“All the pretty things!”

This weekend just past, I had the delightful chance to experience a new market event as somewhat of a guest of honour.

Err. Well, no, not really. Hehe. More of a serial pest than a guest of honour.

But Nuffnang and Piccadilly Market had come together to allow 10 bloggers (including yours truly) to check out what is a new-to-the-area artisan market now being held in Williamstown. Being a local yokel, I said yes to the invitation (twice, I was so chuffed) and scampered across to Williamstown to see what it was all about. And I was so glad I braved the bright but chilly weather. The morning included a lovely, yummy breakfast and then a fun scavenger hunt which took us all around the market to look at all the pretty things!

Check out the video to get an idea of what it’s like:

A lovely lady by the name of Janina Lear has been running the market out of Deakin Uni in Geelong for the past four years and this was the first time the market had been held in Melbourne – and I’d have to say it was a crazy success from what I could tell.

There was around 60 stall-holders for this market, all beautifully arranged in the ballroom and function room of the Williamstown Town Hall. There is a clear focus on quality and original hand-made artisan clothes, jewellery, toys, decor and homeware, food and more. If trash ‘n treasure markets aren’t really your cup of tea, this little gem might be just the ticket.

As I said in the beginning, we were supposed to be doing a scavenger hunt, but to be honest, I got so completely distracted with all the pretty things that I forgot to go in search of what was on the list (even though I stumbled across a few by accident).  And sadly, my reluctance to enter the modern age and get a smartphone so I can play with Instagram truly bit me in the bum this day – there were prizes up for grabs for the best Instagram picture of the morning and I couldn’t complete! WAH!

To top the morning off, the folks at the market had very kindly  contributed to the biggest goodie bags I think I have ever seen for us all. Everything from fudge by The Fudgeman, pompom garlands from Dear Mabel, gorgeous steampunk necklaces from Run Wild Horses, bags from Saquito, lip balms from Bellalu, earrings from Gabby,  soy candles from Love & Light and so much more.

You can find all of the stall holders links, including many more not mentioned right here.

Thank you, Janina and Nuffnang for arranging our gathering.  Even though I am a small-fry, non-professional blogger, I had a fantastic time and can’t wait to get down to Geelong to see the Piccadilly there too.

Piccadilly Market is on again in Geelong on August 3rd and in Williamstown on November 9th!

Here’s a MASSIVE photobomb of some of my favourite bits from the market.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Piccadilly is held in the gorgeous ballroom of the Williamstown Town Hall

Williamstown Town Hall is a beautiful building and I confess in the 17 years that I have lived in the area, I’ve never gone inside!

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Breakfast! (Omnomnom!) And our little scavenger hunt sheets.

Quiche, yoghurt, fruit and chocolate. That’s my kinda breakfast!

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

The beautiful scented soy candles from Love & Light.

Things that make you go “Mmmmm…”

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Seagals gorgeous little stand was filled with crafty, colourful odds and ends such as Scrabble tile bookmarks and hand-made gift tags.

Too much colourful fun. Loved the Seagals stand.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Fell head over heels for these TEEEEEEEEENY-tiny little street lamps from My Fairy World. Perfect for a wee fairy garden.

Actually, I fell in love with EVERYTHING at My Fairy World.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

My favourite print from Copenhagen Delights – this was a gorgeous little smock dress/top for a little girl.

The clothes from Copenhagen Delights almost made me want to have kids to wear them. I’ll have to borrow my friends’ children, I think.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Can you believe this is dog food? I was like “YES! COOKIES!” and then “Awww, maaaan!”

Fabulous doggy treats from Pooches on Pakington.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Some of the printed gift tags from Dear Mabel.

Dear Mabel had a gorgeous array of handmade decorations.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Apple Pie soap, anyone? (Oh, HELLS yes.)

Yummy soaps from Tubtime Treats.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Little Puddles had the most adorable stand that was filled with a plethora of goodies in cotton-candy colours

Little Puddles was definitely one of my favourite stalls – so colourful and sweet!

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Possibly some of the best smelling lip balms I’ve ever tried.

Everyone needs Bellalu lip balm in their lives.  We scored a jar of the watermelon one in our goodie bags and… well, I died.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

A handful of my favourites from Gabby – Handmade Resin Jewellery.

Beautiful pendants from gabby.

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Another sweet stand filled with quirky shelf toys, prints and jewellery.

Bird & Blossom

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

I wasn’t the only blogger drooling over these bags from Sophie Taylor. Fell in love with that pale mint one!

Sophie Taylor

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Gorgeous knitted clothes and hand-made jewellery from Lauren & Angie.

Lauren & Angie

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Got one of these beautiful vinyl bags from Saquito in our gift bags – SCORE!

Saquito

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

I need that sausage dog cushion in my life. Lilly Pilly Designs

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

Some of my favourite designs from Miss Moi Jewellery.

Miss Moi

Renlish.com - Piccadilly Market, Williamstown

I FOUND STEAMPUNK!

I get super-excited when I see anything assemblage like the jewellery from Run Wild Horses.

Bead Soup Blog Party 2014 – The Big Reveal

Well after a week’s delay, here we have the results of my Bead Soup.

And… It’s not finished!

*hangs head in shame*

At least not finished in the way I’d like it to be, even though I kind of love it the way it is. Alas and alack, I realised too late that I didn’t have the bits I needed to finish it the way I wanted to and due to issues like me being unwell and the cat being crook, it just didn’t come together as planned. However I did stick with my initial design and went for simplicity. Peruzi beads really do speak for themselves and I didn’t want to take away too much attention from them by adding too much in the way of embellishments.

I will definitely be updating this necklace in the coming days so I can show what I REALLY had in mind for it, but for now I’m happy.

My necklace with beads and focal by Peruzi Beads

My necklace with beads and focal by Peruzi Beads

You can find the complete list of participants for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party right here!

You can see the absolutely magnificent job my BSBP partner, Tracy, did with the beads I sent her right here! She’s done an amazing job and made some stunning jewellery with what I sent her.

Just in case you need a reminder, this is what I sent Tracy:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Bead set, connector and toggle by Peruzi, Swarovski crystals in Fire Opal and Padparadscha, and a strand of purple toned Czech crystas=ls.

Bead Soup Blog Party, 2014 – The Soup Reveal!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for the last week but life’s been a bit…

meh

Meh. Just meh.

… for a while.

But on the bright side life…

Bright Side of Life

Yes. I totally went there.

I signed up for Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party for 2014. This year is a little different – because of Lori’s poor health she decided that there would be only one day to sign up and one single creation reveal day so there is going to be one massive blog hop coming up in a few weeks. No sweat for me! Loved it last year.

This year I’ve been partnered up with fellow Aussie, Tracy Stillman from Bead Trilogy. Tracy does some pretty nifty work with seedies and we have a favourite bead creator in common, that being Natalie of the wonderful Peruzi who makes the most amazing ceramic and stoneware focals and bead sets. She’s a favourite Australia-wide for those with a leaning into the eclectic style. Tracy features a lot of Natalie’s work so it just made sense that we were both drawn to Peruzi when creating our soups.

This was the soup that I sent Tracy:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Bead set, connector and toggle by Peruzi, Swarovski crystals in Fire Opal and Padparadscha, and a strand of purple toned Czech crystas=ls.

I went for colour with this year’s soup and picked all the stuff that I loved but wouldn’t necessarily use myself (I’m a blues and greens and neutrals sort of girl). I’ve had the swaros forever but when I realised that they matched the Peruzi beads so perfectly I had to throw them in as well.

Not to be outdone, Tracy sent me a great Peruzi package of her own:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Peruzi beads and focal.

Yay! Neutrals! I love these. I have no idea what to do with them, I might have to pull out some of my other Peruzis and make one big Peruzi extravaganza. I’m not used to working with such large focals at all so it will be interesting! Fortunately I have some beautiful leather coming from my pal, Annette Piper and I think I’ll continue the neutral colour pallet with some pearls… the only thing that’s throwing me is the gold clasp! I don’t do gold!

But hey, last year I said I didn’t do copper and look what happened.

Hehe. Stay tuned for the reveal on May 3rd.

BEDIA: Massive catchup! Days 16 – 21

Day 16:- A first – do something that you’ve never done before and share!

What did I do that was a first over past few days? Oohh… reached a new fitness goal and finally managed to “run” 5km on the cross-trainer at the gym at a very high intensity! It took me 45 minutes of sweating and swearing but I bloody did it, thanks very much!

Day 17: Time Travel – where would you go and why?

For very many years, I was part of a role-playing group called “Viking Homeland” and, as the name suggested, we played vikings. and when I say “played”, I mean that we wrote. It was a game by email. Pages and pages and pages of creative writing steeped in enthusiastic research to make sure we got things like trade skills, tools, and even the terminology correct. It filled long and boring days at work and spare hours at home. That era of history – the birth of the UK through the eyes and deeds of these northern giants – absolutely fascinated me. I never thought there would be a period in history that I would enjoy more than my beloved Tudor period but if there was a period I would love to go back to, it would be that era.

Day 18: The Bucket List – three things that you’ve achieved

I don’t really have a bucket list. I hate to say it but I dislike the idea of making that sort of list to work towards. I set myself goals or make plans, small ones or larger ones and work towards them. My weightloss journey has taught me to have a little more patience and dedication to making things work. To that end, losing 50kg has been a major win on my imaginary bucket list.

Day 19: The Bucket List – three things that you are yet to achieve

1. Getting to my goal weight.
2. Starting my own photography business.
3. Getting a famous person to wear one of my jewellery creations.
4. Getting fit enough to participate in Tough Mudder.

Hows that? Even gave you FOUR whole things.

Day 20: Three smells that bring back memories

Polo aftershave. The smell the manbeast was wearing when we first met… December 2, 1998. Stepped off the plan and into his arms. First kiss in Kings Park overlooking Perth city. T’was nice.

Smarties and Brut. My grandad. He smelled of Brut aftershave and Smarties because he always had a packet of Smarties in his pocket for me whenever he visited.

Any sort of baking smell. My mum. She’s a wonderful baker.

Day 21: Twenty-one; photos, memories or stories from this year of your life

Twenty-one was tough for me. At that stage I had been with the manbeast for a year as a couple, but he was still living in Perth (with me in Melbourne). He couldn’t be there for my 21st birthday. It was the start of the downhill slide with my relationship with my father. Things between myself and my sister weren’t too great. I think the only good thing at this stage of my life was that I was working and earning money so I could look after myself and pay my way.

BEDIA: Day 15 – Around Town – Melbourne by Phone

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love my home city. Melbourne has always been great. It’s a place where you can be walking down one street that’s lined with the crappiest, cheapest, nastiest souvenier shops and then turn a corner and be walking past the likes of Chanel and Prada. It’s a place where you can be in the middle of China town and then walk down an alley-way to a hidden Irish bar. It’s a place where multi-storey high-rises tower above tiny churches. The people are often freaky or hipster cool. You can be hobnobbing with lawyers and barristers at one end of town, bumping uglies with senators and ministers at the other and singing along with buskers in the middle.

All pictures taken on the way to work on what was my last ever day of working in the city. I miss it.

But only sometimes.

Renlish.com. Melbourne By Phone

Centre Place, Melbourne.

More after the jump!

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BEDIA: Day 13 – Five favourite movies

Ok, so The Last Unicorn is obviously going to be in this list, but since you already know it’s a favourite, I am going to give you some others.

84 Charing Cross Road
Another READ THE BOOK film, only I can say with absolute pleasure that the script for this film is WORD FOR WORD with the letters in the book. Anthony Hopkins plays Frank and Anne Bancroft plays Helene and they are both superb. This is a classic film (or should be seen as one).

Synopsis: Literature enthusiast (Bancroft) in New York contacts a quaint little second-hand bookshop in Britain run by a very thorough owner (Hopkins) in order to find some precious tomes. What starts as a simple request grows into a friendship that spans many, many years. And even better, it’s a true story.

Toothless
A Disney film starring Kirstie Alley and a bunch of other character actors. I adore this film. Yes, it’s a kiddie flick but it’s fun and it’s entertaining. If you have kids who don’t brush their teeth, watch this with them.

Synopsis: A career-focused dentist (Alley) finds herself in Limbo after an accident. Before she can enter Heaven, she has to prove herself worthy. Her task is to return to earth – as the Tooth Fairy. Hilarity ensues.

Love, Actually.
This one speaks for itself. EVERYONE loves this film – including just about every television station in Melbourne because they keep putting it on for Valentines Day and Christmas … and randomly through the year. The ensemble of actors is impressive enough on it’s own.

Synopsis: Several different characters with their own stories but all somehow entwined with the other. It’s warming, funny as hell and heart-breaking at times.

Becoming Jane
The film I really learned to love Anne Hathaway. And James McAvoy is divine in period costume – just sayin’.

Synopsis: The film is a dramatisation of the period of Jane Austen’s life involving the one man that was widely regarded as her love interest, Thomas LeFroy. There are beautiful little vignettes which segue the inspiration for writing her famous novels.

The Court Jester
Possibly my favourite film of all time. I can recite it word for word. Danny Kaye is probably the most famous for this role but you may know him from other classics such as Hans Christian Andersen and The Inspector General. Awesome music, awesome actors.

Synopsis: A bumbling circus performer finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue, witchcraft, and love all in order to return the rightful king of England on the throne.

Get it? Got it? Good.

Very good.

BEDIA: Day 11 – Earliest Memory

To be honest my earliest memory is not a a good one, therefore I am not going to write about it because, well… no one needs to see that shit.

So here’s a couple of pretty things that I’ve recently worked on. Enjoy…

Renlish.com - Tarra-Bulga National Park, Victoria, Australia

A fantasy edit of a photograph I took in the Tarra-Bulga National Park located in Victoria, Australia.

Renlish.com - Wind in the Willows, Ratties Cottage

I am a “Wind in the Willows” freak… this is an interpretation of Rattie’s cottage. Done on one of my own photographs again in the rainforests of the Tarra-Bulga National Park.

Both of these are available as prints in my Redbubble store. Feel free to have a look!

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA… DAMMIT! Missed one! Day 9 & 10

Ok. I failed. But to be fair, I can’t type at work and I went out last night and didn’t get home until 4am.  So… shush. Here’s days 9 and 10 together.

Day 9 - A regret.

I regret waiting until I was 32 to start losing weight.  I really do. I feel like I missed out on so much of my life due to my weight.  I know that I am only 34 at the moment and that’s still young(ish) but the things I could have done if I had the confidence that I am gaining back now… It stings a little. I know that there are a lot of people who could say that it didn’t matter and that I should have just lived my life but not everyone is strong enough to overcome their demons. After having it drummed into me year after year that I was not good enough, I believed it. I did little things to fight against it but most of the time that was just bravado.

Day 10 -  Opening lines from five favourite books.
I’m in trouble… I walked into the my lounge and grabbed the first five of my admittedly huge list of favourites… but now I have them within reach and all I want to do is read the weekend away. Fighting the urge! I have stuff to do this weekend. Dammit!

“It’s still my favourite book in all the world.”
The Princess Bride, William S Goldman

Such an apt line. I love this book and it is one of my favourites. It’s one of the few books I read after watching the movie adaptation where I’ve actually enjoyed the reading more than the watching – and that’s a difficult thing to say because so many film adaptations need this:

Renlish.com - What the World Needs

This.

Unless the screenplay was written by the author, as The Princess Bride was, in which case the above is not necessary.

“The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.”
The Last Unicorn, Peter S Beagle

No explanation needed. This is my third blog post that includes this story.

“Her mother had been born in Paris, where, in May-time, even the butchers put lilacs in the windows. It was from Maman that Chantal inherited her lively enthusiasm for love.
Her father had been born in Boston, where it is still against the law for women to appear in public wearing powder and rouge. It was from Father that Chantal inherited an undermining reserve which wintered her springtime enthusiasm.
The result of this heterogeneous scramble was that Nature served her up early to unsuspecting males as an attractive little dish of French creme au caramel, and then topped it off with a lump of New England boiled potato.”

If A Man Answers, Winifred Wolfe

Ok, I know I posted the first few lines of this book but I just love it SO MUCH and this opening never fails to bring a smile. Published in 1961, it tells the tale of a pretty girl called Chantal as she learns to find a husband and keep him. For something written in the ’60s it’s quite cheeky as well as charming and as per usual, it’s the use of language – I mean, come on – “heterogeous scramble” – that tickles me.

“When Alma created the world, most of it she made into the Great Grass Plain. which was not a flat place, but rolling like a mare’s back and covered all over with the greencorn and the haycorn and the wild oats, knee-high, so that when the wind stirred it, billowing, it looked like a mare’s winter coat blowing.”
Birth of the Firebringer, Meredith Ann Pierce

This three-novel series of books is too awesome. If you’re a fan of Peter S Beagle, then the Firebringer trilogy will also be a treat. It’s a fantasy story involving unicorns but it’s more than just the pretty unicorns that flash around appearing to virgins. They have their own society (there’s more than one!) and their own laws and they’re just as human as we are. Though I know that makes very little sense. Just read them.

“This book has been compiled in the belief that girls and boys in middle and upper forms should enjoy poetry read in class or at least have honest satisfaction from it.”
A Book of Poetry, Ed. WM Smyth.

Ok, so this book isn’t a novel. It’s a book of poetry and prose. It’s actually one of my mother’s old school text books so there’s a sentimental attachment to it, but also it’s where I discovered Shakespeare and Poe and Tennyson and a plethora of other poets and writers that I enjoy reading. Occasionally I will just go to the shelf and pull out this book and stand there reading a couple of poems before sliding the book back into it’s spot and carrying on my merry way.

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.

BEDIA: Day 8 – A guilty pleasure… and a rant.

My guilty pleasure is actually a rant this evening.

Robin Thicke. Particularly his new(ish) song, Blurred Lines. The boy is hot and the song is sexy. And he’s 36 so no guilt over obsessing about him!

You all know him… though like I posted on Facebook this afternoon… I was surprised to rediscover him as Thicke of When I Get You Alone fame. Colour me befuddled and bemused. And then I also found out that he’s the son of Alan Thicke… aka Jason-freakin’-Seaver… as in the dad from Growing Pains.

Yes, that show. The one with Kirk Cameron.

(I feel old now.)

Anyway…

Blurred Lines
. I love it. It’s catchy and like I said, it’s sexy.

But some people have read too much into it. Some folks think it objectifies women and reinforces rape myths.

Guess what people, there are no “rape myths”. There is simply “rape”. And this song has nothing to do with it. The lyrics are kinky and a bit rude but in no way do they imply that this guy is going to have this girl against her will. She’s got all the control in the song. In fact at one point he states his confusion over NOT being picked by her… hello, Vanity.

As for the objectification of women… perhaps. The uncensored version of the music clip has three girls prancing around nude except for g-strings. It’s out there for everyone to see. The TV version has the girls still running around in skimpy plastic outfits that pretty much leave nothing to the imagination. However, what is so different between this and, say Justin Timberlake’s “Sexyback” video where you get the clear impression that a woman IS being raped at one point. No one complained about that!

Suddenly three pretty girls happily bouncing and jiggling around in the nude (with no one touching them at all) doesn’t seem so bad, eh?

Renlish.com - Robin Thicke

Brought to you as part of the “Blog Every Day in August” challenge.