If you’re in Melbourne right now, you might like to pop along tonight to the historic Nicholas Building in the CBD (a Wee Birdy favourite) for the opening of the Spare Room Project. Hosted and curated by Melbourne designer Matthew Thomson of Mattt (another Wee Birdy fave), the shop-within-a-shop brings together some of Melbourne’s leading designer-makers including Beci Orpin, Ask Alice, Sandra Eterovic and Victoria Mason Jewellery.
It’s perfect timing for picking up some lovely Christmas presents. You’ll also get to meet the makers and ten per cent of all proceeds go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Super-lovely!
The shopping event will also coincide with the launch of the Ask Alice ‘Wish You Were Here’ calendar and print exhibition, which will be donating 100 per cent of all profits to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. If you’re a fan of Ask Alice’s extraordinarily sweet range of stationery and prints, you will love the 2014 calendar. Sass Cocker, the lovely lady behind Ask Alice, has brought together 12 international artists to illustrate the theme of ‘Wish You Were Here’ for her annual charity calendar.
I’ve illustrated this post with some of the artworks from the calendar, including Cape Town by Studio Muti, Sydney by James Gulliver Hancock and Tokyo by Masako Kubo. If you’re out of town, you can still purchase the calendar online here. I think it’s hands-down the Best Calendar for 2014. Nice one, Ask Alice!
Third Floor, Nicholas Building
Corner Flinders Lane & Swanston Street
Thursday 28 November to Saturday 30 November
10am to 6pm (9pm Thursday and Friday)
DAN300 Babcha Luxe spring textiles. Photography courtesy of DAN300.
I’m super-excited to exclusively reveal a sneak peek of the new DAN300 spring/summer 2013 collection of textiles on Wee Birdy. I’ve had my eye on Sydney designer and director of DAN300 Daniella (Dani) Rosen for the past few years, as each new collection grew bigger – and brighter.
It was only last year that DAN300 launched their very first collection of cushions – before that, the business was primarily focused on stationery and small accessories. The new spring/summer 2013 collection marks a new level of maturity for the design studio – and look how much it shines!
DAN300 Nana’s Garage Folkland textiles. Photography courtesy of DAN300.
DAN300′s signature kaleidoscopic use of colour and pattern in last year’s Babcha Luxe collection is reflected in the new collection, with a soft new ‘aqua’ colour-way available in a range of cushions and handy zip-cases. The harlequin, fish scale and geometric prints are back, re-worked with a mid-century influence which would work beautifully in any retro-inspired or contemporary setting.
I’m also loving the relaunched Nana’s Garage collection, with its ’60s folk-inspired floral prints that are worked through the range of cushions, zip cases and a collection of new softies for babies and kids.
DAN300 new Nana’s Garage Folkland softies and zip pouches. Photography courtesy of DAN300.
The textiles ranges are named after Dani’s grandmothers: Babcha Luxe is named after her maternal grandmother (‘babcha’ is Polish for grandma); and Nana’s Garage is named after her paternal grandmother, whose garage was often used as storage for DAN300′s early collections.
I like that Dani has brought a personal ‘family story’ to her collection, as her brightly-coloured, vivid designs are at once fresh, contemporary and nostalgic – and the collection has been cleverly designed to layer throughout the home.
Dan300 Babcha Luxe aqua textiles. Photography courtesy of Dan300.
I’m rather keen on the smart collection of zip cases (below), which would make very handy emergency-nappy pouches for your handbag, as well as sweet little bags for make-up, craft supplies or pencils.
Dan300 Babcha Luxe accessories. Photography courtesy of Dan300.
DAN300 will be at the upcoming Home & Giving Trade Fair in Melbourne, where Nana’s Garage relaunch will make its debut.
Dan300 Babcha Luxe Brights cushion. Photography courtesy of Dan300.
DAN300′s new spring/summer collection will be available to pre-order online from August 1, 2013. The new products will be shipped out from August 18. But in the meantime, check out the current collection. There is free shipping within Australia for all orders over $50. Click here for a list of stockists.
Follow DAN300 on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
I’m loving the whimsical line-up of Christmas cards by Portland-based paper design studio Quill & Fox. The brainchild of Yas Imamura, the collection uses a traditional forest-green, red and gold colour palette to portray the likes of Sir Rudolph (“Renowned Expert Sleigh Leader”), Christmas carollers and a rather scary Krampus.
The folkloric and nostalgic designs remind me of the illustrations out of a 1950s Christmas children’s book. The cards are printed on cotton paper and are available on their own for US$4 or in sets of 10 for US$19.
If you like their Christmas collection, you must check out their other stationery ranges, including these adorable terrarium postcards, greetings cards and their beautifully illustrated custom wedding invitations. So lovely.
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.
- 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
It’s less than 24 hours before the London 2012 Olympic Games begin, and I can’t help but be caught up in the excitement of the count-down. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time on the bloody Daily Mail but I’m absolutely thrilled by their incredible images of the torch relay as it winds its way through the old streets of London town. It’s like the Jubilee celebrations all over again – and I’m loving it.
I will be blogging about the best of British design and style over the next few weeks, so I thought I’d kick things off with Lesley Barnes‘ triumphant lion illustration as the perfect celebratory image to mark the Opening Ceremony tonight – and follow it up with her rather handsome wee knight (below).
I’ve been following Lesley’s gloriously vibrant and pattern-rich illustrations for some time now, and I featured the Glasgow-based illustrator/animator’s festive Christmas wrap last year. I’m in love with her dazzling and sophisticated use of pattern and colour, and her illustrative style is a subtle nod to mid-century artists such as Edward Bawden, Alexander Girard and Charley Harper.
Lesley is incredibly prolific and has worked with the likes of Puffin Classics, Poketo and the V&A – you can see more work from her portfolio here. Most recently, she portrayed a kaleidoscope of colour in her illustrations of the Autumn Winter 2012 collections of various British fashion designers (attention all fashion magazine art directors!).
Her signature paper-cut graphic style is perhaps most beautifully realised in the animated video she made for (another British great) Belle and Sebastian. Lesley’s playful and folky characters come to life in the video for ‘I didn’t see it coming’ and imbue Sarah Martin’s sweetly-sung vocals with a sense of childlike naivety, while a darker threat – and heartbreak – nudges at the edges.
I Didn’t See It Coming (Richard X mix) from Belle & Sebastian on Vimeo.
It’s this shadow of darkness in Lesley’s work that intrigues me, and I reckon the book world is crying out for a new Grimm’s Fairy Tales filled with Lesley’s mythical and colour-saturated illustrations. ‘Twould be a design classic! And I’m hoping that someone will hand this lady an animated title sequence for a feature film – I’m thinking something along the lines of Catch Me If You Can.
You can purchase Lesley Barnes’ delightful cards, bookmarks and limited edition prints from her Etsy shop. Get her adorable bookmarks for Belle and Sebastian from their website. You can also find her work at Soma Gallery and Many Hands.
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.
Click here for the 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs.
Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.
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Etsy shop: Able and Game.
Who: Anna Blandford (illustrator) and Gareth Meney (techy stuff) from Melbourne, Australia.
What: Offbeat and quirky hand-drawn cards, stationery and tea-towels. A welcome antidote to Hallmark humour.
Best buys: ‘I don’t have a lazy eye’ tea towel; ‘I’d go to zone 2 for you’ greeting card; and ‘You’re all sorts of lovely’ greeting card.
How much: from US$4 for a card.
Read more: Able and Game’s website and blog.
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.