Art, Design & Makers Conference

The guys are back for their third year and they have some awesome things in store. This event brings together the communities of artiest, designers and makers.

Newcastle’s creative scene is forever building, forever evolving and forever supporting those who love creating, designing and making. Newcastle’s very own MAKEit MADEit conference is no exception. The guys are back for their third year and they have some awesome things in store. This event brings together the communities of artiest, designers and makers. August 12th will be a jam packed of inspiring creative talks, exhibits, masterclasses all set amongst the backdrop of our forever changing village, Newcastle.

Our Creative Director, Myf Garven secured her ticket months ago, so we think she’s pretty keen!

When: Saturday, 12th August
Where: Newcastle Museum
Check out more here.

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Mayfield Antiquity

“I want brides to be able to bury their head in their bouquet!” Melanie laughs.

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A coolroom warbles away in the back of the private studio, filled with the heady scent of roses, the beauty of a garden and the sound of pop ballads jamming from inside.

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“The acoustics in the coolroom are fantastic!” Melanie grins. “When I prep a bouquet, I pump up the music and sing LOUD. There’s Whitney, Bryan Adams… they all help the job get done!”

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We are visiting the private studio of Mayflowers Vintage Florist – home of the vintage tea cup posy.

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 Ben’s sister, Melanie Stewart, tells us how she opened Mayflowers Vintage Florist four years ago, “With $20, a teacup collection and some Mother’s Day orders!”

Now a booming fulltime business for Melanie, we take a look into her passion for everything pretty.

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An advocate for the use of seasonal blooms from local growers, she loves supporting the local flower farms and believes that the best smelling flowers are ones produced naturally, at the right time of year.

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“I want brides to be able to bury their head in their bouquet!” Melanie laughs.

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“Floristry is to paint a picture with flowers, it is an art and every florist has their own form of expression, their own style,” Melanie explains.

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Melanie’s expression is to blend her lifelong love of flowers, with her ever-present passion for everything vintage and Victorian.

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Melanie’s Nan,had a magnificent garden, where a love for foliage and colour was ignited, while her Aunty May further fuelled the flames sending exquisite bouquets to young Melanie home every sunday, via her Grandmother Ethel-May.

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Its a beautiful botanical nod of the head that the business is called Mayflowers.

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And the vexation for vintage?

“It started with a pink Victorian jug that Mum displayed in my room as kid. I would take it out of my room and she would bring it back in. It grew on me eventually, then I became an antiques addict too.”

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Studying Naturopathy and Aromatherapy while working in Glebe, Melanie would purchase a special tea cup set each week from various second hand and antique shops.

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“Each cup is specially picked, some are from the late 1800s while others are unique gifts, like sets from people as they went off to war in the early 1900s,” Melanie tells us as we take a look at her extensive collection, cups adored with Remember Me and Think of Me sit lovingly on display.

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“I love roses, and Queen Anne’s Lace is gorgeous to work with,” Melanie tells us when we ask about her favorite bloom. “Also, garden Carnations have a wonderful smell if they are the heirloom variety.”

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Being in this industry, Melanie has come to know and love many of her clients, “Grooms return each year to buy a bouquet on anniversaries – clients have become friends as I get to collaborate for their special occasions.”

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Melanie recently provided a tea cup posy to be displayed in lieu of a casket spray.

“A lovely local family had been buying tea cup posies from me for four years for their Grandmother. Last week I was honoured to complete her final bouquet.”

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Melanie’s passion for everything vintage and anything blooming is alive in every corner of her bright smile. Her love for her craft and the community that she serves is infectious.

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“I’ve been in Mayfield for sixteen years now, we have raised four children here and its just beautiful,” we are told as we ask what Mayfield living is like. “Not only is it a great place to live but its rich in history – obviously something that I appreciate!”

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“The old homes, the architecture, the community and the remnants of an old orchard here and there. It really is a place with a rich history and an exciting future.”

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To learn more and love a life you love, contact Villager Property. 

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A Culture to Create In…

“There are no guarantees – with art, life, business – none. But that consistently pushes me to get to the next step”

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It’s no secret that Newcastle is a hyper-creative community: take a walk around our own Darby Street from our eagle’s nest at the Newcastle Art Gallery to the public art installations along the street (including the giant headphone sculpture), all the way to the Community Garden across the road from Villager Property A scene full of painting and design.

Villager caught up with local artist Jess Kellar to talk all things Newcastle art scene.

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Jess runs Jess Kellar Art from studio  754 in Hunter Street. A large warehouse where a community of Newcastle creatives can each work their respective magic.

“The best thing about our studio,” says Jess, “is the view from the rooftop, where I am most of the time, working on my latest projects.”

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Local girl Jess has always had a passion for creating and feels lucky to be a Novocastrian where such a passion could be nurtured.

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She has had shows at Cooks Hill Gallery, exhibited at Lane Cove Gallery, The Royal, Muswellbrook Art Prize and recently performed and collaborated with Hannah Bertram at Newcastle Art Gallery for the 2016 Dust Project.

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“Newcastle is a vibrant community for artists,” Jess tells us. “There are a lot of creatives here: from musicians to designers, architects and artists. We are all in a very supportive and understanding space where we all just give it a go.”

Through writing for the Newcastle Herald, Jess has been able to work closely with many musicians in Newcastle. She is also the resident “live artist” for Groovin’ The Moo.

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Jess has worked with Arts Health for MS patients holding workshops and has also branched into “bio-art”, spending time with scientists at HMRI and producing collections from this experience which hung in the hallways of John Hunter Hospital.

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Jess’s style is high energy. When painting she uses strong rich colour and high contrast. In her sketches of Newcastle, the deep charcoals contrast with pure whites.

“Neutral isn’t my specialty,” she laughs.

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While already quite accomplished, Jess is finishing her Bachelor of Fine Art at Newcastle University and was recently the recipient of the 2016 William Fletcher Foundation Scholarship.

And in the true spirit of a Villager in our community she pays this forward by mentoring High School students in many of Newcastle’s public schools.

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“There are no guarantees with art, life, business. None. But that consistently pushes me to get to the next step.”

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The next step for Jess, working from her studio at 754, is to follow her passion in sketching and interpreting the city of Newcastle. The Rooftop Series is a timely project for the city and we are super excited to see the completed works.

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To learn more about living in the creative community of Newcastle – contact Villager Property

 

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