Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Something New!

Now that I've had a bit of time to put things in order and stock a few shelves (though oh so very few), I thought it about time to officially announce the opening of my alter-ego's shop, Atelier & Cie.

As you'll see, it's only in the beginning stages, but at least it's a start.

In fact, I kind of stumbled into my career as an illustrator believe it or not (and don't say you believe it or I'll be sad!) Before that, I always dreamed of doing something with fabric. I've been a fabric-a-holic and seamstress since I took my first home economics class back when I was 12. Of course, at that point I'd signed up because it meant you could cook food and eat it during school hours. This, to a natural born and fairly skinny foodie is bliss. Little did I know what was waiting for me after cooking. All it took was one class and I was hooked on sewing. In fact, at one point in my life, I used to make much of my wardrobe and would secrectly sew black blouses at 3am so my mother wouldn't know. Black because I was in my punk rock phase (yes complete with shaved head though I'll deny it if you try to tell my daughters!). Secret because mum wouldn't allow me to buy any more black clothes. Thus the necessity to stock my wardrobe myself and late at night.

But I digress.....

I really wanted to show you all Atelier & Cie where I hope to find an outlet for my desire to sew fun fabrics. There are only so many cushions and bags one family can handle after all! It's also my place to showcase a lot of one offs, items that won't or can't be repeated, and have a shop that's low stress. It's also a place that allows me to play with my embroidery machine and embellish to my heart's delight with Chichiboulie images. Oh the bliss!

I hope you'll all check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Signs of Spring

Ice Cream.



Friday, March 19, 2010

Sometimes once you get started... just can't stop!

The bucket of paint has been put away. Temporarily at least as I do have a few more ideas in mind.

It has been replaced by the sewing machine. And some gorgeous black linen I bought years ago. And some ivory lace I found the other day. A few snips here and a couple of stitches there and suddenly I have a new cushion cover. That I think looks just right on this chair.

Time for a nice cuppa I think!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yippee! I'm featured!

And it's always such a pleasure and surprise!

desMerveilles is a new handmade site currently 'in the works' here in France that will focus on the world of handmade goodies for kids. I can't wait to see it when it goes live!

It's the brainchild of Anne-Marie who contacted me a few months ago for my input on her project. As you can imagine, I was all for it!

Although handmade has really taken off in a lot of places, France seems to be lagging behind although different sites and boutiques are constantly popping up now. But still, there is work to be done so I'm really looking forward to this site.

If you're interested and want to have a peek, you can check out the blog here. And oh, did I mention I'm featured?!

Monday, March 15, 2010

If you give a girl a bucket of paint...

... she'll probably want to paint that old mirror that's been hanging around the house for ages to give it a new life.

Once she's painted the mirror, she'll see how pretty it looks and will want to hang it up. She'll probably ask you for a step stool in order to hang it on the wall. Seeing the step stool will make her think that it too could benefit from a coat of paint so she'll probably paint that too.

Once she's hung the mirror on the wall and painted the step stool, she'll notice how hideous the chest of draws beneath the mirror is and she'll probably want to paint that too. So she'll dip her brush in the bucket of paint again and again and again and soon enough the chest of drawers will have a new coat of paint as well.

Seeing how gorgeous everything looks, she'll start to clean up and do her hair in the new mirror. Doing her hair in the new mirror will make her remember another mirror that's been hanging around the house and might look better with a fresh coat of paint.

She'll dig out that second mirror and will give it a coat of paint as well. Then she'll take a break and check out one of her favourite websites while she waits for the paint to dry. One of her favourite websites will feature a footstool on the front page. The foot stool on the front page will make her think of her own footstool in the sitting room that needs recovering, and why not a new coat of paint on the feet as well.

Thinking of the footstool's feet will make her think of the sofa's feet as well.

And now no piece of furniture in the house is safe from the girl and her bucket of paint!
(round mirror - found object; rectangular mirror - found object; chest of drawers - found object; step stool - ikea 9,99 euros; chair - yard sale find recovered 15 euros)

Friday, March 12, 2010

And yet another....

....creatively related post - that's 2 in a row!

And just in time for spring, which according to the calendar, is just around the corner. According to the weather, however, we seem to still be in the depths of winter.

So what better than a bit of colour and fun to brighten things up. Two new prints in my shops - one for boys, one for girls of course - and both full of bright prints and shades, so perfect for christenings, birthdays or just adding a splash of colourful fun.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Something Creative ...

...this way comes.

I promised that I wouldn't post any non-crafty posts after that last one so a promise made is a promise kept.

I feel like I'm only finally coming out of the coldness of winter despite the snow that is currently falling (or just recently fell) in southern France. It would appear that all of France had an unusually snowy winter but us here in the north! But nevertheless, the sun has been shining these past few days and although it is still rather chilly, the tractors are out plowing the fields and the first signs of spring are starting to show. All of this makes me want to use bright and happy colours (okay, I know I kind of always do that, but this time maybe more so) so I was thrilled when I was hired to make a shop banner for a designer here in France.

Corinne of Mademoiselle Romarin contacted me and asked if I could make a baroque-retro-pop type banner for her shop. Hmmm.... not exactly the words one often associates in the same sentence, but I do love a challenge.

She also sent along the photo you see at the top of this post and requested that it be incorporated in the final design.

So with those directives in mind, I got out my secret tools and switched the creative juices line to "on".

After a few dry runs with her, we finally settled on this for a finished design. I have to say, I think she's inspired me with her baroque-retro-pop request. I may have a play around for a few new prints.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last Non-Crafty-Creative-Decorative-Design Post...

... at least in this series of non-crafty-creative-decorative-design posts.

Yes, I have gotten a bit distracted from crafting lately, but I think it's just that everyone needs a break from time to time. A break to recharge the batteries while just completely zoning out. In my defense though, I haven't been completely zoning out and the proof is that I can still account for all three of my children. But still, there have been moments. Perhaps it's the time of year, tired of winter and waiting and hoping for spring.

Whatever it is, I promise this shall be my last uncrafty post in this series. And this post is mainly dedicated to my mum who is dying to see Pippa since she's had her hair done.

I have a friend here who months ago swore up and down that we'd been taken for a ride and that in fact Pippa is not, nor will ever be, a true Scottie. Because she just didn't look like one. She looked rather like a black ball of fur. I insisted it was purely because she hadn't been properly groomed, but she still didn't believe me.

Well the proof, as they say, is in the pudding - or in this case, the haircut - and I'm all too eager to proove her Scottiness. Pippa, however, is slightly less willing as you can see by the photos. She tends to follow the camera and thus profile shots are very hard to come by. By the way, she is doubly difficult because truly she's not meant to be sitting on the sofa. And she knows it. But doesn't look bothered at all, does she?

Attempt 1:

Attempt 2:

Attempt 3 (somewhat more successful):

Attempt 4 (finally managed to pry her from her favourite perch, but photographing Scotties in the shawdows is very tricky!):

And just for fun, the ever popular puppy headlock as demonstrated by wee man:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Things are cooking....

And it's so much more fun!

Okay, it's STILL not quite finished and we're STILL waiting for a few bits and bobs here and there, but for the most part, the kitchen is in, it's done (99%) and it's functioning. Phew!

The result for us is a kitchen that is much more functional (no more climbing up the stepstool to see what's in the oven) and so much brighter. We managed to salvage the antique floor with a few hours of intensive cleaning then sanding, then polishing then protecting. We have upper cupboards now as well as lower and can put so much more away. And we have actual lighting instead of just a hanging naked bulb.

But perhaps my favourite bit is that the oddish brick half-wall that was nothing but a useless nook in it has become a very handy shelving unit for some of our cook books and canisters (alas, I broke one so, such as shame, I'll have to buy new ones.... :D). It took hubby a few hours to get them all together since the nook is very uneven and not square at all, but I'm so so happy with the result. So that along with the perfect antique cupboard we found at a local shop help to tie the modernish kitchen in with the rest of the otherwise antique house.