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.

mardi 17 août 2010

Suggested Activity for a Summer Day

When life gives you lemons...

... take two or three of them, chunk these in a plastic bin full of water, and go fishing!

At least that was what we did at a recent weekend barbecue over here. And, nope, it wasn't a party just for kids. Lots of fun guaranteed, although those lemons are a hard bunch to catch with your teeth. Try it and tell me how you did.

vendredi 13 août 2010

Where To, Part 2

I've been thinking more about my post of yesterday, and realized that while the income would of course be welcome, my dilemma is not about that. It is, as I already said in the comments section, a sense that I may be neglecting something important here, that I may be letting an opportunity pass.

That, plus my upbringing and my A-type personality. It had been drilled into my head since I was little that I have to make something of myself; and I had always been one to not let interesting prospects pass.

Then again, right now my little girl is the no. 1 most interesting thing in the world to me.

Ah! All these issues, when I had promised myself to just enjoy what remains of summer!

At least one of the things that I have settled in my head is that from now on I will work with collections. You see, before I had thrived on the excitement of producing something new for the shop all the time, all year round. This way I came up with lots of crazy-lovely things, like my teacup terrariums and boxed universes. Now, I simply don't have the time, so it will have be a fixed set of products launched every three or four months. Every now and then, count on my restless nature to push me to come up with some random crazy-loveliness, but this will now be the exception rather than the rule.

I've been working on my Autumn-Winter collection these past few days. I'm using lots vintage French ticking fabric, and using new herbal concoctions -- think lavender mixed with cloves and star anise. I love how it spells both sweet and spicy at the same time. Here's a peek into my work space (Edited, of course, so you don't see all the mess, because one thing I really don't have time for is cleaning my sewing room!):

jeudi 12 août 2010

Where To?

I was going to tell you all about my fun but exhausting weekend which involved, among many other things, a suprise birthday party for my stepdaughter (That's us in a pear-eating contest above.), but reading Dana's blog post today, and the link to the blog post by Enhabiten and the NY Times article found there, got me sidetracked, thinking of where I am with my business.

I started La Pomme in 2007, but back then it was just a hobby, and I only really managed to put together a cohesive product line some time in 2008. Then 2009 came, and it was crazy! Orders started coming in that I could barely keep up with, and it became apparent that La Pomme could be a viable business.

But then our little girl was on the way. We had decided in 2008 to have her, as I was in my late 30s and waiting any longer seemed foolish. So at the same time that La Pomme was kicking off, she was starting to kick around in my belly too.

When Lilou was born last August, spending as much time as I could with my first baby was the only real choice for me, however this doesn't mean that I didn't find it difficult and frustrating having to put the brakes on a promising business start.

These days, I kind of coast along, content on earning minimum wage, giving myself a pat on the back when I can manage to send off an order of 50 Inspiration Apples given a lead time of a month, when once upon a time I could do more than a hundred apples in a week!

My baby is turning one very soon, though, and I am beginning to re-think things. Do I continue to coast, or do I rev up the business engine? Am I ready to do that, and accept all the stress that goes with it?

dimanche 1 août 2010

It's August

I just realized that it's the first day of August. Imagine that.

This month, late this month, Lilou turns one. How fast time flies. I remember this same day last year I was wobbling about, feeling so heavy and tired all the time, ceaselessly telling her, "Baby, baby, please come out now." I was so impatient.

Now she's here, and every day she changes a little bit. Just yesterday she finally started saying "Papa" after weeks and weeks of playing with "Mama." This morning, perhaps feeling lazy and thinking a shortcut would do no harm, she was going, "MaPa."

When I look at her I often find myself trying to memorize the details -- how the folds in her thighs wobble as she takes her first steps, how she often forgets to stretch out her left leg before going down her red plastic slide; how she pouts and blows bubbles to clamp her mouth shut, to tell us she doesn't want to eat anymore. I memorize them for later, when these would all be but memories. I know that I could take the video camera and press the record button, but often, the time it takes to get up and get the gadget, the moment is over, gone forever.

The Bride and The Groom Apples

A custom work, for Victoria and Herve's wedding. I made The Bride Apple as part of my interrupted An Apple a Day project. Then Victoria asked me to make her a Groom Apple to match, in grey. It was an interesting experience, as it took me a while to figure out how to make an apple that was masculine, and at the same time matched the very feminine Bride apple. I came up with a Groom wearing necktie and boutonnière.