Friday, 31 December 2010

Coming home, where a new dawn beckons



Home. Our house sits as though in pause, holding its breath and waiting for us to bring it to life again. The Christmas tree looks sad and the thought of undressing it and pulling it out the house will feel like taking a beloved lamb to the slaughter. Like an aged lady with a crooked spine that was once a glamorous young woman who turned heads with her dress and her glow, our tree has seen its glory. 


I think next year we will have to buy a tree in a pot, perhaps even a giant olive tree to decorate. I did really love the ideas featured on OlliElla's Blog:



The sun sets on the last day of the year and I’ve spent most of the day reflecting on the last 365 days.


Sessi started school and has become quite a ‘big’ little girl. 


Oona has learned to walk, talk and dance. I adventured with the girls and their granny in Marrakech, (reliving, in part, a piece of my own childhood) 


We’ve moved house. Twice. That’s a lot of packing!


Then Bekka and I started our adventure of Sisters Guild Ltd, which has been quite a journey, and of course all the everyday events and duties of motherhood!

Excited about the next year and all its promise of new adventure, I have thought of news years resolutions but decided that most of my planned intentions would inevitably last less than a week; a diet that doesn’t include copious amounts of cake, to try to be asleep before midnight (at least a few a week),


to start a gym and perhaps by summer have the body I had at 26! 
However, rather than setting myself up for failure I shall just suggest to myself to resolve to the fact that; I will always try to do more than a day allows, that I cannot in actual fact live without cake, and the body I had at 26 was in all honesty owned by a less confident woman. 

No doubt tomorrow I will end up with a list of ideas, things I’d like to do or change, perhaps I can convince Sessi to give up picking her nose! Then again, it is a traditional childhood pastime and I wouldn’t want to deny her that pleasure!


Nevertheless, I will be celebrating the success of the past year, putting the less great memories down to experience and hope that the next brings all that I imagine.



 
The morning will be full of excitement and promise. I shall start as I mean to go on; full of optimism.

.....................and who knows perhaps by February I’ll be trying out some carpentry tools, have given up cake and be in bed by 10, but that doesn’t sound quite like me!

Home for Christmas

Christmas to me means family, the gathering of the clan. AND time off work.
It’s a well needed holiday period with time for adults to recharge and refuel the mind and soul with books, games, chatter, lounging, plenty of home-cooked food and not forgetting some quality BBC Drama and a box of chocolates of course. It's also time for the kids to feel free.

Christmas Eve (eating the cake and carrot intended for Father Christmas and Rudolph)

The memories of this Christmas that will stay with me are the sisters and cousins being together. That’s where the magic lies.  History repeats itself with the cousins' song and dance perfomances, the Christmas Eve late night excitement (both grown-ups and kids), and listening out for Father Chrsitmas on the roof (S: "I can hear him, I can"). 

Of course Christmas Day morning was all about the presents, discovering stockings and that Father Christmas really had been. The believing is just so wonderful to behold.  Gabriel was wowed by every single thing he pulled from his stocking, even the tangerine. Favourite pressies included a Woolly Mammoth and some Knights to play in his wooden castle that had been made by Daddy for his birthday which is on the 23rd  December- how tricky and lovely at the same time is that!


Our Mama’s current house is not actually the home of our childhood but it has the same atmosphere and is full of a collection of objects that hold such visual memories - simple things like the mirror, the print, the teapot, the bread knife. Part of the joy of returning home for Christmas is the comfort of the familiar.

A trip home is not complete without a jaunt to Bradford-on-Avon, the prettiest little town near Bath.

Barton Farm, Bradford-on-Avon

I found it amusing to be in a place like Barton Farm, now as a sensible grown-up and mother when it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was hanging out there doing teenager things!

Next trip back home I intend to be even more grown up and have a child-free weekend escape and try out the Thermae Bath Spa as part of my New Year plan.

For now I feel rejuvenated enough from the slow and simple days spent en familia.

Ready to embrace the New Year.

Bekka

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

With a flurry of excitement for Christmas



Gifts to charm, gifts to delight, gifts to be cherished 
 

We are feeling ever so Christmasey now, with the Christmas tree up, logs delivered, presents hidden, family and feasting plans made, nativity plays to see, and the all essential Christmas songs on the stereo. It really is the time of year to embrace all the colour and magic and allow yourself to feel a little bit giddy and sentimental. 

There's plenty to swoon over in the Sisters Guild boutique, and to save you dashing around in the cold we have 20% off gifts, today and tomorrow. We hope you can all get your lists ticked early and enjoy all the festive charm, with a few squeals of excitement before Christmas Day!
Keep warm,
From two very excited sisters

20% off GIFTS using discount code*CHARM

*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the gifts category only, excluding Alphabet art print
expires midnight 15th December 2010.

NEWSFLASH! The clothing sale has now started with up to 30% off
Hucklebones, ilovegorgeous, Dandy Star and Little Duckling

REMINDER: Last posting date for Christmas orders is Friday 17th December.  Please get your orders in before 11am

Sunday, 12 December 2010

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas


On the Twelfth Day of Christmas we gazed upon an inflatable globe and thought of all the places we've seen and the places we dream of seeing in the New Year.

We also thought about how busy Father Christmas must be at this time of year,
preparing for his journey across the globe, so we thought
20% off stocking fillers would be quite helpful.
There's 20% off stocking fillers today


20% off stocking fillers using discount code*TWELFTH


*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the stocking fillers category only,
expires midnight 12th December 2010.
NEWSFLASH! The clothing sale has now started with up to 30% off
Hucklebones, ilovegorgeous, Dandy Star and Little Duckling

REMINDER: Last posting date for Christmas orders is Wednesday 15th December.
Please get your orders in before 11am

Saturday, 11 December 2010

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas



On the Eleventh Day of Christmas we found a mouse asleep in a matchbox, wearing a Christmas hat and scarf, all tucked up with a blanket and pillow.

This Christmas little brother mouse is part of a whole gang of Maileg matchbox mice including Matchbox mouse sister, Matchbox mouse mummy, Matchbox mouse daddy
and Matchbox mouse brother
 


20% off Maileg Matchbox Mice using discount code*ELEVENTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for Matchbox Mice only,
expires midnight 11th December 2010.
NEWSFLASH! The clothing sale has now started with up to 30% off
Hucklebones, ilovegorgeous, Dandy Star and Little Duckling

REMINDER: Last posting date for Christmas orders is Wednesday 15th December. Please get your orders in before 11am

Friday, 10 December 2010

On the Tenth Day of Christmas


On the Tenth Day of Christmas a merry horse came galloping along and we knew we were in for a fun ride. This Maileg horse is part of the Imagine & Play collection
which features gifts, toys and play things to spark the imagination.

There's 20% off Imagine & Play



20% off Imagine & Play using discount code*TENTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for Imagine & Play category, excluding Alphabet print,
expires midnight 10th December 2010.

NEWSFLASH! The clothing sale has now started with up to 30% off
Hucklebones, ilovegorgeous, Dandy Star and Little Duckling

Thursday, 9 December 2010

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

On the Ninth Day of Christmas it was getting rather chilly so we unwrapped this lovely
soft muslin sleeping bag by Aden + Anais
With a cosy winter weight of 4 layers of muslin it's the ideal sleep sack for bedtime,
and will keep your little one warm and sleeping through the night.
With some beautiful designs available for boys and girls.

20% off Aden + Anais using discount code*NINTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the Aden + Anais category,
for 1 day, expires midnight 9th December 2010

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

On the Eighth Day of Christmas we came across this vintage inspired Eva the Cat
perfect for little hands to hold and hearts to love.

Hand-stitched onto 100% Irish linen the Leila Lou collection of handmade fabric dolls are made in France. The girls are Chloe, Manon and Tallulah, and there's even a boy called Fergus, plus Nicole the mouse, Florence the rabbit, and cats called Eva and Mia.
A truly lovely gift for a newborn, a toddler or older child.
A handmade gift made with love and longeivity in mind.
The kind of doll that will be adored as a child and cherished into adulthood. 


20% off Leila Lou using discount code*EIGHTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the Leila Lou category,
for 1 day, expires midnight 8th December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

On the Seventh Day of Christmas


On the Seventh Day of Christmas we discovered a Felt Farmhouse that is also a bag,
with a farmer and animals ready to play.
This Felt Farmhouse set is made by Danish designers En Gry & Sif who bring us a unique and beautiful range of handmade and fairtrade products.
We were intrigued that 2 sisters started En Gry & Sif and wanted to find out more.
Here, we share with you an interview with En Gry & Sif

There's 20% off En Gry & Sif today only
Take a look at the En Gry & Sif collection here

20% off En Gry & Sif using discount code* SEVENTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the En Gry & Sif category,  for 1 day, expires midnight 7th December 2010

Monday, 6 December 2010

On the Sixth Day of Christmas


On the Sixth Day of Christmas Belle & Boo came floating by in a hot air balloon.
A lovely idea for a wall decoration this Belle & Boo wall sticker is part of the nostalgic
Belle & Boo collection that includes art prints, cushions, accessories, bags, clothing
and the wonderful Bubbles Before Bed book.

There's 20% off Belle & Boo today only
Take a look at the Belle & Boo collection here

20% off Belle & Boo using discount code* SIXTH

*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the Belle & Boo category,
for 1 day, expires midnight 6th December 2010

Sunday, 5 December 2010

On the Fifth day of Christmas


On the Fifth Day of Christmas we found a piggy in a drum tin
With emroidered blue eyes and a ribbon, this pig is so sweet and the tin is very useful for storing biscuits and yummy things, as long as the pig doesn't scoff them all.

By Danish designers Maileg, at £15.00 - a perfect gift for animal lovers big or small.
There's 20% off all Christmas Gifts today only, so have yourself a lazy shopping day this Sunday and take a look at the gift collection here

20% off gifts using discount code* FIFTH
*offer valid for UK orders only, for items in the gifts category except for the Alphabet Art Print
for 1 day, expires midnight 5th December 2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

On the Fourth Day of Christmas


For the Fourth Day of Christmas we would like to introduce you to the hop hop hop creations of Parisian jewellery maker Clementine du Pontavice.



Handmade in Paris this jewellery is so pretty and wearable, mums and daughters alike will find a favourite piece to wear, including this mini oiseau necklace.
There are birds, clouds, bracelets, pendants and lockets in the most charming colours.

There's 20% off all things for mama, including jewellery, today only
Take a look at the 'for mama' collection here

20% off for mama using discount code* FOURTH

*offer valid on the for mama category only, for 1 day, expires midnight 4th December 2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

On the Third Day of Christmas...


For the Third Day of Christmas we bring you something beautiful AND practical.
This Raffia Gypsy Van is a plaything and a storage basket
by Danish designers Rice DK.
A gift for a boy or girl, the storage basket comes in 3 different sizes, from £34.80.

There's 20% off each product featured in the 12 Days of Christmas,
PLUS 20% off all RICE DK, today only

Take a look at the entire RICE DK collection here
20% off RICE DK and the items featured here using discount code* THIRD

*offer valid on Rice DK and featured items only, for 1 day, expires midnight 3rd December 2010

Thursday, 2 December 2010

On the Second Day of Christmas


Let us introduce you to Nanuq the Eskimo, £15.00, an ideal starter sewing project. To be made by sewing machine or by hand, this is a fantastic Clothkits Kit that contains everything that you need to make him up - and his fish friend too! Printed cotton with simple lines ready to cut out, including instructions, thread and the all important stuffing.



Rediscover Clothkits with 20% off today

Take a look at the entire Clothkits collection here
20% off Clothkits using discount code* SECOND

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

On The First Day Of Christmas

A delightful Chrsitmas gift for any little girl.  A beautifully crafted 'Princess and the Pea' set by Danish designers Maileg. Inspired by the classic fairytale this tall cream wooden bed is piled high with an eiderdown and seven mattresses. Alas, the poor princess cannot sleep, as beneath the mountain of soft fabric lies a little crocheted pea!  A wonderful toy with a little story book to accompany it.

Today is a Maileg day, with 20% off the Maileg collection including the Maileg Matchbox mouse, using discount code FIRST*
Take a look at the entire Maileg collection here

*offer valid on Maileg items only, for 1 day, expires midnight 1st December 2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Memories are made of this

I want to give something to my girls that I have indeed created. My skills are not particularly well accomplished as I discovered last Christmas when I decided to embroider initials onto some beautiful vintage linen napkins I had found. Like a childs' picture may look in his mind, quite perfect, and yet his hand cannot create the same imaginings, my mind was full of hope that my needle and thread might dance up and through the fabric with some sort of magical gift I had yet to discover. Alas, my imagination and hope stretched a little too far and though I finished the napkins (a big feat for me) they looked as though my older daughter may have done them. Perhaps I should have passed them off as her handiwork to the glee of all the family, but I feared the disapproval of allowing a three year old to hold a sewing needle!




I am not one to give up and am convinced I can in fact create something wonderful for my girls and I am now about to make them some clothes. Not easy? Well, these Clothkits sewing kits are perfect for the less skilled or shall I say 'novice' and,  more eager creator.
Sessi is the girliest of girls so I'll be making her this gorgeous pinny:

Clothkits at Sisters Guild

Oona is constantly climbing and scrambling, over, under and through everything so I think these may be preferential, besides I love the echo of 70's colour and it'll be a great addition to her winter wardrobe.


Clothkits at Sisters Guild


Each set contains all that you will need to create the pieces. They are designed to make it uber easy for the novice in all of us who wants to be able to make clothes.

If all goes well I will also be making these adorable, huggable, loveable matching dolls too.

Clothkits at Sisters Guild 

The Clothkits revival is sure to impress our own mothers too, who'll perhaps remember making their own pieces for us when we were young. I've saved my favourite Clothkits dress I had as a child for Sessi, though she's still a little small for it I can't wait to pull it from my memory box to be worn again.

Both my mother and sister Bekka are in love with the illustrations of Rob Ryan so this kit designed by Rob Ryan for Clothkits will make a perfect gift for them to make their own creations.

Clothkits at Sisters Guild

Perhaps I could make the bag to house this wonderful book by Carol Ann Duffy, 'Another Night Before Christmas' which is also illustrated by Rob Ryan.

 The kit can be used to make a bag or two cushions.

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy illustrated by Rob Ryan £4.99 at Amazon  
Also featured on the fabulous ChicLittleBaby blog


Something I've been saving for the future is a pile of fabric I've been adding to ever since my girls were born. I have kept all my favourite pieces of clothing they have worn. Some that are just so incredibly beautiful and others simply because they hold so many memories; the top she was wearing when she took her first steps, her favourite blanket, the dress she wore all summer, the first babygrows she ever wore with the prettiest floral pattern.

When I have more time, if ever this miracle idea of a future with ample time does actually happen, I hope to make a patchwork blanket of all of these memories. Perhaps one for each of their first born.

So here's to an evening in a cosy chair, needle in hand and a head full of hope for my next creations!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Clothes for scrummy boys

There IS reason to get excited about shopping for boys.  Sisters Guild brings you Little Duckling and Dandy Star this season, along with the essential winter cosy sleeping bags by Aden & Anais

The Little Duckling range has a lot to offer the well dressed boy, with no fuss, just quality fabrics and good tailoring.  It's all about being handsome and practical...and making mama feel proud!


Little Duckling clothes from £28.00



Little Duckling also do the sweetest dungarees for baby boys of the smaller snuggly variety:


Little Duckling dungarees from £31.00


Dandy Star T-shirts and Sweatshirts are, quite frankly, irresistible. ....

Dandy Star clothing from £20


And if you want your boys to be really cosy in bed, now that the winter season is here, these Aden & Anais sleeping bags will help your little ones have a good nights sleep....and they'll look adorable too:


Aden & Anais sleeping bags £29.95 each


With more to come next year, the boys dressing room at Sisters Guild makes shopping for sons a real treat.

There's 20% off clothing, including the Aden & Anais sleeping bags, using code FESTIVE until Wednesday 1st December

Pop over to Sisters Guild here

Friday, 26 November 2010

December's knocking let's get dressed



Christmas helps bring sparkle and colour to the grey of mid-winter. The ritual of dressing your home for the festivities is something to be relished.  Sisters Guild have brought together a beautiful collection of Scandinavian Christmas decorations for you to adorn your home.

Christmas also calls for an extra dash of style to your childs' wardrobe and the winter season of clothes is full of the finest fabrics, the prettiest patterns, the softest corduroy, vintage lace and exquisite embroidery. To help get some ideas for making getting dressed that little bit more fun this season,  get dressed with Sisters Guild.

Dandy Star is full of 60s and 70s charm with playful words, typography and colours.  Less about fashion, more about fun wearable works of art.  With the best soft and naturally faded cotton these clothes will become favourites in your boys and girls wardrobe - with long-sleeves and sweatshirts for cosy winter layering.


Find the Dandy Star clothing collection here

Hucklebones brings us beautiful outerwear, delicious dresses, fine jersey and charming knitwear to inspire the design conscious.  Long lasting quality, great design, beautiful heirloom clothes which at the same time maintain the intergrity and innocence of childhood.

Find the Hucklebones collection of clothing here

A clothing range that is both feminine and hip. Inspired by a trip to India, and created through a love of textiles, colour, fashion and their own children, the sought after designs of  i love gorgeous are pretty with an edge to it. For both welly-wearers and party girls!


Find the i love gorgeous clothing collection here


The enchanting characters of Belle & Boo, illustrated by Mandy Sutcliffe, come to life in these beautiful pieces of clothing.  Evoking the playfulness and freedom of childhood the clothes are reversible and made with lovely detail including the embroidered Boo rabbit.


Find the Belle & Boo clothing collection here


London based Little Duckling founded by Danish designer Rosa Wiland, offers a charming collection of clothes for free-spirited boys and girls.  With the perfect mix of tailoring, fabrics and detail, these pieces will be unique additions to your childs' wardrobe.


Find the Little Duckling collection of clothing here

We are offering 20% off Clothing & Christmas using discount code FESTIVE*
*offer valid on categories girls dressing room, boys dressing room, Christmas decor & decorations, expires 1st December 2010

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Encore!





Theatre is an unforgettable experience for children. Holding onto the tickets in your hand outside whilst you wait to be shown to your seats, the hubbub in the auditorium, the smell of theatre, like Chanel, nivea hand cream and chocolate √©clairs, the silence in expectation….the lights dim, the audience lets out a hushed ‘sssssshhh’ and the curtains open.
What will happen, what will we see?
It’s a wondrous journey into a story with all the senses involved.



Theatre has always been a part of our life perhaps growing up with theatre ‘in the blood’ owing to a history in the arts and of course the family's own independent Little Theatre in Bath. (That's a whole other story) Even Fantastic Mr Fox came by!



Gathering together we put on so many productions to whoever would be around. I recall full productions of Annie, with our cousin Tamarose playing the best version of Miss Hannigan! I still remember the dance routines too! Each Christmas at the grandparents home when every family member would gather to celebrate together... post dinner we would disappear to rehearse our production adapting stories and making up our own often comedy version of the Nativity. It became a tradition and the grown ups would roar with laughter and applause. Often followed by our own laughter and applause when it was time to watch them trying to play charades post a few bottles of red wine!


I think I know every musical word for word song by song! I was the little girl that wanted to dance with Fred Astaire, fall in love with Cary Grant (an affair to remember) and join Don and Kathy in their production of ‘singing in the rain’. Whilst my sisters had a more 80's appropriate crush on Adam and the Ants and Duran Duran (so much was this love they begged for our newborn brother to be called Duran Duran…poor mother gave in ‘Duran’ is now his middle name! – sorry Adam).

Childhood is made of little memories that stay with us, leaving their mark. If there are memories I’d like to fill my childrens' hearts with it would be those that you get from the joy of creative arts. Theatre is a huge passion of mine and I hope that by introducing it into my daughters lives at a young age their appreciation will last and grow throughout their lives, enriching them along the way.

My favourite 8 shows from my 'must see' list this winter:


 Lost and Found is showing at the Polka Theatre 12 Oct - 12 Feb 



The Snow Queen showing at the Polka Theatre 19 Nov - 5 Feb

Beauty and the Beast at the National Theatre 1 Dec - 5 Jan


 Alice in Wonderland at the Little Angel Theatre 20 Nov 

showing at Little Angel Theatre from 8 Dec

Fantastic Mr Fox is showing at Jackson's Lane, the Royal Albert Hall and Stratford Circus



Peter & The Wolf is showing at The Southbank 29 - 30 Dec
  Also showing Hansel & Gretal 16 Dec - 1 Jan


And the Rain Falls Down at the Young Vic 24 Feb - 12 Mar 2011


So book some seats, dress up warm and head out to your local theatre. I'm sure you'll get hooked if not on the love of theatre yourself, then simply by watching through your childrens eyes and revelling in their delight.