Technically, this Tea Party is adults-only and for good reason… I am totally jealous of my kids. Am I the only one who thinks that kids get to have all the fun?! I know that my two kids are constantly getting all the good stuff. Especially Roo. She's four and a half and already has a cuter and more stylish wardrobe than I do, plus a room full of great picture books and toys. Okay, I must admit that it's probably my own fault. But buying things for kids is more fun than buying things for grown-ups. Their trappings tend to be little and cute and brightly colored…
I had a big collection of Sanrio stuff and fifties ephemera way before I had kids. When I worked, my desk was littered with little tokens of cuteness. Someone even stole a wind-up Hello Kitty from a poor, defenseless barista to add to my collection. (I swear I didn't know it was hot!) At home, I had a kitchen full of big-eyed child paintings, a host of exotic paint-by-numbers and the ubiquitous exotic blue Asian lady paintings and Chinese art deco posters. My decor was a motley juxtaposition of collector toys and pin-up girl paraphernalia, garage sale objets d'art and vintage vinyl. One of the testaments to my maturation is that since Roo was born, most of my beloved collectibles have reverted to their original status as… toys.
Now I have to make sure mommy's toys are completely separate from Roo's toys and Jasper's toys. It's sad but true. I still love the cutesy-cutesy, though. I was totally thrilled when I read about Wu & Wu, a company that makes things almost entirely because they want to package them in unbelievably adorable designs. Fiona Hewitt (who illustrated Blue Q's luscious Miso Pretty line) and Andy Tainton are the UK-based masterminds behind Wu & Wu, stockists to the Dumpling Dynasty. I can't begin to tell you how in love I am with this line. Dumpling Dynasty features cutesy chinoiserie pastiches of little revolutionaries in action, emblazoned on everything from coinpurses to, yes, teapots.
I received a Dumpling Dynasty First Aid Tin to review and it is, predictably, adorable. It's a tin pail with a real working padlock and fabulous doctor and nurse graphics. I am not in the habit of taking things from my kids but I decided this case was too cool to be filled with Hot Wheels or Polly Pockets. I don't think I'll keep actual medical supplies in it but it does make one heck of a makeup case…
Wu & Wu have a warehouse stateside now, so you can order things without fear of international shipping prices. They have licensed the Dumpling Dynasty to my beloved Chronicle Books, so be on the lookout for their paper goods in stores near you soon!
Dumpling Dynasty gift tins are a fabulous holiday gift idea. The Sewing Kit contains everything needed to mend in style, including scissors, pins, needles, tape measure, reels of cotton, safety pins, thimble, seam ripper and buttons. If your giftee is a lame duck seamstress (like me!), this is sure to come in handy for a popped button or split seam. If he or she is actually sew-worthy, this tin will inspire a host of craft projects that you may benefit from one day…
The Explorer Kit is perfect for expeditions of any kind. The tin features a jolly wandering boy and his faithful companion and hidden inside are a slim vintage-style metal flashlight, magnifying glass, metal compass, string with knot-guide and notebook and pencil. Pair it with a copy of your favorite adventure guide for your world traveler.
Wu & Wu have graciously donated two gift tins for our Tea Party guests. To enter and win a Sewing Kit or Explorer Kit, please visit Dumpling Dynasty and comment on this post with your favorite finds. Let me know which tin you prefer in your comment, too.
Entries will be accepted through November 26th and I'll pick the winner using Random.org. US readers are eligible. Only one entry/comment per person, please.
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