Writing for AUSTRALIAN OVER 50s LIVING & LIFESTYLE GUIDE

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Hey everyone!

It’s been a little bit since I last posted. I’ve been super busy with my newest job. For the last almost six months I’ve been writing for the Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide – and for the last almost three months I’ve also been the Assistant to the Editor and Assistant to the Publisher.

Not only is it an entertaining read, but is very informative. You can find copies of the guidebook for FREE in a large range of pharmacies, doctors offices, and other businesses.

Check out the links below and give us a read.

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE (free flip-able e-book and assorted extra articles available here!)

Bear Designs – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

One thing that I have found while researching these Australian Hand-Made Businesses, is that their contribution to society is much more personal. Unlike big businesses that are only out to make a profit, these businesses focus on pleasing others. Here is one such independent business.

Bear Designs

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Who doesn’t like dressing up? I don’t know a kid that doesn’t. But with so many superheroes and characters, it can be difficult to keep up with the cost of buying costume after costume. This is where Bear Designs comes in.

Bear Designs was created by Nadine Bear, and stocks capes with a virtually-endless array of designs. Her product size range includes 1/2 years, 3/4 years, 5/6 years, and custom orders are welcome. Products can also include capes for teddies, and props for photography sessions.

Prices are very affordable, and the capes can easily be tucked away for further use.

I spoke with Nadine to hear how she came up with this brilliant idea.

“I came up with the idea as my son loved dress up and I could never find good quality capes with his favourite theme; so I decided to give it a go myself. I hadn’t sewn in years, and was surprised how much I loved making them.” Nadine told me.

“I first started making capes for my kids, and then friends, which then extended into people requesting all types of super capes. I decided to start up a Facebook page (found HERE) and see how it went.”

When talking about her products, Nadine said: “I do a variety of patterns/favourite characters/themes and custom orders. Basically it depends what people are looking for and their child’s favourite theme.”

Not only does she do individual sales, but also collections, for kid’s birthday parties.

As I said before, independent businesses have a closer link with their communities and and Bear Designs is no different.

“I was recently involved in a massive charity event, which I called ‘Capes for Cancer’. It was for a little boy in my son’s pre-primary class.”

“This is the reversible cape I designed with ‘C’ for childhood cancer on yellow being the gold representation and the other side being the super hero fabric. I made 70 capes for all the kids, and 15 for the teachers. It was a massive event/quiz night, to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and I managed to raise over $7000. All the kids looked amazing in their capes. Shawn Redhage from Perth Wildcats also came out on the day and chatted to the kids.”

Nadine’s final words echo those of other independent Australian Hand-Made businesses: “As I’m still a new business with a young family, I haven’t yet ventured out to the market arena, but I’m hoping to as my business grows.”

 

Flawless Candles – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Flawless Candles

Today I am taking a look at Flawless Candles, created by Sylvia Karamanis Karam.

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One of the most overlooked things about a house is the smell, but it can make or break the atmosphere. Enter Flawless Candles, turning your home into an oasis.

Purchasing is as simple as visiting their Facebook page, meaning you can shop from the comfort of your own home. It is a personal touch that you won’t get with big businesses, and another reason why I love buying Australian hand-made.

In their store you will find 100% pure soy fragranced candles, all natural palm candles, reed diffusers, and melts.

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I spoke with Sylvia to find out what led her to start this business.

“I started making candles, melts, and diffusers after I became a stay-at-home mum. I didn’t want to go back to working in administration, and I wanted to be home with my daughter. Working from home sounded like the only option.”

But why candles?

“The idea popped-up as I had, in the past, spent so much money on candles, and I happened upon the way to make them. I did my investigation, research, went to a workshop, and lots of testings. It had become a passion.”

Although her business has only been operational for one year, she has already amassed a loyal social media following, and I am sure she will continue to do great.

Check out her Facebook page HERE.

12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge

Today I’ll be continuing the 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge by ScaleSimple.

You can find Day 1 HERE, and Day 2 HERE, Day 3 HERE, Day 4 HERE, Day 5 HERE, Day 6 HERE, and Day 7 HERE.

DAY 8. Share a local Christmas tradition in your town or country

As far as I know, there aren’t any real differences to how our local community celebrates Christmas. Unfortunately, while a lot of people celebrate it, they don’t seem to acknowledge the true meaning of the day.
In the preceding weeks, there are numerous big-scale Christmas carol events, with Australian singers belting out the tunes (that too becoming less about Jesus and more about Santa and snow).
There are also tours to decorated houses. Some families spend thousands of dollars on Christmas lights and decorations, putting their name in to let people know to come by and take some photos. My family went out looking at them when I was younger, but year after year we were faced with calamities (getting lost, flat tyre, car breaking down, sister getting her hand shut and locked in the car door so spending hours at the emergency room – all of these on different years), so we stopped.
Hopefully more people will let Jesus into their lives and we can have a big Jesus-centred tradition nearby.
What are the local Christmas traditions in your town or country? Let me know below, or start your own 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge.

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Picture by ScaleSimple

I nominate: This week’s new followers on Instagram.

Quilling By Kath – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Quilling By Kath

I’ve told you about Australian hand-made businesses that sell candles, frames, and assorted homewares – all of which I love – but Quilling by Kath’s stock definitely stands out from the crowd.

I heard about Katherine Wigraft through a Facebook group for Australian Hand-made and Local Products (HALP), and thought I would check out what she had to offer.

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Look close enough, and you will see that what makes up her designs are small, carefully folded, pieces of paper. Called ‘quilling’ Kath gives her customers unique and beautiful wall-art pieces.

Having never heard of the term ‘quilling’ before, I spoke with Kath to hear more about it, and about the story behind the business.

“I’ve always been a bit arty farty,”she said in good humour, “and have done lots of different crafts over the years. I’ve done jewellery making, mosaics, and then I found paper quilling.”

She continued. “I absolutely love it. It is my outlet; my time when I just switch off from everything and go into a zone.”

Her business started like many others before her, making pieces for family and friends. Before she knew it, she was getting requests from everywhere.

“I mainly do it at night (after my 4 1/2 year old daughter is in bed) and a lot on the weekends.”

Just looking on her Facebook page, I couldn’t believe the designs that could be made. Kath felt the same, saying: “You can do pretty much anything with paper quilling, from simple designs to very intricate ones.” I, personally, found even the simple ones to be incredibly beautiful.

“All of my work is made to order, so that the customer gets exactly what they want. I’m based in Croydon North Victoria, and have posted a lot of pieces all over Australia, with some customers then sending pieces overseas for gifts.”

If you would like to check out Quilling by Kath, you can find her Facebook page HERE.

Summarry – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Still after more Australian hand-made items? Well, you’re in luck, because we have plenty more to come!

Today I’ll be introducing you to Summarry, by Karina Hudson.

When I first saw Summarry’s Facebook page (here) and official website (here) I was a bit thrown back. None of it looked like the typical hand-made small business. Everything seemed so professional and grand-scale. I had to ask her straight out if she was a franchisee for a large brand, but no, it was all her. So listen when I say don’t let your preconceived notions of a hand-made business fool you.

Summarry sell everything from candles, to handbags, and household decorations. The colours just pop off the page, with the official website boasting an easy-to-navigate shopping cart.

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I chatted with owner Karina Hudson, and found out some great information about her story. “Summarry was named after my two children: Summah and Harry (Harrison). I decided to start up an online website whilst I was on maternity leave (now made redundant), and just see where it took me.” After experimenting selling other people’s items, Karina tells how she “soon realised it isn’t easy to sell other people’s items, which led me to start to make my own candles. People like to buy things you make yourself especially at markets, and, to be honest, I love making candles.”

While she has plans to downsize the variety of items she makes and sells, she will be focusing even more of her energy on what she loves – candles, diffusers, and home decor.

“It’s just a ‘learn as I go’ thing at the moment, but who knows where it will take me. You can only try.”

Renaye’s Keepsakes – Hand-Made Items

Welcome to my second review/article showcasing Australian hand-made hobby/businesses (first found here). Today I’m looking at Renaye Cowell’s store Renaye’s Keepsakes.

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Renaye’s Keepsakes

From the moment I saw the range of stock available at Renaye’s Keepsakes, I was entranced. There are greetings cards, wooden self-standing signs, frames, and so much more! Advertised at cheap prices, you can order products customised with your choice of name and design.

Unlike big businesses, Renaye makes sure to stay connected with her loyal customers on her Facebook page (here), creating a relationship with every one. She also sells on MadeIt (here), where she writes about how she got started in her love for scrapbooking and subsequent business.

“In 2003, I started to do some scrapbooking in my spare time. Hubby liked to play computer games, so I started scrappin’ next to him.” What started as a way to spend time with her husband and release her daily stress, surprisingly became a future career choice. “One day I picked up a little chest-shaped music box that was a gift for a friend about to have a baby. I looked at the box and thought that needs something on it to make it a little more ‘gifty’. I got out some pretty pink and white striped paper…and some double-sided tape, and recovered the box. I added some embellishments to the top and front, and voila, a little keepsake baby box was created.”

From gifts for friends and family, to stock in her own online store, Renaye’s Keepsakes has all it takes to be yet another successful Australian business.