Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Melbourne Indie Crafters & Artisans... Read On!

Curious Oyster is the name of a boutique in St Kilda. Sharing the premises with Vintage House, Dorothy and Evelyn, this small boutique is a collection of all things handmade in Melbourne, Australia.

Being an organic bath and beauty crafter, I've always been on the lookout to how I could best display my range and get my name out there. Now that I have a little store, I would like to offer Melbournian Crafters and Artisans the same opportunity!

Every two months I am going to select an artisan/crafter from each major category and invite them to display there wares in a cube space. There will be 8 cubes (37.5 x 37.5 x 30) in total.

Mail outs will be sent upon each turn around to advertise the current gallery offerings. A reminder email will also be sent in the middle of the gallery period. Twitter and Facebook updates will be posted throughout the period as well.

In addition, all the products displayed will be listed on the Curious Oyster Online store.

You are completely in control of how you want to display your goods within the cube space and you will be provided with sales data every fortnight so you will know how it's all going. It is a win win for both parties as we'll slice it down the middle!

If you would like to register yourself as a Melbourne Artisan, please fill out your information below or go to http://www.curiousoyster.com.au and go to the 'Sign Up' page. Alternatively email Annaliese directly at melbourneartisans@curiousoyster.com.au

Please note: Understandably, we need to select products that suit the store layout, image and Curious Oyster's core values - For this reason we may not be able to choose your work, no matter how much we love it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've Been a Little Naughty...

I told you that I was going to let you know what the 5 Nilla Nilla flavours would be, over 5 consecutive weeks... but it has been truly maddening getting my boutique up and running along with everything else!
Well anyway, a little suspense is good for the heart, I say : )

So here she is, Nilla Nilla No.5 - Jaffa!
She is a blend of two scrumptious flavours, orange and chocolate... Chocolatiers have known this blessed union of flavours for years, so why not enjoy it on your lips? Better than on the hips!
Each Pout Balm is meticulously hand crafted and packaged in a retro slide tin, each adorned with a gorgeous vintage pin-up girl.

So here we have it... The 5 Flavours of the Winter 2009 Season:

All Available in Boutiques May 2009!
Go to www.nillanilla.com.au

All Handmade in Melbourne, with Love xx

Sunday, April 26, 2009

mmmm... Blogs & Peppermint Tea!

Sometimes, when I'm really busy and should be making my goodies, I end up scrolling through my beloved blogs with a nice cup of peppermint tea... Being wintery and cold today, I thought I could share a few I've been reading lately...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank you for Following Me Down the Rabbit Hole...

A big THANK YOU to all of you who follow Curious Little Oyster!

At the end of May, I am going to select 5 followers who will in turn receive a Nilla Nilla Pout Balm (your choice of Original, Minty, Arancia, Coco, Lime or Limon)! Sign up for updates and news as well and you could win the entire Nilla Nilla Summer Collection!!!

If you too would like to be included, just click the follow button at the top right of my blog. If you already follow this blog, then good luck!

The 5 lucky ones will be selected on: May 31st, 2009!

Nilla Nilla Pout Balm Summer Collection 08/09

Nilla Nilla Original Pout Balm

I Stumbled Across a Little Doll...

...whilst walking through the Eltham Market last Sunday. Tied to a pole at the end of the market was a darling little doll in a plastic zip lock bag with a little bow and a card that read, "Take me, I'm Free". I'm always quite dubious and cautious when I read the word "free", but being the curious little oyster I am, I couldn't help but untie the green twine bow and take a peek at her! There was a card inside and I thought "here we go...the catch!" but no, just a request that I announce via email that the doll has been safely rescued!

So, here I was, doll in tow... other market goers looking at me questioningly as they to must have spotted it and had been understandably cautious to be sprung by a trap!

Thank you so much to The Toy Society! What a breath of fresh air to have a collection of people from all over the world, gathered together with one precious goal, to give. That's it... just give, anonymously without any hope of a thank you.

You really made my day and I appreciate your generosity... To Gladness, who made this beautiful doll, please know that she is being loved by my mother!

Thank you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shiatsu and My First Japanese Acupuncture

The first thing I learned during my session yesterday, was that Japanese Acupuncture is far gentler and requires much finer needles than the Chinese counterpart. I thought this was great because the whole needle issue somehow evaded me when I made the appointment in the first place. This resulted in a bout of relentless giggling - as I do when people stick needles in me! But perhaps the funniest thing about it all, was that he had already stuck them in! So I relaxed very quickly to a state where I was in a sort of lucid sleep and the 1 and a half hour session seemed to go by in a flash... but the deep yet subtle probing of my soul has allowed questions and issues to surface that I've kept under wraps for so long... 

If you are living in Melbourne and looking for an acupuncture practitioner, I recommend Murray Goodchild from Inner Smile. He is fully qualified and is a recognised provider by all major health funds - 0405 455 744. I met him last Sunday at the Eltham Market strumming his ukulele! and I am going again next week - I can't wait!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Things... Tiny Packages!

A few weeks back I heard the usual sounds of morning duties... the bin man, the sound of rushing traffic in the distance and my little dog Asa, barking impatiently at the Post Man. The Post Man has his usual morning chat to her as he picks out a little bone shaped biscuit... Trying to win her affection - He'll never win! She is as loyal as they get. 

But this particular morning he placed a little parcel on the letter box! It was here... My earrings I fell in love with instantly on Etsy!

I am so in love with blues and turquoise at the moment... It reminds me of the gorgeous deep blues you can see in the southern oceans of Australia and the turquoise of sunny Hawaiian beaches. Perhaps I am in denial that winter is rolling in! 

Here are just a few that I have my eye on at the moment ; ) ...

The store is called Ositarose on Etsy... just beautiful!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Camino de Santiago... In the beginning...

This time, 3 years ago, I embarked on perhaps one of my most difficult adventures... You see, I was backpacking throughout Europe and I was fast running out of cash. I was only 5 months into my year long stint, but too long in China, Austria and England, threatened to cut my trip short!

Au Pairing in Italy staved off the financial doom and gloom, but winter in the Dolomites affects your spirit due to the freezing short days... Not to mention the weight I packed on from the prosciutto, stracceno, coffee flavoured yoghurt, farfalle pasta... Damn! I'm drooling again!!!

Anyway, I escaped heaven and traversed central europe when I heard about a pilgrimage across the north of Spain, Camino de Santiago. The long walk that has been made since 840AD. Thousands have walked across Europe to Santiago de Compostela, believing the remains of the Apostle, St James, to be there. The north of Spain basically came into existance from feeding and housing the many hundreds of thousands of pilgrims (cheaply I might add). 

Being the non-religious type, I let these stories of a long walk across Spain leave my head without much consideration at all, except for a small nagging curiosity. Paulo Coehlo mentioned it in his book Eleven Minutes and that twigged my mind initially, but it wasn't until I was walking in slush in Vienna - the final remnants of the coldest winter felt by Austrian's in living memory, that I realised that Spain is A LOT warmer and cheaper to live in!

So I booked my ticket and flew across the land to the southern most point I could get to by plane, Jerez de la Fronterra.  It was a stifling 13 degrees celcius as I madly stripped off as I walked to find my hostel. Blue sky, palm trees and oranges literally falling along the sidewalk from the heavily laden orange trees, I was sure I had made the right decision!

I had to make it north though by April/May so I could take part in the pilgrimage after the rainy winter and before the dreaded Spanish summer. Money was becoming increasingly a problem and promise of food and accomodation for just a few euros a day, just for walking a path, was just too good to ignore. So I lapped up the warmth of the Andulcian south and the Portugese waters to the west for 3 months.

I picked up the language and also picked up a friend along the way who happened to be a skilled hiker from New Zealand... So by the time it was April, I was at the starting point of my camino, Burgos - A cool 530km from Santiago de Compostela! 

More to come soon... 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ooohh La La...

Nothing says winter more than the scent of cinnamon in the air!

Reminiscent of French Toast with Cinnamon lightly dusted on top, Nilla Nilla French Cinnamon is rich, creamy and honey sweet...

Available in boutiques and online May 2009!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Curious Oyster

I am really very excited about my new venture... I have opened my very first boutique in St Kilda and I am full of ideas and creativity!!! Named Curious Oyster, it is a display of all my organic handmade creations...

I have spent the past two weeks making stock and displays for the store, with a lot of work to go...

The store is within a gorgeous vintage store, Dorothy and Evelyn at 158-160 Barkly St (across from the National Theatre). The stores have married together nicely... Right now you can find Nilla Nilla and BESPOKE REGIME and soon... Pilgrim's Ointment, jaTaa, Raw Organique and more!

So pop in and say hello - I am in on Thursdays!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Forest Beauty...

So here we have it!

The third edition to Nilla Nilla's Winter 2009 lineup...

Perhaps the sauciest of all the glamourous ladies this season... Black Forest!

Invoke fairytale images of snow covered firs, mountain tops and gabled roofs with Nilla Nilla’s Black Forest. Chocolatey and rich with a hint of berry goodness in each seductively adorned tin...

With Black Forest on your lips, winter just wont seem so bad afterall!

Available in boutiques and online May 2009