Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dumbo Feather...Pass it on

If you are looking for some inspiring reading this is the magazine for you. Dumbo Feather is a beautiful magazine that publishes wonderful stories on a diverse range of topics and the most refreshing thing about it is there is no celebrity gossip or stupid stories with titles like "how to lose 10 kilo's in 2 hours".
It is a rich tapestry of mini autobiographical stories of interesting people in various fields ranging from art to cooking, science, sport and everything in between.
This is a quality read and very collectable

Here's a good reason to move back to the Shire...

I now live 10 minutes from the Royal National Park again! Yesterday morning before various meetings my boy and I went for a run along Lady Carrington Drive which is one of many gorgeous walking tracks dotted throughout the park. What a start to the day! A little crisp but a truly perfect way to kick start the heart.

If I am a little sad to be leaving my beloved city digs having something so inspiring so close to my new home certainly helps overcome it.

I'm looking forward to getting re-aquainted with the many swimming holes and cliff top walks that make up Nasho Park. Bring on summer I say!

Other additions to my ever expanding vintage collection!

Tiered navy silk frock from Milk and Honey in Newtown circa 1950's
Teamed with a red wool cardi, black tights and brown leather Mary-Jane's.

Blue Paisley Linen Frock with white collar circa 1950's. From little (nameless) vintage shop in Glebe.
This is a better photo than the one I posted a few days ago which I tried to take in the mirror!
love this little dress though...It'll get to go on a few outings!

Newtown Fave - C's Flashback!

One of my favourite vintage stores in Newtown is C's Falshback on King Street. They have the best priced vintage/retro clothing in town. The downside is that you need to spend quite a bit of time trawling the gazillion racks and have a lot of patience as everything is so squashed together!

Of course, this also means there are plenty of fab finds to be had - but if your not in the mood for some serious rummaging then you will be extremely frustrated. I have found a number of amazing dresses there over the years including this most recent purchase - My gorgeous 1970's cream and navy blue knitted dress. It looks great with red accessories and with the 20 degree forecast today I'm even able to wear it without tights - Ya!

C's also have a store on Military Road in Neutral Bay I think for the northsiders too.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Behold - The High Waist

I bought my first pair of high waisted jeans yesterday. Now, I'm not really a jean kind of girl...Don't get me wrong - I'd like to be, but mostly they just make me feel uncomfortable - I have never found the perfect cut. Not in the outrageously expensive designer labels nor the cheap and cheerful brands like target and Jeanswest. The closest I have come is a pair of skinny jeans I found in the markets in Shanghai which I paid about $5 au for an wear whenever I am feeling flat stomached and small bummed.

The other reason I'm not a jeans girl is because I really, really love a dress. I wear dresses almost everyday of my life and enjoy the process of building an entire look around a dress. Different styles/colours of cardi's, stockings, jewellery, shoes and other accessories can all give a completely new aesthetic to a single dress. However, I still covet a great pair of jeans especially if they have been inspired by Charlies Angels circa 1975.

I wasn't really intending on buying highwaisted jeans yesterday but after wandering around the new level of Broadway shopping centre (of which my opinion is :lacklustre) I found myself in Dotti - which is weird as I'm not 14 (and I think the last time I shopped there I was about 14). I justified my visit by telling myself that I was there for research - It's important to see what the younger generation are into and what looks the highstreet have ripped straight off this seasons catwalks.

Wandering around though, I stumbled upon a v.cute pair of vintage denim high waisters that looked suspiciously similar to those donned by one Kate Moss at a Top Shop launch early this year (see photo) . Of course they looked nothing like that when I tried them on...and due to Dotti's riduculously small sizing I had the go up a size. But hey, they were on sale for 39.95 so I even if they don't work I haven't really waisted that much money!

They will get a run tomorrow with a cute vintage cropped pink cashmere jumper and a silk scarf around the waist. A pair of brown leather platform's and my bright blue Ororton slouch bag should top the look off nicely.

Kate Moss eat your heart out!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Beautiful Baby Stella!

Stella Bella and mum, Cate
Having never really been that maternal (except for about 5 minutes in my mid twenties) I haven't paid alot of attention to babies. In fact, I'm one of those people who declines an offer to hold a baby because I think I might break it and then that would cause all kinds of issues with the mother and father. Particularly if they are my friends because then everytime I see them I'll be reminded that I dropped their kid and really, who needs that kind of pressure in their lives right?

So, when my best friend Cate (whom has been my bud since school) announced she was having a bubalou I was mighty happy for her but also apprehensive that the baby holding thingy was going to become an issue.

Then...out came Stella. Now, admittedly she was thrussed upon me one night when I was sitting on their couch in a corner - trapped. And the peer pressure from my man (who has three growup children) was too much to bare anyway.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, six months on and I'm all over this baby holding thing. Stella and me are great buddies. She's one of those smiley, happy babies who (to date) never cries when being pawed and pampered by anyone who doesn't go by the name of mum or dad. In fact, I've decided if I ever get that maternal urge, I'm just gonna steal Stella - that saves me going through all that pain and I'll have the perfect kid!

On the move...

Over the weekend...and then monday, tuesday wednesday (and probably for the next 6 months) I moved (back) into by man's place out in the Shire from Newtown - oh, the culture shock!
Actually, I lived there for a few years two 2 years back. Then I decided to move back to my beloved inner city dwelling... Since deciding to relocate the shop to cyber space though I began to think his house (with all those bedrooms) was a better (read: bigger) space to set up my new home office.
So now there is no more commuting and he gets me (and my enormous wardrobe which will take up one of those bedrooms by itself) 24/7.
hhhhmmmm...he must be so thrilled

New Purchase!

Last night I checked out the competition down the road. There is a cute new vintage store opened up on Glebe Pt Road - I'm not sure of the name of it as there's no visible signage anywhere but she has some great pieces - although it's a tiny shop and it's kinda crowded in there! Still, I manage to rummage through (I'm a determined kinda girl) and I picked out this gorgeous Linen 50's frock in a beautiful bright blue with paisley detail. $55.00 - Good Buy...am very happy with myself. I took a photo of myself in the mirror to share. Hope you can see the great colour and detail. I teamed it with a little saba cardi, wool tights and my new brown Mollini shoes....oh, and my fave silk flower brooch

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Current favourite vintage pieces

1950's cocktail frock in burnt orange with flower detail - so pretty and bright

1940's double breasted wool jacket - houndstooth with navy trim - winter must have

1950's baby blue silk and and chiffon prom dress with rose detail. I'm wearing this to a dinner party on Saturday


The weather!
The new Flaming Lips album - genius!
My new 1950's diagonal striped long sleeved column dress - so Jackie O!
Web Cam
Vintage brooches
Fresh flowers - especially tulips
The new neon colours busting out on the catwalks
Short dark bob haircuts with little a blunt fringe - grow hair, grow... I want to look like Amelie' for summer!
Mollini Shoe Sale - are 5 pairs really too many? No, I didn't think it was excessive either.
Silk flower Brooches
Did I mention the weather?
Brooches - I love em all...

Peace Out x

viva vintage!

In my research for the on-line store we are in the process of creating I trawled many many shopping sites from all over the world. In the U.S I found so many great sites doing really fab vintage at very reasonable prices. The U.S is a real mecca for great vintage shopping on line!! Here are a few of my faves...


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

timeless - scarves

I have dozens of silk scarves. They are perfect for keeping your neck warm in the cooler months and they look fab too.

shopping shenanigans

Alana being fabulous with bowerbird sale items

what a beautiful day!!!

Now, I love love love this weather! Oh I know it's politically incorrect these days to abhor rainy weather...but I do. I'm a simple creature and for me there's something wonderful about sitting in the sun for a few moments and letting the warmth soak into your skin and the brightness penetrate your soul (Yes mum, Ive got sunscreen on).

There is a little bus stop right out the front of my shop on St Johns Road and in a quiet moment I like just sitting there and letting the sun do it's thing. It's particularly nice when you can do that in the middle of winter.

britney, lindsay, nicole...What great role models!

Another day in Hollyweird. Very sad that your entire life has to be played out in the media Lindsay. Don't get me wrong it's great entertainment - I enjoy reading gossip about maddy mad mad mad celebrities as much as the next person, but I can't think of a worse way to live my life than to have it constantly splashed accross the front of a magazine...particularly say, if I had just been arrested for drink driving with a bag of coke in my pocket a week after being released from rehab.
All the money in the world couldn't buy my dignity and self respect the way it has robbed you of yours Linds. And as for you Britney, you are a mother now - it's time to stop being so selfish and start thinking about how your action might affect your children.

Friday, July 20, 2007

so over weather!

Was it this cold last year? I don't remember it being this gross..but maybe I say that every year, I can't remember. I am looking forward to a little skiing though. Once the shop is closed and the keys are handed back my boy and I might take off to the mountains for a few days. I generally only enjoy skiing for about 3 days at a time MAX - then my bones start to freeze up and I can no longer keep warm and I become a HUGE pain in the arse..."it's too cold, I can't feel my feet anymore, theres ice in my pants...."and on and on until we find one of the mountain cafes for hot choc numer 45.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


My man took me to our fave little Italian restaurant last night, La Botte d'oro in Leichardt. We've been going there about once a month for a year or so now and weve never had a bad meal or experience, and we are pretty fussy about dining out. La Botte always delivers good, authenic food and its served with lots of Italian cheer.

Other favourite Italian haunts include Ill Baretto in Surry Hills (no bookings though so your taking a chance - we go early in the evening on a week night usually), Pazzo on Crown St and Cafe Twelve in Newtown, The Mixing Pot and Glebe Point Diner in Glebe.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Red snakeskin ankle boots - My Winter Staple

Even if they don't go with everything...who cares, their gorgeous!

boleros - handmade in cute vintage fabrics

We have brand new hand-made Bolero's in store at Bowerbird. They are made from cute vintage fabrics and are reversable. Perfect over your fav dress or with high-waisted jeans

Not so posh...

I was living in England back when the Spice Girls were at the height of their fame. They were seriously major!! (did I just
use that word?)
Young girls all over the UK were going girl power crazy and I am (not to) proud to say that even though I definitely wasn't into their music -although I do know all the lyrics to Stop (...right there, thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch. Hey you, always on the run, gotta slow it down baby, gotta have some fun). Anyway, what I was saying was, even though I wasn't necessarily into their music I did have (still have) a little girl crush on them. Actually, it was mainly on Victoria Posh Spice Adams. To this day I really don't know why though. Firstly - I'm not a lesbian, secondly - she's actually kinda frightening to look at - particularly after that ridiculous boob job (although she does look pretty when her hair's off her face...and it's not blond) and thirdly her dress sense is kinda terrible for someone who considers themselves a fashion icon.
However, because I'm still a little bit taken with her I thought I'd tune into her show last night on nine. WOW. She's Bonkers...funny bonkers, but bonkers none the less.

It's been panned this morning by the Americans - which is rather hipocritical seeing as they are the masterminds of some of the worst reality television dribble I have ever seen and also boast the most "self promoting and self Indulgent" celebrities in the world - I think Posh will fit in perfectly.
Anyway, I'm quite sure she was taking the piss out of herself (Please tell me that's what you were doing Posh) with her over the top AbFab persona. I only wish she'd lose the silly hairdo. Granted,the long extensions she was sporting for a couple of years made her look like a porn star. But the POB was nice. This new bleached blond bizo is just weird...is it a bob? short? what???
I still have a little crush though

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

sale time

PS.... we are having an end of lease sale at Bowerbird until we close on the 4th of August. Lots of bargains. Pop in for a look if you are in Glebe.
196 Glebe Pt Road.
9518 4048

Put it in your diaries

Don't forget to put the 'Fifties Fair' into your diaries for next month. The annual fair, now in its 13th year, is on at Harry Seidler’s Rose Seidler House - an historically listed house in Wahroonga on the north shore. The house is a tribute to the modernist era in architecture and is worth a visit just to check out the modernist features and amazing views. The fair is loads of fun and there is lots of fabulous vintage stalls, street theatre and fifties fashion on show - always a great day out. it's on Sunday 26th of August.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to look this hot at any age??

I picked up a copy of the latest New Woman magazine yesterday. Now I am a fashion mag-aholic and generally buy atleast 2 per week. New Woman is not one of my all time fav's I have to admit. My interests lay firmly in what trends are being fleshed out on the runways of Paris, Milan and NY than stories about cheaters and who my boyfriend might also be sleeping with. So once I have totally exhausted all the various Vogue editions internationally and read Instyle and Harpers Bazaar from cover to cover, digested Nylon, Frankie and Ruush... I then start on the New Woman's and the odd Cosmo (even though that one generally makes me feel kinda old).
Anyway, The reason I brought up the New Woman purchase is because Liz Hurley is on the cover this month. New Woman have dedicated the issue to anti ageing and have used Liz as their pin up girl which is understandable as she a gorgeous looking woman. However, I almost didn't recognise her. In fact, I had to the read the cover to work out who it was. This brings me to the most incredible part - it actually reads: "Exclusive - Elizabeth Hurley - How to look this hot at any age (yes, she 42)". Now really - I think the only way a woman (even one who's 22) can look that hot is by being seriously P H O T O S H O P P E D.
I don't know about you but I am getting slightly alarmed by the amount of airbrushing going on these days. Admittedly, I usually ignore it and focus on what said celeb is wearing rather than their flawless complexion but once they start to become unrecognisable while spriuking the secret to eternal youth...I scoff. Sorry Liz

Saturday, July 14, 2007

lets all go fug ourselves!

Oh, the creative genius of those crazy gofugyourself girls (http://www.gofugyourself.com/) . Although they are kinda mean to most of the celebrities who fall vicitim to their fashion critiques...they are completely hilarious and generally 100% correct. I'm most amazed though by their seemingly endless knowledge of crappy american television/films. I wonder if they have jobs?...apart from ridiculing celebrity fashion disasters I mean.

Friday, July 13, 2007

that didn't go so well....

To your right is a picture of what I looked like with red hair. Unfortunatley I had to use a photo of Ronald McDonald as I didn't have time to take a photo of myself before racing back to the hairdressers this morning and pleading with them to re-install my lovely brown locks.
On the bright side though (haha), I now know that brilliant red hair really really doesn't suit me and I can/will cross it off my list of things I'd like to try (but have a bad feeling they may not turn out so good). I blame Karen Elson for this bad lapse in judgement - how dare she look so hot with hair that loud!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Think I'm gonna colour my hair (again)

When I first opened bowerbird in Glebe I had long blond hair that I would either straighten each day or curl with hot rollers depending on what kind of mood I woke up in (ie: bad arse rock chick or little bo peep)...Anyway, one day I decided long blond hair was really annoying and took tooo long to do in the morning...and using the hot iron was giving me RSI. So I went to my hairdressers - which is conveniently located next door to my shop - and got the lot chopped off. Actually it wasn't anywhere near as short as it is in the photo above - that's been a progressive thing. Each time I go I say "just take a little bit more off this time".

Then, one quiet afternoon in the shop, I was looking through a magazine and saw a picture of Many Moore (when she had her cute short haircut) and decided I wanted to look like her...so I put a "back in 5 minutes" sign on the door and got the guys next door to dye my locks brown. Of course it took a lot longer than 5 minutes and obviously I didn't end up looking anything like Mandy Moore (I think I've got a good 15 years on her) but I was pretty happy with the result...for about 2 weeks. For the last couple of months I've really been wanting to change the colour to dark auburn (or is that orange) a la' supermodel Karen Elson - Of course I know I won't look like karen Elson (I'm not that tall - ha!) but I can't get it out of my head...so I think I'm just gonna do it. I've booked an appointmet for 6.30 tonight - I'll probably end up looking more like Julia Gillard than Karen Elson!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So much to do!

In between all the things I have to organise with the closure of the shop and the birth of my on-line store I have been busily creating my new label "rescued" by bowerbird. Rescued was inspired by the realisation that alot of the vintage dresses skirts and tops I source I tend to rework in some way - something that I've been doing since I was a kid...so why not focus on doing an entire range of re-worked/deconstructed pieces?

Sometimes it might just be a hem coming up a few inches to give a 'nanny-ish' dress a bit of an edge as a mini or if I think the material has potential but the dress is a bit daggy I'll buy it and turn it into something completely new. I also love love love beading and embellishing things so I often spend hours sewing beads and sequins onto a plain dress to give it a colourful, rich and textured look. It's amazing what a few hours of beading can do for a frock!

I will take some photos and download them over the next couple of days of some of my designs.

...And I had an idea about the creative process when the online store is open for biz too. I am thinking that I will create a "design a dress" forum where I will post 'before' photo's of vintage finds and talk about what I think the dress need - open it up for discussion/opinions and then post photo's of the dress each day as it come to life. Then once it's been reinvented into a fabulous frock it will be available to buy!

Be great to get your feedback on this idea - anyone know if anyone else is doing it on their shopping site??


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Well decisions have been made now!!

Ive been a busy little bowerbird...

There has been a fair bit of discussion around the dinner table since my last post - thats for sure!

The lease on my shop expires next month and I've decided not to renew. The idea of setting up my business on-line (only) is appealing on a number of levels...The most obvious being the fortune I will save on rent and outgoings. But there are other reason as well...

As amazing as its been creating something tangible from a bunch of ideas randomly floating around in my head (you can see the shop at it's current webiste www.bowerbirdglebe.com.au) there are serious limitations to having a business that is solely your responsibility...where you are the company director, the shop assistant, the buyer, the cleaner, the accountant etc etc etc. Namely time constraints!

As a start up biz, my fledgling little bowerbird has relied on my enthusiasm, determination and my optimism to keep it flying high. And although I have enjoyed the experience wholeheartedly, I'm looking forward to having a little bit more flexibility with my time to focus on some of the other things I love to do - like designing and reworking vintage peices for my new label "rescued" by bowerbird.

Sooo...after much deliberation, bowerbird glebe will close it's doors in August and re-invent itself as www.bowerbirdvintage.com. To be honest, although I'm a little sad, I'm also exhilarated and chomping at the bit to get started on the next stage of my biz. I'm looking at the last 12 months as a really good learning experience and am looking forward to using some of that knowledge to go forward and create something bigger and better!

My dear friend Kath, who has been a guiding light towards this next stage, and posesses infinite wisdom of the cyber kind has supplied me with an armload of data that concludes that internet shopping is serious biz in Australia...and although we are probably around 5 years behind the americans in terms of our web savvy, each year internet sales steadily increase.

It's exciting to think that potentially my web site could attract thousands of people a day - (hey! ebay started out small remember?) - especially when some slow days in the shop I might see a dozen people if I'm lucky.

So, I'm focusing on how to make this happen now...as well as putting on a big "end of lease sale", creating new garmets for my label, moving house, building web sites, starting blogs...lucky I learned how to be the ultimate multi-tasker these last 12 months hey?!