A Piece of Cloth + Textile Treasures

Who: Jen Hyland AKA ‘A Piece of Cloth’ & Rachel Hine Textile Treasures

Where: Studio 9/100 Lower Paper Mill Road, Fyansford

When: Studio open Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Web: www.apieceofcloth.com.au  and  whereisrachelhine.blogspot.com.au

Shop: At the studio and Online here and here

There is something magical that happens after an encounter with people who have passion, fire and drive. These encounters inject you with energy and spark and help you to see the world in new and interesting ways. Oh! Hello Geelong recently had the pleasure of spending time with two super amazing and inspiring women. Jen Hyland and Rachel Hine were lovely enough to welcome us into their newly opened Fyansford studio where they run A Piece of Cloth and Rachel Hine Textile Treasures.

The space is part studio and part shop,  and  if all goes to plan, this gorgeous space will also house a cafe and textile/printing/diy  + crafty workshops in the near future too – how exciting! Anyhoo, before we begin telling you about the wonderful adventure it was to visit Jen and Rachel, just a little disclaimer: there are so many details about this two-woman operation that are worthy of their own individual posts, so this is really just a taste! Enjoy…we certainly did!

Cloth + textile treasures…

For many people a piece of cloth is, well…just a piece of cloth; right? Well not for us two textile + pattern lovers and definitely not for Jen Hyland , who lives and breathes fabric, this is certainly not the case! A Piece of Cloth is Jen’s textile design and vintage textiles business, which sources and creates and sells fabrics that are not so easy to find, especially here in Australia. Jen’s collection includes original American fabrics dating back to the 1860s (so much history) right up to more recent decades. Jen also has a selection of vintage American quilts; some have been loving repaired while others are as they were when they were wrapped around the shoulders of the last owner!

Whilst American fabrics form the majority of Jen’s collection, she also has some Australian and European pieces as well as fabrics from Africa, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam (to list just a few)! Jen has travelled to the US and across the world in search of the best fabrics and most stunning prints to add to her collection, which is beautifully displayed in the Fyansford studio (more of that later, very exciting!).

For Jen, what makes a truly great fabric is a good, strong and interesting print and something that has colour! Jen is also attracted to fabrics that have historical significance. One style of fabric that particularly caught Oh! Hello Geelong’s attention was the American feedsack fabrics. Feedsacks started life as a sack holding basic foodstuffs such as flour and sugar and were later used by women to make dresses and other textile items – so resourceful! These fabrics are soft and pretty and considered collectors’ items! If you’re interested in learning more about the history behind some of these fabrics, Jen has an encyclopaedic knowledge of this field and shares this with others from her studio, on her blog and at public speaking events such as the Australian Quilters Association.

Jen also creates a stunning collection of her own cushions and quilts, all hand quilted and seriously divine.  They are available from some fab stores including Ballyhoo and of course at the new studio shop.

Rachel Hine is the endearingly quirky and lovely lady who works out of her little studio nook in the wonderful space of A Piece Of Cloth. Her background is in Tapestry – she has a fine arts degree in tapestry weaving and her studio is littered with gorgeous weaving works in progress, embroidered floor rugs and the sweetest tiny tapestries. Rachel, also a textile lover / collector makes the most adorable little fabric fox friends and jewellery. Her works are beautifully detailed with intricate embroidery a mix of lovely colourful vintage and new fabrics and lot’s of sweet personality. Also a talented illustrator, Rachel has illustrated and designed some beautiful fabrics of her own, she is one busy lady, with two little ones she still manages to make and sell her works at markets such as Moriac Makers and Growers  +  Bay and Beyond Market as well as online in her Etsy store, Ballyhoo in Geelong and in the studio, of course.

As well as falling completely in love with Jen and Rachel’s collections, Oh! Hello Geelong has developed a slight obsession about the girls’ Fyansford studio. The building is heritage listed and started life in 1876 as a paper mill (the studio itself being the boiler room), later becoming an ice factory and then an explosives factory during the war (pretty awesome!).

What makes this building extra special is that it still has many of its original features including stunning beams and old machinery and the girls have done a great job preserving the historical feel of space through simple and tasteful styling. Oh! Hello Geelong loved Jen’s custom made tables, bentwood chairs, fruit boxes used for displays and her stunning quilts and vintage flags hanging on display giving a warm and cosy log cabin feel. In many ways, a visit to the studio is like taking a step back in time; it’s like our own G-town time machine! For more information about the historical significance of the space check out Jen’s blog.

A bright future…

Oh! Hello Geelong feels very privileged to be one of the first visitors to this little piece of textile heaven. Jen and Rachel have all the ingredients to make this Fyansford studio a destination that locals and non-locals alike will travel far and wide to visit. We are just so glad to see such a special old building placed in the hands of two inspiring and very special ladies! The future looks bright for this old paper mill!

Thank you Jen and Rachel for sharing your time with us x

PS: if you ever get to the studio (which you absolutely must), ask Jen and Rachel about Button Hill (such a cute story!) And if you’re lucky you might even get to sneak a peak at the precious vintage photo albums they discovered on site! They are full to the brim with amazing old photos of Geelong folk and images of how this ole’ town once looked.

Love Laura + Penny

Have your cake and eat it too! – Armageddon Cake

Who: Armageddon Cake

Where: 7 McLarty Place Geelong

When: Thur –Sat 8pm to 11pm

Since Oh! Hello Geelong began blogging way back in January there is one particular place that locals have been constantly recommending to us and now we totally understand why. The place we’re referring to is a wonderful little guilty pleasure, which is open only after dark from Thursday to Saturday and goes by the kooky moniker Armageddon Cake! We really can’t believe it’s taken us until now to experience this little night time indulgence…that’s nine months worth of missed cake eating opportunities!

Warm, cosy, chilled…love! 

Whilst some may say Armageddon Cake is a tad hard to find, there’s a cutesy pastel blue bike complete with twinkly lights at the entrance of McLarty Place to help guide you to the front door. Armageddon’s interior style is a little bit nanna’s living room, a little bit inner city Melbourne share house and a little bit graffitied lane way  – with an overall vibe that is warm, cosy and very chilled. We totally loved poking around the little nooks and pointing out the random mix of kitsch treasures dotted around the place, especially the old radios, layers of stencil art and paste ups on the walls, menus made out of Scrabble letters, vintage birdcages, the massive photo enlarger machine, pretty + nana-ish lamps and little vases of fake flowers adorning the tables. Oh, and we thought the smooth jazzy tunes humming from the vinyl record player was THE perfect touch.

Sweet goodness…

The menu is simple; a list of the most delicious tasting desserts ever and a list of sweet sides to give your dessert that extra umph…the hard part really is choosing what to eat. After lengthy deliberations Oh! Hello Geelong went with the red velvet cake from Sweet Indulgence with a divine chocolate ganache from the talented girls at Gobble and the raspberry brownie (also from Gobble) topped with a chunky raspberry coulis and cream made on the premises. Oh! Hello Geelong also had a few bites of the evil brownie from Cocoa Tree that was drizzled with a heavenly butterscotch sauce…so so YUM! But not only did our sweet treats taste oh so glorious, the presentation was a foodie’s dream. Our mouths are watering as we write this. Oh! And coffee beans supplied by none other than our fav local roasters Cartel.

Dates, catch ups, celebrations…

For Oh! Hello Geelong, we’re pretty confident that we’ve found the perfect place in G-town for all those things we love to do when the sun goes down. Whether it’s a date, a fun catch up with friends, or time to celebrate with those we love, Armageddon Cake’s four walls of casual cosiness and its decadent menu really takes the cake. Thanks to Sarah and the boys and girls at Armageddon Cake for treating us (and our respective sweet tooths) to a lovely Thursday night out, our apologies for not making your acquaintance sooner!

Love Penny + Laura

The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

The Mill Markets (North Geelong)

Where: 3 Mackey Street, North Geelong

When: 7 days a week 10am – 6pm

Web: www.millmarkets.com.au

We recently enjoyed yet another visit to The Mill Markets’ North Geelong site. And as always, Oh! Hello Geelong came down with a severe case of feverish excitement & hyperventilation. For many folks in Geelong, The Mill Markets have become somewhat of an institution, an amazing drawcard for this old town & the perfect way to entice our super savvy vintage shopping Melbournite friends to visit us here in our adopted home town. And for those who are yet to venture to this vintage recycled industrial furniture and objects melting pot, be prepared to be completely overwhelmed, the scale of the North Geelong site is nothing short of epic.

A G-Town institution…

Since its birth in 1985, The Mill Markets has grown from one lone site in Geelong West to a business that is located in Newcomb, the Geelong Waterfront, North Geelong, Ballarat, Warnambool and Daylesford. Each site houses a seriously massive and fabulous range of unique collectables, antiques and vintage clothing which is put together by individual stall holders who have an eagle eye for discovering fabulous treasures from the past.

North Side: the best of the best…

For Oh! Hello Geelong, whilst we love all The Mill Markets sites, we have a pretty big soft spot for the North Geelong site. Sadly we didn’t catch The Mill Markets’ man himself Ian Ballis however we were greeted by the friendly vintage enthusiast Nathan who allowed us to explore, snap pictures and adore to our hearts’ content.

What makes the North Geelong site even more special and fun to visit is the recent opening of a second store right next door to the original building! The new space follows the traditional Mill Markets concept; a multiple range of individual stalls offering an eclectic range of vintage clothing, antiques and collectables, including a very awesome juke box! The old space offers an immense range of industrial furniture + machinery and quirky vintage collectables, all from Ian’s own collection.

Here is a short list of the goods we thought were pretty fantastic:

Antique ladders, pigeonholes / cube shelving, massive work benches, trestle tables and display cabinets, old school desks, big wooden and plastic alphabet letters, wooden crates, glass jars, kitschy kitchen goods, suitcases, industrial pendant lights, vintage gig posters and art by David Bromley (which is scattered everywhere throughout both buildings).

Also there are loads of Mantiques (man + antiques): an old traffic light, rope ladders, golf clubs and tennis racquets, tool boxes & printing machines.

Industrial collectables: an endless number of vintage tin signage, industrial washing machine and ironing board, an old weaving contraption and theatre lights.

One-offs: an old church alter (we’re not lying), a pianola and a hot air balloon basket!

The Mill Markets are something really special (the people from The Block definitely think so) and we are proud as punch that we can tell everyone that it all started in our new hometown! And pretty chuffed that we can visit them any time we like too – hooray!

Love Penny + Laura

The Piccadilly Market!

When: We visited on a lovely autumnal Sunday morning (25th March 2012)

Where: Deakin University Waterfront

A perfect state of delirium….

If you are a follower of our little G-Town blog you would know that we had the Piccadilly Market penciled into our Oh! Hello Geelong diary months ago. You would also know that we were just a wee bit excited about our pending visit, especially the week before the big event. Sooooo it’s going to be no great surprise when we tell you that we entered a state of design delirium during our frolic through the wonderful world of Piccadilly!

Victor Fox + Crayon Chick

Two floors of fab finds to be found, cruisy tunes and yummy food to boot!

So we had gathered the backstory behind the markets last week (check out our Q&A with Janina Lear aka Piccadilly Market Lady) but nothing could have properly prepared Oh! Hello Geelong for the Piccadilly buzz. This market is an opportunity for designers, makers, creators and crafters from near and far, to share their work with the people of our lovely town. The market’s venue was so perfect for this event; we just love this building, the open plan design, the exposed wooden beams and the flood of natural light that snuck in through the large windows on the ground floor – perfect party venue we say. As for the ambiance, the sound of the piano, kiddies chatting and laughing and big kids (including Oh! Hello Geelong) ooohhhing and ahhing…what can we say? It was bliss.

And when it came to filling our adventuring bellies, there was no problem there for waiting in the wings was the glorious Dos Diablos, the mobile cantina serving yummy Mexican out of a retired canteen truck for the local fire service…such a sweet idea!

Oh! Hello Geelong faves…

We felt so much love on market day, but there were definitely some standout stallholders for us. We absolutely adored everything about Crayon Chick (by Michelle Harvey) especially her range of divine crochet ball necklaces and crochet garlands, not to mention her lovely selection of our beloved Orla Kiely stationery. Look carefully and you will find Oh! Hello Geelong sporting Crayon Chick around town! We also loved Victor Fox’s vibrant range of awesomely designed cards, gift tags, lolly bags, prints for your walls and her laser cut cuckoo clocks made to order – Clare Miller (Westwood) is a star.  We also went a little gaga over Tilburg’s range of earthy beautifully made handbags, some made using Ink & Spindle fabrics and finished with handmade wooden brooches made from bits of fallen branches. And because they made us smile so much, we have to mention Chook Leaf’s bright and very very fun shoes for tiny tots (and the not-so-tiny).

piccadilly market

Tilburg + Chookleaf + Zee and Me

A highlight from the day was making friends with a totally gorgeous Ballarat-lass named Emily Van Der Molen who is the designer behind Buntyandsars. We loved Emily’s illustrations (especially her vintage caravans) and her quirky range of original art blocks, brooches, hairclips and cards. BUT without doubt the star of her show was her cutesy colouring books for kids; get this, there’s even one where you can colour in and cut out clothes for a cute little paper-girl, if only we were little girlies again! Each book is individually bound using slips of vintage paper – gaa!

Oh, and whilst Baby Alexander didn’t make this adventure, he certainly wasn’t forgotten. Our little man was treated to a super cute tee with a funny monster on the front from Zee & Me (who do all their own printing, designs and sewing – talented!) Their florally colourful girls tops are just beautiful!

piccadilly market

Bunty and Sars + Dos Diablos

A market of special finds and extra special people…..

Piccadilly Market truly puts Geelong on the market map and is a fun celebration of all things beautiful and creative. The event however would not exist, nor would it have the pop and fizz factor it does if it weren’t for the Piccadilly Market lady herself, Janina Lear. Janina is the hostess with the mostess and blew Oh! Hello Geelong away with her energy and passion for the markets and for life – you’re the best Janina!

If you haven’t been down to the market before get your diary out (right now) and block out Sunday 29th July 2012, no more excuses, this is a G-Town must! And if we’re preaching to the converted, see you folks in July!

PS: If you’re the super duper organised type, the last Piccadilly Market of 2012 is on Sunday 25th November.

PPS: We were a little crushed that we didn’t get to see the Wiggles who were performing in the same building on the day…there’s something about grown men in bright skivvies.