Sep 112015

The last linky party I participated in was way back in June 2010 on my EP Designs blog - I no longer blog there but all those posts have been imported into this blog. It's now five years down the track, I have a new blog and I'll be showing off whatever I can about beautiful and creative things.

I'll begin by sharing one of my picture quotes which is pretty much what my blogging will be all about. Most of these will part of my Picture Quote category. This category is fairly new and I will have more picture quotes being added regularly. The background in this picture quote is a montage of some of my past recreations.


The post before this one shows the lace doylies that have been on my creative table being recreated. I've joined in rather late into The Handmade Challenge hosted by Karen on My Handmade Adventure. Recreating the doylies was the first listed on my Challenge list. This was the boost to get me back on the creative path again. It's been a long time between creations so I thoroughly enjoyed the process.... it felt fabulous bringing out the dyes to re-colour the doylies. The pics below show the hand-dyed doylies in preparation for the next step and the finished project.... although I have some ideas on developing these further at a later date.

HandmadeChallenge.Hand dyed

HandmadeChallenge.Doylies Recreated into

Finally I have to show the first signs of Spring around home. It's been slow in coming but today has been a gorgeous day. The blooms are starting to show and the Magpies are marking out their territory. Magpies were not a usual sight around here until the last big drought we had which brought into the suburbs a few Aussie bird species....and they stayed.

Apricot Blossoms, Magpies and Jasmine

Apricot Blossoms, Magpies and Jasmine

I'm linking up this week with -

Shabby Art Boutique's Shabbilicious Friday

How Sweet The Sound's Pink Saturday


Aug 042015

Contemporary Bark Art by Shirley Yeates

Contemporary Bark Art by Shirley Yeates

It was the miniature designs that caught my attention at first, and then as I looked at the whole stall set-up I saw a collection of very different art. I hadn’t seen anything like this before so I had to stop and chat to the lovely lady who created these gorgeous artworks. It’s amazing what can be achieved on retirement and Shirley certainly seized the opportunity to do something creative – and look at what she’s created.

Shirley Yeates Bark Art.Dresses

Shirley Yeates lived on a vineyard for a short while after her retirement in 2014 and each day as she walked around the property something caught her eye and sparked a flow of creative ideas that eventually became the start of a very creative retirement. Bark, lots of bark fallen from various beautiful Australian trees, each with different textures, colours, shapes and sizes – these were used to create artworks. The subject matter may not be so new but the style is quite clever and unique.

Shirley Yeates Bark Art.Lady

I can imagine Shirley’s studio (or creative nook) would house a huge collection of various bark pieces. Each will have the mark of a new design idea waiting for the artist’s hand to work its creation. What a wonderful way to use fallen pieces from nature to create such gorgeous artworks.

Bark Art of Shirley Yeates

Shirley can transform tree bark into contemporary art … but I also think that tree bark has transformed Shirley’s retirement. This lovely lady with her framed art can be found at various markets around Melbourne; so if you would like to get up close and see for yourself first hand, visit her Facebook page to check where and when she’ll be at craft markets. In the meantime, read all about Shirley’s work, browse through her photos, and enjoy what you see.

Jul 292015

All around Melbourne, over recent years, there has been an increase in makers'/handmade markets (and I'd say all over Australia too); And although there will always be a demand for brand name goods, shoppers are discovering more and more the unique, one-of-a-kind handmade goods on offer and they are loving what they find.

Support Small Business

Support Small Business

I love and prefer the feeling of walking into a market or boutique store knowing that everything being sold has been designed, made/crafted or recreated by the stallholder or local artisan, compared to walking into a store knowing that everything being sold is a trend design which has been mass-produced and imported. My recent visit to The Creators Market (in the old Prahran Town Hall, on the corner of Chapel and Greville Streets), was a pleasure. The market was buzzing with shoppers when I arrived. The hall was filled with gorgeous, quality creations making the browsing exciting and chatting to stallholders delightful. I made a food purchase plus collected a number of business cards from makers I wish to purchase from at future markets or online (I'll share them with you in upcoming posts).

My Purchase at The Creators Market.

My Purchase at The Creators Market.

I believe that with the increase of handmade markets shoppers are seeing and hearing more about the benefits of buying handmade goods and how by supporting local crafters and artisans, in turn, also benefits the local community; And with all the posts, groups, photos and sharing of information on Social Media, this too has helped to propel shoppers towards buying handmade and supporting local artisans and micro businesses.

Is it possible to have too many handmade markets in Melbourne? Many of them are found far and wide from my location and I haven't had the chance to visit all. But I say, 'Lucky shoppers', as they currently have a smorgasbord of markets to visit and gorgeous handmade items to choose between. I may be a little biased but to my way of thinking handmade markets and boutique stores give shoppers an opportunity to really savour and enjoy their browsing and shopping time and experience a more personal service from the makers themselves.

The Creators Market Next Market Dates.

The Creators Market Next Market Dates.

Much more can be found on the internet on reasons to buy handmade but one of my personal favourites is the story behind the creation. Who doesn't love a good story? I believe it adds an authentic and absorbing detail, depth of character and an extra dimension to the item by knowing something more about it and how it was born and evolved at the hands of the creator. I guess it's similar to a nostalgic keepsake or a gift given to you by someone close to you - it adds meaning, a memory, a beautiful thought, a reminder of something special.

So, to buy or not to buy things that are made with skill, take time to craft and are embedded with soul and uniqueness? I know which I'd rather choose - so it's off to more upcoming handmade markets for me. If you have any favourite handmade markets or boutiques please let me know about them ... I'll share mine ... please share yours  🙂

May 272015

Majaska Quilling Gifts Montage

I first met Maja back in 2010 in the early days of The Handmade Show. Maja’s very detailed and amazing quilling artworks caught everyone’s eye. She absolutely loved her craft and her creativity went beyond making cards and personalised framed artworks. Each month she would show us her next invention – gift box cards, magical changing pictures, miniature crafts, bracelets, …. and more recently, macrame crafts.

Majaska Quilling Gifts Montage

Maja's table filled with her creations.

Majas’s market stalls are always filled with numerous collections of different styles and surprise creations. There’s something for everyone.

Majaska at The Handmade Show

Snippets on Maja's table.

You can check out The Handmade Show website, under the name of Majaska, to find out when she is participating. Although she is usually there each third Saturday of the month and enjoys being part of the warm and friendly atmosphere, exchanging tidbits with other stall holders and chatting with market visitors.

Majaska Framed Quilled Owls

A Hoot of Owls.

Maja also sets up her work at various community events when they arise so pop over to her Facebook page and ask her where you can find her; and while you’re there have a browse through photos of more creations. Enjoy!