Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Art of Living - Dressing Up Then and Now





There has been a lot of focus of 'now and then' in the press in lieu of the upcoming Jubilee here in the UK and I've been taking a look back at the clothes children have worn over the past 60 years. The shapes, the colour and the classics of a generation now grown up. There has been a great and welcome shift in the design of children's clothes and now we see clothing designed for children, created with the child's perspective of life they're fun, free flowing and imaginative.  


 Since beginning Sisters Guild I've become so much more aware of the trends and styles of children's clothing and as a mother with a passion for great design I've begun to understand what is important about childrens clothing. Searching for the very best unique designers and offering them to you here in the boutique, we constantly seek the classics of this new blossoming generation, predicting the shapes and colours that children and parents alike will both love, pieces hard to find on the highstreet, quirky, colourful, playful, pieces that mark the style, the era of a generation in bloom. 

We don't like to think of our clothing range as 'fashion' we try to look at it as 'dressing up' its not about being on trend when you're a child but rather being you. It's about dressing up to who you are, be it lollipop shorts, bright festival dresses, soft rompers for doing just that.. romping around the big outdoors with no care in the world, they can be the girliest of girly dresses perfect for parties or picnics with bears and fit for a queen, pieces that make you feel unique, special, beautiful and free, if a child wants to fly you can make them fabric wings, if they want to climb cover their knees, if they want to dance give them a skirt that twirls as much as they could imagine. Our dressing rooms are about dressing to who you are and who you can be.

We've looked back at trends of the past; the clothes our mothers wore as children, the clothes we wore as we were growing up and now we're enjoying the now. A freer generation, a brighter and more colourful time and as we ready ourselves for deciding upon our SS13 range we look forward to discovering even more of the quirky and classic for the new generation in the hope that some of those pieces will become part play, part memories of your children's childhood and perhaps handed down to the next. Because here at Sisters Guild we believe in longevity, we believe that tomorrow is forever and childhood should last a lifetime.

We revisited a childhood love of paper dressing up dolls and created our very own from the SS12 collection here in our dressing rooms because though things change there's comfort in continuity.

So here's to our blossoming generation.
I wonder who they'll be today and all the tomorrows after





This is part of 'The Art of Living' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'. Check out our Summer Fun too with 100 ideas for fun games and play this summer. If you want to see our latest loves take a look here.
Want to take a look behind the scenes of Sisters Guild? Take a look at our A-Z here where we share a sentimental journey through family life.

If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


sistersguild.com

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Wednesday Woo - Decorative Designs - Party Perfection





Whether you're decorating for a children's party or a wedding, hanging for a picnic or simply using to fill your home with colour these wonderful bright honeycomb balls are great for both indoors and outdoors. 
 Hang them above the dinner table for a celebratory occasion, above a babies cot for an alternative mobile or combine your own combinations with our garland kit. 
Available in Small (5"), medium (7"), large (12") and showstopping supersize (19").
prices start at £3.00!





We've just introduced a few new members to our family of paper Japanese balloons too!.
Come and discover Raccoon, Owl and Lion playing with all their animal friends.
Made from bright, crisp environmental paper, you will love these traditional Japanese paper balloons . Each balloon comes flat: to use, simply blow in the hole which will force the balloon to expand, inflate and form into its circular shape character .The balloons can be flattened and blown up over and over again.
Though you'll never want to them down and neither will the kids.



Browse through our parties and picnics 
for more ideas for decorating





This is part of our Wednesday Woo collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and 'The art of living'.
If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I Spy - Jubilee Joy



I've been looking around for some Jubilee inspiration. Thinking about what I'd like to keep as a souvenir of this special occasion. Trying to find those perfect Jubilee mementos and looking to find ways in which the children can find even more ways to get excited about it.
Here's a few of my favourite things I've discovered along the way.


Battersea Pumphouse Gallery (above)  is taking a look at the notion behind souvenirs and is hosting a month long exhibition. A special production line led by Josh Knowles will allow you to customise your own memorabilia.




There are some great free printables for children to colour, puzzles to do and stamps to design over at activity village. We've already been printing off a a few and using some to create collages from scraps of paper, buttons and fabric scraps in red white and blues.




When it comes to jubilee memorabilia there was only one stop on my mind, Liberty! Pieces are selling fast and I've missed out on a few I would have loved, but can't resist the biscuit barrel in particular because I know it will be kept and used well beyond my becoming a grandma!



If crafting is your cup of Sunday afternoon tea then why not create your very own cross stitch Jubilee piece.



Bustle and Sew are offering are free tutorial for a union jack applique



It doesn't get much yummier than this at the biscuiteers!
With the right biscuit cutters and coloured icing this could be a great after school this week with the children.

It'll be an exciting week of preparations, picnics and parties planned across the land!
I hope you all enjoy getting a little creative with the souvenirs and decorations, edible or otherwise.







This is part of our new 'I Spy' blog features where we bring you a view of something we've fallen in love with. We also have our Monday Makery with ideas for things to make, bake and create.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, a collection of images that depict the words we feel celebrate all that is Sisters Guild. The Art of Living posts bring you all the things and places we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 
If you would like to contribute to our blog by guest blogging a makery or a place or event of interest please do contact us we'd love to share your voice too.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday Makery: Jubilee Party Bunting


In honour of the Jubilee and the extra long weekend we are having a street party in our neighbourhood. The first weekend of June really does signal the start of the outdoor party season - wooohooo - up and down the country celebrations will be in full swing.  There's plenty to celebrate and it doesn't have to be all 'red, white and blue' - though they are quite a pleasing combo of colours!



So, it's inevitable that bunting will adorn streets and houses and trees and any place that you can tie it up.  There's different flag garlands that you can buy, but making your own bunting is a quick and easy little project.....and one that has got me back into action with my sewing machine.

Here's what you will need
  • A4 card (or cereal packet) & a pencil
  • scraps of materials and/or pillow cases
  • bias binding (thank you Millie Moon)
  • scissors
  • pins
  • sewing machine or needle and thread if by hand
  • an afternoon
How to make your bunting

1. First you will need to make the triangle flag template.  For this you can use A4 card or card from a cereal box. This will be the size of your flag - or pennant as it is correctly named!



2. Iron your fabric in half or pillowcase flat - inside out. Draw round the triangle template across the fabric, leaving enough space between for the hem.  Tip: you can use the fold of the fabric or pillowcase as one side of the triangle to save you sewing that side.

3. Cut out each triangle leaving a rough 1cm hem, except at the top of the triangle as no hem will be needed here (less sewing - oh good!)

4. Keeping the fabric inside out, line up and pin the 2 sides of the pennant together - you can use a plain back or a contrasting pattern, your choice.

5.  Once they are all pinned you are ready to head to the sewing machine and sew along the open sides - keeping the top of the pennant open.

6.  Next, turn inside out, poking the point with a pencil.  Then iron each pennant smooth. Tip: If it's a little lumpy and bumpy you can turn it back inside out and trim off some of the hem.

7. Grab your bias binding - lay flat, fold and iron in half lengthways, leaving a 'slit' into which you can slot the top of your pennant. This is the only slightly fiddly bit.  Hold firmly in place and pin through the fabric to the other side of the bias binding so no frayed edge is showing.

8.  Decide on the distance between each flag. Slot, fold and pin each pennant along the bias binding. Leave enough of the 'string' either end for tying up.

9.  Then sew in a long line altogether.  Tip: via Fromemaid - use a zig-zag stitch.

There you have it - your very own beautiful bunting that will do you proud year after year for many celebrations.  We have decided to keep the bunting as the Keyford Community Garden Bunting and bring it out for special celebrations, adding more flags each year. We thought this would make a lovely tradition for the children.  And by using an iron-on transfer method we can personalise it with our own designs.

Doing a fabric transfer

As part of our community celebrations I have asked all the children in our terrace to do a little picture with the theme of 2012.

By using transfer paper I have been able to iron their little designs onto some plain fabric flags.

Use the same size triangle template for the drawing.
You will need a scanner and printer to get the image onto the transfer paper.
Transfer paper can be found in stationery shops or here. It comes with easy instructions.


Once you have the image on the transfer sheet iron it onto the fabric image side down. Apply weight and heat for about 1 minute.  Allow to cool and then peel back to reveal the image on the fabric
Gabe found this really fun to see his picture on the fabric and hanging along the line of bunting.

I'll post another pic when all the children's bunting is hung in the community garden for the Jubilee party, which is going to be a moment to remember in 2012.

In the excitement of the sun arriving we have put up our Bell Tent in the garden, so I had to try the bunting inside too:


Happy beautiful bunting celebrations!


This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do. Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Friday, 25 May 2012

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Art of Living - Show Me Your World


Around the world by Julie Mercier
Julie Mercier


Blogging creates a global neighbourhood, an online community of ideas, inspiration, stories and experiences. Writing our own blog has let us be a part of this international community. We have learnt so much since we first began thanks to all of you, your blogs, your comments and your stories and we hope you have enjoyed stopping by to have a read of ours.
Now, we want to discover more! We want to create a map of local love, to share this with you and invite you to share yours with us as we go on a journey with a new weekly series: Around the world with You.


So let's make a map, an atlas of our favourite places, be it your favourite place to sit, a little unknown park, a place with a view, grannies garden, a museum, a shop window, a favourite cake shop you enjoy with your children. Whatever, wherever your favourite place is we want to pin it on our map. 


Share your favourite spot with us. Tell your story. Send us a picture. We will create a map of all the places we receive. Giving each one a weekly spot here where we share it with all of you. 


Spread the word. Tweet. Link to you blog. Blog this. Email to your friends. Put your place on the map. Oh and for those of you we already know....look out for your inbox we're emailing you now!


Email us your place to:  info@sistersguild.com


So, put your place upon the map and shout a big 'Hello'
Imagine all the people all the places we could know







This is part of 'The Art of Living' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'. Check out our Summer Fun too with 100 ideas for fun games and play this summer. If you want to see our latest loves take a look here.
Want to take a look behind the scenes of Sisters Guild? Take a look at our A-Z here where we share a sentimental journey through family life.

If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


sistersguild.com

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Wednesday Woo: Boys in the Sun

Leon Summer Vest by Bobo Choses £21.50, Lizard T-Shirt by Dandy Star £25, Red Summer Hat by Little Duckling £24,
Striped Camping T-Shirt by Bobo Choses £26.50, Yellow Bananas Canvas Bag by Bobo Choses £35,
Baby Bodysuit by Bobo Choses 
£23, Yellow Jersey Pants by Little Duckling £26, Denim Ice-cream Shorts by Bobo Choses £35

With the arrival of the sunshine (at last we cry!) I have been immediately reminded of the need for clothes to keep my boys cool and comfortable in.  It's gone so quickly from the moaning of 'I'm sooooo cold'  to 'I'm sooooooo hot' that we haven't had a chance to whip the wardrobe into the new season. With 2 boys to dress this summer I turn to my favourite designs of Bobo Choses, Little Duckling and Dandy Star. Fresh, soft cottons with colours and prints that sway away from the stereotypical boys designs.

It's great to get inspired by boys clothes and know they can keep cool and romp around in comfort this summer, as the home and holiday adventures unfold.

The Boys Dressing Room is full of sweet, stylish and oh-so handsome tops and bottoms and all-in-ones for babes upwards.  Plus, some great bags that you will quite fancy using to!


This is part of our Wednesday Woo blog series. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and 'The art of living'.
If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I Spy: Essie Jain


When Ruben was born I was keen to create a beautiful bedroom bubble for us both.  I sought out some music to accompany the gentle lights, relaxing oils and soft cottons of our naptime and bedtime ritual.  I wanted some music that was new to me, songs that Ruben and I could discover together. When I stumbled across Until the Light of Morning by Essie Jain  it was the cover art that caught my eye - such a magical compostition and colours.  When we listened to the collection of 8 songs we were utterly enchanted by Essie Jain's voice, accompanied by Guitar, Piano and Baby Glockenspiel (a particularly wonderful instrument)

Essie Jain is a singer-songwriter who hails from London and lives in New York.  She has a sublime voice which can be heard on previous recordings and an album to be released later this year (her own website is here).  Until the Light of Morning was released in 2011 on her own record label and was inspired by the arrival of friends babies, and their need for a soothing voice.  



Essie says:

I’ve been playing music and singing songs for as long as I can remember. Over the last few years, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to perform all over the world. The thing that struck me the most during my travels, was how often people told me that they felt soothed, calmed and comforted when I sang to them.


At the same time, my family and friends back home had started to have kids. It became apparent to me that they were always looking for new music to soothe their babies at nap and bedtime, and as a result of hearing the same CD for the hundredth time, they were quietly going crazy listening to songs that were working for their little ones, but certainly didn’t do it for them.


It was then I realised what my next project would be.


This record is made for every parent and every baby (and anyone else) who needs to rest and head off into the land of sleep. The record is designed to unwind itself as it goes along, as the music becomes softer and more relaxed, eventually becoming as instrumental as the heart beat.


With that, I wish you and baby goodnight.

Essie Jain is a voice I am so pleased to have discovered.  She casts a spell over our household at bedtime.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this album to new mamas. You will find yourself singing, humming and swaying with your baby......and then sinking into a deep sleep.

We just had to share this beautiful album with you in the Sisters Guild Boutique.


Listen to the opening track here:









This is part of our new 'I Spy' blog features where we bring you a view of something we've fallen in love with. We also have our Monday Makery with ideas for things to make, bake and create.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, a collection of images that depict the words we feel celebrate all that is Sisters Guild. The Art of Living posts bring you all the things and places we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 
If you would like to contribute to our blog by guest blogging a makery or a place or event of interest please do contact us we'd love to share your voice too.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday Makery - PaperCut Play











We've been busy creating paper play grounds and magical pop up wonderlands. Oona and I created our very own zoo whilst Sessi created an enchanted fairy garden.

All you'll need is:

  • Card - You can use a cereal pack which will be strong enough to not have to fold in half.
  • Scissors (or craft knife for the adults to do the cutting of fiddly bits)
  • colouring pens or paint
  • gluestick
Here's the how:
  1. To create your own paper creatures, decide on your theme, perhaps a circus, a farm, a zoo or a city. It doesn't matter what you create just so long as you keep the images simple. 
  2. Fold over a piece of card and draw you characters or animals onto the card so that the feet are lined up to the bottom of the fold.
  3. Colour in and cut out.
  4. Glue both sides of the characters together.
  5. Cut out 2 small semi-circular shapes to use as stands, Make a slit down the middle and slide them onto the feet of your characters to make them stand.
To create a 3D scene:
  1. Once you've decided on the objects in your scenery take a large piece of card and draw each one making sure you give enough space in-between each picture. Remember to keep it simple. 
  2. Colour in each piece of the scenery.
  3. Using a craft knife (adults only) or a sharp pencil cut through the card around the outline leaving the base at which it will fold. 
  4. Bend the shape upwards to create you 3D scene.
You can add lots of different characters and create different scenes as though for a complete story, or keep it simple and create one little plot. If you have an old margarine tub or small ice cream tub you can decorate it to keep all the characters in and take with you for an immediate imaginary Paper play ground.




I love that these are easy to transport too. We can simply fold the fairy garden in half like a book and and then pop it open when we want to play.
Sometimes its the simplest of things that keep the children so captivated in their play. 
I like to see their visions unfold and their paper world created to become real.
Sessi placed her fairy garden on the table next to her bed and fell asleep with her nightlight softly shining through and creating shadows on the scene. It must have felt quite magical.

Happy Making!




This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wednesday Woo - It's A Big 'Small' World




We've adored the bunnies for as long as we've had children. Beginning with a little ballerina rattle and their first childhood companion in the form of a loveable bunny, and then growing up alongside their creative designs and ever so adorable characters...most recently falling in love with a certain fox!
Each year the collection goes from strength to strength as does the size of the collection we bring together here in the boutique. We just can't help it. You see its not just our children who adore it and spend countless hours in their little worlds with these bunnies, we adore it too and love to get pulled into the games where we live behind a little hilltop and every miniature piece is a delight.





Every day is a wonderful day for these bunnies and their families. There a cradles, beds, and cots, stoves, tables and chairs and of course a high chair for the smallest of them all. There are vintage styled cafe tables and chairs, changing tables and cabinets, swimsuits, bags, dresses and pyjamas. There are sisters and brothers, nephews, cousins, a whole family and all with that exquisite traditional Scandinavian style.


With the biggest online collection of Maileg there is a whole world to discover and a constant flurry of new pieces arriving. Perhaps you'll discover a new childhood companion, some new furniture for a bunnies home or a new outfit for a bunny to play in.





This is part of our Wednesday Woo collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and 'The art of living'.
If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I Spy - Vintage Japanese Kimono's by La petite Madame





When my sister and I set out to begin Sisters Guild we knew the boutique would be filled with the most wonderful discoveries we could imagine. A boutique bursting with a collection of the curious, the wonderful,the beautiful, the sumptuous and a little of the quirky in between. We adventure to discover heirloom pieces for children and for home. 
Sisters Guild is the place to discover unique independent brands and occasionally when we are lucky enough to discover them, the rare and unusual vintage pieces too. These pieces have stories of their own but are only the beginning......they have yet more stories to be told.

A little while ago we stumbled across perhaps our favourite, most delightful and unique discovery this year so far.  We now have settled amongst our wonderful collections, vintage kimono's available in four different designs and in either silk or cotton. Each is an original made for children from their own mothers kimono's. Made with that maternal love they tell the story of the love, hopes and wishes a mother desires for her daughter.

"La Petite Madame was started when I found out that I was expecting a baby girl more than 3 years ago.
Travelling a lot in asia, I was always on the go to find littles treasures, sourcing and buying whatever I could.
I fell in love when I sourced some beautiful vintage japanese Kimonos for little girls right in central tokyo. I bought the entire stock from a rather bemused but happy grandma."

Thankfully we have our hands on this wonderful stock....well, perhaps two have already gone 'missing' as I had to get 2 for my own daughters.....but... hey...benefits of the job!


These make wonderful gifts, incredible dressing up clothes for the most envious of dressing up boxes and look beautiful framed.

We welcome you to take a look at the collection of four Kimono's we've brought to Sisters Guild for you to enjoy generation after generation.....just like grandma intended.








This is part of our new 'I Spy' blog features where we bring you a view of something we've fallen in love with. We also have our Monday Makery with ideas for things to make, bake and create.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, a collection of images that depict the words we feel celebrate all that is Sisters Guild. The Art of Living posts bring you all the things and places we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 
If you would like to contribute to our blog by guest blogging a makery or a place or event of interest please do contact us we'd love to share your voice too.

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday Makery - Setting Sail - Paper Boats





You can be certain that the very second the sun comes out to play so do the children. It's been a while since we've felt the freedom of running round the park, feeling the warm sun on our faces. So when the sun shone down we headed out with the blanket and some little things to keep hands busy. The sun was shining on the little pond in the park and looked as though it was inviting an adventure. So, we taught the girls how to make paper boats and we set sail across the little pond. 





All you'll need is some paper!





Here's how:
  1. Fold the paper top to bottom, bringing together the two oppsoute edges
  2. Then fold the paper left to right.again bring togther the two opposte edges
  3. Open out the paper once. 
  4. Fold the top right corner in to meet the central crease.
  5. Fold the top left corner in to meet the central crease. Lining it up with the previous angle.
  6. Fold the upper bottom flap up and crease.
  7. Flip the aper over
  8. Fold up the bottom flap toward the trainagle and crease.
  9. Placing your fingers inside your 'hat shaped' triangle, pull the sides out flat to create a rhombus.
  10. Holding your new rhombus shape lift up the the upper bottom flap to meet the top peak.
  11. Flip the shape over.
  12. Lift and crease the bottom flap to create a trinagle 
  13. Insert your thumbs and pull the sides out, again forcing the paper into a rhombus
  14. Then holdign the 2 outer tips pull out into your boat shape.
  15.  Flip your boat over and open up the inner the space in the bottom. This will make it float a whole lot better and give it better balance too.
  16. Finally....find a puddle, a bath, a washing up bowl, a pond, a brook, or even the kitchen sink and set sail!



Add portholes, flags and colours to decorate the side of your boats, have races, see which one can carry the most leaves, daisies or other small objects to the other side of the shore, you can even (for those who can remember) share stories of some of the most famous ships and boats in history like the Santa Maria, the ship that Columbus sailed into a new world......but hey, lets just enjoy their colours bobbing about.

Happy Sailing!





This is part of our weekly Monday Makery where we bring you a recipe to bake or a craft to create. Visit our Monday Makery when you're in need of inspiration for something to do on a rainy day or to use as interception of the words 'I'm bored', or just because being creative with your children is something you all love to do.
Our other popular blogposts include 'The story behind our collections', 'Tell us its Tuesday' , An A-Z of Sisters Guild, The Art of Living posts bring you all the things we are passionate about and the things we discover in our lives as mamas, and our 'Once upon a week' gives you a glimpse into life behind the scenes at Sisters Guild. 

www.sistersguild.co.uk

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Friday, 11 May 2012

Once Upon A Week - Fulfilling A Dream



Do you remember your childhood dreams. Part fantasy, part reality. Did you follow them. Did you let them lead you to where you are now. Or did they get lost somewhere along the way to adulthood along with that magical view of the world that children seem to hold the key to, but let go of when the world enlarges. As though the same key no longer fits a locked door of latent ambition. Childhood contains that space in time where dreams can come true. A sanctuary of ambition as bright as the sunshine. It is where we write the first pages of our book. A book that has yet to be filled and every possibility lies before you. Chapters yet to be written and read. Adventures before us that will never end. Childhood dreams are our promises to our future.

For as long as I can remember Sessi (Sophia) has wanted to dance. She has an inherent elegance, an innate grace and an understanding of music that flows through her as she moves. Music spirits her every move and there is nothing more she likes to do than to dance. A delicate theatre of ballet courses through the house as she turns each song she hears into a story. She dreams of one day becoming a 'real' ballerina, a prima ballerina assoluta,  following in the steps of Margot Fonteyn de Arias and the brilliant few that followed.

Last weekend she was able to live one of her dreams as she danced on stage moments after and moments before the graduating students of the English National Ballet performed 'My First Sleeping Beauty'. I watched with goose pimpled skin and glittery eyes as the thrill of the lights, the scratched vinyl floor, the music, the red velveteen auditorium was absorbed as though she'd done it everyday of her life and she danced. With a rise en pointe that lifted her as though she were pulled to the sky, and a lift that gave her the ecstatic feeling that all ballerinas get to experience, a plie, a grand jete, pas de chat and a dozen pirouettes, there she was fulfilling her dream.



Even if next year her dreams change, if somewhere between child and adult she lets go of her most inner passion, even if she never becomes the vision of herself she see's right now. This was a day she fulfilled a dream, a wish came true and for 60 minutes she was a real ballerina.


Perhaps this is the best part of being a parent - those moments you see your child in the happiest here and nows of their lives. 
When they begin to write the pages of their book.

Childhood dreams change as we change. Sometimes we can see it happening. Other times they vanish without a trace. But if you turn back just a few pages, you'll see they're still there. A future promise is still in our future. Waiting to be woken.

I have a picture, a simple painting of me as a child only 3 years old, painted by a dear friend. It hangs to remind me of my first future promises. The me I hoped to become and a constant message to myself. 
Would the 3 year old girl be proud of the grown up girl now? 

Yes! She would. She is.




This is part of our 'once upon a week' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' , 'The Art of Living', and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'.
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Going.....Going.......Gone!




We've been spring cleaning in the boutique.
To ensure you don't miss out on sale items be sure to pop by the archive!





Thursday, 10 May 2012

Art of Living - Summer Festivals






Yes, its that time of year when we start to think about the summer festivals. We grew up with countless as did many of our generation. Festivals from the annual trip to Glastonbury to some very early Stonehenge festivals and all that was in between. With so many childhood memories of the elaborate and creative events that took place rain or shine, we look foward to this time of year every summer. The Festival season is about to begin!
These days there are festivals I could only have dreamt of as a child and with so much to offer children there are many you can enjoy as a family together.
So if you've not got any tickets booked yet take a look at our pick of the best family friendly festivals where children can join in the wild rumpous, the enormous creativity and enjoy all the amazing fun that's on offer.


The Spellbound Forest
19th & 20th May 2012 Delamere Forest Cheshire 

Strictly speaking this is not a festival but we couldn't write this list without this intriguing theatrical event. The Spellbound Forest promises to be an enchanting experience and one to begin this years summer events.

"Wild Rumpus & the Forestry Commission invite you and your family to step into The Spellbound Forest. Twisting paths through the forest tell the twisting tales of English Fairy Tales through theatrical performance, music, visual art and dance. From the youngest to the oldest member of your family, lose yourself in the enchanted world of fairy tales, where men

can become birds, tears become rivers, and children whirl at the elven ball. The Spellbound Forest won’t just tell tales though, we will create our own new English Fairytale, dance our own new dance, and sculpt a marvellous creation to live in the forest long after the magic has faded.

You know the stories of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, but let us introduce you to the English Fairy Tales that are waiting in the Spellbound Forest for you to wake them up." 



This is certainly going to be a magical event where we will begin to believe in fairy tales again.

Be sure to take a look at the News Section where you'll find some travel activity packs (great for the train ride) and a wonderful 'how to' for an origami bird which you can bring with you to hang in the trees of the spellbound forest adding to 'the glorious flock of birds on the Earl Mar's daughters pathway.





Lollibop
17th, 18th & 19th August 2012 Regents Park London


Lollibop is a great family festival based in Regents Park. Perfect for the camping shy there's a host of free activities, performances and bands to entertain the under 10's. Now going into its 3rd year in which last year saw Rastamouse!  Its a big party for little people with a programme that will ensure everyone has a great time.
This year alongside many of the characters from cbeebies and channel 5's milkshake show doing a whole lot of dancing and bubble blowing, you'll find The Gruffalo, science museum workshops and Shrek the musical. 



Camp Bestival
26th 27th 28th 29th July 2012 Lulworth Castle Dorset




Camp Bestival is perhaps the most talked about, the best loved and most fondly remembered of all the festivals each year. Every year it receives rave reviews from the press (Catherine Nelson at the Guardian wrote a great review last year,) In a beautiful setting with Lulworth Castle providing the backdrop, an unmissable line up of amazing talent and more mind-blowing activities than a child could dream of the only people enjoying the banished bedtimes and the giant dressing up boxes are the parents!
This is the best it gets and each year it gets better!

We'll see you there!


Wychwood music festival
8th - 10th June Cheltenham 

Nominated best children's festival 6 years in a row Wychwood Festival has to be doing a whole lot of something right. With more than 100 activities for children from an All Age Circus Workshop presented by Solo Circus , music workshops and a family theatre this is a boutique festival with an impressive line up. Waterstones is sponsoring the Children's Literature festival, an integral part of the festival, and you can visit the Roald Dahl Museum tent and perhaps get a chance to experience some of the variety of author events programmed.
With big music names like The Saw Doctors, Duke Special, the Cuban brothers, James and Nina and the Neurons there's a lot to get excited about. So why not try out a yurt or a tepee for a few days of summer fun with the family at the Wychwood Music Festival.



Wilderness Festival


10th - 12th August Cornbury Park Oxfordshire


A festival with its own lakeside spa? Oh how all the years gone by I'd wished for this! 
The Wilderness Festival is a relatively new festival that seems to have taken the magic of all those gone by and put it together in a breathtaking location adding their unique sprinkle of  wonder and charm . Defined by its passions it brings together a true celebration of the arts from spectacular theatre and Opera, more children's activities than any child or parent could wish for, and debates and talk. There's a strong emphasis on art and crafts too. But the Wilderness festival is also a celebration of the outdoors, with its picturesque location of wild meadows, lakes, and trees you'll discover horse riding, foraging, boating and fly-fishing, wild swimming and even hot tubs!


If to celebrate artistic excellence also extends to dining then the Wilderness Festival has captured this completely. You'll discover 300 seat long banqueting tables and fine dining tents from favourite restaurateurs.
You can sit with family and foreigner and enjoy evenings of gastronomic delights under the stars.

There is so much on offer, so many ways in which this festival will capture your heart and have you believing in the magical wisdom of the generations before us that promoted love, peace and harmony only this is the counterpart to the hedonistic past, a romantic, indulgent discovery that keeps its feet firmly on the meadow ground. The genius behind this all Tim Harvey, Jim Whewell and Jo Vidler have given us the dream festival and boy I can't wait!

If these pictures can't do it justice take a look at the video below. It'll have you instantly clicking through to book tickets! The only problem is that with such a packed programme of activities and experiences you'll be wishing it could last forever.




I'll see you by the lake sipping champagne!


Just So Festival
17th - 19th August Rode Hall Parkland Cheshire



Just so festival says 'take your family on a journey of the imagination' and this is precisely what the festival does. A festival created for families and children it is the boutique sister of a bygone Glastonbury. With magic discover in the beautiful wondrous woodlands and landscape there's music, workshops and performances.
You'll discover ballet and modern jive, belly dancing and a retro disco in the Jitterbug area, Games, stories, juggling and trapeze in the Lazy Days, you can step inside NowHereNow, a place of illusion where nothing is quite as it seems, A zone for the Wild Things is where you can join the rumpous,  and a peekaboo area for the very young, and, if it isn;t in Nowherenow, and it isn'y away with fairies. If, in Facat, it is no where else, then it must be Elsehwere!





When legs get weary at the end of the day you can grab a little wooden cart to travel little sleepy heads under the and through the evening's magic. There are yurts to keep you cozy under the starlit sky and delicous dining too!
With this weekend long festival you can expect a mix of magic that will see you wanting to return year after year and long after the children have grown up.





There we have it. Something for everyone, every age.
There'll be magic and games, theatre and literature, music and mayhem, family and friends, new things discovered and wonderful memories made.
The Festival Summer of 2012






This is part of 'The Art of Living' collection. We also have other stories and features including our 'Monday Makery', 'I Spy' and our weekly 'Wedesday Woo'.
If you'd like to receive our weekly newsletter to receive offers and news and find out the about our new collections sign up below.


sistersguild.com