Wednesday, 30 July 2014

QT Resort - So Very Coastal Vintage

Recently, my partner & I visited tropical Far North Queensland for a short mini-break.
The first night we stayed at the newly refurbished QT resort in Port Douglas.  I had heard about this place from IG friend @amymail who said that I would love the decor. Oh she does know me well. It certainly didn't disappoint. It was fabulous and styled all so very Coastal Vintage!

 When we arrived we were greeted with this ever changing beachy theme images on the many screens in the reception area. It immediately welcomes you to a relaxed environment. Up above, the first bit of nautical styling appeared. I love this look - sisal rope lights causally strung from the ceiling. Isn't it a great look?

Beautiful water features & tropical gardens welcomed us just beyond the reception area.


And before heading to our room, we had a spot of lunch at the funky Estilo Bar. Isn't the stone work fabulous? 
(I have to admit the highlight here was the delicious cocktails).

While waiting for lunch I set off exploring the rest of the resort. I was delighted to find plenty of wonderful coastal, nautical & maritime vintage things that I absolutely love styled here in this gorgeous resort and similar to what I sell in my store. As you can see in these photos the use of sisal rope has been cleverly used to decorate the top of the bar and in the walkways.

Cute driftwood fish hang on a wall near the bar.

Then there was this wall. Old ship's portholes created into a mirror wall. 

How fabulous does this look? I absolutely love this!

And again in the ladies room. I thought it was very cool! 


There were many shelves throughout the resort decorated with old nautical pieces and old siphon bottles.

And then there was this most amazing piece.

Old glass fishing floats compiled into what I call 

'The Glass Float Dream-Catcher!'

Isn't it spectacular?

Below that are two huge old ship spotlights to illuminate it at night. Simply fabulous!

Isn't it amazing?

It truly is a unique & fabulous decorative piece which has been cleverly designed to fill a large space. It is also a unique way to display old glass fishing floats.

It certainly has inspired me and I'm going to attempt to make a small one for my home to hang in the guest room. When I do, I will write a post about it here. 

If you're looking for any of the things that you see in this post such as old glass floats, siphon bottles, sisal rope, old portholes (perfect to make into mirrors) and so on, there are quite a few of these items available over on the Coastal Vintage online store. 

click here

And until next time, lover of all things Coastal Vintage


Next post: the adventure continues as we made our way up to the remote & historic seaside town of Cooktown.

QT's Interior designer & stylist was Anna Roberts.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Vintage Swimsuits

Last year when I first started Coastal Vintage and was out & about sourcing items, I came across this old woolen swimsuit. The lady who was selling it told me that she had been a friend of the lady who wore it in the 1930s & was given the swimsuit a few years before the lady died. If she had been alive that day, she would have been 105-years old.

I couldn't believe it. And I couldn't believe the swimsuit had been kept in such incredible condition. I knew as soon as I heard the story that I had to have it. It was a gem and a gem I wasn't going to part with. It was the perfect suit to have framed and to hang in my home. 

I took it to get it framed professionally and this is what it now looks like.  Doesn't it look beautiful?

It now proudly hangs in my living room and is such a treasure to own. Whenever I look at it, I wonder who that lady was. She certainly had a great little figure didn't she?

Have you ever thought about framing an old swimsuit? 

It's a great way to preserve a piece of history and at the same time have a piece of art on your wall. 

So very Coastal Vintage.

There is a small range on our website ready to be framed. 

click here to see what is currently in store

Monday, 21 July 2014

Cleaning Clam Shells

I'm often asked via social media or email how do I clean old clam shells? 

So this is a quick post on how I've managed to do it with the ones that I found last year that had been sitting in a shed for over 20-years.

Before photo. Absolutely filthy isn't it? I love the barnacles on this one.

And another one. Not so bad.

I did a little research online but there were some techniques that seemed quite harsh. Such as using hydrochloric acid or blasting with a water gurney. I was too nervous about going down either of those routes as I didn't want to damage any part of the shells including all the lovely barnacles. 

So I came to the conclusion that the least invasive way was to simply use bleach and water. 

I was a bit hesitant at first to use too much bleach but it didn't seem to work. So I learnt not to be shy with the bleach! 

Fill a container up of 50% water & 50% bleach if the shells are particularly dirty, making sure that that the shell is completely covered with the solution.

Then forget about it and leave for 3-days. 

When it is time don some gloves, take the clam shell out and put into another container of just water. Leave this for a day and then take the shell out and leave in the sun for a day to get rid of the bleach smell. The sun will also naturally help whiten the shell. 

You can of course do this at a quicker pace if need be. 

and look how beautiful these shells are now…..

Simply stunning aren't they?

These and more are available for sale.

Due to Australian regulations, clam shells can only be sold within Australia

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Brightwater Hotel & The Lakehouse - Sunshine Coast

Not long after opening last August, the Brightwater Hotel here on the Sunshine Coast contacted me requesting a range of Coastal Vintage items in time for the opening of their hotel and their beautiful function centre The Lakehouse. 

Recently I took the opportunity to drive down to Mountain Creek where they are located to take a look. I was delighted to see how they had styled the items that they had acquired from Coastal Vintage and also a range of many other beautiful coastal & nautical finds. It looks fabulous as you can see in the following photos.

Old oars & paddles make a great feature up on the wall particularly these white ones against the dark background in the Pontoon function area.

And the white/red rustic vintage life rings add to the nautical theme & also create a fabulous contrast against the dark walls. 

In the gaming room there is a range of authentic wooden lobster pot buoys that I had sourced from Maine, USA and have been placed here with these colourful sets of oars.

Just below that, there are a couple of vintage boat signal flags that have been framed. And quite a few more can be seen throughout the hotel.  Framing them is a lovely idea and a great way to preserve them.

Outside on the wall is a pair of old oars and a life ring that fill a blank space in the sitting area.

I have to say these photos of old sailing boats were particularly a favourite and perfect in sepia tone. 

Across from the hotel is the function centre The Lakehouse. (yes it is on a lake)

The day I visited it wasn't set up for a function so the room was empty. However, the foyer of The Lakehouse is always set up and is gorgeous. It's style is lakeside elegance with a Hampton's edge.

 My favourite piece was this old lobster pot and fish net which both tie in lovely with the glass float.
(the glass float is new, a little different from a traditional vintage glass fishing float but just as lovely)

Isn't that creel just divine and those oars?

If only the fire place had been going that day, I don't think you would have been able to remove me from that comfy seat while enjoying the ambience. Just gorgeous isn't it?

Click here to see more about The Lakehouse

It would certainly be a beautiful setting to get married. 

If you're interested in visiting the hotel click here

and until next time, 

lover of all things Coastal Vintage


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Coastal Vintage Vignette

Recently, I attended a class at The School - the brainchild of well-known stylist Megan Morton. Her classes ignite the inner creative side of you and the reason I attended was to learn the art of vignettes. And, who better to learn from than the Vignette Queen - Kara Roselund. 

Photo credit -

I first met Kara selling her wares outside 'Frankie', her vintage caravan at the New Farm markets when my little Miss 2 was just a few months old. Her stall was beautiful. Filled with so many gorgeous vintage treasures, some that I just couldn't leave behind. 

Kara is absolutely gorgeous & friendly. She invited me to look inside Frankie where she shared her wonderful enthusiasm and love for the van that she lovingly restored alongside her husband Timothy. And just like everyone else when they see Frankie, I fell in love with it too.

It wasn't until a few months later when I joined IG & started following Kara that I discovered the word vignette. I have to admit that I had no idea what a vignette was until then. And then I discovered all these other amazingly creative people on IG who post photos of their vignettes.

So, what is a vignette?

It is a way to style/arrange your favourite things to create a picture and a visual joy. A bit like creating a 3-D painting.  This is the vignette Kara created the morning of her class. She showed us how to place items together in the best possible way to creative a picture that is appealing to the eye. It was during this class where a side of my creative gene really got a spark & came alive.

As soon as Kara finished showing the class on how to create a vignette, we were teamed up in pairs & were given the task of creating our own vignette from the huge selection of Kara's props. This is just a small selection of what she has. 

And this is the vignette my friend Jay & I created.  Jay also has her own vintage online store and she finds the most gorgeous things. You can see by clicking here - Found by Her

And, then I had a quick go at creating a coastal style vintage vignette.

Afterwards, I came home so fired up and excited that I immediately got to work and created this in my office. It is filled with all the things that I love and have collected since I started Coastal Vintage last August, but I had no idea or confidence in how I could display them until I attended Kara's class. 

 Here are a few pieces of old coral & shells, coral sponge, glass float & a poster that was a lovely surprise gift from IG friend Cheryl & owner of the Etsy store Beachcomber. It seems very fitting here amongst all the gorgeous things of the sea.

E is for my daughter, number 7 is my favourite number, the old reel is such a beauty that I couldn't sell it. The sea fan was another gift, this time from another IG friend Em @beachhousehames.
(by the way I've yet to meet my lovely IG friends & look forward to it one day soon) 

South Sea Pearl from Broome that I found in a shed in the bush, lots of old shells I have found in other vintage shops, and another gorgeous cedar reel & a coral sponge from Arnhem Land. 

I've added an old photo here that reminds me of an amazing chapter in my life. I am standing here onboard a private super yacht I worked on many years ago, motoring along entering the Mediterranean Sea with Spain on one side and Morocco on the other. It seems fitting to place it here amongst all these coastal treasures.

The little picture on the far right is an etching of a place in Croatia - one of the first countries I visited when I first worked on private yachts. The glass float I couldn't sell for my love of it's vibrant green colour and it sits on the most amazing beautiful old reel. (another one that I had to keep!)

And so many beautiful coral sponges that came from a beachcomber up in Arnhem Land, NT. She supplies all the beachcombing finds that you see on the website.  The photo in the top right hand corner is of a place my family & I holiday at every year.

Ahhh this vignette isn't complete without an old clam shell filled with glass floats. Alongside is an old shell, a starfish, pink barnacles & a sea fan that has been spray painted silver. The little ink bottles are a favourite along with the wooden sieve. 

And I had to keep one of the old 1950s green siphon bottles that I received in a shipment last year from Belgium.

And here it is again - the finished vignette which is collated over three shelves. 

Many beautiful memories and gorgeous things that I treasure. 

If you're interested in doing Kara's class, I highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun and Kara is wonderfully generous with her time & knowledge. 

Kara's Class at The School

Sea fans, clam shells, coral sponge, glass floats, old bottles & siphon bottles all available here