The Olive Tree Market, Newcastle

This weekend, The Olive Tree Market will start their extra markets for the lead up to Christmas!  And, we will be there of course!!

The Olive Tree is a fabulous market, where the shopper can meet the makers of some beautiful things!  One of my favorite places for Christmas shopping…far more interesting than the average shopping centre! And I would much prefer to support a local artisan than a multi-national company!!  Many things are made by transforming the old to the new just like our swords who begin life as fence palings and floorboards!

For those of you who live outside the immediate area, the drive is worth it.  Besides the markets, we have awesome cafes and great beaches!



From paling to sword!

  Recycling or upcycling has become so popular!  And why not!  Many parents & grandparents are tired of broken plastic toys or flat batteries.  I know in our household, disappointment reigns when the latest brightly coloured, cheaply bought, plastic item doesn’t last the week.  And it’s not that my kids are overly rough or careless with their possessions either!

Enter: handcrafted toys from wood or fabric!  Even better when it’s made from recycled materials.  Tim loves sanding back a weathered fence paling or worn floorboard to give a new life to a discarded item.  And there is something wonderful about holding the smooth hilt of a timber sword, feeling the old life within ones hands. 

Which brings me to the sword vs gun argument.  Yes, they are both weapons of war, but I’ve found that holding a sword, a person (or child) can feel brave, noble, protective…while holding a gun (real or otherwise)???  It certainly doesn’t evoke any resemblance of these feeling in me or my offspring!  Maybe it’s the romantic idea we can easily have of knights protecting the defenceless, of standing up against some injustice….thoughts anyone???

Here are some links to some great stockists or makers of non-plastic, non-battery toys:,,,