The Etsy Experience

The Preparation

A theme was announced about two weeks to the date. Of course I had a minor freak out and spent hours pouring over Pinterest to find ideas to fit typewriters into the Alice in Wonderland theme. Bought a stack of art paper and got on to making little origami things… I think it was something like 15 hours worth of origami folding and following how-to’s on YouTube.
2 flamingos, 2 rabbits, 2 teapots, 8 teacups and a mad hatter’s hat — it was totally worth it. Everyone loved it!

Oh man, those business cards.
It was a weary thursday. After a long day of work we dragged ourselves to the stationary store to pick up a few more things that I needed for the markets and the business cards that I had sent to print nearly a week prior. There was quite a queue at 5 o’clock but that dissolved pretty quickly. It was our turn — I gave my name and reason why I was there to the nice lady who was full of smiles… and it turned into a worrisome frown when she couldn’t find my cards. Somehow, they had lost the stack of my 250 business cards.
I did need them pretty urgently, so the printers offered to reprint it right away. “It’ll take about half an hour to an hour,” they said. Right.
We spent the next hour and a half just looking through every aisle in the shop and then sitting down in front of the counter looking like hungry zombies with death-like stares into the depths of mobile devices.
With what seemed like forever the lady called us and handed us a bag full of cards, apologising profusely. She had added in another 50 cards for sorry-we-made-you-wait-long-time… it definitely made me smile.


Etsy Sunday

It was an early start for us – we had to be at the grounds at 7am. I didn’t get any sleep at all the night before so I was just stumbling along literally chucking everything in the back of the car.

The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful spot for a market. It was quite hot in the morning, and during the set up I found myself needing to take my vest and hat off. The husband left me there after the set up and I went looking at the other stores just to see what Alice in Wonderland stuff they had done. I wish I had taken pictures then!


Back of the car


Chocolate cupcake om nom nom. Best way to start a market day!


The Natslaptaps stall!



I really liked how the decor turned up. I have a video of the table setting, but WordPress is being silly. I did a mock up the day before, and it’s on the Natslaptaps Instagram account.

Oh! The gold coin thing. Yes.
Ummm, I put up a small gold coin drive to raise funds for a local animal rescue group. People would get to keep whatever they typed on the small sheet of paper as a token. The typewriters were very, very well loved. Heaps of kids had a great time — there were a couple that were just ridiculously cute.
A 3 year old kid just typed the same letter the whole line just to get to the end. It wasn’t the bell sound that he liked, but the return action! He had the biggest grin plastered on his face. :D
There was a 5 year old girl that spent a good 20 minutes just typing out a whole page of nice sentences like “I love my mum because….” and about the school she was in. It was beautiful to witness the amount of concentration she had into typing the page and her smile when she got to the end, realising her achievement. Her mum actually left her at my stall to look at the other stalls.

I’m just really glad that a heap of kids had a go. Even the shy ones wrote a simple sentence or their name at least.
The drive was really successful too – the typewriters raised $142.50!!! :D
Thanks everyone that did put a coin to the cause!


Overall Experience

It was a pretty long, and hot day. By noon I was ready to leave my stall and stalk some of the food stalls for some lunch. The husband saved me with a filet o’ fish and a small sprite from the Big M. We had some delicious ice cream too. We finished packing up at 4 or so and got home at 5.

I’m really glad that I did do this — it was really fun and rewarding to see the looks on people’s faces when they saw the machines. I had quite a few conversations with the young and old, many reminisce about the old times and how the computer seemed to have revolutionized the print world.. and how carbon copy paper was everyone’s common enemy. XD
I’m still recovering from the exhaustion (plus the softball game the day before, which is another post in itself) so I might end this post with some thank yews.



1. To my awesome work colleagues for making it to the markets (with your dogs!) and giving me a break from my repetitive sales pitches. You guys are so awesome. Like, mind blown awesome.

2. Etsy Territorians for putting up with me. :p

3. Nascence Design my neighbor for all the silly convos! I’ll see you around sooooooon

4. Everyone else that I failed to mention. Thank you and sorry!

5. Drum roll for the last and most important person….. My husband, the only one to stick with me doing all sorts of crazy things and giving me reassurances with all the design work and inputs to stuff AND giving me rides everywhere to pick stuff up. Basically putting up with me. Truckloads <3 you.


Wokay, I’m sure there’s heaps more I was meant to say but that’ll do for now.
Till next post! :)

Brisbane Hours 31+

Hang in there, I’m nearly done!

After the Type-In Scott gave me a lift to the airport — and met up with Steve K again. Steve was heading back to Perth on a flight just before mine. The queue into the airport gates were really long! The men at the scanners looked at our cases with much suspicion. I think it was about 20 minutes or more before we got through and sat down at the nearest cafe.

Oh, did I mention?
I failed the first explosions test in Darwin.
The guy had to test himself and then me twice over before letting me through. He definitely gave my Adler the I’m-watching-you stare… Thank goodness I didn’t hold up the line in Brisbane!

Anyway, back to hot chocolates.
It was then Steve mentioned getting from Brisbane to Perth was about 5 hours — making my 4 hour plane ride home a bit more bearable. We squeezed in a good ole’ chat before Steve’s gate opened. He made the mad dash to get on the plane and I walked towards my gate which was a good 20 gates away.

The flight back to Darwin was ummm, interesting and scary. I must have struck gold or something on the flight and sat next to the only baby on the whole plane. It was a cute bubba but she cried a pretty nasty cry but quickly settled down once the plane was in the air and melatonin kicked in. Not too bad, I thought.
Then we hit turbulence jackpot.
At one stage it felt like the plane had taken a nose dive… then in the scariest of roller coaster fashions the plane made it back up and went bumpity bump bump all the way back to Darwin.
The touch down… uhh… all I can say that it made people cry. In my delirium I was sure the wing had broken off and the plane was doomed for a fiery end. People were running out of the plane to solid ground upon landing. I may or may not have been one of them.


Forgotten egg Benedict picture. My innards after that flight might have very well looked like this. Well, less yummy looking.

What did I bring back to sunny Darwin from the Type-In?

  • Technical knowledge and courage about typewriters. I’ve always feared about the escapement area and mainsprings, but the guys talked about it like it’s a jog in the park.
  • The confirmation that I wasn’t the only person in Australia with bidding trigger finger :p
  • That it’s okay to have more than 10 typewriters in the house. 30 doesn’t sound too bad either.
  • Maybe I should get a standard typewriter.
  • The re-confirmation why we collect, repair and use typewriters. They are timeless pieces and have history, take part in the present and should have a spot in the future.
  • Writing short stories isn’t as hard as I thought. I definitely should write more.
  • Rekindled motivation to repair and clean my horde! Must be working – plowed through 5 this weekend. :)
  • Fond memories and stories of Brisbane, fish and chips, and beautiful typewriters.
  • Two typewriters, heh. :3

In any case, the 32 hours of Brisbane was absolutely fantastic and I can’t thank the Brissy mates enough. You guys are just something else altogether — kudos to you guys for organising another successful Type-In!
Meeting everyone in person was such a joy, and shed insights blogs can’t convey.  I really do appreciate it.

Last of all, THANK YOU SCOTT for the over-flowing generosity and taking me out on a proper typewriter hunt and the tour around Brisbane and all the other things I didn’t mention.
I’m sorry if I chatted your ears off with my constant questions too. XD

Ok. All done! :)

Brisbane Type-In 2014

So, I think I’m the last to post about the Type-In, all the boys were really efficient in typing theirs up!
If you haven’t read the other’s posts about the Type-In/Out and seen the pictures, here it is:

Scott K (Filthy Platen)
Steve Snow (Impatient Typewriter Mechanic)
Rino (Long, slow blog)
Robert Messenger (OzTypewriter)
Steve K (writelephant)

Right! The story continues.


Scott and I made it to the park under the Story Bridge just before 11am in a car was chock full of tables, chairs and of course, typewriters.  Scott was explaining to me on the way to the park that parking in that area was somewhat a nightmare and he was quite surprised that we got a spot almost immediately on one side of the bridge. Scott hopped out to find the other S.K while I snagged us a table next to no doubt ironically, a Singaporean family just enjoying a Sunday morning. So Mr. Steve K had already reserved a spot for us on the other side of the bridge where we had parked, so Scott drove the car over to unload the things in the back of the car while I stood in the middle of the parking lot with my typewriter.
Some eager cars went by and I’m sure some of them cursed at me and my Adler.

I think this was when I saw a man in a bright yellow shirt looking around…

After the swap-a-roo was done and the dust settled and hand shakes, the Type-In was a roll!


We had three tables worth of typewriters.


Two of the three Olivetti Lettera 22’s that showed up.


John’s incredibly handsome push-rod Klein-Adler. Sadly the knob fell off so I didn’t get a change to get a type sample. Russian keyboard was interesting.


John, standing proud next to his Hermes 9.


Rino lookin’ ever so cool in his fedora and Steve Snow trying out my Adler Favorit 2.


Scott K. on da’ phone while John and Robert’s friend Gary have a chat.


Robert  explaining something to Steve K.


Robert’s new Corona flat top and Erika Portable


This hulk of a machine printed one of the smallest typefaces in the Type In!


Steve Snow’s beaaaautiful Underwood Noiseless 77. Lucky I wasn’t left alone with this machine. I would have nicked it.

Robert was very kind to give us copies of his book “101 Great Typewriters” — we queued up for an autograph. :3


Louise and Steve K getting their books signed by Robert


Robert’ in his bright QQQ yellow shirt and matching runners.

There were some gorgeous machines, and machines that I would have never had a chance to lay hands on. My collection consists of ultra and semi portables, so smashing it out on a standard was something else altogether.

You’ve probably seen it in the pictures the others took — I’ve got a rather *gulp* determined look on my face. I was going to get a type sample of all the typewriters and possibly file them away somewhere, just to appease my sentimental side. Here’s the scans of the type samples. I hope I got them all!


EPSON052_web1 EPSON053_web2 EPSON053_web1      


This picture makes me smile :)

Robert took out an AMAZING upstroke Fox Standard. It was just beautiful. *sigh* :) My phone does no justice to the beauty of this machine.


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I had brought a couple of the Typewriter Mystery Games books — it’s basically step by step instructions to ACSII art. You don’t what you get till you finish it. Rino had typed a sparrow and I did two crows for Steve Snow in exchange for this witty story:



Someone left this on the Adler Favorit 2.

There was a typing contest, fish and chips, stories and more stories till 5pm. Time went too quickly, but it was well spent.


L-R: Lousie, Scott K, John L, Steve K, Rino, myself, Robert M and Steve S.

Thanks for the awesome time guys, till the next Type In! :D

P.S – I still have a little more to go, gee whiz!

Brisbane Hours 1-12

Hour 1 to 3

Getting off the plane was so good.
The sky was cloudy but the sun shone through and the air smelt different but good. Brisbane reminded me of Melbourne and Perth, and had a interesting mix of both. Oh, did I mention it was my first time in Brisbane?

Shuffling my hand luggage around I made a mad dash for the gate exit.
It wasn’t long till I spotted Scott K and “OH-IT’S-YOU!” exchanges he swept me away to proper typewriter hunting.


Brisbane CBD


What seemed to be a very tall and steep highway on a cloudy day

First stop: Woolloongabba Antique Centre.

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There was a whole heap of vintage and vintage styled items, many of which if I hadn’t had any self control or determination, would have somehow made its way with me to Darwin.
We spotted quite a few typewriters there, perhaps 10 or so, but none came home with us.

It was a sad that the first typewriter thing I saw was this:


The typewriters we did see:




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Hour 4 to 6

Scott took me to a nice cafe for lunch, the suburb name I am forgetting already! I think it was called New Foundland or something (sorry Scott!) Remembering what my colleague had said about cafe standards, I went for the eggs Benedict on wholemeal bread. It was very yummy, and I nearly didn’t finish it all.

We then made our way to Paddington Antiques — an ex theater made into an antiques place. We didn’t spend too long there and we only found a lonely Halda standard priced at $200+. Uh, no thanks mate.


Original mouldings grace Paddington.


After Paddington Scott had to stop by a servo to top the tank up.
There was a very large column of smoke just dancing in the afternoon sky. Scott and I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening, but a big something-something was on fire… and had been burning for the last two hours or so according to the servo folk. Later on we found out that it was a grassy floodplain that had caught on fire, probably due to someone tossing a lit cigarette to the dry grass.

Scott was very kind and generous to invite me to his home. His collection is something to drool after, and Scott was very kind to let me dribble over a few of them:


It was like being on that Oscar’s set full of typewriters!


Obligatory picture with the Art-Deco Lady Lamp.


We spent some time comparing the innards of the two machines and concluded that my green Adler was later made, and is it’s original birthday suit.


View from the couch where I had a quick nap.

Hour 7 to 13

Scott had arranged for Burrito dinner with Steve Snow and took two typewriters along for the night. I didn’t have much to do with Steve before, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. It was pleasant surprise when he rocked up with a ready smile and stories to tell!

Dinner was done and dusted quickly – the mini beef burrito I had was delicious, and I think might have been the first proper burrito I have ever had with black beans, brown rice and guacamole.
It had started to get quite windy too which was something I did not expect. I have a pull over in most of the pictures, how embarrassing and how Darwinite of me!

Ummm, yeah. Scrap that, it was typewriter time!


Scott K and his Adler Tippa in fancy dancy suitcase case.


Steve Snow and a Aristocrat Baby (right?)

It was barely 5 minutes into taking the typewriters out of their cases people around us were talking/loudly whispering about typewriters (pffft or oh wows) and how “cool” it was to have one. Steve had started writing up about the beer he was having for dinner and then we were basically inundated by a very excitable 8 year old. It was heaps awesome she was so interested in the typewriter and chatted non-stop about it. She, her two siblings and us oldies had little typing competitions to see who could reach the bell first and little spelling bee’s. Very fun.

This little girl looked at me grinning like a kid in a candy store.

I offered to type her a little story and she just beamed like the Bat Signal.
“Write me a story of an elephant! AND A KANGAROO! Yes a kangaroo!!!”


Scott wrote her a little thing about a shark and whale.


With her little trophies at hand and telling her parents that she would take it to her show and tell we said goodbyes to the children and left the burrito place, feeling totally chuffed to be the “Cool Typewriter People”, and headed for Coot-tha.


My phone does absolutely no justice whatsoever to the vastness of Brisbane city up on Coot-tha. There was a cool glow of the city and outlines of homes and tall buildings. The sky had little light pollution and shone stars like a champ.
I’ve never seen a combination quite like this before.
It was pretty high up on a hill so it was quite cold. The guys had ice creams (?!) while I tried my very best not to fail and freeze in the cold with my little takeaway cup of hot chocolate… and just stared out into the beautiful sight laid before us.

Steve Snow then invited us for a cuppa at his home, and showed us his collection in a mini type-out on his patio. I don’t have many pictures, but he has a really cool collection and we chatted about purchases, fixes and all sort of typewriter stuff.


I’ve almost laid hands on all colours of the Corona 4’s, this blue one just ticked one off the list. More about Corona 4’s in another post to come.


*Sigh* I felt like a magpie around this piece. Typing on a Noiseless was very different too. I wasn’t quite used to the “tumfff” sounds it made instead of the usual “THWACK”.

12 hours in Brisbane already and I felt incredibly spoilt.
What next of the remaining 10 or so hours Brisbane?

Singapore 2013 – CSHH

This could count as my first typewriter date! J and I hopped to Chye Seng Huat Hardware for a nice breakfast. It’s a very quaint place, and I do love the industrial interior design feel. The middle island is also a brilliant idea. Apparently they have great coffee, though I can’t comment about it because I don’t drink coffee. They have a great hot chocolate though! :p



Orange friands, scone, hot chocolate and J’s cuppa.


J’s trio of meats platter.

We scoffed our food  then whipped out the typewriters!
I brought my Adler and J brought along her beautiful Underwood Quiet Tab (called Skipper), and I had some quality one-on-one time with it. Now I want one, darn it.
The Underwood Quiet Tab is so handsome in the tux and the paper feed holders look like antlers on a stag beetle. The type feel exudes assurance and is oh-so-smooth like sliding along the floor on smooth peanut butter. Weird, I know.


The handsome un’s.


A couple of people asked us about the typewriters and had a go at typing


I really do love the pot like font and the slight curl in the numerals.


CSHH has cool stores in the immediate area – there’s a room right next door that sells coffee, a Roastary where they roast the beans (I think I’ve just made that term up!) and an art space upstairs!


I had a nice chat to this fella from Melbourne in the coffee shop!


The machines in the roasting place made me happy and sad. At that point I remember wanting to go home and clean my Adler up.




We didn’t stay too long as I had to run off to meet another group of people and drop off the Adler at the hotel at we were staying at. It was a brief meeting but it was SO GOOD — many thanks J! ^_^
It was like a little window into what the Brisbane Type-In will be like, can’t wait!


Very excited me. Yup.