Finishing your Christmas shopping this weekend? Here’s my edit of the best presents for all the lovely ladies in your life, starting at £8.96. If you spot something you fancy for yourself, just share it on Facebook or Twitter prefaced with a big ‘Hint, hint’!
1. ‘Dash Dot’ pointy mittens by Donna Wilson, available in three colours
£32.50, from Soma Gallery.
2. Aesop Reverence hand wash, £27 from Cult Beauty.
3. Postie leather envelope, AU$190 from Follow Store.
4. Dinosaur Designs set of three bangles, AU$215 from Dinosaur Designs.
5. Polli woven peacock pendant, AU$79.95 from Polli.
6. India Knight Mutton (hardcover), £8.96 from Amazon.
7. Paul & Joe Kitty Blusher Stick in Minou, £19 from Rose Apothecary.
8. Paris Wakefield Additions Bliss cotton satin cushion, £59.50 from Paris Wakefield Additions.
9. Melinda Young hand cut acrylic flamenco pendant, AU$95 from Collect.
10. Cadiz serving bowl, £34 from Anthropologie.
11. Ceramic band bowl XXL, €70 from Foldoys.
12. Paul and Joe colour powder (081), £19.50 from Rose Apothecary.
13. Eiffel Tower ring dish, £10 from Anthropologie.
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!
This is the book that I’ve been excited about for months. And it’s here – at last – and just in time for Christmas. Megan Morton in one of Australia’s leading stylists, but really she’s much more than that – she’s actually pretty amazing. She recently opened The School, offering a super-fresh take on craft workshops (you can learn to make pineapple piñatas, flower bombs and shibori, to name a few) as well as sharing her own creative talents through styling masterclasses.
In her new book, Things I Love, Megan has curated a darn exciting and inspirational collection of homes, people and design she loves, as well as offering a raft of tips and advice. It’s the only book I know that injects warmth and genuine excitement into sharing practical tips such as how to clean a vintage painting, how to mimic the Kate Spade wall, and – my favourite – how to fold a fitted sheet. Naturally, it’s beautifully designed and it’s full of cute features like zip-out postcards and fold-out pages.
So I thought I’d have a wee chat with Megan about something we both love – SHOPS – and boy, does she spill the goods…
You’re a such a creative bird, Megan Morton. If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?
A Leila Jeffreys budgie! Have you seen her photographs of Aussie budgies?! Amazing! Standard budgie at first glance but not-so upon further inspection! Her budgies are showing at Tim Olsen gallery at the moment and are hilariously wonderful!
I adore Leila’s birds, too! Especially the cheeky parrots. Congratulations on your fabulous new book, Things I Love. What about shops you love? Can you tell us which shops you love in Sydney?
La Croix in Kings Cross is a personal favourite because you can spend $6 or $6000 over a coffee. The grey leather banquette with pompoms is enough of a drawcard for me, let alone the glassware, candles, cups and marble kitchen bits all acquired from a medley of sources and countries [see images below].
I love Koskela for their commitment to Australian-made and furniture that is so well made and designed with wit [see image below].
I Love You Beads Warehouse in Leichhardt. There are so many hysterical reasons to love this store. I have taken up a hobby making necklaces. They are actually super nice! I go to this shop as it tickles my sense of humour as well as services all my bead fantasies.
Flour and Stone in Woolloomooloo for lamingtons and tea served in Beryl ware from classic Brown Betty tea pots [see image below].
Fairfax and Roberts. Such a decadent and wonderful store experience. I adore jewellery and watching its almost theatrical presence at this store is a wonderful way to tyre-kick/window-shop for all budgets. Shopping for me is not just about nothings, it’s about observing and getting inspiration.
Dolly Up in Surry Hills is a dangerous place for me to go in the same way Belinda is. I love maxi dresses and Erin at Dolly Up has magnificent ones. I have bought many a vintage Valentino from her. With two daughters I feel like I am doing my bit to give us all some nice vintage options in a shared family closet!
Although I designed it, I do honestly love the Ecoya candle store on Queen Street [see images from the launch night below]. Moody and devastating, with hand-blown glass scent chambers down one wall and tarnished mirror down the other. A sensory experience in the truest sense of the word.
Plus, any suburban Priceline chemists – it’s like the JB Hi Fi of chemists! High volume, low decoration with lots of useful stuff! I also like huge warehouse shops too! I love looking basically for things that aren’t expected and challenging myself to find things that are wonderful and not necessarily from predictable places or usual sources.
Which online shops do you love?
Rachel Castle for her sunshiny goodness [see images below]; Strawberrynet for cosmetics; Mecca Cosmetica; JCrew for the kids; and I can’t resist looking at the sale section of West Elm. Lu Lu Lucky for her hand-made block-coloured envelopes and other makeables.
Top five shops in the world?
I can’t contain it to five, unfortunately! I love shops and want to share them with as many people as possible so all these clever people can stay trading and thrive as they deserve to!
1. BHV in Paris – the French alternative to Bunnings although without compare.
2. Gravel and Gold in San Francisco [see image below]. Almost an anti-store. I love its jewellery, American camp blankets and the way they wrap plants in foil for unusual window displays. Everything here is so well-made and the store has little fanfare as its quality speaks volumes.
3. Arts & Science in Toyko, Japan. Another store that renders me speechless.
4. Tsé & Tsé Associées in Paris. No words.
5. The Pirate Store in San Francisco – genius. Sheer genius. Again, no words! Retailing at its highest art form here [see images below].
6. Camargue in Brisbane for its Queensland edit of the European clothes I adore, but edited for summer-wearing and set in a classic, neutral and not overly-designed boutique setting. It lets the clothes do the talking.
7. First Dibs – the online interiors auction house. The real store is on Lexington in NYC. Totally incredible and it almost makes you woozy!
8. The Tinsel Trading Co. In New York it’s one of my first stops – I could go there every day for a year and find something in there that I had not seen the day before! Expect trinkets, ribbon, garlands – actually expect none of that – as it’s that kind of place [see images below]!
9. March in San Francisco. I don’t have words for how perfect this kitchen/gift/lifestyle shop is. I hate the word “lifestyle” but in March’s case it really is a life I covet. Everything – and I mean everything here is beyond. Utterly beyond.
It’s almost Christmas and I’m dying to know what you’re doing for a Christmas tree this year.
I do a year on and a year off – so this year I am blindfolding my family – seriously – and taking them away on a surprise out-of-town Christmas. Just us. No tree. We are packing the kids’ bags without them knowing and I can’t wait to see their faces when we get to our destination!
I’ve sent a small tree and their gifts up to said destination so it’s going to be a year of surprises. Last year I did a faux tree but highly doused in mercury and silver and pewter decorations and a lunch with all the trimmings, with a day-before-Christmas party!
Year on/year off works so well for me. It gives you the energy needed to deliver a great Christmas and a rest when you need it! I love all trees and decs – even the bad ones! There is nothing bad about this time of the year, I make no style judgements.
This year at our studio we have erected a paper chandelier by Lu Lu Lucky and we are asking people to place wrapped gifts under it along with tins of food they can spare for The Salvation Army. Christmas for me only works when you can shine a kindness light.
Thank you Megan!
Click here for a Wee Birdy Sydney map, showing Megan’s favourite shops.
Things I love by Megan Morton is AU$49.95 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. You can find Megan Morton online right here.
It’s Christmas-central here at Wee Birdy, and as most of you know, I adore this time of the year and I’ve always embraced the festive season with great gusto. I’ve loved sharing all my festive wee finds with you over the past few weeks and compiling all my gift guides, but today I thought I’d invite you around to my place and show you how I’ve been getting ready for Christmas.
And to give me a kick-start, the lovely folks from Freedom gifted me with a voucher to help me deck the halls. Excitement! I really love Freedom and have spent many an hour wandering the aisles of their amazing decorating section, never failing to uncover all sorts of lovely wee finds (and it’s far more extensive in-store than online, which also adds to the excitement factor).
I wanted to create a simple but effective table setting for Christmas entertaining this year, using my collection of vintage mercury glass baubles as the inspiration (see photo above). At Freedom I found a beautiful festive silver table runner ($19.95) with a set of four matching silver napkins ($14.95), which added a great textural base for my setting. For dinnerware I used Freedom’s Fino M3 Coupe Dinner Set ($89); a sleek and minimalist everyday set that goes beautifully with my streamlined Georg Jensen AJ cutlery.
We were in desperate need of new glasses that actually matched, so I bought six Fizzy Highball tumblers (great value at $1.95 each), which provided a textural balance to my collection of Riedel stemware. This was further enhanced by Freedom’s set of three crystal glass tapered candleholders ($29.95). The centrepiece of fresh rosemary in my Georg Jensen Ilse vase added a green festive touch (and smelled great, too), and I decorated the table with nuts and pods in an assortment of George Jensen and Stelton polished stainless steel serving bowls.
I also experimented with a splash of colour, swapping the mercury glass ornaments for brightly coloured Quality Street chocolates and my collection of vintage glass Christmas decorations. Which look do you prefer?
I love creating little winter wonderland vignettes for my coffee table each year – but with a toddler in the house I’ve moved it to the sideboard! Here I’ve used Freedom’s fabulous glass belljars (Maisey Cake Stand with Dome Lid, 31cm, $14.95 and Maisey Cake Stand with Dome Lid, 33.5cm, $34.95) to make miniature winter forest scenes.
I used Maldon salt flakes (the best fake snow) and some tiny vintage Christmas cake decorations and my collection of little woodland deers to create my winter wonderlands. I really love this little tableaux and the glass belljars look great on my antique silver tray.
Our living room colour scheme is usually grey, yellow and white, so I swapped our yellow print cushions for these plump and beautifully textural red “Freeway” cushions from Freedom ($39.95). I think they really bring out the texture of the fabric in my vintage armchairs, and they also match the Scandi red and white knit stockings hanging in our fireplace.
One of my favourite childhood Christmas traditions was reading our collection of Christmas books (Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas and Father Christmas Goes on Holiday are my all-time favourites) throughout December.
I’ve continued the tradition with my son, and I was thrilled to stumble upon Freedom’s natural caprii tote with handles ($89), which is big and sturdy enough to house our growing collection. Best of all, we can use it as handy toy storage after I’ve put away the Christmas books.
Christmas always brings a raft of visiting rellies and friends, and as the contents of our linen closet has seen better days, we invested in some smart new guest towels. I bought Freedom’s generously-sized Sanctuary bath sheets (mine are in platinum, $34.95 each), which are super-luxe and perfect for guests.
We love entertaining guests on our balcony, but the unfortunate drawback is that you have to walk through our (often dishevelled) bedroom to get to it. So with a plethora of people dropping in over the next few weeks, it was time for a mini bedroom makeover.
Cue Freedom’s Henson white queen quilt cover set, $149, which features a glorious pin-tuck pattern which not only adds interest and texture to a white duvet cover, but it will never need ironing and always look good – no matter how creased it may be. Genius for time-poor parents! It also goes well with my beloved Rachel Castle yellow polka dot pillowslips, which add a pop of colour to our room.
We already had Freedom’s fabulous yellow spindle side table, which goes fabulously with the vintage saucer chairs on our balcony. But we needed some kind of decorating element to tie these disparate pieces together, and I found the solution with Freedom’s Mix n Match red cushion ($29.95) and the matching red Cera citronella candlepot ($16.95). The birds-on-a-wire frame is also from Freedom, and I’ve used it to display our Christmas cards this year.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this wee festive tour around my place! How are you getting ready for Christmas this year?
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post but I was provided with a Freedom Gift Voucher – and of course I went over my budget, which I paid for myself.
Photography by Lucas Boyd.
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.
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.
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.
Boring old beige begone: brights are back. And they’re easier than ever to work into your wardrobe or home, no matter how safe and neutral they may be. Here are my favourite bits and pieces for clothes, accessories, furniture and home decor, starting at $10.
Clockwise from top left:
Stripe tank dress, AU$129 from Country Road.
IKEA PS 2012 blue stool, AU$49.99 from IKEA.
IKEA PS 2012 green easy chair, AU$199 from IKEA.
Colour-pop metal bed in yellow, AU$620 from Lark.
Emerald bella wallet, AU$34.95 from Sussan.
Jonathan Adler giant erasers, £12 from Heal’s.
Pink marcie bag, AU$59.95 from Sussan.
Citrus floral necklace, AU$29.95 from Sussan.
Linen peg leg pant, AU$69.95 from Sussan.
IKEA PS 2012 cushion cover, AU$10 from IKEA.
Weekender occasional chair in yellow, AU$229 from Freedom.
Flamingo all over cushion, AU$29.95 from Freedom.
← Older posts
According to Instagram, this is what the last two weeks in my life looked like. What it doesn’t show is one grizzly toddler, numerous piles of dirty laundry, three separate cases of head colds and two unpacked suitcases.
But let’s rewind a little, back to my walk through Camperdown Cemetery, where I found myself recently after another fruitless attempt to find childcare in Sydney’s inner west. It’s astonishingly beautiful for an inner-city cemetery, just metres from the endless traffic of Newtown’s King Street, and many of Australia’s earliest colonial settlers are buried there (including several of my ancestors). I really loved the little cottage with a lovely shingled roof within the cemetery grounds (top right).
I also went to the launch of the new IKEA catalogue and textiles collection in Tempe (hurrah! the new IKEA catalogue is out now!) and I got the most incredible care package from London courtesy of Miss B from A Girl, A Style (Jubilee tea canisters! a Liberty hankie! London souvenirs!), before heading to the airport for a family trip to New Zealand.
At the beginning of last week I found myself in the heart of Christchurch, pottering around the marvellous new shipping container stores which are part of the Re:Start initiative. More on that later. I also punted down the River Avon and admired the early spring blooms before heading to Mt Hutt for a bit of snow action. The scenery was spectacular and I don’t think we even took a particularly iconic ‘scenic’ route. Just before flying back to Sydney, I spotted a few penguins at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch.
Back home, I stumbled across a garden crammed with gnomes, Mr Birdy made me proud with his shiny new trophy for a mobile app he designed, and I bought some strawberries at the Farmers’ Market in Taylor Square.
Busy? Why yes, just a tad.
What have you been up to? And if you’re on Instagram, find me @WeeBirdy.