Birdies

July 17, 2012

It’s Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday! Win an Alex Monroe necklace!

To celebrate Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday, I’m giving away FIVE fabulous prizes over the next FIVE days. Each prize is something I truly love and hand-picked especially for you, my dearest and most lovely readers.

Today’s prize is a stunning Alex Monroe ‘All the Best’ necklace from his new ‘Best of British Collection. Featuring a tiny golden crown and silver luggage tag engraved with ‘All the Best’, the necklace is a mix of sterling silver and 22ct gold plate and is valued at £165.

As many of my long-time readers know, I’m a huge fan of Alex Monroe and I own a few of his gorgeous pieces. So I’m thrilled to give away this very special piece from the new ‘Best of British collection, which is a celebratory tribute to 2012, and encapsulates the best of British quirkiness and all the things that Alex loves: conkers, blue tits, a teapot and his own sailing boat. Here are my favourite pieces from the collection:


Milk Bottle and Blue Tit Necklace, £165. A picturesque, early morning scene. The thirsty Blue Tit, having a refreshing drink of nice, cool milk.

Spiky Conker Necklace, £150. Spiky shelled conkers littering the ground is a definite sign that Autumn has arrived.


Sailing Boat Necklace, £120. A scale model of Alex’s own little sailing boat.

Baby Shrimp Necklace, £120. The Baby Shrimp is the smaller sibling of the incredible Goring Shrimp Necklace and is available in either rose gold plate or solid sterling silver.


Fox Bracelet, £135. This rose gold-plated fox is running circles around a sterling silver bracelet.

If you’re in London, you must add Alex’s new boutique to the list of shops you have to visit. It’s located in South East London near London Bridge station, and features all of his classic collections, alongside more luxurious 18ct gold, diamond and gemstone ‘Goldcrest’ pieces. Alex also offers an exclusive bespoke service, where you will have a one-on-one consultation to design your very own piece of Alex Monroe jewellery.

Alex also revealed to Wee Birdy his “secret London” – a list of his favourite shops, bars, pubs and hidden treasures. You can read all about it here.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Follow these two steps to win:

1. To qualify to win, you must follow or ‘like’ Wee Birdy on either Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter – or all three if you like! If you’re already following me on one of these platforms, you are automatically qualified to win.

2. Leave a comment in the comments section of this post below and ensure you enter your email address in the space provided (your email address will not be published).

The competition closes on Saturday 21 July, 2012 at 5pm AEST. Winners will be drawn at random on Sunday 22 July. Winners will be announced and contacted by email on Monday 23 July, 2012.
Winners have one week to respond to the initial email from Wee Birdy confirming that they have won. If Wee Birdy doesn’t hear from the winner of each prize within a week, the winner/s will forfeit their prize and Wee Birdy will randomly draw another winner/s.

Monday’s giveaway: Win a classic ‘Tatty Devine’ Name Necklace. Enter now!


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July 10, 2012

Birdy pick of the week: Our Garden Birds


It’s British, it’s birdy and it’s really rather beautiful – check out Matt Sewell‘s new book, Our Garden Birds: A Bird for Every Week of the Year (£4.50, Amazon). Naturally, I’m excited and delighted for Matt as his popular ‘bird of the week’ blog posts were the genesis for this compilation of his charming watercolours.

Accompanied by his inimitable observations of each bird’s distinctive character, Sewell has created his own quirky field guide to Britain’s most beloved birds. It would make a marvelous present and it’s gone straight to the top of my wishlist.

If you like Matt’s work, check out the wooden birds he made exclusively for the V&A here.


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June 11, 2012

Birdy pick of the week: Erdem silk scarf

I do love a good scarf and when British fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu turns his attention to a single silk square, the exquisite artistry of his prints can be truly appreciated.

I personally don’t know whether I’d frame or wear this beautiful piece, but I really love the simultaneous sense of abundance (of flora and fauna) and restraint (of design and colour). The dove grey silk crepe lifts it beyond any sense of chintz – not that you’d find even a whisper of that in Erdem’s sophisticated designs. £225 from Net-a-porter.


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May 29, 2012

Birdy pick of the week: Owl Know How

Exciting times in Sydney and London this week, birdies. While Jubilee preparations reach fever-pitch in London, Sydney’s most iconic buildings are currently ablaze with colour for Vivid, the annual festival of light, music and ideas.

Ranked in the Top Ten global ideas festivals by the Guardian, this year’s Vivid Sydney features an excellent line-up of speakers including Cory Doctorow, author and co-founder of Boing Boing; fashion designer Henry Holland; Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless and VICE founder and CEO Shane Smith. There will also be installations and concerts with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Karen O.

I’m speaking on a panel at Etsy Success Sydney* on Saturday, which is part of the Vivid Ideas program. It’s not just for Etsy sellers – anyone with a creative business would benefit from the talks and workshops led by the likes of Frankie editor Jo Walker, PR professional and blogger PottyMouthMama and US Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson.

In celebration of Etsy Success Sydney, I’ll be showcasing my favourite Australian Etsy shops this week on Wee Birdy and shining a light on some of our most talented designer-makers.

First up is the creative duo Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles, who have collaborated to produce this rather crafty and clever children’s book, Owl Know How – which is also this week’s birdy pick. I’ve been a long-time fan of Cat Rabbit, whose incredibly imaginative range of felt animals (think hipster rabbits in Jarvis specks and hoodies) and brooches will be featured on Wee Birdy later this week.

In the book, published by Thames & Hudson, Cat Rabbit’s felt owls and rabbits come to life with a problem-solving narrative that weaves its way through a whimsical city made of cardboard. The crafty aesthetic is warm and inviting, and the book comes with a pattern and instructions for children to create their own felt owl. You can buy a hand-signed book from Owl Know How’s Etsy shop, with a bonus gocco-printed bookplate for AU$26.

Their Etsy shop also features a very sweet Owl Know How hankie for $15, as well as some very special limited edition hand-made plush characters from the book – Cornelia Rabbit, Orvi and those inimitable owls.

* My competition for two double-passes to Etsy Success Sydney will be announced later today.


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May 25, 2012

Shopping in London: St Jude’s in the City pop-up

Another day, another pop-up shop. But this is one that you won’t want to miss – and it’s a Wee Birdy favourite, too. St Jude’s is a British-based company with two studios – one in Norfolk, England and the other in Morayshire, Scotland. Founded by Simon & Angie Lewin, the company collaborates with a variety of artists to design and produce a range of fabrics, wallpapers and other homewares.

I’ve been a long-time admirer of this little gem of a company and when we moved into our new flat in Sydney, I bought a pair of Angie Lewin’s beautiful dandelion print cushions and had them shipped over to remind me of the British countryside.

Many of Angie’s prints feature motifs inspired by nature – blossoms, seeds, berries, leaves, stems and stamens – that are distinctly British in style, and are reminiscent of mid-century designs.

Alongside St Jude’s range of artist-designed cushions, fabrics and wallpapers, Emily Sutton‘s ‘High Street’ series of original paintings will also be exhibited at the pop-up shop in central London, alongside new work by Mark Hearld and Angie Lewin.

Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's high street

Each work portrays a traditional Victorian shopfront with the most exquisite details. Pigeons peck at crumbs outside the bakery and community notices are plastered all over the door of the pet shop. The paintings are available to purchase for £495 each.

Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

And have a look at Emily’s series of birds, which I’ve never had an opportunity to showcase on Wee Birdy before.

These glorious hand-painted and hand-stitched birds were created for a past show, and have long since sold-out. I’m super-pleased to finally feature them here.

St Jude’s in The City
30 Tottenham Street
London W1
Nearest tube: Goodge Street
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm
until Friday 1 June 2012 daily


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May 21, 2012

Birdy pick of the week: Amazing British birds in LEGO

I’m kicking myself for not getting this post up earlier last week, when I first saw these incredible LEGO creations. Apparently they’ve hit the papers in Britain, but I’m hoping that they’re still news to some Aussie readers. Besides – they’re too beautiful to ignore as a Birdy of the Week.

The brainchild of LEGO and bird enthusiast Thomas Poulsom, the series of six British birds (including Bobby Robin, Kingsley Kingfisher, Billy Blue Tit, Penelope Puffin, Gloria Goldfinch and Woody Woodpecker) were made using the only LEGO bricks he had on hand.

Thomas’s goal is to get enough supporters for them to become official LEGO products – so if you love them please do give them your tick of approval here. He needs 10,000 supporters and so far he’s got 571 votes (when I first heard about them last week, he only had 17 votes). Vote, vote, vote! (please!)


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