I recently bought this world map (in grey) for a two recent additions in our family. Titled “My roots lie here”, the map comes with little heart stickers that can be be used to indicate a family’s origins. I love the idea – it makes such a great gift for new parents of mixed backgrounds and/or children and their families who move around a lot. The maps are available in pink, blue and grey from Children Inspire Design, the brainchild of artist, mother and social entrepreneur Rebecca Peragine. You can order them here or here.
(image: children inspire design)
Pregnancy & Birth magazine asked me to put together my top 3 favourite nursery art prints for their Expert Edit column. Easier said than done, because there’s so many gorgeous prints on my radar, it’s hard to choose just three – even more so because what works in one room, doesn’t in another. That said, my number 1, this wee bear & bunny print by mika art would look good in most baby rooms because of its neutral monochrome palette.
Do you have a favourite nursery print you’d like to share?
(image: amy borell)
Last week I noticed a new follower on Twitter, Anna Roberts of Out To Play, whose Twitter bio simply states “I paint portraits in pastel and pencil”. I liked her Twitter icon, which suggested she paints children, so curious I clicked to find out more…
Oh my. Did I fall in love with what I saw! This portrait of Anna’s daughter Pearl was my absolute favourite. I love the colours, I love the space, I love the sentiment. The best news is: Anna takes on private commissions. Check out more of her work here.
Perhaps this is also a good moment to introduce you to a blog I love called I am a Child - it’s basically a huge catalogue of children in art. I don’t know why, but I have this thing with paintings of family life – previously I mentioned Swedish painter Carl Larsson, a favourite of mine. Do you have any favourite paintings?
(image: pearl and pram by out to play)
I’m all for nurseries being a place that you love to spend time in. As long the room is practical, easy to use and enables your little one to enjoy lots of restorative sleep, how you decorate it is really about what makes you happy.
These beautiful works of art called Flower Constructions by Dutch artist Anne ten Donkelaar do it for me. I think they’d make a stunning focal point and I would love to create a nursery around them. White walls, white painted floorboards, and a hint of delicate watered down colour. A simple cot, a pretty wardrobe, some drawers and a blond bentwood rocker.
Flower constructions are 3D collages made from pressed flowers and cut out flower pictures. Each element is meticulously placed on pins which creates the depth and a delicate play of shadows. You can see more of Anne’s creations on here.
(images: anne ten donkelaar)
I recently stumbled across news of an exhibition called ‘Doudou Forever’ at children’s shop Un Zèbre au Grenier in Paris. It featured a series of portraits by French photographer Bénédicte Lassalle called ‘Mine Forever‘, capturing people’s soft toys – or as the French say ‘doudous’.
Bénédicte set up a mini-studio in-store to photograph doudous for those wanting a lasting memory of their little friend. Intrigued, I decided to contact Bénédicte and asked her what gave her the idea to start this project. Here is what she told me:
“I started this project soon after my daughter was born in 2009 for 2 main reasons: I am a freelance photographer and I wanted to create a special gift for my godson Lubin. Something that he would keep for a long time. And also at the time I wanted to create a piece of art to decorate my daugter’s bedroom. So I started to take pictures of some of her (many) stuffed animals and dolls. And then my sister-in-law told me that she still had her loveys (Catiche Rousse & Nounoute Orange), then my mother-in-law told me that she still had my husband’s lovey (Toutou) and then my mum told me that she still had hers (M’doudou)! My best friend too… Etc… This is how it all started! I choose the background according to the person’s age when he or she was a little kid. And now I organise mini photo studios in shops in Boston where I live and recently in Paris, to take the portrait of the children’s loveys so that they can decorate their bedroom.”
Don’t you just love this idea? For those living in Paris, the exhibition Doudou Forever will continue to run until 30 June at Un Zèbre au Grenier. For those who don’t, let’s hope that some enterprising store owners will invite Bénédicte to exhibit or organise a mini-studio at their store!
(images: bénédicte lassalle)
OK – when I came across these eye charts at Molly-Meg my heart nearly stopped. How inspired are these prints!? They are produced as a limited edition by creative design studio Floor 4 Projects in New York, who make eco-friendly toys and room decor for kids.
(Oh – and this Easter weekend I noticed Molly-Meg offers free shipping or 20% off all purchases – I’m not paid to mention this, but honest to goodness get over there fast).
(images: floor 4 projects)
Whilst over in Holland for Christmas, my eye was caught by the beautiful December stamps people were using to send their Christmas and New Year cards. They have a definite Scandinavian feel and are all so sweet, but my favourite has to be the little deer with decorated antlers!
A little bit of research brought to light that they were designed by one of my favourite Dutch magazines, Flow, in partnership with the German artist Elisandra Sevenstar. Elisandra sells her prints through her Etsy shop, where I found many colourful prints of the type of retro pottery I love, as well as a customisable “kiddie shelf” print. You can have different book titles printed on the book spines (your childhood favourites or your child’s name for example) and change the letters on the wooden blocks as well. Sweet!
If your child has a play kitchen you could hang some of these pottery prints nearby.
Eloise Hall is a paper artist based in London who creates beautiful collages of butterflies, dragonflies, birds and fish. She contacted me a while ago to introduce her work. Now that I have started my blog I can finally share a bit more of it with you. Eloise combines hand cut shapes from origami paper and ink drawing. She cleverly brings together colour, pattern and movement to create calm feeling tableaux. They would look stunning in a simple, light nursery.
A piece of art that you really love can be a great starting point for the design of your baby’s room. Pick out one or two colours from the piece and use them elsewhere in the room to pull the room together.
A Christmas gift idea for a mum-to-be?
(images: eloise hall)