Australian fashion

July 22, 2013

Wee find: Winter warmers by Otto and Spike

Winter warmers by Otto & Spike via WeeBirdy.com

See that lady hiding behind her rather lovely stripey scarf? That’s me. Actually, it’s not really me, but it bloody well could be. This is exactly what I looked like when I woke up this morning, now that frosty old winter has descended on Sydney again. (Northern hemisphere readers – bookmark this post for September – and look away for now or you might start to feel all hot and bothered.)

Otto and Spike gloves and scarf via WeeBirdy.com

The one nice thing about winter is layering on loads of cosy accessories – and since the rest of you is covered up by coats and jackets, the accessories part is really rather important.

And why go through winter with dull/boring/mass-produced hats, scarves and beanies when you could be resplendent in this raspberry and mustard stripey scarf by brilliant Melbourne designers Otto and Spike? I mean really, it’s a no-brainer, right?

Otto & Spike have a fabulous back story (you can read the tale about these master knitters here), knitting in the same factory in Brunswick, Melbourne for the past 40 years. I stumbled across their glorious scarves in Sydney’s Workshopped last weekend, and after reading their lively banter on their website, I wanted to share them with you.

Unlike many other Australian companies, who take production off-shore, every single brightly-coloured purl and stitch is created in the original Brunswick factory.

Otto & Spike via WeeBirdy.com

And the end results speak for themselves – fine knitwear in a dazzling and fashion-forward array of pattern and colour. They use pure lambs wool in their products – mostly surplus wool “from an industry that has gradually disappeared” from Australia.

I love that this little company is so proud of its heritage, the raw materials they use – and even their collection of knitting machinery. Their factory sounds like a veritable museum exhibition on the history of knitting in twentieth century Australia.

Here are my top picks from Otto & Spike to keep you cosy this winter:

Otto & Spike beanies, gloves and scarves via WeeBirdy.com
1. Pantonia scarf, $65; 2. Pantonia beanie, $60; 3. Harlequin scarf, $65; 4. Allsorts scarf, $70; 5. Slippery dip scarf, $65; 6. Big top scarf, $65; 7. Fagin fingerless gloves, $35; 8. Mad Mouse scarf, $65; 9. Bikes scarf, $60; 10. City block, $65; all by Otto & Spike.


All photography courtesy of Otto & Spike.

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December 5, 2012

Christmas Gift Guide 2012: The Neon Edition

Wee Birdy Gift Guide: The Best Neon Presents via WeeBirdy.com

If there’s one trend that’s really taken hold this year, it’s neon. From crafty hand-woven baskets to to glossy Comme Des Garçons wallets, fluoro is the way to go. Here are my top picks for the nicest (and most definitely) brightest Christmas presents.

1. Eva straw weave clutch, AU$179 from Gorman.

2. Little leather locket by Jen Booth, AU$78 from Follow Store.

3. ‘Fluro Tower’ acrylic painting, AU$750 from Rachel Castle.

4. Woven Bead Planter (Mexican), AU $120 from Peaches and Keen.

5. Adjustable wood and stoneware vase, EUR145 from Adonde.

6. Crepe chain neon necklace, US$78 from Anthropologie.

Wee Birdy Christmas Gift Guide 2012: The Best Neon Presents

1. Knitted collar in neon yellow and grey cotton, EUR €29.90 from The Knit Kid’s Etsy shop.

2. ‘Criss Cross Fluro Sun’ felt on Belgian flax linen artwork, AU$380 from Castle.

3. Neon yellow pod with Velutina air plant, US$10 from Bird And Feather Co.’s Etsy shop.

4. Modern neon hardwood salad bowl, US$45 from Nicole Porter Design.

5. Lidded blue box EUR €56 from Foldoys.

6. Comme Des Garçons orange fluorescent zip-around wallet, £130 from Liberty.

Wee Birdy Christmas Gift Guide 2012: The Best Neon Presents via WeeBirdy.com

1. Crayon Chick crochet bowls, small $30; large $32 from Follow Store.

2. K. Jacques for Opening Ceremony patent sandal, US$172 from Opening Ceremony.

3. Marc by Marc Jacobs green and blue heart print iPhone Case, £30 from Liberty.

4. Melting Ice-Cream Tote by Jess Wright, AU $160 from Harvest Workroom by Harvest Textiles.

5. Large neon chevron cushion by Bob Window, AU$90 from Follow Store.

6. Bobbi Brown Neon & Nude Sheer lip gloss, £17 from Selfridges.


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November 27, 2012

What to order now for Christmas: Presents from Etsy, Part 10

Etsy Christmas Gift Guide via WeeBirdy.com

Here’s the final instalment in my Etsy Christmas Gift Guide for 2012. Hope you’ve found a gem of a gift for someone special, and you’ve enjoyed all of my favourite wee finds.

1. Ahoi Marie Schifferbecher Anker, EUR9.90 from Ahoi Marie.

2. Silk yellow neck scarf with lace pattern, CHF75 (with free worldwide shipping) from Zafran.

3. Plush woodblock elephant pillow. Available in customisable colours and made to order. US$16.50 from Laura Frisk.

4. Sushi print leggings, AU$70 from Uptightso.

5. ‘Double Rad’ Gocco print by Gemma Jones, US$29 from Paintergirl.

Don’t miss out on that perfect Christmas present! Click here for my entire series of posts for my 2012 Etsy Christmas Gift Guide.

Have you bought anything from Etsy for Christmas this year? Tell me about it in the comments below!


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November 25, 2012

What to order now for Christmas: Presents from Etsy, Part 6

Etsy Christmas Gift Guide via WeeBirdy.com

I always get asked how to go about finding all the cool stuff on Etsy. Here’s a good starting point – just remember to order now for Christmas as some of these presents are custom-made!

1. Hand-embroidered initial necklace, US$38 from Merriwether Council.

2. Wood pencil holder, US$59 from Less and More.

3. 12 Colour Block Magnets, US$24 from Cuppa Color.

4. Custom-made name plate, EUR43 from Ninainvorm.

5. Red women’s leather sandal, US$130 from Einats Shoes.

6. Writing paper set, EUR$8.50 from Ninainvorm.

Don’t miss out on that perfect Christmas present! Click here for my entire series of posts for my 2012 Etsy Christmas Gift Guide.

How are you going with your Christmas shopping? Do you usually buy presents from Etsy?


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November 19, 2012

A wee chat with Beci Orpin

Beci Orpin interview via WeeBirdy.com

I know I’m not the first bird to have a bit of a lady crush on Australian design wunderkind Beci Orpin. I’ve been a long-time fan of Beci from her fashion label Princess Tina days, and in the past I’ve blogged about her beautiful bird collage (see below), as well as her sterling silver cloud-and-raindrop necklace. And let it be known that Beci was making clouds waaay before every lady and her umbrella jumped on the rainy cloud motif bandwagon!

It’s this very pioneering spirit, endless creativity and originality that allows Beci to rise above the parochial and produce the kind of work that not only features her signature kaleidoscopic use of colour, but sets new trends on the design landscape.

Find and Keep Succulent Garden by Beci Orpin via WeeBirdy.com

And now Beci can add another feather to that brilliantly-hued bow: her first book, Find & Keep , has just been released. Featuring 26 fun and fresh new craft projects, (including the DIY giant confetti wall featured on Wee Birdy last week) it’s a goldmine for inspiration as well as providing a unique insight into her creative process. It would make an excellent Christmas present.

Beci, firstly congratulations on a truly beautiful and inspirational book! You’re one clever birdy. Actually, if you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be – and why?
Thank-you so much! Hmmm… what bird would I be? That is a tough choice as I actually love birds a lot (my alternative career choice is an ornithologist!). I really like swallows a lot, so maybe just a plain old welcome swallow? That or a finch – my grandma used to breed them. I think Gouldian finches are my favourite (and they are Australian too!).

I love colour, but I know that lots of people are sometimes scared to be big and brave with it in their home. What’s your number one tip for making colour work – for beginners?
I think you can start adding smaller pops of colour through things like artwork or vases or cushions. Or even if that is too scary, just go for the brightest flowers you can find and work your way up from there.

Find and Keep inspiration wall by Beci Orpin via WeeBirdy.com

You’re clearly an awesome collector. Can you tell us your top five shops in Melbourne for finding awesome stuff?

1. Coburg flea market.
I used to frequent Camberwell market when growing up but now i am north-side it’s a little to far to travel first thing on a Sunday morning, so Coburg flea is my new spot. I love it because it’s real trash and treasure… some weeks you find amazing things, some weeks nothing at all.

2. Scout House
When i do find myself south-side, Scout House is one of my first stops. Orlando’s selection is pretty wonderful, as is his colourful iron beds (as seen in my book!).

Scout House bed via WeeBirdy.com

3. Third Drawer Down
I love all the Third Drawer Down collaborations and the other objects they stock too (ceramics are amazing there at the moment!)

4. Any local op shop
I have a few within walking distance of my house and I can’t keep away. The tiny churchy old-school type ones are my favourite.

5. Loom
Rugs are my new obsession and the last one I brought was from Loom. They have an insanely beautiful selection – it was SO hard to choose. Plus owner Down is so helpful, too. (See image below, via Loom.)

Loom Rugs via WeeBirdy.com

4. Who or what would be your dream collaborator? What would you make?
I’d love to collaborate with someone with batik or weaving expertise to make contemporary versions of traditional fabrics. I’d also like to make rugs. Oh, and working for Tsumori Chisato or a company like Hay (see image below) would be amazing.

Hay via WeeBirdy.com

5. Christmas is just around the corner. What does your Christmas tree look like and how do you decorate it?
Despite my best efforts of keeping things tasteful and colour co-ordinated, our Christmas tree is generally our kids’ domain. They like to throw all kinds of things on there so it ends up being a bit of a twinkling mess. It’s pretty great actually.

Click here for a Wee Birdy Melbourne map, showing Beci’s favourite shops.

Find & Keep is AU$39.95 and can be found in all nice shops and book stores right now. It would make an amazing Christmas present and you can also buy it online from Booktopia and Amazon. You can find Beci Orpin online right here.


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November 12, 2012

A wee birdy week, in pictures

According to Instagram, my week looked like this:

  • I went to the beach – again! That makes it two weekends in a row. Must be a record for me.
  • I attended my first ever Kids Business Bloggers Brunch – and found some quick and easy Christmas crafts from Spotlight. (Quick and easy being key words for me.) I’m on my way to Spotlight this afternoon!
  • I also met the girls from Brown Sugar at the Bloggers Brunch, who gifted me a beautiful coral striped scarf, which went fabulously with my coral Dinosaur Designs bangle and Tom Ford lipstick in Wild Ginger.
  • I’m still loving Sydney’s magnificent show of jacarandas this year. Front lawns and footpaths everywhere are awash with jacaranda confetti. And the sight of backlit jacarandas in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun is one of my favourite Sydney sights. It means summer is just around the corner.
  • I went to an excellent Blog Photography Workshop to brush up on my DSLR skills. Hosted by the fabulous Little Paper Trees (check out her blog now) and led by lifestyle photographer Emma Scamell, we covered an incredible amount of skills in just one wee day. The workshop was held in the studios of one of my favourite Sydney shops, Little Paper Lane, so it was a day filled with lots of laughs, creativity and neon. It’s a very neon Christmas this year at Little Paper Lane – check out the riot of colour in their window displays!
  • If you’re in Sydney and you need some Christmas present inspiration, make the trip to Little Paper Lane in Mona Vale. Or check out their superb online shop. I dare you to resist pulling out your credit card! I shopped up a storm, and stocked up on Washi tapes, ribbons, an awesome extra-large alphabetical stamp set and neon gift cards. So lovely.

Instagram pics via WeeBirdy.com

  • I also met a very cute duckling (it had just hatched in my friend’s home incubator!)
  • I found the sweetest-smelling baby pineapples from the organic grocer in Avalon.
  • I stopped by The Boatshed in Palm Beach for some ice-cream. They always have the most magnificent displays of fresh fruit and flowers.
  • I took out 10 minutes to watch the Melbourne Cup, and decided to make a last-minute bet. Should have stayed at home.
  • I took delivery of a very sweet box filled with Chupa-Chups, and the latest candy-inspired collection of lip gloss, nail polish and eye-shadows from L’Oreal Paris.
  • I met the guys from Rust-oleum at the Bloggers Brunch and discovered a brand new world of magic paint and spray paints. I’ve got to get a can of their white matte spraypaint which gives your average jam jar a beautiful white ceramic-like finish. Genius.

Phew, what a week. Did I mention that I also launched a brand new craft tutorials website, Crafttuts+? More on that very soon!

Tell me, what did you get up to? You can follow me on Instagram here. I’d love to see your Instagram pics, too!

p.s. I made 2000 ‘likes’ on Facebook! Hooray! Thanks everyone for following me. X


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