We Loved Paddington Bear

paddington

We were very excited indeed that Paddington finally arrived on the big screen!

My five year old daughter and I went to see this last weekend and we both absolutely adored it. It’s a beautifully produced film with truly stunning animation.
And I was much relieved to discover the plot unraveled at a manageably slower pace than the other kid’s film releases we’ve been to see recently.
The simple story line and engaging characters make this a real treat for all the family. Go and see it!

Did you know? – The origins of Paddington Bear date back almost 60 years. His creator, Michael Bond, bought a small bear from Selfridges on Christmas Eve 1956, as a present for his wife, and named him after the nearest railway station to which they lived!

But Paddington is not the only hat wearing bear from Peru with a liking for marmalade.

Check out our own adorable Peruvian bear on our Marmalade knit jumper and Raglan Sleeve T-Shirt.
He’s wearing an authentic chullo to keep his head warm …. it gets very cold up in the Andes!childrens jumper bright colourful boys girls bear


unisex raglan sleeve Tibet tshirt sun yellow bear boys girls
+ Bear Treats!
Come shopping with us in the next few weeks and you’ll notice we are giving away packs of “Bear” Nibbles  with every order (whilst supplies last!).
Bear are a great, like minded company with profits donated to some fabulous charities.
Find their range of delicious treats in your local supermarket or on their fun website here.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 17.07.28

Dec 10, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , | Leave a comment

DIY Christmas and Winter Festival Fun

 

Now that it’s actually December and advent has officially begun, we feel we’re allowed to get the decorations out.

So, we’ve chosen 11 different colourful ones for you, and 5 of those are DIY – so you have plenty of hours to get making in time to hang them on the tree!

Xmas Decorations

1 Mr Printables DIY geometric sewing card decorations / 2 multicoloured glass Peacock from Liberty / 3 fun and fruity DIY Christmas baubles from My Poppet / 4 ‘Love From Ginger’ DIY Christmas Pinata Wreath / 5 Craftspring’s handmade Eskimo Tale Princess / 6 Lulu Lucky for Poppytalk matchbox advent calendar / 7 felt woodland animals from Hema / 8 & 10 glass car and novelty bauble by Carolyn Donnelly / 9 Heal’s animal puppet crackers / 11 Oh Happy Day! DIY mini present garland 

And if 5 DIY projects aren’t enough to keep you occupied, pop over to the amazing Sweet Paul Magazine Website for lots more inspiration …

 


London’s Southbank Centre has a jammed packed programme for its Winter Festival

If you’re in the city over the next month here are a couple of activities not to be missed –

GET YOUR KNIT ON!

getyourkniton

Southbank Centre invites you to help knit blankets for older people at Christmas.
Following great success last year, the Get Your Knit On! project is back.

Complete beginners and experienced knitters are welcome to learn to knit squares and how to sew them together to make blankets. You will need to bring your own wool and needles – ideally double knitting wool (DK) and 4mm needles.

The Get Your Knit On! project is in partnership with Age UK Lambeth who we are working with to distribute these blankets to vulnerable older people who need help keeping warm this winter.

Join in the group sessions at the Southbank Centre, or send in your squares from home! Free, all info HERE.


 

INTRUDE

Intrude at Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Intrude at Southbank Centre Winter Festival

“Australian artist Amanda Parer‘s edgy and ephemeral artworks explore the natural world, its fragility and our role within it. 

Intrude sees startlingly beautiful creatures enlarged and frozen within our Winter Festival habitat. 

Parer is an artist originally from Sydney but now resides in Tasmania where her work has been acquired by both public and private collections. She has been selected four times for the Blake Prize, as well as for the Glover Prize in 2008, 2012 and 2013. 

Amanda’s major public art installation Intrude was the prominent work in the 2014 Vivid Festival in Sydney.”

Free, all info HERE.


 

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW

Slava's Snowshow at Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Slava’s Snowshow at Southbank Centre Winter Festival

“Slava’s Snowshow returns to Royal Festival Hall for a fourth magical year.

The multi-international award-winning hit is now established as London’s leading Christmas show, having delighted theatregoers around the world for 20 years.

Slava’s Snowshow is theatre like you’ve never seen before. Fun for the whole family, this incredible show sees Royal Festival Hall filled with a heart-stopping blizzard of snow. Featuring breath-taking visual effects, it has been described by The Sunday Times as ‘theatrical brilliance’.

Recommended for ages 8+. Unfortunately, no children under 3 can be admitted.

‘Unmissable – a classic show of rare theatrical beauty.'( The Times)
‘Simply thrilling. An unforgettable comedy masterpiece.’ (The Independent)”

All info and tickets HERE.


Also, be sure to check out the Gift Of Giving pop up charity shop and the chocolate festival.

Enjoy!

posted by lisadwyerhogg

Dec 01, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Brilliant Nadia Shireen

In our last post we revealed the new Tootsa MacGinty Christmas jumper, in aid of charity Refuge, with the funny little penguin designed by author illustrator Nadia Shireen.

Today we are delighted to have her here on the blog to find out about her process, her inspiration and memories of Christmas.

Nadia Shireen

Nadia Shireen

Nadia originally studied law and then worked as a magazine journalist, but her childhood memories of creating homemade magazines and comics never left her. Throughout these years she continued her sketching and creating . After years of “doodling in the sidelines” she finally took the plunge and did an MA in Children’s Book illustration. It was at her final degree show where she presented her first book – Good Little Wolf – which was immediately picked up and published by Random House in 2011. Nadia is also the author of Hey Presto! and Yeti And The Bird.

Nadia has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She lives in London.
We caught up with her for a quick chat:

Tootsa: From when you first have an image or figure in your head, what is the process of bringing that character to life on the page?

Nadia: I grab the nearest pen or pencil and doodle it on paper. Then I keep doodling obsessively for quite a long time. Then I lose those bits of paper, start about three separate notebooks with the same idea, and hop between them. I don’t work in an organised fashion.

Tootsa: How do you think yourself into a child’s perspective? And how do you think children see the world?

Nadia: I find it very easy to take myself to back to that place, probably because I feel much the same now! It’s the upside of being quite over sensitive, I suppose. I try and remember the feelings of powerlessness but also curiosity of being a kid.

Tootsa: What children’s books did you enjoy as a child?

Nadia: Picture books are hard to remember as I didn’t own any – we just went to the library every week. The Meg and Mog books stick in my mind, and I’m enjoying them again now with my son. I was a Roald Dahl devotee and got quite annoyed when I realised he was really famous and *everyone* was into him. I was also obsessed with all the Enid Blyton jolly hockey sticks books.

Hey Presto! by Nadia Shireen

Hey Presto! by Nadia Shireen

Tootsa: Our families are massive fans of your beautiful books – have you got any new books or projects up your creative sleeve?

Nadia: Thank you very much. I’m just finishing up the artwork for my next picture book. It’s very silly. I try and make myself laugh when I draw. If I can do that, it’s usually a good sign.

Tootsa: The penguin you created for the Tootsa MacGinty jumper in aid of Refuge makes us laugh with its bemused look! We would love to meet him and find out what he is thinking! Do you have a favourite character from your books who you would like to hang out with?

Nadia: I’d like to hang out with all of them! I think the Big Bad Wolf from ‘Good Little Wolf’ would be good for a night out. Presto from ‘Hey, Presto!’ would be great at bringing me cups of tea and being bossed around. And I’d like to cuddle the Yeti.

Yeti And The Bird by Nadia Shireen

Yeti And The Bird by Nadia Shireen

Tootsa: As a former music journalist, are there any bands/artists/albums that you are listening to at the moment that you can recommend to our readers?

Nadia: I’m enjoying Sharon Van Etten’s latest album and also a band called The War On Drugs.

Tootsa: What books have you enjoyed reading recently?

Nadia: I’ve not been able to read much recently really – erm, home decorating magazines and parenting books that both conspire to make you feel inadequate.

Tootsa: Christmas is fast approaching so we have a few Christmassy questions … firstly and most importantly what are you planning on eating on Christmas day?!

Nadia: Turkey that I’ve brined for ages in loads of cosmic spices, and all the usual stuff. I like to cook in general so it’s always fun doing the Christmas meal. Potatoes are very important.

Tootsa: Do you have a favourite childhood memory of Christmas?

Nadia: My family is Pakistani so Christmas was never a huge deal in our house. My dad was a GP and he always offered to work that day so the other doctors could be with their families. We always had a nice time hanging out with family too, but it was all very casual.

Tootsa: Is there something you would love for Christmas?

Nadia: Aside from the health and happiness of my friends and family… A piano! Or a cat. Or a cat on a piano.

Tootsa: Finally, why did you choose to work with the charity Refuge?

Nadia: Refuge work with not only women in abusive relationships, but also the children who are all too often caught up in some really terrible situations. In my line of work my biggest objective is to entertain and connect with children. So it made perfect sense to me.

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen

Good Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen

Buy your very own Nadia Shireen jumper and support the national domestic violence charity Refuge HERE.

Tootsa MacGInty and Nadia Shireen Christmas Jumper in aid of Refuge

Tootsa MacGInty and Nadia Shireen Christmas Jumper in aid of Refuge

To find out more about the charity and the amazing work they do visit their website.

Nov 19, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nadia Shireen for Tootsa MacGinty – in aid of Refuge

 

Refuge

This Christmas, we wanted to support the fantastic work that Refuge (the national domestic violence charity) do for women and children, and give you the opportunity to do the same.

The talented, award winning illustrator and author Nadia Shireen (you will know her books Hey Presto!, Good Little Wolf  & Yeti and the Bird) has designed a fun party penguin jumper for Tootsa MacGinty.

Nadia Shireen

The jumper will be sold exclusively by Selfridges and from the Tootsa MacGinty website to raise money for Refuge. A cool Christmas gift, Nadia Shireen’s rather bemused penguin will make kids giggle, but with 100% of profits going to Refuge the jumper will also help thousands of women and children who experience domestic violence.
Made from Tootsa MacGinty’s signature pre-washed cashmere blend yarn, the jumper is built to last and can be thrown into a washing machine time and time again. The penguin knit is part of Tootsa MacGinty’s New Christmas jumper range which also includes a Christmas tree and a Christmas pudding jumper.

Tootsa MacGInty and Nadia Shireen Christmas Jumper in aid of Refuge

Since 1971, Refuge has been providing life-saving and life-changing support for women and children escaping domestic violence. On any given day the country’s largest single provider of specialist services helps 3,000 women and children. The statistics cannot fail to highlight how vital this charity is -

· One in four women is abused during her lifetime
· One in nine is severely physically abused each year
· Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner

Refuge is committed to a world where domestic violence is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety.
We aim to empower women and children to rebuild their lives, free from violence and fear.
We provide a range of life-saving and life-changing services, and a voice for the voiceless.

As well as safe accommodation, Refuge provides the necessary emotional and practical support so that women can have the opportunity to make decisions about their future and rebuild their lives. The charity’s Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy service provides guidance for those at the very highest risk of serious harm or homicide, helping them to stay safe whilst navigating the criminal justice system.

For many reasons some women choose not to leave their homes. The Refuge outreach service means that workers can meet with women at safe times in their own homes or in discreet places in the community. They help women to draw up safety plans, progress housing applications and also provide vital emotional support.

As is often the case, it is the children that get caught in the crossfire. Two thirds of Refuge’s residents are pre-school age children. Refuge’s team of child support workers work one-to-one and in group sessions with children to nurture their basic developmental skills. Their sessions include arts and crafts, story-telling, singing, cooking, gardening and play activities. They explore issues such as friendship, kindness and respect, and organise outings for mothers and children to explore community resources such as libraries, play groups and leisure centres.

One of Refuge’s child support workers explains how she worked with one family:

Janice and her three-year-old daughter Charlotte arrived at the refuge after Janice’s partner had abused her and attempted to abduct Charlotte. They were both painfully shy and very introverted. Charlotte would hide behind her mother’s clothes, not speaking or making eye contact with anyone. When activities were planned she refused to join in, or would only join in if her mother was also involved. She had also reverted to having a comfort blanket with her at
all times, and using a baby bottle at night. I worked with Janice to help lessen Charlotte’s separation anxiety, advising her to take small steps towards increasing Charlotte’s independence. For example, Janice would leave Charlotte with me at the table whilst she went to sit on the sofa or into the garden – still staying in eyesight. Reward charts were encouraged to recognise small steps forward and we devised a game called ‘Can Mummy be back before we count to 3, 4, 5 etc’.

Gradually Charlotte began to trust me and her separation anxiety began to diminish. She started to join in activities with the other children. A breakthrough came five months after they had moved in, when Charlotte asked if she could stay with me to make a Mother’s Day card whilst her mother was upstairs. It has now been seven months since they moved into the refuge, and Charlotte is going to nursery. She leaves her comfort blanket on the peg before joining in activities with other children, and has positive interactions with other adults. She is going from strength to strength every day.

For more information on Refuge, and with details of how you can get involved with the charity, please visit their website.

Keep posted for our interview with the very talented Nadia – coming very soon!

Nov 01, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , | Leave a comment

Tootsa MacGinty Tapestry Stitch Cushions by Valy Levy Debussy

With the launch of our beautiful new homeware range we are delighted to announce our latest exciting collaboration
with talented French textile designer Valy Lévy-Debussy.

Valy has created a collection of tapestry stitch cushions bursting with colour, inspired by our signature unisex knitwear.

valy-levy-debussy-for-tootsa-macginty-tapestry-stitch-cushions

Valy’s cushions are a playful and original combination of shapes and colours created on traditional canvas, hand
“tapestry stitch” embroidered with pure lambswool and backed in a beautiful soft cotton velvet.

Each cushion is entirely made by hand in Valy’s studio. The process, from start to completion,
takes 8 hours with each piece beautifully finished. The “atelier” is nestled inside her beautiful cliff top house
which over looks the Basque coast in South West France,  close to Biarritz, where she has lived for over 13 years.

valy-levy-debussy

“As a designer I have always closely followed fashion. The design of the 1920s era has particularly fascinated me.
I love the graphic painter Sonia Delaunay, Mark Rothko’s use of colour, Art Deco jewelry, paintings by the South African
Ndebele women, and the sculptures of Lalanne.

I’m an only child, and have, since childhood, always enjoyed working with my hands; be it drawing, collage, sewing, jewelry or beading.
I made it into theEcole des Beaux-Arts” in Berlin and after graduation worked for 20 years as a textile and fashion designer in France.

I’ve loved embroidery for as long as I can remember, especially cross stitch which I used to do as a child.
One day I discovered an old tapestry stitch cushion embroidered with wool
and this big idea came to me to recreate the same technique with modern, colourful, original designs.”

- Valy Levy-Debussy

The cushions are priced at £90 and available exclusively on the Tootsa MacGinty website.

Valy’s own collection of cushions and decorative, customisable, pillows can be found here.

Oct 27, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

Day of the Dead | Dia De Muertos

On the 1st and 2nd of November Mexico celebrates “El Día de Muertos” or “The Day of the Dead”.
Colourful skeletons and skulls, bright orange marigolds, candles and coloured flags set the scene.

This Halloween Tootsa MacGinty launched our very own cosy “Day of the Dead” sweatshirt;
nestled here amongst some other colourful items for your “El Día de Muertos” celebrations >

 

Day-of-the-dead

1 Paper Source Sugar Skull Mask Kit / 2 Frida Kahlo Flower Crown / 3 Hand Cut Mexican Flag Bunting / 4 Kitsch Kitchen Sugar Skull Cookie Jar / 5 Tootsa MacGinty Day Of The Dead Sweatshirt with added cheek! (scroll down)  Perfect if you’re looking for an alternative to a cheap, throw-away, often gendered costume. / 6 DIY Day Of The Dead Pinata / 7 Day Of The Dead Party Printables from Happy Thought / 8 Sweet Spirits Cookie Cutters / 9 Porter Colline Day Of The Dead Pegs


Half Term Activity

Mailer-Day-of-the-Dead-Masks

The half term holidays start with a bang on Saturday October 25th, as our stockist’s “Selfridges” London
are hosting a Halloween fun day in the kids wear department on their 4th floor.
There’ll be Pumpkin carving and lots of other art and craft activities. All the details here
Tootsa MacGinty will be there with a “Day of the Dead” mask making workshop!

Rainy Day?
Why not print off your own Tootsa MacGinty “Day of the Dead” mask to colour and make Here!?

Day-of-the-Dead-Masks

- Share your finished mask on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook
– Add the hashtags #TootsaMacGinty + #DiaLosMuertos 
– We will pick three fab masks at random, each will win the item of their choosing from the Tootsa shop!

Happy Halloween!!!

halloween

Oct 09, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

Sample Sale | 26: 09 : 14

We are preparing for our biggest sample sale yet!
Lots of bargains to be had from each of our previous collections.
Arrive early so as not to be disappointed.
Cash and card payments accepted.

Tootsa MacGinty Sample Sale

 

Chelsea Old Town Hall
King’s Road,
Kensington and Chelsea,
London, SW3 5EE
Screen shot 2014-09-20 at 17.18.19

London Underground
Circle or District Line to Sloane Square. Walk across Sloane Square and straight down the King’s Road (keep Peter Jones Department Store on your right hand side). Chelsea Old Town Hall is approximately ten minutes walk down the King’s Road, on the left hand side immediately opposite the lower end of Sydney Street.

Local Bus Routes

Alight on the King’s Road at Chelsea Old Town Hall and the lower end of Sydney Street – numbers 49 or 211.
Alternatively catch bus numbers 11, 19, 22, 211 or 319 from Sloane Square/King’s Road.

Car Parking

There is a small public car park (50 spaces) at the lower end of Sydney Street. On street parking is allowed in metered bays in nearby side streets.

Sep 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

Lets Celebrate!

We have just launched Tootsa MacGinty into what is arguably “The Best Department Store in The World” – Selfridges – and believe this is cause for a little celebration!

For any of you based in London or around about – do come along to the 4th floor at Selfridges on the afternoon of Friday September 19th and join in the fun.
Everyone is welcome.

Children will have the opportunity to make their own Tootsa MacGinty Panda, Tiger or Bear glove puppet to take home, have their face painted or meet and be wowed by none other than balloon modelling extraordinaire “Ms Ballooniverse” herself.

Come! Let’s Celebrate!

Tootsa MacGinty AW Launch Selfridges Childrens wear department

Sep 11, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

I See Faces

Did you know that if you have ever looked at an object or building and thought that it kind of looked like a face, it’s actually a psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia?

“Pareidolia involves a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant; it’s a form of apophenia (seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data).” These ones are quite funny!

But that is a man on the moon isn’t it? And the sun is smiling isn’t she?  Well, we like to think so.

Check out the Moon and Sun jumpers coming soon to the Tootsa collection, keeping the Cloud in good company.

I-see-faces
“Dawa” jumper in Charcoal (moon) & Chocolate (sun) | Mortimere” jumper in Deep Blue (cloud)

Inspired by this, we have found 9 gorgeous items that come to life with their very own faces.

I-see-faces collage

1 Red Hand Gang hangers from Molly Meg / 2 Gladly Gladee banana pencil case 3 Snow Queen ceramic serving bowl from Marinski Handmades / 4 Lollipop origami notepaper set / 5 Pequeocio painting stones tutorial / 6 Yellow Bear recycle bags from More Cosy / 7 Kinska Shop Yellow Face Tumbler / 8 Charlotte Mei Bread Plate / 9 Our favourite, the Porter Colline Animal Pegs

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Aug 11, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dip Dye

Dip-dye is a trend that seems to refuse to take a backseat by reinventing itself each year so that it always appears fresh and accessible.

Dip dyed hair has become popular, but, if you don’t quite fancy that, no fear – you can just about find dip dye items in every aspect of fashion and design – even food!

In the latest collection Tootsa MacGinty has featured some dip dye delights for children … the Fort Greene fade in striking coral or periwinkle blue makes the classic fisherman’s cable knit jumpers bang on trend. Made from a quality, easy care soft cotton this is perfect for girls and boys to wear when the winds are blowing on the beach or in the park.

dip dye jumpers

And we love these 10 items that take on the trend with colourful results – we’ve even included one for the hair (number 7), if you’re feeling brave!

http://tootsamacginty.com/knitwear/

1 Ercol Love Seat from Nest / 2 Scholten & Baijings Hand Blown Glass Shade / 3 Mr Printables Changing Skies Gradient Paper / 4 Studio DIY Confetti Dipped Balloons / 5 Hay Minimal Collection Bed Linen / 6 Dip Dye Nail Art Inspiration / 7 Bleach London Awkward Peach Non Permanent Hair Colour / 8 Dip Dye DIY Marshmallows / 9 Nike Pre Montreal Racer Fade Trainer / 10 Leif Shop Fluoro Fringe Throw

And, if you fancy a little DIY dip dye (try saying that 3 times fast), then here are three great tutorials:

dip dye tutorials

Dip Dye Ribbons | Table Runner | Baskets

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Jul 23, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tootsa MacGinty Pop Up Shop!

This summer, along with some friends, we’ll be popping up in London with a retail shop on Covent Garden’s beautiful, cobbled, Floral Street.
All the details below and watch this space for news of the children’s
workshops and activities taking place at the store.

Tootsa MacGinty pop up shop

Jul 11, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

Credible likeable superstar role model

Catch this at the theatre!

“In an audacious, provocative protest against flagrant global attempts to sexualise and commodify childhood for profit, award-winning artist Bryony Kimmings and her niece Taylor (aged just 9) decided to play the global tween machine at its own game by inventing dinosaur loving, bike riding, tuna pasta eating, alternative pop star Catherine Bennett.This show tackles the issues at the very core of their plight head on. In typically screwball and humorous fashion, Kimmings, creator of acclaimed shows Sex Idiot and 7 Day Drunk, begs the question, what does it really take to be a Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model for a child of the 21st century?” – Soho Theatre

 

bryonykimmings

Along with her niece, performance artist Bryony Kimmings set about to create a ‘modern heroine’ – not the over-sexualised-material-disney-girl that seems to have become the norm, but someone who would inspire our younger female generation. And so the character “Catherine Bennett” was born (even having her own show earlier this year at The Southbank Centre).

In an interview with The Independent this week, Bryony says, “I was teaching a group of 10 year old girls and I asked them what they wanted to be when they were older. The ringleader said that she wanted to be on The Only Way is Essex. Then she pretended to have a WAG handbag and a tiny dog and started wiggling her hips. And all the other girls copied … I hadn’t really thought before that the things we take to be trash or light entertainment are actually affecting young girls and their aspirations in a really direct way.”

But it’s not a cute kids show by any means. Reviewed as ‘Hilarious, heartbreaking, troubling and inspirational. Kick-ass in all the right ways.’ 4 * (Time Out) ; ‘Bold, brave and very brilliant; don’t miss.’ 4 * (Independent) ; ‘A work of almost staggering warmth and fragility.’ 4 * (Scotsman) ; it sold out in 2013 and won coveted awards. So definitely one to catch on this small return tour. There are even rumours of a “feminist mind blowing” series for CBBC in the pipeline – a very exciting prospect!

“The message is for us to not just accept that the world is going this way – that we are constantly being sold things and sex is being used to sell them”, says Kimmings. “Children are manipulated into becoming capitalists at a very young age and are being made to feel insecure by the sexual imagery they see everywhere.”

See the show -

LONDON 24th to 28th June at 7:15pm

Soho Theatre

£20/17.50

0207 478 0100

BRIGHTON 3rd July at 8pm

Brighton Dome

£12/10

01273 709709

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

 

 

 

Jun 23, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animal Magic

It’s a fact! children love animals and Tootsa MacGinty’s colourful cotton knit jumpers feature some city dwelling creatures for this season’s “Summer In The City” collection. Choose from a New York city fox, a funky London living Pigeon or Parisian Rat.

But animals aren’t just for kids, so we have chosen 10 items that include some for adults too!

Animal-Magic

1 Graham & Green painted ceramic animal knobs / 2 Tootsa MacGinty kelly green pigeon knit / 3 Zara Home yellow rhinoceros / 4 animal hangers from Urban Outfitters / 5 giant lobster Tatty Devine necklace / 6 Barefoot lions / 7 V&A animal water guns / 8 Alice Potter Hippo cushion / 9 Abigail Brown foxes / 10 Flamingo windmill from Graham & Green

Jun 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boys will be boys

Ever thought about how dangerous a phrase that actually is?

Often, when it comes to discussions on the commercialisation of childhood, we tend to focus on the girls – the anti-princess movement, the #activegirls twitter trend, encourage girls into science and technology, the list is endless, and rightly so!

But what about the boys? Although of course boys are directly affected by these issues too, in how they may perceive girls and behave in relation to them, but do we feel we are doing enough for them as individuals?
You may think, oh men don’t need any help on that front – every door is automatically open to them! This may be true when it comes to career and lifestyle choices, but what about their emotional and psychological well-being? Arguably a higher priority.

You will remember we previously featured the wonderful new film The Mask You Live in, from The Representation Project. Highlighting research which shows that boys in the U.S. are “more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives”, it asks this very question “As a society, how are we failing our boys?”

In the article Stand Your Ground, Be a Man, Imran Siddique writes –

“From birth we teach boys to dominate their surroundings, but do far less to teach them empathy for others. And in the case of race, we do even less to promote understanding. This leaves men with a limited set of tools with which to deal with real human interactions, including conflict. And rather than creating a system around them which might deal with this societal problem, we instead build laws to protect (certain) flawed men from the consequences of their violent actions. It’s a vicious, self-propagating cycle.”

As boys find themselves “within this narrow definition of masculinity, relating with toughness, stoicism, and physical and sexual prowess, they may hide those parts of themselves that they perceive as too tender, and even too smart. As a result, boys may act less empathetic, less supportive, and less close than they actually feel or want to be. Crying is a roadblock to being accepted and identified as a strong male. So one of the first things people do is teach boys not to cry. (Geoffrey Canada)

The subversive issues surrounding the expectations of boys and young men will not be solved by inaction. Joseph Tobin, author of Good Guys Don’t Wear Hats and Professor of Education at Arizona State University says:

“Gender expectations are socially constructed, ruthlessly enforced and powerful, we should talk with boys about the reality of gender expectations, and help them brainstorm about how to negotiate this problem. If a little boy is struggling to feel adequately masculine by acting tough, it’s not helpful to criticize or mock his interests. The fact is that all men struggle with this issue and none of us has it figured out.”

It is a different challenge that we face when it comes to boys, and it is one of emotional literacy. If we do not temper this message of contempt for normal “non-masculine” fears that the media perpetuates, the fall out we face is the continued denial of boys emotional lives – making them unable to recognise feelings in others and perhaps more importantly, themselves.

Back in 2011 we spoke about the UK government releasing a report into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood. We said:
One of the reasons for beginning Tootsa MacGinty was to create an alternative to the glitzy, beauty focused, princess themed products aimed at girls. However boys also face many stereotypes and these stereotypes can be just as damaging. Camouflage, skulls, sludgy colours and slogans like “I’m trouble” or “little monster” dominate the boys wear market; designs which value toughness and aggression or bad behaviour and reinforce the negative stereotype of boys as brats and trouble makers. It is no wonder then that girls are generally considered better behaved than boys!

The response to our first range from retailers and parents was huge. We received wide praise and lots of great feedback. Many commented on how refreshing it is to see colourful clothes boys can wear with gentle, child like imagery. It would seem that what we believe to be just plain common sense is actually quite hard to come by on the British high street!

Another trend Tootsa MacGinty is attempting to buck is the portrayal of boys in fashion photography. In general boys are only seen amongst other boys and usually depicted in active, aggressive or cheeky poses. Rarely will you find images of boys behaving in a kind or nurturing manner and, due to the gender divide in toys and clothing, it is very disappointing to find that boys and girls are no longer photographed together.
In each of our photo shoots we attempt to show a more realistic view of children.

boys in photos

For further reading on this topic we recommend Crystal Smith’s The Achilles Effect (blog and book) which explores gender bias in the entertainment aimed at primary school boys, focusing on the dominant themes in children’s TV shows, toy advertising, movies, and books. It examines the gender messages sent by pop culture, provides strategies for countering these messages, and encourages discussion of a vitally important issue that is rarely talked about—the impact of gender stereotypes on boys.

Jun 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matisse Madness

1067985

(‘DIOR Graphic Color Blocking Shape Relations – ‘Changes’ by Jack Youngerman, ‘Blue Nude (1952)’ by Matisse, Richard Pettibon’s Baseball Paintings, ‘Paratroopers’ by Do Ho Shu, ‘Green Relief with Blue’ by Elsworth Kelly, ‘#7 – 1967′ by Peter Young.’ Dazed)

Colour blocking is very on trend at the moment, and who better to garner a few tips from but the colour master himself – Henri Matisse. Running until September 7th, the Tate Modern London Cut Outs show explores the final chapter in his career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ when his series of spectacular cut-outs were born.

“In his late sixties, when ill health first prevented Matisse from painting, he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make drafts for a number of commissions. In time, Matisse chose cut-outs over painting: he had invented a new medium.

From snowflowers to dancers, circus scenes and a famous snail, the exhibition showcases a dazzling array of 120 works made between 1936 and 1954. Bold, exuberant and often large in scale, the cut-outs have an engaging simplicity coupled with incredible creative sophistication … London is first to host, before the exhibition travels to New York at the Museum of Modern Art and after which the works return to galleries and private owners around the world.” -Tate Modern.

We have sourced a few items that channel the cut-out-colour-block vibe.

Maitsse-Cutouts

1. Tata-Naka A/W 14 Matisse inspired collection / 2. Jansen + co Blue Espresso cup (exclusive to the Tate) / 3. Emily Miranda Seaweed necklace / 4. Eeboo Felt Mosaic Game / 5. Gail Bryson’s hand painted side plates / 6. ‘After Matisse’ rug by Sonya Winner / 7. Get creative with these Friskars scissors  / 8. Marimekko swimsuit / 9. Coucou Manou block colour display unit / 10. Essie ‘Mesmirized’ Nail Polish / 11. Play Plax toy from Tate shop 12. Marine Mobile from PukaPuka

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There are also some great not-to-be-missed events attached to the exhibition  –

Film

April 20th / April 27th / May 4th / May 11th 2014
15.00 – 16.00
“With Matisse in Tangier”
Details here

June 3rd 2014
19:15
Cinema event: Matisse Live from Tate Modern: at cinemas throughout the UK
Details here

Special event

Matisse Sunday lates –
Every Sunday April 27th to August 24th
20.00 – 22.30
Details here

Out of Hours: Matisse Cut Outs
Monday May 19th
18.30 – 20.00
Details here

Courses and workshops

Poetry and Serious Play: Matisse, Words and Paper
Mondays from June 2nd to July 7th
Details here

Cutting into colour
Monday June 9th at 18.45
and Monday July 14th at 20.45
Details here

See you there!

Jun 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cross stitch

childrens-crossstitch-sweat

My favourite item from our Spring/Summer 2015 collection has to be the cross-stitch sweatshirts. With cuffs cut long to look good worn rolled up or down and so grow with your child, they feature a stunning cross stitch embroidered fox or NYC taxi cab.
In a beautiful, loop back, cotton melange this is a great investment piece guaranteed to see your child through Summer, into Autumn and on to the following Spring!

And why stop at a sweatshirt? here are some more crafty cross stitch items to add to your shopping list:

cross-stitch-embroidery-ide
1/ D.I.Y storage pot 2/ Delicious cross stitch embroidered ice creams from talented Stitchrovia. 3/Necklace found here on Etsy. 4/Fabulous embroidered wall art idea. 5/Cross stitch wall stickers 6/Metal Latern 7/Stitch your own iPhone case from wonderful embroidery suppliers “purl soho”.  8/…or why not embroider a chair?

Jun 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | | Leave a comment

#activegirls

#activegirls image from Jump Magazine

#activegirls image from Jump Magazine

Currently trending on twitter, the hashtag #activegirls encourages parents to promote their daughters defying the commercialised image of “girls” that many retailers would love us to buy into. The fantastic Let Toys Be Toys who campaign for:
“the toy industry to stop limiting children’s imaginations and interests by promoting some toys as only suitable for girls, and others only for boys”
have been promoting the online trend whilst continuing to raise awareness of the “passive” toys that seem to be peddled towards girls.

Tootsa MacGinty is all about allowing kids to be kids and most importantly, being themselves, regardless of gender, so we loved these videos of some #activegirls that celebrate just that!

These two amazing sisters (aged 9 and 12) have made their very own skateboarding video – filming and skating skills!

Six year old B-Girl Terra does some very impressive dancing in Jungle’s Platoon music video

At only 11 years old, Brooke Raboutou is a world record breaking rock climbing phenomenon!

And, although we may have featured her before, we couldn’t resist
including the amazing surfer Carissa Moore, the 2011 (youngest ever winner!)
and 2013 ASP Women’s World Champion.

(Carissa Moore 2011 ASP Women’s World Champion from Nike Action on Vimeo)

As the adults in the equation, it is important for us to remember just how much influence our decisions have. So, next time we are buying a toy, or suggesting an activity for the girls in our lives, lets be sure we are not unconsciously limiting their options.

Cheshire_FA Girls' Football Festival

via Twitter RT: @pollyfildes warm up taking place at the @Cheshire_FA Girls’ Football Festival #activegirls

Posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Jun 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Book Day

I am sure you are all very aware, this week sees the return of World Book Day.

No one can deny the positive benefits of reading, but according to recent research conducted by author Jim Trelease, regular reading of books can actually “create empathy toward other people, because literature values humanity and celebrates human spirit and potential, offering insight into different lifestyles while recognising universality
– a good excuse to pick up a book if ever you needed one!

Dazey Chic Print reading is cool

(Print by Dazey Chic)

We all remember our favourite books as children, the ones we read over, and over. The worlds we escaped into and dreamed about.
And now, it’s time for the next generation to enjoy the same.

Perhaps however the approach of World Book Day has seen you scrambling around in bags of old clothes looking for inspiration, or desperately trying to fashion a caterpillar out of an old pair of green tights? Fear not, we have some last minute ideas right here for you.

World-Book-Day-Costumes

1/ The Snail and The Whale (Julia Donaldson) DIY costume by Oh Happy Day! 2/ Zog (Julia Donaldson) dragon costume  3/ The Tiger Who Came To Tea (Judith Kerr) headband 4/ Cat In The Hat from (Dr. Seuss) Seuss Land 5/ Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling) Specs 6/ Little Red Riding Hood (Charles Perrault) Cape 7/ Clown (Quentin Blake) DIY costume by Oh Happy Day!

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 JENNIE MAIZELS  BOOK GIVEAWAY

New for Spring/Summer we have collaborated with super talented illustrator Jennie Maizels (author of many a beautifully illustrated children’s book, architect of some spectacular pop up publications and re-inventor of the iron-on patch embroidery).
Each of the denim pieces in our Summer range come with a little draw string pouch containing six of Jennie’s lovely iron on badges.

So, in keeping with this weeks theme, Jennie has kindly offered her latest book Pop Up London as a special giveaway prize!

Simply email us with the subject title POP UP LONDON.
Include your details in the body of the email and we will select a winner at random.
To be announced March 15th 2014.
Good luck!

Tootsa MacGinty Badges

 

 

Mar 04, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mask You Live In

In April of last year, the renowned Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave an impassioned talk for TEDxEUSTON entitled “We should all be feminists”.
Those of you who are Beyoncé fans will have heard sections of it sampled on her latest album. For TED, Adichie discusses the gender conditioning that society
continues to perpetrate, it’s negative effects and ultimately, how we can challenge this.

Beyonce Feminist T-shirt

“We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity becomes this hard small cage and we put boys inside the cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear. We teach boys to be afraid of weakness, of vulnerability…

…But by far the worst thing we do to males, by making them feel that they have to be hard, is that we leave them with very fragile egos. The more “hard man” a man feels compelled to be, the weaker his ego is. And then we do a much greater disservice to girls because we raise them to cater to fragile egos of men. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you would threaten the man. If you are the bread winner in your relationship with a man, you have to pretend that you’re not. Especially in public. Otherwise you will emasculate him.
But what if we question the premise itself? Why should a woman’s success be a threat to a man. What if we decide to simply dispose of that word, and I don’t think there is an English word I dislike more than, “emasculation”…

…Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now, marriage can be a good thing. It can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?..

…The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are……Now, imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations. Boys and girls are undeniably different, biologically. But socialization exaggerates the differences, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling process…

 

 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quote

If you haven’t already, you should definitely watch the full talk:

 

This year, the team behind MissRepresentation, are releasing their second film The Mask You Live In.

“Compared to girls, research shows that boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder,
prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives.
The Mask You Live In asks: As a society, how are we failing our boys?”

Check out their trailer

We may have progressed a lot over the last few decades, but there is still so much ground to break.
And, the key lies in the next generation and how we teach and nurture them so that gender is no longer a barrier.

 

Posted by Lisa Dwyer-Hogg

 

 

Feb 27, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

D.I.Y Valentine

We are all for Valentine’s Day, but what we’re not so keen on is the commercialisation and the tacky red plastic. Right?

So, we’ve gathered some gorgeous DIY projects & some sweet little recipes so that you can create handmade gifts and treats that will really mean something special to whoever the lucky recipient may be!

PS: Click through the links below – there are even more ideas within each link!

sweet nothings

 

 

1 / Conversation Heart Cookies 2 / Heartfelt Toast 3 / Red Velvet Macaroons 4 / Love in a Lunchbox

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cupid's arrow

 

1 / Valentines Arrows 2 / Date Idea Arrows 3 / Design Sponge Tutorial 4 / Valentine Printables

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paper heart

 

1 / Candle Card 2 / Will zoo be mine? 3 / Wrapping paper 4 / Woven Heart 5 / You rule

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Porter Colline

OK, so maybe you don’t have the time to actually make something … but it’s not cheating if you buy something handmade … is it?!

Well, we fell for these special edition King and Queen of Hearts pegs from the wonderfully inventive Carrie Hill of Porter Colline.

Carrie Hill Collection 2014 Carrie Hill Collection 2014

An absolute steal at £15.00!! ; they are available for a short time from Molly-Meg.

And be sure to check HERE for some exciting details of Porter Colline’s upcoming workshops at the Molly-Meg pop-up shop.

Spread a little love!

 

 

Posted by Lisa Dwyer-Hogg

Feb 10, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SAMPLE SALE!

We are spreading the love this Valentines Day and hosting a MASSIVE, stock clearing sample sale.
Tootsa MacGinty, along with some of our friends, will be at The Chelsea Old Town Hall, on the historically fashionable King’s Road, in London, all day Feb 14th.

With T-shirts from £5, sweatshirts and trousers from £8, jackets from £12; come along and grab a bargain!

Sample-Sale

Jan 30, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No More Page 3

Last Summer Lucy Holmes set up the, now famous, No More Page 3 campaign.
In September she wrote for The Independent:

“I am not a campaigner. But I felt such passion for this issue, passion that burnt like a fire in my chest, that I felt I had to do something about it.
During the Olympics I picked up a copy of The Sun to read on the train. The sun was shining and Britain was a place to be proud of. I noticed that there were no bare breasts on Page 3, or on Page 5. “Wow,” I thought. “They’ve dropped the boobs while the Olympics are on, possibly for editorial space, or perhaps as a mark of respect for all the different cultures visiting Britain.”
I felt very pleased they’d done this as I carried on reading. But then I got to page 13 and there she was, a beautiful young woman in just her pants. And it made me feel incredibly sad. Hers was the largest image of any woman in this issue. Much larger even than those of Jessica Ennis who had just won a team GB gold for her tremendous hard work…
What saddens me is the effect this ‘women as a sexual object’ culture has on young people. The Sun is our most widely read newspaper. Men across the land buy it, it lays on breakfast tables, it sits in living rooms for the TV guide, it’s found on trains and buses. Our sons and daughters see it. For the sons, they learn that it’s ‘normal’ to say ‘cor, look at the tits on that’ and for the daughters, they see this as something to aim for, or something that they fall short of.”

nb: For those reading our blog from overseas and perhaps not familiar with British tabloids; “The Sun”, as it states above, is (embarrassingly) Britain’s most widely read newspaper and has featured a large photo of a topless woman on it’s third page, every day since 1970!

We often comment on Tootsa MacGinty’s twitter feed regarding children being constantly bombarded with sexual imagery through advertising and the media.
Even in the local shop on the newsstand, tabloids are positioned right at the eye line of children.
See what Rap artist / Comedian, Doc Brown has to say on the matter:

It seems we have little control over protecting children from these derogatory images. Which is why we celebrate endeavors like that of Holmes.
At the time of writing 132,062 people have signed the The No More Page Three petition. They need 867,938 more. There is still a lot of work to do.

The campaign has been supported by many “names” including Juliette Lewis, Lauren Laverne, and Russell Brand who recently tweeted, along with a photo of himself and a “No More Page3” t-shirt,  “And finally, through the love of a good woman, teenage, sexist me was slain #nomorepage3”.
You can add your support by signing HERE.

In July of last year spoken word poet Hollie McNish wrote “Embarrassed” – a fantastic piece of work fueled by her anger regarding society’s view of breastfeeding.
After being told to “stay home” by someone as she breastfed in public, she wrote the poem ‘hiding’ in a public toilet after her 6 month old had fallen asleep. She too highlights the contradiction of a society that seems to accept nudity when it’s sexualised but not otherwise.

(Hollie McNish is currently touring. Details of live dates here)

More and more the dichotomy is coming into clear focus and it seems that, thankfully, tides are turning on opinion. It’s no longer acceptable. And we are so grateful to these intelligent and pioneering women and men who are making it so. We don’t want young girls to think that exposing themselves is part of being a woman, and we don’t want young boys to think it’s acceptable to expect that either.

Below:  @NoMorePage3 regularly re-tweet the reasons campaigners give for signing.
@RattyG tweeted this adorable photo of her with her daughter and the caption: “With my number one reason to sign”

No More Page Three Sweatshirt

So we too are donning our cosy sweatshirt (get yours here) as this is one band wagon we’re definitely jumping on!

Posted by Lisa Dwyer-Hogg

Jan 20, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fix Up and Look Sharp!

The New Year has arrived and, as ever, it’s the perfect time to Fix Up and Look Sharp!
Storage has long gone being boring. There are so many colourful and ingenius ways to keep life stylishly organised.

Here are 8 items that do just that –

Fix-Up-Look-Sharp

/ 1 Keep your paperwork in check with these fun Flamingo folders from Cotton On / 2 Have all your colours of the rainbow in order with a wooden pencil holder from Less and More / 3 Jens Widerberg has created this Red Octopus Shower storage solution for Liberty and we love it! / 4 This bright yellow side table with storage is from Habitat and hurry – it’s on sale! / 5 Brooklyn based designer Ceci Thompson has created this cabinet with bold colour waves – very eye catching – who cares how tidy the inside is! / 6 As ever, the clever clogs at Present & Correct have made the ordinary into something exciting – wall hooks that look like curled up tape! / 7 The often go-to for storage solutions, we think IKEA’s kitchen cart could easily be used in any room! / 8 Never again will you lose those silly keys! This cute magnetic cloud key holder is from Duncan Shotton

Posted by: Lisa Dwyer-Hogg

Jan 11, 2014 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All I Want For Christmas…

PART 3 – PATRICK WALSHE-MCBRIDE
I am playing “Santa” and imagining up what I would buy for the lovely group of talented & inspiring individuals seen modeling our “Grown-up” sized knitwear.
The third chimney I’ll be shuffling down is Patrick’s …

fox jumper sweater men women Patrick Walsh McBride

Up & coming actor Patrick Walshe-McBride graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama this year. He made his professional debut to rave reviews in The Winter’s Tale at the Crucible. Take note directors looking to cast the next Jack Bauer or Nicholas Brody, multi-talented Patrick speaks fluent Arabic after studying in Syria and at Cambridge University. He is also capable of eating his own body weight in Falafel!

Patrick, Apologies for the state of the wrapping; that lamp was the hardest so far!
Hope you like them …

 Patrick-Walshe-McBride-Xmas

Clockwise / 1 – Ally Capellino Waxed Cotton Backpack / 2 – Beautiful Paul Smith for Leica X2 Camera / 3 – The Half: Actors Preparing for the Stage photography book / 4 – Richard James Bobble Hat Beanie from Mr Porter / 5 – Darby top Clarks Boots / 6 – Bowers & Wilkins foldable headphones / 7 – Rene Redzepi’s A Work in Progress (journal, recipes and snapshots) / 8 – Lena Star Lamp / 9- Baxter of California Skin Kit

 

Dec 18, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All I want for Christmas…

PART 2 – MINA HOLLAND
Second on my fantasy Christmas gifting list, from the who’s-who of up & coming British talent, is the brilliant food writer Mina Holland

fox jumper sweater men women Mina Holland

Mina is Contributing Editor of The Observer Food Monthly magazine and her first book, The Edible Atlas: Around the world in 39 cuisines, will be published by Canongate in March 2014. When not eating or drinking, she can usually be found with her canine friends at Battersea Dogs Home, where she volunteers each week.

These are for you Mina…. Merry Christmas!

Mina-Holland-Christmas-list

Clockwise / 1 – Kaleido Metal Trays from The Design Museum Shop / 2 – limited edition Diptyque candle from Liberty / 3 – Chefs Pencil Set from Paper Pastries / 4 – Purple “Woof” lead from Pets Pyjamas / 5 – Napkins from Printing Grounds / 6 – The gorgeous rescue dog “Maddie” now has a book contract! “Maddie On Things” / 7 – Beech Wood Spoons from the beautiful “Sisters Guild” shop / 8 – Stella McCartney wool baseball cap

 

Dec 17, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All I want for Christmas…

PART 1 – DJ PHILLY
I thought it would be fun to conjure up what our fox jumper wearing brand ambassadors would like to find under the tree on Christmas morning.
First up, from the who’s-who of up & coming British talent, is the fantastic DJ Philly

fox jumper sweater men women DJ Philly

DJ Philly is one of London’s highest-profile VIP-party DJs and has performed at a multitude of top London clubs including Ministry of Sound, ChinaWhite, Fabric and Café de Paris. She has rocked the dance floor at parties for the highest profile clients around the world – including P Diddy, Dom Perignon, Omega and MTV, to name but a few. Philly is also no stranger to the fashion circuit having DJ’d for Gucci, Ferragamo, Hugo Boss, and Diesel fashion shows.

And I don’t think she’d turn her nose up at either of the following ….

DJPhilly Christmas list

Clockwise from 1 – “Don’t Call it a Comeback” print from PaperJamPress / 2 – Ohhdeer Magical Wood cushion / 3 – Fends Rose Gold Layla headphones / 4 – Erdem jade floral print nappa leather biker jacket / 5 – Metallic gold leather iPad sleeve / 6 – Nike Liberty print trainers / 7 – Habitat’s knot knitted round pouf

 

Dec 16, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The matter with human beans”

the BFG went on, “is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.”

Once described as “without question the most successful children’s writer in the world” Roald Dahl’s creations continue to capture the imaginations
of children worldwide. Danny De Vito, who played Mr Wormwood and directed the film version of Matilda, astutely commented –
“Dahl will lead a child out onto a windy limb and then suddenly he’ll place a ladder underneath and the child will be able to get safely to the ground.”

More recently, the fantastic Tim Minchin composed the soundtrack for the now extremely successful RSC West End show Matilda. And this year Sam
Mendes brought Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to the stage, proving that none of these tales have lost any of their magic or sparkle.

So, if you need a little bit of fizz popping in your life and don’t have time to gobble funk around, then take a look at these scrumdiddlyumptious Roald Dahl
inspired items that we have gathered together just for you.

Roald-Dahl-fan-ideas
1 – Willy Wonka would like this Bottle set from Heals / 2 – Matilda’s Desk and chair from Molly Meg /
3 – Top Hat light from Mr J Designs / 4 – Crocodile bowl from Colourful Dove / 5 – Tony’s Chocolonely bars / 6 – The complete Roald Dahl collection / 7 – Popping candy! / 8 – Fantastic Mr Fox bag  / 9 – Quentin Blake’s Matilda illustration from The Roald Dahl Store / 10 – Fantastic Fox in a Xmas jumper! / 11 – Donut tree ornament from Zazzle / 12 – Confetti Sweatshirt  / 13 – Wooden toy gum-ball dispenser from Carousel / 14 – Quentin Blake Skateboarders Walllpaper / 15 – The Enormous Crocodile / 16 – Magic light box by Dandy Star / 17 – Sherbert Pips / 18 – Ticonderoga pencils. Everything Roald Dahl wrote, he wrote with these! / 19 – Chocolate Bar Duvet cover & sheet / 20 – Book Worm Tote bag  / 21 – George’s Marvelous Medicine T-shirt

WIN A JUMPER!      WIN A JUMPER!       WIN A JUMPER!      WIN A JUMPER!
Sign up to our mailing list between now and December 12th and be in with a chance of winning a Christmas Fox Jumper.
On Friday December 13th we will be selecting a “lucky” human bean from the list. Good luck!

 

 

sign-up-logo

Nov 28, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Panto Season Alternatives

Pantomime season is upon us … oh yes it is! And there are plenty of hairy-chinned dames and celebrities in Aladdin slippers to choose from. But if you’re looking for something equally theatrical, yet slightly alternative, then perhaps the following may tickle your fancy.

LONDON
If you’ve taken a stroll down London’s Southbank recently you could not have missed The National Theatre’s large red pop up venue “The Shed”.

This December they have a Christmas show with a difference for children over 4 years.

The Elephantom
10th December – 11th January

The Elephantom

“We have an Elephantom.? He turned up on a Tuesday, ?just after tea-time.”

“At first, the little girl is thrilled to have a ghost-elephant living in her house. He makes life so much more fun! But Elephantoms are a bit too big for houses and before long, he’s causing a lot of trouble.”
For children and grown-ups of all ages, the story of one little girl and her larger-than-life friend is brought to life with extraordinary puppetry and theatrical ingenuity.

Tickets £12
, book here
Nb: Relaxed Performance, Sat 11 Jan, 11.30am – For anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory or communication disorders, learning disabilities or families with young children.

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EDINBURGH

The Selfish Giant
3 December – 24 December

Family friendly theatre-makers in residence, Wee Stories, present a brand new production of their acclaimed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s poignant story.

selfish Giant

After the Selfish Giant builds an enormous wall around his garden to stop the animals from playing there, Snow, Hail, Frost and the North Wind take up permanent residence. When spring eventually returns to Scotland on the other side of the wall, in the Giant’s garden it remains winter all year round…

With dance, music, humour and a sprinkling of fairytale magic, not to mention some extreme weather, this is the perfect family Christmas show for our new Festival Theatre Studio space.

Tickets £7.50, book here

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CARDIFF
Cardiff Castle plays host to a magical adaptation of the Fairy Tales of Monty Python’s Terry Jones.

Silly Kings
19 December – 4 January

Silly Kings

“Once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away lived a princess, four crazy knights, an angry fairy, a dragon (of sorts) and a very Silly King. The award-winning National Theatre Wales roll into the magical grounds of Cardiff Castle for a Christmas feast of family fun.

Fly away with a cast of extraordinary characters and madcap musicians, telling tall tales from a kingdom east of the moon and west of the sun. Lovingly made for children and very, very silly adults…”
Tickets £17.50, book here

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NEW YORK

Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi
7th – 15th December at The Guggenheim Museum, NYC.

Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi

One of the few symphonies created for children is Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved Peter and the Wolf.

“Isaac Mizrahi will narrate Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic as George Manahan conducts the Juilliard Ensemble. A special cast directed by Mizrahi perform a new dance choreographed by John Heginbotham, bringing the 30-minute story to life and helping the young and young at heart to hear and learn the various instruments of the orchestra.”

A fantastic way to engage young listeners, and introduce them to classical music.
Tickets $35,  book here

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 26, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shop Up

 

The Shop Up

Our fabulousy fashionable friends at Babyccino Kids are hosting a stylish and fun shopping event next weekend called “The Shop Up”.
And Tootsa MacGinty will be there!

The Shop Up will take place on Sunday December 1st and Monday December 2nd, just in time for the holidays.
It will be held at the Cecil Sharp House in the trendy, family-friendly neighbourhood of Primrose Hill.

Babyccino Kids has organised a whole host of fun activities and goodies for children at the event, including:
– a colouring wall
– children’s temporary tattoos from Tattyoo
– a balloon man and
– children’s musician/entertainer.

There is also a lovely little cafe located downstairs where visitors can enjoy hot drinks and nibbles and where children can colour and play.
In addition, shops (including yours truly) will be offering discounts, prizes and canvas tote bags will be handed out to all visitors.

For more info and a list of other participating brands visit the shop up website.

I look forward to seeing you there!
Kate x

Where: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill, London, NW1 7AY

When: 12-7pm December 1st and 9-4pm December 2nd

 The Shop Up Babyccino Kids

 

Nov 25, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , | Leave a comment

Totoro Inspired

The very first film I took my daughter to see at the Cinema was Studio Ghibli’s beautiful animation “Arrietty” which I briefly wrote about here.
Sadly, Studio Ghibli’s founder, Hayao Miyazaki (now 72 years old) has just released what he has said will be his final film.

And so to celebrate the film maker’s amazing catalogue I’ve put together this little “My Neighbour Totoro” inspired collection.

If you’ve yet to discover Studio Ghibli’s animations, “Totoro” is the perfect place to begin. I guarantee your children will love it. Totoro is classic Miyazaki; A strong environmental message and girl characters in the lead roles without even a hint of a “girls can do / girl power” agenda; Sadly so very rare in family films and animations.

Sayonara Hayao!

My-Neighbour-Totoro1My-Neighbour-Totoro2

1- Bright traditional leather satchels from The Cambridge Satchel Co / 2- Chelsea Boots with bright elastic panel from Devries 1972 / 3- Tootsa MacGinty’s soft corduroy smock dress  4- Igloo Kid’s Clip Hair Bow / 5-  Little Clay Ocarina Pendant / 6- Gorgeous Japanese Bento box from Bento & Co / 7- Simple Wooden Flower press from Absorbent Minds Montessori 8- Classic “Roadster” bike from Pashley / 9- An Allot(ment) in a Box from allotinabox / 10- Bright patterned socks & tights at Boden. Additional images taken from “My Neighbour Totoro” + some lovely vintage seed packets.

 

Nov 04, 2013 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment