I'm keen to share things that I've done with others - I love learning about culture and history, I know the importance of great service, good quality products and positive experiences. I love to experience life's opportunities. I live in Melbourne.
Published July 28th 2014
A fabulous, homely, arty, Sunday market - have a wander
The Nunawading Craft Market is held in the grounds of Whitehorse Civic Centre on the fourth Sunday of each month. My strongest impression when I visit this market is "these people really know what they're doing – the things they offer are tried and true".
It's such a pleasure to browse through the stalls here. The market area isn't extensive – in fact, it's a little deceptive as there are stalls inside the Council building too, so I can't see the full extent of the market from the main entrance on Whitehorse Road (Maroondah Highway). I find a car park easily on the main road within 100 metres of the market.
As I approach I see the outdoor stalls with sculpted garden ornaments and there's a really good value plant stall. A long trestle displays a broad range of good quality fresh fruit and vegetables, reasonably priced too.
Then the handicraft stalls begin. At almost every site, a stall-holder is busy with work underway – knitting, crotchet, needlework – clearly these vendors are committed craftspeople and their hands always need to be doing something. The ingenuity of the items they produce for sale is very clear – and can only be borne from long experience of people who've had to find a way to resolve a challenge presented to them.
I find a soft roll for a child to keep crayons together in the car; a child's roll-up blackboard, complete with chalk and eraser; a hot seed bag stitched so that the seeds stay where you want them; a cushion that can unfold into a warm rug for the car or the football – all these ideas produce marvellous items that are ideal around the home and in everyday situations.
Several stalls have beautiful bonbonniere and bridal items, some have guest packs of embroidered linen and soaps – these are all great.
There is a real "homely" feel here too – at the invitation of the sign with "more stalls this way" I step indoors to find an array of more craft, one or two jewellery stalls, some artists display their lovely wares and there are lots more busy hands at work.
One woman sits at her stall and deftly embroiders designs or initials onto handkerchiefs for gifts; another sells her "How to crotchet the perfect socks" kit, along with a display of the outcomes that even a novice would feel confident they could produce.
Everywhere I look there are examples of great ingenuity and craft skill. I am overcome by a sense of resourcefulness and good old reliable home-craft work here – when you buy something you know it will fit its purpose, it will work and it will last. To my delight, the coffee stall inside offers the most extensive range of homemade slices I've seen since my own Mum's kitchen … lemon slice, hedgehog, coconut raspberry slice - all home made, not the usual mass-produced fare. Fantastic ...
There are stalls with homemade soaps, several needlework stalls, intricate patchwork items, beautiful padded coathangers, a beeswax stall with candles and home remedies, a timber worker who displays his beautifully turned pieces, a model-maker who sells the model ships he has spent hundreds of hours building; a fine artist who sells her paintings as well as reproductions of them on cards and stationery; a graphic artist who prints on any materials such as silk or paper up to 1 metre square.
You will not be stuck for a Christmas gift here and the prices are all very reasonable.
The market is managed by the not-for-profit organisation Arts Nunawading Inc (ANI), which was established by local arts groups in the 1960's to encourage participation, promotion and enjoyment of arts in the City of Whitehorse. Funds raised through the market are dispersed to local cultural, performing and visual arts groups, to young people furthering their artistic development.
Remaining 2014 Sunday market dates are 24 August; 28 September; 26 October and 23 November (all 9am - 2pm) - then the Christmas Market is Sunday 14 December from 1pm - 5pm. The market will reopen again in late February 2015.