Monday, September 29, 2008

La Chasse est Ouverte!

Yes, hunting season has opened here in northern France. It was announced on the radio yesterday morning and I took note, but not that much note to be honest.

Perhaps I should have paid just a bit more attention.

The weather was gorgeous yesterday - blue sky, sunshine, about 21 celcius (low 70s for my US readers). Really lovely and not the type of weather we are often spoiled with around these parts. So we took advantage of it and went for a family bike ride.


Sometimes I think we don't live enough out in the country for my taste and it's true that if the children were older, I would move further out. But we do have open fields, tractors regularly pass in front of the house, and cows are not lacking in these parts. But yesterday, while on out little trip, I was reminded that maybe, just maybe, we are in fact already in the country.

We rode past old farms, freshly harvested fields, open views. And then....

BANG!

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Followed by a rather worried "What was that, mummy!?"

"Hmmmm. Maybe we need to take a different route. Could you just duck your head down a slight bit? No matter if you can't see in front of you. Don't worry about that. Okay? That's good, just like that."

I'm thinking of investing in bullet proof helmets. Do they come in pink?

Monday, September 22, 2008

They're here!

This still isn't what I was thinking of writing over the weekend, but I've come to accept that that exposé, whatever its subject was, is gone forever.

But that's okay because I found something else to write about. They've arrived. My shiney new badges that kittycrossbones made for me. And they are SO cute! And shiney. Did I mention that? I've started listing them in my shop, but I've got more photos to take before they can all go up. Difficult thing with these badges is that they are so shiney, it's not easy to photograph them. Even still, they are lovely.

Thank you Amy for all your work and your great service!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Uhm.....

I had something in mind today that I was going to post about. I had even pretty much written it in my head.

But now I can't remember and it appears to be lost in the depths of my brain forever. I put it down to exhaustion.


As some of you know, we moved into a new house recently. New for us, old in lots of other ways. There isn't a wall that doesn't need painting nor a set of wires that doesn't require a light (the old owner removed EVERY light fixture that existed). In general we have been discovering lots of hidden secrets from the moment we moved in. Some good, most bad.

Like for example the fact that we can't have the electrician hook up the lights in the garden (that were removed of course) as the old owner didn't properly install them and they are more or less illegal. So for the moment we are left with several large holes at the foot of our walnut trees, waiting to be filled with light. But I'm guessing they may wait a little longer. I was thinking of letting the rainwater fill them up to be used as the fish pond darling husband so desperately wants.

Another example? The 15 year old broken-door dishwasher that the old owner so graciously left us as a gesture of kindheartedness. It took a few weeks and the total breaking down of said dishwasher to figure out that it wasn't kindheartedness at all. It was necessity.

How do I know this? Because the delivery men for the new dishwasher were unable to disconnect and remove old broken model due to the fact that the dishwasher had been installed and the kitchen built around it. No access to the dishwasher hookups. None.

Until I got out my Skil saw. Now there is access. And a bright shiney new dishwasher in place of the old.


So in the spirit of our new old house, I have spent the weekend painting bedrooms, hanging pictures, scraping woodwork, installing light fixtures, washing windows, hanging curtains, removing curtains, shortening curtains, rehanging curtains....


And tonight I'm tired. Very tired. And so the post I had planned on posting today will just have to wait until my brain (and body) recover from this workout and remember what the post was all about.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Drumroll please.......

As promised, I put all the names on bits of paper today. Well, actually, I wrote all the names down and then made them into bits of paper.

I put them all into a hat. This was difficult as I couldn't decide which hat to use. I finally decided on this lovely blue felt hat I bought a few years ago. Perfect for the occassion, don't you think?

I stuck my hand in, gave it a twirl and out came......



Congratulations, Vanessa! Now you just need to choose your print. Please email me at gretchen@chichiboulie.com.

For all the others, thank you so much for participating. I'm so sorry I couldn't send you all prints. That was the most difficult part for me, knowing there would only be 1 winner. But I will be doing more giveaways because it's just so much fun. So stay tuned!

Friday, September 19, 2008

And the winner is....

.... well, I haven't put them in a hat yet, so nothing to pull out.

I apologise to everyone and I promise I will do it tomorrow. It's been a bit of a day around here as my tummy isn't feeling well and baby man...well, he's got everything under the sun at the moment. Poor thing! Explains a lot of the sleepless nights lately though. Ah the joys of teething.

So cross my heart.... I will announce the winner tomorrow!

<-------------
This is about how I feel

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Proof at last....

...that silence when raising at 2 year old isn't always the best thing.


In fact, it can be very ominous.


But at least he looks like he had some remorse.
Doesn't he?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

I had planned on this for a while, but it snuck up on me much quicker than I was expecting. As such, and in the terminally Chichiboulie fashion, I'm a bit late. But as they say....

So what's the big deal? Well, I hit a milestone on my Etsy shop a couple of days ago. 1000 hearts. Yes, I know plenty of sellers out there with 10 times that many. Something to aspire to I keep telling myself. For the moment, I'm pretty thrilled with 1000.

So to celebrate, I'm going to have my first blog giveaway. I'm offering an A4 sized print from my shop to the lucky winner. Yes, that's right! You're very own Chichiboulie print...and for free!

What do you have do to then? Just post on this blog and tell me what your favourite print is from my shop (or painting or image in general). At the end, I'll put all the names into a hat (yes, a real hat because I have a bit of a hat fetish) and pull out 1 name. And that's it.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Because I'm a bit late in posting this, I'm going to give a little extra time for people to post. So this very first BoulieBlog Giveaway will end Friday at 6pm European Standard Time. (That's noon on the US East Coast)

Have fun!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another one of those days...

...when you just can't seem to get going. That was my day today.

I did package up a few paintings that need to be shipped. But by the time I found my car keys (very well hidden at the bottom of my bag of paint tubes, I suspect with a little help from a certain midget in my life) and got to the post office, the queue was out the door and there was no way I was going to be able to wait there with said midget and make it to school pick-up on time while simultaneously maintaining my sanity. I chose sanity and we left. Besides, the lady I don't like was there today and she always charges me more. All the more reason to leave.

So packages will be posted tomorrow, but at least they are ready to go.

I did work on a few other little projects, but really just couldn't get myself going today.

When in doubt, change tactics I like to say. Honestly? That's the first time I've ever said that, but it fits. Since the day was obviously not going to be the productive one I had planned, I decided to do something for myself. I made postcards. Out of fabric. And wrote silly little limericky poems on them to boot. That made me feel better.

And tomorrow's another day. Hopefully I'll be a bit more productive.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life should feel like new socks....


















...or even better, new jammies!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What I learned today....

They say you learn something new every day. Today I learned more than one new thing. I am sharing them with you in the hopes that these tidbits of information will somehow help you out too.

I learned that it takes a long, long time to paint even the most modest of walls when all you have is a 1.5 inch paint brush. No matter how determined you are.

I learned that when you're tempted to pick up an extra can of paint at the paint store "just in case", it should be something neutral. It should not be bubblegum pink. Bubblegum pink should only be used judiciously.

I learned that spiders do not like the smell of fresh paint and will turn in the opposite direction. I learned that they also run from paint brushes which is handy as it avoids having to stop while painting.

I learned that spider tracks cannot be detected in fresh paint. No need to repaint.

I learned that it's best to make sure that all spiders and their webs are removed before attempting to paint.

But most of all, I learned that trying to paint the interior of your house while potty training a 2 year old is not a good mix. It can and will lead to bad things.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You ladies are the best!

Maybe the very large smiley face hot air balloon flying over my house this morning was a sign after all. I just didn't know it at the time. But I did run quickly to find my camera to catch it on "film", much to the confused stares of my children.

I was so worried when I began the auction for the NieNieFund that I wouldn't get any bids and I would have to hang my head low. But mostly I was worried that I wouldn't be able to help out this family in any significant way.

How wrong I was!

The bidding ended at $125 and I was so happy with that. What a wonderful gift for someone to give. What a generous heart.

But then things got even better. I was contacted by another bidder who offered to meet that bid to double the total. $250! I almost cried. Okay, I did cry.

So to all of those who bid or helped to spread the word, I thank you all immensely. The auction wouldn't have been the success if was without you.

To LeAnne and Lori, I don't quite know what to say. Thank you doesn't seem to be enough. But we'll be chatting soon enough and I hope to be able to respond to your generosity in kind.


For anyone who is still interested in donating to this fund, please click here.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

AUCTION for a good cause....

As appeared in the New York Times Fashion & Style section

Here's How It Works
I've never done anything like this before so it's a learning curve for me. If you have any suggestions, please do let me know. In the meantime, here is what I am asking. I hope it works out as it's truly for a good cause:

1 - Please place your bid by leaving a comment with your bid amount in the comments section. Make sure it is higher than the previous bid and only in whole dollars.

2 - Check back often to see where your bid is at.

3 - Spread the word and try to get others involved! My biggest fear is that I won't have much to offer this family in the end.

4 - At the close of the auction, I will contact the winner. The winner will pay the amount of their winning bid to the Stephanie and Christian PayPal account. The winner will then forward the PayPal receipt to me and I'll send the artwork to them.

5 - The auction will end at noon EST on Wednesday, 10 September.

And Here's Why...

I was introduced to a new blog today and something struck a cord with me. Maybe it's because this family reminds me of my own. I can't really say, but something touched me and made me want to do something.

I'm talking about Stephanie and Christian Nielson in the United States. No, I don't know them. I had never even heard of them before today. But they were in a terrible plane crash in August, the day of my wedding anniversary to be exact. It's a heartbreaking story. If you haven't read about it but would like to learn more, please read about it here.

Stephanie was an avid blogger, writing The NieNieDialogues about marriage, kids, family, life. The family has been fundraising to try to pay for the costs they are incurring. Today I decided that I wanted to do something to help, however small my contribution may be. I have no link to this family other than what I read this morning, but I want to do my part. Maybe because I put myself in their situation and would hope for others to care. Maybe because I think that's the way the world should be.

I have offered to the family to auction off a piece of original artwork, a bespoke (commissioned) watercolour illustration to the winner. The illustration will be on heavy weight watercolour paper measuring 8x10 inches. It can contain up to 2 figures of your choosing. You decide if you would like an illustration of your child or children or something more whimsical to decorate the walls of his or her room. I will work with you to come up with something to suit.




If you would like to see other examples of my artwork, please click here or here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Prints

Something a little different for me that allows a little change from my fairies and little kids, without going to far astray of course!

I'm listing these digital collage prints in my etsy shop today. I like their simplicity and the mix of colours and textures. And they can go somewhere else than a child's room, although personally I think they'd look quite nice there too.

Now to decide to list them as a set or singles. Suggestions?