Thursday, January 31, 2013

“He tore the mantle from her face, and the cold stars o'er it shone.
Then quickly to the lighted hall her lifeless form he bore. Young Charlotte's eyes was closed for ay, her voice was heard no more.
And there he sat down by her side, the bitter tears did flow”....

Frozen Charlotte pins; new pieces we have in the shop that are both eerie and beautiful. We’re super excited about these.
I wandered into the shop when these stunning little pins were being delivered. At first glance, they just looked like small imitations of the classic ‘Jelly Baby’ but alas how wrong could I have been!
On closer inspection the Frozen Charlotte pins are, without sounding too much like Gok Wan, subtle and classic with a fascinatingly morbid history to them.

The Frozen Charlotte doll gets its name from the eerie cautionary folk ballad which tells of a girl who refuses to wrap up warm on a cold winters night travelling to a New Year’s Ball and freezes to death on the journey. There are very, very few versions available of the ballad online, but here’s a link to one I stumbled upon on youtube. (Unfortunately it’s just a young lady in her room with what looks like excellent storage facilities, but you get the idea....)

The Victorians used the Frozen Charlotte doll as a lucky charm and keepsake; putting them in Christmas Puddings, children’s bedrooms and some even used as toys for bath play. But please do not use your Frozen Charlotte pin as a substitute for a rubber duck; they are much too pretty and delicate for that! And for this we have the amazingly talented Katherine Lees to thank, whose current projects are all heavily influenced by Victorian designs combining intricate, delicate craftwork and stunning pale yet interesting colours & tones.

You can check out and keep up-to-date with Katherine’s work here
OR pop into Landbaby, we have bits and bobs of Katherine’s work in the shop and it is really complimented by our lovely new flooring, pale walls and other gifts and trinkets we have in at the mo’.  Personally, I absolutely love my own Frozen Charlotte, mounted on a small decorative card with a small bio of the history of the pin, it makes a beautiful gift for both men and women and with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, need I say more!

Images are courtesy of Katherine Lees Wordpress blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Aviary @ Landbaby.  Saturday 26th January- Saturday 2nd March

Landbaby is proud to host the latest exhibition from the extremely talented and very unique

Victoria Foster

aka  The Aviary. Collections of stunning work with snippets of history, folklore and original beauty, intricately designed to create not only exceptional gifts but also stunning pieces of art.

For further information pop into the shop in the bluecoat or send us an email:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Slumber, Youth and young remain.
Free from sorrow, fear and pain.
Wander not to Death’s domain


We know, we know, it’s January not the 31st October, but there’s no way we could avoid telling you about the weird, wonderful and outright sinister ‘The Soldier’s Rest’ . A brilliant combination of Welsh haiku poetry and embroidery, ‘Soldiers Rest’ was a very unusual piece for the Liverpool Biennial 2012 held within Landbaby itself. Whilst it’s wonderful to be have so much contact with independent artists and all you lovely customers, it’s equally great to be able to transform the shop into something interactive and engaging with the wider Liverpool creative and arts scenes. And ‘Soldiers Rest’ has allowed us the chance to do just that.

Claire Bates, the very talented owner of Landbaby created all the embroidery pieces for the exhibition herself, using some ingenious imagination deciding to embroider, not with your standard 50 pence market thread, but with human hair! In doing so, Claire really enhanced the eeriness of the accompanying poem by the well regarded & wonderful Rebecca Sharp, who you may recognise from the Whale Song piece earlier on in the year! Oh, and it's definitley worthwhile checking out Rebecca Sharp's website( ) if not to marvel at how extremely talented she is, but to also find links to her other work and upcoming events. She is a truly inspirational writer whose work has been called "fascinatingly complex" by Neil Cooper of Herald Scotland. What more could you ask for!

Together they created a fantastic piece for the Biennial drawing together traditional elements of the ghost story and contemporary crafting. Without a shadow (or a ghost) of a doubt, the exhibition attracted some well deserved publicity with several features on the piece itself and Landbaby being produced in Liverpool’s home grown Seven Streets publications... 

But that wasn’t all, ‘Embroidery Magazine’ published a stunning several page spread on Claire’s ingenious way of crafting, a real cherry on the cake for us at Landbaby as it meant that more people could see how wonderfully hard Claire works in making the shop beautiful .

If you missed ‘
The Soldier’s Rest’ exhibition and are weeping profusely at how wonderful the show sounded or you managed to come and enjoy it during the Biennial, fear not, we have another exhibition coming your way on Saturday 26thJanuary which will be showcasing the work of the excellent ‘Aviary’. I assure you, this is one not to be missed!  (and we'll be posting about The Aviary at a later date too, so keep a beady eye out for that).


New Year, New View;

Despire the terrible play on words above, 2012 at Landbaby was a fantastic year with so many amazing artists’ work in the shop. There’s been an astoundingly absurd amount of textile wildlife; crocheted foxes, badger greetings cards, owl cushions, and of course our stunning wall mounted deer head! Some stunning brushed silver jewellery, bearded men cushions, the obligatory bunting...the list is endless.

We ended the year on such a spectacular high with our facebook ‘likes’ going through the metaphorical roof and so much attention from the creative media with features in Seven Streets ( don’t worry, more said about this in a later post) and a great o2 ‘Loving Local’ piece which you can check out here


A bit of international recognition never goes amiss either- Vogue named us 35/100 of the best shops outside of London ( describing Landbaby as great niche shop to find alternative presents”. All of which is of course true- you’ll find gifts for any age, either genders perched on a shelf, in a cabinet or being unpacked when you pop in for a gander. With the much appreciated recognition from Vogue, our influx of post- out orders online has made us very happy, and hopefully a lot of you keen customers too! If there's anything you'd like to say about your pretty purhcases or how much you love the shop, drop us an email ( and we'll not only love you forever, but we'll get it out there on one of our blog posts.

So, we’ve just moved into 2013 and not only did the Mayan’s get it wrong, but so did we. We thought Landbaby couldn’t get any better, but how wrong we were! Only 20 days into the new year and already we have 3 features in some of the best craft magazines you’ll find, a stunning new floor in the shop (come in and take a look, without your kitten heels on mind, we don’t want any damages!) and bloody brilliant new work lined up for your delectation; digitally printed landscape cushions, curious little Victorian style pins, mountainous treasures, beautifully folded paper to name but a few. It is wet-your-pants exciting in Landbaby at the minute with all exciting work coming in and new displays in the shop. Keep your eyes peeled for regular updates on here for features on new artists we love, trends we're getting into and generally just love for all things handmade, interesting and inspiring!