dimanche 22 juin 2008

Win a Headache!

I'm a sucker for love. So last April when I hit my 1,000 hearts, I gave away a Sleep Angel.

Today, 22 June, I reached more than 2,000 hearts! Whooppeee!

To celebrate this lovely occasion, I'm giving away a free Headache Doll to the next three buyers who make purchases of over US$25.

So if you want a Headache, go have a look at my shop now!

Look at these Headaches!

mercredi 18 juin 2008

The Sewing Project -- a story excerpt

A story I was working on a few months ago, forgot about, and have now decided to finish. This is how it begins:

"On the morning after she turned 21 years old, Eudela borrowed her uncle’s horse-drawn carriage and for half a day journeyed through the inner city’s confusing warren of streets. Despite that it was already a feat that she made only one wrong turn, ending up on a sad concrete strip populated by shriveled old women selling prayers for the dead, braided hair belonging to lost loves, and bottles of fetus floating in formaldehyde, she still screeched, 'Punyeta!' -- a noise loud enough to send the fetuses into hiccups. Eudela was not a girl to make light of mistakes, especially not if the mistakes were hers.

It was at a little past one o’clock when she finally arrived at the Chinaman’s shop. Followed by a shopgirl who squeezed her girth through the stacked aisles by walking sideway, Eudela did her shopping. Consulting a list meticulously made the night before, she chose four meters of sturdy cotton 160 inches in width; a pair of Solingen scissors that she was assured was so sturdy she could pass it on to her children if she felt so inclined, a packet of golden-tipped needles, and a roll of ordinary white thread, this last marked down to 75 percent its original price because street dust had turned the first layer a dull brown. (Eudela was a perfectionist, but this did not prevent her from being frugal when she could.)

As soon as the doors had flung open on his shop of notions and all sorts of mishmash, Inkong had put the greasy tabloid he was reading down on the wooden counter to watch the girl enter with the brisk strides and purposeful gestures of someone at least a full head taller. He thought back on his daily horoscope just read: 'Today you will make a fortuitous acquaintance.'"

dimanche 15 juin 2008

Macro Garden

I garden. Did I say that here already?

These days I've decided on making dry pocket gardens everywhere on the property, but in the beginning I did try vegetables. That turned out to be too much work, when every Sunday small-scale farmers set up their tables in the village food market anyway. Plants are surprising, sturdy creatures, however, and so every now and then I will still get lettuce and tomatoes sprouting in between the Achillea and the Callistemon. I let them be, and harvest when they're ready.

This past spring two onion heads left in the ground started sprouting leaves around the Kniphofias. Now that it's summer and they're flowering, this Shield Bug has decided that it's time to take life easy and has stopped to smell the onion.

Meanwhile, now we know that after she flounced off last night, the Orchard Princess decided to take a walk among the Phyla Nodiflora.

samedi 14 juin 2008

She Arrives, So Regally

And with a flounce of her skirt, she goes.Hello, Orchard Princess. Goodbye.

The Fabric Spoke to Me

We've all heard that story of the sculptor and how he let the wood tell him what it wants to be. Personally I found that all a little bit iffy; until, that is, I got a package from Miss X filled with all sorts of beautiful fabric, including some vintage Soviet pieces.

That same day I felt moved to make a couple of dolls that now that I look at them makes me think of the bohemian spirit of Miss X.

I think the pieces of fabric told me what they wanted to be--and they wanted to be just like their mommy.

vendredi 13 juin 2008

To Market, To Market--Virtually!

I will be the first to admit that I am not quite on the ball when it comes to knowing what's in and what's out in the blogosphere, but a few weeks ago, I got an interesting message, did some research, and so found out about the exciting crafts blog Poppytalk, and the virtual street market they hold, Poppytalk Handmade.

Since I did talk on and on a few posts ago about the wonderful time I had at my first-ever crafts fair as sewing mama La Pomme, I decided to try it out. I mean, a virtual street market--it's so quaint and high-tech at the the same I just could not resist!

This month I'm participating in "Here Comes the Sun," Poppytalk Handmade's summer market, which has been up and running since Monday. Let the sun shine on my table by coming to visit! Click here.

dimanche 8 juin 2008

Found Objects

I've always loved old things. The various places I've lived in since I moved away from the family home have always been filled with vintage finds. I feel better living in a place surrounded by objects that have a history, making me sometimes imagine what kind of couple used to sit in that pair of wooden chairs done in an Art-Deco style and with green paint peeling off, or even just what those old blue bottles used to contain.

Recently, I began incorporating old knick-knacks in my created objects. The history of the old wooden thread spool in the photo above is known: My mother-in-law grew up in the country in the deep south, spent most of her life at home, being mother and wife. We have almost nothing in common, save our love for sewing and making things with our hands. She has an old armoire filled with all sorts of sewing notions, and one day while we were rummaging for textile glue, I found the spool there, with the blue thread wound around it. Now it's a peacock's throne.

mardi 3 juin 2008

Random Thought

Bird in progress--a recent custom work.

Something I noticed: I actually like making custom orders. I had figured myself to be a hardheaded girl who was fiercely protective of her creative space, so I thought I wouldn't like collaborating on anything. Well I was wrong. And happy to find out that I am!

I find that other people's input stimulates my imagination, makes me think of creating stuff I wouldn't otherwise, as was the case of the ladybug pirate now in my shop. It all began with a grandmother wanting a little bug for a girl's party, and then mentioning that another grandchild loves pirates. Later that evening, I decided I'd combine the two and came up with something that made a lot of people chuckle at the recent crafts fair I did. Although I have to admit that one guy's comment did make me think that maybe I didn't do it quite right.

He said, "I knew it was a pirate, but I thought it was a pirate rabbit!"

P.S. And I have been blogged! Gretchen, illustrator of wonderful stuff for kids and also occasionally known as ChichiBoulie, did a little something about me in her blog. Click here to see.

dimanche 1 juin 2008

Let's Swap!

Time to clean up! I'm trying to clear my workroom of stuff left over from my jewelry-making days, so here I'm posting several lots of beads, and some finished jewelry for swapping.

I'm looking to swap for sewing stuff: nice cotton and linen, buttons and ribbons galore! I'd especially love to receive vintage pieces, as well as lengths of beautiful lace. I'm okay with fabric swatches rescued from old clothes--as long as it's gorgeous!

If you see anything you like, tell me what you'd like to swap with, either by sending me a convo through my Etsy shop, or leaving a comment here as to how I can get in touch with you.

Oh, and I live in France, so postage may be a consideration.

Here goes:
Blue Lot: 4 carved lapi lazuli flower beads (2.5cm diameter), 10 glass beads (2 cm), half string of dyed cultured pearls, 6 African glass beads, 2 blue quartz beads, 4 miscellaneous beads

Gold Lot: half string rice pearls, half string yellow cultured pearls, 2 big mother-of-pearl leaf pendants (6 cm long), 1 small mother-of-pearl leaf bead (3 cm), 2 shell pendants (one oblong, one teardrop, both 5 cm long), 2 gold pins, mother-of-pearl beads, 6 sodalite beads, plus various gold-toned beads

Green Lot: jade pendant (5.3 cm diameter), 23 flat green stone beads (maybe chrysocolla, but am not sure, sorry!; 1.75 cm long), 3 carved glass flower beads (1.75 cm), 5 small crystal beads

Black Lot: 13 carved horn teardrop beads (3 cm long), 3 jasper rectangle beads (1.5 cm), 2 onyx (1.5 cm), 9 oval hematite (1.7 cm), ring-shaped hematite bead, antioch heamatite pendant, a few black cultured pearls

Pink Lot: an overflowing handful of mixed pearls, crystals, and beads, including bigger pieces of rose quartz and pink jasper (see second photo); plus a string of vivid pink cultured pearls

Flower Choker: Something I made. The pendant is a flower made from green crystals and another type of green bead whose name I've forgotten (sorry!). The center is cultured pearls. The cord is braided satin. I can send you more photos if you wish. 16 inches or 40.6 cm.

Crocheted Lot: A set of three chokers. Pendant is made from crocheted copper wire, and various pearls, glass beads, and mother-of-pearl beads. The cords are braided satin. I can send you more photos if you wish. Length is a little more than 16 inches or 40.6 cm.