vendredi 31 décembre 2010


The husband has a very bad cold, the baby has a stomach flu, and I have a fever, not a very good way to end 2010 and start 2011, but still I remind myself to be thankful.

Thankful, first of all, for that it is very rare for any of us to get sick -- so this is just us paying our dues to the universe, I tell myself -- and most of all for that 2010 was, all in all, a good year, the year when we concretized certain plans and when we had interesting projects begin.

I also tell myself to remember to be thankful simply for that we are together, the three of us; that my husband and I, by happy accident or divine destiny, call it what you will, found each other, and that Lilou, our shared "grand amour" then found us.

To welcome the new year in, we had planned to cook up a storm. To fill up shells with cut-up oysters, salmon, and apples; mini glasses with crabs and grapefruit; Asian soup spoons with scallops and litchis, but we didn't have the energy. We then thought abut booking at a restaurant, but it only took us two minutes to decide that that was a very very bad idea. So to celebrate while having to stay cooped up at home away from the partying crowd of healthy people, I cooked us some spicy soup filled with shrimps, clams, and coconut milk, and spiked with lime juice. Nothing can beat it for declogging plugged-up nostrils, I tell you! And after you finish your bowl, you're just thankful that the fire in your throat has ceased and that your eyes have stopped tearing up :)
Happy brand-new year, readers and friends! Remember to hug those you hold near and dear.

lundi 27 décembre 2010

Photos of Lilou in a Tutu, on Christmas Day

And one with Mama who, amidst all the gift-wrapping and Christmas-lunch-entrée-making, dressed all in black because she didn't have time to think of what else to wear!
I hope that the holidays are treating you nice! Mine is going along just fine.

P.S. Lilou's strange haircut courtesy of her Papa who, saying that Lilou looked like a Playmobile toy with her bangs cut straight across, decided that Lilou would look so much better with her ears showing. So he took a pair of scissors... and transformed her from Playmobile character to monk from the Middle Ages. Sigh.

jeudi 23 décembre 2010

Holiday Sale

Hi there! I thought you'd like to know that I'm having a little sale over at the shop of some vintage goods and overstock of some apples and pears, including a couple of sets of these Peace, Joy, and Bounty Apples from my Autumn-Winter 2010 collection. All holiday-themed pieces will be removed from the shop at year's end, so if you've been eyeing these, it's the time to get them! The sale is happening here.

mardi 21 décembre 2010

Feels Like Christmas

I finally had time to do some Christmas decorating - say yey! After my 16-month-old spring roll made the Christmas tree in one of the village cafés come crashing down (yes, she is that kind of toddler), I decided to skip the tree in the house, and concentrate on decorating in areas high enough that she can't reach.

Here's a shot of the fireplace, which we dressed up with the branches I saved from the weeping willow that was felled by a storm this autumn; a bird by Abby Glassenberg, some of my own plush fruits, and cute little animal ornaments made from polymer clay by Heartshaped Creations. There are also vintage objects - my collection of vintage white ceramic horses; keys, a pocketwatch, and two miniature copper cups. I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out.

I'm excited for Christmas day to come, because then my husband and I get to give out the presents we chose, most of which were made by local artists and artisans. That which I am most excited about is the wooden rocking horse we got spring roll Lilou, who loves riding horses on carousels. The horse she'll be getting is painted white, and looks really pretty. And the box it comes in is bigger than she is! I'll post pictures when the wrapping paper has been cleared away.

I hope you're all swinging into the Christmas spirit. It took me time, but I definitely am in a holiday mood now!

dimanche 19 décembre 2010

Hello There

One of the commandments I live by is "Thou shalt not whine," but I shall have to break it this time to explain why I disappeared so long here on the blog, and permit myself to scream, "November was horrible!!!"

The horrible-ness involved the loss of a babysitter, the loss of Internet connection at home for almost three weeks (long story), the loss of electricity for a couple of days (we had our new old house rewired), the loss of hot water for the same number of days (due to the electrician making a mistake in his rewiring), and the crashing of my computer just as November was about to end. All these led to me almost losing my marbles, because it had to happen just when Christmas orders were due, and also when suddenly the vintage goods sections of the shop started doing really really well.

Picture me elbow-deep in cardboard boxes packing vintage orders in the mornings, when the husband takes care of the baby, and then sewing up apples, pears, and lavender bags at night, when the house was quiet and everybody was asleep, sometimes until three in the morning!

To say that it has been hectic would be an understatement.

But now - big sigh of relief here - life is back in order, and we even had time to take a small break last weekend. We stole off for an unplanned little getaway in Marseille, where we happened upon a carousel near the old port, and I snapped this photo of my two loves:

I'm back blogging, for real now.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

dimanche 14 novembre 2010

I Disappeared

And I'm still not here! I am currently stuck in the Middle Ages, with no Internet connection at home (long story). It will be at least a week before things get fixed, so until then, this blog will be sleeping...

P.S. To those who joined the giveaway in the post below, I promise to pick a winner as soon as I'm back in modern days and have the Internet humming.

lundi 25 octobre 2010

Guessing Game Monday

What is this thing I have in my hand?

One of the things I absolutely love about vintage-hunting is happening upon some quirky piece of history, which is what happened the other weekend, when I found this old device in the market in Carnon. What do you think it is? And no, this is not yet listed in the vintage section of the shop, so there are no clues there :D

Get researching on Google, or invent an answer, but tell me what you think this machine is and do it quick! I'll pick a random winner by Friday. The winner gets one of my Golden Apples.

And, you must know by now that I love to laugh, so whoever manages to make me laugh out loud with an invented answer will get a consolation prize. If you can pass the word around about this giveaway, I'll be happy. Thanks!

jeudi 21 octobre 2010

Morning Rant

Part of breakfast today was an apple. An apple that I peeled because apples appeared somewhere on a list of "dangerous foods" because apparently they're now sprayed with so much pesticide that we're advised to peel the skin off to reduce the risk of all those horrible things pesticides can do to us. This is a sorry state we're in, isn't it? For doesn't half the joy of eating an apple lie in biting right down on the skin and hearing that ka-rruuunch in your ears as you tear off a piece of the fruit and then chew it (more ka-rruunch here), skin, meat, and all?

"Then buy organic," I hear some of you saying. Yes, I do, but this yellow apple variety that I particularly like does not appear in the organic section of my supermarket, only the Granny Apples do, and they are just too tart for me in the mornings (sorry,Granny). I am not going to go ranting and raving here at the food industry and the surreality of the way we humans now nourish ourselves, I am just whining about how I can't have a decent apple in the morning, how I can't eat my apple the way it should be eaten, skin and all.

vendredi 15 octobre 2010

My Afternoon, in a Picture

This is one of the reasons I love being able to work from home.

mercredi 13 octobre 2010

A Malicious Wind and Reworking My Apples and Pears

Our weeping willow tree died, did I tell you? I think on Twitter I did. It was a couple of weeks ago, when the Mistral came blowing down on us and wreaked the havoc it normally does. I have ceased getting headaches every time that wind comes, but I still don't like it. I think there is something just a tad bit evil about the Mistral...

Anyway, killed our weeping willow it did, made it break its trunk down near the roots. It is one of those weeping willows with curly branches, if you know the variety, a saule pleureur tortueux. It is a beautiful tree. Was. Was a beautiful tree.

Most of it will be for the fireplace this winter, but those branches are just too graceful to not do anything with. I took some for myself, and plan to do many things with them, like cover them with lace and make fabric flowers to attach to them.

I've also taken some to make twigs for my reworked Pearfect Pears and Apples of My Eye. These new versions of two of my classic fruits are prettier, I think, and more affordable; my homage to an innocent tree felled by a bad, bad wind. I hope you like them.

lundi 11 octobre 2010

What's Cooking?

Or rather, who is cooking?

Oh , yes, this is another thing to add to my current creative obsessions. I have always liked cooking - I am an unhappy girl if I don't have my hot, home-cooked meal at night - but lately, and I must admit it started from having watched a few episodes of Masterchef and thinking "I wanna join this cooking show!", I have been taken by the idea that I must improve my techniques and widen my culinary repertoire.

So Saturday, the husband came home with a gift for me, a tome of a recipe book called Saveurs de France, and Sunday morning I was hunting for ingredients. Now, I had never really followed recipes before, having learned to cook by picking up bits and pieces of technique here and there, so Sunday night was a whole new experience in measuring out orange juice in deciliters and butter in grams for me.

The result was - and I am not just tooting my own horn here, I swear - quite good! Husband says he thinks now that the recipe book is actually a gift for him. Cheeky man.

Here then, in pictures, are last night's Legumes Confits Aux Olives et Au Roquefort or Vegetables Confit (how do we say this in English?!) in Olives and Roquefort Cheese, which I chose because I never knew that vegetables and roquefort mixed,

and Magret de Canard Sauce à l'Orange or Duck Breast in Orange Sauce, which was served with white rice.

Recipe books rock, I now think. They make you discover combinations of flavors you had never tried before. Quite exciting. Tonight, after a dinner of something a little more ordinary, I'm going to plunge back into that recipe book to see what I'll cook up next.

jeudi 7 octobre 2010

On the Way to the Post Office, I Saw This

Because of all the things that I need to do and the multitude of tasks I often have to leave undone, I sometimes forget - no, I often forget - to look. Just look.

I realized this yesterday, when on my to the post office, I decided I had had enough of contemplating pavement and saw this. Everyday, ordinary beauty, that's for sure, but beauty nonetheless.

Look. Another thing to put on my to-do list.

mardi 5 octobre 2010

Apple Season Again

This is what I am currently working on:And this is what I received in the mail from Sonia, winner of my Alphabet Apple giveaway. She drew the apple on a thank-you card, and I am so delighted that I have decided to frame the card and hang it on our hallway. Sonia is a happy discovery for me. When I want to procrastinate, I've been going to her blog to look at her beautiful photos, and I have put on my to-do list to, when I find the time, read through her natural-dyeing blog. I made experiments with natural dyeing years ago, using linden leaves and some berries, and this blog is making me want to try it again. I hope you enjoy discovering Sonia's works as much as I am.

samedi 2 octobre 2010

Photography Confession

Part of the reason I have been filling the shop with vintage goods is a strange one: I have been bitten by the photography bug! (Another part of the reason is that since my early 20s I've thought that owning a vintage shop was a very cool job, and another part is a business decision that I'll be talking about another day.)

Taking photos for the shop has never really been one my favorite things to do. It was just a necessity, so I put my apples and pears in a lightbox, clicked on the camera button, and considered my job done. Now, things have changed. The other night, I put myself to sleep thinking of the perfect way to style vintage music sheets; and last night I was up until 2 a.m. editing photos, and this after a particularly trying day with a very cranky still-sick-and-at-the-same-time sprouting-a-tooth spring roll!

I think it is this mysterious beauty I have always found in old objects that is pushing me to improve my photography skills. I want to convey this warm kind of tingly excitement that feels itchy in the chest (do you ever get that?) that I get whenever I find a vintage object I love.

I want to take photography courses! I want to learn some Photoshop! I want to learn to style for magazines! And I know this is also just me having trouble controlling my creative exuberance :D

With this post are photos of vintage objects that, because of their form, I found particularly hard to photograph. You're welcome to tell me what you think.

lundi 27 septembre 2010

My Weekend Epiphany

It was quite calm, this weekend of mine. We stayed home for the most part, as for the first time ever in her 12 and a half months on this planet, the spring roll got sick. Nothing major, just a cold, but still, we decided to keep her in.

Saturday afternoon, the spring roll was bored, so I strapped her into her bike (the kind that maman pushes from behind), and we took a walk. We ran into an acquaintance that I had not seen for a very long time. During our brief talk, she let drop that that night she was going to party at this very hip, very in club. I knew from the way she slipped that detail in when it had no connection at all to what we had been talking about, and also from knowing that she was just the kind of girl for whom these things are important, that it was her way of letting me know that she herself was now also very hip and very in.

On the walk back home, pushing the spring roll who was happily chanting "do-doh-doh," I remembered when I was also a bit like that. Just a bit, I swear, but because of my job and perhaps my youth, to a certain extent I also defined myself by where I got invited to and by who I hung out with when I got there. I felt very glad that I had left all that way behind.

Here then, in pictures, is a little summary of my not-at-all hip weekend existence:

Real pears, not just fabric-and-stuffing ones,
do occasionally make an appearance in my life.

A troubled nap for the sick little girl.

I spent a couple of hours taking photos of our latest vintage finds.

The old-bread basket needs emptying, yes it does...

jeudi 23 septembre 2010

Photos of Old Bottles

Old medicine bottles are among my absolute favorite vintage things to find. There is something infinitely mysterious and just a little bit menacing about them, I think. They aren't easy to photograph, though, especially the clear glass ones, which take in so much light.

Some of these bottles are still at available at the Vintage Home section of the shop.

samedi 18 septembre 2010

Yesterday's Work

Friday was a good day.

I managed to sew a few cotton bags that I'll use for packaging my Autumn-Winter Collection.

I sent off the latest of my La Couturière, "The Seamstress," vintage sewing boxes with all kinds of notions I find in vintage fairs and flea markets. I am happy that these boxes are popular at the shop because I really take great pleasure in putting them together. This last one I finished off with an extra doily, and it reminded me of Star of the East's urchin jewelry.

Then to end my precious few working hours, I finished a bunch of Yoda Pears, which make me smile every time I look at them. I think they look fun and cool and modern. And they can be found here.
Now I think I'll relax, tonight invent a chicken recipe using rosemary (because I have four big bushes and I have to do something with all that herb!) and maybe visit the car boot sale at the Boudres quartier of our village tomorrow to see if I can find anything interesting for our vintage goods section. Have a fun and creative weekend, everyone!

jeudi 16 septembre 2010

Photos of Home (and a giveaway - again!)

We're advancing a little bit more in decorating the little home in the country we moved into three months ago - yey! While going through photos I've been taking of our interiors, I realized that our home actually looks like my shop - lots of whites and browns, lots of light, and an obvious love of empty space. Most of the photos you see here is actually for our vintage goods. So when you go to La Pomme, it's actually like you're visiting our home, and that's nice isn't it?

I take a break from all the serious wood-and-linen thing we have going on by going for unexpected décor pieces, like one of my own plush pears and a bird from Abby Glassenberg on top of the fireplace. Still in very restrained colors, yes, I know.

I'm specially happy because this past week, our bench was delivered. We had it made by an artisan I met at our village's weekly vintage market. His name is Patrick Gilles (and as soon as I find his calling card, I'll post a link to his website here), and he makes wonderful furniture from recycled wood. Our bench is made from a combination of an African hardwood and beechwood, and with its inclined back rest and polished edges, has got to be the most comfortable bench I have ever had the pleasure to sit on!

And just to show that we are not entirely color-free, here is Lilou's play area, a curtained-off part of the living room. The rug is from Ikea (and it seems like every little girl I know has one), and Mr. Ugly Cow (my name for him) was a gift from a cousin.

About the giveaway: Ravenhill's lovely Emily - whose way with colors I covet! - is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the launch of my Autumn-Winter Collection over at her blog. Click here to join.

mardi 14 septembre 2010

And the Winner Is...

... Sonia!

Last night, I put all your names in a bowl and drew the winner. You're the lucky girl, Sonia. Congratulations on winning the Alphabet Apple. (I can't access your blog, though, so if you can get in touch with me here with your e-mail address that would be great.)

It was lots fun reading about your school memories, everyone. Thank you for participating, and see you at the next giveaway.

vendredi 10 septembre 2010

Back to School Giveaway

I used to love going back to school because the smell of my new books and notebooks made me happy; but hated it, too, because it meant waking up at dawn to get to my classes on time. Until now the memory makes me want to crawl back under the covers and hide from my alarm clock!

Wave your hands up in the air if you're done with the back-to-school rush and say "Whew!" While the not-so-little-anymore spring roll is still too little to be packing her school bag, I can imagine what it must be like to go through the whole business of changing from slow summer days to active school ones. I know many of you out there are just now having the time to breathe from all the September activity, so I thought I'd help you relax with a little weekend giveaway. Just because.

Tell me why you love OR why you hate going back to school and you can win the Alphabet Apple above.

If you've been to school, are still going to school, have kids who go school, or a family member you're helping through school, you're welcome to join. Tell me your love or hate school thoughts in the comments section. This giveaway is not going to last long! I'll pick a random winner on Monday.

mardi 31 août 2010

Taming my Creativity

In this post I said that the reason I am now working on themed collections is that I don't anymore have the luxury of time enough to constantly create new things, but I am finding that having to put my mind to working on a fixed theme has another effect, aside from that of saving me precious time, and one that I am equally glad for.

I talked about it in my Etsy Featured Seller interview back in 2008, and up till now I still feel that I need to tame my creative exuberance, because while it helps me come up with some crazy-loveliness, I have to admit that it also leads to me making some downright ugly things too.

The sense of having certain mental controls is also comforting somehow, it focuses my energies. This path is interesting.

lundi 30 août 2010

Happy Birthday, Lilou

I hope you had fun at the party, you funny, lovely, fearless little girl! I'm looking forward to all the laughing and hugging (as well as a bit of crying, I am sure), that you, Papa, and I are going to share this second year together.

And for friends who will complain if I don't post more pics of the spring roll, here are some from her birthday party yesterday:


No, I didn't talk to her friend's mom about matching outfits, it just happened,
right down to their exactly-the-same green ruffled underpants!

And there goes the ruffled underpants.

We seemed to have had a thing for funny head pieces yesterday...

lundi 23 août 2010

Autumn-Winter Collection 2010

My new collection is live at the shop! The theme for Autumn and Winter 2010 is "Peace, Joy and Bounty." These are my wishes for you this season, because who doesn't need these three elements in their lives right now.

I'm using a lot of French vintage ticking fabric. I really like how this material is from days long gone yet still looks so modern and clean. Aside from the more common brown-and-white ticking, I've managed to find rarer red-and-white varieties. They've become apples (what else?), as you'll see below.

As always, I am using scents, this time not just lavender, but also cloves and star anise. If you can smell my work room these days! It reminds me of a luxe day spa. Ahh, if only there was a masseuse waiting for me there to give me a great massage... but I am going off-tangent here, so back to my collection. Here are a few pieces, if you want to have a look:

Mini White Apples holiday ornaments, scented with cloves and anise.

Red Plush Apples, made from vintage French ticking fabric and scented with lavender.

Joy Pears, curvier cousins of my popular Love Pears.

All the pieces in this collection will be packaged in gift bags recycled from old blankets, and will look something like this.

You know where to go to find them! Over at the shop here.