Monday, February 28, 2011

cloudland ballroom

I was visiting with my Aunty last week, this being my mother’s sister. She’s 13 years older than my mum to the day. The three of us were chatting, and seeing that I love to hear about ‘the old’n days’, we started to talk about various stuff.

The first being how rubbish used to be collected. I know, unlikely topic over a cup of tea and cake. My Aunty talked about how fit the rubbish collectors always were as they jumped over fences into each yard and ran the bins out to the trucks. I remember it too. My mother said that every Christmas they would leave a few tallies (big bottles of beer) for each garbage  man by the front door as a gift ... good ole beer.

The next topic was Cloudland. Well, you should have heard the girls … like two little birds in a nest.  Both of their faces lit up. Mum chirped on about who and how many gents used to ask her to dance and my Aunty tweeted about the atmosphere and how completely and utterly fabulous it was. This is it pictured below. Loving the palms lining the columns. If only I could find some colour shots.
It had chandeliers, hard timber floors, elegant curtains, domed skylights (as you can see above) and decorative columns. The Upper level had seating so you could watch down over the dance floor, this being another draw card for its popularity to hold concerts  … and a  handy viewing deck to spot potential beau's

What an enormous room 

I wish I could dance like that, how romantic, elegant and thrilling to be in the centre of that ballroom twirling around. Let me just daydream a sec ... so if i could jump back in time and hit that floor in the 50's I'm fairly certain that i would choose to look like this 

Wearing something along the lines of this
or this ... i'll have the car too
And dancing with a man that looked liked this
Who would then take me away to Paris so I could wear this
just had to work that last pick in ... love capes, and could Jon Hamm be any better looking? I don’t think so. Spunk Rat 220%!

Built in 1939-40, this magnificent piece of Brisbane history was originally named ‘Luna Park’ with the original intention of building a fun park to the side of it.  Built high on the hill at Bowen Hills, an ‘alpine railway’ was part of the design which would run up the hill from Breakfast Creek Road and would deposit passengers to the rear of the ballroom. With WWII breaking out, the premise was used as an American Military base and re-opened in 1947 as ‘Cloudland Ballroom’ and that is how it stayed until 1982.  I read that in 1948 Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh visited.

The Ballroom could be seen from various suburbs across Brisbane with the arch being illuminated at night. It was 18m tall. The ballroom was the host to thousands of dances and arguably the best ballroom and concert venue in the country. Buddy Holly being one of the main acts to grace it’s stage amongst many others.

It was also used for students to sit their Uni Exams for many years.

Although there were protests and strenuous calls for its preservation, Cloudland Ballroom was demolished by the notorious Deen Brothers in November 1982. The demolition took place despite there being no permit. It happened in the still of the night with not a word of warning.  By sunrise all that was left of this incredibly significent building was rubble.

The street’s were conjested and lined with destraught people who could not fathom that an icon could so quickly disappear.  

As people reminisce, they talk about a time when the street’s were safe to walk home. Women were wooed and courted, couples danced together, close, in unison with the music of the big band. If there’s one thing my Mother says as does my Aunty, it’s that those were the good years. The 50’s/60’s/70’s, were, simply put - the best. I wonder if people will feel that way about the 90's and 2000's? What's our icon?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last weekend, actually the one before last, we went for a sunday cruise and ended up entering a town with a sign that said 'pictur-esk'. I've been out there so many times and never noticed the little cute sign. How adorable the people in Esk are, and i totally agree with them - it is very pretty out there even though water has left a path of destruction.

Seeing it was Sunday i bought some stuff... starting with this bottle.

 Oooooh how i love that shade of green. She's fitting in well in the kitchen with this curvaceous bunch below.

And these are some shots of the interior of the store. This place is about to burst it has so much stuff - it's located in an old pub

 I purchased these saturday just gone and they still look gorgeous after all of this heat, the flower lady told me to put them in ice cold water and change it every few days
 and these too - no idea what either of them are called

'A' bought me a puzzle to do
 and himself a painting which is really growing on me
Wowsers. It's 10:30pm. Last February Friday of 2011 tomorrow. Where does the time go?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

sunday street sale

I've been over to my dentist this morning at Nundah in Brisbane, and every time i go there i drop into an Antique store on Buckland Street. There are 3 separate shops which used to be an old telephone exchange. The building is just gorgeous and full of treasures.
We have Savad Designs, Panda Pearls and Travels with my Aunt and each quarter they have a 'Sunday Street Sale'. It's tomorrow starting from 9am. Get you're skates on. Here are some shots of what's in store right now.   
The windows are magnificent and remind me of 'Playschool' which was a kid's show i watched when i was little. There was a game of what was behind a window... there were maybe 4 different shaped windows, and a guest child on the show got to choose one and then it would open ... this window above looks like one of them.

Savad Designs import stunning vintage fabric which are mounted on canvas and often sold separately.I purchasesd some Marimekko fabric from the owner Helen last year. She also has some fab vintage collectables.
Panda Pearls has an enormous range of spectacular pearls and other gorgeous jewellery. She has a passion for Antiques so there's always some other 'raise the heartbeat' treasures amongst it all.

And Travelling with my Aunt is a mixed bunch and fabulous! All the fabrics above are vintage, i purchased a big piece of tribal print fabric and a 2m long gorgeous bird and blossom fabric which is used for the inside of kimono's (i think she said?) last year. I never know the name of fabrics, yet love to buy them!!! She has tonnes of buttons and so much more. Stunning antique vases, crystal, hats, bags, jewells .... the list goes on.

There's also a bit of new. It's not all antique or vintage so the whole place is a great mix. Makes my dentist visits worthwhile anyway.

Sharing the love people... 9:00am tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

spring hill

I was eaves dropping on a convo being had between a guy I work with and his partner where they were trying to figure out why Spring Hill was in fact called Spring Hill. Was there a Spring?  
Hmmm, interesting thought … ‘was there a spring’ i then pondered? With the magic of Google, I found out. Most of you may know this ...  but ...
... yes, indeed there was a Spring which was situated just up the hill from Brisbane’s settlement back in the 1800's. I read that this spring turned into a creek, hence the naming of ‘Creek Street’, and was Brisbane’s first fresh water supply. This picture which I found shows Spring Hill in the very late 1800’s. Who would have thought it would look like that then?

The suburb is one of much age compared to other areas of Brisbane. Convict built buildings and so many darling little workers’ cottages line the narrow streets. It would have been so interesting to walk around those streets a century ago.
Due to the water access at the top end the more elite properties were built high, with the poorer dwellings in the lower areas.  Much of the older homes and buildings have been demolished and replaced with more modern structures over recent times. I drive through there often and look at the homes and there are still plenty of lovely properties screaming history.
And then there’s the Mill. This picture is up on Wickham Terrace - not sure when, but a loong time ago.

The Mill, built in the late 1820’s, is the oldest surviving building in Queensland. Brisbane was originally established as a convict settlement in 1824 which was then moved to North Quay later. I suppose that may be why all the courts are based at North Quay? …

The mill was the flour supply for the settlers and was used by the convicts to grind grains like wheat and maize which was done by a treadmill with wind powered sails, it was then converted to an observation and signal station to Fort Lytton and the Port for ships, and then in 1862 it became the 1st home of the Qld Museum. Versatile Mill.
This is is today.
Another historical land mark in Spring Hill is the ‘Spring Hill Baths’ on Torrington Street which are the oldest ‘Baths’ in Queensland having opened in 1886. I have only ever been to the Valley Baths, but being that these have almost all of the original characteristics (so they say) I think I’ll pop in for a visit. Nothing like a bit of nostalgia.
That concludes my history lesson. Long story short … there was a spring in Brisbane’s Spring Hill.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a gold cushion

Over the past couple of months i've been spring cleaning various areas of the home in an effort to declutter. The great thing about it has been that i have also come across things i forgot i had.

This gold cushion below was in one of our top cupboards. Neglected. I love the tone and pulled it out and wandered around with it. It's found a home and single handedly brightened up a room.
I'm not much of a pillow arranger - they sit where they're thrown.  

The Emu painting was rellocated to this room when it caught my eye whilst 'wandering around' with the gold cushion - it's got great colours and he's a cheeky thing, look at those eyelashes. Boys and Emu's get the long lashes ...
He was painted by a local artist called B Grolf. I like the style of his work. He's done a lot of travel and photographed animals in different places which he then paints from the photo.

I really enjoy a bit of gold tone mixed in here and there, and i do really like it mixed in with silvers. These lamp bases are in the same room, and are more vibrant now with the cushion and emu close by ....this first lamp base was mine growing up and still has a little round sticker, where you turn it on and off, of a horse and foal. I was obsessed with horses when i was little.
This is the other lamp 'A' picked up on one of his little escapades. He really is a little hunter and gatherer.
They're like two peas in a pod and both lamps sit on Art Deco side tables. They are differing in height. I purchased them in poor condition with chipped veneer in some areas at the base, so slapped on a couple of coats of high gloss black paint and they work perfectly. The original bakelite handles also a gold hue.
Another part of the room I updated with a little foliage. I have a thing for bevelled mirrors and like to keep them grouped together. There's a gross technical devise called a tv next to them so i cropped it out. I'm so nasty about tv's, i should be more appreciative, after all it has brought me Madmen and Will Farrell.
These little plants are in old medicine jars and grow so well in them.

So my Spring Cleaning is working out to be very fruitful. I have so many other things i have found. A stash of Chanel makeup i'd forgotten about, a silver tea set given to me from a relative when i was young and other little pieces that i've been carrying around for years.

With the highs come the lows and the low was in the form of a deeply disturbing amount of clothes that can't be pulled past my mid thigh ... but i did find the gold cushion and the chanel ... and the tea set...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray!

Kawaii for You turns 1 today.

And, if you like cute, than 'Kawaii ("so cute" in Japanese) for You' has loads of different and fun pieces for little one's and even some funky things for us oldies (note books, stationary etc).  I think these cards are adorable. One for every occasion.They come in a pack of 10.

Insulated Lunch Bags. Below's the monkey one. My Nephew's fave... although he has just been given a penny turtle in an enormous tank so monkey may be taking a back seat this week. AND 3-piece ports. These are the various colours they come in on the right below. Perfect for storage, overnights at the grandparents or a little carrier for show and tell day? Do they still do that??? ...

Being that Christine from Kawaii for You is a member of my fam, it would be very unfamily-like of me not to acknowledge this milestone and share with anyone who'll listen.

Check out the website, or blog. She has a 5-day birthday offer on.

very Happy Birthday to everyone else celebrating a special day this month.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

indoor plants and bargain finds

Busy weekends are fun, more fun when you either locate a bargain, or fix something that's been bothering you.Guess what???? I had a bit of both this weekend. I hope you did too.

I met up with my dear pal T for coffee down at Cleveland Saturday. I like to go to the Antique Centre there. It often has interesting pieces. Yes, you heard me correct, there is such a thing in Cleveland. I think it's called 'Bayside Antiques and Collectibles'. It's on Bloomfield Street. I only found it last year.

Anyhoo, after we'd been there we parted ways as we both 'had things to do'. This was after a lengthy discussion of the great pieces we both often find in Salvo's. On the way out there's a Salvo's on Old Cleveland Road, or maybe the road's not called that?? .... I pulled in and located this table below. $8. Thank you very much.
The exact table i have been seeking to go with some saucer chairs i have.

I also picked up these two pottery vases. One by Scheurich, Germany (left)and the other a no name (right). $6 and $5. What an agreeable day i was having. I rarely find pottery i like that isn't a rediculous price.
My final purchase were these bowl things with mini bowls in them. No idea what they  are traditionally for, but had to have, the colours are fab. A dessert perhaps with cream on the side? The placemats i have them pictured with were my Great Aunt's. We used them every time we visited her for many many years, and they're now with me. All looks lovely together. I think she'd like.

As i pondered what their use was i heard 'i thought you'd be here ...' T strolled in, shifty eyes darting around the store. Too late she cried. EAP was all over this place (i'd been there for about 65seconds). She wasn't into the stuff i had anyways and she picked up some great cane pieces last week from a Salvo's so technically it was my turn... you know it's true sister.

I'd planned to buy indoor plants Sat as well seeing that the others had ... expired. I popped into Bunnings and picked up an array. They were in the first pic drying off from being watered but here they are again.
There's two types of Maiden Hair ferns, a Bamboo palm, some mint and another fern that just says Fern SP.

Over time i've been buying cane planter baskets from here and there so grabbed all the plants and brought them in. Mixed them with my new pottery and a painting i adore and this is my 50's dresser makeover. This was the thing that i've 'fixed'.

You will recall an entry i did waaay back on this, here's the link, so this is what it looked like. I replaced inside the glass with natural hessian. This cabinet sits in the same room as the dining and i just want everything neutral coming into winter. Fresh and homely. I would ideally like to use rattan but it may be a bit too matchy matchy. This cabinet won't live in this room for much longer.

Another shot of the pottery settling in well

And this is the painting. You can't see it so well.
I love plants indoors, they just finish off a space and give it life - in my opinion. I could be accused of over planting indoors.

These, i forget the name of, are in this vase to act as a sort of divider to the kitchen and hide the fridge from my vision when i am sitting in my thinking chair. We have calendars and wotnot magnetised to the fridge and unsightly BILLS. Something i don't need to think about let alone view when trying to relax.
I swung past Paddington Antiques today and i bought these stunning flowers from the chocolate shop. $10. The colour is so uplifting going into a Monday.
Wishing you all a wonderful week.