What is it about retro?

This Saturday Hamilton will enjoy it’s biggest Retro fair of the year.  The 6th annual Waikato Mid-Winter Retro fair runs from 9-3pm at the Chartwell Church Hall, 124 Comries Road. Hamilton.  With free entry, plenty of parking and over 20 exhibitors cramming anything and everything you can think of into a hall, there’s no excuse for missing it.  Prices are reasonable, and whether as a trip down memory lane or a hard-core mission to find the perfect seat for the lounge, or missing plate to a set, you won’t be disappointed.


But, what is it about retro?  Retro is technically products made between 1950-1970… (the 80’s is starting to be included).  For some people, something which is ‘just an old chair’ will be the gorgeous Scandinavian inspired recliner, handmade in New Zealand in the 1960’s that someone else desperately wants.  The wood is better quality… (it’s ACTUAL wood as opposed to wheatbix); the craftmanship is superior – and the style is sleek, modern but completely practical – and comfortable.  Remember that gawdy orange, yellow and green Tupperware?  We want it… they literally last a life-time and are so practical.  It’s down to quality again.


Some of us will flock to decor.  I personally, cannot resist looking at pictures, clocks, lamps and small furniture.  They’re the items that make our house a home.  Sometimes it comes down to subject matter, a theme, a colour which suits your decor or just because it’s $5.  Sometimes the picture that we like will also hold fond memories.  Perhaps that same framed picture hung in your Nana’s house, perhaps someone else inherited it, when you would have secretly liked it.  Now’s your chance to find it.


Over the last few years I have found that the items that create the most nostalgia for people is kitchenalia.  It’s’ your Crown Lynn plates, glass decanters, 50’s cake mixers (that last a life-time); wooden handled utensils, kitsch cake tins and eggcups.  So many eggcups.

While some collectables are the exception, despite retro products being better quality they are often cheaper than the reproduction items you’ll find in chain stores.  You’ll find the “real deal” and save money.  That’s not to mention the benefit of re-using already existing items – which is way better for the environment.

What is it about retro?  It’s the quality, style and price/environmental benefits.  But, a huge part of that appeal is the recognition, feeling and nostalgia that comes from finding – and taking home something you associate with loved ones.



You had the power all along my dear.


Last night I went to an event run by “Women in Politics” and the National Council of Women.  The speakers were the Hon Louise Upston, Sue Moroney,  Mayor Julie Hardaker, Holly Snape and Anjum Raham.  It was great to hear the experience of other women who have stood for and won or missed out on elected seats.  Putting yourself out there and talking yourself up is not natural to most women.  You’ve heard of Tall Poppy Syndrome haven’t you?  We find it harder to say “YES… I can do it, and I can do it well”.  Often we struggle with the conflict of family time if we make the decision to run for public office.


We are completely under-estimated, and our tendencies for empathy, lack of ego, fairness and balance bring alot of value to a Council table.  Women are great leaders.  While the reasons for running, budget, abilities and personal circumstance mean we have a different journey to get there – there is no rhyme or reason to campaigning and winning an elected seat.  The hardest step to make is making the commitment to back youself; do this; and put yourself up for scrutiny and criticism of things like – shock horror – your appearance.  We’re on a back foot that’s for sure.   But… I’m joining a league of other women who have done it, and who do it well.  I am fortunate enough to have 110% commitment and support from my husband to pursue the seat – proving that you can have it all.

Before I go I also want to mention again Anjum Raham.  I vaguely remember reading about her in the last local elections, but hadn’t come across her “in real life” before.  I found her openness and honesty of her experience in campaigning particularly profound.  And, I guess that’s what the main aim of the evening was for – which was for sharing experience, and support for other women.  The greatest way to effect change is politics.  We need women in politics.  Acknowledgement also for Angela O’Leary founder of Women in Politics.


My market purchases…support local


When I started Teacup and Saucer (my vintage/retro business) I needed a market to sell from (because I didn’t have the patience for selling online).  I didn’t feel we really fit into Tamahere collectors market or to any of the craft/farmer’s markets so to me, mixing vintage and handmade stalls made perfect sense.  Because, I’m not keen on ruining 50 year old items from rain or wind damage I decided it also HAD to be indoors.

The first Market Place was on December 14th 2013.  I’m nearly at year three – and the benefits to me professionally and personally have been huge.  Teacup and Saucer and the market have allowed me to do what I love as my job.  That’s not to say it’s not freaking hard, sometimes – it is… but it’s personally gratifying too… so to everyone that has made it happen – from customers – stallholders and stockists – Thank you!.

Anyway – I digress.  In the last few months I made the decision not to sell at markets – the absolute best part of this is I have time to wander around Ferrybank Market myself – chat to stallholders and customers AND (maybe not a good thing) have time to shop.

After the stallholders were set up and the doors opened at 9am, I popped home to pick James and Ella up to spend some time at the market with me. (No point them getting up at 6am to freeze like I did).  When he got there James had a chat to Jake from the Volume Collective who were set up like they do every month; and has arranged to have them record his band Sugarleaf next week. They’ll be doing it in their new recording studio which happens to be at the University (I believe it’s called the Cow shed?).  This was while the beautiful Aorangi for singing.  We’re so lucky to have them.

The first stall Ella wanted to see was Fairytales by Holly – she loves her stall (although so do I)…  But this month her purchase was a pretty little pink dreamcatcher from a stall from Smart Waikato.  We’ve recently taught Ella about how dreamcatchers work so it was nice for her to find one she loved.   (Watching her study it in the morning – wondering where the dream was was so cute).

As I did my rounds I also stopped at KT Art.  She has some lovely, very kiwi – home decor – which will be the perfect gift for the person who has everything.  My husband and I love fantails (and both have fantail tattoos); so the handmade ceramic tile had to come home with me (it was only $15!!).  It’s always amazing to see how creative my stallholders are.  Their stalls blow me away some times.  (If you look closely you can see my tile).


EVERYONE knows I have a “thing” about vintage – and I had to bring home this beautiful (probably 40s or early 50s) Hollywood framed print.  After googling “red head starlet” I found it was Greer Garson.  Beautiful isn’t she.  I already have a few framed pictures like that (including Vivien Leigh who is my favourite) and will be putting them up in the bathroom when it’s finally painted (pink).  (I paid $5 for this).

My (non-impulse) purchases were from Jill and Ange.  I adore their clothing and have, ever since I saw their clothing when it was in Story on Alexandra Street (2014).  I was lucky enough to stock them last year in my shop too.  I decided to treat myself to collecting up a wardrobe of their pieces for more “official engagements” I may have to go to over the next few months… a great excuse 🙂  The problem with wearing vintage/retro is that while I can find dresses for $10 and under – they are more often than not ill-fitting so it’s awesome being able to get the perfect size.

I have been chatting with the lovely Jill and Ange over the last month or so about pieces that would work if you were to coordinate a wardrobe – so I’ve been looking at which pieces I should start with.  The Genoa skirt fit like a glove, which can be hard with a pencil skirt but I LOVE it.  It’s so soft and warm I can’t wait to start wearing it… (tomorrow and for the rest of winter I think).  The first time I saw the top (Monet’s muse – Oil on Canvas) (photo from Ferrybank market in May) I fell in love.  It’s the perfect colours for me.  I had to have that too…  Can’t wait to wear them as an ensemble 🙂   They make me feel so good 🙂


At our market on Saturday, as well as lots of shopping and catching up with people, I visited St Peter’s cathedral across the road James, Ella and a friend – just to be nosey.  I love being a tourist in Hamilton and it’s easy to forget where you are when you are looking at it with “new eyes”.  The stonework is lovely, and it felt like I was in England for a minute:)  I was speechless while inside as the interior was not what I expected.  The ceiling, the beams… the stain glass windows… the wood… seriously, well worth a peek.

As pack-up begun I popped over to the Meteor gallery which is now open on Saturdays from 10-3pm.  It’s such a cool venue, and I’m glad they’re trying to drive more people in as visitors – outside of the black box theatre on offer.  (I associate the Meteor with Miss Cadaver which has been held there previously).  I’ll share their latest exhibitions on the Ferrybank market page so you can coincide a trip to the market with a trip across the road.

945 words later… oops.  I found cool stuff at the Market – you should come next month.  Hamilton central is cool.  I love handmade stuff.  Support local.  Thank you 🙂

Update on Ferrybank Market and the HCC elections

Update on market stuff.

We’ve been running Ferrybank Market at the Celebrating Age Centre weekly for the past month.  While I may have been rather optimistic in Hamilton’s pick up of the market, I couldn’t have expected it to be THIS hard.  I blame the weather.  So, we’re taking it back to being held on the first Saturday of each month (starting on July 2nd).  Sadly it means no market in June. To make up for it we may run a few special events coming up by the end of the year, so stay tuned on our facebook page.


Update on Election stuff

Most of you will know, I recently made the decision to “wind up” Teacup and Saucer – which for the last three years has been “what I did” (buying and selling vintage).  I don’t love it the way I used to and so it’s time for a change.  In the coming months, I will be beginning a campaign as a Hamilton West candidate in the Hamilton City Council elections.

It’s an exciting time – though scary… I have a WHOLE heap of learning to do before then, on “how things work” – what everyone really wants to see happen (or not happen) in the city and of course develop myself personally – quickly.

I took the first step on that note today, by contacting Toastmasters.  I don’t know what to expect at the first meeting – but think it will be of benefit so I’ll check it out.  Something I am acutely aware of is that I’m not a confident or persuasive orator – and it takes me a good hour to get my point across…. I have to work on that.  And perfect my “Boss voice”.  6a85b9dc850ea5177aff9f01059bedf0


That’s enough for now – It was supposed to be a quick update on the market.

Hamilton ain’t so bad

Since finishing school and leaving home which was in a small country town, I’ve moved from and between Invercargill, Auckland, Hamilton, Perth, Auckland, Hamilton, London and yup, you guessed it, back to the Tron.  I don’t really know how THAT happened, I just kept being drawn here for one reason or another.

I’ve always found the whole Auckland taking the p*ss out of Hamilton thing as weird – but just shrug it off while rolling my eyes.  While I would love to experience living in a couple of other cities around the world, I am happy here.

Ferrybank river (3)

Wanna know why Hamilton is the best place to live?

  1. We (my husband and I) paid $280,000 for our house 5 years ago. While house prices have nearly doubled – it is still valued at HALF the median price of buying a house in Auckland.  That’s HALF the mortgage.  When your mortgage is this low you have OPTIONS, flexibility and breathing space. It has allowed us to turn our back on the 40 hour working week to enjoy a better lifestyle.
  2. It takes me 10 minutes to drive into the Hamilton central city if I have a meeting or want to go to David’s emporium (every creative Mumma’s favourite shop). It costs $2 an hour to park. (Strangely this $2 charge is high on Hamilton’s list of things to complain about).  I can get to Auckland or Tauranga in 1.5hours… I can be in Raglan in less than 30 minutes.
  3. We have an awesome creative arts scene. Due to Hamilton’s size, it’s as simple as driving 10 minutes to support a gig at Nivara Lounge, check out an exhibition at Creative Waikato or check out new and vintage books at Browsers (I’m including a book shop because it is THAT cool).  We also have a music station, the Hum – dedicated to local music which I think is great.
  4. Hamilton Gardens. Seriously.  The BEST in the world, FREE and it changes all year round.  If you have any visitors from out of town – of any age, it’s Hamilton Gardens for the Win.  Everyone loves it and  crowd pleaser.
  5. The Chiefs – I’m no rugby fan (at all… bores me) BUT the Chiefs are not a bad team to back if you have to choose one. The Stadium is easy to get to – and a good (sobering) walk into our central city restaurants and bars for some “Living on a prayer”, “Brown girl in the ring” or “Why does love do this to me?” – songs which ring out on Hood Street every Saturday.
  6. Doing the Time Warp at Embassy Park is pretty damn cool. Okay that happened once, on Hamilton’s 150th birthday but it’s a highlight of my Hamilton life.
  7. No earthquakes, major storms, mini-tornados or other significant weather situations that would f**k up your day.