Category Archives: Design

Architecture Tours at The Southbank Centre (Age 8+)

This March, April and June 2016, you can take a 1 hour architecture tour around the Southbank Centre. The tour will focus on its 20th-century (Brutalist) architecture.
The centre itself was completed in 1968 on the site of the 1951 Festival of Britain. Its name The Southbank Centre was adopted during the Festival of Britain (over the local less attractive name of Lambeth Marsh).
Visitors to the South Bank Exhibition with the Dome of Discovery in the background
The Festival was created by The Royal Society of the Arts in 1943, to commemorate the centenary of the 1851 Great Exhibition. It’s centre piece was the Southbank Centre.
In 1945 a government appointed a committee to plan how fairs and exhibitions could promote the UK’s export industry. 
They initially planned to hold an international exhibition, but it was too costly an idea, so the Festival of Britain was created in its place.
1951 South Bank Exhibition. Taken from The Victoria Embankment and shows the Skylon and Dome of Discovery.
As London was in need of redevelopment due to the effects of WWII, the festival was designed to promote a feeling of progress and recovery, and display the better quality design that would be happening in rebuilding Britain’s towns and cities.
Gerald Barry, the Festival Director, described it as “a tonic to the nation” as it demonstrated the contribution made by British advances in science, technology and industrial design.

The Skylon (photo above) was scrapped in 1952 on the orders of Winston Churchill, who saw it a symbol of the preceding Labour Government. It was demolished and sold for scrap after being toppled into the Thames.

 Royal Festival Hall c1959 and the now-demolished Shot Tower

The tours explore the whole Southbank site and uncover the creative and functional design of their buildings. Each tour is unique and the route taken varies depending on the day’s activities and events.


Meet at the Ticket Office at Royal Festival Hall and are £8.50 (£7.50 concessions)book online or by phone via the link at the top of the feature.


Thursday 7 & 21, 6pm
Thursday 14, 5.00pm
Saturday 2, 12.30pm
Saturday 16, 23 & 30, 2pm


Thursday 5 & 12, 6pm
Saturday 7, 14, 21 & 28, 2pm


Thursday 2, 16 &30, 6pm
Saturday 4, 2.00pm
Saturday 11, 18 & 25, 2pm

For ages 8+


5 of the Best Bespoke Stationery Shops and Designers



The HoneyTree team are a fully fledged British success story. They have grown their personalised stationery company from their farmhouse kitchen table in Somerset. It is now a thriving small business, where the staff are a major part of the family, and each artist receives a commission when their illustration is chosen.


Run by husband and wife team Lizbeth (Head Artist and Social Media Belle) and Seb Galbraith Helps (the Business Head), the company offer every type of stationery from jam jar labels, save the date cards, hand illustrated prints, (everything is personalised and that’s what makes this company so unique) corporate and wedding stationery, and that’s not half of what’s on the menu.


They also have a fantastic new monthly subscription postal gift service for kids called Young HoneyTree, where each month kids will receive a bundle of beautifully hand picked stationery, to inspire them to put pen to paper… we recently received one and the #busstopkids will be giving their feedback very soon.


Present & Correct

Run by two graphic designers, this store hidden away behind Sadlers Wells, is a showcase for the things we have enjoyed since school. You will find they have a long-term obsession with stationery. Paper and office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school.



The store with the best of the rest of the best. Liberty print anything is the stuff that dreams are made of. Here at their online or real life store you will find a selection of goodies from a range of procured designers from across the world. But, it’s the genuine article that makes this stationery stand out from the crowd. The Liberty printed books, pencils, note cards and even the little 10″ ruler for £5.75. It all has a special place in a true stationary lovers heart, especially the tailors and haberdasher’s out there.




Marby & Elm

Marby & Elm Store’s studio space is in Clerkenwell, London. A hit with the cool and stylish kids on the block, Marby & Elm is stocked in Liberty, Melrose & Morgan Deli in Primrose Hill, and all the independent shops in town worth knowing about.

They use traditional printing methods, using an Adana flatbed Q H with metal and wood type ranging from 6 point Gill Sans to 72 point Caslon Old Face type. They also use illustrative blocks made from their own drawings alongside vintage illustrative blocks.

The letterpress printing process is a time consuming but highly rewarding one. It involves setting up movable metal or wood type, inking them and then pressing the letters to force an indentation in the paper.

The result is a de-bossed impression which when you run your fingers along it feels and looks very different to mass- produced digital print. Each piece of card or paper is hand –cut, printed with hand- mixed ink and hand-fed into the letterpress printer to create a uniquely crafted piece of stationery. I bet you know more about printing methods than you did 10mins ago.


Run by Lucy, and her small team, they scour the globe to bring together an eclectic collection. You’ll find desk accessories & stationery from Kate Spade, luxury letterpress cards from Sugar Paper LA, hand-painted illustrations from Rifle Paper Co, ‘objets’ from fashion house Maison Margiela, neon Japanese iPad covers and much more.
Even if it’s just as a sofa surfing moment, checking out what’s happening over at Quill is a mighty fine and feathery experience. Enjoy.

5 Fun Things Worth Knowing About

  1. How to Explain to a Child That Life Is Difficult

    Overparenting is still in style, despite a lot of evidence against it. While letting children fail is critical to instilling resilience and creativity, it’s often difficult to do. In this episode of If Our Bodies Could Talk, senior editor James Hamblin demonstrates various strategies with writer David Young and his child.

2. Welsh Sheep Farming: A Family’s Tradition ; Video by  Rhys Edwards ; This short documentary by Rhys Edwards about a sheep-farming family in Wales is an uplifting and charming profile—not to mention the lush Welsh countryside is simply beautiful. “The next generation, they’re very keen to follow in our footsteps,” says the red-headed matriarch. For more of Edwards’ work, visit his website. Author: Nadine Ajaka

3. From undead zombies to creepy skeletons: the best new beauty tutorials to transform your look this Halloween (thanks to Stylist over here)

4. Robins Nest incredible Treehouse Hotels in Hesse, Germany feature and photos thanks to the wonderful site Ignant.


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5. The coolest schools in the world (thanks to The Cool Hunter and The Huffington Post here







Patricia Gill, PR Consultant Shares Her Work Space

Patricia is a fast moving, Mama to 3 small people. She is a self confessed  design and interiors blogs junkie, with a background in design, film and entertainment PR. She loves her garden, food, catching movies when she can, and in her real life is a PR Consultant for Falcon Enamel Ware the British kitchen ware company, and  London Tea Club who source premium tea for their members. I’m thrilled she has let us in to her home today, to peek at her workspace.


Hi, I’m Patricia and I’m a Freelance PR. I mainly work from my home in South London but also hot desk sometimes at Soho House or Shoreditch House if I need a change of scenery. It feels like I have been doing PR forever, more than 20 years now. I specialise in lifestyle and interiors but I was also a film publicist for many years and still have a huge passion for cinema.


I juggle my work with wrangling my three small children; Clemmie, Sonny and Mabel to school, swimming, gymnastics and football. They are finally all in school at the same time, and it’s just across the road, so I have more time to myself these days.


I try to squeeze in at least two sessions of Bikram yoga a week, to keep fit and keep me sane. It’s extremely meditative and if you are having a bad day, it instantly cures everything. I’m also a single mum and Australian so I don’t have any family here to help out but my neighbours and friends are amazing and I don’t know what I’d do without them.


My desk is a vintage Ercol drop leaf dining table. A neighbour was throwing it out, can you believe it? So I had it restored and now it sits in my bedroom, overlooking the front windows.

I’m a bit of a nosey parker and like to keep an eye on everything that’s going on in the street ! The light floods into the room in the morning and I like to sit here with a coffee and my laptop. The chair and cushion is from a past client The Balcony Gardener.


Working from home isn’t ideal as there are a lot of distractions such as ooh I’ll just pop a load of laundry on, or what shall I get ready for supper… but it allows me to spend more time with the children which ultimately is the most important thing to me.


I tried working in the kitchen but just felt surrounded by dirty dishes and food. Then I tried working in a small back bedroom and wondered why I stuck myself in the smallest, coldest, darkest room. Now I’m happiest working in my bedroom, which is a decent size and full of light. I just have to keep it very very tidy !

Thanks for sharing Patricia. xo

You can stay in touch with Patricia on Twitter, Instagram or even use good old fashioned email

Watch and Learn This Sandwich Monster

Over a period of time, David Laferriere, the creator of Kritzels, has drawn over 1,500 unique Kritzels characters on sandwich bags. New Kritzels keep adding to the tally everyday. What started off as an affectionate token of love and care to his children, has become a part of David’s life. All Kritzels are hand drawn by David Laferriere with Sharpie markers and therefore have a signature value attached to each artwork. Find out more about The Kritzels and licensing opportunities on




Watch and Learn The Coolest Toys

Happy Memories hey? All courtesy of The King of Legoland. Enjoy your weekend, and if you do one thing whilst you’re away from your desk this weekend, I suggest you make time to play with a toy… With or without kids is allowed of course!

Music by Hunting Charlie’s Band(e) Samuel Vielliard.
Video by Micaël Reynaud.

Watch and Learn Yoga Joe

Brogamats was founded on the belief that yoga practitioners defy simple categorization, and include people of all walks of life, all genders, all Lululemon budgets, and all levels of earthy pretentiousness.

If you have 10 minutes watch the kickstarter video Mr Brogamat presents about his ideas and plans for the future, he is such a likeable guy, and no surprises they raised all their funding in record time, and should be selling out their Bendy Joes very soon.

“We are avid yogaphiles who felt the range of yoga products currently available was frustratingly narrow, so we decided to start designing our own.”




Watch and Learn This Paper Bird

bird paper
bird paper 3

DIANA BELTRAN HERRERA (b. 1987, Colombia) is a designer and artist that has been working over the past years with paper as the primary medium in the production of her work. After graduating from her BA degree in industrial Design at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in 2010, Herrera realized that she wasn’t interested in pursuing a design practice as a life career, as she was more interested in the theories of understanding of nature and material as an element that exist around us and is present in an everyday routine.

bird paper 2

Watch and Learn A 12 Year Old Comic Artist


Meet Orson, he is only 12 and has published is first graphic novel The Adventures of Hal Dekenzin which you can buy through his Aligon Adventures blog here for £7. You can also buy the comic from Orbital Comics, Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop or Gosh Comics in store or online.

So far those that know about comics, and illustration are all saying the right things about this talented artist, and mostly that he has a bright (if dark) future ahead of him. His stories combines twisted tales of monsters, devils, the dead, the undead, time travel, garlic and a few Americans for good measure.


Take a look at this article on It’s Nice That, to read an interview with Orson himself.

Orson 14


Orson: The Adventures of Hal DekenzinORson-Flier-A5-INNER-BACK-



Come and See Daisy & Finn’s Workspace

Good morning all, Today I am starting a new feature called ‘My Workspace’, and I’m rather thrilled about it.

It’s simple, sweet and ever so exciting. I have asked some of the very clever and talented people I meet on this bus journey if they would let us have a peek at their work spaces. Usually it’s a desk of some sort, but the beauty of this feature is that each and every photo that arrives on my inbox holds an element of surprise.

It’s the intimacy that people have with their work spaces that I find so interesting, and the fact that these days peoples actual space can be so very different. Some share Wifi from local cafes, or plan their book on a bench at the top of Primrose Hill. Many spend hours in their studios and others create havens in their offices with mementos and post it notes, all things that are completely necessary to the smooth running of their days. I hope you will enjoy sneaking around and meeting a few of these inspiring people who have agreed to share their work-spaces with us. xo


Meet Daisy & Finns Party Ideas…Niamh has spent all her working life within the fashion industry (apart from a brief spell as a chamber maid during one summer holiday at sixth-form.. !) from product managing, merchandising, buying, styling & art directing etc etc. She has experience in womenswear, menswear & textile interiors. During this time she has planned parties for adults and children alike , all planned to the same level of detail & exuberance ! She lives in Hackney, East London with her husband, two children Daisy & Finn and two cats Boo and Scout.








If you like what they do, find out more and drop them a line. More info here.



Watch and Learn This Body Move

The Human Body is an App ($3.99 : Age 4+) made by the Designers at Tinybop. They create elegant, educational iOS apps to spark the curiosity of kids around the world today. Within the apps, kids play and learn by diving into big ideas, seeing how things work, and making connections about the world they live in. The Human Body App lets you explore a working model of the body. Every part is animated and interactive: the heart beats, guts gurgle, lungs breathe, the skin feels, and eyes see. Designed for kids to discover what we’re made of and how we work. There is also a Plants App and Homes App. Treat yourself, oh! I mean the kids, and indulge in some beautiful designers hard work.

Elegant Events Not To Miss at Somerset House

mr niggles1. Free Exhibition : Beard

You might have seen one or more of the portraits from this exhibition already, as the one of charity campaigner Jimmy Niggles above went viral last year. The photographer Mr Elbank started The #Project60 after meeting Jimmy in Sydney, who was campaigning to raise awareness for skin cancer, after losing a close friend. Through the project, 1200 people contacted the photographer to join forces and share beards, as a result many of the images have been widely shared on social media and have encouraged viewers to go for skin checks which can prove life-saving.

Now it’s your chance to get in with the hairy crowd, and take a look at the rest of the collection of images from photographer Mr Elbank in which all of his subjects share a common grooming theme. The show celebrates the beard in all forms. His subjects include actors, artists, tattooists and women. 

The exhibition will encompass Mr Elbank’s original collection of works, #Project60, plus new and unseen photographs shot specially for the Somerset House show, bringing them all together for the first time.

5 – 29 March 2015 : Daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.15) : Terrace Rooms, South Wing

guy bourdin

2. A Free Tour : Guy Bourdin Image Maker Exhibition : 13.30 Wednesdays and Fridays (with exhibition ticket)

Join a member of the gallery team for a spotlight tour of the Guy Bourdin: Image Maker exhibition. Each tour delves into these iconic, groundbreaking images and stories behind the style. Tours are free with an admission ticket, and last approximately 20 minutes. Limited spaces are available on a sign-up basis in the exhibition 30 minutes before the tour.

The exhibition itself features over 100 works and previously unseen material from the photographer’s estate, (from 1955 to 1987). This major show charts Bourdin’s distinguished 40-year career from Man Ray’s protégé to photography revolutionary in his own right and explore his pursuit of perfection. The exhibited works exemplify the craftsmanship behind his images, from production to publication, and their enduring quality as a consequence.

The exhibition runs until 15 March 2015 : Open Daily 10.00-18.00 (Last admission 17.15) : Until 21.00 Thursdays (Last admission 20.15) Embankment Galleries, South Wing Tickets : £9.00, £7.00 concessions


3. Free Family Drop-in Workshop: Mapping Through Making with Maggie Li : Saturday 7 February 12.00-15.00

Join Maggie Li, illustrator and author of Big City Explorer to fill the room with marvellous 3D map making! Explore some of the most vibrant cities in the world in response to our exhibition Mapping The City and Maggie’s most recent publication. Free for families with accompanied children aged 6-12 years.


Adult Workshops at Heal’s Modern Craft Market


This February Heal’s (the Tottenham Court Road store) are hosting some very special workshops that celebrate using new materials and processes at their Modern Craft Market between 2-15 February. If you didn’t know, Heal’s really love emerging design talent, and like to push the boundaries in any way they can when it comes to furniture design, and for that matter design in general.


During their Modern Craft Market, whilst they celebrate the best in contemporary craft (expect the best designer balloons, hand-made bunting and very hip jelly and ice-cream), they have invited six established furniture designers* to take over their front windows for a week.

*Chris Eckersley, Sarah Kay, William Warren, Gareth Neal, Carl Clerkin and the designer of Heal’s Koji collection, Koji Katsuragi

Heal’s catchphrase is to the point ‘good design, well made’, it’ works don’t you agree? For the curious here are some facts about Heal’s, you will now know why this company has a special place on the mantelpiece in the world of Design.



1. The store is over 200 years old, it started out as a bed maker in 1810.

2. The eldest of 5 children, Ambrose Heal studied at Marlborough College and Slade School of Art before beginning a two year apprenticeship as a cabinet maker at Graham and Biddle of Oxford Street.

3. Although dubious of his furniture designs, his father nevertheless admitted him to partnership in 1898 and allowed him a small part of the shop to show his work, where he gained the attention of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

4. In the early 1900’s he established an art gallery at Tottenham Court Road, showing works by Picasso, Wyndham Lewis and Modigliani.

5. His style of furniture helped to change the whole concept of home furnishing – leaving behind by the tyranny of ‘period style’ and providing an agreeable alternative to the reliance on antique-style furnishings.


The Modern Craft Workshops  

(To book your place click on the link just above)

Tortie Hoare

Setting the market off with a bang, bespoke furniture designer Tortie Hoare provides an insight into the medieval art of leather moulding. This workshop is a unique opportunity to explore a centuries old technique by making a one-off piece for you to take home and treasure.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Tuesday 3 February 2015 Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £12 : Limited space available

Jo Davies

Exploring the translucent qualities of the material porcelain, Jo Davies’ workshop gives you the chance to design your own miniature porcelain tea light lantern. Using natural and man- made materials to imprint the piece, you will create beautiful patterns around the surface building them up to make a truly personal gift or memento.

*Please note: items cannot be taken away on the day as they have to be fired. Allow 7 days before pick up.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Wednesday 4 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £27 Limited space available

Gabrielle Vary

Providing a crash course in the intricate craft of knitting, Gabrielle Vary will take you through a range of skills and techniques; from teaching you the basics of how to use a knitting machine right through to creating Fairisle and pattern in knit. This one-to-one workshop is the perfect opportunity to take a love of knitting to the next level, giving you the chance to translate your designs into custom knitting patterns.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Thursday 5 February 2015
Time: 12pm – 2pm (30-minute slots) Cost: £7 Limited space available


Gemma Waggett

Hosted by textile designer Gemma Waggett, this workshop teaches you how to create and screen print pattern on to your very own tote bag. Working alongside Gemma, you will learn all of the skills involved in using a digital embroiderer as well as translating to a silkscreen. With all materials provided, there’s nothing stopping you from making.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Friday 6 February 2015 Time: 12pm – 2pm (30-minute slots) Cost: £7 Limited space available

Stephanie Hosmer

Join ‘Miss Papercut’, aka Stephanie Hosmer, for an introductory workshop in crafting with paper. By first teaching you the techniques of how to use tools to cut from templates, the workshop leads on to you trying your hand at more complex patterns, creating a collection of beautiful cards in the process.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Saturday 7 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £12 Limited spaces available, adults only,

Katharina Eisenkoeck

This workshop lets you test out the techniques used by Katharina Eisenkoeck to mould leather and emboss concrete, creating 2 beautiful handmade napkin rings to take with you. By cutting the leather into strips then wet-forming it in water you will learn how to emboss the material with your own unique pattern, before

casting small cubes of concrete to attach to your napkins.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Monday 9 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £17 Limited spaces available.


Justine Wall

Talking you through the different stages and techniques, Justine Wall’s workshop will show you how to design and make your very own lino-cut. Sketching your own designs onto tracing paper, you will transfer your creations onto lino block before carving in your design. This highly-skilled workshop includes all the materials you will need to create a master piece in your lunch break.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Tuesday 10 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £17 Limited spaces available, adults only

Zara Day of Rosemaryrose

Led by Zara Day of Rosemaryrose, this workshop gives you the chance to create your very own Love Token. Popular in the 19th Century, the Love Token is a gift traditionally given by gentleman to show their affection. The hearts are filled with fragrant local Cotswold lavender, which in Tudor times was associated with passion, and are hand-made using the traditional technique of embroidered stitches. The perfect workshop to craft handmade your Valentine’s Day gift.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Wednesday 11 February 2015 Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £12 Limited spaces available, adults only.


Crafts Magazine Talk

Keeping it Real: craft and authenticity

From traditional techniques to cutting-edge digital processes, this panel discussion – chaired by Crafts’ editor Grant Gibson and featuring bodger-in-chief Chris Eckersley, Studio Manifold’s Zachary Eastwood-Bloom and up-and-coming designer Xenia Moseley – sets out to discover where the limits of craft reside and asks the question: what precisely is ‘real’ craft. The lively debate will be followed by drinks.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Wednesday 11 February 2015
Time: 6pm – 9.30pm RSVP:


Out of the Dark

Join Out of the Dark at the Heal’s Modern Craft Market for their brand new, introduction to caning workshop. You will cover the history of caning plus examples of different caning styles. Learn the basics of 6 way chair caning on a small frame that you can then take home with you.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Monday 9 February 2015 Time: 6pm – 9pm Cost: £30 – all proceeds go to charity; Limited spaces available, adults only

Thomas Appleton

Using stone donated by London Stone Conservation, this workshop gives you the chance to try your hand at traditional techniques of letter carving. Under the watchful eye of master craftsman Thomas Appleton, you will carve letters in stone to take with you and enjoy at home. All equipment and materials needed for the workshop will be provided.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Friday 13 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm Cost: £12 Limited spaces available, adults only


Umut Yamac

With years of experience making delicate paper sculptures, this workshop will show you how to create your own handmade wall clock using the origami style of folding paper. Inspired by Umut Yamac’s own Perch Light artwork, each participant will be supplied with all the materials necessary to create their own clock to display at home.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Friday 13 February 2015 : Time: 5.30pm -7pm Cost: £12 Limited spaces available, adults only.


Nancy Nicholson

Join us as the Heal’s Modern Craft Market learns the art and craft of stitch-work with Nancy Nicholson. During this workshop you will be shown many of the specialist stitches that Nancy uses in her designs, which will also be on display throughout the duration of craft market. You will also be provided with a printed motif for you to stitch and take home to enjoy.

Location: Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 7LQ Date: Saturday 14 February 2015
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm : Cost: £12 mLimited spaces available, adults only.

 Heal’s are launching an ‘open call‘ for the annual Heal’s Discovers award. This is the first time they are running an open call, so are opening it up to all emerging designers. If you know anyone who might be interested please feel free to pass on this post.They are looking for print / textile designers as well as furniture/product designers.

Don’t Move, Improve!  : Free Style Consultations
As part of NLA (New London Architecture)’s “Don’t Move, Improve!” competition, Heal’s will offer free one-to-one style consultations at its Tottenham Court Road store on 24 January 2015, from 11am to 4pm. 

This event will include free industry advice from the Heal’s styling service. The in-house specialists will be available for advice on colour, texture and space planning with a focus on furniture, lighting and textiles.

WHEN: 24th January 2015 

WHERE: Tottenham Court Road – Fabrics Department

For all the Bowie Fans Out There…


 “Bowie is the man who elevated his music to what can only be described as an art form.” – David Bowie website

It’s a sad day, as we celebrate the life of David Bowie who died this morning in New York aged 69.

Thanks to ThisisColosaal for sharing this Bowie animated gif from illustrator Helen Green. To celebrate his 68th birthday last week, she drew each of David Bowie’s hairstyles from 1964-2014. Both the black and white and color stills of all 29 frames are avaiable as a print through Society6. (via Kottke).

Images copyright/ credit to (see link above).

Design : Toy Stories : Gabriele Galimberti : Photographer

Do you ever feel frustrated that your iPhone runs out of batteries too quickly, that you haven’t got the latest ASOS clutch bag, or you’ll never get your dream holiday to Branson’s Necka Island? Well, I guess at times the fast track life brings these moments to us all. Here’s a thought… take a look at this book of these inspiring photos, and you might remind yourself that you can get pleasure from much less than you thought.

This collection of photos is a very heart warming project that Photographer Gabriele Galimberti undertook for over a year. He travelled from Malawi to Fiji, China to Morroco, and he visited more than 50 countries creating images of boys and girls with their most prized possessions : their toys. Just looking at these incredible kids brings a huge smile to my face.

About the photographer : Gabriele Galimberti, born in 1977, is an Italian photographer who frequently lives on airplanes, and occasionally in Val di Chiana (Tuscany), where he was born and raised.

He has spent the last few years working on long-term documentary photography projects around the world, some of which have become books, such as Toy Stories (March 2014 / Abrams Books), In Her Kitchen (November 2014 / Random House, also translated into French and Chinese) and Couchsurfing (June 2015 / Random House, title tbc).

Gabriele’s pictures will be shown at a variety of museums and galleries world-wide, including the V&A Museum. Come and join us, as I can’t wait to see his work and love any excuse to hang out at my favourite London museum.

The bookToy Stories: Photos of Children from Around the World and Their Favorite Things by Gabriele Galimberti. ** Buy it now online, or order it from your independent bookstore**

Design : Paper Donut : Alexis Facca


Art direction – Alexis Facca & Tom Joye

Never throw a piece of paper out again. Take a look at the incredible work above titled ‘Paper Donut’ from designer Alexis Facca. It is paper set design at it’s best. Each item perfectly proportioned, accurately crafted, with love and a very light touch.

Alexis Facca is a paper and set designer, a French man at heart, he is now based in Brussels, Belgium. He has a pretty clear objective with his work, he reuses materials concentrating on illustration, motion, set design, and graffiti. He is one of those people instagram was designed for, have a look and you will see what I mean.


Craft Project, A Free Alphabet Poster


Look at this, it’s a freebie from the wonderful Mr Printable. You can download the poster and print it in your choice or language (English, Spanish or French).

Ahhh, how we love Mr Printable and the little printable pixies. Thanks guys. xo


A sweet alphabet poster is a popular choice to decorate kids rooms and classrooms. It makes great wall deco and creates a fun learning zone at the same time, so if you have an empty wall – start browsing our selection! We have lovely free printable posters for you in different original designs, languages and sizes.
Small A4/Letter sizes are good for a quick and easy decoration for a small corner. Larger size posters made from 2 pages are also available.

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Watch and Learn, Etsy Personalised Prints

We love Etsy, (especially all you wonderful UK Etsy makers out there) … so in honour of all things personal, beautiful names, baby celebrations or just making someone feel special with a print in honour of them, here is a pick of the best that we can find. All artwork will be …signed sealed and delivered with true creative love. Joy!

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Giftsbylucy (UK)

Henryjamespapergoods (US)

Mytinytotcreative (US)

Daisyandbumpart (UK)

Nursery Art Gallery (US)

mytinytotcreative (US)

Le Papier Studio (US)

5 of the Best Beautifully Designed Books for Kids

maps book















1. Maps (Big Picture Press) Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

This book of maps is a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. The maps show not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events and many more fascinating facts associated with every region.

almost everything book














2. Almost Everything (Roaring Brook Press) Joelle Jolivet

A skyscraper? An igloo? A high-speed train? A horse and cart? Encyclopedic and stylish, Almost Everything is full of things both familiar and unexpected, arranged in simple categories — buildings, transportation, costumes, plants, animals, and much more. The wealth of detail and oversize design is matched by bold, dramatic block print art, in a book that will capture and hold young children’s attention.

books mcCAin








3. Books (Ammo Books) Murray McCain & John Alcorn

BOOKS! by Murray McCain and John Alcorn, the beloved classic children’s book originally published in 1962, is now re-released for the first time in a new, large format.







4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Penguin Putnam) Eric Carle

The grandfather of all classic children’s books, that is still as popular as ever.

rob ryan














5. The Invisible Kingdom (Hutchinson) Rob Ryan

THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM is about a small boy, a big imagination and learning to be your own person

Oh… and here are a couple of others that were too good not to be included…















Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet (Templar Publishing) Paul Thurlby

Discover an alphabet like no other! In his first children’s book, highly-collected graphic artist Paul Thurlby creates an amazing world where each letter of the alphabet becomes its word. From B for bounce, with two bouncy balls, to Y for yoga, with a stretching yoga instructor, this is a stunning alphabet that helps to make the shape of each letter memorable for first readers

I want my hat back cover


















I Want My Hat Back (Walker) Jon Klassen

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as it he begins to lose hope, lying flat on his back in despair, a deer comes by and asks a rather obvious question that suddenly sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this quirky take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humour and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.

All books are available at your friendly independent book store, and if you can’t see them on the shelf, you bet that they will order it for you. Enjoy xo

You will Love Stationary and Tags by Alison Carmichael

Mama's Secret London

We adore all things Alison Carmichael. We have a box of her cards, and they are very special. These tags will definitely give those ’emergency’ presents or dinner party thank-you gifts, the subtle splash of style that is you all over. Promise not to tell… xo

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Craft Project, Free Prints from the Make It Perfect Blog

Wow Wow Wow, look what we have here. The eternally clever Leanne, is sharing a whole heap of free art prints for you via the Make It Perfect Blog. Christmas came early today… so get choosing, and drop Leanne a comment to let her know you like her a lot over on the blog, and the world will be an even more special place.

Eat, Sleep 4


{PLEASE respect Leanne’s effort in making and designing these prints. She has been generous enough to share them for free with us – that means no selling or claiming them as your own. If you blog about or want to share them with your friends, please link back to the Make It Perfect post so that credit can be given to Leanne.}

Prints We Love : Elephant Love : Hus & Hem


Going Danish ‘Elephant Love’ A3 Print

Mariann Doherty, a freelance illustrator lives and works in Denmark. Her whimsical illustrations are the perfect way to add a little humour to your walls and we have fallen in love with her naive and imaginative illustrations.

  • printed on 250g textured fine art paper
  • Size 40 x 29.7 cm (A3)
  • Shown here in a 30 x 40 cm standard frame (not included)
  • £19.95 + p/p

Buy here from Hus & Hem

Panther Paper Costume : Play Time Ideas : At The Hambledon


We think these costumes are almost at the top of the list as the best ever birthday presents … and they get bonus points for being a great gift to send in the post.

Printed on 170g PEFC paper, certified fire proof.

Ages 3-8 ( 78 x 39cm )

£14.95 + P/P

Buy there here at The Hambledon

Design We Love : Alphabet Poster : Free Free Free

Look at this, it’s a freebie from the wonderful Mr Printable. You can download the poster and print it in your choice or language (English, Spanish or French).

Ahhh, how we love Mr Printable and the little printable pixies. Thanks guys. xo


A sweet alphabet poster is a popular choice to decorate kids rooms and classrooms. It makes great wall deco and creates a fun learning zone at the same time, so if you have an empty wall – start browsing our selection! We have lovely free printable posters for you in different original designs, languages and sizes.
Small A4/Letter sizes are good for a quick and easy decoration for a small corner. Larger size posters made from 2 pages are also available.

Prints we Love : Eat These Every Day : Hus & Hem



EAT THESE EVERY DAY – 1930’s Framed Print

This informative print comes from the employment project, ‘Works Progress Administration’, set up in the 1935-1943 depression in the United States.

Besides being behind public construction projects that found work for over 8 million people, WPA also created great art and culture.

Cool retro modernity in a frame.

Size – A4 (21 x 29.7 cm)

£19.95 from Hus & Hem

Henrik Dybdahl indulges his passion for old books and pictures in the countryside just outside Copenhagen. He calls himself the delightful title of ‘a heritage adventurer’, always on the hunt for old images to share and pass on.

Henrik specialises in reproductions and mash-ups of old engravings, drawings and pictures. Of course it is legal as the images are so old that copyright does not apply. Henrik digitally improves the images, removing sticky fingerprints, scratches, holes and other debris. The original colours are often faded and he works hard to make the images come to life and shine as much as they did when they were fresh off the press.

Design We Love : Bird Screen Prints : Finch & Robin

We have some penguin fans in our house, which is somewhat surprising when you consider their slimy feathers, inability to fly, and fishy breath, (good PR rates in Antarctica), my pixie girls see them as super-cuddly, well natured and often say “…please, please can I have a pet Penguin/Hamster/Cat/Dog or Horse Mum” animals.


Image :

But, I have to say, I am a secret fan too, partly driven by the brilliant dancing scenes and fantastic soundtrack of Happy Feet the movie, and, because if we did turn our garden into a mini-penguin enclosure, and start ordering kilos of frozen sardines from Tesco online, we might have a better chance of keeping Pippi the Penguin alive, than we have had with the 3 gold-fish that have ALL turned to dust in the last month here at the Bus Depot. We found this chilly, but gorgeous limited edition screen print to share with you found at Finch & Robin.


A three colour limited edition screen print of a Penguin, part of the ‘Sea Friends’ children’s series.

Edition of 20
Signed by Kate McLelland and numbered
Dimensions: 190 x 280 mm
Printed onto Somerset White 150 gsm paper

Buy here from Finch & Robin online for £30 & £3 p+p

There is also the lovely British Garden Birds Print for £12 … which is perfect for teaching the pixies about those little sparrows and their wild friends.


Design : Lady Gaga Children’s Book : Andrew Kolb

Here is a book, for those moments when The Gruffalo needs a rest, and you need entertaining. It is a unique and brilliant book by illustrator Andrew Kolb. As you can imagine, the book and Andrew’s work is a big hit in the hip-blog-graphic design world, which is where I found it on the great site

The Lady Gaga story …

Here Andrew tells us how it came about. He writes “Whilst driving in my car I’ll occasionally give real attention to the lyrics of whatever song is on the radio. One gem that stood out above the rest was the team-up between one Lady Gaga and Beyonce Knowles. So moved, I was, by this tale of pestering that I only saw it fit to create a 50’s style children’s book in honour of it“.


We are fresh faced in the hot land of illustrators & designers, (not quite walking, but trying A* for effort), so we take good advice when we can, and when we also saw Andrew’s work on the PixArtTimes site, we knew we had found another treasure. You can see another example of this work here, when he was asked to pit two classic cars in their appropriately scientific setting for the launch of the movie ‘Cars 2’.

Here are more secrets about AK (written by the man himself)

Firstly, Andrew doesn’t like writing in the third person.

Seriously though, I don’t know if other artists/designers/etc hire a writer or ask family and friends to create their bios, but this one is all me. I hope that’s okay.

The whole “neat” thing comes from two main points. First, I approach my work with the hopes that it’ll garner a response similar to “oh, neat!” Second, I continue a long line of Kolbs who like things well kept and organised. It’s neat to be neat!

As for the nitty-gritty of who I am, I hope my work presents a decent character profile. I’m a “half-full” kinda guy and really enjoy instilling that positivity into what I do. As to what exactly it IS that I do, I would classify it as anything from dimensional to digital image-making. It’s a broad spectrum and it’s just how I like it!

I’m always up for a commission, big or small, and equally enjoy a friendly hello!

Email Andrew : and tell him how your day’s been, or chat to him about his work

Design : Prints We Love : Alphabet by SUKIE


We have a slight passion for all things typography, so don’t be surprised if this is the first of many many

Alphabet prints we hunt down. It’s something to do with my dear old Pa having been a real old time ‘typesetter’

who did some work for The Puffin Bookclub (remember anyone?) as well as others.

Alphabet signed Silk Screen Art Print

by Sukie by for £25 & P+P here at Notonthehighstreet




More adored prints from the Bus Stop secret play-room.

Now you know the Swedish word for Hare, so don’t say we don’t ‘educate’ as well as titilate you at our Bus Stop ! xo

hambledon print scandi

Buy from The Hambledon.


‘Skandinaviska djur’. An educational but delightful animal chart from our friends in Sweden. Poster by Ingela Arrhenius for OMM.

50 x 70cm


Design : The Twelve Dancing Princesses : Fairy Tale : Drawings by Shelia Robinson

The Twelve Dancing Princesses : A Grimms’ Fairy Tale

We recently fell upon the work of illustrator and printmaker Shelia Robinson, and got quite excited when we saw that an archive fairytale book of the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ has been recently published by The Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden and the Centre for Children’s Book Studies, in collaboration with leading London design agency Webb & Webb. Take a look at the book here, and tell me you’re not slightly enchanted…


Shelia Robinson (1925-1988)

Born in Nottinghamshire, Sheila Robinson studied at the local Art School and then at the Royal College of Art where she came under the influence of Edward Bawden. An accomplished printmaker she developed to a high quality the cardboard-cut.


On her marriage to Bernard Cheese she moved to Great Bardfield, where they worked on their own commissions and with Bawden. She brought up two children, undertook book illustration and regular work for the Post Office and BBC, before becoming a full-time lecturer in printmaking at the Royal College, after which she seriously curtailed her own work.


The book

This edition of the Brothers Grimm’s The Twelve Dancing Princesses, beautifully designed and illustrated by Sheila Robinson in the late 1940s, but unpublished for 60 years has finally been published.


The original illustrations were kept at the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden for a number of years since being donated by Robinson’s daughter, the artist Chloe Cheese.

After some 200 years since the original Fairy Tales were first printed, the original book is in the form of a single completed, hand-made, hand-bound edition, created to the exact format of the Picture Puffin series.


Worn-out shoes

The princesses in the boats rowing across the lake in particular is an image that fired my imagination and inspired me to emulate my mother to become an illustrator myself. Looking at this illustration now I admire the lightness of touch and the use of light and shade. The picture still takes me to the edge of the lake and into the story.”

Copies can be ordered direct from Anglia Ruskin University. You might also like to visit the Fry Art Gallery website to see more of Sheila Robinson’s work. All proceeds from sales will be used further research publications. Price: £12.50 (including £2.50 p+p). Buy It here

The London Bus : We Like You A lot

As you know, all us Mama’s here love a London Bus, having grown up taking the No.19 from Chelsea up to Piccadilly Circus to see the sights with my dear old Pa, or have tea with the Queen (she was always taking a nap!), here is Mama’s round-up of some cute Bus treats to share.

PS. A little secret, for those of you that fancy a free London bus tour, I’d vote for the no.19 route being a good bet. The route goes from …Battersea Bridge – Chelsea – Piccadilly Circus – Holborn – Islington – Finsbury Park.

(Above) Boys Pyjamas, traditional style button-up jacket with a London Red Bus. All Pixie Dixie Pyjamas are soft 100% jersey cotton, comfy, warm and easy to maintain, no ironing required. Price: £28.99

Personalised London Print by Sweet Home London £14.99 at NotontheHighstreet

Makedo ‘Find and Make’ London  Bus Kit £12.99 at LTMuseum Shop

Handmade London Bus Cushion by Hunkydory home £25 at Notonthehighstreet
Whizzy Wheels London Bus (board book) £4.01 Amazon
nb. prices correct at time of publishing, please check websites for up to date information.

5 of the Best Magazines that Families Love

Anorak Magazine, the ‘happy mag for kids’ is aimed at boys and girls aged between 6 and 12 years old. Please note that they welcome kids of any age to enjoy the magazine but to really fully enjoy it, they need to be proficient readers. £6 online and in selected stores.

Okido is the brainchild of multimedia designer and scientist, Sophie Dauvois and illustrator Rachel Ortas, and is beautifully illustrated by contemporary artists and designers. (see contributors list). Okido is designed for children aged 3-8. £4 online and in selected stores.

Charlie and Lola is an innovative and interactive arts and crafts magazine for little children with big imaginations. Each monthly issue comes with a free craft kit and over 50 special stickers. A wide range of activities help children to learn through craft, and enjoy a different experience every month. Age 4-7 years.£2.99 all major stockists

CBeebies Weekly is packed full of great activities to satisfy your little one’s artistic talents, so get stuck in to cartoon art with the Smarteenies and try colouring by shapes with the bouncy Bobinogs. Cbeebies magazine includes, of course, all the characters from the television channel. Ages 3-6. £1.99 all major stockists.

Enter a world of adventure and learning! Keep kids aged around 6-11 years entertained for hours with Discovery Box magazine, a fun and education read filled with interesting factoids and stories. It covers all basic areas of the curriculum such as history, science, nature, DIY and more in a vibrant way that will stick in the memory because it’s an interactive way of learning! There are DIY experiments, recipes to keep young ones busy, not to mention comic strips and cartoons. Discovery Box is a 2010 and 2011 winner of a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award, so that’s proof that kids give it the thumbs up. £40 per year for 10 issues, other subscriptions available.

Loglike : Handmade craft kits & things of beauty

We had a belated birthday treat skating at Somerset house this week, and though we were tight on time, we sneaked into the Christmas Arcade, and for us, there were exciting moments fluttering by all the very beautiful and unique goods on offer there… firstly, but not finally, we wanted to share the sewing craft kits, and a few other very lovely things we found from LOGLIKE. We have a warm feeling looking at their work, and will keep them close to our hearts as time goes by. xo

alligator sewing kit

Animal Kit – Stitch your own – Alligator, elephant, giraffe £9.95

handmade bird

Handmade bird, duck egg blue £28

pen tidy

Pencil tidy fruit bowl – new tangerine edition – £45

place markers

Holly place markers £24

And for further reading, and those that like to swat up on clever people…


Loglike is a creative partnership, run from rural North Wales by Stephen Bretland and Jen Sandiford, who design, produce, and screenprint gifts, homeware and T-shirts on a cottage industry scale.

Started in London in 2005, Loglike now operates from a small studio, in rural North Wales. Many Loglike products are designed & handmade on site. Human-scale production of contemporary green design.

Loglike products are made using sustainably sourced materials such as wood and solvent-free paint. We also reclaim carefully selected vintage materials and upcycle them into something new. Our Tshirts are always 100% organic cotton and often come with handmade badges that add to the design.

Loglike is part of the Craft Central Association, Clerkenwell Green

Design We Love : Cardboard Teepee : Petit Artisan

cardboard teepee

Made from re-cycled cardboard, the teepee is a blank canvas for children to play, create & decorate using paint, collage, pens & crayons, limited only by imagination.

Suitable for toddlers (from about 18 months / when stable on their feet) up to about 7 years, depending on the size of the child.

Buy here from Crafts 4 Kids.