Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Studio Life

Advocating for colour


* Colour Alert *

Is it just me, or are things for kids these days lacking some wild and wonderful colour?

It seems to be the in thing at the moment, to furnish children’s spaces with light pastels  or monotones. One search on Pinterest brings a myriad of examples in whites and off white, pale pink, blue or yellow and not forgetting the metallics, grey and even black!

Natural wood colours and pastels seem to have been elevated to mean expensive, elite, chic. Where’s the fun in that? It’s a missed opportunity, that I don’t think many new parents even realise.

An amazing array of bright colours have been deserted and continue to be associated with cheap, plastic toys – made in the PRC – which just isn’t right in 2016. Studies have shown a clear link between bright colours and a baby’s cognitive development, which is precisely why, so many children’s toys and books are produced in a countless number of colours.

So today I write to advocate for some lovely bright colours and patterns, that I think every child will adore. They might even keep your little one happy and engaged longer too.

These giraffes are hot off my studio desk and have recently been added to my Etsy Shop! How gorgeous are they? I just love these fabrics and take so much pleasure in making colourful and fun toys – that are perfect for both little boys and girls. You won’t find much pink & frilly or monster-truck fabric here!

Made from my very own hand drawn pattern, they are the perfect size for little hands to grasp and explore. These colours will have your little one mesmerised. Those taggys down his neck will have them practicing their fine motor skills without them even knowing 😉

All of my Taggy Giraffes are double seamed on the machine, making these tags extra strong and secure. They are fully machine washable and wash up like new, after lots of drooly love. They measure approximately 29cm / 11 inches tall and are stuffed with hypoallergenic polyfil.

Bright colours are fun, engaging and can be just as high end as something made in black and white. These Taggy Giraffes are the perfect example. This little distraction to throw in the nappy bag will have everyone asking you where you found it.

See one you like?

Simply email me or head on over to my Etsy Store. There are many more on the way, should you miss out on the first batch.


Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you like the changes I’ve made in this little colourful space of mine. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love Jess

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Handmade · Instagram · Photography · Travel

To see or not to see?

Gus and Ollie Hamburg

I have always loved taking photos. Snippets & moments to be remembered. A glance, a smile, a space, a colour. It often takes me a little longer to get anywhere because I inevitably need to stop and take a photo or two.

My darling husband is particularly patient with me, when it comes to this – I know so many are not. Often waiting until I get the shot, before we move on, even after I tell him “I’ll catch up” and I’m not just talking about photographing our coffees before we destroy the crema (although I am guilty of this occasionally too).


Long before Instagram, hashtags or selfies, my almost every move was interrupted by a camera. I’ve taken photos for as long as I can remember; of friends, family, pets, school camp. I’ve taken photos of my feet for decades, long before #footselfies or #ihaveathingwithfloors were a thing. I learnt to turn my analog camera around, line it up and perfectly fit us in the frame – long before there were screens and apps to help. Continue reading “To see or not to see?”

Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Instagram

Thank You Sale


15% OFFWow! How exciting! Thank you!

Gus and Ollie has reached over 600 followers on Instagram! Thank you all so much. It’s such a joy sharing bits and pieces of my world here with you all. Sometimes often, sometimes not so much. From toys I’m making, to kitties, ice cream, nature and more – it’s a mishmash of my colourful world here in Hamburg and beyond.

To celebrate, I have taken 15% off EVERYTHING in my DaWanda Shop, for all my lovely European customers and followers! I haven’t forgotten those of you in Australia, the United States, Canada or elsewhere! Simply visit my Etsy Shop and use the coupon code: SPRING15 at check out for 15 % off everything there too.

There are some really cute characters to choose from at the moment and I’ll be adding new ones to the mix in the next few weeks! There are also some really cute soft Superhero Brooches and Vintage Button Brooches in stock too.

So enjoy! It’s my thank you to you. Please feel free to share this with your friends and family and I look forward to seeing you on Instagram! Both sales end May 31st, 2016. Please be quick, if there is something you have your eye on, there is only one of each!

The monkies and monsters can’t wait to meet you – Pick me! Pick me!

15% Off now



Craft · Dawanda · Gus and Ollie · Hamburg · Handmade

Spring Sale on DaWanda!


Exciting News!

As a little thank you to you and to celebrate the official beginning of Spring, I am participating in DaWanda’s Spring Discount Sale!

That means 12% off everything in my DaWanda shop from Friday, March 11th, 2016 (10am CET) until Monday, March 21st, 2016 (Midnight CET). That’s from tomorrow!

Ready. Set. Go! I hope you find something you love. Maybe even an Easter surprise from someone special. You’ll find some of the Gus and Ollie toys currently available in the slideshow below. All items are ready to ship. I will gladly gift wrap and send worldwide!

Happy Shopping!


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Clive the Sock Monkey · Gus and Ollie · Hamburg · Handmade · Travel

A bit about Home…

Happy New-2

Well hello again!

It’s been such a long time hasn’t it. I thought I would just jump right back in – there’s no other way really. Just start.

Since last we met, there was the Christmas order rush, Christmas, New Year and another wonderful trip home, which inevitably lead to jet lag and the need to acclimatise back to winter in February. But there has also the feeling of getting back into the swing of things here at home in Hamburg and the studio, which makes me happy too.

I find the beginning of each year a little bit of a rollercoaster – so thanks for bearing with me until now. How has your year been so far?


We were lucky enough to have a few lovely snow covered days here in Hamburg, before flying to summer in Melbourne. Snow is so much nicer than rain, isn’t it?  Even though it’s usually colder when it snows, there’s just something about the white stuff. It turns our neighbourhood into a fairytale.  Continue reading “A bit about Home…”

Etsy · Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Instagram · Studio Life

Studio Life : Meet Minky & Jed


Hi there,

How are you all today? I thought I would let you all in a couple of customs orders I have been working on, because nothing is more rewarding than giving life to someone else’s vision and these were no exception.

These were two extremely different, but equally sweet monkey orders I received, that each had very unique requirements.  Continue reading “Studio Life : Meet Minky & Jed”