Thursday, 20 December 2012

and the bells were ringing out for....

Before it gets even closer to Christmas and I don't get the chance to shout "Happy Christmas to you" I shall do it now. It's been one huge year for Tobyboo what with Mary Portas finding me and the Museum of London giving me the most amazing commission I could ask for.

2013 brings new exciting things to Tobyboo including the new Melamine range and new collection. Here's hoping that you'll like it enough so that Tiny Tim (ahem sorry Toby) shall get a turkey for next Christmas!

Thursday, 6 December 2012


Hoorah! new tape, Tinsel Tape the is in. Clear tape with rough looking tinsel illustration - my head was thinking bad 70's tinsel rather than big fluffy stuff

Friday, 30 November 2012

Stop! Greenwich Time

This week I've had a couple of lovely days spent in Greenwich, it's been a long time since I've been .... possibly way back when working on (wait for it) The Live 6 Show. Anyway, heaps has changed and yet somethings I'm happy to say haven't. The Junk Shop (now opposite Greenwich Station) is an Aladin's cave of pure treats. I got completely lost in looking.

My guide for the day was a lovely artist called Emily, who next time I go hopefully I can get her card with site on but nearly missed my train so had to race off. Not only has it got two floors crammed but a tea room at the back (below) and an African gallery out the back and down the steps. This is one place that you could really spend all day in and is well worth the journey to Greenwich for even if you do nothing else.

These treasure troves are a dying breed of shops, most have closed down or have turned into over priced 'retro' shops its heartwarming to find one thats been around for decades and come down in the family to.
 If you're like me and can't get enough of these places then please please visit and shop more in them it's keeping an endangered place alive and ebay is no replacement for them.
Yes, The Junk Shop and Spread Eagle is enough to go to Greenwich for but if you do have a bit more spare time then you spend it wisely in a new pop up shop thats opened on Nelsons Road.

Run but the very tall and very bouncy Alison this has just opened for the run up to Christmas and features designer/makers that have never sold in Greenwich before so this isn't a repeat of what's in the market across the road which means you can go and do that after.
 Yes, yes yours truly is stocked (see above and bottom pic) in The Pop Up Gift Store along with a few of my favourites so go and see, it's open 7 days a week from 11am. Alison (below) couldn't be a more welcoming host.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Open for Business

For the last few days I was lucky enough to take part in Craft Central's open studios, Made in Clerkenwell. The place is a bit of a life line for designer makers offering one to one sessions and business help to those outside of the studios that are members. Right from the start the place was packed with happy shoppers, amazing makers and general marvellousness. 

I was so lucky to be surrounded by hand on heart just a lovely bunch! Four days is a long time to be in a room with anyone and it really made my first time here a joy despite my achey aches and pains.
 SS13 Wish You Were Here got a sneaky peak

 The oh so shy Maxine Sutton with her fantastic textiles, also if you're about in Margate definitely have a look at Blackbird - a Sutton sister shop
 The rather lovely and talented Pam Dodds
 One of my favourites - Natthaur

I got this amazing shirt from Outsider, along with trying on 5 outfits a day 

 Pam Dodds
 Maxine Sutton
 Leonora Richardson's stunning ceramic sculptures that also featured in the RA Summer Exhibition this year. Next to Leonora was Lotta Cole who makes clever wood accessories - I've somehow lost my image but shall find it.

 Yuki (front) was a joy and I'm grateful for her tweaking my display whenever she got the chance
 Really clever gifts from Goodwin + Goodwin

 Beautiful illumination from fryrbox
 Carmen Woods lovely leather accessories and a real smile to have in the room

 And well, Tobyboo.... I had some sample work including some lampshades along side past season Christmas decorations. The London tape as ever was a sell out. 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Forget Me Not

Every now and again you come across a designer maker that is not only a very lovely person but their work is just faultless.

I first met Rebekah after admiring her work on Etsy, last year at We Make London, Chelsea Town Hall. Her hand embroidery is exquisite. The World of Forgotten Stitches couldn't be more memorable, the characters that Rebekah brings to life are beautiful. She is a hidden gem that looks like she just stepped out of the 40's.

If you haven't seen her work I urge you to go and click or even better go to one of the Christmas fairs that no doubt she'll be putting some sparkle into.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Stock up on Christmas treats for yourself at this years winter made in Clerkenwell. I shall be in the basement so please come and visit the Santa's grotto and see what delights you might find. I'll be selling sample stock along side new pieces so lots of Christmas decorations and stockings, the new notebooks, iPhone covers, and my new favourite the Gull 'n' Chips apron. Everything will be at a rather special Craft Central price so bargains for all!

 above: Gull'n'Chips apron
below: a blast from Christmas past - sample stockings shall be on sale!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Mouse House

So Boo took a well earned rest during half term after his first few weeks of school and hoorah for Nana and Pop who for his birthday bought him a trip to Disneyland Paris, being a 5 year old he had no option but to bring us along for the ride.

Before the Boo, we got to go to Disneyland Orlando and I wasn't sure just how it would match up to the razzle and dazzle of the U, S of A. After a fun trip through the tunnel and a train change from Lille we arrived to a moonlit frenzy of crowds through the gates to the Kingdom.

The hotel was just a stones throw from the station and the parks and a lake side walk got us to a faux hotel in the woods or a hotel in faux woods. To be honest I was really impressed, I wasn't expecting more than Butlins with Mouse ears on but his was a real hotel, with a bar - that sold alcohol (in Orlando we got the reply "we don't serve alcohol in the Magic Kingdom"). Heaps of pumpkin decorations and fairy lights led me straight to the on site store where Toby not only wanted to try on all the ears but had to have his photo taken in each pair.

 The two parks - Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios pretty much had something for even the biggest Disney dis-liker and non magic believer. There was a car stunt show that not only had a shoot out that resembled Reservoir Dogs but also had a finale that had one of the actors walk around on fire... and no there were no warnings or age restrictions.
 I didn't ever get used to the amount of smoking, and there did seem to be no smoking signs up but overall the French seemed to have a horrendously laid back attitude to dos and dont's. The biggest difference between Orlando and Paris, Orlando made every single person let alone child feel special I was in a wheelchair when we went to America and they went out of their way to help. I had my walking stick in Paris and told them about my illnesses - they reluctantly said that I could go with one person to help me onto the rides and the other had to wait in the queue. So in other words, the 3 of us couldn't go on together. Not exactly helpful, most of the time not particularly nice. I did wonder if any of the staff that weren't in a costume just didn't like kids...the wrong place to be if they didn't.

 Overall it was amazing and the only thing that dented the shininess of it all was the general attitude of the staff but it didn't ruin a holiday of a lifetime for the boy that won't be able to be beaten and that in itself made it one amazing experience seeing just what fake fur and ears can do to a child.

 If you do get to go things to do and not to miss;
  • if you are ill or if you're pregnant make sure you get a letter so you can get a pass it means you don't have to queue up and designated spaces for the parades. 
  • Stock up on croissants at breakfast for later in the day. 
  • The shows at Walt Disney Studios are really good, even if you've not got kids go see Stitch Live, Animagique was a big surprise I wasn't expecting much and it was fantastic.
  • Don't make the mistake of waiting for hours by the castle for the night time show - go further back so you can see it all.
  • Best place for the parades, in the park with the castle behind you on the left hand side there is a turning by the shops and big gates its where the floats came out and not many people were waiting there so seemed to be the best place and meant little ones could see without being on shoulders.
  • Just accept the fairy dust and succumb to the magic and sparkle you'll enjoy it so much more.