Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another day, another birthday

Noah's this time!

We are officially all birthdayed out :) And counting down the days for the school holidays to start (4 to go).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birthdays and beautiful blogs

Happy Sunday! Hope you've had a lovely weekend. It's been a crazy, fun-filled birthday bonanza of a weekend chez nous, because we celebrated Livia's 3rd birthday on Friday and Noah's party today (5 next Wednesday). Needless to say there has been a lot of chocolate cake and smarties devoured this weekend!

Now we're enjoying the calm after the storm. I'm reading some of the blogs I subscribe to, and I thought I'd share them with you.

For photography: I am blown away by Alicia Bock's serene photographs. I love the light and the dream-like quality they exude. Visiting her blog is like going on holiday. You can see what I mean here.

For styling and photography and just pure Nordic chic: 1) I absolutely love Jeanette Lunde's blog By Fryd. She manages beautifully to write few words and post gorgeous photos of her home, her red barn (soon to be office) and nature. Jeanette was recently a guest teacher in Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way 2.0 e-course which I'm currently doing, but I fell in love with her blog way before that, look! 2) Off to Sweden this time to visit Elisabeth Dunker's blog called Fine Little Day. Another red barn (I have scandi envy), inspiring photos of Elisabeth's designs as well as inside peeks of her seemingly simple but lovely home. I love this packaging and this dress.

For business: I'm currently really enjoying Oh My Handmade which is a multi author blog. They're currently talking about building a community, which is a subject I feel is important to me. On values, this one was good. And this blog was also the place I went to when trying to get some information about consignment before signing with the Ateapic boutique in Geneva.

For lifestyle: I've heard a lot about Chris Guillebeau in the past, but had never read his blog The Art of Non-Conformity. I hopped over there recently and love his encouraging way of living differently. Who knows, maybe we'll go off travelling as a family to an exotic land after reading posts like this one... As long as I can still be creative, take photos and make bags I'll be happy.

PS. Expect a whole lot of changes around these parts soon, we've signed up to a web design course at Your Darling Blog starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Columbia Road

sign saying columbia road

Il y a un petit moment, pendant un (rare) weekend sans enfants à Londres, j'ai fait un saut pour aller voir Columbia Road avec mon mari. C'était un peu écarté de la ville, mais la visite vaut vraiment la peine. Il s'agit une rue avec un grand marché de fleurs les dimanches et des boutiques creatives et uniques de chaque côté de la rue. Nous avons vu des "pearly kings and queens", des vendeurs de fleurs et plein de boutiques intéressantes, mais je suis tombée amoureuse avec celle qui se trouve au no. 158 Columbia Road: Jessie Chorley & Buddug The Shop.

A little while ago, on a (rare) kid-free weekend in London, my husband and I took a trip to Columbia Road. It was quite a trek to get there, but so worth it. It's a street which has an amazing flower market on Sundays and amazing, creative, individual shops lining both sides of the road. We saw pearly kings and queens and flower sellers shouting to sell their beautiful blooms, and so many cool shops, but for me the one that I immediately fell in love with was no. 158 Columbia Road: Jessie Chorley & Buddug The Shop.

Shop front display Columbia Road

Les propriétaires et gérantes sont Jessie and Buddug, qui viennent du Pays de Galles. Elles ont ouvert la boutique en 2008 après avoir eu un stand ensemble au marché Broadway en 2005. J'ai adoré la belle vitrine avec ses articles vintage et fait à la main.

The shop is owned and run by Jessie and Buddug, both from Wales. They opened the shop in 2008 after running a market stall together on Broadway Market from 2005. I fell in love with the beautiful display with its vintage and handmade items.

Shop sign saying open

J'aime les touches originales qui se trouvent partout dans cette boutique. En tant que quelqu'un qui apprend à faire, plutôt qu'acheter, j'ai vraiment apprécié ce panneau "Open" au-dessus de l'entrée de la boutique. 

I love the original handmade touches which are found throughout this shop. As someone who is training myself to make, rather than buy, I really appreciated this Open sign hung over the shop entrance.

shop display showing brooches

Jessie fait des bijoux et des cartes en cousant. Ce que j'admire est son style que l'on reconnaît dans tous les produits qu'elle fabrique. Très inspirant.

Jessie does the sewing, making jewellery and cards. Something I really admire is how her style is recognisable throughout all the products she makes. Definitely something I aspire to!

buddug love spoons hanging on display

Buddug fait des objets en émail, qui peuvent être customisés, comme ces "cuillères d'amour" (une tradition galloise) et les assiettes en dessous. J'aime beaucoup son écriture et ses motifs.

Buddug makes the enamel objects, which are customisable, such as these love spoons (a Welsh tradition) and these plates below. I really like her writing and the patterns.

Buddug enamel plates on display

Donc voilà, un petit tour aujourd'hui dans une boutique unique, originale et vintage à Londres. De l'information concernant les horaires d'ouverture se trouve sur le site web du Shop ici et plus d'information sur Columbia Road se trouve ici.

So there we are, a little tour today around in a unique, quirky, vintage shop in London. Information about opening times can be found on The Shop website here and information about Columbia Road is here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How the inauguration went

J'avais les mains qui tremblaient pendant tout le trajet pour aller à la galerie, mais heureusement mon mari était là pour m'en tenir une. Il y avaient déjà beaucoup de gens lorsque l'on est arrivé, et l'ambiance était décontractée. La boutique, qui s'appelle Ateapic, se démontre des autres magasins à Genève. Quand on a un cadeau à offrir, la boutique veut que les genevois le trouvent chez elle. Il y avaient beaucoup de jolies choses à des prix abordables.

My hands were shaking all the way to the gallery, but luckily my husband was there to hold one of them. When we arrived there were already lots of people, and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. The boutique stands out from other shops in Geneva. Their goal is to be the place to go to when you need to buy a present and there were lots of lovely things in a good price range.

Love the lampshades which are made of mashed paper and concrete
J'aurais aimé rencontrer les autres createurs, mais il y avait tant de personnes que ce n'était pas possible. Un problème positif on dirait!

I would have like to meet the other artists but there were so many people it wasn't possible. That must be termed as a positive problem!

Lots of articles are presented in these cardboard cylinders
Some rose & lula goodies in a crate next to the till - look there's a hole where a snack bag used to be!
Each creator is represented by a flower growing in a pot
Lots of people
From left to right: me, Silke (Lulu's Wardrobe) and Petra (Pebbles and Bloom), my creative partners in crime.
We're so happy we each have products at the boutique.
Our supportive husbands (Guillaume's on the right)
rose & lula in a shop window!!!!
Un grand merci de vos messages d'encouragement qui m'ont fait du bien.

Thank you so much for your encouraging messages which really helped me!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Words with meaning: "Leap, and the net will appear"

("Saute, et le filet apparaitra")
Ces mots me touchent aujourd'hui car l'inauguration de la boutique Ateapic (ici leur page facebook) aura lieu à Genève. Je me sens apprehensive, vulnerable et même un peu timide. Mais en même temps j'ai hâte et je profite du moment - ce n'est pas tous les jours que mes produits sont mis en vente dans une boutique!

These words resound strongly with me today because the inauguration of the boutique Ateapic (here's their facebook page) in Geneva is taking place this evening. I'm feeling apprehensive, vulnerable and even a little shy. Yet at the same time I'm excited and enjoying the moment - it's not every day that my products are put on sale in a boutique! Butterflies in the tummy a go-go today.

Ces mots viennent du livre "The Artist's Way" de Julia Cameron. Vous l'avez lu? J'ai prévu des rencarts d'artiste en juillet.

These words come from the book "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Have you read it? I'm planning on some artists dates in July.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On Creativity: Where I am

I've just recently hit my first creative stump. Creative rut, creative hurdle; I'd heard the terms before but didn't feel it would happen to me. For a start, I didn't believe myself creative enough to hit any hurdles.

I put the hurdle down to a couple of things which were going on:

  • my total lack of energy after my holiday bug
  • telling myself I want to concentrate completely on the kids before our youngest, Livia, starts school in September (she'll be 3) and thinking about putting the business on the back burner for summer
The results were a complete creative lethargy and no desire to sew. 

I didn't panic; quite the opposite I was calm about it. I rested. I read some books. I took photos on nature walks, enjoying the new viewfinder of my eyes. I connected to instagram (love it!). I stopped reading the beautiful blogs which usually inspire me but in this creative slump led to self-doubting and I'll-never-be-good-enoughs.

After a little while I started facing the facts which meant facing my fears. I'm normally good at change, but having both kids at school is a biggy, one I've been building up to and working towards and gulp looking forward to even at times. But it is a big change round here, this potential of a quiet house where I can get lots of bags sewn, products developped, photographs taken, have a creative career, live my dream. And I also feel guilty as we'll be putting Livia in for longer days than Noah, her brother, started with. 

Working through this fear of change also made me realise I won't be concentrating on "just the kids". It's never worked for me; I need other interests and activities to keep me being me. Being creative is a huge part of me, it brings a tingle to my fingers and positivity in my head and altogether a nicer person to be around in our family. 

Livia and I went to visit her new school.  Her brother is already there, she knows all the teachers and they all know her. She was anxious at first, but when it was time to leave I couldn't get her out of there. We both came home happy with the visit and pretty reassured that she will take to school like a duck to water.

Since facing this fear, and resting to recuperate from the bug, my mind is buzzing with ideas  and my hands want to create.

These are the things I have learnt from my first creative hurdle:
  • Just try, it doesn't have to be perfect. This is something I always tell the kids and I truly believe but when it comes to me I am hard on myself. I often don't start something because I worry the end result won't be perfect. I am going to change this.
  • Write tomorrow's to-do list tonight while things are fresh in your mind. I completely faff around when I wake up and can't remember what the priorities are.
  • Switch off from pinterest and beautiful blogs that make you feel insufficient. They will still be there when your creative mojo comes back and you'll find them inspiring and positive places to read again.
  • Try a different medium - for me the photo walks and giving myself a theme (here and here) were small creative outlets which required hardly any energy or time.
  • Connect with what nurtures you. In my case this is nature: just by sitting on our sunny steps in the garden I feel much better. For you it could be calling a friend, painting, reading a book.
  • Give in to the process - perhaps these hurdles happen to give us a break, to set ourselves on a different path or to look inwards. 
How do you deal with your creative blocks?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Photo walk: "Flowers"

Pour la balade photo cette semaine je me suis donnée le thème de "Fleurs" (je suis sympa avec moi-même pour la fête des mères). Voici un bouquet pour vous, maman ou pas!

For this week's photo walk I gave myself the theme of Flowers (hey it's Mother's Day here in France and I decided to be kind on myself). Here's a bouquet for you, mummy or not x

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