Buying on a budget has never looked better, especially when you’re talking about snapping up great presents for under 30 quid with brand names like Missoni, Stila and iitala. Not to mention the plethora of loveliness that is just waiting to be discovered from some really fabulous online retailers. I’ve scoured the web for the best presents from around the globe – all for under 30 Aussie bucks (or roughly 20 quid for my UK readers).
1. OMM Design Pablo & Dali Salt and Pepper Shakers, AU$29.95 from My Messy Room.
2. Vienna medium cosmetic bag, AU$29.95 from Country Road.
3. Chalkboard pears garden stakes, AU$24.95 from Follow Store.
4. Yellow collapsible basket, AU$19.95 from Oxfam.
5. Drum major lavender bag by Ben Javens, £8.50 from Soma Gallery.
6. All is Bright Lip Glaze Set by Stila Cosmetics, £18.50 from Cult Beauty.
7. Littlephant Carnival Mug, AU$22 from Hello Polly.
8. Extra-wide colourful thread bracelet, £8 from the V&A shop.
9. Moleskine 2013 Le Petit Prince Pocket Daily Planner, US$19.95 from Moleskine.
10. iittala Kivi tealight, AU$24.95 from Funkis.
11. Mini Ship in a Bottle, AU$13 from Hello Polly.
12. Blafre yellow Bambi rectangle box, AU$14.95 from My Messy Room.
13. Ruth M sugar bowls, €16 form Foldoys.
14. Set of four letterpressed coasters by New Found Original & Ryan Todd, £8 from Soma Gallery.
15. Alba tea light, Euro€16 from Foldoys.
16. Ceramic heart studs by Septembre Vintage, AU$18 from Follow Store.
17. Wooden garnet brooch in macaroon, AU$29.95 from Polli.
18. Logo waffle tea towel, AUD$8.95 from Country Road.
19. Missoni Home Niles hand towel, £13 from Amara.
20. Small mixing bowl in watermelon by Sian Thomas, AU$30 from Follow Store.
21. Eggling, AU$25 from Freedom Australia.
22. Mountain 01 Oelwein, AU$25 from Hello Polly.
23. Small mercury glass diamond votive, £5 from Ben Pentreath.
24. Groove porcelain vase, AU$19.95 from My Messy Room.
25. Owl lip balm, £3.75 from the V&A Shop.
26. Geometric magnet set by Snug Studio, AU $22 from Hello Polly.
27. Respectable spectacle case by Susiemaroon, AU$15 from Hello Polly.
28. Crystal heart necklace, £15 from the V&A Shop.
29. MT masking tape, £13.50 for a pack of five from Ben Pentreath.
30. White beaded collar necklace, £15 from the V&A Shop.
Want more lovely present inspiration? Click here for all my Christmas 2012 Gift Guides.
Prefer to buy handmade? Click here for my Etsy 2012 Christmas Gift Guides.
And don’t miss my Top 20 Christmas Crackers and my Top 20 Christmas Stockings!
‘Tis the season to get crafty. Or something like that. It’s December 4, so there are still 20 days to make your own presents. Plenty of time, right?
Did you catch Part 1 in this series? Have a read of it here. I found so many clever ideas on my Pinterest boards that I had to split my top 20 over two blog posts. So here are another ten totally genius, fairly thrifty and completely do-able projects…
p.s. Pom-pom progress report
Remember my pom-pom project? I’m making them to decorate my presents this year. So far I’ve made 6 pom-poms. Another 30-odd to go. I think I need fatter yarn. Or faster fingers.)
1. Woven metal bracelet (see top) by Julia Petit.
2. Hot Air Balloon Mobile (top) by Brown Accents.
3. DIY crafty book binder by Poppytalk.
4. Fabric-wrapped coathangers by Corrieberry Pie (OK, some of you may think this is naff, but I would absolutely adore getting a bundle of these in different Liberty print fabrics. Am I the only one? And it looks so easy, too! Tell me if you think I’m nuts.)
5. DIY Pom Pom Necklace by Honesty WTF.
6. Scrappy lampshade tutorial by The Pleated Poppy.
7. Silhouette mason jars by Lauren Elise Crafted.
8. Floral fabric-covered suitcases by A Beautiful Mess (and yes, I do think they would look superb covered in Liberty print fabric.)
9. Peter Pan collar by Honestly WTF (do you follow this blog? It’s brilliant).
Holiday mat by A Beautiful Mess (another Wee Birdy blog favourite).
All photography courtesy of the original blogger/designer/maker. Thank you to all the very clever people behind these projects.
What do you reckon? See anything you fancy making? How are your DIY Christmas projects going?
Forgotten to sort out Valentine's Day tomorrow? Can't be bothered and/or don't want to buy into the whole commercial nastiness of it all, rah rah rah? If you're so inclined, then you may like to check out these marvellously birdy Valentine's Day designs, courtesy of digital design studio Ollibird. Seriously minimal effort required, too. Thanks to Urban Mums for the super tip.
For those who may have missed my story in Time Out, here are some more pics from my latest fave shop in London, Lapin & Me. The newest arrival to the independent shopping haven that is Columbia Road (well, it's actually just around the corner on Ezra Street, but near enough), Lapin & Me stocks a fanciful and French-y range of limited-edition dolls, design-led products, stationery, homewares and children's clothes.
Wee Birdy is also super-chuffed to have served a tiny role in the creation of the real bricks-n-mortar shop. Apparently owner Madeleine James was inspired by the Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays post last year, and started looking around the area for the perfect premises.
On my shopping wishlist is the hand-stitched "one-eyed" doll (see top pic, £36), Nathalie Lete's illustrated "Parisian shopper", and a Fatina doll brooch (£21). There are also glass jars on the main counter brimming with the most delightful pocket-money goodies, like Alain Gree labels (£3.50), vintage stork & baby sets (£2) and Tooth Mouse boxes (£3.50).
Don't fret if you're out of London – you can dig into this whimsical treasure trove online at www.lapinandme.co.uk.
Lapin & Me
14 Ezra St
London E2 7RG
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.
Click here for more shops in East London.
What do you think of my first collage-y Easter thing-y? I've got a folder full of Easter finds and was thinking of palatable ways of serving it up. There's more to come, but I thought I'd have a play with these ones first.
1. Egg trinket box, £5, from Paperchase.
2. Tin of glitter vintage-style Easter postcards, £10, from Willow and Stone.
3. Painted egg decorations, £3 for a pack of six, from Paperchase.
4. Mini feltidermy bunny brooch, US$25, from Girl Savage’s Etsy’s shop.
5. Chick iced biscuit, £1.49, from Marks & Spencer.
6. Alessi Cico egg cup, £9, from John Lewis.
7. Easter crackers with confetti, £8 from a pack of six, from John Lewis.
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There’s much to love about living so close to London’s Borough Market. It’s become our little Saturday morning ritual, where we take it easy and wander around the stalls, check out the new produce, and make a beeline for Konditor & Cook for a “real” coffee (because Monmouth's always too busy). But sometimes? I’m not quite sure how living in such close proximity to cheesy heaven, aka Kappacasein’s raclette stand, is advantageous for my arteries.
The premise for a Swiss raclette is ridiculously simple: a white carb celebration of melted Ogleshield cheese, new potatoes, baby gherkins and pickled onions. But it’s also ridiculously delicious – and the long queues are a testament to this fact. The plus side of the waiting time is that you get to watch the whole mesmerising raclette-making process, which involves scraping hot, bubbling cheese onto your pile of potatoes and gherkins. Oh lordy!
I especially love the acidic, crunchy baby gherkins, which contrast beautifully with the creamy, cheesy potatoes.
They also make the most unbelievably good toasted cheese sandwiches with Montgomery cheddar, onions, leeks and garlic on Poilâne sourdough.
Kappacasein is at Borough Market on Fridays 10am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-4pm, and can be found just opposite Southwark Cathedral.
8 Southwark Street
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.