Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Woolly Wonders

When we first told my Dad and his wife that we were expecting, they were over the moon and my Step Mother went into a knitting frenzy. She's a very accomplished knitter, and when they go off on long adventures in their beloved motorhome, she whiles away the time with the clickety clack of the needles. Our soon-to-arrive Baby Boy has been the benefactor of this crafting and we were recently presented with this beautiful basket of goodies.

Beautifully knitted cardigans, jackets, hats, mittens, a gorgeous blanket and an Easter Bunny. Plus a hand-lined basket which is now being used to store baby bedding in the nursery. What a lucky lad we have on the way to have three sets of adoring grandparents.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Vintage Clothkits Changing Bag

Check out what my Mum found in her loft ...

An original Clothkits changing bag which she made to use when I was born 30 years ago and subsequently used for my sister too. It also had a changing mat but that has been lost or thrown out.

I think the fabric and illustrations are fantastic. The use of reds and yellows and greens and purples - it's so bold and I love that it's non-gender specific. This would work for a little boy or girl.

I have such strong memories of this bag - I think mostly because my sister and I played with it long after we were toilet trained, as an accessory from our dressing up box for my dolls. 

Friday, 22 April 2011

Vintage Winnie the Pooh

Our friends and fellow parents-to-be, the Clothiers, have given us this gorgeous, vintage Winnie the Pooh print to decorate our nursery. I associate this classic story with them because after their 20 week scan, they described Baby Clothier as looking like Christopher Robbin!

This illustration prompted us to dig out Mr Biddle's well loved Pooh book from his childhood bedroom. A present from his Godfather, well thumbed and fondly remembered, the book is filled with the dainty illustrations which have become so iconic.

I was also amused to find Winnie Ille Pu on Mr B's old bookshelf - a translation of the story into Latin! Loving the drawing of Pooh on the front dressed as a Roman Centaur!

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Baby Blanket for Baby Biddle

We have been so touched to receive a number of homemade gifts for the little gentleman in my tummy, all of which I'll be sharing with you on this blog in due course.

Our dear friend Miss Mackie crafted this beautiful little blanket with her own fair hands. It's her first ever attempt at knitting and we were so moved by the love and effort poured into this creation. She's threaded ribbon through the edges and embroidered a little personalised label for the corner. What a star and Baby Biddle is so lucky to have such lovely, generous people looking forward to meeting him.

The blanket is being shown off by Sophie La Girafe - a squeaky teething toy made from natural rubber which has been made in France since 1961. Featured in the 80s classic film Three Men and a Baby, it's a lovely vintage-style toy which is also highly useful. I visited my friend's little boy, Master Carkeek, yesterday and he loves his Sophie. If you wanted to purchase one, they stock them in John Lewis amongst other places.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Small Magazine

I subscribe to a few online baby & child magazines, and Small Magazine (Issue 17 just out) is gorgeous. Created by two best friends - Christine who lives in Texas and Olivia who lives in Australia - they co-edit the magazine from their bases across the globe (the wonders of modern technology eh?!) in order to showcase independent and small-scale design for kids.

All images from Issue 17 of Small Magazine

The magazine is filled with fashion and design, craft projects, recipes, cool stuff to buy for little ones, and features about illustrators, artists and designers. Here are some of my favourite pages from Issue 17.

I have a huge stack of vintage table cloths - perhaps this beautiful little cape could be the inspiration for how to best use some of them?

I am determined to make my own mobile for Baby Biddle so this page of inspiration should prove very useful ...

I love this project idea for creating your very own, personalised alphabet flashcards. The instructions for how to make them are in the magazine.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Knit one, Pearl one

When visiting my mother-in-law on Mothering Sunday, I very nearly cried when presented with this exquisite little baby cardigan, hand knitted by her fair and loving hands.

The other Mrs Biddle hasn't knitted anything in nearly thirty years, so to tackle this pattern as her introduction back into the craft was quite a challenge. I think she's created something so beautiful. It's so delicate and dainty, extremely soft, and I love the pearl buttons down the front. The newest addition to the family is going to look adorable in it, and we've already put in orders for more in chocolate brown and fire engine red!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Ladybird Loveliness

Searching through the shelves of charity shops, I stumbled across this multi-coloured marvel of a book for Baby Biddle - the Ladybird Picture Word Book from 1980. It was in perfect condition and as I opened the pages, I tumbled back in my brain to being a small child as we had this exact same book when my sister and I were tiny.

I just love how bold and bright the colours are - the vibrant reds and greens and yellows. And I love some of the category headings - Story words & Circus words amongst my favourite pages. It's such a gem of a book and having looked on Amazon it appears to be out of print so I feel all the more delighted for having found it.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Vintage Baby Gifts

Huge congratulations go to my dear friend and fellow blogger The Vintage Bride, and her lovely husband, on the arrival of their baby Milo. You can take a peek at his gorgeousness on her blog by clicking here. Mr Biddle and I went to meet him on Friday and we were particularly excited because it's now only seven weeks until our due date and we look forward to seeing Milo and Baby Biddle play together as they grow up.

Of course a trip to visit a new baby wouldn't be complete without presents and we chose some suitably vintage and homemade gifts for such funky parents with retro tastes.

I picked up this little children's chair at GB Antiques in Lancaster last month. I won't divulge how much it was as The Vintage Bride reads this blog but needless to say it was a steal. The original paint was a horrid reddish wood stain so we bought a pot of Farrow and Ball paint in Babouche (which is a bit more buttery and sunny in colour than these photos represent) and Mr Biddle got to work repainting the chair.

To go with it, I also picked up some wooden vintage looking alphabet bricks - randomly I found them in a tiny post office, also in Lancaster. But they came in a horrible, cheap box so I made a start on my first project from the fabulous oliver + s little things to sew book by Liesl Gibson which came out in March. If you're a crafty momma or poppa, buy this book. It's ace - beautifully designed and illustrated, and the projects are really well described and laid out. It's the best craft book I've come across.

This bag was created from the 'Juggling Balls & Drawstring Bag' project. I embroidered the new arrival's name onto the bottom fabric panels of the bag before stitching all the parts together.

The Vintage Bride has a beautiful white washed nursery for Milo with flashes of colour and a bit of a cowboy theme running through it, hence the vintage cowboy fabric.

Apart from the odd dodgy bit of sewing, I was really chuffed with how the bag turned out, and the Vintage Family were very happy with their gifts. I wish them all well in the coming months and years.