holiday gift ideas: for the little’uns…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 10th, 2009 by pia


So here we are, the last holiday gift guide. I have chosen gifts that are pretty much gender neutral, bar the odd gorgeous dress and hair clips (like below!). I remember as a kid, I was always as fascinated with the boys toys as I was with girly things. So I’m thinking, I’m possibly not alone, right? Well, here are some ideas for the little’uns in your life. First up I fell in love with the little guy you see above the moment I laid eyes on him. He is made by my favourite dress US$70.00 custom orders only. location: Vancouver, BC, ships internationally.


clockwise from top left: handmade whale by tiny warbler US$35 location: vancouver, BC ships internationally; candy cane striped non slip hair clips by everyday clippies US$4.00 location: michigan; wooden rattles (love the polka dots!) from little sappling toys US$38.00 location: Boise, ID; fabric number book US$48.00 from pilo sale location: toronto.


I think this little lass is the perfect model for this dress, isn’t she gorgeous? So is the dress of course. US$54.00 Made from a rose wool blend by mette location: vancouver (again! I see a theme). Also love this linen number with little ruffles, also by mette . US$50.00.


Yoyos!! They are the coolest aren’t they? Love this one from something’s hiding here US$10.00 location: philadelphia; wooden toy tool box, yes yes please!! US$60.00 from wood toy shop location: Portland, Oregan.


Oh just look at these tiny cashmere sippers. US$48.00 made by woolybaby location: Philadelphia; and then there are the lambswool tweed ones, too too cute. US$30.00


Shadow puppets!! Because I KNOW you love them as much as I do.  There is a great range available from  orange moon toys – diy kits are US$20.00, sets are US$30 location: wisconsin, ships internationally.


trucks! But not just any trucks, these ones are made in Europe by sprig,  with reclaimed wood and recycled plastic $15.00 each available online at wild dill location: california. And for some more serious playtime…


clockwise from top left: vintage flower press – but I don’t want you to buy it because I want it for myself. It’s just US$5.50 from ismoyo location: new york; wooden sewing machine – awesome. US$65.00 from wood clinic location: Vancouver Island; felt numbers from michima US$14.00 location: New Jersey; teepees! from gracey bean baby US$130.00 location: US; gluten free lavender scented play clay US$4.50 location: seattle; spanish felt letters (there is also norwegian/danish and german available) from michima US $40.00 location: New Jersey (ships internationally).


So that’s it! That’s my kids holiday gift guide collection for 2009. I do hope you find some things in there for your own kiddies. If you are hungry for even more cool eco-friendly ideas for kids, check out my guide for last year and click on the shop links.

holiday gift ideas: for him…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 9th, 2009 by pia


Well aren’t you all wonderful! Thank you for all your encouragement – a little pep talk goes a long way. I think if I told you what I have on my plate for the coming week, you would freak out and wonder why oh why I cram everything in – you’ll find out everything soon enough.  Anyway without further delay, here is the 2009 holiday gift guide pour lui. Clockwise from top left image:

1. box & flea bandannas! A stack of these would make a great gift for a guy. They are 100% cotton, US$36.00 available here. location: NY

2. iphone, wallet, cell, ipod, whatever else you can think of –multifunctional carrier, made with grey felt and leather. Love it! From kazzki US$29.00 location: sydney, australia

3. charcoal linen journal handmade/bound by paperiaarre US$38.00 location: turku, Finland

4. chalk chalk‘s chalk bicycle prints and originals are too cool for school. Prints are US$20.00 and originals are $125.00 location: LA



Clockwise from top left image:

1. miniature cabinet of curiosities no. 15 (what a fab idea) from miniature rhinos US$15.00 location: Brooklyn, NY

2. vintage perpetual calender for his desk. yes yes. US$35.00 from lucky little dot’s shop. location: NY

3. super soft cotton plaid scarf by cipolla US$29.00 location: toronto

4. vintage 50’s style shirt from lolly crisp vintage US$34.00 location: philadelphia

5. heavy duty blanket by swiss fizz US$20.00 location: zug, switzerland

6. gorgeous handmade crib board by enumero. If your man doesn’t know how to play crib, or you, then it’s time to learn! it’s a great alternative to watching tv every night. US$78.00 location: lafayette (free shipping in the US)

7. a full deck of miniature vintage playing cards – how cute. From estate of mind US$2.50 location: NY. Any cool vintage deck of cards would make a great gift.

8. pair of antique indian bowling clubs from vintage embellishment US$105.00 location: california I also found these ones which are cool too.

9. for the man who like numbers (I’m thinking of financial types)(or mathematicians)(or me, I would like this too)(and I’m not a bloke)…an abacus! US $60.00 from the orientalist. location: singapore


Here are a couple of gender neutral gifts which I think are always handy to have for impromptu guests. I was going to include it in yesterday’s holiday gift guide for gals but well, you want the truth? It didn’t fit my colour scheme for the post. Today, it does. Left: travel organizer from solo handmade US$25.00 location: Utrecht, The Netherlands. Right: tweed camera cozy, custom made by thistle down and finch US$28.00 location: ontario.


Now for the outdoorsy-sophisticated-takes his girl out for a picnic type of dude:


Clockwise top left:

1. wild deer antique pewter and silver cufflinks by make it.  US$32.00 location: the UK

2. mid-century traveling bartender set from adVintagous US$62.00 location: Florida.

3. vintage panama shirt (size: small) from lolly crisp vintage US$50.00 location: philadelphia

4. dunkerton’s organic cider. £2.55each from natural collection location: UK I love cider, and I was thinking what a great gift it would be to have a year supply sent to you – say, one 12-pack (or more if you love it love it) a month? And then I got thinking, what about the same for beer? Or wine? And then I got thinking, how cool would it be to have one of your local wineries/breweries/sellers send a mixed box of the stuff each month? Anyway, just a thought.

5. woven picnic basket from finding fabulous US$28.00 location: chicago.


Left:  swedish firesteel fire lighter, £14.95 from natural collection location: UK and right: hemp & cotton socks  (unisex)£8.95 from natural collection location: UK


To continue on the outdoorsy theme, but for the guy in your life who loves the idea of the outdoors but well, lets just say he’s the more leisurely type:


Left: succulents in tiny glass containers from monkeys always look US$14.00 each location: san diego california and right: hammock from oak and rope US135.00 location: florida.


How was that? I hope there are some ideas in there for the man in your life.  Remember,  if you love a bit of DIY, you could try making something inspired by what you see above, with materials you have on hand. Also, lots of these items are gender neutral, or at least I think they are because I dig all of them! And last but not least, be sure to check out each store link as there are so many goodies that I could pick from each, but I just select one or two for this post.

Happy gifting! Gifts for the kids will be up next (later this afternoon)…

holiday gift ideas: for her…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 8th, 2009 by pia


M. got in first with her request (see post comments below) for gals so here it is, the 2009 enhance the everday gift guide pour elle. First comes this gorgeous recycled cotton tote bag you see above,  made to order from forest bound, US$50.00.Location: USA, ships internationally.  The whole collection is perfect, especially for stylish gals who love to travel (that’s most of us, right?!).


Clockwise from top image: acorn necklace from gur kimel, US$60.00 location: isreal, ships internationally; 1940’s damask umbrella US$48.00 location: new york (state), ships internationally;  “eco toes” in wool plaid US$45.00 by infusion; sexy boyfriend sheer button up shirt, US$58.00 location: california, ships internationally; small porcelain box from the orientalist US$50.00 location: singapore.


Now, for the women in your life who love Paris…


You knew what was coming next, right?! Of course! But lets start clockwise, from top left: alicia bock’s paris: a love story calender US$29.00, location: Michigan; le book Paris: Made By Hand US$15.00. Photographed here by the beautiful Amanda, available through Little Bookroom location: USA (or your local bookstore, check the stores that are stocking the book around the world here); oui necklace just US$16.00 by Emilina Ballerina location: St Louis; and a collection  of little books about Paris from the Little Bookroom. There are some great new titles including a fabulous new one called Paris Quiz. I would get all of the above for your Paris loving friend/wife/mom/sister and then, I would top it off with this little beauty…


paris hand cut map print by famille summerbelle. There are also maps of New York and London. They are printed in France and come in a range of colours €42.00. So pretty aren’t they? Your girl will love you long time for this loot of paris treats.


Next up, beautiful things for the girly girl…


clockwise, top left: starburst bloom silk clutch purse made by red ruby rose for US$105.00 location: Bristol UK; aurora botanical perfume – created by hand utilizing pure, plant essences in a French glass flacon by illuminated perfume. US$150.00 location: LA; pink diamond flower in glass bottle necklace made by just me jewellery US$40.00 location: Hong Kong; fleur de nuit necklace by white owl US$35.00 location: Detroit; and la piece de résistance is this very pretty handmade miniature kite in wooden box, from jaesong US$89.00 location: US.


Now, for the bookworm! Here are a few lovelies…


clockwise from top left image: wooden bookmark just US$8.00 from bliss in a tea cup location: Vancouver; literary quote pinback brooch by bookity US$7.50 location: UK; silk sleep eye mask US$16.00 by naomi lingerie location: Melbourne Australia; a bunch of vintage classic novels, including such tales as Gullivers Travels. This bunch was recently on auction on ebay, but I suggest you head down to your local second hand bookstore and find some great old classics – this year I read The Secret Garden, Robinson Crusoe, and Treasure Island for the first time since I was a wee lass and all of them were wonderful. A stash of vintage versions would make such a great gift for a bookwormy kinda-gal (comme moi).


I know most of these gifts aren’t necessarily made with renewable materials etc, but they are handmade and/or vintage and this all helps. There should be lots of ideas in there for the lady in your life and if you are a bit of a handyperson, you could try making something inspired by what you see above, with materials you have on hand.

Now I must confess,  I completely forgot how  much work these gift guides are. I’m wondering if other bloggers have some fancy smancy ways of making the task a little easier, I have a feeling my version of doing these guides is a little archaic and completely time-consuming. I shall not pike out on you though, but I will need a little more encouragement to continue if you are enjoying these and would like to see more. A little shout out, a little “keep up the good work” or something, anything along these lines would give me the extra energy I need to keep this momentum… merci mes amis! px

holiday gift idea: for the home (encore)…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 8th, 2009 by pia


I nearly left out this gorgeous little fella. It is a plant fibre & skeleton leaf lantern, made by pacha design in the UK (Welcombe), £15  each. Pacha design is also having their first xmas open studio this coming weekend. Among other things there will be chopping boards, leaf lanterns, clocks, and mirrors for sale and you can munch on snowflake biscuits & mince pies, and sip mulled wine while you buy handmade gifts. miam. Click here for more info.


PS I can’t decide what to post next – gifts for gals, gifts for guys, or gifts for kids? you choose…

holiday gift ideas: for the home…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade December 8th, 2009 by pia


I could not resist including these little guys! How adorable are they? I love little houses. These are made by the oak leaves. They are called shelf cities, and they are $20 for a set of 12. Made in the US, ships internationally.

PJB_frenchtouche_1photograph by PJB from Paris: Made By Hand

French Touche is a gorgeous little boutique in Paris that I featured in Paris: Made By Hand. They have a terrific online website + boutique, with tonnes of goodies, all handmade. Here are some of my favourite items…


Clockwise from top left: little raiku sel et poivre by François Echappé, 24€ for the two; Barquette Piaf  by De Beaux Souvenirs, and other little wire cages, from 30 €; porcelain dishes like the Coupelle Bambi  by Elise Lefebvre starting at 50 € – all from French Touche. Not all the items are for sale online though, so check the little icon under items which say ‘select for cart’ or ‘call the store’.


French baskets from Sadie Olive! Love. US$136.00, from Tustin, CA. Cotton Crochet Coverlet US$265.00 from Topsy Design, location: Los Angeles.


Vintage typewriters are not only a hot decorating item these days, they also make an awesome gift for stationery & type enthusiasts. Like me! I would love a vintage typewriter. It would be a fun, slower pace way of writing – like having an anolague camera alongside a digital one. Anyway, I digress, I know. Here is a groovy Hermes 3000 from shaving kit supplies. It’s US$220.00, location: pennsylvania.

You know what else is hot for gift giving right now?




Yep, terrariums. Here are a few I like:

1. littly mossy terrariums from the oak leaves,  US$30.00

2. mini terrariums from tortoise loves donkey, starting at just US$5.00 location: california.

3.  terrarium glass vessels from terrain, ranging in price, location: USA (international shipping not available)

You can also try your hand at making one yourself. Sprout home made a great how-to video for design*sponge this past summer, click here to watch.

Now, for those of us who love spending a bit of time in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been rather fond of creating hampers. Here are a few treasures that I think would be great for adding to a hamper, or as stocking fillers…


top row: jenna rose bike tea towels US$28.00 location: ontario; skinny and bernies mini casserole dishes US$28.00 location: Pennsylvania

second row: ‘tingle tangle’ spoons and little nesting bowls starting at US$4.00 by Atelier Oker location: Belgium

third row: I think these cotton canvas lunch bags are such a great idea! They are made by solo handmade and US$15.00 each location: Utrecht, The Netherlands; printed vintage white damask linen napkins screen printed with an old recipe for irish soda bread, sold in sets of four from pilosale, US$38.00 location: toronto

fourth row: diy cheese kits from urban cheese craft – brilliant! You can make paneer, goats cheese, mozzarella, you name it. Kits start at US $21.00 location: portland, oregon (of course); wheel thrown porcelain milk jug from ceramic pics US$22.00 location: California

last row: bird e towels – these are unbleached cotton towels to replace paper towels. Love it! They come in a bakers dozen, $12.00  from athena creates location: US; block print kitchen towel from home sweet US$15.00 location: delaware.


well! that was a marathon start. Hope you find some neat gift ideas in there for friends and family who love their home. I’m off to bed, I need to rest these weary fingers to get ready for tomorrow’s guide. Until then, sweet dreams.


Okay just one more…


a samantha robinson teapot. Isn’t it lovely? I have a few of her little vessels that I’ve collected over the years but this is too divine. Samantha has a stall at the paddington markets, in sydney on Saturdays, and at the bondi markets on sunday. You can also call or email her direct for international inquiries.