I’ll be posting my edit of the best presents from Etsy over the weekend. There is so much goodness on Etsy, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. If you spot something you like, snap it up now to allow time for delivery by Christmas – and in some cases, the designer needs time to make it from scratch, especially if it’s a custom order!
1. Black tulle choker collar, EUR15, from Karolin Felix.
2. Set of two hand-illustrated lace plates, US$30 from Yvonne Ellen.
3. Handprinted 100 per cent linen pillowcase with charcoal dots, AU$48 from Hello Milky.
4. Bearded Bloke Brooch, AU$30 from Handmade Romance.
5. The Wharton silver circle earrings, £25 from Jennifer Loiselle.
6. Love Houses modern ceramic candle holders, US$36 from Simone Ceramics.
Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Spot anything you like in this post? Tell me in the comments below!
Here’s something I’ve been working on for a little while: the Wee Birdy buyer’s guide to the 20 best tea pots. The value of a good tea pot should never be underrated, especially if they pack in as much charm and good looks as these little beauties. From chintzy rose buds and polka dots to a modern interpretation of the classic Willow pattern, these little pots do more than brew a good cuppa – they add a splash of personality, colour and good design to the diurnal grind. Essential qualities, really.
1. Oranges and Lemons hand-painted tea pot, £75 from Tobyboo’s Etsy shop.
2. Camellia tea pot, £35 from Pierrot et Coco.
3. White lace hand-painted tea pot, US$58 from Clayful Impressions’ Etsy shop.
4. Mr Jones tea pot by Polly George, AU$84 from Everything Begins.
5. Lace tea pot by We Love Kaoru, AU$105 from Everything Begins.
6. Vintage enamel mid-century tea pot, US$85 from Hindsvik’s Etsy shop.
7. Salt and Pepper green tea pot with infuser by Salt and Pepper. Click here for your nearest stockist.
8. My Teapot’ in yellow with an anthracite lid by Anouk Jansen, £45 from Howkapow.
9. The New English x TNE Studios Benday cobalt tea pot, £122 from Culture Label.
10. London Willow tea pot by We Love Kaoru (features Big Ben, London Eye and the BT Tower), AU$96 from Everything Begins and £60 from Culture Label.
11. Gordon Ramsay Maze by Royal Doulton blue tea pot, AU$39.95 from Royal Doulton.
12. Provence rose tea pot, £18 from Cath Kidston.
13. Blossom tea pot by Swedish designer Camilla Engdahl, £30 from Howkapow.
14. Cupcakes tea pot by Poppy Treffry, made from fine bone china in Stoke on Trent, £24 from The Green Apple.
15. Blodwen white enamel Caernarfon tea pot, £35 from Liberty.
16. Wedgwood Polka Dots teaware tea pot, AU$89.95 from Wedgwood.
17. Royal Albert Polka Rose Vintage tea pot, AU$199 from Royal Albert.
18. Miss Etoile Gold polka dot ceramic tea pot, US$63.04 from Oliver Bonas.
19. Limogues pink tea pot, price on enquiry from The Bay Tree.
20. Wedgwood Butterfly Bloom Teaware tea pot, AU$125 from Wedgwood.
It’s A Week of Tea on Wee Birdy. WIN a stunning Twinings wooden tea chest packed with Twinings tea – click here to enter now!
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I’m curious. Which tea pot is your favourite? Tell me in the comments below.
A design shop in a shipping container sounds like the kind of deliberate, carefully-planned work of edgy creatives looking to make their mark. But HAPA is part of Re:Start, the temporary and innovative village of container shops that is home to the city’s independent shops that were devastated in the February 2011 earthquake.
Happily, it’s a home that works beautifully for HAPA, which showcases work by local and international designer-makers.
HAPA means ‘half’ in Hawaiian, and is used to describe people of ‘mixed racial heritage’. For the store’s owners, Maureen Taane and Yuri Bacas Hosaka, it also represents the combination of two worlds, as well as the coming together of the old and the new in Christchurch’s re-building.
The range of design-led gifts include homewares, jewellery, textiles, toys and art, and highlights include a hand-stitched Kiwi soft toy made with vintage NZ army blankets, jewellery by Debra Fallowfield and HAPA’s own delightful ‘Kia Ora’ bunting mugs.
There is also a dedicated section for local up-and-coming designers from the Design & Arts College of New Zealand.
City Mall, Christchurch
Tel. 03 372 9335
Monday to Friday 10am-5.30pm
Saturday to Sunday 10am-5pm
Wee Birdy travelled to Christchurch courtesy of the good folks at Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand. Head to www.newzealand.com for more information about visiting New Zealand.
Click here to read my post about Re:Start in Christchurch, including my top six shops.
Click here to read about The General Store at Re:Start in Christchurch.
Etsy shop: Spin Spin.
Who: Susan Fitzgerald, a Melbourne-based graphic designer who specialises in textiles.
What: Screen-printed fabrics and homewares with a strong design sensibility. Think bold yet simple prints inspired by typography. The pared-back colour palette (often two-toned or contrasting colours) in eco-friendly, water-based ink makes a bold impact on the crisp European linen.
Best buys: The two-tone green ‘Tree Towel’; Trees cushion cover and the ‘Akzidenz’ hand-screen printed fabric.
How much: A screen-printed card is AU$4, while tea-towels are AU$22.
Read more: Susan’s blog and Flickr.
It’s a Week of Aussie Etsy on Wee Birdy, in celebration of Etsy Success Sydney on Saturday. Click here for more Australian Etsy goodness.
I’m actually a bit embarrassed that I’ve never mentioned Matt Sewell before on Wee Birdy. It’s a disgrace, really, considering that this British artist, like me, has been posting a “Bird of the Week” on his blog for the past few years. The only difference is that Matt’s birds are his very own watercolours. His passion for bird-watching is apparent throughout his quirky art, and his birds are infused with delightful details and character quirks.
So I was beyond delighted to discover this gorgeous new range of wooden birds he’s made exclusively for the sublime V&A shop. (Bravo to the V&A Shop, too, for snapping up this talented artist for their spring/summer 2012 collection.) Each bird is handmade and painted by Matt, and was inspired by the V&A’s archives. Little Owl, for instance, was based on an etching from the earliest hand-coloured book of English birds, The Natural History of Birds by Eleazar Albin (1731-8).
Matt’s sweet stylised versions are made using reclaimed wood and FSC accredited pine, and come packaged in a hand-printed nesting box. Swoooon.
I want them all, but if I had to choose one, I couldn’t go past the lovely little Strawberry Thief, who comes with his very own strawberry. Which one would you choose?
Top, ‘Strawberry Thief’ Wooden Bird by Matt Sewell, £85, from the V&A Shop.
Bottom left, ‘Little Owl’ Wooden Bird by Matt Sewell, £85, from the V&A Shop.
Bottom right, ‘Nuthatch’ Wooden Bird by Matt Sewell, £85, from the V&A Shop.
Click here to read my full review about the V&A Shop.
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You know that giddiness you get when two beloved creatives (designers/musicians/artists/brands) get together and make something new and beautiful together? I’m thinking Liberty and Hello Kitty (genius AND unexpected). Tatty Devine and Rob Ryan (East London quirky AND romantic). Marni and H&M (dear GOD I’m going to have to camp overnight, aren’t I?).
A littler closer to home, Sydney designer Rachel Castle has collaborated with Melbourne-based fashion label Gorman for a limited-edition summer collection of fashion and homewares. I first admired Castle from afar when I was living in London and coveted the sunny range of polka-dot bed linen. As soon as I was back in Sydney I bought four yellow polka-dot pillowslips for our new home.
But I go a little further back with Gorman, and first started wearing the fledgling label around 12 years ago when I was living in Melbourne. I admired the subtle retro sensibility, quality fabrics and new seasonal prints. Since then, the brand has grown and now has boutiques dotted around Australia.
Their collaborative summer collection is fresh, frisky and very Australian (there is a touch of ’80s Ken Done in the colour palette), with a kind of shouty simplicity. Castle’s distinctive hand-drawn lettering, punctuated with pops of neon, features throughout the mostly organic cotton range of simple skirts, shirts, t-shirts, bags, towels and pillowcases. I love the ‘Put the love in the coconut’ beach towel, AU$79, which would make a rather brilliant Christmas present.
The homewares and limited edition embroidered artworks are currently available from Castle’s online shop, and the fashion collection is available from Gorman stores Australia wide.