Saturday, 15 April 2017

Happy Easter

We love Easter, it's the first big holiday since Christmas! It's beginning to feel properly like spring, with flowers popping up everywhere, longer, warmer days (and boy have and we been spoiled this year?) oh and then there's the chocolate! Ahhh but each year we are tasked with finding gifts which aren't just about sugar, so here's an Easter edit of our sugar free goodies!  Ceramic Bunny and Guinea Pig Egg Cups and Money Boxes from Quail from £11.95, Bunny and Baby Bunny Night Lights from £4.95.  These delightful hand-painted glass trinket eggs are perfect for tiny gifts and mini eggs and if you are going on an Easter Egg Hunt these Retro Jelly Bags are perfect for egg-gathering £5.95.  Gorgeous Egg Cups in Pink & Blue by Pip Studio and these grrrreat Dinosaur Egg Cups in Orange & Turquoise at £8.95

With a full range of Easter Cards in store too, we have everything you may need (except of course the Chocolate) - Happy Easter.
Easter Opening Times 
Good Friday     11am-4pm
Saturday      10am-6pm
Easter Sunday    closed
Bank Holiday Monday  closed

Going the Extra Mile - A brand new range from The Handmade Soap Co.

We have a brand new Toiletry Range!  We really do like to go the extra mile and so when nothing caught our eye at the recent round of trade shows in London and Paris, Ian dropped in on Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna (which is the leading international platform for the cosmetics and wellness industry), to see if he could find anything special there.  He struck gold, and we are really delighted to launch this new range from The Handmade Soap Co. who are based nearer to home in Co. Meath Ireland.  We love their products and their ethos - meet founder Donagh Quigley (originally a Master Thatcher).

"We started out small, selling our lovely handmade soaps at farmers’ markets and to kind neighbours… and from there, things just grew and grew.

Pots got bigger, our range blossomed, and we added a few more hands on deck… but our mission remains the same:

To bring pure, heartfelt joy to your everyday, so even the small things feel precious.

Using thoughtful essential oil blends and nature’s pantry, we have lovingly created a range that will boost your mood and your skin in equal measure.

And oh, does it smell divine.

Put simply, it’s everything you need to grab life by the happy. So, go grab it with both hands."

We were particularly looking for a well priced range that would sit comfortably with the ever popular Burt's Bee's Range and appeal to both Men and Women - we think we have found our match.
Lemongrass and Cedarwood - Lose yourself in this sweet oriental fragrance.  Citrus top notes with a lemongrass zing, eucalyptus and lavender middle notes and earthy base notes of Patchouli and Vanilla.
A Musky, manly mix of Basil, Lime & Sweet Orange.

The products themselves have 99.7% Natural - no nasties, (the other .3% is the binding agent and preservative which makes the lotions behave so wonderfully).
They are made with coconut derivatives, vegetable emulsifiers and scented with essential oils.

There are no SLSs, parabens, petrochemicals.  No product is tested on animals, ever and even the card in their packaging is from sustainable sources and printed with vegetable-derived ink.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Little Folk Nursery Rhymes CD

Meet Cat Bateman, I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back - our children were all taking swimming lessons at our local pool known as the "Spa", a definite misnomer it was a sweaty, stressful zone full of tetchy, tiger Mums, tantrums and toddlers..... but up rocked Cat, with her crazy trolley, eccentric pigtails and bright smile.  She has an infectious aura of cheerfulness and as such I was so pleased to learn that she was the creative force behind 'little folk nursery rhymes' (a toddler music group) which she set up to earn a few pennies around bringing up her boys.  The job suits her well and it shows - "I never get tired of seeing little people wigging out to a jolly old nursery rhyme.  No one is telling them to do that - it happens naturally because the music makes them happy.  It is so adorable".
Five years on she holds lots of weekly groups in SE London check details here.  Plus she has just released her first nursery rhymes CD.  She worked with brilliant musicians and talented designers to make it the best sounding, best looking, best quality nursery rhymes CD. It has been a labour of love, but she has been getting lovely feedback from parents who say it keeps their little ones completely entertained.  Equally importantly however, is that adults like it too....anyone who has suffered the saccharin sounds of most kids' CDs will totally understand what I mean.

Cat is delighted that 10% of each sale will go directly to JDRF, the amazing charity that funds research to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 Diabetes, along with providing support to people who live with it. She is very passionate about raising awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, as her eldest son was diagnosed with this serious auto-immune life-long condition at the age of 5.

So, if you’re looking for something for your own bundles (& toddlers of joy) to enjoy, or a unique present we're delighted to announce - you can buy it here!    

Cool Gift ideas for Kids Birthday Presents

On a budget but looking for something a bit different?  Something that will definitely be appreciated?  Something that will be a stand out gift?  Here is this weeks selection of brilliant gifts for kids, all under £15 - there's many more in store and online.
1.  Create your own Superhero Comic Book  (age 7-12) £11.95
2.  Charlie the Sausage Dog Pull Along Toy (age 12 months+) £11.95
3.  Toby Bento Box  (age 2 onwards) £10.95
4.  Rosie Bento Box (age 2 onwards) £10.95
5.  Popsicle Cherry Bunny (newborn onwards) £11.95
6.  Little Folk Nursery Rhyme CD (newborn onwards) £14.95
7.  Vehicles Reusable Sticker Book (age 3-5) £6.95
8.  Adventure Reusable Sticker Book (age 3-5) £6.95

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Revive & Rejuvenate - Archway

An article from March's Angel Resident magazine.  David Lyndon of Lyndon Goode Architects discusses the rich tapestry of Archway, and the regeneration scheme we were part of in 2013.  

Satsuki May

Q&A with Satsuki May who makes intricate and delicate jewellery using semi-precious stones and crystals.

What made you become interested in jewellery?
I was born in Tokyo into a craft loving family,  I have always loved making things, using my hands, and being creative,   About three years ago, I started jewellery making and discovered it is wonderful medium of creativity for me, I really enjoy experimenting with different styles and wearing my designs.

What inspires you?
London is such an amazing eclectic city, ideas can come from anywhere, from what I hear, taste, touch and smell, too. The smell of Indian curry gives me a colour palette of red, saffron yellow and green, and the sounds of train passing outside my flat reminds me of oxidised hammer textured metal.  I love exploring London and looking for the little details in architecture both modern and historic, spending time in art galleries and museums and wandering London's many green spaces - especially the changing nature found on Hampstead Heath.
The materials you use and why?
I mostly use wires and metal sheet, the reason being they are very versatile, I add glass, semi-precious gemstones and crystals for colour and sparkles. 

What makes your jewellery unique?
I like tiny twists in my jewellery here and there that make each piece a little weird and wonderful.  My work is very delicate and detailed and often very labour intensive. I will continue to experiment and develop new techniques along my artistic journey.

We are showcasing Satsuki May's full range of jewellery in store during March and April.  With a small selection on line too.  

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Spring to Life

We love Spring!  Such a season of renewal and optimism. We're feeling very inspired by new colours, refreshing designs and hints of warmer times ahead.  Our new Spring/Summer 2017 collection is shaping up nicely, with new product launches almost daily this month.  We have a fresh new design range from PiP Studio aptly titled 'Spring to Life'. Our bird loving theme continues with a brand new range from Magpie, featuring beautiful illustrations from John James Audubon’s Birds of America.  New writing sets, bags, umbrellas and home accessories with Watercolour Birds and Blossom by Caroline Carter for Portico.  A full range of stationery including, journals & sketchbooks in a variety of designs and prices to suit all budgets.  Oh, and of course our land of the Giants Spring Flowers are back by popular demand.

1.  Small Tea Pot in the aptly titled 'Spring to Life' range from PiP Studio £29.95
2.  Watercolour Bird Umbrella by Caroline Carter £17.95
3.  Watercolour Nesting Tins (set of 2) by Caroline Carter £11.95
4.  Flamingo Trinket Tray £12.50
5.  Flamingo Square Cushion £33.95
6   Heron Trinket Tray £12.50
7.  Set of 2 Abstract Design Notebooks £9.95
8.  Giant Daffodil £16.95
9.  Giant Tulip £16.95

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Jellycat - the Coolest Soft Toys in Town.

We have been buying Jellycat toys for the shop as long as I can remember, they are probably our oldest suppliers.  Coincidentally both my children were given Jellycat toys on their birth, (they were given many soft toys actually) but it was the Jellycat toys that they really loved.  They slept with them every night, they took them everywhere with them.  I like many parents had the heart stopping moment of realising we had lost Nellie, we rescued her from a lake, we searched every shop we had visited in San Francisco one afternoon, only to find her hiding behind the curtains in our hotel room.

My kids absolutely love their Jellycat toys today, 10 and nearly 9 years later......I snuck Nester and Nellie away for the day to meet the new Jellycat gang in store.  
Can you spot them? Nellie has been so snuggled she has had to have minor nose surgery but both have weathered the test of time, pretty well I think - here's Nester wearing his bathing shorts Granny made for our annual family trip to Southwold.  

So what makes Jellycat toys stand out from the crowd?  

The name Jellycat was dreamt up by a child who loved jellies and cats and giggled at the thought of the two together. The silliness of the name was a great reflection of the design and so it stuck!  Jellycat have been creating original and innovative soft toys in London since 1999.  All the toys are designed in the UK and combine luxurious fabrics with designs that are sometimes quirky, sometime cute but always with a little something different that makes them cool and appealing to adults too.

They always keep their collection current, launching 2 new collections each year.  The designs are full of humour,  responding to trends, innovations and sometimes even current affairs.  Their latest catalogue is filled with photographs which made me laugh out loud when I first saw them.  

Go on - name the movies......too easy?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

February is the month to Love

Phew, the January blues are at last behind us and February, the Month of love well underway. Hey it's time to think about Valentine's Day.  There's nothing sweet or fluffy about our Valentine Collection.  Just fun and fabulous ideas which, to be honest will go down well whether they're for your Valentine or best friend.  We have certainly ruffled a few feathers with our window display, if you haven't seen it yet - stop standing around like a Flamingo and hop on down, we'll find something to make you smile.

New in - Provocative candles from Filthy Velvet, perfect for Valentine's Day.

New in - Prosecco, Gin & Tonic and Black Pomegranate pampering products from Bath House.  

Light up Letters and the fun cinematic light box are still a winning option for those who want to spell it out, and for the free spirited we have a brand new range of angel winged jewellery and ceramics. Plus we have a huge range of Valentine's Day cards too.  Trust us we can help make your Valentine's Day dreams come true......we'll try our best anyway!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Wings of Desire

We have gone the extra mile this Valentine's day to find something for your true love that isn't fluffy or saccharine.  We love the symbolism of the angel wing which has come to mean creative power, it is said that they bring good omens and offer protectiveness.  If all that sounds a bit hippy then just rest assured they look great too.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

'Circular Thinking' - Brand new Jewellery Trend for SS17

The trend for Geometric Jewellery continues round and round with the emphasis this season on Circles. Here from Dansk Smykkekunst in Copenhagen is the first of our collections for this season.  It's a contemporary look, which will instantly update your style.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Bee good to yourself - Burt's Bees

It is important to us to know the story behind the products we sell.  We first came across the brand Burt's Bees back in the mid 90's when we were exhibiting our own ranges of China and Glass at the New York Gift Fair.  The fabulously funny folks from Burt's Bees were exhibiting opposite our booth.  They were always incredibly busy and we became familiar with their waxing lyrical stories of Burt, the wild-bearded and free-spirited founder and his Bees, how it all began - the roadside honey stand and beeswax candles at craft fairs.  The eccentric lover of nature who was more at home with his golden retrievers and 1960''s motorcycles enjoying the magic of living on the land in his converted turkey coop in Maine.

Sadly Burt passed away last year aged 80. His legacy of producing natural toiletries and cosmetics has become a best selling global beauty phenomenon. 

Burt's bees remains true to a very simple idea, what you put on your body should be made from the very best nature has to offer.  We have been selling Burt's Bees products for a few years now.  Our customers come back over and over for their favourite lip balms - give your lips a treat during this cold weather snap.  They'll thank you for it!