Sunday, August 12, 2012

Life Instyle - Doing it for the kids!

I don't have any kidlets of my own but I couldn't help but be distracted by the wonderful array of kids products, when I visited Life Instyle trade show in Melbourne last weekend. 
A little of my fascination was fueled by the kid inside and all the things I know I would have LOVED when I was young. So for those of you who have little cherubs of your own, I thought I would highlight a few great companies that really caught my eye. 

First up is New Zealand based company Flatout Frankie. As many of you are aware the box is often the highlight for many kids when a new TV is bought or even when it surrounds a new shiny toy! Go figure! The smart peeps at Flatout Frankie have capitalised on the cardboard box fascination of little ones and taken things a step further designing a wonderful range of cardboard flat pack toys. These toys not only encourage creative minds to think 'outside the box', they also are friendly on the environment and aren't gonna cost a small fortune! 

They really are a blank canvas for some serious fun, I mean come on, who wouldn't want to have some fun with crazy dinosaur heads, cardboard aeroplanes, cars...or even a princess castle! 
Keep an eye on their website at Flatout Frankie or follow them on Facebook!

Next up may be the the most fun thing EVER, a big call I know! I met the Smellie peeps at the show, perhaps I should clarify when I say Smellies, thats not my name for some odorous people I met on the day, it's actually Smellies Clothing a T-Shirt company who have brought back the 80's scratch and smell stickers fad with a new spin. They have in fact created a range of super fun scratch and smell T-Shirts! How fun, yes?
I was blown away with how clever it was, it was like something out of a Willie Wonka movie! Scratch the popcorn box and it smells like you are sitting down with some butter popcorn and your fave movie, or the candy cane which smells like Christmas, and who doesn't love the smell of fresh strawberries! Oh yeah and what kid is not gonna have a giggle when they tell their friends they have a smellie T-shirt!

The tried and tested microcapsule technology holds the scent and is released when scratched. If that's not enough of a flashback they have also relaunched the hyper colour technology we all know and loved from the same era! They are back for the kids to enjoy all over again. 

Click here to get your kids Smellie too!

I am not sure about you but as a kid I was all about creating! I would sit for hours cutting and colouring in or fashioning an egg carton into a Barbie hat. I loved to be creative and be imaginitive and as a result I still love spending hours cutting, painting and making new things (although not making Barbie hats out of egg boxes so much anymore)! Without getting all "in my day" on you, I think a little of this is lost today and computer games/ipads and all things interactive have taken over. So when I saw the Seedling stand at the show I was taken back to my five year old egg box hat making self. 

I couldn't get enough of their range, really clever ideas which aim to encourage little minds to get creative and discover cool stuff. They have a wide range of items which are a template for their imaginations to go wild. Just a few of the kits include the fashion designers kit , design your own pirate treasure map, or the best in my opinion design your own superhero cape. I think I know a few adults who would even be into that!! Ha!

They also had a great pocket money collection, lots of fun little things which are always a winner for those special pocket money treats. 

You can buy directly from the website or check out where your nearest stockist is at the Seedling website or follow them on Facebook . 

Studio Skinky are next up as another fab company that caught my eye mainly for their stacked abacus like colourful Playon Crayons which are fantastic for little fingers and stack up nicely out of the way when not in use. I also really liked their world maps, great for an adult study to map where you have been or for the kids to decorate and record their travels or just dare to dream of future adventures. 

Check out their website here for stockist details.

I could quite easily write all day about all the wonderful things I saw there for more info you can check out the Life Instyle website to have a look at all the exhibitors from the weekend.

Tomorrow I will be back with some more highlights from the show just so that I can prove that I did manage to escape from the kids show for a bit.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Little Letters Goes to the Fair!

The other week whilst checking instagram for the millionth time that day, I piped up on a post about a meet up in Sydney and how jealous I was.  A comment or two later and the wonderful Jaclyn of Little Paper Trees hooked me up with a pass for the fantastic Life Instyle trade show in Melbourne. 

I was there as 'media' so I have taken the bull by the horns so to speak and put together a series of stories based on the things that I saw and liked at the event. 

In preparation for my big day at the show I decided to pull together some cards to give to people so that I looked a little more professional.  I didn't have time to do anything too fancy but I cranked up my little Adana Press and whipped up a some rather fab business cards, if I do say so myself. 

Little Letters just got official!

I went for a  blind deboss/emboss - whatever the technical term is - mainly because I was too lazy and time poor to ink the press. On the other side I printed out my deets on the normal inkjet. 

Awesome cards - check, camera - check, comfortable shoes - check! Life Instyle here we go! 

Over the next few days I will be bringing you a series of posts of some of the wonderful things I saw at the show. First up tomorrow super fun stuff for kids or perhaps the big kids in all of us.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shopper's Delight - Felix

Can you resist a nice shop? I know I can’t. This is indeed what you will find when you step into the unique,boutique and antique world of Felix. Positioned in the centre of Dromana on the Mornington Penisula (50km or so from Melbourne’s CBD), it’s a great spot for some retail therapy after a day at the  beach. You will find an exciting mix of carefully chosen vintage and modern handmade products, which really do set this store apart from others in the area.

If you are rolling your eyes at the term ‘vintage’, which is used oh too often these days for junk that is a few years old. This is not the case at Felix, they really have taken care to “stock only quality, classy, quirky products” and have even given themselves the fun tag of being “boutique recyclers”.

Fabulous finds and modern pieces are carefully compiled into colour related ‘zones’ which makes for easy picking if you are looking for something that will match that mustard yellow couch you have at home. I do believe their great eye and thoughtful display, does indeed make for a 'nice' shopping experience in a 'nice shop!


167 Point Nepean Road
Victoria 3936

Blog slump!

I have been having a little bloggers block...! I have been in somewhat of a creative slump lately and I am not too sure why. Perhaps it's the dreary Winter days or maybe the fact that my new job has been tiring and has sapped a lot of my energy recently? Either way I appear to have risen out of this creative rut and feel like I have my blogging mojo back. 

A few months back I spoke of some changes and new ideas coming and I finally feel like these ideas are a lot closer to fruition now that I am feeling a little more productive. Hopefully you will see something soon using my new Letterpress type!

Side By Side Week 142 - Can I have a 'P' please Bob?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Soho, NY - Instagrammed

It seems like the rest of the iPhone users of the world I am obsessed by Instagram so I have decided to post up some Instagram sets of the last few months. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New York State of Mind - Part 2

As I mentioned previously I have been lucky enough to visit New York before, I already have a thousand photos of New York skylines, Statue Of Liberty and the like. You really can never have too many shots of the city sights we all know and love.  I couldn't resist a few more which I posted in my previous post - the ones I took when I actually stopped shopping for a moment. I thought for Part 2 I would show some of the less typical things that I saw when I was wandering streets!

Perhaps the best (although still touristy) is the new High Line an elevated park, created on the historic freight line high above the streets Manhattan's West Side.

Cycling dude in the Meatpacking District
I'm thinking this bar/club would be super rad. If the exterior is anything to go by.
Benches at Madison Square Park

New York State of Mind - Part 1

New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can't do
Now you're in New York!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
Big lights will inspire you,
Hear it for New York!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Side By Side Week 131 - Side By Side With Ross

Side By Side Week 131 - Side By Side With Ross
Finally after nearly 2.5yrs of my side by side project with Ross. We were finally Side by Side in NYC! This little photo strip was near the end of a rather large night out drinking cocktails and laughing a lot! Miss ya Jeff!

I don't usually post up the joined photo but this is an extra special one for you all to have a laugh at. We thought it was only right to have the same photo - side by side!! 

Week 131
Check out our Tumblr home here.

Side By Side Week 130 - I need a dollar $$$$!

Side By Side Week 130 - I need a dollar
Preppin for NYC! Gots me some $$$$ all ready for some shopping! Yeeha!

Side By Side Week 129 - Cosy Power Cut Candles

Side By Side Week 129- cosy power cut candles
Whilst settling in for a night on the sofa with a beverage and some crappy TV - the brewing storm hit and a lightning strike took out all the power! Just as well I like candles and have them everywhere! Very useful at times like this! 

Check out my photo side by side with Ross at our new Tumblr home. 

Catching up

 Wow so as I already mentioned I am going through a bit of a change in routine, having returned from my trip home (more on that soon) I have launched back into life in Melbourne with a bang.  I am half way into week 2 of my new job - the very uncreative world of Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance! As a result of jet lag, new job and general adjustment, Little Letters has gone by the wayside AGAIN!! Thankfully, things are back to normal and I am getting used to my new working hours which in the long run will be giving me more time to spend in my little studio! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exciting changes and fun plans.

Early morning in Melbourne!
Early morning in Melbourne taken by Shane from his truck! (I'd be in trouble if I didn't give him credit for the photo).
Oh my...I have been neglecting my little blog! So what is the reason for this unintended hiatus...! Well in a nut shell quitting old job, interviewing, organising new job and most importantly and most exciting planning and booking a trip back home for a bit of family and friend time.
It has been a CRAZY few weeks of paperwork, new visa paperwork and phone calls and general chaos. Now I am back in the swing of things and starting to get things organised for my trip. I am primarily heading back for a wee recharge of Scotland but I am also making a short stop to NYC baby!
I have been to New York many times, in fact six times at last count but I think it has been 9 or so years since I last took a bite out of that Big Apple.Aside from obvious shopping, eating and photo taking I am the most excited to see my great friend Ross ( my Side By Side buddy) for a few days. Much like NY it is indeed some time since I last saw him and I can't wait to catch up with him in his Brooklyn hood! 
I will most likely be spending a rather a long time in airports and on planes. I am thinking this will be a perfect time to write a few posts, and work on some ideas I have had for the blog. 

Side By Side Week 128 - New goodies!

Side By Side Week 128 - New goodies!
So I had a great day on Saturday buying all sorts of new goodies for the house! I have been coveting a Hans Wegner Plank Chair (repro) for a while now and decided to buy one for this empty nook in my living room. The cushion was also an indulgence, but it is from my ALL time fave designer/shop spacecraft. When I went to the store I met Stewart Russell in person and was kinda star struck. I had a wonderfully informative chat with him about all things screen printing and he has even told me that I would be most welcome to visit his studio to see how things are done. I mean WHAT!!! That is the most awesome thing ever. I also stopped in to my fave beauty product store Aesop for some new products! YUM!

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog.

Side By Side Week 127 - G'day Mate!

Side By Side Week 127 - G'day mate!!
We had a 'family' day the other week at a country park and I was making friends with the Kangaroos. I really LOVE me some Australian animals! "G'day mate!!" 

Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog.

Side By Side Week 126 - Backstreet Crates

Side By Side Week 126 - Backstreet Crates
My photo for this week did not come out the way I wanted it and I am using a pic from the previous week. Anyway, with all the amazing graffiti it missed the cut but I just love all the texture and general grime. So it made the cut! This was a random laneway in South Melbourne. The crates provide the pop of colour needed to brighten up an otherwise drab backstreet. 
Check out my photos Side by Side with my buddy Ross at the side by side blog.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Design Files - Open House Clip

This vid has been popping up here and there on the interwebs and because I was iPhoneless and unable to snap any sneaky shots on the day. I thought I would share the awesome video from the fabulous Design Files Open House late last year. The only thing I had a problem with on the day, was that I wanted to buy one of everything! Sadly, I only managed a DF calendar, but I have managed to add a few 'affordable' items to my wishlist.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Side By Side Week 125 - Melbourne Underground

 Side By Side Week 125 - Melbourne Underground
This photo is a snippet from perhaps the best thing I have had the pleasure of seeing this year. Yep, you read that correctly! I visited one of the coolest spaces in Melbourne this weekend, Melbourne Project Underground. A very normal office building sits above this artistic treat, over 60 graffiti artists both local and international were asked to come and get creative with their spray cans in the building owner's 3 story basement car park. All I can say is that it's both inspired and amazing. I am a HUGE graffiti art fan so this was heaven for me. I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. This is one of my faves of the day. Amazing.

Illustrator Course Assignments

I am playing catch up BIG time for my Illustrator course and I have still got a heap of assignments to go. I'm sure I will get through them, I just have to stop getting lost in being creative and just get through each lesson. I guess I can go back and work on the projects when I have more time. 
Anyway, here are the results so far. Lesson 5 was my fave so far and I am pretty happy with the progress. 

Lesson 3 
Illustrator Course Assignment 3

Lesson 4
Illustrator Assignment 4 - Flowerpower

Lesson 5
Illustrator Assignment 5 - Flying Bird

Friday, February 24, 2012

Side By Side Week 124 - The tropics in my backyard.

Side By Side Week 124 - The tropics in my backyard.
How is this little guy in my back garden feasting on our fig tree! It really never gets old for me - coming from the land of dull animals - that these colourful birdies hang around in the suburbs of Melbourne. They are Rainbow Lorikeets and I love them, even though they chirp annoyingly in massive groups first thing in the morning. Feast away on those figs little friend.

Side By Side 123 - Grass Level

Side By Side Week 123 - Grass Level
These little floaty seed things were all over our garden last week. A combination of hot weather and high winds I guess. I ran around like a lunatic trying to catch one of these in flight but they were just too fast. So I got down to their level..!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The SuperCool and South Melbourne!

I kinda failed to complete even half of my to do list this weekend! Mmmh must try harder! I did manage to organise myself for a trip to my new favourite place, South Melbourne. It took me a while to discover this little pocket of loveliness, despite it's reasonably close proximity to where I live. It is ok, I am making up for lost time and have been there 3 times in the last few weeks. What can I say, I can't stay away from the yummy food market, awesome coffee spots and great little shops and general 'vibe' that the area has. 

I did have a purpose this weekend and nooooo it was not to buy macarons (although I may have picked up some little beauties when there)! I had a little something on hold at Southwood Trading  a great homewares store, which appeals heavily to my taste!  I had been waiting on my little treat for a couple of weeks and got the call that my geometric print flower mat by Bonnie and Neil was in. So exciting! Aren't they fab...

How about the super crazy green pom pom type flowers....they are Dianthus 
apparently. They are brilliant and cheap! 

As I stepped out of Southwood Trading, Chez Dre's sign was beckoned me in..."come in and buy some yummy treats" it was calling! Before I knew it I was staring at Macarons and oops...half a dozen perfectly formed beauties left with me. 

Let me tell you they are perfection, nice crust on the outside and gooey in the middle. With flavours such as blackcurrant, raspberry, choc-orange and even a Basil and Lime which I haven't tried yet.  The have a range of amazing small cakes...some of which have made a trip home with me on a previous visit! 

Whilst walking through the maze of fresh produce at the South Melbourne Market, I stumbled upon the SO:ME Space. SO:ME Space is a "is a unique retail concept in the heart of the South Melbourne Market" which is open during the normal market hours.It's a great modern space, with ply-wood finishes and piled up pallets for displaying goods.  I found the fab new pop up shop TheSuperCool, and they really couldn't have thought up a better name. It's like they set up a 'super cool' shop just for me. They describe themselves as a "mobile emporium that goes to the people with an eclectic mix of everyday objects from around the globe". I spotted some of my favourites from the likes of Pistachio Press, and The Hungry Workshop and plenty of unique odds and ends that would fit in rather nicely at Little Letters HQ! I resisted the temptation to spend up big but I did pick up the most fantastic mini wooden shoe last. So great and serves no purpose other than looking super cute on my shelf. Yay for random cuteness.

 TheSuperCool will be there for the next few weeks until the 4th March so be sure and stop by if you are in the area. Or why not make a special visit!

 I look forward to my next visit which will most likely be the South Melbourne Street Fair on Feb 19th!

UPDATE: The Dianthus green pom pom type flowers are still alive and look the same as they do in the photo. So 10 bonus points from me. Cheap and seemingly everlasting!