Happy Roald Dahl Day!!!

Today would have been Roald Dahl's 99th birthday and to celebrate the Roald Dahl museum have a host of activities taking place during the month of September. However if you can't get down to the museum, you could always download this fab

activity pack

and have your own crafty celebration!

During the summer holidays we took a trip to Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire to visit the museum. Little and big alike, we all loved it and had a terrific time learning all about Roald Dahl. A highlight for the little ones was getting to sit in a chair just like the one Roald Dahl used to sit in to write his stories.

 A wall of chocolate...

Sitting on the crocodile bench...

Oliver discovered he was as tall as Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate factory...

xxx

A Kaleidoscope of Colours...

I have always been interested in colour. I have a very vivid memory of visiting an art exhibition in France as a child. Part of the exhibition saw an area of the gallery floor covered in a deep blue pigment. It was incredibly tempting to jump right in and see the colour explode across the white walls, but (thankfully for my parents!) I managed to refrain from turning the exhibition into an interactive one!

Research has shown that colours affect your mood, behaviour and stress levels. It suggests that we should set our desktop colours to green as this is the most restful colour for our eyes and produces the least amount of eye strain.

And, who knew that colour can also help in the reduction of crime? In 2000, Glasgow installed blue street lighting in certain neighbourhoods and found a reduction in crime in these areas. Powerful stuff!

A while back I read this book all about the history of colour and how paints came to be invented, traded and used.

It seems that we have been fascinated in creating and mixing colours for hundreds of years.

I came across this

article

 about a Dutch artist who in 1692 wrote and painted a comprehensive guide about the use of colour and how to create certain hues. I love the colour combinations and may have to use them as inspiration for our next set of prints - watch this space...!

Halloween fun with friends (and cake!)

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend away with some lovely friends. Aside from the great company, we were particularly lucky as one of our clever friends makes the most amazing cakes. Here is the gorgeous seasonal one she made for us all...

A little while back she turned our very own little cheeky

monkey

 into a cake...

And because they're so impressive (and because we just love cake), here are a few more of her amazing creations. They put our efforts at making birthday cakes to shame!

Hello again!

I feel I should start with an apology for the serious lack of blogging! I don't like to make excuses but these two are the main culprits...

They are the newest additions to our gang - little Louis arrived 6 weeks ago and Jo's George arrived back in February. Along with their older siblings, they're keeping us pretty busy! We're still all systems go at Little Blue Zebra of course, there's just been a little less time for blogging since their arrival. Going forward, we still want to share with you all that we get up to here at LBZ HQ, so we will try to keep you updated on all our news - in between all the feeding, burping and weaning!

Here is little Louis settling into his new nursery. More pics of his nursery to follow soon... I promise! x

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

1. Eligibility

This promotion is open worldwide to entrants 13 and over. 

2. Timing

Competition begins at 18:00 on 12th July and ends at 18:00 on 19th July 2014.

3. How to Enter

During the competition period, enter by first liking Little Blue Zebra on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/littlebluezebra, then like Little Blue Zebra's competition image. No purchase necessary to enter or win. 

4. Winner Selection

A competition winner will be selected at random by Little Blue Zebra. The winner will be contacted by email within 10 days of the competition closing. 

5. Competition Prize

The winner will win the following five prints:

1 x Illustrated Animal Alphabet Block Print (30x40cm) 

1 x Illustrated Animal Number Block Print (30x40cm)

1 x Elephant Print (30x30cm)

1 x Zebra Print (30x30cm)

1 x Giraffe (30x30cm)

5. Facebook Disclaimer

This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook. By entering, you release Facebook from all responsibility and liability for this competition. Any information that you provide is provided to Little Blue Zebra and not to Facebook.

GOOD LUCK!

Halloween party food
It's very nearly that spooky time of year so we thought we would put together some of our favourite Halloween party food ideas (all treats, no tricks here!)...

Fun on the photoshoot
As we have some new and exciting products to add to our website that needed photographing, we decided that it was the perfect opportunity to hire a studio and get some new shots taken of all our products. With the help of fab photographer Susie Fisher we were able to get some great photos. It was brilliant working with Susie - she was very patient, professional and fun to work with. We would highly recommend her to anyone looking for beautiful photos.

Here are a few behind the scenes pics of our afternoon at the studio...




A few props...!


The lovely Susie Fisher...











It was a slightly different experience to our photoshoot 3 years ago, which was at home in the conservatory! 



Keep your eyes peeled for the new products - we hope to have them up on www.littlebluezebra.com/shop soon...!
Little Blue Zebra turns 2!
It's hard to believe that another whole year has gone by and that Little Blue Zebra is TWO TODAY!

To celebrate our 2nd year we are offering 20% OFF ALL OUR PRINTS AND CARDS until next Saturday 19th October - please use the special discount code 2LBZ20 at the checkout.

Reaching this milestone we can't resist a quick review of some of the things we've been up to over the past 365 days...

It's been another fun filled year with our first appearances at two trade shows - Bubble London in January and Top Drawer in September. Following the success of these, we are delighted that our prints now feature in lovely shops around the U.K. and overseas!




We've also enjoyed meeting lots more fabulous customers at a number of great fairs, including the 2012 Penshurst Christmas Market, Appleduck's Handmade With Love event, the Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show, and the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair.




Seeing our designs brought out as jigsaw puzzles by Ravensburger in the USA and France has definitely been a big highlight of the year.

 

And we've been really pleased with the response to our new birthday and new baby card range.


But enough reflection,  here's to what the coming year has in store! We're really looking forward to bringing out new ranges of prints and cards - what else will be reviewing at our 3rd year mark..? 

A big thank you to all our customers - it continues to be a huge pleasure! xx
Little Blue Zebra is puzzling!
A little while back, okay, a long while back, we hinted about some Little Blue Zebra designed jigsaw puzzles! Well, we are thrilled to share them with you now. We were all very excited when puzzle giant Ravensburger in the USA and in France approached us to collaborate on two ABC jigsaw puzzles.

After working with them on the design, here is the final 'super sized' ABC floor puzzle, which is selling very successfully in America. Unfortunately, due to licensing arrangements we are currently unable to sell it on our own website but it is available to buy through the Amazon.com website (not through Amazon.co.uk).



And here is the design selling well in France, which for all you French speakers (or those wanting to learn!) is available to buy through Amazon.co.uk.



Puzzling, very puzzling! 


Autumn Art
Stepping out this morning it definitely felt like autumn had well and truly arrived. It was one of those perfect autumn mornings when it's cold, crisp and sunny. Some little people even managed to coordinate their look (in their Elfie knitwear) with the striking autumn colours...


Here's hoping the weather stays bright for the coming weekend. That way we can get out and collect some of the amazing leaves and create some autumn leaf art. Here are some of our favourites...





http://www.pinterest.com/pin/277464027016090628/
http://www.myowlbarn.com/2011/10/autumn-leaves.html
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/277464027016090642/
http://theartroomplant.blogspot.co.uk/2009_08_01_archive.html

If some of the things we collect don't lend themselves to being cut, stuck or painted, we might just use them to create a 'nature table' indoors!

Happy Autumn everyone x
Porcupine pasta - cooking with kids
Ideas for cooking with children

My lovely boys are always so keen to 'help' me when I'm cooking and, as much as I try my best to let them join in and help, it is always a bit of a struggle to find something which they can actually help with - something that isn't too hot or too sharp!

Well, we recently invented a new dish that Oliver has named 'Porcupine Pasta'. We had intended to make lasagne only to discover that we had run out of lasagne sheets. So instead we improvised with the only pasta we had left in the cupboard - Rigatoni! As it turned out, it was the perfect dish for them to help with. We poured the sauce into the bottom of the dish and then the boys stuck all the rigatoni pasta into it so that they were sticking out like porcupine spikes! Then we covered the pasta with a white sauce, sprinkled it with cheese and baked it in the oven. Preparing the dish kept them entertained and they were actually able to be helpful in the process! Best of all, they loved tucking into it!

Talking of porcupines, here is the gorgeous little one from John Butler's best selling book 'If You See A Kitten'. You can see more of our lovely little animals here!


Happy Friday everyone
x
Back To School - top ten buys
It's that time of year when thoughts turn to the new school year, which is fast approaching us. It is especially exciting in the Little Blue Zebra family as the eldest of our little ones is starting school. He is very excited to finally being going to big school!! I just hope his enthusiasm lasts when he realises he has to go every day! 

We thought we would compile a list of some of our best finds for the start of term, from labels to lunchboxes...


Beano Town
Earlier this week Oliver and I took a trip up to London. I am always so amazed at how much there is going on for little ones. We took our usual stroll along the Southbank and stumbled upon Beano Town. It is a free exhibition celebrating 75 years of the country's favourite comic. Needless to say Oliver was very excited to get involved in the all the activities they had going on.

And it seems the fun doesn't stop there on the Southbank as there are lots of other events and activities taking place. So if you're looking for something to entertain children this summer it seems the Southbank is the place to be!








Friday's Fabulous Finds - Children's outdoor toys
The sun is shining and the schools are breaking up for the summer holidays! We (just about) recall that feeling you have as a child at the start of the holidays - the excitement of weeks of seemingly endless freedom stretching out in front of you. What we didn't appreciate then, but are quickly coming to realise now, is that the holidays can send parents into a bit of a panic...what will keep the little ones occupied and happy instead? Thank goodness for Google - something our parents weren't able to rely upon. Since the sun looks set to stick around for a little while (and we hope we're not jinxing it by typing these words), we thought we would share ten fun looking outdoor toys that we've come across. These look like they would keep little ones entertained in the garden for a few hours at least...



Happy holidays everyone x

Bubble London goes pop!
Arriving at the Business Design Centre in Islington on a beautifully sunny day at the end of last month we were both a little nervous as well as incredibly excited about doing our first ever trade show. Not having done a show on this scale before, we didn't know what to expect at Bubble London. But we needn't have worried as we had a fantastic three days in London! 

We had of course done a little planning beforehand as to how we wanted our stand to look (take a peek back at our earlier blog to see John acting as a human shelf!), but until you arrive and see your space it is tricky to visualise exactly how it's going to end up looking. Forgetting how much of a pair of perfectionists we both are, we rather foolishly thought it wouldn't take us too long to set up. We even thought we might have a bit of time to squeeze in some child-free shopping on Upper Street! That of course wasn't to be. It was worth the effort though as after trying out various arrangements and combinations of prints and cards we were pretty pleased with the end result...
We were thrilled to feature in the Bubble Homegrown display as well. The installation in the entrance area to the Business Design Centre showcased labels that are designed and manufactured in the UK. 



We met so many lovely people on the stand as well as other fellow stand holders and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. We are absolutely thrilled that our prints and cards are now going to be stocked in shops in the UK, from Scotland to Dorset, as well as abroad! A big thank you to everyone who came to visit us. It was a pleasure to meet you all and lovely to hear so much positive feedback about our product range. 

Bursting with excitement for Bubble!
It's only a week to go until the doors open to Bubble London 2013! If you are visiting please do pop by and say hello. We will be on stand A13.


We are busy getting ready... printing catalogues, packaging up and getting everything together for the stand. We are very excited about having some brand, shiny, new prints and cards at the show - hot off the press!

But it's not all work and no play...we've also found a little time to get out and have some fun in the snow...


As much as we love it, we hope it clears by next weekend! Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are.
Bubble London 2013!
We have had a busy end to the year with lots of lovely festive fairs and orders to send off to customers in the run up to Christmas, and it doesn't look like the start of 2013 is going to be any less busy. We are very excited to announce that we are going to be exhibiting at Bubble London, the U.K.'s only standalone children's trade event, which is taking place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London on the 28th and 29th of January. This will be our first ever trade show so we are very excited, albeit a little nervous too! So alongside finishing off our Christmas shopping and putting up the tree we are busy preparing how our stand is going to look and finalising the products we are planning to take. With lots to do we'll be keeping ourselves well fuelled with a mince pie or two!



We thought this photo of our initial planning stage might make you smile - this is John Butler being a very good 'shelf'!