Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Generals: It's like...totally ethicool!

Simple contrasting colours like black and white can be used effectively in clothing design as a pattern or graphic, but can simple colours comprise an entire collection and be interesting? And can they be used on children's clothing and still be fun and original? New Generals shows us that they can!

New Generals Autumn Winter 2011

New Generals Autumn Winter 2011

New Generals, a label out of Denmark, uses a limited palette to excellent effect. Garments are made in 100% certified organic cotton, and with a clear emphasis on sustainable production and care for the environment New Generals is a forward-thinking brand. New Generals call it being ethicool: "Fun need not be colorful or childish, ethical or organic need not be beige or boring, cool or fashionable need not be cold, and basics need not be basic. It is a new take on basics, it is New Generals."
And I like it!

New Generals Autumn Winter 2011

The New Generals Autumn Winter 2011 collection sees the range expanding from the previous 2-8 years to now feature a complete range of super-cool designs for both baby (0-24mths) and junior (up to 10yrs). There is a lot of black with splashes of lavender, white, and grey.

New Generals Autumn Winter 2011

While I'm loving what I've seen of the New Generals Autumn Winter collection, I'm super-keen on the Spring Summer Collection too. Crisp graphics, with a fantasy theme, inspire imagination. Bold blocky contrasts create an individual style. Beetles, dragonflys, butterflies, and ladybirds appear in creative and interesting ways, and that is what New Generals is all about: stimulating a child's imagination and opening a world of thought and creativity.

New Generals Spring Summer 2011

I'm excited about this label - it's something different, and the limited colour adds to the impact of the prints. Their ethical approach gets them another tick from me, and I have to agree: New Generals is like...totally ethicool!

New Generals can be purchased online, and in selected stores in Scandinavia and Europe.

A huge thanks to Joen at New Generals for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog permission to publish these images.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Places

My 2 year old daughter (nicknamed YoYo) is fascinated with 'happy' and 'sad' at the moment. With this in mind I have put together a post featuring three happy blogs that I like to visit and a little story about some happy places I go with my family...

Orange You Lucky by Helen Dardik

Always fun, always inspiring, Orange You Lucky by Helen Dardik overflows with happy vibes.

Party Animals by Helen Dardik, View the collection at Orange you Lucky

Yin and Yan, A new print by Helen Dardik available at her Etsy Store
Images via Orange You Lucky

Goldilocks and Two Friends, Watercolours by Helen Dardik,
Images via Orange you Lucky

In the Field of...Designs by Helen Dardik with wallpaper in mind.
Images via Orange You Lucky

You can purchase some of Helen's gorgeous creations at her Etsy store.

Other posts on Kitty as a Picture that feature Helen Dardik are Mixing it Up, Delicious Chocovenyl Wall Decals for the Home, and Orange You Lucky to Have Helen Dardik for Inspiration.

Jane Foster Blog

Vintage fabric heaven, Jane Foster Blog is cheerful, inspiring, and explodes with colour. Jane's been making quilts lately - and what happy happy quilts they are. LOVE them!

Vintage Fabric Quilts by Jane Foster
Images via Jane Foster Blog

More of her striking cushions made from vintage fabrics:

Vintage fabric cushions by Jane Foster
Available at Jane's Cushion SiteImages via Jane Foster Blog

And some stunning screen printed cards and purses:

Red Elephant Card by Jane Foster

Screen printed linen purses by Jane Foster
Images via Jane Foster Blog

Screen printed animal cards by Jane Foster
Images via Jane Foster Blog

Jane has opened a shop on Etsy where you can purchase spectacular vintage fabrics from her collection. She loves bold fabrics from the 50s, 60s and 70s, fun vintage children's fabric and vintage Scandinavian fabric. She also has an Etsy store where you can purchase silk screen prints and items Jane makes from fabric. You will find links to more shops and websites of Jane's on her blog.

Read an older post on Kitty as a Picture that features Jane Foster here: Jane Foster, Bright, Bold, and a Touch of Vintage.

Design Seeds

Another happy place I love to go is Design Seeds. If you love colour, Design Seeds is the place to go for inspiration. I wish I discovered it a long time ago!

Four palettes by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds

More of my favourite blogs and websites are listed on the right side panel of Kitty as a Picture.
A Happy Place for YoYo  (A Personal Anecdote)

There is a magical place north of Auckland where my partner and I like to go camping, and we planned to take YoYo there for a few days over Easter. After putting YoYo to bed on Wednesday night, Mike and I began packing in preparation for our adventure the next day. It was not to be. We spent the latter part of that night and the entire of Thursday in hospital with YoYo. She is now home, and well, but camping is off the agenda this weekend.

Leading up to that evening Yo Yo had been unsettled, particularly at night, so I created a happy place for her - a beach - which I describe in detail when she is agitated. At the hospital I needed to carry her from the emergency department to a ward. I wanted her to remain sleepy, relaxed, and be unalarmed by the strange sights and sounds we would encounter, so I began to describe her happy place. After only a few words from me, and out of a drowsy and floppy state, she rocketed upright in my arms, huge grin, wide excited eyes, and cried "BIG WAVES!" She continued to respond energetically to all my descriptions; it was a relief to have something we could enjoy together in such an unusual situation.

Above: YoYo enjoys the beach on previous camping adventures

The first thing YoYo said when she awoke in the ward on Thursday morning was "YoYo happy right now." I am in a very happy place right now too with YoYo safe and well, and the dramatic events of that evening behind us. A huge thanks to all the amazing people who assisted us at home that night and at the hospital to follow.

Thank you to Helen Dardik, Jane Foster, and Jessica Colaluca for being an inspiration.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Flora Chang and Helen Lang

Two talented artists today, starting with Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land. Flora is a designer and illustrator that works for a large greeting card company, and Happy Doodle Land is her playground away from work. She recently featured some burnt buttons/brooches that caught my eye and from there I visited her Etsy store where I found more gorgeous creations:

Burnt Buttons by Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land

See how tiny there are! Clearly, Flora has a bucket-load more patience than I do!

Burnt buttons by Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land

You'll find lots of cute prints (and other goodies too) at the Happy Doodle Land Etsy store, but the colour and personality in these prints stood out to me:

 Mr. Lion Print by Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land

Mr. Snake Print by Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land

Chef Elephant Print by Flora Chang of Happy Doodle Land

You'll find Flora's blog Happy Doodle Land here, and her Etsy store here.

And now Helen Lang who has recently joined The Keep Calm Gallery with her beautiful animal alphabet illustration, Animalphabet:

Animalphabet Limited Edition Print by Helen Lang (cropped)

Animalphabet Limited Edition Print by Helen Lang
Left: Full page view, Right: Close-up of T for tiger
2 colour screenprint on textured off-white fine art paper.

From an anteater to a zebra, each animal is cleverly crafted into the shape of its first letter. I imagine a child would be quite fascinated by a piece like this. You can find out more, or purchase the print, at the Keep Calm Gallery.

Thank goodness for the uplifting work of these two talented artists. In my household we are all sick at the moment; I have been able to drag myself out of bed today but am much in need of the inspiration. Feeling invigorated now, I think I can find the energy to venture out with my daughter, and that is why I love this project - looking at creative and beautiful things is just so motivating :)

A huge thanks to Flora Chang and The Keep Calm Gallery for allowing Kitty as a Picture Kids' Design Blog to publish these images.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vintage Postcards - More From my Stash!

A while ago I featured some Dutch vintage postcards that I found in a thrift shop. The post has been very popular, so I have scanned some more of the vintage postcards that I picked up that day. I hope you enjoy them:

Dutch Vintage Postcard - Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Dutch Vintage Postcard - Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Date stamp shows it was posted in 1964

French Vintage Postcard - Bonne Année

Dutch Vintage Postcard

Dutch Vintage Postcard - Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Dutch Vintage Postcard

If any readers are able to translate the text on the last postcard, I would love to know what it says - Please leave a comment below.

I keep going back to that thrift store, and they do occasionally have more vintage postcards, but none as nice as the first handful I found. I will keep looking for more...that is the beauty of op-shopping - you just never know what you might find.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pattern and Print for Kids - Interesting Finds

It can be a challenge to come up with pattern and print ideas for kids' clothing without falling back on cliché iconography. I've found some original and inspiring pieces lately that I would like to share with you:

Top: Vestido Little Snoopy, Dress by Dominique ver Eecke
Bottom: Falda Policeman, Skirt by Dominique ver Eecke
Both available at Nobodinoz

Top: Falda pareja de gatos, Skirt by Dominique ver Eecke
Middle: Camisa de loros, Shirt by Dominique ver Eecke
Bottom: Camisa Andy Sailers, Shirt by Dominique ver Eecke
All available at Nobodinoz

New printed tees just arrived at BlaBla
Clochette Tee (top), Hercule Tees Pink and Blue (bottom)
Sparkle Fish Tee by Desigual; available at Poppy Clementine

Top: Tunic Dress by Desigual
Bottom: Reversible Hoodie Jacket by Desigual
Both available at Poppy Clementine

Mr. Sun Dress by Misha Lulu; available at Poppy Clementine

Silly Girl Tee by Desigual; available at Poppy Clementine

Animal Print Tees by Polkka Jam

Left: Super Squirrel Hoodie by Minti
Right: View Master Tee by Minti
Both available at Baby's Got Style

Printed Tees by Mini & Maximus
Top: Bat
Bottom Left: Gator in Love
Bottom Right: They are Monsters

Top: Electric Guitar Cloud Tee by Mini Shatsu
Bottom: Underground DJ Vintage Gold Tee by Mini Shatsu
 Both available at Poppy Clementine

Top Left: Town and Country Onesie by Duns Sweden
Top Right: Apple Delight Tee by Smafolk
Middle Left: Purple Poppy Wrap Onesie by Duns Sweden
Middle Right: Harvest Wrap Onesie by Duns Sweden
Bottom: Blue Bugs Tee by Duns Sweden
All available at Baby's Got Style

Top: Vestido pintado, Dress by Bobo Choses; available at Nobodinoz
High Top Tank by Little Horn; available at Baby's Got Style
Fairground tee by Little Horn; available at Baby's Got Style

Printed T Shirts From Top:
Camiseta conejo, Pink Tee by Bobo Choses available at Nobodinoz
Tunica Rabbit Ear gris Muchacha available at Nobodinoz
Boom Box tee by Sooki Baby available at Baby's Got Style
DJ Chimp Tee by Rock Your Baby available at Baby's Got Style
Trekker Cat Tee by Munster available at Baby's Got Style
Dusk Tee by Munster available at Baby's Got Style
Leaf Face Tree by Minti available at Baby's Got Style
Charlie Snapsuit by Sooki Baby available at Baby's Got Style
DJ Chimp Tee by Rock Your Baby available at Baby's Got Style
Ahoy Captain Tee by Ouch available at Baby's Got Style

Camiseta Mushroom, Printed Tee by Muchacha
Camiseta Mc safari, Printed Tee by Milk on the Rocks
 Camiseta Superciudad, Printed Tee by Milk on the Rocks
All available at Nobodinoz

Left: "Spirit Denim" Girls' White Dots Dress by Catimini
Right: "Spirit Couture" Girls' Handpainted Dress by Catimini
Both available at Poppy Clementine

"Pollock" Swing Dress by Llum; available at Poppy Clementine 

And I could go on forever. There is plenty to be inspired by in the world of print and pattern - this is just a tiny slice of what's happening for kids in 2011.

If you are a designer of kids' products or surface patterns, or if you own a shop that sells kids' products, and you would like me to add you to my list of websites to peruse, get in touch. I am interested in surface pattern, print, illustration, graphic design, fabric, and fashion within the world of children's design. More info here. And if you are enjoying Kitty as a Picture please show your support by following Kitty as a Picture on Facebook, Google Friend Connect, or by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can also be notified of new posts via Twitter. I  love your comments and I appreciate your support - it makes the hard work worthwhile.

A huge thanks to all those labels and stores I have featured on todays post.