Thursday, March 24, 2011

Worth the Detour....

A few photos from my excursion today to Damme, Belgium.

Damme is a small village just outside of Bruges and one, from my knowledge and conversations, very few people get to visit (though I highly recommend the detour). Today I went alone, but my next project is to recruit at least one friend so we can rent a tandem bike in Bruges and cycle to Damme for lunch in one of its many restaurants then continue the stroll along the canal a ways.

I first visited this area of Belgium about 4 years ago in fell quickly in love. The Flemish architecture is among my favourit
es with the stepped roofs and large windows. The polders, to me, are gorgeous in their windswept and rugged beauty as well as the canals that lead on to places unknown. It's all so unassuming and tranquil. I remember loving Richard Scarry's book What People Do All Day when I was wee little, and even then my favourite pages were those that took place in Amsterdam - all those canals and boats and stepped roofs. I guess there's something to be said for trusting your instinct!

I hope you'll enjoy a few of these images. Those who know me personally will understand the last photo. I just can't help myself!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


The weather is gorgeous, sunny and warm. What better time to get out the fabrics again and make something cute. Admittedly I was somewhat inspired while browsing through Duni's new shop, PeriDot by Duni, with such gorgeous and girly things. I've had similar fabrics tucked away for oh I don't know how long. I suspect I'm like a lot of fabric-o-holics. I love them so much, I have a difficult time actually cutting them up and using them. Somewhat contrary to logic, I admit.

But today I've taken a big leap and now several meters of fabric have been pre-washed and hung to dry in the beautiful sunshine so that they are ready and waiting for the next rainy day when they will be made into, to start, pajama bags for the girls. Why pajama bags? Mainly because like most mothers, I'm rather tired of seeing piles of pajamas lying around the bathroom every morning, piles that never seem to disappear despite my requests. I've let the girls choose their fabric combinations so now it's just cut and sew.

But first waiting for some clouds as I plan to thoroughly enjoy the weather we are having. It's not often that we get an extended spell of warm sunny weather around these parts, no matter the season. So tomorrow, instead of sitting in front of my sewing machine with the many projects I have planned, I have decided to take myself on a trip. And here is a small snapshot of where I plan to go....

Isn't it lovely?

Monday, March 14, 2011


Some of you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging for a while. Actually, for quite a long time. I do think about it, just about every day. But then I push it off for one reason or another. But in the end, there really is only one true reason why I haven't been blogging: catharsis.

Hey? Yes I know, it's not a word we use every day (though it is a very good word), but it's one that sums up my situation at the moment.

Here are a few definitions of this word.

Catharsis: a purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art

Catharsis: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension

Catharsis: elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression

I have recently begun a major catharsis in my life. I can't say I've had a catharsis as I'm still very much in the midst of it. And for a while, it took over my life. In a very violent and invasive way. But now that I've found a new sense of stability and, in a lot of ways, a new sense of me, I'm enjoying every minute of it. Well, ,maybe not EVERY minute of it, but the great majority of them.

It's been a huge awakening or rather "bringing to consciousness" of things that have been inside of me for a long time. And this consciousness has led to a resetting of priorities in my life.

When I began Chichiboulie about 6 years ago, it was to find a way to use my creativity while at home with young children. Little did I know when, not having painted for literally 20+ years and never having done it professionally, off the cuff one day I signed up for a school fair that was taking place 4 days later (and no, I had no paintings in my possession to show at that point) where it would all lead. It's been a fabulous ride and along the way I have learned loads of new things and met some incredibly people.

But along that very same road, I somewhere lost a sense of what Chichiboulie is all about. As it turns out, the increasing pressures to sell, to complete orders, and to be discovered gradually eroded the pleasure I found in creating. To the point where there was no pleasure left. I thought for a while of closing Chichiboulie all together.

But through a lot of talking and thinking and reading and mediating, I have gotten back to the true me. And been able to take a step back from all that isn't me. In a lot of ways, I am beginning a new chapter in my life, but I hope to hang on to Chichiboulie as a way to express newfound pleasures and joys.

And so from now on, Chichiboulie will be about fun, as it was meant to be.