Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Saturday, 26 February 2011


With 7 nieces & nephews, and an 8th on the way, I should be well-versed in the greatest, newest gadgets. But I'm a bad auntie. I like old things, and try to instill the same reverence for old things in my nieces & nephews...I buy books, or make presents. This Christmas I designed & published my own little book called Tinzarella Travels The World, which follows the travels of Tinzarella on a boat, who visits each niece & nephew in their far corners of the globe.

Well, I recently stumbled upon Times' All Time 100 Greatest Toys which is pretty cool.
Pretty neat (& dangerous?) is this 1920s Chemistry set:

I also like this yo-yo  from the 1920s (Miss Clark would especially like it):

Great toys from the 1930s include the sock monkey (always a favourite with me, as my Dad had a real pet monkey growing up in India, and this was the closest subsitute--my Mum recently made these for my nephews this Christmas). Perhaps reflective of a decade obsessed with war, the BB gun & Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol, topped the 1930s list.
{from Times' list}
{my nephew with my mum's homemade sock monkey}
From the 1940s, top toys include the invention of LEGO, Little Golden books, Bubble Solution, and the slinky.

The 1950s included some great toys, many of which reflect an obsession with weird substances, including Pez dispensers, silly putty, Play-Doh, the Hula Hoop & Barbie (never a favourite with me as a child)...oh & who could leave out fake vomit?! ha!
Toys from the 1960s included some famed items such as Barbie's companion, Ken, Easy-Bake Oven, Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe, Playmobile, and my personal favourite, Lite Brite. The 1970s ushered in another personal favourite, Paddington Bear (I ended up living 2 minutes away from Paddington Station in London), ShrinkyDinks, and Speak&Spell (another favourite/joke in my family--eho!).
The 1980s, the decade of my childhood, also was a decade full of pretty famous toys: Cabbage Patch kids ( a favourite with the Clark girls), Slap bracelets, Glo Worm, Transformers, My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (was I influenced by these turtles' names to study Italian Renaissance?--I think not, but still, the names of Vasari's favourites, became household names), & Snoopy Sno Cone, among many others.

The 1990s included the irritating Tickle me Elmo & Beanie Babies and the 2000s, the awful & not-so-great Bratz.
There are plenty of great toy antiques here for sale in Allegany county, many of which would top any of the more recent inventions.
My favourite toy of all time? My Raggedy Ann that my Mum made by hand for me (also her gift to my nieces this Christmas). My Raggedy Ann has a real heart with the words "I LOVE YOU" sewn on her heart. Doesn't that warm your heart? It warms mine every time I think of it--& I hate to think that she is in storage at the moment and not receiving the love she deserves. What was your favourite toy?

Monday, 21 February 2011


I'm a bit behind on my blogs...I've been away every week for the past few weeks. Hotels are beginning to feel like home.
1.5 weeks ago I was in NYC for the annual meeting of Art Historians at CAA. I was mostly busy with Art History stuff, but I did manage to escape & explore the city briefly one Saturday morning.
I stayed in Midtown this time-- a few blocks from Times Square, as CAA was being held at the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas.
Some views from my hotel on 8th & 52nd:

{just love the funky water towers in NYC}

I was also right around the corner from all the shows on Broadway.

Friday night I was able to sneak out & grab a drink with my friend Crystal & her boyfriend, and we had some yummy prosecco at a spot nearby. Saturday morning I had one lovely breakfast with my friend Joan--stylish, super smart & lovely Joan. She treated me to breakfast at the Meridien, which is seriously an amazing breakfast experience.
I spotted some lovely buildings on my walk to the Meridien:

From there I walked to Fifth Avenue & admired the shops & the window dressings:

{Breakfast at Tiffany's?}

{Valentine's display at Tiffany's}

{The Crown Building. Love this detail below of this little old lady passing Playboy Enterprises}

{love these window displays at LV}

{Bergdorf Goodman}

{can't remember what store this was, but love this display!! think pink!}
 It was extremely chilly & windy but I enjoyed my walk past Central Park and on to the Met.


Sunday, 13 February 2011


I'm not a big Valentine's fan...but I thought I'd still blog on Valentine's because of these ever-so-cute vintage Valentine cards...& all the other fun stuff that goes along with San Valentino. I do still feel nostalgic for all those Valentine card exchanges I used to do in my early years of school. Plus Feb 14 is important to me for two reasons. One, it marks the birthday of my dear niece, Anahita & also the birthday of one of my Mum's bestfriends, Sharlane. Also, because it is the patron saint day of another niece, Valentina.

Check out these cute Valentine's printables:

{downloadable from babalisme}

{there are loads of cute vintage Valentine cards available from vintage holiday crafts}

{too funny. which profession/man do you want? Heaven forbid you get the poor man or the thief!!!}

{from vintage holiday crafts}

If you're going to send an electronic e-card, why not try these lovely apps, featured on design*sponge?:
{I hate electronic stuff. but love love this by cartolina}

Red seems to be the colour of Valentine's, (& I have to say, red isn't really my colour), but who can resist these red dresses? :

{lovely Art Deco dresses from 1920s fashion}
{this would be appropriate for the weather around here}
and who could leave out Audrey?
{from funny face}
and who doesn't love red polka dots?
{from Heyday Vintage Style}

{polka dot hanky anyone?}

{polka dot cat bowl from price inspector for 3 quid}
{polka dot brolly?}
{how cute is this pram from prams n things?}
{polka dot petticoat? ooh la la, so cute! from dressderby}
{cute cases from knot just jigs}
{Valentine polka dot decorations by Deborah Sparks}
{vintage valentine's party staged for KUTV's Channel 2 Fresh Living Show. info here}
 and the other thing I like about Valentine's day are doilies. I don't know why, but I just love them.
check out these heart doilies:
{photo by ana}
{look at the beautiful doilies in the background of this print, available on Etsy}
and to be fully Valentines-y, Valentine's doilies:
{also available on Etsy}
I came across these amazing ideas by Emma Hadzi-Anitch featured on design*sponge. As a lover of tea (specifically loose-leaf tea), I can't resist these DIY teabags: the quality of loose-leaf tea with the sweetest personal touch:

{full details & instructions can be found on design*sponge and on flytape}

Happy Valentine's day! & a special Happy Valentine's to the ones I love the most: my dearest sisters, their kids, my parents & my best friends...Life would be so gray without you all.