Monday, 27 June 2011

The Institute of Cute, Byron Bay (and a giveaway!)

I often get asked about the reasoning behind the name of my blog. People as: Why Diary of a Ladybird? My response is always pretty straightforward - I just love ladybirds.. I always have!

And so given my 'mild obsession', as I call it, it was only common sense that whilst in Byron Bay that I visited The Institute of Cute, often referred to as 'the ladybird shop' by those who have visited it previously. I had heard about this concept store and gallery from a friend last year and was very much looking forward to visiting during my recent trip.

The store and gallery opened in 2007 is the creation of Jane Davenport, a multi-award winning photographic artist and designer with a passion for ladybirds! As Chief Artomologist, Jane's mission is to "create cute and FUNctional design and artwork to make you dream". If you ask me, she is most certainly succeeding in her mission - I was simply blown away by the store!

The front of the store is filled with all sorts of ladybird and bug paraphenalia - clothing, jewellery, placemat sets, pens, toothbrush guards, you name it, it's there - and all designed by Jane herself. Without doubt, I was in ladybird heaven! I hope you can get an idea of what is what like by these pictures...

And towards the back of the store, a beautiful gallery feauturing Jane's latests works, prints and books, as well as art supplies.

So if you're ever in Byron Bay, do stop by and check out The Instiute of Cute - it's worth a visit! Until then, why not check out the website.

And without further delay, it's GIVEAWAY time!
Thanks to Jane Davenport and The Institute of Cute in Byron Bay, one lucky Diary of a Ladybird reader has the chance to win this lovely gift set from the store, including a fold away ladybird bag, ladybird monitor cleaner and signed copy of Jane's book Ladybird Ladybird.

To enter, all you had to do is leave a comment telling me why you love ladybirds (and I'm premusing you do of course!). Then, email me a copy of your comment along with your full name and postal address to: diaryofaladybird[at]gmail[dot]com.

Entries close on Sunday, July 10. This competition is restricted to Australian residents only (sorry!).

This competition has now closed. Congratulations to The InTolerant Chef!

Good luck!

Ladybird x

The Institute of Cute
58 Jonson St, Byron Bay
(02) 6880 8550


  1. I love ladybirds because they're not dirty, creepy or cringe-inducing like most insect creatures are. I don't feel threatened by them like I would by a spider! They're adorable and make for cute stationery decorations and patterns. The shop you blogged about pretty much proves my point!

  2. Hehe, I live in Coffs so I know this shop well, and it is very very cute.

    But then Byron has alot of unique shops :) Great story, you didn't stop in at a wine tasting in Coffs by any chance???

  3. What an adorable store! I have an aunt who is crazy for ladybirds too :)
    I love ladybirds because it always feels special when one lands on or near you. When I was younger I use to see them quite often, now days it seems rare that I see one. I love that they are SO tiny yet seem like such complex little bugs. Im a big hater of spiders and many other bugs, ladybirds have to be one of the few I dont mind at all. Just as I am so scared of moths but love butterflies.
    I love the look of the eco pen in the store, so cute!


  4. How adorable is this shop with all its ladybird and butterfly items! Did you bring anything back with you?

  5. Hi Gourmet Getaway - no, no wine tasting for me I'm afraid as I'm expecting ;)

    Hi M.D - I managed to restrain myself and just get some cute magnets, but I am also lucky to have had friends give me gifts from the store, so I am well supplied with all things ladybird!

  6. I love ladybirds because they remind me of when my grandparents visited as a kid. Their hotel room opened onto a garden where I'd spend hours chasing and catching ladybirds, watching them crawl across my palm then fly away :)

  7. When I was 2, I was desperately ill in hopspital, the priest was called and the doctors gave up all hope for me.
    My poor parents asked me what I would like the most in the world, I replied a Ladybird. My parents got a toy, but I wanted a "weal one".
    It was snowing in Hobart, my mother was in her dressing gown after a shower, and prayed saying she needed a sign that I would live. She opened her eyes, and a Ladybird crawled accross her lap and was promptly popped in a matchbox and rushed to the hospital. This was our miracle. I still had a long way to go, but that was the turning point.
    I have always had a very special place in my heart for Ladybirds, and the name of your blog is what attracted me to it in the first place.
    I would loooooove to go to such a gorgeous shop, and I would probably buy one of everything!!

  8. I love ladybirds because they are beautiful, friendly creatures and they live on the aphids that kill my plants so they are very helpful gardeners too! Whenever I see a ladybird, I just know I am going to have a good day. I just love those ladybird pens. I wonder if I could find them in Sydney...

  9. wow this shop suits you so well!

    ive been scared of all sorts of bugs ever since im small but strangely, ive never been scared of ladybirds. i love it cause of its cute, shiny, round and red shell with symmetrical dots ontop. A very long time ago, I even saw blue and yellow ladybirds! but i havent even seen a ladybird for a long time now >-<

  10. I'm not sure if its true but I've always liked ladybirds after I heard the nursery rhyme about the mother ladybird flying off in a panic to save her children from the burning house :)

  11. How cute is this store?! It truly lives up to its name "Institute of cute"

  12. I love them because when we find a real one my 5 year old daughter is amazed her simple question is always - mummy how is it so bright and such little dots - she just stares at it until it fly's away and her tiny little nose and eyes with such concentration is so sweet

  13. i love polka dot and red/white or red/black combination.
    So it was very natural for me to simply fall in love with ladybird...
    "Sadly" for my daughter, I have stocked up all these ladybird theme items from clothing to party-ware to book and all for her 1st birthday, 2nd birthday, 3rd, 4th and so on heheheee

  14. I love ladybirds. I consider them to be my own personal goodluck charm.(I am willing to share them with everyone else too lol). Whenever I see a ladybird I feel like something good is coming. All that positive energy can only be a good thing right!
    New reader to your blog and it is just lovely!

  15. Yay! Totally Adorable..... Thank you for coming to our store and having fun!


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