Friday, 28 November 2014

My Melbourne.......Shopping Local This Christmas

If you are anything like me, the great ideas of making every single one of the presents under the tree, are unlikely to be reached.

It's time to get shopping. However, handmade it still is.

Thankfully in Melbourne, we are spoilt for choice with fantastic markets and amazing local handmade. Here's my guide to local markets and Christmas shopping....tailored just for YOU.

Kris Kringle Market - Northcote

You - take the 86 tram home and appreciate beautiful handmade. Maybe you're a little indecisive and need a little browsing time before buying.

Kris Kringle markets are over 4 Thursday evenings at Northcote Town Hall with live music, food and fantastic handmade.
Northcote Town Hall, high st, Northcote. Thursday 4,11,18th December 5.30pm - 10pm
Look out for Shameful Girl - perfect teacher/Kris Kringle/ gifts for your mum !

Totally Thomastown Twilight Market

You - have kids who win enjoy the free craft activities while you enjoy good food and craft market browsing. This community market run by Thomastown Neighbourhood House, celebrates all that this diverse neighbourhood has to offer. A great night out for the whole family.
Located behind TRAC, 42 Main St, Thomastown, Friday December 5th 4 - 8pm

Northern Regards Artisan Market 

You - Are allergic to shopping centres, enjoy a beer or wine and appreciate talented makers making handmade sustainably. Northern Regards Artisan Market is Melbourne's only handmade market that focuses on upcycled and recycled handmade.
Northcote Social Club, 301 High St, Northcote. Saturday December 6th 11am - 4pm
Look out for.....Kate Campbell Designs. Guaranteed to make you very popular on Christmas morning.

Made 'n Thornbury Craft Market 

You - like the sound of all of the above and haven't started/finished your Christmas shopping yet.
Run by TWNH and a trope of dedicated volunteers, Made 'n Thornbury celebrates local handmade and good community vibes. Sausage sizzle, free craft activities for kids, and wine by the glass all add to the pleasant shopping experience.
99 Leinster Grove, Thornbury. Saturday  December 13th 10am - 4pm
Look out ! Wild About Melbourne Makers will be here on market day. I also may be appearing in my favourite Christmas outfit.....with a glass of wine in hand.

Queen Victoria Night Market 

You - don't live in the Inner North and think the weekends are for Christmas parties,
This fantastic Wednesday night market is part hawker food market and half handmade Christmas shopping.
Queen Victoria Market, city Wednesdays 5pm - 10pm
Look out for the delicious food and quirky entertainment.

Disclaimer - am I entirely biased about the above selection ? Absolutely !!
Happy Handmade Shopping,

Dee x

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Taking Stock.

Oh hello there !

It's the end of november ! How is that even possible ??
It's my VERY favourite time of the year, but let's be's busy.
An opportune time to Take Stock.

Making : Christmas gifts, Christmas decorations, Christmas get the idea
Cooking : Solo meals ! The novelty has worn off after 10 days, I'm ready for G to come home
Drinking : Coffee
Reading: Lilly Brett. I love her writing and the way it simultaneously takes me NYC and Carlton
Wanting: some pain relief please
Looking: forward to G coming home !! 
Playing: podcasts - Desert Island Discs from BBC - so British, so lovely
Deciding: on market dates for 2015 (!)
Wishing: for some peace and easy travelling for friends
Waiting: for some decisions to be made about next year........
Liking: my space
Wondering: again with the 2015 decisions
Loving: the fact that G comes home on Monday 
Pondering: can I just ask for books and handmade brooches for Christmas....
Considering: thoughtful and meaningful and handmade gifts
Watching: The Big C - I'm not sure.....
Hoping: For a long, warm and lazy summer
Marvelling: at the amazing handmade talent that I am lucky enough to have as part of                       Wild About Melbourne Makers
Needing: to clean the house 
Smelling: spray paint (again with the Christmas crafts)
Wearing: pjs's a much needed at home today, catching up and getting lots done
Following: lots of creative types on Instagram - my favourite social media platform
Noticing: Thornbury high street doesn't have Christmas decorations! Why ? 
Knowing: it'll all be ok next year. Things will play out the way they're supposed to.
Thinking: about the to-do-list. It's full of good things, but it needs to be done
Admiring: Beautiful Christmas windows in small independant shops
Sorting: photos to make calanders - an annual tradition
Buying: food to make Christmas gifts
Getting: EXCITED ABOUT CHRISTMAS (I know, I'm one of THOSE people)
Bookmarking: podcasts on my phone and ipad- I'm a new convert
Disliking: the stress levels that surround people at this time of year
Opening: the letter box. Eagerly every morning Waiting for online purchases to arrive.
Giggling: at text messages that feature cute videos of Ruby Rose ! 
Feeling: Little bit like a mouse on a wheel.....but that's ok. It's all good things. 
Snacking: I prefer quality control - just the ends of the handmade fudge.
Coveting: (see below)
Wishing: that that thing we so desperately wanted had happened. It still hurts. 
Helping: well, with 3 markets and the (coming soon) online shop, I'd like to think I'm helping people buy beautiful handmade gifts for Christmas ! 
Hearing: Christmas carols......which I love !

How are you doing ?? Crazy with Christmas ?? 
Making and baking for Christmas ?? In denial of the whole silly season......

Happy Thursday, 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

My Melbourne...... Taste of Melbourne 2014

I have a theory. And yes I'm going to share it with you.

My theory is, that a certain age, our preferences and tastes change.
Staying home on a Saturday night, is not only ok, but often preferable.
One glass of very good wine/beer is much better than a whole bottle of the cheap stuff that we happily drank in our youth.

And day time sessions at big food festivals are much more appealing than the busy night sessions.

Yes. Friday afternoon found at us Taste Of Melbourne Festival and it was fantastic.

Being a true North-of-the-River inhabitant, I admit I was sceptical of the move from Carlton's Exhibition Buildings to Albert Park, however, I'm now a convert. The space applies itself beautifully to this festival of the best food and drink that Melbourne has to offer.

We likened our visit to a foodie tour of Melbourne with only one Myki touch on/touch off !

We drank in St Kilda thanks to the Local Taphouse's HOP UP Bar whilst eating in Collingwood, thanks to Huxtaburger, then it was Seddon for more delicious craft beer at Two Birds Brewing and the city for yummy tacos from Mamasita.  Dessert of Salted Caramel Tart (OH!) in Armadale courtesy of Burch and Purchese, was a definite highlight !

A few regional roadtrips from Byron Bay, (Stone and Wood), Beechworth, (Bridge Road Brewing) and the Great Ocean Road (Prickly Moses) rounded out a comprehensive gourmet afternoon.

As with all festivals of this type, it's a cashless system, however the fancy new Taste of Melbourne swipe card is a vast improvement on the plastic/paper token system. As it was an overcast Friday afternoon, there was not a queue in sight and topping up the card was seemless. Thanks of course to the bright pink t-shirted staff. Of course this made it even easier to indulge in great food and beer.

The best part of this weekday afternoon festival shenanigans was that there was never a substantial line up for anything. We always found a seat and got a chance to actually chat with the brewers, sales reps and chefs (oh hi Darren Purchese!). The smaller crowds didn't diminish the atmosphere or buzz of people enjoying all that delcious food and wine and beer.

My absolute favourites on the day were the chicken birger with jalapeno mayo from Huxtaburger and the Chardonnay IPA from Prickly Moses. A delicious full flavoured beer that we normally wouldn't have had a chance to enjoy. Here's hoping they brew some more !

Also, did I mention the salted caramel tart !!

So, I can now sit back and enjoy the rest of my quiet weekend. Slippers on and day dreaming about that salted caramel tart.......

Have a great weekend,

*Please note, this is not a sponsored post. I just really enjoyed the festival and thought you should know about it. If anyone would like to give me free tickets to go again, well that would be ok, I might even go at night or a busy weekend day session. Maybe..... Also.....anyone else fancy a salted caramel tart right now ???

Friday, 31 October 2014

Something new.....Wild About Melbourne Makers.

Hi there, 

I once had a boss in a restaurant who described his ideal working scenario as "aces in their places". 
In order words, on busy shifts, everyone does the job that they are best at and does the best job possible. Those lazy Tuesdays are the time for the chef to try his hand at bar tending!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. 
Especially in regard to my fellow makers. Whilst it's great (and necessary) to be the maker, PR firm, accountant, photographer, website builder and mail guy all in one....what if we could share the load? 

What if.....the talented makers do just that...make.
While the person who is passionate about social media does that and... promotes.
What if one person went to market and enthusiastically sold these maker's wares. Especially those makers' whose family need them at home.
And how about a one-stop online shop for Melbourners wanting beautiful local handmade.

What if.....all of this was under the one label with a brand new sparkling logo. 

Today, I'm launching WildAboutMelbourne Makers.

A market stall and online store with some of my very favourite local makers.
We'll be at Northern Regards Artisan Market tomorrow with River Wife Clay, Vintage Galah and introducing Gus & Kitty's new vintage line. 

I'll be adding carefully selected makers to 'the hub' over the next few weeks and have the online store up and running in time for Christmas shopping. 

I'm excited about this new direction. I love making and many things crafty. Making to sell.....not so much.
I love supporting and promoting other makers. I'm excited to share with you the amazing talent that is hiding in the sheds, studios and kitchen tables in Melbourne. 

So, here it is : WildAboutMelbourne. A fresh look. A new chapter.*

I hope you'll come along with me. 


*Fear not, blogging will still continue in the usual haphazard fashion here and insagramming will still happen.....daily ! 


Thank you for the love and messages from my last post.

Onwards and upwards I say.

Exciting things happening today.......

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

An unspeakable loss

"In life we all have an unspeakable secret, and irreversible regret, an unreachable dream, and an unforgettable love.”

― Diego Marchi

This quote sums up perfectly how I feel at the moment.

Something I thought, believed in my bones, would happen, is simply not going to. 

And I'm feeling this loss even more than I thought I would.

I feel dissapointed. Grief. I feel ripped off ! I feel sad. Angry. 

Feeling all of the feelings. 

It has layers this feeling of grief. It's like the beautiful rose above. 

It started small and has grown into something so large and red and vibrant that I struggle to hide it. 

And then, as surely as the rose, it will wilt. Lose it's petals and it's it's vibrancy and it's power. 

Then comes the possability of new growth. Of hope. 

I'm not feeling the hope yet. Just this sadness and loss. 

To my dear friends reading this, I may be blogging this, but I am not ready to talk. It is unspeakable and please let it remain so. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


“Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

A.A. Milne 

Monday Maunderings

Well hello there. 

It is pouring outside. I love the sound of rain at night when I am tucked up inside. 

Anyway, I digress..... Monday Maunderings #4. And once, again, just. 

A big week. By my standards quite a bit of work. Satisfying but exhausting. 

In between the working, I have finally completed the great craft clean up ! My brain feels so much better now that there is order in this room. I feel like I can make. Make craft. Make plans. 

It feels good. And tidy. 

#monthofmadenthornbury - I didn't miss a single day. Along the way custom ordered this amazing vintage map necklace. 

Saw Once the Musical, thanks to Nuffnang. Wow ! G and I both loved it. 
Such a beautiful story told so well. The cast is so talented. All of whom act, dance, sing and play the instruments. There were tears, laughs and goosebumps. It also deserves it's own blog post.....which is coming. 

Definitely market weekend ! Totally Thomastown Twilight Market on the Friday. 
I really admire the work that Thomastown NH is doing creating community events to engage everyone I the local area. All good stuff. 

Post market beer at Northern Regards is one of the best tasting beers there is. 

Sunday, I'll admit I didn't notice the time difference in the morning (We've changed to daylight saving) but I most certainly did at dinner time ! Candlelight dinners. Long dinners and bbqs and gathering round the table over good and wine. The warmer months are coming. 

This makes me very happy. 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Monday Maunderings #3

Oh hello there....

Just, and only just, sneaking this Monday Maunderings in while it is still Monday. 

A bit of an odd week......... last week I instagrammed my favourite word, DISCOMBOBULATED. 
Such a great word. However, I think I may have jinxed myself as I definitely feeling a bit out of sorts. I think there are changes coming......

Maybe it's the new season. Which is doing that great Melbourne trick of being beautiful and sunny and then cold and wet. We wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunshine on the back deck. 
This photo reminds me that summer and dinner outdoors is not far away.

Flowers in the house just make good sense.
They make me happy and make the house look infinitely more homely.

I've got a few projects on the go at the moment.
Which I love, but I think that's adding to my befuddled state.
I love working from home, 
but sometinmes you have to admit it's not working and find a cafe. 
It's amazing what a change of scene and some people watching can achieve.

#monthofmadenthornbury has been fun ! 

I don't think I missed a day, and still have a few items left.....

I'm thinking of the next challenge/project now. 
Something to do with Christmas I think......

I was never a big fan of the Saturday night going out malarky. 
I dreaded the weekly conversations (interrogations) over lunch at high school....
the "what are we doing, where are we going, will we get invited" angst. 

I'm much happier now as an adult perfectly content with my love, sofa and a good bottle of red. 

Morning light on tulips just makes me happy. 

I love my new map necklace.
And windy Melbourne weather. 
And dog walks that end in beer gardens. 

Thanks for stopping by, 


Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday Maunderings #2

Well good Monday morning.
Welcome to week 2 of Monday Maunderings.....

I started a new job which required much coffee ! 

I got through the week, but oh so tired ! 
Bed at 9.30pm. I was happily tucked up in bed before midnight every night last week.
This is completely unheard of. 

Look, I like to help people out. 
And if that means taking you by the hand and helping you spend money at Ikea.
Then I'll be there for you. 

It goes against my handmade passion, but I do LOVE Ikea. 
Of course our house, 
now filled with thrifted, antique, old and handmade pieces doesn't really suit Ikea.
However, my young, inner city living friend above - PERFECT for Ikea. 

Also, when hanging out with the best pink haired 'do' since Frenchie in Grease.
AND the world's cutest sausage dog......
a yellow floral headband is the essential #monthofmadenthornbury accessory. 

Spring has most definitely, this time absolutely, with no going back*
The blossoms on our street are making an appearance,
as is the sunshine.

Spring also lends itself beautifully to indulging in delicious fruity, Melbourne-made
craft beers. Like this one from La Sirene.

Look ! Bare shoulders ! 
Arguably, not quite warm enough.....but we're embracing Spring
and spending as much time in the sun as we can. 

Thanks {tinniegirl} for this shot of my love and I. 

I hope it's sunny where you are.


*Am fully aware that is Melbourne. We can never say that a season has DEFINITELY arrived and is staying......wait five minutes and it could, and indeed, will change. But for now.........sunshine !