Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category

Hathay Bunano is a not for profit organisation that was establish in Bangladesh in 2004 by Samantha Morshed.  Samantha established this community based business to assist the women of Bangladesh to have reliable flexible work that was close to home and where they are fairly paid so they can support their families.

With the support from Samantha, these women were able to develop their knitting and crochet skills to make the most beautiful handmade crafts that also provided them with sustainable employment.  Over time new production centres and training courses were being established that continued to support the women in rural areas throughout Bangladesh.

Due to the success of Hathay Bunano there was a need to establish its own brand that resulted in the launch of Pebble and this also allowed the story of the products, processes and women to be told.  Furthermore, due to the extraordinary work by Samantha she was awarded an MBE in 2009.

Underpinning these operations is Fair Trade which has a focus on the farmer, manufacturer and artists so they get a fairer deal with their products, how much they receive as well as access to greater markets.

An important issue with Fair Trade is that many of the communities simply want a fairer opportunity to trade their products which is why the message is “Trade not Aid”.  For more information follow the link that provides a background on Fair Trade.

Blanket___rainbo_4dce4687032b6Here at MooWoo we sell a range of products from Pebble Hathay Bunano that includes wraps, blankets and swaddles.  This includes the Pebble Fair Trade Rainbow Stripe Blanket which is bright, colourful and made from 100% cotton.  These are ideal as a swaddling blanket for a newborn or as a pram blanket as your little one gets bigger.

Crochet_patchwor_pinkAlso, the Crochet Patchwork Blanket – Pink is lighter than a fully knitted blanket and is ideal during summer or inside with central heating.  This blanket is also a great example of the extremely talented Bangladesh woman and their exquisite craftsmanship.

These are just some of the products from Pebble Hathay Bunano; follow the link to see many others that we have on offer.  These also represent our small but important contribution to supporting the women and their families of Bangladesh.


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pendant_2For some truly spectacular pendants have a look at the range produced by the Kimberley based artist Caren Burns that we have available.  These are part of Caren’s Collection and each of these handmade pendants is made from multiple layers of dichroic glass where each layer is hand cut, carefully designed and then fired at 800⁰C to make exquisite patterns and a stunning final effect.

Have a look at some of the following examples that Caren has recently produced and I am sure you will be impressed by the stunning colours, textures and unique designs.

pendant_1As each pendant is handmade they are unique and you will not see another one like it so you know no one else will be wearing the same design as you.

As a resident of Kununurra, Caren’s unique designs are inspired by the incredible landscapes, scenery, animals as well as the geography of the Kimberley.

Follow this link to see more great examples of pendants from Caren’s Collection as I am sure you will find something for yourself or one that would make an ideal gift.

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Spring has arrived in Australia so it won’t be long before you will be pulling out the sleeveless tops and dresses and catching some sun.  To me that always means it is bangle season.  The seasons in Kununurra are a little different to those in most other parts of Australia.

I love bangles no matter what the season, but they look so good against the skin and shining in the sun, don’t they?

We are proud stockists of a gorgeous range of bangles (and earrings) from The Bangle Business, another clever Kununurra business.  These are not only stunning pieces, they are also fair trade.

We stock bangles for all tastes, occasions and budgets.

The Alana is a set of 5 slim, multi-coloured bangles which are lightweight and easy to wear.  They are colourful and make a really satisfying little noise as they jangle together when you move your arms.  It is only $12 for the set.

For more formal occasions you might choose something like the Jocelyn.  This is glamour.  It is a hinged bangle decorated with intricate flowers of clustered crystals.  It is an eye catching piece with the feel of old Hollywood.

I also love the sparkling black Trixie bangle.  The colour makes it a very versatile piece and the shining black crystals really shimmer in the light.

These bangles are all handmade by artisans in rural India.

A bangle or two can give a lift to any outfit and the bright colours are very cheering.  Wave goodbye to winter with the happy jangle of bangles at your wrist.

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Kununurra, WA, East Kimberley, Wet-season

The Kimberly region is simply gorgeous; a rugged, all natural landscape, pristine rock pools and beaches, beautiful weather complete with clear blue skies and a warming sun. It’s the almost perfect way to give your mind and body a break.

It’s also located along the Tropic of Capricorn, and highly influenced by the seasons: more specifically, the Dry and Wet seasons.

As we move into the year that brings in the wet, it brings with it tropical monsoons, hot and humid days and nights, and unpredictable weather patterns.


But that’s not all it brings. The soaking rains and damp natural surroundings are the perfect breeding ground for insects, including those that like to bite and sting.

Avoiding them is not all that simple, particularly if you need to leave the house. Repelling them, however, is easier done, with the aid of an insect repellent.

Like our natural surrounding wonderland, Totally Scentual; based in Kununurra, creates a range of insect repellents made entirely from natural ingredients.

Natural-insect-repellant, Insect-repellant

Creams can be rubbed into exposed areas of the body (and they’re safe for babies and infants who like to suck on fingers and toes) or you can spritz  your  face and body to enjoy some pest free time outdoors.

On the off chance you do receive a bit or sting, some bite soothing gel is an essential

Whilst the weather may not be all that appealing at this time of year, you can make it a little more bearable by keeping the bugs at bay. Available online through Moo Woo.

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dichroic glass jewellery

You might have seen our stunning dichroic glass pendants which have been handcrafted in Kununurra by Caren Burns of Caren’s Creations.  Each piece is an original and because it is handmade, cannot be reproduced exactly.   That means no one else will ever be wearing the same piece of jewellery as you.

I know you have been amazed by the colour and design of Caren’s dichroic glass pieces but you might not know much about what dichroic glass is and how these pendants are made.   There really is a lot of technique involved in the process.

dichroic glass, glass art, boabs

So what is dichroic glass?

Wikipedia says “Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties”.  Dichroic means that the glass actually splits the light into different rays which affects the colour you actually see.  It looks like one colour until you move it and see it in a different light and then it changes completely.  The word ‘dichroic’ comes from the Greek word di-chroos or (di) two  and (chroos) colour. 

Dichroic glass has been in use since at least the Roman times but more recently NASA refined it for use in their space program.

dichroic jewellery, dichroic art, ancient rome
Lycurgus Cup and Ancient Rome – photo credits http://www.frogheart.ca/

Dichroic jewellery is made with layers or hand cut glass.  First a base layer is cut.  That is often a black or dark colour so that the dichroic colours will shine out clearly.  Then the artist needs to cut the pieces of dichroic glass into shapes to use in the pendant and lay them out into the final design. They are stuck into place so they don’t shift.  When the artist is happy with the design, they place the clear sheet on top and it’s ready to be kiln fired.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than that but now you know a little bit about the jewellery that you love so much.  If you’d like to see some being made have a look at this clip.

(http://youtu.be/OFB2Ls6tZ0I )

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felt creations, felt craft
1. Tell us briefly about the person behind the scenes at tumblemonkey handmade?  E.g. who are you? Where are you based? How did you arrive where you are now? What is most important to you in your life?
My name is Catherine Nolan-Biondic. I married the man of my dreams and am now the mother of 3 precious kid, living in suburban Melbourne. I was originally a Graphic designer working in the magazine/book publishing world. After baby No.3, I needed some kind of creative outlet and ‘felt’ became my guilty pleasure…I use it as my me time and now that it is earning me money I feel less guilty about taking the time to make things with it. The most important thing in my life is to be a good, kind person, to make people laugh and to help my children be the happiest, best version of themselves as possible.

2. Tell us about felt – why has this become your passion? 

My baby daughter was given a felt ball for her birthday and I couldn’t get it out of my mind….I picked up some felt and had a go at making a ball and the rest in history…you could say I became obsessed with the stuff…I like the idea of making things out of felt that no-one has…shapes, vehicles, creatures, functional pieces that feel so lovely… I like to call myself a craft feltress!

felt creation. felt craft, tumblemonkey

3. Do you have a personal mantra that you love…that gets you through the day?

Get it done and get out of there…I cannot let things sit..I cannot relax until all my orders are finished and this is a problem…this is why I have such a quick turnaround most orders…I get it done so I can relax.

felt craft, felt creations, tumblemonkey, mood balls, mood recognition

4. What is one of the most challenging aspects facing you as a working mum? How do you try to overcome this?

My children are always saying they wish I didn’t work all the time…my office is in the loungeroom…which seems the most practical place for us at the moment BUT as a result I am never really switched off…this is a constant work in progress for me…I try and make sure they all get quality time and if someone wants a cuddle I drop everything and do it!! I am a strong believer in making sure my kids (and husband) feel ‘seen’… so this is very important to me.

5. Finish this sentence – I’m at my creative best when…

I have the music turned up loud, the house empty and my hands emerged in a bowl full of hot soapy water.

6. Time out and relaxation is rare for working mums.  If you can steal time to have a break what are your ultimate forms of relaxation? 

I love a massage of any kind (my husband gives a killer foot rub…still after 22 years of being together) and a glass of sweet wine.

felt craft, felt art, felt creations, craft kits

7. If you could deck out a famous family with your products – who would it be, and why? 

Princess Mary and her little ones..it would be amazing to see some of my nursery items (playmats, ducks, babushka dolls and owl families etc) and garlands in there home…I strive for a quality product and this would be wonderful.

 8. What are your dreams…where would you LOVE to see tumblemonkey handmade in 5 years time? 

I would love to save enough money to take my kids to Disneyland (that was my original dream)…I always joked about finding the product that would make me my millions…I think my dryer balls could be the thing…but I use the rest of my range to keep me creative and keep my facebook likers interested. I would LOVE to have a factory and hundreds of people making my products…I always joke that I want to cover the world in felt!!!

9. OK – your work travels to Kununurra, in the remote Kimberley region of WA…where it is loved!!  WITHOUT Google or any other assistance give us 5 things you know about Kununurra or the East Kimberley!!

  • My parents thought it was amazing when they visited…
  • There is a big river there…
  • I always think of Crocodile Dundee country…very remote
  • gorgeous sunsets (I imagine)
black rock

10. If you were able to hand deliver a delightful parcel of your products to Kununurra – what 3 places would you like to visit (OK now you can Google)?

  • I would love to see a Boab tree up close
  • The Argyle Diamond Mine
  • Ord River
  • Black Rock Falls
  • Kelly’s Knob lookout
Editors Note: Thank you tumblemonkey!!  We LOVE your products, so organic and wholesome!!

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handmade hair accessories, pretty hair accessories, non slip hair clips

1. Tell us briefly about the person behind the scenes at Madeleine Designs? E.g. who are you? Where are you based? How did you arrive where you are now? What is most important to you in your life?

My name is Kylie and I am a mother to 2 wonderful children, 6 & 4 and married to a beautiful, supportive husband. We live in the Central West of NSW in the country town of Orange, renowned for its fabulous wineries, orchards and produce.

I am a Hairdresser by trade who owned and operated a salon for 18 years (known as the “MADELEINE”). After the birth of my daughter, I found it very hard to find accessories to stay in her very fine hair. I had always been crafty but never stayed at one project for terribly long, but used these skills to start creating my own clippies and bows. I spent hours and hours researching on the internet and had many a failed product.  However I never gave up and it did not take long for this hobby to grow into a passion. As time passed my ideas soared and “MADELEINE DESIGNS” was born. I have not looked backed and my little “hobby” is now 4 years old and a supportive business to my family. Family is my everything and I feel so blessed to be home with my children yet still be able to feed my creative side and earn an income.

madeleine designs hair accessories, handmade hair accessories

2. Madeleine Designs is….? 
Beautiful handmade hair accessories, “Fit for every Princess”. I love
to provide unique and gorgeous products which are sure to be an eye catcher,
yet remain practical and wearable.

3. Do you have a personal mantra that you love…that gets you through the day?
I have many a mantra but I keep it simple with “Belief, Strength & Drive”

4. What is one of the most challenging aspects facing you as a working mum? How do you try to overcome this?
Definitely balance! Its hard to focus in the workshop when there are 10 baskets of washing, school activities and shopping to be done. The best way I try is to work to a timetable. Allocate time for everything.

handmade hair accessories, hair clips, unique hair accessories, ballerina, dancing

5. I’m at my creative best when…
…when I am peaceful and I am happy!

6. Time out and relaxation is rare for working mums.  If you can steal time to have break what are your ultimate forms of relaxation?
We love heading away for short breaks and quality family time together with no interruptions and stress of normal everyday life. We love the NSW coast or anywhere you can enjoy peace and quiet.

7. If you could deck out a famous family in your hair accessories – who would it be, what would they be wearing and why?
I would have to say the tribe of Brad and Angelina. For one the exposure would be fabulous! Madeleine Designs in Hollywood.

hair accessories, handmade, unique hair accessories

8. What are your dreams…where would you LOVE to see Madeleine Designs in 5 years time?
Operating fully by its own website and in selected boutique’s and online handmade sites. Perhaps with an assistant!

9. OK – your work travels to Kununurra, in the remote Kimberley region of WA…where it is loved!!  WITHOUT Google or any other assistance give us 5 things you know about Kununurra or the East Kimberley?
Ooooh tricky. I know of the Lake Argyle and magnificent diamonds. A friend told me of fabulous Barramundi and I do know its an area of beautiful national parks…..I can only do 4 without google!!

the kimberley, WA, remote wa, bungle bungles

The Bungles - kindly borrowed from travelblog.viator.com

10. If you were able to hand deliver a delightful parcel of your products to Kununurra – what 3 places would you like to visit (OK now you can Google)?
I’d need a day trip to the diamond mines….Durack museum…….and  I’d have to see the Bungle Bungles…

Editor:  A beautiful interview and a delighful and practical product!  Thank you 🙂  Moo Woo

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