HOT: Maribyrnong Makers Market, Seddon Uniting Church, cnr Gamon and Mackay Sts, Seddon

maribyrnong makers market

Maribyrnong Makers Market is a sweet little arts and crafts market held several times a year in Seddon. The market is at Seddon Uniting Church, a small and charming venue which hosts stalls inside the church hall as well as the outside grounds.

maribyrnong makers market

The focus of the market is about showcasing the work of local craftspeople and artists. Every stall holder has made their products themselves and the community feel extends to the charity sausage sizzle set up on the pavement outside.

maribyrnong makers market

I bought some treats from Helen’s Kitchen Favourites, a local sweets and preserves business based in Williamstown.

maribyrnong makers market

I even got to meet Helen and her husband Simon and her sales patter convinced me to buy her handmade and preservative-free pate and shortbread. Both were delicious but particular mention must go to the buttery, crumbly biscuits – three of us devoured 8 large rounds of passionfruit topped ones in one afternoon!

maribyrnong makers market

I also loved Little Puddles’ DIY felt ball garland and wreath kit but wasn’t sure of my handicraft skills as to whether I’d be able to make one. Maybe by Christmas I’ll have worked up the nerve!

maribyrnong makers market

It’s not every day that you see someone like Raxor, a craftperson actually hand spinning yarn in order to make her woollen goods.

maribyrnong makers market

The Maribyrnong Makers Market is a great place to buy some lovely, unique and often handmade things and meet the makers who come from the local area. It’s also within walking distance to Seddon Village with cafes and more shops to explore.

Maribyrnong Makers Market’s next dates in 2014 are tomorrow Saturday 22 November where it will extend down to the nearby park Harris Reserve and Thursday 18 December, just in time for Christmas.

Maribyrnong Makers Market, Seddon Uniting Church, cnr Gamon and Mackay Sts, Seddon

Saturday 22 November 9.30am – 3.30pm

Thursday 18 December 4.30pm – 8.30pm

HOT: Luna1878 Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, cnr Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne + Giveaway!

queen victoria market night market

Queen Victoria Market’s annual winter night market is back!

Luna1878 Night Market is a midweek celebration of winter that is happening every Wednesday night until 27 August. Before you groan about leaving your warm house to venture out on a freezing school night, just note two things:

queen victoria market night market

1. The market is actually much warmer than you might expect. I think it must be because of the roof, the number of cooking fires and bright lights. I didn’t notice any outdoor heaters about but I didn’t feel the cold at all.

2. There is mulled wine!

queen victoria market night market

Under the sheds of Queen Vic you’ll find a large range of street food to sample, interspersed amongst diverse stalls of local designers and craftspeople. I was invited to try out what was on offer at the market and I was pleasantly surprised by the broad range of food and entertainment on offer. The set up was a lot more spacious than my previous visit to the summer night markets and there was enough seating for quick bites in between strolling.

queen victoria market night market

I think the food is the reason to get most excited about Luna1878 Night Market. You can choose to eat the world with Filipino coal-roasted meats, soups in a cob loaf to steaming pans of paella. Some of it was ok, other dishes were fantastic and most of it was priced around the $7 mark with nothing more than $15.

queen victoria market night market

My recommendations go to the Xinjiang spicy lamb skewers, the grilled cevapi from the cevapi cart and the baby octopus from the Sicilian barbecue.

queen victoria market night market

For dessert there were a few options – crepes, creme brulee, waffles or cannoli from a guy who had a cannoli for a head (kidding! just caught him at the right angle).

queen victoria market night market

I think there could be more dessert options as the line for all of these stalls was pretty long and in the end we settled for a chilli and spice hot chocolate from Market Espresso. Unfortunately this was probably the worst thing we tried on the night, with badly burnt milk combined with a syrupy spice mix. We dumped half of it in the bin.

Perhaps my pro tip is to just swim against the crowd and eat dessert first and savouries later!

queen victoria market night market

The lively vibe in the market was enhanced by the free entertainment, including musicians, street performers and comedians. I actually found the cooking just as much fun to watch as crews hacked into a whole pig at the Hoy Pinoy and a primary school kid deftly flipped pizza dough at 400 Gradi.

queen victoria market night market

If you’re planning a trip to Luna1878 Night Market then mark next Wednesday 23 July in your diary as on that night only Kit Webster will be presenting his amazing multimedia installation called Enigmatic.

Luna1878 Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, cnr Elizabeth and Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Every Wednesday 9 July – 27 August 5-10pm

Free entry

Giveaway! Thanks to Queen Victoria Market I have 3 x $30 food/drink vouchers for Luna1878 Night Market to give away. To win just follow the instructions and the three winners will be chosen randomly. Entries close Monday 28 July midnight. Good luck!

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HOT: Melbourne Now, The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne

Melbourne Now Hotham St Ladies

Melbourne Now is National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition celebrating the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice of creative Melbourne. It spans both NGV International and NGV Australia and you’ll need lots of time to visit both.

Melbourne Now Hotham St Ladies

When you first enter the foyer of the Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia you’ll see an amazing lounge room, hallway and dining made up of piped icing. ‘At home with the Hotham Street Ladies‘ is by the Hotham Street Ladies, five women who at one time lived in a share house in Hotham Street, Collingwood. Together they create food-related art, such as cake sculptures and street art, in a commentary about craft, domesticity and feminism.

Melbourne Now Hotham St Ladies

The installations are quirky, humorous and definitely lickable and there are lots of fun details to spot.

Melbourne Now

Also on the ground floor is Show us your World by Jan Senbergs. Along a wall are a series of picture maps from different eras and a long drafting table with inset cups of coloured pencils to encourage kids to draw their own world, real or imaginary. They can then contribute to the exhibit by posting their pictures on the wall. I saw squiggly maps of Brunswick, maps of ‘home-school-nanna’s house’ and one with a dragon!

Melbourne Now

As you head up the stairs to the second level admire Triptych by Melbourne fashion designer Toni Maticevski. I have been obsessed by his work since seeing it at Bendigo Art Gallery and this series of three dresses continue his use of neoprene in intricate, sculptural ways. Their figures hang silently in the stark corridor of the stairwell and the effect is breathtaking. They were by far my favourite works in the exhibition.

Melbourne Now Toni Maticevski Triptych

Melbourne Now Toni Maticevski Triptych

Melbourne Now Toni Maticevski Triptych

 

Melbourne Now Toni Maticevski Triptych

Melbourne Now Toni Maticevski Triptych

On the second level in a previously void space is MARLARKY by Slow Art Collective. It’s a bright, playful and environmentally sustainable domestic habitat which encourages you to ‘play house’ amongst old tin cans, wool, mats and makeshift furniture made from found materials.

Melbourne Now Malarky Slow Art Collective

Melbourne Now Malarky Slow Art Collective

Melbourne Now Malarky Slow Art Collective

You can serve tea from the tea set, stir-fry woollen noodles in the wok, have a sleep on the bed and dance under the teepee, hitting the shapes to emit different sounds.

Melbourne Now Malarky Slow Art Collective

This is just a snapshot of the vast Melbourne Now at NGV Australia. To continue your exploration of Melbourne Now you can also visit the rest of the exhibition at NGV International.

Melbourne Now

Melbourne Now

Melbourne Now, The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Federation Square, Melbourne until 23 March 2014

HOT: Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy (1)

Lark Store has been synonymous with cute homewares and party supplies since it opened its shopfront in Daylesford four years ago. They’ve now closed their Daylesford store and have decided to take the show on the road at various pop up locations, starting with a residency in Fitzroy until February 2014.

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

At Lark Fitzroy you’ll find a selection of covetable goodies from their online store – and anything that’s not in store physically can be bought online and collected for free at the store. Alternatively, you can buy in store and then have it giftwrapped and shipped direct to the gift recipient. Talk about seamless bricks-and-mortar/online service!

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

They even serve you fresh lemonade at the counter.

Some of my favourite items from the Fitzroy store include:

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

The mint green bike in the front window. OK so it’s not for sale but it is a Beg Bicycles bike from the UK which is rarely found in Australia (I particularly love the coolbox that goes with the bike).

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Their range of party decor. Very helpful for those with zero styling credentials as it all matches and has a super cute/retro feel, from the paper straws down to the pom pom garlands.

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

The pastel coloured carry tins, great for storing small items like bobbins and thread or little girl’s treasures.

Lark Store, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

The fire engine red metal bread box which I think is a bit of a bargain at $39.95. Even Allison, the owner, thought she’d get one for herself when she did a double-take of the price!

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I might also return for the ‘Yay Biscuits!’ tin because that’s exactly what I think when I see biscuits.

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I love these retro milk bottle holders – for me they evoke long summer days and garden parties. I really want one but can’t think of a single use for it!

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For those on Instagram if you visit the store and Instagram a photo (tagging @larkstore and #larkstorefitzroy) then you’ll receive 10% off your purchase! So get snapping.

Lark Fitzroy, 94 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Monday to Saturday, 11.00am to 4.00pm

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HOT: Third Drawer Down, 93 George St, Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down is Melbourne’s home of kook. And giant objects.

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

I often take visitors to Third Drawer Down‘s curated selection of the ‘best of’ museum shops as it’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. The small store is a Pandora’s box of fun, useful and not-so-useful products, some designed in house and some brought in locally and internationally.

Third Drawer Down started out producing high quality tea towels (hence the name – doesn’t everyone store their tea towels in the third drawer down?) as a means of disseminating art in an affordable way and to challenge the idea of what constituted ‘art’ in the first place.

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Founder Abigail Crompton has since collaborated with renowned contemporary artists and galleries from all around the world to create design products, including the Tate Modern and MOMA. Their latest artist collaboration is with Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei and they’ve exclusively produced a silk scarf, linen tea towel and handkerchief featuring some of his most famous (and provocative) works.

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Every time I go in there the silence is punctuated by random guffaws as people spot deliciously humorous items such as giant Googly eyes, funny stationery and mop slippers (which my Mum uses, no kidding).

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

In amongst the weird and wonderful are some useful items perfect for gifting, such as these city guides by Herb Lester Associates.

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Currently in the back area you’ll find the Open Close Mart, an eccentric ‘convenience’ store and exhibition space where works of art sit alongside real supermarket, consumer objects.

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Spot the difference between the soda can speakers and the bottles of Bosco syrup, the Swiss cheese door stopper and the marshmallow creme…

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

You can even buy a candy bar from the working vending machine, which apparently gets quite a lot of use as it’s restocked every 1-2 weeks!

Third Drawer Down 93 George St Fitzroy

If you’re after something cool for yourself, your house or your friends, or you just fancy a giant toothbrush, then Third Drawer Down is the place to go. There’s nowhere like it in Melbourne, and I’m guessing, the world!

Third Drawer Down, 93 George St, Fitzroy +61 3 9534 4088
Mon to Sat 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


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HOT: Signature High Tea, Where a Girl Goes by Cristina Re, Cnr Langridge & Oxford Sts, Collingwood

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Where a Girl Goes is the flagship store of Melbourne stationery designer Cristina Re and it’s well-named – it’s an unabashedly feminine place, full of pastel colours and frills and flowers and butterflies.

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The large space has a retail section displaying Cristina Re‘s stationery, crockery and bath and body products, but most of the floor  is dominated by a high tea parlour. The parlour is filled with white replica French Provincial furniture and vases of pink roses (rose is the favourite flower of Cristina) and it’s a very pretty space to indulge in afternoon tea. It demands dressing up in your best frock and a bit of lipstick!

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You can even book a semi-private area if you have a large party.

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Gourmet Chick and I were invited to try their signature high tea and on a weekend the tables were all booked up with hen’s dos and baby showers. The signature high tea, which goes for 2 hours,  includes two hot beverages plus savoury and sweet treats for $49 ($59 on weekends). You can upgrade your signature high tea with flutes of sparkling wine, apple or pear cider, a cocktail or even include  include craft activities and astrology/tarot card readings in your booking, making it a more unique experience than your traditional afternoon tea.

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The tea selection has a list of about a dozen options from Cristina Re’s signature tea leaf range, or you can choose a Belgian hot chocolate, Belgian hot mocha, espresso coffee, chai latte or juice. Of course with afternoon tea you should try one of the teas but for your second beverage I highly recommend the creamy and rich hot chocolate.

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The food offering consisted of a mini vegetarian quiche (in our case, one mushroom and one roasted capsicum) with a few sprigs of rocket as garnish, plus a tiered tray.

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First impressions are always important and thus I tend to form an opinion about the quality of an afternoon tea based on the sandwiches. While the sandwich bread and fillings here were fairly standard (cucumber, chicken, smoked salmon) they benefited from the fact that they were very fresh. My pet hate is stale, pre-prepared finger sandwiches.

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The middle tier had a fat, fluffy scone for each person accompanied by some chantilly cream and some very fruity raspberry jam.

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The top tier was my favourite – some petite sweet vanilla cupcakes with different flavoured frostings, a selection of handmade Belgian chocolates and some excellent miniature macarons demonstrating a lightness of touch in their making. You can also purchase the sweets to take home.

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For a place which doesn’t really specialise in catering, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and beverages at Where a Girl Goes.  I particularly liked the fact that the afternoon tea is served on  Cristina Re‘s elegant gold-rimmed High Tea Collection porcelain along with 24 ct gold plated cutlery.

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From the outside Where a Girl Goes may seem intimidatingly pink and frilly but inside the setting is unique, the atmosphere and the service staff are warm and inviting and I think it’s a perfect place for a girly get-together

Signature High Tea, Where a Girl Goes by Cristina Re, Cnr Langridge & Oxford Sts, Collingwood +61 3 9495 6222

Wednesday   10:30am – 5:00pm
Thursday    10:30am – 5:00pm / Workshops & Consultations 6pm – 8pm
Friday     10:30am – 5:00pm
Saturday   10:30am – 6:00pm
Sunday     10:30am – 5:00pm

HOT: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

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Join the busloads of grannies this weekend and check out the 18th Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, which has taken over Carlton Gardens until Sunday 24 March.

I have a habit of regularly killing potted herbs (the extent of my gardening) and I enjoyed wondering around the beautiful displays and exhibits of Australia’s biggest flower and garden show. It’s an event that will appeal to lovers of architecture, design and art, even if you’re not into gardening.

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The Royal Exhibition Building has been transformed into the Great Hall of Flowers and inside you’ll find a small flower retail stall and a general showcase of beautiful floristry, from designer shop windows to flower arrangements to student-designed dining centrepieces and ‘living’ fashion by RMIT fashion students.

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HOT: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton



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HOT: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

>My eye gravitated towards more modern, sculptural aesthetics rather than traditional posies, but I still appreciated the abundance of creativity.

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Once you get outside make your first stop the awesome Kids Under Cover 2013 Cubby House Challenge display.

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Then wander down the ‘Avenue of Achievable Gardens’ (achievable for whom? Not for me!) where my favourite display was called ‘Grey to Green’ as it looks like a better version of my own backyard and to my mind is quintessentially Melbourne – cobblestone laneway, bike, tram roll and Skipping Girl Vinegar.

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Check out the winning entries for the Landscape design competition, including gold medal winner Cube-Ism by Philip Withers, Semken Landscaping and Garden World.

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The rest of Carlton Gardens is mainly taken up with gardening-related retailers. Personally I avoided all the turf, mulch, tool and seed merchants but a couple of displays did catch my eye. One guaranteed way to stop foot traffic is to install a robotic dinosaur in your display!

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The entry fee is a bit pricey ($25) I think the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is worth visiting (especially in this lovely weather) even if you’re not a green thumb. I didn’t participate in any activities or do any shopping and still managed to spend a couple of hours there.

Just don’t have lunch at the show – avoid the overpriced fast food and bad coffee, get a pass out and take refuge at Cantina della Casa or Sonido on nearby Gertrude Street.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

Wednesday 20th March to Sunday, 24th March 9-5pm

– Adults: $25.00
– Family (2 adults & 2 children): $55.00
– Concessions#: $19.00
– Child (6-16 years): $10.00
– Child (5 and under): Free entry

– Group (10 or more): $19.00 per person

HOT: Kids Under Cover’s 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton


HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

I think playing in cubby houses is a game universally enjoyed by children and even some adults! Most grown-ups still retain fun memories of building cubby houses under dining tables, in trees and on bunk beds – but the ones I saw at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show are in a whole other league!

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

Five cubbies designed by leading architects and designers are being displayed and auctioned off at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this weekend as part of the 2013 Cubby House Challenge.

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

The five designer cubbies include drool-worthy details such as a rectractable roof, mezzanine levels, chalkboard walls, miniature fireplaces and rope ladders. Not sure if any of the miniature (Eames) furniture is included but I want to move in!

SONY DSCHOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

The cubbies are on display (and available for exploring if you’re small enough to climb inside) for the duration of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (Wednesday 20  March to Sunday 24 March) and will be auctioned off on Sunday 24 March at 3pm. You can make an online bid for any of the five cubbies or purchase a raffle ticket to win another amazing cubby house designed by Better Homes and Garden valued at $10,000! The money raised from the auction and the sale of raffle tickets will go towards Kids Under Cover, a charity that supports homeless and at-risk youth.

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

I’ve bought my raffle tickets and am crossing my fingers – I have nowhere to actually put a cubby house but we’ll deal with that problem if by chance I win!

HOT: Kids Under Cover's 2013 Cubby House Challenge, Melbourne International & Flower Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

Kids Under Cover 2013 Cubby House ChallengeMelbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens, Carlton

Wednesday 20 March to Sunday 24 March 9am – 5pm

Tickets $25 adult, $19 concession, $10 children 6-16 years, free for children under 5, $55 family 2 adults 2 children

 

HOT: The Cool House, Rokeby Studios, 1/90-94 Rokeby St, Collingwood

The Cool Hunter is a website/newsletter that does exactly that – hunts out the cool, unique and unusual in design, travel, art, food, fashion and events from all around the world and collects them all in one drool-worthy portal. So it makes sense that founder Bill Tikos has decided to bring the website to life with a pop up boutique concept called The Cool House, with Melbourne being its first stop.

The Cool House has transformed the warehouse space of Rokeby Studios into a temporary showroom of furniture, design and artwork from Australia and around the world. Here is a selection of the products that I liked but mostly couldn’t afford – it’s all very high end stuff…

Gorgeous leather pencil case by Dutch company Travelteq

The cutest miniature swivel chair – I didn’t catch the designer.

This amazing leather-framed round mirror resting casually by the bedside – again I didn’t note the designer, sorry.

I don’t have a pooch but these bags are adorable!

If you’re in the area and hungry for more design goodness then drop into Crop at Lightly Showroom for another design pop up retail event.

The Cool House, Rokeby Studios, 1/90-94 Rokeby Street, Collingwood
29 November – 2 December
10am-6pm


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HOT: Crop at Lightly Showroom, 3 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood

Melbourne loves pop up design shops and this weekend there are three worth your attention – The Design Files Open House,  The Cool House and Crop at Lightly Showroom. Not to mention the popular twice-yearly Melbourne Design Market at Federation Square. Make that four!

Design studio Lightly have opened up their two-level warehouse and showroom to 25 other Australian designers showcasing jewellery, homewares, stationery, accessories and toys. They even have free wine tasting by Jamsheed Wines to get you in to the shopping mood.

Here are some of things that caught my eye…

This decorative sculpture, a Christmas nest, by Wona Bae. I’m not sure that it’s for sale but it would certainly make an eye-catching Christmas wreath for someone’s massive door. She has also made some miniature hand-tied Christmas trees in the same organic sculptural style which are for sale.

I loved these Jumble macrame rope plant holders by Jessie Tucker but as I was on my bike I couldn’t figure out how to get the poinsettia home.

This teepee from Gather. I want one for my back yard!

These sustainable cork and rubber placemats by Lightly come in a range of designs, sizes and colours and are named after the founder’s grandmother’s bridge playing friends (cute!). I bought a red one and green one for my festive table. Also note that during Crop you get to save 20% off all Lightly products.

To match my new table setting, some reindeer glass place by Fi Fy Fo Fum.

And finally, my gifts beautifully gift-wrapped. Thanks!

Crop at Lightly Showroom, 3 Glasshouse Rd, Collingwood

10:00am-7:00pm Friday 30 November
10:00am-6:00pm Saturday 1 December
10:00am-5:00pm Sunday 2 December


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