30 May 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

I am so honoured to accept the Kreativ Blogger Award from the very generous Thea from Thea & Sami. The Kreativ Blogger Award requires you to nominate seven blogs that you believe deserve this award and also list seven things that you love. You can read all about seven of my favourite things and more about the seven blogs that I have nominated for this award on the About Me page.

And the passing of the award goes to: Grab Your Fork, Udessi, The Lark, The Red Thread, Frozen Brooklyn, Beets & Biscuits and Strawberry Lemonade. I hope you love reading them as much as I do!

28 May 2009

Stylish Kids: Sooki Baby

One of my favourite baby shower gifts was an adorable Sooki Baby onesie that Sophie wore forever. The quality was fantastic, the design super-cool, and it came with a Sooki Baby monkey keychain that also provided much entertainment in line at the bank/shops/Medicare.

This season's pieces by Sydney-based designer Dijana are inspired by journeys - a trip to Nan's, Betsy in France, Gas & Go, and Choo Choo Train. Wait until you see the adorable mechanic's romper. Too much fun.

You can find Sooki Baby stockists across Australia and New Zealand on the website.

You can find more great Australian kids designers on Bondville Kids: Australian Designer Baby Clothes. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Image: Sooki Baby

27 May 2009

Donna Hay General Store now open

After 3 years in the making, the very special Donna Hay General Store in Sydney has now opened its doors. It's been a long-time dream of Donna's to collect all her favourite things together in one store. You can now find gifts and goodies from around the world for your home and kitchen in this beautiful restored 1839 sandstone terrace in tony Woolhara.

I worked at donna hay magazine for a while and learned a lot about keeping true to your brand essence. It's this brand essence - a considered, beautiful lifestyle - that Donna has maintained through her magazine, cook books, range of food, homewares, and now her concept store.

The Donna Hay General Store stocks special gifts and indulgent treats including ceramics, glassware, letterpress stationery, hand-knitted baby gifts, household cleaners and scents, and hand-poured candles. I'm particularly excited about the in-store confiserie, serving up a daily spread of macarons, chocolate truffles, meringues and caramels.

The Donna Hay General Store is located at 40 Holdsworth St, Woolhara, NSW and is open from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday. For some great insights into the development of the store, check out Siobhan's interview with Donna Hay on Far Out Brussel Sprout.

Images: Donna Hay

26 May 2009

Hip Products: Nancybird accessories

Nancybird accessories are real head-turners. Based in Melbourne, Emily Wright designs a range of bags, clutches, belts and wallets using raw, earthy materials with influences from Africa, Japan and Central Europe. I really like the use of mixed textures, combining original printed fabric with dyed leather, and an attention to detail that you won't find from a mass produced product.

Fabrics are all hand printed in Melbourne by local printmakers, using an upholstery grade cotton from a small Sri Lankan fair trade textile mill. All dyes and inks used are non-toxic and water based. Emily has a strong environmental policy at Nancybird, constantly looking for better, lower impact methods of production and distribution.

You can find Nancybird accessories at the Nancybird online store as well as stockists around Australia and New Zealand.

Images: Nancybird

25 May 2009

Cool Websites: Sam's Notebook

Based in Sweden, Australian ex-pat Sam is your doorway to Scandinavian sensibilities through an Aussie's eyes with her lovely blog Sam's Notebook. Sam lives in Malmö, Sweden, with her husband and two year old daughter. Her blog is a collection of finds online, from friends, from travel and from her local environment in Sweden. You'll find beautiful design ideas, recipes, craft, projects and ideas from Sam's inspiring lifestyle. Some of my favourite posts include photos of a weekend at the beach, and photos from real estate agents in Malmö. What a stylish city! Thanks Sam for such a lovely blog.

Image: Sam's Notebook

22 May 2009

Stylish Kids: Tea Princess girls clothes

The design world is all about doilies at the moment. You'll find touches of crochet and lace on everything from linens, to tableware, clocks, ceramics and soft furnishings. If you love this look, you'll adore the sweet old fashioned styling of Tea Princess clothes for little girls.

Based in Sydney (and soon to be the UK), Tea Princess is a range of clothing and accessories for girls aged newborn to 6 years, characterised by beautiful hand-finished details and an old-world charm. I'm an absolute sucker for the wide legged dress pants and crocheted edging. These really are very special pieces.

You can buy Tea Princess at the online store and find Tea Princess stockists listed on the website.

For more Australian children's clothing, check out the Stylish Kids category on Bondville. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Images: Tea Princess

21 May 2009

Hip Products: Finchbird jewellery

Dani from Finchbird jewellery commented on Bondville recently and ever since I have been coveting the fine, delicate designs of this husband and wife team.

Inspired by nature, clean organic shapes, leaves and new growth, Ben and Dani Finch create handmade silver and gold jewellery including earrings, pendants, bangles and cuffs, rings and cufflinks. Oh the cufflinks. What a great, clean, modern alternative to those department store standards. I'm also quite taken with the lovely tendril earrings that are perfect in their simplicity.

Based in Sydney, the Finch team collaborate on both creative and business aspects of the brand. You can find Finchbird jewellery on Etsy. Check out new jewellery designs on the Finchbird blog and on Flickr and keep up-to-date with the Facebook Fanpage.

Images: Finchbird

20 May 2009

Drool-worthy Design: Alannah Rose stationery

More lovely stationery for you. Suzi Waters from Alannah Rose specialises in chic wedding invitations, party invitations and baby stationery. You can find packs of off-the-shelf boxed invitations, designs to personalise and order, and a custom design service to create the perfect look for you.

I love the rounded corners and modern style of the party invitations. Oh, and want to match your invitations to your wedding cake? Alannah Rose and Sweet Art Cakes in Sydney have collaborated on an exclusive range of Alannah Rose cakes inspired by some fabulous designs. Love it! And how about that wedding peacock design - too cool.

You can order Alannah Rose stationery from the online boutique and you can also find boxed card sets at stockists including Ekidna Kids. Make sure you check out the Alannah Rose blog which features lots of gorgeous wedding inspiration, new stationery designs and competitions.

Images: Alannah Rose

19 May 2009

Cool Websites: I Vote For Art

I Vote For Art is a great website published in Melbourne by Ben Rowe, selling a range of affordable artwork - in a similar vein to Thumbtack Press that I have written about before.

There are over 30 artists represented on the site from Australia and around the world, showcasing mostly modern and contemporary artworks - many with a commercial/graphic design edge. There are lots of great illustrative pieces from up-and-coming artists including Aussies Skaffs, Yiying Lu (of the Twitter Fail Whale fame), and Sandra Krumins.

Purchasing a print is an easy process using Paypal (in US dollars) and I Vote For Art will ship to your door. And for artists, this is another great way to get your work 'out there', especially as the voting system on the site means that the most popular pieces are highlighted on the I Vote For Art homepage. I'm definitely for any website that promotes artists and makes it easier to both buy and sell art, so make sure you add this virtual gallery to your bookmark list.

Images: top - I Vote For Art, middle - Fail Whale by Yiying Lu, bottom - Owl Tree by Sandra Krumins

18 May 2009

Paper Boat Press new online store

If you have been dying to get some of Kylie Johnson's gorgeous ceramics and poetry but haven't seen them in-store, now you can order from anywhere in the world at the new Paper Boat Press online store.

Kylie is stocking her ceramic quote tags, poetry books, limited edition letterpress prints, quote pencils and bird wall pieces in the shop. Keep an eye out for new items (including poetry vessels) via the Instinct and Grace blog.

And as a special offer during the first few weeks of the store being online, Kylie is offering a 10% discount on all orders placed by June 10th 2009. Use the code: PBP in the box provided on the checkout page and your discount will be calculated once you press enter. Shipping is available worldwide.

Check out this post for details on Paper Boat Press Christmas decorations.

Images: Paper Boat Press

15 May 2009

Electric Firefly lighting design

From lamps for little kids to lamps for big kids! Sydney lighting designer Simon Goldstein is the mastermind behind Electric Firefly Design and Creation. Along with partner-in-crime Josh Liebmann, Simon creates hip lighting solutions inspired by the patterns of nature.

These lamps would make a fantastic table centrepiece at a wedding reception or special event, or simply as a cool bedside lamp. They can also be hung as pendant lighting - cool above a dining table and stunning in an entrance.

Electric Firefly lighting is available in four organic designs - Daisy, Orbital, Nimbus and Sol - and a range of colours. Even better, the lamps are produced using eco-friendly materials - 30-50% recycled Australian-made polymer that is non-reactive, non-toxic, with no plasticisers, chlorine, leachable components or heavy metals used in the finished product or during manufacture.

You can find Electric Firefly lighting in the online shop as well as at stockists around Australia and Hong Kong. For more images of Electric Firefly designs check out the Flickr photostream. Get all the inside info from the Facebook Fan page.

Image: Electric Firefly

14 May 2009

Welcome New Sponsor: Little Light House

I'd like to extend a huge welcome to new Bondville sponsor Little Light House. Sue Jackson creates fun and stylish lampshades to add pizazz to your child's favourite spot in the house - perfect for nursery, rumpus room or play zone.

Using bold designer fabrics, Sue crafts each lampshade by hand at her Brisbane studio. I'm particularly partial to two Aussie designs - little girls skipping from Sprout Design and sheep from Pippijoe for Sprout Design. Fun!

Little Light House lampshades, ceiling (pendant) shades and bases are available from the Little Light House website and stockists around Australia. Make sure you also stop by Sue's blog to say Hi and check out all her fun finds for children. And check out Little Light House at the upcoming Mathilda's Markets in Brisbane on 19th July 2009.

Images: Little Light House

13 May 2009

Hip Products: Studio Antic papergoods

I recently received a lovely birthday gift from my friend Caro - a simple, sweet notebook , to write all my lists and thoughts in. And not just any notebook, but a 100% recycled and acid free Studio Antic notebook, adorned with a black and white pheasant that was screenprinted by hand and made in Australia.

I had to check out the whole Studio Antic range, and was delighted to also find striking greeting cards, and 3 sizes of notebooks. The greeting cards are printed on 80% recycled card stock and include holiday and wedding themes. Stylish and eco-friendly - the perfect combination!

Studio Antic papergoods are based in Victoria. For stockist information, email studio@studioantic.com.au.

Images: Studio Antic

11 May 2009

Hip Products: My Heart Beats Green eco-friendly clothing

I've been on the look-out for cool eco-friendly clothes for guys, and have found some real gems from Brisbane-based label My Heart Beats Green. These folks believe in sustainable work practices and their cool designs are printed on 100% organic cotton and manufactured in Australia.

My husband gets lots of compliments on his cool Birds In Tree t-shirt (nice modelling!) which also looks striking in turquoise on a mushroom tee.

My Heart Beats Green stocks a hip t-shirt range for men, women and children, as well as simple, fun onesies for babies. You can find the clothing in good eco-friendly stores and online at the My Heart Beats Green website.

Image: Steph Bond

8 May 2009

Cool Websites: Blogging Your Way

I have just finished my first ever e-course. When Holly from decor8 announced that she was running an online course about blogging, I jumped at the opportunity and luckily was one of the first 200 to sign up (there were more than 800 applications!). We've just spent the last four weeks on Blogging Your Way doing some serious blog soul searching, picking up tips and tricks from each other and learning a huge amount about being an authentic blogger, and writing from the heart, from the blog guru herself, Holly Becker.

For many, the idea of an online course seems a little risky and unusual, but if you get a chance to take an e-course (and particularly the decor8 Blogging Your Way course), please give it consideration. You never know what you might learn, what friends you'll make along the way, and what new opportunities will present themselves. For me, it was a fantastic experience.

There were 10 other Australians who also took the Blogging Your Way course. So I thought I would highlight some of their blogs, and start a series here on Bondville, profiling great Australian bloggers! If you have some favourites, please send the links my way. Here are just a couple of my classmates to start with:

The Red Thread
Lisa is a really special person and amazing artist. She also has a very of-the-moment blog where she does a beautiful job presenting stylish and inspiring design finds. Read more about Lisa's artwork in this Australian Artist Spotlight.

Living in Wonderment
Alia E. shares the things in life that give her inspiration, wonderment and pause for reflection. I know you'll enjoy the peacefulness of this blog.

Wini is based in Melbourne and puts together great profiles on artists and designers. Make sure you check out her review of Aussie artist Chris Chun who creates amazing work.

Bridal Survival
Sacha runs a fun Bridal survival business and her bridal blog is full of gorgeous ideas and inspiration for weddings.

Craft Laboratory
Danielle is busy morphing from a research scientist to a crafting/photographing/art-making creative type; her enthusiastic blog is documenting her journey. And she's a new Brown Owl!

Lilla Poesia
I mentioned Amy from Lila Poesia in the Strutt Sisters profile; she is a soulful, creative person who has just arrived in Sydney after a year living in Sweden. Make sure you check out her dreamy photography and reflections.

Live Life

Danielle writes about family, life and living well from her base in Mackay. Check it out if you've ever dreamed of living in tropical north Queensland.

For more Australian Bloggers that you need to know, check out these posts.

Image: Holly Becker at Decor8

7 May 2009

Hip Products: Sketch and Jones handmade craft

Di Jones is a Bondville reader who commented a while ago and I was prompted to check out her very cool Madeit store. Di's label Sketch & Jones is the catch-all brand for her eclectic mix of crafty handmade products, all with the characteristic Di Jones touch.

How supremely cool are the VW cushions and I adore the I'm All Ears beanie and Di's gorgeous prints. Thank you Di for your comment and helping me discover you!

You can find Di's work through the Sketch & Jones stores on Madeit and Dawanda, and various stockists around Australia listed on Di's blog which you can check out for new designs and behind-the-scenes info.

Images: top - Girl With Eggs, bottom left - VW cushion, bottom right - I'm All Ears beanie, all by Sketch & Jones

6 May 2009

Hip Products: Anna Laura badges and accessories

If you loved the quirky greeting cards from Able and Game that I wrote about here recently, you'll definitely love the crafty accessories and artwork from one half of the team under the Anna Laura Label.

Maybe you've seen Anna Blanford's adorable felt beehive hairdo lady badges before? Anna started the Anna Laura label in 2006 with one such lady resplendent in red beehive and matching bag. Now you'll find a whole range of felt lady badges as well as unique handcrafted bags and accessories.

I love the detail and care that is put into every Anna Laura piece. Each badge is hand-stitched and one-of-a-kind, arriving in a card with their name and a little something about them. And bags and pouches are screenprinted using paper stencils, that Anna cuts by hand.

Lucky for us, today is the last day of the BFF Badge sale. Buy one felt lady badge on Etsy and she will come with her Best Friend Forever for free! Sale ends 6th May 2009. While you are there, don't forget to check out Anna's prints in the Able and Game Etsy shop. They are amazing.

You can find Anna Laura products on Etsy and at stockists around the world. Find out more about upcoming Anna Laura designs, art and sales on the blog.

Images: Anna Laura felt lady badges and Marie print

5 May 2009

Stylish Kids: Moobear Designs eco-friendly t-shirts

Moobear Designs is a brand new Australian children's clothing brand on the block, with a passion for the arts and crafts, sustainable living and the environment. And the designs are super-hip to boot!

The lovely Stephanie and Carlos from Moobear Designs have created a cool line of t-shirts based on images drawn by their daughter Moo (that's the clever Moo pictured above in the fantastic green earth tee with cute-as-a-button Bear). Each item is handmade and unique, using recycled fabrics appliqued onto ethically-made and environmentally-friendly t-shirts. There are six original designs available with more to come soon.

You can buy Moobear Designs clothing from the online store, and join the fun on the Moobear Designs blog where you'll learn all about the origins of the different designs. I dare you not to be caught up in Stephanie and Carlos' infectious enthusiasm and zest for life!

For more Australian children's clothes check out Bondville Kids: Australian Designer Baby Clothes. And shop online for kids fashion from great stores in the Australian Online Kids and Baby Store Directory.

Images: Moobear Designs

4 May 2009

Events: Brisbane Stitches & Craft Show Incubator

It's Mother's Day next week (have you got something nice sorted out yet?), and I thought it would be nice to take Mum to the Stitches & Craft show on Friday. Mum headed straight for the beads, and I headed straight to the incubator section (emerging independent crafters) to check out some old friends and meet new friends showcasing contemporary craft and design. Here are some of the fabulous finds there:

Great hand-printed fabric, clothing range and accessories at Thea and Sami. I particularly loved this bag made in collaboration with Lyssy May.

It was so lovely to meet Tegan, Bianca and Lara from Ink & Spindle with their gorgeous hand-printed fabric.

Cute softies from Dear Fii.

Beautiful reclaimed European linen from old yarns.reclaimed linens.

Adorable children's clothes, sewing patterns and softies from Little Diva (left) and cushions from Red Seed Studio (right).

Divine children's clothes from Blossom Child (left) and beautifully-made wall art from Rellesh (right).

Ink & Spindle fabrics (left) and softies from Dear Fii (right)

It was also great to meet Helen from Ruby 2 Go Go, and see Kelley from Peppermint Magazine and the fabulous Kristen Doran. I'm now so inspired to whip up a skirt for Sophie with the pattern I bought from Little Diva, and my new Thea and Sami mushroom fabric.

If you're interested in more Stitches and Craft photos and round-ups, check out the great posts on Hot Fudge, The Handmade Expo, Blossom Child, Little Diva, Ruby 2 Go Go, Thea and Sami, Red Seed Studio, MixTape and My Girl. I know there are many more - please feel free to leave links in the comments.

Images: Steph Bond

3 May 2009

Event: Little Circus Designs Show

Uber-cool Australian artist Madeleine Stamer of Little Circus Design has just opened a new exhibition, Birdsville, showcasing new and recent work inspired by birds. The exhibition runs from 2nd May 2nd to 18th June 2009 with opening times as follows:
Mon & Tues 11am-3pm
Wed & Thurs 11am-5pm
Friday 11am-6pm
Sat 11am-3pm

I'm really excited by the Mexican folk art-style owls pictured above and wish I could attend myself. Check out Birdsville at bob boutique 17 Williamson Street, Bendigo, Vic 3550 (03) 5444 3522. Work will be available at bob boutique online for the duration of the show.

Read more about Little Circus Design here on Bondville.

Image: Little Circus Design

1 May 2009

Hip Products: Kim Wallace ceramics

There's nothing better than a mystery package arriving on the doorstep containing something delightful and unexpected.

Last week I received a special package from Kim Wallace who curates and manages the Udessi online art gallery. Kim is also a talented designer and artist and the package contained a small, beautiful, perfectly formed ceramic bowl that she made. The bowl makes up part of the Vintage Lace range of one-of-a-kind stoneware that Kim offers in the gallery - handmade individually using a lace doily to create the amazing outer texture and featuring a glazed inner surface.

I love my bowl and keep it by my desk to inspire me while I work. Thank you so much Kim!

You can find Kim Wallace's work on Udessi online art gallery. And you can read more about Kim on her blog.

Images: Steph Bond
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