Ruth and Romy Grbic have a thing for craft. The sisters embraced the trend for all things handmade by putting their creative minds together earlier this year to work together under the name Ruth and Pony (elder sister Romy's nickname) and create hand-crafted felt accessories, including purses, jewellery and totes.

"We have always wanted to work together and have our own fashion label, and so when Ruth made the first felt purse, Aristotle the Wise Old Owl, we knew we had found our creative genius," explains Romy, who focuses more on the PR and marketing side of the business while Ruth does more design and sewing.

The limited Ruth and Pony pieces are very twee, with purses coming in the shapes of jellyfish, owls, mixtapes, strawberries and of course cupcakes - or embroided with French phrases for Francophile craft fans. The Auckland-based pair, who have backgrounds in design, film, writing and sociology, like cute things from the past - as reflected in some of their favourite things.

1. Early Vogue cover artwork
These are our mum's, which we both covet. They're hand-illustrated, and are just amazing. So elegant, feminine and timeless.

2. Moleskine journals
We use these journals daily, to scribble out new designs for our collection, and also just to draw and write in. There is just something so exciting about getting a brand new Moleskine, but we also love to look back on old ones for inspiration and just to remember how we were feeling at the time of any particular entry. It can be a really useful tool when feeling stuck for ideas.

3. Our vintage tea-tin collection
Tea has always been a very central part of our family life. Tea-time occurs several times daily, and at that time everything else ceases. Our mum always had these cool vintage tea tins which are so cute.

4. Bobbi Brown's books
Her work is amazing, and inspires a lot of creativity. She talks about makeup in a way that is easy for anybody to grasp and try out her tips. Working with makeup is just like painting on a blank canvas. All the pretty bottles make us swoon.

5. Banana cupcakes
These go very well with a cup of tea. In times of procrastination, banana cupcakes are baked in abundance in our house. We have a secret, amazing family recipe that produces the lightest, fluffiest and most delicious banana cupcakes you'll ever taste.

6. Toulouse Lautrec
We both have a certain love-affair with all things French, and these paintings and posters are no exception. Their vintage, slightly quirky quality is super-appealing as well.

7. Vintage jewellery
There is just something so wonderful about a piece of vintage or antique jewellery, whether it's Mum's old pearls, or a ring given to you by a loved one - it has so much more meaning than something you could pick up in your average jewellery store. You can also find some amazing bargains in antique stores, and the hunt is a huge part of the fun!

8. Poster from Paris
Romy: I picked this up for a couple of euros while wandering down Boulevard Saint-Germain. I didn't think too much of it at the time but once I got home and had it framed, I can't be without it. I love the dancer's elegant pose; I find any form of dancing very inspiring. Actually I seem to be building a small collection of dancer pictures; I recently found another one in Christchurch.

9. Sera Lilly
Her designs are so girly and lush, each with a unique quality, too. The red velvet dress from a past collection is an absolute favourite. It's a little bit different with your entire body encased in velvet. And for it to be red - that's too much.

10. The Auckland Museum
We're both secretly science and history geeks, and enjoy a good day trip to the Auckland Museum. Highlights include the section with all the stuffed birds and insects, and the colonial village. Absolutely love pretending we live in the old houses and shop at the old apothecary. Also, if we ever need some inspiration, there is definitely no shortage of it here.

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