Sunday, 21 July 2013

Shopping for a Party of 11: Handmade Gift Ideas {Cobbitty Village Markets}

If I asked you if you had a favourite day of the month, you'd probably look at me like I'd lost my mind. Well, I definitely have one and it's the first Saturday of the month because Cobbitty Village Markets are on.
 
I usually go along with my Party of 11, check out the stalls, pick up some bits and pieces, and have a sausage sandwich and some mini donuts while my nieces and nephew play with the animals at the little farm for a while. On a sunny Saturday morning, it’s absolute heaven!
 
 
  
But this month I went along hoping to find some pretty party things and take some pics for the second instalment of the “Shopping for a Party of 11” series. (Yes, it’s a series – stayed tuned!)
 
Over two hours and 200 photographs later (I'm not kidding!), I came home in really high spirits having spent a fantastic morning chatting to many of the stallholders, delighted by their talent and dedication.
 
Before I tell you about the stalls, let me cover a bit about the markets. Having just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary, Cobbitty Village Markets is held at the Cobbitty Public School from 8am to 1pm on the first Saturday of the month, except January and February when I imagine everyone enjoys a well earned break from market life!
 
 

 
It’s truly a country market with farmers selling fruit and vegetables direct, and makers of breads, baked goods, jams and plants selling their creations as well. Away from over 100 stalls, there are activities for the kids like face painting and a petting farm. And you can pretty much find whatever you feel like for a bite to eat, from wood-fired pizzas to Devonshire teas. Many of the stalls belong to local groups too, so the markets always have a really nice community feeling about them.
  
You really won't like the mini donuts, they're not worth standing on the queue for. Oh, who am I kidding??
 
Putting my serious reviewer hat on now (alright, but I'll get one!), I must let you in on the bad as well as the good. Well, there is no bad as such, just a few things to be aware of before you head out to the markets. There are no ATM facilities on site and while many of the stallholders will take credit cards for larger items, you just might end up missing out on a few of the smaller items if you don’t have cash. Cobbitty is a lovely little village off the Northern Road between Narellan and Oran Park and the traffic does tend to build up a little during the early hours. But it moves quickly and you are rewarded with the fantastic markets at the end of your journey. There is plenty of parking in a huge field behind the markets so don’t be worried if you see the street parking filling up.
 
So, back to Shopping for a Party of 11. As well as being a great day out, I love the markets for handcrafted, special gifts. Which, let's face it are the best kind. As I always say - any idiot can shop retail. Alright, I may have stolen that from my sister, but I wholeheartedly agree.
 
So, these are some of my picks from the markets this month. The good news is, if you really, really can’t get to the markets, or if you need a gift urgently, many of the stallholders sell online and at other markets and shops. Follow the links below to check them out, but make sure you get to the markets for heaps of other fabulous stuff if you can. Check out P11's Facebook page for more photos and stalls too.
 
And, because there was so much great stuff on offer at the markets this month, I'll be doing another post with some really cute kid's gift ideas shortly.
 

Soy Mason Candles


Soy Mason Candles is a relatively new addition to the markets and has easily become one of my favourite stalls. You probably won't be surprised to learn that they sell soy candles in mason jars!




Now, I'm convinced that just about everything looks great in a mason jar, but the addition of the patterned lids give these candles a little something extra and make them a perfect gift for birthdays, Mother's Day, bridal showers and lots more. Or - just saying! - sitting on my mantelpiece!


 

And just let me gush for one more minute here, because I have to say something about the candles in the vintage crystal vases, tea cups and just about everything else gorgeous. I love, love, love them and they would not only make great gifts, but would look amazing as centrepieces for a really special occasion.

 



I wish I could give you an idea of the scent these gorgeous candles come in but I can't. Not only because scented websites haven't been invented yet (get onto that, Zuckerberg!), but because I'm given to believe that its a secret formulation. The best I can do is tell you that I like clean, fresh scents and these appeal to me. Very much so. Check out the world of Soy Mason Candles here.

 

Shack Stuff




 
 
The Shack Stuff stall sells handcrafted home d├ęcor and this month they had these framed decorative whiteboards in lots and lots of different styles. What a great, easy, cost-effective present these frames would be, with some of those magnets thrown in. Maybe for a house warming present, or a birthday? Or - again, just saying - for my kitchen wall?!
 
 
Reuse, recycle but don't re-gift. A P11 rule!
 
Shack Stuff also had an absolutely fantastic vintage floral glass window, re-purposed into a great shelf with hooks. The only problem was that someone else snapped it up from right under my nose! Just as well because it caused me to came home and have a look at their website and they have lots more fabulous re-purposed pieces. Check them out here.
 
 
 

Legend Pottery  


One of the mainstays of the markets is Legend Pottery, made by Nic and brought all the way from Curl Curl. It's a huge stall with everything from fish to Christmas angels!




Legend Pottery is also online and also has lots more pieces available, including bespoke water features and bathroom fixtures. My favourites are probably the whimsical pieces like Gutter Man and the mushrooms. Be amazed by plenty of Nic's other pieces here!
  
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Sweet Life - Chocolate Bouquets

 
Another new addition to the markets is The Sweet Life, a stall selling chocolate bouquets and some other cute edible gifts and party favours.   
 

 


I'm sure I don't have to convince you that you really need to hit up this stall for the next gift you need to buy. But I will say that this is probably the best price and range of these edible bouquets that I have seen. And the fact that you can pick one up from the markets on your way to a party? Well, how easy do you want me to make this for you?!

 
Alright, moving on because my mouth is watering with all that chocolate! Ah, jelly beans as baby shower favours - much better! If you're interested in a chocolate bouquet or a party favour, contact Alex at thesweetlifechocolatebouquet@live.com.au.


 
 
 
And a final reminder to get to the markets on the first Saturday of the month for a great morning out!
 

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