Sunday 9 December 2012

Newspaper Taxi


Wonky 2 :: Newspaper Taxi. I am saddened to report that Newspaper Taxi no longer exists in a gorgeous little back street of Newtown. It was filled with vintage collectibles, handmade home wares and beautiful publications. I hope this post keeps the essence alive in some way.

Where did the name of the shop come from? It’s from the Beatles song Lucy in the sky with diamonds. “Newspaper taxis appear on the shore, waiting to take you away…”

These pics are from the blog, My Heart Wanders by Pia Bijkerk. Stefanie closed down her Sydney store to move up to northern NSW. She is enjoying a country life in Lismore.

 “It is just so lovely up here Pia, the people are amazing and it is just heavenly to be out of the city! We have little geckos that live in our roof, king parrots in the backyard, beautiful big butterflies, green grass, a vegie garden, wide streets… oh, I could go on!”

And enjoy this charmingly insightful interview with Stephanie Bassett creator of Newspaper Taxi in Finders Keepers below.

Tell us about your shop Newspaper Taxi?
Newspaper Taxi is literally an extension of our house, my partner Matt, the cat and I all tucked away in the heart of Newtown. In store you will find an eclectic mix of old and new, It’s a great store for gifts and perfect for when you are looking for that special something to compliment your home. We have an ever changing collection of vintage home wares, furniture, linen, garden ware and kitchen accessories. We also stock a beautiful selection of stationery, journals, tote bags, soaps and brooches.

What was the motivation in starting your shop and why did you choose Newtown?
It was quite serendipitous to tell you the truth. I have always dreamed of having my own shop and one day my partner Matt and I were looking for a new house to move into and saw a little shop and residence for lease in Newtown. It had just come on the market and we were renting our old house from the same property manager. We called her up to have a look and It was perfect! We signed the lease on the day and I remember just walking out of the real estate from with my head spinning. It happened so quickly but sometimes you just have to jump on in!

We chose to live in Newtown because we have lived in the Inner west for many years and wanted to stay in the area. Newtown is very down to earth. It’s full of interesting, creative, caring people. It has a very strong community which I am proud to be a part of.

Where do you source your stock from and what features do you look out for when scoping new stock?
We stock handmade products from cottage industry artisans, most of which are sourced online. I really think Blogs are paving the way for creative people to connect and share ideas. Some Bloggers have their finger on the pulse with new products, designers and trends, so much to the point that magazines are now taking cues from blog posts.
I pride myself on thoughtful gift giving and essentially we are a gift store. So when I’m sourcing stock I keep that in mind. I ask myself the question, who would buy this product and for which occasion? I keep my target market in mind at all times and buy things that I love and am proud to have in my store.

What was your background prior to running Newspaper Taxi?
I have always worked in retail. At 13 I started working a casual job at the local Cinema while I was at school. I then studied visual arts and majored in printmaking at University before I fell in love and moved to Sydney nearly seven years ago. Since then I have managed a newsagent, 3 different candle stores and a boutique stationery store before opening my own shop.


What has been the most challenging part in doing what you do?
Knowing when to switch off and take time to unwind. The nature of sourcing vintage stock becomes a way of life. I’m always on the lookout, hunting, buying. We live and breath it every day.

What handmade goodies can we expect to find in your store?
Divine handmade soaps from tropical Queensland. The whole shop smells so lovely from these little bars of goodness. I had a customer come in and stock up today. She said she can’t use any other soap now. I agreed, they really are that good!
We just got in a great range of postcards, brooches and scarves from Paris. Quirky gift cards and brooch sets from two very creative Canadian girls. Gocco printed cards from Portland. Letterpress cards from California. Colorful tin decorations and crosses from Mexico. Tote bags and cushions made from vintage linen and beautiful embroidered doilies. Sweet little screen printed leather coin purses. We also stock stationery sets, Danish paper craft, gift tags, Japanese paper dolls, and gorgeous handmade felt brooches.

Where would you like to see Newspaper Taxi in the future?
I would like to branch out into interior styling. It’s something I have a great passion for and it would be a natural progression for the business.


What advice can you give to others wanting to start their own business?
No matter how small your business is you need a website. A lot of people are surprised that we have one which I find quite strange as it’s such an integral part of the business. We have ours set up like a blog and I keep it up to date at all times. I make posts each time we get in new stock as we have a lot of clients that read our blog and I have found many magazines and stylists will request products for editorial photo shoots from browsing our range online.

Read as much as you can. Magazines, blogs, newspapers, books. Know your competitors and stay on top of what is going on around you. One of the best business Blogs I have read is the ” Bakery” it’s bookmarked on my computer and part of my blogroll daily reads.

And the big one – (many people will tell you and for me it didn’t really sink in until I started my own business) It just doesn’t end. I have friends that run their own business’ too. We say the same thing. You don’t switch off, it just keeps going. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing but you need to be prepared to take on a massive work load. It eats into your own time but you just need to work around that. We have a big “To do list” drawn up on the splashback in our kitchen. I also have a neat weekly desk planner. It sounds structured but it makes it so much easier when you write it all down. Some of my days are planned out down to the hour. It helps you to keep a balance with your business life and your own life, which is sometimes hard to differentiate.

Another trip down memory lane :: To promote her book, Pia was creative in Stef’s window display area :: Stef and I have been busy thinking up some great ideas for the day, it’s going to be so much fun being surrounded by creative people in such a beautiful boutique, sipping sparkling wine, chatting about all the things we love, and nibbling on some of the most delicious treats from neighbouring cafe Black Star Pastry… Tickets were $5.00 and they put you in the draw to win a fab lucky door prize with handmade goodies from Newspaper Taxi, and if you pre-ordered My Heart Wanders through newspaper taxi (signed copy), then you came came along to the event for free!

How delightful is this invitation! 

 {Images via Newspaper Taxi blog, My Heart Wanders and Stumble and Love}

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Friday 28 September 2012

Gorgeous Gold Leaf Paper Bowl from Clementine


This gold leaf paper bowl is hand built by artist Susan Dwyer in her Illinois studio, Up in the Air Somewhere.

The gold leafed interior of these papier-mâché bowls make them almost glow.



Up in the Air Somewhere is Chicago-based artist and designer Susan Dwyer. Three years after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she focused in sculpture, Dwyer began creating a line of ceramic and papier-mâché vessels inspired by the clean, minimal lines found in industrial architecture. Furthermore, in case you want to graduate in top colleges or universities, it’s best to study at Fairmont Preparatory Academy. To learn more about their programs, Click here. The silos, warehouses and watertowers that dot the Chicago landscape are transformed into elegant vases, votives and planters. Because they are individually hand-built without the use of molds, every vessel has its own organic, one-of-a-kind character.

and with a splash of colour….

These papier-mâché bowls are lined with colorful rubber inside and sealed with polyurethane on the outside, making them water resistant and durable. With a distinctive raw edge and unique mix of textures, they’re equally at home on the mantle and the tabletop.

{Images by Ben Syverson. Visit Susan’s shop and blog.}

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Tuesday 4 September 2012

a bird in the hand…


Paper artist :: Cheong-ah Hwang.

Her work is beautiful and intricate, the hummingbirds look so real and fragile

as if they could wake up and fly away.

Hummingbirds from papernoodle flickr (a.k.a cheong-ah hwang)
Self-taught artist Cheong-ah Hwang creates beautiful and intricate works of art that are made entirely out of paper. When she was a child, her parents owned a print store and she grew up with paper all around her. And that’s how she got her start in paper sculpture early – by making paper toys to amuse herself.

Amazing Paper Artworks by Cheong-ah Hwang

Cheong-ah Hwang is a Columbus, Ohio-based self taught paper artist originally from Korea. In order to gain exposure and fund a project to make low-cost prints of her Little Red Riding Hood layered paper sculpture, she joined Kickstarter. She ended up raising $570 which far exceeded her goal of $250!

If you like her work, you may buy some of these at her store at Etsy or simply go check out more of her pieces at her portfolio .

{Images: papernoodle flickr (a.k.a cheong-ah hwang). Discovered via My Modern Metropolis}

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Saturday 25 June 2011

launch of the postale society


While celebrating my love of paper, I want to share the Postale Society with you. Such a lovely idea.

Kristina and Lou are pleased to announce

the launch of

the postale society.

crumpled pages smoothed out,

bent corners turned back,
taped together remnants of a letter.

keepsakes treasured.

knowing our stories
are part of where we come from,
where we are,
and where we will go.

for a sneak peek of the characters and their tales, click here.

subscription is available for purchase in the on-line store.

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Saturday 25 June 2011

paper artist :: Su Blackwell


Su Blackwell has a way with paper ~ her gorgeous book sculptures are paper fantasies of incredible intricacy and magical enchantment.

“Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions.” Su Blackwell

Su Blackwell makes intricate art-works from every-day objects, transforming clothes and books into fantastical three-dimensional forms. Using a scalpel she cuts and glues the pages of books to create miniature dioramas glowing with lights in wood and glass boxes, like Victorian relics found in a museum of intrigue. She uses repetitive labor-intensive processes that often involve sewing, knotting, folding and cutting.

She finds her books – or rather lets them find her – by trawling through second-hand book shops. She always reads the book first and this in turn inspires the work. Some of the books that come into the artist’s possession sit on her shelf for months and months. The books themselves, their histories and stories, also interest her. They hold in their pages a record of their past events, as physical objects; their damage, such as frays and stains, makes our relationship with the contents immediate and visceral, and in turn tells another story. Long & Ryle

There is a great interview with Su at My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses, here is an exerpt…“I read in a book a Burmese legend about the soul butterfly or win-laik-pya…it is believed that a sleeping person’s soul takes the shape of a butterfly and flies abroad while it’s owner is asleep, searching for the souls of other persons and animals and returning when the owner awakes.  burmese children are still taught never to wake a sleeping person for fear they may die, or worse, live on, without a soul.”

I discovered Su Blackwell in an editorial from British Vogue’s Fantastic Fashion Fantasy issue where she created an enchanting Christmas fantasyland of book-cut sculptures. And she has a blog showcasing her exquisite work.

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Friday 24 December 2010

Spellbound in a Winter Wonderland


Dream of a bewitching Christmas filled with jewels fit for a fairy tale, sparkling under a diamond moon.

    su blackwell :: beautiful paper art

    British Vogue’s Fantastic Fashion Fantasy ~ British artist Su Blackwell

    created an enchanting Christmas fantasyland with her wonderful book-cut sculptures.

    There is a great interview with Su at My Love for You is a Stampede of Horses, with more examples of her extraordinary work. An exerpt from the interview about this piece:

    “I read in a book a Burmese legend about the soul butterfly or win-laik-pya…it is believed that a sleeping person’s soul takes the shape of a butterfly and flies abroad while it’s owner is asleep, searching for the souls of other persons and animals and returning when the owner awakes.  burmese children are still taught never to wake a sleeping person for fear they may die, or worse, live on, without a soul.”

    Su Blackwell’s stunningly exquisite paper dress installation, While You Were Sleeping

    {Images & Source via The Swelle Life}

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    Monday 29 November 2010

    Christian Lacroix Papier ~ stationery creations


    Parisian couturier, Christian Lacroix

    has a line of exquisite stationary and notebooks featuring his divine sketches.

    Truly a feast for the eyes,  these journals and note cards are very chic vessels.

    With such storied provenance and whimsical imagery,

    the assorted designs by the great fashionista look stunning.

    Presented on a a set of 12 postcards in 8 designs of die-cut construction and the laser-cut lace-edge note cards.

    The boxed set of laser-cut lace-edge note cards illustrated with haute-couture fashion sketches are all among the stationery creations of Christian Lacroix Papier.  A beautiful box set of 4 journals is loaded with wonderful fantasy imagery. Each journal is hardcover with lined paper and showcases different images.


    a little about christian…

    christian lacroix was born on may 16, 1951 in arles, france, under the highly symbolic sign of taurus. he spent his childhood immersed in provençal and gypsy traditions. his passion for nature, art, oscar wilde and the beatles’ england then led to his work in fashion. since his first electrifying show in 1987, christian lacroix has redifined the art of haute couture. in 2002, he received his insignia of the chevalier d la légion d’honneur.

    {Images and stationary via kates paperie + last 3 images by Bianca of  pergolina}

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    Saturday 27 November 2010

    olde, worn, weary beautiful things


    I was charmed by the discovery of The Black Spot Books via Blood Milk.

    It’s is a quirky etsy shop stocked full of leather-bound and literary goodies

    that is usable and wearable art made by Margaux Kent from her studio in Philadelphia.

    The miniature books can be worn as necklaces as well as being a tiny journal to record treasured quotes or thoughts.

    And the works are beautifully photographed often with skulls and test tubes as props.

    I couldn’t resist this Antique Baseball mitt large journal necklace, covered with a piece of brown leather from an antique baseball mitt. It is much larger than her usual journal necklaces, and I am looking forward to the joy of opening the package and feeling the leather when it arrives, having travelled thousands of miles across the Pacific ocean.

    And I was so tempted to become the custodian of this little treasure that is covered with a bit of beautiful brown vintage boot leather, and tied it with a piece of vintage deer skin. I may weaken!

    A part from my love of books and paper, it is the stories about each work that captures my heart.

    Leather rescued from an olde sofa, saddle or boot……

    Covered with a piece of antique sofa leather. Beautiful black with brown edges.

    This piece below was abused with tacks.

    I love the texture and crinklyness, as does it’s maker.

    Margaux describes her work.

    My arts are made from olde things, treasures found and recovered from misfortune and neglect, relics of the unusual, the confused and the macabre, cut and pulled and bound into wearable curiosities and inscribable keepsakes. I used to make them for me and now I make them for everyone.

    My books are made using archival insides and vintage outsides. Inside you’ll find line-free strathmore drawing paper – thick, hand-torn, acid-free pages that work perfectly with ink, pens both thick and superfine, pencil, charcoal, and myriad other mediums. The books’ covers are made using hand-picked scraps and worn leather, cut to fit the appropriate size. The leather I use has been bartered from farms in Ecuador, ripped from old chairs in Holland, taken from boots and shoes and saddles and bags and wallets, and found in abandoned houses across the United States. I scavenge dumpsters and flea markets and yard sales all over the world. I hand-stitch each unlined page to the next and then finish it with a soft or hard cover.

    Every book is made with different materials, so no book will ever have a duplicate.

    I covered this with bit a very light yellowy vintage deer skin and tied it with an orangey bit of another. One the front is the roughish part of the hide, uncut by my hands.

    I haven‘t loved a book this much in a long time. I covered this in olde black leather given to me by my husband’s brother’s father in law who is an upholsterer! Good fortune indeed! This is olde and worn mid-century leather that was removed from a sofa. The edges and cracks are brown. I cut out a little hole in the front to frame an antique tin type. I love too.

    Another black leather journal made from crackly olde sofa leather with the brown underneath sneaking through. An old little baby photo afixed upon a tintype, likely from the 1800s, adorns the front.

    There is a lovely interview with Margaux on lillyella.

    And she shares what she is inspired by:

    oh! Perfect combinations of little things.

    These things find me, and are often in cahoots with music and the way the outside air moves around me.

    Landing in strange places. The Sea. Abandoned houses. Abandoned lives. Bits and pieces of what was.

    Dreaming of going back in time. Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. Books. Words. Twilight Zone. Walking.

    Magic. Mystery. Cross over. This is what I call the spot in music where the magic happens.

    It has a name, but i forget it, like in Leonard Cohen’s hallelujah when he sings, …minor falls and the major lifts… oh. mmmmm. that spot. and when notes go up like when Nina Simone sings, “because I have loved so vainly” the vainly part. over and over these things.

    cool air and sprinkly rain and walks through it. when you start out chilly and end up so super cozy.

    cobblestone streets. imagining what it was like when…

    like when i would walk around philadelphia reading benjamin franklin’s autobiography and try to imagine him walking on the same streets, touching the same cobble stone.

    europe. i wear a ring from 100 – 200 a.d. – thinking of who wore it before.

    when i dream of flying (hasn’t happened in a long time) yodeling. running down mountains (and peeing sometimes as a result of laughter and motion) thunder. lightning. olde fuzzy music. stripes. pit fire. swimming. wandering. getting lost. freeing myself of numbers and counting for no reason. horseback riding anywhere, but in Iceland, oh. junk. junk. junk. olde things. dirt. photographs. Anselm Kiefer. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Books. Forests. Walter. Søren.

    Margaux also has another lovely estsy shop of found treasures at Plundered.

    I am always searching and often finding good things that I haven’t a use or thought for straight away.

    This, Plundered Etsy Shoppe is where I shall put these things!


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    Sunday 24 October 2010

    like a dream…


    I adore these pretty photos by jessica claire

    Photography: Jessica Claire,

    Event & Photo Stylist: Grey Likes Weddings,

    Floral Design: Flora Organica:

    Hair & Makeup: Vivian Tran: All Made Up,

    Wedding Stationary, Favors, and Paper Suite: MaeMae Paperie,

    Printing of paper products: Czar Press,

    Fabric Rosettes, shoe clips, and “just married” banner over cake: B. Poetic:

    Cake: Cheryl Stewart of Cake My Day

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