seen to by a professional. To quote her directly she says:

"In terms of checking jewellery yourself, you can look over your pieces for bent, broken or worn claws and loose stones. If you can turn a stone in a claw setting there's a good chance it needs tightening. If you hold a ring next to your ear in two fingers and tap it with a third and you can hear a rattle if you have loose stones".

So get on to it and check over your pieces. Finally Christina mentioned that your contents insurance generally covers jewellery stolen from home or lost away from home as well as lost gemstone. However most policies need items over $1000 to be individually listed and to have a valuation certificate.

Oh and be mindful of when and where you wear precious valuable pieces where there may be a chance of pieces getting damaged like at the gym or whilst gardening. Remember to also store metal jewellery away from pearls as not to scratch them.

I'm super thankful that Christina gave me so much advice and that I could share it. I'd like to know though from others, seriously though when was the last time you had your precious pieces looked over, if ever at all?

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