Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat

My favourite words are “frock” and “pop up”. When the two are together it is an irresistible combination.

I headed down to St Patrick’s Hall on the second day of the Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat with Miss BG.

2014-08-17 13.57.24Miss BG was happy to go and spend some time with mum, especially when the outing ended in cake. Once inside, we marvelled at the range and stalls. Sunday was quieter, and you could move quite easily amongst the stalls.

While it is lovely to have a shopping companion, a nearly seven year old who loves to touch does make you hyper aware that a) the goods on display are fragile and b) expensive. You couldn’t get lost in the racks, flicking through without making sure little hands were not touching too much stuff. I ended up giving her my phone so she could take some photos.

2014-08-17 14.16.38

Glamorous mannequin

The bling was definitely something which caught her eye and the dresses dod not disappoint. Vintage was quite an elastic term, with pieces from the last 20 years for sale, but stretching back to the 1930s.

Coat detail

Coat detail

There were though, a few dresses from the 19th century on display, which made for interesting viewing.

1890's - look but don't touch!

1890’s – look but don’t touch!

 Cake beckoned as Miss BG’s interest was waning as and luck would have, we were right across the road from the Golden City.

It was a lovely afternoon of window shopping and marvelling at the beautiful frocks on display 🙂

Day off in Burnley Street

I was driving down Burnley Street, Richmond a while back and noticed a couple of shops I wanted to visit. It was a bit hard to check them out at the time as Mr BG and the kids were in the car with me, we were all tired and just wanted to get home, so I made a little promise to myself to visit one day and check them out.

Yesterday was the day! I had a flex day, and hopped down to Melbourne, to catch up with friends for coffee and to indulge myself.

The first shop was Minette’s Vintage, which was a darling little shop, full of beautiful vintage clothes, quirky cards and essential vintagey-looking things like wooden pegs and scrubbing brushes.

The second was The Industrial Revolution, which was furniture, and soft furnishings with a industrial/metal vibe.

Both shops were very cool and great in which to poke around and peruse. I didn’t buy anything in either, but it wasn’t a wasted trip. It was lovely to be by myself and do something I wanted to do, even if it was in the rain, and I didn’t have an umbrella :).

I did however get lucky and spied an opshop which was open! It was St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church Op Shop in Burnley Street and I did not leave empty handed.

Opshopping in Burnley St :-)

I scored a white scarf ($1), a pair of peep toes shoes ($5), a jacket ($10) and a top ($3). It topped off what was a lovely day off.

And no housework was done either!

Bookgrrl’s Christmas Ideas

This is not the Bookgrrl Christmas Tree Source: http://bookshelfporn.com/post/14061371365

There are many blogs I read who are very helpful in offering suggestions as to what to get your husband/wife/children for Christmas. They are very inventive, but it is very hard if

  1. you buy things when you need them,
  2. you already have enough t-shirts, bags, aftershave/perfume, candles to last you until the next millennium,
  3. they’re not exactly… you

So this is my suggestions for Christmas gifts according to MY taste, which could be very different to YOUR taste. But hey, my blog, my rules…


  • You could go all Christmassy and get your beloved A Very She & Him Christmas . Zooey Deschanel does her chanteuse thang, while the guitar accompaniment has a slight delay to give it a 50’s feel to the classic Christmas Tracks (according to Mr BG, who got it for Christmas from a person with amazing taste me)
  • Tickets to a show for an upcoming band from the 80’s that you have never seen before. It could be the Specials or New Order or even Duran Duran.
  • let them search on eBay for that hard to find guitar, or pedal, then offer to buy it for them for Christmas.
  • As a last resort you could get them something you like, then give it to them, and by attrition it will become yours- like a certain New Order DVD which was given to me a few years ago…


  • If your beloved is into all things oppy- the Op Shop Guide to Victoria is hard to go past. Just think of all the road trips which could be planned to out of the way places, or Ballarat for example :).
  • If you live in Melbourne and shudder at the thought of travelling out of the major metropolitan area, try a Melbourne Op Shop Tour– they are reasonably priced, use public transport and they do vouchers. Just contact them for the voucher option. Even if you don’t live in Melbourne, it’s a good way to make a day of exploring a part of Melbourne you have never ventured.
  • If your fashion sense does not extend to things oppy, a voucher to a specific store is an excellent idea. A Westfield voucher is not applicable to major stores in the centre as I found out last Christmas- grrr…


  • One word- BOOK. The authors of the moment in our house are Pamela Allen and Lauren Child, who write Charlie and Lola and so so much more. I’ve ended up giving her books to a couple of excited 6 year old girls for their birthdays this year.
  • Another word- LEGO. I hate having to pick it up, but it’s fantastic and a great bonding experience between father and son.
  • A couple of words- NO BARBIES. I had no idea that they breed…


  • make something- gingerbread cookies and rumballs
  • offer something- TIME. Give someone a day off for them to go shopping or grab a coffee and catch up with a friend. Offer to have kids over for a sleepover for a sleepin.
  • breakfast in bed for a couple of weekends in a row.

The above is not my Christmas list, which extends to a replacement iPod, a pasta machine, a bigger sewing box and a Lotto ticket which is guaranteed to win 1st Division- though the breakfast in bed option is nice too…

Vintage a-Fair

The Ballarat Vintage-a-Fair was held at the Brown Hill Hall on Saturday, with proceeds from the $2 door entry going to Child and Family Services (CAFS) and the RSPCA. I managed to escape from the house alone to have a wander in vintage heaven.

The hall was crammed full of stalls, some from shops, both local and from afar, and some from people selling off their wardrobes.

There were frocks, dresses, pantsuits, coats, suits and jackets, tweed, silk, satin, taffeta, polyester, wool and chenille,  pucci-inspired, polkadots, stripes and plain. There were also fabulous accessories of stockings, shoes, pearls, sparkly jewellery and hats.

There were a few ladies who were dressed to the nines in vintage apparel, including Nicole Jenkins who was available for consultations on vintage clothing and for a talk on vintage clothing. There are some photos of some pretty ladies on Finding Femme’s blog.

I managed to snaffle an olive-green tweed jacket for $15 and swooned over several other items, but was hampered by lack of cash- it was cash only and the ATMs were back in the centre of town. Next time I’ll be more cashed up, or hopefully the venue may be a little closer to town :).

At any rate, the Fair was a win for all the Ballarat fashionistas and the lovely organisers of the day :).

Frock! Frock! Frock!

Today I felt I had died and entered vintage frock heaven. Well, it would have been heaven if all the clothes could actually fit me :).

I was a very lucky grrl when I attended the inaugural Melbourne Vintage Clothing Jewellery and Textiles Show– I was sans famille and able to peruse the 60 or so exhibitors at a leisurely pace without having to look for giggling children hiding under racks, or be mindful of an extremely patient man lurking nearby who would be silently wishing for it all to be over.

The show was held at the Showgrounds right next door to the Australian Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Expo. Let’s just say the crowds were mutually exclusive- well-dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen on the left, blokes with moustaches, Harleys and hoodies on the right.

I am serious- there were some beautifully dressed people, either as exhibitors, models or the devoted vintage fashionistas. It was a cross between the Sullivans, Happy Days and Mad Men- mainly 40s-inspired, with some 50s petticoats, and a smattering of pencil skirts, high heels and hosiery. I had never seen so many seamed stockings in the one place ever.

There were demonstrations from the Lindy Charm School on applying makeup and styling your hair vintage style- the secret is long hair, a lot of bobby pins and hair spray. There was also a fashion parade of vintage fashion from the 1930s to the 1970s from the collection of Nicole Jenkins the owner of Circa Vintage Clothing in Fitzroy, which was amazing. The models  were gorgeous, stylish and very va va va voom!

I picked up a copy of the OpShop Guide (Victoria) which was launched at the show- it will be a welcome addition to my bedtime reading pile. I also purchased a green polyester polo top for Mr BG, and came away with something for myself- a green 60s coat.

The Vintage Show finishes up tomorrow, so if you want to frock up or simply soak up some vintage vibes, hotfoot down to the Showgrounds.

A brilliant day, topped off with a stop in Bacchus Marsh to pick up some goodies for the little BGs, who were very happy to see me :).

Discovery Channel

This weekend has been one of discoveries:

Miss BG and I had a girl’s afternoon on Saturday, where we visited Lincraft for some yarn to make her a scarf and a cardigan. Thoroughly shopped out, we went to Cake, a new cafe open in Main Road.

Cake in Main Rd Ballarat

This little stretch of Main Rd already boasts a gallery, Ruby Rouge, a beautiful vintage shop, the Main Bar, an antique shop and an op shop. Miss BG and I had a small cupcake each, a pot of tea for me (T2 brand) and a bubbacino for Miss BG.

Miss BG at Cake

Having Miss BG as a shopping companion is a fun experience. She was very good at suggesting things for me to buy at Lincraft, and had immense fun playing  hide and seek there while my back was turned. She felt like a very big girl when we had tea and cupcakes together!

I went to Round She Goes, a vintage/recycled fashion market at the Moorabbin Town Hall (sorry Kingston City Hall). It pops up every three months and this was the first one I attended. The hall is huge and jam-packed with heaps of stalls of vintage and secondhand wear, with a fair bit of it reasonably priced.

The place was jam-packed with ladies looking for a bargain, and the energy and bustle reminded me of the first day of the Myer Stocktake sale. The musty smell of vintage clothes hit me as I went into the hall, and I felt I was in vintage heaven. They were also playing David Bowie over the sound system as I browsed, which added to the retro feel.

I only stayed an hour, . My modus operandi is to get there early and go through once,  looking for colours which  I like to wear. If I see my colour, then I’ll check what the clothes look like.I picked up a pair of grey trousers, a maroon woollen vest for work, which will look good over a white shirt and a lovely blue vintage jacket, which will look good with jeans, the trousers I just bought or a nice straight skirt.

Vintage Jacket

Vintage Jacket from Round She Goes

It was $22, which made me even happier!

I discovered that I still hate driving behind trams, but the traffic was fairly light, even on Punt Road. I arrived early and was able to browse through the shops in Gertrude and Brunswick Streets before I was due to meet up with @sallysetsforth, @bonitcoclub, @carolgauld, @haikugirlOz, @killerjoules, @tapsister and @pixelmushroom at the Vegie Bar.

And much fun was had talking crafty stuff, impending moves up north, books and shop talk, as a group of librarians is wont to do :).

I also discovered I was able to get home and do a roast chicken for dinner after a huge day- yay me!

Second hand Rose

Day 2 of my ‘me holiday’ saw me traipsing in Brunswick and Fitzroy looking for op shop and vintage bargains. I used to hate the fact when I was a teenager, that my mum would op shop (she has volunteered on and off over the years for Vinnies). Now it’s a case of ‘Oooh! Op shop!’ whenever I’m in a new town, or place.

Highlights of my day included

Savers– great array of clothing in good nick, and the most amazing selection of bags in all shapes, sizes and colours. Scored a little straw tote for Miss BG for $2.99.

Miss BG-sized tote

I also found a man’s shirt for myself to wear with jeans. I loved the retro pattern 🙂

My new man's shirt

Poppet– In Scotchmer Street, North Fitzroy which in itself is a lovely place to visit. I bought a navy top which would look great with gray or red pants, preferably capris.

T2 in Brunswick Street, which I dropped into on my way to Hunter Gatherer. and glad I stopped by. They had a sale on teapots and I got a little one for $10.00. Of course I had to get some tea to go with it…

Teapot from T2

Lunch at Nihonbashi Zen– a little restaurant tucked away in a basement in Chinatown near Russell Street. I’ve walked past it heaps of times and had a lovely time there.

My next days off next week will be spent a little closer to home, but should be just as delightful…