Beach Party Sindy 1984

I’m working as fast as I can to spruce and dress a large lot of Sindys that I bought from another collector back in February. I need to get them up, on show and ready to ship. This involves a fair amount of work including running up to Bunnings (our local hardware store) to fetch Sindy size boxes from their bumper box recycling crate.

Rummaging is another large part of the job. I have various doll clothes packed in boxes and bags. They’re organised by type, rather than year. So skirts in one box, day dresses in another. And so on. This is useful for photography and picking things out to assemble as a styled photographic set, but less useful for putting together the original sets favoured by collectors. I had a tiny piece of white rope in a compartment of one of my bits boxes. And it was the key to this whole outfit for Beach Party Sindy.

Beach Party Sindy 1984 in green sun visor and polka dot blouse.

I suddenly remembered the other components of the outfit – they were squirrelled away in about 6 different hidey holes. The jeans I hadn’t really studied before (and therefore remembered) but I was thrilled to find a pair in the box labelled TROUSERS. They’re quite intriguing, with a red stitch design printed onto them.

Beach Party Sindy 1984 in green sun visor with rope belt

The sun visor is so cool and reminds me of various House of Flora designs.

House of Flora Helios Jamaican Visor side view
House of Flora Helios Jamaican Visor side view
House of Flora Helios Jamaican Visor
House of Flora Helios Jamaican Visor

I start by identifying the doll with the help of the Petra Dolls website and other delving around. Once I’ve established the year as close as I can, I try to find a matching outfit. And as any Sindy collector will know, the best place for an outfit ID is Our Sindy Museum This doll is quite unusual as she has dark, straight hair. In case you’re wondering about the yellow lips: it’s a symptom of age in some of the dolls. Some collectors do a great job of painting new make up on with acrylic paint.

Beach Party Sindy was sold within an hour. I was rather sorry to see this one go. On the other hand it’s good to keep the dolls circulating so lots of people can enjoy them. Having said that, if I could build up a collection and then start a real life museum one day that would be great fun all round. I created a museum for a day last year. Perhaps a museum for a week would be the next step. Watch this space…

Is Big Foot a monster? The big foot Barbie of 1996.

The big flat feet of Hula Hair Barbie 1996
The big flat feet of Hula Hair Barbie 1996

No is categorically the answer. Big feet are not monstrous. If you imagine a human version of a Barbie doll, and that human version has the same tiny bent feet, they would be like the tiny broken and bound ‘Lotus feet’ of millions of Chinese women living between the 16th and 20th centuries. That is monstrous!

X-ray of bound feet v2

1981 Barbie doll feet
1981 Barbie doll feet

The practice of foot binding was endemic in China and there are still living women with bound feet today.

But how much of the enduring practice was about beauty versus ugliness? And how much was about social conformity? Some historical records indicate the initial practice was a about the beauty of ballet shaped feet:

…the practice is likely to have originated from the time of the 10th-century Emperor Li Yu… [He] created a six-foot tall golden lotus decorated with precious stones and pearls, and asked his concubine Yao Niang… to bind her feet in white silk into the shape of the crescent moon, and perform a ballet-like dance on the points of her feet on the lotus. Yao Niang’s dance was said to be so graceful that others sought to imitate her. The binding of feet was then replicated by other upper-class women and the practice spread.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding

Barbie Take Along Travel Case 1996 ballet dancer feature

Barbie Travel Case 1996

Ballet Lessons Barbie 1999 pink shoes

Ballet Lessons Barbie 1999

But a primary reason millions of women imposed this on their young daughters, time and time again, was because this act of social conformity ensured their daughters’ social acceptability as potential wives. Being married into a new family was the primary way to survive and thrive. Ideals of beauty and social conformity seem to fuse together. The most ‘beautiful’ woman was able to marry the richest man who would ensure a long, secure life with plenty of children. So people competed to be the most beautiful, which in a strange way meant a competition to be the most broken.

The competitive element can cause an ideal to become an extreme. I’ll make my waist smaller than yours, by wearing this tight corset and then I’ll be more attractive than you? Or I’ll pay for a breast enhancement and then I’ll look more striking than you? Or worse, I’ll look more acceptable to myself? Do human Barbie doll emulators such as Valeria Lukyanova and Rodrigo Alves actually suffer from body dysmorphic disorder? Does society suffer from body dysmorphic disorder?

It seems ironic at any rate that the Barbie lookalikes appeared so beautiful (according to current western ideals) before they had plastic surgery. In my eyes they now look ugly. I feel discomfited with their appearance. Strangely, although I enjoy dolls and find them fascinating and charming I don’t consider them beautiful. I associate true beauty with something fresher and more innocent – something less contrived. In terms of a person, I think it’s more about the experience of a person and joyful moments with them. The surface beauty of appearance is attractive and engaging, but not deeply satisfying.

One reason that Barbie dolls have small tiptoe feet is to fit easily into high heeled moulded plastic shoes. High heels being extremely popular, I guess there is a big customer demand for fashion dolls with heels. I do enjoy the look of heels. There’s something pleasing about the rounded shape of the shoe at the back, above the heel. And you can see more of the shoe – from all angles. But is that really attractive, or am I just culturally brain washed? I’ve given up on wearing them in any case – just too uncomfortable and impractical.

I do have a Mego doll that wears midi heels. They’re the ruby slippers worn by the character Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz story. The doll resembles Judy Garland circa 1939 and crucially the heels are articulated, allowing the foot to flex.

Flat feet of Mego Dorothy doll 1974.
Mego Dorothy (Judy Garland) doll feet and shoes 1974

Strangely, one of the most recent and most popular Barbie dolls, Made to Move Barbie has fairly realistic body proportions… except for the miniscule feet. I wasn’t even able pose the doll in a free standing position for the photo. What a shame!

Made to move Barbie coral top 2016 feet

However, Mattel have made some large footed dolls – as I discovered when I unpacked my bumper 1996 box. I found Hula Hair Barbie and In-Line Skating Barbie. Rock on girls! Dance like no-one’s watching.

Hula Hair Barbie 1996

Hula Hair Barbie

In-line Skater Barbie 1996

In-line Skating Barbie and her firmly flat footed friend Lil Chelsie

In yoga lessons, I’ve learned about the importance of connection with the ground. Whatever pose you do in yoga, it has be be earthed. You have to think about that and be aware of it, to achieve balance and release. So I vote for big feet. Ground connection, balance, release, stability. Big feet could be the foundation for a more stable society. I’m only half joking.

’96 a vintage year for Bubbling Barbie

I recently acquired a large lot of Barbie dolls from 1996 with a few ’95s too. They are fab and I’ll introduce a few of them over the next few days. Queen of the bunch must be Angel Princess Barbie. Don’t worry about whether an Angel can also be a princess just think ***Double Whopper***.

Fallen Angel Princess Barbie

Buy Angel Princess Barbie

Angel Princess Barbie in front of shelf

She is a very practical Angel who can stow her wings. They reattach with a big white press stud fastener. I wonder how you would design a life size dress with same helter skelter style skirt. Perhaps you could make it with thin nylon piping. It’s very carnivalesque.

She is not to be outdone by her watery sister Bubbling Mermaid Barbie (just squeeze to make bubbles). Well that was the idea, but she’s lost part of her bubbly crown mechanism. I do love her seahorse earrings.

Bubbling Barbie seahorse earrings

Buy Bubbling Mermaid Barbie

Bubbling Barbie head 1996

But what hair! Crimply, lovely and probably microplastic polluting sadly. Bubbling Barbie we live with your legacy.

Cartoon early learning egg toys

Tomy and Smurf eggs in retro egg cups

During a hunting spree, I found an egg toy. Coming up to Easter I put two and two together for an early learning Easter egg theme.

First discovery was this deeply pleasing Tomy egg box.

Tomy yellow toy egg box

Which opens to reveal half a dozen hen size eggs.

Tomy egg box

I like the incongruity of the about to be eaten / looking forward to some slap up nosh, lip smacking yolky faced egg. But then there’s the sly egg and the doctor “say ahhhh” tonsils egg. So many good ones to choose from.

Each egg cracks open to reveal a second ‘press and squeak’ character. It’s very split personality. Russian dolls within dolls, egg people that contain other egg people.

Tomy toy press an egg to make it squeak.

A perfect mix of slightly strange and reassuringly familiar.

Buy a box of Tomy eggs

Next we have a set of four jolly pop up dinosaurs. They’re a bit more logical with large eggs containing teething reptile babies. Each can be up-popped by cracking the clever button challenge: press, slide, angle or twist.

Tolo Pop Up Dinosaurs toy

Or press – to view evil Gargamel or Lazy Smurf in these blue Smurf eggs by Peyo.

Smurf egg slide viewer Gargamel screen

Buy Smurf cartoon slide viewer

smurf-egg-lazy-smurf-and-mushroom-scene-e1522162439480.jpg

Buy Smurf cartoon slide viewer (without wrapping)

Pushing the egg theme a bit with this Japanese early learning keyboard from Toyroyal – I think they’re just round heads but call them egg heads for now.

With charming Glasgow smiles and Japanese emoticon eyes.

Toyroyal Japanese musical keyboard early learning toy with egg heads

Buy early learning musical keyboard
for collectors (not new enough for kids)

Pink yellow purple blue orange multi colour kaleidoscope pattern silk scarf

Buy mystery kaleidoscope pattern silk scarf

Folded multi colour kaleidoscope abstract pattern silk scarf

And nothing to do with eggs but an Easter Spring quiz question. Do you recognise this scarf? I haven’t been able to identify the brand but the pattern looks so familiar… Answers in comments please.

Wild fantasy horses and ponies

Toy horses unicorns and ponies banner

As a kid, magic flying was one of my favourite fantasies. I read a lot of E.Nesbit books including The Phoenix and the Carpet. I loved to imagine a bird’s eye view and cool Peter Pan air rushing past my ears. It was an utterly free, yet totally safe world. A benevolent talisman carpet, genie, winged horse or unicorn (with unlimited powers and no will of its own) was always along for the ride.

Real life was different. There were adventures, but flying through the air was normally part of an accident. Animals had wills of their own.

My sister Jo had access to a very wilful pony called Major and she was allowed to take him out and ride him cross-country. She absolutely loved it and would go out to experience a rush of freedom and power. Without the magic protector though. Major had a nasty habit of bolting (running off out of control at break neck speed), so riding him must have been risky. It’s crazy to think of in these coddled days.

In about the same childhood era, Pedigree had on offer a horse toy with realistic proportions called the Dapple Grey.

Sindy white and grey horse

Buy Sindy’s Dapple Grey horse

Vintage Sindy horse and box 1970s
A horse can’t recognise it’s own reflection in a mirror but a dolphin can.

The level of detail is surprising compared to the stylised Sindy doll it belonged to:  defined muscles and even veins and ribs showing underneath its ‘skin’.

Sindy-horse-riding-knitting-pattern

Buy Sindy riding outfit vintage knitting pattern

If you couldn’t afford to buy a doll’s riding outfit, you could knit one.

A little later in 1992 Mattel issued Barbie’s Rosebud. Fairly realistic with a dash of long lashed fantasy. I like her – very pretty and more animated than Sindy’s horse. Although Dapple Grey has beautiful presence.

Barbie Rosebud Horse 1992

Buy Barbie’s Rosebud horse

Barbie Walking Beauty Horse 1998

This 1998 design from Mattel had the best intentions of realism but fell slightly short with this stiff legged but captivating robotic result. It’s fun to play with: you hold the body and touch the hoofs to the floor. Two hoofs move forward by themselves and it feels like it’s walking. Hence the name Walking Beauty. The best thing about this model is that it neighs hysterically when you press its neck. It also has a foal called Kelly’s Pony.

Barbie Walking Beauty Kelly Pony 1998 reverse

Buy Barbie’s Walking Beauty horse and Kelly’s pony

Concurrently, Hasbro was riding high on the success of My Little Pony and into the second generation issue aka G2. It’s a recognisable pony shape but nuzzles for a full oxytocin release and appeals directly to the inner child.

My Little Pony Golden Light Princess 1997

Buy My Little Pony Golden Light Princess G2

My Little Pony Princess Celestia 2010 reverse

Buy My Little Pony Princess Celestia unicorn

At the time of their release, I really disliked My Little Pony – it just seemed like 10 teaspoons of sugar in a cup. But they’ve really grown on me. I recently saw a lame copy in a shop and noticed how far the design fell short. Take a look below – the face looks hard and emotionless. It takes time and skill to create appeal and cuteness. The copy cats put together individual ponyish parts (long curly hair, long eyelashes, cartoon form) but that wasn’t enough. The Hasbro models succeed on every level. They feel nice too. When you hold the little yellow Princess Celestia pony, it fits perfectly in your hand, like a pebble or a stone step shaped under thousands of footsteps. Smooth and pleasing.

Copy-pony

If you have a sweet tooth you might enjoy this 2010 sugar candy treat from Mattel. It’s completely transparent and may as well be made from pure sugar.

Mattel Barbie Secret Door unicorn 2010

Buy Barbie and the Secret Door unicorn

Here is a craftsman in China, forming a sugar horse by hand.

Canter forward and today we have Monster High Fright Mares – empirically teenage in temperament and character, inspired by monster movies, sci-fi horror and thriller fiction. Perhaps the safer environment of children today leads to a need for wilder, more ‘dangerous’ toys? Love the packaging and copy writing “Bay Tidechaser: I unlive for the ocean and wind in my mane and the waves on my hoofs. I mean, is there anything better than a gallop on the beach at dawn?”

Mattel Monster High Fright Mare Bay Tidechaser 2014

Ride, ride like the wind!

Credit to Jo Sinclair for the memories and horse riding video link. Nature writing from Jo at her blog Murmuration.

Thanks for reading. Comment here about your favourite horse, pony or unicorn models. Mego deserves a mention but I had to end the post somewhere…

Love Valentine hearts

Valentine’s day is on the 14 February. So now is a good time to search out and reveal my (small) collection of heart themed fashion doll clothes.

Surprisingly hearts don’t feature much in either Barbie or Sindy fashion and I haven’t seen many good designs. However, my favourite outfit is really knockout: the 1983 “Loving You” Barbie skirt and bodice with puff sleeves (looks like a dress but it’s actually a set).

Display tip

Fill the sleeves with a strip of white gauze to make them puff out.

1983 Loving You Barbie 7072 frock

Such a perfect confection. Sprinkles on fairy cake icing.

I have one of these on eBay right now.

Buy Loving You Barbie Valentine set

In a reverse mirror of the Loving You dress is, a rather horrible handmade dress I’ve dubbed the ‘shock frock’. It does have a certain appeal. Like an old threadbare teddy with one dangling eye. I might try and rescue it one day: a piece of ribbon around the waist to cover the wonky waist line, clean hems and gather the bottom of the sleeves to make them puff.

shock frock handmade valentine hearts

In the same vein, this gauzy skirt. It looks as though it’s part of a wedding dress. Unidentified.

Dolls gauze for skirt with white flock hearts

Second favourite in my collection is a beige Sindy sweatshirt with 3 emblazoned hearts from the 1981 Sindy Separates collection.

Sindy 1981 beige sweatshirt with 3 red hearts #44030

Maybe a favourite because I’d love to wear a life size version of it. It reminds me of  fashion label PPQ that my sister occasionally modelled for in the 90s when she was friends with the founder, Amy Molyneaux. They did a few things with sweatshirt fabric – can’t seem to find any examples online though.

I like that sleeve seam diagonal from neck to underarm. It makes a more rounded shoulder. It’s the three overlapping hearts that make the design brilliant. Just that simple overlap gives the graphic loads of character and animates it slightly.

Next up a summery number originally from a catalogue pack for fashion dolls (most likely Littlewoods).

Multi-colour large hearts doll dress

This may be from the same pack?

Multi-colour mini hearts doll dress

This shape of dress – fitted bodice and flared skirt seems to be very fashionable at the moment. I have a lovely human sized one by Damsel in Distress available now on eBay in UK sizes 8, 10 and 14.

Sabina sleeveless dress by Damsel in Distress

Buy Damsel in Distress Sabina dress size UK 8
Buy Damsel in Distress Sabina dress size UK 10
Buy Damsel in Distress Sabina dress size UK 14

Not sure about these two. Probably Barbie but the one on the left has something of a MyScene look.

Barbie dresses with hearts

The hearts seem incidental on this pink Barbie Fashion Fun jumpsuit from 1984.

1984 Barbie Fashion Fun 7906 pink jumpsuit

This is a little outfit for a Pippa 6 inch size doll. It’s part of the rather grandly named ‘Monaco Collection’. The pattern reminds me of sticky back plastic for kitchen tiles – but in a good way. It’s one of the pinafore and dress combinations that I wrote about in 70s Victoriana

6 inch doll red hearts dress and pinafore separate

And here are a few T-shirts which lack imagination really…

Dolls T-shirt with glittery red hearts

3 fashion doll sleeveless T-shirts each with a single heart

But might look good with a pair of cheeky shorts.

Barbie i love your buns shorts

If you liked these, some feature in my Valentine themed ‘On the Rail’ print which is available as a Valentine card or a print in my shop.

Valentine dolls clothes rail with love hearts

Buy a Valentine card

Buy a Valentine print

FYI the white sweatshirt with the zig-zag applique ribbon is 1984 Sindy Fantasia (it went with a pair of green shorts).

5 February 2018
Frankie Sinclair

Rubbery jelly plastic shoes

Willy Wonka and Violet Beauregarde have teamed up to create this fantastic Jelly and Plastic Shoes board on Pinterest. As Mary Quant explains, a lot of the shoes are made simply by pouring chewing gum into a mould!

Screenshot of Jelly Plastic Rubber Shoes Pinterest board
Screenshot of Jelly Plastic Rubber Shoes Pinterest board

OK, only kidding. I created the board to go with the latest collection of ShimmyShim Pop Prints which feature 8 pairs of my collection of over 200 dolls shoes. Because they are all made of plastic, they are more like jelly shoes than any other ‘real’ adult sized shoe. I really love the aesthetic because of the vibrancy of the colours. The actual dolls shoes are less than an inch long, but the prints are 8 inches square, so you can see the ‘patina’ of the plastic on each one. Originally they must have been sculpted in clay and then cast and mass produced, so when you look closely you can see scrape marks.

Red plastic dolls shoes close-up
Red plastic dolls shoes close-up

Red plastic court shoes for dolls

shoes-square-prints-red-yellow-2-rows-400
Plastic shoes – set of pop art prints in yellow orange and red

Here is the vintage film in which Mary Quant describes inventing jelly boots. I’m not sure if she was the first to use the technology or not, but her designs are certainly recognised as being at the vanguard of design. And the style of those little ankle boots is to die for!

“You just pour a kind of chewing gum into a mould… They said more or less ‘come and play with our machinery’ and this is how we started making these shoes… Just like making jelly.”

It’s sad and worrying that most real plastic shoes (let alone dolls shoes) are not biodegradable, but they can be recycled and some are described as eco-friendly.

In 2011 there was a company called Figtree Design created these wonderful looking biodegradable slip-ons, but they seem to have disappeared now. What a shame! I look forward to seeing something like this in production again soon.

This Adidas shoe sounds promising: it is made from plastic collected from coastal areas in the Maldives (presumably it once polluted the sea).

Limited Adidas x Parley for the Oceans Ultra Boost

So, it’s kind of ironic, but you can currently buy shoes that look wonderfully like dolls shoes. My favourite two companies are United Nude and Melissa.

United Nude ‘Lo Res Pump’

I can’t actually wear these shoes as they hurt my feet too much, but I love looking at them and they look great on display.

Melissa 'Dragon' shoes by Vivienne Westwood
Melissa ‘Dragon’ shoes by Vivienne Westwood

You can get the collection of Pop Shoe images as an instant download from ShimmyShimShop

Collection of 8 Pop Shoe square prints available to download
Collection of 8 Pop Shoe square prints

Jelly shoe shops list

Melissa – Vivienne Westwood designs and other cartoon princess shoes
United Nude – architectural 3D software style
JUJU – classic jelly sandals and chunky heeled sandals
Jelly Beans – classic glittery jelly sandals
Holster – flip flop type sandals with plastic gemstones
Crocs – light weight anti-hero style

You

Show me pictures of your jelly shoes!

And do you know of any biodegradable plastic shoes? Let me know here.

Frankie September 2017 x

70s Victoriana

Prints - 3 gingham Victoriana dresses one green, one pink and one blue

Victoriana was a trend in the early 1970s for a nostalgic fashion harking back to the 1890 – 1900 period before the first world war. Perhaps it seemed like a more innocent period.

Gingham-victoriana-set-in-situ-banner
3 gingham Victoriana dress prints available to buy from ShimmyShimShop

Gingham Victoriana prints in green, pink and blue available now in the shop Buy Now

Laura Ashley was one of the most famous designers producing Victoriana, and perhaps she associated it with a homely feeling of safety, as she had many great aunts who she remembered dressed in the old fashioned clothing during the early part of her childhood in the 1920s.

One of my favourite fashion doll outfits is Sindy’s Pinny Party – dated as a 1973 design by Our Sindy Museum. I really love it for the lurid colours. And it has a very synthetic twist on the Victoriana offered by Laura Ashley.

Yellow and pink Victoriana style smock dress for a Sindy doll.
Pinny Party Victoriana style smock dress for a Sindy doll.

Also worth a look is this Pippa dress from the Monaco Collection (if you love this take a look at more on PippaDoll.net).

Pippa doll Monaco collection red hearts pinafore dress

Laura Ashley loved natural fabrics and harmonised colours with a homely feel, which she actually designed to be worn at home. She demured,

“Most of our garments are to be worn at home. They’re not… for making a splash in a dramatic place.”

Whereas her Welsh counterpart, Mary Quant was famous for clothes which cut a dash with clashing colours and op art graphics.

Laura Ashley dresses in Fashion Museum in Bath UK
1970s printed cotton dresses by Laura Ashley exhibited at the Fashion Museum, Bath, UK in 2013

 

Ashley on Quant:

“I’m the country one and she’s the town one. She’s marvellously urban… whereas I’ve got my roots in the country”.

Mary Quant mused:

“I think the point of fashion for women should be,

One: that you’re noticed.

Two: that you’re sexy and

Three: that you feel good.”

It’s almost as though, by accident, some of the Sindy doll outfits ended up being a crazy medley of Mary Quant and Laura Ashley designs. Take this orange and silver dress for example – it’s op art and Victoriana combined.

Op art and Victoriana orange and gold dress
Op art and Victoriana in one dress

I was 4 years old in 1971 and my young aunt Fiona got married that year. There was a big church wedding with lots of bridesmaids and pageboys, and I was one of the bridesmaids. We all wore the most amazing matching Victoriana style patchwork dresses with lace trimmed sleeves. We kept the dress which I managed to fit into for a birthday party and I remember being fascinated with it although I didn’t quite understand it. I mostly wore jeans and T-shirts by that time so a long dress with ribbons, lace and glass buttons was quite a strange novelty. After that I really got into dress-up though and it became a favourite game to dig through my aunt’s old clothes which she kept in a big wicker hamper and prance around the garden in them with my sister and cousins.

It’s a shame there aren’t any colour photos as it had lovely shades of mauve in it. I think the glass buttons were a dark purple colour. [Note – might be able to get a photo from our photo album this weekend will post here if I do]

Another childhood memory I have is watching the 1970 UK film the Railway Children

And the American show Little House on the prairie (first aired 1974).

There are some dresses called ‘frontier patchwork’ which were designed by Mattel for the 6 inch Rock Flowers dolls in the early 70s which match this.

Here is a fabulous Pinterest board by terrebella ✽ moda with a really lush selection of both Victorian and Edwardian inspired fashion.

The Laura Ashely quote was taken from this documentary about her life and business (22:20)

And the Mary Quant quote from this CBC interview (towards the end)

IKEA and now

Sindy disco flat pack every girl's dream
80s Twister game slogan the game that ties you up in knots
Were IKEA going for a bit of irony with this?

I went to the IKEA house party on Greek Street in London’s Soho today*.  Loved it! They’ve taken over a whole house and recreated a room from each decade on each floor, starting with the 80s.

Entering the 80s room, I just totally mainlined on nostalgia. It was extraordinarily palpable. Recreated around me was an era I lived through without a smart camera. Moment by moment, lived spontaneously and immediately forgotten. Never revisited until now.  It’s a strange feeling to walk into the re-creation of an era you lived in the moment and haven’t been back to since. The effect was just like sniffing a bottle of the 80s. In fact, if they had worked on the scent in the room, I might literally have teleported back.

I’m a huge fan of IKEA. It’s form and function in affordable harmony. Before that cheap furniture was MFI: tacky, beige, lowest common denominator. MFI never struck out with any kind of aim to fly high and as the Guardian quipped it fell flat on it’s back. IKEA has vision. It sells to millions of people and yet it’s still possible to own a piece of IKEA furniture that none of your friends have. Because they make short run lines as well as classic repeats. I have a slim chest of drawers made from naked wood that I’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s great for storing necklaces, earrings and balled up socks.

IMG_E0634

On each floor of the house is a room from a different decade. They’ve all been styled perfectly and with humour. Next to the disco in the 80s room is a Twister game laid out on the floor with the slogan ‘the game that ties you up in knots’. Perfect, perfect slogan for an IKEA flat pack instruction manual with tangled up people clearly drawn by the same illustrator.

Climb up the house through the 90s, through the present to arrive at the future. Here is a responsive room with a vegetable garden. In 2025 ‘smart assistants’ are less of a novelty and we’ve stopped asking them silly test questions and posting the silly answers on YouTube. Hopefully they’ll be able to tackle aphid attacks and manage sprinkle systems because we don’t have gardens anymore and our living rooms are furnished with lettuce.

IKEA future room vegetable incubator

Likeable. Anything could happen really. Smart assistants would be handy, even essential  for some people. My friend is currently trying to figure out how Alexa or Siri can help her mother who is unable to move after a stroke but can speak clearly.

Postscript

*Actually the IKEA house party was 18 October 2017 – I’ve only just got round to finishing this post. It finished that weekend but if you’re interested, head over to the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton (London UK) as the whole museum is based on the same rooms through the ages premise. With easier access as you move along through the rooms rather than up and down stairs.

ShimmyShim shortlisted for humorous sci fi Christmas cards

space-Christmas-card-6-ShimmyShim-set1-cards-display

Buy Christmas in Space cards >>>

I was really excited to get shortlisted in a competition I entered with my ShimmyShim Christmas in Space cards.

A bit stressful though as I was off on a long weekend break to visit family. Spent a lot of the weekend posting on Facebook and Instagram. Some of the other shortlisted companies had thousands of followers so it felt somewhat David and Goliath.

Didn’t get through to the final judging round but I learnt a lot about Social media in a very short time! Including how to create an Instagram story, how to get blocked from posting on Facebook groups for a week and how NOT to email everyone you know on LinkedIn. Aaaaaagh! All part of learning and growing.

The Business Booster competition

The Business Booster competition is run by www. printed.com – they’re a UK based printing company. They will be exhibiting at the Top Drawer designer gifts trade show in January 2018 and they ran a competition to select 2 finalist printed gifts designers to showcase alongside them.

The judges in the final round (after the social media popular vote) were:

Veronica Dearly, Founder, http://www.veronicadearly.com
Sharon Little, CEO, Greeting Card Association, http://www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk
Andy Dunn, Founder, Creators Club, http://www.creatorsclub.co.uk
Nick Green, Founder, http://www.printed.com

All the card designs

Event – So Last Century Sunday 17 September

Happy to say that ShimmyShim will be at the upcoming So Last Century vintage fair in Beckenham, London UK. We’ll be offering greeting cards and pop art prints of microvintage fashion.

So Last Century vintage fair poster in bright pink!

As well as pop art by ShimmyShim, there will be over 40 hand-picked vintage traders selling mid-20th century decor, lighting & design, furniture, West German ceramics, homeware, kitchenalia, brocante, vintage clothes, accessories and jewellery, original 1950s, 60s & 70s travel posters, records, upcycled goods and a whole lot more.

And take a break in Truly Splendid’s Vintage Tea Room upstairs with delicious cakes and scones. There’ll also be top-notch street food, craft beer and excellent coffee alongside more vintage stalls outside.

Sunday 17 September 2017

11.00am – 4.00pm

Entry £3 (or £2 with a flyer, or if you follow @solastc on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). Children under 16, free.

Venue 28 (next to the Spa and Library)
Beckenham Road
Beckenham
BR3 4LS

How to find us ShimmyShim’s stall will be upstairs.