Saturday dawned bright and full of adventure. The Mini and I decided it was a great day for blatting up to Bendigo to see my cousin Megan who had a table at the market day.
Driving the mini is such good fun. With windows down and the stereo cranked up (to be heard over the engine) flying up the highway for the 45 minute drive was glorious. Being in a distinctive, classic car like the 1975 Mini Clubman means I get hat-tips and waves from other Mini drivers both classic and modern. We're all related, you see.
Bendigo is a beautiful town. Since the discovery of gold in the 1850s, 22 million ounces of gold has been pulled out of the area, making the town one of the great boomtowns of the Australian gold rush. It has some magnificent examples of Victorian architecture, and the markets are held in the beautifully maintained Bendigo Town Hall on Hargreaves' Street that runs parallel to the main drag.
Baby wear and Bags by Meg
Megan lives a few hours away in Rutherglen, but had come down to Bendigo for The Square's Spring Handmade Market they hold they hold each season at the Bendigo Town Hall. She makes wonderful bags and beautiful baby wear and this was her first foray into the market circuit in Victoria, Australia.
Her bags flew off the bespoke wrought-iron bag rack her husband had purpose-made to show off her wares. People commented favourably and genuinely about her lovely bags, wallets, baby bibs, shoes, nappy wallets; showing their appreciation by making a dent in her inventory and putting a smile on her face.
Megan is an incredibly talented woman, and has been very creative all her life. Now she's a talented woman with sound business sense with the capacity to make her dreams tangible, and profitable. She takes orders through her ETSY store if you'd like to take a peek over at bymeg.com.au
These markets are well worth a visit. The stalls have a nice variety from clothes to jewellery, soft furnishing and quirky toys, gorgeous biscuits and cakes, everything is hand made and of a very high quality. The next Bendigo market at The Square is in December - something for everyone, and a great selection of well priced Christmas gifts, I'd be reckoning.
Urthly Organics - Goat's Milk Soap
Urthly Organic's stand next to Meg's smelled amazing! These rustic soaps were just irristable to me, especially the goat's milk range. I bought one of each to test drive and will report back on the results!
While I love the idea of handmade soaps, I don't like the sharp edges they often sport. I find them hard to hold and use, usually. Julie's soaps are all more organically shaped, as if they've been dug from a quarry after years under the earth. While they're squarish, they're of an easy shape and size to use without doing yourself a damage in the shower. Being more neutral in their colouring they won't be staining any sinks either - another problem with a lot of hand made soaps Urthly Organics seems to have avoided.
Tantrums in Terrariums
I've always been a sucker for terrariums since I was a wee kid.
So when I saw these quirky, slightly disturbing examples, I couldn't not bring one home. It did take me quite some time to decide on which one to buy though. Some had miniture gunmen aiming at wayward divers, tiny arguing couples, bodies left for dead - all displayed in various shaped bottles with moss, stones and dirt creating the miniature landscape between it's glass walls. Mine is called "Just Another Sunday" with a little biue-shirted man destined to mow the lawn for eternity.
Made by Truly
And then there was Truly Southhurst's stand. I mean, c'mon, look at this thing - I'm still amazed I only bought one mug! She had zombie toast racks, tea pots, sugar bowls - beautifully made, cute zombie flatware! She's got a Facebook page with photos of some of the other stuff she makes if you're not as into zombies as I am.
All her stuff felt great in the hands, too - just the right size and weight. I've been drinking coffee from this mug since getting home from the markets late yesterday and am currently the envy of everyone who hasn't bought one yet.