Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Bought this frame at the thrift a while back, it's glass is slightly bowed, which means I can mount things behind it with a little depth, like buttons and antique trims.

Most of these little critters are bound for fagin's daughter...and I tell you, if there's one thing that's giving me satisfaction over the last week, it's photographing antique things.

jet glass mourning buttons

18th century silk fragment

French jet bracelet bars

cut steel style black glass buttons

In fact I love the photography side so much that I've done more still life collections, and will be offering them in 8X10 - trophy (previously only printed as a postcard) is already available as an 8 by 10.

Hansel & Gretel

Bookish creatures

Not feeling very talky-talk lately, but here's a photofest of some recent acquisitions.

Big but ruined Collected works of Paul Bunyan, with gorgeous cover (so gorgeous I'm thinking of adapting the curled ivy for a tattoo)

(old scraps of paper were often pasted inside to strengthen the binding)

Mothy edges...

Big but ruined 1890s edition of Little Dorrit (you know I freaked)


I could get that font as a tattoo as well...

ragged from love

love book binders labels- I love Ballarat too, wonderful historic city

utterly ruined (can we see a pattern?) photo album...

(exquisite end papers)

(teaching certificate tucked inside photo album)

There you go.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Gobsmackingly gorgeous Edwardian parasol

Black silk beaded cape circa 1850

Cover graphics on a children's book bought last weekend at a library sale- I love children's fantasy from the 1960s and 70s, mostly these are all Puffin books, I loved reading them as a kid and even now there's something so delightfully cosy about them. It always seem to be about supper time and standing stones. This one has good reviews, promising an exciting thrill-ride with writing that will please fans of Alan Garner. So double points!


Who can resist macro?

spidery Victorian tassel trim

impossible things- skeleton key blanks!

french jet points- like the fangs of black serpents...

...matt black glass bodice buttons, they feel like silk velvet...

more glass buttons collected by fagin's daughter, to be sorted accordingly...

oh- and I made brownies for the first time ever. I did good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Inspired- the dark and murky background

As I experiment and ponder my new shop, one thing has been a sticking point for me- the background. It seems to me when I shoot something to go online I'm often more concerned about the background than the object (thereby betraying photography as a greater love than selling the object). Is it too dark, too light? Is it the right colour? Is the patina thick enough? Are their words that shouldn't be seen, or marks and stains that- though you know are perfectly innocent - look quite unpleasant in the uncompromising eye of the camera?

necklace -available tonight

Shots like the one above make me feel like I've got it right. (And make me think I should stop messing about and just be a professional photographer already.)

But while dithering about on the internet (some would have me call it 'research and networking' - I call it finding new blog) I came across the blog of a wonderful Australian-based food stylist, Katie Quinn Davies.

image credit

Her photography showcases both the dark and the light, but it's the dark that I love best- that cobblestone, ink and ash colour scheme that so suits blood-red fruits and pewter plates. Her style is very similar to Chris Court- who you probably know best from his sister Sibella's book Etc. (Which in my personal view is just as much his book than hers, but I digress.)

image credit

I recently made a treasury where I showcased some of my favourite sellers, but on closer inspection what I really ended up doing was just picking my favourite backgrounds! There's a trend on Etsy for vintage shops to be a white wall and a scrubbed timber surface, with perhaps some doily lace or dried flowers. It's quickly becoming the vintage shop's answer to 'necklace on an open book' that is so common in jewelry shops, or 'carousel against turquoise sky' that so pervades the photography section. But that doesn't stop it being awesome.

(incidentally, what's this trend amongst photographers to have their site scroll sideways? ives me a headache!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Listin' heavily

A new treasury which started out as me just sort of 'musing about':

I was looking for visual inspiration for my new antique shop- which is now officially open!

Named after the first cuff I ever made, fagin's daughter is something I've felt attuned to for a very long time- Fagin was probably the first Dickens character I knew as a child, and instantly felt a connection to this shabbily dressed, slightly unreal character with trinkets in his pockets and a house full of lost boys. Hmm- sounds suspiciously like me!

When I wrote the short story that went with the cuff's listing, it was really then and there that my alter-ego was born, and since that cuff it has really been Fagin's daughter who makes my ragged things, the Sparrow is merely a channel. So it's about time she had her own shop, where she can share the small trinkets that find her way to her hand. (through nothing as nefarious as her father's method!)

antique silver teaspoon

There are some lovely pickings in there already, with more coming in the next day or two. There are 6 new things in my jewelry shop too, and I've more to list.

spring heeled jack

never ceasing


small voice

all things journey

horns of the moon

I have more photography too, and more destash for the magpie shop (where I'm still having my secret coupon sale- see last post) ... and on top of that I'm waiting for some vintage chain in the mail so I can turn my recent pendants into necklaces. And then list them!