Last Saturday I woke gloriously late in the morning to such a sunny, soul-warming Spring day that just begged to be properly enjoyed. I adore these beautiful months of transition between Winter and Summer, where a warm and sunny day feels like you’ve won a little treasure in the lucky dip. With nothing planned, I jumped on my various social networking feeds – sure that there would be something or other on offer in Melbourne this particular October 5th.
Lo and behold, ’twas that very weekend that The Finders Keepers Markets were in town! The Finders Keepers Markets are independent art and design markets that make their way through Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on a bi-annual basis. I’ve definitely found myself becoming more and more interested in local, independent design lately – and not having been to The Finders Keepers before, it was a swift decision to change out of my pyjamas and jump on a tram toward the Royal Exhibition Centre.
Row upon row of gorgeous wares aside, there could be no more fitting backdrop than the 19th-century Royal Exhibition Building itself. I’ve probably only visited a handful of times – but brimming with the crowd, stalls and decor of The Finders Keepers, I think this was the first I’d ever really noticed how truly stunning it is.
I took the afternoon to slowly wander the markets, methodically winding around every stall cluster to make sure I didn’t miss anything. It seems quite redundant to say, but really – there were so many beautiful things! As a crazy stationery lover, I was rather besotted with Ask Alice, Bespoke Letterpress, Write to Me and an ever-favourite Able and Game. I was also very much on the verge of buying this Red Frogs scented candle (made in recycled beer bottles!) from Pigeon & Weasel Soy Wax Candles.
However – it was but one, very special thing that captured both my heart and my money this day. That thing was this handmade wooden treasure box with a gorgeous Art Nouveau style fairy engraving from Foolhouse:
This treasure box honestly stopped me dead in my tracks. An overwhelming sensation fell over my body, and a strange voice whispered inside my head: Terri. This was made for you, and you alone. You must buy it. You must buy it now! Quick!
And so, I did.
As a kid I was thoroughly obsessed with all things fairies – so much so that one teacher suggested to my mum at parent-teacher interviews that I might try ‘broaden my horizons’ on account of my strictly fairy-based writings. I’ve also grown up in a family that’s valued the importance of finding and keeping little ‘treasures’ – whatever that may mean to the particular treasure-keeper. I think I actually had quite the emotional moment over this treasure box, much to the bemusement of the stall-owner!
Whilst there was so much more I could have splurged on at The Finders Keepers, I’m still pretty happy to have come home with my sole loot, and simply having had a beautiful afternoon at the markets. Despite the crowd, I had enough time to be able to wander slowly and found it all rather peaceful, really! I’d love to return next time it pops up in Melbourne. In the meantime I’ll be keeping an eye on The Finders Keepers blog for updates, plus nifty features on Australian independent designers and artists.