My latest haul from Eliza's

satin jaquard polkadots, silk/cotton in both black and cream. 3m each @ $6/m
remnant of blue/gold wool boucle 1.7m for $16
grey pinstripe tight weave linen. 2.5m@ $4/m. I'm going to wash this and if I like it, go get more. It's unusual and could be really hard wearing.
greenish blackish denim, 2.5m@$2.5/m. This last is what I went for. Those "almost jeans" I made to wear to NZ are so successful I want another pair or several.

montjoye: (Default)
( Feb. 4th, 2016 04:04 pm)
That bowl I was allowed to buy- well I've found one. It's not perfectly medieval but it's pretty good. It's the right size and shape, not too heavy, pleasingly, rustically hand painted, and even in my heraldic colours. It should ideally have a darker clay body I think but this will do.

I took a long walk to my nearest major train station to exchange a myki card that was about to expire. The nearby Savers had this waiting for me. I was out walking for nearly 2 hours and now I'm a bit shattered. Must do that sort of thing more often. The Breadtop store there makes the best little custard horns.


montjoye: (Default)
( Feb. 3rd, 2016 08:18 am)
I have a great deal of stuff. So much so that I seem to be continually culling it. I also didn't save as much money as I wanted over the last year. So over the next year I'm going to try not to buy stuff. I'm not big on vows but here is the plan:

-NO aquisition of manchester- sheets, towels, teatowels, shower curtains. Really, I have enough for now. Well, for a long time actually.
-No buying of clothes, except possibly a bit of underwear. Mostly if I need/want something I can make it.
-No yarn. I have plenty to keep me in knitting for ages. No fluff until I've spun what I have- to do this I'd have to actually do some spinning.
-No kitchen gear, crockery, glassware
-Fabric is harder. I will try not to buy unless I need something particular for a project. The stash is large and quite varied but I am not going to pass up at least looking at unusual fabric sales.

-If something breaks beyond mending, then I can replace it
-Plans and eventual purchases for the outside of the house. Dealing with these is part of the point of saving money.
-New books in series I love but ebook form is encouraged.
-Notions can be bought when needed. I mostly try not to buy these on spec anyway with the exception of shell and metal buttons.
-Wardrobes if I get that far with the front room project.
-stripey blanket and bowl for medjeeval purposes

To aid this, I am in the process of unsubscribing from email lists that try to sell me things. I shall try to visit galleries and go for walks instead of shopping. Though given my major pursuit is the making of clothes, some shopping for inspiration is allowed.

Let's see how I go.

Apparently these people only sell to the public twice a year. I'd never been there before, it was a bit intense! Huge stock, vaguely categorised but bolts completely unlabelled. Only three cutters serving and some were slow from inexperience. By the time I had made decisions of what to buy, the queue to pay was frustratingly long but I had some nice conversation with my queue neighbours.

From left to right
-the two fine stripe knits were $3.50/m. They came in short lengths, not off a bolt. 1.2m of the blue, 2m of the green. I must test the fibre content.*
-striped linen shirting 2m@$6/m
-stripey wool! 3m@$10/m. I'm thinking a sleeved short overgown
-more stripey wool! 4m @$10/m. Under gown of some sort, with lovely bright buttons of course
-teal subtle tweedy tartan. Totally yummy wool. 3m@$10/m. No idea yet what this will be.

the last two were found at the bottom of a stack of bolts, I had to heave ho to get them out. There was another beautiful stripey wool at the bottom of a different and deeper stack of rolls. Sadly I ran out of oomph to get that out. I'll cross my fingers it is still there at the next sale I can get to.


*burn test conducted. It did not behave as expected. No evidence of plastic. I was expecting cellulose fibre but it seems to have at least some protein content. Burned slowly without self extinguishing, no melt, no bead, crunchy black ash, mixed odour. I guess a wool/cotton blend? or something like that. Strange.
montjoye: (Default)
( Nov. 19th, 2015 03:07 pm)
Remnants and samples from the Laura Ashley warehouse sale. Yay for being able to get there on a weekday.

The samples were 50c apiece. I'm sad I miscounted and only got 7 of the velvets. The silver flowers are really pretty but a bit scratchy for the purpose- which is to build pale summer cushion covers. I don't want to be sweating on the silk patchwork ones.

The two remnants are sizeable (~half meter?) and were $5 each. The bottom one is a printed fine velveteen and might get used for some garment or other.


I also scored a nice quality plain cotton Tshirt for $10 and a lovely ruffle edged drapey black cardigan for $29.
montjoye: (Default)
( Nov. 9th, 2015 03:00 pm)
I'm doing the "I've got Liberty Paisley" dance. Woo and Hoo!

Phillips shirts in Melbourne are moving and trying to sell off all their fabric. Well so they say but apparently they don't have new premises yet. They have so much stock that I cannot see how it will clear in a week. I wonder if they will drop the prices stupid low? or take the remainder with them? or sell it as a job lot? or what?

I knew they had Tana lawn at $25/m. My considered decision in advance was that I wanted paisley, not girly florals. Of the 8-10 designs available, three were paisley and two were colours I love. I feel so lucky. Apparently more Liberty is due to be delivered later in the week. Do I go back?  Oh I can't go Friday, just as well I suppose.


So, the damage:
The measuring was very generous, so price per meter ended up less than expected. Liberty was theoretically $25/m and the rest $8/m. (Silks were $12/m but I didn't get any)

Orange Liberty- 2.5m, paid for 2m
Blue Liberty- 3m (but with a small cut and a water mark), paid for 2m
So these came out to $18.20/m. 115cm wide.

Blue satin stripe- 3.5m, paid for 2.5m (I loves me a satin stripe)
Blue/green strip- 3.5m, paid for 2.5m
Pink/green/white check- 3.3m, paid for 3m (this is tip top quality shirting, glossy but still cotton)
So this lot came out to $6.20/m, but they are all very narrow, only 92cm/~1 yard wide.

montjoye: (Default)
( Aug. 14th, 2015 05:18 pm)
Foolishly or not, after wanting to for days, I took my still lurgified self off into town for a pin point mission to see what Clegs had on sale for the closing of their city store. I was hoping for Liberty Tana Lawn at stupid cheap prices of course, and cheap haberdashery too. Well, these two Tana lawn bolts were reduced to half price but the rest of the Tana was not reduced at all. No broad reductions on anything really except sewing patterns and millinery stock. I was a bit conflicted about both of these pieces. The yellow roses I have a shirt out of already, but this piece can sit aging in stash until the current shirt has worn out. That won't take forever because I love it and wear it lots. The pink flowers, are not my pink, but I like the pattern and the green. Both pieces are 1.7m @ $22.48/m, or $38.22  each, way more than I usually spend on fabric but Tana is special.

montjoye: (Default)
( Jul. 28th, 2015 02:50 pm)
After this lot, I'm back into trying not to aquire any more for a while. I was proud of making a little room in the fabric storage, but not enough to put this lot away. Better get sewing.

This sort of post is the closest I get to recording my stash.


-Gold corduroy- bought for the colour. 1.2m @ $9/m. Likely a skirt of some sort.
-Purple fine herringbone twill wool. 2m @ $7/m. Hose?
-Beige fine wool flannel (with a little hard to avoid these days elastane) 1.2m @ $23.8m. This is hard fabric to find, especially in anything other than dark suiting colours, hence me paying closer to proper retail prices. This was 30% off at the fabric store. I mean to divided this and dye separately before making hose. I need some new pairs.
-Glorious sky blue mid weight felted wool. $3.7m@$15/m. Not sure how this will behave but I love the colour.
-Black/chocolate checked fine plain weave wool suiting. 2.5m @ $8/m. I'm thinking full street wear skirt.
-Red thin wool coating with hairy nap. 3m@$15/m
-Mulberry mid weight wool twill 3.5m@ $6/m.

5+years ago, the wristwatches I had stopped working. Both the one I was given for a long ago birthday and the very elegant one I bought in Geneva. Most annoying. I went without for a while but eventually decided I wanted the option of having the time strapped to me again. However, one of my purchasing filters is that I try not to acquire anything that can only be powered by disposable batteries. I want wind up, solar, rechargeable, or at least can use rechargeable batteries. So about 4 years ago I bought three* watches:

-An “automatic” self winding one. This works but is really annoying because it takes several hours of movement to wind it sufficiently to keep good time. So unless I wear it basically every day, it ends up being worn mostly as an ornament. One puts it on, then after several hours one needs to remember to set the time- which I would usually forget to do. Not a huge success, which is a pity ‘cause it’s a very attractive watch (with a black leather band).

-A very cheap wind up watch. This worked well for a while, then the winder felt like it had disconnected. So I’ve not worn it for about a year. I picked it up yesterday though and managed to wind it. The connection of the crown to the winding mechanism is dodgy. Hopefully I can keep it limping along for a while longer. This is a large scale skeleton watch so it’s pleasingly steampunkish and fun to look at (with a brown not-leather band, that needs replacing** ).

-An “Eco-Drive” solar watch. This one has been great. There is no effort to keeping it charged and it keeps running for ages even after been in the dark quite a lot. I’ve been wearing this to work for months, very reliable. However, this one is a dainty gold bracelet watch that I bought for parties and pretty occasions. So I don’t want to wear it every day and get it tatty.

So I’ve just ordered a new large face eco-drive watch as a birthday present to myself (with a black leather band).

*three watches for fussy sartorial reasons. I don’t like those linked metal bands, I find they pinch. I also (almost always) refuse to wear silver and a gold watch in the large scale I like is overpoweringly GOLD. I prefer a leather band, but what colour? I like a black one to wear with my office clothes, but a brown one for weekends. Then neither of those looks good with a dainty dress, or if I’m wearing all pale colours.

**a proper new leather band will probably cost more than the watch. It really was very cheap.
montjoye: (Default)
( Jan. 26th, 2014 09:20 am)

I found myself that present I was owed*. It’s even consumable. It’s a bit of a first world problem story though.

Back in 2008, I had time to kill in Edinburgh airport after visiting my brother. So I dallied in the duty free shop and bought myself a carefully chosen lipstick. After returning home, this lipstick quickly became my favourite. It is a good shade on me, goes with my clothes and is particularly useful when none of the colours I’m wearing are ones that can be elegantly matched to a lipstick, blue for instance. Then, inevitably, it was mostly used up.” Easy” I thought, I’ll just go buy a new one. Um, not so easy. It turns out that shade is not available in Australia, argh. I had no idea that cosmetic companies have different shade ranges for different countries, at least this company does. So the precious favourite lipstick was worn less and less often. I tried to restrict it’s use to days when no other shade would work. I tried to buy a similar colour in other brands with no success at all. So, in the new world of internet shopping, I went online. The company US website still lists it as a current shade, but they don’t ship to Oz. So I found two via A'zon and ordered both dammit! The postage is stupidly high but I was out of options. Presuming they arrive in good state, they turn out about the same price as high end lipstick bought here. I don't wear much makeup except lipstick so I'm fine with the expense.


*by my rules I get a present for surviving personnel review type engagements.

A story of old pans and new.

Once apon a time, Mama and I arrived early at Myer Booragoon, before opening time on boxing day. This was in the days when "door buster specials" were still offered. I was planning to leave home within months and there were a veyr few sets of three nice saucepans on sale for some ridiculously small amount of money. I can't quite remember how much. $39 possibly? We edged our way to be about the first people through the doors and fairly flew up to the kitchen section. Right at the top of the escalators was a stack of maybe 5 sets of these pans. One set was grabbed and purchased pronto. We had a grand time doing this! Then, a little later, i really did leave home, meet a gas stove for the first time, learnt to cook, moved house 8-10 times, learnt to like cooking...

About two dozen years later, these are those faithful pans


I have just given them a scrub with gumption, so they look shinier than usual, and even better in the photo than they do in person. They aquired a couple of big siblings soon after the door buster adventure in the shape of a casserole and stock pot. They are actually pretty battered, scratched and dented. The lids have been dropped so many times that edges have gone a bit frilly and leak steam all over the place. They still work ok but sometimes I run out of pots when cooking one of my increasingly common dinner parties. I also confess that I have been craving some nice new shiny ones. I do know that this is a want rather than a need, really. An indulgence. I do feel I can justify it though. I cook rather a lot and would so enjoy new pans to play with. Though I almost feel I need to apologise for being able to afford new ones. The set I am contemplating will cost about as much as a Chrissie trip to the family home. I could say I'll pay for them with all the money I've saved by not going to fancy restaurants and cooking for my friends instead.

I had been looking, in a "had my eyes open" sense, for a new set, for the last few years, without success. Then recently, DrQ had a saucepan emergency. I promised to buy her a new one as an early birthday present before her old one died the death it was threatening. So I did some more research. The brand and style I found that ticked ALL my (saucepan) boxes was Cuisinart-Chef's Classic. The pic below is the pan I got for her. It really is lovely, and there is a great range of sizes and shapes in this style. BUT it is really hard to get many of them in Oz. To get all the pans I want, I would have to figure out how to best jump through the hoops of ordering from the US.

saucepan cuisinart

On the other hand. I found this set. Chasseur Maison. I actually already have two frying pans from this set but had never seen saucepans for sale. Online magic showed that there is a fairly large range of these available. Large enough for what I am after anyway. Hoorah! I nearly put a big order in, but I've never handled any of the saucepans. So I've just ordered the littlest one as a test. If I like it, then it's on for young and old.

saucepan maison1
And the handles are very much designed to echo very trad french styling which rather pleases me. See:

saucepan french-vintage-set-copper-pans_2

montjoye: (Default)
( Nov. 11th, 2012 07:27 pm)
For DrQ's benefit and anyone else not on FB. This is the contents of the two packets of shell buttons I picked up yesterday for the princely sum of $8. I've seen vintage button shops selling the larger sorts for multiple dollars per button. Bargain aside, i had a lot of fun sorting through them. Now I need to pack them away.
montjoye: (Default)
( Nov. 10th, 2012 01:14 pm)


was never going to be a close match in this case. My haul from the stash market, while I'm pleased with it, hasn't any intersection with my list of desirables written last night. Funny. So what did I get? lots of cotton lace, heavy apholstery linen, lovely fine shell pink embroidered linen, bags of random shell buttons, a synthetic hat block.... and.... It was fun and I enjoyed hanging out with Mishymoocow.

montjoye: (Default)
( Oct. 29th, 2012 08:18 pm)
I am still and again stoked that I found this. I've been wanting a new office/sewing chair for simply ages. The problem is that it lives in my lounge* room and I want it to be appealing to look at AND ergonomic. Seat tilt function a must and at a minimum, must have a minimum of black plastic. No arms, small scale. Basically a little task chair. But they only come in cheap looking styles and mostly made of black plastic. One can get higher quality, more attractive chairs but they are always larger, deeper seats, with arms and little or no ergonomic function- "executive" chairs. Apparently no one wants a high class "typist" chair, sigh.

I thought if I can't get wood and leather, I at least want metal and leather.  This one is pretty pleasing. It's an old chair, but freshly reapholstered. The nice chaps from the shop said it was from the first gen of ergonomic chairs, so was probably pretty spiffy in it's day**. It wasn't as shiny when I bought it, heavily dusty and the metal parts were dull and a bit rusty. A quick vacuum, application of the magic German metal polish and a bit of Mr Sheen has worked wonders though. Now imagine it with the apholstery redone in leather? It is a bit heavy. All that metal is steel rather than the aluminium it would be if made now.

Oh and it was priced as a simple second hand rather than reconditioned like it should have been so I paid $80 instead of $130 like I should have, and where a modern ugly one costs ~$250

. IMG_1931

* I'm still trying for a better word than "lounge". I do a lot more in here than just lounge. "Living" room is too neutral. I live everywhere. "Parlour" is too still and formal. It needs to be something like "the doing pleasant things" room

**wish I'd thought to ask when that might have been

montjoye: (Default)
( Sep. 1st, 2012 01:35 pm)
One of my favourite shoe shops has closed. Woe is me. I hadn't even realised until the day before closure. Obviously i hadn't walked far enough up the street for a while. Of course everything was on sale, so these delicate little bronze and gold creatures came home with me. I rather wish they had more left in my size. Good for the bank account that they didn't I suppose.

The next day, I found a seemingly unworn bronze leather belt in an opshop. The styles are not quite right together but for $5 I took the chance that they might work, or perhaps be worn separately.

And sometimes appears without one expecting it.

I wanted 6 more small, skinny masterfoods spice jars to replace my old stoppered ones with dead seals. Size is important ‘cause they need to fit in my Oma’s cute old spice cupboard. The opshop hadn’t delivered, and the supermarket had “meat tenderizer” on special for $1.20 a jar. I felt impatient to finish this tiny project so I bought six jars- for the jars, not the contents. However the ingredients list was more complex than I expected and inspired me to do a minor spot of googling.

Ingredients: Salt, Rice flour, Sugar, Bromelain, Papain (contains lactose)

Bromelain is extracted from the stems of pineapples. It has a history of folk and modern medicinal use. As a supplement it is thought to have anti-inflammatory effects. As a culinary ingredient it is primarily used as a tenderizer. Bromelain also contains chemicals that might interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow blood clotting, according to laboratory research.

Papain, also known as papaya proteinase I, is a cysteine protease (EC enzyme present in papaya. Its utility is in breaking down tough meat fibres and has been used for thousands of years in its native South America. It is sold as a component of powdered meat tenderiser available in most supermarkets. Papain, in the form of such a powdered meat tenderizer, made into a paste with water, is also a home remedy treatment for jellyfish, bee, and yellow jacket (wasps) stings; mosquito bites; and possibly stingray wounds, breaking down the protein toxins in the venom

Pretty interesting eh? I don’t know how the lactose gets in there unless it’s used as part of the extraction process for one of the two interesting things above.

Does anyone actually want to use some of this stuff? I’ll bung it all in a larger jar just in case.
Remember these?


Which I turned into these:


Well, my local Salvos store today provided me with a brand new, unworn pair, same colour, same size, for the princely sum of $6.99.

The universe has respected my wish to never be without espadrille mules for the summer months. I'm good for years now with just a bit of effort and very little cost. Yay!!

montjoye: (Default)
( Feb. 1st, 2012 02:01 pm)
So I dropped off a box of discards at the local opshop just now. Of course I had a look in the shop. Now I'm the proud owner of a pair of hand cut crystal whisky glasses. Cost me the princely sum of $6. Pity I haven't any whisky in the house, might have to do something about that. It'll cost far more than the glasses!
So, in March 2010 I had 69 pairs of shoes.
By the same measure, in Jan 2012 I have 75. 10 of these are slipper, costume, dancing shoes.
I've given/thrown away 22 pairs. 15 of which didn't make it into the shoe files.
Does that really mean I bought 28 pairs of shoes in 22 months? Even I'm finding that hard to believe.
I think it does mean that there are 13 more pairs to feature in future shoe files- for now.

I note that Opshop sourced pairs have a low chance of being kept. I should stop looking at/buying them.

I'm biting the bullet and getting rid of these pretty things. They look nice but they poke holes in my feet, strain the once broken bits and make my heels sore. So out they go. I confess there is another reason.... I've bought two more pairs of shoes since the blue ones... so I decided I had to find 3 pairs to get rid of. These are out, as are #25 (too tight in the toes). I've yet to identify the third pair.


OK, back to my sewing. The interfacing should have cooled and set by now.


montjoye: (Default)


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