Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Yarra Glen Market


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It’s wonderful to see the Yarra Glen Market back where it belongs – at the Racecourse. On this expansive space set in the greenery of the Yarra Valley, this is another one of the CMA’s signature markets popular with locals, tourists and Melbournites looking to explore beyond their urban surroundings.

There are around 300 stalls and with a criteria of hand-made / home-made, you’ll find exquisite food, clothing, homewares, plants, cards, artwork, muesli, veggies, fruit and so much more. The quality is exceptional – you won’t find imported rubbish here and its fabulous to see the ingenuity and creativity of people. Everything sold at the new market has to be fresh, home-made, good value and above all exceptional quality. Tick!

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Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Rotary Recycled Treasures – Blackburn South


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Along busy Canterbury Road in Blackburn South is the cutest Op Shop which was the essence of how Op Shops originally looked. Jam packed with ‘stuff’ you need to have a good sort through this one to find your treasures. For example, there are a glut of CD’s and DVD’s (right), just waiting for a new home. Believe me, some of these titles are great. Something for everyone here.

The Rotary Op Shop opened it’s doors on the 1st July 2002 and since that time (up until 2015) their donations back into the community have exceeded $580,000. That is quite an achievement for such a small little shop.

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Explore & Inspire, Travel Tips & Ideas

Camping at Mt Arapiles


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I’ve been camping at Mt. Arapiles since 1989 with school groups, corporate groups, on my own and with my family. In this post I’ll share my experience and recommendations as a regular camper. Note: there may be changes from the time this post has been published, so please do you own research to ensure you’re appropriately informed. I will often refer to Mt Arapiles throughout this post as the mount.

The photo below was taken at Mitre Lake salt pans looking back to the mount in 2015. Not sure why my daughter needed to lay down on the salt pans but it certainly was a fascinating place to visit. Views back to the mount are stunning. Please stay on the tracks if you’re heading out for a visit.

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Repurpose & Upcycle

Upcycled Owls


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Everyone loves owls and these are easily made from everyday items which you can source from Op Shops, trash and treasure or the cutlery drawer at home.

These two little cuties were made from two holed ladles with the handles cut off.

I collected a few bolts in different colours for the eyes of one and the other are like checkers pieces. Using clear adhesive, they attach easily.

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Markets, Op Shops, Secondhand

Epilepsy Op Shop – Blackburn


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South Parade is a short strip of shops but in this location it means – less is more. There are some lovely cafes and eateries to dine at but more importantly, there is a wonderful little Oppie. Like all Op Shops, it’s run by volunteers, often locals and they put on a good display for everyone particularly as the seasons pass.

It’s small but well laid out with clothes hung neatly and easily to flick through and see what you like. There is a little corner for kids to play in but they do ask that the toys are put away once they’ve finished.

This Oppie is not able to take large items but do have some smaller pieces of furniture like the cute little papasan chair (below).

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Explore & Inspire

Random Acts of Kindness


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It’s Festival time and an opportunity to create your own Random Acts of Kindness and Good Deeds. A few years ago I made up dozens of signs and posted them around the Festival that had tear off notes with line such as ‘take as much as you need’ with tear off words such as courage, love, strength, patience and so on. It was simple, entertaining and fun.

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