Friday, 11 July 2014


Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to meet Clem from Save Britain's Heritage she explained how their rather small but dedicated charity fought to - well ... what it says! One of the missions was trying to rescue London's Smithfield market from a (hideous) redevelopment. This beautiful but neglected Victorian building is one so many pass by but when you look at the details, the windows the shapes - it's just stunning and I was only to honoured to design a mug as a fundraiser for them.

(photo urban space management)

I look forward to the sympathetic evolution of this glorious building. To read all the details have a look at the SAVE site.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Big Red Bus A Big Red Bus....

And you thought it was the year of the horse, nope - more wheels than hooves - its the year of the bus. 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the London Routemaster. I salute Tatty Devine yet again for a marvellous collaboration with the LTM and this stunning collection but here be some other red goodies you might want to get on the bus for....

above: all Tatty Devine

baby grow from: Scamp

wooden bus from: the Little White Company

Robots on Bus canvas bag from: Tobyboo 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Dress you up

Ok so Im a creature of habit when it comes to clothes shopping and tend a) never to buy online unless I've tried it and b) never to buy a dress that's new and under £50 because without a doubt it will fall apart, which leads on to c) make sure it lasts so if you do get bored you can ebay it.

On the hunt for yet another 50's style dress I was lead to of all places Amazon, and found some real pretties most of which were from Lindy Bop so obviously went straight to their site - I loved pretty much all of dresses on the site but the most expensive being £38 I figured, cheap fabric, badly made blah blah blah but it was pretty and well I really didn't have the debt available for the Bernie Dexter dress that I loved....

Two days later my parcel arrived - the dress! heavy fabric, really well sewn this was not guilt ridden disposable fashion. That evening by sheer coincidence I was wearing it and met the designer for Lindy Bop he told me that they're looking to have a premium made in the UK range but the prices will be affordable and the quality high. I'm now slightly hooked, the petite range is perfect for the Hobbit that I am too.

I've seen so many bad cheap reproduction dresses or 50's style it's depressing - but I've now happily met a brand that to be honest the site does not do the the products justice.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Spoonful of Sugar

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins and some of you might have noticed it couldn't help but play a part in my latest designs for St Paul's Cathedral. Yes, yes I know the 'Feed The Birds' tableware is out there already but they now stock an exclusive PVC print in book bags and make up bags (or general purse if your me).

Look see - an umbrella and yes two smaller people! 

The full range is available at the St Paul's Cathedral shop, just don't feed any birds on the way.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

South Bank Holiday

This Bank Holiday Monday was a bit of weather treat and yes we spent it on the beach - Thames Beach but the beach all the same.

Couldn't resist mixing a bit of work with fun so first stop the Globe to see the Shakespeare mugs on show.

Next - one of my favourite places, St Paul's Cathedral....

was a bit over the moon to see the new tea towels in ...

'Feed the Birds' collection at St Paul's practically perfect I say.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Quidditch , Quidditch, Quidditch - "shut up woman"

After much preparation the long awaited Quidditch game finally played out today. Flying on brooms? no, big teams? no, one boy one dad and a hoop in a tree? yes

yes the garden had Gryffindor and Slytherin banners made by the boy

 what every father wants, a Firebolt (in this case 42) for his birthday made from the inner of a fabric roll

Yes Gryffindor won fairly about 600 to 150 but smiles all round in the end (well sort of - there were small voices wanting another hour of it)

Ohh My...

The rather clever lovelies at Ohh Deer are at it again - submit your designs as a competition to be a pencil in there pencil case (or an illustrator contributor).
As ever the idea is fantastic, showcasing work that you can see what it looks like on a t shirt, vest or sweatshirt, the chance for it to be on sale and obviously the opportunity to be part of the deer family.

Here's my three - two of which were the husbands birthday present - Hoorah!

Yes yes I know I've only put mine there but there were way too many to choose anyone else's so go click for yourself. Not only that there be 15% off Ohh Deer this Easter - go shop!

Friday, 11 April 2014

As You Like It

Shakespeare fine bone china mug available from The Globe, Bankside, London or online at there shop here - and they're selling fast so better three hours too soon than a minute too late!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

William's Wish

A couple of years ago I met Sarah, strangely at a networking event in central London and it turned out we lived 5 minutes away from each other. She told me at the time that her son, William had health problems but little did I know how much.

Six year old William had a bowel transplant that saved his life when he was a baby. His mum, Sarah set up William's Wishes to support families of children who have intestinal failure and are dependent on TPN and who are waiting for small bowel transplants. Alongside awareness of these almost hidden conditions Sarah also does her best to provide treats for the children and their families.

As adults no one likes to talk about bowel problems and conditions so it's hard to imagine what it's like being so small and and in need of a 'new tummy' (as William calls it) let alone be a parent and have to watch your child suffer so much.

If you think you can help at all with raising awareness, fundraising or just a hello of support please contact Sarah

The Tobyboo designed logo is available on t shirts, hoodies and baby grows - to shop contact Sarah

Monday, 31 March 2014

Six of the Best

I can't remember the last time I went to Hever Castle, but one of my new products is incredibly fitting so of course I had to go. If you haven't been - it's a really beautiful place, the gardens are stunning and the castle itself oozes with story.

So... here be the new design (goes without saying ©Tobyboo but I'll say it just in case!) Henry's Wives has the six wives with the school rhyme Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.

it's an interesting way to walk round a maze I'll admit it

look big fish! no no - don't fall in the water!!

getting to the heart of the maze makes you wanna.... jump jump

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Clearance Sale!

Right, enough of the storage unit which means I've got lots of discontinued pieces to sell. First up - all decorative tapes are £2.50, London, Heads & Tails, Rat tape - you name it if its not listed in the shop please contact me... I do have rat tape which I know isn't listed.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Plagiarism Begins at Home

Looking at the amount of copying that goes on with big companies these days got me thinking, the most recent being Louise Verity of Bookishly and M&S. I met Louise at a trade fair a few years back I remember the buzz around her work and I also remember seeing very similar prints to hers not long after at small fairs and markets. For a start, if its the copy seen and taken to the high street they might think its ok because its not someones living its a hobby.

The in-house designers presumably think that they can get away with taking an image from someone hidden on Etsy or a similar market place and they’ll never be found out meanwhile the bosses at the top would have no idea that any theft has gone on. Groups like ACID are there to protect the little people but what about the markets and groups out there. How many times have you been to a market and seen really REALLY similar designs or items? Surely the organisers have an obligation to step in?

I realise how hard it must be, I can see how close knit designer maker groups are but if you’re not going to fight for what’s right then how can you expect the big boys to play fair? I ran a couple of markets and if I had seen something similar and to the same audience, I would at least say something and depending on the case ask them to leave. How many times have we been to fairs and markets and said "oh that looks like.... " it might well be that that person was copied but if they were asked they could tell you and you could say something about it. Why do we leave it till it reaches the high street?! I've had similar things to mine on the high street I know exactly what happened but it does't bother me anywhere near as much as when someone on the same level does it.

I’m a huge fan of designer maker groups don’t get me wrong, but I do think that whoever the organisers are have a right to step in when they see a member copy or at a market – they should either ask for the items to be removed or for the maker to leave; if you don't you quite honestly are worse than the big companies because the ones that make the decisions have no idea what's going on. 

If you can’t look after each other, I can’t see how you expect anyone else to. 

Large companies, why can't you give people jobs that have ideas there are lots of us that have ideas oozing out of every blinking pore and have no brain space to even look at other peoples work. 

As for sellers, well if you can't come up with your own ideas you are just sales people not designers not artists I don't fall into that bracket that much I know.

Some of you might know that this is close to my heart and life traumatising and no that's not an exaggeration - theft of an idea is theft. I wrote this post well over a year ago and never posted it because I didn't want to upset people that I love to bits that run markets but when your life and child are affected then honestly I can't care if honesty upsets. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Hogwarts and all.

I'm not a mad Harry Potter fan at all, I read the books seen the films but couldn't tell you one Death Eater from another and yet really wanted to go to the Warner Studios tour in Watford.

It just so happened that we've been reading Toby the first couple of books and he's getting slightly obsessed by the world of Potter. So for my birthday yesterday we got to go. I was a bit 'crikey that's expensive' when we ordered them £30 for adults and £22 for kids and in my head I had an idea of what it would be like. Our time slot was 4pm so I figured 2 hours and we'll be home before 8pm - nope. If you do go the train to Watford Junction and bus is so so easy and does get you in the mood for it. I think you start getting the picture when you arrive and see the size of the place but I was still sure we'd be home by 8.

We must have got that at 2.30 so spent lots of time in the shop before, pretty much there's the shop (which has heaps) and the not overly exciting cafe you then start queuing about 10 mins before your time slot. Really well done in terms of keeping the long line of Potter obsessives happy and occupied so it didn't feel long. It was nothing like I'd imagined - and well worth every penny. I assumed it was going to be a guided tour around sets etc - nope. I really could see why it was worth it even if you had no clue about the films - from a design/art view it was amazing. The props, sets and costume inspired me no end - if you had no idea what went into making a film of this sort then this is an eye opener. Far from exposing the wands and showing you the reality it only made the series more magical.

yes, Butterbeer... an odd Tizer kinda drink with a vanilla cream topping... although I did like it.

Be afraid...

The card models and drawings were just breathtaking

ah yes, the shop....

that be the great hall


more props!!

Scabbers! it was animal actors week so dotted around were some of the furry faces

Wand combat!

"Toby do you want your photo taken with Hedwig?" - yes
"Hedwig do you want your photo taken with Toby?"- I've never seen an owl shake his head so much (hence the laughing from Toby)

Would I recommend the tour - oh yeah!
  • If you do go I would say get as early a slot as you can... what time did we finish? 8.30pm in the end and got home at 10. 
  • When you go through to the holding room head at the end are three doors that go to the next bit - aim for the one on the far left which takes you to the front row of the screen room so first to go to the Great Hall. 
  • The green screen photos/videos are worth doing even if you don't end up in buying them.
  • Toby really enjoyed doing the wand combat bit so worth a bit of a queue.
  • We missed bits in the first stage because we went out and onto the next then didn't go back so do it all before you go outside for the Butterbeer and Privet Drive photo.
  • Really spend time looking at the pre drawings and artwork in the next stage - just incredible.
  • You will probably want a wand by the time you leave and enter the shop. After doing lots of wand window shopping the ones they have are better for the price £25 (heck keep the box and ebay it once they're done) 
  • The uniform cardigans and jumpers are cheaper in Harrods Harry Potter shop and are the same (£69 there £34 in Harrods) but everything else was exclusive to the WBS so if you want it get it because you can't else where .... well apart from ebay!