Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shopping Locally this Silly Season

I know it might seem a little typical of the times, but as we head into the silly season, where Australians are forecast to spend a whopping $32.6 billion dollars on food, gifts and home decor, I want to get on the bandwagon and really encourage you to think about where your dollars are really going.

Perhaps, in this crazy world of excess and commercialism, its truly time to sit back, reassess how we do this time of year, and make a conscious effort to be more local with our spending. Because money spent at retail chains and corporate giants simply lines the pockets of shareholders, whereas spending money with your local retailers helps keep their doors open, their kids in out of school activities, and means they can then contribute to their local community as well. It also means you can have more of a say about the conditions your gifts were made in, and where the parts of the gift were sourced.

Why buy a mass made candle, when you can support a local person who makes beautiful candles from Tasmanian beeswax? Think about it. You're supporting the farmer, and the creator.

Perhaps think a little further - if you buy a range of local jams and relishes from a stall at the Hobart Farm Gate farmers market, your dollars are supporting a local maker, a local business, and your lucky gift recipient is eating a preservative free product made from locally grown fruit and veg which is in turn supporting a local farmer! That's at least three lots of families who live in your area, send their kids to school with your kids, and work and (hopefully) support the community you work and support. Perhaps the maker had their labels designed by a local artist, perhaps their business cards were printed with a local printer.... the flow on can be endless if you think about it.

And here's another thought - what about buying second hand? The vintage craze is well and truly in full swing so why not take advantage of the trend and buy your loved ones a vintage cake tin, or a retro vase, or a antique tea cup? Recycling, a unique item, and also supporting a local shop or market stall are all advantages of something that's used. 

Use the opportunity to tell your gift receiver your new philosophy behind the gift - nothing says thoughtful like a person actively supporting local this time of year.

So if you're still with me, here are some places you can start looking right here in Tasmania:

Gorgeous artwork from My Little Pixels

Aren't the dreamy colours in these pictures beautiful?! Isn't it nicer to decorate with a local artist, with images from Tasmania, than the mass produced items from the big retailers? 

There are so many that I love, the trouble would be picking which one! Anna Jane also makes her artwork available in phone cases, pendants and calendars!

You can find My Little Pixels on Etsy and Facebook. (And Anna Jane is having a sale at the moment too! Woo!)

Vintage finds with A Creative Lifestyle

Jane must have the best luck ever in finding on trend and sweet items out and about, because her Etsy shop is packed full of pre-loved vintage pieces! I especially love the more industrial style items like wire baskets...

...vintage keys...

...and these quirky wooden shoe forms!

I purchased some great items from Jane, and they came wrapped in old dress patterns and she included a sweet gift too - I can't wait to show you once I finish my craft room upgrade!

Especially good if you don't have the time to go scouring yourself, why not give something unique and pre-loved this year?

Cards with an Australian twist with Trees 4 The Wood

Don't you think its funny that here in Australia people still insist on cooking winter meals at the height of summer, and decorate their homes with frosty santas, snowflakes and wintery evergreens? I see this style in seasonal cards all the time and that's what to love about Grace's hand printed, linocut Christmas cards, featuring local fauna and flora.

What's not to love about this hand printed, hand painted card? Aren't they the sweetest thing! 

And see that funky pencil there? You can buy those from Grace as well! In fact it was these very pencils that lead me to her Etsy page in the first place!

You can even check out Grace's blog to see how she hand prints these cards, right on her kitchen bench! 

Beautiful Books with Jennifer Skelly at Red Parka

Do you love books? I sure do and what better way to support a local bookshop by buying a local book? Especially a book about local birds!! With both words and illustrations by Jennifer, you can check out her funky stuff here on her website

So there you have it. Just a couple of the endless options of items you can buy this silly season from local people. And don't forget, local markets (both traditional and artisan), the Farm Gate farmers market and the new Hobart Twilight Market are also great resources for finding local sellers. 

I know this post is only scratching on the surface! Where do you shop locally? Any Tasmanian favourites?

*This is not a sponsored post, I genuinely think these artists and sellers rock, and you should totally buy me a present from them!*

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Creating a Living Wreath with Kate at Botanical

Botanical is at 139 Macquarie St, Hobart

Did you know that there is an amazing new florist open in Hobart?! The first I knew about Botanical was driving past on my way home from work, I couldn't miss the stunning window display which instantly reminded me of the florists and flower shops I've admired in Melbourne. I knew straight away that this was something different. Of course this meant my daily drive involved checking out the window to see what was new, because every couple of days the display changes! Wire cage Edison bulbs, terrariums, hanging pots and of course abundant blooms spilling onto the pavement, I had to know more!

Thankfully Botanical has a beautiful website and after reading all about Kate, her business and seeing the beautiful photos of her flowers, I was so excited to find Kate hosting workshops right in her lovely shop! Luckily that very day I needed a gift to celebrate the birth of my best friend's first baby, a perfect excuse to call in and sign up for the last spot for the Living Wreath workshop and collect a very cute succulent terrarium on the way.

Saturday couldn't come around quickly enough! What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than with 8 lovely ladies, creating something amazing among beautiful gift ware and the heavy scents of hundreds of flowers.

Kate's passion is infectious! Her style is organic, natural, simple and classy, allowing the flowers to be the star of the show - no leery cardboard boxes or glitter spray here! During the class Kate told us, "Do what you love. If you don't love what you do, you won't succeed" how true is that?!

No doubt like you, I've seen living succulent wreaths online, including how to guides. I've probably pinned quite a few but like a lot of these sorts of projects I've just never gotten around to actually making it happen. Plus why try and work your way through hard to follow online instructions when you can support an amazing local business and learn from their many years of skill?

Kate shows us how!
So the next few hours were spent getting our hands dirty, digging in to moss and peat and dirt all under Kate's careful guidance, upon rustic recycled benches with Tasmanian bubbly in hand.  We selected succulent cuttings from a huge range and arranged them where they will hopefully grow and look lovely for a long time! Kate has no hesitation in sharing her tricks of the trade, and happily provides all the details so you can go home and create more of these amazing wreaths, even offering ideas on collecting succulents for free!

I love my wreath! Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for the roots to attach, and then I will be able to show you a picture of it hanging in all its glory!

Needless to say I am so very pleased I went along to this workshop, and highly recommend them to anyone and everyone! Well done Kate, your shop is amazing and I can't wait to see how Botanical grows and evolves in the future.

Be sure to "like" Botanical on Facebook (especially now as she has a great competition on!) and head to her website,, clicking on 'Workshops' to find out what's coming up. Or better yet, head on in, experience the lovely shop and grab yourself a stunning posie!

*Obviously, all views on this post are mine, and this isn't sponsored in any way - I simply just want to share stuff that I love, and you might too!*

About Me

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I'm a young earth loving Tasmanian who loves nature, art, old things, handmade things, collecting things and embracing the lovelier things the world has to offer.