Below you will find links to some of the places that I love to visit regularly both online and in person.
I hope you enjoy them too!
For those of you visiting our studio from 'out of town', I have also compiled a list of local attractions and resources that may help make your visit to our beautiful part of the world memorable.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.
Aussie Maille - This Australian website is where we purchase all the rings for our chainmaille classes. Deb and her team specialise in all things chainmaille and her handwound and cut jump rings are some of the best I've ever seen. Add perfect customer service and fast shipping times and you can't go wrong! Aussiemaille has it all.
Cranberry - Berry-Licious Beads - Run by talented seed-beader, The Bead Show Co-Owner & former BSV President, Joanne Ivy, Cranberry boasts a huge range of seed beads and cabochons - perfect for seed-bead addicts. Quality products and friendly service.
Kay Lancashire - Artycles - Kay is an award-winning artist who works in metal, wire and beads. She has developed her own unique 'voice' within her pieces over many years. Kay is our resident mixed media tutor here at the studio.
Karen Donald - Karen is currently our resident seed beading and chainmaille tutor. She is a regular here at the studio and her work is quite exceptional.
Oo La Grue - Whilst Brooke dabbles in many different mediums, you will primarily find her beautiful chainmaille work for sale on her website. Brooke is a regular here at The Whimsical Bead studio and is Dani's 'right-hand woman'!
Wendy Lee Hearn - Wendy is an accomplished artist and an experienced teacher. In her own words, Wendy is a maker, designer, creater and teacher.
She loves to create with her hands. Wendy says 'I love to create with my hands, its something that I must do. Creating is my meditation. To be able to sit at my bench and sketch ideas and then to make those ideas come to life'. You simply must check out Wendy's metal and resin work - you won't be disappointed.
Debbie Crothers - Deb is a polymer artist (and a great friend of mine!) from Western Australia who has a passion for teaching.
She loves imparting her knowledge onto enthusiastic students and teaches regular workshops in Geraldton WA and in Outback Australia. She also has several online tutorials/videos. Debbie is internationally known for her polymer work and we just love having her here at The Whimsical Bead.
Lara Le Reveur - Lara is an extremely talented artist specialising in metal clay work. Lara teaches regular workshops here at the studio. Visit her website and Facebook page to view some of her spectacular pieces.
Catriona Starpins (Kweena Kreations) - Catriona is an award winning artist and an experienced tutor. She has a Diploma of Entertainment Costume and has worked in the costume industry as a freelance Costumier for a number of years. Catriona's designs have been seen in competitions all over the world such as The Battle of the Beadsmith and also locally in The Bead Society Showcases and also in our 10th Birthday Celebrations Competition.
Deegan Designs (Robyn and Julie Wilson) - Robyn is our resident metal work tutor. She is first and foremost an artist and this shows through her amazing pieces. Her website and facebook page are well worth a visit.
Kylie Callender of Tin Shed Soap Co - Kylie creates and makes natural soap products from locally made and sourced ingredients such as Australian olive oil, Mornington Peninsula honey and local goats milk. She hand makes every bar, each one is as individual as you. If you're a fan of good quality handmade products, check out Tin Shed Soap Co.
Belinda Saville Handcrafted Jewellery - Belinda's work is simply amazing and is well worth a look......I'm not going to tell you anymore about this gorgeous lady's beautiful wares - there are no words!
Handmade Alchemy - Alchemy can be defined as a seemingly magical process of transformation &/or creation. This magical process of transformation and creation is the perfect way to describe what you'll find from the talented Australian artists of Handmade Alchemy, in the form of polymer clay and metal components for jewellery makers, craft and mixed media artistry. Essentially Handmade Alchemy is a marketplace group where you can buy handmade beads and/or components to use in your own creations. The Australian sellers have been invited to sell their work via showcases because they create with a unique style, use excellent technique and strive for a high-level of craftsmanship in either polymer clay, metal or both mediums.
This marketplace is located entirely online and I am pleased to be a co-founder of this wonderful group.
Redgum Gallery - Redgum Gallery in Olinda, Victoria is a beautiful gallery space featuring the works of many local artists. From furniture to homewares, jewellery and artwork, this space is well worth the visit. There are also lots of other wonderful stores in Olinda to visit whilst you are there.
incube8r gallery - I love the concept of this amazing place. Each in.cube8r® is home to more than 90 of australia’s top crafters. Each gallery is divided up into glass cubicles, shelves, racks and partitions which artists can lease for a small cost. in.cube8r is the first and original model of this concept. There are so many wonderful items available at incube8r and the best thing is that by purchasing items from here, you can be certain that you're supporting an Australian artist.
Kiozwi - I met Christina, the owner of this wonderful store, at a trade fair I was demonstrating at and I found her business views and goals were very similar to mine. Christina and her husband Anthony have a passion for Artisan pieces and supporting local artists and I am proud to have my work in their store. Along with jewellery you can also find a collection of children's toys and clothes, Christina's own soy candles, handmade cards and a great selection of unique gifts. I really love visiting Kiozwi.
The Polymer Arts - This amazing publication is the creation of the very talented Sage Bray. It is my favourite polymer clay publication and I cannot speak highly enough of it's content. The Polymer Arts is an informational magazine not a how-to/tutorial magazine. Although how-to craft magazines are more common, so are the wonderful weekend/hobby crafters, which is not, however, the magazine's market. The format and content were created from querying polymer artists about what they would like in a magazine. This is a magazine for professional and aspiring polymer artists who want to know not how to make what others make but how to improve their own art and succeed as a respected and in-demand artist. The Polymer Arts also has an active Facebook page and an informative Blog which are both worth a visit.
Bead and Buy - Your favourite suppliers of beads, findings & mixed media supplies, together in one place.
• Cranberry Beads
• The Whimsical Bead
• Kay's Artycles
• Beads 2 Go
Come along and meet up with friends, bead, create & chat for the day and purchase products in person from four of the best bead & mixed media suppliers.
Check the Facebook page for dates.
The Melbourne Bead Expo - Run by The Bead Society of Victoria, this show features exhibitors from Australia-wide selling beads, gems and findings. The Whimsical Bead exhibits at this show each year.
Polymer Clay Daily - This wonderful blog has been created by Cynthia Tinapple. It showcases fresh and fearless polymer art from around the world!
The Blue Bottle Tree - An amazing collection of polymer clay information and tutorials created by US artist Ginger Davis Allman.
Dani and her family have lived in the beautiful Yarra Valley, Victoria for over 30 years. It is a wonderful place to visit for an extended holiday, a weekend away or just a day trip. With the construction of the new Eastlink, we are now only approx. an hour from Melbourne and also Frankston (down on the Mornington Peninsula).
There are many things to see and do in the area - these are just a few.Please don't hesitate to contact Dani if you need any extra information.
Barbs B & B - Barbs B & B is comfortable, affordable hospitality at its finest. Modern, private, relaxing and spacious accommodation situated in a quiet cul-de-sac with a mountain view - and the best bit is that this B & B is located just across the road from The Whimsical Bead studio. This 3-room self-contained unit features a large spa bathroom, queen size bedroom, large luxurious living area and a fully equipped kitchen. Mention you are booked in for a workshop at The Whimsical Bead and Barb will give you a special nightly rate* (*please note: conditions apply - off peak only - special rates at owners discretion).
Yarra Gables - Yarra Gables is a small luxury motel with 6 rooms, including king spa, queen spa, family and double suites, all set in extensive cottage gardens. From the suites and verandas you can enjoy picturesque views, magnificent sunsets and the sight of early morning balloons drifting across the valley. Yarra Gables is less than a 5 minute walk to The Whimsical Bead studio and we've teamed up with owners Ralph & Helen to offer you a great deal.
Simply mention The Whimsical Bead during booking and you'll receive a discount of at least $10 off your stay! *subject to availabilty, book multiple rooms for larger disount. Dscounts at owner discretion and may change without notice. Ask to speak to Ralph.
Yarra Gables also offers a 'Book Now, Pay Later' service which means you can book without paying a deposit.
Note: We have toured Yarra Gables and it is a beautiful property with owners who, like us, pride themselves on good customers service. Yarra Gables has a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and have some fabulous reviews.
Allara House - Allara House is a newly built (2014) townhouse, located in the beautiful town of Healesville in Victoria’s Yarra Valley region. Relax in the clean and contemporary surroundings of Allara House - a perfect base to explore all that the Yarra Valley has to offer, including world-class wineries and restaurants, and the Healesville Sanctuary. The township of Healesville is only 5 minutes’ walk from Allara House, where you can take your time exploring the unique shops, cafes and restaurants. Allara House is only a 5 minute walk to The Whimsical Bead studio and we've teamed up with owner Jackie to offer you a great deal.
Simply mention The Whimsical Bead during booking and you'll receive 10% off your stay! *subject to availabilty.
(Please note: We have not inspected Allara House but have heard wonderful reviews about it).
Healesville Apartments - Healesville Apartments provide boutique accommodation in the centre of Healesville, with views of the Yarra Valley mountains.
Set behind a mature garden each of the apartments has its own character and features, but the accommodation is all fully self-contained, north-facing with abundant light. Healesville Apartments is located very close to the main street of Healesville and is approximately a 3 or 4 minute drive to The Whimsical Bead studio.
Mention The Whimsical Bead when booking and receive a 10% discount on weekdays and a 5% discount on Friday and Saturday nights (minimum of 2 nights on Fri/Sat). *subject to availabilty.
(Please note: We have not inspected Healesville Apartments but some of our students have stayed here and recommend them).
Healesville Sanctuary - Healesville Sanctuary is one of Australia’s most loved tourist attractions and the best place in Victoria to see and interact with native Australian wildlife. The Sanctuary is committed to fighting wildlife extinction and offers visitors the opportunity to come close up to unique Australian animals in a stunning bushland setting.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery - One of my most favourite local places. Enjoy abundant free chocolate tastings. Watch the European Chocolatiers hand craft over 250 different chocolate products. Indulge in a delicious selection of ice creams. Relax at the café specialising in decadent sweet treats and let the children run and play in the expansive lawns and gardens.
Maroondah Reservoir Park (Maroondah Dam) - Maroondah Dam features gardens with stands of native and exotic trees, native animals and birds and walking tracks. Its playground, lawns and cool summer shade make it a popular picnic destination in warmer months. Indi and I are regulars here. Indi loves swimming in the river!
Healesville.biz - Healesville's online directory. Find all you need to for your visit here in one place.
Hedgend Maze - Explore a beautiful 20 acres of stimulating, fun filled activities for all ages. Hedgend offers a creative environment that stimulates a fun personal journey for everybody.
Healesville Jewellers - This little store in the main street of Healesville is a treasure trove of beautiful goodies just waiting to be discovered.
Healesville Glassblowers - Healesville Glass Blowing Studio is the studio of award winning artists Tim Bassett and Tali Dalton. Whether you are looking for a unique piece of affordable art, a collectable work of art or a little memento of your visit to The Yarra Valley Healesville Glassblowers create something for everyone.
Church & Main - At Church & Main you're guaranteed a great seasonal menu of freshly prepared dishes made with healthy local produce. Menus change with the seasons, so that we can offer you diverse and delicious dishes using the freshest of local produce. Renowned for our extensive menu that has options for Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Healthy and Kid's meals.