Saturday, 31 August 2019

Schultüte - aka Start School with a Kindercone!

Schultüte - aka Start School with a Kindercone!

I stumbled across the concept of Schultüte while randomly googling for info on schooling around the world. It's a German tradition dating back to the 1810s, whereby children are given a Schultüte (lit. School Bag) on their first day at school. The idea is that it 'sweetens' what can be a frightening time with the help of sweets, chocolate, and all manner of little bits and bobs from stocking filler toys to practical stationery.

In Germany you can buy Schultüte - or Kindercones as they tend to be known in English speaking areas - ready made in the shops; either as an empty cone to fill yourself, or even ready filled. As with most traditions, commercialism is rife and parents can find themselves spending upwards of €100. I thought the idea was super cute, but living in the UK and being a devout cheapskate I determined to go the old school route and make one myself.

What You Need:

★ Large rectangle of paper, card, etc.
★ Sticky tape.
★ Crepe paper.
★ Ribbon.
★ Sweets, small toys, etc.

(I stocked up on toys from WowTastic - they have tons of stocking filler/party bag type stuff, and free UK delivery if you spend £10 or over.)

Schultüte can be really simple, or really elaborate, with all kinds of decorations. I checked out a few blog guides suggesting using wallpaper or taping sheets of craft card together, but I was lucky to have the perfect material on hand - a huge laminated map of Europe I got for free from the UK EDIC (Europe Direct Information Centre), which sends out EU publications. It's educational and decorative. And will make a great playmat for play-doh and the like. :)

With that taped into the shape of a cone I lined it with some colourful crepe paper I saved from other purchases, then filled it up with toys and sweets. All I need to do now is add some more crepe paper and tie it up, then give it to Marianna on Tuesday morning!


ETA - the big day!

Schultüte - aka Start School with a Kindercone!

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Babi a Fi Crafts

Friday, 30 August 2019

Friday Five: British High School Movies

Friday Five


Continuing the back to school theme, here are my five favourite British high - well, secondary - school movies...

#5. The Hole (2001)

Four prep school students are trapped in an old nuclear fallout bunker by a sadistic classmate. Or are they? I really liked how one story keeps getting chipped away at to reveal another in this.

#4. To Sir, with Love (1967)

Sure, it's a bit of a sentimental morality play. But it does it with style.

#3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

It was the first book of the series I read and it's still my favourite. Aside from the CGI werewolf, the film is one of the strongest instalments too.

#2. Kes (1969)

As social realism it's as hard hitting now as it was 50 years ago. As a story of hope in a hopeless world it's unparalleled.

#1. St. Trinian's (1954 onwards)

The perfect slices of silly, light-hearted fun!

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Friday Five

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Miniatures on Ebay

Miniatures on Ebay

Reviews of miniature makers on Ebay...

 Angelkellet0 - UK 1/12 scale books and paper goods.

 Bad Mother Customs - USA - 1/12 and 1/6 tattoo transfers and magazines.

 Bees Miniatures - UK - 1/12 scale books and magazines.

 Kefxi - UK - 1/12 scale paper goods, packaging, etc.

 Lanky1349 - UK - 1/12 scale records. - UK - handmade 1/12 scale paper miniatures.

 MiniBazarUK - UK - 1/12 scale comics, etc.

 Rebeccasminis - UK - 1/12 scale packaging and paper accessories.

 Reevo - UK - 1/6 scale DVDs, photo frames, etc.

 Sandie's Little Gems - UK - 1/12 handmade paper goods.

 sunsetsammi - UK - 1/12 scale miniatures.

 tattyarbucklesyard - UK - 1/12 scale metal miniatures.

 theweecrafthoose - UK - 1/12 scale miniatures.

 Wishing-Well Dollshouse Miniatures - UK - handmade 1/12 scale packaging and books.

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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Back to School Checklist

Back to School Checklist

 School Bag.
 Coin Purse.

 Pencil Case.

 PE Bag.

 Solar Buddy.
 Sun Hat.
 Sun Glasses.

 Polo Shirts.
 Summer Dress.



 Rain Mac.
 Woolly Hat.
 Winter Coat.


 Hair Accessories.

 - Tissues.
 - Name Labels.

Have I forgotten anything??

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Back to School Playlist

Back to School Playlist

It's almost time! Here's an A-Z of the best school related songs. :)

A  Another Brick in the Wall - Pink Floyd [1979]

B  School Days - Chuck Berry [1957]

C  Too Cool For School - Horrid Henry [2011]

Theo Stevenson teamed up with kids' presenters Dick and Dom on this song from the Horrid Henry movie soundtrack.

D  Back to School (Mini Maggit) - Deftones [2001]

E  Proper Education - Eric Prydz vs Floyd [2007]

F  Beauty School Dropout - Frankie Avalon [1978]

From the soundtrack to the greatest high school movie ever, Grease! :D

G  Gruesome Gary - Down By Law [1996]

Bullies - every playground has one, from Hogwarts' Draco Malfoy right through to Grange Hill's Norman 'Gripper' Stebson.

H  High School Never Ends - Bowling for Soup [2006]

I was really surprised to learn this peaked at #40 in the UK, it felt like it was on everywhere back then. Still, chart success or no, the lyrics really nailed it:

The whole damned world is just as obsessed
With who's the best dressed and who's having sex
Who's got the money, who gets the honeys
Who's kinda cute and who's just a mess

And you still don't have the right look
And you don't have the right friends
Nothing changes but the faces, the names and the trends
High school never ends...

Three Little Maids from School are We - The Mikado [1885]

I is for Irony. Or lack thereof. Either way, Gilbert and Sullivan will be with us for a long time yet.

J  Harper Valley PTA - Jeannie C. Riley [1968]

K  Education - The Kinks [1975]

L Bleib in der Schule - Trailerpark [2014]

L is for LOL, so in that spirit we have Alligatoah telling kids why they ought to stay in school. Because, at the end of the day, Gangbang-Parties, Fame und Frau'n machen sich nicht gut im Lebenslauf. (Gangbangs, fame, and women don't look good on your CV.)

M  I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats [1979]

Written in the aftermath of the Cleveland Elementary School shooting, the song spent four weeks at #1 in the UK but - unsurprisingly - proved controversial in the States with radio stations in San Diego choosing not to give it airplay.

N  2002 - Anne-Marie [2018]

N is for Nostalgia. Yeah, 2002 is a prime topic for nostalgia now. I am officially old...

O  Be True To Your School - The Beach Boys [1963]

O is for the one and only!

P  In Love with the 80s (Pink Tux to the Prom) - Relient K [2003]

Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police [1980]

Q is for... questionable. Back in 1981 Sting said "I'd been through the business of having 15-year-old girls fancying me - and me really fancying them! How I kept my hands off them I don't know..." Hmm. On the trivia side of things, the girl in the video is played by Rene Alperstein aka Pamela Cartwright, Grange Hill's uber-swot.

R  Subdivisions - Rush [1982]

In the high school halls, in the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out...

S  School's Out - Alice Cooper [1972]

T  Baggy Trousers - Madness [1980]

U  I Hate College - Sammy Adams [2009]

Higher education getting a look in!

V  Rock 'n' Roll High School - The Ramones [1979]

V is for... giving the V sign. ;)

W  What I Go To School For - Busted [2002]

Written by Matt Willis as an ode to his dance teacher, the song peaked at #3 in the UK charts and was later covered by the Jonas Brothers along with another Busted hit, Year 3000.

X  What Did You Learn In School Today? - Pete Seeger [1964]

Beware fake news...

Y  Yn yr Ysgol - Cyw [2019]

Cyw is S4C's kiddie's programming strand and provides lots of cute and horridly catchy little songs. You can find the full lyrics on Ysgol Glan Morfa's website HERE.

Yn yr ysgol, ysgol, dere gyda fi
I weithio a chwarae o naw tan dri
Yn yr ysgol, ysgol, darllen a rhifo wnawn ni nawr
Mae pawb yn yr dosbarth yn ffrindiau mawr!

(Something like: At school, hey, come on with me / we're gonna be learning and playing from now until 3. At school we're reading and counting together, everyone in the classroom is best of friends!)

Z  Teenage Life - Daz Sampson [2006]

This was the UK's entry for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest and it actually performed better than our usual offerings: Daz scored 25 points, placing us 19th out of 24 entries.

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Fandom with Babi a Fi

Monday, 26 August 2019

Regal Academy Dolls

Regal Academy

Regal Academy was an Italian cartoon series which aired on Nickelodeon. All similarities to Mattel's Monster / Ever After High is surely coincidental. ;) Anyway, Giochi Preziosi wasted no time producing dolls based on the show. For the US market Auldey Toys, a subsidiary of Alpha Group, produced their own line of dolls.

The Auldey dolls are quite a bit smaller than the Giochi offerings; the latter are more like typical fashion dolls while the Auldey ones stand 10.5 inches all. Both lines have screened faces and rooted hair, although some of the Auldey dolls have more limited articulation. Giochi's are generally better made but, really, both are at the cheap and cheerful end of the scale!

Regal Academy Ballerina Dolls

Dancing Ballerina (Giochi Preziosi)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Joy - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / back.

Regal Academy Diamond Princess Dolls

Diamond Princess (Giochi Preziosi)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Joy - box front / back.
★ Ling Ling - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / back.

Regal Academy Glitter Girls Dolls

Glitter Girls (Giochi Preziosi)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Joy - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / back.

★ Glitter Dragon w/ Rose - box front / back.

Regal Academy Glitter Dragon and Rose Doll

Regal Academy Basic Granddaughter Dolls

Granddaughter (Auldey Toys)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Joy - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / back.
★ Vicky - box front / back.

Regal Academy Magical Dolls

Magical (Auldey Toys)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Joy - box front / contents / back.
★ Rose - box front / contents / back.

Regal Academy Musical Academy Singing Dolls

Musical Academy (Giochi Preziosi)

★ Astoria - box front / contents / back.
★ Joy - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / back.

Regal Academy Real Friends Dolls

Real Friend (Giochi Preziosi)

★ Astoria - box front / contents / back.
★ Joy - box front / contents /back.
★ Ling Ling - box front / back.
★ Rose - box front / contents / back.

Regal Academy Regal Dolls

Regal (Auldey Toys)

★ Astoria - box front / back.
★ Vicky - box front / back.

Regal Academy Sing and Sparkle Doll

★ Sing and Sparkle Rose - box front / back. (Auldey Toys)

Regal Academy Twinset Dolls

★ Astoria and Hawk Twinset - box front / back. (Auldey Toys)
★ Rose and Travis Twinset - box front / back. (Auldey Toys)

Regal Academy Astoria's Stylin' Salon Playset

★ Astoria's Stylin' Salon Playset - box front / back. (Auldey Toys)

Regal Academy Rose's Magic Shoe Closet Playset

★ Rose's Magic Shoe Closet Playset - box front / back. (Auldey Toys)

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Saturday, 24 August 2019


We're going away for the week! I've got posts already scheduled for most days, but I'll likely be slow to respond to emails and messages.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Friday Five: 1960s Movies

Friday Five


My favourite five films from the 1960s... This was by far the most difficult post because I love so many 1960s movies. All that wholesome technicolor, I dunno, it just makes me nostalgic for a life I've never even lived!

#5. Move Over, Darling (1963)

Who doesn't love a bit of Doris Day?

#4. Carry on Camping (1969)

I've got a huge soft spot for all those convoluted misunderstandings and doublespeak in Britcoms of the 60s and 70s, and Carry on Camping just embodies their whole essence so perfectly.

#3. The Children's Hour (1961)

Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine star as old college classmates who run a private school for girls. When brat of a pupil Mary is punished for lying, she gets her own back by spreading rumours the two are secret lovers. This being 1961 - and the play it was based on 1934 - it ruins their lives, so that even when the truth comes out it's too late for things to be put right...

#2. The Parent Trap (1961)

Why they besmirched its good name with a remake, I'll never know, but nobody does Disney like Hayley Mills. To be fair, I love all of Mills' 60s movies - and Tiger Bay! - but this one holds an extra special place in my heart for memories of watching it with grandparents on rainy afternoons. ♥

#1. The Ugly Dachshund (1966)

As a little kid this was my favouritest favourite film in the whole wide world. I watched it at least once a day for months and months and months. The plot is, as one contemporary reviewer put it, 'featherweight': when the Garrisons' award winning dachshund Danke has pups, vet Pruitt convinces Mark Garrison to take home the runt of his great dane litter - 'Brutus' - and so save its life. Mark just neglects to mention to his wife that the extra puppy isn't one of Danke's...

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Friday Five

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Free (Fake) Hair and Fur Samples

Free Fake Hair and Fur Samples

If you're thinking of getting hair extensions, samples are a must to judge quality. That they also make perfect sources of tiny doll wig making material is a bonus!

★ Lady Locks. (1+)

★ Pro Salon Hair. (1)

★ Queen of Preen. (1)

★ Studio 58 Hair Extensions. (1+)

★ Viola Hair Extensions. (1+)

Faux Fur:

★ Denholme Velvets. (5)

★ Fabric Land. (3)

★ Fabric Online. (4)

★ Faux Throw. (5)

★ Great Bean Bags. (10)

★ Quirk. (6)

★ Textile Express Fabrics. (5)

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Wallpaper Samples for FreeFree Fabric Samples

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

For Sale

Babi a Fi Sales

I'm having a big clear out at the moment of dolls and miniatures, so it seemed like the perfect time to get around to making a selling page. All the links lead to eBay listings currently, but I liked the idea of having a place I could just literally list stuff if need be.

Anyway, check it out at

BabiaFi 6th Scale MiniaturesBabiaFi Dolls and Action Figures
BabiaFi Dolly FashionBabiaFi 12th Scale Miniatures

I've added a link to it in my sidebar too. :)

Dolls, action figures and miniatures for sale

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Orcara Miniatures

Orcara Miniatures

Orcara arrived on the scene in 2009 as a Chinese alternative to the gold standard of the plastic miniature industry, Re-ment. They released a wide range of food related sets before production tailed off in 2010.

At the time Orcara was cheaper and correspondingly less detailed than Re-ment. These days the Orcara stuff is on a par with, if not better than modern Re-ment, so it's well worth picking up if you find it going for a good price.

Orcara Chinese Dim Sum

Orcara Chinese Food Miniatures

Orcara Cooking With The Master Miniatures
Orcara Cooking With The Master Miniatures

Orcara Festival Celebration Miniatures

Orcara Fast Food Miniatures

Orcara Korean Food Miniatures

Orcara Seafood Fish Market Miniatures

Orcara Si Chuan Steam Hot Pot Miniatures

Orcara Specialty Fruits Miniatures

Orcara Street Snacks Miniatures

Orcara Sushi Miniatures

Orcara The Story of Cakes Miniatures

Orcara Vintage Art of Wine Miniatures

Orcara Pacoo's Pretty Room Miniatures

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