Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy New Year from Happy Fab Frau

Happy January from Fab Frau!

I just got this picture with the help of the lovely Miss Panton Hill 
and Ms Summer-Rain so I thought I'd show off a fraction of the red carpet entrace
that I referred to in my last post. *grin*  

I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2012 and to sharing lots of treasures with you all - 
and I'm excited about visiting the fabulous blogs I follow.

See you soon.

Cheers, Suzy ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fab Frau and Friends in St Andrews and Hurstbridge

 When one lives in the bush, darhling, one must frock up on occasion - especially when it comes to the St Andrews Film Society Launch.  What this pic above is not showing is the red carpet and red silky curtains.  I'm the blonde in the middle (with my very pretty peacock feather hairclip that I'll be listing in my store soon) and to the left of the photograph is my lovely friend Ruth Summer-Rain and to the right is the stunning 'Miss Panton Hill' (aka my wonderful friend and entertainer Sue Arnold) doing her red carpet duties in a splendidly stylish fashion.  We're standing outside St Andrews Hall which becomes part of the market.
 'Miss Panton Hill' (the neighbouring township sitting between St Andrews and Hurstbridge) was very busy on the day with complete wardrobe changes - we're a dangerous little trio whether we're frocked up or not and we know how to have a good giggle and a glass of wine - we also go to a divine yoga class each week with our friend and fabulous teacher, Sarah Bedggood and a gorgeous bunch of other women.  We're also formidable when treasure hunting together.
 Here is 'Miss Wattle' the face of the Wattle Festival in Hurstbridge each year - and she's standing with a slightly bedraggled short blonde person and a gorgeous doggy, Hans.  I was her photographer for the day and got heaps of fantastic shots - Sue is calling me her publicist!  Good fun.... and in staggering distance from Fab Frau's cottage - gotta love that. ;)  I'll post some more pics of this day in another blog.
Here is yet another shot of a bedraggled Fab Frau with the always photogenic Ruth Summer-Rain.  It was 30 degrees and the pale little thing that I am was feeling the heat.  We had a market stall at St Andrews Market, as mentioned in my previous blog entry, and we're planning to do it again this Saturday .... and I might even strain myself and take my own camera!  It's a gorgeous place and we had a ball chatting to customers and friends.

Thanks for popping by.  I'll be back with an update soon.  Heaps of fab handbags to show you.

Ciao from, 
Suzy aka Fab Frau ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fab Frau and Summer-Rain at the St Andrews Market

St Andrews Market
Fab Frau and 'Summer-Rain' had our first stall at St Andrews Market on Saturday - and it was fabulous. Boho heaven! We popped our gazebo up - ahem! - survived my blonde directions - and in case you need to know there is not a lock-in mechanism in the middle - you do it at the sides first. We were saved by a friendly regular stall holder who took pity on us.

The pic above is not one of mine but from the St Andrews Market fan page on Facebook - I packed the gazebo and my fab wares - but not my camera. Took my i-phone and I'm yet to master the downloading part - will take my camera next time I promise!

There are so many gorgeous stalls at the market - plenty of hippy style clothing and heaps of great recycled stuff - and some very talented crafty people and the food is divine. Love the Thai food and the massive felafel kept me going for the day. It was hard work setting up - especially the getting out of bed at 5am part *grin* - but it was so worth it because I just love where I live and it was a really beautiful day and it was a pleasure to have a chat with so many fab people.... wasn't bad selling some gorgeous clothes and bags either, I might add.;)

My lovely and talented friend Ruth Summer-Rain shared the stall with me and we took it in turns checking out the market stalls. Ruth came back from a treasure hunt with stunning macaw feathers literally added to her gorgeous hat. She lives on a beautiful property that boasts paddocks of divine lavender in various varieties and we were pretty blissed out with lovely posies of the stuff decorating our stall - and the baskets of some happy customers. She also had very gorgeous handmade stuff including beautifully sewn aprons for kids and some witchy St John's Wort massage creams that she'd whipped up.

If you need a destination St Andrews Market is a great one on a Saturday morning because it's got such a fab atmosphere with heaps of local musicians taking turns to entertain in such a beautiful space. It's a fantastic place to buy fresh produce, plants, gorgeous jewellery, new and recycled clothing, divine chai tea, fab coffee, a massage or two and even pony rides for the kids. The renowned St Andrews pub is across the road and a beautiful cafe and a working historic bakery sit alongside it so you can hang around as long as you want. Around 20 mins from Eltham - it's beautiful scenery too. I now live 10 minutes down the road in the beautiful village of Hurstbridge where you can get a lovely lunch at Heart and Soul Cafe or the Organic Fruit and Vege Shop and Cafe - and a few other cafes too. Can you tell I love it here? Anyway, enough showing off about home for today.

I'll let you know in advance next time when we plan to have a stall at The St Andrews Market - or the Allwood House Market which runs alongside of the Hurstbridge Farmers Market once a month.

I'll be back soon. Suzy ;)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is it ever convenient to lose one's power? ... electrical or otherwise

Last night my auction for this gorgeous Laura Ashley cushion cover ended on my newest store Fab Frau Vintage Country Emporium ... not an unusual occurrence in the eBay world ....
....I was enjoying quality time with my son Nick watching television shortly before the auction finished when 'bang!' we lost power.  We thought it was just something tripping the safety switch and as it turns out we were right - but we couldn't fix it last night and most of our power to all plugged in appliances was gone - and worse still the hot water service... and the most scary for me was my computer was non functioning.  There was one socket working in the whole house and I plugged the fridge into that .... after a blonde hour or so I might add.... and then I had the brain wave of plugging my busy computer boards in there too - 'poof!' - don't think so ... found another plug via a long extension lead for the fridge....Anyway all is well in the light of day because I read the instructions (just before I called the electrician, mind you) and pulled every plugged in thing out around the house and gradually put them back in one at a time.  I think the problem is my shed .... and that's not urgent - phew!  

I was a bit upset last night thinking I've just announced my return to the world and now I'm off line and won't be able to work and blah, blah, blah pity party - so I flicked my own circuit breaker and snapped out if - a glass of wine helped I might add - and my son Nick and I played Texas Hold'em Poker - and he won the contents of my match box in the end.  We haven't done that since we were in a caravan together so it was a great night after all.  

This is my son Nick pictured below (in case you hadn't guessed already *grin*) with his lovely date, Bronwyn, for the Hurstbridge Football Club Under 17's Brownlow evening.  Isn't the Club fantastic making it such a special night for the boys.  Very cute walking the red carpet with a camera and microphone stuck in their face.
"I see you, Mum, you're embarrassing me."  He's glad I took the pics now ;)
"Mum, thought you weren't a stage mother - not in front of my date!"

Nick looking casually to the left....and not at me. ;)

"Yeah, boys!:  Nick in the middle looking at the camera.
It had been a lovely day - certainly not weather wise and I dare say that had something to do with electrical stuff - I was playing with a gorgeous 1979 vintage sewing pattern and mucking around altering it a lot to make a 'sin-sess dress' for my about to be three year old niece who is only a size 1 - she's perfectly well just tiny and very gorgeous - the 'Princess Dress' is very cute and the fab part is I'm actually using real vintage lacy net and trims that I snaffled a couple of years ago at a fantastic rag trade warehouse sale - the real thing - not open to the public before - and I went overboard and bought heaps of cards of different trims and a few fabric rolls of the funky lacy stuff - you'll see it pop up here from time to time and some may even hit my stores eventually - *grin*.  For the bodice I'm using a soft t-shirt fabric so it won't be too hard to get on and off but down the middle I've sewn some vintage frills 70s style and the dress will have cap puffy sleeves made of the same pink lacy stuff to match the frilled layers of skirt.  I'll share some pics when I'm done - have to be finished by next weekend. I was going to keep working on it last night but a bit tricky without power in my sewing machine.  Good fun.

Thanks for popping by.

Suzy ;)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

About Fab Frau October 2011

Peace and Harmony for Fab Frau in Hurstbridge.

Ever had a time in your life where you've felt like every thing and every one you've ever known, and all your belongings were in a very big box with you and then some giant picks it up, gives it a damn good shake and tips the whole lot out? Splat! What next? Sitting in a pile of rubble that was one's life is rather overwhelming and painful. What do you pick up? What do you leave in the pile? 'Oh, my arm hurts, I can't pick that thing up.' Hurt and no energy to go on.

Talk about a loaded question, and over the top (or bottom) answers but that pretty much sums up what my life has been about during the last few years, the last two in particular. Three years ago my family and I moved to beautiful St Andrews in bushland in Victoria, Australia. What dreams we had for our massive tree change. 15 acres of serenity, gorgeous native animals including and featuring heaps of kangaroos, an echidna, wombats, bats, huge moths, gorgeous ducks on the pond quite literally - well, dam and lots and lots of different birds. We had a huge deck to survey our sanctuary from the world. Dusks were magical, the moon took on a fab witchy vibe and the sounds of the happy frogs singing were such a joy.

For my husband all of the above was nice but the massive machinery shed and another garage were evidence of his love of his new land....especially the contents - a Harley Davidson motorbike, a dirt motorbike, a quad bike, a ride on mower - and plans for more boy toys including a tractor. For him acreage meant not having to put his motor bike on a trailer to go off and enjoy a ride. The theory was he could 'just throw his leg over and kick it in the guts' and off he'd go.

For me my dream was to set up a gorgeous studio and follow my passion for vintage and sewing and make funky creations with vintage fabrics. This ambition followed on from a career starting as a junior in advertising to behind the scenes in media including radio and television, to running my own little PR business and then back to television and that time instead of hanging around journalists all day in current affairs I played in the wardrobe department as a personal assistant. I started sewing as a very young girl and being in wardrobe stimulated my creative juices so after that episode I went off and learned from a fab rag trade woman who taught industrial sewing techniques using the over locker. I'd also written a book that needed (and still needs) a re-write - so my plan was to sit in my haven and get creative in peace and harmony after many years of selling hot air. I wanted a piece of real, and some fiction of my own creation.

I had a vision of seeing my husband walk across a paddock in his flannelette shirt (that was yet to be purchased), fit and healthy and away from his desk and computer and his self-made chains of workaholicism.

Our 14 year old son was getting dragged along but was coping with the idea because he didn't have to change schools and his bedroom was freakin' enormous with an ensuite. It was a huge house. He also got a quad bike to get his thrill of the acreage.

Home is where your heart is.
This beautiful heart was a gift from a very talented metal sculptor
named Peter who frequents the St Andrews Market.

Well, life threw our family a massive curve ball. My healthy ambitions for my overweight and overworked husband were too late. Ironically, I kinda sorta got the quality time I'd always wanted from my marriage - just wasn't the shape or form I'd intended. One week before moving day my husband was in the ER and by the end of the day we'd learned he had the dreaded 'C' word - cancer. After several days and tests and a biopsy we found out it was advanced kidney cancer. The simple little word 'advanced' meant there were already secondary tumours in his body. I really don't want to go into all the gory details but there was a massive operation to remove his kidney and other tumours that took him three months to recover from to some degree. Lots of chemotherapy and tests and all sorts of complications following. 18 months after his ER visit he passed away surrounded by his family, including siblings and parents. To say there have been tears before, during and after bedtime is an understatement. I really don't want to wear the whole of my heart on my sleeve and I don't want to share details of hurt and pain that hasn't gone away - just pops up in different places from where I might expect. I'm viewed by many as 'strong' and I was concerned at one point during the funeral process of doing a 'Lindy Chamberlain' - but in truth my bravado, even on that horrible day was just an extension of the months and months of my routine of soldiering on for us all. So much of nursing my husband was nursing his mental attitude and placating his many 'sorries' and trying to instill a calming and positive attitude in the face of so much crap, pain and heartache. I'm a sob my heart out in private kinda girl. (I actually deleted during an emotional moment the posting I put up about losing my husband so if you see a link somewhere on my blog it won't show up.) I don't need or want every man and his dog to know of all of my woes and I don't find it comforting at all to cry in someone else's presence. That I've learned the hard way, really upsets some people. But anyway, this posting isn't supposed to be about all of that just to share the big gap in posts and explain my absence basically due to sheer exhaustion from recovering from sleep deprivation, a busted up heart, having to sell our tree change asap because my late husband left us with a whopping mortgage and quite a bit of mess. Still, it's been very hard to have to do so much moving and planning etc straight away but my son and I are so very grateful to be living in this area. We love it here.

Home sweet home, in Hurstbridge.
Our cottage from the back garden.

Anyway, lots of breaths (and wines!!!) later my darling son and I are now living in a gorgeous cottage down the road from St Andrews in Hurstbridge. A lovely village - and it really is still a village - and the wonderful bonus is that we are in easy walking distance of the train station. What a freedom for the two of us! It's fantastic. Our gorgeous cottage (to be totally honest at this point in time otherwise known as my eBay warehouse since the removalists brought all of our treasures from storage recently!) is just a lovely place to live. I'm sooo grateful to the Universe because it's quite a girly house in many respects but earthy enough for my son to love it too.

This whole story has been a long winded intro to let you know about my new life - that is finally up and running. I now have three stores on eBay - Fab Frau Fashion with a focus on Bohemian, Retro & Vintage clothes and accessories, Frock Sorceress for some more modern and polite pieces and my newest store Fab Frau Vintage Country Emporium. This last store I have opened because I realised how many fab pieces I had for my 'one day house' - and now that I'm here in my gorgeous dream cottage I can't fit them all in so I'm going to share.

I've designed my new life to be centred around the gorgeous home and area I live in. No more traffic jams for me, thank you very much. And it is so very, very important to me to 'live real' - so I've built plans to make my living selling gorgeous things that I truly love handling. I've had these aspirations, or versions thereof, for around five years now - a bit scary saying that out loud to myself but here I am - still excited with my visions. In the last few years I have been a researcher extraordinaire about working on line and despite the hardships I've managed to network with some fantastic people - so here I am in my dream home, with my wonderful son who is now 17 and our gorgeous dog, miniature schnauzer Hans who will be three in January - and I'm beginning my new life.

Hans, Fab Frau's companion ;)

I plan to update at least weekly and I'm intending to include snippets of our cottage, of lovely Hurstbridge and surrounds, my companion Hans and of course some fab found and made treasures from my stores.

If you've managed to read this far, thank you because it's a rather long posting! I'm not planning to write a book intro each post in the future *grin*

On a lighter note I'll leave you with some pics of my gorgeous 'model' - mannequin whom I've named Clara - a Barbie Doll for grown up girls - lots of fun.

The lovely Clara enjoying the afternoon air from the cottage.

Clara wondering where her cocktail is now
that she's slipped into some vintage comfort.

Fab vintage bag with some new bling.


Thanks so much for stopping by.


Suzy ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza

Fab Frau is back!
And my very first post this year is to share the Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza button on the right. Lucky Melbournians are being offered a taste of American Style treasure hunting
- I'm hoping ala Rachel Ashwell's treasure hunts! *grin*
Very exciting stuff. Can't wait to find a couple of treasures for my new cottage.

On Friday June 3 1 to 6pm and Saturday June 4 8am to 4pm
at the Ashburton Scout Hall,
337 High Street, Ashburton.

For more info click on the button on the right.

See you soon.

Suzy aka Fab Frau ;)

P.S. If you'd like to help out you can click on the button on the right and get your own copy of the box to help advertise this event. ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bring on 2011

Good bye my acreage - Fab Frau's guestroom. I'll miss the views.

It’s been a while since Fab Frau popped by blogland – cough, cough (okay, coughing fit!) and the reason is because of many, many changes in my life this year – not least of which is that I’m leaving the ‘Aussie Bush’ – to move seven minutes down the road to the ‘Semi-Aussie Bush’. Big changes – leaving acreage for a large ‘semi bush’ block in ‘town’ – and other than the land issue leaving behind a roof line covering 44 square metres including a 12 square veranda to a more modest size cottage is rather exciting – especially after recent (read – exhausting!!) efforts of keeping 32 square metres of flooring shiny and clean while my house was on the market. (And de-cluttering numerous Fab Frau treasures!) The truth is I’m being quite the martyr (and nobody likes a martyr – not even the martyr *grin*) because the house sold after being opened for only four consecutive days. Yay!

Amazingly I sold my house one weekend and the following weekend I bought another. Thank you for listening to me Universe *grin*. The new house is much more in keeping with Fabulous Frau’s taste – ten foot ceilings, ceiling roses, cornice covered with roses, stained glass, dado walls, a couple of gorgeous fire places, slate floors and lots more. Don’t worry though, it’s not all girly, girly – also a fabulous space for the teenage male of the house – not least of which is a super teenage retreat, complete with its own pot belly stove – and very happily for me is the outside separate laundry, complete with its own toilet where I’ll hang a very big welcome sign for visiting teenage entourages.

I’m very excited because I’ll have some super work space – even a separate office area from my studio which I’m hoping will lessen my incoming email distraction problem. Mmmmm, we’ll see. I’ll be sharing plenty of pics as we settle in. I’ll be sure to share my progress as I personally adore having a peek at other people’s studios and work rooms. I have heaps of plans for a fab re-launch of Fab Frau – focusing on vintage, boho, retro and quirky bags, accessories and more that will be of course vintage and pre-loved as well as some fab complementary new pieces and lots of handmade from my gorgeous new studio.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ll be back soon – yeah .... really! LOL

Ciao for now.

Suzy ;)