December 24, 2013

Wee Birdy’s Top 30 Christmas Crackers 2013

Best 30 Christmas Crackers 2013

Did I mention that we were moving? Well, we did it. We’re in our new home. The stockings are hung, the tree is up and we’ve strung a few Christmas lights. But the rest of the house is in chaos, and we’re now at around the 12-week mark of our Big Move from Little City Apartment to Big Bush Home. So I’m a wee bit tired.

Please forgive me for the tardiness of this post, but I just couldn’t face Christmas Day without posting my annual round-up of my favourite Christmas crackers. I know, it’s a bit mental. But after seven years, I think I can call it a tradition?

A few of my favourites have already sold out (hello, lovely Anthropologie and Liberty print crackers, et al), but the thing GOOD thing about posting so late? SALES! DISCOUNTS! DEALS! Most of these little beauties have already been reduced, so if you haven’t got your Christmas crackers sorted, go forth and start pulling. So to speak. Or buy now and stash for next year!

p.s. Can you spot the Michelin-starred cracker? See the answer below…

1. Single dog cracker, containing three gourmet dog biscuits, £7.95, from Crackers UK.

2. Box of six Robin Reed ‘Grow Your Own Christmas’ crackers, each containing a packet of seeds, recipe card, plus a snap, party hat and jokes, £18.95 from Selfridges.

3. Boxed single handmade ‘Jelly & Cake’ Christmas cracker, containing a hat, snap, joke and a hand-printed Thornback & Peel cotton handkerchief, from Thornback and Peel.

4. Bespoke limited edition box of crackers, each containing a hat, joke and a selection of gifts, £45 from the Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries (not available online).

5. Single Tatty Devine ‘Make your own jewellery’ cracker, containing everything you need to make your own Tatty Devine necklace, £25 each from Selfridges.

6. Box of six ‘vintage pudding’ crackers, each containing a luxury item such as a money clip, keyring, letter opener, mini make-up brush set, glasses case, pouch, as well as a hat, snap and joke, AU$65 from Papier D’Amour.

7. Box of ‘Fill your own crackers fiesta confetti’, containing flat crackers, ribbon for tying up crackers and instructions, AU$15 from Papier D’Amour.

8. Box of six Talking Tables Origami crackers, containing origami sheet, entertainment scroll with a joke, charade, trivia and hat from John Lewis.

9. David Jones Home mini tree crackers in ‘Retro Bambi Charades’, each containing a charade game, AU$14.95 from David Jones.

10. Harrods box of six ‘vintage design luxury Christmas crackers, each containing handmade bespoke headgear, joke and trivia booklet and a superb individually wrapped gift, such as silk handkerchief and cufflinks, silk scarf and scarf pin, leather passport holder and mobile phone case, mirror compact and blue crystal earrings, leather USB and pen set, crystal drop earrings and bracelet, £599, from Harrods.

11. John Lewis set of eight ‘Merry Christmas Crackers‘, each containing a gift such as clothes brush with mirror, folding scissors, mini stapler, bottle stopper, tape measure with keyring, wire egg cup, padlock, placecard holder plus hat, snap and motto, from John Lewis.

12. ‘Conscious Blessed Bee Crackers‘, each containing a bottle of organic, bee-friendly seeds, one of twelve blessing cards, a hat and a snap, £22.95.

13. Box of six ‘luxury gingerbread crackers’, each containing a gift such as marbles, pencil site, die, mini whisk, cookie cutter and egg cup, silver or gold foil paper hat, joke snap, £32 from Nancy and Betty Studio.

14. Make your own gorgeous crackers, free tutorial from Tuts+.

15. Set of six crackers using a mix of papers hand made by women in the Kathmandu valley, Nepal, each containing a gift, an old Christmas recipe and hat, £35 from Toast.

16. ‘Rainbow wallpaper rosette crackers’, each containing a snap, hat and motto as well as a gift such as packets of seeds, a little sack of marbles, recycled aluminium star biscuit cutter or tiny grater, £6.50 from Sarah Moore Vintage.

17. White gloss Christmas crackers, each containing a selection of tempting treats ranging from Ilia beauty goodies to Rococo chocolates, £65 from the Conran Shop.

18.  ‘Lovely ladies crackers’, each containing some Madmen-inspired gifts, £75 from Selfridges.

19. Box of six ‘Holly Fulton Crackers’, each containing a paper hat and joke and a specially commissioned miniature leather-bound notebook, embossed with the Holly Fulton motif, £85 from Fortnum & Mason.

20. ‘Hand Marble Christmas Crackers’, each containing a gift such as Lacqua Nail Polish Pen, Ilia Lipstick, L’Atelier Du Vin Bottle Stopper, Macon et Lesquoy Brooch, Warman Silk Knot Cufflinks and D.R Harris Lip Balm, £85 from The Conran Shop.

21. Giant Cherub Cracker, containing everything you need for a complete carol concert, including eight xylophone keys with mallets, handbells, percussion instruments, a conductor’s baton and eight numbered hats. Each person is assigned a hat that corresponds to their xylophone key, and then the conductor, guided by the numbered score, points to each person when it is their turn to play, £75 from Fortnum and Mason.

22. Box of eight ‘Children’s Christmas Crackers’, each containing a joke, a paper hat and a felt finger puppet, £10 from Fortnum and Mason.

23. Box of 12 eco Christmas crackers, each containing useful little kitchen or gardening tools, making them ideal for keen gardeners and cooks. Jokes and tips, recipes and hints are also included, £36.95 from Selfridges.

24. Box of six ‘Terrific Tipples Crackers’, each containing a miniature bottle of alcohol such as Somerset Cider Brandy, Brecon Special Reserve Gin and Irish Single Malt Whisky, as well as a joke and paper party hat, £50 from Fortnum and Mason.

25. MERI MERI Make Your Own Christmas Cracker set of 10, including 10 crackers, cracker snaps, hats, jokes, stickers, bells tags and ribbon, £21.95 from Selfridges.

26. Turquoise & Orange Christmas Crackers by Pentreath & Hall, each containing a hat, snap and joke along with one of the following prizes; herb seeds, a wooden spoon, nail brush, star cookie cutter, dice, pack of marble, golf ball tees, plant labels, from Ben Pentreath.

27. David Jones Home ’12 Days of Christmas Pack of 12 Christmas Crackers’, each containing a snap, joke, trivia question and charades game, AU$17.47 from David Jones.

28. Mix And Match Christmas Crackers, each containing a special gift such as Malin &Goetz Travel size toiletry, Macon et Lesquoy Iron on Patch, Merchant & Mills Tape Measure, Golf Ball Joke, Puebco Marker Pen, £65 from the Conran Shop.

29. Pack of six Chairman’s Choice Christmas crackers, £95 from Selfridges.

30. Box of six Brussels sprout Christmas crackers, £65 from Selfridges.

Phew. So there you go. My annual cracker round-up for 2013. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but I think The Conran Shop has come up with some beauties this year, with hand-marbled papers and exquisite gifts. I’m also loving the rainbow Sarah Moore Vintage crackers.

Which one is your favourite?

Disclosure: Some, but not all, of these links are with affiliate programs, which helps to support Wee Birdy. Please note that affiliate links do not influence my edit of lovely things. I don’t put crap on Wee Birdy, yo.


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December 11, 2013

33 gorgeous designer presents for under $50 (£30)

33 Designer Presents for Under $50 via Wee Birdy

Being on a budget for Christmas presents doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of luxe names like Comme des Garcons, Vivienne Westwood, Lanvin, Mulberry and Dior. There are lots of little luxuries around that make special presents for people you want to treat, starting at £11. Here’s my round-up of the good stuff for under 50 bucks. Amazing!

1. Marc by Marc Jacobs set of five skinny rubber bangles, AU$36.55 from Shopbop.
2. Nars lip gloss in Wonder, £17.50 from Liberty.
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Mareika tulip-printed iPhone 5 cover, $42.76 from Net-a-Porter.
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Heathrow trompe l’oeil neoprene tablet case, $33.13 from Shopbop.
5. House of Harlow 1960 sunburst button earrings, $39.98 from Shopbop.
6. Kate Spade New York small square stud earrings, $43.41 from Shopbop.
7. Marc by Marc Jacobs cutout daisy stud earrings, $47.98 from Shopbop.
8. Vivienne Westwood Sigg bottle no.3, €25 from Vivienne Westwood.
9. Orla Kiely flower stripe hand towel, $24.95 from Lark.
10. Aesop protective lip balm SPF30, AU$19 from Aesop.
11. Vivienne Westwood Peace Not War handkerchief, €25 from Vivienne Westwood.
12. Paul Smith multi-striped socks, £17 from Selfridges.
13. Ted Baker Geoboy repeat pocket square, £25 from Selfridges.
14. Karen Walker narrow enamel bangle, $35 from Karen Walker.
15. Kate Spade New York Penny for Your Thoughts journal, $27.42 from Shopbop.
16. Jonathan Adler Utopia cat mug, $29.70 from Shopbop.
17. Shu Uemura Takashi Murakami collection lip & cheek tint colour, £20 from Selfridges.
18. Paul & Joe hair and body mist, £12 from Selfridges.
19. Smythson gilded wafer pencil, £20 from Smythson.
20. Lancome Hypnôse ultra dazzling eyeshadow limited Christmas edition, £21 from Selfridges.
21. Smythson Bond Street Blue kings correspondence cards, £11 from Smythson.
22. Vivienne Westwood black Orb tights, €20 from Vivienne Westwood.
23. Paul & Joe Body powder, £25 from Selfridges.
24. Maison Martin Margiela ostrich feather pen, $49.66 from Net-a-Porter.
25. Dior Duo Manucure Bijoux gold nail lacquer base & crystal pearls, £30 from Selfridges.
26. Dior Diorific Vernis nail polish, £20 from Selfridges.
27. Liberty London pink speckle print frill knickers, £20 from Liberty.
28. Aspinal London post box key ring, £25 from Selfridges.
29. Mulberry A6 notebook, £20 from Mulberry.
30. Lanvin set of two rubber luggage tags, $49.66 from Net-a-porter.
31. Bobbi Brown Everyday pretty lip & eye palette, £24 from Selfridges.
32. Comme Des Garcons fragrance Series 8 eau de toilette in Grapefruit Energy C, £25 from Liberty.
33. Stella smooth bikini briefs, US$14 from Stella McCartney.

Prefer handmade? I’ve got that sorted, too. Head straight to my Christmas present guides on Etsy for the best of the bunch.

Disclosure: Some, but not all, of these links are with affiliate programs, which helps to support Wee Birdy. Please note that affiliate links do not influence my edit of lovely things. I don’t put crap on Wee Birdy, yo.


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November 28, 2013

Shopping in Melbourne: Spare Room Project and Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here 2014 Calendar via WeeBirdy.com

If you’re in Melbourne right now, you might like to pop along tonight to the historic Nicholas Building in the CBD (a Wee Birdy favourite) for the opening of the Spare Room Project. Hosted and curated by Melbourne designer Matthew Thomson of Mattt (another Wee Birdy fave), the shop-within-a-shop brings together some of Melbourne’s leading designer-makers including Beci Orpin, Ask Alice, Sandra Eterovic and Victoria Mason Jewellery.

Ask Alice Calendar 2014 via WeeBirdy.com

It’s perfect timing for picking up some lovely Christmas presents. You’ll also get to meet the makers and ten per cent of all proceeds go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Super-lovely!

The shopping event will also coincide with the launch of the Ask Alice ‘Wish You Were Here’ calendar and print exhibition, which will be donating 100 per cent of all profits to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. If you’re a fan of Ask Alice’s extraordinarily sweet range of stationery and prints, you will love the 2014 calendar. Sass Cocker, the lovely lady behind Ask Alice, has brought together 12 international artists to illustrate the theme of ‘Wish You Were Here’ for her annual charity calendar.

Capetown from Ask Alice Calendar 2014-Jan
Sydney from Ask Alice Calendar 2014-Feb
Tokyo from AskAliceCalendar2014-Feb

I’ve illustrated this post with some of the artworks from the calendar, including Cape Town by Studio Muti, Sydney by James Gulliver Hancock and Tokyo by Masako Kubo. If you’re out of town, you can still purchase the calendar online here. I think it’s hands-down the Best Calendar for 2014. Nice one, Ask Alice!

matt SHOP
Third Floor, Nicholas Building
Corner Flinders Lane & Swanston Street
Melbourne

Opening hours:
Thursday 28 November to Saturday 30 November
10am to 6pm (9pm Thursday and Friday)


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November 23, 2013

My Etsy Picks for Christmas: Presents for Teen Boys

Teen boys can be a bit tricky when it comes to presents. It’s hard to find something that ticks all the right cool, fun and original boxes. Hopefully my round-up of the best Etsy buys will help, including a skinny knit tie, creepy/cool chalkboard skull and a little something for Big Bang Theory fans.

Click through on the image to see the full list.

Now is the time to order all your presents from Etsy if you want them in time for Christmas, so hop to it!

Head over here for all of my Etsy Christmas present guides. Do you have an awesome present idea for teen boys?

Disclosure: Wee Birdy is a member of the Etsy affiliate program.

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November 19, 2013

My Etsy Picks for Christmas: Presents for Teen Girls

Hmmm, this could very well be my own wishlist, so perhaps I’m projecting my inner-teen just a tad. But I really do love all of things I’ve cherry-picked in this wee collection of original presents for teenage girls. From the bargain confetti nail polish to the candy-print leggings, there’s a whole lot of handmade gorgeousness to love. Click through on the image to see the full list.

Now is the time to order all your presents from Etsy if you want them in time for Christmas, so hop to it!

Head over here for all of my Etsy Christmas present guides. What do you think?

Disclosure: Wee Birdy is a member of the Etsy affiliate program.

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November 18, 2013

My Etsy Picks for Christmas: Presents for Babies


There is so much handmade loveliness for little ones on Etsy right now. Check out my full list of Christmas presents for babies by clicking on the image above. Happy shopping! Tell  me which presents caught your eye.

Disclosure: Wee Birdy is a member of the Etsy affiliate program.

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