We Are Scout - Hunting. Gathering. Making. The Good Stuff


Archive: May 2012

  1. A week of Aussie Etsy: andODesign

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    Etsy shop: andODesign.
    Who: Yumi Ando, a Japanese ceramicist based in Melbourne.
    What: Delicate ceramic jewellery and homewares in muted shades inspired by Japanese and Australian cultures. The pieces are made in Ando’s home studio using clay slab tecnhiques.
    Best buys: Crown earring holder; Octogan-cut jewel stud earrings, and porcelain air plant hanger with faceted bead.
    How much: Stud earrings start at AU$30 a pair.
    Read more: andODesign’s blog and website.

  2. A week of Aussie Etsy: Spin Spin


    Etsy shop: Spin Spin.
    Who: Susan Fitzgerald, a Melbourne-based graphic designer who specialises in textiles.
    What: Screen-printed fabrics and homewares with a strong design sensibility. Think bold yet simple prints inspired by typography. The pared-back colour palette (often two-toned or contrasting colours) in eco-friendly, water-based ink makes a bold impact on the crisp European linen.
    Best buys: The two-tone green ‘Tree Towel’; Trees cushion cover  and the ‘Akzidenz’ hand-screen printed fabric.
    How much: A screen-printed card is AU$4, while tea-towels are AU$22.
    Read more: Susan’s blog and Flickr.

    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.

  3. A week of Aussie Etsy: not Tuesday


    Etsy shop: not Tuesday
    Who: Sydney-based Rachel Wightman, a former interiors magazine stylist who now “explores her crafty side”.
    What: Hand-made polymer clay bead necklaces in an array of bold and vivid colour combinations.
    Best buys: ‘Not quite round’ handmade bead necklaces and the ‘Not quite cylinder’ necklaces.
    How much: Prices start at AU$45 for a necklace.
    Read more: Rachel’s website.

    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.

  4. A week of Aussie Etsy: Handmade by Kitiya Palaskas

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    Etsy shop: Handmade by Kitiya Palaskas
    Who: Kitiya Palaskas, a craft-based designer from Sydney.
    What: Playful old-school cut-and-paste zines and colourful accessories.
    Best buys: Geometric mobiles, macrame plant hangers festooned with pom-poms and Partycraft Zine, which features mini projects and inspiration for the sweetest party decorations.
    How much:
    Prices start at US$4.86 for the ‘Save Room for Cake’ colouring book.
    Read more: Kitiya’s blog and website.

    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.

  5. Etsy Success Sydney Competition: Winners announced


    I’m delighted to announce that the two winners of the Etsy Success Sydney competition are Claire Wright and Emma Lee. Congratulations – you’ve each won a double pass to Etsy Success Sydney valued at $200.  I will be in contact with you by email.

    p.s. the Sydney Opera House (above) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (below), are just two buildings that have been transformed by incredible light installations for Vivid Sydney 2012. If you’re in Sydney at the moment, head down to the Quay before lights out on June 11.

  6. LOVING :: Mano Jars

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    I am loving these gorgeous Mano ceramic jars with their bamboo lids by Danish designer Jeanette List Amstrup. The organic shapes, the pale gelato colour palette and the contrasting materials are perfect.

    Image: Jeanette List Amstrap
    All other images via Horne

     The beautifully shaped milk jugs (above) form part of the Mano range which also includes bowls and plates. They are available in the US from Horne and can be shipped internationally. But for now I’ll just admire them from afar.

  7. Birdy pick of the week: Owl Know How


    Exciting times in Sydney and London this week, birdies. While Jubilee preparations reach fever-pitch in London, Sydney’s most iconic buildings are currently ablaze with colour for Vivid, the annual festival of light, music and ideas.

    Ranked in the Top Ten global ideas festivals by the Guardian, this year’s Vivid Sydney features an excellent line-up of speakers including Cory Doctorow, author and co-founder of Boing Boing; fashion designer Henry Holland; Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless and VICE founder and CEO Shane Smith. There will also be installations and concerts with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Karen O.

    I’m speaking on a panel at Etsy Success Sydney* on Saturday, which is part of the Vivid Ideas program. It’s not just for Etsy sellers – anyone with a creative business would benefit from the talks and workshops led by the likes of Frankie editor Jo Walker, PR professional and blogger PottyMouthMama and US Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson.

    In celebration of Etsy Success Sydney, I’ll be showcasing my favourite Australian Etsy shops this week on Wee Birdy and shining a light on some of our most talented designer-makers.

    First up is the creative duo Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles, who have collaborated to produce this rather crafty and clever children’s book, Owl Know How – which is also this week’s birdy pick. I’ve been a long-time fan of Cat Rabbit, whose incredibly imaginative range of felt animals (think hipster rabbits in Jarvis specks and hoodies) and brooches will be featured on Wee Birdy later this week.

    In the book, published by Thames & Hudson, Cat Rabbit’s felt owls and rabbits come to life with a problem-solving narrative that weaves its way through a whimsical city made of cardboard. The crafty aesthetic is warm and inviting, and the book comes with a pattern and instructions for children to create their own felt owl. You can buy a hand-signed book from Owl Know How’s Etsy shop, with a bonus gocco-printed bookplate for AU$26.

    Their Etsy shop also features a very sweet Owl Know How hankie for $15, as well as some very special limited edition hand-made plush characters from the book – Cornelia Rabbit, Orvi and those inimitable owls.

    * My competition for two double-passes to Etsy Success Sydney will be announced later today.

  8. A Happy Home

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    There’s nothing like a blank white canvas with splashes of vivid colour to create a sunny, bright and happy looking home. And nobody seems to do it quite so well as the Scandinavians.

    All images: Bjarni B Jacobsen for Bolig Pluss 

    Whenever I feel like looking at beautiful interiors I check out the Scandi mags… I know that there will always be something to inspire me. It’s just what I needed to brighten things up on this grey, rainy autumnal Sydney day.


  9. Tokyo Design Festa

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    I first went to Design Festa in 2008 and I was blown away, and couple of weeks ago when I was in Tokyo I went for the third time. You can read my previous posts here. Design Festa is so full of fabulous energy and thousands of exhibitors (I think there were 7,000 this time). I walked around for 6 hours non stop and still didn’t get to see any installation art or performances. It’s huge! I didn’t take any close ups of people’s work this time, but you can see some on previous posts, and I’ll show you what I bought soon. It’s not all as outlandish as these photos might lead you to believe!

    Melanie and I tried to meet up at Design Festa, but it didn’t quite work out. Check out Melanie’s post on Design Festa (with great photos) and also Ebony’s.

    The next Design Festa is on in Tokyo on the weekend of November 10 and 11. If you love handmade you’ll love Design Festa.


  10. FREE printables: Jubilee cupcake toppers and cake banners


    To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next weekend, I’ve designed some special Wee Birdy cupcake toppers and cake banners! They’re free to download and print and super-easy to assemble.

    Wee Birdy free printable Jubilee cupcake toppers

    Jubilee cupcake toppers
    All you need is a colour printer, some cardboard (a cereal box will do or some red or blue cardboard would look great), some scissors or pinking shears, glue and toothpicks.

    Print out the free downloadable PDF here* and glue the back of the sheet of cupcake toppers to an A4 piece of cardboard, then cut around each circle. I used pinking shears for a cute finish. Stick a toothpick to the back of each cupcake topper with sticky tape. If you want it to look super-slick, print out another sheet of toppers and glue another topper on the back, covering up the toothpick. Ta-da! How good do they look?

    Wee Birdy free printable Jubilee cake banners

    Jubilee cake banner
    All you need is a colour printer, some scissors, glue, cardboard and wooden skewers.

    Print out the free downloadable PDF here* and glue the back of the banner/s to some cardboard. Cut around the border, making sure you don’t cut over the coloured edge. Stick two skewers on a slight angle to each end of the banner with sticky tape. You’re done – now just pop it in the Victorian Sponge and it’s ready for your Jubilee street party. If you’re having a table of cakes, pop a different design in each cake. They’ll look spectacular. Enjoy!

    * The Wee Birdy Jubilee Cupcake Picks and Cake Banners are free downloadable pdfs and are for personal use only. Please feel free to pin, blog or tweet about these free printables, but please link back to www.we-are-scout.com and to this actual post’s URL. Please do not link directly to the downloadable file. Thank you.

    Click here to download the FREE Diamond Jubilee Cake Banner.
    Click here to download the FREE Diamond Jubilee Cupcake Toppers.

    Are you having a Jubilee party next weekend? Tell me what you’re doing!

  11. Shopping in London: St Jude’s in the City pop-up


    Another day, another pop-up shop. But this is one that you won’t want to miss – and it’s a Wee Birdy favourite, too. St Jude’s is a British-based company with two studios – one in Norfolk, England and the other in Morayshire, Scotland. Founded by Simon & Angie Lewin, the company collaborates with a variety of artists to design and produce a range of fabrics, wallpapers and other homewares.

    I’ve been a long-time admirer of this little gem of a company and when we moved into our new flat in Sydney, I bought a pair of Angie Lewin’s beautiful dandelion print cushions and had them shipped over to remind me of the British countryside.

    Many of Angie’s prints feature motifs inspired by nature – blossoms, seeds, berries, leaves, stems and stamens – that are distinctly British in style, and are reminiscent of mid-century designs.

    Alongside St Jude’s range of artist-designed cushions, fabrics and wallpapers, Emily Sutton‘s ‘High Street’ series of original paintings will also be exhibited at the pop-up shop in central London, alongside new work by Mark Hearld and Angie Lewin.

    Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's high street

    Each work portrays a traditional Victorian shopfront with the most exquisite details. Pigeons peck at crumbs outside the bakery and community notices are plastered all over the door of the pet shop. The paintings are available to purchase for £495 each.

    Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

    Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

    Wee Birdy: Emily Sutton's High Street

    And have a look at Emily’s series of birds, which I’ve never had an opportunity to showcase on Wee Birdy before.

    These glorious hand-painted and hand-stitched birds were created for a past show, and have long since sold-out. I’m super-pleased to finally feature them here.

    St Jude’s in The City
    30 Tottenham Street
    London W1
    Nearest tube: Goodge Street
    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 11am-6pm
    until Friday 1 June 2012 daily