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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, September 24, 2012

meow! PiP Design kitty brooches are on their way to our shelves!

I'm very excited!
We are also expecting a parcel from Adelaide early next week! I had to tell you now - why wait?
Independent Australian Designer Pip Kruger hand makes the CUTEST kitty brooches and we'll soon be Newcastle's exclusive stockists of them. (Tuesday Sarah will LOVE these!) We also hope to take on more of her delightful items in the future (once we've rearranged yet again in an attempt to find space where it appears there is none!) Pip took the time on the weekend to answer some quick questions so we can get to know her a little!

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Philippa (Pip) Kruger and I’m a freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer. I work under the name PipDesign. I love to experiment by combining my pen and ink line work with collected textures and fabrics through digital collage.
Where are you located?
Adelaide. I work from home in my little studio, although, come to think of it, the rest of the house is pretty much consumed by my work as well...oops!

How long have you been creating your lush wares?
I started PipDesign about 2 years ago, but it is only this year that I have dedicated my full time and attention to this little business. Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw and make things with my hands, so establishing an outlet for my creativity was a natural step for me. I love stationary and paper goods, so creating some of my own is the best feeling! Aside from my greeting cards and prints, I also recently launched a line of wooden Kitty Brooches. They are based on hand-drawn shapes, so each one different, no two are the same. I'm never wanted to go down the path of mass production, so selling brooches that are unique and one off was really important to me.
Are you someone who generally tends to buy Handmade over mass produced? Why?
Definitely. I cherish the natural imperfections and beauty that comes with things that are hand-made. i especially like it when i know or know of the maker too. A product that is hand-made (locally, even better!) will most likely be of better quality and at the end of the day you can sleep well knowing that you supported someone doing what they love.


Do you have any new items in the pipe works that you'd like to hint to us about?
Yes, I do! I am currently in the process of creating some repeat patterns. Over the next few weeks I'll be printing these onto fabric. I'm not sure were this will lead, but I'm always open to experimenting with different ways in which to apply my illustrations. 
Do you also sell online?
Yes, I do have an etsy shop, but I focus almost all my energy on bricks and mortar. If someone asks me where they can purchase a particular item of mine, I always send them in the direction of the nearest shop I am stocking at. I think it is really important to give back to the people who support me.

Would you like for me to link to your store for those poor people not able to get into Blackbird?
For those people unable to make it in store, my shop is I  recently started a blog too, this is where I share my inspirations and journey as an illustrator: You can keep up to date with my exhibitions and what I'm up to, in fact I'll be in Sydney in November for a group exhibition I'm taking part in, keep you posted! :)
PS - Isn't she lovely!? 
I'm so blessed that I get to only deal with lovely people whilst owning a shop that sells only things that we love!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Very soon there'll be (yes another!) addition to our range of wares by clever Independent Australian Designers.
We're very excited to be Newcastle's exclusive stockists of 
Wendy June's beautiful, handmade creations.


Recently I asked Wendy to tell us a little about her self and her creations.... 
"Wendy June is a place where I get to make and develop ideas and products based around my illustrations. Based in Melbourne my studio is now in my house, this is a recent event- I have always had one out of the home up to now. I have enough room here for screen printing, digitally printing, drawing and now some ceramics. It is all done in-house with my hands.

Wendy June has been in motion for about 7 to 8 years. I can't really remember when it started to tell you the truth. 
Slowly, working with my customers I have come up with a range of goodies that I know people love. 
It has been a really lovely gradual process.

I have not yet tired of my work, or my images. In fact they get dearer to me with time. When they come out of the printer- hot off the press- they still have the ability to make me smile, the same when I pull the screen off fabric! 

It is impossible for me to have an absolute favourite as they are all a part of me, and my life.
Motivation for continuing is mostly due to the fact that I have a strong drive for perfection. I would hate to give up. I also just really love what I do, it brings me a deep sense of contentment.
I do not shop very much- I am one of the few who would love to shop more!  I would prefer handmade hands down over any other kind of shopping. I am super lucky as people at the markets I sell at are all very much into swapsys! Most of my stuff I get from swapsys! The simple reason I prefer handmade is because of the value and intimacy it brings to your everyday life. For example a cup made from the hand gives me so much pleasure to drink from. I take the time to "see" the cup. When I buy mass produced products I do not get the same level of satisfaction, the object is almost invisible to me. The cup has no meaning or soul. I think many cultures see this, but Australia needs to develop this more."

you can also buy here
PS. At this stage we'll be stocking Wendy June's mini-cards, teatowels, notepads & fridge magnets - with more to come!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Turn to Page Thirty Three.

"When Bianca and Ryan met a creative spark was ignited.
It was a meeting of hearts and minds.
As time passed conversations led along tangents of intrigue and wonder,
of inventions and daydreams.
It was these conversations which formed the basis of their creative design, and the existence of Page Thirty Three."

We are beyond thrilled to announce that we now stock some items from the amazing range by Australian Designers Page Thirty Three.

 "Page Thirty Three is a creative design company which creates objects and artworks. Drawing reference and inspiration from trees, flowers, weeds, art, music, history, design, and the street, they have a clear focus on Australian design & Australian manufacture. Many of their objects are hand crafted at their Sydney studio, using renewable materials, ecologically friendly packaging, and a positive frame of mind.  They evolve household objects into functional art pieces for those intrigued by the cross pollination of genres."

We've just taken delivery of some of two of the items from their exquisite range with more to come as Christmas edges closer.
Both of these were designed and made in Australia.

The Essential Oil burner $179.95
"The Essential Oil burner, draws reference to a classic yet refined science theme. The dark heaviness of the metal components and clamp create a beautiful contrast with the Tasmanian Oak hardwood base, and glass flask. Each Essential Oil burner comes with a 5ml tester bottle of Australian grown lavender Oil, and an Australian made beeswax candle."

And how could we resist these?

"Drawing reference to classic cinema typography and display The Cinematic Light Box features interchangeable letters, so the owner can personalize their lighting and display. The black coated plywood can be rested on a shelf, or hung from a wall as a feature lamp, making the perfect lighting addition to any Studio, Cafe or Home. Easy construction Flat Pack design. Includes 103 various letters and symbols. 
All you need is 1 x Phillips head Screwdriver."

Cinematic Lightbox $369.95

I am so excited by these amazing products.
I'm doing a little dance in my head whilst typing this.
PS We shall be following this instructional video to construct our display cinematic lightbox and popping it in store very soon but I just had to tell you ASAP that they'd arrived!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Good news/Bad news

My Sister Jen and I opened Blackbird Corner together in 2006.
It simply wouldn't exist without her.
Sean & I wouldn't have moved back to Newy from Melbourne without the impetus of opening this shop.
So much has changed since then.
Slowly she has had to stop working in the shop itself and 
now it is mine and my hubby Sean's. 
Sadly Jen now has to take a step back from sewing her ranges Hex(six) & Songbird now due to ongoing ill health.
She will still be involved in the shop though. 
(Whether she likes it or not! Hee hee.)

She has started making beautiful panels and pieces of stained glass to hang in windows. We've one panel in stock already and some more of them will soon be available for purchase here.
Stay tuned for those! 
They're beautiful. 
Jen & I will also be collaborating more on the My Fascist Mother range - it was always meant to be a joint effort.

In the meantime, sadly, September will be the last month you'll be able to purchase Hex(six) & Songbird clothing here and she's generously offering a huge 50% discount on the marked prices all of her range of clothing items.
So if you've been eyeing off an item on her rack now is the time to pop in, try it on & buy it!
PS. I am sad. Can you tell I'm sad. Because I am. Sad.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Giggling gerties at Bohemia!

 So we did it and I survived.
Actually, it was extraordinarily fun but equally exhausting.
The four of us literally giggled for most of the afternoon/evening. I think that was my favourite part of having gotten involved in the year's Darby Street Festival.
Getting to hang out with Sarah Mould, Shana from Doll Eyes (who took all of these lovely photographs) and Kathryn from Lilac & Snow. Second favourite was how many of Blackbird's lovely regular Customers came to say hello and have a chat. It made me realise how many of them I've now known for over 6 years. I've watched them grow and change the same way as they've seen Blackbird and myself evolve and now they're friends.
One of them joked that he'd never seen me outside in the 6 years he's known me! I reminded him that I was still touching my shop though - just from the outside in this instance!
Any way I thought I'd best let you know I survived after much pre-festival freaking out.

Just a few little purses and cushions.

 50 cent lollipops are always popular!

 Miss Sarah Mould on the right and Lilac and Snow's 
Kathryn on the left.
(I'm hiding and Shana took the photos!)

 Our stall smelt scrumptious thanks to the 
scented soy wax candles by Doll Eyes!
We'll be receiving a fresh batch of
these in store today! Hurrah!

Postcard sets by Sarah Mould sold like hotcakes.
Hopefully I'll convince her to stock them in store.

 Who'd have thunk it?
Our first ever market stall and it was at at night time!
Here's a long shot of the wonderful range offered by Lilac and Snow.
We love stocking Kathryn's very pretty creations.