No, I don’t mean poked on Facebook or even Punk’d by Ashton Kutcher… I’m talking about Pook Toques.What could be more Canadian than a toque, right? Add in a great sense of humour, some classic styles like the “moose”, the “turtleneck” and the “mullet” and we’ve got ourselves a winner! You’re probably confused right now. That’s okay, so was I.
At the OOAK show in Vancouver, my friends and I almost walked right past a rather empty-looking booth with a table of grey and red sock hats on it. Until the pitch started and we were hooked… Pook Toques are all about the variety, my friends. Made out of traditional grey wool socks, and lined with a cozy fleece, the hats are designed to offer a multitude of styling options. Roll up the “ears” or tuck them into the folded toque or flip it inside out and pull the toes over your ears… the Pook Toque manual offers over 30 ways of wearing this one ingenious little hat.
Not convinced it’s possible to wear that hat 30+ different ways? Check out the manual. Go ahead, I’ll wait until you get back…
… See? Now, imagine you’re at a craft show and a guy stops you in the aisle and performs all of those varieties at top speed with full narration and explanations. It was, frankly, hilarious. My friend Shannon bought 4 hats.
Pook Toques is the creation of Tony Pook and Kevin McCotter from St. Mary’s, Ontario – it all started with a few (*ahem*) beverages, but has turned into a bit of a phenomenon to say the least. They’ve even pitched their business on Dragon’s Den! Since the initial hat design, they’ve also added Pook Dukes (mittens), the Pook Loop (a scarf), the Pookie Toquie (for the stylin’ little person in your life), Pook Boots (fleece lined socks – they sound so cozy!!) and, of course, a Pook Monkey.
For the hockey fan in your life, there’s also the Hockey Sockey, which is nothing if not arena-approved. The Hockey Sockey comes in a variety of team colours (13 NHL teams to choose from, plus Team Canada) and is made out of actual hockey socks.
And here’s the Pook Toque in action:
P.S. for anyone suffering from a case of Bieber Fever, you might want to view this particular video.
The Redfish Kids Clothing booth is one that I will readily admit was calling to me across the hall at the recent OOAK Vancouver show. As soon as I came within site of the booth with all of it’s brightly coloured and patterned dresses, I knew that I’d be taking home a couple of pieces for my girls.
Redfish Kids Clothing is described on their website as follows:
…inspired by the street fashion of cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo. With strong images and expressive colors, Redfish fabrics are handpicked from around the world and purchased in limited quantities – rarely is the same fabric combination repeated. The prints we choose are reflective of many cultures and of our desire to embrace the new and current while simultaneously harnessing the old and historic in pattern, design and construction.
Now, it’s obvious that I love Canada, but I also love to travel and I can’t help but fall victim when Asian themes are present. The cultural influences at play in Redfish Kids clothing are integrated into the stylish clothes so beautifully, that it doesn’t seem odd for an 18 month old from the Alberta prairies to be wearing a kimono style dress. The fabrics are gorgeous, the colours vibrant and they even had several styles with enough colours (done tastefully, of course) to satisfy my rainbow-loving 5 year old!
The philosophy behind Redfish Kids Clothing is outlined in their tagline: “Clothing for the Courageous”. The masterminds behind Redfish, Kristy and Lorraine, want their clothes to help foster self-esteem and to encourage children to walk with confidence and courage. They even have a section of their site dedicated to stories of courage from Redfish-wearing families!
There are a wide variety of styles and ever-changing fabric combinations available on their site, including styles for boys and comfy lounge pajamas… but my favourites are the dresses. I can’t wait for my daughters to put their’s on for Christmas Eve. I only hope that I can get the little one to stand still long enough for a photo ;)
You can find the 100% sweatshop-free and locally made (in Vancouver) Redfish Kids Clothing in their online store and in upscale boutiques worldwide, as well as on Facebook and Twitter! And ladies, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be interested to know that I heard a little rumour that adult sizes might be on the way soon…!!
P.S. I watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love with my friends when we were in Vancouver last weekend… little did I know that the dress that Julia Roberts’ character pulls out of her friend’s baby hope chest was a Redfish dress! Lorraine and Kristy share the moment that they first saw the dress on screen in a lovely blog post. Well done, ladies :)
Edited to add:
Here’s a photo of my girls, in their Redfish Kids holiday dresses!
Winter has definitely arrived, with cold temperatures, and some snow (ok, in some places a LOT of snow). That means it’s time to snuggle up with cozy blankets in front of a fire, or stay just a few extra minutes tucked into your warm bed before facing the day. I love the feeling of a nice soft, comfortable blanket tucked around me just right. So when the weather dips into those dreaded negative numbers, out comes my stockpile of fleecy or knitted delights. If you want to wrap your little one in something a little more personal than a generic pink or blue blankey, you won’t want to miss Baby Magoo. I have seen them at shows over the years, and always end up coo-ing over their lovely designs!
If you have a baby shower coming up, or your kids are a bit older, you can choose one of the other styles without the custom work. They are just as soft and beautiful, and you can easily find one to go with any room decor too!
They also have the most adorable hooded towels in fun animal prints:
The weather outside may be frightful, but staying cuddled up and warm is delightful!
You guys, I don’t know what I’m going to do about this. I just adore these characters from Bad Bunny Puppets, but I kind of feel like I need to some rad piercings or some street cred that I lost somewhere around the 3rd month of my first pregnancy, so that I can justify getting the Rocker dude. I mean, seriously. How awesome is THIS?! Even his hair has been tested and is head-banger worthy.
Paula, childhood lover of puppets and Bad Bunny mastermind, hails from Waterloo, ON and has perfected her craft over many years. The details on her puppets are so great, I’ve been clicking through them over and over again to check them out more carefully. Paula’s personality, and that of her puppets, shines through in the descriptions she offers up on her Etsy shop as well. Take, for example the description of the dude below:
Disturbed…but in a really good way.
Another party character for the Rocker line of Bad Bunny Puppets, this guy thinks he’s pretty edgy. But I know for a fact that he watches reruns of The Littlest Hobo when he thinks no one is looking.
Mr. Alternative Guy here got busy with the razor one day and gave himself a stylin’ fauxhawk, and hasn’t been able to find a part-time job since. The snake bite piercings don’t help either, but he thinks they make him look dangerous. He also sports two earplugs, and his custom bracelets are made of repurposed bicycle inner tubes. How green.
He’s a big fan of Disturbed, and the patch is just the statement that this pseudo-angsty tough wants to make. Did I mention that he drinks chamomile tea…?
As with all Bad Bunny Puppets, each of his hands has a pocket sewn directly into the palm of the hand to insert the included dowel, for left or right-handed manipulation of the arms. He loves smoothing his hair down into just the right brooding flop.
This little blue fella is an original Bad Bunny – I think he’s too darn cute to really be “bad”! All of Paula’s puppets are designed with kids in mind and are sturdy enough to be dragged around by toddlers. They all have a dowel included to allow you to manipulate their hands and arms, and with faces like these I’m pretty sure you (or your kids. Fine. Maybe let the kids have a turn!) will be able to come up with some great stories!
You can find more of Paula’s puppets on her Etsy shop, or drop by her Facebook page for a visit. It appears that these bunnies get into a little trouble once in a while, so it might be a good idea to keep tabs on them.
Pretty much every kid loves animals. I know my daughter squeals with delight if she even *hears* our cat, and gleefully points out any dog, bird, or squirrel that she sees on our walks. Kids also love to see their own names. It helps build their sense of identity, and is usually the first word that they learn to read and spell. So it makes perfect sense to fit the two together, and why not make it a puzzle for good measure? Enter: Zoodonyms. Wooden name puzzles featuring bright colours and animal shapes!
Keep them on a wall or shelf for display until baby is old enough for safe play, then bring on the puzzle fun!
Last but not least, as a confirmed word nerd and book lover, this one really stole my heart:
Check out the Zoodonyms online store to see the rest of the products, or to place a custom name order. If you are in the Toronto area and haven’t yet been to the One Of A Kind Show (what are you waiting for? run, don’t walk!) you can find Zoodonyms there alongside a *ton* of other talented and friendly crafters until Sunday afternoon.
Keeping our kids safe is definitely a full time job. We baby-proof, we supervise, and we continually drill safety lessons. Amidst all that, we hope that our kids get to have fun, be free, and be… well… kids! Yes, protecting our children to the best of our abilities is incredibly important, but who says it has to be boring? Not us! and definitely not the fine folks over at Tail Wags. They have found a way to make protecting our little one’s noggins an entertaining and creative experience.
Their adorable line of helmet covers encourages kids to wear their helmets by letting them express themselves during their active play. In the summer they can be used while riding bikes, skateboarding, rollerblading, or horseback riding. In the winter helmets are a great idea for those little skiers, snowboarders, or for extreme sledders. Just ask my brother Philip about our game with our G.T. Snowracers – we called it “Ambulance”, and to this day I am shocked that we never needed one to pick up any pieces!
Having a unique cover on your child’s helmet can also help you pick them out of a crowd. Trying to ski down a hill while keeping an eye on your completely fearless, snowsuit-clad torpedo among all the other little fearless, snowsuit-clad torpedoes? No problem, just look for the one whose helmet looks like a bumble bee!
Helmet covers are available in two sizes (Adult and Child), and fit all models of approved helmets. You can find them on the Tail Wags website, follow along on twitter, or be a facebook friend (and get a 10% discount!). I even hear rumours that they will be attending the upcoming One Of A Kind show in Toronto, so if you are in the area you can pick one up in person.
Here’s to keeping our loved ones safe all year through, and having some fun at the same time!
Kids are cute. Kids dressed up in adorable outfits are extra cute. Kids dressed up in adorable outfits that are unique and special?? Ridiculously cute. So, if you are like me, and enjoy making sure that the little people in your life look ridiculously cute… you may want to check out the hot real estate on Lilikoi Lane. Lilikoi is the hawaiian word for passion fruit, and just like the fruit, their shirts are bright, fresh, and full of life. There are all kinds of designs to choose from, and each one is made to order! Pick the design that you love, then select the colours and sizes to make it just right for your precious little person.
Oh, and just so nobody feels left out, Lilikoi Lane has adult sizes too! From six months, right up to Mom and Dad, everyone can have their very own unique piece. Or, if you prefer, the whole family can match, or have variations on one theme. There are so many possibilities and combinations with these fun and colourful shirts. If you don’t see a template design that suits you, just ask, custom work is always available.
Have a great day!
Jacki, the creative mind behind Plushoff, obviously has a great sense of humour! Her shop has had me giggling for the last little while, and I just had to share.
If you have a child who has trouble sleeping, maybe the Sleepy Marshmallow Bed Bug would help them snuggle in a little more…
Do you love ice cream, maybe want to impart that love on your little one early? Let them play with this plushie Strawberry cone!
Better yet, combine the ice cream with a jar of dill pickles for your pregnant friend ;)
Thanks for the smile today, Jacki from Kamloops! To see more of her work, check out her Etsy shop, visit her website or chat it up on Twitter and Facebook. She’s also been known to do custom orders, and wouldn’t these make adorable stocking stuffers?
Updated: Just discovered there’s a Plush Off shop on Cargoh, too :)
There is something extra special about little baby feet. I find them so delectable that it is a shame to cover them up. But, as the temperature drops, I find myself having to put socks and shoes on my little munchkin. While this does make me a little bit sad, I am so glad that there are talented crafty types who make adorable footwear to keep those precious little toes warm and cozy. Right now I am madly in love with these sweet booties from Little Knits on the Prairie. Inspired by the colours (and weather) of Manitoba, these great booties would look fantastic on any baby from coast to coast!
There are other products available in the shop as well, like cute headbands and legwarmers. Custom orders are welcome too, just ask!
Little Knits on the prairie has recently joined facebook, so be sure to head over and make her feel welcome. She also has a blog, and of course, the Etsy shop. Rumour has it that there may even be lovely soft knitted clothes for “grown up” ladies sometime in the near future, so stay tuned!
Update: Amanda now has another shop on Etsy, The Prairie Sparrow, featuring cozy knit cowls, felted bowls and more!
You guys, I totally laughed out loud when I saw the Monster gloves from Boysenberry Lane tonight. Really, I’m not just LOL’ing, I mean I giggled! Just look at these Purple People Eaters:
Wouldn’t those be fun to wear?! Bet my 4.5 year old would think I was the coolest Mom! I’m thinking that there’s some extra entertainment value in getting more than one pair so that you could mix and match your monsters. These come in kids’ sizes too, and I can only imagine the voices my daughter would come up with for her Purple People Eaters!
If you still like a little flair, but maybe aren’t into the monster vibe so much, these black fleece gloves with a little flower detail are lovely.
Tammy, the creative force behind Boysenberry Lane, hails from Comox, BC and obviously has a sense of humour about her fleece creations. You can get coordinated with a matching iPod Monster case, below, or even dress up your kitty with products from her sister shop at Paws ‘n’ Tails.
You can find Tammy at her shops linked above, as well as on Twitter.