Melbourne dispatch - Das T-Shirt Automat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you like my new shopping bag? I sure do! If the design looks familiar, that's because it's a picture of my old typewriter that I once drew on a napkin, which later became the logo I use on this website (and elsewhere around the traps). I got the bag at Das T-Shirt Automat on Johnston Street in Fitzroy, my new go-to place for unique and thoughtful gifts (you have been warned). You can get pretty much anything you like printed here: they have bags, t-shirts, hoodies, baby onesies, cushions and all kinds of other things, but you can also bring along anything of your own and they'll do their best to print on it. Likewise you can bring your own design, or choose from the rather awesome illustrations in their books. It's all printed while you wait and the quality is fantastic! They'll even help tweak your design for you. Here's how it works:

Step 1. Just stop off at the t-shirt window on Johnston Street and choose a design or give the man your own...

automat1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Step 2. Wait patiently while the man prints what you've asked for. He will also manage any design tweaks you need while he's at it (he deep etched mine, and placed it properly on the bag)...

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Step 3. Et voila: your new bag, T-shirt, cushion or whatever else you ordered is ready! (FYI the bag was $20)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso I can't wait to try out their other printing service: records! You can bring along a recording for them to press, or record something on the spot. I think it would be pretty special to send a spoken message to someone I love, on vinyl. Yes?

And another thing I love about this place? The "Das Vending Machine" looks like a gigantic bubble-gum machine. It costs $2 to have a go, and down will pop a big plastic ball. Madeleine loved it! Much more fun than those moving toy cars at the shopping centre.

Twist the ball open to discover if you've won something to be printed for free. If not, don't worry: there's a consolation prize in every every ball. Madeleine was given the choice of a plastic banana or bubbles, which was a tough one for her until I explained that the plastic banana could not be eaten. Bubbles it was.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA big thanks to Live North for sponsoring our little jaunt down Das Automat lane! Just another reason why I love living in Melbourne's Inner North.