local is best

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I wanted to stop by and share a little experience I had yesterday at the Grower’s Market in Blackheath.

Oli and I had almost finished collecting what we needed when we walked past a young man selling his garlic. I had bags in both arms and was trying to keep tabs on OB in a crowd while he was trying to drink his uber large and tasty mango smoothie-thing. Anyway, as I glanced at the seller and considered whether or not it was worth calling to OB to stop, putting down the three large and precariously balanced bags before scrounging around in one of them for my wallet, he smiled at me, “Good Morning, Miss. I picked this batch yesterday, if you’re interested.”

In that tiny little moment I felt as if there was nothing more important than buying a two dollar head of garlic from this man. Yes, I needed garlic but the exchange stayed with me afterward for much deeper reasons. The garlic grower was so genuine and happy for my purchase, albeit for a tiny two dollars. He was warm, friendly and had manners and a smile.

It is little moments such as this that only strengthen my resolve to buy as much as possible locally, from people who believe in what they’re doing and who have knowledge and passion for their product. It was quite strange that I should come across this garlic seller on Sunday because not two days before, Seb was telling me that OB had enquired as to where the garlic came from that they had seen in the supermarket. Seb explained that it had come all the way from Spain and that was why he wasn’t going to buy it. (We had to show OB where Spain was on the globe when they returned home) We had a lengthy and impassioned conversation about how so much is imported and there is are few questions asked around food milage and more environmentally (and economically) sound alternatives.

We were lucky enough to head up the mountain on Sunday to find Blackheath buzzing with locals toting their baskets and recycled shopping bags, ready to fill with locally grown and homemade produce. I honestly did a air fist pump thingo when I realised our luck and I was straight into the action, soaking up the beautiful sun, enjoying the atmosphere and all the while supporting those growers and makers that put heart and soul into their goods and produce. 

I urge you all to do a little research into your local markets or, at the very least, the local green grocer. They care about food and in most cases, they’re supporting a family, too, just like you are. So give the little guy a chance. Ask questions and consider what is best for not only your family but your community, too. I guarantee the shopping experience at a market or your independent grocer will be a pleasant one including a little chat and some sun, far better than one of those bloody self serve checkout stations that requires the one staff member manning the eight machines to re enter their staff code after every purchase just because you want to use your OWN FREAKING BAG! Sorry about that. You get my drift.

Let’s raise the little guy up and snub the big chains. Where you spend your money makes a bigger difference than you may first think.

Peace and garlic.

E.x

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August // noveltybroochfriday

August's Novelty Brooch Friday is kindly donated by Janine Middlemost. Janine's company, Middlemost Designs creates a range of products, just one of them being brooches. Janine has kindly answered five questions for us which gives a great understanding of her ethos and approach to her creative process. 

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop Middlemost Design?

I provide handmade clothing, jewellery and accessories made using vintage and recycled fabrics and found objects. Each piece is made by hand in my home studio, surrounded by vintage fabrics and other inspirational vintage pieces.

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You work with a lot of different materials, in particular the brooch you are offering as a giveaway is cross-stitch, is this technique something find appealing? 

The brooch featured in this giveaway is made from a vintage embroidered table cloth. 

What materials do you like working with?

I enjoy working with vintage fabrics, sheeting, table cloths and tea towels.  All fabric scraps from my clothing are kept and used for smaller items like jewellery, purses and labels.

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Where do you get your inspiration from and do you have any creative ethics?

I am inspired by fabric prints and textures, colour and vintage children’s books.

Are there other jewellers/artists you admire and inspire you?

Tractorgirl (Julie Gibbons) Betty Jo Designs (Liz Jones) Liana Kabel who all work with up cycled materials and found objects. Melanie from Textile Allsorts, Gay abandon body parts and Kurt Saggers from The Cats Pyjamas.

We are so pleased to be showcasing Middlemost Design’s brooch for August’s Novelty Brooch Friday so for your chance to win this cute brooch just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 23rd August with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 26th August. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like, either new or vintage brooches.

Each month Claire (@tunabake) and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.

*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches (worldwide) and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at eaenglish@gmail.com

Peace and corn cobs

E. x

market day

It’s no secret that I loves me a local market. The Glenbrook Markets are my favourite local markets and I just can’t get enough. It’s not just the stalls themselves, but the atmosphere, the sense of community and having an opportunity to peruse local wares, in the fresh air, at a leisurely pace with a coffee in hand. Can I get a ‘Hell YES!’?

OB loves a good market as much as the next toddler and always finds a way of snagging a locally baked treat, even if it’s only just gone 9am. This past Saturday we crunched Autumn leaves, smelled the fresh baker’s bread and helped pick beautiful flowers. I am proud of where I live and all the talented people that make up my community.

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Peace and community.

E. x

#supportlocal

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Chalkboard wall!

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Cosy and funky and it always smells so good!

If you follow my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I am forever banging on about how important supporting local business and produce is to me and also, just how much coffee I drink. Well, seeing as though “Our cafe” (that’s what OB calls it) is run by a hot, young, local couple and they happen to make my favourite beverage…..coffee, duh, and just the way I like it, I thought I’d give you a little local insight into the swinging little corner shop that is ‘dbl Ristretto’. 

I visit at least five times a week and very often have to talk myself out of my second cup on the way home. It’s tough, though and I often cave. I carry a little polka dot reusable coffee cup with me everywhere I go and I love that at “Our Cafe”, any one of the staff just has to see my cup and they know how to fill it. 

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The soy latte to end all soy lattes.

Seb took us out for our coffee (and milkshake) this morning and, as usual, the place was a hive of activity. I love all the quirky and cool people that frequent this coffee shop. It’s a great place to sit and people watch. Tell me I’m not the only one who classifies that as an actual activity?! It totally is.

OB loves that he can draw on the shop-length chalkboard wall and that the staff often draw pictures for him on his milkshake cup.

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“The Grass” as OB calls it.

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The Mural wall inside Dbl RIstretto

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Regular or large?

The coffee is the bloody awesome, the staff are friendly (and all rather good looking..can’t hurt) and they also give all of their tips to a nominated charity that changes each month, many of which are local. There’s that word again.

I love seeing an independent, well executed local business do well. Dbl Ristretto has me, hook, line and sinker. Oh, it’s in Springwood in the beautiful Blue Mountains, NSW. That detail is kind of important, isn’t it? 😉

Peace and Coffee. 

E. x