International model and Instagram icon Sarah Jane Adams is all that and much more

THAT'S MY LOT:
THAT'S MY LOT: "I'm sick and tired of being wheeled out as the token old woman with grey hair who's got a bit of balls," says Instagram 'star', antique jewellery dealer and author Sarah Jane Adams. Photo: David James Taylor

Model, jewellery designer, antiques dealer, mother, author, Instagrammer. English-born Sydneysider Sarah Jane Adams is all of these.

And yet the 63-year-old, with a "good bull.... radar", baulks at the thought of being put in a box and labelled.

Since becoming an international model and overnight Instagram sensation in her 60s, Sarah Jane has graced the catwalk at Melbourne Fashion Week, is an ambassador for Priceline pharmacy and has provided plenty of fodder for fashion bloggers around the world.

But as she tells The Senior, it is her first love of antiques and jewellery design, which grew from her time scouring London markets, that is her real passion - a topic she delves into in her new "unorthodox biography" Life in a Box.

I'm sick and tired of being wheeled out as the token old woman with grey hair who's got a bit of balls.

Sarah Jane Adams

In it, Sarah Jane tells her story through a lifetime's collection of rare pieces and worthless objects, as well as personal photographs and effects from her "estate".

"Who I am is nothing to do with the perception of who I am," said Sarah Jane, who started the hashtag #mywrinklesaremystripes on Instagram.

"That's why I chose to write this book the way I did, because I'm so sick and tired of being wheeled out as the token old woman with grey hair who's got a bit of balls."

Keen to avoid writing the cliched "how to be old and inspirational" style book, Sarah Jane wanted to pen a memoir through objects and memories.

RENEGADE: This photo of Sarah Jane in an Adidas jacket - a gift from her daughter - went viral on American 'street style' guru Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style blog.

RENEGADE: This photo of Sarah Jane in an Adidas jacket - a gift from her daughter - went viral on American 'street style' guru Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style blog.

"I spent a year and a half putting my heart and soul on the line," she said.

The notion was inspired in part by the death of her father and having to deal with all his "stuff" and also witnessing families' "pain and confusion" selling off heirlooms when she was working at auction houses.

But when it came to the book's style, it was her publisher who gave her the clue.

"She dug out a book about a broken love affair written as an auction catalogue. I burst into tears, and said 'This is it!'"

In a series of "Lots", Sarah Jane takes the reader through the catalogue of her life: from her English childhood to her first life-changing journey to India and onward to Australia; the sadness of never knowing her twin sister; her time on the 1970s London music scene; the birth of her daughters; and life as a single parent running an international antique jewellery business.

A favourite from her "cabinet of curiosities" is a collection of enamel butterflies.

"They're not the most valuable, but remind me of the days the three of uswere in our cottage in Chichester. The brooches symbolise those hazy summer days in the English countryside, when red admirals would come fluttering past."

And like her much-loved metamorphosing butterflies, Sarah Jane is always evolving.

"I have no regrets," she said, of being thrown into the social media spotlight as an 'Instagram icon'.

"But I've got less life than I've had and I don't want to waste it sitting on Instagram writing inane comments on lipstick."

Instead, Sarah Jane is pressing the reset button on her jewellery business Saramai Jewels: "It's having a major reboot. Watch this space."