Thoughts and Stories

Thoughts and Stories

Introducing Penny and Tom

Posted by Daria W. on

Hey there,

It's been a while since I've posted here. I've been hard at work creating my new collection and I am so excited to tell you all about it. But first, I would really like to thank my lovely customers for the great feedback and continued support. It's been just a few months since I started my online shop and the reactions were nothing short of amazing! That's why I'm so excited to share what's coming up towards the end of this summer (yay!)

Over the last year, I’ve been developing the world of Penny and Tom. The characters, inspired by our hikes with our son and dogs, are a development of my work and characters from recent years.

My upcoming collection will feature the siblings, their adorable pets, their imaginary animals, their friends and their dreamy adventures. 

I can't wait to get to share their adventures with you, but for now here is a short but sweet intro to their world (*sneak peek of the new drawings at the bottom of this post).

I hope you enjoy 

❤ Daria.

About Penny and Tom

Penny and Tom are two creative, imaginative, adventurous and nature loving siblings, who constantly keep their parents and older sister Charlotte, busy.

Penny, 4.5, was born on the first day of spring.
Her favorite color is Yellow, and she loves her cat, Norman (and their adopted Boxer dog, Lucy, but not as much) and her teddy bear, Ruby, who is her favorite toy of all. She enjoys dressing up, going to her ballet classes, wearing her pretty pink tutu skirt, loves to make up stories and host tea parties with her good friend, Louisa, the neighbor's daughter in Grandpa and Grandma's house.

3-year-old Tom loves the outdoors, climbing trees and running wild with Lucy - because Norman the cat prefers boring stuff like tea parties and cuddling (Tom did try to train him to become a tiger, which didn’t work out  but that’s a different story we’ll have to save for another time).
Pancakes are Tom’s favorite dish. Like his sister, he loves costumes and he likes flying airplanes and playing with his toy dinosaur, Max. His favorite game is pretend – he loves transforming into a superhero, saving the world while playing with his friends, toys and animals.    


Penny and Tom’s father is a writer and illustrator of children’s books; He most definitely passed on his love for stories and adventures to Penny and Tom. Their mother is a writer and editor of an important fashion magazine. As Mom and Dad have to travel around the world a lot for work. Sometimes they take the kids with them, but mostly, Penny and Tom stay with their grandparents. 

The sibling’s grandparents live out in the country, and they have a big old farmhouse full of quirks and odd features. While Charlotte often stays with friends, Penny and Tom absolutely love to come and visit. During sleepover they get to share their mom’s old room and play with the toys and dolls she used to own.

Penny loves to play with her mother's worn and slightly tattered dolls in the attic; She can spend the whole day playing Doctor and organizing lavish tea parties under the big willow tree in the garden, for her dolls and her friend Louisa, who lives next door. Tom prefers playing superheroes, wearing a cape and mask, and taking Lucy and Max with him on wild adventures out in the garden.

Staying at grandpa and grandma is always fun and gives Penny and Tom new ideas for games with a lot of new hiding places and extraordinary playmates. In the backyard, grandma and grandpa have a horse called Willow, along with Daisy the sheep and their two chickens, Fred and Ted (Grandpa thought they were roosters when he adopted them). Tom and Penny love hiding out in the tree house that he built on one of the ancient trees in the garden. Grandpa says the tree was there even before his grandpa was born, and the tree house he built when Penny and Tom’s mom grew up there still holds all kinds of treasures she collected during her childhood.

Near the house there is a large lake with a dock hidden behind the reeds. Swimming in the lake, are fish, ducks and swans, that Penny and Tom like to feed. At the edge of the lake there is a large grove, which to Penny and Tom, looks like a huge forest; They often spend their time there building tents from branches, looking for treasures, finding turtles and hedgehogs, and to collecting odd- looking twigs and acorns. 

Most of all, Penny and Tom like to help Granny make her famous apple pie - they go with Grandpa to pick apples from the tree (Grandpa lifts them on his shoulders), bring the apples to Granny and stand on the red wooden stool next to her while she peals the apples, they help her prepare the filling by mixing the apples with sugar and cinnamon before she slightly softens them on the stove ‘till their golden brown, and the house fills up with a lovely fragrance. (that’s usually when Lucy and Max join the party) Then it’s time to help to knead the dough and stuff the pie.  

But the hardest part for them when preparing pie, is waiting until it’s ready...

Things By Daria

Here's a sneak peek into their world.... The full Penny and Tom collection will be rolled out this summer <3

Tom and Penny - Things by daria

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Welcome to my world

Posted by Daria W. on


I’m Daria, the illustrator and creator of everything you see on “Things by Daria”.

In this blog I'll be sharing some of my upcoming work as well as things that inspire me and the stories that help me create the characters and designs that make up my world. After years of creating my work for a selected audience - selling in local art shows, trade-shows and fairs, I'm so excited to launch my online store and get a chance to share my world with you. 

I really hope you enjoy it!

I guess I'll start by introducing myself and my work :)

At “Things by Daria” I create unique, fun, somewhat nostalgic and magical hand-drawn products for kids, that adults will adore, for their loved ones and for themselves! It is also my (second) baby.

The passion for arts and illustration has been in my blood for as long as I can remember. So, arts and fashion were the most natural choice for my college education; I graduated my BA & MA at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, but it was in fact, my working experience in digital and abstract arts, which evoked my desire to return to illustration. This passion to return back to the natural and basic gave me the motivation to move to New-York for an internship in fashion illustration at FIT. I’ve been holding a scrapbook and pencil ever since.

My illustrations, drawings and characters are all inspired by my huge love of animals and from the core of my very own life and family. My husband and I are parents to a beautiful three-year-old baby boy; We also share a home with our two rescued dogs and four adopted cats. Our daily routine plays a major part in my designs – whether it is be our pets that sit beside me while I’m drawing, demanding attention, rubs and cuddles, or our daily walks with our child to the hill behind our country house, where we look for snails, lizards, hedgehogs, and if we’re lucky - also foxes. We love making-up stories about them. Many times, Things by Daria’s designs are inspired by those mini-adventures and much of our son’s imagination comes to life in my drawings and inspires the stories behind them.

I believe that this connection to nature, environment and imagination - creating a brand-new world, as reflected in my designs - is what helps us, as parents and kids to turn the everyday routine (mealtime, bedtime, bathing, etc.), into a much more fun and magical experience.

This became the vision of Things by Daria and I’m so excited for the opportunity to share it with you.

We invite you to join the wonderful and adventurous world of Penny and Tom, Norman, Lucy, Louisa, Willow, and the rest of their animal friends to bring some magic into your life.




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