Saturday, 31 March 2012

Material Pleasures @ The National Folk Festival

After a long hiatus, Material Pleasures is coming back to the National Folk Festival. Held over the Easter Long Weekend, from April 5-9, the National Folk Festival is one of, if not the best, folk festivals in Australia – and we are so lucky to have had it here in Canberra since 1967.

Held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), there is music, dancing, food and entertainment galore – not to mention some amazing local and interstate stalls to browse through as you immerse yourself in everything ‘folkie.’

Everyone here at MP would love to see as many of you as we can across the Easter weekend, and there’ll be plenty of time to come and find a treasure – we’re open from 10am to 10pm for the entire festival!

Plus, this year we are going to be joined by the lovely Mel from Librarian Chic – so you are certain to find something fabulous while soaking up the atmosphere at Epic!

Material Pleasures and Librarian Chic can be found at stall number 60, near the Piazza.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Handmade Treasures

There are certain times of the year when you avoid the crowds gathering at the National Convention Centre – formal dresses, hotted up cars and camera flashes. But over this weekend, another type of crowd made the journey up the stairs and past the brightly coloured entrance of the Convention Centre – the fans and supporters of Canberra’s Handmade Market.

And wow! From the moment you stepped through the doors you were greeted with the scent of coffee, macaroons and handmade cupcakes. This delicious mixture of scents guided you, as your eyes took in the array of brightly coloured handmade treasures that seemed to be calling your name and begging to jump in your bag and take them home with you.

From jewellery, to prints, clothing, accessories, sculptures and quirky and beautiful odds and ends, there was something for everyone – right down to the super capes and library bags for the littlies. But it wasn’t just the treasures that drew you in and often resulted in ahhs as you walked by – it was the atmosphere. The pride and delightful exuberance that each stallholder had for their wares was evident the moment you stepped off the main walkway and into their little worlds. In fact, each stallholder had taken the same time and effort in creating a welcoming and beautiful environment to display their treasures, as they had in creating them, with vintage typewriters, recycled desks and draws and tree branches helping to display and show off each item.

With over 150 stallholders making their way to Canberra from both the local region and interstate, the Canberra Handmade Market is an event not to be missed. But, if that Sunday morning sleep in was too enticing and you missed it, head out to the Handmade Shop on City Walk in the City and you’ll find a collection of pieces that you might not be able to live without!

Visit Handmade at their website or on Facebook.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Winter has Arrived!

The laundries throughout Canberra were looking a little bare on Friday night, as the washing baskets of Canberra took their rostered day off and headed down to the Material Pleasures Winter launch, bringing with them some fabulous people!

As 5pm fast approached, everyone at MP were eagerly watching the skies, wishing and hoping that the rain would hold off long enough to allow everyone to get into Fyshwick on time and in one piece. And as Mel and Jo were handing out glasses of champagne and everyone was nibbling on the yummy sandwiches made by our talented Christine, the rain stopped spitting on us and we were to have a rain free night – how lucky were we?!

Like athletes taking their position on the starting line, with 2 minutes to five, the crowd started etching forward, their minds already set on the must have piece that they had spied through the front window. Then, as the clock struck 5, Rebekah opened the door and winter had arrived!

For the seasoned shoppers, this launch was the perfect opportunity to show off their talents and well practiced finesse at manoeuvring the racks, champagne in hand and clothing collection growing by the minute. For our new shoppers, it is these people that teach the best lessons, and for this makeshift bar tender come Smartphone/Facebook techie, it provided a wonderful opportunity to come up with the definitive list of skills that are needed to survive a MP launch, with sanity and new clothing items well in grasp:

1.  Get here early. While you may not be let in until 5pm, those large windows are perfect for getting a sneak   peak of what we have on offer.

2. Eat, eat, eat. Now let me take a moment to dispel some myths for those people who think that shopping  isn’t a sport – it is. Therefore, you need energy and what better way to build up your strength than sample  some of Christine’s delicacies?

3.  Have a drink – alcoholic or not. For the same reason as above.

4. Have the ability to multitask. Trying on a coat while grabbing that red dress off the wall and claiming the boots in the corner is a perfect example of how to gain three things at once.

5. Like us on Facebook. MP has gone technological and we are loving our facebook site. A huge congratulations goes to Julie Nichols who was the winner of our $100 gift certificate! And a huge thank you to our younger girls, Ruby and Mia, for helping draw the winner. One of the fabulous things about the launch is getting the whole MP team together – big and little ones!

But the most important point, is to bring a sense of humour and be prepared to laugh. As the evening rolled on, friendships were formed over cries of ‘that looks amazing!’ and rum balls were consumed a plenty. For those who missed our Winter Launch, the next one will be in September when we change to summer, but you can still get your winter MP fix from Tuesday – Saturday at Fyshwick and on Sunday’s at the Old Bus Depot Markets.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Pride, Prejudice and Canberra Rep

Love her or hate her, Jane Austen is arguably one of the most renowned and talked about authors, both of her day and in today’s society. The iconic characters of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy have provided many of us with wonderful  memories – and whether or not you were forced to read Pride and Prejudice at school, or feel in love with Colin Firth and therefore the story  – nearly all of us have read, seen, heard or talked about Jane Austen’s classic. And according to some, once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

So how was Friday night spent? At Canberra Rep’s production of Pride and Prejudice!

If you are looking for something to do one evening until the 17th March, dress up a little bit and spend the night at Theatre 3, home of Canberra Rep. Here at MP, we love the productions that grace the stage, but there’s something about this version of Pride and Prejudice that stood out.

It could have been the beginning – where you sat wondering where it was going to lead.

It could have been the costumes – it really is a testament to the actors who managed to change multiple times so quickly. Between the bonnets, the lace, layers and hair, the costumes are to die for.

It could have been Mrs Bennet – in the beginning you’ll laugh and by the end you’ll still be laughing, but with a slight grimace, because you will know a mother just like her.

Or it could have been the ending – and no, not just because it’s an ending that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy. It’s one of those productions were the beginning and ending work so well together that you can’t have one without the other.

Or could it be this Mr Darcy? While he may not be Colin Firth, if he walked past me at the station, I’d follow him too. But you’ll have to go and see the show, to know what that means!

Visit the Canberra Rep website for more information, or follow them on Facebook!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Want? Need? or Both!

What can you say about heels? Whether they’re your best friend or your first class ticket to an orthopaedic surgeon, there is something wondrous about those dressed up, glorified stilts.

Do you love those Dorothy shoes – the red ones with sparkles that glimmer in the sunshine? The ones so fabulous that you decided that you couldn’t live without them the moment you set eyes on them as they sat upon the shelf.

Or is it those black court shoes? The ones with the slightly lower heel and gel cushions squished onto the sole. You bought them the day you got that medical degree and purchased that first suit of what would become many in your wardrobe. You wanted something professional, serious, to show that you knew what you were doing.

Could it be the pair of black and pink cowboy boots – hand crafted leather, Cuban heel. Those ones that you wore to your first rodeo with the shirt you borrowed from your father and your boyfriend’s hat that was too big it fell over your eyes. By the end of the night they were brown not pink and the heels were scratched, but nothing a polish couldn’t fix.

There’s those strappy silver sandals, slight heel, little bow. The ones you wore to your best friend’s engagement party, then her wedding by the sea. By her third daughters christening, you fear touching them in case the last speck of silver separates from the leather by the buckle. You really need to replace them.

Just like every coat, dress, skirt, hat, every pair of heels tells a story. They are a part of who you are. Like the smell of sweat coffee on a misty winter morning, that pair of heels evokes a memory that you can’t suppress.

So if you need to create that new memory, or you just need a new pair of heels because, well, just because, make sure you are first in line with your glass of bubbly at 5pm March 2nd. While your physio may get angry and your other half may moan in annoyance, and while they may be impractical and utterly irresponsible when you have that electricity bill to pay, just remember that Ginger Rogers did everything backwards and in heels!

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Six Commandments

We all know how boring washing is. In fact to many, the humble washing basket is nothing more than a chunk of plastic to throw your washing into, for children to use as a row boat and on occasion to be used upturned as a foot rest, when it’s not breaking into a million pieces of course.

But here at MP, we think that the washing basket deserves another chance to transform itself from a common household object into an integral piece of shopping equipment – right up there with the credit card and environmentally friendly shopping bag, especially at the Winter Change of Season Sale!

While new shoppers may think we are all strange when recounting the tales of harsh words over green and white pieces of plastic, the regulars amongst you will know how important it is to come to our change over events prepared.

So here are a few important points to remember when preparing for March 2:

1.  Make sure you bring a washing basket. A spare is also recommended.

2.  Co-ordinating your washing basket with your outfit will gain you brownie points, but unless you have a multi coloured basket, make sure you don’t wear your latest finds home, otherwise you will potentially be  severely mismatched.

3.  The construction of your washing basket is important. We suggest a good quality, thickened plastic as   
opposed to a flimsy $2 contraption. You don’t want your basket falling apart and dropping your precious finds all over the floor.

4.  So you don’t get washing basket fatigue from grabbing all those amazing coats, an ergonomical, hip-hugging design is suggested. Alternatively, bring along your other half to carry it. 

5.  Baskets on wheels or that fold down are very welcome. 

6.  There is to be no fighting on the night. If you forget to bring a washing basket there are a small selection available on the night, but remember first in best dressed.

If you follow these few simple points, you are sure to secure one or more items that you can’t live without!

Thank you to the gorgeous Ethan and his washing basket, who looked like he was having a great time!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


You’ve heard the murmurs and the hushed whispers. You’ve seen the sneak peak photos and been granted access behind the scenes of the workroom. You’ve watched the stock come and go and the weather fluctuate. But now, it’s time…

Open up your diaries, grab the brightest coloured pen you own and cross out that dinner date, organise the baby sitter and dust off your collection of washing baskets – do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are free from 5pm-9pm Friday March 2 2012. There are over 5000 pieces of clothing that want to meet you!

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