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The Bear Necessities – Top 10 Fun Facts For Teddy Bear Lovers Everywhere

If you go down to The Boutique today you’re in for a big surprise. If you go down to The Boutique today, you better go in disguise. For every bear that ever there was, will gather there for certain because, today’s the day the teddy bears have their…

… well, we may not be hosting a teddy bears picnic but, if you’ve ever visited The Boutique at House of Marbles, you’ll know that we are quite partial to a classic soft toy or two. As you enter our Bovey Tracey headquarters, you’ll find our beautiful collection of Steiff bears taking pride of place, and Jellycat bunnies, sloths, puppies, lions, hippos, laughing eggs and various fruit and veg perched in every nook and cranny. We’re clearly not alone in our love of the traditional soft toy. We are forever watching little ones, and not so little ones, cooing over the quirky creatures before grabbing hold for a quick cuddle. It’s no surprise to us that these plush little play things create such an emotional reaction. It has, after all, been scientifically proven that humans have an instant and spontaneous response to the big eyes, large foreheads and stumpy features that almost every soft toy possesses. As Steiff bears and Jellycats are carefully selected from The Boutique by our customers to grace the homes, cribs and arms of children and collectors from across Devon and the rest of the UK, little do the recipients know of the wellbeing benefits that these fluffy creatures will bestow upon them. From building self-esteem by offering comfort from their greatest fears, to stimulating their imagination by being the leading character in every one of their make believe role plays, soft toys are a true wonder in every way. So, we thought we’d celebrate these life long companions by looking at some funny and interesting facts about the origins and adventures of the humble teddy bear since their invention 120 years ago.

1. In 1902, almost 4000 miles apart, and unknown to each other, two inventors were creating their own versions of the first Teddy Bear. Morris Michtom and his wife from Brooklyn had been making stuffed animals for a while but decided to create the Teddy Bear after seeing a cartoon in depicting the American President, Teddy Roosevelt out on a bear hunt. He had refused to shoot the bear so Michtom decided to name the bear ‘Teddy’ after him. However, over in Stuttgart, Richard Steiff was also working on a more advanced version of a stuffed bear. One which had jointed limbs. Steiff exhibited his bear, known simply as 55PB at a toy fair in 1903 and has since become one of the most iconic teddy bears in the world.

The political cartoon by Clifford Berryman that inspired the teddy bear

2. Istavanne Arnoczki from Hungary is the proud owner of the largest teddy bear collection in the world. In 2019, her collection included a whopping 20,367 bears! How does she get into bed at night?

3. The Guinness book of world records has Cheryl Moss of South Africa noted as being the maker of the smallest commercially available stitched teddy bear, measuring just 9mm in height.

4. In stark contrast, the largest bear ever made is 19.41m in length. The largest teddy bear measures 19.41 m (63 ft 8 in) in length, and was constructed in April 2019. The bear was displayed at the local stadium in the city of Xonacatlán, Mexico and came complete with details such as tiara, dress, eyes and nose.

5. Magellan T. Bear was a bear on an education mission for Colorado Elemetary School when blasting off into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995. Surely the most widely travelled teddy, Magellan also circumnavigated the globe and visited Antarctica.

Magellan T. Bear

6. 1995 was a fun year for the bears. On 24th June that year the largest teddy bears picnic was held at Dublin Zoo. 33,573 bears and their owners attended the event according to the Guinness Book of Records.

7. On 24th August 2013, Babbage the bear took an altogether different mission into space. This time, it was part of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s attempt to replicate Australian Daredevil, Felix Baumgartner’s famous base jump to earth from a Helium balloon. Babbage, who’s base was powered by a Raspberry Pi weather balloon reached 41km in altitude (2km higher than Baumgartner) before tumbling back down to earth.

8. Steiff has made quite a name for the teddy bear. The brand is always top of the list when it comes to most expensive teddy ever sold. A Steiff ‘Louis Vuitton’ teddy bear made in 2000 and measuring 45 cm sold at Christie’s in Monaco in October 2000 for a whopping £125,831.

9. The second most expensive bear was also a Steiff bear named Teddy Girl, who was sold for £110,000 at Christie’s London in December 1994. The value was more than 18 times the estimate and twice the previous world record. Teddy Girl was made in 1905, only a year after Steiff made his first jointed plush teddy bear, and had a particularly well-documented history. She belonged to a prominent collector, Colonel Bob Henderson, who took her everywhere with him – even to his landing on the D-Day beaches, where he was a small arms adviser to Field Marshal Montgomery.

1997 Replica of ‘Teddy Girl’

10. The popularity of teddy bears continues to grow with millions being sold each year. The total teddy bear market is now thought to be worth more than $8bn.

It’s for all these reasons that we love soft toys at The Boutique and are incredibly proud to stock some of the most iconic characters from the popular British brand Jellycat. Silly by nature, the name was simply dreamt up by a child who loved jellies and cats and giggled at the thought of them together. They put their success down to combining their cute and quirky designs with the most luxurious fabrics. Any parent that has ever given their little one a Jellycat toy will understand the impact they have. Perish the thought that one should accidentally drop from the pram or get left behind at a playdate. Some would even go as far as buying two of their child’s favourites to ensure that they are never missing their best buddy. But who are we to possibly say. What makes Jellycat extra special is that they recognize that a soft toy is not just for kids and have instead created a fun and frivolous range of food and nature inspired curiosities including plush sandwiches, detox drinks and houseplants that any adult would be happy to receive as a gift as well. There really is something for everyone at The Boutique. Click here to view our full range of Jellycat toys, and click here to view our collectible Steiff range.

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Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide

Welcome to the Boutique at House of Marbles’ 2022 Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide. If you are reading this article, you may be fast approaching an important date and seeking ideas for a special gift to give that represents the commitment you made to your dearest love during your nuptials. The traditional year-by-year wedding anniversary themes provide great inspiration, with materials from paper and sugar, to copper and diamonds providing a focal point to your search for the perfect gift. But what exactly are the traditional anniversary themes and what do they mean? Whilst love birds have been exchanging gifts and trinkets for thousands of years, we have the commercially savvy Victorians to thank for introducing the traditional themes that we know today. They strongly believed in recognizing the investment a couple had made in each other by increasing the value of the gift based on how long they had been married (that, and a little bit cynically, the money they could make by creating marketing campaigns around each anniversary). That said, there is no denying that an anniversary is an important moment in time to celebrate and treating your loved one to a special gift in memory of your special day will win you some much needed brownie points, especially by years 7 or 8 (trust us). So, to help you with your quest, we have put together a list of the best gifts we have to offer that fit with the anniversary themes we know and love. Here we go…

1st Wedding Anniversary: Paper

Just like the early stages of marriage, the threads of paper are fresh and new, and delicate, but when brought together they gather strength and provide a clean sheet, on which the stories of your life can be written and shared for years to come.

A beautiful, themed notebook would make a wonderful paper-based wedding anniversary gift, like this ‘BBC Travel Journal’. Stylish, yet practical and ideal for the couple who are making the most of the honeymoon period. Or, for those simply settled into happily married life, the Daily Dose of Gratitude journal would make the perfect gift. The little notebook helps to cultivate an awareness of the gifts life offers us, count your blessings, and spread the joy, one uplifting quote at a time.

2nd Wedding Anniversary: Cotton

By year two, a marriage will have gathered strength, and yet the bond between two individuals will be more flexible and adaptable – like cotton. Given its versatility, Cotton themed 2nd wedding anniversary gift ideas are usually plentiful. At the Boutique at House of Marbles, we suggest Lime Tree Design his and hers cotton hankies. Hand-made from Liberty Tana Lawn and hand block printed fabric, these classically bold hankies are such good quality, your other half will be whipping them out to dab away tears of joy at family occasions for years to come.

3rd Wedding Anniversary: Leather

Growing in strength, rich in experiences, protective of one other and no longer weak to outside forces – Leather represents all that is good in a three-year-old marriage. When you think of Leather, you automatically think of handbags and wallets, Our stylish Elie Beaumont Crossbody bag and interchangeable strap would make the perfect gift for her, whilst an Ashwood Leather wallet and keyring set would make a practical and long lasting anniversary gift for him.

4th Wedding Anniversary: Fruit and Flowers

Four years after you have said, ‘I do’ and your relationship is positively blooming. Fruit and flowers are the theme of the day, and make the perfect gift for those couples whose marriage is maturing nicely. It’s now that the couple may have a small garden to tend to with flowers of their own. This rustic rake, spade and shovel set with wooden handles and copper finish would make the perfect gift for a green fingered twosome.

5th Wedding Anniversary: Wood

By year five, a marriage is solid, able to stand up against anything the world can throw at it. Wood represents the strength and wisdom this time together has allowed you to gather. By now your significant other has most likely amassed a fair amount of jewellery or other small valuables, and will be crying out for a stylish and practical place to store them! This hand carved and painted wooden jewellery box makes the perfect decorative addition to your home, and has the versatility to suit everyone’s needs, with its removable shelf and large lower compartment. This of course does not have to be exclusively used for jewellery, and would look right at home on either the dressing table or a shelf in the tool shed!

6th Wedding Anniversary: Sugar

After six years of marriage, you might need a little reminder of the sweetness you shared for one another in the early years of your relationship. You may also deserve a little indulgent treat to celebrate just how sweet life is with your other half. If you’re looking for a sweet themed gift that will last longer than a lemon sherbet, how about an LSA mouth-blown glass cake dome on a stand made from sustainably sourced ash and complete with a natural leather hand-knotted toggle. Designed for a tall, layered cake or various cheeses and biscuits.

7th Wedding Anniversary: Wool

Give the gift of wool for a 7th wedding anniversary to represent the warmth and comfort felt for each other at this stage of your relationship. Why not snuggle up together under a warm woollen throw by JJ Textiles? Inspired by the Great British wildlife and natural environment, these throws are perfect for keeping warm on summer evenings or for cosy winter nights in front of the fire.

8th Wedding Anniversary: Salt

An absolute necessity in life, salt represents the flavour you need to keep a long marriage tasty.

As no-one will appreciate a pack of supermarket table salt as a gift (no matter how funny you think you are), here are some more creative ideas for a gorgeous gift that will not only add flavour but bring joy for years to come. A beautiful, dainty silver-plated oyster shell with an equally dainty spoon will make the perfect gift to grace the table of the happy couple. This lovely serving dish from Culinary Concepts would make a brilliant salt dish as it is the same size as a real oyster shell. Stepping away from the kitchen and into the bathroom, how about some sleep enhancing Bath Salts from Bathing Beauty’s award winning Morpheus range. Made from 100% natural ingredients including Lavender and Patchouli, these Bath Salts will satisfy even the most devout environmentalist as they are vegan, cruelty free, palm oil free, plastic free and packaged in a recycled jar.

9th Wedding Anniversary: Copper

As the warmth continues to radiate through the relationship, in year nine we look to Copper as the material that represents heat. By this stage of marriage there is a good chance you might have gifted your wife a fair bit of jewellery, so this copper Ballerina jewellery stand is not only a beautiful gift but will also deliver on a practical level too. And for the male companion, especially those that have developed an interest in fine wines, they would appreciate nothing more that a copper corkscrew as a keepsake or reminder of your celebrations from days gone by.

10th Wedding Anniversary: Tin

Congratulations! You’ve made it to your 10th wedding anniversary. A decade of marriage is well worth celebrating and Tin provides a brilliant and inspiring theme for your relationship at this stage. Durable and impervious to the elements, tin preserves whatever is inside. Before you hop back onto that supermarket website again and pop a tin of beans into your trolley (really… not funny!), here are a couple of gift ideas from the Boutique that would send your loved ones heart into a flutter. Gifting one of our St Eval Candle Tins will give you the chance to set a romantic scene on your anniversary. Perhaps over a special meal or even a relaxing bath. And for the modern man who likes to be pampered too, why not surprise him with a manicure using our Handsome Hands Tin or a facial complete with Damn Handsome Beard Oils and Moustache Grooming Kit (That’s if he has one of course).

15th Wedding Anniversary: Crystal

OK, here’s where the wedding anniversary gifts start to get fancy. You deserve it after 15 years. By now, you see each other clearly, for everything that you are, and the transparency of crystal represents that. Designed and made in Sweden, the Orrefors Carat range of glassware makes the perfect gift for a Crystal wedding anniversary. With inspiration from jewels and gemstones, this lead free crystal glassware range will add a touch of class to any dinner ensemble.

20th Wedding Anniversary: China

For a marriage to last you need to take care of it, just like china, which is the traditional gift for a 20th wedding anniversary. If you have made it this far, this is the perfect gift theme to symbolise how well you have looked after your love over the two decades you have been together. These incredibly delicate lithophane tealight holders may look uninteresting when unlit, but come to life the instant a candle is placed inside. Much like the hidden beauty that marriage can reveal in a partner, the candle brings out the magic from within these stunning porcelain domes.

25th Wedding Anniversary: Silver

As you celebrate a quarter of a century together, you may wish to reflect on how incredibly valuable your other half has become to you and wish to find a gift that truly represents this. No matter how old it is, if taken care of, silver will remain as beautiful as the day it was new – a wonderful sentiment to consider when celebrating your 25th anniversary.

For this one, the gift needs to be special and unique. Our range of handmade silver jewellery by Lucy Kemp is both. Designed and handmade in Cornwall, Lucy Kemp’s textured designs are inspired by the natural surroundings of her home and studio in Hayle. Made from recycled sterling silver, this gift has serious eco credentials as well.

30th Wedding Anniversary: Pearl

In fact, we’re so in love with Lucy Kemp’s jewellery designs, that we have decided to feature her again in our list of top wedding anniversary gift ideas. This time for your pearl anniversary. So, you’ve made it to 30 years, no doubt had some bumps along the way and from the outside, your marriage may not look perfect. But inside, there is a hidden, precious beauty. What could be more fitting than giving a pearl as a reminder that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. This stunning handmade sterling silver oak leaf and pearl pendant necklace by Lucy Kemp will symbolise just that.

40th Wedding Anniversary: Ruby

Hard to come by and highly sought after, much like a 40th wedding anniversary, the rich red ruby signifies the love and passion that you have shown for one another throughout your long and happy marriage. You could take the theme literally, or perhaps you’d like to think outside of the box and use the colour theme as your inspiration. Handmade in Sweden, the deep ruby red of the Maleras poppy bowl or tealight holder would suit the traditional gift theme well, as well as being truly unique and frankly, stunning!

50th Wedding Anniversary: Gold

Surely, gold is the only material that can represent the huge achievement it is to be celebrating 50 years together. Gold stands for strength, wisdom and prosperity, all the things you have built up by sharing a lifetime together. At this stage, the person who has stood next to you for half a century may feel like they have been made just for you. So, only something individually handmade will be good enough. Our stunning range of Black and Sigi gold pendants, bangles and earrings are designed and handmade on a small scale so every piece will vary slightly and therefore, be completely unique in its own right.

60th Wedding Anniversary: Diamond

There is nothing stronger, or more precious than a diamond. Created naturally under extreme pressure, diamonds are one of the most durable materials known to man and therefore, the perfect thing to gift when celebrating the incredible milestone that is your 60th Wedding Anniversary. Although not made from diamond in the traditional sense, these contemporary glass tumblers from LSA have each been hand cut on a diamond wheel, after being individually mouth blown and finished to the highest quality. These make the perfect addition to any drinks cabinet, are best enjoyed with your nearest and dearest, and are a fitting celebration of a long and happy life together.

Now that you ‘ve read our traditional wedding anniversary gift guide and are armed with all the themes and plenty of gift ideas to help you along the way, the only thing we have left to say is congratulations on your anniversary! We hope you enjoy many more years of happily married life together.

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Lucy Kemp – Exquisite Jewellery That Doesn’t Cost The Earth

At the Boutique at House of Marbles, we believe that your shopping experience should be a real treat. A place where you can find beautiful accessories, luxury pampering products and wonderful gifts that will leave you and your loved ones feeling truly special. And, what can make you feel more treasured than slipping on a piece of exquisite jewellery?

Whilst the word ‘exquisite’ usually conjures up visions of hefty price tags, our range of Lucy Kemp Jewellery is not only easy on the pocket but also kind to the environment – perfect for the eco conscious shopper looking for a greener alternative to buying treats and gifts.

Hayle Beach, Cornwall

Designed and handmade in Cornwall, Lucy Kemp’s textured designs are inspired by the natural surroundings of her home and studio in Hayle. Lucy says, “My Wave bangle and hoop earrings are inspired by the sea which I am lucky enough to see every day from my shop window and when I walk the dog. I love taking inspiration from everything around me – the natural forms and textures of the Cornish landscapes. I find the sea to be so beautiful and relaxing and really enjoy incorporating it into my jewellery.”

Not only are Lucy Kemp’s designs unique and exclusively handmade, they are all fashioned from fully recycled sterling silver. But what is recycled sterling silver, and does it deliver the same quality as the non-recycled alternative?

Simply put, recycled sterling silver is precious silver that has not been mined. Instead, it has been extracted from other unwanted silver products. Interestingly, this can include extracts from electronics, scrap, and even medical equipment, as well as unwanted silver jewellery. Once separated, the silver is melted down and reused to make new silver pieces. No purity is lost during the process and therefore, the final product has the same high grade classification as the original silver.

Lucy adopted recycled sterling silver as her material of choice more than 10 years ago after a series of life events saw her exploring new ideas. She says, “There had been a fire in my old workshop so I had to work at home. My child was really young and I was only working part time. With no proper workshop it was really hard for the business, so I went through my scrap pot and melted up some unwanted pieces and created the Nugget bracelet. Ten years later it’s still a firm favourite.” We’re delighted to have the full Nugget range including the charm bracelet, pendant necklace, earrings and studs available to buy on our online shop.

In addition to delivering a high quality finish, the process of recycling sterling silver is far less damaging to the environment. By supporting makers who adopt an artisan approach to recycling silver, we can reduce the amount of energy used to extract the ore and cut out much of the CO2 that is released into the atmosphere through smelting and processing. Some suggest we can save 95% of the energy used in traditional extraction methods by recycling instead.

Lucy Kemp’s jewellery is not the only environmentally conscious product that we sell at the Boutique. We showcase a whole host of eco-friendly, sustainable brands including Bathing Beauty, St Eval Candles and Emma’s Soaps. All designed to make you feel truly special without it costing the earth!

See our full range of Lucy Kemp Jewellery at: https://boutique.houseofmarbles.com/category/jewellery/lucy-kemp-jewellery/

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Elie Beaumont – We’re the Perfect Match

Was there was ever a brand that was more perfect for Boutique at House of Marbles than Elie Beaumont?

With our shared emphasis on quality, classic styling and creativity, we fit together as flawlessly as their Crossbody Orange Handbag and Blue Diamond Strap. In Elie’s own words, their handbags showcase “a truly quintessential British style, representing this generation’s desire for distinctive, fun creations.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.

Elie Beaumont Crossbody Bag in Orange, paired with the Blue Diamond Strap

Their handbags are turning heads in the fashion stakes, surprising and delighting customers both nationally and internationally. This beautiful synergy is exactly why you will find a colourful collection of Elie Beaumont handbags and signature interchangeable straps available from Boutique at House of Marbles.

Our Boutique is packed with a mix of classic, quirky and luxurious his and hers gifts, accessories and distinctive homewares. Many of these are from quintessentially British brands such as Powder UK, St Eval, Jellycat and many more. We pride ourselves in showcasing the avant-garde, so the Elie Beaumont range of handbags and straps is impeccably suited to our range.

Featured in the mainstream fashion media including Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, you will find an Elie Beaumont handbag flung across the body of many a fashion influencer on Instagram. And it is easy to see why they have become so iconic. With the vast range of colour options on the Crossbody bag and swappable strap designs, the styling options are endless.

Elie Beaumont Crossbody Bag in Green, paired with the Python Strap

The elegance and the quality of their craftsmanship will appeal to anyone with a classic and timeless style. However, switch up the straps and you get to express your mood, or match for a specific occasion. Or, simply pair up with the shoes you have picked that day.

Heading out for a glamourous evening of cocktails and fine dining? Then why not go glam and fuse the jet black bag with a touch of python, zebra or gold in the strap. Become a boho sensation and blend the green with the aztec strap. Or, simply act casual and combine the characterful orange or yellow carriers with the modish colour strip strap.

Elie Beaumont Black Crossbody Bag and Zebra Strap
Elie Beaumont Crossbody Bag in Black, paired with the Zebra Strap

The message here is to have fun with your fashion choices – be serious when it comes to quality.

Our range of Elie Beaumont handbags and straps are available to purchase now from Boutique at House of Marbles. Crossbody bags are available from £79 whilst the interchangeable straps are just £19.99 each. CLICK HERE to view our full range of handbags and purses