Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sites for Sore Eyes: Bobo Choses

I recently came across the website for Spanish children's fashion label Bobo Choses. Oh my giddy aunt. Looking through their Spring/Summer collection, I literally want to buy EVERYTHING in it for Baby Biddle, and I wish they all came in adult sizes for me and Mr B too.

All images from
Bobo Choses is an ethical Spanish company that uses natural fabrics to create playful, elegant clothes with fantastic simple illustrations. I love them. They have a small number of UK stockists, a full list of which can be found by clicking here.


Friday, 25 February 2011

Sing for your Supper ...

... and doodle for your dinner. 

Aren't these a great idea to keep a table of children occupied when the dinner is taking longer than expected? 36 tear-off place mats which teach you to draw.

I picked them up in a great Bath gift shop called Bloomsbury and they've since been road tested on a very eager nine year old who created an accomplished picture of a horse with her first attempt. 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Paddington Patchwork

As readers who follow my other blog will know, I've been in a cushion making frenzy over the last week. I've been creating new soft furnishings for me and Mr B, and so I felt it was only fair to create a little cushion for the baby bump too.

Recently, I've been teaching myself to do hexagonal patchwork by piecing over paper. This is my first finished project. So these hexagons became ...

... a little child friendly cushion, using vintage Paddington fabric, the red houses fabric I had in my nursery as a child and Kokka's Little Red Riding Hood fabric, mixed in with some different spotty materials I had in my pile.

I like how well it goes with the little Robin & Mould cushion I picked up at Holly Anna in Frome. Perfect for Baby Biddle's nursery - we hope he'll always dream big.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Inspiration and the City

I spent a lovely day with one of my best friends, Mrs Flint, on Tuesday, and we pottered around the shops of Bath together. We found lots of lovely inspiration for the Vintage Baby ...

The cutest retro braces for little boys in Cath Kidston. I love the cowboy ones.

 Delicate, smocked & hand embroidered dresses, and classic wooden toys in Susannah on Broad Street.

Antique Lederhosen and Heidi dresses in Hansel Und Gretel on Brock Street where they also serve the best hot chocolate in their alpine themed basement strudel bar. I love the art work of the Biggles boy ... Mr B was obsessed by planes as a child and wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. So I think Baby Biddle might have an aircraft theme running through his early years.

The Strudel Bar in Hansel Und Gretel

Monday, 14 February 2011

Retro Children's Fabrics

During recent rummages in charity shops, I came across these retro fabrics - perfect for crafting into items for a little boy.

He-Man & She-Ra from 1983. Oh how me and my sister loved She-Ra. Those gold boots and sword, with the cute white and gold outfit and headdress. She was kick-ass and yet had such style.

A very cute Paddington Bear print. I was talking to my Goddaughter about Paddington the other day. She asked why he was left at the station. A very good question from a child under the age of three, and I was stumped for an answer! Reading the official Paddington website, it turns out he was an orphan sent from darkest Peru by his Aunt Lucy when she went into a home for retired bears in Lima. She taught him to speak English, stowed him away on a ship's lifeboat, and put a label round his neck saying "Please look after this bear. Thank you". He was discovered by Mr & Mrs Brown and their children Jonathan & Judy, and taken home to live with them.

My sister also gave me this fabric which I've been coveting for ages. It is the Habitat wallpaper and fabric we had in our rooms as tiny children and she kept two pillow cases of it, of which one is now in my possession. I love the bright red colour and the house pattern - rather grown up compared to the twee illustrations on many children's furnishings these days. I think we might use it as inspiration for Baby Biddle's nursery decoration. I love the idea of using bold red for a little boy instead of acres of baby blue.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


On a recent trawl of Northern Charity shops (the very best I tell you), I purchased all these lovely vintage toys & books in fantastic colours.

This little xylophone will be added to Daddy Biddle's musical instrument collection so that he and Baby Biddle can jam together ...

A pristine set of Dr Seuss books ...

 I couldn't resist this vintage fire engine for only 50p. The bell rings as it is pulled along ...

Vintage playing cards - I'm looking forward to the joys of playing snap with a small child ...

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sites for Sore Eyes: Babiekins Magazine

Babiekins Magazine is a fantastic, free and achingly cool online magazine "For the Trendsetting Child". Issue Four is out this week.

Filled with fashion, beautiful photo shoots, craft projects, illustrated stories and more, it's well worth a look, even if you're not a parent or parent-to-be. I get really inspired by it for children's theatre sets too. Subscribe and they'll send you an email each time a new issue is out, and you can read past issues online too.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Vintage Baby Clothes

FACT: Northern vintage and charity shops are far and away better than pretty much anything the South has to offer. Sorry Southern vintage hunters - I now live down here too, but time and again I come away with armfuls of thrifty goodies during trips back North and yet struggle to find anything decent and cheap South of the Midlands. I can prove this theory after extensive research carried out over the last decade. But in the interests of fairness, I'm prepared to disclose some of my top Northern vintage secrets with you on this blog.

My trip up North last week took in a stop at Revival, a fantastic and extremely reasonable vintage shop on Warner Street in Accrington.

In the past I've had some of the most exquisite dresses and blouses from here, without any blemishes, and always under the £30 mark. The same pieces would be at least triple the price in London. And this week, I made my first proper vintage baby purchases there in the form of these gorgeous 1950s romper suits.

The red set features a dainty bird motif, a good dollop of red gingham and buttons up the back.

The yellow set has a lovely motif of an elephant. I love the way the bottoms are buttoned onto the tops.

Both romper sets cost £7.50 each - bargain. Although I think they may have to remain as wall decoration as I don't think Mr B will be too keen to have his mini-me running around in these. Perhaps I can convince him for the Christening!

Whilst on the subject of vintage baby clothes, I have to share with you this antique bib which was my Grandfather's. It needs a bit of TLC but it is nearly 100 years old.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Perfect Pregnancy Pillow

Calling all newly pregnant ladies out there - don't waste your money on expensive pregnancy pillows. The V-shaped pillows that you can buy from places like M&S are cheap as chips and just as good.

My fabulous pillow was a Christmas gift from my crafty sister and I love it. She added the smiley face using felt. It reminds me of my dear Nan who always used to prop herself up on one in bed in order to watch TV. Plus, when the little man arrives I can use it as a breastfeeding rest. Although I might have to create a couple more cases for it before this ones gets covered in baby drool.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Retro Ribbon

I love the word 'Ribbon'. Say it over and over again and it takes on a slightly surreal edge. It's like rickrack and binca and spools and bobbins - all these weird and wonderful words which I have to explain to Mr B, a whole new language for the land of the sewing box.

I just bought some of the most beautiful ribbon I've ever clapped eyes on from The Makery Emporium in Bath, which has just opened a shop on Northumberland Place to support its workshops on Walcot Street.

I can just imagine this illustrated linen ribbon edging a little child's cardigan or pair of dungarees. Isn't it utterly adorable? I love helium balloons - they are such a simple pleasure. Beautifully packaged too, it comes on the little wooden spool and in an orange candy striped bag.

Whilst in the Makery, I couldn't resist these little wooden buttons - I have a plan to sew them onto a pair of baby dungarees.

Buying children's ribbon got me thinking about when I was a little girl - my Mum used to import rolls of ribbon from overseas (like mother, like daughter), especially from a company that I think is still going called Offray in America.

I searched through my ribbon box and came across these retro ribbons which used to be tied into the once white blonde hair of me and my little sister.

When I was three, I watched and adored the ballet of Romeo and Juliet. So Mum created a pair of handmade ballet shoes for me from some pale pink satin and foam. This personalised ribbon would wind up and around my ankles whilst I pranced round the living room to the soundtrack on vinyl!