Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday Makery: Fairy Cup Acorn Caps

We are so enraptured by today's Monday Makery from Catherine over at the Bristol Parenting Cafe.  Her blog is full of stories of family life, crafts and adventures, with some beautiful photos. It was a blog we discovered when we launched Sisters Guild and delved into the most inspiring community of what we can only call  'mums who create wonder at home.'  It's so great to be able to have a guest makery from one such mama who found a world of creativity with her children.

Over to Catherine...


It’s been a lovely autumn so far with sunny, blue-skied days.  We have been spending time outdoors enjoying the mild weather and back at home I’ve been finding pockets full of autumn treasures including leaves, conkers and sycamore seeds.  Last week we managed to collect a jar full of acorn caps, which are one of my very favourite autumn finds.  There is something particularly magical about their tiny size and how they appear to be perfect fairy or elf drinking cups!  We have been busy transforming them into these colourful acorn jewels.  Z and E absolutely loved making these so I think they’ll be a few more batches before the season is out.  

You’ll need
  • A selection of acorn caps
  • Felt-tip pens
  • PVA glue
  • White/blue tac
  • A tray protected with old newspaper. 
  • Glitter (optional)


How to:
  • Colour in the inside of each acorn cap using your felt tip pens.
  • Place the coloured acorn cap onto the newspaper-covered tray, with their coloured side up.  They need to be upright so use blue-tac on the base to help support them.  Make sure the felt tip hasn’t dried out as the glue won’t take the colour and they’ll dry plain white.  To be on the safe side you could do a top up the colour just before adding the glue. 
  • Fill each acorn with PVA glue.  We used a plastic baby spoon and don’t worry if it spills over the cap as it dries clear.
  • Leave the acorns until dry (about 24 hours).
In our second batch we sprinkled glitter on the top of the glue as in our house there doesn’t seem to be anything Z and E don’t think could be improved with a bit of sparkle.


Thank you Catherine. They really are like fairy cups or jewels, who'd have thought it's a simple combination of felt tip colour and glue. Of we go on an acorn hunt!


This is part of our Monday Makery series, where each week we bring craft and recipe ideas and inspiration.
If you would like to do a guest makery, please do get in touch 

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, 28 October 2011

Congratulations to the winners!

Jenny wins the Tanabata Stars 
Mrs Biddle wins the Maileg Matchbox Mummy Mouse
@missielizzieb wins the Japanese Paper Balloons
@sewbertie wins The Rice Dk Raffia Storage Basket
@zoeanddrew wins the Belle & Boo Melamine Tea Set

Thank you for such a fun Birthday Week.

If you want to hear about future offers and giveaways please join Sisters Guild here:

www.sistersguild.co.uk

Kiko+ and gg* for creation and play

Wooohooo, what a fun week we've had for our FIRST BIRTHDAY
There's some great giveaways, not to mention the generous 30% off code at Bambino Goodies.
Today's giveaway is something quite stunning.  It comes from our newest collection in the boutique - Kukkia, a Japanese design company that produces unique wooden toys in 2 collections called kiko+ and gg*

The pieces are made to inspire the creative minds of children, with designs that grown-ups will appreciate too.

Today's GIVEAWAY is for the Tanabata Stars - 100 stars with different colours and numbers, with a soft gold bag to keep them in. Tanabata is a star festival on the seventh day of July in Japan, dedicated to love.
For the festival children make a wish on a star. The Tanabata can be used in many ways including learning to count, decorating, or playing dominos.

WIN WIN WIN ! 
  
Come and play PASS THE PARCEL with us. The more times you pass the parcel the more entries you make!
How to Enter:
Join. Follow. Like. Tweet. 
The more you do the more entries you make.

FIRST STEP: Please join Sisters Guild here, this will validate your entry:


SECOND STEP:  You can do 1 or all 3 of the following.  Each thing you do will be an entry into the giveaway.
  • Follow our Blog and leave a comment below.
  • Like us on Facebook and leave a comment below.
  • Follow us on Twitter and join the party by retweeting the #passtheparcel tweet.

We will list all the multiple entries and use random.org to fairly pick the winners at the end of the week.  Winners will be announced on Friday 28th October.

We hope you ahve been enjoying all the giveaways this week and making the most of the DISCOUNT CODE over at Bambino Goodies who are joining in the celebrations with an exclusive discount code with 30% off EVERTHING in the boutique. Pop over to Bambino Goodies here for the code!

Carla & Bekka

xx

!CLOSING TIME FOR ALL ENTRIES 17:00 GMT!

Then we shall pick the winners.....


Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Whimsy & Wonder of Maileg

Our FIRST BIRTHDAY party has been going well this week.  Today we celebrate one of our favourite collections from Denmark, Maileg. With playthings, decor and accessories that charm both child & mama, these are pieces designed to be treasured for generations.

There's a family of mice who live in matchboxes, wearing the sweetest outfits and snuggling into some fine fabric bedding.  They are very collectable with little brothers, sisters, mummys and daddys, along with a new set of twins waiting to be adored.



Today's GIVEAWAY is a Mummy Matchbox Mouse by Maileg.  Mummy Mouse is in the picture below wearing a red crocheted scarf, she comes complete with a soft mattress, spotted pillow and cosy woolly blanket.

WIN WIN WIN ! 
  
Come and play PASS THE PARCEL with us. The more times you pass the parcel the more entries you make!
How to Enter:
Join. Follow. Like. Tweet. 
The more you do the more entries you make.

FIRST STEP: Please join Sisters Guild here, this will validate your entry:


SECOND STEP:  You can do 1 or all 3 of the following.  Each thing you do will be an entry into the giveaway.
  • Follow our Blog and leave a comment below.
  • Like us on Facebook and leave a comment below.
  • Follow us on Twitter and join the party by retweeting the #passtheparcel tweet.

We will list all the multiple entries and use random.org to fairly pick the winners at the end of the week.  Winners will be announced on Friday 28th October.

We hope you ahve been enjoying all the giveaways this week and making the most of the DISCOUNT CODE over at Bambino Goodies who are joining in the celebrations with an exclusive discount code with 30% off EVERTHING in the boutique. Pop over to Bambino Goodies here for the code!

Carla & Bekka

xx


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Party pieces for colourful celebrations

It's our FIRST BIRTHDAY - and it's party time.  We feel that parties should be a colourful and frequent event, even if it's a teddy and dolls tea party with crochet cakes and fabric teapots! We've been drawn to many pieces in our Parties section that let us celebrate all year round.

Come and join in... 

Today's GIVEAWAY is a set of 7 Japanese Paper Balloons from Petra Boase, in all different animal designs. Perfect for party decoration - and you'll want to keep them up all the time!


WIN WIN WIN ! 
  
Come and play PASS THE PARCEL with us. The more times you pass the parcel the more entries you make!
How to Enter:

Join. Follow. Like. Tweet. 
The more you do the more entries you make.

FIRST STEP: Please join Sisters Guild here, this will validate your entry:


SECOND STEP:  You can do 1 or all 3 of the following.  Each thing you do will be an entry into the giveaway.
  • Follow our Blog and leave a comment below.
  • Like us on Facebook and leave a comment below.
  • Follow us on Twitter and join the party by retweeting the #passtheparcel tweet.

We will list all the multiple entries and use random.org to fairly pick the winners at the end of the week.  Winners will be announced on Friday 28th October.

Have fun entering all the giveaways this week and make sure you grab some tea and cake and celebrate with us!

Carla & Bekka

xx

DISCOUNT CODE ALERT! You may like to know that Bambino Goodies are joining in the celebrations with an exclusive discount code with 30% off EVERTHING in the boutique. Get over to Bambino Goodies here for the code!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Stylish Storage GIVEAWAY

Because we understand that storage cannot just be practical it has to be stylish and colourful too. We search for some of the best solutions, bringing you function, design and a splash of colour. Whether you need to store, stack or stash anything from jewellery, lego, tights and biscuits there's a whole lot of beautiful storage solutions that you'll want to have on show! Psssst! Check the discount code alert at the bottom of this post!

As you may've heard it's our FIRST BIRTHDAY - Woohoo - our week long party is in full swing and we'd like you to join in. 

Today's GIVEAWAY is from one of our favourite brands - RICE DK:


WIN WIN WIN ! 

This Raffia Storage Basket Bag in the classic and well-loved Rice DK Gyspy Van design.   
Come and play PASS THE PARCEL with us. The more times you pass the parcel the more entries you make!
How to Enter:

Join. Follow. Like. Tweet. 
The more you do the more entries you make.

FIRST STEP: Please join Sisters Guild here, this will validate your entry:


SECOND STEP:  You can do 1 or all 3 of the following.  Each thing you do will be an entry into the giveaway.
  • Follow our Blog and leave a comment below.
  • Like us on Facebook and leave a comment below.
  • Follow us on Twitter and join the party by retweeting the #passtheparcel tweet.

We will list all the multiple entries and use random.org to fairly pick the winners at the end of the week.  Winners will be announced on Friday 28th October.

Have fun entering all the giveaways this week and make sure you grab some tea and cake and celebrate with us!

Carla & Bekka

xx

DISCOUNT CODE ALERT! You may like to know that Bambino Goodies are joining in the celebrations with an exclusive discount code with 30% off EVERTHING in the boutique. Get over to Bambino Goodies here for the code!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Happy Birthday to Us!


It's our FIRST BIRTHDAY and we've always thought the first is a special one, so we are having a week long party and you are all invited.

But, whats the use of a party without a few party games? We thought. 
How about a game of pass the parcel? 
Yes! With prizes to be won every day! Woohoo!

So in the spirit of sisters who tend to get a little carried away with celebrations, everyday this week the blog will feature a GIVEAWAY of something special from the boutique.  Be sure to pop by each day to discover the latest prize and a guide on how to enter the competition.

WIN WIN WIN ! To start the week we are giving away one of our new favourite creations from the charming Belle & Boo: the Melamine Tea Set - you can choose either the Ava's Tea Party or the Pirate Party.  These sets are simply beautiful with a plate, bowl, mug and matching knife, fork and spoon all with the wonderful illustrations that Mandy Sutcliffe brings to the very adorable and very much adored world of Belle & Boo.

So, come and play PASS THE PARCEL with us. The more times you pass the parcel the more entries you make!
How to Enter:

Join. Follow. Like. Tweet. 
The more you do the more entries you make.



FIRST STEP: Please join Sisters Guild here:


SECOND STEP:  You can do 1 or all 3 of the following.  Each thing you do will be an entry into the giveaway.
  • Follow our Blog and leave a comment below.
  • Like us on Facebook and leave a comment below.
  • Follow us on Twitter and join the party by retweeting the #passtheparcel tweet.

We will list all the multiple entries and use random.org to fairly pick the winners at the end of the week.  Winners will be announced on Friday 28th October.

Don't forget to come back each day to enter the giveaways -  You can enter as many giveaways as you like in as many ways as you like!

Good luck & thanks for joining in with the party!

Carla & Bekka

xx

NEWSLASH! Bambino Goodies has an exclusive discount code with 30% off EVERTHING in the boutique. We knew this week would get a bit silly! You best pop over to Bambino Goodies here to grab the code!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Art of Living: The Pleasure of Baking

It's National Baking Week with homes and schools across the country full of the joyous smell of baking and the happy munching of some good old home-made cake, including us!  It doesn't have to be baking week for our household to get out the mixing bowl, at the moment it's a weekly thing with Gabe ('I'm nearly 4') requesting to make cake nearly every day.  Banana Cake was yesterday and Apple Cake is the order of today - one of my favourites.  I never thought it would be my son who would make me realise the pleasure of baking. 

Gabe's Banana Bread

I watched Kirstie's Handmade Britain last night on Channel 4 with some very sophisticated cake making. It had me drooling over the cakes and also admiring Kirstie's late night prize-winning efforts. Kirstie, I can relate to the boys-stealing-utensils scenario! Whilst I like eating fancy cakes - those Eclairs looked amazing - fancy baking is not my thing at all.  I'm definitely a cobble it all together and hope for the best kind of baker - that's why I choose foolproof Banana Bread. But...maybe if I had a Kenwood mixer.....

Here's some places where we get regular food inspiration:

Housewife Confidential is a favourite of ours with a mouth-watering recipe index and a new section about Baby Led Weaning which has got me very inspired.  The video of 'Betsy Led Weaning has to be seen.  It's amazing to witness the progress of a baby learning to feed herself solids.  I've never seen anything like it.  It's a great project by Kat to have captured all those moments of Betsy on camera.  Do share this video - it really will help inspire mamas who've wondered about trying Baby Led Weaning. It has certainly confimed the approach for me.

My Daddy Cooks is a seriously good site and book with family recipes that are tasty and work. 
I actually think Kat of Housewife Confidential and Nick of My Daddy Cooks should get together and do a show! I think it's a format that would work....watch this space!

Let us know where you get your baking inspiration and we'd love some recipe guest blogs for the autumn season and for Christmas - do get in touch!

Happy baking and cake-eating!


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, 19 October 2011

Wednesday Woo: New Lucky Boy Sunday collection


It is always with gasps and smiles that we open the newly arrived box of Lucky Boy Sunday creations.  This is a collection that gets us very excited and this autumn & winter season we adore the new creatures that have joined the gang: Stanley DeLarge, Mr Bell, Sailor Jack, Kiki, Bobo, Beauty Baby and the one I have developed a crush on, Snoop!  Their expressions are so beguiling as they beckon you to hold them and take them away on a little jaunt.  And hold them you will, as they are made of the oh so soft and desirable alpaca wool. They are made to be lifelong friends.

Camilla & Camilla, the Danish creators of Lucky Boy Sunday, say:
The collections are made of very soft 100% baby alpaca and are produced in Bolivia by very talented women. We support some of the most poor population by giving them a good job and a fair price. At the same time the Bolivian knitters make our dreams come alive.

We really admire what this talented duo are doing.  Read more about them in the Story Behind the Collections here

"We try to capture poetry. We adore the unsaid - it inspires your own imagination to create"



Discover the Lucky Boy Sunday collection here
And look out for the Christmas pieces coming soon!

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, 18 October 2011

Tell Us it's Tuesday: Rachael of All Abroad Baby

When we first launched Sisters Guild we found many admirable women who were inspired to start a business after becoming mamas - we certainly know the dedication and hours involved!  Rachael of All Abroad Baby is one such talented mama from Australia. Her connection to the UK reads like quite a romantic one as her Scottish grandparents came to Australia on the £10 boat tickets in 1945, Rachael spent most of her twenties in London (a city she loves) where she worked for magazines such as TNT, Top of the Pops magazine, heat, Closer and Good Homes, and Rachael also met her husband here (and this is where we have a Somerset connection as he's from our own beloved west country!).

Now settled in Sydney with her son and a baby on the way, Rachael has just launched All Abroad Baby, a place that brings together design inspiration for mums and their little ones from all over the globe.  'How did she do it?' we hear you cry! Well, I can tell you this:  All Abroad Baby was developed from a passion for good design, a love of learning about different places, a seriously good eye for detail and style-savviness, an amazing career and a studious mind, along with a wonderful vision of connecting people and online boutiques from all over the world.  It's an astounding achievement and a beautiful site to navigate - you can literally shop the world!

We've got to know Rachael over the past year and there is talk of some west country tea and cake on her next visit to England.  In the meantime, we just had to know a bit more about our gorgeous antipodean 'sister' ...

Rachael with her son in Singapore

On waking the first 3 things I do are…
Tiptoe around so that I don't wake my son (who I'm very lucky sleeps until about 8-9am!). Make a cup of tea. Check my emails.

If I had a superpower it would be…
To freeze time around me so that I could fit more into my day.

If I could trade places for a day with someone it would be…
If it was just for a day I'd have to say The Queen.

If someone wrote a story about me the title would be…
How to try and see the positive in everything.

When I was seven years old…
I put on my own circus for the kids who lived on my street.

If you open my fridge you will see
Baby yoghurts, adult single-serve yoghurts (my husband's) and a large tub of yoghurt (mine)... all 3 of us love it.

My favourite view is…
from Cape Byron Lighthouse, the most easterly point in Australia, Byron Bay.

The 3 things I will tell my children are…
Cultivate joy from within and this comes from learning to master your mind and emotions.
Try to leave your mark, however small, in whatever domain suits you.
If you want to be happy in life you have to take responsibility for yourself.

The song or musical piece for the theme tune of my life is…
Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles.

I used to be…
A ballet dancer.

My biggest guilty pleasures are…
Chocolate, er, chocolate, and, um, chocolate.

My wardrobe is…
Currently full of maternity but usually a little more boho.

Never have I ever…
Been to Antarctica.

My kids taught me…
How to truly live in the moment.

Life is like a…
An epic journey with lots of scenic detours.

My earliest memory is…
When I was 2... my dad picking me the last flower from a tree in our garden in our house in Malaysia.

My underwear drawer…
Is yet again full of maternity bras as I'm due to have my second baby in 10 weeks.

I feel like running for the hills when….

The bathroom needs cleaning.

On my teenage bedroom wall there was…
Prince and Madonna posters.

My ideal partner would have the mind of Einstein and the skills of Jamie Oliver (and my husband's pretty close!)


Thank you Rachael you worldy-wise woman! So, Antarctica is your last continent to explore? I loved reading the things you will tell your children and your beautiful earliest memory. With love and luck for All Abroad Baby and your soon to arrive new baby too! 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 Makery, 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

Monday, 17 October 2011

Monday Makery: Pumpkin Soup

Glorious Gourds at WOWO

On the first weekend of October we were blessed with some hot, sunny days so we headed to our favourite Sussex campsite Waspbourne Manor Farm, aka Wowo.  It was a wonderful camping experience amongst the changing leaves of the trees, the days were hot but the evenings were cold and definitely required a big roaring campfire and some hot soup.

Wowo always has an abundance of fresh produce all year round and this year their crop of gourds for the autumn was truly magnificent.  Jean, the owner of Waspbourne Manor Farm, is very passionate about all the  pumpkins in different varieties and has created her own recipe book 'Gourds Galore.' The pumpkins in the pictures above are all for sale at the Wowo shop.  Even if you're not camping you can pop by to buy some glorious gourds in time for Halloween and for some wonderful autumm feasts. Much more exciting than going to the supermarket!


I got really drawn in and inspired by all the shapes and colours and chose 3 gourds to take home: a Tom Fox, which is tall with a good stalk and the perfect jack-o-lantern shape for Halloween, another one which is known as a Turks Turban which is very decorative and a long-lasting one for the larder and lastly one whose name eludes me but looks like a small Cinderella type pumpkin (pumpkin experts please inform me otherwise!)

Pumpkins are ideal for soups and stews - therefore, today's makery is a recipe for a delicious Pumpkin Soup.
  • 1 Large Pumpkin (approx 1kg of scooped out pumpkin flesh)
  • 40g butter
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • Vegetable Stock 500ml
  • Milk 200ml
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • for a spicy version add a pich of cayenne and cumin along with the vegetable stock
If you'd like to use the pumpkin itself as the soup tureen you can simply slice off the lid and scoop out the inside, rather than chop up the whole pumpkin. This also means it can become a lantern too!

Melt the butter and gently cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft.  Add the pumpkin and allow to soften a little in the butter along with the onions. Add the vegetable stock and the spice if you desire.  Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.  Remove from heat. Once cooled a little puree in a liquidiser and return to the pan. Stir in milk to the desired thickness.  Add a pinch of nutmeg and serve in the pumpkin tureen.  So simple and satisfying!



My 3 year old son ate this with much enthusiasm. It's a soup that's freezable and pumpkin puree is a great baby food too as it's very nutritious.

Gourds are now officially my favourite vegetable and I shall be back at Wowo to get some tips from Jean on growing them.


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, 14 October 2011

Once Upon a Week - A Place for Homework




Since school began this term Sophia has been bringing home more homework. Homework in year 1 consists of spelling, reading and sometimes, maths and handwriting and occasionally things she'll need for a project and a special topic.
I took for granted the days when walking home from school was a slow stroll and a chance of ambling through the park at a pace where we can chat about our days. Coming home to get cosy, to discard the uniform for the day and spend time together as a family, doing what we love doing together before a leisurely supper, bubble bath and then the tucking up into bed with a story and the promise of a beautiful sleep.
Now, after school there is a military precision to the few hours left we have together in the day in which we need to all complete our tasks that are required of us.
Sophia will, before discarding her uniform, sit at my desk, little sister on one side colouring in and me on the other guiding and showing the kind of enthusiasm for the homework that would win an Oscar. Beginning with her spelling worksheet, which she insists on doing in her best most beautiful joined-up hand writing. Then if Oona gives us the chance we all sit together whilst Sophia reads us her new book she has brought home that day. I must say she is an excellent reader and loves to read to us despite the distractions her little sister throws up; 'what's that?', as she tries to turn the page before her sister has finished. 'Look, that's Oona, that's Sessi and that's daddy. Which one do you like?' But big sister has more patience than Mary Poppins and talks Oona through the story as though she was leading a class of nursery children and carries on, giving Oona the extra narrative that she asks for as she goes.
As soon as homework is finished its a race to cook a nutritionally balanced and brilliant supper, avoiding what might have been on the menu for school lunch less I be reminded that she has already had meatballs/fish/creamy chicken today!
As the oven beeps and I call the girls to the table I think of all the other parents who are also doing this fine balance of after school 'activities' and wonder how I'll manage when Oona too brings home a bag of school work. I think about the rampage that Kirstie Allsopp has been famous for, believing homework disrupts the most important part of family life and that children should be free from it, left instead to bond, play and spend quality time as a family after school. I admire her for standing up and saying 'This is not right'. I can understand her argument and I admit there are times I want to rebel and say. Right. No homework today, instead we're going to play dressing up, snakes and ladders, paint some pictures, you girls can go and be free and play together (having had the day apart) or we're off to see this or do that or visit so and so for the afternoon.
But, no, I go along with what's expected, too worried that Sophia might fall behind her classmates if I do, and then perhaps I'll be called into the headmasters office and be questioned as to my parenting abilities.

But today is Friday! There is no homework to be taken to school tomorrow and today we rebel against the routine and are free to be a ourselves.
We'll meet friends for supper after a play in the park and then we'll all do what we want. The school bag will remain unopened until late Sunday afternoon when I'll be thrown into a panic at having ignored our tasks and we'll spend Sunday afternoon at the table together bonding over a list of words that contain the sound 'igh'.

Though all that Sophia is learning in school is incredibly important and of course I want to support her, show her my enthusiasm and let her see how interested I am in all that she is doing and also to be a part of it, I can't help but feel that perhaps our life together, spending time as a whole family unit rather than separated by our chores and tasks might perhaps be a better lesson to learn and a more important life skill?

In the meantime I will occasionally fall short of what is required by school and I will go to the park instead to kick the autumn leaves, because childhood is too short, too precious a time to let slip away and quite selfishly I want to enjoy each day we have together just being us.

Spell 'RESENTFUL'

We'd love to hear your views and perhaps learn some tips on how to get the balance right.

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

The Art of Living: Liberty Rocks Fabric Collection


Hush my beating heart, I've just discovered the new collection of Art Prints at Liberty.  I'm in fabric heaven!  Liberty is the place that has fuelled my passion for print and pattern since I was a child.  This time they have really rocked me.  And rock n'roll it really is...

The talented design team at Liberty have been working with musicians and artists to create a really quite stunning collection of prints. They are grouped into 7 parts: Inspired by Musicians, Inspired by Artists, Liberty's Greatest Hits, Music Decades in Design, Rock and Roll Paisley, Design Inspired by Lyrics, Liberty's Ultimate Album Covers.  It's a really vibrant celebration of the past 50 years of music and some great artists have got involved.

How lucky was Florence Welch of ‘Florence and the Machine’ in visiting the Liberty archives and selecting two of her favourite designs for this season’s collection: Grace, a vintage, hand drawn lace print from the 19th Century; and Dancing Ladies, a traditional Liberty Floral popular in the 1920s and 30s


A Boy Dreams Liberty Print is a really beautiful design created from original drawings by Blur guitarist and solo musician Graham Coxon.  It reminds me of a 60s woodcut and has got me all a quiver with a must-have-this feeling...


The Liberty Design Team sourced vintage album covers from second hand record shops to inspire the colour pallette. Seeing these together is really exciting...

ROXY MUSIC
These colours are taken from a palette of intense icy blues using the hues of the cover of the 1975 best-selling album 'Siren':


FOREIGNER
On the cover of 'Feels Like the First Time' the band members posed in a collection of differently coloured macintosh coats, stimulating the Design Team to create a palette of these colours, with shades of dusty pink, velvet green suede brown and beige:


COLOURBOX
80s band Colourbox produced 'Baby I Love You So' with a record sleeve cover that featured rich reds, lustrous scarlets and dark magentas:


BB KING
BB King brought a vibrancy and boldness to the rock and roll scene reflected in this collection by rich opulent shades:



CLARINET JAMBOREE
Warm and wintry with colour tones in luxuriant shades from rich ochre to conker:


ABSOLUTE GREY
East Coast Indie band Absolute Grey made a name for themselves in the 1980s. Their album 'Greenhouse' inspired the Liberty Team to produce a palette of differing shades of grey ranging from deep charcoal to pale flint:


This is a truly magnificent musical collection of prints and makes me realise even more my passion for fabric and also why Liberty really is an outstanding part of our British Design Heritage. Thank you Liberty!

Visit Liberty or see the Liberty Rocks collection online 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, 12 October 2011

Wednesday Woo: Loveable Friends

All things soft and in need of love are now gathered in our new section in the Sisters Guild Boutique:  Loveable Friends.  They are all having a great time there together, keeping each other company, but it does get a bit noisy, especially since the Big Pig moved in.  The Popje dolls,  in all their floral fabric, have recently joined the gang and are distracting the boys with their beauty! They all need a home, some little hands to hold  and adventures to share.  Which one will become your favourite?

The Popje Dolls - Cats & Rabbits - are part of the new collection from kidsonroof. They are made of recycled fabrics and come in a lovely fabric box.  Small £14, Big £16

Jungle Team Rattles by Maileg - Lion, Crocodile, Monkey, Giraffe, Leopard, Elephant - each one has a little bell inside, for little hands to shake and smile. £9.50 each

The Leila Lou collection of dolls are vintage-inspired fabric dolls hand-made in France.  With lovely names such as Eva, Manon, Tallulah, Fergus, Florence, Leila and Kyla, they make unique gifts to be treasured. From £6.00

The Maileg Rabbits are here to charm us with their lollopy arms and legs and beautifully detailed outfits. There's boys and girls in different sizes, from £14

New to the Maileg range and perfect for a newborn baby gift are the Baby Butterfly Bunny Rattles. With a sweet little face and big ears ready to nibble. £9.50 each

The stripey Flap Ear Rattle by Lucky Boy Sunday is made of Alpaca Wool and likes nothing better than a good shake. £32

Monkeys are always a favourite with boys and girls and the Stripey Maileg Monkeys make great little play friends. In pink stripe or blue stripe, £14.95 each

There's a whole family of Maileg mice who live in matchboxes.  They have some rather lovely bedding and sweet little outfits.  Such a wonderful gift and collectible too.  We now have the vintage-style Maileg  matchbox with a Turquoise outfitted boy mouse
The full collection is here
, from £16.95

And lastly, one of our favourite new additions from the Maileg Aw11 collection, the Big Pig Cuddle Pillow.
Adorable and in need of your arms!

Visit  the Loveable Friends together 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, 11 October 2011

Tell Us it's Tuesday: Maggy of Red Ted Art

This week we have the pleasure of the wonderful Maggy from the crafty blog Red Ted Art.  Actually Red Ted Art is far more than a blog, it's a creative hub, the place to go to for 'how to make a ..' - you'll find everything possible for kids and grown-up crafters too. Red Ted Art links up with many other crafty bloggers, with parties and blog hops. I do believe Maggy is a bit of a crafting legend online and contributes to the Guardian too. Maggy is a Mama of  2 and it must be great for 'Red Ted' himself and 'Pipsqueak' to grow up in a crafting household.

We were inspired by Maggy right from the start and have regular Twitter chat, which mostly turns to food. Being half Austrian, half Spanish must give Maggy quite a good culinary combination.  Look out for her recipes closer to Christmas

Never satisfied with the 'About Me' of any blog, and whilst Maggy's About is actually a good read, we had to ask her a few questions to feel a bit closer to this craft sister of ours...




On waking the first 3 things I do are….
Turn on the Laptop (does this mean I am classed a “work a holic”?!)
Make the Kids breakfast
Make a cup of tea

If I had a superpower it would be….
Magic (then I could do everything – incl. magicing the laundry away, magic perfect cakes and magic a clean and tidy living room..)

If I could trade places for a day with someone it would be…
A shepherd up in the Austrian Alps on a sunny day (one day only, right?) – then I would enjoy the stunning few, enjoy the sunshine on my face, hear the bees and enjoy a picnic…

If someone wrote a story about me the title would be…
What happens when you try something new

When I was seven years old…
…I always had scabby knees, my socks on back to front and one of my pig tails undone. I was rubbish at reading, but always won the maths quizzes.

If you open my fridge you will see….
Uhm a bit of a mess? Like the rest of my house?! (don’t worry, I do *clean* the fridge though.. just has lots of stuff in it)

My favourite view is…
Is my view.. hehehe... I do love mountain scenery (see above)

The 3 things I will tell my children are…
Always be nice and help others
Work hard and do your best
Enjoy life

The song or musical piece for the theme tune of my life is…
Strict Machine, by Black Cherry (maybe I am harsh on myself?)

I used to be…
A management consultant, but bored stiff

My biggest guilty pleasures are…
Chocolate
Twitter & Facebook

My wardrobe is…
Untidy (see above re fridge)

Never have I ever…
Bungee jumped or flown in a helicopter

My kids taught me…
…to not always do things my way (gosh, that is so hard though)

Life is like a…
The weather? Unpredictable? Always changing with sunny days and rainy spells?

My earliest memory is….
Dragging home some stray (manky) kittens and asking if we could keep them (no),  helping my brothers throw all our toys out of the bedroom window

My underwear drawer …
Is a mess (see wardrobe and fridge… no, no underwear IN the fridge)

I feel like running for the hills when….
The house needs hovering. My husband or the cleaner does that (yes, so middle class, I know)

On my teenage bedroom wall there was…
A Paul Klee poster

My ideal partner would have the mind of /  skills of  / body of…
Hehehe what can I say but that of my husband…

Thank you Maggy. Your seven year old self sounds a bit like me with scabby knees and pigtails undone, and I'm quite impressed with your teenage taste for Paul Klee posters.  I can also relate to what your kids have taught you, but yes, it is hard isn't it! Look forward to trying some of your Christmas crafts & recipes 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, 10 October 2011

Monday Makery - Making Music: A Percussion Posse


Its seems that the girls have makery's in the molecules of their being. They now see an empty can, a cardboard box, toilet roll tubes and scraps of this and that as objects with new potential. The recent cans washed ready for the recycling sat tempting their imagination. I like their new found resourcefulness but it does mean that things take a while to make it to the recycling bin as instead they pile up to become robots, mouse houses, science experiments, collages and here they become musical instruments.
Sometimes it the simplest of crafts that bring the most joy and you can see from Oona's face how much she loved the transformation of what held boring kidney beans and lentils into far more exciting bongo's, shakers and guiro's.


Here's what you'll need:

  • empty clean tin cans - be sure they do not have sharp edges. The tins with the ring-pull were perfect.
  • balloons
  • scissors
  • dried pasta or lentils or rice
  • a chopstick for playing



Here's how:

  1. Once you have your clean and dried topless tins you are ready to create your first instrument.
  2. First we made a shaker as this is the first idea Sophia had for a percussion instrument. We filled the tin halfway up with the shells of pistachios, though dried pasta, rice or lentils would make a great noise too. You can have fun creating different sounds with different things inside.
  3. Then we chose our balloon colour, snipped the neck of the balloon off and stretched the larger rounded part over the top of the can. If the balloons don't fit snugly around the tin and you think they might slide up and off, you can put an elastic band around the edge and that will stop it sliding...........That's it! That Simple! 
We followed up with another two tins both empty. One was used as a small bongo as the taut balloon over the can made a great drum noise, and the other as a guiro;  a percussion instrument like a 'washboard' (which I had to look up the word for) where you create a sound by sliding a stick or bottle cap up and down the ridges of the instrument. It was fun to think of ways to create sounds and like the chicken and the egg question I learned the half-full/half empty dilemma. When I asked Sophia (it's always interesting to see what side people fall into) whether the tin was half full or half empty she said it was half full because we were putting the shells in. Apparently if we had been taking them out then it would have been half empty! Love it! 

Having a stack of toilet roll tubes we wanted to see what we could make and so hunted some little bells and fabric and created our 'tube-o-bells'. 



Here's what we used:

  • 2 cardboard toilet tissue rolls.
  • a scrap of fabric, though tissue paper, wrapping paper and even newspaper would work just fine.
  • needle and thread
  • scissors
  • miniature bells
  • PVA glue


Here's how:
  1. Cover your tube with PVA glue.
  2. Roll it over your decorative covering and fix any extra length with further glue, tucking in the ends with a dib dab of glue.
  3. Double thread your needle and stitch each of the bells around the top edge of the tube. Its worth a few extra stitches for each bell to make sure they don't come flying off mid music session!
  4. Once you're happy you have enough bells secured take your second cardboard tube and cut down one side to open it up.
  5. Then, roll the cut tube up to fit it into your decorated 'tube-o-bells' to create a stronger structure. If you feel it needs it use sticky tape to keep the new join of the internal tube in place.
  6. Get shaking! 
These instruments were such fun to make and the girls are getting so much fun musical play with them. They call themselves the 'lentil girls'!
The bongo/tom-tom, shaker and guiro can also be made using plastic containers such as large yoghurt or soup pots, or large cardboard tubes. It will all depend on the size of the balloons you can find. These were made using your standard supermarket balloons, but some jumbo ones would be great on a biscuit tin!! 

the 'lentil girls' first performance!
Have fun!



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, 7 October 2011

Once Upon a Week: Cousins


It's been wonderful to see the cousins growing together over the summer, playing in Granny's garden and enjoying the special bond that cousins have. Stripping off and paddling on the hottest days, out in wellies and macs in the rain - or escaping with just soggy socks on without a care in the world.

'Come on Gabe' says Oona, the youngest but secretly the leader.  Gabe giggling as 'Oona is soooo funny.'  Sessi, being the eldest, dutifully reporting back to the grown-ups about what mischief they are up to!  They remind us to make the most of each moment, to feel free and relaxed, to let them get mucky and stay up late under the stars.

We captured many moments on camera but we hope each of them have their own bank of memories of cousins time at Granny's.

'When it's sunny in Granny's garden it feels like we can do things forever' Gabe



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, 6 October 2011

The Art Of Living: Dulwich Picture Gallery


Dulwich Picture Gallery nestled in the beautiful leafy Dulwich village feels as though you've stepped out of London and into the countryside. The peaceful gardens are a living art in their own right. A picture of play with children skipping around, of tranquility where you can shade under the trees. The gardens are used for open air film, art lessons, Dulwich players amateur dramatics, Opera in the garden and even the occasional wedding too.


The Picture Gallery opens its arms and its heart and invites you to become involved. There are courses for adults and children, family drop-in workshops and perhaps my favourite thing; on the first and last Sunday of every month they give us 'artplay' a creative workshop for families. Each session runs from 2pm -3.30pm and the art activities are different each time. Here you can make 'everything and anything from bunting to block printing and all things in between', and you know we can't resist a makery!



I've got the date for the Puppet Making Family Workshop heavily underlined on my calendar. This is part of their Make Station programme taking place Friday 28th October with artist Sally Cutler. Perfectly timed for half term and coinciding with the what looks set to be a wonderful performance of Thumbelina by the banyan Theatre Company. I know we'll all enjoy the performance and revel in the making of our own puppets to take home!
Set the date in your calender too - we'll see you there, I'll be the one elbow deep in PVA glue and fabric!
Friday 28th October 11.20 am - 12.20 pm and 1.20pm - 3.30pm

If you can't make this one do keep an eye on other events and dates. None will disappoint.


The Gallery itself  houses 'one of the world's most important collections of European old master paintings of the 1600s and 1700s.'
The paintings are housed in the first purpose built art gallery in the country. Designed by Sir John Soane in 1812 the collection you'll discover inside is one of the oldest in Great Britain.
There are free gallery tours each Saturday and Sunday and are well worth timing you visit for their 3pm start.


This year the Dulwich Picture Gallery celebrates its 200th year bringing us an impressive international loan exhibition with 'Masterpiece A Month: Presiding Genius'. Each Month a masterpiece will be loaned to the gallery and given pride of place in the galleries enfilade.
For the month of October John Constable, RA, The Leaping Horse will be on display. 

John Constable, RA, The Leaping Horse

If you've ever thought about having a go at creating your own masterpieces you can look into the courses available. There are courses for children to adults, covering all abilities and interests. The award winning Education Department will guide you through the programme and brings 'the understanding and enjoyment of fine art for everyone.'
Children's classes begin at age 7 so I've got a couple of years to wait until my eldest Sophia is able to give any a go. I'm hoping the years of our visits to the gallery will inspire her creative side and encourage her to let this side of her personality explore and enjoy and express her own ideas.
I mean painting with mud, drawing with leaves and sculpting from recycled plastic sounds like creative heaven and I can't begin to imagine how brilliant the designs children would come with creating their own costumes.
'Art for Young People' - We'll see you in the summer of '13!


This is how art galleries should be. Encouraging people to come savour, feel, try, hear, look and absorb themselves in art. To learn not to be afraid of it. To unleash their own creativity and discover something new.
Dulwich Picture Gallery makes art approachable, adventurous and fun.
A perfect place for all the family to enjoy again and again.

Perhaps we'll see you there!



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