Sunday, 11 December 2011

Stockist Spotlight - *bespoke* zine

Who are you?

My name is Jess Van Den, and I'm a full-time creative entrepreneur.

What do you make?

I'm the publisher and editor of *bespoke* zine - a magazine made for, and by, the creative and craft community. It's full of inspirational stories, interviews, features, tutorials, recipes, reviews and much more.

When did you get started?

*bespoke* Issue 1 launched in October 2010, and we're now up to Issue 5 (out in early December).

Why do you make your 'thing'?

I started *bespoke* because I decided that I wanted to create something inspirational and tangible for the creative community. I already had a blog, so I didn't want to make an ezine - I wanted to make a paper magazine that you could hold, flick through, and enjoy in a quiet moment with a cup of tea.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)

I'd love to see *bespoke*'s readership grow over the next year, to the point where I have to start hiring some more helpers!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Villa Hunter

Today we're spotlighting Krystle from Villa Hunter - a Ballarat based maker who is now stocking a selection of her gorgeous homewares with View Point. Make sure you check out her fabulous Christmas range.

There's still time to enter our giveaway, you have until the 24th of November to get your entries in!

Who are you?
I'm Krystle Hunter and I live in Ballarat. I have 2 babies- one Villa Hunter and 2 my 3yr old daughter who is where a lot of my inspiration comes from. The name Villa Hunter came from spending some time in Spain and loving it! And with me making home wares 'Villa' meaning house fitted nicely, and my husband said he'd like the business name to have our name in it too- So Villa Hunter was born :)

What do you make?
 Well it started off with cushions with panels that I had woven, then while I was pregnant I got all maternal and started making girls reversible pinafores. Tees, singlet and long sleeve tops were then added and I started screen printing my designs. I cut back a bit from the house wares cause I got really busy with the clothing side of things. Now the maternal side of me has gone and I have refocused back to the home wares including cushions, birdie buntings and at current Christmas decorations. I am still heavily into the screen printing side and enjoy it a lot.

When did you get started?
 6 years ago I had a foot injury that made me stop my work with Nicola Cerini. After a while of trying to rest I started to feel like I was going to go crazy if I didn't start doing something. I started weaving and making cushions and then it has moved and changes since.

Why do you make your 'thing'?
hmm why not :) I enjoy making things. I also feel that it is important for Children (and adults) to learn by using their sense of touch, so I try and incorporate texture into my work and I like to encourage people to touch my work.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?) :) I'd love to one day have a studio space away from my house (so household chores etc aren't a distraction) with at least a couple of people, either working for Villa or sharing the studio space. Being around other crafties helps and inspires new ideas grow. Also I'd love my work to be in more shops :) But this still might be a couple of years off with a little one at home- but that's the aim :)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Neekie Noo

Today's Stockist Spotlight is Amanda from Neekie Noo - she makes beautiful accessories with a floral, whimsical style.

Don't forget to enter our giveaway, you have until the 24th of November to get your entries in!

Who are you?
My name is Amanda and I live in Melbourne with my husband, 3 yr old girl and little boy on the way. At the moment I divide my time into being a mother, casual teacher and estimator but my passion (the thing I spend a lot of time thinking about but not enough time doing!) is designing and making accessories.

What do you make?
I make accessories i.e. neckpieces, cuffs, purses, brooches. I love materials such as felt and fabric, ribbons, twine and beads both new and re-purposed and I am particularly drawn to vintage materials, fabrics and craft techniques. Hence, my latest addiction to the flower loom from the 1960’s which I have used to make my accessories for spring. I strive to create beautiful things out of inexpensive materials and I enjoy for example, breathing new life into an old vintage floral sheet or using something unusual like pink builders string in one of my designs. I must also mention I am addicted to daisies and any flowers really!!

When did you get started?
I have always loved textiles a spin off from many years working as a commercial interior designer. It all started however, with designing & making a dove and daisy mobile for my little girl after she was born- we had doves nesting in our courtyard trees at the time and well the daisy motif I’ve already explained! That led to sewing felt purses and learning the craft of needle-felting which expanded into brooches and led to the exploration of different crafts and designing accessories such as cuffs, neckpieces etc. I really enjoyed the hands on activity of making things after many years of designing interiors and drafting on the computer. My love of vintage has always been there also, I just love objects that have a history and I would rather spend money on an object that has a history and a bit of character (a crack or imperfection tells a story) I also remember as a child I loved spending time with my Nana looking at her jewels, mainly the costume pieces form the 1960’s and being delighted by all of her treasures! Exploring vintage crafts now and giving them a new spin is all just an extension of this.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
I don’t really have a major plan for my craft, I am really just enjoying living in the moment with it and going with the flow of wherever this takes me. I am starting to teach myself macramé at the moment so who knows what will be next!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Celebratory Giveaway

View Point celebrated it's 2 month birthday yesterday, with cake (well, tart... but cake is more traditional) Since opening we've been overwhelmed by the amount of support we've received from the Bendigo community and the Art and Craft community both locally and further afield.

We don't just have a successful first 2 months of trading to be excited about - we're also making progress on the renovation of the rest of the building, the eventual arrival of our EFTPOS terminal (we have entered a new age!) and we're creeping up to a milestone 350 fans on facebook.

We'd love to celebrate with all of you by doing what we do best, sharing a little handmade love around!

We've decided to host a giveaway, with some gracious donations from some of our wonderful stockists, here's more about the prizes and details on how you can enter.

The Prizes:
I couldn't decide what to pick for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize, so instead have opted for THREE prize packs of equal awesomeness. More prizes are likely to be added over the course of the competition, but here is a terrible photo (I really must remember to bring my camera in to the store) of one of the prize packs as they stand currently. (as a side note, how adorable is our christmas fabric in the background??)

Each pack is worth around $40 (currently) and contains:
- a vanilla chocolate cupcake soap from Urthly Organics
- a metal or cord bookmark from Mrs Monkei Jewellery
- a badge pack from Badger & Coyote
- a blank card from Able & Game

Stay tuned to our facebook for details of the additions to the prize packs!

How to Enter:
Perform one of the following to earn an entry into the competition. You can enter as many times as you like, but please leave a separate comment below this post for each of the following actions:

  • Like our facebook and leave a friendly message! (Note that only likes from your personal page count!)
  • Publicise View Point in some way- and let us know how (Tweet, blog, shout-out…whatever!)
  • Follow our blog (that's where you are now!) and comment on one of the other posts.
  • Tell us about something you’ve already bought from View Point, customer appreciation photos earn extra points - upload a photo to our facebook or email us a copy.
  •  Follow this blog (or say hello if you already are!).

The competition will run until the 1st of December, 2011 and the winners will be drawn randomly from the comments below. Good luck!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Gretchen Mist

Today's Stockist Spotlight is Belinda Kemp, who creates under the pseudonym Gretchen Mist - View Point stocks a selection of her stunning prints.
belinda kemp
i'm an artist and a mum. i live in melbourne. 

art: painting, drawing, collage, mixed media
fabric and pattern design
paper garlands out of recycled fine art print proofs

i started painting roughly seven years ago ~ when left my full time graphic design job to have our first son. i really allowed myself to paint for the sake of it for a couple of months. the free time with an 'end' in sight allowed me to get right into making work i liked. 

it feels right. and i love it. i go a bit crazy if i don't work :)

where to next
i'm hoping to develop my painting/fine art work and also make more fabric design. i like to have a few things happening along side each other!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Pollyanna by Belinda


My name is Belinda Smith. I'm currently a stay at home mum to 2 beautiful kids - Cooper & Piper, & married to a Bendigo local, Matt Smith. I was born in Seymour in 1971 & moved throughout Vicoria during my childhood, attending Matthew Flinders Girls High School in Geelong. After meeting Matt in 1996 whilst living & working in Melbourne, we decided to relocate to his hometown, Bendigo, after I had fallen in love with the place! We married in 2001 then along came Cooper in 2002 followed by Piper in 2004.

I have a love of all things creative, particularly sewing, thanks to my mum & the Holly hobby sewing machine she gave me in primary school.

Unique, retro & OOAK kids clothing using vintage, recycled & new fabrics & embellishments.
I have also been desiging & making headwear during the Spring Carnival season for the last 5 years - currently stocked in Mona Lisa or by custom order.

I have sewn since primary school & have always created "things" for as long as I can remember.

After having touble finding funky boardshorts for boys, I began to sew shorts for Cooper around 2005, followed soon after by little girls dreamy creations.
I love sourcing all of the gorgeous fabrics & bits & bobs, particularly vintage items, & recreating them into something wonderful again. Generally no two items are alike, so I'm never getting bored!

I am currently smack bang in the middle of the Spring Racing Carnival, and am thoroughly enjoying working with lots of lovely ladies to design a special headpiece for their racing event, as well as keeping them stocked in Mona Lisa.
My kiddies clothing range is now on sale in the View Point Gallery - feel free to pop in & have a browse, or check out my website (though still being stocked!!) at

Thanks for your Belinda

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Little Wise Owl

Who are you?
I’m Beckie VandeHoef, I live in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and I run a little thing I call 'little wise owl'. Just after a had my first son Roy (who is now 4 and big brother to 6 month old Des) I found myself filling the day making fun little creations from the mountains of fabric and other things id collected along the way.
That’s when ‘little wise owl’ was born.

do you make?
whatever takes my fancy at the time ;)
mainly handbags, shopping totes, purses, and other accessories, with some softies thrown in the mix too.

When did you get started?
Way back in the spring or 1992 when i got a sewing machine for my birthday, ah boy the time flies when your having fun.
I have studied fashion design and fine arts at uni and have always had an interest in ’making’ and re using anything I could find. I remember very well being about 9 and dad bringing home metres and metres of wiring in all different colours so I could plait bracelets for my friends, so ive always been a bit of a re-user.
I have always created for myself and friends, but found that I had far too many ideas I wanted to try, and materials to use to keep it all to ourselves. i opened a store in august of 2007 and quickly got a couple of great stockists on board. And now I can happily feed my vintage fabric collecting fetish!

Why do you make your 'thing'?
I love finding vintage tablecloths, sheets, doilies, and remnant pieces of fabric, trim, buttons etc and making new exciting fun things from them. I have issues with buying new things, so if I can resurrect an unloved item into something fun and new then im happy!
plus the environment is extra happy with all the stuff i save from landfill.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
i love trying new techniques, so im dabbling in a bit of crochet and embroidery at the moment, and hopefully working on some paintings too (all featuring vintage fabric of course)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Lulu's Lamps

Who are you? Hello my name is Kristen Smith and I am the creator of LuLu's Lamps. I live on the South Coast with my fabulous partner and our two children.

What do you make? I make a variety of different lamp shades, some are revamped old shades and others are made new, by myself.

When did you get started? I got started about 8 months ago after moving away from all our friends and family and going from working to full time stay at home mum I found my self with a little extra spare time. This is when I began creating my lamps and shades.

Why do you make your 'thing'?  I have always loved funky lamps but found that there really isn't to many of them around or any shades and lamps that I liked were outrageously expensive. I wanted to create unusual shades and lamps that you can't find any where else but are quite affordable. I get inspired every time I walk into a fabric shop or open up a decorating magazine and really enjoy creating individual pieces that are exactly what my customers want.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?) For the time being I will just keep plodding along and doing what I am doing. I am so surprised at how far my little handmade business has come over the past few months and am excited to see what the future brings!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Woodpile Woodturning

My name is Rob Wood. My wife's maiden name was Pyle, hence our business is known as Woodpile.
I've always been interested in woodcraft. This, coupled with an interest in antiques, evolved into a restoration business. In those days if one needed to replace a broken knob on a chest of drawers one had to find a craftsman who could turn wood.This was such a frustrating experience that I bought a small lathe and taught myself to turn.Gradually I became proficient and other restorers started asking me to do small jobs for them.Eventually this developed into a full scale wood turning business specialising in custom table legs for cabinet makers, but alas, the world moves on - huge quantities of imported furniture put most of my trade customers out of business. I retired, but not being one to sit around watching the grass grow I set up a compact workshop in a fine new shed in my backyard - after all I still had the tools and equipment used in my previous business.
Nowadays instead of making wooden things for customers, I make what I like and sell my work through galleries, markets and the internet. I'm in the happy position of being able to pick and choose commissions.
Of all the different items I've made I discovered that wooden pens sell best. I use recycled Australian timber and try to link the timber to a local area. Because Bendigo is in the heart of Ironbark forest country I've produced Red Ironbark pens for ViewPoint Gallery.
My pens are often bought by people travelling overseas who want classy looking gifts which don't cost a fortune and take up little space. As an example just in the past few weeks my pens have gone to Japan, China, Ireland, Germany, Spouth America and the US.
What's next for Woodpile? Improve my woodcraft skills; learn more about timber and try to make sense of Facebook.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Stephen Guest

Who are you? Hi my name is Stephen Guest and yes i am the husband of Michelle (textiles artist, she has her textiles in the shop) we live in a lovely town call Taradale

What do you make? i do slump glass and photography

When did you get started? i started do glass in Woodend. Michelle had gone to a class there when she came home she said i should go there because she thought i would enjoy it and yes i did we have set up a studio at home. Photography i just love taking pictures still on film.

Why do you make your 'thing'? i love creating and making and seeing people enjoying your work.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?) Getting more creative and have lots more fun doing what you love doing.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Sputnik Playwear

Who are you?
I am a WAHM (work at home mum) with 2 young children – my son just turned 5 and my daughter is nearly 2.  We live in a fab 1930s cottage with my husband and we’re working toward moving out to the country in the next couple of years.

What do you make? 
A range of vintage styled children’s clothing including shortie pyjama and bloomer sets, caped collar and retro pinafores, bonnets, boys shirts and boys briefs.  I use a mix of modern nostalgic and vintage fabrics with ric rac, ribbons, tucks and buttons.  The range is dynamic - limited run in terms of fabric but a standard style collection is maintained with some one-off pieces and lounge pants thrown into the collection.  My inspiration comes Australian movies and miniseries set in the 1940s and 1950s like ‘Smiley’ and The Shiralee. 

When did you get started?
I began making children’s clothing for my son, nieces and friends children in about 2007 using my 1956 Necchi Supernova sewing machine that my mum in law gave to me about 10 years ago.    I received so many lovely comments about the shirts and little girls clothes for my own daughter born in 2010 and friends daughters that I became confident enough to begin selling online and through word of mouth in 2010 – all still using my lovely Necchi.  Jess at View|Point has given me my first retail opportunity which I am loving so far.
 Why do you make your 'thing'?
Sewing and vintage are my passion so I enjoy combining the two and knowing some special little person is wearing something that was handmade just for them.   I love the process of taking a piece of fabric and turning it into something beautiful.  Inappropriately aged clothing is on the increase too so I love to offer parents unique ‘proper’ styled clothing.   

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
I see myself maintaining a small niche presence in the handmade industry (and at View Point!) behind looking after my children until they are older.  My final range is just developed so I’m just enjoying the stage my hobby business is at, at the moment.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Scentual Flair

WHO- I am Charlene Camilleri, I have just this year celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary with my husband Brien and we have a gorgeous
little 8 year old boy. We live in a beautiful suburb next to the Swan Valley wine region, Perth. Besides keeping myself busy with my business, I also
love photography and teach scrapbooking and craft classes at my local scrapbook shop.I love walks along the beach and spending time with my family.

WHAT- I make a beautiful range of soywax melts, candles & tealights, gorgeous handmade soaps and a range of giftware such as decorated gift jars, boxes, cards and keepsakes.

WHEN- like all other crafty souls, I started creating things from a very young age and never stopped! I launched Scentual Flair in late January 2011.

WHY- I create products that I personally love and I am very lucky to do so. I love to create products that make people feel good and set a beautiful
relaxed ambience in their homes. Everyone loves to receive gifts which is why I added my range of handmade giftware.

WHERE- In the future I would love to incorporate some of my photography into my designer giftware. I would eventually love to supply my product as favours for
weddings, birthdays and special events.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Swoon & Blues


Who are you?

My name is Lisa and I'm one half of Swoon & Blues. We started Swoon & Blues as an umbrella for the individual and collaborative pursuits of myself and my dear friend Lee. It is a merging of art and design, textiles and textures. I live in Erskineville, Sydney and Lee lives in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. 

 What do you make?

I use my original designs for hand screen printed tea towels, screen printed clocks, greeting cards and ceramic tiles and hearts. I also collaborate with Lee who is a pattern maker, seamstress and designer. We have recently begun getting my designs digitally printed onto fabric to create garments and home furnishings. Our collaborative creations take baby steps due to distance, work, and family (lee has a lovely wee one Katja), we love working together and are finding ways to make those baby steps bigger.

 When did you get started?

We began Swoon & Blues early last year, following more than a decade long friendship between Lee and myself. I have a background in Visual Arts, Education and Textile Design and Printing. I teach the wee ones 4 days a week at a local Primary School, which I love almost as much as my making. Lee has a background in Fashion Design and Fashion Manufacturing, and has worked in both aspects of the fashion industry. 

Why do you make your 'thing'?

I just love drawing, painting, designing and making things. I completed a course at Ultimo TAFE a couple of years ago in Design and Fabric Printing. I was able to extend my screen printing skills and create designs facilitated by passionate and talented teachers. The drawing and design part of that course was so inspiring. The teachers really pushed you and provided challenging briefs that totally refreshed my aesthetic and designs. I also developed from that course an obsession with repeat patterns and a love of screen printing. The immediacy, process and ability screen printing gives you to reproduce designs is just wonderful. 

 Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)

I want to focus on my tiles more. It would be great to get them into some bathrooms and kitchens! I think the repeat patterns would work beautifully as splash backs, full bathroom walls or even in a funky small bar. I would also like to start doing some regular market stalls which I'm in the process of applying for now actually. Also, another step is to find some more stockists. View Point is my first, thanks guys! Finally, turning the collaborative baby steps with Lee into giant ones, well double baby steps at least.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Madwestdesigns

Who are you?
What do you make?
 Just about anything that takes my fancy. Currently i am mostly knitting or crocheting. Shortly i will start on my Christmas cards which i make every year for family and friends.Perhaps this year i will make some extra and send along to Viewpoint Handmade Gallery.My head is always full of new ideas so much so that i forget to do the most basic things.Like put the green bags back in the car.(my husband has being nagging me all week to do that,don't you think he would of just done it himself?)

When did you get started?
When i got my first Barbie doll at about 4 i used to make clothes for her we could never afford to by new ones.I even made one from a bread bag once because i liked the colours on the bag.It wasn't long and i moved onto Knitting after seeing one of my teachers doing it.I found out that my Dad could knit so i got him to teach me the basics.From there i taught myself from books and just persevering with patterns.I knitted my first full traditional Aran jumper at about 8 it was full of cables and bobbles.I wore that jumper until it no longer fitted and no one believed that i had made it.

I have people ask me now where i went to learn and how long did it take me,i get some really strange looks when i say i have literally being doing it all my life. About 4 years ago i decided i wanted to crochet so again i taught myself,this time it was a little easier because of the internet,it never ceases to amaze me what you can find on there.Now i combine the two together in a lot of my projects and there are some very happy recipients of Afghans that i have made.
Why do you make your 'thing'?
The simple answer to that is i just can't sit and do nothing. When we travel somewhere the first thing i pack is my current project and a few others in case i get bored with one.Being a dressmaker by trade i find that i can combine a lot of different techniques into whatever i decide to to.Quilting is something i decided to do over this winter unfortunately that turned into a UFO as other things got in the way and i never start with the easiest projects i tend to always design something that is on the more complicated level.It will be finished by next winter though.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
I have some very exciting ideas but the time factor gets in the way a little.I would love to be able to do it full time and earn a living from it (maybe in my next Life).I would hate to see the new found love that many people seem to have now of Knitting and crocheting disappear,possibly even teach those who want to learn,it's probably the one thing that irritates me the most is that so many people won't share the knowledge they possess.I often wonder how  they think something survives if it is not shared? I hope lots more people return to handmade items.I know that i am sick of buying items that fall apart after the first wash(some stores in town have had a very unhappy person return said items too)Quality is a huge issue for me,i think more so because of my background there is just no excuse for sending out faulty workmanship. I would like to think my garments with proper care will last through two or three children and just as many season changes
I also support Bendigo's Local Woollen mills by purchasing 99% of my wool from there.
I have that much at home i think i could open my own store.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Miki Moo Designs

Who are you?
Yvette Muratti from MikiMoo designs.
I live in gorgeous Daylesford which provides lots and lots of creative inspiration for what I do.

What do you make?
I make glass jewellery such as pendants, earrings, cufflinks and rings with an emphasis on using recycled materials such as vintage childrens books, old maps, and
beautiful handmade paper that I've had and have sourced from oz and overseas.
I also love to bind, cover and embelish journals, create hand stamped card and envelope sets from old books,
beautiful old bookmarks and generally anything to do with my love of paper.
I also upcycle and felt old woollen jumpers to make childrens vests.
I'm always looking to create another new project.

When did you get started?
I started designing and creating ever since I was small as my mum always nurtured my love of creating and making beautiful things.
I remember that we would always draw, paint, embroider and sew together.
She was a very talented embroiderer and that was one of her loves in life.
MikiMoo designs started about a year ago and the name MikiMoo means my Miki, which is my gorgeous little daughter.
She's my inspiration for everything that I do.

Why do you make your 'thing'?
I make and create MikiMoo products because I get such a buzz out of starting out with and idea, creating it then feeling honored when it sells.
I love what I do, and I believe it shows in my products.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
What I'm doing next is working on creating a beautiful series of  pendants for bridesmaids and cufflinks/ boutonniere sets
for groomsmen made from hand cast resin, silver, beads and recycled paper.
 It will be on my etsy site soon and at the ViewPoint handmade Gallery.
After which, my next project will be to source old armchairs and try my hand at upholstering them in funky vintage fabric.
Can't wait for that one !!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Alternative Thoughts

Today in our Stockist Spotlight we're featuring Michelle Guest, who is both a stockist of some wonderful woven pieces and an artist featured in our current Art Exhibition 'In The Beginning' - A group show featuring the works of 5 talented Victorian artists.
 Who are you?  I see myself as a Textile craft/artist – Maker using yarn

What do you make? I make all manner of things – scarves, wraps, throws, experimental works of all sizes. I work from yarns of all sorts – wool – bark – fishing line – tencel.

When did you get started?  Honestly as a kid with hay ban for skipping ropes to halters. Then later knitting, and onto weaving and more experimenting.

Why do you make your 'thing'? The need to make is a two fold part for me, It helps my physio (previous injury) and I just like being able to make as it feeds my being. I also like to watch someone patting a weaving or textile pieces that I have made, as they head off, is very pleasing to know they really enjoy a hand crafted work.

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?) I would like to blend textiles and other materials eg: wood, stone, metal, etc and keep enjoying what I make which I hope others will also.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Urthly Organics

For today's Stockist Spotlight we get to know a little more about Julie from Urthly Organics

St Andrews Market 2005 525.jpg
When I was a young child I used to collect soap, Each Christmas and birthdays I remember getting novelty soaps and placing them amongst my small collection. I also remember grating our green eucalyptus soap and velvet soap up to make soap balls, I wondered how soap was made and dreamt of one day making my own all up from scratch.
In 1998 I stumbled upon a small book on how to make your own aromatherapy soaps for $7 at the Yarra Glen market, It was the find of my life and I couldn’t get the money out fast enough! My first batch of soap was an all coconut soap with lavender flowers, ingredients that were easy to come by in the supermarket and I used an ice-cream container for the mould and then cut it up. I haven’t stopped making soap and I still enjoy making soap, it makes me feel so  rewarded.
I started out making soap with not a lot of money and so each grocery shopping trip I would scour the spices and teas etc.. thinking up combinations in my head, hide a few blocks of ‘frymasta’, ‘copha’ and olive oil into the shopping trolley. At one point we had so much soap but I was addicted to making more...the possibilities were endless.
My first market was at the end of 2002 a starlight foundation event and I made I think $50, the stall next to me told me to try St Andrews Market, a stall cost $3 and “your products would do really well there”.  In Feb of 2003 I first did the St Andrews market and have been going ever since, I ended up quitting my pastry cooking job to continue on what I loved doing.
Picture 095.jpg
There are several reasons I make natural products, less likely to cause someone a reaction, making something from Earths nature I find rewarding and sometimes challenging but mainly because when I first started at St Andrews people wanted to buy my soap because it looked earthy, natural and rustic.
My customers that made me educate myself as to what we are actually putting on our skin and actually eating. My 3 children used to think I was becoming obsessive as to reading labels and not allowing them certain foods, “mum your becoming a health freak”!!.
So please don’t buy that supermarket stuff, by handmade because “life is too short to use cheap products”

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Mel P Designs

Each day for the next few weeks we're highlighting one of our wonderful stockists - today we're featuring Mel of Mel P Designs.

Who are you?
Hey, I'm Mel Paton, and I am a crochet accessories designer and crafter from Perth. I also work part-time as a teacher.

 What do you make?
I design and make a wide variety of hand crocheted goods, from jewellery to mittens, hats and scarves and kids hats.

When did you get started?
I opened my first online store in April 2009, my little business has gradually grown, and I now also do craft shows and have my work in a boutiques across Australia.

Why do you make your 'thing'?
It has become an obsession ever since I picked up a crochet hook. I love to see an functional, wearable object grow out of nothing (well just a ball of wool, a hook and an idea). 

Where to next for you? (what direction do you see your work heading in?)
I want to continue to supply to a small range of boutiques (including the brilliant Viewpoint Handmade) and the occasional craft market. Next year I will be returning to full time teaching, so I will be cutting back the amount of crochet work I do. But I think this may actually help my range to become more focused as I will only have time to work on the really excellent designs! I could never give up my crochet.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Booqi Boutique

Each day for the next few weeks we'll be featuring a stockist - today View Point would like to introduce you to the couple behind Booqi Boutique

Hi we are Kyle & Jess A

{* photo care of}
The two of us are the names behind Booqi (boo-key) Boutique

Booqi Boutique is a small online store where we sell our homemade homewares & gifts. The store changes from season to season and is like an extension of our own personalities. At the moment we are working to stock it to the brim with beautiful gifts for the Christmas season. We LOVE anything to do with holidays, decorating ... & eating.

We have always been pretty handy when it comes to making things with our hands. I first started out making earrings for myself, soon there was a pair for every day of the week and then one for every day of the month!
Kyle is always bringing home beautiful pieces of wood with grand plans for this and that (at the moment he is making the Taj Mahal of dog kennels from recycled timber)
We started the booqiblog in February of this year & soon after we opened our first online store in the hopes of sharing some of the things we love with others.

We get our inspiration for things to stock in the store from just about anywhere.

One day Kyle came home with a whole bunch of scrap cypress pine & I said to him, wouldn't it be great if we could make it into something so we could enjoy the beautiful cypress smell inside?

Now every time I get out of the shower I can enjoy warming my toes on the wood and smelling the gorgeous scent of the forest.
{*Cypress bath mats available from View Point Gallery}
We love that because the store is ours it can grow and become as much or as little as we want-- when the opportunity came to send stock to a real store we jumped at the opportunity to expand.
We hope that you'll drop by View Point sometime and smell our little piece of the forest in-store & maybe pick up some of our brown paper gift wrap while you're there.

If you would like to discover more about Booqi Boutique or see what we are making next you can visit us at or follow us on facebook.

booqi x

Friday, 16 September 2011

Stockist Spotlight - Mrs Monkei Jewellery

 Each day over the next few weeks we will be featuring one of our wonderful stockists. Today we're getting to know a little more about Erin, the lady behind Mrs Monkei Jewellery.
Who are you? Erin / Mrs Monkei, married to Mr Monkei but not quite living in a tree.. we have a black cat named George who likes to take up my entire lap whilst I try to be creative.
What do you make? Beaded pretties with glass, semi-precious gemstone and swarovski beads. From earrings, bracelets and hair accessories to keyrings and (so far) 4 different types of bookmarks. I love bookmarks!
When did you get started? Around the 2004 mark I believe, with 18 months off in between to travel and hook my Mr. I am self taught and only made things for myself and as gifts originally, then I started getting orders when people were noticing my stuff. I've only been venturing into actively selling for around 6 months, still learning!
Why do you make your 'thing'? Beading is therapy for me, I love to sit and create after a long day at work. I am inspired by my mum who made her living from crafts when I was young - she did everything but what I do, I think! I get a lot of joy out of seeing someone love and enjoy wearing/using something that I have made.
Where to next for you?  My next big step is markets, which is how Mum did her thing back in the day. I've got 2 coming up in November to see how I go. I hope to keep expanding my little hobby, and I'm very much enjoying being a part of View Point as it does the same!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

View Point Handmade Gallery - Media Release for September

Victorian artisans on display at new creative space in Bendigo's CBD
September 10, 2011 – Bendigo, VIC – View Point Handmade Gallery opened their doors to the public last Friday and owner Jessica Cola has been blown away by the response. 'We had to open early on Saturday because there were people lined up outside – everyone has been really positive!'
Until the end of September View Point are also hosting 'In The Beginning', a group exhibition featuring works from five Victorian artists. Teresa Glover and Michelle Guest – local textile artists, Nicole Tattersall – Melbourne based artist, Julian Newman – an artist who recently relocated to Bendigo and Timbul Silitonga, originally from North Sumatra who paints with coffee.
View Point is only in the beginning stages, with 300 square metres still undergoing development. Stage two of opening will see a cafe and outdoor acoustic stage join the retail space. The third and final stage will commence with the unveiling of the dedicated artspace, which will find it's home in the beautifully refurbished second story of 13 View Point.
Stage one of View Point Handmade Gallery is open six days a week, with over forty different artists stocking their wares with fresh stock arriving every day and new handmade stockists being launched each month. 

If you would like more information or to schedule an interview please contact Jessica via

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

We're open!

Front Window Display
Pheww - It's been a whirlwind, to say the least, but we've opened the retail store for business!

Stage one was launched last Friday, the 2nd of September and boy what a response we've had from the community of Bendigo! It's been wonderful meeting all of our stockists and customers, each with a story or words of wisdom to share.

Head on over to our facebook page to read some of our customers reviews and have a look at the photo gallery for more images of the finished space.

Also launched at the same time was our first exhibition - a mini group show in the retail space, featuring 5 artists who entered pieces centred around the theme of 'In The Beginning'. Images of the pieces in this exhibition are available via the 'In The Beginning' photo album. Sorry for directing everyone to facebook photo albums, but we've been having some technical difficulties with our internet and can't upload much for the time being.

You can also read more about View Point Handmade Gallery on these stockist blogs: Muska & Elvis, Able & Game and Booqi.

Still to come at View Point - a cafe, outdoor eatery/live music area and a dedicated art space upstairs.. And hopefully more regular blog posts as we get into the swing of things over here at the Gallery.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Facebook Giveaway!

Here's what you've all been waiting for - our first give away for reaching 100 likers on facebook!

We'll be running two concurrent competitions - one for handmade crafters and the other for handmade lovers.

For lovers of all things handmade we have badge packs curtesy of Badger & Coyote - We want to hear your creative ideas for our space - what do you want to see? How can we make the space work for you? Send your creative ideas to for a chance to win 1 of 3 badge packs (valued at $20 each + free delivery)! (winners will be drawn randomly)

For sellers we want you to spread the word - write a blog post, share a link on facebook, email a friend, post to a forum... Basically tell someone about View Point and email proof to for your chance to win 1 of 2 half shelf displays in our store for one month, free of charge (valued at over $55 each). (winners will be drawn randomly)

Entries close 1st of August, 2011 - winners will be drawn on the 2nd.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

'In The Beginning' Group Exhibition - Call For Submissions

CALL FOR ARTIST SUBMISSIONS: group exhibition at View Point – deadline August 5, 2011.
In the Beginning”
To celebrate the opening of View Point Handmade Gallery, artists are being challenged to submit work that explores, references or conceptualises the theme of 'In the Beginning'.
All mediums, including but not limited to drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, performance and video, will be considered.
Applications should include the following:
• Full contact information including address, phone number, email address and website.
• Artist CV/resume and short artist statement.
• Digital images of artworks submitted, JPEG format.
• Work list including title, size, media and any notes or text about the pieces.

Applications can be emailed to:

Please note that work should be available for the length of the exhibition, one month duration (estimated to be September 1
st – 30th, with finalised dates to be released in the coming weeks)
Artists will be responsible for delivery expenses, installation and de-installation of their work.
View Point will organise an opening reception and will pay for invitations, refreshments, insurance for work while on display. There is no fee for submission, View Point will collect 25% commission on all artworks sold during the exhibition.
Completed applications must be delivered by 5pm August 5th, 2011. Artists will be contacted within 10 days of the deadline.
Please contact View Point if you have any questions or require further information.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Sneak Peeks

the 'Secret Garden' courtyard
For more sneak peeks of our location and progress updates are we start the shop fit out, head on over to our facebook page and 'like' us!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Calling all creatives

coming soon!

upstairs gallery space
New retail experience coming to Bendigo!

VIEW|POINT is part gallery, part retail space and part community hub.

Combining elements from all creative fields, from music through to craft - it will serve the artistic community and the residents of Bendigo, providing an avenue to showcase the amazing talent on offer in our beautiful town.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in being a part of please contact VIEW|POINT to register your interest and find out more information at:

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