Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains 2018

On November 24th the Blue Mountains Makers held their third Etsy Made Local Christmas Artisan Market. This year’s market was a stand out event, both for the local Mountains community and for the organising committee. With an estimated attendance of 8000, we thank everyone who came to support local Artisans and Makers.

Once again, our market was held in the tranquil Heritage Listed gardens of the Norman Lindsay Gallery. It's wonderful to know each year that more people discover the Gallery and Gardens by visiting our market.

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If you visited on the day you may have spotted this darling little duck family

If you visited on the day you may have spotted this darling little duck family

It was a busy day from start to finish, and a very early start for the members of the committee who had to set up their own stalls as well as bump in stall holders, organise the workshop and kids craft spaces and ensure everyone was ready for the Market opening.

This year we had a great variety of stalls with something to cater for everyone. From handmade timber furniture by the Leura Bodger, beautiful botanical art by Alison Dicken, children’s toys by Miss MoMo’s Heartfelt Creations and stunning jewelry by Madeline Chalftan. We really are lucky to have such a thriving and talented creative community in the Blue Mountains.

Etsy Made Local is made up of Artisans who sell their wares on an online marketplace that connects sellers with customers worldwide. The Blue Mountains Makers are so proud to partner with Etsy to bring about this amazing event.

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The market is also a fantastic family fun day out. We had a variety of amazing food stalls including Sincerely Cake, Sorelle Eats and Underground Coffee Roasters. This year the committee made some unique table centrepieces for the picnic area. Many visitors enjoyed picking out the various art and craft tools and materials.

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Market goers were also entertained by five wonderful local buskers including Allegra Dunning and Dave James. Children were also kept entertained by Lisa’s World and the beautiful Rhiannon Flower Fairy who wandered through the gardens greeting children.

This year we had a wonderful workshop run by Hanaya Origami Artist on how to make an origami flower crown. The workshop was a great success with all the attendees going home with their very own handmade flower crown.

Children were not left out of the creative making, with a colouring competition and weaving project to get their crafty juices flowing.

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This year we held our first “Craft De-Stash” stall to raise funds for Buy-A-Bale, which is a national charity that aids our farmers who are doing it tough. We were apprehensive, but needn't have worried as the stall was a resounding success, raising $545! Thank you to everyone who donated, we hope you are enjoying your crafty bits and pieces. A big thank you to everyone who dropped off craft donations to the stall, many stall holders donated craft goodies, as well as market day visitors.

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The Blue Mountains Makers would like to give a special Thank You to the following local businesses and volunteers who help to make this market successful and special:

The Norman Lindsay Gallery

St John’s Ambulance

Springwood Rotary Club (our wonderful parking officials)

Charterplus Bus co (and especially our Shuttle Bus driver)

The Blue Mountains Gazette - for our editorial feature

Haze Magazine - for our editorial feature

Insight Magazine - for our editorial feature

Colour Art Australia - for your generous prize donations to the Colouring-in competition

Jodie Mcleod and Eloise Short, Author and Illustrator of Leonard the Lyrebird - Not only did Eloise donate the colouring-in image from the book for the competition, but donated a book as a prize also

Rhiannon Flower Fairy

Lisa’s World Face Painter

Cleaner Robyn

Wonderful Husbands - Ben,Tom and Daniel for helping to set up, pack down, bump-in stall holders and man the Craft De-Stash stall...legends!

Jo Dunning, photographer and dog wrangler extraordinaire!

Maria Harding for her beautiful graphic design and banner work.

Of course we would also like to thank our talented buskers:

Tom the Pom

Allegra Dunning

Julius Timmerman

Dave James

Lynsey Mackey

Lachlan the Blue Mountains Piper was sadly missed

Thanks to our delicious food vendors:

Underground Coffee Roasters

Sincerely Cake

Ton Tiki

Sorelle Eats

MJS Cocina

Zensational Coffee

Fresh Corn Fritters

Yellow Things

Springwood Rotary Club Sausage Sizzle

And of course a massive thank you to our amazing and talented Artisans and Makers (See previous post for Artisan Stall Holders here.)

And that’s a wrap for Etsy Made Local 2018! We will be back next year with more markets.

Follow along on Facebook and Instgram for future market dates and opportunuties.

The Blue Mountains Makers Inc.

Feature Maker: The Mulberry Two at Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains

We are extremely fortunate in the Blue Mountains to have a thriving handmade community. From artists and sculptures, to sewers, spinners and fibre art, local makers are keeping traditional crafts going. This is true for sister duo The Mulberry Two who are keeping the craft of wood carving alive, creating beautiful homewares.

This year we are excited to have The Mulberry Two debuting at their first Blue Mountains Etsy Made Local Market. We asked Lucy and Rosalie to share a little bit more about their creations, the processes they use and what sparked the idea to start The Mulberry Two.

Tell us about the Mulberry Two: Who are you and what do you do? 

We are two siblings united by a love of hand-crafting and passion for sustainability. We like to try our hands at many different crafts, and we hope to include these in our offerings down the track, but for now we are focused on carving scoops and spoons in as many forms as we can dream of! 

What lead you to start The Mulberry Two? 

It’s hard to pinpoint that first spark that set what we’ve now named The Mulberry Two in motion.  Maybe it was making mud pies under our giant mulberry tree as kids, or cooking funny face shaped pikelets on Friday afternoons but as siblings we’ve been creating together always. 

Now we are grown up it can be harder to get together and nurture that creative spark, so recently we made a double pinky promise with each other to make it a priority, and we named this The Mulberry Two. 

Where did the name Mulberry Two come from? 

Our childhood home had a glorious mulberry tree in the backyard that most of our childhood adventures seemed to revolve around. It was HUGE, about one story high, and it had a “cubby house” with a basket on a pulley that could be used to send mulberries to the kitchen (or as we preferred it – a picnic basket from the kitchen to our cubby). We threw around lots of names at the beginning, but The Mulberry Two felt the most “us”. 


Can you please describe what you make and the processes you use to create them? Do you use any particular methods, machines etc 

We make unique wooden hand carved scoops, spoons, and trays. We collect freshly fallen wood, split it and saw it into manageable sized pieces. We then carve it while green using a small selection of hand tools - usually just a hook knife and a straight knife. When we are happy with the piece we leave it to dry out slowly (too quick and it may crack!) before doing finishing cuts with a sharp knife, which leaves a polished surface - smoother than if sanded. After this the spoon is branded with our makers mark and finished with a few coats of a blend of locally sourced beeswax and sustain-ably sourced coconut oil. 

What materials do you use to make your items? Where do you source them from? 

We use predominantly green wood to make our items – this means that the wood is fresh from the tree when we work with it. We source our wood from an arborist friend, individual’s gardens, windfall from storms, and occasionally through a swap or off-cuts from another maker. We chose to do it this way because we don’t want to be contributing to the logging of forests to get our creative fix. 

How long have you been creating for The Mulberry Two? 

The Mulberry Two came into being at the start of this year. 


Where do you create your items? 

Everywhere! Spoon carving is extremely portable, so once the wood is at a manageable size all you need is a handful of tools and some free time. We’ve carved at markets, while camping, at friends’ houses, on holidays - all over the place!  Mainly though we create at our homes – I (Lucy) have a section of my garage set up as a workshop, as well as a little corner of my house so I can try to get some carving done while supervising my small tribe of toddlers. 

What is your favourite item design? 

Lucy – I’m really enjoying geometric shapes at the moment - they drive my husband mad because they aren't 100% perfect (I do them freehand, no rulers here!) but I think that is what makes them unique and gives the user a connection to the maker. 

Rosalie – At the moment I’m searching my creative capacity to make the perfect moon scoop, with a handmade twist.  I think they are so great for scooping tea leaves and as an avid tea drinker I won’t stop until I’ve made the perfect one! 


When and how did you learn the art of wood carving? Who taught you or are you self-taught? 

We are largely self-taught – Lucy started her first spoon one evening at a “spoon club” - with a plank of wood and some semi blunt tools and from there she was hooked. She quickly recruited me (Rosalie) to the craft and from there we both watched videos, joined Facebook groups, read, and learned through trial and error. Along the way Lucy had a chance encounter with some other spoon carvers when collecting a bird of paradise plant from Crop Swap Sydney and more recently did a mini workshop with “The Spoonsmith”, Jeff Donne (a spoon genius). Our technique and process has come a long way since that first spoon. 

What do you love about this particular craft? 

The endless possibilities, the connection with nature, the challenge of the grain in each piece of wood, and the practicality of the finished piece. 

Have you had any disasters in the making process? 

No huge disasters (yet!), but the odd failed spoon – a crack that opens up during drying – or once I got so excited by how well I’d sharpened my knife that I lost focus and carved right through the bottom of the spoon! 


What do you love about having a handmade creative business? 

So many things! We love that it encourages us to create constantly – with full time jobs or small children it can be easy to forget to spend time doing creative things for you but we believe it is really important to have that creative outlet.  We also love doing markets – hearing people’s stories, seeing which spoons they pick, seeing their delight when they find the right spoon. 

What are your thoughts on the ‘Handmade Movement’? What do you love about handmade items and shopping handmade? 

I love the individual care that goes into each piece; that the when buying handmade, the money I spend goes towards a real person who is passionate about doing what they love; and that each piece is unique. 

What do you enjoy about living and creating in the Blue Mountains? 

There is a brilliant community of makers and everyone we’ve met since starting The Mulberry Two is so kind and helpful.  We have a BOSS community up here in the Mountains of genuinely wonderful, creative and quirky people! 


You can shop The Mulberry Two’s wood carved spoons at at the Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains Christmas Artisan Market, Saturday 24th November, 9-3pm, Norman Lindsay Gallery, 14 Norman Lindsay Crescent Faulconbridge.

You can find the Mulberry Two Etsy Shop here. Follow The Mulberry Two on their handmade journey on Instagram and Facebook.

The Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains market is hosted by the Blue Mountains Makers Etsy Team.

Feature Maker: Moss Dolls at Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains

The Etsy Made Local market gives the local community of the Blue Mountains and surrounds a chance to meet and interact with a whole host of local makers and artisans. It’s a wonderful way of discovering new local businesses whose work is centred on being original and handmade.

This year we are excited to have Moss Dolls debuting at her first Etsy Made Local Market. Monika Victoria is the designer and maker behind Moss Dolls. She launched her first creation, the Singing Bryophyte, in early 2017 as a Kickstarter Project, ‘I was overwhelmed with the positive response, and was able to bring my first toy into being through the amazing support of friends and toy collector’s worldwide.’ Monika also illustrates her ‘cast of characters’ using watercolours, blending scientific observational illustration with fantasy and imagination. 

We asked Monika to share a little bit more about her creations, the processes she uses and what sparked the idea to start Moss Dolls.


Where did the name Moss Dolls come from?

I am a huge fan of moss! The first toy I designed, the Singing Bryophyte, is simply named after the scientific term for Mosses and Lichens. I wanted something that reflected the cast of characters that I would be creating - inspired by mosses, ferns, mushrooms, and insects.

What lead you to start Moss Dolls?

The first spark of inspiration for Moss Dolls was when I was hiking through the Primeval forest of Mt.Kasuga in Japan. I kept imagining little spirits hidden amongst the lush foliage, and filled my sketchbook with doodles of mossy creatures. It was shortly after this that I decided to turn them into a reality, and began heavily researching how to make this happen. I'd been customising designer toys and dolls for years already, it seemed a natural step to start designing my own.


Can you please describe what you make and the processes you use to create your dolls and artwork? Do you use any particular methods, tools etc?

It always starts with sketches. I have been doing the 365 Day drawing challenge for 2 years now, and it means I get to explore a huge range of characters and see what the response is for each one. After settling on a character, I will work out the jointing and posing functions, and plan for any internal fixtures. Finally I'll sketch the toy from the front, side, and back views, ready to be sculpted. 
My paintings are more organic, I start with a loose pencil sketch, then paint in all the little details and build up a mossy look through many delicate layers of translucent watercolours.

What materials do you use to make your items? Where do you source them from?

I employ a variety of materials depending on the design and function of each toy, whether the toy is going to be a solid statuette, or a poseable figurine with many complex joints. I have used poly-resin, Japanese premier clay, incorporated recycled toys, 3D printing, and am working on producing a toy in Japanese Soft Vinyl, known as Sofubi. 


How long have you been creating for Moss Dolls?

 I have been customising toys and dolls for well over 10 years, painting and illustrating since I was a child, but only began Moss Dolls in 2016. So it is fairly fresh!

Where do you create your items?

In my home studio. They end up spreading all over the house though - I will find myself airbrushing parts at the kitchen counter, spraying sealants in the garden shed, sorting paper dolls into packaging on the couch, with a cat on my lap. I often turn my 2.5 hour commute on the train into town into a mobile studio - embroidering miniature mossy outfits to make the most of my time.


What is your favourite item design?

I'm going to say the Singing Bryophyte - my first internationally successful toy. I got to make an edition of 100, and it was an absolutely mammoth task. Each one was individually painted by me, packaged, and numbered. I designed the packaging myself, and had a friend and her dad help by hand-turning 100 wooden magnetised specimen stands. I only have a few of the edition left - it will be strange once they are completely sold out!

When and how did you learn the skills required for your art and dolls? Who taught you or are you self-taught?

I am entirely self-taught. I studied Fine Art at the National Art School, but in an entirely different medium. I then taught myself watercolours, and began experimenting with customising and repainting dolls like Blythe, and BJD. I am still very much learning through trial and error every day!


Have you had any disasters in the making process?

Sometimes it feels like disaster after disaster! Lots of things can go wrong. I have one design who has been going through various hiccups in the prototype and revision stage for over a year and a half already. She's still no-where near done, as each stage brings up new problems or obstacles to smooth out. I just have to remind myself to keep focused on the end goal, no matter how long it takes to get there.

What do you love about this particular craft?

It's very multidisciplinary, requiring many different skill sets and approaches. I can be painting delicate mushrooms in the morning, drilling holes into miniature limbs in the afternoon, then sewing tiny outfits in the evening. The next day could have me sketching a cicada husk for inspiration for a new design, gluing tiny plastic leaves over a discarded doll, then sculpting several different moth "noses" in epoxy. Every day is different, it never gets boring!


What do you love about having a handmade creative business?

I have always been artistically inclined and drawn to creating. I cannot imagine who I would be if I didn't constantly have several projects in the works. Sketching every single day of the year is so integral to how I live my life. I feel lost if I realise I've left my sketchbook at home and I have new ideas popping into my head. It's this burning passion for creating that has helped keep me focused and dedicated through the hardships of trying to run and market your own business - its tough work! 

What are your thoughts on the ‘Handmade Movement’? What do you love about handmade items and shopping handmade?

I love seeing what other artists come up with. I always try to go to as many handmade markets as I can throughout the year, to congratulate the artist's I have been following on their progress, and choose something special to show my support. I love that each piece has been created with time and care by an artist, working on their passions.

What do you enjoy about living and creating in the Blue Mountains?

The ability to have enough room to have a studio at home is amazing. I would not be able to do this in a cramped share-house in the city, commuting to an expensive studio. I enjoy being able to walk to the Leura Cascades, immersing myself in the very type of environment that so heavily influences my designs. I'll take my toys on long bushwalks, to photograph them in their element.


You can shop Monika’s dolls and artworks at the Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains Christmas Artisan Market, Saturday 24th November, 9-3pm, Norman Lindsay Gallery, 14 Norman Lindsay Crescent Faulconbridge.

You can find the Moss Dolls Etsy Shop here. Follow Monika on her handmade journey on Instagram and Facebook

The Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains market is hosted by the Blue Mountains Makers Etsy Team.

Welcome to the Blue Mountains Makers

The Blue Mountains Makers are an artisan group based in the Blue Mountains two hours west of Sydney.

Beginning as a team on as a way to connect with sellers locally. An opportunity was advertised by Etsy to find the first regional location in Australia for a team to become hosts of Etsy Made Local, a global market event held on the same day nationally where the public could meet the sellers who make up the community on

Nisa Stone a new member of the group took the initiative to apply, not expecting to win the opportunity. It was a rush of excitement that ensued as we formed a small committee including members Jenny Lawday and Caroline Wilde. We sought out the idyllic Norman Lindsay Gallery and Lewers Bequest Heritage Gardens as a venue.


Learning as we went what goes into organising a market. We drew huge crowds to the venue and since the first year in 2016 have hosted Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains in 2017 and our third year for November 24th 2018 is currently in planning.

After our first market our community and committee has grown extensively, we now have over 10 committee members and over 200 group members. We are also now hosting a new Artisan Market at the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub in Springwood on August 18.

What started as a new experience for all of us has grown into one of the most successful local online communities and market events.

Blue Mountains Makers Markets being organised by seasoned stallholders enabled us to really create stand out events by keeping our core values in handmade and design while understanding what the public are looking for in supporting small businesses locally.

When the community buy from small businesses this boosts our local economy, it helps artisans and families directly and when supporting handmade business this doubles because they aren't outsourcing their work. 

The Blue Mountains Makers create a supportive and fun network for artisans whether your craft is purely a hobby or if you’d like it to be your main source of income. We share opportunities and ideas, events and business advice.

We encourage anyone to ask questions and feel free to share their work for encouragement or simply because. We are all so happy to see our community thrive, whether creativity is a hobby, business or form of expression it's such a wonderful way to live. To have something you create, that you can share with others.


Keep creating,

Nisa Stone

President, Blue Mountains Makers Inc