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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Monday, November 23, 2009

Meet the Northside Crafters: Robyn Stewardson

We are really excited to welcome Robyn to our Northside Makers Market. Her portfolio looks really interesting and we hope that you can find lots of Christmas presents in her range.

Tell us about what you sell ...

Photographs and cards. Calenders around this time of year, too. These days my photography is mostly Macro or patterns and I have a penchant for the obscure and patterns found in nature, in fact in almost anything.

What inspires you?
Almost anything beautiful. Of course, as with everything, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For me it keeps coming back to the details and the generally overseen. Metal objects in decomposition generally appeal. That something so solid eventually crumbles, and with such intense colour, attracts me. Other colourful items and quirky details and patterns in nature rarely escape my lens.
Here are some artists, sites and books that inspire me:
Creative photos by Chema Madoz
A Photographers Guide to Webb Bridge
Andrew Brown Photography
Fruit by Wolfgang Stuppy and Rob Kesseler
Artforms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel
Bronwyn Oliver

What's your favourite medium to work in?

Hard question to answer as a photographer. Close up! I’m a bit of a ‘can’t get close enough’ type photographer. If I had the equipment I’d probably be doing those microscope photographs showing plant & insect details 100x. ;o) It’s all in the hidden/overseen detail.

What would you be lost without ....
My sense of the obscure and the ability to see the details many miss.

What's your fave crafty read?

Can’t say I read any crafty books/mags. I mostly surf the net or go to markets for my craft/art fix.

What do you like to listen to when you craft?

Depending on the mood: Classical
Soundtrack: The Mission, Passengers, Vince & Grace — Come in Spinner, Sting — Mercury Falling/ Crowded House, Billy Joel, The Audreys, The Waifs

What crafty forums do you lurk in ....
Etsy Forums and Red Bubble

Whats up next for you on the craft front?
Honing my welding skills with my recent birthday present so I can tap into some of the creative ideas that have been floating around in my head for years!

Do you have any UFO's (unfinished objects), what are they?
An optimistic (read ‘highly advanced skills required’!) piece that I started when I did my first welding course. I aimed for the sky, although I didn’t realise it at the time (it looked pretty easy to me), but as with many things like it, once I had some knowledge on the subject, I realised how incredibly difficult it would be. Haven’t given up yet, though. ;o)

Where else can people shop for your goodies?
My business is still in its embryonic stage but orders by email are always welcome. focus [at] stewardson [dot] net should be set up soon. In the meantime I’m still using robyn.stew [at] rdson [dot] net

I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another reason to log onto FB at work

Just a quickie to let you know we've created an event listing on Facebook for next weekend's Northside Makers Market.

crafty fun

Invite all your favourite peeps!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

10% off for Members

As promised, here is the first members special discount offer.

The Mark Makers are having a fabric and button sale at the Camberwell Market this Sunday the 15th of November. Jennifer is offering an extra 10% off exclusively for Northside Makers members!

Just flash your Northside Makers membership card to take advantage of this great offer. Get there early or we might snaffle it all up first!

Find more details here:

Keep an eye on our blog for more members specials to be announced soon........

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pin-up Crafters

There's only two and a teensy bit weeks until the November 28th Northside Makers Market. You know what that means? Time for pasta pansies ponies posters!

Northside Makers Market Poster 28 November v1

Last market we postered Northcote, Westgarth, Thornbury, Fairfield, Brunswick and Fitzroy. This time we're hoping to go even further - with your help!

We're looking for volunteers to put up a poster at their workplace, school, childcare, library, tram stop, favourite cafe or anyplace else you see event posters stuck up. If you're really enthusiastic you could even help us distribute posters along major shopping strips in the area. We've already got a list of shops which accept posters to help take the guesswork out of who to approach. It's a great way to get some exercise - I lost two kilos postering for October's market.

If you can help send us an email at northsidemakers @ and let us know how many posters you need and where you can put them up. If you've got a colour printer we'll email you a copy to print out; if not we'll pop some in the post ASAP.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brooches anyone?

Living Creatively have announced their competition for November, Beautiful Brooches!

So head over to Living Creatively, sign up and get making something nice and creative. Submissions close on the 27th of November, and you have a chance to win a $100 voucher.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Melbourne Paperific Expo

13, 14 and 15 November 2009
at the Melbourne Showgrounds in Ascot Vale
just Northwest of Melbourne's City Centre

The expo runs for three days:
9.30am to 5pm - Friday and Saturday
9.30am to 4pm - Sunday

Get the rest of the details at their homepage. Beky, one of our Northside Makers went along to the expo in June, read her review here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

At a loose weekend.......Nov 6th - 8th

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

APS Christmas market.
Enjoy a glass of wine and some cheese while finding quality handcrafted Christmas gifts made by local crafts people.

Fri 6th November.
7 - 10 pm
Alphington Primary School
Yarralea Street.
Mel 31 A10.
(you might see a NM member or two there)

Teeny Tiny sisters market
This time the sisters have put together a market especially for the kids.
From toys and clothes to accessories and stationary. It's all for the young and young at heart.

Sat 7th Nov
10 - 4
Brunswick town Hall
Sydney rd, Brunswick.

You'll see our friends from Chuckles and some goodies from Lark.

Melbourne Bead Expo.
Selling lots of beading supplies as well as running workshops over the entire weekend.

Fri 6th - Sun 8th
Camberwell Centre
340 Camberwell Rd,

Entry: $10

Whittlesea show
Fun and agriculture for the whole family.

Sat 7th Nov 9am to 7 pm
Sun 8th Nov 9am to 5 pm

Whittlesea show grounds
Yea Rd, Whittlesea.

Melways ref:246 J7

Watsonia Neighborhood house Market.
A great little market run monthly that supports local talent.
This month you'll see our very own Beky from Pivotal expressions.

Sat 7th November
47 Lambourne Rd,

10am - 1pm

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Theo's Discount Craft

Four times a year Theo's Discount Craft in Boronia have their warehouse sale.

Theo's Discount Craft Sale
10th November to 14th November
Shop 3B Macquarie Place
Boronia 3155

They stock just about anything and on sale days. Ribbons, zips and other habby things are drastically reduced. Be prepared to buy lace and elastic by the 30 metre cards and uncover odds and ends that you just don't find in any other sewing or craft shop.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Any Creative Women out there?

The Creative Women's Circle have their last speaker event for the year on November 14th.

Saturday 14 November
10am - 12 midday

Guildford Lane Gallery
20 Guildford Lane, Melbourne CBD

Spring is definitely a fashion-frenzy time for many Melbournites, and so it seems fitting that our next speaker is up-and-coming designer Stephanie Carello, creator of chic Melbourne label alabakov.

Stephanie has been enthralled in fashion for as long as she can remember. After graduating a clothing production and manufacturing course at RMIT, Stephanie worked within the fashion industry for a few years before her stylish label, alabakov was born. The vision of alabakov is to deliver timeless, classic and beautiful fashion pieces and each piece is designed and hand made by Stephanie!

Stephanie will speak about her experience as a young fashion designer in Melbourne, and about the unique business model she developed to bring her stunning alabakov creations to her increasing customer base.

Seating is limited so if you are planning to attend, please RSVP to tess /at/ as early as possible.

The Creative Women's Circle is proudly supported by the Guildford Lane Gallery. Check out what is currently showing at the Guildford by visiting

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