Bookmarks: Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

We’ve not written a book review in AGES and this one’s just a little bit different to our usual fare.

Front cover detail of Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

Home Sweet Home is a children’s book – recommended for ages 5+. However, even as adults, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it… and, as regular readers will know, we appreciate and collect iconic children’s books!

Title page of Home Sweet Home children's book by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen | H is for Home

Published earlier this month (October 2017), it was written by Mia Cassany and beautifully illustrated by Paula Blumen.

'Queenie in London' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

Throughout the 40 pages, you’re shown around various interiors & exteriors from around the world – guided by the pets-in-residence.

'Pierre & Papillon in Paris' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

There’s Eva the St Bernard in Iceland, Coco the cat in Brooklyn… there’s even a tortoise named Taiki who lives in Kyoto, Japan!

'Juan in Seville' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

This book is a really fun way for kids (and grown-ups!) to find out about other parts of the world. It teaches facts such as San Francisco is very hilly, Giethoorn in the Netherlands is car-free and that houses in Ibiza are painted white to reflect the light and keep them cool.

'A home isn't a home without a pet!' in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

It’s a book that warrants plenty of return visits.

'Rex in San Francisco' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

It’s such a charming read…

'Bonaparte in Provence' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

…and the illustrations are full of lovely detail that reveal something new every time you flick through the pages.

'Chang in Hong Kong' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

This book is a fantastic Christmas or birthday present for any pet-loving, budding interior decorator!

'Drago in Capri' page in Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany and illustrated by Paula Blumen

Home Sweet Home is available from the publishers in UK/Europe & US/Canada and from Amazon, The Book Depository and Waterstones.

[Many thanks to Ellen at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the review copy]

Get their look: Bright, colourful nursery

Bright, colourful nursery

We don’t often feature kids’ rooms in our Get their look series but this bright, colourful nursery deserves some attention. It’s cleverly decorated in such a way that it can develop as the child grows. There’s plenty of visual stimulus for a small child, but it’s never likely to look babyish as the years pass by. Simple tweeks and changes of accessories (and no doubt toys) is all it will need.

Their obvious challenge was to temper the industrial warehouse space with it’s large expanses of open brickwork, steel joists, hard wooden floor and high ceilings. They successfully achieved this with the large, soft pink area rug; the elephant print and graphic flash cards hung all the way up to meet the ceiling.

It’s a lovely, bright space with lots of natural light for various work or play activities – and looks easy to keep clean and uncluttered too.

  1. MARIMEKKO Karkuteilla print
  2. ‘Bob’s Your Uncle’ A-Z animal flashcard set
  3. DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 convertible crib
  4. Large 38L flexible tubtrugs
  5. Plan toy chalet doll house with furniture
  6. Legler doll’s high chair (white)
  7. DUKTIG play kitchen
  8. Zyana chevron pink rug

Get their look: Bright, colourful nursery | H is for Home

Elayne Fallon Circus

Vintage 'Circus' breakfast set designed by Elayne Fallon for Staffordshire Potteries | H is for Home

Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls… please let us introduce a fabulous display of animals, carriages, lion tamers, strong men and clowns! What a lovely way to start the day – breakfast served on this cheery crockery!

Detail of a lion from a vintage 'Circus' breakfast set designed by Elayne Fallon for Staffordshire Potteries | H is for Home

They’re from the ‘Circus’ range designed by Elayne Fallon for Staffordshire Potteries Ltd in the 1960s/70s.

Base stamp detail from a vintage 'Circus' breakfast set designed by Elayne Fallon for Staffordshire Potteries | H is for Home

This little set comprises mug, cereal bowl, egg cup and plate – everything you might need!

Vintage 'Circus' breakfast set designed by Elayne Fallon for Staffordshire Potteries | H is for Home

The pieces are dinky, but not miniature – so whilst they’re no doubt intended for children, there’s certainly no reason why us grown ups can’t enjoy our egg and soldiers served on them too!

Giving it some Welly!

Win a pair of Warm Welly Co. kids' wellies | H is for Home

Welcome back autumn! I lament the end of summer, but autumn is Justin’s favourite season of the year. He likes the nights drawing in, the trees turning russet, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot – and his beloved log burner being lit again!

Line up of kids' Wellington boots from The Warm Welly Co.

The weather often turns wet and windy at this time of year, so when summer rolls on to autumn and winter, an essential piece of kit is a pair of Wellington boots. We have a super pair of kids’ boots to give away courtesy of The Warm Welly Co. Just the things for being outdoors splashing around in big, muddy puddles!

Line up of Warm Welly Co. wellies on a wall in the countryside

As the name suggests, they’re not just waterproof rubber wellies, they’re lined with neoprene to keep your kids’ feet & toes nice and toasty warm.

They’re available in sizes from toddler to teenager – and they’re soon to start producing them in adult sizes too!

To win a pair for your child, visit the The Warm Welly Co. website then return here to let us know what colour, style & size you’d like and who they’d be for!

A pair of kids’ wellies from The Warm Welly Co.

Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | U Me and the Kids




Create a bedroom worthy of your little superhero

'Create a bedroom worthy of your little superhero' blog post banner

kids' superhero-inspired twin bedroomcredit: Classy Clutter

There are many things you can do for a superhero fan, from buying them the latest Marvel comics to purchasing cool superhero merchandise, such as these pyjamas. These gifts are sure to put a smile on their face, but if you really want to make them grin from ear to ear, how about transforming their bedroom into a superhero paradise by following these twelve creative tips?

Marvel comic strip wallpapercredit: Graham and Brown

  1. Put up comic strip wallpaper

Believe it or not, you can pick up comic strip wallpaper, as well as large wall murals and borders, featuring all of the best characters from sites like eBay and Amazon. Pick their favourite and get busy with the wallpaper paste.

Washi mural of urban skyline in kid's roomcredit: Rebecca Dodge

  1. Use washi-tape to create an urban skyline

Every superhero needs a city to protect, use washi-tape (which can peel off easily later) to create a skyline across the wall. It will make imagining those epic throw downs with super villains much more fun for your little one.

superhero bunting by Noahs Ark & Crafts on Etsycredit: Noahs Ark & Crafts

  1. Comic strip bunting

Follow this super easy tutorial to create your very own comic book bunting to hang around the room; across the ceiling or along shelving.

kids' DIY superhero capescredit: Piece of Cake

  1. Capes and costume hangers

Screw hooks into the wall and decorate them with superhero capes and costumes, so your little one can easily choose who they want to be that day. If you want to get creative make your own capes that can be worn over normal clothing; use gold & red material for Iron Man, red, white & blue for Captain America in the famous shield design and bright green for the Incredible Hulk. Not sure how to make a cape? This tutorial is great for those of us who aren’t confident using a sewing machine.

George Home Superboy duvet setcredit: George Home

  1. Opt for superhero bedding

What would a superhero bedroom be without the appropriate bedding? From Spiderman-themed sheets to Batman duvet covers, there are many designs to choose from online and in stores such as Asda.

'Pow' comic strip cushion covercredit: Catherine Lansfield

  1. Don’t forget pillows & cushions

Got some spare pillows or cushions lying around? Slip these into superhero-themed covers and you’ll be good to go!

Spiderman curtainscredit: Price Right Home

  1. Hang some superhero curtains

While blinds will keep out the light, curtains (especially the superhero kind) are a must-have for any budding crime-fighting, wall-climbing hero in the making.

Hulk wall lightcredit: TruffleShuffle

  1. Light it up

Pick up a fun 3D wall light, which looks like your favourite superhero is bursting through the wall. With Spiderman’s face, Thor’s hammer, the Hulk’s fist and Captain America’s shield available your superhero can choose their favourite to have in the room. Check them out here.

Decoupage comic canvascredit: Mod Podge Rocks!

  1. Comic canvases

Put your artistic skills to the test and create some fun wall art. Paint graphic canvasses with designs like Captain America’s shield or Superman’s ‘S’. Paint brightly coloured comic-strip words such as ‘biff!’, ‘bang!’, ‘pow!’ and ‘zap!’. You can then hang them on the wall in a row or on along a mantelpiece. If you’re not confident about your painting prowess, découpage a canvas with strips cut out from superhero comic books.

Captain America cardboard cut-outcredit: Starstills

  1. Life size superheroes

Your little superhero will love having a true-to-life version of one of his personal heroes in the room; whether it’s a life size cardboard cut-out of Batman watching over him from the corner or Spider-Man guarding the door.

superhero shelvescredit: b00gal00 b0utique

  1. Super shelving

Every tiny Spiderman or Thor needs somewhere to store their superhero manuals, aka comic books, so why not create some fun shelving using decoupage? Simply cut out pictures from comic books and magazines and use them to cover the shelves, apply varnish to each layer, wait to dry and then hang them up.

Batman searchlight

  1. Batman searchlight

Does your little one wish that they were the caped detective, pretending that their bedroom is Gotham City as they run around trying to capture the Joker and Bane? Then create their very own Batman spotlight, which doubles up as a great night-light. Here’s a really easy to follow guide on how to make one using a Pringles tube, card and an LED light.

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Kitsch Kids!

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We bought this trio of ‘wide-eyed children’ prints this week – a bit of classic 1950s kitsch.

detail of vintage Dallas Simpson "Wide Eyed" child print of a boy with a string of onions

We often buy Tretchikoff prints from this era, but don’t normally go for images quite this cutesy.

They were such good examples of the type though – and they do certainly have their fans… Red or Dead founder, Wayne Hemingway famously. Check out his book on the subject, Above The Mantelpiece: Mass-Market Masterpieces

Detail of vintage Dallas Simpson print showing her signature

The artist of these three is Dallas Simpson. Simpson moved with her husband in the mid 1960’s from London to live in a mobile home in West Sussex by the sea. She had no children of her own and her husband used to prime either her canvases or more often she painted on board.

She was a prolific artist of big eyed urchin children and she used to sell the originals and reproduction rights as long as payment was immediate, to fund her simple life and her beloved gin.

She painted under a number of pseudonyms including Emma Louise and Kelita with subtle changes of style in the painting but with the same subject matter. (biographical information taken from Felix Rosenstiel´s Widow & Son Ltd).

vintage Dallas Simpson "Wide eyed" child print of boy sitting on a riverbank holding a fishing rod

All three are in excellent condition with original frames. So if you’re a fan, drop us an email and we’ll give you first refusal before they go into our pitch or listed on our website.

set of three vintage prints of "Wide Eyed" children by Dallas Simpson

If you’d like to do a bit more investigating, other artists in the genre include Maio, Lee, Betty Raphael and Margaret Keane.

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