discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 2 December 2013

Made by Me Markets and the start of the December decluttering challenge

The Made by Me Markets were held on the weekend down along our breathtaking foreshore.  The weather was just glorious, except for a bit of a sea breeze but we are in windy Warrnambool.  These markets were created by Lana Campbell, of Lana's Garden rhubarb products. "I wanted to raise funds to build some working gardens in Cambodia.  I had set a target of $2,000 and had at the time raised $800.  I thought a market might be a good option.  We raised over $1500!  The stall holders express their interest for each market or are invited.  They rotate depending on who applies.  It is a small venue and I would like to keep it interesting for repeat customers."  This was the second market and was this time raising money for Street Swags which is a not for profit organisation that produces durable bedding for the homeless.  
 I met up wth Liz from Lizad Art & Design and put the stall holders through their paces.  I have added links to the small few I talked the ear off.  They are all passionate and eager to talk about their produce, but try getting any of them in a photo! 
First up was Chris from Nhillbillies gourmet treasures which is an off shoot of her broader range of unique creations at Zeva designs.  Chris makes a range of gluten free baked goods, recycled metal jewelry, cards, chutneys, jam and relishes. It was so wonderful to hear her talk about cooking from a cookbook that is over 100 years old, just like your nana use to make with all the produce grown fresh, without chemicals in her backyard in Nhill.  I think I found my soul sister.  The seasons and her garden dictate what treats will be on her market stall.  She also has cute handmade things like sewing emergency kits  for those blessed with that gene, orgeous needle pin holders, cards and other vintage items, many made from recycled goodies.  I brought her Italian Beetroot relish which was tart and delicious, especially teamed with some good cheese and wine.

Lana from Lana's garden  started her Rhubarb business due to her son's health issues and now many years later has over 1,000 rhubarb plants to source her growing range of preserves.  I brought the Rhubarb Coulis and it was teamed perfectly with pancakes and greek yoghurt for breakfast the next day.  I'm looking forward to trying some of this pictured jam next.  My daughter thinks she doesn't like rhubarb but with no mention of the R word she decided this was now her favourite ;)

Did you know candles have a burn memory which when done correctly, optimizes the scent throw and burn life of your candle? Who knew! The candle man Gerard of Willaura Candle Company was very keen to tell us all about his beautifully scented products.  I was sold on the lemongrass & ginger with its crisp clean aroma but there were lots of different scents to chose from.  Soy candles are the healthy, 100% natural alternative to paraffin candles with oddles of benefits like being non-toxic and non-hazardous without any of the harmful cancer causing carcinogens and petro-chemicals their paraffin cousins omit. How wonderful is that.  You can track him down by email or phone or 5354 1199 to find out his next market location.  

Jane from Bowerbird Brown Jewelry has a funky range of handmade crafts.  Jane has only just recently started her new venture of all hand made bright, vibrant pops of colour to love and wear.  Bangles, necklaces and brooches are just some of the items Jane makes. The pieces are made from polymer clay that is moulded then baked.  I can't say what I might have brought or not brought in case my daughters teachers are reading....but they really are an ideal gift for someone hard to buy for this Christmas.

Ella Webb drawing and prints are truly uniquely beautiful.  Oh how I wish I could draw!! She has a large range of prints, cushion covers and cards to chose from and is also available for commissioned work.  I couldn't resist the reindeer card for a Christmas card with a difference for a friend.

Donna from Make Mine Milk sells earthy goats milk products like these amazing soaps.  She is very passionate about caring for the goats she raises on an ethical and sustainable dairy farm near Colac.  I could have talked to her for hours!  She really has the goats welfare in check.  I brought the walnut and pink grapefruit scrub which smells devine and won't go slimy in the shower like regular soap.  Even better, it can be used to take make up off and wash with, all using natural chemical free products.  I'm sold!

I had a lovely conversation with Carol and Louise from Bluestone Magazine.  Bluestone is an online magazine showcasing the best the South West has to offer.  Do yourself a favour and check it out, even better become a subscriber.  I love that there are finally like minded people spreading the word about the talented people who live in our special region.

Photo: Have I posted this before? I can't remember. But it's worth sharing anyway!!!
I was really impressed with the stall holders and the quality of the items for sale. I didn't take photos of all the 22 stalls, but the same sentiment rang through with the others there.  Locals with a dream of creating goods out of a love or a skill.  I can't wait for the next one, which will be in February.  You can"Like" Made by Me on Facebook for updates if you are keen to attend the next one.  I will be stalking keeping a look out for all of these guys at the next one.
Now, onto pressing issues, today is the first day for the Declutter for December challenge.  Just for a recap for those who are new to the challenge and are keen to declutter you life and in turn your mind, each Monday during December, select five items to declutter and place them into one of 3 boxes - bin/recycle, op shop or family/give to friends.  If you want you can have a pile for ebay or gumtree too, up to you. I'm not as I don't want it hanging round nor do I want even more time on the computer :) 

Then, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, select one item a day and add it to your boxes.  It could be a pile of magazines as one 'item', don't just move one mag at a time!  Same as a draw or a cupboard may be one thing if you have lots you want to get through.  Continue this rotation until the last day of December. As I said, set the timer and go hard for the time you allocate. Just to state the obvious, if you are decluttering magazines your local op shop or hospital/dr's surgery would love to have them.  Try and avoid the recycle bin and garbage bin as much as you can~up-cycling  its the new black.

God help me, I'm tackling my daughters black hole this week....she is the Queen of hoarding! Perfect example, yesterday when putting up the Chrissy decorations I was about to throw away some dodgy looking tinsel and a few little glittery balls that had fallen off something..."No, mum!! Don't throw them away, I can make something out of them".  They along with a tonne of stuffed toys, books, clothes, shoes, artwork and the kitchen sink will be in the box marked bin or for "the kids that don't have anything"* before school pick up I swear.

*I'm letting any parents in on my cunning trick.  This is my code name for our op shops.  In our town, the Salvo's drop off bin is situated at the front of their accommodation refuge which to a 6 year old, just looks like a house.  I'm playing on my daughters empathetic side by telling her about these poor children that live there that aren't as lucky as she is.  They have no toys, beds or food. This people is parenting gold in our house.  It is always a handy fall guy if I've had a clean out while she is at school and is looking for that special piece of paper she was saving to do god knows what with, "Oh darling I gave that to the kids that don't have anything, they needed it". If things are really crook and I'm after a bribery card there is always a chance I might take her there to spend a night. Whinging about what's for dinner, well you could go and eat nothing with the kids.  She soon gobbles up her vegetables and thinks her stuff will be looked after when we take it to the kids...bless.  I'm evil but it works!!

Ciao, Jan


  1. That market looks amazing Jan! I will have to check out the dates and come on down! I love a good market, and by good I mean quality. There are so many markets with lots of rubbish, but really appreciate people who are clever and produce a quality product-whether food, art, or home wares. The Rose St market in Fitzroy (Melbourne) is one of my favourites, but many are popping up all over the place now--and don't even get me started on Etzy!
    On another note-I as wondering how you go with the school lunchbox? What do you find works, and what comes home uneaten? I have loads of good ideas for my little bloke, but have heard all about the families with good intentions, then after a few terms, end up sending the cheese and vegemite sandwich!
    Also want to thankyou for inspiring the cooking gene within again. I have been getting pretty bored with the same old fare, (even though my kids eat like gods compared to my upbringing)--yet even today we made brown rice sushi rolls for lunch, mango sorbet, Portuguese chicken for the BBQ tonite and froze lemon juice into gorgeous different shaped ice cube trays to have with our drinks this week.
    Bravo to you Jan!

  2. Thanks Robyn, you are too kind :D I will definately let you know when the next one is on so I get another visit! It really was a 'quality' market.

    We have a loose version of 'nude' food at my daughters school. I have a tag on the blog called 'Lunchbox dazzlers' that you can find at the top right hand side under the banner 'labels'. I need to do a blog post on this but basically we do a wrap or sandwich, usually avocado/hummus/cheese/ham/chicken, very boring as she won't eat lettuce, grated carrot or tomatoes. Pieces of fruit obviously. I cut up oranges into segments with the skin still attached but slide the sharp knife in under the first half so its easy to get the skin off, or chopped up mango cheeks, kiwi fruit and strawberries are a favourite at the moment. I have lots of little containers and fill them with yoghurt, tinned fruit, dry bikkies with dips or cheese, hard boiled egg, a chicken drumstick, frittata, even cold koftas with a dollop of hummus or meatloaf and tomato sauce is often requested. In winter we used a thermos for soup which was a big hit. I use frozen bricks to keep everything cold. I've got a million other ideas on the lunchbox that I might email you.
    Thanks for your support, it means so much to little old me, mwah! :D

    1. Oh and forgot to say, your lunch and dinner tonight sound fantastic BTW!!

  3. Hehe dealing with your daughter's stuff sounds just like what it's like with hubby! :P

    1. Give me strength!! :D One bag smuggled out, another few to go!

  4. Great read, Jan. Love your photos, they are so vibrant. I am looking forward to trawling through your blog now that I have found it:) Very happy.

    1. Thanks Lana, am loving your Rhubarb coulis, its nearly all gone!!! I think you should consider another market earlier than February though!! Jan x

  5. Congrats with the stalls and raising all that money. Sounds like quite the effort, but well worth the effort is my guess. Well done Jan - I imagine it feels ever so satisfying.

    Good Luck with the declutter challenge - I well relate x

    1. Oh Mariana, I didn't have a thing to do with the markets!! I aspire to be a stallholder but that is a pipe dream :)

  6. I was finally a stall holder at The Arts in The Olives event on Mother's Day this year. My girls also served people and it was brilliant - can't wait to do it again - oh - a food stall with home made quiches,lasagna, salad etc. I was the first stall to sell out and already been asked by the committee to come back again next year. Bigger and better hopefully. x You can do it. Find your niche and work steadily.


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