Porter Colline for Tootsa MacGinty Pegs | An Interview with Carrie Hill

… Drumroll please …

Today we are delighted to launch our limited edition hand painted Porter Colline for Tootsa MacGinty Pegs! Wearing Tootsa MacGinty jumpers, this fashionable pair will bring instant colour and joy to your home. They are the perfect gift to yourself, or, if you’re very selfless, someone else.

porter colline tootsa macginty bear and fox pegs

Porter Colline for Toosa MacGinty Pegs

Exclusively available at the Tootsa MacGinty shop you will have to be mighty quick if you want some! Click HERE to get yours.

So, to celebrate their arrival, we chatted to the busy artist herself – the very talented Carrie Hill. We talk pegs, China Town, inspiration, and Instagram.

Carrie Hill + Son

(Carrie Hill and her son)

TootsaWe are really excited to be selling your beautiful and unique peg characters. How did you come up with the idea?

Carrie: My first batch of pegs were borne of a random find in Camden Passage Market. I was making a promo for the TV company I was working for at the time, and was on the desperate hunt for vintage kid’s alphabet blocks, but found none.  I saw the blank pegs and bought them with no clue what I was going to do with them, and indeed did absolutely nothing with them for years. One day I had them on my desk at the same time as some paints, and decided I’d dress them!  A few friends said they liked them and one of those friends was Tootsa MacGinty’s Kate, who used them, and other props, for your SS13 photo shoot (see below). She then borrowed them to dress her London trade show stand where Molly Meg spotted them. The rest is history.

Surfers Against Sewage Tootsa MacGinty Porter Colline

Porter Colline props

Tootsa: Following the arrival of your son you had a change of career. Was this something you had always wanted to do?

Carrie: Hmm, yes and no. I’ve always made things, I can’t remember a time I didn’t. But, never for sale, and never so publicly. I had always thought that it would change how I felt about making things if I had to work to deadlines. I also didn’t know if I had it in me to be creative on demand, or indeed consistently.. I had always imagined I’d go back to work in TV. I still never say never, but I had never imagined how much I’d enjoy painting tiny peg folk and seeing them disappear off around the world.

Tootsa: Working for yourself has so many benefits, but how do you stay disciplined and focussed? 

Carrie: With a 4 yr old only in nursery for 3 hours a day, and a partner that travels frequently for work, I have to say, it’s a challenge. Looming deadlines are an amazing motivator! Truth be told it’s a ‘work when you can, where you can’ scenario. Very often I’m to be found at my desk, dinner by my side, working when my son is asleep. And my top tip is podcasts. It feels less like work with a fascinating podcast, a cup of tea and the rest of the household asleep!

Porter Colline for Molly Meg

Tootsa: Where do you gather inspiration?

Carrie: I follow over 4000 Instagram accounts, it’s insane. I adore looking at lots of Japanese accounts, vintage homeware accounts, interiors, clothing, pattern and colour enthusiasts and find so much inspiration there.

I’m a self-confessed internet addict, I love all the usuals, Pinterest of course, and Flickr also has fantastic photo pools of people with amazing collections. I love vintage advertising annuals, children’s books and second hand bookstores I cannot so much as pass without quickly having a look at old covers and colourways. I love found objects, and am constantly looking at the ground, picking up glittery bits and papers for future use. I have desktop folders brimming with images I’ve saved since the dawn of the internet, and real life paper folders full of cuttings from before that!

Tootsa: Are there specific places that you like go to?

Carrie: Hands-down in every single city I’ve ever lived in, Chinatown. The colour, the packaging, the food, the oddities in the over-stuffed shops have always and always will delight and inspire me.

Tootsa: How do you strike a balance between work and family? 

Carrie: Ooh, sore point. I don’t. My son starts school in September and as much as I will never wish away these precious days with him, I am looking forward to having the week days to devote to Porter Colline. An Etsy shop is long overdue and I have no fewer than 8 overstuffed Moleskines with sketches and ideas waiting to be realised “when I have more time!”

Porter Colline for Boden

Tootsa: As well as being commissioned by us you have worked with Boden (images above) and have created items for Molly Meg, can you let us in on what exciting projects you are working on at the moment?

Carrie: Right now I’m concentrating on custom peg orders. Families, wedding pegs, anniversary pegs, place settings, party bags, on and on. I’m forever inspired by the ideas others have for me to realise. Instagram really has changed my life and I make pegs for people all around the world. I love the custom orders as they involve such a lovely exchange. I get photos and stories sent to me to work with, and it’s a slower more experimental process. It just so happens that it’s also a perfect way of maximising these last precious months before I send my little boy off into the world of full-time school as I can take longer on each commission. I’m very lucky and grateful for the ability to tailor this little business to my real life.

Carrie Hill Instagram Food

Tootsa: We love seeing what delights you are eating via Instagram (see above). What favourite quick and healthy recipe can you share with us?

Carrie: I’m going to cheat a bit here and give you the recipe for my favourite dressing. It’s such a multi-purpose winner. I put it on courgette noodles with chicken or smoked tofu, on salads, brown rice, raw and cooked vegetables, even drizzled on avocado on toast. I make up a batch and keep it in a jam jar in the fridge- it keeps for a week, though never lasts that long. It’s uber simple.

Carrie’s Favourite Dressing

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp sweet white miso (I use Clearspring)

2 Tbsp tahini paste

3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or apple cider vinegar for the health benefits, but not as popular with young tastebuds)

Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and then slowly add a small amount of water until it’s at the desired consistency. You can also loosen the mix with more vinegar if you like a sharper dressing. I do!

But taste, adjust, taste, adjust.. My motto for all my cooking!

I’ve been known to add cayenne, sesame seeds, Japanese Furikake seasoning and coriander when the mood takes me. Though I do remove a portion for the tiny one before I go tarting it up too much.

P.S My favourite way to have it is in a salad of grated carrot, grated firm green pear, cubed avocado and sesame seeds, which I then wrap up like a sushi roll in toasted nori (seaweed) sheets. Don’t make the dressing too runny in this instance or it will be a soggy roll!

Tootsa: What does a nice day out look like for your family?

Carrie: Without fail, a quick trip to Planet Organic for our family’s current obsession, a hot almond cacao. I rarely start a day out without a cup of this in my hand at the moment. And I’d say that at the age my boisterous boy is, it’s park life all the way. Hampstead Heath, Highgate Woods, Trent Park, Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park, or my personal favourite Golders Hill Park (mostly because I can usually convince the team that a trip to Atari-Ya sushi shop is in order as it’s on the way) I like to eat! I’m attempting to cultivate that love in my son at every available opportunity. So if there’s food and a park, we’re all happy. And I really do subscribe to the adage that if the parents are happy the kids are happy. If everyone gets a wish fulfilled, the day is usually a good one.

Tootsa: We know that your son is a fan of Tootsa MacGinty – what are his top picks for SS15? 

Carrie: He was immediately drawn to the sunrise jacket, but who wouldn’t be! And the animal print intarsia knit. And very sweetly the denim shorts announcing ‘I’d choose those for Lois’ – a friend of the family!


Keep up to date with Carrie’s work on her website / instagram / twitter

and snap up your Tootsa-wearing pegs right HERE.

Porter Colline for Tootsa MacGinty Animal Pegs


posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg 

Apr 02, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weather Watch | Cloud Spotting

It feels a little like the weather is taking a bit of time to catch up with our Spring feelings – most frustrating.

So, as we will the winter chill away, we have our eyes on some clouds. But not just in the sky of course – we also like some clouds in our home and on our clothes!

CLOUD-SPOTTING

1 Cloud Diamond Ring by Bibi van der Velden / 2 Gola x Cath Kidston Mini Clouds Trainers / 3 The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney / 4 Rainy Pot Plant Watering Filter / 5 Valorie Sunny Glitter Pouch by Anya Hindmarch / 6 Tatty Devine April Showers Cloud Necklace / 7 Cloud Nine Coaster Chopping Board from House of Rym / 8 Sunrise Quilted Cotton Jacket from Tootsa MacGinty / 9 The White Pepper Company Cloud Print Leggings


This week the wonderful illustrator Jenna Kunnas posted a picture on her Instagram (TinyLooksIllustration) that we just had to share with you. Mainly featuring her own child, Jenna describes the account as “illustrated tiny fashion pictures”. How delighted we were when she featured our very own Sunrise Quilted Jacket!

Jenna Kunnas Tootsa MacGinty Sunrise Quilted Jacket Illustration

Check out more of Jenna’s wonderful work on her website / tiny looks website / instagram


Did you know there is a Cloud Appreciation Society?

Gavin Pretor-Piney (the author of The Cloud Spotter’s Guide) is the founder and in this video he urges us to step off our digital treadmill, and take a moment to look up at the sky.

He says, “Clouds bring a beauty and drama to our lives, and the abstraction of them gives us time to develop new ideas.”

 


And lastly if you are feeling a bit crafty, why not make your very own cloud and rainbow?

We love this diy tutorial over at Meet The Dubiens. Sure to make you smile!

Happy Cloud and Rainbow DIY tutorial

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Mar 26, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Temperley Interview | “Make” Mother’s Day Giveaway

Previously the Commercial Director at Temperley London where she worked alongside her sister Alice, Mary Temperley has recently launched Make Skincare - her own range of natural skincare for face and body.

Following the birth of her second son three years ago, Mary decided to leave Temperley London and move to South Somerset with her husband so they could focus on their family. Always interested in the properties of skincare, she dedicated several years to training and researching natural methods of developing products. Initial batches were given to family and friends and with positive feedback and knowledge gathered, Make Skincare was born.

Mary is now mother to three boys, Phoenix 6yrs, Rufus 3yrs, and Flynn 9 months old.

We had a chat with Mary to find out more about her exciting new range and, very generously, she has given us a box of products worth over £100 for one lucky winner – perfect timing for Mother’s Day!

Simply add the #TootsaMacGintyComp and share this post on Facebook or Twitter to win.

Mary Temperley Make Skincare Gift Set

Top Row:  MAKE Hands Soft – Vanilla, Ylang Ylang and Black Pepper Hand Cream with Avocado, Jojoba and Vitamin E; MAKE Body Tone – Pink Grapefruit Body Oil with Avocado, Apricot, Kiwi Seed and Vitamin E. Bottom Row: MAKE Feet Revive – Lime, Lemon and Lavender Foot Cream with Apricot, Avocado and Beeswax; MAKE Face Glow – Moringa and Rosehip Face Oil with Rose, Sandalwood and Lavender

Mary & Rufus Temperley

(Mary and Flynn)

Tootsa: What inspired you to launch Make Skincare?

Mary: I was inspired to launch Make after discovering what some of our cosmetics contain and being horrified that we are often so ignorant about what is in the products we use every day. I wanted to know what I was putting on just as I like to know what I eat. The best way to guarantee this was to make it myself, so I knew that I was using the best and most natural ingredients possible.  I also wanted to create something that looks pretty on bathroom shelves with no need to hide away in cupboards.

Tootsa: How do you choose the scents and ingredients?

Mary: Ingredients are chosen based on their function – ensuring they are the most beneficial for the specific area of the body they are used on. The scents are only from essential oils – I never use any artificial perfume – and chosen for their actions so rose is great for the face for instance whereas citrus oils and lavender are suited to the feet. Avocado is one of the best, most nutrient rich oils for the body so is in our body products. Of course, they have to also smell delicious as well as being beneficial so it’s about striking the right balance. I have spent years playing around with recipes before I settled on the current range.

Tootsa: The packaging is also exquisite and unusual– who designed that for you?

Mary: I always wanted to create a colourful range and chose my glass jars years ago-matching colour to the essential oils so pink for rose etc. I came up with the concept and drew all the illustrations, working with a graphic designer friend who realised my ideas. She is one half of the company “Sibling and Rival” along with my brother Henry.

Tootsa: There are plans for launching a children’s range – can you tell us anything more about this? 

Mary: I always wanted to do a baby range of gentle oils, body washes and moisturisers. I make products for my children and know they work but need to find the time to launch this, probably not until next year.

Tootsa: You used to work as the commercial director of Temperley, your sisters successful fashion label, what are the benefits of working for a family business?

Mary: I worked with Alice from the inception of Temperley, launched in 2001, when there were just three of us until about three years ago when I had my second son and moved to Somerset.  The benefit of working together is that you know each other so well, your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes etc. There was an unspoken knowing which you get between siblings, understanding what each other was thinking was very helpful. We were able to support each other during the difficult moments and there is of course, an implicit trust you generally only have with family.

Tootsa: Being a working parent is tricky but also rewarding – how do you manage your work/life balance?

Mary: Being a mum of three boys 6 and under is a challenge while trying to balance a business and a husband working away.  It’s amazing what you can cram into a day if you have to but somehow it works. I have an amazing mum who helps me out and I work odd hours, often when the children are in bed. As a mother, I think you tap into previously unknown strengths to cope with that old cliché of being a multi-tasker. It’s not easy but somehow it works for now.

Tootsa: What do you enjoy doing with your family at the weekends?

Mary: We often go to the South Dorset coast with the boys-Lyme Regis is one of our favourites.  My mum has a horse and cart which we go out on if the weather’s good. You can’t live in Somerset without appreciating the beautiful countryside so we spend as much time as we can outside roaming around trying to burn off the endless amounts of energy our little boys have!

Tootsa: You live in glorious Somerset – a beautiful place to have a holiday, where would you recommend a family visited if on a vacation there?

Mary: I’m biased but I love South Somerset as it somehow feels tucked away and unspoilt but within easy reach of other areas. We have the Somerset Levels where you can walk for miles across wetlands rich with amazing wildlife, lots of pretty villages and interesting places to explore. It is especially good if you are a foodie as there are lots of amazing producers to visit. We are also within half an hour of the gorgeous south Dorset coast or the wilds of Exmoor.

Tootsa: Your parents own a cider farm and distillery called Somerset Cider Brandy Company and Burrow Hill Cider. Do you have a quick recipe you could share with us using cider?

Mary: Cider is a wonderful thing to cook with. A very quick but effective recipe is to smear a chicken with English mustard all over, sprinkle with dried herbs and pour an inch and a half of cider around it. Put in the oven and cook until ready – and you will end up with the most delicious, intensely flavoured  liquid which can be used as a sauce.  Sometimes I thicken it but it is good on its own too.

Tootsa: What would be your perfect gift for Mother’s Day?

Mary: A full body massage would be lovely, a night away or any sort of pampering!

Tootsa: Finally, we know you are a fan of our knitwear but what are your favourites from Tootsa MacGinty’s new SS15 collection?

Mary: I love the African animal jumpers and sweat shirts and the striped denim shorts are adorable!


Here are some of Mary’s favourite Tootsa MacGinty pieces -

Mary-Temperley-Tootsa-Faves

 Shop all items HERE!

And, don’t forget to share this blog post using the hashtag #TootsaMacGintyComp to be in with a chance of winning a box full of “MAKE” goodies!

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Mar 12, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss

Tootsa MacGinty Animals

Today is the fantastic Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday (born this day 1904) and, also, this Thursday just happens to be World Book Day!

We think Dr Seuss is the perfect source for a character. Last year we put together some outfits – take a look.

Just like Dr. Seuss Tootsa MacGinty loves animals – whether hidden in pockets or on shoulders, they’re always to be found somewhere.

Our new Spring / Summer collection “The Kids Go Wild” is inspired by the wilds of Africa, so expect to find lots of animals and bold, bright, safari themed prints!

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr Seuss

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Mar 03, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Kids Go Wild

Tootsa MacGinty’s new Summer collection The Kids Go Wild will be arriving in a matter of days!
Inspired by the wild animals, vivid colours, prints and textiles of Africa.
It is bold, colourful and, most of all, fun! 
Take a look through the catalogue ….

view-our-lookbook

SS15 Tootsa MacGinty outfits

To celebrate the launch we have found some products that fit right in to the look.

Animal print has found a whole new lease of vibrant life!

THE KIDS GO WILD

 

1 Globe Blazer skateboard / 2 Limited Animal Print Kids Booties by Vevian / 3 Sabre Zebra Cutlery set from Amara / 4 Just Artifacts washi tape / 5 Tootsa MacGinty Mixed Print Jumper / 6 Happy Socks Leopard Print / 7 See Spot Run pillow from All Modern / 8 Teal Animal Print Headphone Skins for your Beats / 9 Oh Squirrel Print Pouch

 

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

 

Feb 09, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Lines

Happy New Year and a warm welcome to 2015!

And now cue the massive post-Christmas clear outs and never ending trips to the charity shop – yes?

It’s always good to de-clutter and create space to start the new year on the right foot, and right now
we are all about the bright, clean lines and stripped back approach.

So, we’ve chosen a few items to achieve just that.
Updating furniture and shelving can add a whole new lease of life to tired corners and proper storage
will make life that little bit more manageable.

Start as you mean to go on!

 clean-lines

1 Nama 2015 Calendar / 2 Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint / 3 Wall Stirrup Shelf Brackets from Quarter Twenty / 4 Pot De Cuisine from Hema / 5 Gosto Copper Storage Baskets / 6 Bisley Red Orange Filing Cabinet / 7 Colour Block Planner from Poketo / 8 Slim Touch Tables from Clippings 

 

 

posted by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

Jan 08, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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