Luvkins // Perfectly Smitten

I’m always excited to hear of new places to shop. When Perfectly Smitten was bought to my attention; I was precisely that. Smitten. Bowled over by a beautiful range of Toys, Interior finds and Keepsakes. Packed with gorgeous ideas for Baby Shower Gifts, Birthday’s and Toy’s to feed the imagination of your little Babiekin.

”Smitten for the Wee Generation grew out of my desire to help bring back the magic of childhood back and make it simple again……. We strive to collect pretty play things that focus on the whimsical creative brilliance of children.”

 

Babiekins Magazine | Perfectly Smitten 1-5

 

Babiekins Magazine | Perfectly Smitten 6-10

 

 

Perfectly Smitten // Website  | Instagram

 

 

 

Luvkins // Chalkboard Toys

Babiekins Magazine | Luvkins  // Chalkboard Toys

Credits // 01. Nesting Dolls | 02. World Globe | 03. My First Laptop | 04. My First Mobile Phone | 05. Dinosaur | 06. Push Bike

I love fostering creativity in my son in as many ways as possible and I get excited when I find innovative and creative toys for him – like these Chalkboard Toys. Your little ones can create their own designs on these fun educational toys finished with Chalkboard. Each toy comes complete with chalk so they can write messages on them, draw pictures on them or use them as room décor. I keep imagining all the creative ways my son would decorate his own toys – I am pretty sure he would draw a soccer ball, a robot, a heart and his name of course. What fun images would your little ones create? A butterfly? A flower? A cat? A dinosaur? A fox? A monster? The possibilities are endless!

Luvkins // Magna-Tiles

Babiekins Magazine // Luvkins | Magna-Tiles

During a Thanksgiving trip to visit family, I discovered the coolest hands-on toy. My boys took out a box out of my aunt’s “toy cabinet” and I didn’t hear a peep from them for about forty five minutes. They were so into constructing castles and building up little towns, that instead of fighting about what the other brother had they were helping each other out! I knew I had to get my hands on this “magic- make-brothers-get-a-long” toy, and I was so excited to discover more about the colorful shapes. Magna-tiles are innovative magnetic building tiles which help foster children’s creativity! They are often used in preschools and in the classroom because of their unique ability to attract even when the tiles are flipped. Magna-tiles are also a great learning tool because children have to think about placement, utilize fine motor skills and critical thinking and exercise mental math muscles. Magna-tiles have won numerous awards and we believe they are a must-have for every family!

 

Check out Magna-Tiles and what they offer and be sure to tag your Magna-Tiles creations with #magnatiles on instagram!

Buy Magna-Tiles here

Magna-Tiles//  Website  |  Facebook   |  Instagram

Funkins // Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

In this commercial world filled with visual noise and endless consumerism, Rock & Pebble provides simple toys made from quality materials that are designed to stimulate little minds. Olive, the creative behind Mr. Printables and Rock & Pebble, shares the story behind these two ingenious kids’ brands.

Tell us about your background and how that led to the start of Mr. Printables.

Art, architecture and design were always what I surrounded myself with. However, I wasn’t familiar with the internet and blogging at all. I used email, but hardly browsed or used any social media before Mr. P [Mr. Printables]. I bought a large personal printer to print some photos and it was great. I immediately had so many ideas for making things from printed paper, which led to an idea of sharing them on the internet. I thought this idea of changing the methods of traditional production and distribution was so exciting, of course this wasn’t a new idea for probably some decades already even then, but out of my naivety about what was going on around the web, I thought I should try it. I had the idea of building a website (I didn’t know the word “blog” then). I googled “how to make a website” and started with what came up in the search results and kept going. All while learning and discovering that there are so many interesting things happening out there.

It is so impressive that you essentially built your own online presence. How do you feel about social media and how it has changed the way businesses interact with consumers? Does this help you or hinder you?

I still have a lot to learn about social media, but I recognize that it’s becoming more and more important for us. One day, I discovered that there were lots of photos of projects people had made from Mr. P on Instagram. I didn’t know about it at all, it was very exciting, a total revelation! Then, I learned of the close interaction between businesses and their customers/audiences taking place there. I find people on IG to be super friendly and there is lots of enthusiasm and support for one another’s creative output. Many customers and retailers approach us first and engage, which is so nice when you’re a bit shy and new to the platform. So far, I have only found it very helpful.

What prompted your new adventure Rock & Pebble?

The great thing about running Mr. P is that we can try out so many play ideas without going through the long process of manufacturing and selling. It’s all about experimentation and having fun. However, we naturally have many ideas that would really benefit from being well made from quality material and precise manufacturing. Many of those ideas are unpublished and waiting in the sketch book. We first made some fun dollhouses in cardboard on Mr. P that were loved very much. When we developed more designs, I just felt they really needed to be made to a different standard to do justice to the fine shapes. We decided to make some plywood prototypes and they looked great. They had a beautiful presence in wood. The natural tone with the varying surface, the thickness of the material and the edges all completed the design perfectly. And Rock & Pebble was launched!

Your pieces are so interactive. What do you hope children come away with after playing with these pieces?

Great stories to tell! Interactivity is important as we want children to engage with the objects with creative thoughts. New toys shouldn’t just be about acquiring a new possession. We hope children build their amazing stories and adventures on these little platforms we’ve made for them.

Where are you based? How do your surroundings influence you creatively?

We are based in California and England. As the years go by, my love of being surrounded by nature grows. I love traveling. It used to only be about big cities of the world, but now I plan to explore more into the wilderness. Seeing more nature, in combination with seeing great artworks from different museums around the world, is the best thing I can do to influence my creativity. I try to travel a lot and split time between cities and countryside to take advantage of both.
While surrounded by a mass of stuff, good and bad, in this contemporary life, you could lose a sense of what’s really good. Mediocre outcomes can be equally or more successful in a purely commercial sense and you can fall into that trap easily. I think travelling to see amazing nature and art helps you to have higher expectations of what’s good enough for you and what inspires you beyond what’s already surrounding you in everyday life.

What will we be seeing from Rock & Pebble in the future?

Definitely more dollhouses and wooden toys – we have so many sketched and prototyped! I’m also very excited about some furniture pieces and home wares we’re looking at, both small and large items. We only played with paper on Mr. P, which is endlessly versatile, but I do feel very greedy about trying other nice materials and can’t wait to get our hands on more wood, fabric, wool, glass, etc with Rock & Pebble’s future designs.

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Babiekins Magazine| Interview with Rock & Pebble

Rock & Pebble// Website|Instagram|Facebook

Featurekins // Q + A with Studio Escargot

Studio Escargot’s range of plush dolls seem to come alive with every detail and tiny article of clothing. The characters are both lovable and fashionable. Sophia Smeekens, the creative behind Studio Escargot, gives us a little glimpse into her creative process and lets us in on what life as an artist on Instagram is like.

Where are you located? Has this always been home for you?

I am located in a suburb near Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I was born and raised in Amsterdam in a very green and child friendly area just outside the center.

What inspires you to create these plush characters? Tell us Pierrot’s story.

I have always had a wild imagination and love for old fabrics, trimmings and haberdashery. Vintage pictures and movies, haute couture, editorials and art inspire me. The pierrot was created after I saw a collage someone had made and put on Instagram. We ended up trading the collage for the first pierrot doll and ballerina I ever made!!!

How does your little one inspire you to create? Is she helpful or active in your creative process?

My little one helps me by being herself! Wandering around the studio…pulling out little treasures like pieces of wool, yarn and other fabric. I am inspired by listening to her tell herself all kinds of stories and watching her play with her dolls and toys. Every now and then, she wants to help by stuffing the dolls. I let her, but it’s not really helping as I end up doing it all over again of course.

What color palettes are you drawn to?

I love color palettes that are a little “off”. I like when you look at something and see that something is not completely right, but you can’t exactly put your finger on it. Pale colors and pastels are my favorites.

How did you transition into the children’s market?

I have always loved making dolls, dollhouses and clothes. All of my life, fairy tales and children’s rooms have been an inspiration to me. I started out making some quilts and cushions. Then one night, I thought of making my daughter a rag doll. And that was the first of many…

Tell us about life on Instagram.

I am really trying to use my feed as a mood board and journal at the same time. I love to document and treasure moments in life. I found fellow artists and have had some great collaborations. I get inspired by a lot of other stylists, photographers, doll makers and artists. I also find that through social media the world gets so much smaller, so that you find out that ideas that you thought were, unique were already shared and done by others. It makes me work harder on new projects. I am very critical of the things I make and put out there.

How do you push through a creative block or the feeling of being overwhelmed by what is already out there? What advice would you give fellow creatives when they experience this feeling?

It mostly comes natural, I have a block and then nothing gets done. Then I start browsing trough my art books and archives of inspirational images (paper or Pinterest).  Ideas begin to pop up in my mind and I start collecting images and sketching. Then, I start to actually create from my idea/sketch. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have a lot of unfinished projects lingering around the studio. I would advise my fellow artists to stay true and close to themselves.

Studio Escargot// Website|Instagram|Pinterest

Babiekins Magazine| Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine| Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine|Studio Escargot

Babiekins Magazine|Studio Escargot

Featurekins // La De Dah Kids

LaDeDah Kids | Babiekins Magazine

LaDeDah Kids | Babiekins Magazine

01. Ava Unicorn | 02. Camera Bag | 03. Knitted Bean Bag | 04. Blue Triangle Blanket | 05. Bunny Mask | 06. Crochet Floor Rug

La De Dah kids products are  tailored towards both children and the child at heart, lovers of the quirky and unusual, and anyone who reaches out to the amazing world with imagination, wonder and creativity. La De Dah Kids offer a vast selection of handmade and quality items including textiles, soft furnishings and toys. Through their two ranges a year La De Dah Kids aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality.

Funkins // Kids in the house

With kids in the house, it sometimes tends to get messy. Hey, who am I kidding — it is messy most of the time!
Kids need their own space that they are allowed to mess up a bit here and there, but it doesn’t mean that I am always happy about it. My kids have a corner in our living room with their own play table, little chairs, books and toys. Our eldest has a playhouse in his room and most of the time he plays everywhere but there, but that’s okay too, I guess.

The Ikea Stuva benches are the best thing ever! You can stuff so much in them and have an uncluttered feeling when you close the drawer.

Sometimes I wish (who am I kidding, I wish this several times a day) that it was neat and tidy  all the time, but that would mean there would be no space for our kids in the house and that is something I cannot imagine anymore.

So I am destined to clean up the mess after their little behinds. I will probably complain about it, but deep down I am happy I can do this. (Do not tell them! Ever!)

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Vintage toys.

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Ikea table, mini Eames replica from Te Leuk Hout

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Animals by Schleich, doll by Lucky Boy Sunday.

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Ikea Stuva Benches.

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Ferm Living basket.

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Ikea Blanket, little chair thrifted.

Posted by Isabel.

Featurekins // Snuggly Ugly

Babiekins Magazine | New products by Snuggly-ugly.com

Babiekins Magazine | New products by Snuggly-ugly.com

Babiekins Magazine | New products by Snuggly-ugly.com

“We believe handmade goods are invaluable resources to incorporate into our daily lives while connecting us to each other in a personal way that cannot be compared to mass-produced and factory-made products, Handmade products are more than just a product. There is love, care, creativity and uniqueness, because handmade items are what your Great Great Grandma used to buy.” – Snuggly Ugly

Snuggly Ugly  was started by a fantastic (and sweet) American/ Venezuelan husband and wife team back in 2012. Known for their beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade plushes, they have now added some fantastic metallic linen mobiles and pillows that we just can’t get enough of! We also love these rag dolls and wooden doll racks that would make a perfect gift combo!  What is your favorite item from Snuggly Ugly?

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