Trip to Oz: Day 5 for Friday Down Under

With only 1.5 days worth of personal time on this trip, (non-work) highlights of my trip were eating in the lanes downtown Melbourne (or CBD as they call it), free admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and finding Malaysian Laksa with ease. For Vancouverites reading this post, Laksa to Melbourne/Sydney is like Sushi to Vancouver – everywhere. I can’t deny my coconut curry cravings. On a print design note, I’d like to leave you with a Five for Friday post with many more paper discoveries.

24 degree celsius, sunshine and just enough humidity to please my skin. That was Sydney during my stay and absolutely beautiful in the harbour. When visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), you get a great view of the Sydney Opera house. If you’re interested in taking boat cruises around the harbour, many tour boats dock nearby. My Aussie friend Tom recommends taking the boat to Manly for those who are interested.

In the MCA, there was an exhibit with some of the finest works from recent grads. There was one exhibit with huge wooden stamps of birds. By huge, the stamps were about a foot long and a few inches deep (i think?!?). You could either stamp the scrapbook paper on the table or the white wall in front of you. YES, the wall of course! The art developed from everyone stamping the wall, stamps on top of stamps, made the wall look like a flock of birds in one big frenzy. Pretty cool and pretty satisfying. I’ve been wanting to draw and stamp on walls since I was 5. I tried so hard back then, but I swear, parents can hear the drawing from a mile away!

In the MCA gift shop, I finally had the pleasure of finding cards from Night Owl Paper Goods. I had only seen their products online but alas, something to hold! It’s almost like touching an old 1970’s wooden wall panel. So retro, so unconventional. You can find our previous post on Night Owl Paper Goods here.

But today, I would like to talk about Australian-based companies like Brown and Sticky. I purchased one of their fabric cards and was quite impressed with how they were able to apply fabric without pleats, bumps, etc…

Their fabric cards are handmade in Sydney and are the product of Michael and Sarah.


During my stay in Melbourne CBD, Art Life Creative Living was conveniently situated near my hotel. This is a stationery and craft supplies store located along Lonsdale. It looked like it was a bank building converted into a Persian rug store converted into a hip independent paper shop. Very inconspicuous from the outside, but Alice in Wonderland on the inside.

They had products displayed from Lantern Studios. There is this super fun Memory Game with patterned flash cards, but the pictures were too low res to post. Instead, click here to view it on their e-store. As an alternative, I’ll share with you their Botanica Coasters and Fabric Roll-Up Pencil Case!


Oopsidaisi launched 14 years ago and sounds like a long time fashion staple of this region. With a focus on vintage products, I have to say it’s lovely and all, but I wanted to post them for their labels and tags! No, they don’t sell gift labels and tags but personal accessories, clothing and many other handcrafted items. Each item seems to come with a brightly coloured tag or label with multiple layers of patterns and imagery.


Of Paper and Thread by Danielle Smeets, showcases small print runs of screen printed fabrics. Based in Western Australia, maybe she should partner with Brown and Sticky to do some limited edition fabric cards!


And last but not least, a feature based on an article I read in The Deal Magazine. This was a publication inserted into The Australian paper and it featured a series of wine with specially designed, artistic labels. These bottles are from select Australian wineries and are specially produced for Oxfam and the Make Poverty History campaign. All proceeds benefit this initiative and definitely broaden wine’s appeal – I would think to the youth market.

Below is a scanned copy of the photo from the article.


It was a pleasure having you read and comment on this week’s series in Oz. I hope to return sometime in the next couple years (crossing my fingers it’s for vacation only) and if any of you visit and discover new inspiration, be sure to share. Have a great weekend and Happy Friday everyone!

{ Images from Brown & Sticky, Lantern Studios, Oopsidaisi, Of Paper and Thread, and The Deal Magazine September 2009 Issue, Page 5 }

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