Sydney craft shop

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

  • 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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November 24, 2010

Sydney shopping: Bird Textile Emporium

UPDATE: This shop has now closed, but the Bird Textile website is still going strong. The shop is now home to Follow Store.
Read my review here.


In the first of my Sydney shop reviews, I decided to head back to my old stomping ground of Surry Hills, where we lived for three happy years before we moved to London. It’s changed a wee bit since then – most significantly, we can’t afford to live there any more. And like Shoreditch in London, this inner-city suburb has not only ushered in a new class of residents, but a new direction in retail with the likes of posh grocers and upmarket butchers lining Crown Street.

But head down to Cleveland Street and you’ll find a bit of the grit from days gone by, even if the retail scene has vastly improved. In fact, the line-up of unique and eclectic shops, cafes and restaurants call themselves The Cleveland Cluster, and include the likes of David Met Nicole (review coming soon), Dinosaur Designs Extinct and Garden Life.


I couldn’t go past Bird Textile Emporium for my very first Sydney shop review (not with a name like that, anyway). The brainchild of creative director Rachel Bending, Bird produces a range of hand-printed organic fabrics, which have been developed into over fifty product ranges spanning fashion, homewares and craft. The whole business has solid eco credentials with a commitment to sustainable design.


Housed in a heritage-listed former pharmacy dating from the 1890s, the shop is a delightful space and rare example of Sydney’s retail history, featuring old Australian tiles, the original cabinetry and fittings. It’s a fitting platform for Bird’s range of retro-inspired textiles, which are influenced by mid-century Scandinavian and Japanese design.


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Fabric is sold by the metre in three different weights, and there is also an in-house upholstery and curtain-making service. The fashion range has been recently pared down to a tidy capsule collection of five classic designs, which are available in a host of fabrics.


But it’s the homewares and crafty ranges that are the main attraction, with made-to-order lampshades (starting at AU$220) amongst the store’s best-sellers. Equally popular is the chook doorstop (AU$75), packets of buttons and fabric remnants at $25 each.


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Crafty girls can pick up an organic patchwork kit for $30, and a DIY chook doorstep kit for $35 . Don’t miss the sales catalogue online for updated reductions in fabric, homewares and fashion.

UPDATE: This shop has now closed, but the Bird Textile website is still going strong. The shop is now home to Follow Store. Read my review here.

Bird Textile Emporium 
380 Cleveland Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel. 02 8399 0230

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 10.30am-5.30pm

Refuel at Tea Parlour
Take tea and nibble on dainty scones and sandwiches. Prices are very reasonable, too.
579 Elizabeth St
Redfern NSW 2016
Open Thursday to Sunday 1pm-8pm
Tel. 0414 335 224

Photography by Lucas Boyd Photography.
Click here to view the full gallery.

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