Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Year In Craft

It's the time of year to reminisce, look back on the completed projects with pride and take the unpicker to our mistakes. Post your answers on your own blog and pop your name in Mister Linky so we can all read about your year in craft!

Cider & Craft

1. In my twelve months of crafting, my crafty self made all these...

2. If my year was a colour it would be...

3. This year I spent way too many craft hours...

4. This year I wish I'd had more craft hours for...

5. My proudest craft moment of the year was...

6. My biggest craft disaster was...

7. This year I had stalls at/visited this many markets...

8. My most enjoyable market was...

9. My best handmade purchase/present/swap/acquisition was...

10. After this year I swear I'll never again...

11. Next year I'm determined to...

12. But I'll probably do this instead...

Coffee & Craft

Be sure to link back and visit the other players!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Northside Makers Cider, Craft & Christmas

The Northside Makers had a brilliant evening to celebrate the holidays. Drinks, a handmade Kris Kringle swap and of course crafting! Thanks to all our wonderful members who came along and shared the fun.

Here's some photos...

An artistic interpretation of nachos
An artistic interpretation of nachos

A luscious pile
A pile of handmade pressies

Pick a number from the embroidery hoop
Pick a number from the embroidery hoop

Time to pick a present!
Dive for a present!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photos from Carols in All Nations

What a lovely evening to be out at the carols!

Northside Makers @ Carols in All Nations

Carols in All Nations 2009

The Knit & Tat and La Ha Hi Prism @ Carols in All Nations

The Knit N Tat @ Carols in All Nations

Finki @ Carols in All Nations

Celia Adams and MixTape @ Carols in All Nations

Carols in All Nations 2009

Northside Makers @ Carols in All Nations

Carols in All Nations 2009

Northside Makers @ Carols in All Nations

More photos in our Flickr pool.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Northside Makers at Carols in All Nations

It's that time of year, the time for getting together with friends and family, the time for having way too much on your calendar and the time for seasonally inappropriate holiday songs. The City of Darebin is embracing all these special things tonight with their annual Carols in All Nations.

Carols in All Nations
All Nations Park, Northcote
Saturday 12th December 6pm-10pm

It's a wonderful excuse to keep the kids out late, meet up with your neighbours and hairdresser and second cousins, have a sing and get a warm fuzzy glow that will hopefully last another thirteen days.

Northside Makers will have an extravaganza stall at the carols tonight. There'll be a wealth of goodies from Northside Makers members on offer so make sure you've got some cash left over after stuffing yourself at the food tents. Please drop in and say howdy to Jennie and Jay - we'll be the ones singing "We're All Going On A Summer Holiday".

Photo originally uploaded at

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Northside Makers Market : Gone With The Wind

Despite the predictions we made back in August about November being a calm and sunny month, Saturday 28th November was a day of grey skies and gusty winds.

Pivotal Expressions pinwheels
Pinwheels seeking shelter in the hall

But happily the scariest part of the weather forecast - afternoon showers - held off until 3:35pm. Thank the heavens for not-so-small mercies!

Teddy Buggs model
A very small mercy cuddles up safe and warm

It was a day to make friends, a day to share talents, a day to sell wares and a day to hold onto your stock for dear life lest it be blown down High Street.

Melbourne Epicure cupcakes - I know where those belong! (Photo by Melbourne Epicure)

And of course, a day for treating yourself to something a little naughty.

So thankyou to our talented stallholders for the hours of work they put into preparing such wondering offerings for our market, for being so professional in the face of unpleasant weather, and simply for being the splendid people that you are.

Northside Market Stall
A small sample of who you'll find at Northside Makers Market. (Photo by Celia A)

Enjoy more photos from market day in our Flickr pool and even share your own.

Thanks again for sharing Northside Makers Market with us...

Woollen kitties
Jennie, Jay & Margaret x x x

Monday, November 30, 2009

Did you visit Northside Makers market on Saturday.......

We hope you had fun at our second Northside Makers market and found lots of beautiful handmade goodies to spoil yourself with.

Please take the time to give us your feedback over at our surveymonkey site

We would love to hear your comments, advice and suggestions, so we can continue to work towards creating the ultimate market experience for us all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

But what do I do if it rains......

With our next marking quickly approaching and the weather forecast not budging from its tale of early rain, I'm sure many of you are pondering 'what do I do if it rains'.

All you indoor makers will be okay, but there are a good sum of us, (organisers included) who will be outdoors for the day.

So as in all of life's decisions, there are always options and it's up to you to weigh up the pros and cons of a wet weather forecast.

Option one is of course the easy out...

The option is to cancel, stay at home on the couch and think of what could have been.


Option two.....Buck up, be prepared and wear a smile.

Cause you know what....we have all gone to a lot of effort to promote the event and you won't make any money or friends, sitting at home on the couch.

Margaret, Jennie and I all had to make the exact same decision on Thursday night as we all set up for our stalls at Northcote's Kris Kringle night market. (read my take on it here)

Yes it rained..... but we came prepared, we brought our rain coats and our smiles and the night was a success for all.

So my advice, just like the girl guides motto...would be...BE PREPARED.

Your customers are still going to come looking for you, your friends are still going to to pop in and say hello, and your stock is not going to sell itself from stock boxes in your study so........

Here are some ways to prepare for Melbourne's unpredictable weather:

  • Bring an umbrella to protect yourself
  • Bring plastic sheets or bags to put over your stock during the odd shower. (you can get clear thin vinyl table cloths from those cheapy shops for $2)
  • Bring a tarp or plastic sheet to put on the ground under your table, so all your excess stock, packaging and boxes stays off the ground.
  • If you are prepared to bring and share your marquee, let us know and we can jiggle the layout so that a few of you can fit under one. (Margaret, Jennie and I all squish into one)
  • Don't forget the sandbags if you bring a marquee. If the wind picks up we don't want a "wizard of oz" moment!
  • Bring rocks.....sounds silly I know, but you can weigh down the lighter things by putting rocks in or on them so the wind doesn't blow them away. Alternatively, a lovely fabric covered brick might work .... crafty!
  • If you lay things flat on a table, think about having strings with weights (rocks) on the end that can lay across them and hold them down.
  • Hanging things on nails and peg boards...just put elastic bands over the ends and they won't fly off.
But most importantly bring your smile ...

Your customers come to see you and all the beautiful products you've spent so much time making, so protect yourself, protect your stock and Be There! Your customers and you, will be glad you came.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meet the Northside Crafters: Nice Biscuits

We are happy to welcome another food stall to Northside Makers. Reading through Nice Biscuits' creations, I am looking forward to sharing her baking with my gluten free friends!

Tell us about what you sell ...
Cakes, biscuits, cereal, muffins, loaves, pies, etc. My focus is on fresh organic and local ingredients and I am fascinated by interesting combinations like chocolate and zucchini or chocolate and curry (and others that don't necessarily involve chocolate). I also venture into dietary accessibility, so I'm doing a lot of vegan and gluten-free goods. I have very recently discovered that milling my own flour is a really amazing process and the product is easier on the tummy and much more flavourful, so I'm looking at making that the standard for wheat and spelt.

What inspires you?
First and foremost, the farmers' markets. I have some of my best ideas there, just based on what's before me. I'm also frequently amazed by Helen Addison-Smith, who runs Each Peach where I've had my first foray into 'professional' baking. Bloggers who I'm crushing on at the moment include Coconut and Quinoa, Sprouted Kitchen, 101 Cookbooks, and the one I can't believe I lived without for so long - Food Blog Search.

What's your favourite medium to work in?
Freshly-milled organic spelt flour and Tatura butter. I'm also really excited about coconut flour but it's rather fussy so my success rate is not so high. And sorghum flour. I have expensive taste in flour.

What would you be lost without ....
My computer. Life halts without it. It enables pretty much everything else I do.

What's your fave crafty read
I love Nigel Slater's work - Toast and The Kitchen Diaries have influenced my approach to food.

What do you like to listen to when you craft?
The Cinematic Orchestra is my fall-back. It's easy to get lost in its textures, which is quite what you're aiming for with baking as well.

What crafty forums do you lurk in ....
Blogs replaced forums for me - see my list above.

Whats up next for you on the craft front?
My most immediate goal is to perfect gluten-free portugese custard tarts. But I guess I'm just building up my repertoire at the moment - Nice Biscuits is still but a wee thing. I want to be working with more provocative ingredients all the time. I really do like the places in which 'baking' and 'craft' intersect; the handmade, the innovative, the aesthetically intentional. So I guess I'd like to keep merging them as closely as possible.

Do you have any UFO's (unfinished objects), what are they?
There is some gluten-free snickerdoodle dough sitting in the freezer. They are way too tart but it was a double-batched fail and I can't bear to throw them away. Sometimes I can actually feed things I really don't like to other people - my friends seem to have no ability to tell when something hasn't worked - so they may make their way to the oven someday.

Where else can people shop for your goodies?
I'll be at Sprout Market in Thornbury (with Each Peach) on Thursday 3rd December, Eltham Community Market on the 6th and 20th of December, and the new year's schedule is still being determined. You can also find some of my work on the abundantly-stocked shelves of Each Peach, 506 Lygon St in East Brunswick. And I do take special orders, commissions, and suggestions at
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Special offers for members......

I know you probably don't need any more incentive to come shopping at Northside Makers market this Saturday....but......who doesn't love a bargain.

So for market day only (Sat 28th Nov) members can take advantage of these great specials:

10% off your purchase at the Pepperberry and Co stall.

10% off your purchase at the Finki stall.

10% off your purchase at the Kathleen Camilleri stall.

Screen printed diaries for only $24
at the Mrs Beckinsale stall
(see more of Mrs Beckinsale's Silly Season Specials here!)

If you would like to offer a special discount on market day too, just drop us a line at and we'll share the crafty luv.

Don't forget .......these are member only discounts, so don't forget to bring your Northside Makers card to be eligible. Be sure to flash your membership card at the Collective Table for an extra special super secret discount!

See you there!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

See you on Saturday for our next Northside Makers market...

We can't believe how much time has flown in the lead up to our second Northside Makers market. This one's set to be even bigger and better.
We're glad to have many of your favorite stallholders back for the November market, as well as welcoming over 20 new stalls.

We have more food, more jewellery, more clothes, accessories, home wares, stationary and more. It will be a real treat for the eyes.
I have no doubt you'll be able to do all your Xmas shopping in one place this year, whilst supporting all the amazing handmade craft your local community has to offer.

Check out all the fabulous crafters that will be displaying oodles of handmade wonder at our November market 2009. (in alphabetical order):

Blue Blue Places
Celia Adams
Chuckles Designs
Cottage nerd
Custom Culture
Dora's Daybed
Ena designs
Finki Handmade
Flicketty Splits
Found and Bound
Frank and Dollys
Hannah Jones
I can Yodel
Hawthorne Cottage
Jenny Balzan
Jo Woodberry
Judith Jackson Joyce
Kathleen Camilerri
Kate Symmons
Kaye Massage
Konstant Kaos
Lauren Williams
Little Cooties
Little Waltz
Luis Esudero
Made by Sarah
Mee and M'lee
Melbourne Epicure
Monkey Face
Monster doll
Mrs Beckinsale
Nice buscuits
Pepperberry & Co
Pivotal Xpressions
Polka Dot Rabbit
Polly Pratt
Rabbit and the Duck
Red Letter Press
Robyn Stewardson
Ros Chambers
Street Vamp
Slap Cosmetics
Stitch in Time
Twisted Violet Jewellery

* Not every one has a blog or web to link to, so you'll just have to come see them on the day!

Once again we'll have free balloons and craft table activities for the kids, as well as the face painter from 11 -3. So head on down to:

Northside Makers Market this Saturday 28th Nov, 10.30 - 3.30 251 High St, Northcote

See yah there.

Meet the Northside Crafters: Monster Doll

I'm loving Libby's Monster Dolls and all the unique combination of fabrics that she uses to create them!

Tell us about what you sell ...
I sell soft toys. They are kooky, friendly, grumpy individuals, all with their own unique personalities. Some are dolls and some are monsters. They are all handmade originals.

What inspires you?
I draw influence from animals, being a mother, fraggle rock, marty monster, Tim Burton, Old Tom and Holly Hobbie.

What's your favourite medium to work in?
I love buttons and ric rac and can't imagine ever making a soft toy without them.

What would you be lost without ....
My quick unpick and my Mum who looks after my two year old so I can sew.

What's your fave crafty read?
I love art magazines especially Artists Profile and Australian Art Review.

What do you like to listen to when you craft?
774 ABC Melbourne.....very daggy

Whats up next for you on the craft front?
Finishing the pile of zombie fairies on my studio floor.

Do you have any UFO's (unfinished objects),what are they?
A giant concrete sculpture in my garden (6 years)
A mosaic ball in the shed (5 years)
A painting of breastfeeding mandrills (2 years)
A knitted skirt (1 year)
My kitchen tiles (1 year)
Several skirts and a rag rug

Where else can people shop for your goodies?
I'm at St. Andrews market most Saturdays and Yarra Glen Market on the first Sunday of each Month. Blue Attic in East Brunswick has some of my work and I will be in the Wyreena Christmas show in Croydon.
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Meet the Northside Crafters: Jenny Balzan

If you have little ones, then you will love Jenny's handmade crayons. They are just the right size for toddlers to get a hold of and draw with!

Tell us about what you sell ...
Crayons.... we re-shape & recycle where possible.

What inspires you?
I am one that just does not like throwing things out when I know I can make something else from them :) and seeing smiles on peoples faces....

What's your favourite medium to work in?
Mmmm ... wax?

What would you be lost without ....
I'd be lost if I had nothing to do.... does that make sense? I am a workaholic, even with 2 kids under 4 and an even bigger kid "my hubby".

What's your fave crafty read?
I enjoy reading anything that involves craft I think...

What do you like to listen to when you craft?
Jazz, hip hop, modern music. Sometimes even modern European music (Greek, French, Italian).

Whats up next for you on the craft front?
Sewing & more kidding craft ideas I think :)

Do you have any UFO's (unfinished objects),what are they?
We always do don't we! Some sewing projects (aprons & art smock making), wrapping paper project.

Where else can people shop for your goodies?
Made n Thornbury Womens Market & Northside Makers Market for now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four days to go!

It's only four days until Northside Makers Market, and you can bet we're not sitting around twiddling our thumbs! Our stallholders are busy sewing, gluing and printing and we organisers are chanting calming mantras under our breath.

Northside Makers Market Poster 28 November v1

We're thrilled to present another family-friendly day of hot craft, cool design, face-painting and hands-on activities for kids, coffee and a sit-down for grown-ups and mouth-watering cupcakes and gingerbread for everyone.

One stallholder who'll help you relax those Silly Season twinges is gifted masseur Kaye, who can work wonders in under five minutes. After you've had your muscles melted why not ask a stallholder friend if they'd like you to mind their stall while they get a backrub? We organisers heartily recommend it!


We're also very excited about having MixTape available to purchase at the Northside Makers Collective Table.
As if you needed another reason to visit Northside Makers Market!

Watch this space for more Meet The Crafters features and a full list of stallholders you'll find at the market this Saturday. And after Saturday we may well have one or two more treats for you before 2009 is over... be excited!

Meet the Northside Crafters: Twisted Violet Jewellery

We have fallen in love with some of Twisted Violet's jade creations ... and we are looking forward to seeing them in the flesh on Saturday!

Tell us about what you sell ...
A range of hand made, unique contemporary jewellery. I combine Australian woods, crystals, gemstone, resin and ceramics. I have a love of strong color and texture in jewellery and produce jewellery for both casual and evening wear.

What inspires you?
I take inspiration from other design forms and nature. Often going out window shopping, and deliberately steering away from my own medium, introduces me to color and texture combinations in other design forms. I love looking at furniture, textiles and visual arts for color. I sometimes try to turn a blind eye to fashion, and instead concentrate what feels right for me.

What's your favourite medium to work in?
Jewellery - wood, gemstone, ceramic, resin and glass.

What would you be lost without ....
My crafty friends who understand the predicaments, ups & downs and simple pleasures of running a craft based business. Life would be strange without them! Also, my Persian cat Chilli, who keeps me company, and provides hours affection regardless of my work attire and mood.

What's your fave crafty read?

Dumbo Feather Magazine
Five interviews per edition, with artists, entrepreneurs, and people of great inspiration.

What do you like to listen to when you craft?
Podcasts, JJJ, and ABC Radio National

What crafty forums do you lurk in ....
DUST team

Whats up next for you on the craft front?
A BIG change -being due with my 1st baby in late January there will be massive changes to my work schedule, targets, and expectations.
I have no doubt that I can continue my business and at this stage Ive got to be open to an unknown flexibility. In many ways I feel blessed to have a small home based business at this stage of my life.

Do you have any UFO's (unfinished objects),what are they?
My workshop is full of them! I have a range of flower rings that are sitting and waiting for further inspiration on the technical front, that I expected to be done for Xmas trading. I also am due for a massive clean up and reorganisation of my workshop.

Where else can people shop for your goodies?
Shop online at, and every Sunday at Southbank Market (under the Hamer Hall) and Etsy.
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