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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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”

Gus and Ollie · One + Four = Life · Studio Life · Travel

One + Four = Life : Desktop, Fire, Streetscape & Hooking

one plus four = life, gus and ollie, handmade in hamburg, Germany, baby, instagram, sock monkey, myles, yarn, wool, shop

Hi there 🙂

I thought it was about time for another One + Four = Life post. I have been making and photographing and making and photographing these last few weeks, with the view outside my window being as enticing as my studio. Continue reading “One + Four = Life : Desktop, Fire, Streetscape & Hooking”

Etsy · Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Studio Life

Studio Life : New Monkies

Hi Friends 🙂

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here – probably a combination of a few things really.

Summer in our house is valued a great deal, especially since we moved to Hamburg – where Summer can range from a few weeks – to a few days! This year, Summer was an interesting mix of humidity, sunshine and lots of rain – but it was on those sunny days I felt the need to be out and about! Gee it’s nice to leave the house in nothing more than a cardie and sandals!

I travelled this Summer more than I have any other Summer I think – 6 countries this year so far and counting. If you know me at all, that means lots and lots of clicks on my camera – which means lots and lots of downloading, sorting, editing, deleting and more sorting – which I am still getting through – so please stay tuned for some Look Back posts about moments in NYC & Rovinj, Croatia – two amazing cities!!

We also adopted a gorgeous little kitten – who of course has also taken up a lot of my time of late – of which, I am not complaining. She makes me laugh and smile everyday and I treasure her morning cuddles. We have managed to get into a pretty good routine together, which will me help this Autumn to get back into the studio a little more often.

Some how in between all these lovely happenings, some new Monkies and Monsters were made & photographed –  which I’d love to share with you.
Continue reading “Studio Life : New Monkies”

Etsy · Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Studio Life

Studio Life : Taggy Giraffes

gus and ollie, handmade in hamburg, Germany, baby, instagram, sock monkey, tag, giraffe, handmade, fabric, baby, toy, giftHi there!

How are you? How has your week been so far?

Mine has been a little full of bright and colourful giraffes – as you can see. Just look at these little cuties! I’ve had so much fun making these up, mainly for stock (the elephant one had already been sold). I love pulling out my fabric, mixing and matching and making new toys, that even the littlest people can enjoy safely. Continue reading “Studio Life : Taggy Giraffes”

Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Sock Haul · Studio Life

Studio Life : New Sock Monkeys


gus and ollie, handmade in hamburg, Germany, baby, instagram, sock monkey

Why hello again!

Just thought I would share this short and sweet post with you, to introduce you to the two newest members of the Gus and Ollie family. Let’s hear it for Nixon & Sylvie.

Colourful as can be, these sweet little friends were so much fun to finish. I took some progress shots, to show you what I see before they’re completed. I can already picture them finished at this stage – which is a given, having made over 500 monkeys to date I suppose. The perks of my job.

When I see new socks I imagine them sewn, stuffed and smiling. I imagine the eyes I might choose – their smile, their size and it is with such pleasure they usually turn out just as I imagined – complete with their own little personality to boot. Aren’t they cute! gus and ollie, handmade in hamburg, Germany, baby, instagram, sock monkey gus and ollie, handmade in hamburg, Germany, baby, instagram, sock monkey

You can find Nixon & Sylvie now in my Etsy shop – just click on their name and it will link you directly to the relevant listing. They can be shipped worldwide and are so ready to meet you! Thanks for checking in.

Have a lovely week,


Etsy · Gus and Ollie · Handmade · Studio Life

Studio Life : New Sock Monkeys & Elephants

Sock Monkeys from Gus and Ollie
Sock Monkeys Tyson & Phoebe

It’s been a little while since I have been able to share some new members of the Gus & Ollie Family & these are the posts I look forward to sharing with you most. Things have been moving slow but steady in the studio the last few weeks, with a mixture of makes for custom orders and stock. These are two of the latest, currently available in my Etsy shop until sold.

Let’s give them a warm welcome!

Meet Tyson in green and Phoebe in the spots. You might recognise them from an earlier photo I posted on Instagram. Continue reading “Studio Life : New Sock Monkeys & Elephants”