Thursday, 23 July 2009

Delight in the small things


I know I'm still a child at heart when I am unable to resist 'tiny things' just because they are tiny. And perfect. And lovely. We found this delightful set at the Bedford Park Festival in June. Having set eyes on it I had to have it, to the delight of my 6 year old.
It brought to mind the amazing little Addis (the founder of which invented the toothbrush, apparently) cleaning sets that were available in the sixties. The window of the hardware shop in Queens Road, Leicester, was a tumble of lovely galvanised metal, wood, bristle and bright, modern plastic. The best of these modern artefacts was the bubble packed set of broom, bucket, dustpan and brush - all at the scale of a hardworking fairy. I was never sure of the purpose of these sets. Were they just a salesman's sample? A tantalising shop display? A toy? Or indeed (my favoured option) actually made for fairies? I know my sister and I bought at least one set each - and I think she may still have the broom somewhere...
This, oh so more tasteful, set, in wood and metal, was on the Woodland Children stall at the festival. A diaspora of memories, wishes and beautifully crafted objects that makes you just feel good. This little set seems to have been made by a company called Nadia Toys, a Dutch company who specialise in 'nostalgic wooden toys'. Indeed.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The good ship starchgreen

What a great day! The rather unlikely University of the Arts Alumni Summer Fete, held on the rather incongruously named Parade Ground at Chelsea School of Art (I'm intrigued by the idea of the trooping of the art students...). The weather was hot, with a sprinkling of rain, and the crowd were, well, arty. We sailed our Starch Green ship on the sea, we printed t-shirts, made books, iced delicious dog-shaped biscuits, arranged flowers, ate chorizo, chocolate ice-cream and strawberries, and helter-skeltered.
Polly had her nails painted with cup cakes - yes they are paintings not transfers.
Ellen made an origami chameleon with eyelashes. There were even dinosaurs roaming - and that's not just the older alumni.