Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kawaii Kids: Sooki Baby and So Much More!

Kawaii is pronounced ka-why-ee & means 'cute' in Japanese, and this shop sure is cute. Owner, Andrea, set out to create a store that would stand out from the rest. It is obvious she succeeded, and at Kawaii Kids you can find a quirky collection of children's clothing, shoes, and accessories - mostly Japanese and Korean inspired, with a mix of boutique and handmade labels thrown in. Loads of new designs have just arrived, including fabulous Sooki Baby and SoSooki, and here is a little taster of some of these alongside other great finds from Kawaii Kids.

SoSooki Robot Max Tee - Beige & White
Fruit Notebooks - Apple & Pear
Olive's Friend Pop - Mia Party Dress
Sooki Baby - Funny Little Bunny Tee (white)
Sooki Baby - Zooper Hero Tee (white)

41 Orchard - Giraffe Wall Stickers (red/grey)
Cute Dog Singlet
Cocoon Couture - Tiny Toucan Shoulder Bag
Sooki Baby Zooper Hero Padded Reversible Jacket
Snoffs - Garden Cats Tee
Mary Jane Socks
Sooki Baby Toddler - Alice Wanders Tee (Red)
Sooki Baby Toddler - Alice Wanders Full Circle Skirt

Woodlands Friends Puffer Jacket (Grey)
SoSooki Stripe Tights - Black
SoSooki Red Spot Skirt with Bow
Black Cat Baby Bib
Mon Chou Chou Scarf - Skulls
Chunky Knit Striped Beanie

Girl & Bird Top (Pink)
Adorable Apple Tee, Collots, and Leggings
Peaceful Girl Top (Beige)

There is a constant flow of new products, and stock is purchased in limited runs and sizes to keep things fresh and interesting. I selected some pieces that stood out to me, but it doesn't come close to representing the enormous variety of products and styles available. That is something you will have to discover for yourself! The actual store is located in Birchip (far Western Victoria) but you can purchase from the Kawaii Kids super-cute online store.

These images are copyright. Many thanks to Andrea for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to feature Kawaii Kids.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nate Williams and Alexander Blue


Illustration and Surface Pattern

Illustrator Nate Williams must surely be a difficult guy to pin down for a coffee. There can't possibly be any time for casual chatting in his schedule; as well as illustrating prolifically under the name Nate Williams, he illustrates as Alexander Blue, he founded and maintains the enormously popular Illustration Mundo and Letter Playground, he designs for Hola Omiga , makes guest speaker appearances at various events, conducts workshops, AND is a devoted father.

Above: Illustrations from The Weathersteins Art Licensing Collection
by Nate Williams

The Nate Williams style illustrations retain a hand-drawn look using lots of traditional techniques, pens, markers, Indian ink and Photoshop.

Illustration from the Summer Camp Art Licensing Collection
by Nate Williams

Construction by Nate Williams

Robots by Nate Williams for Ecojot Journals

Nate has a passion for silk screen printing and hand lettering. Speaking of his organic hand-drawn style, in an interview with Vectors Tuts+, he says:

"After working for a number of years in high tech 3D rendered video game industry, I visually craved the opposite. I wanted to create things that are simplified to their essence, more organic, handmade, textured and incorporated the human touch, such as accidents, mistakes and discoveries. I really like doing hand drawn lettering because it combines something that is mechanical and adds a human touch. I like that mixture of mechanical and organic. I have a general idea of what I am making, but the majority of the creative process happens when I am actually creating the work."

It Always Seems Impossible Until it's Done - Nelson Mandela
Illustration and Hand Lettering by Nate Williams for Ecojot Journals

You can also find many beautiful surface patterns in Nate Williams's portfolio, both for general design and for children's design.



Surface patterns by Nate Williams

In the aforementioned interview, Nate explains why he created the alter ego Alexander Blue:

"I could do another style of illustration, but not confuse 'Nate Williams' clients. I think every illustrator realises you must have a strong, unique, consistent style, but struggles with committing to one style, so this is how I deal with the struggle. I just created another personality, problem solved!"

Bold, clean graphics, pop imagery and vibrant colours are the signature of Alexander Blue. Packed with energy and humour, the eye-catching Alexander Blue illustrations and surface patterns are created using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and/or Corel Painter.  

Happy Teeth by Alexander Blue

Space Valentine’s Day cards for ChickaDEE Magazine, by Alexander Blue

Alexander Blue's illustration for a a short story, in a French children's magazine, about a cow that climbs to the top of  a mountain and gets so dizzy the villagers had to saw the mountain down.

 Surface pattern: Machines by Alexander Blue

Surface Pattern: Traffic by Alexander Blue

There are distinct differences in style between Nate Williams and his alter ego Alexander Blue, but there is plenty to connect them too. Both styles of illustration feature brilliant colours, eye-catching graphics, and overflow with energy. Something tells me Nate Williams himself has limitless energy and is one of those enviable people who can pack a million things into a day. Perhaps a coffee and chat is not out of the question after all!

Thanks to Nate Williams for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to publish these copyright images.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oilily Spring/Summer 2011

When I think Oilily children's clothing, I think colour. Not just colour, but explosions of colour; I think of an energy, the kind of buzz and excitement and colour of carnivals and circuses. But the greatest designers are never predictable, and Oilily's Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all Collection uses a soft palette, a countryside theme inspired by community spirit, and a range of styles. There is still plenty of energy in the designs, and splashes of vibrance, but also a calming, rural flavour so right for those productive, sunny, summer days.

Oilily Blue Daysie Dress, part of the Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all children's clothing collection.

Oilily Chiara Coat, part of the Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all children's clothing collection.

Oilily Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all children's clothing collection.

Oilily Tip Tee Flower Fantasy Frame, part of the Oilily Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all children's clothing collection.

Sporty checks and stripes go hand in hand with romantic florals, while still holding together as a cohesive range. Cute and surprising details, such as the carrots below, add some fun and turn the garments into pieces that children will fall in love with.

Oilily Spring/Summer 2011 - Oilily for all children's clothing collection.
  
Oilily Danini Dress Pink, part of the Spring/Summer 2011 Oilily for all children's clothing collection.

 New Oilily US Webshop!

There is now an Oilily US Webshop! Browse or buy Oilily for both children's and women's clothing and accessories, at http://www.oililyshopusa.com/ 
European shoppers can browse or buy Oilily at http://www.oilily-world.com/

I've had a sneak peek at the Fall/Winter collection and it is nothing short of stunning! Bringing you more soon...

These images are copyright and have been published with Oilily's permission.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vintage Children's Book - See the Pictures

This vintage book (titled See the Pictures) has been tucked away in my book shelf for some time, and I can't even recall where I found it or how long I have had it. I am certain that I would have been drawn to it on account of its vibrant colour palette which is basic and strays only a little from the primary colours. Sorry, the front and back covers are too damaged to show.

See The Pictures - Spread 1
Text: A modern garage, the oil is being refreshed in the car on the bridge, the scooter is being examined.
The sports car has "filled up", the windscreen is being washed and then.... off!

See the Pictures - Spread 2
Text: Busy traffic in the city; cars, buses, motor cycles etc. Policemen direct the traffic.
When the amber beacon is flashing, all traffic must stop to allow pedestrians to cross.

See the Pictures - Spread 3
Text: It is very busy at the docks, ships from all over the world come there.
The ships are unloaded and loaded again. Large cranes are nearly always used for this.

See the Pictures - Spread 4
Text: Large coaches drive all over Europe bringing holidaymakers from all parts.
Has you daddy a sportscar? Then don't drive too quickly - remember safety first.

See the Pictures - Spread 5
Text: At the station too it is always very busy. Travellers are buying papers at the last minute.
So some of them miss the train. They are just too late. The guard has signalled the train to leave.

Text on the back cover finishes the story with: At the airport you see planes from all over the world landing and taking off.

Perspective is not a strong point of mine, but even I can spot some crazy angles! There are some amusing details in the illustrations too if you inspect them closely, but I think it just adds to the charm of this book. I had to laugh at the text: Has your daddy a sportscar? Then don't drive too quickly - remember safety first. !!

The book is published in The Netherlands by Mulder & Zoon, Amsterdam. No date is given, and no writer or illustrator is specified.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Asian Kitsch


You know instantly when you arrive at the Wu & Wu website that you are somewhere fabulous. Illustrator Fiona Hewitt, and expert in Asian kitschology, Andy Tainton, have wowed the world with their Dumpling Dynasty range. Now they are adding the intricately-decorated Cotton Candy collection, and it is stunning! I WANT  I WANT  I WANT!

Cotton Candy Sugar, Coffee and Tea Tins and Cotton Candy Baking Set
New products from Wu & Wu

“Our products are a labour of love. Sought-out from lesser-known parts of Asia, we strive to personalize and re-create the sweet sentiment and attention to detail found in vintage Asian packaging design,” says Fiona Hewitt.

Fiona and Andy lived in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong for some years, and during that time trawled flea markets and junk shops for inspiration. Clearly, they found plenty!

Cotton Candy Cookie Tin
New product from Wu & Wu

It's easy to see the care and hard work that has gone into the range, with every piece thoughtfully constructed to create a unique gift that is as functional as it is beautiful.

Dumpling Dynasty Alphabet Stamp Kit
Wooden Blocks and 4 colours of ink 

Dumpling Dynasty Sewing Kit

Dumpling Dynasty Star Gazer Kit

Sailing Coin Purse

Pop over to the Wu & Wu website to see the full range, and while you're there, it's worth taking a quick look at the Wu & Wu blog too. Read about a Hong Kong restaurant that serves its meals in miniature toilets (!!!)

The inspiration for this post comes from Babyology who took an exclusive sneak peek at the new products Lark will be unveiling at Kids Instyle, in Sydney this month. I am disgustingly envious of all the lucky people heading that way! Ah, maybe next year...

Thank you to Wu & Wu for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to publish these images.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Joy of Summer Dresses

A recent outing to Ponsonby Rd for a coffee found me browsing Tatty's for the first time. I came home from my coffee date with several dresses, having spent... let's just say, a lot more than $4! When I recovered from the shock that comes with spontaneous purchases (and reckless disregard for finances!) I was utterly convinced that dresses are the way to go. No more searching around for a matching top to go with that skirt; dresses are light and comfortable, easy to wash, quick to dry, and you can choose a pattern to suit your mood.

Pink Chicken Spring Summer 2011 Collection

My excitement about dresses coincides with the release of Pink Chicken's Spring Summer 2011 Collection, so it's a perfect opportunity to show some of their fabulous designs for girls:

 Betsey Dress, Orange Floral; by Pink Chicken New York

I've not been a fan of yellow, but Pink Chicken's Zoe dress (below) has changed my mind! Wow, I love the way they have used this fabric. The front seam bringing the stripes together on an angle is a great effect. The pockets and the stripe across the chest add a nice contrast. A little flutter cap sleeve gives it a pretty touch, and isn't it just the perfect dress for hot weather!

Zoe Dresses by Pink Chicken New York

Purple or lilac makes a lovely, feminine choice for girls if you are feeling a bit over pink!

Madison Dress by Pink Chicken New York

Brooke Dress, blue gingham, (left) and Brooke Dress, Green Floral (right)
Both dresses by Pink Chicken New York

Pink Chicken has a women's range of clothing too, and a philosophy of easy, breezy dressing that is no fuss and always stylish. Sounds very much like my new-found philosophy! Visit the Pink Chicken website to view the complete Spring/Summer 2011 collection - released on Sunday.

Pink Chicken Spring/Summer 2011 Collection. Check it out!


Baby's Got Style

When it comes to fashion, Baby's Got Style has it covered. An Australian online store, Baby's Got Style has an enormous range of products for baby and kids, from some of the best in children's clothing design to room decor and new mum essentials. But of course, I am fixated on dresses:

Carmen dress by Oobi, available at Baby's Got Style

Ginger dress - Goa Coral by Coco & Ginger (left),
Peony dress by Tea Pony (right)
Available at Baby's Got Style 


Jasmine dress, Italian Floral by Coco & Ginger;
Available at Baby's Got Style

Garden Bouquet dress; BIG by Fiona Scanlan (left),
Apple Days drawstring sundress, aqua; by Bluebird & Honey (right)
Available at Baby's Got Style

Ruffled Flower sundress, blue; by Rubyrose Loves Max;
Available at Babys Got Style

Summer Dream dress; BIG by Fiona Scanlan (left),
Apple Days drawstring sundress, pink; by Bluebird & Honey
Available at Baby's Got Style

Seaside dress by Little Horn; available at Baby's Got Style.

Happy Flower dress; BIG by Fiona Scanlan (left),
Ruffled Sunflower dress, green; by Rubyrose Loves Max (middle), 
Wild Floral smock baby dress by Peggy (right)
Available at Baby's Got Style

Dress them up or wear them casually, dresses are the way to go. That's what I'll be wearing next summer!  

Visit the Baby's Got Style website to view all kinds of baby and kiddie goodies.

These images are copyright. Thank you to Baby's Got Style and Pink Chicken New York for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to publish these images.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Littlephant Launches in Japan

It is an exciting start to the year for Swedish designer and illustrator Camilla Lundsten. Her outstanding brand Littlephant has just exhibited at the Tokyo Gift Show, launching onto the Japanese market for the first time. Littlephant is sure to be hit there with its bold graphics and endearing characters that are so popular in Sweden.

Kanina the Rabbit, one of the many adorable character creations of Camilla Lundsten.

The Littlephant collection of kids' books feature vibrant illustrations and happy themes:

Finally rain!/ Äntligen regn! By Camilla Lundsten.

Potty training? Reinforce the concept with Littlephant's delightful story Finally poo!/ Äntligen bajs!

Finally poo!/ Äntligen bajs! By Camilla Lundsten.

Finally birthday!/ Äntligen kalas! By Camilla Lundsten.

Finally a sibling!/ Äntligen syskon! By Camilla Lundsten.

Today Littlephant's products are mainly produced from paper; books, graphic prints, and postcards make up the bulk of the collection, but the product range is growing and will also include interior fabrics and products for your home, as well as bags and children's clothing. The brand also hopes to produce an animated series and online games in the future.

Numbers Graphic Print by Camilla Lundsten, Littlephant.

Littlephant House Puzzle

Littlephant Postcards

Littlephant Birthday Party Invitations

Some Littlephant characters

Camilla is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and runs her own design studio - Camilla Lundsten Studio as well as Littlephant. Find out more about Littlephant and view all products at Littlephant.com.

Image from the Camilla Lundsten Studio website

Image from the Camilla Lundsten Studio website

Thanks so much to Camilla Lundsten for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to feature Littlephant. All images are the copyright of Camilla Lundsten.