30 April 2009

Welcome New Sponsor Ele-ahbaant

I'm really pleased to let you know that we have a new Bondville sponsor that holds such similar values to our own. Children's online clothing boutique Ele-ahbaant focuses on ethical (sweatshop-free) and environmentally friendly clothing, and Australian designers. You can't really go wrong!

Ele-ahbaant stocks great brands including Bondville favourites Red ChalkNanny PickleItch DesignMiatomBaobab and the Ele-ahbaant Designs label. Here are a few of my favourite finds for newborn to age 8:

29 April 2009

Australian Artist Spotlight: The Strutt Sisters

Hailing from Newcastle, NSW (a surprising hotbed of talent), The Strutt Sisters are twins Catherine (pictured above) and Jennifer Strutt - two mixed media artists with a penchant for 50's style and Scandanavian design.

They specialise in the creation of incredibly cool dioramas utilising characters from postcards, old medical textbooks and vintage magazines. They also create fun jewellery using fabulous vintage fabric inspired by the colours and traditional costumes of Scandanivia which they have extensively travelled.

Catherine and Jennifer's mixed media exhibitions have included 3D dioramas of Estonian folk dancers, cicadas, songs about birds and folk festivals. The duo utilise the art of bricolage - the creation of work from a diverse range of materials at hand. Their jewellery range reflects the same quirky, joyous quality as their artwork, and is handmade in their Newcastle studio.

You can find work by The Strutt Sisters online at the website. Order pre-made or custom designed jewellery by clicking on the order page. The Strutt Sisters products are also available at stockists around Australia including Moose: Art For Living.

A huge thanks to Amy from Lilla Poesia (who owns a gorgeous Strutt Sisters necklace) for alerting me to this talented duo.

Images: top - "Man and woman from Jamaja" and middle - "Nobody thought to ask atlas, the strongest man in the world" at Damien Minton Gallery; Catherine Strutt - Julie (Sydney Eye) from One Hundred Strangers; jewellery - The Strutt Sisters

28 April 2009

Brown Owls Brisbane Crochet Granny Squares

I was never a Girl Guide or a Brownie, but I was in Girls Brigade. And although we had a great time, I have always wondered what it would be like to wear that mushroom brown uniform and bake cookies and do all the things that Brownies do. So I did the next best thing, and joined the Brown Owls group in Brisbane.

This group is decidedly for big kids and we like to get together once a month to have some morning tea and work on a craft project. This weekend we worked on crocheting granny squares. I had worked on crochet with my Mum when I was young, and it's amazing how it all comes flooding back. It was lovely to craft and chat Next step - doilies. I'd love to make some sweet patches to sew onto Sophie's jeans.
I had a lovely time chatting to Alischa from Bespoke Letterpress Boutique, so really didn't get too far in 2 hours, but I think the chatting, baked goodies, cup of tea and relaxed atmosphere with other like-minded people is great for the soul.

A special thanks to Em from EmBelish for the excellent tuition and hands-on help. For more previous meetings, check out this post. For more pics, check out Helen's blog and Rebecca's post on the Brown Owls member blog.

Brown Owls was conceived by Pip from Meet Me At Mike's. For more information on Brown Owls and a chapter near you, check out the official blog.

Images: Steph Bond-Hutkin

27 April 2009

Drool-worthy Design: Dizzy Wizzy Design stationery

My friend Kerry was married in December in a gorgeous Alice Temperley gown which begged for a vintage-style wedding theme. I wish I had known about Dizzy Wizzy Design back then, as I would have sent Kerry straight there to pick her invitations. Natalie's retro styling is bang on-trend and perfect for a vintage-style wedding.

Graphic designer Natalie Sullivan launched custom stationery line, Dizzy Wizzy Design , in October 2008. Based in Perth, Natalie designs one-of-a-kind couture wedding stationery. Make sure you also check out Natalie's customisable birth announcements, Christmas cards and social stationery. I have also fallen for her "Circus Circus" birth announcement.

You can order directly from Natalie at the Dizzy Wizzy online Shoppe or selected items through Minted.com. And check out Natalie's blog for more behind-the-scenes information.

P.S. Curious about Kerry's wedding? See the pics here.

Images: Dizzy Wizzy Design

24 April 2009

Earth Week 2009

It gladdens my heart that so many places around the world are celebrating Earth Week this week. Etsy hosted a Best Eco Finds competition and I was thrilled to see that Bondville favourite Beckybean came in at number 10 (in the world!) with the gorgeous Macchiato shoulder bag made from jute coffee bean sacks from the local Merlo. Congratulations Bec and Jade!

Other great Aussie designers that made the finals included Mingus Designs (#21), Lily Ruby King (#22), Pedrosprout (#23), Ruby-Jo (#28), Pocket Carnival (#35), Heidi and Seek (#42), Epheriell (#55), REread (#55), benconservato (#55), Artdecadence (#58) and Ruby 2 Go Go (#60). That's 20% of finalists!

And in a nod to celebrating everything eco-friendly, please take the time to re-discover these special Australian designers who are dedicated to environmentally friendly practices in their work:

Eco-friendly on Bondville

I hope you were able to do your small part this week, and I hope that soon Earth Week extends to Earth Month, and then Earth Every Day.

Image: Beckybean

Hip Products: Aunty Cookie type cushions

Guru of the Australian textile/art/design world Shannon Lamden (aka Aunty Cookie) has released some limited edition cushions that are to die for. The striking type graphics make a huge statement and have that cool factor that is hard to recreate. And I would no doubt enjoy many hours of fun with the eyechart cushion, showing off my vision to anyone that will listen.

Limited edition Aunty Cookie cushions are available from the Aunty Cookie etsy store. These guys sell like hotcakes (the flocked Ampersand is already unavailable - update 9am: more just about to be uploaded to Etsy - get in quick!). And while you are there make sure you pick up some hotter than hot Letterhead material to whip up something cool with.

P.S. you must check out the Aunty Cookie blog - Shannon's sense of humour is Wicked with a capital W!
P.P.S read my post about Aunty Cookie textiles here.

Images: Aunty Cookie

23 April 2009

Hip Products: Edward & Lily craft

Rebecca Cason from Edward & Lily is super-lovely and a great member of the Brisbane craft community (and Brown Owl prefect extraordinaire). She also creates lovely accessories for her Etsy tore. I'm grateful to Katy (who commented on Bondville last week) for the reminder on her website to check out Rebecca's new creations.

I'm totally taken with these two pouches. Rebecca has embroidered these kickin' boots and beanie onto linen, then made adorable pouches by hand. Perfect for business cards, credit carts, coins, lipstick, you name it.

Rebecca also creates hanging scented birds and sweet softies. Keep an eye on the Edward & Lily Etsy store for new creations.

Image: Edward & Lily

22 April 2009

Welcome New Sponsor Little Styles

Little Styles is a gorgeous new online children's boutique and I'm so happy to welcome them as sponsors of Bondville. This store has an incredible range of children's products from Australia and around the world including much-loved labels Bebe, Big by Fiona Scanlan, Infancy, Purebaby and more.

Here are a few items that I can't resist:
1. Meg On The Moon by Helen Nicholls and Jan Pienkowski. I was so excited to find this book; the Meg, Mog and Owl series were favourites of mine as a child and they look gorgeous today.
2. Muddy Cloud Balob Doll from the US - hip, bright and cuddly.
3. Elodie Details Stroller Bag in Cherry blossom bird to keep baby warm and stylish on the go.

And for the month of April, express post shipping is free for Little Style orders over $50. Please pop by check out the gorgeous baby gifts, clothes and products available for stylish little people.

Images: Little Style

21 April 2009

New MOZI Designs: Silk Road

I'm so proud that the fabulous MOZI brand is Australian and have proclaimed my love for their product range before. And I'm happy to let you know about the new Silk Road design launch. The colours, scents and patterns of the range are inspired by destinations along the silk road (think a shimmering Taj Mahal, lolloping camels laden with treasures, jewel-hued saris, handwoven Persian carpets, and ornate jars of spices). You'll also find matching fragrances in room sprays, soaps and candles such as "Persian Peach" and "Preserved Citrus Fruits".

The Silk Road range is available now from the MOZI website and stockists around the world. And in the tradition of cool brands, MOZI is launching a limited time pop up shop in Melbourne. From 23rd April - 2 June 2009, you can find everything MOZI at 763 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorne.

Image: MOZI

Australian Artist Spotlight: Catherine Campbell

Do you recognise Catherine Campbell's dreamy illustrations? If you read Frankie, Notebook, Real Living or Small Magazine you might; Catherine has been featured in all these great mags as well as participating in exhibitions across Australia and in the US.

I'm drawn to the ethereal beauty of the women in Catherine's art, highlighted with just a touch of watercolour. Make sure you check out some of Catherine's interesting papercut technique on her site.

Catherine is a graduate of the College of Fine Arts, NSW and is now based in Melbourne. You can own your own print from her Etsy store My Folk Lover. And this is huge - for today only, Catherine is hosting a sale of 50% off all prints at her My Folk Lover Etsy store. Sale finishes 21st April 2009.

You can find out more about Catherine's art and upcoming exhibitions on her blog, website and Flickr photosteam. You can also find a great interview with Catherine on Design*Sponge.

And a huge thank you to Anna from Able and Game who mentioned Catherine's sale on Twitter and prompted my further exploration.

Image: Your Tales are Mine by Catherine Campbell

20 April 2009

Hip Products: Able and Game greeting cards

When Anna from Able and Game introduced herself to me on Twitter I almost died and went to cool card heaven. Anna Blandford and Gareth Meney's ultra-cool, ultra-dry greeting cards feature quirky illustrated characters and dead-pan witticisms.

You might know Melbourne-based Anna from her other label Anna Laura (of the cool badge and accessories line - watch out for an upcoming profile). When Anna and Gareth started creating the kind of cards they wanted to give (truthful and poignant but without the mush), they were in such high demand that they decided to launch their own card line. Lucky for us!

Grab a fun card for Mother's Day (and pocket a few for upcoming birthdays too). Tell me you can't resist 80's guy (isn't that the French hipster from Son of Rambo?). And who wouldn't want to be an Amazing Race partner?

You can find Able and Game products on Etsy and check out new designs on the blog. You'll also find designs on Anna Laura's Flickr photostream. Move over The Far Side!

Images: Able and Game

17 April 2009

Stylish Kids: Cheeky Chickies organic cotton kids clothes

Ooh, here's something a bit different. The brand new Cheeky Chickies Free Range ClothingTM features totally cute eco-friendly childrens' clothes with a preppy feel - nautical red, white and blue colour palette, bold stars and hand-finished rosettes. Even better, these mix and match outfits for boys and girls are made in Australia from organic cotton.

How adorable are these two bubs in their soft breezy dresses. Simply add more Cheeky Chickies layers for cooler weather - you really can't go past the very cool superhero cape and skoodie (scarf + hoodie!) accessories.

You can buy NSW-based Cheeky Chickies Free Range ClothingTM from the online store. Join Club Chickie for a monthly email newsletter with updates on new additions to the range, member specials, competitions and giveaways.
And don't forget to check out the Cheeky Chickies blog.

You can find more stylish kids clothes in the Australian Designer Baby Clothes section of this site. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Cheeky Chickies

16 April 2009

Australian Artist Spotlight: Kate Knapp of Twigseeds

The cartoon styling of Queesland-based Kate Knapp's Twigseeds is a world of illustration, storytelling and messages designed to inspire. Stop by the Twigseeds website and you'll meet several furry personalities (including white hare Ruby Red Shoes and Saffy the dog) who aim to help us "consider our world".

Kate's Twigseeds range includes books, gift tags and greeting cards, art prints, and inspirational card decks. I love the level of detail that Kate has created in her Twigseeds worlds and I find myself searching each illustration for the small touches. Hence the name 'Twigseeds' which represents for Kate "our belief in the value of small things in the world". My Sophie has fallen hard for Kate's fish illustration causing quite the scene when we had to leave Coming Up Roses in Balmoral on Tuesday.

You can find Twigseeds at the online shop as well as stockists across Australia. And thank you Kylie for introducing me to Kate's work.

Image: Kate Knapp

14 April 2009

Hip Products: MiniLaLa modern cloth nappies

I almost died when I spotted the Amy Butler and Alexander Henry material on these modern cloth nappies! I'm all for making environmentally-friendly products more appealing to people and lovely Carli Green has done a fabulous job making reusable nappies look incredible. Her MiniLaLa nappies are hot, hot, hot! So hot, that they all sell out they day they are stocked.

Featuring a snazzy designer cotton fabric outer, a hidden waterproof layer, a suedecloth inner and bamboo and microfibre liners, the nappies are one-size-fits-all and adjustable with velcro tabs. See the MiniLaLa Information page for details on washing and reusing.

Carli also creates adorable hair clips, resuable baby wipes and mini bibs for little ones under the MiniLaLa label, available at the MiniLaLa online store and select stockists.

You'll find more info about MiniLaLaa on the blog. To order nappies you'll need to be on the MiniLaLa mailing list to be alerted to the stocking date. And as Carli says, if you haven't used cloth before, how can you resist giving them a try when they look this cute?

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

Image: MiniLaLa

13 April 2009

New Bespoke Letterpress Boutique Prints

Lovely Alischa from Bespoke Letterpress Boutique has released two gorgeous new letterpress prints - antique chairs! How can you not desperately want one of these? Available in two colourways [charcoal + dark olive green + canary yellow] and [charcoal + dark olive green + magenta], the limited edition set of 100 prints come numbered and signed.

The new prints are available now from the Bespoke Letterpress Boutique online store for $30. And if you snap one up before midnight 17th April 2009 you'll receive free shipping within Australia and reduced international shipping. Delicious!

(Read more about Bespoke Press on Bondville here)

Images: Bespoke Letterpress Boutique

Drool-worthy Design: Thea and Sami textiles

All the cool crafty types in Brisbane seem to be learning screenprinting from Thea Samios. Thea runs the Thea and Sami Design and Print Studio where she specialises in the small batch production of fabulous hand-crafted fabrics, eco-fashions and homewares.

The Thea and Sami range includes linen, natural and organic fabrics, organic cotton t-shirts, homewares and accessories featuring her screenprinted designs. There is also a stunning Thea and Sami hand-printed fashion line (maybe you've seen the amazing Brisbane Skirt, worn by the State Premier of Queensland?) available at select stockists around Australia.

All of Thea's original designs are hand-printed using water-based, solvent-free inks on natural and organic fabric. You can find Thea and Sami products in the online store and you can get all the inside goss on the Thea and Sami blog. Thea runs screenprinting workshops in her Capalaba studio and will be demonstrating at the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show this month.

Images: Thea and Sami

10 April 2009

Milk Baby skincare products

How delightful is the new Milk Baby range of gorgeous skincare products and toiletries for children with amazing packaging. It's simple, chic, would co-ordinate with any bathroom or nursery, and is made from all-natural ingredients.

The line was developed by Michael Klim's wife, Lindy Klim, when Michael was producing his range of skincare products for men. Lindy wanted a product that she could trust to use on her own children and wanted to create a range that was "affordable, looked good in the home and beneficial to the enhancement of wellbeing." Ticks for all three!

Look out for Snotty Grotty room spray, Bath Time wash, Nighty Night room spray and Sleepy Bubs massage oil.

Milk Baby is made exclusively for Milk & Co in Tasmania, using organic & all natural ingredients, and not tested on animals. You can find selected Milk Baby products in the online store and at stockists around Australia including Urban Baby and The Hip Infant online.

Image: Milk Baby

9 April 2009

Australian Artist Spotlight: Inaluxe

I'm thrilled to introduce you to the work of Melbourne-based Inaluxe. This talented artist uses (amongst many other things) ink, paint and mixed media to create graphic pieces in gorgeous muted tones and with plenty of texture. Inaluxe has a penchant for Australian wildflowers (I do too) and raspberry+khaki+cream colour combinations (another me too). I also adore her cats - I'd love this cheeky curled up cat original!

Lucky for us, Inaluxe has opened an Etsy store stocking original art, prints, gocco and mini tag cards. You can also find out more on the Inaluxe blog. And look out for Inaluxe's news Etsy store Plastiche which will be a cornucoppia of vintage fashion, fabric supplies, bags, accessories, sewing goodies, and more - launching in the near future.

Image: top - Seize The Day and bottom - Wild Flowers by Inaluxe

8 April 2009

Drool-worthy Design: Lily & Cino stationery

It was so lovely to meet Michelle from Lily & Cino at the ABCD Meetup on Thursday night. Michelle is a very busy lady and runs a graphic design studio as well as producing a fantastic range of personalised stationery and greeting cards featuring her illustrations.

The Lily & Cino range includes lovely wedding stationery, baby announcements, party invitations, moving announcements and the very clever 'dating cards'. Want my digits?

You can customise your stationery with your name, monogram, a special logo and text and here is the killer feature - you can save your designs on the website! I love the damask design which is so hip right now, and the butterflies are super sweet.

You can find Lily & Cino custom stationery via the website. Check out Michelle's graphic design services on the Lily & Cino Studio site, and peruse Michelle's cool finds on her blog A Lily In Bloom.

Images: Lily & Cino

7 April 2009

Cool Websites: Inside Out blog

Australia produces some of the best magazines in the world, and one of my favourite Aussie mags is Inside Out. This shelter mag covers all the bases - gorgeous interiors, homewares trends, and cool products and the good folks at Inside Out just wrote to let me know that they have launched their new blog. You'll find lots of behind-the-scenes home decorating info from people in the know. And a huge thank you too for choosing me as one of their 'favourite bloggers'!

The team also sent me a very cool hemp handbag organiser (a neat little drawstring bag to put all your essentials in and then pop inside your handbag - no more lost phone/keys/lipsitck!). The hip bag graphic is designed by Grace Lee (who is definitely an artist to watch - see the Inside Out blog for more details), in collaboration with Bee & Apple (who I profiled a few weeks ago here). The bag is a gift-with-purchase with the May/June 2009 Inside Out magazine on sale from 1st April. Enjoy!

Image: Steph Bond

6 April 2009

Welcome New Sponsor: Kids Fashion Review

I'm thrilled to have on board the exciting Kids Fashion Review online community as a Bondville sponsor. This international site is a celebration of beautiful children's clothes from brands around the world.

Membership is free and you'll find fan groups, forums, news, sales, discounts and deals for your favourite kids labels. Check out the Style File section for a worldwide shopping directory, and Reviews for articles about the hottest kids clothes and accessories.

From 1 May 2009, Kids Fashion Review is launching The Great Australasian Kids Fashion Hunt with great prizes and proceeds going to Ronald Mc Donald house - make sure you stop by www.kidsfashionreview.co.nz.

Image: Kids Fashion Review

3 April 2009

Brisbane ABCD Meet-up Autumn 2009

This week my friend Kim from Udessi and I hosted a meet-up for artists, bloggers, crafters and designers in Brisbane at Bar Alto at the Powerhouse in New Farm. We called it Brisbane ABCD Meet-up and it was a fantastic event with 23 attendees (on a cold a rainy night) and everyone contributed something to the fantastic goodie bags that we all took home at the end of the night. It was supposed to run from 7-9pm but the bar had to throw us out at 10:30pm so I guess that everyone enjoyed themselves. It was a great chance to meet some of the people that I have written about on Bondville; meeting in real life was the aim of the evening and I think crucial every now and then to keep these ‘friendships’ meaningful. Hopefully we’ll have another event in about 3 months. Photos below and on Kim's blog here.

Jaime from Paisley St Claire, Tiel from Tsk Tsk, Kylie from Paper Boat Press, Sarah from Red Felt Flower

Madeleine from Madeleine Brown Jewellery, Erin from Blossom Creations, Florence from Flying Star Toys, Kim from Udessi, Bec from Beckybean

Michelle from Pedrosprout and Akiko.

Kristina from Tiny Concept, Sarah from Red Felt Flower and Tiel from Tsk Tsk.

Crowd shot. That's me in the middle in orange chatting to Alischa from Bespoke Letterpress Boutique

Bec from Beckybean, Momo from Studio Kurashi and Michelle from Pedrosprout

Florence from Flying Star Toys and Nadine from Nadine Sawyer

Tiel from Tsk Tsk and Danielle from Nesting Bird Interiors

Michelle from Lily & Cino, Jaime from Jaime Beattie and Nina from Obelia.

Jane from Girls Made This and Akiko.

Kelly from Peppermint Magazine and Ellie from Red Seed Studio.

Kim from Udessi and Alischa from Bespoke Letterpress Boutique.

From the Goodie Bag - Bespoke Letterpress Boutique gift cards and Peppermint Magazine mini-mag.

From the Goodie Bag - Red Felt Flower divine parcel of favourite things.
From the Goodie Bag - Paper Boat Press poetry pencil

A huge thank you and shout out to all the talented Brisbane folks who attended:

Erin from Blossom Creations
Momo from Studio Kurashi
Kylie from Paper Boat Press
Alischa from Bespoke Letterpress Boutique
Anna from Toxteth
Michelle from Pedrosprout
Tiel from Tsk Tsk
Florence from Flying Star Toys
Bec from Beckybean and The Small Stuff
Ellie from Red Seed Studio
Jane from Girls Made This
Kelly from Peppermint Magazine
Kim from Udessi
Kristina from Tiny Concept
Sarah from Red Felt Flower
Madeleine from Madeleine Brown Jewellery
Jaime from Jaime Beattie and Paisley St Claire
Nadine from Nadine Sawyer
Michelle from A Lily In Bloom and Lily & Cino
Danielle from Nesting Bird Interiors
Nina from Nesting Bird Interiors and Obelia

Images: Steph Bond, Beckybean and Momo
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