Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Niche-est Experience Ever! (warning - long entry!!)

Excuse the rather quirky title for this entry - but I am still buzzing from The Niche Market and all the delightful people that I got to meet and all the fantastic customers that came to the event - such a great experience, so much so that I became rather sad whilst packing up my stall yesterday!

Firstly, let me begin from ..well, the beginning.

I had the majority of last week off work (thank goodness!) and spent each day super busy with creativeness and slight spurts of stressing out... true artist fashion of course! (Hence why I didn't post much - or at all - last week.)

Thursday was "Messy Bird Wrap" day.

I knew that I needed to dedicate an entire day to creating these wraps... as I am not exactly the most speediest sewing machine user - I am still a beginner (December is when I got my lovely Brother NS10) but since unpacking it from the box, procrastinating about setting it up and trying to jolt my memory back to the days of "home economics & sewing classes" - I finally got the thread through the eye of the needle and wella!

Crushed Poly-Cotton in Magenta - hmm yummo! The other colours in the Poly-Cotton for my "winter" range of Messy Bird Wraps include chocolate, plum and a colour that I like to call gum leaf blue... a really deep blue/green - oohh yeah!

Each wrap takes me approximately 50 minutes... that includes cutting the crushed poly-cotton as neatly as possible (so hard to cut something straight and even that is designed to be crinkled and crushed!) - figuring out what feature fabric to use on the base colour, cutting out the birds and the circles, sewing up the rough edges and sewing on the birds and circles - the birds are so tricky but well worth it, as they "make" the Messy Bird Wraps birdy. HA!

Beginning the long task of sewing the bird shape on the poly-cotton, which has a mind of it's own and tends to want to wander around the sewing machine... in other words, hard to control! I find that a slower speed setting of the sewing machine is great, taking it in baby steps and not rushing - otherwise the bird would probably end up looking like roadkill? Ouch!!!

Sewing the circles seemed a bit of a brain teaser for me and my little sewing-knowledge, as I just stated, the Poly-Cotton has a mind of it's own, and because of that, I find that sewing at a low-speed helps with control it's movements, but in turn that makes it harder to spin the course of the sewing in a circular motion haha.. oh my... many tantrums occured with the first few Messy Bird Wraps that I created!

And there you have it. They made my stall look complete and mighty colourful.
In total I ended up making nine wraps which I thought was going to be pleanty, but little did I know that on the Saturday of The Niche Market that I would actually sell SEVEN! And I sold the last two on Sunday, one to my Godmother (yay!) and the other to the lovely Annie Burns (beeeeautiful soaps and candles and a delightful lady!)

The response was awesome! All the hard work and long hours put into making the wraps had paid off - I was overwhelmed with the comments from the admirers. Jodie Campbell (who I think is a rather fab lady!) bought a Chocolate brown one with an autumn coloured Bird Scene - I will be watching Parliament Question Time on the ABC from now on, with hopes to spot her wearing it ...haha!

Here are my little darling tweeters in brooch form, chillin' out on their blocks waiting for people to snap them up and give them some loving - I sold out of the Pair Of Birds brooch by the end of Sunday, I was so happy with that!

The small fabric covered button earrings... Trademark of my stall perhaps?

I personally love being swamped with colour and even more so in a regimental fashion like how I place my earrings out - the only downfall of being so nit-picky with lining up earrings is that when each customer picks up a pair, they some how manage to destroy the neat-line-up. I found myself forever straightening them up throughout the weekend... haha will I ever learn?

More colour! I knew I didn't make enough of the popular prints
...but there are only so many hours in the day!

I truly felt rather honoured to be apart of The Niche Market... For starters, the designers. Oh my. Everyone was so lovely, so very creative and it was pretty inspirational to see other peoples talents displayed and of course, pick their brains..!

Vanilla, Pomegrante and Black Currant Goats Milk Soap
by Annie Burns
Red Bamboo

I was lucky enough to be positioned right next to the lovely Annie Burns "Red Bamboo" (of Examiner fame from Friday's paper!) and her scrumptious soaps and candles (yay for sellling out on Saturday Annie!) ...I was hoping to dart around the other stalls more frequently but due to the fact that The Niche Market was SOOOOOO busy, I barely had time to look up from my own stall - and that was awesome! It was only on Sunday that I got to really give Annie's soaps a once-over with my nose! She was kind enough to give me a bar of her scrumptious (and popular) Vanilla, Pomegrante and Black Currant Goats Milk soap. YUM! This impressed me so much that I bought another two bars haha... everyone in my house will be squeaky clean and smelling divine! Check out Annie's blog -

So, I treated myself... I bought this beautiful "Free As A Bird" pendant from Dick & Dora - I had earned it (pfft who really needs to justify a gorgeous piece like this!) and I absolutely love it to bits! I have a strong feeling that my mother may pinch it off me at some point... better lock it away!

My highlight of The Niche Market would have to be the that I was quite literally (well almost!) rubbing shoulders with Dick & Dora. On Friday I was a little "star struck" whilst setting up my stall - I knew they had arrived yet I was almost... slightly scared of coming across as a crazed fan!! So I had my head down-bottom up finalising my stall and figured that we would find time to chat over the weekend.

Here I am modelling my newest love... Ohh how I adore Dick & Dora!

I am not sure of the right words exactly - but I guess this statement is true: "I have idolised Dick & Dora since I was 18..." - for my 20th birthday I actually bought myself a present from CONTENT ... a red "Dizzy Bird" brooch - and haven't looked back since! So once I heard that Dick & Dora would be at Niche, I became even more excited about even being in the same vacinity as their creative brains!

A little bit of Dick & Dora goes a long way... look at how my white "Bunny" brooch just MAKES my coat look complete! I had suggested in a "round-about-way" to Dora on her blog, that perhaps a "trade" was in order... yay! And so we did the "deed" and I scored this beautiful white "Bunny" brooch and Dora became a proud and loving owner of two of my acrylic Bird Rings.

I'd like to thank Selena Palmer from St Giles, for inviting me to be apart of such a delightful event - thankyou!


gemma @ loz and dinny said...

hey sophie - glad to find someone else that gets all loved up about Niche - it is the handmade love fest, the market mecca ... oh so good - I wish I could have separated myself from my stall too - long enough to get amongst the good stuff down your end ... next time! So lovely to meet you xx

Sophie said...

I totally agree! We should have had a "stall-holder-shopping-hour" at the end on Sunday - where we were able to roam about and spend all our dollars at each others stalls!

Looking forward to the next one! x

Michelle said...

It was so lovely meeting you at the Niche Market on Saturday - your stall looked delicious and i'm so glad to hear that you sold so many of your treasures! I'm hoping to have a stall at the next Niche markets... will look forward to catching up with you and all the other fabulous makers again soon! xx

Dick and Dora said...

Aw, shucks, I hope we lived up to expectations. It was such a fun, relaxed event and I'm looking forward to the next one already. I love my birdy ring, and am just contemplating who's been good enough to score the other.

Sophie said...

Beyond expectations! I now have bragging rights - wooo hooo!! :o) Glad you are loving your little perched tweeter... I am wearing my Free As A Bird necklace to bread-and-butter-job tomorrow - I know people will comment on it - where can people buy that necklace in Launceston?!

Can't wait for the next Niche - hopefully I'll be invited back to it!!

Recycled Relix said...

Hi Sophie, I am just new to this blog thing - addicted by Loz and Dinny. I visited your stall on Saturday along with all the other stall holders and was absolutely amazed by the talent and all the beautiful goodies. I saw the article in the examiner and saw Gemma and just had to go see what you all do! How soon will the next one be?? I am spreading the word. Hope to catch up with you next time. Cathy

Black Eyed Susie said...

It was great wasn't it. I must do another post and show off my purchases. I wore your brooch today - not that I got to go anywhere but it looked good while I sat at the sewing machine!

red bamboo said...

Hi Soph! Thanks for the write up - will return the favour when I can get more than 5 minutes at the computer! Your photos look great too!
Loved the idea of a 'stall-holder-shopping-hour' too!