Archives for posts with tag: Collecting

Blue, Yellow, Orange bringing it.

Bottle or jug? Or all of it?  It is Saturday…

And if there’s a happier colour combo? Show me.
Pretty fond of this lot.

blue orange yellow

Urn it.
Reluctant to sell this orange piece. It’s large and magnificent and I bought it on an awesome buying trip/mini break/ solo mission last year. It was the last shop I hit and I was pretty tapped out. Like very. Knew I had already spent far too much. Eek. But also knew when I went out and sat in the car, I would drive back to Sydney organising freight. And then it might break. And then be so annoyed with myself for indecision…

Anyway I was trying to do a short post because I know we are all too busy for words… So yeah. I went back in. Maxed out the plastic on glass. Bought it. Loved it. Still do but… yup, it’s up for grabs.

Quick before I change my mind.

Orange Empoli Italian cased bottle, god I love that faux wicker texture. It could be cheesy if not perfectly executed. Lucky it is.

Tall double cased [cased= white lining] Empoli Italian bottle vase, in that Per Lütken, Holmegaard kind of way.

Yellow cased jug. Mid century. That crazy arse shape. Was a ….. to clean, so visibly filthy inside, got a scourer stuck in there [amateur] and after a few days and a smart idea from Gemma in the shop next door I reefed it out with the bent hook of a coathanger. So relieved. Ridiculously happy over a small triumph #nerd

Time for a drink, cheers

in Newport shop this week
interested? ask here

two vintage globes

This week: I heard and fell in love with this INXS song all over again. Those lyrics. Was it written for Kylie?

I finished re-reading The Alchemist a nostalgic favourite I first read after a trip to Spain. Also did some successful globe spotting. Funny how it all comes together… So what is successful globe spotting? Not as much fun as globe trotting but it’s nice to look at the world, any way you can. To me, with globes, kind of like annoyingly catchy Meghan Trainor, it’s all about that base. Oh and the blue. Not so much a fan of ye olde worldey sepia tones.

And then today, Happy Anniversary to my own Personal Legend. Sixteen years ago, I was standing. You were there…

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

more globes midcentury

But before I go, I want to tell you a little story. A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived. Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention. The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. ‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’ The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. ‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’ The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. ‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’ Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen. ‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. ‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.’

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

family of 4 vintage globes


blue glass bottles mid century cobalt italian empoli

One year ago I opened my little shop in Newport Beach.

When I unpacked my nicest brightest treasures onto the white Ekby Jarpen shelves [the affordable Ikea version of String Shelving] and there was SO much glassware it surprised me to realise I was a such a bowerbird.

Actually, FYI, not a true bowerbird,  as the crazy glass-and bright- object-collecting-bird is in fact, the male. They spend hours decorating their bachelor pad to pull a bird.

Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you…

Chuck Palahniuk [I’m re-reading Fight Club]

cut glass bowl empoli italian jug orange copy

So, yeah, where was I? I opened the shop… To deliver myself from Swedish furniture and clever art. To let it go and to share the love.

Holmegaard green glass candlestick vases mid century Royal Copenhagen copy 2Lots of glass. It’s kind of a thing. Light and light catching and lovely to look at, the amazing shapes it can form, the reflections it creates, it’s numerous uses… And its made from sand. Incredible really.

Over the last year I’ve learned a thing or two. About the pontil mark on the base [how you tell it if it’s hand blown as opposed to coming from a mould] and casings [the white coating inside which makes it more opaque] and some of my favourite makers:

Danish Holmegaard [pronounced Hull-meh-gore] and American Blenko [not much here in Australia that I’ve seen] Iitala from Finland and  Italian Murano [sometimes a bit fussy].


I’m no expert though, clearly.
Having only just discovered Italian Empoli glass and realised a lilac genie bottle I sold earlier in the year was probably worth double the price.

genie bottle collections copy

Anyway whatever..  sometimes it’s hard to know without stickers or makers marks, though the quality usually is obvious…so like the excited little bowerbird, I just pick up what I like. Not to attract a mate [in fact it was having the opposite effect, all that stuff taking over his garage] but because it’s purty. And to quote John Keats and the movie version of Willy Wonka

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.


Is it an incurable addiction to collecting vintage kitchen implements?

ORANGE retro utensils skyline vintage enamelyellow skyline utensils strainer retromass utensilitus Blue Skyline enamel etc copy


oversized and engorged utensils of a certain age?

oversized novelty seventies teak fork and spoon copy

Whatever the diagnosis, this strange bug is not to be confused with another designer affliction uncommonly known as stencilitis
of which I also exhibit classic symptoms.

I may not recover but I have the tools to cope.


vintage Enid Blyton childrens books

Old Enid Blyton hardcovers from the 70’s including

  • The Magic Faraway Tree Series
  • The Wishing Chair Adventures
  • Hello Mr Twiddle [!]
  • Don’t Be Silly Mr Twiddle
  • The Naughtiest Girl in The School
  • Book of Fairies
  • Happy Time Stories


Fancy some classic French, Saunders & Adrian Edmondson? Rather!
Five Go Mad In Dorset.


And how about these delightful versions?

  • Two Go Away To Lovely Grandparents
  • The Other Two Have A Jolly Good Time In the City

Deans Classics vintage Enid BlytonEnid Blyton Collection Naughtiest Girl Again copy

Splendid, I say!

vintage blue china kitten bookends Enid Blyton Wishing Chair
Book your own adventure at the urban rustic store: 
Wishing Chair set of 2
vintage ceramic kitten bookends

If one man’s trash is another man’s treasure as the cliche goes,
what happens when one wife’s treasure is one husband’s trash?

Her: [hand’s on hips]: Where’s my favourite wire basket?

Him: [casual] I threw it out. It was all rusty.

Her: [wailing] But it had the perfect amount of rust!

vintage mickey mouse help pin

My husband thinks I am a hoarder. It’s true.
True that he thinks I am. True that I am?

After watching episodes [in horror] or Hoarders and other similar shows. I think I am safe for now. Possibly not from D-I-V-O-R-C-E but from the clutches of this sad disorder.

According to the TLC website hoarding is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. O.C.D.

Hoarding usually involves objects that have little if any value. Newspapers, old flyers and used food packaging and in extreme cases fingernails, hair and crap. And I mean that literally. Distressing but true apparently.

Professionals look for these three things when evaluating compulsive hoarders:

  1. An inability to discard objects coupled with anxiety if a hoarder does try to throw things away.
  2. Impaired ability to function due to hoarding.
  3. A cluttered living space that has become so filled with objects that it can’t be used effectively.


Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.
Walter Benjamin


Hoarding is not the same as Collecting. In general, collectors have a sense of pride about their possessions [as opposed to embarrassment] and they experience joy in displaying and talking about them. They usually keep their collection organized, feel satisfaction when adding to it, [rather than sadness and shame] and budget their time and money whereas hoarders may be in debt.

Anxiety & Depression Association of America [ADAA]

It’s possible however, I may be a borderline Obsessive Compulsive Collector if I wanted to pay attention to Science A Go Go. Judging by the name I don’t think I do -do.  According to this link, collecting items can trigger O.C.D.  E.E.K!

You know you have a problem [don’t you?] if you can’t drive past a thrift/ Op Shop without swerving to a halt and dashing in [no matter how late you already may be] just to make sure you are not missing the next best new old thing.


Nothing makes me happier, than finding some great, unusual, and amusing thing.
John Rosselli

urban rustic label art

So I may be self-labelled mad or

vintage birkomatic in original box

berko/birko in this case but at least I am in good company.

Probably the most famous of all collectors being Andy Warhol whose possession obsession has eternal fame with 612 Time Capsules preserved forever at


I don’t think any collector knows his true motivation.
Robert Mapplethorpe

So…any ideas?  Collect your thoughts and let me know, please! xS

Narnia Chronicals Voyage Dawn Treader QUOTE

Am not religious per se [I trust in Good] but I do believe the universe provides.

Whether it was divine co-incidence or happy accident, a little battered/ AKA preloved 1971 edition of The Voyage of The Dawn Treader came my way, without effort, Saturday morning, the day after this post boy division: covers.

3 down 4 to go…


urban rustic home page image

ur = is finally a fully functioning site. yay. yay. yay.

Please please please take a look, let me know what you think and if you could kindly flick my link on to any like minded friends, family, colleagues, strangers that would be outstanding.
And of course feel free to buy, buy, buy.

I know a lot of you lovely regular readers are clever collectors but you don’t have to spend hours picking and lurking through dark dusty places, you could let me and my experienced eye do it for you.

andree putman vintage cash register

If you’re not a collector but want something more original than modern vintage-esque homewares made in China, consider the real things…

mid century smoked glassware

They’re not new new [except the Flamingos] but I think it’s time we got over our obsession with Brand New.

Don Featherstone Plastic Lawn Flamingos

Newnesss fades pretty quickly and then a lot of stuff remains mass produced, unremarkable and replaceable forever. Such a waste when there’s so many authentic cool totally functional products out there waiting for a new life.

vintage recycled leaf plates urban rustic

And proceeds don’t go to some massive e-corp. They go to Luke’s soccer fees, reluctant violin lessons, Lily’s dancing, swimming and Occupational Therapy. [She’s a leftie] Sandy’s thrifting and coffee habits. Sometimes yoga. Wine…


So much more still to be come [witness all my categories below] but inevitably I had to stop looking, comparing [there’s so many clever people out there in this wide wide world of web it can be intimidating] and do it before I question my sanity one more time. After all, it’s quite a lot of effort to go to for one off products. Surely this isn’t practical?

Turns out it’s not so much, but then I have never been a practical girl…

As the cliché goes, it’s a labour of love, my baby, and I want to watch it grow, elvove, probably not change the world but hopefully my life. Part of the dream is a shop /gallery one day as, being a designer/ wannabe artist/stylist/photographer I love the display. For now, I’m online.

A lot of care is taken with packaging and presentation and though I can’t offer free shipping, urban rustic is all about freebies. And they are pretty good.

urban rustic free gift shopping trolley

While you are at it, check out my super patient friend and designer Michelle Lorimer who pulled the whole website together. A total nightmare I’m sure, to have a designer as a client. And she got me out of a disappointing, expensive, money-down-the-drain situation with a Another example of why small, local business and real, genuine people make the world of difference.

urban rustic yellow vintage modern retro home

And finally [hmm, you would think I am getting some kind of award, the Overly Long Blog Post Award perhaps?] thanks to all you lovely peeps for the support and comments you give. I love the talented little community that the urban rustic blog has opened up to me. I’ve enjoyed hearing your stories and watching you grow also. Whatever happens, wherever it takes me, I aim for fun times ahead.  I hope you stick around. ur most welcome.

Cheers Sandy xo

So many categories!

Andy Warhol would complain during his nearly obsessive daily shopping regimen of antique stores, galleries, auction houses, and flea markets.

Though best known as an artist, Warhol was also a passionate and informed collector of unlikely antiquities and offbeat Americana. He began to collect seriously in the mid-1950s and continued to do so until his death in 1987. During this time period he was not only incredibly busy making art, but he was also collecting everything from cookie jars to contemporary art. He collected Fiestaware, World’s Fair memorabilia, Art Deco silver, Native American objects, folk art and he often acquired large collections as well—Hollywood publicity stills, crime scene photographs, and dental molds. All reflecting his interest in Pop Art and his inspiration: consumer culture.

vintage mcdonald happy meal snoopy dolls

At times I think, ‘Oh God, I wish I could be more focused’ – only collect bronzes or Sèvres boxes or something like that. Yet what’s a man to do?  So much beauty. So little time.

John Rosselli.

I  found this quote in an old issue of Country Style [Dec 2009] while, ironically, trying to cull my massive collection of magazines.
Never having heard of Mr Rosselli [I am not in the habit of collecting antiques, bronzes or whatever those fancy sounding boxes are] but the collection of beauty hit home. So I did some investigating [aka googling] and found this article on him @ belle

I like massing objects. I’m known for blue-and-white porcelain. A group of boxes—small, large—looks great on a table. …we collect white porcelain objects—ducks, chickens, fruit. Buy things individually, and before you know it you’ve got a collection.

So now I am gathering a collection of quotes on the subject of collecting. I’d better find 5 because…

One is junk, but five is a collection.

These are words to live by, or maybe a clever way to justify the early stages of becoming a hoarder. For me, collecting is a passion. Thankfully, becoming a collector does not take a large bank account or an extensive knowledge of period antiques. Start building a collection by focusing on what you have a passion for. My collections seem diverse on paper—clocks, china, kitchen utensils, seashells and garden wares, just to name a few—but there is a common thread that ties them together: colour.

Melinda Graham
Vintage Living Magazine. 


5 miniature blue perfume bottles

I have only one rule: seek out beauty and meaning in everything, then embrace and display it. Even the most humble and everyday of objects can be transformed.

Sibella Court
From her beautiful book Etcetera etc.

Sibella, one of Australia’s most well known stylists and collectors clearly doesn’t have minimalist [or dusting] issues…
Check out her finely curated home.


What’s your favourite collection? If you’re  like me and love collecting, you may have more than one [understatement!] Please share…

Read the rest of this entry »

Manifesto courtesy of Megan Auman

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