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.

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