30 September 2008

Hip Products: Doormat Designs

Think of doormat, and you'll generally think of gnarly, boring slab that sheds all over the place. Thank goodness for Di Mitchell and her son Nick from Doormat Designs who are spearheading a doormat revolution with all sorts of fabulous modern designs to liven up your front door. I need the deer head doormat right now.

Doormat Designs is an Australian-owned company based in Adelaide and you can find stockists all over Australia by phoning the head office on (08) 8340 7046.

Image: Doormat Designs

27 September 2008

Drool-worthy Design: Aunty Cookie

I kind of feel like I'm stalking Shannon Lamden. Shannon is the creative drive behind beautiful design brand Aunty Cookie. For some reason (probably that she is incredibly talented and everyone loves her work), I keep finding her products/interiors/design all over the place - on baby booties at a high-end baby store near my parents' place, on the Mathilda's Market homepage, in an article for Arthur's Circus in Frankie magazine, and in online fabric store Kelani Fabrics where I picked up a gorgeous Kristen Doran craft panel. And you'll find images of her fabulous home in all sorts of interior magazines and design blogs (I feel like I've seen the Stickmeon rabbit wall decal everywhere!). If you get a chance to check out Shannon's blog, you'll see that she also has a wicked sense of humour and fun writing style.

Shannon screenprints all her fabric by hand in Melbourne on 55% Linen/45% Cotton. I just love the Aunty Cookie designs and I'm really proud to find yet another Aussie artist conquering the world with unique and beautiful design work.

You can find Shannon online at Aunty Cookie, on her blog, on Flickr and you can find Aunty Cookie products and fabrics in her Etsy store online and at these stockists.

Image: Kelani Fabrics

26 September 2008

Baby Onesie Extenders

I get a little sad packing away my favourite baby clothes and wish I could have had a little more use out of them. Aussie invention Little Extensions comes to the rescue! Little Extensions are a genius product designed get more use out of your baby's onesies. The material attaches to the snaps at the crotch to increase the length of the outfit. Handmade in Australia from cotton Lycra, Little Extensions come in packs of 3 sizes and fit many brands. You can find them at Ekidna Kidswear where they retail for $AUD14.95.

Shop online for kids products from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Ekidna Kidswear

24 September 2008

Stylish Kids: Hullubullu

More fabulous Australian-made children's fashion for you this week. This time from Sydney label Hullubullu who create fun retro-inspired children's clothing for sizes 00 - 9 years. How cool are these pants for boys! The winter-weight 100% cotton pants in sizes 0-4 are $AUD38. The new Hullubullu Sydney store at 243 Australia St, Newtown also stocks toys, books and gifts and is open 7 days. And of course you can order online; details on the Hullubullu Website. Thanks to Julie for the heads-up.

For more great kids fashion check out Bondville Kids. Shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Hullubullu

23 September 2008

Events: Mathilda's Market

If you love unique, stylish children's clothes and love to support handmade and independent designers, then Mathilda's Market is for you. My friend Dan gave me the heads up on the markets, which are held throughout Australia in November (just in time for holiday shopping). The markets are a showcase of artists, designers and small retailers and their baby and kids clothing, accessories and decor.

Mathilda's Market will be held in Brisbane on 9th November, and Melbourne, Sydney and Perth on 16th November 2008. All details are on the Website. The organisers are the same folks that put together the successful Baby & Kids Market for secondhand goods.

Image: Mathilda's Market

22 September 2008

Stylish Kids: Red Chalk

Cool Australian children's fashion brand Red Chalk now has an online store with international shipping.

The unique and edgy clothes for little ones has previously only been found in a few places (including one of my favourite children's stores - Echidna Place in Bangalow, NSW), but now you can order their hip pieces with an easy click of the mouse and have them shipped anywhere in the world.

Kate Perry's designs are developed from cut paper, potato stamps, sticky tape, paint, illustrations and silk screens. Each item comes with a story behind the print design on the swing tag. I really love the nursery rhyme newspaper print in particular. All Red Chalk clothing is Australian-designed and made.

Check out more Australian kids fashion at Bondville Kids. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Unique Boutiques

17 September 2008

Drool-worthy Design: Feed The Dog

Before I left Sydney, I made a trip to the Paddington Markets and spotted some gorgeous printed and appliqued cushions that I desperately wanted but for some reason couldn't decide which one/got distracted/ had to feed my baby and left without getting one.

The great news is that today I found the designer - the fabulous Sydney-based artist Carmel of Feed The Dog. I particularly love the Sydney cityscape, nervous sheep and jumping dog (pictured), and you have to check out the cool dinosaurs designed by her nephews. I think they would look just as great in a nursery as in a living room. You can find many pieces on Etsy and all the latest designs on Flickr and the Feed The Dog Blog.

Image: feedthedogwhoblogs on Flickr

16 September 2008

Cool Websites: Melbourne Design Guide on Design*Sponge

Design*Sponge has an excellent series of city guides for the design-savvy, and one of the newest editions is for Melbourne. Check out the great list by Lucy Sharbanee to find hip places to hang out, eat, shop and relax.

You can also find a great round-up of Melbourne-based artists on Design*Sponge with interviews and a peek at their work. Makes me want to book a trip down there asap.

Image: Design*Sponge

15 September 2008

Stylish Kids: 6.5st

Today I'm celebrating the talent of Sydney-based Allison Brookbanks - the creative mind behind gorgeous children's clothing brand 6.5st. Allison's work is beautiful, considered and entirely handmade. You can only buy 6.5st pieces online at etsy. Allison also creates gorgeous knitting patterns for sale on Ravelry, and is an accomplished photographer. And on to top it off, Allison is also an architect. You can check out the latest creative offerings in Allison's world on her blog 6.5st and on Flickr.

Image: 6.5st on Flickr

12 September 2008

Cool Websites: Threadless.com

When we lived in New York City there was a huge mural painted on the side of the building across the road of an enormous panda and a rainbow with the word "Threadless.com" across the top. It made me smile every day.

Well now Threadless is *huge*, and it's worth a reminder of how cool the designs are on this site. Threadless.com is essentially an on-going t-shirt design competition. Anyone can submit their original design and if it gets a high enough score from people visiting the site and is chosen by the Threadless crew, it will be printed and sold from Threadless.com. The panda image from the billboard is from the Pandamonium print by Ross Zietz and is a best-seller. Check out the site for great shirts for men, women and kids too. And check out the fun Threadless Sightings section to spot celebs and non-celebs in the media sporting Threadless tees.

Threadless.com offers international shipping and also has a store in Chicago.

Image: Threadless.com

11 September 2008

Hip Products: georgie tees

It's sometimes a little tough on a girl's ego when that little baby bump is not pronounced enough for other folks to cotton on. And truly, no-one really notices or thinks you are porking out - it's all in your head. But it's times like these that you need a cute graphic t-shirt proclaiming your state in a humourous way.

The cool girls at georgie tees in the US have created some crackers including "Nesting", "Made it past third base", "Does This Shirt Make Me Look Fat?" and my favourite "Packin' (this works on multiple levels in Australia! Packin' heat, Packin' baby and Packin' death!). The girls have also created a fun range of baby tees and onesies too.

You can find georgie tees at the georgie tees online store (US shipping only) and at stockists in the US and online. Ask your favourite maternity store to stock them.

Image: georgie tees

9 September 2008

Hip Products: Rody bouncing horse

We first spotted the incredibly cool Rody bouncing horse in Baltimore. These ponies have been around since 1984 and are a kids' favourite in the US, but are rare in Australia. Made in Italy, the Rody horse from Gymnic was originally registered by Ledramax plastics in 1984.

Hopping on the Rody is great for helping children to learn balance and coordination and the toy is often used in therapy for handicapped children. We got the red Rody for our big girl for her first birthday.

Shop online for kids products from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Steph Bond

8 September 2008

When in Vancouver, Must Do JAPA DOG

My sister has been raving about the Japanese-style hotdogs from street vendor JAPA DOG in Vancouver. When we were there last month, we happened to stay in the hotel right next door, so ventured out on our first jet-lagged night to try the local delicacy.

Signs on the stand scream out "Eat JAPA DOG!", promote all the famouse people that have eaten there, and display the unusual hotdog flavours include Misomayo(turkey smokie laden with special miso sauce, Kaiware, and japanese mayo), Oroshi (bratwurst laden with special soy sauce, green onions, and daikon), and Terimayo (smothered in Japanese mayo, nori, teriyaki sauce, and fried onions). It's a fun, kitschy experience that puts JAPA DOG high on my list of must-do's in Vancouver.

You can find JAPA DOG at the corner of Burrard and Haro St, downtown Vancouver, BC.

Image: bbqmag at Flickr

5 September 2008

Love For Nie Nie

The wonderful folks of the online design blog community have rallied around to support the Nielson family. Christian and Stephanie Nielson (of Nie Nie Dialogues) were critically burned in a small plane crash in Arizona in August and are recovering in hospital. Gabrielle at Design Mom has a huge listing of auctions that are up for grabs to raise money for the the Nielsons. Spend away!

Image: Design Mom

4 September 2008

Hip Products: myMonkeymoo Stroller Pads

If you are like us and have a stroller that is a little... drab, the great designs of myMonkeymoo stroller pads and liners may perk up your baby pushing experience. my Monkey moo is another design brand that we discovered while in Vancouver last month and all products are designed and made in Canada.

The liners are plush swirl chenille on one side, and hip bright 100% cotton fabric on the other, with holes to fit 5-point harness-compatible strollers. The liner fits our Maclaren beautifully. myMonkeymoo also stocks matching blankets for cooler weather.

The stroller pads are machine washable and retail for CAD$69 from MyMonkeymoo's online store and retailers in Canada, the US and the UK.

Image: myMonkeymoo

3 September 2008

All The Girls Are Wearing Lululemon

When we were in Vancouver last month, we noticed the huge number of women wearing stretch pants and jackets with a tiny upside-down U symbol. And I mean a huge number... it was almost a uniform on the streets of Vancouver. My sister pointed out that Vancouverites are devotees of the Lululemon Athletica brand, and on the rest of our trip we noticed girls in their Lulus all over New York and San Francisco too. Lululemon Athletica is a clothing and lifestyle brand featuring yoga-inspired workout and casual gear, to seamlessly take you from home to running errands to a fitness class. You can find Lululemon Athletica stores in Canada (the brand orginiated in Vancouver), the US, Australia, and wholesalers in a selection of other countries.

Image: Lululemon Athletica

2 September 2008

Hip Products: Kristen Doran's Matryoshka Doll Fabric

Matryoshka Dolls are so cool right now and talented textile designer Kristen Doran has launched a beautiful fabric design featuring the little Russian nesting dolls. You can use the fabric for any kind of project, but the genius is that you can cut them out, stuff them, and you have your very own Matryoshka/Matrioshka softies. And clever Kristen has even made them into adorable brooches. You can find Kristen Doran's Matryoshka Doll fabric at Kelani Fabric Obsession.

Image: Steph Bond

1 September 2008

Drool-worthy Design: Leonhard Pfeifer Mini Bar Side Table

The absolute highlight of my vacation in the US and Canada was the launch of my friend Leon's amazing Mini Bar Side Table in the New York Museum Of Modern Art store. The piece is genius - one part living room furniture, one part hidden drinks cabinet, all parts very cool. The mini.bar is just one piece from Leon's clever new.est range of occasional furniture made for small living spaces. I've written before about the Proteus Table and the low table. You can find the Leonhard Pfeifer Mini Bar at MOMA stores, MOMA store online and in the UK at Heal's stores and other international stockists. You can find more info about Leon's furniture designs at LeonhardPfeifer.com.

Image: Leonhard Pfeifer
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