zombi plants & juicy eyeballs

zombi plants & juicy eyeballs
fun zombi art print by melanie dann

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Arts & crafts places to visit & things to do on the central coast NSW Australia

Me, my partner and our son emigrated permanently to Australia nearly a year ago. Im originally from the U.K, i grew up in Leicester in the Midlands. A very different environment from where i live today. Change in my opinion makes you a stronger more diverse person and opens your mind to many different styles of art and expression. There are lots of things and styles i love that you just don't get here living in Australia on the coast and lots of things you don't get in Leicester that you get here. I consider myself very lucky to have experienced both sides of the world. Although i miss my family i have become addicted to the beach life and find it very inspiring as a person and a art lover. There is no better feeling than walking bare foot on the beach, the sun is shining and the smell of sea air. There is always a light warm breeze from the sea and ever green from the trees. You've got to just love trees! If I'm ever in a bad mood then a walk along the sea front sorts me out.
Its a fantastic place to bring up children. There is a sense of innocence and freedom where we live. My son loves the beach. He loves playing with the sand, collecting sticks and stones. It is the simple things in life that entertains them for hours, something you often over look when living in a city.


Avoca Beachside Markets

Avoca beach Nsw
Every 4th Sunday of the month

A friend told us about this little gem so we went along for a look and we were very grateful they told us about it. You can't miss it, lots of bustling stalls, the smell of food in the air and lots of live music. What i fantastic location with all the trees and near by beach. It is a real family day out, just don't make the same mistake we did which was to eat before we went. We were gutted becuase of all the delicious food stalls but i did still managed to force some treats in but i would recommend going there hungrey because you don't want to miss out. For the smaller children there is a mini park in the middle, lots of seating areas you will love. My favourite bit is the cushioned bohemia area where you can just chill. The stalls are super cool, it has a hippy vibe with all the live music which i love. Lots of arts and crafts to be seen here! A fanstastic varity of handmade, new and old.

Ken Duncan art gallery 414 the entrance road erin a heights NSW 2260

What a beautiful setting & building not to mention his photographs. It is worth a visit & you won't want to go home without buying one of his books on his photography. They also have wonderful food & coffee. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. 

Terrigal Lions Club car boot

Terrigal oppersite the scout hut. Corner of Terrigal drive & Willoughby road.
Every 1st Sunday of the month

Again set in a fanstastic location backing onto the lake. You will find many treasures here. There is new, old, vintage and craft. Theres always a sausage on the barbie. You never know what your going to bring home with you. I love car boots and you know what they say one persons junk is another persons treasure.

Head down to Terrigal beach & shops for the day

Terrigal has grown so much in the 3 years we have lived in Australia & defiantly worth a day visit. You not only have the fantastic beach, there are loads of home ware gift shops with plenty of art work for sale, you will not leave without buying something or you could have a coffee at one of there many cafes get out your sketch book & create your own art. Its also is a fantastic place to take photographs, lots of people have their wedding pics taken at the haven in Terrigal because its just so beautiful.

The Gosford Regional Gallery 

36 webb street, east Gosford NSW 2250

Fantastic gallery with a diverse collection of art which changes all the time. Every time i have been, there is a new collection of artists on display. There is a good selection of fine art, sculpture, textiles & ceramics for all to see and its a free gallery where you can leave a donation if you want. They also have a very impressive garden which is a tranquil spot and very pristine, in-fact a piece of art in itself but also child friendly. My son enjoyed watching the massive carp swim around the hugh pond they have and we got some amazing photos. There is a cafa on site too if you fancy a cuppa. They do various art work shops and run competitions too. There is a gift shop which sells local artists work.
carp fish feeding at gosford art gallery gardens

Trim hedges at gosfors art gallery gardens
gallery garden gosford

Gosford art gallery garden

SALVOS the salvation army store

30B Central Coast Highway, West Gosford NSW 2250

They have many all across Australia but one of my favourites is the one in west Gosford. It is massive and i have been known to spend more than an hour in this store much to my fianc├ęs dislike because he was waiting for me at the time. There are so many treasures to be found from vintage cloths to painting, buttons, wool and home-wear. If you are into your craft like me you will find lots of stuff to recycle into a project. There is also always lots of material and curtains which can be cut up and reused at a fraction of the price new would cost. Also every penny you spend goes to a good cause and if that wasn't enough they also do a loyalty card where you get stamped for future discounts.

Vintage Buttons from Salvos

Rojo Rocket mexican restaurant Avoca NSW

I just love this place! not only is the food fantastic but also the decor. Your eyes will be alive with the vibrant colour & many trinkets from mexico. The place has a fantastic atmosphere & if you like mexican art style you will be inspired.
My mexican inspired art work

mexican sacred hearts on the wall at Rojo Rocket
Mexican sugar skull fabric lights at rojo Rocket

Drinks at Rojo Rocket

mexican fire place Rojo Rocket

mexican painted cow in water rojo rocket

mexican trinkets

Blackbirds Tattoo studio 17b/8 Karalta road life drawing session 

I found out about this from walking by the studio & then looking then up on Facebook. I went to the one last week on monday night 6:30-8:30 & it was great. I havnt done life drawing since college so a long time ago & felt a little nervous but they are so friendly & i was really pleased with my progress just after one session. They run it once a month so find them on Facebook to get more information.

Im still finding new places to visit, eat, and be merry all the time, so i will keep adding to this post as i find new interesting things to see and do. Please post any surggestions or great experiences you have had at interesting arty places.

creative ideas for craft Fair art market display

Creative Ideas For Displaying Your Work At A Craft Fair
Tips and Pics 

If its your first craft fair then your not going to want to spend a fortune on exspensive display equipment. You don't know whats going to be popular and how much of one thing you are going to sell so don't go guns a blazing and buy a load of stuff that dosnt work on the day. It is helpful to have a display that is versatile enough for your stock. Don't forget as a creative person you will always be coming up with new ideas and things you will make and sell. There are lots of solutions that don't cost the earth and i have some creative ones where you even get to recycle so don't throw out those old newspapers just yet.

Depending on what you are crafting will define the look you want to achieve for your stall so decide this first it will help you to be more defined and focused. Going for a theme helps this, maybe carry that theme onto your packaging. It could be a theme based on your craft name or just the kind of stuff you like to make.

Remember if your making your own displays bare in mind that it needs to be sturdy, there is nothing more off putting to customers when a display is rocking all over the place. People will not dare touch your stuff in the fear the whole lot will topple over. Make it user friendly where people can touch and feel your stuff. Remember they have come to buy handmade and to me i want to touch and feel what I'm buying. Another thing to think about is it an indoor or outdoor venue? This can make a massive difference to your display. Outdoor there maybe no electric and you are in the elements.Think about a gazebo not just in case of rain but the sun can be just as bad and you don't want to be going home with sunstroke. The best gazeboes are the ones that pop and click up. Remember you may be doing all the setting up on your own so its got to be easy. Gazeboes also give you an extra display tool because you can hang stuff from the rafters. Indoor venues can sometimes be smaller so make sure you ask how much room you will have. Always ask what your getting for your money e.g. are there toilets? it may seem silly but i know my sister has been to some poorly run craft fairs before.

To me being able to see how much something costs is vital. I make sure that i price everything, sometimes i have found it off putting when iv had to ask how much everything is on a stall. You don't have to in your face about it but it does hold a baring on people walking off. Your stall may look so good people may assume that your out of their price range and if you need to nip to the loo a fellow stall holder can easily look after your stall.

Tresel tables are great, make sure they are easy to put up and take down. I got a great one from Bunnings warehouse. It is light weight and very easy to put up and a great price. I always think it looks nicer with a table cloth. It just gives it a more professional finished look. Try not to use anything to patterned because it will distract from your crafts.

This is where all your old newpapers come in handy. These are two basks i made from cardboard boxes and paper mashie.
I started off with one big and one smaller box. I carved a slight tapper into the boxes where the waist would be with a craft knife. I used an old bra to give the bust shape and packed them with newspapers. To get the neck i used an old bottle and carboard to connect the shoulders. At this point it looks quite hideous but don't worry it all gets smoothed out with the layering of paper mashie. The next stage is to mixx up flour and water, this is your paste. I them paint the mixx onto ripped stripes of newspaper and cover the whole bodice. Let this dry then you can use pritty craft paper to cover it again this is your final layer. You can add a finishing touch of clear varnish to seal the deal.
I think its a nice personal touch to have a little sign just saying what you make maybe a little about yourself. You will be surprized how people will be interested. When you buy handmade you are buying something someone has made by hand with love and care, it is only natural that it will interest people. 

Below you can see i added a little graphics to the top of the bust.  I was displaying vintage broaches so i use some vintage images to set the scene. The stars i attached to wire to give it a floating effect.
The great thing about these manikins is that you can pin any thing to them, i do think they work well with displaying jewellery. I use dress making pins. Pins with the perl heads give a great vintage look and the paper mashie construction makes it so easy to pin into.
Notice boards work well too, i painted tree branches
on mine and used it to pin jewellery and key rings onto. I got my other half to make some legs for the notice board so i could stand it up on its own.
I think it gives a stall interest if there are lots of different levels, if your stall is in a crowed market place you want people to still be able to see it from a distance. You want it to look interesting, don't choose to many colour that are monatone.

This is a old picnic basket i picked up from the salvation army shop it was only $6 and works well with children's items. Its gives a playfull touch and you can store your stock in it too.

Again another cheap buy, this wooden basket was from a garage sale $3, i just covered the handle with material, painted it with a wash of white and added two star images with PVA to give it a retro feel.

This was a large pot again from a garage sale i filled it with stones to give it some weight, collected lots of sticks to go into the pot. I then covered the pot in paper. I added wire which i wrapped around the sticks and used those small cute craft pegs you can buy to give it a washing line effect. Perfect for hanging your little creations on. I gave the whole lot a once over with white spray paint.

I will add to this post when i come up with any new ideas so get following xx & good luck if you have an event coming up.