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 072015


I came across a lovely blog called My Handmade Adventure. The author is Karen, a Melbourne blogger, and her blog is about making things, discovering new crafty skills, and rejoicing in the skills of other talented people. Sounds like my kind of blog.

She set up The Handmade Challenge for 2015 at the start of this year but I thought I'd give it a go. The idea is to make a list of things you've been wanting to make and then make them before December 31st - originally it was 12 things but seeing we've past the half-way mark of 2015 Karen is happy to accept late comers to join in the challenge so I'll be looking at making 4 things.

Why am going to do this challenge?

I need a push-start to get me on the creative path again. During my time running EP Designs - a part-time, home based, decorative homewares business - I created and recreated numerous things and I really enjoyed being creative. It was also my 'me time' and 'think time'. But life happens, plus outside work commitments increased and I was also organising a makers market - My creative time came to a halt and I gradually brought EP Designs to a close.

So here is my Push Start list of 4 items I'm aiming to complete before December 31st ...

  1. Doyley bowls and tealight holders. I have a number of lace doylies that I collected over the years for some of my past work so now is a good time to do something more with them. I found the idea on Pinterest.
  2. Framed pinboard or chalkboard - I have several gorgeous old vintage and vintage style frames just sitting there waiting for me to recreate them ... a nice gift for someone?
  3. String ball ornaments - This is another idea I came across on Pinterest and I hope to make these in time to use as Christmas decorations.
  4. Canvas Art - this could be a tricky one for me but it's something I've been thinking about doing for years so now is the time.... right?

I'm actually aiming/hoping to finish before Christmas because I'll need most of those items beforehand.

If you're interested in joining in, even at this late stage, pop over to Karen's post about the challenge and leave a comment.We can then encourage each other, comment and share each creation as they are completed.

Happy Creating

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  🙂

Jun 022015 A

On an overseas trip many years ago a friend of mine advised me this, "if you see something you like, buy it because you may not come across it again in your travels". I took note of this advice and found it mostly to be true. Once gone from a city, town or island the things that most caught my eye and impressed me were not to be found again in another location. Similar designs might be found but usually not the exact one.

Edna Walling Bickleigh Vale Estate

Similar advice was given by Madeleine Willingham (Maddie's Corner Cottage) who held special weekends in her home - amidst the rambling gardens on the famous Edna Walling Bickleigh Vale Estate - twice yearly her home was filled with a gorgeous array of handmade crafts and beautiful arts from a wide range of crafters and artisans; people would come from all over Melbourne to attend and the queue from the front door would wind down the driveway and around the garden. Once through the doors you would pick up handmade treasures that caught your eye, as you saw them - there was no going back for it if you didn't because it would be gone.

Recreated, Repurposed, Renewed.

Recreated, Repurposed, Renewed.

This same advice is what I'd like to pass on to those of you who love handmade creations. Even when items can be made-to-order they're not always like the one you first saw and liked. How many times have you been to a market thinking, "I'll buy it next time", but next time the stallholder is not there or you don't remember their name. Always take one of their cards and note down what interested you; but if you find something that's one-of-a-kind and you really love it, then buy it. Is it a treat for yourself or a perfect gift for someone in 3 months time? Whatever the occasion or whenever it's needed, if you've found it then don't pass it up.

Happy shopping.