Wednesday 31 March 2010

April 1st

Happy April Fools' Day!
Joyeux Poisson d'Avril !

April 1st
The day I met my husband
The day I met Miles

Joyeux Anniversaire Mon Petit Bonhomme!

5 years' old today...

Did you know that at the beginning of the 20th Century the French sent "fish" cards to their loved ones on April 1st? Fish symbolised love and friendship.

I thought I'd show you a few from my own collection, they're so funny!

Mid-week picks - All creatures great and small

Paper Animal Project - Fideli Sundqvist

A Slithering Friend - Made by Joel

Who are You? Zine by Gracia & Louise

ABC Maya - Shandy Books

The images in this book were created in 2007 by the children of the Lacandon village of Nahá in the rain forest of Chiapas, Mexico, during workshops guided by Gill Eatherley. Each letter of this ABC is illustrated by an example drawn from their natural world.

SAARI "Blue" by Veronika Lassenius
A Catalonian children's TV programme and website discovered via Milk.
We love these animations!

Children's artwork #5

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael,
but a lifetime to paint like a child"
Pablo Picasso

I hope you'll find the time to read (google translate) this excellent article by Anna Castagnoli
Le figure dei libre

Monday 29 March 2010


Hello Monday!
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.
I thought we'd start off with some Easter-inspired craftwork by Sonia. Remember, the Russian family I wrote about here ?

Take a few sheets of paper, a set of paints and a seven-year old girl bursting with creativity
wait a while
marvel at her imagination!

A bird hand book- what fun!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Five Faves #2

Time to play along with Pip at Meet Me at Mikes.
Here are my five favourite things this week:

1) Favourite present: not one, not two but three old French wrought iron beds for naps under the olive trees in our garden this summer. A present to celebrate our 19 year wedding anniversary... déjà

2) Favourite photography: Déclic Polonais - 10 beautiful postcards featuring photography by Isabelle and Françoise in Poland.

3) Favourite object: Measure Me Stick via Handmade Charlotte

4) Favourite blog: Estaminet Coquet

5) Favourite video: A Record of Life by Owen Gatley and Luke Jinks based on the theme of evolution and the diversity of life.

Why don't you join us?

Saturday 27 March 2010

A New Perspective

20 mins a way

20 mins a way

Les Cévennes
40 mins a way

5 mins a way

I spent the day in Montpellier yesterday. I go there most weekends, or to Nimes, it depends. However, yesterday it felt different.

I have lived in or around Montpellier for the past 23 years, longer than I lived in England. Last week I realised how much I took my life here for granted, how I'd stopped admiring, taking photos and generally gasping at all things French. I realised how lucky I am to live in the South of France, in such beautiful light, such a beautiful place.

Why the change? Mary Gaudin.

Mary is a photographer / life book maker from New Zealand currently living in Montpellier. I stumbled upon her blog last week and so enjoy her posts, especially those about our region, and London, where she travels to frequently. Browsing her photos, such as those shown above, I realised how I'd stopped "really seeing" things. Montpellier and Nimes are both wonderful, very different cities, the Cévennes mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, - my husband grew up in this region and we used to have a second home there - and Sommières , a small Medieval town, where Dylan goes to school, is just down the road.

So, yesterday, while shopping for Miles' 5th birthday, I opened my eyes, and soaked up the atmosphere. I stopped for a while to look at all the old book stalls along the Esplanade, enjoyed un café outside under the Plane trees, walked through the windy narrow streets in the old part of the city and felt thankful to be living in France.

Mary and I plan to meet after Easter. I think we're both looking forward to it. I can't wait to find out about her busy, globetrotting life, discover what brought her here and say thank you... Merci Mary!

Mary's Flickr photostream
Mary's portfolio
Mary's images via Getty

All images copyright: Mary Gaudin.

Friday 26 March 2010


A while ago, when I was looking for these funny Russian toys I'd bookmarked last year, I came across this beautiful Latvian home decor and was intrigued... Eastern European, traditional meets contemporary, natural linen, wood, wicker, whites, browns and greys ... everything that I love, and nope, I wasn't disappointed.

Home Textile Collection - 5 elements
Eva Vevere & Rihards Funts

Mushroom Lamp Collection
Baiba Lindane & Ugis Gailis, BU Design

The Charm of the Countryside Collection - Rijada Design Studio

When I delved a bit further, I found some wonderful eco-friendly toys and objects for kids and the young at heart

Alice's Mirror

What do you think?

The award-winning Rijada Design Studio was set up in 2006 by five students from the Art Academy of Latvia Department of Industrial and Environmental Design with the goal to promoting communication between designers and society in Latvia. They hope that their Design Drive Project will become a creative platform for Latvian and European designers in Latvia, giving them the opportunity to exchange ideas, experience and knowledge.

Rijada's products are sold in a number of Baltic design stores in Latvia and they are actively seeking new partnerships in Europe.

Via Design in Central and Eastern Europe