Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lottie & Gussie

StampingBella has finally released them. I've been waiting to see when that would happen.

Lottie & Gussie have been presented to the stamping world and I'm so happy and proud. Why proud? I guess it's a bit silly, but I've been waiting for this particular image to be made into a stamp because it is named after and inspired by my own two girls. They are neither that grown up at this point nor are they fairies, but the essence is there.

Thick as theives they are and it makes me so happy to see. Despite the typical sibling arguments that do most certainly occur, they are best friends and "best sisters". I imagine them in 10 years time shopping and gabbing and sharing secrets, just like the fairies.

Fingers crossed that their complicity continues. It's so sweet to see.

So here are the real life Lottie & Gussie (not what we call them, by the way, but a propos nicknames for their real ones). Hope you love your stamp, girls!

(PS - I've added my print of Lottie & Gussie available in my shop with either "Best Friends" or "Best Sisters". You choose.)














Thursday, June 26, 2008

Going on Holiday

Chichiboulie is going on holiday. Well, first I'm moving house. Second time in 6 months. But this time should hopefully be the last, at least for a good long while.

And then I'm going on holiday. And a well needed holiday at that. Someone asked a bunch of us yesterday what we used to be/do before having children. My first reponse? Organised. I used to be organised. And very much so. Now? Not so much.

Before having children I used to never miss appointments. Now I tend to do so on a regular basis. Or at least that's what the speech therapist would have you believe.

Before having children I would have never dropped anyone off and left them at a place that was closed. I don't think the director of my daugher's school would believe me though.

Before having children I rarely misplaced anything. Not even something as small as a pin. Now I lose my son's buggy, much to the amusement of the other mum's at school. They know who to contact first in case of found objects. Buggies abandoned on the pavement included.

Before having children I used to put food away where it was meant to go. Cold things in the refrigerator. Dry goods in the cupboard. Now I find the parmesan in the cutlery drawer.

Before having children I never locked myself out of the house. Never. I did once lock my husband IN the house, but I never locked myself out of the house. Now, I have a subscription to the local locksmith and glass replacement service. And a large pair of pruning sheers well hidden. To be used in case of emergency.

So I'm going on holiday and hoping to get back some of that organisation I used to prize so much, before it's gone for good.

There is only one problem with my plan. The kids are coming with.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ode to StampingBella



36 candles on your cakes today
A couple more wrinkles, a wee bit more grey.
But show show us your inks
You birthday girl minx
And we'll all shout "Hip! Hip! Hooray!

I couldn't resist a little bit of birthday fun for our Emily. Sending you warm wishes from across the ocean for a wonderful day!

Monday, June 23, 2008

6 Year Old Love

Today my second daughter decided to explain to me just how much she loves her baby brother. Her explanation was just too good to keep to myself so I thought I would illustrate it in a suitable fashion.

Isn't she the sweetest?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who Dunnit?

It was a quiet Sunday morning. All seemed well.

And then......

The Scene of the Crime
Warning: The image you are about to view may be considered too graphic for some. Please use discretion before continuing.


It was a scene of horror, almost too much for words. It was splattered everywhere. Chocolate spread on the floors, on the walls, the counters, the windows. The chair seen in the above photo as well as the table where the dreadful deed was committed got the worst of it. We wanted to turn our heads away, but we knew that there was work to be done if we were to solve this heinous crime.

The Clues
We immediately set about searching the crime scene to determine who the culprit was, who could have committed such an act.

The First Clue - The Chocolate Covered Sugar Cube
We were obviously dealing with someone with no sense of limits and a great need for satiation. Only a very indoctrinated sweet tooth would dip a sugar cube in chocolate spread and feel no remorse. We entered this information into our data base and moved on.

The Second Clue - The Chocolate Spread
Again, the lack of limits, but this time we could sense the frenzy behind it. It was grusome. The thick, coagulating chocolate dripping down the sides, as if something had been continuously stuck into the jar, over and over and over, each time leading to further destruction.

The Third Clue - The ChairWe turned our attention to the chair. It had obviously been used by the offender to reach the scene of the crime. Climbed upon and then spattered with evidence, the chair promised some clues. We at first had hopes of finding fingerprints that would help us to identify this stealth being, but alas, the chocolate spread was too thick, too smudged, to sticky to allow us any decent prints. Momentarily blocked, we took out a bit of brioche to help clear our minds. Brioche is very good with chocolate spread.

The Fourth Clue - The Splatter Marks
Revitalized from our quick snack, we looked towards the splatter pattern. Given the pattern of the splatter marks, low on the walls, the cupboards, the floor, we deduced that the culprit was of small build, most likely below average in height, a dwarf even. We were closing in on him. Surely it wouldn't be long.

The Fifth Clue - The Identifying Piece
And then we found it. We had nailed him. The culprit had not been as careful as he had thought. He got careless and left behind the one piece of evidence that would forever link him to the crime. The dummy. We knew instantly who it was and just where to find him. Quickly, we took off to apprehend him.

Cuffed - The Apprehension
Our work had been quick and efficient. We caught the criminal, red, ...er brown, handed. So fast was our deduction work that he had not even had time to hide the evidence. Or even have a good snack. We had got our man and he was going to pay for it.

Attempt at Escape
We should have known by the nature of the crime that he would not go quietly and accept his punishment. No sooner had we let go then he quickly set about trying to escape, surely to commit more disasterous crimes. In the end, we got our man.

But ladies and gentlemen, please don't let this happen to you. Although we have caught one, there are many more like him out there, on the loose. They are generally small in stature, less than 3ft, and behave in odd manners often twirling or laughing ridiculously for no apparently reason. They have developed a secret code language of babbles, grunts and high pitched squeals in order to communicate among themselves, leaving the rest of us wondering what they are planning.

They are sly. Very very sly.

I beg you, be vigililent or this too could happen to you.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Petit Oiseau....

Here he is! These were such fun to paint, I know I'll be doing more. Petit and colourful, I just love them.

I had originally painted the sides blue with one of my many pots of mis-mixed blue paint, but it just didn't look right. It looked to me like the sky continuing around but then not the grass and that didn't sit well with me. So I went really folk art style and added black around the sides, but did continue the polka dots. I think the black did it.

As for the little girl in the background of the photo in my last post, she's still hung out to dry so to speak. I haven't had time to get around to her, but I will. Still just mulling it over.

These little paintings were a welcome break for me and I'm glad I've completed them. Now, to list as a set or separately? Hmmmm......

Friday, June 20, 2008

The eternal state of....


...mess.

A few new projects in the works. Things that have been turning about in my head for weeks, but for which I've only just found a tiny window of time to bring to life. I'm not sure how any of them are going to turn out as none have been completely defined in my imagination, but I wanted to try some new colours, different styles and well, take a small break from my beloved fairies and cupcakes.

I'm not sure what colour the sides of the bird paintings should be so I used blue. Mainly because I mixed up 3 different pots of blue for another set of paintings that were ordered and each time the colour just wasn't on. So this is my version of recycling colours at its best.

The little girl in the background is also a mystery to me...choosing colours as I go and I'll certainly change some along the way. Fingers crossed she'll be as cute as I hope.

But all this is just squeezed in because although I've finally finished up a large bunch of orders, I still have other bits and bobs promised to people. These small paintings are a mental break for me and a chance to do a little something for myself.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Check It Out!























Check out OliverLane's shop on Etsy (www.oliverlane.etsy.com) and look what's new! A collaboration between Jill's amazing transfers and a few of my illustrations.

I've tried different transfers in the past, but haven't been overly impressed with the quality. Well, Jill convinced me otherwise. She sent a sample of her work and I was sold. I have no idea how she does it (she won't divulge her trade secrets, but then again, who can blame her), but her transfers have a fabulous feel to them, very matte, and are very durable.

I have washed the sample she sent for my son several times already (and by several, I mean several...he's a messy toddler) and most likely at temperatures she wouldn't recommend. Yet every time, it comes out looking fabulous. So yes, I admit, I've attempted transfer sabotage, but to no avail.

Not only does she offer a sturdy product in the technical sense, but fashion-wise, she's got a great selection. No, you won't find traditional teddy bears or ducks in her shop, but you will find sushi, drums and puppy dogs (okay, that last one is a bit more traditional, but oh so cute!).

So looking for something a bit different for a baby gift or for your own little one? Look no further!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day 2008

Just a little photo I adore to say Happy Father's Day to all those concerned. Imititation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. Well I think that papa can consider himself flattered.

Best wishes for a wonderful day!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Skirts

Although it's only 16 degree Celcius here today (approximately 61 degree Farhenheit) and summer is never really warm to most, I thought it was time for a new summery frock.

I had purchased this gorgeous fabric from fromhollandwithlove on Etsy and hadn't quite figured out what to do with it until the other day when the straight yards of fabric became my newest summer skirt.

It's a very simply pattern, but one which is very much enhanced by different fabrics. I had made this skirt a few years ago out of a fabulous rich red shirting fabric and adore it. So, what better use for my newest fabric crush. Flat front with fitting darts, long A-line... very simple. But the fun comes in the back that is bunched up with a drawstring to form a sort of bustle.

I love it! My new favourite.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Frantic!

Things have been rather busy around here as of late and I've not been able to devote as much time to my blog as I had planned or would have liked. But I honestly shouldn't complain because being busy is a good thing when running your own business! But still, a little bit of downtime would be nice right about now.

Since there is none of that in sight, I thought I would share with you my workspace. It may help better portray the frantic pace of things around here. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words....

So although I dream of a gorgeous studio one day with everything in its place, boxes with labels, shelves and drawers for all my supplies, for the moment, that is not what I have. I have measuring tapes and hole punches sitting side by side with paint brushes and iPods. Lots of projects going on at once and no time to put things away in between.

Here is where Chichiboulie comes from...

Monday, June 2, 2008

LaPomme on Etsy

The second in my quest to interview the makers behind some of my favourite Etsy shops. This one comes from Apol, creator of LaPomme little objects that tell stories and make you dream.

We were four girls and our parents were very protective of us when we were children; we weren’t allowed to go out and play in the streets with the neighbours. But children must have some sort of outlet, musn’t they? So my sisters and I retreated into very imaginative, quite complex play with paper dolls that we made ourselves. They had their own apartments made from hardbound books, cardboard furniture, cars made from rubber flipflops, and fantastic wardrobes! They all had jobs and went to parties, and when some unfortunate mishap occurred, for example if one of them had her head break off at the neck, we’d hold a funeral.

When we’d get bored with the dollies, we’d write radio plays and record those, complete with voices and singing. Then weeks before Christmas, we’d begin making our own gifts for our numerous cousins, uncles, aunts, and our grandparents: toys, tissue holders, bookmarks, stuff like that.

I suppose that what I’m doing now is really just a continuation of something I have
always done. Even when I was in my very intense career-woman phase from my 20s to my early 30s, I was always doing something else on the side. I was making handmade jewellery, coiling, knitting, and crocheting silver and copper wire.

After a conscious decision a few years ago to lead a gentler kind of life, one which gave me more creative satisfaction and much lower stress levels, I began being unsatisfied with how wire and semiprecious stones felt—too hard and too cold. So I turned to fabrics.

I am aiming to make more sculptural pieces these days as well as pieces that tell a story. I write speculative fiction. It’s something I enjoy enormously, so I can’t help but want to incorporate that part of me into my sewn crafts.

My absolute favourite creations right now are The White Swans, The White Apple, and The White Pear. I can’t exactly say why, except that I feel happy looking at them, like there’s some sort of magic going on.

You can find LaPomme’s shop at www.lapomme.etsy.com

One Duck Could...

...hide another. And another. And another.....

Look who came for a visit yesterday. First a little rest in the garden before unveiling her treasure.

We had had another group of ducklings earlier in the season and I was so pleased to see them stop by. Mother duck and her brood of 8.

By the next morning, unfortuately, the brood was down to 6. Then by afternoon down to 4. I thought surely she could handle 4 ducklings on her own, but I was mistaken. The next day there were no more ducklings when she came around. It was very sad to say the least. (And I briefly thought of reporting her to social services.)

Needless to say, I'm hoping for the best for this brood of 5 as I'd hate to think of them meeting the same fate as the others.

So here they are! Aren't they just adorable? I've added a close-up of the yellow one, just because.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

6 Years Old!

This weekend we celebrated out second's 6th birthday. Just a small party in the garden with a few friends from school, her older sister and younger brother.

Just enough for some games, some laughters and just a few tears. They are only 6 after all.

The birthday girl requested a Black Forest cake for her celebration and papa was happy to oblige. There were a few issues with the whipped cream, but overall, the cake was a success helped in part to the fact that the audience was not comprised of gourmets.

Thank goodness for small favours!