Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 27 – Vintage

Lace Edwardian dress - bodice. This dress was a gift from a lovely lady I met at a vintage fashion show.

Lace Edwardian dress – bodice. This dress was a gift from a lovely lady I met at a vintage fashion show in Canada – it had belonged to one of her relatives, and would have most likely been made by hand.

This weeks Hugh’s Photography Challenge is ‘Vintage’ and, as I said to Hugh in the comments, he is speaking my language. I’ve collected vintage clothing and accessories since I was a teenager and, several years ago, a friend and I even had our own permanent vintage stall at an antique market. I’ve moved quite a lot over the past two decades, however, so my collection has grown and shrunk and grown again, pieces coming and going as my closet space allows.


I bought these gloves in Sydney, Australia, at a jumble sale. They are suede, elbow length, and stamped ‘Made In France’ on the inside. Beautifully stitched along the seams and edges, the pearl buttons are a perfect finishing touch.

One of the things I’ve always loved about vintage clothing is the detail, which you really don’t see in modern mass-produced clothing. Tiny hand stitches, delicate beadwork, fine embroidery, gathered pleats – I even had an embroidered cotton dress once that had been repaired, yet the repair work was so finely done it was part of the charm of the dress. So, for Hugh’s challenge, I’ve decided to focus on the details.

This bag is, apparently, French, and is beaded in the Art Nouveau style on both sides, with tiny bugle beads.

This French evening bag is beaded in the Art Nouveau style on both sides, using tiny bugle beads. It is probably about a hundred years old, and I found it at a vintage clothing market in Australia.

If you’d like to participate in Hugh’s Challenge, here’s what to do:

1. Take or choose a photo that you’ve taken which shows something that is Vintage.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 27 – ‘Vintage’
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to Hugh’s post or leave a link to your post in his comments section, so other participants can view the post.


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 24 – Hats

I happen to love hats. I also happen to love vintage clothing and, for a while, had a stall with a friend at an antique market. One of our best purchases was a bulk lot of vintage hats from a woman in Wales – the hats, when they arrived, were all 1930s and 40s vintage, with gorgeous buckles, pleating and floral details. They sold like hot cakes, as you can imagine.


The stall is no more, but I still have a vintage hat or two in my collection. This detail shot is from two hats I own – the one on the left is from the 1940s, woven straw with velvet details, while the one on the right is actually not vintage, it just looks like it is.


I do wear the black hat quite often during winter, and always get compliments when I do. I’ve not worn the 1940s one yet, but perhaps the occasion will present itself one day. For now I just love the details, the black velvet and pink flowers with tiny pearl centres.

This was a great theme for me – thanks, Hugh! If you’re a hat-lover like me and want to enter Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge, visit his blog.

Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 17: Calm


I’ve missed a few of Hugh’s Photo Challenges these past few weeks, simply because I didn’t feel I had the right shot. However, this week I hope I meet the challenge – the theme is ‘Calm’ and here is my image.

It’s a shot of the beach near to where I used to live – our house was only a few minutes walk away and I could hear the ocean at night, humming in the darkness. The waves can get quite wild, rocks battered and sculpted into twisting shapes, the moving sands throwing up curling breakers when the wind and tides were right.

So this beach was more wild than calm , though it was often deserted, families preferring the safety of the bay. The ocean on this side brought treasures, carried on the waves coming up from the frozen South. I remember one day when the sand was covered with sea urchin shells, left in undulating lines where they had come ashore, victims of some undersea cataclysm. Glass and shells made perfect mermaid jewellery when the gorgeous girl was tiny, soft rubbed green and blue shards glimmering in the sunshine, heaped into a ‘treasure’ pile as we searched for more.

The reason this image speaks to me of calm is because this is the place where I found calm again. After a few years of stress and sorrow and losing my way a little, this is where I was able to get back on the path. To take a moment and just… breathe.

I feel very fortunate to have lived in such a place, and carry a little piece of calm with me wherever I go, treasure from the sea.




Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 12 – Games

IMG_0592Well, I snuck in at the last minute with this one! This is a Snakes and Ladders game at the Enchanted Maze, near to where I used to live in Australia. I thought it a really cool idea which is why I took the photo – I think I had some dream of one day having a garden big enough to host my own Snakes and Ladders game 😀 We last visited the maze several years ago, just before we left Australia, and here is Miss Five about to jump down a ladder.


The Enchanted Maze is hidden high in the hills above the bay, and comprises lovely formal gardens, a large hedge maze, a native bush trail with games and more mazes, and, in the summer, inner-tube sledding in the big field, which is hilarious fun. There’s also a big sweet shop and a lovely restaurant overlooking the gardens, which are open to weddings and birthday parties (we had the gorgeous girl’s second birthday there, a big picnic for family and friends).

IMG_0578This probably doesn’t look like the sort of garden you’d expect to see in Australia – however the lush soil and rolling hills of the Mornington Peninsula are home to some of the best wineries in Australia, as well as other formal gardens and parks. There’s plenty of bush, of course – gum trees and moonah and ti-tree abound, possums and spiders and kookaburrahs part of life ‘down the coast’. I loved living there, and feel very fortunate to have done so.

This is for Hugh’s Photo Challenge Week 12, and the subject is Games. The deadline is today, so if you’d like to add your own, be quick! And thanks for reading.

Hugh’s Photo Challenge – Week 10 – Faces


This is for Hugh’s Weekly Photography Challenge, with this week’s theme being Faces. But not faces where you would expect to find them – rather, faces that appear unexpectedly.

Like this rock.

I found it on a beach in Ireland, on the northwest coast where the Atlantic rolls in and the rocks are filled with fossils. I don’t think him a fossil, unless a pixie decided to leave his smile etched into rock for all eternity, but I did think his wry expression worth capturing.