Tag Archives: Vintage

My Rusty Garden

I’ve said it before, that one of the appealing things about having old stuff around the place is the associated nostalgia.  It gives me a warm, happy feeling.  Which is a very good thing.  An anodised aluminium teapot that I keep on the slow-combustion heater for hot drinks in winter, sparks memories of Sunday morning tea after church in the hall.  And of the old (perhaps they were not very old, but I was just a kid back then) ladies who poured cups and cups of tea into proper tea cups, for me to drink with my biscuits.  When I fill one of my brightly-coloured anodised aluminium cups for a guest, I recall drinking cordial in Grandma’s kitchen.  And I’m taken straight back to my great grandmother’s sunroom when I sit in an old white wire patio chair on the verandah.  So around my garden, to add to the cheer that being amongst plants and nature brings, I’ve incorporated old furniture items that made me smile when I discovered them.


Since there are various animals living outside at my place, as well as young children about, decent fences are rather important.  And fences need gates.  Just an excuse to obtain more lovely vintage items really!  When it came time to fence our property, my husband and I drove across the countryside to collect old gates that we’d purchased on ebay and at our local second-hand auction centre (OK we didn’t have to drive that far…I don’t want to sound like we were racking up the fuel miles).  They added instant character and charm to the garden.  And now when I wander around outside or open a gate I remember walking along the footpath to school, looking in to front yards and admiring the lovely country gardens.





We also have lots of chairs outside and around the garden.  I have a thing for chairs.  Not that I get the chance to sit on one very often.  But when I count how many old chairs there are at my place I realise I’m a bit of a chair collector.  They are very useful at least.  And all are carefully placed.  So if you ever happen to visit, you can be sure you’ll find somewhere to sit, inside or out.  You’ll notice with these old cast iron chairs that they have lost a bit of paint.  That is the state that I bought them in.  And that is how I like them.  Otherwise they might look too new.


Despite appearances, this one is still going strong and is actually very comfortable.


And on the verandah (the lovely antique wicker chair was a thoughtful birthday gift from my mum)…



Tables are useful, too.  This is my favourite.  I wouldn’t dare paint it.



My vintage pot plant stands remind me of my grandma’s back door steps.  Hers was likewise laden with succulents.  And the miniature jade (Portulacaria afra) on the centre shelf originated in her mum’s wonderful garden.


Note the rust.  Rust is good.


I just liked the look of this one – a vintage bird cage holder.  I prefer to keep plants in the bird cage (which is actually not that vintage but I did buy it second-hand and it looks the part I think).


It is just as well I have a large garden to house all this old furniture.  As my garden grows and changes, my collection of old stuff evolves with it.  And more memories are created.



Filed under Growing the Garden, Living Green

Typewriter Love


I received a new toy in the post today. Well. It’s clearly not new. But hey, I haven’t used a typewriter since tapping the keys of my mum’s 1960’s Olivetti Lettera 32, back in the eighties. So to me it’s as good as new.

And it seems to be working fine so far. But I must say that ‘tapping’ is hardly the correct description to use in reference to pressing down the keys of a vintage typewriter. If one merely taps on a key one can barely get the key to make contact with the ribbon. ‘Bashing’ is more apt. Perhaps before modern computers, smart phones and pads, tapping was an acceptable word. Before we really new what it was like to literally tap out a few words with our fingers.

Today after testing the keys to make sure they truly are in working order, I announced to my mum (via a tapped out text message on my smart phone): ‘How you ever typed fast on a typewriter is beyond me’. Mum could type fast. Lightning-fast it appeared to me when I was a two-finger-tapping…make that ‘bashing’…youngster.

Anyway, I didn’t make my new purchase to assist with my typing speed. I decided I’d like to use a typewriter to produce little labels for some of the softies and such that I create. I thought genuine typewritten cards would be a nice touch. As opposed to just using a computer typewriter font and printing them.

So I’ve been searching online lately and eventually found this Olympia Splendid, apparently from the 1970’s. I didn’t pay much for it. I bid on ebay and was the lucky winner. But golly gosh. I could have paid lots and lots for an old typewriter. During my recent typewriter quest I discovered that people will pay big money for old typewriters. Even if the machines are not in working order. Antique stores, online or not, seem to charge no less than $100 for anything from the 70’s or older. Mostly closer to $200, and of course the asking prices go well above that especially for any that hail from the first half of the 20th century. On ebay it’s easier to snap a bargain, but most of the starting bids for vintage typewriters are set at $60 or more! Plus delivery.  I settled for something that was still clutching on to it’s youth, and in working order. But without an exorbitant fee.


There’s something really appealing to me about vintage typewriter typeset. The imperfection. The rawness. The nostalgia. And to enrich this appeal is the existence now of different coloured typewriter ribbons. My excitement on discovering not only green and blue but pink…yes!..and purple…no?!…was perhaps a slight overreaction! But isn’t that brilliant?!!

My intention was to type out this post on my splendid new typewriter.  And then scan it.  I thought it would look quite cool.  But the problem is a typewriter wasn’t intended to use when everyone else in the house (particularly easily woken babies) is asleep.  And when everyone else in the house is asleep happens to be the only chance I have to write my blog posts (without distraction).  I also wanted to finish the post before the end of the year.  So I had to settle for the above photo.

I might just become an obsessive vintage typewriter collector yet. Like this fellow in Canberra. Amazing.

But for now I’m going to get re-acquainted with an old friend. Not that old, really. But old enough to be vintage. Just like me. I think we’ll be happy with each other.


Filed under Living Green