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.
“Dawa” jumper in Charcoal (moon) & Chocolate (sun) | “Mortimere” jumper in Deep Blue (cloud) – all in stock soon.
Inspired by this, we have found 9 gorgeous items that come to life with their very own faces.
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
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.
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!
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 Ribbons | Table Runner | Baskets
posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg
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.
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
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
0207 478 0100
BRIGHTON 3rd July at 8pm
posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg
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!
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
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.
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.
(‘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.
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 -
April 20th / April 27th / May 4th / May 11th 2014
15.00 – 16.00
“With Matisse in Tangier”
June 3rd 2014
Cinema event: Matisse Live from Tate Modern: at cinemas throughout the UK
Matisse Sunday lates -
Every Sunday April 27th to August 24th
20.00 – 22.30
Out of Hours: Matisse Cut Outs
Monday May 19th
18.30 – 20.00
Courses and workshops
Poetry and Serious Play: Matisse, Words and Paper
Mondays from June 2nd to July 7th
Cutting into colour
Monday June 9th at 18.45
and Monday July 14th at 20.45
See you there!
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:
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?
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.
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!
(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.
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!
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.
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.
“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…
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
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!
1 / Candle Card 2 / Will zoo be mine? 3 / Wrapping paper 4 / Woven Heart 5 / You rule
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.
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
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!
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.
@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”
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
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 -
/ 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
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 …
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 …
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
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
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!
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
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
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 ….
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
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.
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!
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.
10th December – 11th January
“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.
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.
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
Cardiff Castle plays host to a magical adaptation of the Fairy Tales of Monty Python’s Terry Jones.
19 December – 4 January
“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
Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi
7th – 15th December at The Guggenheim Museum, NYC.
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.
For more info and a list of other participating brands visit the shop up website.
I look forward to seeing you there!
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 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.
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.
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.
The collection is on sale now at Selfridges and, in December, on the Tatty Devine website.
For more information visit www.tattydevine.com
PSssst: & any friends / family reading ….well now you know just what to get me for Christmas ; )
1- Creepy cocktail recipes from Cupcakes and Cashmere / 2- Boo Headband from Urban Outfitters / 3- Emilio Cavallini spider web tights 4- Bat Sunglasses from ASOS / 5- Little Moon ring from Leif / 6- Stage Dive nail varnish from Top Shop
WHAT’S ON ?
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)
1- Charlotte Olympia Trick or Treat embroidered suede slippers / 2- Halloween Wedding neck tie / 3- Bolt Diamond Necklace from ShopBop 4- Martha Stewart’s decoupage Halloween balloons / 5- Halloween print pj shirt from TopShop / 6- Geist UV Glow-in-the-dark Nail Varnish from Illamasqua 7- DIY Gold Pumpkin idea from Wit & Whistle
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)
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).
1- Our very own Pumpkin Sweatshirt / 2- Dotty pumpkin tutorial found in the ever delicious “Sweet Paul Magazine” / 3- Fabulous dress up collection by H&M with proceeds going towards UNICEF including these awesome accessories (4) / 5- Pumpkin Beanie from Asos / 6- Spooky bat pegs from SuckUK / 7- If it rains on trick-or-treat night this Stella McCartney umbrella! / 8- Gorgeous Batman Cape from mylittleday
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 children we live in a world of imagination. For some of us, that world continues into adulthood.” - Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets.
Puppets are a fantastic way to engage children, and release their creativity. Imaginations can run wild with story telling, characters and magical worlds.
To compliment the “cool!” Tootsa MacGinty puppet sweatshirts we have chosen a few other items to inspire the little puppeteers in your life.
And a little something to bring a smile to your face from the ever brilliant Sesame Street
“You know she’s a girl who’s gonna change the world, she’s gonna make the word a better world” – Oh Yeah!
And if you fancy seeing some live puppetry, then take a look at
- The Suspense 2013 London Puppetry Festival (25 oct – 3 nov)
- 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
With a great selection of films for all the family throughout the month, the afternoon of animated shorts on October 13th for younger audiences looks particularly fantastic.
With a running time of 69 mins the afternoon will include:
“Hedgehogs and the City” from Latvia
A group of hedgehogs and their friends raise money to reclaim their forest.
“The Fox Who Followed the Sound” from Iran
A little yellow fox searches for the source of sound.
“The Meatballs and the Sorry Bullies” from Sweden
Some naughty meatballs misbehave.
Further info and tickets on sale here.
And you can be sure they will sell out quickly!
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 -
1 – Tootsa MacGinty Striped Henley T-shirt with a funny little bear on the shoulder.
2 – Our very own “Fleet Forest” sulphur dyed Chinos; fully lined and beautifully pre-washed.
3 – Super cosy chunky knit Wild Acre Wood Cardigan. Perfect for Autumn.
4 – “Great Ideas” notebook.
5 – “Know it all” Pencil Set from Present & Correct.
6 – Gorgeous faded brick coloured Herschel Backpack.
7 – Lovely Argyle socks from the equally lovely Shak-Shuka.
8 – Nature Sticker Set available at the v.addictive “The Kid Who”.
9 – Hummel Hi-tops from one of our favourite stockists – Kidsen.
Tootsa MacGinty are back in New York for the Playtime Trade show and the US launch of our Spring/Summer 2014 collection “Summer in the City”.
We’ll be on Booth F7 – come and say hello!