30 October 2013

I'm inspired by The Three Bears

Now that the days are getting colder and porridge is back on the breakfast menu, I thought about how much I like bears which come in threes, and golden yellows which remind me of syrup. Here are some lovely bears including the book cover of Goldilocks and the Three Bears by my all-time favourite Japanese illustrator Piu Sudo.

15 October 2013

Neue Freunde Products at Kind + Jugend 2013

Our Brio railway track is a construction toy with real longevity in our house and our collection has grown from a starter set to a giant tub over the years. The little train wagons have often transported dry pasta or rice around the floor, not always successfully!

It was great to see this original idea from  Neue Freunde Products developed  to encourage independent eating. The Railway Breakfast Set takes the concept of playing with food one step further. I love the curved track piece with a saucer to stop spills and the way the cup handle makes a tunnel.

Neue Freunde Products

Neue Freunde Products

Neue Freunde Products

14 October 2013

Looodus at Kind + Jugend 2013 kidsroomzoom!

The Font Alphabet Puzzles from Milan-based company Looodus caught my graphic eye in the kidsroomzoom! design space. Co-founders Kurt Stapelfeldt and Denise Bonenti developed the product for their daughter, Allegra, to explore the aesthetic values and language they aspire to in everyday life.

The puzzles come in an array of gorgeous tonal colours and are beautifully made in the hills of Trivero, Piemonte in Italy from FSC-certified poplar wood. However the most exciting part is that each laser-cut letter is a different typeface carefully chosen for its shape, size and special place in the world of design. I've always loved Playbill (P is an important letter to me - my oldest daughter is called Poppy!) but it's the curvy 'L' from the font Lavanderia which steals the show and is the favourite of designer Kurt.

Looodus Font Alphabet

Looodus Font Alphabet

Looodus Font Alphabet

 Magnetic Alpha-Bits are also being launched for creative and poetic word play. The sixty six letter set includes two full alphabets plus the thirteen most commonly used letters.

Looodus AlphaBits

Looodus AlphaBits

10 October 2013

Jäll & Tofta at Kind + Jugend 2013 kidsroomzoom!

I really love this new Aye Aye blanket from German company Jäll & Tofta. Its simple wave pattern transforms any bed into an adventure. It is made from 100% organically farmed cotton and is GOTS certified.

Aye-Aye blanket by Jäll & Tofta

Rocky bed by Jäll & Tofta

This adds to their collection of beautifully manufactured products with a sustainable ethos. Their Rocky 4-in-one bed is an ingenious and versatile first bed, starting as a rocking cradle for parent and baby, then converting into a toddler bed with different sleeping options.

Rocky bed by Jäll & Tofta

Rocky bed by Jäll & Tofta

Rocky rocks! from jäll & tofta on Vimeo.

Studios Formverleih at Kind + Jugend 2013

I'm going to share some interesting things in the next few posts which I saw on my recent trip to Kind + Jugend in Cologne.
This lovely little fellow is from Formverleih, a small product design studio based in Leipzig Germany. Heavy felt is tied together by hand to make structural, hollow toys which can be used as robust puppets too. The simplicity of form and colour is inspired by vintage craft kits. 

Hippo Pascal by Formverleih 

Rhino Peggy by Formverleih

Elephant Ronnie by Formverleih
Elephant Ronnie by Formverleih

09 October 2013

The Women's Room Salon: Women of Substance

I am still feeling so energised by The Women's Room event I attended at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch last week. I love to read The Women's Room blog posts, always intelligent, insightful and often really funny.

 The first The Women's Room Salon: Women of Substance was a fantastic evening of inspiring conversation with their four carefully chosen guests: Debbi Evans (founder of new women's magazine Libertine), Angela Flanders (Independent Perfumer and longtime Columbia Road resident), Jane Shepherdson (CEO of Whistles) and Viv Groskop (writer, presenter and Comedian).

The Women's Room Salon - Women of Substance

It seldom happens for bloggers and readers to talk face to face en masse but it was wonderful to watch TWR founders Amanda and Jane excitedly meeting some of their online community in person, and for these readers and fellow tweeters to mingle.

ME! (Tess Hannam) photographed by Fraser Carr Miles at The Womens Room Salon

All the 35 plus ladies were persuaded into the photo booth and I was astonished to see the outcome  -  a photograph of me which I actually love, very rare -  taken by a talented young photographer Fraser Carr Miles. I love the Chardin grey coloured background and the beautiful corsage from Hattie Fox. More lovely women on The Womens Room blog including some very stylish bloggers and old friends . . . . 

07 October 2013

First children's collection from Fine Little Day

Eclectic Indians children's collection, Fine Little Day

I freely admit to adoring everything that Elizabeth Dunker designs and posts on her Fine Little Day blog, and the first children's clothing line is very striking. Entitled Eclectic Indians, the collection mixes new and vintage clothing which is imaginative and fun AND modelled by a gang of gorgeous red heads. 

Eclectic Indians children's collection, Fine Little Day
Eclectic Indians children's collection, Fine Little Day

I love the bold stripes in brilliant green and the knitted poncho in a rich yellow-ochre, which work wonderfully well with Fine Little Day's fir tree Gran pattern. Even the the product names inspire and hint at a story behind each piece, I quite fancy the Space Dancing Dress myself. 

Eclectic Indians children's collection, Fine Little Day

The collection includes collaborations with Japanese artist Mogu Takahashi, and Swedish brands Anive for the Minors and Little Red StugaMore information at Fine Little Day.

Eclectic Indians children's collection, Fine Little Day

Sewing patterns

Ever since my mother taught me to use a sewing machine I have been making my own clothes, and later toys and costumes for my children, but I have never been so inspired as I am now by the beautiful patterns which are becoming available. 

I am lucky enough to live near the truly inspiring Merchand & Mills retail shop in Rye and saw the first of their new collection of tissue patterns in the shop this weekend. The project has taken months to perfect and sits alongside their existing range of cardboard patterns. And the first pair of trousers is launched! 

Merchant & Mills

The aesthetic simplicity and girlish styling of Japanese pattern books has always been elusive until publishers such as Laurence King started to release English language versions. The latest book from Japanese sewing designer Yoshiko Tsukiori is called Stylish Dress Book: Clothing for Everyday Wear, and features 26 tops, trousers, jackets and dresses. 

Leischen Müller's collection of downloadable DIY doll patterns are just so charming, and capture her refined naivety perfectly.

Leischen Mueller Lisa DIY doll pattern

Leischen Mueller Lisa DIY doll pattern

06 October 2013

Luke Hannam at McCully & Crane

My husband Luke had a private view of new paintings recently at the wonderful and curious interior store mccully & crane in Rye. . . 

Luke Hannam's private view at mccully & crane
Gilda at Luke Hannam's private view at mccully & crane
Whilst her daddy's artworks adorned the wall, my smallest daughter was fascinated by a piece of creative taxidermy hanging on the wall - a unicorn head. A fantasy rare breed and mascot of this blog. Beautifully made by specialists Ellam & Dean, I was relieved to learn that horse died of old age and the horn was moulded using a specialised resin