Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dear Gladys, and Fitted For Work

Dear Gladys, 1This week the Northside Makers beauties spotted a new shopfront at 296 High Street, Northcote. It is chic, it is retro, it is Dear Gladys, (comma included).

The thing that really caught our eye was the declaration on the shop window that all profits received from Dear Gladys, support Fitted For Work. Fitted For Work is a service committed to helping long term unemployed women and disadvantaged women obtain work. They provide interview clothing and mentorship to help their clients secure a job and work toward self sufficiency.

Dear Gladys, is operated by Fitted For Work. Vintage and contemporary clothing is sourced from salvagers and clothing donations that don't suit (ha ha) workplace use. The prices are wonderful, less than what you'd expect for a vintage clothing retailer, while the clothing quality and selection is superb. If you've got a little girl the vintage woolen winter coats are a must-have.

Do drop in for a spot of shopping next time you're in Northcote!

Dear Gladys, 2

Friday, August 28, 2009

loose WEEKends August 28-30

It's the weekend again! Here's the fabbest places to be seen on your days off.

Nicholas Building Open Studios

Creative city hub The Nicholas Building is opening up its secret back rooms for two special nights. Alright, so the first night was last night. That makes it all the more imperative that you make it along tonight.

Friday 28th August

Nicholas Building

37 Swanston St

Rose st Artist Market

A funky little market s
upporting the Melbourne arts and craft scene. Usually it's only run on a Saturday but has just made it's foray into being open on Sundays too.
This weekend will be an extra special one to visit as a Northsider will be there.
Pop in to see a 'hoot' or a 'catticus' made by the lovely flickettysplits.

Every Sat and Sun
11am - 5pm
60 Rose st


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mark Your Diaries

Planning 1 Here's some forthcoming Northside Makers events to pop in your planners.

Coffee & Craft - Sunday 13th September
We loved meeting a bunch of new people at last weekend's Coffee & Crochet afternoon, so we're doing it again in September. The venue will be a bar on St George's Road, North Fitzroy. It may well turn into Cocktails & Craft! Feel free to make a suggestion of where you'd like to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Northside Makers Market Stallholder Meet & Greet - Friday 2nd October (TBC)
Stallholders only! A chance to get to know each other, talk about the big day and have a walk-through of the venue. We fancy the Wesley Anne, 250 High Street, Northcote.

Northside Makers Market - Saturday 10th October
Our maiden voyage! You'll hear plenty more about this right here and stallholder applications will be open from next week.

Northside Makers Mums Group - Once a month on a weekday
Being WAHMs ourselves we know the importance of a child-friendly environment. Kids welcome, or leave them with a sitter and enjoy yourself. There'll possibly be a little less crafting achieved and a lot more chasing after toddlers with runny noses, but that's life. This event is still in the ideas stage so if you've got a suggestion of possible venues or want to nominate a preferred day please let us know at

Snaps for CurlyPops!

Curly BroochI spy Northside Maker CurlyPops' Pretty Flower Brooch on Made It's Wednesday Handmade Goodness email!

Have you had a nice bit of promotion fall in your lap recently? Done something so great you want to shout it from doorstop to rooftop? Drop us a line at so we can share in your joy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Interested in becoming a member?

Membership to Northside Makers Collective is now open!

For only $25 annual membership you will receive:
  • 15% off market stall fees for any markets run by Northside Makers Collective throughout the year. If you miss out on a table you will be offered free space on the NMC table to represent some of your work.
  • Discounts at local craft stores – see a list of stores on the NMC blog. (Coming soon! Please be patient, we've got so much to organise)
  • Invitations to members-only craft sessions and events.
  • Public Liability Insurance coverage for any Northside Makers Collective events attended during the membership period.
  • Free coffee and cake catch-ups regularly for all members.
  • Inclusion on our blog roll.

Not to mention getting to hang out with the best bunch of like minded people, who all live on your side of town.

Membership is open to all crafty residents of Melbourne's northern suburbs, whatever your crafty genre: art, sculpture, jewelery, photography, knitting, cooking, patchwork, upholstery, design. Anything and everything.

(And yes, we do make allowances for people who aren't strictly northern. Get in touch and we'll discuss it.)

Northside Makers Collective is a non-profit group. All proceeds from membership fees are put toward the continuation and growth of the group, such as paying for public liability insurance, subsidising event costs and giving you cakes.

We'd love to have you on board, it's going to be a great crafty year!

Click HERE to download your membership form.

You can either copy the membership form on page 3, paste it into an email, fill it in and send it to; or print the application and post it to the address listed on the membership form.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moving On Out

Shed exteriorEvery week I have fun playing My Creative Space, hosted by Melbourne blogger Kirsty. Some creative spaces are messy, some have cats in them, and some make you want to run out and buy a lottery ticket so you have a chance at something nearly as nice. Custom shelving, fat quarters stacked by colour and print, Great Grandmother's beads she brought over as a little girl from Eastern Europe stored in a quaint jar.*

When my partner and I moved into this rental house I was lucky enough to score the master bedroom as my creative space. I've got a large workbench for cutting out (not at the right height for standing, unfortunately), a separate table for my sewing machine and overlocker, an ironing board that never has to be packed away - bliss! But over the last eighteen months my space has evolved to house a spare double bed for visiting in-laws, toys all over the floor to entertain the baby, and barely a spot for me to stand.

Shed interiorOur backyard has an odd little shed. It's made of the same dark brown brick as the house, and its window has a lace curtain. Confused guests always ask if it's a granny flat, but it would have to be for the tiniest granny in the land.** The brick construction is waterproof enough, and only the unsealed ceiling lets in grot. It leaves a bit to be desired as a workroom - better lighting and copious powerpoints are essential, a custom-built bench for the sewing machines with wall storage above are highly desirable, and plastered walls painted a charming shade of cream would really complement the lace curtain.

But there are some dream backyard studios out there. From a basic kit construction to a stylish retreat to this commended Adelaide studio and carport, there's a lot of possibilities for turning your backyard into a room of one's own. Here's some unique, picturesque and stylish backyard studios to get your imagination running. On a practical note, you might like these tips about choosing the right size and spot for your backyard room. But be sure to research council permits, electrical safety requirements and the disappointment levels of garden-deprived household members before you start digging a foundation.

* This is not intended to describe any one creative space - if my fantasy has accurately described yours, I'm so jealous!

** Perhaps the one whose Eastern European beads have been stolen and sealed in a jar. If you look closely at the interior shed shot you can see garlic hanging from the eaves - my mythical granny must be from Romania.

Monday, August 24, 2009

About Us

A little bit about us .... the founding members of the Northside Makers Collective.

Jennie @ Mrs Beckinsale
Having stitched her way from maternity frocks to bridesmaids from hell this WAHM has embraced her urban pride and now lends her talents to the quirky and fantastic W Class Cushions.

A growing range of products that will leave you nostalgic for the days of conductors, hole-punched tickets and state-owned public transport.

Jay @ Finki
Crafting for the masses after a life of mass crafting, Jay from
Finki displays a love of fine food, vintage garb and objects rich in color, print and form.

Creating an eclectic array of jewelery, stationary and home wares to sell both online and at local Melbourne markets Jay looks forward to the time when the government announces longer days, free childcare and a craft store on every corner.

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos
Teacher, Crafter, Businesswoman and Mother ... Margaret runs a small business called Konstant Kaos, which is reflective of the changes in her life since she had her daughter.

She comes from a teaching and costuming background and is interested in all crafty things!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wrap up: Coffee and Craft in Thornbury

It was fun for all at the first Northside Makers Craft and Coffee in Thornbury.

We crocheted and crafted the afternoon away while drinking coffee, tea and eating yummy hazelnut brownies!

Who came? Northside Makers Members Jay from Finki, Jennie from Craving Frocks and Margaret from Konstant Kaos. Beky from Pivotal Expressions, Sian and her friend Rachel, Melanie from M* and Chrissy.

Most of us crocheted away, some first timers and some real pro's, whilst others (see Jennie's pic with robot arms) stitched together little projects.
We also shared some great resources that we had discovered on crochet:
Thanks to every one who dropped by to say hello, it was lovely to meet you all.
Stay tuned for our next coffee and catch up at a suburb near you.................

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Coffee and Crochet on Sunday 23rd August, Thornbury

Just a reminder to those of you who are coming, Coffee and Crochet on Sunday 23rd of August at 1pm - 3pm Crunch Cafe 669 (not 660) High Street, Thornbury, near where Shaftsbury Street meets High Street. Look for the green "Crunch" sign.

Geek Craft

DalekIt's always a happy morning on my iBook when One Pretty Thing publish a Geek Craft Roundup. Oh the happy times browsing blogs and Flickr albums of Pokemon cross stitch, Doctor Who knitting patterns and Tetris earrings.

Their latest geeky roundup features a golden snitch crochet pattern, d20 Handbag of Holding instructions, and for the heroically geeky a Legend of Zelda opening title cross stitch pattern.

My baby Little Jack is approaching his first birthday and as a geeky handmade present I'm making him this amazing felt robot by Gulf Coast Cottage. But for his next birthday my goal is to learn how to read a knitting pattern and make Little Jack his very own TARDIS or cuddly Dalek.

I've just found out, while finding links for this post, that the BBC forced Doctor Who knitting fanatic Mazzmatazz to remove her free online Doctor Who knitting patterns. Just goes to show to copyright beasts can leap on the most innocent of prey.

Maybe one of the free handmade projects from the links above would be the perfect thing to bring along to Northside Makers' crochet and coffee afternoon tomorrow!

Knitted Dalek photo from Entropy House

Friday, August 21, 2009

At a loose end for what to do this weekend, August 21-23

It's the weekend! Here's Northside Makers Collective's guide to the best places to be seen on your days off.

Queen Victoria Woman's Center Open Day
Take on a tour of the womens centre, check out the exhibitions but most of all pick up some scrummy gingerbread from Melbourne Epicure and a new brooch from Curlypops who'll be two Northside gals taking part in the market supporting women in micro business.

Saturday 22nd August
10.30 - 3.30
210 Lonsdale St


CERES Organic Food and Craft Market
Pick up some local ingredients for lunch or dine at the cafe while the kids enjoy the great outdoors.

Saturday 22nd August (and every Saturday)
CERES Community Environment Park
8 Lee St, East Brunswick

Northside Makers Coffee and Crochet
Join us for our first social event.
Don't worry if you can't crochet, the coffee and coversation will be flowing too.

Sunday 23rd August
Crunch Cafe
660 High St, Thornbury

facepaint by SkyLarkEPIEL 2009 Fundraiser
Everyday People Improving Everyday Lives is a non-profit group providing funds and material support to people in need through their online services. They've got an online opshop for their clients - why not
make a donation of goods or money? EPIEL have their big fundraiser this Sunday with bands, comedy, facepainting and more.

Sunday 23rd August
Fitzroy Bowling and Sports Club
578 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy
$5 adults, kids free

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Photography Intern Position

Craft Victoria is looking for a talented photography intern to document their exhibitions, with the first assignment on September 16th.

Photo by Alexia Skok

The application deadline is August 31st. Head to Craft Victoria's blog to find out more.

Crochet and Coffee anyone?

Is anyone out there in Northside Makers land interested in a meet and greet over Coffee and Crochet on Sunday? Let's say, between 1pm and 3pm?

It's a bit late notice, but all good things are!

Date: Sunday 23rd August, 2009

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Venue: Crunch Cafe 660 High Street, Thornbury. Easiest way to get there is via High Street Tram #86 I believe.

They don't book tables, but they are happy to have us. Although they are busy on a Sunday, they seem to think that accommodating about 10 of us might be "ok". Map over here, click on satellite and you can see where the parking is. Crunch Cafe shuts at 3pm ...

Bring: Crochet hook and wool. If you are a beginner, let us know so that we can bring some books'n hooks along! Alternatively, if you have some hand crafts to do that don't involve crochet bring them along as well!

Crafty Idea: Apron

A while back Flickitysplits posted that she needed some help from fellow crafty melbournians to sew up some aprons for a project she was working on.

This week Phillis Dobbs has posted a free Chef Apron download. Phillis designs fabrics and has a whole collection of free downloadable patterns to compliment her designs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sick of Singing in the Shower?

RebellesThere's got to be a few Northside Makers who can carry a tune. Ever thought of taking your vocal talents to the stage? Melbourne girlgroup sensation The Rebelles are recruiting! Here's what Rhonda Rebelle has to say:

Hey Girlgroup fans! The Rebelles are seeking a new sister for their Doo-Lang Gang. Can you sing, shake your hips and clap along? Are you fun-luvvin? You may be just who we need. Write Rhonda Rebelle a line at therebelles[at] for the lowdown.

Even if you're flatter than a tyre in a rainstorm, click your way to to hear some sixties rock'n'roll samples from the sassiest singers in town.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Before they're famous.......

Coming up is a fantastic opportunity to grab some original pieces of designer jewellery at the RMIT Jewellery auctions. Auctions are held as a fundraiser for second year gold and silversmithing students, to help save for their amazing end of year exhibitions.

1: Earrings by Bin Dixon-Ward 2: Pendant by Jan Donaldson
3: Brooch by

I studied at NMIT in 2005 and went through the exact same process.

It's exhilarating and nerve wracking all at once.
You spend weeks on design and construction, hours on filing and polishing, then enter your pieces on a wing and a prayer hoping that someone will like them.
As a back up we all invited loved ones, family and friends, under strict instructions that they place a bid just in case the room fell silent when your pieces came up for auction.

The family and friends were only a security blanket really for our first foray into the real world of representing our work to the masses. Putting our heart and souls on the line, open for public criticism.

For us, the night was a great success. Every piece sold and at handsome prices too.
It may have been the copious amounts of grog we served, or just the generous nature of the lovely peeps who came to support our fundraiser.

But I tell you what, most of all these auctions are the best way of investing in the future of jewellery design and nabbing yourself some damn fine designer pieces, before they are famous....
By Jay@Finki.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Northside Makers Market: Your summer of crafty fun!

Church night 1A phonecall to our venue has confirmed our market dates for this summer. We admit it's a fairly broad definition of 'summer' - with four markets in October, November, February and March we're hoping to hit some nice days while avoiding January scorchers.

While December sounds like the ideal month for a market, the Northside committee decided against a pre-Christmas market as many small business crafters already have their market stalls booked. Besides, we committee members expect we'll have enough on our plates with crafting presents and going to Christmas parties without running a market as well. We may look invincible, but there's only so much working mothers can take on and maintain their sanity!

In planning our ideal market, we all agreed to avoid the colder months that keep potential shoppers indoors. Why be on a market stall in a chilly venue when you'd rather be rugged up in front of the heater reading Harry Potter like everyone else? So, a summer market calendar it shall be.

Northside Makers Markets are at a venue with both indoor and outdoor spaces, nice spots to sit down with a cuppa and cupcake, room to park prams, and smack in the middle of a major shopping strip. We anticipate many happy and prosperous market days ahead.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Northside Makers Blog icon

Are you a crafter in the northern suburbs of Melbourne? If so, we have an icon to put on your blog so that you can show everyone that you are a northside maker!

Show your pride!

The process goes like this (for blogger blogs):
  1. Log into your blog.
  2. Go to the Layout tab.
  3. Click on Add Gadget, choose Text.
  4. From the dialog box you should see a list of gadgets that are classed as Basic. Choose Text by clicking on the plus [+] sign.
  5. Click on Edit HTML and then paste in the Northside Makers Code.
  6. Save and voila! You now have an icon on your blog that tells people you are a proud Northside Maker!
Don't forget to let us know that you have "branded" yourself! If you want the icon larger, then change the sizes in the HTML code to something other than 100.

At a loose WEEKend? August 14-16

It's the weekend! Here's Northside Makers Collective's guide to the best places to be seen on your days off.

Carlton Farmers MarketCarlton Gardens Primary School Farmers' Market
Been thinking about starting the 100 Mile Diet? A local farmers' market is the best place to stock up.
3rd Saturday of each month
9am - 1pm
Carlton Gardens Primary School
215 Rathdowne St
Free entry

Brunswick Women's ChoirBrunswick Women's Choir Farewell Concerts
Two farewell concerts will raise money for the choir's upcoming tour.
Saturday 15th August
2:30pm & 7:30pm
Brunswick Uniting Church
212 Sydney Rd Brunswick
$15/$12 conc/$6 kids

Church night 1Small Business Lifestyle Market
Pop into this market featuring a selection of Victorian small businesses showcasing new lifestyle enhancing products and services.
Sunday 16th August
Atrium and BMW Edge, Federation Square CBD
Free entry!

ConventOpen Studios: Abbotsford Convent
To add to the excitement of the monthly Shirt & Skirt Market at Abbotsford Convent, it's also Open Studios day. Drop in on soap makers, jewellers, painters and more to see how it's done.
Sunday 16th August
Abbotsford Convent
1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford
Free entry

Church night 1Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen
Mister. Darcy's. Shirt. 'Nuff said.
Until 8th November
10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays
NGV International
180 St Kilda Rd CBD
Free entry

Got something on? Leave a comment and let everyone know!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What crafty events are happening north of the Yarra?

We'd love to hear all about crafty events in your neighbourhood, we'd love to do a feature on you or your artsy friends, but most of all....we'd just love to get to know you all!

Drop us a line at any old time or comment on this blog entry. Easy!

Welcome to Northside Makers Collective.....

Welcome to Northside Makers, we'd love you to join in on the fun. But first, a little about us.

Northside Makers Collective is a not-for-profit craft association, encouraging and supporting craftspeople, hobbyists and micro business in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

The Collective is a collaborative effort of three like-minded crafty young mothers living in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Having met through our craft market adventures, we soon discovered that we had all the same ideas for what sort of craft market we'd like to be involved in and a desire to do that little bit more for the crafty community. We had a shared interest in representing local crafters and wanting to see the profits from markets be put back into supporting the growth of craft in the North.

Creating something so much more ... than just another craft market.

We have a united vision of facilitating local crafting gatherings which will complement a summer calender of community markets where members and local groups can showcase their crafty endeavors. Stay tuned!

For now, we will explore the great artsy offerings in the North, uncover some raw talent, and share our small business hints and tips, to better grow your micro business.

Join Us

Becoming a member of Northside Makers will be here soon ...

We are working away on a calender of events, a list of benefits and just dotting the i's and crossing the t's on the membership forms.

Stay tuned.

In the mean time, why not send us an email at and tell us what you would like to see in your new local craft club.


Keep your calenders free on October 10th and November 28th 2009, for the first round of summer markets being held in Northcote by Northside Makers.

Stay posted for updates.......