All went according to plan, the rain mostly held off, and me and the smallest little man went on our proposed adventure to the Brisbane Finders Keepers market on Saturday.
Baby Riley rode the Ergo carrier for the best part of 5 hours, and me, well let's just say that I walked enough km to work off that brownie I devoured within five minutes of arriving at the market...!
These heart-shaped blocks of brownie deliciousness were the absolute BEST way to begin a heavy afternoon of market browsing... Good God I wish I'd bought some extras to take home!
Warm, molten-chocolate-centred brownies aside, it turned out to be a rather bittersweet afternoon for me.
It's been such an absurdly long time since I was last at a Finders Keepers market - actually, the previous Brisbane Autumn/Winter market didn't even bleep my radar until the weekend after it was on! - so in a way I felt as a grown adult might when returning to visit their old school grounds...
I will admit to feeling a slight but definite twinge of sadness for being so long and far out of the market loop since becoming a mum of two. Before the kiddos came along, and even into the early months of Little D's babyhood, the market scene was one of my major creative outlets and a big part of my personal life and business identity. A very considerable number of my closest friends have come from my market stall days, either fellow stallholders I have met in the trenches, or customers who via happy circumstances later became friends.
So, on the up side, it was also a happy delight to wander the markets and see so many familiar faces, and to be able to stop to chat and catch-up with what must have been about half the stallholders present ;) Old friends abounded everywhere, and I think my ratio of 'looking at products' versus 'chatting to stallholders' was about 20/80... ;)
There was plenty of reminiscing going on, both in my head and in my conversations. Me, remembering back to the times when I was the one on the other side of the table, and the exhilaration of serving a relentless throng of people sweeping past my Shelbyville stall like a veritable sea of eager shoppers. Recalling the many long and happy hours spent making products and preparing for the market, then the long and exhausting hours behind the stall, and just the general comraderie and thrill in taking part in the magic of the market event.
But then, there is a certain (more relaxed) magic about just being a market visitor too :)
All those beautiful products to see and buy are one thing, but there is a whole other realm of delight in experiencing the wonderous array of ideas and creativity that a design market aggregates. It is pure inspiration. Like real-life Pinterest!
In retrospect, here are some of the displays/items that most captured my imagination (and dollars):
beth-emily: breathtaking illustrations + ceramic toadstools + silk scarves. Absolute mastery over subtle muted tones. Making funghi/mushrooms/toadstools has suddenly been propelled higher up my priority list of stuff to make.
and-O design: chiselled shapes and beautiful colour combinations, especially the exquisite teal teamed with palest grey/cream/sage/lemon, and all juxtaposed against raw linen. Yes, yes, and yes.
Kuberstore: a lovely range of birds' eggs and plaster typography. The cards featuring hand-spattered, vintage-pastel-paper collaged birds' eggs were so lovely that I bought two, and I think I might even frame them to add to my picture wall - they are THAT nice!
Following the online thread of Kuberstore, I ended up on Emily's blog and was up late late late reading through it... Makes me super keen to meet the lovely lady in person though :) Em, if you're reading this...
Emily Green: a riot of gorgeous colour and, for me, a renewed desire to delve back into making miniature delights with squishy polymer clay again.
SeeSew: Tiny felt brooches with handsewn stitches so neatly exact that I was both impressed and amazed. How, how? Way beyond even my OCD-driven sewing work. Clearly, these young Japanese girls do not do their sewing while watching movies (ahem...). Although not really something I'd buy for myself, these brooches and the tiny book pendant will make lovely gifts for my young nieces.
Supertrooper Studio: I admire the clean Scandinavian style of Supertrooper's products, and I especially love the red & blue combo of both the alphabet poster and the kitchen-y pillow, but I just couldn't bring myself to purchase anything. And now I've thought a little more about it, it's because it just doesn't match our home's style. I think it's just TOO clean and vectorised, and I tend more towards the authentic vintaged look of illustrations found in old books. Oh well, I'll just have to continue to digitally admire from afar.
Dudley & Co: These handmade ride-on scooters...cute?, yes. Practical for our place?, no. Sadly I'll just admire from afar again.
Rabbit and the Duck: as well as her own handmade fabricky wares, the lovely Shannon also stocks a fantastic array of stationery supplies, and I was chuffed to pick up a few stacks of washi tape (xmas pressies for the older nieces) and a handful of interesting coloured/jute twines & strings to add to my stationery stash. Definitely a case of wishing I'd bought a few more colours at the time!
paper boat press: It's Christmas, I have a new member in our little family, and I am nostalgic. Of course I'm going to buy an absolutely beautiful ceramic xmas decoration for the tree! And when Kylie describes the experience of firing these little sweeties (just days before the FK event) on an Instagram photo as a "midnight lustre firing", I am completely sold. One small, silver, midnight-lustre-fired star for me please! :)
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And so concludes my recent FK market experience.
This was just a tiny sample of some of the goodies of the market, but if you'd like to see a whole lot more (and pics and links), then head over to the official Finders Keepers website here to see the full Directory, and definitely get along to one in a city near you if you have the chance. So impressive.