Brigitte de Villiers is the creative mastermind behind Monkeyshine and “maker of haute couture greeting cards and brooches for people who prefer the personal touch”. She’s also a great advocate for worthy causes and passionate about raising money through Baskets for Bears.

Monkeyshine - Baskets for Bears
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Handmade in Tasmania by Monkeyshine for the Baskets for Bears campaign

Monkeyshine: Baskets for Bears

The Baskets for Bears campaign was our first introduction to Monkeyshine. Brigitte asked for a little help from Think Tasmania to boost awareness of the fundraising, and we were only too happy to assist. Thankfully, that financial target was met, a great success for all those involved with saving abused animals.

Anyone interested in the plight of animals would be impressed by what Brigitte achieves via her Baskets for Bears page on Facebook. Not one to rest on her laurels, another campaign has been launched recently. In Brigitte’s own words, this latest Baskets for Bears appeal is to “help two brown bears, Milcho and Gosho, who are living in horrific conditions at an abandoned bear breeding centre called Kormisosh in Bulgaria”.

Monkeyshine - Telephone-Wire Basket
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Monkeyshine prize for the latest Baskets for Bears campaign

You should also take note if you’d like the chance to win the unique, handwoven telephone-wire basket pictured above. Brigitte, owner of Monkeyshine (a small business based right here in Tasmania) does a lot of her weaving during mountain-top rests on bushwalks in the Tasmanian wilderness. Last time around, a collection of brooches was offered as an alternative prize.

Monkeyshine - Brooches
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Choose your creation: brooches made by Brigitte de Villiers

Brooches by Brigitte de Villiers

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, Brigitte sent me a thank-you gift for the help she received from Think Tasmania. I am extremely happy to have in my possession, my very own Ella the Dachshund. Knowing how much I love dogs, Ella makes a faultless addition to my wardrobe. And of course, I had to share her beauty with all our readers, hence this article! I whipped out the photo light box this morning and snapped the following photos to share. The remaining images (see above) were taken by Brigitte and used when Think Tasmania featured the Baskets for Bears appeal via our website and associated social media channels.

Monkeyshine - Ella the Dachshund
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Ella the Dachshund, a beautiful Monkeyshine brooch

I will wear the charming Ella with great pride. She sports a jazzy, retro pattern of overlapping circles. The brooch has been laser cut from Tasmanian Myrtle veneer, and has a beautiful warm, reddish-brown hue. No doubt Ella will attract lots of attention, and I will be extremely pleased to tell everyone about Monkeyshine and the Baskets for Bears story.

Ella the Dachshund arrived in a beautifully wrapped parcel with an equally beautiful gift card. Brigitte is apparently working on new packaging, but I thought the custom-made, easel-style card was the perfect way to deliver Ella. It’s also the perfect way to display Ella when she’s not being worn. If you happen to love other creatures more than puppies, Monkeyshine has an entire range of brooches to choose from… all divine. AND you’ll find a range of other items, all beautifully designed to inspire the Christmas shopper right now, in the Made by MonkeyShine Etsy store.

Monkeyshine - Handmade in Tasmania
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Very thoughtful: a thank-you gift from Monkeyshine

Monkeyshine - Easel-Style Card
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Ella arrived attached to this cute easel-style card

Made by MonkeyShine: Etsy Store

Brigitte declares she’s “not much of a writer” but I would beg to differ. Her words in the thank you gift card were just lovely; they inspired me to read many more stories on the Monkeyshine website. The Made by MonkeyShine Etsy store also has some great memories from Brigitte’s journey to the current design label: “Monkeyshine creations are a little bit retro, a little bit glam, with a pinch of whimsy and a dash of delight”. Sounds like a winner to me!

For more details about the work of Brigitte de Villiers, check out the Monkeyshine website. You can also follow Monkeyshine on Facebook, and visit the Monkeyshine Etsy store to purchase your own handmade treasures. And of course, see the Baskets for Bears page on Facebook for all the links, competition and fundraising campaign donation details. If all else fails, phone Brigitte 0427 733 996 to discuss her products, all “happily tailored in Tasmania”.

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