Monday, April 8

the Finders Keepers Market, Melbourne

I've been wanting to visit ever since I discovered them, but a 4.5hr drive and scheduling issues have meant that the planets didn't align until this Saturday just gone.  The Finders Keepers market is held twice a year in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and it is a giant collection of artists, craftisans, designers and generally amazing people.  I lost count of stalls, but there seemed like hundreds.  Seriously!

I had a strategy to try and see every stall in a logical manner - up one aisle, down another, not missing anything.  I quickly abandoned that crazy idea when I discovered that it was not only set out in a way that fits the space (how inconvenient!), but I didn't want to just walk past things once.  I may not have done a full couple of laps, but I did try :)

The market was held at the Royal Exhibition Building, which is an incredibly impressive building on the edge of the city.  It's high ceilings and ornate decoration set a pretty artistic mood, and from both a stallholder's and a shopper's point of view, very well spaced so that it wasn't difficult to move around and see what you wanted to.

Here's a bit of a peek through my shopping bag,

Above and below is Blank Goods, where I bought a couple of supplies for myself.  It was hard to not just buy things to make things, rather than things that other people have already made!

The cute earrings below were (surprisingly!) my only jewellery purchase - for myself anyway! I bought a couple of pressies which I'm not showing, but there were so very gorgeous pieces in a lot of stalls.  I did take a few cards to follow up later...   This little pair of red earrings from That Vintage will be worn often I'm sure.

There were quite a few very talented screen printers at the market, and the one that tempted me (for now anyway!), was Tinker.  I chose a table runner in flax-coloured linen, with a colour palette that I love.  It was very lucky that they I restrained myself here.

 I've long admired Maze & Vale and was very happy to discover that they had a stall on Saturday.  I chose (after long deliberations) three pieces of their prints on linen.

This overhead shot was taken by Tinker, showing their gorgeous bunting against the equally stunning second level and walls of the Royal Exhibition Building.

I am a scarf gal, and my new rule is that I can buy myself a new one for each Winter.  Just one.  This one is made from bamboo, and is a bright pink dahlia print on a light grey background.  Perfect.

Again, some evidence of things to make with rather than pre-made, but I love Indian wooden blocks and this kit came with three beautiful paisley ones.  It was purchased from earth tribe, which proclaims fair trade ethics - this means that I could have quite happily have justified in purchasing more!  Next time.

So that's a snapshot of my visit, but only a very small part of it.  I HIGHLY recommend this market for anyone who loves good quality, handmade products.  But allow a good couple of hours to get through it all at least once.

I was also able to do a quick side-trip and took in the always excellent Top Arts 2013 exhibition at the NGV Ian Potter centre, Federation Square.  There I was able to pay homage to a very familiar piece by a gorgeous girl, Shannon Malseed.  Go and check it out.

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