A design blog to capture a collection of thoughts from a bowerbird who is in love with unique design - fashion, furniture, art, photography, interiors, jewellery and creative minxes

Friday, October 30, 2009

Limelight - Toby and Dannielle Clutterbuck (Favourite Things)

Pittwater Road, Dee Why was the last place I thought I’d find a delightful retail store that would captivate my imagination. “Favourite Things Homewares Emporium” is a hidden gem behind the hustle and bustle of Dee Why’s busiest road. Operated by Dannielle and Toby Clutterbuck, the store is a beautiful fusion of handcrafts, homewares and a quaint café which is so beautifully styled you’ll never want to leave.

I’m happy to introduce you to Dannielle and Toby Clutterbuck:

Why did you decide to open Favourite Things?
We originally took over the secondhand furniture store which Dannielle’s parents had owned for a number of years. We knew from the start we wanted to make it our own and had some ideas of what we wanted to do but it has been a gradual evolution into what it is today. The most recent addition, the espresso bar was decided upon because it is something we both have always wanted and it really seemed like a perfect fit for the store. We have always believed that you must love what you are doing and our store is a reflection of this. To us it is the little store that could, with a lot of hard work, perseverance and against expectations we have created our dream.

What can people expect when they walk into your store?
The unexpected! We aim to offer a complete experience from gorgeous aromas to exciting displays to captivate your imagination and provide inspiration. We have customers who spend hours in the store chilling out with a coffee and delicious cupcake and browsing around hunting out something special for a gift for someone or pieces for their own home.

Young children to adults alike are delighted by our range of sweets and have a fantastic time choosing out which to have. Our focus is in products that are classic and not mainstream and that will continue to delight generations to come. We hear everyday that our store is a gorgeous little haven in the middle of Dee Why a place you can come and forget about everything for a little while and this is exemplified by our broad range of customers who keep coming back again and again.

Favourite item in-store?
Oh gosh, that is a tough one. It is hard to choose as we put great consideration to everything we choose for the shop, from the toast and cupcakes to the coffee and the gift cards to the homewares. If we don’t love it and think our customers will love it, it doesn't get to our store. Although it is a good thing we work so hard because rarely a day goes by that we don’t have a cupcake or sweet treat and we have been known to go to the store a ten at night to get sweets to have while we watch a DVD!

You're married, how do you manage being around each other at work and at home?
Well we have been working together full time for a few months now as Toby has just left his job to come and work in the shop. It does take some work and it was an adjustment at first but if you remember that you are a team and working for the same goals you find a way to make it work. We also have different areas of focus, Toby is currently focusing on expanding our online store, www.favouritethings.com.au and I’m (Dannielle) focusing on new product ranges and head turning displays in-store.

Any new products coming into store that you want to tell us about?
We have some fabulous Christmas decorations and gifts for the festive season this year, we love Christmas and so do our customers!

We also are very excited to have Walnut shoes for ladies, we have had lots of people asking for them and the company which originally only did children's shoes have listened to their customers brought them out for ladies too which we love. Favourite place for a lazy brunch?Well, we have two beaches we love to go to one close to our home which we ride to and another near our store in Dee Why. We grab a takeaway coffee and some toast and just sit and stare at the water, it is very relaxing and there is something very rejuvenating about it.

If you'd like the look of "Favourite Things" visit their retail store at:
902 Pittwater Rd Dee Why 2099 NSW Australia

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


And I thought my husband was obsessed with Lego..... A couple of years back he reconstructed our kitchen plans with Lego. At first he was using blocks from his treasured Lego box until a friend told him about the virtual Lego programme http://designbyme.Lego.com/en-us/default.aspx. After a week he had built the entire renovation with Lego - very helpful, but a little obsessive. Obviously this designer shares a similar obsession and I love the end result.

Thank you, The Cool Hunter for sharing this with me. You made my day http://www.thecoolhunter.com.au/design

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DIY – Chunky Chain Heart Necklace

I came across this sexy gold necklace during my daily visit to Garance Doré’s über cool blog by the same name. Garance is an unbelievably talented French illustrator/photographer and all-round creative type with a penchant for fashion. You can check out her blog at the following website http://www.garancedore.fr/en/

Anyway, I’ve been obsessing over the necklace ever since I spotted it, so first thing Saturday I bought some supplies and made my own super sexy, chunky chain heart necklace!!!

If you’re interested in making one for yourself all you need is the following:
  • 40-50cm of chunky gold chain (I found mine at Empire Beads in Surry Hills. They have an online store http://www.empirebeads.com.au/)
  • Heart pendant
  • 2 jump rings
  • Hook clasp

Total time to make = 2 minutes
Total cost = $5


  1. Use a pair of wire cutters to trim the chain to size

  2. Use pliers to attach jump ring and hook clasp to end of chain

  3. Use another jump ring to attach the heart pendant

Ta-da! All finished in 2 minutes!!!

If you found this post useful why not send it to friends!! If you would like to receive updates from Design Detective please join me on Twitter or Facebook. Click Twitter or Facebook Fan Page links on the top right of this page to join.

Friday, October 23, 2009

S is for Shopping

This weekend is packed full of exciting retail offers so get ready to spend some dough-ray-me!

#1 Fossil Warehouse Sale. Saturday 24th October only from 9am-2pm. Warehouse F24, 122-126 Old Pittwater Road , Brookvale NSW 2010

This is a warehouse sale of Fossil’s leather goods, jewellery and watches. In addition to their own brand they import a range of watches by Michael Kors, DKNY, Diesel, CK, Gucci and the list goes on…. Last year I picked up two Michael Kors watches for $100.

#2 Kirribilli General Market. Saturday 24th October from 7am – 3pm. Burton Street tunnel and Bradfield Park, Milsons Point.
My favourite once a month Sydney market! In addition to the fantastic second hand clothes, My Little Cupcake (cupcake/homeware store in Mosman) is having a one-day only clearance at the markets selling an array of ceramics, aprons and Christmas decorations. Nothing over $10!

#3 Miss Press & Fernando Frisoni One Day Sample Sale. Saturday 24th October 10am – 5pm. Palmer Projects Gallery, 238 Palmer Street, Cnr Palmer & Liverpool St, (next to East Village hotel) Darlinghurst.
Find men's & women’s tops, pants, jackets with Frisoni's trademark, silk treats (look out for super-cheap knickers!) and vintage.

#4 PYD Designer Markets & Dank Street Festival. Saturday 24th October & Sunday 25th October 10am – 5pm. PYD Building, 197 Young Street, Waterloo. http://www.pyd.com.au/Events/article/2117.aspx
This is an annual Design Market showcasing Australia’s talented young designers and their wares at the PYD Design Centre. You can purchase original furniture, objects, lighting, textiles and homewares. Definitely one for the interior enthusiast.

#5 She Festival. Sunday 25th October 10am – 7.30pm. Screening of movie begins at 7.30pm. St Ives Showground, Mona Vale Road, St Ives.
This is the ultimate girls day out; shopping, fashion parades, art & craft, workshops, live dance, live bands, gourmet food court, coffee & a moonlight screening of “The Devil Wears Prada”. Sanaz Designs will be there so go and support local designers and enjoy the atmosphere.

#6 Palm Beach Market. Sunday 25th October 9am – 3pm. Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach.
Food, fashion, jewellery and art and craft all in a beautiful location.

#7 One for the diary – Volcom Warehouse Sale. Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st November. 9am – 6pm (closing time on Sat 5pm and Sun 3pm). 15-17 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale.
Discontinued styles and samples. Men’s, women’s and kids!

If you found this post useful why not send it to friends!! If you would like to receive updates from Design Detective please join me on Twitter or Facebook. Click Twitter or Facebook Fan Page links on the top right of this page to join.

Limelight - Sarah Daley (Papalo Paperworks)

There’s something special about the art of paperwork. The combination of delicate papers and trimmings to create a piece of artwork that appeals to the young and old.

I discovered designer, Sarah Daley on my monthly visit to Manly Village School markets. Sarah's beautiful stall displaying an array of unique paperworks on vintage windows, tree branches and pegs caught this bowerbirds eye.

I’m excited to introduce you to Sarah and her business Papalo Paperworks:

“Papalo Paperworks” – what’s the story behind the name?
I knew I wanted to use ‘Paperworks’ somewhere behind the name to represent the details of paper craft technique. Papalo was just a name I came up with and liked and I thought it sounded fresh.

You’re a primary school teacher, how did this play a role with you starting the business?
I teach Kindergarten and have a lot of fun. As a teacher the job is definitely very busy, however the hours and lifestyle give me the extra time to get a little creative. Holidays are a gem! The children have also inspired me as many of my designs reflect this. I am really passionate about design and beautiful things and love the chance to spend a sunny day at the markets being inspired by others and talking to lovely people. I like to say giving a card is like giving someone a smile on paper!

What would you like people to gain from your creations?
I am not so sure but I do hope a little happiness, inspiration and an appreciation for detail and creativity.

Do you personally design and make the items in your collection?
All of my items I design and hand make myself using vintage wallpapers, old sheet music, ribbons and fabric.

What’s your current favourite design/piece in your collection?
Some of my favourites are the framed babushka dolls and rocking horses. These are popular gifts for baby nurseries or little ones bedrooms. My favourite card designs at the moment are the ‘doily bear’ and ‘ the musical heart’.

Price range of items?
Prices range from $3- for gift tags through to $40 for framed art. Cards are $4- each or 3 for $10. There will be lots of Christmas cards at the November 21st market!

Where can we find you?
At the moment I have a regular stall at the Manly Village School Markets on the 3rd Saturday of each month. I also stock at a gorgeous children’s boutique in Avalon called ‘I am Kids’ and the Avalon Toy Shop.

What can’t you live without?
What I can t live without……….. This is always a tricky one to define. I would definitely have to say my family and my partner Dylan, the outdoors, Sydney and time to create.

If you’re inspired by Sarah’s work, support her by visiting the Manly Village Markets on the 21st November. If you can’t get to Manly Village markets and you are interested in purchasing Sarah's artwork please email me kellymcort@yahoo.com.au

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today's obession

Ok, I admit that I am totally and utterly obsessed with vintage bird cages. What began as a small love affair with the humble birdcage has rapidly developed into a complete obsession. I’m in love with their ornate design built to complement the exotic birds that were intended to fill them.

At the moment I have a couple of problems that are getting in the way of my first birdcage purchase…. 1) my one bedroom unit sadly lacks the space to display such a grand object 2) My husband doesn’t exactly share my enthusiasm.

So, to satisfy my cravings for birdcages I’m drooling over images and thinking of all the wonderful ways to style and display them. Filled with flowers, candles or feathers or even just left empty as a statement piece. Simply devine!

Some images to share:

I love how bohemian they look sitting pride of place on a sideboard or simply placed on the floor

Maybe I need to settle for some wall decals instead...... not the same .....
How beautiful do they look sitting pretty from the tree! A few fairy lights intertwined between the cages would show off their lovely shapes

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

9 weeks until Christmas - DIY Presents

How fast the year rolls by…with Christmas around the corner we only have 9 weeks to finalise our festive preparations. Every year I have the intention of completing my Christmas present list by the end of November. However, I love to make gifts for friends and family and I’m usually found gluing or sticking something together in the late hours of Christmas Eve.

I’ve decided to be more organized this year and I’m already looking for DIY present inspiration.

The first project I’m working on is the following faux Hermes key ring. The original key ring costs $AU 285.00 however thanks to Desiree Haigh Photography blog I’ve found the instructions to make it for $12!

To make the key ring you need to buy some leather (I found good leather via etsy http://tinyurl.com/yk77wd8), metal key ring and a hot glue gun.

The instructions on http://desireehaigh.blogspot.com/2009/01/diy-hermes-key-ring.html
are easy to follow -
Hey, presto! a beautiful leather key ring!
Above photographs courtesy of Desiree Haigh Photography http://www.desireehaigh.com/

For more information on the key ring just visit the following website http://desireehaigh.blogspot.com/2009/01/diy-hermes-key-ring.html

Friday, October 16, 2009

Limelight – Takeshi Okada (Takessuy)

I met Japanese jewellery designer Takeshi at Glebe Markets in Sydney. I was immediately drawn to his delicate, feminine designs and the incredible detail in his work. I am very excited to profile him for Limelight:

1) You studied clothing design – why did you start working with accessories?
My friend introduced me to an American jeweller when I was living in New York, and one day she taught me a few techniques in making earrings. When I finished making my first earrings and took a look at them, it was then that I decided to go full-time into the world of costume jewellery.

I (also) love anything to do with women's clothing - including shoes and bags .... and i love go to shopping with my female friends ... and love seeing beautiful things in stores that are like seeing a dream. Especially I love looking into the glass jewellery cases in the stores because they are always sparkling and shinning bathed in the perfect lighting. It's always been jewellery that has excited me and has me absorbed.

2) You were born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. How has your culture influenced your designs?
Japanese culture has always influences the high quality and delicate detail in my work.

3) You’ve spent time in different cities around the world, how are Australian women different?
Outside of Tokyo, I have spent time living in Paris, New York and now Sydney. I have also been lucky to travel to many countries in Europe and Asia. Australian women are different to other places in their love of relaxed, sporty and natural wear. I think it is the natural beauty of Australia that surrounds them that has such a positive influence on their style.

4) What has inspired your current collection and what materials are you using?
My current collection is inspired by Fairy Tales - things like Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Cinderella .... but I'm live in Bondi Beach so it's also a fusion of sun and sea and diverse cultures, not forgetting an adorable splash of the femininity.

I use all natural materials - such as chrystophrase, aquamarine, blue sapphires, rubies, emeralds, natural pearls. All my findings are of the highest quality wires - 14k gold and sterling silver.

5) Price range of items?
Prices are very attractive at $30 each or two for $50, so that they are affordable to young ladies who look for elegance and fashion.

6) Where can we find you?
Surry Hills Market on 1st Saturday of the Month, and Glebe Markets each Saturday the rest of the Month. Also, available in-store at Sarah-Jane in Newtown.

7) Your favourite coffee shop?
I love to the coffee and food from Cafe Rolling Stones (67 Glebe Point Rd) opposite the Glebe Markets. The staff are super friendly, and best of all everything tastes great!

For more information on Takessuy and designs by Takeshi please visit his website http://www.takessuy.com/.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...