polka dot oilcloth, rusty old tins, garden flowers, ocean walks & sunshine

Thu 4th, Aug, 2011

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How are you?

Oh my, it is lovely weather here…people it’s Winter and the mercury is hitting about 26C that’s about 79F if you do it thataway.



So I have been for a coffee with Mr BC this morning…his office is a few steps from the ocean so we normally just grab a takeaway and go sit and look out to sea…pretty nice way to start the day and today it was breathtaking down there…

funny how weather changes your perspective on just about everything isn’t it?  I guess though if there wasn’t rainy and grey days you wouldn’t appreciate the stunning ones quite as much.  Mr BC said he could quite cope with just stunning ones all of the time.  He says that about women too ;-)

I left him and then went for a walk and stretches, not a long one today and no 350′s…I ended up up here on the cliff overlooking the ocean…

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Anyway, back to this ratty old cottage and thrifting… this is the only other thing I came back with from treasure hunting with lg the other day



this lonely little rusty tin…

I think lg thought it was a strange thing to buy…but I liked the shape and the rust and rubbed off bits, knowing only too well that you can’t buy rubbed off bits and rust too easily…

I definitely needed something doing to it didn’t it?



I didn’t want to paint it or cover up the ageing and so that left me really only with tieing something on it…a ribbon…adorn it with a starfish…wrap it in string…tie a clay tag on it….stick sweet little shells on it with a hot gun…or all of the above…





the ideas are endless once you start thinking about them…and I will definitely be doing the clay tag and the shells next…



this time though I wanted polkas….LOVE me some polka dots on sunshiney Australian days ;-)

I just used some leftover oilcloth fabric from my stash




and wrapped it





the flowers are leftovers too…I am loving having flowers to pick in my garden, I am so pleased I made the effort with the planting…still not having huge amounts of success with this sandy soil and according to my neighbour the coastal air but I have had some results…I guess I just have to water more and plant more and keep learning…


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The lavender however I am having great success with…this is the first lavender that I have planted here that is really healthy and thriving…the other varieties I have tried have quickly gone leggy and woody…it doesn’t seem to be happening to these ….yet..I won’t hold my breath…I have been talking to them though…do you think that would have helped ;-)



I have been using blood and bone on everything….crikey this stuff smells revolting…and here’s a little Beach Cottage Gardening Tip for you…try not to decide to add your blood and bone to your plants and veggies just before you are ready to go out on a school thing and you are dressed, make-up on and hair washed…as you water, unknowingly little splats of it will plop onto your best new pants…when you hop in the car you will wonder what on earth that stink is and assume someone somewhere is doing something to a sewer…when you arrive at the school thing and can still smell it you will begin to ponder…when you get funny looks and people asking what’s that disgusting smell you will frown and say heavens I have absolutely no idea…upon which you will head to the ladies, sniff your trouser leg and recoil in horror…


this lavender is a much better fragrance for one to surround oneself in

Anyhooo, that’s it from me, I have some shop stuff to do and I have upcycled a unit for the family room (sneak peek going up on Facebook later…if you want to join us BC Facebooker’s go here, there’s quite a few of us coastal gals who love a bit of chic too…we talk about recipes and girlie stuff the most though ;-) )

yours in flowers and oceans my friends






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24 Responses to “polka dot oilcloth, rusty old tins, garden flowers, ocean walks & sunshine”

  1. Alice says:

    lol, I have the same issue with cooking smells, particularly when cooking red meat I can’t handle the smell on my clothes so I now always change if I need to go out. I’m loving this weather!!!! This is my kind of winter!!! You know I feel like I am waking up from a terrible nightmare and I am glad to be alive, seeing everything for the first time (I think it is the only reason why I think winter is necessary other than that no use to me!). I feel so alive and happy and bubbly though I have averaged about 4 hours worth of sleep at night these last two weeks! I am actually only wearing one long sleeve top today (usually 3 – 4 and still freezing my butt off!).

    Love the tin can, very clever of you to put flowers in it and even more clever by using the polka dots, it works a treat. I have spent a small fortune on home magazines this last week but I feel so much more inspired and am looking at my little cottage with new eyes! I think tomorrow night I might start spring cleaning the kitchen and pop into porters paint over the weekend to buy myself some of that gorgeous blue paint and check out their wall paper collection hee…hee!

    Loving the photos… Divine… Love the warmth!!! Viva the warmth and the subtle scent of cherry blossoms in full bloom….

  2. loulou says:

    Hello Sarah

    thank you for the great pointer of the fertiliser and trouser warning.

    Isn’t it amazing – when we are dressed to the nines – we seem to find a “very important” job that we “must” do!
    I find every time I wear navy or black I want to use bleach! Go figure!

    Anyway – love the photos as usual – I can see those coffee table BC photo books being produced for your shop and selling like hotcakes – I for one would by one :)

    take care and I am Lavender envious as I just can’t seem to get it going



    • alison says:

      Yep Loulou, I’ve had the dark clothing n gotta use bleach problem. But there is hope. I have kicked the habit.


  3. I wish I was that creative with a piece of tin. I really like the photos you snapped on your walk.

  4. loving that ti….. & i remember the old blood and bone…

    stinks yes- but gets one a gorgeously growing garden doesn’t it!

    your one cool mama- just look aghast with the rest of the crowd at the smell…very smooth!!

    heading over to FB for a peek…

    melissa x

  5. Deborah says:

    Love the tin and especially after the ribbon of material! How creative. Got me to thinking!

  6. Hannah says:

    The views are amazing- brightened up my morning in my rainy UK office for sure! Love the lavender in the tin, it’s my favourite fragrance!

  7. How creative. Love the lavender in the tin! Loving the photos…

  8. What a lovely place to live…I love visiting through your eyes.
    xo Jana

  9. marcia says:

    I have no idea what blood and bone is, but I don’t think I want to either! Only you can find an old, rusty tin can and make it look cool Sarah!

  10. Y’all are making me laugh at myself….I’ve always said I get the best weeding done in my garden when I’m in good clothes and heels. You know, I get home from some event and decide to walk around the yard, and … spy JUST ONE weed that I decide to pull. 20 minutes later I have piles of weeds, filthy hands, and spots on my clothes and shoes…

  11. Love the photos! I need a date with my ocean soon. It has been calling me for a while.

    The weather here has finally turned to perfect summer weather. 80F days, and cool nights. I’m loving my flowers and being outdoors.

    I so wish you could visit sarah, I would take you to the lavender fields. Acres and acres of lavender as far as you can see. And the smell??? Well you could just lay down and die right there a happy woman. lol


  12. First off great beach shots…I am so yearning for the beach right now. I’ve been decluttering (he he) and came across a tin similiar to that hidden by stacks of books and magazines I’ve been trying to go through. Mine has a handle on it and a lid. It is an old and rusty can that was used for Karo syrup back in the day. I had a ribbon tied around the handle and ah it has seashells in it. I have found a new love for lavender, it has kept the deer out of the vegetable garden this year. Love the smell much better than the SEWER smell too! Thanks for the great post Sarah as always.

  13. pam in oregon says:

    We are in the warmest days of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very grateful if it even reaches 79 degrees. So envious of your winter temps, though I am a rare one and sorta kinda enjoy the moody grey skies that are pretty much the norm around these parts. Have a sunny day, and can’t wait for the sneaky peek soon.

  14. Pretty. Your making me think I need to incorporate some polka dots into my new design plan.

  15. Reading your blog is like knowing you personally and it makes me smile every time. Love your styling, it seems so effortless. Thanks as always for sharing!

  16. I wish we had better oil cloth . . . all those beautiful patterns . . . in the States.


  17. lg says:

    Did you get that at Vinnies or Salvos? Sure was a sad old thrifting day when that’s the best pick, however what a clever noodle you are to be able to see the beauty in a rusty old tin and turn it into something lovely!

    lg xxx

    btw, looks like there’ll be no thrifting escape this weekend with all this sunshine around – sport, sport and more sport!!!!

    • sarah says:


      i know no thrifting for me…not even a spare hour to sneak off!!!


      thanks for the carrot cake de-brief too ;-)

  18. Melissah says:

    Your blog is so inspiring. It’s nice to see an Australian blog so well respected globally. Your blog keeps popping up everywhere I look. Well done on a great aussie effort.
    Coastal-Style (blogspot)

  19. I think you have just gone up a step in the hierarchy of gardeners! The next step is for clothes you have previously ruined inadvertently to become an official gardening outfit. You reach Gardening Nirvana when your refuse to change out of your gardener’s outfit to attend school activities because it is Such a Nice Day for Gardening.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

  20. Barefoot Liz says:

    Sarah, I have to admit that Australia was never on my list of places I wanted to visit. That is, until I started reading your blog. You have shown me the incredible beauty of coastal Australia! Now I really want to go.

  21. lol, +26C is summer. :) The beach looks very glossy.