Meet Our Makers: Ange McCauley

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

This month we meet Angela McCauley, owner of Sugar Lane Cake Company.

this month at walcha handmade, we meet angela mccauley

Tell us about yourself and your background leading to your handmade endeavours.

I have always loved to bake.  From the age of 10, I used to love flicking through my mum’s Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake recipe book and baking and decorating my own birthday cakes.

After attending a business college in Sydney and working in an office, I realised that business wasn’t the right career path for me. I decided I needed to do something involving my passion for baking so I took up an apprenticeship as a pastry chef. After four years I completed my apprenticeship with high distinction, taking out first place in Regional World Skills and Second in National, and placing 8th at the Junior Pastry Chef World Cup in Italy.

I now love the not-so-fast paced lifestyle in Walcha, where I can bake at my leisure for Walcha Handmade.

I’ve gotten into sewing as when I first moved up to Walcha from Sydney, a year and a half ago, I found I had a lot of free time, so I bought a sewing machine and taught myself to sew.

Tell us a little about your home & family life.

I am a nanny for an amazing family of four beautiful children. My inspiration for my sewing projects comes from the three gorgeous girls.

pink floral handmade dresses by Angela McCauley

blue and pink floral dress by Angela McCauley

Where did your business name come from?

My business name for my cakes is Sugar Lane Cake Company. This came about when I was doing stalls in Sydney and needed to quickly come up with a name. Nothing too exciting!

What materials do you use?

I only use fresh, good quality ingredients. The best thing about being a pastry chef and living on a farm is access to fresh free range eggs 24/7.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on children’s pyjama sets.

cakes made by angela mccauley

What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?

I have a room dedicated to all my sewing projects, although I have acquired so much material that I have now moved my sewing machine into the living room!

Thanks, Ange, for sharing a little bit about yourself!

Meet Our Makers: Jackson Cook

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

This month we are meeting Jackson Cook, one of our youngest members and sewer extraordinaire.

jackson-cook-5Tell us about yourself and your background leading to your handmade endeavours.

My name is Jackson Cook, and I am a 14-year-old with a passion for creativity.  One day I watched my  Nan make my brother & I a lumberjack hat each and I said “I reckon that I can make that!”, only to be told that they were too difficult for me to make.

My thoughts were “No way.”, so Nan challenged me and three attempts later I had nailed it.  Since then, I have won many prizes including Champion and Most Successful Exhibitor at local shows for my artwork & needlework.

handmade stuffed toy owls Where did your business name come from?

My business name, House Of Jackson, came about when Kate (who organised The Farmers Market) became bored  writing ‘Jackson’ and decide that she was going to write ‘The House Of Jackson’ instead.  It has much more business appeal and is a fitting name that has stuck and will grow as I grow.

What materials do you use?

I like to use natural fabrics for most items I create.  I particularly like prints  by American Fabric designers Tula Pink and Amy Butler because they are colourful with bold designs.  While I  design most of  my patterns I sometimes use purchased patterns, which I often modify to suit the final product I want.

colourful geometric sling bag by House of Jacksonjackson-cook-2What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a new range of bags with pockets on the outside and a new range of babywear.

What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had shared with you when you were younger?

At 14 years of age, I’m still only young.  I’ve always been encouraged to let my creativity out as it can never cause much harm.

sewing paraphenaliaWhere can we find more of your work?

My creations can be found at Walcha Handmade, Highland Living in Uralla, Armidale Farmers Markets, Armidale Markets in the Mall and the Uralla and Kentucky Markets also.

I have Facebook and Instagram where I am always posting my latest creations.

Thanks, Jackson, for sharing with us!

Meet Our Makers: Sam Bayley

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

This month we meet Sam Bayley – mum, maker and science teacher – as she shares with us a little bit about her creative side.

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Tell us about yourself and your background leading to your handmade endeavours.

I am a science teacher in my real life and have always loved making things. My grandma taught me to embroider at a young age and I had an amazing friend when I was young and we were always creating together. Over time, I have tried lots of different crafts but now I have a young daughter I appreciate crafts that can be completed quickly and in one sitting.

sam-bayley-sewing-machine

Tell us a little about your home & family life.

I live in town and have a husband – who is very helpful in his use of woodwork tools, and a 2-year-old daughter. We have a large dog called Wally who many people around town know and recognize and a loveable cat.What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?

What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?

I have a sewing room on the eastern side of our house that captures the morning sun. I love “playing” in here and trying new things. I also have a TV so usually have an old movie or TV show playing for company.

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What materials do you use?

Mainly fabric but have recently been trying some new ideas with other media and I am always willing to experiment

What are you currently working on?

I always have numerous projects on the go – mainly using my holiday time to find items to finish!

sam-bayley-7

Thanks, Sam, for sharing!

Meet Our Makers: Kimberlee Pascoe & Rachael Wellings

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

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Friends since Kindergarten, Rachael and Kimberlee dreamed of making candles together, and now twenty-something years later, they’ve made their dream a reality.

Tell us a little about your home & family life.

We both grew up in Walcha, are married and have beautiful children. Rach has three handsome boys and Kim one darling daughter.

Where did your business name come from? And what materials do you use?

Our business name is Spanish for ‘candle’!

We use soy wax with exquisite fragrances.
Our favourites are: Coconut & Lime, Pomegranate, French Pear, Blueberry Cheesecake, Vanilla Delight and Japanese Honeysuckle.

vela-candles-pouring-scent

What are you currently working on?

We have just released our Christmas range – fancy an Island Christmas or Delicious Christmas pudding?!
Also we are keen to work with new materials and incorporate them into outdoor living. Cement and wood will complement our candles just nicely!
We have trialed diffusers and were happy with the result, so we can include some new summer scents to liven up your home!

vela-hanging-candles

What is your creative space like?  What kinds of things happen there?

Our studio (Rach’s kitchen) is where memories are made… from preparing lovely food, to pouring candles and many shared cups of tea!

pouring candles in the vela kitchen

Where can we find more of your pretty things?

At our favourite stockist – Walcha Handmade! Or our Facebook page – Vela Candles – be sure to ‘like’!

Thanks to Kim & Rach for sharing, and allowing me in to their kitchen to share in the fun of a pour!

Meet Our Makers: Tonya Tucker

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

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This month our resident Fire Fairy, Tonya Tucker, is sharing with us the things that make her tick.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I live 30 kilometres south of Walcha on the Glen Morrison Road, where I’m renting a cottage with lots of birds, quiet and space. I hope to, along with a good friend, start building our own little cottage on our block in Niangala in the next 12 months.

I work in and around Walcha for a company called Gumnut Gardening and Cleaning Services. I’ve been working for them for 2 years now doing cleaning, commercial and private lawn mowing, gardening and odd jobs.

2. What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?

My creative space is a bit of a mess at the moment.  I have the luxury of having a whole room for my creating, but I lack cupboards and shelving so everything is packed in tubs, boxes and bags.  I also have a creative spot next to my chair and there is always a piece of work in progress, either crocheting or knitting. I like to do a bit of patchwork and applique and I’m looking forward to summer so I can make dresses for my granddaughters. Most of my work has been given to family members, but I have kept some for myself.

Tonya showing Mia how to hold the hook and wool

Tonya showing Mia how to hold the hook and wool

3. What is inspiring you this month?

My inspirations……….. the main one is my newest granddaughter Elise, followed by Harper and Ava.

4. How do you like to spend your downtime when you are not creating?

My downtime is my weakness as I have become addicted to a couple of farming games on Facebook.  Luckily for me  I don’t have internet access where I live, so it’s only when I go to visit my parents that I get to indulge in these games.

When I’m at my place I am usually working on something because I get very bored sitting doing nothing. I just can’t do it. I need to be doing something all the time!

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5. What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had shared with you when you were younger?

It isn’t a matter of wishing someone had shared advice with me when I was younger, it’s a matter of listening to and following the advice I was given.

My grandmother who was, and still is, the biggest influence in my life, gave me really good advice.  Did I take note and listen? NO.  Did I get into lots of awkward predicaments? YES.  It has taken me quite a few years to learn from my errors, but I like to think I have, although occasionally I still forget to engage the brain.

Thanks for sharing with us Tonya!

P.S. Tonya’s nickname of the Fire Fairy was earned as she would come into the Studio each morning through Winter to light the fire and warm the shop for whoever was working that day… Thank you, Tonya!

Meet Our Makers: Alice Radburn

Our ‘Meet Our Maker’ series celebrates the people behind the scenes of Walcha Handmade, and encourages an understanding of the care and attention to detail that goes into the handmade products we carry.

Alice Radburn of Curious Baby clothing

This month we meet Alice – mum to Fletcher and owner and creator of the children’s clothing brand ‘Curious Baby’.

Tell us about yourself and your background leading to your handmade endeavours.
I studied Rural Business at university and have spent most of my working life, as an administrator for various rural retailers and wholesalers.
I have always been a sewer, making dresses and things for myself, but It wasn’t until I had my son that I started to really get back into sewing again.

It started with a little pair of reversible shoes and matching bib that I made for him.

A good friend who had seen these told me Walcha Handmade was opening and suggested I make things to sell.  I thought “Why not, I am already sewing for Fletcher, this could be fun.”
Things have gone in leaps and bounds since then. I have started my own label, Curious Baby.  I have a business partner and we are taking the world by storm! Well, the Tamworth markets anyway and having the best time!

What is your creative space like? What kinds of things happen there?
My creative space is my nice big kitchen, so it is a matter of deciding in the morning, are we cooking or sewing today? My poor husband – most days it is sewing that wins out. It is really quite a good workspace, a long bench, table and lots of light.

I sew like a crazy person when my son is asleep, so the days he has a long sleep is like sewing heaven, I can’t believe what I can get done, drafting new patterns, cutting out, appliqueing, everything!

Curious Baby clothing lines

Where did your business name come from?
I had been trying to think of a name that would suit the things I was doing. I had come up with a few ideas but nothing that really took my fancy, until one day watching Fletcher, I thought “You are a such a curious little baby”, and like a light bulb that was it  – Curious Baby clothing for curious babies.

What is inspiring you this month?
Spring and summer, pretty soft floral’s for girls and for some reason I am loving sailboats for boys, so cool and fresh.

Two curious babies sharing a cup of tea

Where can we find more of your pretty things?
You can find my things in Walcha Handmade, of course, or online at curiousbabyhandmade.com or on Facebook –www.facebook.com/CuriousBabyHandmade

Thank you to Alice for letting us use her Curious Baby photos.