Saturday, June 7, 2014

6 talented crafters I discovered at The Finders Keepers Markets

I went to The Finders Keepers Markets in Sydney today for the first time. What a great concept. Its purpose is to bring independent design to the forefront and encourage the Australian emerging art and design scene, creating a market scene that maintains the grass roots level but with high standards in both quality and innovative design. The Finders Keepers Markets are a bi-annual event that showcases the work of emerging designers and artists from all around Australia and even New Zealand. The first markets are held in Sydney and now they have the markets interstate in Brisbane and in Melbourne. There I got to know some of the crafters and picked up a few of their unique and high quality handcrafted bits and pieces. The good thing is that although the markets were only on this weekend in Sydney, those who missed out or live out of town can purchase some of these items online or at least get in touch with the crafters themselves via email. The only disappointment is that it’s a bi-annual event rather than a weekly event. I hope to see the Australian arts, craft and design scene flourish strongly one day, as they do in other major capital cities in the world. It’s important to support local businesses, rewarding them with the recognition they deserve for their creative talent, passion for creating beautiful items, business nous and a sense of sharing to create a more vibrant, distinctive and ethical community. The Finders Keepers Markets are a step in the right direction.

These are my 6 favourite items I picked up from The Finders Keepers Markets in Sydney.

Interesting stalls at The Finders Keepers markets

#1 Ambling Home. A beautiful vintage rose coloured rug or throw caught my eye today. When I picked it up, it said “This rug has been hand knitted from left over pieces of wool, it is a unique design”. Ambling Home’s craft are all unique designs made using recycled vintage fabric, bed linen, souvenir tea towels, buttons, handles, zippers, cushion inserts and coffee bean bags. Products made with a conscience and ensuring there is less landfill. How could I not purchase this beautiful rug, and by the way this little bag too? The bag has been made from reclaimed linen, vintage recycled bed sheet and vintage doily. The handles are made from upholstery jute. I love Ambling Home’s motto too: Taking the time to mosey along…It demonstrates that each item is made with a lot of patience, love and care. It was great to meet the mother and daughter team, Amanda and Emma today. Looks like they do sewing classes too, which I would love to try next, making all things vintage.

Vintage rose rug from Ambling Home

Ambling Home: Mother & Daughter team
Want to get in touch with the talented vintage crafter, Amanda Johnson?
Instagram: @ambling_home

#2 Angus & Celeste. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” Angus and Celeste combine simple materials with complicated processes to produce nothing less than pure objects of desire. The time and attention to detail involved is obvious when you look at this vase or water jug and the matching cups I bought today. I love the simplicity of the white and mint colours, complicated with a unique water overflow effect. If you pour hot tea into the cup, the water over flow feature allows you to hold the cup so the heat doesn’t burn your hands. It’s an alternative to having a handle. Angus & Celeste are a design partnership from Melbourne, Australia.

You can have a look at their beautiful homeware range at


#3 Black Pantry. Fragrant marshmallows handmade with quality ingredients is what Black Pantry specialises in. They are addictive because they are exquisitely soft, lightly powder-coated sugary treat and delicious. Black Pantry’s marshmallows come in Rosewater, Vanilla Bean and Orange Blossom. Eat it as is with a cup of tea (see below).

Want Black Pantry handmade marshmallows? Contact:

Black Pantry's handmade marshmallows

#4 DessertMakers. Merna is the backbone to DesssertMakers. Merna’s fig & ginger pudding poured with her handmade vanilla pouring custard is my favourite. Merna uses fresh Australian ginger and whole Turkish figs in this classic pudding. The stewed figs are added to our pudding mix which is made with the best quality ingredients including free range eggs and Pepe Saya Cultured Butter, then steamed in the oven. When the pudding is hot they pour over a toffee sauce which couples perfectly with the flavours of the fig and ginger.

Merna's cooking reflects her food philosophy; if you use the best quality ingredients, you get the best possible taste, and as Merna would say 'The proof is in the pudding'. DessertMakers products are sold frozen to ensure freshness. There are no artificial additives or preservatives in the crumbles or puddings.

Where to get DessertMakers awesome desserts?

#4 Griffin Jerky. The Srirachuan beef jerky is a great snack. ‘Srirachuan’ has the word ‘Sichuan’ and for those who know their Asian food, know that Sichuan food is hot and spicy, and I don’t mean mild curry hot. It’s bags of chilli in soup hot and I love it! A Griffin Jerky is handcrafted, naturally delicious, has no preservatives, gluten free and sustainably raised. A high quality jerky snack.

Where to get Griffin Jerky?

Available online through

Griffin Jerky
#6 Kettle Town. I’m a big fan of Kettle Town’s Zanzabari Chai tea, there’s no secret in that. It’s a Zanzibari inspired authentic chai with a rich ginger kick. See my review. I also like their white tea, Summer Rose, described as “a perfect summer companiion with subtle citrus notes and irresistible rose aroma”. People familiar with Kettle Town’s tea know they are designed to be paired with desserts.

I had my Summer Rose Tea with Black Pantry’s handmade marshmallows for afternoon tea which was devine. Eat the Srirachuan beef jerky before the marshmallow and then the tea to really tantalise your tastebuds. All three work well together. The tea would go well with DessertMakers' Fig and Ginger pudding too!

Kettle Town’s teas are available from

Friendly visitor with his (or her) stall owner at The Finders Keeper markets

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