Friday, 30 September 2011

Once Upon a Week: Rapture


Sometimes beauty sneaks up on you and makes you feel that rare feeling of pure rapture.  This week there has been an unusual low tide on Brighton beach that revealed a vast expanse of sand with wide seawater pools.  The beach was full of people parading the sand at sunset, like an exodus to witness this Indian Summers' final offering of warmth.  People were shedding layers of clothes and splashing into the sea, lost in the moment of joy.

There were many families out late, like us, forgetting the routine of dinner, bath and bed, forgetting calls of duty and domesticity.  We saw many faces glowing with smiles as the sun went down - parents looking at their children with a new serenity.

Gabe splashed, paddled, whooped, giggled and felt free.  I stood and held my pregnant belly, breathing in this beautiful moment.

Thank you Brighton for such magic.


This is a new series - Once Upon a Week - where we give you a glimpse into the lives and times behind the scenes of Sisters Guild.

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday Makery, Tuesday brings the closing of our series 'The  Story Behind Our Collections' inviting you to take a closer look at the designers we house and the beginning of a new series 'Tell Us Its Tuesday'Wednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Art of Living: Bath Stone Bowls

I recently discovered an old Bath acquaintance of mine is the maker of some rather beautiful bowls. Actually, they are not just bowls, they are fine vessels to marvel at.   Hand-made by Warwick Borsay in distinctive Bath stone these are unique pieces to grace the modern home.


The ellipse is such an evocative shape - combine that with the weight of Bath stone and something quite stunning is created.  This is a collection that reflects the heritage of Bath.  Below are the Egg Cups, Small Ellipse and Lunar (my favourite). 

Discover the Warwick Borsay collection here

This is part of the Art of Living series of posts that bring you all the things that spark our passion for people, places, travel, food, design and home.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

And for a glimpse behind the scenes of Sisters Guild we have the A-Z of Sisters Guild here 

Our new Tell Us it's Tuesday series is our way of finding out more about bloggers and mamas we've met along the way.  In fact, Bekka went first, and Carla is next!

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wednesday Woo: 30% off soft baby collections

Even though we may be experiencing an Indian Summer, the nights are getting colder and it's time to be wrapped up in some beautiful soft and sumptuous fabrics.

The breathable muslin of Aden+Anais is the ideal winter layer for babies and toddlers.  The cosy sleeping bags have 4 layers of muslin which makes it the perfect autumn and winter weight for ensuring a good nights sleep.  The collection of Aden+Anais includes, bibs, blankets, washcloths and the most amazing swaddle wraps that are 120cm x 120cm square - for bathtime, bedtime and comfort.


Aden+Anais collection

A baby blanket is a wonderful gift to treasure and we have searched out what we believe is a beautiful example of a traditional hand-made lambswool blanket with a contemporary feel.  The Mini McGhee blankets are made in Scotland from 100% lambswool. In teal stripe with green border, grey stripe with pink border, or a cream design that comes with a vintage fabric bag. A lust-have for the new season.


Discover the Aden+Anais and Mini McGhee collections here and use code BEDTIME at the checkout to receive 30% off*

*Offer valid until Wednesday 5th October 2011

This is part of our Wednesday Woo blog post series where we present a selection of our favourite things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Sign up for future news & offers:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tell Us it's Tuesday: Poppy of Baby Style File

This week we are rather excited to be able to reveal the gorgeous mama behind Baby Style File.  Poppy is a creative mama who really does know about good design, with more than 10 years experience of being a stylist for big clients.  Tally that with a few years of motherhood and you know you're going to be introduced to some great stuff on her site.  Poppy became one of our 'twitter sisters' from the start and we've always been curious to know more about this talented figure!

Baby Style File is such a super slick site bringing us design finds in the world of baby and child..... yet, apart from the obvious good taste this blogger shows we can't glean much about who exactly is behind it.
Until now...


On waking the first 3 things I do are….mutter something about getting up, roll over, go back to sleep for another 5 minutes

If I had a superpower it would be….like a Miss World wish list: world peace; save dolphins and make people happy.

If I could trade places for a day with someone it would be…
my son...it would be nice to see the world through a toddlers eyes!

If someone wrote a story about me the title would be… Tea and Marmite

When I was seven years old…I had straight hair!

If you open my fridge you will see….milk, cheese, and a collection of jars that may have been there some time.

My favourite view is… of my family playing and laughing in the garden (corny but true)

The 3 things I will tell my children are… be nice to people (no hitting!), being happy is more important than being rich, they can do anything they set their mind to.

The song or musical piece for the theme tune of my life is…'We could have been anything that we wanted to be' (from Bugsy Malone)

I used to be…able to wear dry clean only clothes and high heels.

My biggest guilty pleasures is…trash telly...X factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother (made even better with twitter commentary!)

My wardrobe is… more practical than it used to be

Never have I ever…liked coconut

My kids taught me… work isn't the be all and end all/ sleep is for losers.

Life is like a… great big adventure

My earliest memory is…. Father Christmas telling me I wasn't allowed to eat the sausage rolls at the nursery Christmas party.

My underwear drawer … is in an old wooden filing cabinet

I feel like running for the hills when…. my toddler hits another child (I know it's just a phase and they all do it, but it's still mighty embarrassing!)

On my teenage bedroom wall there were… quite a few Levi's posters

My ideal partner would have the mind of /  skills of  / body of…  my husband obviously!

Thank you Poppy.  It's been a joy to catch a glimpse into your world. I would absolutely love to read a book called 'Tea and Marmite' - you really must be our sister! And your favourite view is just beautiful. Oh, and I shall defnitely be joining you for Twitter + Strictly soon! x


This is part of our new series of Tuesday blog posts where we ask you to tell us all. We wanted a fun way way to get to know the people behind the blogs and businesses we follow.  We have more people lined up to reveal themselves and may be asking you too!

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday MakeryWednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Monday, 26 September 2011

Monday Makery - Illustrations and Illusions: The Magic of Thaumatropes


Roll up! Roll up! Come see the bird land in the tree!

I think all children like to believe in magic. The magic shows in our house are brilliant attempts at making objects disappear and reappear within the 15-20 seconds we have our eyes closed! Trying to make a rabbit appear from a hat is quite a difficult feat for a five year old and there aren't many rabbits who understand the idea of staying still and out of sight.
Sophia is convinced she has magic powers ever since she changed the colour of her watery potion with petals leaves and twigs from yellow, to orange, to red and then finally to black. It seemed that every time she turned around to reach for something the potion in the bowl would take some of the colour from what she was wearing, her yellow mac, her orange scarf, and her red jumper, until the potion was as black as the night sky. We still to this day have no idea of how it happened, only that it did!
Oona has a slightly confused idea of what magic is, having watched her big sister attempt it on many occasions and not doing as she should have and kept her eyes closed, she now thinks a magic trick is simply throwing something over your shoulder, hiding it under a cushion whilst shouting 'abracadabra', to which of course she gets roars of laughter and grand applause!
I am no magician, I'm far too clumsy for any magic tricks but I do remember being shown an optical illusion when I was young and thought it the most magical thing I'd ever seen.
Perhaps the most delightful thing about this is that its something young children can grasp an understanding of and delight everyone with.
Thaumatropes are easier to make then they are to pronounce and once your child understands the concept the images they can create are brilliant. Sophia came up with so many different ideas that we spent hours making them all!


A thaumatrope meaning 'wonder turner' is a mechanical toy that uses persistence of vision. Made using two images it merges the two together by spinning the pictures to create one new image. Our eyes hold an image for roughly 1/20 of a second after an object or picture has left our view, so by spinning the two pictures rapidly the images seen in quick flashes are then perceived as one united image. The most popular images seen on thaumatropes show a bird and a cage which when spun creates an image of the bird inside the cage, though there are thousands of images you can create by merging two separate images together.

here's what you'll need:
  • card
  • pencil
  • colouring pens, pencils or crayons
  • scissors
  • sticky tape or PVA glue
  • skewers - we chose to swivel the sticks as they were easier for little hands than winding and twisting string, however traditionally these are made with string either side of the disc.

Here's how:
  1. Begin with your imagination. Imagine a scene you would like to create, a bird sitting on a branch or in a cage, a big puddle and some falling rain. Then undo the picture; separate how it happened. The bird and then the cage, the puddle and then the rain-cloud with its falling raindrops.
  2. Now draw 2 circles, one for each part of the picture. You can draw around an eggcup, or teacup or a cookie cutter.
  3. Then draw the parts of your picture one on one circle and the other part on the other.
  4. Cut them out.
  5. Using PVA glue or double sided sticky tape stick the two circles to either side of the top of your stick so the pictures are showing on both sides.
  6. You now have a picture divided into two separate images. 
  7. Now with a quick motion swivel the stick between your hands and see what happens!
Its magic!

from left to right: a rabbit in a hat, flowers in a vase, a bear in a cave

You can even create stories with the pictures too. Sophia naturally started to tell stories about the images turning the thaumatrope slowly at first then building up to a quicker speed.  Each thaumatrope became a short animated story and took on a world of their own; Once upon a time there was a little bird. She flew high up into the sky looking down for the branch she called home. She began to realise she was lost and thought she would never find her way home. Then, there it was the beautiful blue flowers she remembered. See her now perched on her branch happily singing with the spring. Aha! Now she has flown away again, perhaps in search of a worm. Shall we call her back to her branch?


from left to right: raindrops falling on an umbrella, bird on a branch, bird in cage




Oona although too young, at 2, to be able to understand the concept of the illusion loved this toy. When we stopped the twirling she would shout with glee "It's gone. The bird's gone! Say Abracadabra mummy 1.2.3." 
When Sophia saw her rabbit inside the hat she hugged me with such excitement and said "You really ARE magic mummy." "No" I said 'YOU made it Sessi. YOU are the one with the magic!"




These really are such fun to make and so worthwhile. They are great for teaching the art of animation in its first stages and great for story-telling too. The magician in the child will love the deception of it and those who are older will enjoy the trickery of our eyes and the wonder of their remembering.


This is part of our Monday Makery series, where each week we bring craft and recipe ideas and inspiration.

Each week we bring new ideas to our blog through different blog series; Tuesday has previously brought the 'story behind our collections' and now brings 'tell us its tuesday' a fun interview with our favourite creators, designers, bloggers and imaginative extraordinaire's. Wednesday we woo you with new treats in the collection of our boutique. Thursday will leave you inspired through the 'art of living' and Friday we finish with 'once upon a week' where you can see what's happening in the lives of the sisters of Sisters Guild.
For more behind the scenes photos of Sisters Guild we have the gallery of the A-Z of Sisters Guild here.

If you would like to share some ideas as a guest blogger on the Monday Makery we would be very excited to hear from you. Use the contact form on our main website here.
www.sistersguild.co.uk

Friday, 23 September 2011

Once Upon a Week - The Kiss

Circus performers
Sophia on her 5th birthday with little sister Oona 


It was a Wednesday, an ordinary day or so it seemed until the walk home from school. The sun was shining and Sophia had met me at the classroom as usual, bag heavy with the day, cardigan slung over her shoulder, hair disheveled no doubt from a day of racing around the playground and enjoying the freedom from the classroom. We walked home Oona singing in the buggy "the more we get together, together, together. The more we get together the happier we'll be. Because my friends are your friends....." and so on. Only repeating it before it ended and of course with all the actions that accompany it too.
Sophia was asked all the usual questions; " How was your day?", "Did you have a nice lunch?", hoping lunch was not the same as the supper I had planned! There was a pause in our conversation followed by a "mu-um", the kind "mu-um" which usually precedes a request for something extraordinary like a treat or a telltale story of some happening at school whereby so and so did this and so and so is going here. I was ready for the auto response of "It's not treat day today...." and "Well, so and so probably shouldn't have done that (insert appropriate response)." But, no, today the walk home was discovering soemthing completely different than so and so is off to disneyland for the weekend.
I was not expecting, for some time I might add, my only-just-turned-5-year-old daughter to say:


S: _____ kissed me!

M: Really!?! Where did he kiss you?

S: Well, (she raises a hand out palm to the sky, one hand still cruising the scooter) first he kissed me on the hand, then he asked me to marry him, and.....then he kissed me on the lips.

M: How did it feel?

S: Kinda, well, a bit yucky. (looks confused/disappointed)

M: It gets better. (immediately realising that perhaps that wasn't the right thing to say)

S: I hope so.

There's another pause, both of us digesting what it all means.

M: So where were you when you kissed? (trying to get a picture of it all, surely it was part of some game or just a silly thing whilst getting a reading book)

S: Well, (I can't believe she's starting conversations with 'well' as though she's 18 and chatting to her girlfriends) he tricked me!..... He came over and said 'I've got a really good game" and I was tired from all the other games so I just said 'ok'. Then he kissed me!

M: So you didn't know he was going to kiss you! It was a complete surpirse!

S: Yeah! It was in the corner of the playground you know that bit by the side of the building.

M: Did your friends see you? (trying to ascertain if they were alone)

S: No, but we told _____ and _______ .

M: what did they say?

S: They laughed and said 'yuck' and ran off!
I think _____ and I will get married. Can I wear your wedding dress?

M: Of course you can. Though you might not be tall enough for it now. You know that a boy has to ask the father if he can marry his daughter? So ______ will have to ask daddy if he wants to marry you.

S: Why does he have to ask daddy?

M: Well I guess it's important to daddy's to know that their daughters will be happy with who they get married to, and daddy has to 'give you away', if he's going to give you to someone he wants to know that he is good enough.

S: I think he is good and we can live next to you.

M: Well I'm not sure if daddy is ready to give you away yet.

We walk in silence a bit more. I've got a million questions running round my head and Sophia is scooting home as though she has wings powering her along. There is suddenly a different feeling to her and I realise she is in love.
She is far off in front of me now and yet seems so much taller than she did when I dropped her off at school. And, she is. She's taller, she's that little bit more grown up she is very much a young girl. No longer my 'baby'. I think to myself 'This will be the first love of her life' and smile.

Though I don't think we'll be inviting ________ over to play!

Who remembers their first love, their first kiss?



This is the third in a new series where we give you an insight into the lives and times behind the scenes of Sisters Guild.

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday Makery, Tuesday brings the closing of our series 'The  Story Behind Our Collections' inviting you to take a closer look at the designers we house and the beginning of a new series 'Tell Us Its Tuesday'Wednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Art of Living: Autumn Equinox

Tomorrow, Friday 23rd September is the Autumn Equinox.  It is a time when day and night are supposed to be of equal length before the nights become longer. The summer has passed, the air becomes crisp and there's a sense of starting afresh - it certainly feels like an auspicious occasion.

last days of summer

I know that I am already feeling like I need to sleep more and eat more (though that may be the pregnancy!) - there's that familiar hibernation instinct and a feeling of the need to gather provisions. If I had my own vegetable patch I would feel very proud to be gathering up my home-grown produce.  We are lucky enough to all be gathering at Granny's this weekend for the Bath Baby Show and the Bath Children's Literature Festival so the cousins will be able to gather the squash from Granny's garden to add to a family feast.(I have used gather a lot in that paragraph haven't I - I DO like the word!)

Over at our fave blog Housewife Confidential I know Kat and her family will be celebrating the Autumn Equinox and I also know she has an enviable veggie patch as well as the ability to conjour up some amazing looking food.  I think I'm going to give Kat's Spicy Butternut Squash Soup a go.

Kat's Spicy Butternut Squash Soup at Housewife Confidential

I'm also looking forward to a good stomp in the woods too - to get muddy and collect conkers and feel the sense of change in the trees and the air.  It will feel good to embrace the new season and the West Country is a good place to do so.



Back in London there's the Realfood Harvest Festival on the Southbank. An event that celebrates the abundance of British autumnal produce.  So if you're in the area, show your support for the amazing producers in this country.


Enjoy welcoming in the new season!

This is part of the Art of Living series of posts that bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

In our Wednesday Woo blog post series we present a selection of things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

And for a glimpse behind the scenes of Sisters Guild we have the A-Z of Sisters Guild here 

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wednesday Woo: New things from Belle & Boo!

Belle & Boo have once again made us giddy with some new beautiful pieces using some of Mandy Sutcliffe's well-loved illustrations - Ava's Tea Party, The Reading Group, Pirate Party and Club House.  There's a wonderful Melamine Set which includes a plate, bowl, cup and cutlery.  The vintage style Lunch Box and the traditional tin Money Box have been cleverly designed with the illustrations wrapping all around.  The detail is lovely and the images conjour up a time of wonder and play - climbing trees, swinging from branches, lolling on the grass and making tea parties.

Ava's Tea Party Melamine Set, £18.00
Ava's Tea Party Lunch Box, £9.50
Ava's Tea Party Money Box, £3.50
Pirate Party Melamine Set, £18.00
Pirate Party Lunch Box, £9.50
Pirate Party Money Box, £3.50


Discover the full Belle & Boo collection here

This is part of our Wednesday Woo blog post series where we present a selection of our favourite things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Sign up for future news & offers:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tell Us It's Tuesday: Chloe of Olli Ella

This week it is with pleasure that we bring you the fabulous Chloe - mama, gallery owner, founder and director of Olli Ella.  Chloe & her sister (yes, another super sister team) have modernised the nursery for our generation of design-conscious mamas.  With their stunning nursing chairs and now a beautiful range of baby bedding, it is clear that these sisters know about style for the modern home. We are inspired by the fact that the Olli Ella collection is Made in England, but we also know that whilst Chloe grew up in Sydney & LA she was in fact born in England - now that makes for a glamorous combination for sure!  Now coveted from all corners of the globe, Olli Ella is a wonderful vision turned into a very desirable and recognised style.

Our first encounter with Chloe was on Twitter where talk turned to shoes and shopping, as well as giggles about gliding!  We simply had to know more about the style savvy mama behind Olli Ella....



On waking the first 3 things I do are….Kiss my hubby, listen for sounds of toddler waking, and check emails.

If I had a superpower it would be….Extendable, multiple arms!

If I could trade places for a day with someone it would be…That's a hard one! After watching 'Big' as a kid this has always scared me! What if we didn't switch back?!

If someone wrote a story about me the title would be…
Misadventures of the Slightly Adventurous.

When I was seven years old…I developed the biggest crush on a boy who loved Hulk Hogan and Nike Airs. I made it a mission to be as informed as he was on both subjects. It was an age that I am not proud of...

If you open my fridge you will see….Well I am pregnant and so things have changed up a bit: A lot of olives, cheeses of all sorts (this regrettably includes 'Laughing Cow'), peaches and strawberries, and a lot of juice.

My favourite view is…One where you can see the whole sky, uninterrupted.

The 3 things I will tell my children are…To have integrity, to not wait on hold for more than 10 minutes, and to listen to your mama!

The song or musical piece for the theme tune of my life is…Billy Joel - Vienna

I used to be…Even goofier than I am now.

My biggest guilty pleasures are…My bed. Nutella on toast and Alexander McCall Smith. Simultaneously if possible.

My wardrobe is… Looking up!

Never have I ever…
not had a dog!

My kids taught me… To slow down. To let go. To be so grateful.

Life is like a… An Oreo cookie - the beginning looks great, the middle tastes the best, and the rest leaves a sweet taste in your mouth.

My earliest memory is….Is visiting our mum in hospital to see my new baby sister (I was about 2.5)

My underwear drawer … Pass.

I feel like running for the hills when….It has rained all August with no sunshine...

On my teenage bedroom wall there was…A collage of photos of friends and family, a poster of Gavin Rossdale, and a Kimono.

My ideal partner would have the mind of /  skills of  / body of… I have him :)

Thank you Chloe. I do believe we've caught a glimpse of quite a romantic side to you.  You have a very lucky hubby ( I hope he reads the last answer with a big smile) and I hope you get plenty of time for your guilty pleasures of Nutella on toast and Alexander McCall Smith, especially whilst you're pregnant. Enjoy x

This is part of our new series of Tuesday blog posts where we ask you to tell us all. We wanted a fun way way to get to know the people behind the blogs and businesses we follow.  We have more people lined up to reveal themselves and may be asking you too!

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday MakeryWednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

The Story Behind our Collections: En Gry & Sif

Sessi was coming up to her first birthday and I was at the stage where a mama needs to carry a busy bag of bits to keep her little one entertained whilst on the move. Those little books that come out while sitting in a cafe waiting for lunch to arrive, the little toys you  take to the park to keep little hands busy whilst you sit under a tree shading from the summer sun. I was on the search for a bag that would be Sessi's 'bag of...'


I had seen these felt house bags with a Danish name that I had thought were pretty perfect. A beautiful plaything with handles so it could also become a bag for your little one to proudly carry all those favourites things, and completely practical for mama too.  They were created by En Gry & Sif - a name I wanted to discover more about.
The bag did indeed become the bag we took to the cafe, on the train, to the park and held Sessi's important things to take to Granny's for the weekend. Since then, it has been the first house her little dolls moved into, the gingerbread house in stories re-enacted, a nappy bag when Oona arrived, the bag we take on plane flights and so much more. My girls now have one each in different colours - the bright and playful design means it stands out to them and they recognise it as 'theirs.'


I know they are pieces they will own for years to come, changing their use as they grow older and they'll last too.  When beginning the collection for Sisters Guild I knew they would sit perfectly amongst our other collections and wanted to house them in the boutique. It wasn't until  learning about the story behind the collection that it suddenly felt even more important to showcase the range in Sisters Guild. Sometimes it's what's behind the scenes that make us fall in love even more, and now I know a little more about the En Gry story I want to celebrate them.


This is the strory of 2 sisters; Gry and Sif. bored in their own lives they ventured out into the world to travel. One day they came across a village in Nepal where women were making felt and crafting beautiful pieces from it. They saw this and knew they should try to encourage it and harness their skill and their creativity. The two sisters set to find a way in which they could do it and designed a collection for children and for home. Together they create beautifully crafted wonderful pieces for children and home.



The sisters still visit the village as much as they can where it all began and where the local people are blossoming from the work provided.

En Gry & Sif has been given the medal for fair trade standards which symbolises not only thieir success in building a a business encouraging fair trade and conditions but also a stamp of 'thank you', 'well done' from all of us to you.

Even the name of company is a symbol of their original flair and the unique feel. 'En' literally means 'one', There is one Gry, there is one Sif and together they create one incredibly beautiful story, one amazing collection and many more than one persons life is enriched through their work.

I think the thing that makes this collection feel so genuinely heartfelt and completely compelling to tell others about is that it was born of curiosity, nutured with admiration and love and grown with a desire to share with others what they have found.
In En Gry & Sif you'll find playful pieces that fulfill the imaginings of the children that play with them, with the soft feel of felt that is such a tactile material and wonderful  for little hands to hold along with a sentiment of care and respect that shows through its skillfully crafted and beautifully designed pieces.



The collection carries wonderful play pieces that encourage imagination with a Noahs ark, a Gingerbread House, a Mushroom House, a Strawberry House, a Bee House and a farmhouse complete with felt animals and a rather handsome farmer too. En Gry & Sif also design around the festive season with stockings for christmas and decorations for the tree. Kepp an eye ouit for the Christmas collection oming soon
Here at Sisters Guild we search for those pieces that are designed with an idea that they can be handed down from one generation to the next and perhaps become the classics of this new blossoming generation. We believe that imagination is contagious and we hope these unique pieces spark wonder in you and your children.


Discover the En Gry & Sif collection here

This is part of our series of blogs where we share the story behind our collections; because the collections and their creators mean so much to us here at Sisters Guild we want to pass the story on.

We bring a new blog each day; other series of blogs include our 'Monday Makery' with ideas and 'how to's'  to make and bake with all the family, Wednesday we woo you with our favourite pieces from the boutique and its new arrivals, Thursday is all about the art of living; discovering places and sharing new treasures and Friday we bring you the 'A-Z of Sisters Guild' a collection of pictures that convey the life behind the boutique

You can Follow us on Twitter here ,like us on Facebook here and visit our rather marvellous boutique here
Sign up to find out about new collections and future offers:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Monday Makery - Shoo Shoo Shoes




Perhaps it's the recent trips to shoe shops, buying new school shoes for the Autumn school term or the fact that suddenly the girls seem to have outgrown all their footwear, or perhaps there's a moment in a girls life when it all starts: the love of shoes!
Whatever their reason the girls are loving the trying on, the walk around the shop floor, the questions that follow 'how do they feel?' to which they always respond with a 'gooood' like they had just tasted a slice of chocolate gateau with a dollop of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream!
Playing shoe shops at home has become a new favourite pastime and when playing dressing up they insist on getting the right shoes to go with their outfit.
So though these would not pass the test for school footwear nor the after school social events that they are all so suddenly busy with, taking over any chance of me arranging my own, they are perfect for the dressing up box and for, in our house at the very least, playing shoe shops. 
The best thing about it is that they can design their very own, be it glittery, flowery, striped or fluffy the budding Louboutin's can let their creativity flourish.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Hit the recycling bin and find some cardboard boxes; cereal boxes, double walled/corrugated cardboard boxes, shoe boxes or whatever you can find.
  • scissors
  • a pencil
  • pva glue
  • plastic jewels, tissue paper, feathers, ribbon, glitter, coloured paper, cotton wool - whatever you can find to hand


Here's how:

  1. Get the children to draw around each others feet onto the cardboard to create the sole of each shoe.
  2. Cut the feet shapes out and then using these as a template draw and cut another pair to match. You'll need two feet shapes for each foot. 
  3. Using the cardboard from a cereal box or whatever you can find, cut two strips and bend over the front arch of the feet to measure the top strap. This will give you the 'upper' part of the shoe.
  4. Measure an extra inch either side of the strip as you'll be folding this into the shoe later. 
  5. Let the children decorate the strap as they like. Leave the inch either side plain so it'll easier stick to the sole when you piece them together.
  6. Now its time to put it together (you may need to let the upper decorated strip dry a little depending on how much has been stuck on!). You're going to sandwich the pieces together. Take one of the foot shapes and cover with PVA glue this will be the sole. Bend the decorated strip and fold the sides under themselves and inwards to stick on top.
  7. Take the other foot shape and stick on top pressing down firmly. You may find you need to add a little weight to the shoe to help it stick while the glue dries. You can just use the weight of a book or slide the leg of a kitchen chair on top.
  8. Now they're ready to decorate delicate feet.

There you have it! A collection of beautiful shoes a snip of the price of the best designers but just as highly covetable.




We have more Monday Makery craft and recipe ideas here.

If you would like to share some ideas as a guest blogger on the Monday Makery we would be very excited to hear from you. Use the contact form on our main website here.

For behind the scenes photos of Sisters Guild we have the gallery of the A-Z of Sisters Guild here.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Friday, 16 September 2011

Once Upon a Week: Does the baby know it's in your tummy?



My son has been full of questions this week as we all went to my first scan and saw 'the baby' for the first time.  It was an exciting moment for us all and we giggled at the fact that the baby was on his/her head and showing us his/her bottom! It took some time for the Sonographer to jiggle the baby into the right position and Gabe soon lost interest and wanted to play with the toys.

It was the next day that Gabe started asking lots of questions:  Can the baby hear me? Yes, and the baby will love hearing your voice.  Does the baby know it's in your tummy?  Yes, I think so. And, of course he is asking But when will the baby come?  To which it is lovely to answer that first there will be autumn when the trees shed their leaves and then it will be winter when it's cold and snowy and you will have your 4th birthday, and when the trees start growing new leaves, that is when the baby will come. It will be Spring.
Gabe is happy with this answer, probably beacuse I've reminded him of his birthday!  I will have to wait for the inevitable questions of how did the baby get there and how does the baby come out?  (Sis, I shall be consulting you on this as I'm sure Sessi was extra inquisitive about Oona!).

In the meantime we are enjoying sitting together on the sofa feeling close and sharing the wonder of 'mummy growing a baby.'

It's a whole new experience when you're having your second isn't it?


This is the first in a new series where we give you an insight into the lives and times behind the scenes of Sisters Guild.

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday Makery, Tuesday brings the closing of our series 'The  Story Behind Our Collections' inviting you to take a closer look at the designers we house and the beginning of a new series 'Tell Us Its Tuesday'Wednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Art of Living: Bath Festival of Children's Literature



A wonderful festival of literature is coming to one of our favourite cities at the end of September.
Bath is host to an impressive line-up of authors, illustrators and storytellers.  This is the 5th Children's Literature Festival with plenty of events for under 3's to teens.

My son is at the age where he's ready to be absorbed by a storytelling event and I'm so excited to be taking him to a few of our favourites including Elmer:


David McKee
Saturday 24 Sep, 10am - 10.45am
Join master storyteller, stunning artist and creator of this year’s festival front cover David McKee for an incredible live drawing celebration, including our favourite elephant Elmer. A special event for all of you who love King Rollo, Mr Benn and Not Now Bernard too!



Other highlights:

Make your own Picture Book
Sunday 25 Sep, 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Scissors and glue at the ready! Join Petr Horáček, author of The Fly and the Suzy Goose books, find out how to write and illustrate your very own picture book to take home to read.
How great is that!


Roddy Doyle
Friday 23 Sep, 7pm - 8pm
Roddy Doyle is talking about his brilliant new book A Greyhound of a Girl, a wittily told tale of four generations taking a midnight road trip back to the past with a very special mission…
Unfortunately I haven't got a 10+ to take to this event, but maybe they will just let me in without a child.  I'd just love to hear Roddy Doyle's voice!


It's wonderful to witness your children discovering books and becoming readers.  I was quite a 'bookworm' when I was younger and didn't mind being teased about it.  I'm still always surrounded by books and I can always gauge how balanced my life is by how much reading I've been able to do. I just hope my son feels the same joy of books as he grows up.

Visit the website here bathkidslitfest.org.uk
Or download the brochure here

This is part of the Art of Living series of posts that bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

In our Wednesday Woo blog post series we present a selection of things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

And for a glimpse behind the scenes of Sisters Guild we have the A-Z of Sisters Guild here 

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday Woo: ilovegorgeous hairbands

ilovegorgeous have created some lovely hair accessories for the autumn & winter season.  In beautiful fabrics to match the dresses and skirts from the collection, these hairbands with big bows will complete an outfit perfectly!

With the signature star print in Teal, Mauve and Pink to match the Star Print dresses: Debbie, Shooting Star, Funky Sparkle and Party Star, as well as the fabulous Tribeca Skirts.

ilovegorgeous hair accessories from £10 here

discover the girls dressing room here

This is part of our Wednesday Woo blog post series where we present a selection of our favourite things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Tell us it's Tuesday: Lindsey of Urban Mums

This week we have invited the beautiful mama, journalist and blogger of Urban Mums to 'Tell Us.' Lindsey grew up in Northern California and is now settled in London, the city she loves.  Lindsey's passion about motherhood and an active life with her kids comes across in her blog as she charts her way across London and beyond bringing us snippets and stories of family, people, places, style and design.

Were were a bit nosey intrigued to find out more about this stylish mama behind Urban Mums. 
Food features a lot in her blog and below she reveals her ideal man for delicious dinners....


On waking the first 3 things I do are… roll over to see if my husband is awake (hoping he is already attending to the kids which means i got to sleep in!), debate whether or not to get out of bed, give my youngest (the early riser) a morning kiss.

If I had a superpower it would be…. to perfectly clean/organise our home with the snap of my finger.

If I could trade places for a day with someone it would be…
Gwyneth Paltrow. She is doing everything these days!

If someone wrote a story about me the title would be…. Good Intentions.

When I was seven years old… I was a tomboy — playing sports and not a barbie in sight.

If you open my fridge you will see….
cookie dough, strawberries, oj, innocent smoothies.

My favourite view is… watching my daughter "streetdance" (her word, not mine!).

The 3 things I will tell my children are…I love you, give me a kiss, take another bite.

The song or musical piece for the theme tune of my life is…. I Will Survive!

I used to be… athletic. 

My biggest guilty pleasures are… Green and Black's butterscotch chocolate and People magazine.

My wardrobe is… a big fan of Comptoir des Cotonniers.

Never have I ever… drank coffee. 

My kids taught me… love, patience, and to savour every moment, especially the simple ones.

Life is like a… a gift.

My earliest memory is…. camping at Trinity Lake. a summer tradition throughout my childhood. i vaguely remember being bathed in a metal tub on the camp picnic table! very basic camping in the beginning...

My underwear drawer … is very messy and disorganised. (where's that superpower?) 

I feel like running for the hills when…. my kids whine. 

On my teenage bedroom wall there was… Leonardo Dicaprio in Baz Lurhman's Romeo & Juliet poster and Alma-Tadema prints. Interesting combination!

My ideal partner would have the the skills of Raymond Blanc. uh, yes to delicious dinners every night!

Thank you Lindsey.  We also believe that a clicking-the-fingers superpower (in the style of Mary Poppins but with a very stylish wardrobe) would be the ultimate skill for any mum.  But we can already spy that you have some super skills with that cookie dough in your fridge! You'll have to let us know the recipe sometime. x

This is part of our new series of Tuesday blog posts where we ask you to tell us all. We wanted a fun way way to get to know the people behind the blogs and businesses we follow.  We have more people lined up to reveal themselves and may be asking you too!

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday MakeryWednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monday Makery - How To Catch A Dream


Both my girls a big dreamers. I'm not talking about wanting to be ballerinas or to marry princes  (obviously both complete realists!) but rather those dreams that visit our sleep. Sometimes their dreams are terrifying and they wake in the night distraught, hot tears running down their cheeks, inconsolable about being chased by giant yellow ladybirds!

Perhaps its a sign of a vivid imagination or an overload of information that is desperately trying to be processesed while they rest, but regardless I want to protect their sleep and help them through troubled nights.
So, I've been teaching the girls about the native american dream catchers and their protective charms and we decided to make some for ourselves.

Sophia had so much fun searching for the perfect stick for the hoop

Before I begin let me first share the story that has been passed down from parent to child for countless years. It is the story behind the origins of the dream catcher.


Once upon a long time ago the children of the North American Objibwe tribe were recounting bad dreams that haunted their sleep. The dreams spread to other children throughout the tribe like a sickness of the night.
Their worried and concerned parents went to the shaman in search of help. The shaman listened. In order to help, the shaman would first need to enter the dream world to seek an answer that would end the terrifying dreams.
When the shaman entered the dream world he met the four elements: Air, Earth. Water and Fire.
Air, having already heard the cries of the parents had carried their message on the wind to the other elements.  The spirits in the dream world dreamed together with the shaman for a long time.
Then, finally the shaman began to understand the power of the four elements and how each could play a part in protecting the children's sleep. Air could carry the children's dreams, Earth could hold the dreams within her grasp, Water could wash the dreams separating the wanted from the unwanted and Fire could use the morning sun to burn the unwanted dreams that were caught in the earths grasp.
But what could Earth do to grasp the dreams as Air, water and Fire carried them away? How could Earth capture the dreams? The shaman and the elements could not find a solution.
However, a wise spider had been listening all the while. "I can help just as you help me. I can weave a web to catch the dreams." So she did, and the first dream catcher was born.


The spiders web caught the dreams.  The web allowed the good dreams to stay and pass down the feathers to the sleeping child, whilst the bad dreams, caught in the web were not permitted to pass and in the morning the air blew the bad dreams into the morning sun where they were burned away.
The bead so often seen within the web represents the spider that spins the web, and sometimes more jewels are strung into the weave to represent the good dreams that have been allowed to stay within the bawaajige nagwaagan (dream snare). We kept the 'web' quite simple with the idea that we would add more webs with each dream, adding a little something that represented the dream that visited Sophia's sleep.



So, here's what you'll need:

  • A bendy stick, we found ours underneath a willow tree. If you can't find a stick anything circular will do: a paper plate or plastic lid with the centre cut out or a wire coat hanger bent to shape.
  • string or wool
  • beads
  • feathers
  • scissors


Here's how:



  1. Bend your stick into a circular hoop and tie together by looping string around the join. Dream catchers are quite often tear shaped so don't fret if your hoop isn't a perfect circle.
  2. You can chose as to whether you'd like to wrap your hoop in colour or leave it in its more natural state. Here we wrapped our hoop with a turquoise wool; Sophia wanted to incorporate the colours she thought were true to her dreams and chose each colour accordingly. To begin I cut a length of wool and tied it to the top of the loop. Then Sophia was better able to wrap and wrap around the willow. When the length of wool came to an end I tied another piece on cut off the loose ends from the knot and let her continue until the hoop was finished.
  3. Now it's time spin the web. Take another length of wool or string and wrap around the hoop. To make the star that we made follow the guide above. I found this was the easiest way for Sophia, having drawn the guide onto paper and letting her follow the numbers like a dot to dot. 
  4. to add the spider to the web simply thread on a bead at step number 6 on the guide. If the bead sits a little too loose on the web you can always thread the wool through the bead and then back through again to fix it.
  5. Now you can create the paths for the dreams to slide down. Take a length of wool or string and cut to the desired length. Tie one end to the feathers and then start threading the beads. We used the largest bead in our collection so the hole was able to fit over the feathers ends and make them secure and neat. 
  6. Once you are happy with your beaded paths you can tie them to the bottom of the hoop.
  7. To hang simply cut a length of wool or string tie it to the top of your dream catcher and make a loop in the other end.
  8. Now hang above the bed in a place that allows all the good dreams to pass down the feathers onto the sleeper.
  9. Sweet dreams.
I have found various stoires retelling the legend of how the dream catcher came to be, this is the story that seemed to satiate Sophia's curiosity for their beginnings and their protective power. However I do love the retelling in this way here

Here is a list of the powers and spirits held in various feathers:

Crane - wisdom/knowledge
Dove - offer love
Eagle - protection
Goose - draw love
Hawk - Protection
Ostrich - truth
Owl - instill wisdom
Seagull - travel
Swallow - good luck
Wren - safe voyage
Woodpecker - used by a Shaman


Though pigeon feathers are abundant in London I'm not sure of their meaning! Perhaps being similar to the dove it offers love.  I asked Sophia what she though it held and she said it offers food! 'Food and playtime in the park.'!

We have more Monday Makery craft & recipe ideas here.

If you would like to share some ideas as a guest blogger on the Monday Makery we would be very excited to hear from you. Use the contact form on our main website here.

For behind the scenes photos of Sisters Guild we have the gallery of the A-Z of Sisters Guild here.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Friday, 9 September 2011

Once Upon a Week - New Beginnings



This week has been a week of new beginnings. Sophia returned to school, starting year 1 and Oona has begun her mornings at the local Montessori, following in the footsteps of her big sister.
It has been an emotional week with conflicting feelings of excitement and pride intermingled with a sadness for having to let go of our summer together and evenings are spent reflecting whilst sewing labels into their uniform.

A fresh breeze has blown the Autumn collection into the boutique and as each new collection arrives bringing their winter coats and hushed autumnal tones I am reminded of the changing seasons and the chilly days ahead.

Summer clothes are slowly being put away, not returning to their place in the wardrobes after their spin in the wash but rather set aside to be handed down. Seen again when the summer returns.

Now after its first days of its new beginning is over there is a sense of calm and excitement for all that lies ahead. New friendships, afternoons spent kicking the fallen leaves as we walk home through the park, hot chocolate upon coming home and sharing our days as we eat our warm wintry food sitting at the table together.

I feel ready.



This is the first in a new series where we give you an insight into the lives and times behind the scenes of Sisters Guild.

We also publish other series in our blog including our Monday Makery, Tuesday brings the closing of our series 'The  Story Behind Our Collections' inviting you to take a closer look at the designers we house and the beginning of a new series 'Tell Us Its Tuesday'Wednesday we show you our favourite seasonal pieces and Thursdays is dedicated to the 'Art of Living' in which we share ideas and inspiration from places to visit, things to see and articles about things that enrich our lives.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Art of Living: Castor & Pollux

My favourite Bookstore and Gallery in Brighton is located on the seafront and is absolute heaven to me!  Not only in the days of walking along a windwept winter seafront with a pram and newborn and crazy hair (I'm surprised they let me in!) but also on the sunny days of recent times when the cool archway of the gallery space allowed me to be refreshingly absorbed in some beautiful visuals for a little while. Thank you Castor & Pollux!



It's where I discovered Rob Ryan for the first time about 4 years ago and a little love affair began!



Then came Charley Harper - my favourite illustrator of nature - of whom I have a growing collection of books and prints.  My son has the Wings of The Worlds poster poised to go on his bedroom wall:


There are many local artists who exhibit at Castor and Pollux. The place is run by people who are passionate about print and good design.  The shop has jewellery collections, textiles and the best selection of books and cards too. Here's the selection of artists:

Prints available online at Castor & Pollux here

And, what is more...there's a perfect spot for coffee & cake next door.
Go there when you're next in Brighton!

Find out more on the website here

This is part of the Art of Living series of posts that bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas.

In our Wednesday Woo blog post series we present a selection of things from the Sisters Guild Boutique.

We also have a Monday Makery with ideas for things to make yourself.

And for a glimpse behind the scenes of Sisters Guild we have the A-Z of Sisters Guild here 

www.sistersguild.co.uk