Intriguing Vintage Swedish Educational Book I Found Being Used As a Prop In IKEA Belfast

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I remember as a child always being intrigued when on visits to Texas, the predecessor of Homebase, by the fake props they would have to stage the pretend living rooms and bedrooms. The false televisions, the plastic video players and fake books, all staging to help you imagine their sofas and tables they were selling for your own rooms back home.

IKEA does the same, but with their wider range of products they can stage more realistic rooms with their own products from other departments, so you can picture a more homelier home.  

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We were browsing the children’s department in IKEA Belfast back in the autumn when I spotted something that looked out of place, a book that was older than the usual books placed in the kids’ bedrooms. It was in what I assume is Swedish and appears to be an educational book from the 60s or 70s. The illustrations are similar to the Childcraft English language educational books that I collect. I thought I would share them here, as they are after all very kitsch.

Maybe next time you are in IKEA Belfast you can see if you too can spot this mysterious book in the Kids’ Department. 

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Could Your Child Be An Ikea Toy Designer? Enter The New 2018 Sagoskatt Competition Now & Buy Last Year’s Winners’ Plushies In Store Now to Help Support Barnardos.

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The limited-edition SAGOSKATT soft toy collection is back, and it’s packed full of colourful characters ready to join playtime. Ikea’s annual, soft toy drawing competition attracted 87,000 entries from children around the world, and they’ve made a handful of them into real-life toys.

 

I’ve blogged about this a few years now, and I always love to see the winners. It’s so cool seeing a child’s drawing brought to life, from the sketch to the completed toy on the shelves. 

 

This year’s IKEA soft toy drawing competition is open now – so it’s time for your kids to get creative. They can sketch own soft toy for the chance to see their invention made into a real toy next year. The competition is open to all IKEA FAMILY members’ children aged up to 12, until November 13. So you need to be quick and visit today or tomorrow and pop your sketch in the box which is in the kids’ section of the store. If you aren’t a Family Member, just ask to sign up with a member of staff, it’s just like having a Tesco Clubcard or Boots Advantage Card, so it’s very simple.

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The most unique creations will be turned into real soft toys to be sold in every IKEA store and to inspire kids’ play across the world.

If you are reading this after the 13th of November, don’t despair, the cute toys will still be on sale. They all cost £4.75 each and Ikea donates the VAT to Barnardos. You can read all about the Sagoskatt competition and more on the Ikea website.

IKEA Bring Back Iconic Products From The 50s, 70s & 80s -For a Limited Time Only

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IKEA’s latest limited-edition collection embraces some of its most classic products including the LÖVBACKEN side table, which was their very first flat-pack product, way back in the 1950’s.

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The collection will have three launch moments - August, October and December - each of which will re-introduce iconic IKEA products in the style and design of certain decades and bring fan-favourites bang up to date.

 


Other new products this month include the GAGNET armchair – the handmade product which was launched in 1958 when IKEA’s first store opened in Almhult, Sweden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The famous POÄNG chair and KLIPPAN sofa also get a makeover in August, with new covers and accessories, a ‘hack’ for the classics.

In October, the ‘70s and ‘80s design trends return with the RÅANE armchair, which launched in 1983 and challenged the traditional design of the armchair with its mesh material finish. The KLIPPAN will get new covers in vivacious red, yellow and blue to match the rest of the launch’s style.

The final stage of the “Re-imagined Classics” collection launches in December with the minimalist ‘90s and ‘00s, mixing untreated, blonde Scandinavian woods with graphic patterns.

I have the retro side table myself in my lounge and it’s so stylish, I just love it. It’s a total classic. I’m looking forward to seeing the collection in Ikea Belfast over the coming months and maybe picking up a few of the pieces.

IKEA Turn Kids’ Drawings Into Real Life Toys & Your Child Can Enter This Year’s Competition Now!

Now in its third year, IKEA has launched a range of soft toys designed by children for children. 

The collection, SAGOSKATT, has been designed by children from across the world who were asked to let their imaginations run wild and create their very own fantastic creatures as part of the Soft Toys Drawing Competition. All proceeds from sales go to Save the Children UK.

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Locally, IKEA Belfast will also be donating toys to East Belfast Mission’s (EBM) Bright Sparks Project. The local charity provides a safe environment in the city, where children can play, be happy and healthy. Shoppers can donate to the store’s local cause by having the opportunity to “Give Twice” by picking up an extra toy or book at checkouts and place it in the donation bank for EBM, whilst donating again to Save the Children UK.

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This year IKEA selected ten lucky winners from over 70,000 entries to be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of having their drawing recreated as part of a limited-edition range sold in stores worldwide and online, with prices starting at £1. From a monster to a mythical hippo and crocodile hybrid, the drawings are expertly transformed into near-identical versions of the youngsters’ creations to bring the exact imagination of the child to life.

 

 

To be part of next year’s range and for the chance to see their designs come to life children can now submit their entries in-store by Monday 11 December.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.IKEAfoundation.org

IKEA's Art Event 2017- This Year's Artists Revealed

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IKEA's yearly art event stands to bring together a limited edition collection of work from artists from all over the world. Whilst limited, the pieces are priced by IKEA with the intent of making beautiful artwork affordable so everyone can invest in the work of talented artists who some day will be huge.

IKEA choose the pieces by a certain theme, last year was photography. This year the dozen artists chosen are all well known for their hand-drawn work.

So while every artwork is hand-drawn and have that in common, you can still see the wide range of aesthetic in the collection. Different styles to suit different homes, or different rooms within your home.

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Each of the prints is poster size, so they are 61cm x 91cm. One of my repeat purchases from IKEA Belfast since they opened is their poster sized frames.

Starting at £14 (see below), these frames will suit the Art Event prints perfectly. 

I find posters simply Blu-tacked to a bedroom wall can look very, 'student digs', so it's worth £14 to frame your posters to look more 'grown up'. Of course framing also protects your prints of that size from wear and tear, so they are a good purchase for kids' posters in their bedrooms too. 

There are several different frame types in the 61 x 91cm size, box frames, or more flush to the wall flat frames, as well as a range of colours of wood. You can pick whichever will look best with the Art Event prints that take your fancy.

The collection will be instore in April. 

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So what else will be instore in April? IKEA's Stockholm is their affordable luxe, design led range and they will be launching 47 new pieces in the coming months.

Last week I blogged about my  bathroom makeover using plants & soft furnishings from IKEA Belfast. House plants are the big trend for 2017, and the images of interiors IKEA are sharing confirm this. How amazing do those trailing ferns look on the left? I would love to create a green ceiling like that in my own home.

 

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April sees a really cool collab coming  IKEA kids' way too. Partnering with DreamWorks Studio, the LATTJO collection features characters Ernst the Eagle and Victor the Vampire.

The duvet covers and cushions in the works are especially cool looking.  So there is something for everyone due in store very soon.

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My Top Picks From This Sneaky Peek at What's Ahead For Spring/Summer 2017 at IKEA Belfast

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Your living room never looks so bare as the day you take down your Christmas tree and pack away the wreaths, candles, ornaments and holiday fixings. It's the time of year you feel like refreshing your living spaces, and even in rental properties you can switch things up thanks to the availability of fabulous and reasonably priced interior pieces from IKEA. There's no need to have to paint the walls or go through the hassle of wallpapering, you can create a fresh new feel to a room with the right soft furnishings and furniture.

Personally, I've set my sights on our small bathrooom to be the target of my January makeover spirit. 

We have a shower cubicle, sink, toilet & one wall mounted cupboard. My plan is to give the room a new look with a new bath mat & towels, but also to introduce some house plants & ferns in the space beside the shower which is currently just an empty space. I also want to buy hanging pots to layer down the outside of the shower cubicle. In my mind I'm picturing a tropical rainforest, so let's see how that one turns out! 

As well as the bathroom, I'm hoping to pick up some other bits & bobs on our trip to IKEA Belfast this weekend. They shared with me a sneak peek at products that will be appearing in stores in spring and the summer ahead. 

There are a number of special collections, but the one that jumped out at me was 'Fine Geometric'. There's a mid-century feel to the products with definite Eames' style inspirations.

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Digital Wave also has retro futuristic touches, and how could I resist that rainbow cabinet? I also love the deep, bottle green throw (7), and vivid, Barbie pink candlestick (9). 

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Again IKEA has partnered with a fashion designer, this time Kit Neale, to produce the eclectic SPRIDD range. There's a Vivienne Westwood feel to parts of the collection, with orbs aplenty. 

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It seems a lifetime away, but the SPRIDD collection has the items to make you the most fashionable festival goer this summer. Bright colourful picnic ware can be used by families as well as music festival campers, and you wouldn't be able to miss that tent amongst a sea of other campers.

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SPRIDD also reminds me of Moschino's pop art, bold patterned looks. 

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So so so Vivienne Westwood

So so so Vivienne Westwood

So there's lots to look forward to in  IKEA Belfast and other stores this spring. In the meantime I'll be the one pushing a trolley packed with ferns this weekend!

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Design a Wonderful Toy at IKEA, Have It Made & Sold in 2017, and Support The Royal Hospital for Sick Children

A new collection of soft toys, designed by children from around the world has gone on sale as part of an important campaign at IKEA Belfast.

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The 10 SAGOSKATT toys, part of the “Let’s Play for Change” Campaign, are made up of everything from a red monster to a “horsaurus”, designed by children aged between 5 and 9 years old.

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And now, children in Northern Ireland can unleash their creative imagination and try their hand at designing the 2017 collection during the store’s drawing competition between 20 – 27 November.

The new campaign aims to highlight the importance of play, and that every child has a right to learn, develop and play. For every children’s book and toy sold between 20 November – 24 December, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of €1 to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world, supporting children’s development and learning, equal participation, sports and of course, play.

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Locally, IKEA Belfast will also donate toys to The Royal Hospital for Sick Children thanks to the campaign’s “Give Twice” mechanic; shoppers will have the opportunity to pick up an extra toy or book at checkouts, which they can place in the donation bank for the hospital, whilst donating again to the charity partners.

Christie Gregg, store manager at IKEA Belfast said; “All of our toys and books encourage play, and our new family of soft toys show the power of play in its purest form; what children’s imaginations can create when encouraged, and we’re delighted they will help other children around the world develop their right to play.

 

 

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 “We hope to see plenty of entries for next year’s collection of soft toys from kids in Northern Ireland during next week’s (20 – 27 November) drawing competition in the children’s department.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit ikeafoundation.org, and for more information on IKEA Belfast, visit ikea.co.uk/belfast.

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The IKEA Flat-pack Lunch #MakeMoreThanJustFood

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We just received this wonderfully kitsch IKEA flat-pack, self-assembly lunch! The Kings of DIY furniture have just released their 2017 catalogue, and as with other years, they have a theme that ties the showcase of products together. 

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This time around the theme is 'Make More Than Just Food', a celebration of growing, cooking and sharing food with family and friends. From memories made making buns with your toddler, to relationships blooming at dinner parties with friends.

They sent us the flat-pack lunch, complete with instructions! The food shop part of IKEA Belfast is possible my favourite part of the whole store. There's elk sausage, mild cheese and crispbread to 'self-assemble'.

So watch for the 2017 IKEA catalogue hitting stores and coming through letterboxes very soon.

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