Monthly Archives: December 2011

Etsy Handmade Roundup – Australia

Posted by Penny on December 16, 2011
Gift Ideas, Handmade / No Comments

Pink hemp/cotton clutch purse with floral print by SirTom

Etsy is an extremely awesome place to find last minute Christmas gifts – if you buy handmade on Etsy you’re buying directly from the maker, so if you check first and mention you’ve got a deadline you may be able to get some excellent and extremely speedy service!

Etsy has a couple of really useful search tools to allow us to find local gifts (making postage a bit faster!) If you do a search for, let’s say, linen, you’ll be able to whittle down the results by excluding items that don’t post to your country, and including only items from your country. Check out the Ship To and Local Items functions here!

This is my shortlist of some gorgeous Aussie gifts for Christmas (but remember to check postage deadlines with each seller!)


Above – the clutch purse by SirTom features an original fabric design printed onto Hemp fabric. Awesome.

1. Organic Cotton Knit Scarf – Sketchbook by EllyNelly – made of 100% certified organic cotton, these scarves all also feature original artwork. Gorgeous!

2. Long Case – Black – ‘Flock’ by mingus. Mingus has been around for awhile now, and in my opinion the products keep getting better & better! Mingus textile products are hand printed, and completely made with love. And Mingus’ designer Dear is completely awesome too.

3. Fluffly white clouds stacking wooden toy by ScarletteRoseFairy. The production of these wooden toys is a real family affair, but kids are really at heart as they’re handmade using non-toxic paints & a beeswax finish! That’s your favourite bub’s gift sorted.

Tea Towel Dahlia Tangerine by ElkhornDesign

More handprinted gorgeousness! These teatowels are all printed with waterbased ink, and as with any handprinted textile they’re all ever so slightly different, so they’re great as a truly unique gift! And these ones are made of linen, which most dishwashing veterans will tell you is the only fabric to make a tea towel from.


Let me know if I’ve missed your favourite Etsy seller from the list! There’s always time for online shopping, right?



Australian Animal toys by Barefoot

Posted by Penny on December 13, 2011
Babies, Fairtrade, Kids / No Comments

Barefoot Toys Echidna via Craft Boutique

Back in 1958 Barbara Sansoni worked with Sri Lankan women to found an ethically produced textile business. Nowadays, amongst other things, Barefoot make gorgeous, colourful and fun soft toys, including Australian animals! Any tour of most toy stores will demonstrate how tricky it can be to find lovely Australian animal toys, especially ones that aren’t made in sweatshops for the tourist market.

Barefoot Toys Turtle via Red Wrappings

Are turtles specifically Australian? Or do they just roam the seas, as a pirate might do? I’m not sure. Barefoot toys are all a little bit unique – the fabric is even hand dyed so colour combinations can vary!

Barefoot Toys Frilled Neck Lizard via Oxfam

Barefoot toys are made from 100% cotton (yay!) and are filled with kapok fiber (read more about kapok here!). Plus, no detachable buttons/eyes etc mean awesome for baby!

Fair-trade Gardening by Oxfam

Posted by Penny on December 12, 2011
Fairtrade, Garden / No Comments

3 white-washed terracotta elephant herb planters on a tray via Oxfam

I have been looking around for some lovely garden decoratives to give as a Christmas gift – no garden gnomes! I always think of gardening, and therefore anything garden-related, as very wholesome and natural, so it made me a bit sad to discover that pretty much everything apart from plants & seeds at my local plant nursery was produced in China.


Hand-crafted terracotta water drippers via Oxfam

Unfortunately my budget does not generally extend to beautiful sculptural pieces created locally in Australia – I wish it did! So I hopped over to Oxfam which is increasingly my go-to store for homewares & decor. They’ve got some really lovely garden pieces produced fairly in Bangladesh, the water drippers especially are rather funny!

White-washed terracotta frog herb planter including tray via Oxfam

And of course Oxfam will get you sorted for a whole variety of gifts! And of course there is always the Oxfam Unwrapped range, where you can donate money in lieu of a gift. I bought my brother this card. I know he’ll appreciate it.

Pop on over to Oxfam (or go visit one of their stores!) for much more!

Any I would love to hear any tips for locally produced or fair trade garden things too – for next Christmas maybe!