Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh What Fun!

Did you know you can purchase Chichiboulie stamps? Well yes you can! How very exciting is that!

I get to see sneak peeks at what others are doing with my little images through my Google Alerts that come through to me daily. Although I do try to check them all out, I'm pretty sure I don't get to everything or not everything is sent to my inbox.

But oh, the ones I do get to see are such fun. I'm so lucky because there is a very active group of fun, wonderful and did I mention talented ladies who are great supporters of my stamps. It's always a surprise to click on a link and see one of my images pop up, but seen through the eyes of someone else.

When I'm drawing my fairies or bittyblooms or anything else, I usually have an idea in my mind of how they should look in the end. Not always, but usually.

You can imagine what a treat it is to see how others interpret the same images. So today I thought I would share a few of these images with you. I'll be doing this in a few installements so if you have any images you'd like to share, by all means please send them to me.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Todays images have been done by Hope and Marjorie. You can see their blogs by clicking on their names.


Chichiboulie stamps are available exclusively through www.stampingbella.com.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My new toy...

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a meltdown over what I thought was the death of an old friend - my sewing machine. You see, it's a lovely machine, but bought in the the US which makes it run on different current than we have here in France. To adapt, I have a transformer.

A couple of weeks ago, I turned on my machine and it lit up, went beep, and then nothing. No light. No beep. Dead. Fried from the 220v current ripping through its 110v body. I was devastated. I honestly cried for over an hour. Not only at the thought of having to purchase another machine rapidly in order to get orders done, but because it was my friend. We'd been through so much together. So many quilts and clothes patterns and cushions and curtains and... well you get the point.

After a good cry, I did finally accept its fate and set about finding a new machine to purchase, one that would surely empty out all my accounts. I found it, emptied accounts and purchased it. And purchased a new transformer as well.

As luck would have it, the transformer arrived first. Out of curiousity, I thought I would give my old friend one last try before sending it to its final resting place. One last plug in. One last switch on before... Wait! It lit up, went beep, and was ready to go. Fabulous!

And not so fabulous. My old friend was working (much to my surprise) but an expensive new friend was on its way. Dilemma.

After much deliberation and a bit of negotiation, I have managed to turn my newly ordered sewing machine into the slightly more pricey embroidery machine I have long wanted.

It arrived Monday and I have a bit to learn. But here is a sample of my first practice session. Can't wait to figure it out. Can't wait for my snowman to have eyes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Warm and Cosy

I won! Or rather I should say, Dalla aka Evangeline won the weekly European Street Team challenge.

As such, I become the bearer of the flame for this week and must choose a new topic for the team to conquer with their craftiness.

Given the past weekend's weather and all the feelings it brought back to me, I have, after much thought and deliberation, suggested the theme of Warm and Cosy.

So get to it ladies! Show us your very best Warm and Cosy. I'll be updating this post throughout the week with entries so please come back an look often.


The Entries to this week's Challenge:


















































Purple Passion Wrap - Inger Maaike
Bella Scarflette - Bonnie Boon
Rainbow Silver Bracelet - Exotic Flavour
The Spirit of Autumn Scarf - VKnO's Shop
Warm Tuscan Summer Sun - Enchanted Pond
Warm and Cozy - Star of the East
Warm and Cosy Hat - P8 Accessories
Alina Champagne Citrine and Gold earrings - Arctida
Scandinavian Matryoshka Doll - Ravenhill
Pink Winter Bear Brooch - Dina Fragola

Monday, November 24, 2008

Announcing Charlotte!

The second ever Chichiboulie ragdoll. I'm still practicing, as you can see, to find out what works and what doesn't. As I told a friend this weekend, making a cute ragdoll is not an easy task. Making a not so cute ragdoll, well, that it turns out is ever so much easier!

Hopefully Charlotte's not too disasterous. My second daughter is quite pleased with her. Although admittedly she was a bit concerned about her green and white arms and legs because, as she put it, she'd never seen green and white arms and legs on anyone before. I explained to her that she's wearing tights and very long gloves. That seemed to do the trick. Good thing it's getting to be winter, I think. Not sure what Charlotte's going to do in the summertime.

And the name Charlotte? Well Augustine chose that as well. She has a slight tendancy to name everything after her older sister, Anne-Charlotte, who she affectionately calls just Charlotte. It began with the goldfish she named after her and the trend seems to have continued. Sisterly love? I hope so!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Smells like snow

Just having a bit of nostalgia and perhaps a bit of homesickness. They could go hand in hand really.

It's a very crisp autumn day with snow in the air. You can smell the snow. When I say that to people here they most often think I'm a bit odd.



But you can smell snow. We don't get much snow here. Not like where I grew up.

I sometimes say it even when it's not snowing.

"It smells like snow."

Then they really think I'm odd.


Add to the smell of a wood fire.

Crisp air. Snow. Wood fire.

Bliss.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vikings Recycling?

I know, probably not what you would first put together, Vikings and recycling, but it's this week's challenge for the European Street Team on Etsy.

I don't often get to participate as I'm more often running around trying to put out proverbial fires and don't get time to be as creative as I would like. But this week's theme, as soon as I saw it, cried out to me. I knew immediately what I wanted to do for it.

So here is Dalla... My very first ragdoll creation and a Viking to boot! Dalla is made from wool fabric, acrylic felt, an upcycled jumper from my daughters' baby years, ribbon and an upcycled shower curtain.

She's a very stylish Viking don't you think?

The best part of this project wasn't making Dalla. It was my 2 year old's reaction when he saw her. He immediately pointed to her and said "ou ou" which is what he calls his doudou (or soft toy he carries around with him). Even he knew what to do with it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Have a Winner... And a Surprise!

The Winner: Let's start by getting business out of the way. The GNO Auction for Feeding America was a huge success so thank you to all who participated. Due to a slight glitch on the bidding on my blog (okay, not really a glitch, I was in bed... time difference and all), I seem to have 2 winners!

And who are they? They are known on my comments section as Des and Croberts. Now Des, I have you're email and I'll be sending you a note soon. But Croberts dear, I have nothing to contact you! Please do send me an email so we can chat: gretchen@chichiboulie.com.

Many thanks again to everyone who helped to raise money for this worthy cause. And now....

The Surprise:
Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned something about embroidery and patterns and images? You do don't you. Well, a lovely woman, Miss Paula she shall be called (and she can be seen here) volunteered to stitch up a sample for me so that I could share my first free download with you.

So with no further ado, I present to you Miss Polly Packages. Isn't she divine! Thank you so much, Paula, for all of your help and support.

Now, if any of you are interested in a 4x6 inch PDF version of Polly Packages for yourself, all you have to do it leave me a note in the comments section with your email. That's it! It's that easy.



I do ask that you use the download for your own personal use only. The pattern or any projects produced from it may not be used for any commercial purposes. Chichiboulie (that's me!) retains all copyrights to the image.

Thank you for listening to my legalese. And now... off with you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Photo Shoot

I let my daughters use my camera today to take a few snapshots. Of course, this was mostly under my watchful eye as I'm very attached to my camera and it's a necessary part of my work. They took a few shots of their baby brother, of this and of that.

And then I noticed that their "imitate mummy" instinct kicked in again. They have watched me more than once as I set up items to be photographed. I'm far from an expert, but I'm learning and trying to incorporate more into my "sets" to create a scene or mood.

I was in the kitchen and could hear lots of animated whispers and running about. One ran upstairs. The other ran upstairs. One came down. The other came down. More whispers and a bit of bickering. They were obviously setting something very exciting up.

And they've obviously been watching me from the start with my very basic shots. But have evolved far quicker than I have. In fact, in about 10 minutes.

And here are the results of their first ever photoshoot....

The empty shot: not much scenery, very far away. Needs some work.


Getting Better: a little more interest to this one, model has been moved and image zoomed in.



Ah ha - The Final: added interest through props and posing.


Cleary two Pulitzer prize winners in the making!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Auction for Charity - Feeding America

















Since this is being posted on Twitter, I thought it only fitting to choose some of my bird prints to auction off. So here they are. I'm offering to the lucky winner a choice of 1 of these giclée prints, signed and dated. Perfect holiday gifts for someone special!

What's the auction for? It's for Feeding America, helping to feed 14 million people this year and all proceeds of the auction will go to this organisation.

Who's sponsoring the auction? It's being sponsored by GNO on Twitter, also known as Girls' Night Out. You can check them out here.

How do I enter? To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post. In your comment, be sure to leave your bid (must be more than the post before yours of course) and your email address so we can contact you if you're the winner.

How will I know if I won?

Winning bids will be announced during GNO on Twitter on Tuesday November 18. Winners will also be contacted via email. You do not actually have to participate in the GNO or even be on Twitter to win, but as extra incentive for those of you who may want to find out more about either, there will be door prizes handed out during the evening for those who have sent an RSVP to take part.

What do I win? From my blog, a choice of one the the 3 posted prints, your choice. To learn more about the prints, click on each one and it will bring you to my shop where you can find details.

But there's more! Check out the GNO website for other blogs that are holding auctions for this worthy event.

Happy Bidding!

** As this is for a charity event, I would request that the bidding to start at $20**

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Apple-ogies

Okay, that was very corny wasn't it? I know, it was. But I couldn't resist. Lack of sleep will do that to a person...

So what are my apologies (note correct spelling)for? My poor blog seems to have gone slightly ignored over the past 2 weeks. I'm so sorry. I just can't seem to get my head out from under different orders to be sent left and right. Every time I think I see a glimmer of that famous light at the end of the tunnel, something comes along and blocks the view.

I've been slaving away in hopes of seeing it again and then with a bit of luck, I'll be back to blogging and creating new things soon.

In the meantime, I thought I would tempt you will this yummy apple pie I made. The photo doesn't do the taste justice to be honest. It was very good!

So ... Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GNO and Feeding America

Did you know that 35 million Americans don't know where their next meal will come from?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Mommy Gossip - GNO is partnering with Feeding America to help provide Thanksgiving Meals to those facing hunger this holiday season. Because of a generous match by Kraft Foods, for every dollar we donate, we will provide 16 meals to hungry families.

Join us on our virtual food drive and donate today. Simply visit Mommy Gossip—GNO, click on the donate button, and select an amount to contribute to help families enjoy a Thanksgiving feast this year.

Note that GNO on Tuesday, November 18 will be dedicated to this fundraiser, including door prizes and fun!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Giveaway!

Check out MaternalSpark's blog for a Chichiboulie giveaway.

Another easy peasy way to enter for a chance to win a personalised print for your child. And just in time for the holidays.

All you have to do is follow the directions and comment on Maternal Spark's blog telling what your favourite bit of Chichiboulie bits & bobs is and you're entered.

You have until the 16th to enter, but why wait... Hurry hurry!

A First!

Look what made the FP of Etsy this morning! The first time one of my treasuries has made it.

Hot Cocoa treasury


Congrats to all you wonderful sellers. I hope it brought you some sales.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Project




























I was approached a few months ago by someone who admired my illustrations and wanted to use one or two as embroidery patterns. I was just getting used to the world of Flickr and Etsy and wasn't really certain what to make of it, so I declined her offer.

But then I was asked by someone else. And then another person. And then someone suggested the idea of downloadable embroidery patterns and *bing* the light went on.

Why hadn't I thought of that? Well I have no idea to be honest because I think it's a fabulous idea! So I've looked into it and I will soon be offering my very first Chichiboulie embroidery pattern.

What will it be? Well that's going to remain a bit of a secret for the moment. Don't want to give everything away after all.

But stay tuned all you needle and thread enthusiasts out there...

And jumping in to add here... I've been blogged! It doesn't occur all that often and it's always such a pleasure when it does happen. So please click here and check it out and leave this lovely blogger a comment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Treasury!

Feeling a bit more upbeat today, thank you all for your words. It was just one of those days!

In celebration, I've finally put together a treasury. I haven't done one in ages so I thought I would celebrate the occasion with something colourful and fun and showing off a bit of what EtsyKids can do!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I need to vent...

I do usually try to keep my blog pretty upbeat and happy. It's not something I do truly on purpose. I'm just usually a pretty upbeat and happy kind of person.

But not today. Today I'm Gretchen Grumpypants (and thank you to you know who you are for the surname). I think I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but I haven't seemed to be able to snap out of it all day. Nothing really bad has happened. And especially nothing that can't be fixed. But I'm totally annoyed and completely grumpy.

The paint we chose to finish off the living room should have been a lovely creamy white colour. But it's not. It's white. Stark white. So I'm annoyed because I now have a can of paint that I'm now sure how to use and I don't have a colour for my walls. And it's been made worse from...

...the lighting. We've been struggling to find lighting since we moved in and it's not been easy. Honestly, we've been living by a lot of candlelight. But since we set the clocks back and night falls earlier and knowing what short days are ahead of us in the month or so to come, we decided we really needed to get some fixtures. Yesterday we took a trip and found some lights. Hubby specifically wanted a fisherman light. You know, the metal kind that hang down and have naked bulbs. They are lovely in the right setting, but I've always avoided them as I don't like the naked bulb bit. Too blinding to my sensitive eyes.

He caught me in a moment of weakness and I gave in , so up it went today. And when evening fell (which is pretty early around these parts at this time of year), I turned it on. I wanted to cry. I really don't like it. It hurts my eyes.

And to make matters worse, he's purchased energy efficient bulbs. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for them. Except they give off that awful light... bluish neon tinge so everything feels really cold and sterile. Like you're living in a fish tank.

Except our fishtank. Because hubby insists on keeping our fish on the window ledge above the heating and on the southern side of the house. So we think we still have fish, but we can't actually see them anymore due to all the algae growing on the sides of the tank.

But at least they aren't blown away by the lights.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ain't she sweet....