Beware – LONG post
Oh my goodness! Last Saturday I met up with some of my fellow participants in the Blogging your Way eCourse that I completed about a month ago. We met at around 2pm at Koko Black’s in the Royal Arcade in the City. Meeting with Kass Hall, Lady Fable, Catherine and Chantel was a fantastic experience, but it was preceded by a visit to an amazing hidden treasure!
Having heard about this hidden treasure via other blogs, I headed up Swanston St from Flinders St Station. I was looking for a specific building, but despite having travelled this route many times before when I was in Uni, I could not visualize it. Hidden behind fast food restaurants and small stores, accessible via the Cathedral Arcade, is the historic Nicholas Building. A rabbit warren of rooms, this building was once part of Melbourne’s rag trade.
I cautiously made my way up the stairs, not sure what I would find. At the top of the first flight of stairs I was met by a magnificent vision of beads, trims and treasures. The most important treasure of all, the lady behind the till, Mary. I am talking about Maria’s Beads and Trims. With many years in the rag trade, plus her experience teaching tertiary and adult education, Mary is an absolute fountain of information. If I had not been on a deadline, I could have talked to her for hours. As well as carrying a massive selection of Maria George beads, there is also a huge collection of glitter braids, and Swarovski Crystals! Here you can find most of the sew on stones, stones available on braids by the metre, buttons and so much more. Tucked away in one of the 3 rooms that make up this store, I found one of the largest collections of Mill Hill buttons that I have ever seen!
Mary also gave me some ideas that I could use in future to engage textiles classes that are male dominate.
After making a small purchase here (I had so much to choose from and I was trying to keep to a tight budget), I left this amazing shop and headed to the next one that also looked interesting. It is a small bookstore. Nothing like the elegance of Dymocks, or the now gone Borders or Angus and Robertson. The shelves where mismatched pine bookshelves, the books classics and poetry. But, oh my word! What a treasure! And being an old fashioned store, I was able to approach the store owner and ask for his recommendations for books for my Dad. Oh, and the bookstore is called Collected Works. This sweet little bookstore can be found online at it’s blogspot.