Gifts Ideas for Little Lads

1. Classic Tumbling Blocks from Ridley's House of Novelties. 2. Fabric toy camera from Numero 74. 3. Wooden skittles from Planet Finska. 4. Jack the pirate costume from Numero 74. 5. Wild Heart decal from Little Muse And market. 6. Spinosaurus from Schleich. 7. Pirate eye patch from Numero 74. 8. Heritage Mid-Volume backpack from Herschel. 9. Marbles in a bag from Ridley's House of Novelties. 10. Ready to grow dino egg from Seedling. 11. Spring toy slinky from Ridley's House of Novelties. 12. Wooden planks in collectable chest from Green Hat Workshop. 13. Rad cushion cover from Into The Fold. 14. Natural sailing boat from Grimm's Spiel & Holz.

14 Dec 2015
gift guide
toys
christmas

Mini Pomme

It is not often that we come across toys that are so special and one-of-a-kind that they completely blow our sox off. The incredible creations from Mini Pomme are each a masterpiece in their own right and those lucky enough to get their hands on one know that their treasured toy is the only one like it in the world...

We asked artist Erika Olson Gross a few questions about what inspires her...
What do you love most about creating things for children?
I have such strong memories of the comfort and emotional connection I had with certain special toys as a child. The idea that a toy that I dreamed up and created with my hands might become a treasured plaything for a child is absolutely intoxicating to me.

I get to see this connection to my work with my own children and I also have this generous community of supporters/customers who share images and stories with me about their own kids falling in love with my toys...It's just incredibly satisfying.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many things! I love vintage toys; I started picking up little vintage animals and dolls as a child even. I'm inspired by materials; Over the years I've developed a great appreciation for the difference natural fibers make in terms of the look and feel of a toy but also in the way wool and mohair in particular age so gracefully. I'm inspired by folk art...especially Japanese, American and Scandinavian.

I'm inspired by children's art...I'm also an art teacher (and have been in one form or another for nearly twenty years) and I never ever tire of the fresh look on the world I get reflected back on me when kids create. I'm inspired by my own children. And other people's children. And Nature. And Moomin. And Pippi Longstocking. And Pee Wee's playhouse. Oh boy...the list goes on and on.

All of your creations are entirely made by hand, what do you think this adds to the final product?
I think the care and attention to detail always stands out in handmade objects. There's just no comparison. They feel special because someone has treated them as such and and that little bit of magic becomes part of their very fiber.

It's so impractical to make things the way I do...entirely by me, mostly one at a time, forever fussing over little details but I can't imagine doing it any other way. It means by business will probably always be very small but I'm totally fine with that because it makes the work more meaningful for me and I believe the quality shows in the finished product which is extremely important to me.

Do you find it difficult parting with your designs when you've put so much love and care into them?
Oh sometimes, a little. I've been making and parting with things for so long though that I guess I'm pretty used to it. Every once in a while I keep one, too!

What was your favourite thing about being a kid?
Spending time with my sister Alison, and she's still my favourite.

If you were to bake a cake to share at a tea party with all of your creatures what would you make?
This question is begging for a child's imagination and hand... I'm going to ask my son Jude do this drawing!

18 Oct 2015
toys
mountains

Noga Ravin

These terrific twisted creations come to us from a very talented designer living and working in Warsaw. Her name is Noga Ravin and we are very happy to have discovered her.

Producing puppets, bags, toys and other quirky objects for children Noga has a great eye for design, fun and practicality.

"The design of objects is not only my profession but also a passion. As a graduate of the Academy of Art and Design "Bezalel" in Jerusalem I try in ordinary and everyday found materials to breathe new life. I make things that I would have wanted to play, simple, fun and imaginative" says Noga.

All of these beautiful creations and more are available in Noga Ravin’s Etsy Store. Head over and check it out for yourself today.

06 Oct 2015
toys

I Eva Fray

Handcrafted in New York by maker, Lauren Cockerham-Colas, these gorgeous Ieva Fray dolls are stitched with love. With the belief that life should be slow and simple, Lauren wanted to create a doll that would encourage imaginative play while also encouraging an appreciation of all of life's little moments...

"By incorporating intentional fraying and the addition of annual birthday patches, the Fray Doll has been designed to mirror the fleeting moments of childhood, encouraging a cherishing of all phases and fostering a development of family tradition."

To see more of these beautiful dolls head over to the Ieva Fray website.

11 Sep 2015
toys
woodland

Say Hello to Leggy Buddy!

We’ve been struck down by a case of crocheted cuteness thanks to these Groggy Froggy’s from our friends at Leggy Buddy. With legs for days and eyes that could peep all the way to Mars, there is a lot to love about these sweet handmade toys that are packed full of character...

Groggy Froggy is quite awesome. He comes in two sizes and a variety of colours and looks tres cool just hanging about your house.

A close cousin of Kermit, Groggy Froggy is brought to us by Leggy Buddy, a Swiss brand of designer toys, dolls and accessories with are all handmade using high-quality natural materials like cotton and wool. Pairing quirky designs with quality materials they are quickly becoming one of our most favourite bedroom friends.

The team at Leggy Buddy make a variety of characters including mice, cows, horsies and adorable astronauts. Each design is as cute as the next and they all make us quite nostalgic for the crocheted critters our nana used to knit for us when we were young.

Groggy Froggy and his friends are all available to purchase from the Leggy Buddy website. Click through to see the full collection and be ready to be overcome with ohhhhs and aahhhhhs.

28 Aug 2015
toys
woodland

The World of Noodoll

Picture a world full of bright colours, curious characters and copious amounts of mischief and fun. Now shrink that all down into play-sized toys, stationary and gadgets and you have entered the world of Noodoll...

This is a brand that always makes us smile and dream big so we were delighted to catch up with the team to find out more about their designs and creative process.

What inspired you to start Noodoll?
My love for cartoons and character designs, I thought it would be nice to immerse myself in an imaginary world and be friends with everyone in this world.

What do you love most about designing for kids?
We are actually designing for ourselves as we all have a child in us, big and little ones play together is such a wonderful thing in life!

What inspires your designs?
People, objects, expressions, behaviours, smiles, frowns.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to open a stationery shop as I love collecting papers, cards, packing materials and books.

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
Doraemon. An imperfectly-made factory-rejected blue robot cat who has a magic pocket that has everything in it and can take you anywhere!

If Noodoll were to bake a cake for a monster party, what flavour would it be and what would it look like?
A watermelon cake!

20 Aug 2015
toys

Under the sea with Bleebla

There are so many amazing creatures that live under the sea and now you can play peekaboo with them all. The “Animal Box” by Bleebla is a magnificent 3D puzzle of sorts that allows little minds and mits to push and pull different puzzle pieces in and out of a beautifully crafted box. In goes a turtle and out comes a whale!

There are 10 gorgeous sea creatures to meet, chat and play with in this brilliant collection. Stack them high or create a marvellous seascape on a blue rug or towel, the opportunities are endless for imaginative play. And when you are done, nestle each creature back into the box for some well-earned rest.

This unique toy represents life under water perfectly through its stylised shapes and use of natural materials. Agglomerated cork and sycamore wood are smooth and warm to touch, making them perfect for soft little hands.

Bleebla is an inspiring company which combines beautiful, natural materials with contemporary concepts and techniques to create amazing, high-quality objects for children. Over time, they aim to create a series of objects inspired by four themes – jungle, sea, farm, and forest.

Today we are celebrating the Sea collection, but we have a sneaky suspicion you will love their other collections too. So head over to their website to see them all!

14 Aug 2015
toys
ocean
pirates

The Adorable World of Boramiri

The beautifully hand crafted designs of Boramiri are the complete antithesis of the shelves of brightly coloured plastic that fill most toy shops. Each piece is loaded with personality and is filled to the brim with an etherial charm...

The delightful range of Boramiri toys and decor are full of carefully thought out details and soft colours that will charm any child and far outlast the appeal of their flimsy toy store foes...

We asked the lovely Bora a few questions about her gorgeous designs...
What inspired you to start Boramiri?
When I was pregnant with my little boy, I looked for unique items that were not too colourful (industrial) but they are very difficult to find. I started to create small things for my son and my friends which I really enjoyed. I started having small requests here and there so decided to launch the brand with my name "BORAMIRI".

What do you love most about designing dolls and decor?
When creating dolls I am inspired a lot by my childhood. The feelings and colours and images invoke a sense of nostalgia. When designing decor I like to give them fresh touch.

What inspires your designs?
I think I'm very influenced by my dreams. This may be the legacy of my Korean culture or perhaps there is something personal in the relationship with the objects that can each have a kind of soul.

Where are your favourtie places to shop for kids in Montreuil, France?
I live in Montreuil but I often walk around in Paris. I love Bonton and Womb Concept Store in Paris.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to become a doctor to please my parents but inside I always dreamed of becoming a painter like Matisse.

If Boramiri were to make the ultimate cupcake, what flavour would it be and what would it look like?
Matcha + Chocolate

03 Aug 2015
creative showcase
toys
blizzard

Bower & Beyond

From cradle to rocker to ride-on, we are in awe of this ingenious design from Bower & Beyond. It’s sleek design is so sophisticated that it grows with your child as they develop from newborn to pre-school age...

“We pursued a design that would be pleasing to both parents and children, and provide functionality and fun for many years.” explains the very clever creators.

Rokii is the brainchild of Sophie Gilder a mother of four, a farmer's daughter, and a sometime investment banker with a life-long love of design. And clearly growing up on a farm for so many years has inspired the incredible sheep shaped design. Too cute!

Sophie has a design principle that everything in the home should be either beautiful or useful – but preferably both. We completely agree and think she has struck the right balance with this cool product.

You can find out more about the Rokii over on the Bower and Beyond website.

29 Jul 2015
toys
blizzard

Snowball Music Box

The thought of a ‘music box’ usually conjures up thoughts of a dusty, antique pink box with a dancing ballerina inside. But this modern marvel from Acne Jr has completely flipped our thinking...

Snowball is the first Mozartkugel Special Edition Music Box from Acne Jr. Made from Solid beechwood and topped off with a luxe white semi-matt finished.

But when it comes to music boxes it’s what’s inside that counts. With a twist and a turn of the white, ring-shaped key this little treasure will crank a mean rendition of ’Marriage of Figaro’ by W.A. Mozart proving that this little snowball is as much of a delight for the ears as for the eyes.

Each Music Box is made in Germany and measures 92 mm.

23 Jun 2015
toys
music

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