A Very Vintage Halloween…

A Very Vintage Halloween…

Hello Little Ones, Being Australian we really don’t do Halloween, although this isn’t stopping every major retailer from here to Tasmania giving their October marketing dollar a red hot run. So rather than spend the whole (I’m only spending a small portion) post bitching about it I shall share some gorgeous Halloween vintage photography with you instead! I’ve got to say unless you’re American and want to have a fun gathering teaching us Colonials all about this delightful tradition, I feel that by ‘celebrating’ Halloween here in Melbourne you’re likely to get, at best arrested, and at worst, never spoken to again by your neighbours who (I presume like most Aussies you ignore for the whole year, including Christmas Day) can find it rather surprising, to say the very least, to see their close neighbours ghoulishly-dressed child magically appear on their front porch, come early evening on October 31st, demanding sugary treats… Honestly friends, just give it a miss or use it as a good excuse for a catch-up with a few other families and have a backyard BBQ, letting the kids run free, now that daylight savings has arrived. Take a look at the tradition of Halloween and how and why it started; base your celebrations around that if you wish. So, rather than feature anything spooky, scary or gruesome, don’t into the hype here in Australia (this comment is to be thoroughly ignored, my darling and most delightful followers from the good ol’ US of A – this is your celebration; enjoy!) I thought I’d share some awesome vintage Halloween images for you to enjoy! So darlings. Enjoy!

Vintage Halloween kids

These little devils files look like they’re having fun!

Halloween vintage

Every year since 1952, Margery became more and more concerned that her sons may not find suitable wives.

Vintage Halloween monkey boy

Timmy was told to sit on the naughty step after he stole another banana.

Wolf man vintage Halloween

Giving Frank the table scraps seemed to be giving his coat a glossy shine.

Vintage Halloween kids

It was going to be a long night…

Vintage Halloween

Gladys and Bob were thrilled that adoption laws had finally been relaxed.

Vintage Halloween

The spacesuit always made Bobby feel he could punch above his weight.

Vintage Halloween

Edith kept kept a momento from each of her ex-husbands.

Love Mrs Jones x

Tickle the Imagination

Tickle the Imagination


Hello friends,

As an official ‘tickle the imagination’ ambassador I would love you to do a few things for me.

  1. Get down to your local newsagent and grab the latest copy – which just happens to be Issue 17 – paper.scissors.rock. which is all about celebration tradition fun, games and crafts that you can enjoy with the kids!
  2. Go to my Facebook Page and enter the ‘tickle the imagination’ refer a friend competition – seriously, winning this is kinda awesome! There is a ‘tickle’ goodie bag full of crafty and creative goodness just waiting for the winner
  3. Head on over to the ‘tickle’ site and take a look around, and while you’re there why not sign up for a subscription. At just $49 for the year it makes a great gift, but seriously, you’ll need to purchase two because you just won’t want to give it away! And this month’s subscribers have the added fun of winning a gorgeous ‘birdynumnum design’ dreamer (valued at $59)


That is about it for today but I’ll be posting regularly about ‘tickle the imagination’ as well as holding some great competitions and giveaways from the girls at ‘tickle’!

Oh, and if you grab yourself this month’s copy and you’ll find lots and lots to keep the kids busy – awesome to stash away for school holidays!


feature stories…

+ the sunshine gang
+ big kids or little women
+ being present
+ springtime crafting
+ make organising child’s play
+ rock of ages
+ campfire stories

+ painted rock cactus garden
+ chess piece tiara
+ mini rustic cakes
+ paper boat mobile
+ kokeshi paper dolls
+ paper mobile bliss
+ bookish creations
+ peg dolly
+ marshmallow s’mores
+ chocolate crackle cones

meet the maker
+ birdynumnum
+ charlie & rosie and paperchap collaborate

+ a few of my favourite things

plus all the regular features!

Oscar de la Renta dies…

Oscar de la Renta dies…

Oscar de la renta gown

Oscar de la Renta the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82.

Here’s To You, Gough…

Here’s To You, Gough…


Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister passed away this morning, aged 98.

He was a giant of Australian politics and, in my opinion, with the exception of very, very few have there been any others who have even come close to this great man.

Although he only lead Australia for three years, his party launched massive reform, both economically and culturally. Controversially, he began the reform into Aboriginal land rights; began universal healthcare in Australia with the Medicare system; normalised diplomatic ties with one of our closest trading partners, China; gave all Australians the right to a free university education; and ended conscription of young men in Australia, also withdrawing our forces from Vietnam.

gough whitlam the dismissal

Today is a sad day for me as one of my first, distinct memories as a three-year-old was of a group of my parents friends listening to the radio on the evening that Gough was dismissed by the governor-general, John Kerr on November 11, 1975. My father, a teacher, was probably pretty radical in his time – as were the group of friends my parents had – and each and every one of them was in tears, angry and I remember a lot of anger and disbelief.

It is a memory that now, as a forty-two year old, has stayed with me incredibly clearly throughout the years and began my passion with politics, international relations and social justice for all Australians.


This morning opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Labor Party had “lost a giant” and “the nation has lost a legend”.

“Like no other prime minister before or since, Gough Whitlam redefined our country and in doing so he changed the lives of a generation. His vision, his ambition offered Australia a new sense of what it might be,” Mr Shorten said. “Our country is different because of him. By any test, the country is different and by any test the country was different significantly and better.

“He reimagined Australia as a modern nation where equality of opportunity belonged to all. There will be millions of Australians who feel his loss and will mourn his passing in the days to come.”

Mr Whitlam did inspire a generation of young people to get into politics; to make changes that would have seemed impossible to their parents; to get out there and change things they felt were unfair. He inspired me. He inspired my parents. He inspired many Australian songwriters, others currently and previously in public office and other notable Australians.

gough whitlam

So, to quote a song, by ‘The Whitlams’ I say,

“Here’s to you, Edward Gough Whitlam.”

And may the nation always remember you as a giant. A humble man who changed our nation. Australian politics has become a much less brave and inspiring place once you left.

Love Mrs Jones x

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Nice Day for a Picnic…

Basil Bangs Picnic RugFeeling like a picnic?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re at the beach, in the garden or on the back deck, the Basil Bangs Love Rug from ‘Top 3 by Design’ marks your spot with very cool vintage style.

The Love Rug, a collaboration with “We are Handsome”, is perfect for a family picnic, at the beach or just relaxing on your favourite grassy patch on the back lawn – or if it’s raining, bring it inside for use as a play mat.

The Basil Bangs Love Rug features:
– A spacious family size 1.8m diameter circular size
– Internal urethane padding for comfort
– Underside lined with water-proof backing
– Topside features sublimation printed, water-resistant outdoor polyester canvas
– Hidden pocket for stashing your phone, wallet and keys
– Contrast colour edging
– Padded carry handle
– Adjustable shoulder strap

With Love
Mrs Jones x

Dansk Vintage…

Dansk Vintage…

Dansk Furniture

Just a quick word for the wise – those of you with a love of Danish mid-century design…

Dansk Vintage in BrisVegas has a new shipment of furniture arriving in the coming weeks.

Dansk has over 25 years experience in authentic Danish modern and iconic design classics and offer a wide range of beautiful Danish vintage furniture, lighting and accessories for your home or office.

If you love this beautiful style of mid-century goodness, you’d better get yourself over to their site now to check over what is arriving and either buy or peruse and enjoy.

Mrs Jones x

Steve Jobs Day…

Steve Jobs Day…

Steve Jobs

The 16th of October has been designated Steve Jobs Day, and I for one, am happy to celebrate the man who changed our lives through the simplicity of the Mac, strived for perfection in the simplicity of design at Apple Inc. and in all truth was an amazingly driven, inspiring and brilliant man.

Although my household runs on PC’s; this is something you can take up with Mr. Jones directly through spruegrey.com. We have a number of iPads, iPods and we both own iPhones – so, regardless of whether you’re a PC or a Mac person (or one of those who will argue until you’re last breath about whether the simplicity of design vs. ability to geek out and upgrade your machine is better) Steve Jobs did indeed change the world in which we live and I thank him for that.

Very Pinteresting…

Very Pinteresting…

imageTaa daaaaa!

Darling peeps, I’ve got some exciting new to share…

Drum roll please…

I’m not sure how it happened because I wasn’t keeping that close an eye on numbers, but… low-and-behold I just got m’self over 16,000 followers on Pinterest and frankly I’m a little excited!

You see, I began on Pinterest a little while after it began a few years back and was, naturally, obsessed with it. With images out there like this, who wouldn’t be?

Space cat

50's prom dress

Too obsessed… and I had to have myself a little time out for a while… But with awesome vintage goodness like Gladys here, playing Bingo, I couldn’t help myself.

60's bingo

So, I came back, with a more moderated love and have totally enjoyed seeing how it’s changed and improved as it’s grown. And, I’ve found more and more vintage awesomeness…

1940's radio listening

I’ve curated. I’ve culled. I’ve rearranged my boards too many times to count. But, it was all worth it… Just so that I could reliably find any kind of classic or bizarre vintage image to share with you, my dear followers.

1950's bikini starfish girl

But let me tell you friends, curating content of this quality doesn’t just happen by itself… It’s been hard work and Many days, weeks and months of neglect of my family that have gone into my profile and boards. You don’t find quality like this…


Or this…

50's smoking family

Or even this…

Sad 60's kid and toys

without a lot of hard work and late, late nights trawling through boards and pins!

So, to everyone who follows one or more of my boards on Pinterest, I say a big warm thank you and look forward to bringing you more yummy, curated content through gorgeous images and lots of laughs with the amazing stuff that the Interwebs has out there!

Love Mrs Jones x

Do Me A Favour…

Do Me A Favour…


Hello Friends,

Today was a strange day because I had to go to my grandfathers house and grab some of the things I wanted to keep before his house is sold. You see, he went into a nursing home a few months ago and it’s now time to sell his place. Grandma died a few years back and there was still a bit of her stuff there too.

It was a really weird feeling walking around his home, the home where he and Grandma had lived for over 20 years. It still smells the same and looks just as it did when he was there, but he wasn’t and he’s not going to live there again, so practicalities must take over and that’s why I was there.

It struck me, as I looked at his qualifications on the walls of his study, at his guitar in the corner, at the family photographs on every surface; that at the end of your life there is only a handful of ‘stuff’ to show that you were actually here. And unless you’re in people’s hearts and minds, there really isn’t much left at all…

And it got me thinking that life is incredibly short.

So quick.

So brief and you’d better make the most of it. You’d really better be you, truly and honestly you and not live somebody else’s life because all that will be left will be a handful of stuff that really wasn’t you anyhow.

So friends, I ask you to do this for me. Take stock. Just do a quick little inventory now. No matter how sucky, low long, how frustrating or how generally crappy your day has been today, please, just take a few minutes to think about this and do something for me now. First.

Take three slow, deep breaths. Take a look around you. Are you happy? Are you comfortable in your life. Happy with the person you show to the world? Are you being you?

The awesome, loving, kind, wonderful you.


Just you.

Or are you unhappy. Are you feeling that life is sucking the fun and kindness out of you?

Take a moment. Take a moment to remember who you used to be when you were at your happiest. Perhaps it was only this morning before you made the lunches, the beds, did three loads of washing, made dinner, listened to the complaints, the whinging, put everyone to bed and it’s just now you’re finding a few minutes for a cuppa or a glass of wine. Then you can relax. Relax and find you. The happy person, the person who isn’t overwhelmed with life and it’s demands.

Perhaps it was a few years back, when you were happy. Maybe life has been crushing you slowly. Bills. Work. Negative people. Unhappy people. Mean, nasty people.

Perhaps you can’t even remember how long ago that it was when you were truly happy. Perhaps you’ve been eating too much. Maybe you just can’t find the energy to go for that run or walk you keep promising yourself you’ll find time for. Perhaps you’ve been controlling everything around you to try and find something you can grab onto.

Maybe you’re living with somebody who makes you feel small. Feel afraid. Feel worthless. Maybe you’re trying to escape, but you can’t because it’s all too overwhelming. Or you’re afraid for your life.

Well friends, today is it.

Honestly, today is the day.

There really mightn’t be another and do you really want all that you are, all that you’ve been to just be a pile of stuff that people will remember you by?

Think back to the feeling you used to get as a kid.

Remember how it felt to walk barefoot on the grass.

How it felt to have no responsibilities except for playing with friends and laughing. Having fun. Being you. That awesome, wonderful, gorgeous, happy, kind, loving you.

The you at your ‘you-est’.

Well the time has come to remember that kid.

Remember who you were and who you wanted to be; and who you actually still are inside and who you WILL show the world that you are again.

Stop the madness.

Get off the wheel.

Stop playing games and get real.

Stop the worrying. Stop the excuses. Now…

Make a change. A little one. A big one. Anything. Just do something to find that perfect person you feel is in the shadows and be that kid again.

Don’t waste another day letting others control you.

No longer will you let others control your destiny or make you feel that you can’t be you.

Do me a favour and just be you.

You’re good enough.

In fact you’re probably much more awesome than you’ve ever realised!

And whenever you start to forget who you are, remember walking barefoot in the grass; the smell, the cool feeling between your toes and how light and free you were. That kid is still there.

Be that person.

Be awesome and be you.


Love to you all

Mrs Jones x

The Brain That Changes Itself…

The Brain That Changes Itself…

I have just finished reading THE most amazing book I’ve come across in a long time! ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’, Norman Doidge MD, about neuroplasticity and how the old view of the adult brain being an unchanging and fixed structure is being totally turned on its head by new scientific discovery. Doidge is a psychiatrist and researcher and the book uses a number of very interesting case studies in each chapter as well as giving a great, and accessible, overview of the latest research science has about neuroplasticity, the adult brain and how it changes radically when required (and sometimes when you don’t want it to!) and how kiddo’s and their brains develop.



It’s a fascinating read and as I hardly ever read fiction it’s right up my alley. I’ll preface this little review by saying that if you’re a passionate fiction reader this probably isn’t the book for you. But if you’re interested in people and why they act the way they do (I mean, seriously, who isn’t?) human science, changing habits, why we do what we do and how we can change, this is an amazing and enlightening book!

Some of the more interesting things I’ve learned (these are very simplified, and if you want the case studies and more detail, please purchase the book) are:

  • Our brain ‘maps’ the information that we learn. Like a route on a Google map (or Melways for us oldies from Melbourne!) that we use all the time, we can clearly see the path we take to do certain things – whether or not these things are conscious to us.

    For those regular readers you’ll know my back pain and recent hospital admission drama but I’m learning that the pain in my back that I’ve been suffering from for over 20 years, isn’t actually a huge thing physically, but is actually a ‘learned’ response from my brain!


    Honestly, this is mind-blowing for me, knowing that with the correct brain training, pain relief and physical exercise I can actually lessen my symptoms and retrain my brain to recognize that the massive pain I experience doesn’t actually mean I’m about to slip a disc or something serious, but it may be more of a learned response to a smaller, and less serious, injury.

    Over the years my brain has ‘mapped’ a learned response to an injury that was never properly dealt with on all levels in the first place – physical therapy and pain management, etc. So each time I do something to aggravate my back it causes, what should be to most people, a small inflammatory response to heal a muscle; my brain tells my body that my back is about to be severely damaged and pulls out all the stops to ensure I don’t move and hurt it more. That means heaps of pain, loss of movement with muscle spasm and lots of inflammation… not to mention paramedics, heaps of drugs and a trip to hospital.

    I am now so much more aware of the fact that my brain has mapped this, frankly insane, response to what isn’t a new major injury, but is just a long-standing injury that is serious, yes, but not as serious as my brain considers it!

    I am now waiting to be accepted into a pain management program that will utilize physical therapy, psychology, medication and a number of other techniques to retrain my brain and body to see the pain for what it actually is, not what my brain ‘thinks’ it is.

    AWESOME! Friends, I am NEVER spending another night in hospital because of my back. Done…

    Anyhow… back to the book!

  • Hearing problems may be the cause, with some kids, of learning difficulties because if information goes into the brain ‘muffled’ it is also remembered that way.

    I think there’s something in that for all of us… Multi-tasking, being unconnected with a conversation or not fully listening to somebody doesn’t make for great long-term relations.

  • An amazing computer program developed for children with learning difficulties in the language area is having astounding results for children with autism too. Case studies are finding that upon using the program these autistic children are becoming more connected socially, their language and autistic symptoms seemed to be fading, and some children are very quickly moving from severe language impairment into the normal range.

    This chapter is just so interesting and you’ll see that if we are learning something new or wanting to change habits we need a reward. This may just be a positive reinforcement such as a hug, a kind word or a visual reminder of how awesome we are – and this will be backed up with improved motivation and sharpening of new ‘brain maps’ for our new, and better, habits.

  • There is a great chapter on love and our particular, or perhaps peculiar tastes. Reading this may just give you a scientific explanation for why you always choose ‘bad boys’, lairs or partners who are bad for you and your relationships continue to suck, with you repeating the same scenarios over and over again…
  • You’ll learn that new neurons can be turned on in our brains, no matter our age, although the younger you begin training your brain, the better you’ll be. The old axiom, use it or lose it, definitely applies in brain science. So it is very beneficial to continue learning new things, travelling, moving and exercising. We cannot expect to stay ‘young’ brain-wise by doing the same thing day-in and day-out and practicing the same habits both good or bad.

    We need to mix things up and get out there! But, remembering the early lesson that we need rewards to ensure our learning stays with us, we should be doing things we’ve always wanted to do – have some fun and don’t waste our lives – to ensure we stay highly motivated, which is crucial to a ‘fresh’ brain.

  • Also, the 1979 book, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards was amazingly correct in its use of neuroscience and learning. She teaches that the left-side of our brain which perceives things in the ‘verbal, logical and analytic’ and can actually “bully” and overpower the more creative right-side of our brain. Her training turns down the left-side of the brain and students find that they suddenly acquire a knack for drawing rather than acquiring the skill gradually as you would think.

I can go on and on, as Mr. Jones will be happy to confirm, about this amazing book and what I’ve learned, but the best that I can do is to encourage you to purchase it yourself and find out just how our brains learn. I’m positive you’ll see a number of different ways that you may have fallen into unhelpful habits or where you could improve your memory or brain in general.

The book is published by SCRIBE Melbourne and seems to be available everywhere!

By the way, I wasn’t asked, paid or otherwise coerced into writing this review. Although, for future information, science authors I’m seriously open to bribery with chocolate!