A Beach Cottage Vintage Treasure Hunting Finds

Wed 12th, Jun, 2013

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Yo, how you going?  Here I am white cottage woman knee deep in white paint and random old ugly concrete.

So, before any of this concrete, mud and white paint stuff got started, before I wondered what on earth I was thinking of, painting my bedroom floor white trying to be all beach house, I went thrifting with my friend M…after a bit of negotiating and juggling of kiddos activities I wangled a Saturday arvo with her to go out and play…yah…did you know that if you text your husband that you are going out ‘thrifting with M’ your predictive text will actually change ‘thrifting’ to ‘thrusting’ …always good to keep one’s hubbo on his toes and send him a text that you are spending Saturday afternoon thrusting with M.


Now, I have  a lot to thank M for, because not only is she a super-duper thrusting oops I mean thrifting friend, she also sends me pictures of things she comes across on the beaches in her quest for all things vintage, found on the side of the road, no less, and asks me if they are a yay or a nay for this old cottage.    Yup I source my friends by their vintage treasure hunting skills…


 This is one of the things she sent me – yay or nay to an old window from I think the twenties?  …be still my beating vintage gathering beach house heart, yes sirree Mr President I need you vintage window in my life, I need you in this ratty old cottage…

I love this window….look at the detail, look at the colour to the glass, look at the leadlight, look at the wood, look at the craftsman who is yelling out here to those of us who are staring sadly at another thing Made in China….I will take great pleasure in leaning it around this old cottage with my home furnishings…stuff art, give me pieces from old houses nonchalantly taking it upon themselves together with the odd nautical stripe and a bit of coastal white, to lean around looking pretty


Next up in this vintage treasure hunting adventure we move into the world of food styling…I am always on the lookout for old and interesting stuff to take pics of food with, it’s a great little hobby you know – not only do you get to play photographer, you get to make nice food and eat it afterwards…dream job right?    This occupation is not recommended for muffin-top growth but if you tuck that in your Spanx all is still good.


I keep my eye open in every op-shop I enter for old vintage utensils and the like, sadly the thrift stores Vinnies, Salvos et al have decided that anything old is now ‘retro’ and price older utensils as they see accordingly – who, I don’t know, pays these prices, but it’s not me…perhaps the world is full of food stylists looking for vintage utensils, who knows?

This though, caught my eye, though far from my era or my style, hello to orange, no thank you, I loved some of the wording on the inside…they don’t make ‘em like this any longer…and when I saw Barley, it had to be mine


Do you remember shredded suet?  Sounds yum right?


oh now look at this, an old shabby chic enamel bowl in cream and green – I collect the traditional blue and white but this is slowly being added to this old cottage too…


not quite sure what I am going to do with it, but I love this for a vintage kitchen look..


In garden tools and garden we have a vintage rake…


…this was actually not found this weekend…the other week I was out walking along minding my own business and passing an old gardener clearing out a garage I stopped and said hello admiring his camelias – as we chatted he said he was getting some things ready to get rid of including this rake…which I left with – I can highly recommend walking along in one’s exercise gear and trainers with a vintage rake for a new way to workout…you might get a few odd looks but does wonders for the upper arms…


This is a beauty


…not much to say other than I wish you could reach your hand into this computer screen and touch this lovely lovely lovely vintage leather tape measure…the craftmanship in this is so beautiful and still running like a dream…


I have no idea as to how old this may be but it’s old and still in perfect working order….do you remember anyone using one of these?….you pull out the little handle and then you wind it…it goes back in perfectly…you know those people who make those wind-back hoses for your garden, who advertise like crazy saying how this gadget will change your life and how they always work?  …well those guys need to take a look at this…it winds back like a dream…it does not stop and get tangled up even though it is patented as anti-tangle or such-like…it just works…


This is the find of the weekend though, a vintage wooden ladder with lovely stencilling / lettering…oh yeah…this came to me via another one of M’s texts along the lines of ‘like this ladder?’


Man I’m so in for some vintage furniture in the form of a ladder thought I, before I had chance to think of the rather large stash of vintage ladders under this house I replied with a resounding YES!   I mean I did not have a step ladder, I mean hello, this one is a beauty…a beauty with a pole stuck right through the middle of it but that my friends is just detail and is soon to be removed…my new vintage ladder will soon be pole-less and looking particularly fetching in this old cottage…


…not sure where yet and need to camouflage it from certain males for a while but I believe this beauty will make her debut sooner rather than later…did I or did I not have any choice but to throw this into the back of my car and add it to the back of the magic wardrobe?


And that is it from me, boom de boom, how good was my vintage treasure hunting???? It’s sure been a while coming, the last time I went out all I came home with was a vintage flan case, Made in France…

So tell me, which one is your favourite?


p.s. I really am sorry about all the site problems, I have had more messages from you… again here today all my pics are different sizes and it’s been a nightmare my end working with this – fixes coming soon, I am ready for a clean site :-)


love a girly chat?  find abeachcottage on Facebook…we’ve been talking quick ways to get rid of the lbs (yep if you, like me, somehow grew a muffin top over the long weekend hop over) ways to switch off  and drinking water for energy

come on over and join in the convo - you know those big famous people on Facebook who ask but don’t answer, c’mon you know them duh, when you reply to what they’ve asked and no-one even acknowledges your voice????? well that doesn’t happen over on abeachcottage Facebook… it’s all about the chat…grab a drink &  come & say G’day 




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45 Responses to “A Beach Cottage Vintage Treasure Hunting Finds”

  1. jennifer farrugia says:

    Oh how I can already see that old window painted all white !!
    how much the colored glass would pop !!
    where do you plan to put it sarah?

  2. Glenda says:

    I have the same tape measure that belonged to my darling Dad, so added sentimental value along with the asthetic and function. Probably about 60 years old, and still works perfectly as you say. x Glenda

  3. Jody says:

    The stained glass window!
    I can’t wait to see it hanging and the light coming through! Gosh it is beautiful!
    xxxooo jody

  4. Gretchen says:

    Your stained glass window is just lovely and I know it will be the perfect addition to your beach cottage.

  5. Susan says:

    Leather tape measure, for sure. My husband is a custom cabinetmaker and I would so love to find one of them for my husband….

  6. Lyn says:

    Hahaha my mum had one of those measuring containers. Love the window & the colours of the timber in the ladder. Great thrifting :))

    • sarah says:

      thanks, I had never seen one of these measuring cups before – pretty handy actually after a big clean lol x

  7. Jo says:

    I can see your enamel bowl filled with succulents or herbs sitting out on your deck or near the summer house.

  8. IrishMum says:

    LOL! So good to hear about your thrusting :) I love the tape measure. Brings back memories..

  9. MDN says:

    Truly love the window; but nostalgia rules my choice for fav to be the measuring tape! Remember playing w/ my Dad’s US version some 55+ yrs. ago. It was fascinating and loads of fun. And, you’re right, it never “hung up”… Don’t know what happened to it, tho, alas… (PS, It wasn’t new then. Maybe these were manufactured first sometime during WWII when portability, reliability and detail were essential? Dad had worked on airplane engines then.) What wonderful finds!

    • sarah says:

      interesting! I think it would be around that time from the feel of it – amazing that it runs so well still, truly beautifully made :-)

      shame you don’t still have it :-)

  10. Keren says:

    Oooh I love that window! Love the colours! Love the wood! Can I ask what you will do about the crack in the glass? Do you have to somehow repair it so it won’t break or will it be ok?

    • sarah says:

      Hi Keren

      I am going to leave the crack in the glass – at first I thought I would have to repair it, but it seems quite ‘safe’, there are no exposed sharp bits and it doesn’t feel as if it will fall out…will see how I go…

      I love it too, the colours are much better in real life x

  11. Jody says:

    Ps ..I forgot to say, the predictive text ‘ thrusting ‘ is quite funny! Glad you have a great and understanding husband, but I am sure he wanted to try an afternoon doing the same with you after that comment!

  12. Smaggle says:

    Wow! That stuff is gorgeous!

  13. Nice goodies and excellent thrusting!! Love every piece. Will the gorgeous window be going white? Yummy!!…xx

  14. judy gill says:

    morning Sarah, gosh you are such a good thrifty finder! would love to come thrifting with you one day! glad you had a good wend.my Dad had one of those tape measures must ask my brother where it is.have a good day …judy

  15. Shannon says:

    Oh. that window. It’s just lovely.

  16. jaime says:


    The window is outstanding! Love it. Love the ladder as well. I have been searching for one like it.

    The Barley photo bomb is precious. He has been missed mightily. One wonders if the blog gods have been playing havoc with your site because there is no longer a dedicated Barley page? Rather makes you think. Curious, very curious!

    • sarah says:

      I don’t know what it is but I am sorely over it! The whole point was to make it nicer here not to be in a mess like I am lol :-)

      yup Barley may have to go back to his old page if I can’t get his blog up and running soon…maybe I should do a post on good old Barls anyway x

  17. Alice says:

    The window and tape measure… Love that window, I can already think of various ways I could incorporate it in my home…Very good thrusting…u hum… I mean thrifting of course ; D

  18. Rukmini Roy says:

    LOVE the door. Granny made herself a light fixture with an old stained glass door, chains and candles and it used to look fabulous. She basically attached four hooks on 4 corners of the door, humg it from the ceiling with chains and lit candles on top. I remember watching it from the table as a child…. too bad they sold the house.
    Would love to know what you are planning with it :)

    • sarah says:

      that sounds interesting! I haven’t thought about it too much – I think it will go somewhere as wall art though :-)

  19. Neen says:

    Ladder luuuuuurve….. be still my beating heart………stained glass window….mmmmm.
    Shredded suet…..not so much, but I do recall my mother-in-law saying something about it being an ingredient in her incredible Christmas pudding.
    It is such a happy time when I read about your thrusting, thriftling* ;) great pics and giggles, as always.
    :) Neen

  20. Ellie at Emerald Pie says:

    I love the window – I have been looking for something similar myself but no success so far. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
    As for the measuring jug. I have my mothers “vintage” one which she used when we were kids (she thinks she got it in the 1960s). I took it off to college with me (yes I did occasionaly cook) and have kept it ever since. It used to be called “that old battered thing” by my friends and family – now they admire the vintage look!!

  21. alison says:

    Damn that predictive text. So embarrassing at times. I heard recently on the radio that some of those substitute words thrown in by predictive text are slowly but surely becoming accepted for the intended word-evolution of our language before our eyes.

    Ooooo. I found out exactly where suet comes from.

    All your vintage finds are like a trip down my childhood memory lane. Thanks.


  22. Jojo3b says:

    What a treasure you have in your friend M! Every time I would get something old/ vintage…I would get the surprised looks from people. Like the time I had my husbands cubby house ladder propped up in the entrance way( faded rustic red- gorgeous) my MIL thought I was getting ready to throw it out. Then again I must really confuse her too, she will ask if I want an item as she thinks it would be me….and I say say no thanks… Poor woman.

  23. Katherine Eaton says:

    The ladder!! Love it – and it has my favourite no. on it – 3!!
    When do we get to see a pic of your new hairstyle Sarah? Hint hint!!
    All great finds :)

  24. Ree says:

    The vintage tape measure is stunning, as is the vintage old window! What great discoveries you have made. I’m now tempted to go treasure hunting too :-) Beautiful photos by the way!

  25. I just love WHITE! I would love to cover my Love Seat like you have in your Beach House. Is a sheet? Did you do it yourself? Was it a store bought Cover? I have a friend who has her covered in what looks like a wheat cover material. I have such cute pillows. But can’t put them on it as it is a flower prints. I love your blog! White is so clean and bright. I would really appreciate you help. Thanks
    Melinda G. Burke

  26. Shar Y says:

    What great vintage finds! I had a stain glass piece that had a crack in it for years, no problem! Got to where I never even noticed! Good job!

  27. Christine Hutchinson says:

    Hi Sarah !
    I love them all but have to pick the stained glass. I have purchased some nice stained glass items from a business that operates in NYC and PA, and sells
    their vintage treasures in Brimfield,Mass. It is all cool stuff, they go to demolitions of barns,churches,etc.and buy stuff before the places are leveled. I have a beautiful mirror that was made with authentic olde tin ceiling used as a border and I love it :) Wish I too, could find stuff for free….but I have to say the company,
    Olde good things,was very reasonable because they are one of those ” helpers of their community” types.WooHoo…if only I could figure out how to attach a pic?

  28. Kim H says:

    Treasures!! My faves …. the window and the ladder for sure. That stenciling is so perfect. Of course you couldn’t resist another ladder just as I can never resist another rolling pin;) I have one of those old round leathery tape measures. It’s so lovely. i’m starting a bt of a tape measuring kind of collection at the moment – a couple of roundies and quite a few timber foldy ones. x

  29. Kat says:

    Ooh I love this. So gorgeous with the blue and the splash or red on the window.
    The ladder is awesome too.
    I am still on the hunt for one, but they have such ridiculous prices on them.
    I shall have to wait until my father in law no longer needs his and quickly claim it as my own! ;)

  30. Tamara says:

    Oh Sarah,
    That tape measure is divine!! My husband would truly drool on that! You are right my friend, they don’t make them like that anymore. Lovely haul. You are a lucky girl living in a lucky land.

  31. Rochelle says:

    Wow, I love that tapemeasure! They are all gorgeous though!

  32. Sarah says:

    Those measuring tapes are fabulous. When my grandpa died I found two lurking in his drawer along with some old wooden hinged rulers. I love them. I have a little ‘school’ shelf in my living room!