My Photo
70 Darby Street, Cooks Hill NSW 2300, Australia
Tuesdays - Fridays 11:00-5:00
Saturdays 10:00-3:00 Sundays 11:00-3:00
Mondays closed to sew/print/make
P:02 4929 4350

Monday, May 31, 2010

I LOVE Eurovision!

Every year Sean & I watch the SBS coverage of Eurovision. It is a tradition in our household that's not going away!

This first clip is Estonia's entry & was my favourite!

So kitsch! So stylish!

(Didn't make into the final!! WHAT!!??)

And I also loved this charasmatic young woman, I soooo thought she had it in the bag!

In the end it was won by a fairly gormless lass from Spain who shouted or spoke the notes she couldn't hit!

I never pick the winner!

The bloody commercial stations kept trying to ruin our weekend by being bad sports & announcing the winner before the Final had even been broadcast too! That is low!!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Why are you so far away?" she said.

As I've mentioned, we're closed today due to it being
Darby Street Festival.
This is not in any way meant to be a thumbing of our noses to all of the hard work the Darby Street Precinct Committee does!
They're doing a great job trying to promote our lovely Street and deserve praise & appreciation!
I personally have been connected to the Street for over 25 years when my Mum & her then partner David established Cooks Hill Books. My teen years/early twenties were actually spent living in Council Street then Darby Street itself. Then I stayed living in Cooks Hill (with my Sean) and opened the street's first clothing retail shop called Spinster Wares. There was only one cafe on Darby Street in those days - Goldbergs! What I'm trying to say is that I love Darby Street and how it has evolved. And that I hope the horrid weather stays away so my fellow retailers have a really successful day!!
We did try opening for the first few Street festivals and our poor little shop suffered spillages; thefts & general disrepair - selling no where near as much as our usual Sundays to add insult to injury! We put this down to our Regular Customers staying away, the people coming to the street for the day being in carefree Festival mode, and our tiny shop being a tad too fragile to cope with crowds!
Also the stalls of items lining the street directly competing with our range of wares kind of defeats the purpose for us!
So. We've made a decision that makes sense for our particular Business and declared it an Annual Leave Day! Hope you understand & don't take it personally.
Here are some shots of items in our windows & recent creations to tide you by!

Not True in Newcastle Zine has SOLD OUT.

Hee hee I made bunting!

Jenni from Hex(6) is officially addicted to embroidery!

By the way (and completely incidentally) it is Sean & my 17th Anniversary on Thursday the 3rd of June! SEVENTEENTH.
Isn't that crazy!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Gent

Today in Newcastle it has been blustery, grey & wet.
How's it been where you are?

Oh, and I've somehow managed to put my back out. (Theories suggest that this is due to my having arranged to have three days off in a row for the first time in ages.) Despite these deterrents, Sean managed to print a range of one of his latest designs of Anorak Tees for Men. (I am his assistant & managed to assist with minimal whining.) The design is called "The Gent" & it makes me giggle each time I see it. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

His next design is really cool too! Can't wait to show you. Newcastle has flood & offshore cyclone warnings for tomorrow so I think our decision to be closed for The Darby Street Festival has been well and truly validated. Being such a tiny shop, overflowing with so many little bits & bobs we just cannot cope on days like the Festival Days. Let alone with crowds of drenched people!!

I hope you really enjoy the day if you do decide to go though! (Although I maybe picture you as more of a Roller Derby Attendee! Gateshead Indoor Sports Centre 12:30 Sunday 30th May! Tix available at the door!)


Friday, May 28, 2010

It's just a little crush....

Blackbird Corner has a crush on a Melbourne shop.
I'm sure you all know of it. I'm yet to get there, but it's on my list! It is owned by a lovely, friendly woman called Pip.
Her Blog is the first ever Blog that I followed.

The reason I'm publicly announcing the shop's crush?

What sent me over the edge & forced me to profess my admiration? Only that Pip actually crocheted granny squares & wrapped them around the light pole outside her shop on Brunswick Street!

Holy Mackerel. She takes the cake.


Alison's melts

Don't these Soy Wax Melts look completely edible!
Due instore early June they're handmade by a lovely Mum-who-makes called Alison. Her melts are handmade at Alisons Soy Wax Candles and Melts with 100% Soy Wax sourced from Australian companies. Simply snap off a cube and place it into your oil burner.
Each pack of 6 will scent your home for up to 60 hours.
I've ordered a lovely little range of different flavours! I mean scents! The shop is going to smell de-lic-ious!!
Alison was born in Maitland and lived in Telarah, then in the Newcastle area before her husband's work meant a move to Sydney where they have been the last few years.
A mummy of 3 gorgeous children - aged 7, 19 months and 6 months -she's loved crafts for as long as she can remember.
Alison told me:
"One of my earliest craft memories was making cushions out of cute printed washers! I remember sitting on the lounge for hours hand stitching face washers together then turning them inside out to add all the stuffing! Then of course they had the ugly stitching on the outside...hahaha. My first big crafty love was glass painting when I was about 12 or 13 and actually sold my things on several occasions at Maitland Markets. I used to spend hours painting and painting till mum every night would drag me to bed. I have enjoyed knitting, making things out of shells, ocean treasures etc, cross stitch, folk art, decoupage, wood work, cake decorating - (especially cup cakes!) ahhh beading and making jewellery and lots of other small handicrafts I tried over the years."
"I stumbled across soy candles and melts at a small market in Toronto about 2 years ago- and became fascinated in SOY and all the benefits of burning soy wax as opposed to parafin which is a petroleum based by products used in cheap and most commercial candles."
"I have loved candles and incense since my early teens and began candle making about 18 months ago after I had our second baby. As I was not working as much cause of bub I became obsessed immediately and my house turned into a candle kingdom!
My family and friends were quite impressed and happy to be testers of different candles and melts and fragrances and it just went from there."
Doesn't she just inspire you to try out some of the Crafts you've always been interested in but lacked the confidence to attempt?
She does me! Now to find some time!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Black bird corner

Sean took this photo this morning.
It is a crow (or a black bird) sitting on the traffic light right outside the shop's door. I think it has read our sign and decided to stand guard. There is often a murder of crows hanging around our little corner. I believe that they bring us luck. When they caw a lot in the morning, the shop always has a great day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rambling Nici

I am sorry to impose my musical taste on you two days in a row!

I'm sitting inside, in front of the heater, not sewing. Instead I'm frittering away my afternoon chatting to fellow crafty folk on Twitter whilst humming Laura Marling songs to myself. (Much to Sean's irritation I imagine.) My poor excuse is that I had a flu shot this morning & my arm is rather achy. I do hope it doesn't sound arrogant to refer to myself as Crafty by the way! But I have decided that I am! So there! I sew things. I design things. I assist in Screen Printing things. That's got to count enough to be called Crafty yes? No? Yes. Yes.


Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm very thrilled to announce that the Not True in Newcastle zine is now available for purchase in our little store.

Looking a bit more like a book than a zine, it's hand-made using recycled phone book maps, a translucent cover, printed text, and photo-quality images mounted on black backing. Each zine is 21 x 21 cm, and has a square 1 cm spine bound with twine.

This zine has been made as a very limited edition of 20 copies only. Each copy is individually numbered, and contains a selection of 20 stories and photos from the early days of her very clever blog: I am awestruck by the zine's beauty & quality.

It's available for $30 either from Blackbird or our shop's "sister":

Bird in the Hand Zine Shop

100a King Street, Newcastle

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tag I'm it!

OK I was um "tagged" to play this Blog-game-whatsit by Rondy who was tagged by Gemma who was tagged by Pip . Hee hee it's like playing catchies in the playground! The Tag game "rules" are as follows:
1.Go to the 8th folder in which you store your photos.
2.Select the 8th photo.
3.Post it to your blog and tell the story behind it.
4.After following the above instructions, you are ‘supposed’ to tag 8 other bloggers. So. Here's my interpretation/variation:
1.OK so I don't have folders of photos, I kind of keep them on my camera which seems to have a vast memory card.
2.The 8th photo was (shock horror) of the shop! So I went for the 88th instead as I think you've seen quite a few pics of the shop!
3.OK I've posted it to my Blog & shall shortly rave on about it!
4.Rondy already tagged our mutual Blog friend Bianca who is most likely to play! But I tag the lovely Kelly and of course Sophie from That Vintage and mmmm Holly who hasn't blogged for weeks!
The only way they'll know they're tagged is if they read this blog! Mahahahaha (evil laugh - it's a trap!)
OK photo is of the congregation of snails who live in our backyard. They love to assemble on the old clay chimney pot when it rains. Only they know why.
Our back yard is a complete disaster area. When we bought the house 5 years ago, we had all these great plans and pretty much trashed the perfectly fine plants & then......nothing. So, now it is completely overgrown with nasturtiums & bamboo that escaped it's pot.
(Mum did say "That's going to end in tears!")
Our varied excuses for the horror outside the back door include that the shop kind of took over our lives straight away and that the three huge (and beautiful) swamp oaks over the back fence constantly shed their needles and seed things - literally coating our tiny yard and deterring us from bothering to even attempt improving things out there! Whatever! The snails; native birds; skinks & blue tongues love it at least!
I do love encouraging snails though, because my Mum & my Nan always made such a big deal about them! I remember my Nan virtually combing the choko vines for snails & throwing them over the fence into her neighbour's yard when I was little.
(She never did like the neighbours on that side!)
Mum always threatens to get the salt pot out and slaughter every snail that she sees! I guess it cracks me up when she sees the swarms of them chomping away merrily without a care in the world. Sometimes, to chill out or clear my head, I have been known to stand in the back yard for a few minutes & just watch the snails. They actually move quite quickly and seem to be rather organised socially. I do think our snails are rather happy with their lot in life!
And you know what? That makes me feel glad.
Glad is one of my favourite ways to feel.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Flat Track Attack

Flat Track Attack
Come along and cheer as the Old School Brawlers
take on the Modern Day Divas.
May 30, 2010 Doors open 12.30pm for a 1.30pm start
Gateshead Indoor Sportsworld 26 Oakdale Rd, Gateshead
Tickets available at Blackbird Corner; online or at the door unless it sells out.
Adults $10 Kids $5

Monday, May 10, 2010


" "CMYK" abbr A colour model used in process (4 colour) printing. CMYK refers to the four inks used being Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black. The K stands for key since in four-colour printing, each colour plate is carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate. CMYK is used for printing of physical items such as posters, books etc....

"RGB" abbr A colour model used in electronic system displays.
RGB refers to the initials of the three additive primary colours, Red, Green and Blue. RGB is used for display on devices such as TV sets, computers and mobile devices etc...

Some say digital media (RGB) will eventually
kill off printed media (CMYK). "

This is the latest badge set created by Sean from Anorak. It will be in store from tomorrow. It is a three badge set & is just $5.00.

Have I told you lately what a clever clogs Sean is? No? Well he is a clever clogs. I'm not just saying that because he's my clever clogs either!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

It is Mothers Day today, as you no doubt are aware.
So I thought I'd blog about our Mum. We were raised fairly non-conventially to not really believe in these "made up days." So we try to let our Mum know how appreciated she is on other non-labelled days.
I certainly put my Mum through more than her share of torment in my youth, to say the very least! But she never ever gave up on me or walked away as I've seen other Mothers do when they finally reached their limits. I'm not certain my mum has such limits actually.
I mean I've seen her come close to what I thought they should be but not actually reach them - if that makes sense.
Anyway I think I'm a very lucky daughter whose Mum is one of her closest friends & supporters. There is no way Blackbird Corner would exist without her.
The photos above are of Cooks Hill Books - the second hand bookshop she owns with David, whom I regard as my Step-Father. They've been on Darby Street for 25 years this year. I basically feel as home there as I do in my actual home. Every morning, before we open our respective stores we love to have "Deck Time" and make major life & business decisions over a cuppa or two. I think it is my favourite time of the day now I come to think of it!

Happy "Commercialism of Motherhood Day" Lynda!

Friday, May 7, 2010

After much ado.....

The new range of Tees & Rompers for Babies
(sizes 0-3 months to 18-24 months) by Anorak are in store!
We get asked nearly every day for Tees/Baby clothes featuring designs by Anorak so we're pretty happy to finally have them on the shelf!
We hope that they're as popular as the Anorak Tees for Adults are!
It'll make the nights of screenprinting & heatsetting worthwhile.
Oh and the short sleeved Tees and Rompers are just $25. There are also a few long sleeved Rolf and Feather Tees - $28.
Let us know what you think!

They're here!

They have arrived!
A sample range of the hair accessory range by our friend Miss Kate!
They're totally gorgeous & are priced $8.00 - $10.00 per pair so won't break the bank.

Monday, May 3, 2010


sweet treats
Frankie Magazine's brand spanking new recipe book is in store NOW!
Sweet tooths of the world unite & take over!!!
This spunky new recipe book is packed with all sorts of deliciousness including honeycomb, toffee apples, candy hearts and mint patty delights (mint patty delights!!!!!)
If you love Afternoon Tea as much as we do, you’re going to ADORE Sweet Treats.
"A must for anyone who ever lined up excitedly in the tuckshop line or rushed to a cake stall at the school fete."
And it is only $19.95.

Autumn will arrive eventually!

" Sheeps Clothing use only the finest quality pure Australian wool and vintage buttons to create hats, scarves and hair accessories for children and adults alike.
Every Sheeps Clothing hand knit is lovingly created by hand in Melbourne using 100% pure Australian wool.
They feature only genuine vintage buttons in their collection, ensuring each item is a one off or part of a very limited edition.
As is the beauty of hand crafted creations, each article of Sheeps Clothing is subtly different: a unique designer piece for each owner. However, one attribute they all share is stylish yet functional design and quality to last.
"Our beloved Frankie Magazine featured the above Button up Scarflette by Sheeps Clothing in their latest issue.
Isn't it gorgeous!?
We currently have a very limited range of hand knit wares from Sheeps Clothing in store on a trial run.
We hope that you guys love them as much as we do!
You'd better be quick before I buy up all of the Scarflettes!!
I cannot decide which colour!
Anyways I mean it when I say the sample range is limited.
Pop in this week & check them out!
If they prove popular with our Customers we may just be lucky enough to stock a full range!
PS. Congrats are due to Whatever Heather who also got a mention in this issue of Frankie Magazine - as they contributed two of their lovely OWL necklaces to the Giveaway section! We have some of those particular necklaces in stock now + we still have some of their hairclips & bracelets left!!! Not for long methinks!