Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

This post is a partnership with Quicksales.

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I love second hand shopping. When we need a new piece of furniture the first play in my game plan is generally to look for something pre-loved. You can find some great bargains – certainly a big plus when you’re on a decorating budget – but what I really love is layering our home’s interior with pieces with character and history.

While I sometimes visit local second hand shops in person, you can’t beat browsing Quicksales from the comfort of your couch in your trackies, glass of wine in hand, amiright? My idea of a good Friday night.

Our first home was dotted with pre-loved furniture that have now become favourites. The only reason we didn’t have more is that we literally ran out of room for more! Happily, I can now indulge my vintage shopping desire again as we furnish our new (much bigger) home. Yippee!

As I compile my furniture shopping list (mid-century entertainment unit… extra seating for the lounge… oo and how ‘bout a cute console for the entry?) here is my approach for finding the perfect pre-owned pieces for your home.

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Know what you want

Going into shopping blind is a recipe for ending up with something that doesn’t work for your home, taste or lifestyle. Decide exactly where in your home this piece will live, consider what will fit with the overall style of the room and measure, measure, measure!

…But have an open mind

Wait, isn’t that contradicting the previous tip? Nope, what I mean is that while the right size and practicality of the piece are non-negotiables, if you have an open mind in terms of the style you could end up with a piece that is a surprising feature for your room. If you only searched for chairs for your dining table, you might never have discovered the incredible antique church pew that would work perfectly instead.

Imagine if

Similarly, have a second glance at items you may have passed over due to condition or colour. That worn armchair would look fab with new upholstery and that timber dresser just needs a good sand and refinish. It’s amazing what a little TLC can do!

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Cut some slack

Remember the sellers are just your average person down the street, so don’t be expecting catalogue-quality photography. But by all means, if the photo is out of focus or has inaccurate colouring, just politely ask for a better photo or go and take a look at it in person.

Ask questions

If a seller hasn’t listed an important detail such as the dimensions, simply get in touch with them to clarify. There’s no sense in schlepping across town only to find the entertainment unit will obstruct your doorway.

Potay-to, potah-to

Before you’ve given up hope of finding that retro dresser (zero search results, what?) try a few synonyms. Think: mid-century buffet, 60s sideboard… you get the idea.

Check seller profile

Have a look at the user reviews before meeting anyone in person so you can buy with confidence. Also check out their other items, as chances are they’re selling more than one item. You could buy a few things at once to save some driving… and maybe even negotiate a better deal.

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There’s something so rewarding about giving a new home to an unwanted item, particularly if you restore it to its former glory or put your own twist on it. It’s an environmentally- and budget-friendly way of creating a home that’s uniquely yours.

I’ve shown some of our favourite pre-loved furniture throughout the post. Now, tell me what are your most treasured second hand pieces?

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vintage jars

I went to a couple of my favourite antique shops recently – oh my, how I have missed it!

Granted, I was actually shopping for props for a photo shoot, but it was still lovely to browse the gorgeous vintage wares.

Naturally, I found all kinds of other things apart from the props I was supposed to be looking for. I was very restrained and only brought one of my finds home with me: this unusual bottle with a marble stopper. It is embossed with ‘J.D. Murphy Crystalworks Wellington’. Since my maiden name is Murphy I had to have it!

My friend brought over the amber jar with flowers when we had her over for dinner (so thoughtful!). I love how the flowers pick up the yellow and oranges of the print behind it.

vintage jars

Do you have any fun decor items with your name or initials on it?

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Tea print by Handz

Brr! The temperature is dropping by the day as we head into winter next week. I’m on my third hot drink of the day just to try to warm up a bit.

With tea and coffee on the brain I’ve chosen to round up some of my favourite tea time essentials for you kitchen.

Click over to see all 20 picks over on Houzz.

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Tomorrow morning we are picking up a new car (!!) which is a tad exciting. We are planning to drive to the coast tomorrow and the hills on Sunday to take it for a spin.

Do you have any fun adventures planned for the weekend?

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Bowerbird Bazaar May 2013 flyer

I’m currently packing my gear to head off to set up my stall at Bowerbird Bazaar for another year.

It’s a really awesome market full of handmade and designer wares by indie artists. So if  you’re in Adelaide and are looking for quality homewares, art, stationery, fashion or Mother’s Day gifts, come on over to the Wayville Showgrounds this weekend!

There’s also lots of yummy food and entertainment so it’s a great day out. It’s open tonight 4-9pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm.

The Akimbo stall will be along the back wall and it will be bursting with never-before-seen products which I’m crazy excited about. I LOVE meeting readers in person so make sure you come and say hello!

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for behind the scenes snaps during the market.

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*Happy clap* It’s time to reveal some of the goodies I bought on our trip!

homewares souvenirs

I love filling our home with things that have some meaning and memory behind them, so homewares are always at the top of my shopping list when travelling.

There was a lot of letterpress love in San Francisco: the forest print and card are from Hello*Lucky and the coasters and mini map print are by the lovely Lilikoi Design.

I was sooo excited to finally get to an Anthropologie store, where I picked up these sweet bowls as well as some clothes. The soda bottle, well it was just a drink I had at the famous Tony’s Pizza and thought the design was kinda cool! I was very relieved to find that all of the breakables arrived home safely.

The little silver jack is actually a ring holder and was from SFMoma and the wee woodblock stamp was a find from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The final purchase visible here was made in Austria after The Man suggested we go into an antique shop (!!) and spotted this vintage tin (!!).

I also tend to collect some postcards, especially from art galleries and museums were photography isn’t permitted. Anyone else do that? If so, I’d love to know what you do with them.

Christmas souvenirs

Since we were travelling at Christmastime and were going to be stopping off at a European Christmas market (or three), I really wanted to choose some special items that would add some sentimentality to our current store-bought collection of decorations. (Sensing a theme here?)

The only problem is that they are all so different to each other (and in some cases, completely different from any of the existing decorations) that I have NO idea how I am going to make it all work! Thankfully I have plenty of time before December rolls around again. How cute are the nutcracker dudes by the way? Their mouths even move!

This doesn’t look like a huge amount of shopping, but remember this doesn’t include clothes, gifts and The Man’s purchases, so all in all we did bring home quite a bounty!

I am totally back in the mood for nesting after being away from home, so I’m excited to get a few new things to freshen up the place. I’m not sure where I am going to put everything yet, but I look forward to having a bit of a play. Stay tuned for the results!

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Shopping in Sydney

After The Man and I had our (mostly) fun weekend in Sydney, I stuck around for another couple of days to attend the wedding industry event Project Innovate and to meet a couple of my lovely stockists over there. Yes I do have a pretty awesome job when browsing interior shops, swooning over stationery and hanging out with some cool and inspiring creative people is considered ‘work’.

I won’t go into all the business stuff, let’s get straight into the window shopping!

CBD

How pretty are Victorian arcades? I visited The Strand and The Queen Victoria Building.

Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Northern Beaches

I headed up the coast to visit a couple of my stockists, including Little Paper Lane, the super adorable shop that will be stocking some Akimbo goodies in time for Christmas.

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

And then it was on to another stockist Pulp Creative Paper – oh my!

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

\Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

(Who knew washi tape grew on trees?)

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Surry Hills

My final day consisted of walking (and walking and walking) around the Surry Hills area to check out all the shops that I always read about in my favourite interiors magazines. It really is a mecca for decorators.

I didn’t take photos of many shops there – some of them declined my request for whatever reason and others I was just enjoying rather than capturing. But here is a little snippet.

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Have you ever walked into a shop and thought it was made just for you? That’s what it was like for me at Ici et La. Everywhere I looked there were bright patterns! Signs and typography! Character-filled old things! Crazy oversized objects! Industrial lighting! Cool collections!

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

I’ve been one of Follow Store‘s, er, followers, for some time now so it was great to see their online store come to life and see some of my fave designers’ work in person.

Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

Shopping in Sydney

As well as meeting a bunch of people in the wedding industry and a couple of stockists, I also met up with the lovely Jane of Emerald & Ella who I’ve been ‘talking’ to via Twitter and email for a few months. I have made some fantastic and rewarding relationships online through all aspects of my business and blog, but there really is nothing like meeting people in person, is there?

If only we weren’t in hardcore saving mode for our upcoming overseas trip I think I could have brought home some serious excess baggage. Thankfully, though, most of these places have online stores so you can shop when and where it suits you.

Little Paper Lane

Pulp Creative Paper

Emerald & Ella

Follow Store

As I said, this is just a small selection of the shops I visited, there were so many amazing places to visit it was hard to see everything!

Would you be interested in seeing more ‘out and about’ posts about shopping travel? I’m increasingly feeling the urge to actually get out there rather than just living on the internet, you know? I’d love to know what you think.

If you’re a local (or visit Sydney often) what are some of your favourite shops?

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You guys, I’m such a dill! This was supposed to run weeks ago but I stuffed up the scheuling and only just realised! Sorry for the delay, hope you enjoy…

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I recently had the immense pleasure of shilling my wares at the Bowerbird Bazaar design market here in Adelaide. I’d been attending (and blogging about) it for years so it felt a bit surreal actually being a part of it. Big tick for one of my business goals!

Without further ado, here are some photos of my finished stall:

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

With the help of my dad I had all of that set up ready to go embarrassingly early so I had plenty of time to wander around and take photos and meet people. (Most of these photos were taken before doors opened, hence the lack of people!)

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Great Relish kept stallholders and shoppers alike perked up.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I loved the chunky and colourful resin jewellery by Keep Resin.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Vintage book spine bookmarks by Rebound Books.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

One of my favourites in terms of both product and display was Lavallier.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

How great are these brightly patterned cushions by Douglas & Hope?

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I had a great time chatting with the multi-talented Georgia Gabrielle, who makes beautiful delicate silver jewellery.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

More fab new screenprinted beauties from Tinker.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I was inspired by the Days of August stall, who like me has a very diverse range but still managed to display it in a way that made it feel like a cohesive collection. Oh, and the packaging! I saw girls walking around with these adorable little suit bags and it took me awhile to realise they were the Days of August necklaces made of vintage ties.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

The distinctive wallpaper creations by Delilah Devine.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I recently discovered the work of Sydney illustrator Andrea Smith and was instantly smitten with her folk art style. But it wasn’t til I viewed the artworks in person that I saw that they are actually collages of handpainted paper, which gives it a beautiful texture and depth.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Fellow cardie Messagemark. If you have a moment, check out the timelapse video of her stall setup.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

It was lovely to meet Katrina of Kitty Came Home for the first time since I love her work and we share a couple of the same stockists. Her stall made out of crates must have been a huge amount of work but boy did it ever look impressive!

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

It was great to see some new and more adult-oriented prints from the lovely folks at Printspace.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I could not believe that this was my stall neighbour Jane Bowring‘s first market – her display was so beautiful and well thought-out (the small snippet above doesn’t give the full impact). She also did demonstrations on her wire weaving technique which proved very popular.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

There were so many amazing things to look at this is by no means a comprehensive summary of the weekend, it’s merely some highlights I thought you would enjoy.

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

As you can see, it got very busy!

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

Bowerbird Bazaar July 2012

I’ve done a handful of small markets but this was my first big one. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from my friends and family, so many of whom visited or wrote me encouraging messages. I couldn’t have done it without The Man who was by my side for most of the three day event.

While I love having an online business, there’s nothing quite like meeting customers in person. I had a bunch of you dear blog readers and followers of my business introduce themselves, plus many more who said they’d seen my work around or even purchased it before from one of my lovely stockists. That was so gratifying and encouraging and I can’t tell you how much it means to me, so thank you!

I also had a wonderful time talking to some of my fave designers and meeting some new ones. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community of creatives.

I returned home exhausted but inspired.

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I think you’ll all agree when I say that paperwork is one of the biggest clutter culprits in most homes. ‘Going paperless’ is a semi-regular series on eliminating paper from your home in order to save time, reduce clutter and benefit the environment.

Step 2: Digitising

This series is definitely not about me telling you how I’ve got everything under control (I don’t) or that there aren’t piles of paperwork around my house (there are). It’s about me sharing how I tackle the paper monster that we all face.

I say this because going through this process with you has prompted me to make some changes to my own systems. Only a few weeks ago I wrote about my meal planning strategy and how I use a paper shopping list template that I created myself.

shopping list app

Since then, we’ve switched to a mobile app. I chose one called MyGroceries, because of two main reasons: it’s cross-platform (that’s The Man’s iPhone on the left and my Samsung on the right) and because you can share lists between more than one user (we both do the shopping).

shopping list app

We’ve split it up into different shops for the groceries, such as supermarket, butcher, greengrocer and Asian grocer. We’re both loving the fact that we can pop something on the list whenever we remember it, rather than forgetting about it by the time we’re next in the kitchen with a pen.

I’ve also added custom lists such as hardware store, bottle shop, craft store and errands. This is especially good for non-urgent items, like when I’ve used the last of the Mod Podge but don’t need it for anything right now, but next time I’m at Spotlight I want to remember to pick some up. Anything to avoid getting home and having that annoying ‘Oh sod, I should have remembered to get x while I was there, now I have to do another trip!’ moment right?

The only issue is that the supermarket categories are in alphabetical order rather than the aisle order, but this should be easy to fix by numbering the aisles.

Has technology changed the way you do your shopping?

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Bowerbird Bazaar logo

I am super excited to announce that my stationery biz Akimbo will be a stallholder at the next Bowerbird Bazaar!

It’s been a goal of mine for some time now, but every time it was on there was always something on at the same time (nothing too important, only my brother’s wedding and my own honeymoon). Finally the stars have aligned and I was able to apply. I’m thrilled to be having the opportunity to put my shingle out amongst some of Australia’s best design brands.

What?
Jewellery, clothing, homewares, accessories, art, kids gear and of course stationery, all by independent artists, all under one roof.

Where?
The Stirling Angas Pavilion
Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Road, Wayville
Enter via Rose Terrace

When?
July 20-22
Friday 4pm – 9pm | Saturday & Sunday 9am – 5pm

How much?
Adults $2, children free

I won’t be able to do the November market (another wedding!) so don’t miss the July event.

More information and full list of designers can be found here.

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Mathilda's Market 1

Those of you who follow my business on Facebook will know that I recently signed up for my first market… aaaand my second, third and fourth all in the same month. Yeah, I don’t do things by halves.

Mathilda's Market 1

First cab off the rank was Mathilda’s Market, a boutique kids’ market at the Burnside Ballroom here in Adelaide. A popular nearby Christmas pageant was on at the same time and it was raining so I think that affected the numbers a little. Nevertheless I met some lovely people, including plenty of glowing mums-to-be, adorable babies and kids who trendier than me. Not to mention putting faces to the names of fellow retatilers like Memory Bank Photography, Mel Boulden Photography and Furious Kingston.

Mathilda's Market 3

I’m always so pleased when I send my goodies off to happy homes, and it’s even nicer when I get to meet the customers in person.

You can also find me at:

Whimsical Markets (Christmas twilight market), Thursday 8th December
Gilles Street Markets, Saturday 18th December

…plus another secret one yet to be announced!

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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