Friday, June 4, 2010

Introducing.....Tamarah from Shabby Vintage Junk Blog

Tamarah's own home....doesn't she just have a way with display....

What I LOVE about blogging is that it enables you to reach outside of your box and into other peoples lives, homes and countries, and increases your exposure to new and varied styles, topics and people.  I read and enjoy such a variety of blogs, ranging from pink and frilly to sharp and crusty.....

Today I wanted to introduce you to a fabulous blog Shabby Vintage Junk and the person behind this wonderfully quirky and always interesting blog....Tamarah.  You all know that buying salvage, vintage and shabby chic is great fun, great for the whole recycling initiative, and a super and affordable way to make your home interesting. BUT, being able to SPOT the treasure, RE-PURPOSE it and DISPLAY it, in a way that makes your home fabulous and not look like it's own flea market, is where Tamarah has a real gift.  
Look at the art of display here in this cupboard built by her husband.  Note the "gouping" of collectables...the quilts, the jars, the clocks and bowling pins....This is the secret to not getting a junky cluttered look......

I met Tamarah through her blog and was one of her first followers and have been a devoted one ever since.  Why??? because her blog is real and authentic and Tamarah has a quirky charm and and a genuine passion for old "BITS". There's no Fluff and Frou Frou here. She spends most weekends knee deep in thrift shops, flea markets and scouring in and for what she calls "HARD RUBBISH".
One of her incredible finds....I don't know how she does it...if I tried this, my guests would say..."some kid left their scooter in your living room", ....but in Tamarah's house it just works......

Every weekend, Tamarah gathers her found treasures and posts them on her blog.  This is where you can see just how good her "eye" is.  She spots interest and life in things you would never imagine bringing home...but when you see them all pulled together for her photo, they make sense and you realise what she spotted.
An example of her weekly stash...(love those cubbies)

Tamarah loves old, shabby, scruffy, antique, vintage and scrubby junk so much she is pulling together an event in August in Australia (Melbourne) modelled on the Junk Bonanza & Barn House Boys from the USA.  She is gathering 15 vendors for the Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza.  How I would love to attend, but since I am in Canada, I can't.  But it is a fabulous I am sure many blog readers and bloggers would love to see in their neighborhood.
 This new townhouse could easily be an old vintage cottage....her decor is fun and so interesting.

Anyway, I decided to do a little intereview with Tamarah so you can get to know her better and see her gorgeous home and her "ShabbyVintageJunk" style.

Q. How did you get into junk, antiques etc.?

A.......Hmmmmmm....I found this question difficult to answer simply because it seems as if I've always loved & lived vintage so pinpointing where it all began took some thinking....!!
I remember as a child spending my Christmas holidays at my grandparents....When my Poppy went to work, Nanna & I would watch playschool & afterwards we'd 'investigate' the trunk under the bed in the sleepout where she used to store her Treasures....Used wrapping paper, empty toilet rolls, balls of wool salvaged from old jumpers, metal bottle tops from soft drinks, peanut butter & vegemite lids, buttons & the 'binders'....Perkins paste & brown string....!

This trunk was a 'making do' box & Nanna & I would while away the hours making magical things from the scraps it housed....I guess you could say it all began right there with my Nanna....Laughing & playing with simple utilitarian objects creating lasting memories out of bits of tat....!!

Q. What type of a house do you live in, and how do you make the vintage work here?

A. We bought our single story Townhouse just after it had been built 3 1/2 years ago....It's our first home & is one of four sitting at the back of the block invisible from the street....While I ADORE the privacy, the contemporary style is a definite departure for me having always dreamed of buying a red brick California Bungalow style home....!!

With one long rectangular living space, 3 x small bedrooms ALL the same size, bathroom with no external windows, tiny laundry & a single loo, I've tried to keep my look reasonably'minimal'....I borrow a little from each of my FAVE design styles - shabby chic, vintage & junk which works well with a grubby man who thinks nothing of sitting down on the lounge covered in dust & who manages to leave finger prints on everything he touches as well as two fur babies....I've given up on being able to decorate with white, relying on dark surfaces with splashes of red & green to 'hide' the reality....hahahaha....!

I trade 'accessories' in & out of each room to add layers & to change things up....Milk & soft drink bottles are used as vases....Galvanised ANYTHING, wrought iron pieces, wooden moulds etc....By rotating smaller pieces & moving them about, I can create the appearance of an ever evolving 'look' without the need to change out my bigger pieces....!

Q. Money no object, what would you be doing?

A.  Oh this is an EASY one....If we didn't have a mortgage, I would travel around the US & up into Canada during the summer months buying up all the neat junk I could at the best shows & ship back here to Australia where I would host the most jaw dropping sales ever....During our warmer months I would live & breathe hard rubbish....I would collect pieces, take them back to my warehouse where I'd be busy recreating, repurposing & reinventing....** sigh ** Yes....That's what I'd do....!

Q. What have you bought that was the "best thing or things"

A. hmmmmm....This is hard because the majority of my pieces have been found on the side of the road in the hard rubbish for FREE & funnily enough, they are the pieces I value the most....The CHEAPEST Treasure I've ever bought was my smallest Vintage Terrier in my blog header....He's a Steiff & I scored him for a dollar from a sweet US Ebay Seller who point blank refused to take any more money, advising I won him fair & square....His name (the Terrier that is) appropriately enough is 'Lucky' & I ADORE him to pieces....!!

5. You have a special event coming up. Tell us about the extravaganza.

A. I'm so excited about the upcoming Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza....It's being held at the Ashburton Scout Hall here in Melbourne on Friday 13th & Saturday 14th August....15 vendors will be putting on a show the likes of which I don't believe has been seen here before....My inspiration for this event are the Junk Bonanza & Barn House Boys shows in the US, albeit on a smaller scale however, I believe it's time to shake things up here in OZ....Personally speaking, while I LOVE a good car boot sale, trash & treasure market & swap meet, there should be more to a vintage buying experience than perusing tables of unimaginatively displayed items on a trestle table....!!

The Extravaganza will be a visual feast which I'm hoping will create a buzz in our little vintage world & create opportunities for each of the very talented vendors participating....!!

The logistics of putting this together while working full time in a high stress industry has certainly kept me on my toes however, I'm enjoying the challenge & can't wait to see all the pieces come together....I wish you could be here Chania....!!
Would you not LOVE to sit on these chairs at this table for a glass of wine?
Tamarah was into Demijohns and Carboys (doesn't that sound awful...they are those giant wine making bottles you see here) long before Pottery Barn was selling them for $229.00.

So,  please pop on over to visit Tamarah's blog.  You will be fascinated by her finds and her home.
A wee note from Tamarah...
(I agree wholeheartedly about blogging bringing together friendship and chamaraderie........)     
"I'd like to thank you Chania for the opportunity to be featured on your LOVELY blog....When I received your email this morning I almost fell off the bed with my laptop....In all seriousness though, I would like to say how very happy I am for you to have 'found' me & for reaching out & offering your friendship & support....I see it written all the time in blogs all over the world about the camaraderie blogging offers & I can only add that it's SO true....If you are a lurker, lurk no more....Jump in with us & join the fun.....!!

                                                           Thanks so much TAMARAH


  1. wonderful piece, Chania! her style is awesome and I love her collection of vintage terriers!

  2. Chania, What a delightful post. I loved peeking into Tamarah's world. Tamarah, Thanks so much for spending time answering these questions at length. I particularly enjoyed you writing about the time you spent with your grandmother. Being a mom of two young kids, I'm always fascinated by what people say they remember fondly about their childhoods and shaped them to be the way they are now.

    Anyway, I have a horrible habit of writing essays in the comment section so I'll stop my gushing by just saying that you have great skill for finding treasures in the rough that you then buff up and display so well in your home (love that green cabinet and map). Oh, if only I lived in Australia ... (sigh)

  3. Nice to meet you Tamarah, you have a good eye. Thanks for the introduction, Raz.

  4. I've been blogging back and forth with Tamarah for awhile. Love her style and enjoyed the interview. Now, you have a new follower from Texas! Lezlee

  5. Hi Chania,
    Great post featuring Tamarah's blog. I have been following her blog for a while and I think I found your blog through her or was it vice a versa? That's the beauty of blogging...endless networking.

    I love Tamarah's living space! It's so unique and interesting yet modern and uncluttered. She has such a knack!

    Second Hand Chicks

  6. Chania,

    I so appreciate a good link, a good recommendation to another great blog. Thank you so much for getting the word out about Tamarah.

    Great interview questions too Miss Host. :}


  7. hey chania, crap and wrinkled up napkins are kindred spirits, don't ya know?

  8. Hi Chania! thank you for this post! I didn't know Tamarah's blog and from what I can see here is fab! SO now I'm going tp pop by and say hello!!!

    Have a great week end!

  9. Chania, thank you for a wonderful introduction to Tamarah and her blog! how fabulous to find another Aussie blog that I had no idea existed. I am going to pop on over to say hi. I love Tamarah's home and all of her fabulous junky finds (though they certainly don't look junky!!). Hope you are having a wonderful weekend ~ Tina xx

  10. Hi Chania, Thanks for some great pictures and sharing another good address.
    It's always a pleasure to visit your blog, and check out what's new at your shop.
    Have a great weekend

  11. Hi Chania...I came from over at Tamarah's and glad to find you! I'm in Canada too!
    Great post on this great gal. I love reading her blog and seeing her great finds!
    Too bad she is so far away but thanks to blogland we can get a glimpse of what's going on down under with her!
    I'm now going to follow you as well!

  12. New here, and new to Tamarah as well. Fun blogs...great eye!

  13. Chania -

    Gosh - I really enjoyed these last 2 posts!!!! Firstly, Tamarah has such style and your observation about the scooter and the placement of it in your own home (and the comment you would encounter) cracked me up! You are funny, a great writer Chania, empathetic, generous and I admire your ability to toast another person's blog (Tamarah's) and give credit where it is so rightly due.

    Secondly, I want to attend this vintage fair in Melbourne - or is it only for purchasers of bulk goods, for example, people who own shops?

    Thirdly - I would have crossed continents to be at your garden dinner party - I would have brought along any dish you would have desired, be it tapioca pudding, a mediteranean platter or a baked fritatta - I would have juggled it and kept it warm (if that were necessary) on the plane - to be there!!!!!

    Your soiree looked superb and inviting and your neighbours are so lucky to be welcomed into the garden of a creative, giving, artistic and food and friend loving woman!

    You have inspired me to organise a progressive dinner!!!!! Love, it, love it, love it! I am already thinking...people and food...

    Love the cakes you cooked and decorated - so sweet and loving!

    I just adore the whole vibe of your last 2 posts.

    How beautiful.Thank you once again for inspiring me to give and share with pthers, beautiful, soulful Chania.

    By the way, I am so pleased Gracie didn't get out of the photos, she is a truly, gorgeous girl!

    Tracey x o

  14. Isn't 'Porridge' by you, so natural, so 'porridge', so tactile, so natural, so beautiful. You are a very clever woman.


  15. This is a woman after my own heart. Wish my 'eye' was as good as hers!

  16. I wish I had the eye to pick out the treasures from the trash!! Tamarah has made a lot of great finds -- you'd never guess she lives in a modern townhouse!!

    I agree, there's a wonderful camaraderie between bloggers :-)


  17. Cool house! THat green is just the perfect colour. Had to laugh about 'frilly pink to sharp and crusty'!!!

    I loved Tamarah's comments too - very true! great post. jx

  18. What a fantastic post on Tamarah's home and style. I'm going to be one of the stall holders at the Extravaganza and I think its going to be fabulous. Will be great to meet other like minded people too!

  19. LOVE it...what unique style she has...that bright green stunning!! Hope your keeping well! xo


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania