Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shabby Chic....Rachel Ashwell & Me....!!!!!

I remember back in 1995 when I was living in Dallas, Texas I watched a show on telly where an actress from Y&R was being interviewed in her home....She picked up a pretty floral cup & saucer & said, "Oh & I love this....It's very shabby chic"....I wondered at the time what this 'shabby chic' was but wasn't able to find any info....

Fast forward to December 1999 when Mr SVJ & I were away on holidays....I popped into a bookstore & spied Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting & Decorating Guide....The cover alone set my heart racing....You know when you discover something so WONDERFUL your body tingles with anticipation of what's to come....?  Well THAT'S how I felt....!!!!!

I raced back to the hotel with my TREASURE....Ran a bath & emerged SEVERAL hours later with the BIGGEST smile on my face & a NEW appreciation for all things Shabby Chic....!

In 2003 Mr SVJ & I were in the US in St Louis & I took the opportunity to fly to Chicago for the day for no other reason than to visit the Shabby Chic store there....**magic**....!!

Then....In 2009 when Rachel's business faced some serious challenges I flew to LA for five days to visit the Santa Monica & Malibu stores before they closed....I drove back & forth....Back & forth between both stores for five days....**heaven**....!  You can't imagine how HAPPY I was to learn Rachel would be re-opening her Santa Monica store....

On travelling to Texas to source Treasures for my business Shabby Vintage Junk in 2010, I KNEW it was one of Rachel's FAVE places to shop....I heard from vendor after vendor, "Rachel's just been by"....DRAT....I missed her by a hair each time....I was dying to spy her in action but three Shows in I kept missing her....

Well....I'm so VERY PLEASED to say I FINALLY had the opportunity to meet the FABULOUS Rachel Ashwell last night out at The Prairie at the opening of her NEW store....And I have to say....The smile on my face is still just as BROAD as the smile you see below....

I have some FAB pics I took of the grounds while I was there....Be sure to pop back in a couple of days....!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shopping for PATINA....

Howdy Vintage Friends EVERYWHERE....!

As ALWAYS, I hope this post finds your 'junking cup' running over....hahahahaha....At the very LEAST....I hope you're having a SWELL weekend....!

I'm working my butt off shopping the GREATEST Show in the US so PLEASE forgive my lack of posts....I'm just popping in quickly to share some YUMMY finds with you....Each & every piece has the most D.I.V.I.N.E patina my eyes have had the PLEASURE of alighting on....!!

REAL patina can't be manufactured....It's a a natural process occurring over a period of time through constant use & wear.....**happy sigh**
Painted over & over through the years....This pieces patina is PERFECTION....!
If this LOVELY piece of hardware could only talk....I wonder what it would say about the hands that have touched it over the years....

Well Friends I must away....Along with sourcing Treasures comes a myriad of responsibilities....Paperwork & packing to name but two....!

Cheers for now,
Tamarah :o)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Dear Vintage Friends....!

I hope this post finds you all enjoying a FANTASTIC week....!  As it seems more often than not these days I'm literally 'all over the shop'....Running here....Running there....Running bloody EVERYWHERE in a mad flap trying to get everything done....So busy if truth be told I don't know whether to laugh or throw my hands up in the air & just BE DONE WITH IT sometimes....Rather than sit & wallow though, I thought it might be a good idea to write a series of posts on what it's actually like running a small TINY Vintage Reselling business full time....It may very well serve as a deterant for anyone out there who thinks we're all leading a GLAM, carefree life surrounded by neat vintage stuff....**wink**....!

So....To start....When I resigned from work this past January it was done so after careful consideration & contemplation....Mr SVJ & I have no debt other than our mortgage which is in GREAT shape due to spending the first five years paying above & BEYOND the minimum payment....!!

I'm a frugal girl by nature & was happy to pay 93% of my wage towards our home & made a game of seeing how much I could scrimp & save from the amount I was left with each fortnight....!  I don't BUY retail/new....EVER....Unless of course you count the Stoopidmarket but then I shop at Aldi so that doesn't really count & as our fruit & vegies are purchased at the Dandy Market each Tuesday....It counts even less....!!

I digress though....

The point is I didn't just resign from work....I sat down, looked at our finances, put a business plan together & weighed up the risks....CAREFULLY....If it wasn't for the support of Mr SVJ & his SECURE income, I wouldn't have been able to leave my job....PERIOD....!!!!!

Alas....As FRUGAL a girl as I am though....I started my business with NO capital other than a home filled with yummy vintage furniture & homewares that I would be able to sell as required....There were NO funds in my business account to act as a buffer so I was reliant on my LAST pay packet AND the proceeds of my stall at Fryerstown in January to get things going....Add a couple of well timed tax returns into the mix & I've managed to keep my head above water these past 6 months....It hasn't been easy though & I'm NOWHERE near drawing a wage....!!

Due to my tight constrictor like budget, I need to pay as LITTLE as possible for my Treasures....There is of course a downside to this....Rather than buying in bulk STRAIGHT from Pickers who've spent the time sourcing Treasures themselves, I need to do the leg work myself....And this involves time....Lots & LOTS of time....!!

On average, I spend a MINIMUM of 35 hours a week just trying to find NEAT stuff....These hours are spent in the car driving from one end of Melbourne to the other as well as country runs & costs me around $150- a week in petrol....

Then comes....The PROCESSING....Which is the NUMBER ONE downside for me (next to the FREAKIN' paperwork)....Because my Treasures come to me as they are filthy, broken, almost BEYOND hope....I then need to clean, repair & decide how far to refurbish a piece to get it to a state that I would then be happy to have in MY HOME....!

Today for example....I spent from 6.30am to 11.45am out the back cleaning my stuff....Bent over, scrubbing my heart out....The yellow rubber dish gloves protecting my hands perished within the first hour so I did the rest 'commando' & have bruised & bloody knuckles, scratches up my wrists & a few more bruises up my shins for my efforts....

In the end....I was left with a pile of ALMOST ready to go pieces....!

In this lot there are several small projects requiring spraying with metal poly....I also need to cut a piece of ply to fit the black atomic looking 50's magazine stand & paint it a cheery red....

Mr SVJ will be happy with these yellow storage containers I found him for his 'bits'....! 
I was initially a little bummed when I found this orange enamel piece as it was missing one of the containers....Of course all I need to do is pop a terracotta pot in there with a succulent & away you go....!! 
Galvanised crates, wire bird cages, wooden & metal stools, Willow trays & buckets....DELICIOUSNESS....! 
This one's a KEEPER....This is the THIRD one of these I've found over the last 12 years & each time I say I'm gonna keep it I end up selling it....Well not this time....It's STAYIN'....!!

Just in case you're wondering, it's a hospital maternity ward bassinet....K-E-E_P-E-R....!!!!! 
After the BIG STUFF was cleaned & drying I started on my textile pile....This is a YUMMY barkcloth curtain I salvaged to sell as fabric....I've NEVER ever found a penny weight before....Usually, lead fishing weights were used etc....This time around I found TWO coins dated 1959 & 1962....**smile**....!!

So there you have it....PROCESSING day at Casa SVJ....

Cleaning heavy items = 5 1/4 hours
Cleaning, sorting textiles = 1 hour
Loading van to go to storage = 1/2 hour
Unloading & reorganising AT storage unit = 1 hour

TOTAL = 7 3/4 hours

** My days not finished though....As I'm off to the The Vintage Shed to restock tomorrow, I need to spend a couple of hours sorting what stock I'm taking down, pricing it, adding the info to my spreadsheet & loading the van....But that's a WHOLE new post....! **

NB: there's probably another 1 1/2 hours worth of work in the items requiring additional work/repair but as it's windy today, I can't spray....This means, items go into storage tagged as WAITING to have work done when I can fit it in....!!

** If you have any questions re this post & PROCESSING day, feel free to ask....I'll answer any & ALL questions in the comment section....!! **

This post was not written to illicit sympathy....Just sayin' it as it is & keepin' it real....I AM hoping it might provide 'food for thought' for anyone thinking of taking the plunge into the world of vintage furniture & homewares or indeed for anyone who visits me when I have a stall at the Market thinking the clean, repaired, YUMMY vintage item READY to place STRAIGHT into your home I'm asking $20- for is TOO much to pay....**wink**....!

Well I gotta go....I still need to get ready for The Vintage Shed before I can even THINK about organising something for dinner....!

Cheers for now,
Tamarah  :o)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thinking of my Friends in the US....!!

September 11 has become a date in our lives that no longer passes by without reflection on some level....No matter where you were or who you are, this day is now a day to remember....To give thanks for all we have & to think of those no longer here with us....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An INVITATION from FAR AWAY saves the day....!!!

Hey Fellow Gleaners....!

As ALWAYS....I hope this post finds you well & HAPPY....!

I have something a little 'different' for you today....Yep....NO JUNK this time around....Just my HORRID feet....hahahahaha....

Sunday week ago I was at the Market talking to my Friend Kylie about a trip we were planning to the US....I was concerned a problem I had with my left foot was going to pose a bit of an 'issue' with all the walking we were going to be doing....!!

I was diagnosed as having Hallux Limitus almost two years ago & was advised I needed to stop using the treadmill & try some orthotics in an endeavour to possibly correct the problem....Alas....I FOOLISHLY continued on my merry way thinking all would be well....!! I need surgery which of course is TREMENDOUSLY inconvenient & will no doubt put me out of action for a good long WHACK....BUGGER....!!!!!

Anyways....Out of the blue....Several days after discussing the problem with Kylie I received an invitation to help out a Friend from Oregon....I was ELATED to say the least at the prospect as it will mean I'll spend a lot less time on my feet....Needless to say this called for some frantic juggling as our flights required changing....(THANK HEAVENS for travel insurance)....And I'm pleased to say we're all systems go again....Yayyyyyyy....!!

STOOPID toes seem to be heading SOUTH for the summer....hahahahaha....
I've always said feet are the UGLIEST part of the body....Well....They certainly are on MY body anyway....!

Well I must away....I'm off to The Vintage Shed to REFOOF....!

I hope you're all having a FABULOUS week....!!

Cheers for now,
Tamarah  :o)