Thursday, December 23, 2010

A personal video from Santa for the little people in your life

I just had to share this one - many of you may have already come across this fantastic free personalised video message from Santa but I have only just stumbled on it and I love it!

I particularly love it because I am incredibly disorganised and have way too much going on, therefore despite best intentions of having my little ones write a letter to Santa (on Write to Me Santa note paper bought just for that purpose) and posting it in the city as we did last year, I resorted to email. Today. And I've just learned what no. 1 son would actually like for xmas. Boy did I get that wrong.

Anyway, Santa responded to Max's email in double time with a personalised video message. We were both very excited and I have to say Dad was very impressed as well.

So if you need to cover off that last minute communication piece, go to:

Enjoy and all the best for the festive season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lovely new things

We've had so many wonderful things coming in over the last couple of weeks I thought I'd share some with you, and also the "make over" one side of the shop received to accommodate new clothes. The ladder was home to the jewellery but I just couldn't find a clothes display that I liked (or that our barely studded walls could handle) so the ladder has found a new purpose just for now, no doubt I'll rearrange again in the next few weeks!

Now on the hunt for an interesting jewellery display option!

Write to Me drawstring bags

"Summer Sleeps", Stories by Starlight

Katarzynkha bags (and Allypops Stag mirror)

Katarzynkha silk/hemp/leather clutch

Mookah Fairy Penguins - because I just can't get enough of these little guys

Cosse soy candles (christmassy orange & cinnamon and the lovely lemon verbena)

Zilpah Tart bags from Canberra

Zoe.O satchels with the most devine purple vintage fabric lining! 

Arthurs Circus kids tee's

Zoe. O cotton cord skirt with vintage doily embellishment

Arthurs Circus framed photos

Delilah Devine earrings

Thursday, December 16, 2010

and the winner is.....

Yay for the girls at Write to Me. 

Either Anna or Nicoletta have posted the closest ages of my kids in the Lisa Cahill giveaway - I'm not sure who left the comment but shall send you both an email today.

The correct ages are Max age 5 and Mila age 2.

A lovely pair of polished glass earrings on almost on their way to you. Congrats!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lisa Cahill giveaway and my own little xmas story

OK, OK I know you're all interested in the give away bit (ie. what a lucky reader is going to receive absolutely free, gift wrapped (if so desired) and posted (woohoo!)), but first here are my random thoughts and competition details......

My eldest has been patiently suggesting every day that perhaps it's time to put the xmas tree up. Usually I'm the first to the decorations bag but it's been a bit hectic 'round here with the creation of Maker Handmade.

I couldn't say "tomorrow" one more day, however it also collided with assembly of the youngest's first (junior) bed so I handed my two cherubs all of the non-breakable decorations and asked them to get a head start, and try to not put all said decorations in the same spot.

Now - I like a little symmetry when decorating the tree, and I also love a colour theme. My tree is generally, rather preciously, perfect. (Aside from the fact that it's now fake, but I can't seem to keep the real ones alive from year to year...)

This is what I saw when I came into the lounge room -

It's not colour themed, and it's certainly not symmetrically decorated - but instead of smug satisfaction I got the warm fuzzies. I think it's the loveliest tree I've had so far.

So here's the competition bit - which is not open to family, close friends and those I've waxed lyrical to re my children. (My darling brother: this is not a cheap way to get an xmas present for your lovely wife.)

(i) You need to guess the age of the two children (mine) who decorated the tree - which can be safely based on the height of where the decorations hang. For context, you can see the height of the tree against a standard chair & ottoman in the picture.

(ii) Answers must be posted on this blog as a comment to this post.

(iii) Closest to the real age wins - up to you whether you submit how many years old, month and year born or date of month and year born.

(iv) Competition closes next Wednesday, 15th December.

OK - so here's what you really want to know. The winner will receive a pair of beautiful Lisa Cahill (an established glass artist) polished glass earrings, fresh in the store this week. If you're a local, feel free to pop in and select which pair you would like. Otherwise, the winner will have this pretty piece wrapped and posted:

Good Luck!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Delilah Devine art now adorning shelves

I had the opportunity to catch up with a few Makers yesterday who were in town for the Magnolia Square Market at St Kilda Town Hall. So lovely to catch up with people and also meet the lovely Linda Marek from Delilah Devine in the flesh. I have been lusting after her art works but rather than freight them in figured I would wait for an opportunity which came along yesterday - I managed to bring a couple of pieces back to the shop and I just love them.

I also had to top up last week's top up of Mookah softies - these fellas are very popular! 

Very dapper Fairy Penguin from Mookah

I found some lovely new Makers as well, so keep an eye out for new stock coming through!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Stopping to smell the flowers

I'd like to be blogging about all of my wonderful new stock arriving in store - but I haven't had time to talk to new Makers as my head has been stuck in our first end of month paperwork storm: figuring out processes, realising there are probably a few gaps in my creative excel based accounts, trying to re-order top up stock after that wonderful opening night last week...

No time to visit all of those wonderful weekend markets that are currently on and which provide me with a great source of talented Makers to entice to our store - and make my job so very pleasurable.

So this morning I stopped and took a little breath. I had bought a bunch of cornflowers from the local florist and spent some time putting them in small vases around the shop. I love having flowers around.

with Cosse products and Ally Pops Hummingbird mirror

In the window...
so pretty

I have also planted some summer loving flowers in a terracotta planter with Kabwares Hope, Wish Dream teaspoon garden markers.

Take a seat, look around....deep breath... straighten back....relax $6 you couldn't get a cheaper form of therapy!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shopping Night Success - See what we can buy Ardoch kids!

Well despite the rain, we had a wonderful turn out of about 60 people at our combined opening and shopping night last night. A HUGE thank you to all who came along and supported Maker Handmade, Blue Door Gallery and of course Ardoch Youth Foundation.

Between Blue Door Gallery and Maker Handmade we raised $525 for Ardoch Youth Foundation. To get an idea of what that means in real terms, here's an example of what we could buy from their online catalogue (which you can browse at the Ardoch website):

1. New school shoes for 10 kids!!
For a family experiencing hardship, new shoes for fast growing feet can be difficult to manage.

2. Breakfast for two children for a year, and substantial change for other items.
Kids can't learn on an empty stomach. Ardoch runs Breakfast Club Programs which gives kids, what can be for some, their only meal for the day.

3. A weekly Met ticket for 37 children!!
If they can't get to school, they can't learn. At $14 per week per child, this can turn out to be a big ticket expense item for some families.

4. Infant Care Package
At $60 per week, our donation could buy a baby whose family is experiencing disadvantage nearly 9 weeks worth of nappies, formula, baby wipes, cream and powder.

The list goes on - honestly a little bit of money can make a huge difference to a child who is struggling to stay in school. If you're in the habit of buying Oxfam gifts for xmas (I've purchased the odd goat myself), perhaps give this local organisation a go this year...

And now a few pics of our night:
Kellee with her Zoe.O satchel purchase, Lisa with Formosa Design T'Towel and
Mandy Burns, Chief Executive of Ardoch Youth Foundation.

Me, Madeleine and Jacqui from Reissued

Passing a Cosse handwash - they were a big hit!

Jenny & Richard -  product display assistants extraordinaire!

Husband Steve and me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Shopping Night tonight - and look at all of our new Makers!

Wow it's been a big week here at Maker Handmade. One or several new Maker products arriving every day which has of course required constant re-arranging of the store (stops me from re-arranging our living area which makes husband happy).

We have our champagne shopping night / opening / fundraiser on tonight. If you're around pop in any time from 6pm to 9pm for a glass of champers, free gift wrapping on your purchases and 10% of sales going to Ardoch Youth Foundation.

Now - take a look at what has come in over the last week! (sorry about the dodgy photo placement).

Handmade Living was co-created by the talented Julie Nicholls, founder of Shop Handmade in Canberra and features Melbourne's wonderful Nicole James of Yardage Design.

Tilli Michelle clutches - antique japanese silk & leather
Zoe.O satchels
Kate Ward's journal covers
Formosa Design's tea towels
and O designs porcelain brooches & dishes
and O porcelain pendants

Cosse Body Products

Cosse Soaps

evie lala booties, t's and accessories

Babushka Baby cotton hand stitched quilts

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cracked, worn and a little uneven but oh so lovely....

A couple of days ago I took a little wander down Clarendon Street to my favourite second hand shop which is always full to the brim with furniture and bits and pieces. On the hunt for some interesting display options for the new stock that has been arriving lately, I sorted through some old wine boxes and ceramic kitchen bowls but as I headed to the counter I spied this little treasure on a shelf somewhere up near the ceiling...

It's delightfully uneven and was clearly loved, broken at some point and put back together with vast amounts of glue that years later look like rivers of treacle...

Everything I had picked up in the shop went back on the shelf in favour of my new lovely bowl which has created a temporary shop-home for Formosa Design's brooches and magnets, covered with Jenny's hand screen printed textiles.

The origin of the bowl remains a mystery, 2nd hand shop Steven thinks it may be c. 1920s but we're both very unsure. If anyone out there is a fan of antique earthenware, pottery etc and could give us some clues as to where it started its life I would love to hear from you!

As for the bits between its birth and its new life in Maker Handmade, my imagination has already been at work creating a full and wonderful 90 years....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well hello there little fella

Leisa and Nicole, the two lovely sisters behind Mookah dropped in some gorgeous floor cushions and softies today. Tell me you don't want to give this little guy a squeeze...

I did, now I just have to stop my daughter from doing the same. Repeatedly.

Fairy Penguin and his friends provide a bit of bright eye candy in the window on a grey rainy day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Now you see it....then it's sold. Reissued now (briefly) in stock

Jacqui from Reissued and I have been discussing the best style of chair to stock in the store, and boy did Jacqui get it right when on Friday she delivered a beautiful vintage carver chair reupholstered in a beautiful burnt spot cloth fabric.

The chair sold a couple of hours after it was delivered, so fast neither of us managed to get a photo so all I can show you is a photo of the empty space:

The good news is that we have a lovely Danish style 60s chair in a rough rose cloth fabric still available, sitting well with our Kabwares herb garden display in the window and some Yardage Design artichoke market bags:

and can you see the town hall outside the window? Such an amazing view from my chair at the counter.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kabwares garden markers have just arrived

I fell in love with these herb markers, made from upcycled vintage spoons, when I visited Bec's Little Shop of Handmade in Carnegie. I bought myself a set and then had to take a trip to Bunnings to buy herbs to match and a pot to put them in!!

The delightful Jane dropped them in to me yesterday and I've put them in the window this morning. There's a constant chink of metal from passers by stopping quickly to rifle through.

Style your garden and get the added benefit of a warm fuzzy trip down memory lane as you notice all of those patterns on the cutlery you had growing up. Ahhh, love a bit of nostalgia.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Yardage Design, Space Candles and a new take on retail therapy

I've had a big few days since my last post. Drinks with the girls, a christening, tradesman turning up late (and today not at all...) and in the process of creating and launching my husband's new website I broke his email. Whoops. In the midst of it all my daughter and I came into the shop while it was closed and discovered retail therapy of the meditative kind:

We caressed a Yardage Design cushion....

took a deep breath over a Space Candle....

and we were ready to face the next few hours - a trip to Chadstone - but more on that tomorrow!!