mardi 22 décembre 2009

Dolly and the Wolf Trap

She may be an occasionally infuriating, princess kind of a cat -- refuses to eat from her bowl unless it is full; insists on sleeping on our bed, under the covers, tucked in between legs, and leaves with a disdainful look thrown in our direction if we so much as move an inch; runs all over us early in the morning to make sure we wake up -- but Dolly is our second little girl, Lilou's furry elder sister (weird as that makes as sound), and has been with us since she was two months old, five years ago.

Being a princess, she has her fixed habits. One of these habits being that at five p.m. we stick our head out the door, meowl three times or five, and there she comes running from wherever she's been terrorizing field mice, to come home and stay in until she demands to be let out again the following morning.

One evening last week, we meowled until we were hoarse, and no spot of black came gliding down the dirt road. Husband and I were worried, but trying not to show it, reminding each other of that time, a year ago, when she wouldn't come home until midnight. At 10 o'clock, we decided to go out meowling one more time, and from the neighbor's lot we heard a weak meowling back.

A scrambling over wire fence and lots of tumbling over garden machinery later, we found her: the princess had her left paw bitten by a fox trap, left by our neighbor, we later learned, to catch a gigantic rat that had been eating the eggs in his chicken coop.

I wanted to file a complaint against him, as these traps are illegal, but opted for the diplomatic way and instead had him give me his word that from now on he'll only be using humane cages. Husband even borrowed these from the mayor's office for him. But you can bet neighbor is never seeing his wicked fox trap ever again (I hid it next to my washing machine).

The princess had no bones brokens (lucky kitty!), but walked with a limp and was confined indoors for a week. Today is her first day outdoors. I think I'll be sticking my head out the door and meowling every hour or so to make sure she's okay.

jeudi 17 décembre 2009

For Mitsy

Because she loved this.

Because she's retiring as EST's Secret Santa organizer.

Because she finally revealed her secret.

Because, as Kaja says, it's Christmas.

And because I just plain like her a lot!

I made this for Mitsy of ArtMind, a second sales fairy who will be on her way to Belgium by the weekend.

May she bring you lots of luck, Mitsy!

mercredi 16 décembre 2009

Feels Like Christmas

Having a three-month-old baby to take care of, my husband and I tend to make of it seven-day work weeks, putting in hours on the weekeend just to be able to catch up on work that didn't get done during the week. One of the results: It's not feeling like Christmas around here yet. No decorations up, no holiday cheer in the air.

And then Saturday came, and I received this small plastic packet from Sweden. Hmmm, I didn't order anything online recently, I thought. Opening the package I found inside a cheery red dress from Kaja Design that I had hearted on Etsy a while back. For the little spring roll, it said on the tag.

Baby in her Kaja original.

Kaja and I have never met, only bump into each other occasionally on the European Street Team forum threads, and there she was sending my baby a gift. Just because it was Christmas, Kaja said. (And such a Christmassy gift it was -- a red dress with white stars all over!) I was very very touched.

So the following day, I decided that we were going to slow down and feel the holidays. We went to a nice restaurant for lunch, and in the afternoon went to eat crêpes and meet up with friends. This week, at least some Christmas decoration is definitely going up.

At an afternoon crêpes party, the spring roll,
her girl friend, and the dads.

Many many thanks for the holiday reminder, Kaja!

mercredi 25 novembre 2009

November Almost Over

I've had very busy days, but thankfully now things are quiet. The making and the writing and the moving and the shaking will start again soon, but today I am just enjoying the calm. And looking at the pictures of little objects I made recently:

dimanche 8 novembre 2009

And Another Bird

Lydia the Lilou Bird likes gingham. She's in the shop now.

P.S. I've been forgetting to say that if you would like to sign up for my mailing list and receive news of my shops and even discount coupons, there's now a button on the left of this blog where you can type in your e-mail address and -- voila! -- you've opted in.

mercredi 4 novembre 2009

Making Swans

This little thing is in the shop right now.

dimanche 1 novembre 2009

Weekend Playtime: the EST sales fairy

Having a baby, developing a business, and trying to write makes life very hectic these days. I have the great luck to have a husband who runs his own business and has organized his days so he can take care of our little girl in the mornings; and a mother-in-law who's more than happy to babysit in the afternoons if I need to get more work done. Still, we all know what they say about making life all about work and not playing.

Part of my plan for surviving -- maybe even fluorishing -- in this time is take an hour or two on a Sunday morning, go into my workroom, and make anything I feel like, not an order from a client, nor even necessarily anything I'll put up for sale, just something that will let the creative juices flow.

Since yesterday, when I found out about it through Mitsy, I've been excited about the idea of participating in the European Street Team's Sales Fairy game. To participate, you have to be a member of the EST, be able to catch and buy a sales fairy made by another member, then make one and put it up for sale. I waited till late afternoon to get Mitsy's fairy, but unfortunately missed it. Never someone known for her patience, for this weekend's playtime, I went ahead and made a fairy! Now to keep my fingers crossed that I can catch one so that I can pass on the love.

Here's the Apple Sales Fairy in close-up:

A full shot:

And then our fairy's little box, filled with buttons, beads, a piece of string, a paper boat, bits and bobs that caught her eye and make up her fairy dust.

samedi 31 octobre 2009

Boo! (Sort of)

Today, the little spring roll is disguised as some sort of jester in knits, so we decided that a photo would be a nice way to greet you all, "Happy Halloween!"

And, because you're not getting a proper Halloween if there's no blood and gore, here's my husband, who fell off his motorcyle, while doing it had a runaway bull (there are many in these parts) steal his helmet away, so that when he hit the ground his forehead cracked on the pavement, opening the skin and a bit of flesh, and there was blood all over!

I'm kidding, of course.

Although that was a little bit like the story he told me when he came home looking like the photo above. For a full 10 minutes I was sort of believing him (he's a gifted storyteller, my guy), until he gave up on it and started laughing. A group of makeup artists who work in cinema special effects apparently came to our village, and, like a little boy, Pierre lined up to get this fake cut. I'm feeling a little foolish and a lot gullible, but I have to say those makeup artists know their business!

How about you, how are you disguising yourselves this Halloween?

vendredi 30 octobre 2009

This and That

An Internet connection that for a few days made like I was back in the dark ages of dial-up prevented me from posting anything new here, but I've got some news.

First, it's open! The thing my husband and I are up, that I talked about in the blog post below, is La Pomme Vintage -- a shop of the vintage goodies we've accumulated as a result of our shared love for on the weekends going to the "brocantes" or vintage markets around here in the south where we live.

What you'll find there is a mix of the useful things that my husband Pierre picks up ("manly" things, I call them), and the more fanciful things that always draw me -- and that my husband often has a hard time understanding. ("But what will you do with them?" he asks. "Something. Nothing. Uhm, I'm not sure," I vaguely answer.)

We don't have a proper banner yet, but I've been so happy with the photos we've been taking that I couldn't resist and went ahead and put a few products up. What do you think?

And because managing three shops is not something I can do, my books, zines, and artworks in La Pomme Stories are being moved to my main shop, La Pomme. If you're a fan of my stories, that's where you want to go from now on.

Oh, and remember my failure of a giveaway? I picked a winner -- Apryl Lowe from England -- and a runner-up. The runner-up was for all the girls who were sending me entries to the giveaway through e-mail, comments on my blog, and through Twitter -- everywhere except where they should have, which was my Facebook fan page! I have a fondness for people who don't follow rules, though, so I decided to send one of these rebel girls one of my plush boat ornaments. Something similar to the photo above is sailing off to Miss Chicago as I type. Congratulations, Apryl and Steph!

Uhm, what else? Well the baby's sleeping through the night, and that's wonderful. And I've given in to that urge Ira used to talk about and have developed this compulsion to buy all kinds of clothes for my little girl, dresses, stockings, jackets, bonnets, and scarves, even if I must admit that she seems just as happy in her pyjamas. My latest purchase are these sneakers, which of course has the husband exclaiming, "But she's not even walking yet!"

Sigh. Men know nothing, do they?

mercredi 21 octobre 2009


My husband and I are up to something.

Can you guess what it is?

Here's a last clue:

I'm excited about this! Coming very soon...

jeudi 15 octobre 2009

Giveaway Update

My Facebook fan page giveaway is officially a failure :D Seems nobody likes puns, so I'm changing the rules. Go to the page to see!

Fish Be With You

Last weekend, I was in a wacky mood and during my studio playtime made these fishes, which in my mind would make really funny Christmas ornaments for hanging on your tree. In the spirit of the holidays, I'm giving one away. To play, you've got to be a fan of my Facebook page here. The game plays until next Thursday, 22 October.

If you really really can't wait to have one :) I've made some of them available at my shop.

lundi 12 octobre 2009

Monday Workday

Because my baby loves her sleep, I've been able to make flowers.

These are my favorites; the one on top and the pink at the bottom were made from vintage pillowcases I found at the Arles flea market.

Oh, and there are a couple of boats too.

They're all going straight to their new owner in a country far, far away.

vendredi 9 octobre 2009

To Australia, With Love

Finally -- well, for a few days now actually -- I have Love Pears all ready for residents of Australia, whose strict quarantine laws have prevented me from sending certain of my products there. These fruities have stems made from fabric-covered wire instead of licorice. And you can find them over at my shop here.

dimanche 4 octobre 2009

I'm Still Sewing

As I not very elegantly Twittered a few days ago, as a new mom I'm discovering that babies may be very cute, but oh boy do they fart a lot!

They also seem to have a special liking for vomiting milk all over their moms just after mom has showered, is smelling of vanilla and almonds, and has, for the first time in a week of wearing pyjamas and nightshirts, managed to put on a pretty dress.

And there she is, my adorable bundle of gas and spit-ups.


Maternal mishaps notwithstanding, I am managing to get some work done. I know I'm supposed to take a break, but after a couple of weeks of forced bed rest, getting in front of my sewing machine actually feels like a vacation.

At the hospital, mother-in-law brought me a magazine showing these gorgeously patchworked pillows, and so I remembered to dig out and finish some pieces I started some months ago. These pillows are now available at the shop.

P.S. I've made no secret of adoring Abby Glassenberg, and I have even more appreciation for her now that I completely understand why she calls her shop While She Naps. Motherhood gives you focus, I'm finding out. Once that baby is off dozing, you run and get going to get done all that you need to do. You never know at what minute she'll wake up hungry and start wailing for the cow -- and that means you.

mercredi 9 septembre 2009

La Pomme on Elle Italia

And on non-hatchling related news, my Inspiration Apples are featured in this month's edition of Elle Italia. Pretty cool, I think! Thank you to Benedetta Rossi for including La Pomme in her article on the resurgence of handmade.

P.S. If anyone has a copy they've finished reading and want to send me, I'd be very grateful.

samedi 5 septembre 2009


... and the egg finally hatched! Look what we found hiding there:

As payback, it seems, for an almost problem-free pregnancy, labor was complicated. Twelve hours after delivery, I was bleeding and bleeding and then bleeding some more. Something to do with a uterus that got lazy and just would not contract. They had to go in there and fix me up. It was scary, and it was freaky. (It was also the first time I was ever under general anesthesia, and oh boy that ketamine is wacky stuff. If I took some regularly, I doubt the shop would be looking the same.) Husband was crying, I was mad at the midwives and doctors because I wanted them to stop pricking me with needles and poking me everywhere already. In the end, everything turned out fine. I just have to, for a while, not do anything too physical and eat lots of meat at mealtimes. So last night husband and I sneaked a quick trip to the restaurant for plates of steak tartare.

And the hatchling? Well, we call her "notre petit nem" (which, it has been pointed out to me, sounds so much better than its English equivalent, "our little spring roll"), and she is doing just fine:

lundi 24 août 2009

More Swans

I found two embroidered silk panels at my village's weekend vintage market last month. They're so fragile that even delicate hand-washing brought on a few tears, and I had to stitch them very very carefully.

A few cuttings have found their way into swan wedding cake toppers, now available at my shop.


And as I wait for the hatching, can I whine and say that I am feeling quite edgy and uncomfortable these days? I want to do 101 things, but really only have the energy for the 1 in that...

I try to count my blessings -- a mother-in-law who almost every day comes over with cooked dinners; a relatively easy pregnancy, all things considered; a husband who holds my hands when I am going through one of my dramatic fits and installed brand-new airconditioning when he realized we were going to have one of those infernal southern France canicular summers, and; a nose that, contrary to all the old wives' tales I've heard, did NOT expand -- but when even walking longish distances has become difficult (when I used to climb mountains, dammit!), my inner hag just really wants to stomp her feet and say, "Enough is enough!"

Please, little Lilou, can you decide to come out now? I promise Mama will be nice.

mercredi 19 août 2009


I am an egg on legs, waiting to hatch...

(and playing around with my ACDSee Pro while I'm at it).

lundi 27 juillet 2009

It Has Been Hectic

Last week was intense. There was a birth (my book, Provenciana). And a death (Mamy Gite, my husband's 97-year-old grandmother). In between there was travel, meeting up with old friends and making the acquaintance of new people. I even climbed the stairs leading up to the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, because I was too impatient to wait in line to take the funicular. All that at eight months pregnant.

Right now, I have a lot of catching up to do on the work front, so when I'm done with that, I'll tell you more. Meanwhile, this was me at the book launch of Provenciana at the Philippine embassy in Paris, very nervous but trying hard not to show it, reading to guests a passage from the book.

Provenciana will be available in bookstores in the Philippines and in France, and online to the rest of the world, beginning August. So next month, please start checking Visionaria Publishing's website or the Facebook fan page for details.

mercredi 15 juillet 2009

More Siblings

These White Owls are a custom order for one of my new customers, who was brave enough to indulge me and my current obsession with plush families. So instead of making her two White Owls (on the left), I made her White Owl and White Owl's whiter sister.

Oh, and did you know that a group of owls is called a parliament? At least according to a piece of trivia I stumbled upon while mindlessly surfing (something I do when I need to clear my head). Interesting way to call a flock of birds. Do you think owls meet up in suits and hold debates nobody else but themselves understand?

mardi 7 juillet 2009

Puppy Love

And more Lilous are marching into the shop! These puppies are siblings and, although not pedigreed, are a very well-behaved duo. Just don't expect them to go fetch your slippers though.

mercredi 1 juillet 2009

The Lilous

Lately, I've been into making home decor for grownups. Pillows, lavender sachets, and soft fruits have been filling up the shop. Then, just like that -- and because I am often like that -- images of soft pastel colors and simple but fun forms started taking over my sketchbook. I knew then that it was time to make something for the kids' room.

They're called Lilou Creatures.
Lilou Creatures are a family-oriented lot; they travel in groups of mom, dad, and kids, or any combination of these. So you can have the classic combination of mom, dad, little sister, and big bro, like the bunnies above.

You can have have papa bringing daughter to school .

It can be strictly a single-parent affair.
And sometimes you'll be seeing just siblings.They're now hopping, swimming, flying their way into the shop.