It’s no secret that I do a lot of online shopping (just look at Tiny Tapir!), but sometimes I’ll find a shop or product that really touches the soul of why I love handmade / home made items that come from people who are never going to be crazy, crazy rich, but who take great pride in their work and put out products that are completely worth paying a premium for.
Belle and Boo one such shop I recently discovered :
( click screenshot of their Etsy shop to visit them).
The illustrations are just too precious and are so evocative of how childhood feels in a perfect world – you know, the childhood where there’s joy in jumping on a bed, running around a garden and just being so full of energy and life. Somewhat like living in an Enid Blyton book (putting aside the racist undertones one sees in them as an adult).
The illustrator, Mandy Sutcliffe, also does beautiful illustrations in dedication to and inspired by life.
For example this illustration :
Is Called “Ava with Wings” and is dedicated to this little girl, Ava Rosemeyer :
Ava was a beautiful, healthy, loved little girl who sadly passed away after slipping out of her parent’s sight at their home, and, hiding in the family car – she passed away within an hour.
It’s suspected that the heat in the car caused her to quickly pass out before she even realized she was overheating. Although she was only in there for an hour it was too late for her to be saved when she was found, barely alive by her mother.
Subsequently Ava’s death has been broadcast widely in hopes of reminding parents to not leave cars unlocked where children can get into them themselves – even in the safety of their own home (as Ava was).
Belle and Boo also have this series of illustrations :
The illustrations are available for purchase as a set of christmas cards for only US$15 – and all proceeds go towards buying schoolbooks for children in Mongolia (without which children would not be able to attend school, school books in Mongolia cost as much as an entire month’s salary per child).
Who wouldn’t feel good supporting an Illustrator with such a heart?
Now, me personally adore her illustrations, but I still have a heap that I haven’t framed and put up on my wall (urgh), so I always like going for the functional – and although it could be argued that I already have too many bags for one more bag to be called ‘functional’, I still maintain this is one of my favorite recent personal purchases :
Here’s the unpackaged bag :
See the little button ? that’s detachable and it comes free with the bag. Now i’m just figuring out a way to put snaps on it or a pocket a la rooshopper so that I can make it compactable for daily use (I really want to do this because I know it means I will get to look at it much more often!).
As a last note, if I had a little girl, this gorgeous outfit would so already be mine… that is, my daughter’s…