Designer of the Week - Moonlit Sleep

Please allow me to introduce you to Karen from recently launched children’s bedding label Moonlit Sleep. Karen creates beautifully made 100% organic cotton sheets for cots and single beds, and today we’d like to share our review of her lovely collection. Karen has three styles available (for boys and girls) and we had heaps of fun testing out the Safari design.

Moonlit Sleep Baby and Children's Bedding, Cot Sheets

The Product Review

Let me start by saying, you can’t go wrong with elephants, rhinos, zebras, and lions!

The Moonlit Sleep Safari collection features a soft colour palette in grey and blue. The sheets are made from GOTS Certified 100% Organic Cotton, which in my opinion is a huge benefit when it comes to cot sheets. I also like the fact that Moonlit Sleep use eco-friendly dyes in all of their products, as you can rest assured that you’re creating a safe sleeping environment for your little ones.

Moonlit Sleep use a Sateen weave fabric, which has a lovely soft feel against the skin. It’s a medium weight, which makes it light enough to use through the summer months, but also gives you the confidence that these sheets will last through oodles of washes.

Lastly, I thought I’d mention that these sheets are made to fit Australian & UK Standard Cots, USA Standard Cribs, as well as Boori Cots (Fitted Sheet 77 x 135 x 20cm). The size is a bit larger than my other fitted sheets, and as a result I was able to get this sheet to fit comfortably around the edges. In the past I have had trouble with fitted sheets barely covering the side of the cot, so I was very pleased with the fit of the Moonlit Sleep range. *Note: the Safari design is also available to fit a single bed.

The verdict… a safe and stylish sleep solution!

Moonlit Sleep Baby and Children's Bedding, Cot Sheets

The Indie Label

Karen was inspired to launch her label after her first child was born. She explains, “I was almost due and looking for organic cot sheets, and just couldn’t find any in a design I liked. I’d been working in the fashion industry for 15 years and was constantly seeing gorgeous prints on clothes and wanted to bring that into organic bed linen for kids. Bedding felt really exciting to design, as it’s basically a huge canvas begging for a great print design!”

After her initial idea, Karen invested a considerable amount of time in product development before her launch. She says, “I wanted Moonlit Sleep to be certified organic so our customers would have the guarantee that all parts of the process had been done ethically, sustainably and without the use of nasty, toxic chemicals. Coming from a fashion and textile background, I had very specific views on how the fabric should look and feel. I also had very high expectations of the quality. I wanted our Moonlit Sleep sheets to wash and wear so beautifully that they became coveted hand-me-downs, passed down between siblings, cousins and friends. So it was a long process and we finally launched our first collection early this year. I’m so incredibly proud of it!”

Moonlit Sleep Baby and Children's Bedding, Cot Sheets

The Creative Mind

Karen draws her inspiration from her every day life. For Moonlit Sleep’s first collection, the Doll Picnic print was inspired by Kokeshi dolls which are traditionally exchanged with little hand written messages stored within them as tokens of friendship. The Fairy Garden Floral print was inspired by Karen’s Nanna’s collection of 70’s retro floral sheets, which she loved sleeping in as a child. Lastly, the Safari print was inspired by David Attenborough’s Safari adventures that were on TV at the time!

In creating her range, Karen set out to make contemporary designs that would stand out against the traditional babyish prints available in the market. She says, “I also wanted them to have little details and real personality so they could be a feature in the room. If you look closely at our Doll Picnic or Fairy Garden design you will find tiny little love hearts throughout. In our Safari print you will notice that the animals have expressions on their faces”.

Moonlit Sleep Baby and Children's Bedding, Cot Sheets

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fun facts about Karen, in her own words.

  1. I love the performing arts, particularly dance and musical theatre. I danced all through my childhood and into adulthood. I even taught littlies ballet and choreographed my favorite routine to Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid. I still remember some of the steps and am humming the tune as I type! I married a man who works in the theatre. He wooed me with musical tickets, and still does, more than a decade later!

  2. I love vintage, from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. Particularly ceramics, glass wear, and of course fabrics and fashion. I have an ever-growing collection of “treasures” and my collection of West German ceramic pots will never be large enough for my liking. I’ve been searching for a blue toned one for years!

  3. I love making things, all kinds of things. I’m great on a sewing machine, having started making dolls clothes as a kid and then studying Fashion and Textile Design at university. These days though, I’m the fancy dress master, which greatly impresses my children. My eldest has the most amazing green metallic mermaid tail, which I quilted with scales. I’ve tried my hand at macramé and am contemplating making myself some hanging pots if I ever get the time! I enjoy knitting and dream of mastering crochet. One day I’d really LOVE to design a crochet blanket for Moonlit Sleep.

shop the collection

Moonlit Sleep create bedding to fit both cots and single beds. You can purchase the collection online, or visit Karen on Facebook or Instagram for all the latest news.

Moonlit Sleep Baby and Children's Bedding, Cot Sheets

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Designer of the Week - Incy Ink

Today’s style inspiration comes to you from mother and daughter duo Trish and Michelle from South Australian label Incy Ink. Our handsome mini model Jasper (and his mum Tahnea) had a heaps of fun trying out the Incy Ink sugar skulls bow tie. This tie matches with so many different outfits, and it’s our pleasure today to share our review.

Incy Ink Alternative, Rockabilly Boys, Kids, Baby Clothing

The Product Review

Bow ties are awesome… Doctor Who, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Groucho Marx, and Frank Sinatra are just a few awesome icons who agree. The humble bow tie makes it easy to dress up a formal shirt or funkify a hipster / rockabilly outfit. I personally love to see them paired with offbeat combos like shorts and cons or skinny jeans and suspenders.

This bow tie from Incy Ink is made from 100% cotton and features a hook clasp for easy dressing. The sugar skulls pattern is versatile enough to work alongside both block colours and simple patterns, and is on trend for the summer party season. Trish and Michelle clearly love what they do and their passion is evident in the excitement they show towards their label. I’m looking forward to seeing their future collections.

The verdict… a whimsical piece for little wardrobes.

Incy Ink Alternative, Rockabilly Boys, Kids, Baby Clothing

The Indie Label

Incy Ink is a creative project by a Granny [Trish] and a Mum [Michelle] of an energetic 2 year old boy. The label came to fruition in 2014 with the aim of producing stylish, alternative gear for little boys. Michelle says, “We have a strong focus on quirky and unique fabrics and aim to bring fun, edgy, and one of a kind designs to little dudes’ wardrobes”.

Key pieces in the range include the original ‘King for a Day’ onesie, which Michelle says, “brings lots of smiles to people looking for the perfect baby shower gift (or just a gift of love). Top it off with one of our rad newborn beanies and you’ve got yourself an awesome outfit that will definitely stand out in a crowd”.

You can also find the sugar skulls fabric (among others) as dribble bibs, made from 100% cotton and backed with a soft stay dry fabric (allowing the little ones to drool and stay cool). Oh, and don’t forget about my personal favourite, the (almost sold out) Bats pants! Incy Ink will be making heaps of new designs for summer, including cotton shorts, so stay tuned!

Incy Ink Alternative, Rockabilly Boys, Kids, Baby Clothing

The Creative Mind

Trish and Michelle pride themselves on working with local businesses and suppliers, sourcing ethically made items for their collection. Their design aesthetic has a rockabilly flair and is pitched at parents looking for something that appeals to their own sense of style. Michelle says, “We love that our gear attracts the guys to purchase from us! At markets we have many a delighted Dad, Granddad, or Uncle who enjoy choosing a gift for the little man in their life”.

Incy Ink Alternative, Rockabilly Boys, Kids, Baby Clothing

shop the collection

You can find Incy Ink via their online store, Facebook, or Instagram.

Keep your eyes peeled for new items, coming soon!

Incy Ink Alternative, Rockabilly Boys, Kids, Baby Clothing

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Designer of the Week - Mama May I

This week, my new friend Jessica from Mama May i is joining in the fun here at KID independent with her beautiful range of handmade learning toys. Jessica is inspired by the Montessori and Waldorf teaching methodologies and her products are imaginative, natural, and good old fashioned fun. Check out our review below.

Mama May I Wooden Learning Toys, Montessori

The Product Review

As a mum in the modern technology age, I must admit that I’m constantly reminding myself to switch of the computer, put away the iPad, and turn off my phone. It’s so easy to get swept up in screens, losing hours out of your day. Trying out these Mama May i products with the little people in my life this week, and seeing the looks of concentration and smiles of achievement on their faces, was a timely reminder of the joy of simple, creative toys.

The Mama May i products are created with wood, painted with a soy-based, water-colour wash, and lightly coated with beeswax and jojoba oil. We tried out the Pocket Place, Make a Match, and (my favourite) the Coloured Cups and Balls Playset. The kids engaged well with each activity and happily chatted away while exploring alternative ways to work with each set. It was such as pleasure seeing them excitedly improving their skills with ongoing practice (such as enhancing fine motor skills and learning about colours, numbers, and matching… to name just a few).

It’s clear to see the fun learning experiences that these toys bring in to the household, but the connection between parent and child is something so precious… it was my favourite part of this review.

The verdict… simple, creative, and so much fun.

Mama May I Wooden Learning Toys, Montessori

The Indie Label

Jessica’s story starts a long time ago, with a creative spark that grew over many years.

She explains…

“I’ve been a Mama-soul, educator, and designer as long as I can remember. Since I was a wee one. I graduated from Drexel University with degrees in Psychology and Studies of Media Art and Design. I taught Art-on-a-Cart at local schools during my university years and took as many developmental psychology and learning classes as I could…”

Learning and through play were somehow etched in my heart from a very young age. My partner and I began our family soon after I graduated. It was my goal to stay home with my children some day. While my little one napped and slept, I tinkered with ways to connect through play with her. It wasn’t long before my amazingly supportive family and friends told me I should sell my creations. Not knowing the future of this notion, I would spend my free time taking photos, writing descriptions, and creating a look to my work. Before I knew it, I had my first sale and Mama May I was born.

I was incredibly excited to see there was a need for simple, beautiful, hand crafted learning toys and that I could create a space for loved ones to explore ways to connect through play with their little ones. As my daughter and family grew, so did my product line. My children inspire my creations – and they are the cutest little product-testers!”

Mama May I Wooden Learning Toys, Montessori

The Creative Mind

Jessica is a mum of three, Layla (7.5). Lillian (4) and Lincoln (2). She draws her inspiration from the world around her, and says, “Not a day that goes by that I am not inspired by my life. Seeing things from my children’s perspective. Catching the beauty in a shadow, reflection, cloudy sky, starry night, a butterfly’s dance…”

“Our every day adventures excite and inspire me to learn with my little ones through exploration – to connect through play. My children inspire me to make/create/do. If there is a skill I want to teach them or reinforce I try to come up with a way to “play with the idea”. I try to think of practicality, simplicity, open-endedness, durability, skill-building, learning-experience when I come up with new ideas. I jot them down, prototype them, play with them, tweak them if needed, and take them to market”.

Mama May I Wooden Learning Toys, Montessori

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s a few fun facts about Jessica, in her own words:

  1. I am a homeschooling (unschooling) Mama! It can be a challenge to juggle all the things and it may not be forever (we reevaluate every year!), but for right now this is the perfect learning environment for our little ones. I am humbled and overjoyed to be such a big part of the learning journey.

  2. I love photos, graphics, quotes, the perfect font, and magazine clippings. I used to write poetry from magazine clips and phrases when I was in high school and I had magnetic words strewn all around my bedroom walls when I was in school (on cookie sheets I turned into magnetic word boards!)

  3. I am currently learning to take time out for me and nurture myself…and remember all the little things that have always enkindled a sense of joy within. For a few years I felt lost in my Mama-journey…like that was one of the only roles I was playing. It is beautiful and I love that role but there is so much more to me a I’m enjoying the path to self rediscovery after some very chaotic years.

  4. I have been breastfeeding now for 7.5 years without a break in between (I am reminded as I look down at my 3rd nursling!)

shop the collection

The Mama Mayi range features bright, lively colours with bold crisp graphics, and is designed to provide a texturally diverse and sensorial experience. You can view the full range here, or visit Jessica on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for all the latest news.

Mama May I Wooden Learning Toys, Montessori

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*Note: KID independent was provided with complimentary Mama May i products to try. This review represents our personal opinion. We think these products are genuinely lovely.

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Designer of the Week - Emby Love

I’ve truly grown to love Wednesdays over the the past few years, because it’s the day I get to introduce you to a fabulously talented designer like Brianna from Emby Love. Brianna creates a range of modern picnic blankets that are every bit as durable as they are stylish. You can check out our review below, and also find out more about the driving force behind Brianna’s label. Happy reading!

Emby Love Handmade Stylish Picnic Blankets

The Product Review

I adore picnics. I adore nature. I adore family get-togethers. And now I adore Emby Love. Let me start by saying that I was drawn in initially by the styling of these picnic blankets… but soon turned my attention the durability and practical waterproof base. Brianna uses modern hues such as salmon and aqua, and classic patterns such as chevron. Her blankets are family sized (135 x 175cm) and feature triple layer construction of a 100% heavy cotton outer, thick polyester inner, and a waterproof nylon base.

Emby Love picnic blankets are built to last and are comfortable to use on a variety of surfaces. Each blanket comes with an elastic carry handle for easy ‘grab-and-go’ practicality, and we love how you can keep this blanket rolled up into a neat little log in the boot of your car for spontaneous picnics, or even as a play mat for your little ones when you’re out and about. OR… you could sneak off as a couple for a romantic candlelit picnic, or a cosy cuddle at your favourite winery.

Lastly, I’m super impressed that these picnic blankets are machine washable! Hallelujah to that! Finally a picnic blanket range with realistic expectations about their usage… honestly, who has the time to handwash or dry clean their picnic blankets!? Not me!

The verdict… sensible design meets modern styling.

Emby Love Handmade Stylish Picnic Blankets

The Indie Label

The inspiration for Emby Love was born along with Brianna’s first child. She explains, “Emby Love to me is that magical loving feeling you have the first time you see your unborn baby on the big screen in the sonographers room. For my husband and I, seeing the five day old, four cell embryo on the monitor in the hospital room moments before it was implanted back into my uterus during our first IVF cycle was the moment we knew that embryo was going to become the baby that made our family of two become a family of three. It was during the three hour road trip back home that the embryo we just saw and hung so much hope on was nicknamed “Emby” and that’s the story of “Emby Love”.

Today, nearly three or so years later, Brianna spends many days frolicking in the park and exploring the great outdoors with her family. She derives great joy in sharing a picnic with her family and friends in the fresh air and hopes that her handmade creations provide the same joy for other families around the country.

Emby Love Handmade Stylish Picnic Blankets

The Creative Mind

Brianna was born in country Victoria, moved to a bigger town an hour away when she was 12, moved to Geelong at 18 for uni, moved to Wollongong at 20 for more uni (where she met her husband) and then thought… “after completing two degrees, I’d better get a real job!” She eventually settled in Canberra (to be close to her family in Wollongong and her husband’s family in  Shepparton) and took up a job working as a dietitian.

Brianna’s sewing journey began while on maternity leave in 2012. She says, “My mum loaned me her sewing machine, an ancient “Globe 550″ that she bought when she had me 29 years ago, because apparently, new mums have loads of time on their hands, and sewing would be good to fill in the time, ha!”

“I taught myself to sew (because year 9 textiles wasn’t really enough) from trial and error with the help of a few ‘You Tube’ clips in between feeding, changing, settling, and feeding. While I could never promise everything I made was perfect, it was always made with love. What I love most about Emby Love is seeing customer photos of blankets in use – at the zoo, at the park, at the pool, at soccer, or even in my daughter’s favourite place – under the trampoline”.

Emby Love Handmade Stylish Picnic Blankets

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s four fun facts about Brianna, in her own words:

  1. I love cooking and food, which is part of the reason I become a dietitian. I think you are either a sweet or a savoury person and I unfortunately inherited the sweet gene. My weakness is things like sticky date pudding, citrus tart, cheesecakes, etc. You know, all the things us dietitians don’t recommend in the quantities I like to eat them…

  2. I have 22 cousins, I am the second oldest and I am the shortest of them all. Good things come in small packages right?

  3. I actually wanted to be an interior designer in my early high school years and now I just live out my dream via Pinterest and Houzz.

  4. I love being a mum. It’s always the simple things right? I have two beautiful girls who I adore and feel like I am just enjoying them at the ages they are right now (6 months and 3). It’s so lovely to watch them start to interact together and bounce off one another. I can only imagine the things they are going to get up to in the years to come.

shop the collection

Emby Love picnic blankets are made from quality cotton, cotton canvas, and cotton linen blends, preferred by Brianna for their durability and natural appeal. Brianna explains, “I’m a fabric addict and when I find the most amazing fabrics my head goes a million miles wondering what I can make! I’m really excited to be launching some new products this year made from those very fabrics”.

You can find Brianna’s lovely creations via: Emby Love Website | Facebook | Instagram

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Emby Love Handmade Stylish Picnic Blankets

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