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70 Darby Street, Cooks Hill NSW 2300, Australia
Tuesdays - Fridays 11:00-5:00
Saturdays 10:00-3:00 Sundays 11:00-3:00
Mondays closed to sew/print/make
P:02 4929 4350

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NYWF Zine Fair/Artists Market

The National Young Writers' Festival (NYWF) occurs annually in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, over the New South Wales' Labour Day Holiday Weekend in late September/early October. It is the country's largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop music, journalism, autobiography, comedy, songwriting and prose. NYWF presents 'writing' in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances and readings. NYWF gives young writers a place to present their work and share ideas, to learn about the industry in which they write and to meet with like-minded people in a friendly festival atmosphere.
This Is Not Art: a supercharged convergence of writers, performers, thinkers, independent musicians and industry, creative researchers, electronic artists, dilettantes, and DIY culture makers. The Zine Fair is one of the National Young Writers' Festival's highlight events, providing an opportunity for zinesters from across the country to get together and swap, sell and buy zines and other arty stuff. The zine fair is coupled with an artists’ market and is an extraordinarily popular part of This is Not Art.
LOCATION: King Street Carpark - cnr King St & Thorn St, Newcastle
View Map accessibility etc:
The venue is wheelchair accessible, has access to a larger number of toilet facilities than last year (we listened!) and there will be several food and drink stalls to service your hunger needs. Tables are 2.4m in size and will come set up, but without covering so we recommend bringing a tablecloth to jazz up your table. As with other years, you will be required to hold current Public Liability insurance to have a stall at the Sunday Fair. If you have current Public Liability Insurance, please send a copy of your Certificate of Currency via email to Susy Pow ( Alternatively, pop it in the mail to Susy Pow, The Octapod Association, 3/231 King Street, Newcastle NSW 2300. If you do not hold insurance, you can be covered by the Octapod Association's policy by becoming a member of the association ($5 concession, $10 waged). Print out the membership form and send it to the attention of Susy Pow, The Octapod Association, 3/231 King Street, Newcastle NSW 2300. Payment can be made through cheque, money order or contact Susy Pow for bank details. The ability to obtain Octapod membership will also be available on the day, though it would be much appreciated for you to fulfil this requirement well before the day!
There are a limited number of tables available at no cost to zinemakers. As a zinemaker, you will automatically be offered a half table (because sharing is caring) though some larger collaborative groups and distros can ask for a full table. If zinemakers would like a second table, this will come at a cost of $20/half table and $40/full table.
Artists, crafters and others wishing to get a table will be offered one at a cost of $20/half table or $40/full table. You may use the area behind your table according to your needs but please ensure you are respectful of surrounding stallholders.
Payment for your stall can be finalised prior to the day. You will be notified of payment details once we have received your table booking request.
We expect to be fully booked this year so please get your table booking request to us ASAP.
Booking requests close 22 September.
Got a question? Email Susy Pow
or call 0421 069 578
MOBILE NUMBER:________________
EMAIL ADDRESS:______________________
BLOG/WEBSITE ETC:________________
WHAT WILL YOU BE SELLING?_______________
HALF TABLE/FULL TABLE/OTHER:______________________
(eg. 2 tables or share with so-and-so)
Please fill in the above information and email it to
So what are you waiting for huh???
Copy & paste the above & email it to Susy Pow NOW!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Grey Mondays no more

Last Monday I resigned my "bread & butter job."
Wednesday last week was my last day there.
As I was leaving, I thought I'd take some shots of what I thought would best express how I felt about being there (without breaching any office protocols.)
The top shot is what I used to stare at whilst wishing.
Just wishing things. You know?
The second shot is of the very last time I ever had to be in that elevator. On the way OUT!
Quitting my day job is terrifying and means we'll be living even more frugally now than ever before. That being said, yes we need to make money to pay rent, bills, etc etc, but we're not in this to become millionaires.
We just want to be happy when we wake up each morning.
That is our focus. Our goal.

This little dandelion is growing, against the odds, in the gutter near my shop. I realise it is corny/trite but when I saw it yesterday, I just had to take a snap of it. That tiny bit of colour struggling in it's grey surrounds is how I used to feel.
Now I feel thrilled & blessed & full of hope.
Our To Do List is even more MASSIVE now!
We love our little shop and have plans to evolve even further over the next few months. Thanks for all of your support over the last four years while we've been getting where we want to be!
We love the little Blackbird community.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Faery Tales....

My lovely Friend Shana popped my Birthday pressie in to the shop yesterday!
I am suspicious that she dropped it in when she knew I was not in, because she knows:
a) I would have tried to not accept such ridiculous generosity!
b) I would have most probably cried at her generosity and made her and her lovely husband Pat uncomfortable.
Above are the THREE pieces of Shana's ART that she GAVE me.
I love her Faery Tale series & have told her so a million trillion times BUT it was not a HINT! I promise!!
Anyway, I'm not selfish so I thought I'd share their beauty with you. If you click on any of the pictures you will be transported to Shana's page where you can admire more from this series & more.
Please do take the time to do that, if you can.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Image found on and he found it on which I've linked back to.
So a few weeks ago I started a countdown on this Blog.
Feedback from a few Bloggy friends made me decide to stop publishing it as it was apparently creating anticipation and curiousity - that we were maybe going to close or move or something else major.
So, anyway, this week the countdown winds up.
We're not going anywhere I assure you.
Quite the contrary.
Today I resigned my Day Job.
(The day job that I spose not everyone knew I had.)
100% of my attention will soon be focussed just on Blackbird.
I am very, very excited & more than a little nervous!
Also, and of equal importance to Blackbird, this Saturday is my Sister Jen's final one manning the counter. Jen & I opened the shop together in 2006. We've evolved & undergone so many changes over these last four years. We've amazed ourselves to be honest. Jen will still very much be involved with the store but from afar. She's hooking up the trailer & leaving town!
Maybe (hopefully) she will occasionally make guest appearance (LOL) behind our counter but also perhaps not.
Blackbird Corner would not exist without Jen.
I know she has lots of "Saturday Regulars" who are going to be very sad to see her go. They are not alone in that.
Happily her exquisite ranges Hex(6) and Songbird will still always be available in store as I believe they have electricity and AustPost where she's going!
So that is what we were counting down to.
Sorry if it's not as exciting to you as some of your imaginations apparently conjured up!
It's exciting to Jen & myself though I assure you!

Introducing Tilly

Our lovely friend & Novocastrian Artist Onnie Cleary has done us a massive favour by creating Tilly Tag Doll exclusively for
Blackbird Corner.
Above you can see just some examples of the cool outfits you can mix & match. Note she is wearing a red bicycle hoody and a Thalassaphobia Tee by Anorak and skirts by My Fascist Mother
& Hex(6) too!
So much attention to detail!
Naturally I've not posted a picture of the actual sheet you can buy in store, due to the unscrupulous nature of some folk who peruse the net just to misappropriate the hard work/talents of others.
Not you obviously!
The illustrations were hand drawn & scanned into photoshop by Onnie and are naturally Copyrighted.
They're printed on 250gsm card so you can cut Tilly & her wardrobe out & play dolly!
I am so very pleased with how they turned out.
Hope you guys like them as much as I do!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Melbourne friends....

These pics were emailed to me by my dear friend Melanie.

The artist is called Dalton Ghetti.
Pretty bloody patient.
Pretty darn impressive.

I just really liked it so thought some of you guys might too!


PS I miss my friends that I made when we lived in Melbourne for six years. You know who you are!
"Psst meet you in the stairwell for a gossip in 5 minutes!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Capture the Fade....

"CAPTURE THE FADE Photography Competition
SUBMISSIONS OPEN: Monday July 26 - Monday August 30 2010
Ampersand is very pleased to invite you to submit to its first annual open photography competition. Whether you are a professional photographer or a dentist who happens to own a camera, we are looking for creative, evocative, humorous and thoughtful photographic responses to the theme, The Fade. Submissions may or may not be landscapes, portraits, still lifes, wedding photography, glamour shots, theatrical scenes, wildlife, marketing photography, food photography, fashion photography, paparazzi or photojournalism. They may or may not be spontaneous or staged. They may or may not be natural or digitally augmented. All submissions will appear on the Capture The Fade blog. Mr Henson’s chosen 16 entries will be curated for the Capture The Fade exhibition and published in Ampersand # 3 – The Fade, and the overall winner will be profiled in the issue.
SUBMISSIONS TO with the subject heading CAPTURE THE FADE
Check the site for submission Guidelines."
So? Get to it guys!!!

Walking on Wednesday

Sean went on a stroll up to the top of town this morning to personally deliver a Lomo Diana+ for a lovely Customer (to her friend for a Birthday pressie.) He is nice that way.
Me? I'm lazy that way. Hee hee.
Anyways I asked him to please take some shots of this lovely "clean graffiti" on King Street and so he did. (I did say please after all.) This beautiful piece of Art was done with council permission so I'm not being a hypocrite about my stance on vandalism. LOL
Go to to find out more about this inspiring project as, frankly, I'm having a lazy afternoon so am too slothy to look it up and relate it to you!
In my experience it is weird, at the moment, for Newcastle City Council to have approved something of beauty for the inner city. So I wanted photos before they do a backflip & paint over it one night when there's noone there to stop them. If Sean had thought of it, he could also taken shots of what remains of the poor trees that NCC have recently & sneakily chopped down along King Street. Someone at NCC apparently despises trees/nature.
Very tragically, and despite the feedback of their VOTERS + INDEPENDENT ARBORISTS (ie NOT the ones who stand to make over a million dollars for the impending desecration), NCC is very soon to destroy the history of our beloved Cooks Hill by cutting down the exquisite avenue of Fig Trees along Laman Street. They claim that these trees are older than they in proven fact are, and that they're very "dangerous" all of a sudden. It is a complete farce. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.
Last week there was gale force winds & not a single branch fell from any of the trees that are apparently at death's door.
Oh there I go! Off on an unrelated rant!
Ah Newcastle - it's a love/hate relationship.
PS Hi Naomie. I hope you are feeling better soon - nice chatting to you today.
PPS I'm orf to bake a cake.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm begging you!

Please. Don't. Vote. For. This. Man.
Think about it long and hard.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spinner 360°

From 360° to infinity: literally the most freewheeling camera on the planet that enables 360° to infinite panoramic shots on 35mm film Pull and spin: 1 pull of the trigger-cord sets loose this panorama-go-round revolving on its axis Longing for longitude: Creates up to eight full 360° panoramas on a 36 exposure film Sprocket pan power: filling the whole width of a 35 mm film roll with panoramic Lomographs – sprocket holes included Rubberized motion: Rubber band drive and fully manual controls work without batteries Do the Rollercoaster! 10 special shooting styles are waiting to set creativity on fire!
Technical Details:
Film Type: 135 roll film (we recommend 400ASA or 800ASA) Lens: 25mm Horizonal View Angles: 360° Vertical View Angles: 66° Focusing: fixed focus,1m~inf. Shots per roll: around 8 shots (on a standard 36 exposure roll) Aperture: f/8, f/16

The above info is from the Australian Lomography Website.

We have a limited amount of Spinner 360°s in stock now.

(Well tomorrow after I label them & fit them in somehow!)

They are $220 and look like they're going to be a

lot of fun!

I got mail!

Last Friday (coincidentally my Birthday) I received a phone call at the shop from a lovely Customer from Taree called Naomie Shepherd. She was enquiring about a skirt she'd seen on Facebook but we got talking & had a really lovely chat. As you do sometimes!
Naomie is an Artist that goes by the name Mrs Shepherd. Check out her Blog perhaps?
From her own description:
"Mrs. Shepherd likes new pencil smell, morning hair, dodgy record covers, her husbands mutli coloured beard, scratch and sniff stickers, laughing like a witch, running on the spot, climbing up stairs with tap shoes on, her daughters, zig zag stitch, the colour red, snuggles. Mrs. Shepherd hates know it alls, big headed people at the movies. She is an artist who lives on the mid north coast of New South Wales with her three daughters and partner in crime."
Anyways....she sent me a present in the Post - completely out of the blue and with no obligations attached!
I took a photo so I could show you guys!
I know I've said it before but I really love the way owning my little shop allows me to meet interesting people all of the time!
PS The LOMO Camera order has arrived & I'll be feeding the new temptations in to stock tomorrow after I've squeezed in the lovely new jewellery from Little Shop Of....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Will Thursday ever come?

Bamboo Sleepy Fox Brooch $22
Bamboo Doily Pendant on long chain $25

Perspex Tea Party Earrings in Black or red $12.95

Owl & Fox Duo - Bamboo Brooches $25

Night Tree Brooch (bamboo & perspex) $25

This Thursday our new guest range by Little Shop Of... will be in stock.
We're very, very excited to bring these gorgeous items to Newcastle.
Above are some shots of a small sample of the lovely variety we're initially stocking. We very much hope to have an ongoing relationship with Little Shop Of... as we admire them immensely. Hopefully, if you guys are as impressed by the range as we are, we can expand on the items we've started with. The Little Shop of Handmade is a delightful little store that sells handmade lovelies priced under $50 all made in Australia. Click on their name to peruse their online store. Then maybe pop in Thursday or thereafter to see if we've got the items you covet in stock for you!
Sooooo many temptations!!
PS. Extra Curricular (from NZ) and King Brown (from WA) Magazines are in stock right now!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


These are just some of the exquisite pieces from Jen's new range - Songbird. Many of them feature hand embroidery - she is so much more patient than I am. The attention to detail on all of the range is just so pleasing. You can tell that the one off & limited run pieces were each made with love. I am so impressed - I cannot find the words.

Songbird is in stock now. Do pop in & peruse!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blessed be me.

Today was (is) my Birthday. I had the NICEST day. Full of lovely people & surprises. The day started with a yummy breakfast of croissants & hot choccie made by my Sean after he gave me my lovely pressies: A print by Jordan Crane called "All wound up" which is now at the Framers...
And a lovely brooch that he bought for me from the superb
Young & Baroque Market last Sunday.
Apparently Flamboyant Joe hails from Wollongong (so the lovely Rose from Arthive tells me!)
I wore it today & got a few compliments, check out their Etsy store by clicking on the photo above!
I also got lovely gifts from my Family - baking goodies & from my friend Susy Pow - a retro Typewriter with a hard case.
And my Dad sent me some beautiful flowers!
A lovely Customer from Muswellbrook called Grace (who bought a Diana Mini with Flash this morning - lucky duck!) & her equally lovely Mum actually went out and bought me a little cake from a Baker when they heard it was my Birthday!! It was straight from the oven & delicious!!!! Talk about spoiled.
Birthdays usually are not my thing.
I've had some truly cruddy Birthdays in my time.
Oh the tales I could tell.
But today was unexpectedly delightful thanks to Sean, my Family & Friends and my awe inspiring Customers who never cease to amaze me with their friendliness & generosity.
You guys make me all mushy inside.
PS. Tomorrow or Sunday you'll be treated to photos of my Sister Jen's new range of women's clothing called Songbird.
Prepare to be impressed.

Introducing Miss Magenta

Sally Swashbuckle

Rosie Rockabilly

Nancy Neon


We're very pleased to introduce the Art of Miss Magenta to you.
These limited run quality prints come in pairs for just $10.
Lovely gift idea for a Rockabilly/Derby friend perhaps, or just to keep for yourselves!
Miss Magenta is the creation of a very lovely, regular Customer called Emma. These have been in the works for a while so I am so excited that they're finally in stock to share with you all.
We've only a few sets so please show your support for a young Local artist & pop in & buy a set soon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

King Brown.....on the way!

Oh Yes!!!
By the beginning of next week we'll be very proud stockists of the superb Australian Magazine King Brown.
If you love Wooden Toy Quarterly, if you love lo-brow Art - you'll LOVE King Brown.
We are getting copies of the three issues that haven't sold out yet. They're printed in Limited Runs of 2000.
So be fast to grab yours or miss out!
Pretty simple huh.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A weekend away.....

Straight after closing on Sunday afternoon,
Sean & I left Newy for a relaxing "mini-break" in Sydney.
We stayed with our lovely friends K & B, in Enmore.On Monday, while everyone else was heading to work, we had a lovely late breakfast at Scrambled on Enmore Road.
Despite being on a break I still thought to take a couple of shots for my Blog. I did manage to put bookwork aside and only answered urgent emails though. I even stayed off Twitter (mostly)!

Had to pop in to Magnation of course. Grabbed a copy of the last issue of the crafty New Zealand mag Extra Curricular because we'll be stocking it from now on! It should be in stock early next week. You guys will love it. Right up our alley I reckon!

The original reason we had to go to the stinky city was so Sean & B could go see Jonsi at the Enmore. They said he was really great. (Jonsi is the lead singer of the Icelandic Band - Sigur Ros in case you are not aware.) Because B & K live pretty much next door to the Enmore Theatre, K & I could hear the bass sounds from the performance from their lounge room.
It was such a lovely visit - they're such great hosts!!
But I kept thinking a plane was going to land on the roof - so I could never live there! LOL
Sean & I popped in for a beer Monday afternoon at The Duke (pretty dodgy pub but across road from B & K's so pretty convenient.)
The above graffiti was scrawled on the toilet cubicle wall.
I thought it was pretty funny.
There was a pretty intense storm over night so driving home Tuesday morning was pretty intense. It took sooooo much longer to drive home than driving there. By the time we got home (more than an hour later than planned) we were completely over it.
Sorry to anyone who had planned to pop into Blackbird yesterday.
We were closed.
We're back into the swing of things now though!
Sean is in store right now awaiting your visit!
Lots of new items are going to be squeezed in to stock over the coming weeks - it's very exciting.
So watch this space!