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.
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!
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.
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.
“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.
Family friendly theatre-makers in residence, Wee Stories, present a brand new production of their acclaimed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s poignant story.
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.
“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
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
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.
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.
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.
How exciting to hear of the collaboration between two of our favourite designers Tatty Devine and Rob Ryan.
Friends since 2001, the artists met in East London and have inspired and supported each other since.
There’s a lovely article in the guardian in which they talk about their relationship over the last decade. Well worth a read.
And peek inside the hirsute head of my Pimlico neighbour Rob Ryan here “All you need is love” apparently!
Below the Creative Director & Tatty Devine co-founder, Harriet Vine chats with the fantastic papercut artist about their new collaboration.
They share the story behind this exclusive collection of Sterling Silver, 18 carat Gold & 18 carat Rose Gold plated jewellery, all handmade in London.
40Winks Hotel – Stepney Green, London
On the 31st October, raconteurs Xanthe Gresham and Cat Weatherill will leave their normal abode to creep around the luxury private dining room in the Exchange to regale guests with Tales of Terror. Whilst sipping a gin-infused Corpse Reviver No. 2 cocktail, guests will also be treated to a ukulele performance by chanteuse Tricity Vogue.
Tickets are £25 and include nibbles, cocktails and a goody bag. The best ghoulish mask wins a prize. For more information contact 40 Winks (via conde naste traveller)
Shopping at Selfridges Selfridges goes dark and mysterious this Halloween with its Dead Cool season, when a number of in-store events will pay homage to the gothic glamour trend. Vogue stylist Bay Garnett is curating a pop-up thrift store in the women’s street-fashion department honouring bygone icons such as Edie Sedgwick. Beauty, homeware, food & drink and kidswear departments are also showcasing the most stylish of macabre items.
Shoppers feeling particularly cannibalistic can treat themselves to an edible autopsy before heading to AF Vandevorst’s moveable art-infused shop-within-a-shop, which is designed to emulate a hospital room. (via conde naste traveller)
40th Anniversary Village Halloween Parade NYC
This year’s Halloween Parade theme is Revival, and the parade will honor New Yorkers who stepped up to help the community after Sandy. They’ll be joined by the awe-inspiring puppets created by Superior Concept Monsters, the Madagascar Institute, the Puppeteers’ Cooperative and Basil Twist’s studio, among others, as well as the Hungry March Band, the On the Lam Band and 35 more musical troupes.” (via timeout new york)
We love your feedback and so when you told us how much you liked our Glenmore cords last winter we just had to bring them back for another season!
To celebrate, and for a very limited time, we are offering you 25% off a pair when you enter the discount code: Glenmore20
(offer expires at midnight on Sunday October 20th)
corduroy |ˈkôrdəˌroi| noun : a thick cotton fabric with velvety ribs. Corduroy: corde du roi (from French, the cord of the King)
-In pre-washed 100% cotton our Glenmore corduroys are delivered super soft and ready-to-wear for babies, toddlers and children. -Built to grow with your child our corduroys have comfy, stretchy rib lined pockets, an adjustable waistband and are fully lined; Designed to look super stylish rolled up or down.
-And of course we believe it is the little things that count so for kids there is an animal peeking from the back pocket to discover…
Halloween is such fun when you’ve a child in tow. Here are some cool Halloween dress-up ideas including our very own “pumpkin sweatshirt” – for this year we are sticking our tongues out at those hideous gendered costumes that appear in toy shops and supermarket isles (check out the cartoon at the bottom of this post).
Halloween Makery If you fancy getting crafty this Halloween, here are a few ideas to inspire.
Pop over to Mr Printables and make these sweet little geometric ghost boxes from wax paper (left)
Decorate the house with this fantastic Jack Skellington garland – all the details over at Spoonful (middle)
Or add a little spookie to your cookies with these fantastic wafer papers from Cookie Pixie (right)
The English Heritage website has tonnes of Halloween and half term fun available. Are you brave enough for a Halloween Family sleepover in Kenilworth Castle Warwickshire, a night time ghost tour of Bolsover Castle Deryshire, or some chilling tales and tours at Audley End House just outside Cambridge. Check the website for details.
If you are in London, the London Eye has a fantastic Halloween schedule as part of its Witch Academy – story telling, riddles, stilt walking witches and juggling ghouls!
Also in the city, it’s all Boo! at London Zoo – explore the shop of horrors, hear terrifying tales and create your own creepy crafts!
- As part of this, the Little Angel Puppet Theatre in Islington are performing a version of Macbeth, with the wonderful Helen McCrory voicing Lady Macbeth (Recommended for over 12s).
- And, strictly for the adults, Wrong Crowd Theatre are touring with their award winning show Hag – catch it in London, Bristol and Plymouth.
“Infused with a kind of anarchic charm and a strong whiff of magic.” Time Out ✭✭✭✭
A child’s first experience in the cinema is definitely an interesting one – the excitement, the popcorn, the inability to whisper …
This October, from the 9th to 19th, it’s the 57th BFI Film Festival showcasing the best talent from in front of and behind the camera. The line up is very exciting – 235 feature films and 134 short films from 57 countries around the world.
“This year’s festival has a wide range of different films from all over the world and gives families and children the chance to come and explore different cultures and countries. Some of our foreign language screenings are marked up to tell you when actors will be reading the subtitles over headphones so that everyone can join in … why not try something a little bit different…” – The BFI
I can still remember the rattle of a shiny new tin pencil case as it bounced about in my new backpack & the whiff of the much coveted “swiss roll smelly rubber”(?!) as if it were yesterday. And covering my text books in pretty wrapping paper (so that they would last longer?!)….or was that just the rule at my north London comprehensive?!
Anyway, here are some *new* back-to-school suggestions from me to you -
I have a small obsession with Japanese design. If you’ve ever been you will be familiar with their natural ability
to beautifully present and wrap anything from a sticky red bean bun to a silk scarf.
I am generalising but there’s more than a whiff of obsessive-compulsive perfectionism which is quite breathtaking.
The Japanese aesthetic really is a graphic designer’s nirvana and a great source of inspiration for Tootsa MacGinty.
If you’re anything like me or for a little escapism – check out these Pinterest boards here and here.
We love how consistantly busy the schedule for the V&A is. And, that it successfully caters for all generations.
Creativity is at the very heart of the V&A. As part of a primary school visit or to a world-class designer, the collections and designs on
show provide an unsurpassable source of inspiration and ideas to creators of every kind and every age.
Quite a few of their events this summer have caught our eye, these two in particular -
Club to Catwalk Starting on 10 July (until Feb 2014), “Discover the creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980s in a major exhibition at the V&A. Through more than 85 outfits, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s showcases the bold and exciting new looks by the most experimental young designers of the decade, including Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett, Wendy Dagworthy and John Galliano”
Friday Late – the “original contemporary late night event” on the last Friday night of each month
Live performances, cutting-edge fashion, debates, one-off displays and installations, special guests, bar and food, guest DJs and late
night exhibition opening.
The next event “Dalston Takeover” is on June 28th featuring artists and performers from Hakney’s Dalston.
The great thing about visiting the V&A is that it’s child friendly. If you are lucky enough to have a little sunshine, be sure to head into the
courtyard to The John Madejski Garden and have a paddle (don’t forget a towel!).
The shop is also a great destination: “To inspire, to play, to design or simply to enjoy, our selection of games, toys, craft kits and activities is distinctive and refreshingly different and has something for everyone.”
Look carefully and you might just find a little stitched creature or maybe even a lollipop hiding on cuffs, under the collars and poking out of the pockets on Tootsa MacGinty clothes. It’s always fun for kids to have little details to discover!
But we’re not the only ones who think embroidery rocks right now. Home wares, fashion, accessories and “yarn bombing” – across the board it features just about everywhere! Some of our favourites:
1. Hope Cove striped knitted jumper from yours truly with a cute little embroidered crab.
2. Alice Wiese embroidery of her sisters sneakers when she was a child, from her series of work called “The Wonder Years”.
Apologies for the capital-centric post but I just wanted to give London based parents a heads-up about happenings
in Hackney over the course of June.
For starters there’s the Dalston Children’s Festival which is a must visit. Take your pick of yoga, music, art and dance
classes, a fabulous adventure playground and plenty of film screenings. And better yet - everything is free!
Secondly, June 13th to 16th, a selection of Tootsa MacGinty styles can be found at the uber cool “Dalston Department Store”.
We jumped at the chance to be included in the kidswear department, curated by talented stylist Ashlyn Gibson (founder
of family lifestyle store “Olive Loves Alfie“). “Dalston Department store is a brand new pop-up store showcasing collections from the latest in British design talent, in the creative heart of East London.”
The park has long been recognised (since the 1970′s) as an experimental site for graffiti artists and skateboarders; “a performance space of sorts” (according to this week’s Time Out London) and a home to skaters of all ages, both sexes and all levels of ability.
Many of my school friends would spend whole weekends (rain or shine) perfecting ollies, nose-slides and kick flips in the shelter of “the undercroft”. They have such strong and happy memories that I’ve literally seen tears well-up in their eyes at the thought their children will not be able to enjoy the same experience.
I feel quite strongly that what London doesn’t need is yet another “Starbucks” and ought to be cherishing spaces that encourage activity and sport. Feel the same way? …..then pop on over and sign the petition pronto!
On a skate-vibe here are some recent slide-y finds;
1. Second Shot and BotanyCo. Eyewear have come together to bring you one of a kind Bamboo Skate Shades.
Made from recycled skate boards.
9. Unless you are skateboarding legend Tony Hawk don’t try this at home! He and his four year old daughter skate together regularly. There are more fabulous photos of them on his Instagram ….here & here for example.
We LOVE this (below). I’ve spied quite a few longboard skaters pushing strollers and cruising up and down the footpath of The Hudson in Manhattan but nothing like these! No doubt the Belgian design agency who have teamed up with Quinny to create “The longboard stroller” also spotted the trend.
And finally, for a little hit of beautiful inspiration … Carving The Mountains featuring the Longboard Girls Crew
You’ve only a couple of weeks left to catch the very well publicised Lichtenstein retrospective at Tate Modern; an amazing exhibition showcasing one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. We had much fun slapping the magnetic pop art to the walls of the Pop Room and creating our own ‘masterpieces’.
Now it is not hard to see the influence of pop art on culture and fashion. Bold colours, fun typography and a hint of the comic strip are very much in style at the moment.
Here are a few items we’ve spied that are definitely under the pop art spell.
1. Beth Fenton styles this amazing “Pop Art” inspired shoot for Vogue Japan, March 2013
1. From E-Side, the Tapikid Fuchsia 100% Organic Playmat.
2. The “Spencer” sunglasses from the awesome Warby Parker
Their stores are like secret institutions (…shhh there’s one hidden upstairs in The Puck building on Lafayette, NYC).
We love their buy a pair / give a pair business model.
3. Square Wooden Watch by WeWood (100% wood) from E-Side
4. A cork ipad holder AND doorstop (yes you heard right) from E-Side
5. Mini Moderns environmentally responsible paint in lido.
We love their strap-line “Made in the UK by nice people”
6. Hand Crochet Alpaca Butterfly shadow box from Oeuf Their “Be Good” mission statement is a beautiful read & includes - “Be Good™ is not just something we say, it’s something we mean.
As parents we want our children to inherit a world that is better than we found it.
At Oeuf, we have the ability to make that happen.”
7. This cute Geos kids desk is made from sustainable bamboo.8. Festival Wallpaper in concrete from Mini Moderns (on paper from sustainble forests).
9. Beautiful Dakota Linen Cushion made from natural flax by Folklore
Folklore donate 15% of profit to a different not for profit organisation every year.
This year they are supporting Shanti Microfinance which was set up to promote entrepreneurship and sustainability in some of India’s poorest slums and villages.
10. Striking enamel plate in deep red from Folklore
11. (Below) The Lorax by Dr Seuss was originally published in 1971 and tells the tale of a little boy who lives in a very polluted town.
He visits a man called “The Once-ler” to find out why his surroundings are in such a bad way. The story is widely recognized as a fable highlighting the danger of corporate greed and its detrimental effect on the environment. In the light of the recent disastrous factory collapse now, more than ever, this children’s story is highly relevant.
So when you’re done clicking about, grab a cuppa’ and watch this (preferably with a little one perched upon your knee!).
It’s amazing how quickly a child will grasp the funny inventive Dr Seuss-y type names without question!
This fabulous little story making the headlines on Huffington Post today made me quite literally “LOL” and reminded me to post an entry on something for the Dads.
Thankfully, there are now some fantastic websites and publications available which provide a refreshing change to the usual emphasis on the mother-child bond and celebrate the often less talked about daddys. Two such publications - Kindling Quarterly and For Fathers - creatively explore the concept of fatherhood.
Kindling Quarterly say
“Through essays, interviews, editorials, art, and photography we highlight creative individuals whose work and lives are inseparable from their role as a parent. There is no shortage of familiar portrayals of dads in media yet we aim to present a thoughtful dialogue about fatherhood that is missing from our cultural landscape.”
“project celebrates the importance of fatherhood through photography, film, and all other creative artistic mediums. This project attracts a demographic of active fathers, young professionals, stay at home dads and all men around the world looking for daily inspiration.”
Creator, Marlon Cole, says, “The project is a celebration of fatherhood through candid photographs and other visual aids of fathers and their children. I felt it was important to document the project through the use of visuals, so I reached out to photographers and other visual artists and began curating the site. I also created 4FATHERS Photo Journal, which comes out bi-annually. The whole project is very important and needs to be recognized because there aren’t many firm images that I feel represent fathers, so I felt it was my duty to show that fathers are needed just as much as mothers and by using this project I hope it’ll help lessen the burden of mothers always having to carry the weight of being a parent. Fathers are here, I’m here and I just want to tell that side of the story … I really believe in a child being a child, not having to grow up so fast. I really encourage that especially with my son – I don’t want him to grow up too fast; I want him to enjoy being a child.”
“Start spreading the news….”
This month we launched Tootsa MacGinty in America, exhibiting at the New York edition of the “Playtime” trade show. And oh! what fun we had.
Having studied art and illustration at “Pratt Institute of Art” in Brooklyn (a fair few moons ago!) it felt especially poignant to be taking our very first steps in an overseas market in this very special city.
Tootsa MacGinty’s collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 (or rather Fall/Winter 13!!) received an extremely warm welcome with plenty of US stockists coming on board - watch this space!
Jules Smee, our fabulous press relations person, joined us there and thank goodness she did; we were inundated with enquiries from curious bloggers, journalists and press.
Influential US bloggers Bellisimakids , Petit a Petit & Family , WGSN and StyleSight US have already reported on their findings and cited Tootsa in posts.
And it was a real treat to see a few familiar faces, some also popping across the pond to report on the happenings and new discoveries during the show; Katelyn Mooney from Papier Mache , Flo from Pirouette and Courtney and Esther from Babyccino Kids to name a few.
“If I can make it there ….I’ll make it anywhere” (sic Frank Sinatra)
So see you again soon New York. We are missing you already!
We are currently sharpening our pencils and beginning designs for the new collection for Spring / Summer 2014;
going “against the grain” & designing unisex clothes in a rainbow of colours both girls and boys will enjoy wearing!
I first watched this fantastic stop-motion animation for “Hudson” about a a year ago (it did the ’rounds on Twitter) and it has just popped up
on my timeline again today; felt quite relevant!
Just a quick post to tell you what is happening tomorrow evening.
Voice of a Woman are hosting a screening of the fabulous documentary Miss Representation in London.
This will be followed by discussion and Q&A chaired by Jane Martinson (women’s editor of The Guardian) & Co (see full details below).
We have one ticket left. Send an email pronto if you fancy joining us!
Umpteen rolls of packing tape, countless cardboard boxes, several box cutters and a few scrapes and bruises later and we have finally delivered to all of our stockists.
And what a bright, colourful, playful collection it is. A sight for sore eyes on these, still chilly, February days.
I am particularly fond of it, not least because it is inspired by something very close to my heart – the ocean, the beach, the sea. The surf.
Up until just a few years ago I surfed almost every day (since my teenage years) …I was nuts about it. I still am, although single motherhood and a move back to this beautiful, exciting city called London has meant I’ve had to park my beach-bum here …..for a while.
My daughter and I still spend our summer months down in the south west of France and surf any opportunity we get. Perhaps we will return to that lifestyle full-time again.
But in the meantime I am so proud to launch, as an integral part of our Summer range, this small collection of organic cotton t-shirts. Proceeds from the sale of each t-shirt will be donated to the environmental organisation “Surfers Against Sewage” and the tireless work they do campaigning to keep our beaches, oceans and the surf a clean and safe environment for our children to play.
These are available to buy on-line or in store at all our major stockists including John Lewis and Fenwick’s department stores.
Don’t be fooled into thinking “Surfers Against Sewage” is some niche organisation, they are actually the UK’s largest environmental campaign group (40,000+ Facebook followers can’t be wrong!). Here is a short documentary, hosted by “Toms”. It’s a great little introduction to SAS‘s fabulous work.
And when you’re done watching, think about signing their “POW” (protect our waves) petition or joining a beach clean-up next month.
And just because, I’ll pop this little video of World Surfing Champion – Carissa Moore here.
Inspiration for our daughters! (my little girl could watch this over-and-over!!)
Last weekend we had a wonderful trip down to South West France to shoot our Autumn / Winter 2013 catalogue.
Biarritz and the surrounding area is Tootsa MacGinty’s second home; I lived here for many years and it is where we now share a cosy, leather scented
loft space with like-minded talented creatives; this accessories company & these jewellery designers.
Photo shoots are often a stressful affair made more so in winter with added pressure to get all the shots needed whilst the light lasts. Tom, my brother and our brilliant photographer, avoids working with artificial lighting whenever possible with stunning results.
As a consequence I spend the days prior to each shoot clicking refresh on the weather forecast. Meteo France had forecast rain and storms but when
the day arrived we were blessed with warm southerly winds and hazy wintry sunshine; perfect!
The theme for AW13 is “A Walk in the Woods” and so the Landes forest, where our shoot took place, was an ideal location. The colour palette is autumnal.
Jacquards, prints and embroideries feature forest animals, insects and toadstools. The collection distinctly work wear inspired with sulphur dyed chinos
and brushed cotton lumberjack shirts.
If I could show you I would …..but then I’d have to keep you locked up until the collection launches in July 2013!
So, in the meantime, you will just have to make do with these “behind the scenes” shots.
Un énorme merci à tous pour un photo shoot très réussie!!
Merci a Fifi, Boul, Laurent, Quitterie, Caroline, Elise, Isabelle, Sandra, Dorothée, Rebeca, Julie P et Julie D, Charlotte, Vanessa, Christelle, Gaby et Claire.
Merci beaucoup pour votre patience, aide et enthousiasme! A l’année prochaine! Bises, Kate.
Have you heard? Christmas is coming!
With the amount of fabulous gift guides out, there’s just no excuse for an unimaginative present under the tree this year!
And we are absolutely delighted with the press‘s response to our knitwear; The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Country Living,
Livingetc & more have each chosen to feature them in their Christmas editions!
As a result, a little army of elves have been busy keeping up with demand and I do apologise if we no longer have the style / size you
have asked Santa for! Do let me know and I’ll see if we can find a stockist that does!