The sun is shinning here in Amsterdam. I have the window open in my studio and I can hear the birds singing. Here are some random touches of yellow from our home, a colour that put a smile on my face :-)
Tokyo based Schemata Architects are renowned for the coloured resin tables that I have previously mention on the blog. Jo Nagasaka has also designed a unique furniture line called ColoRing using the lacquering technique of Udukuri.
Udukuri is a traditional Japanese wood craft technique that consist of polishing wood surface with a brush made of sew grass to scrape off soft tissue so that coarse grain pattern is revealed.
Nagasaka then uses leftover paint from other constructions to apply three layers of different colors on the surface. After this process, the object will be polished flat, leaving a unique pattern of wood and color in a functional vibrant design.
Photography by Takumi Ota.
This morning I went to my son's class room to organise a little atelier of christmas tree decoration. I had some cardboard boxes left from our removal so it came in handy to make very simple cut out shapes of Christmas trees for the children to paint and cover with glitter. It was a fun project to do and the children were very proud of their creations!
Studio Inherent is a young Rotterdam based studio, founded by Dennis van Gaalen and Eline Wieriks.
An article in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant stated that today's city people are just as sensitive and irritable as a stressed out test-animal. Fortunately, research proved that nature and green, even a representation of it, is enough to calm down the stressed brain.
Happy Faces focuses on the interaction between man and nature in the city. Each Happy Face is a unique info graphic of one of the top 10 monumental trees located in Rotterdam.
Bundled as a booklet, they form a city-guide to locate and visit the trees. The trees are recognisable by a sign which is placed in front of each tree. This sign shows the visual of the corresponding Happy Face mask.
Dutch designers Lex Pott and David Derksen were exhibiting their Transcience Mirrors at Tent a few weeks ago. They are truly beautiful and I was so pleased to see them for 'real'.
Transcience shows the beauty of the natural oxidizing process inherent in mirrors. This process can be regarded as degradation, however this project exhibits the beauty of this material transition of silver.
By accelerating and manipulating this process, the Transcience mirrors illustrate the various stages of oxidation through the repetition of fundamental geometric shapes. Depending on the time that the silver is reacting with sulphur, different colour tones can be achieved, ranging from gold to brown, to purple to blue.
David Derksen was also showing his Copper Light and Wooden Light (made from wood veneer and a brass colour film backing). The sheets of copper and wood are folded by hand and made in David's studio in Rotterdam.
Flask Lights. The Flask objects are reappropriations of the familiar Thermos flask. Despite their complexity these containers can be found inside all common coffee flasks. Through the addition of specially designed rubber components, the beauty of this often concealed, everyday object is revealed and displayed in the Flask Light and Flask Vase.
We're back home from a truly amazing break in l'Ile de Ré. It was heaven. We are also all happy to be back home.
The children were longing to play with their respective toys and I have a lot of things in my head I would like to do so it's good to be back in my studio.
The only challenge this week is to entertain the children while I'm working...Ophelia would like to make a headdress for her doll like the one we did for the book 'Be Creative with Famille Summerbelle'.
It is very easy to entertain her. She loves making things on her own for hours.
I will need to think of another activity to do with her brother. Any ideas for a 3 years old boy?!
While i'm thinking of an activity to do with him, here is how we make a crepe paper headdress:
You will need a pair of scissors, some coloured crepe papers, colourful thread, a plastic head band and a roll of pretty Mount masking tape.
First, cut long bands of crepe paper (about 10cm wide).
This month French magazine Bubble Mag has invited Famille Summerbelle to illustrate how to decorate wooden sticks! It's a fun activity to do after school or during the weekend (or soon the holidays!) with your children.
We live near a forest and we often go there with the children for a walk. Lucien and Ophelia's favourite game is to find as much wooden sticks as they can and bring them back home. We decided to make them look pretty and got the paint and brushes out to give them some colours. Here's the how to paint wooden sticks:
With Pinterest it's a playful excercise to pin things on your favourite boards in few second. However nothing will replace a hand made inspiration board with little objects, tickets, cards, colour swatches that you have collected along the way.
In my studio I have a large white foam board standing on my bookshelf where I pin all the things that inspire me. I could be some of my papercuts, a photograph from a magazine, a post card from an exhibition I have recently seen or just a small fabric sample.
Some people prefer to keep their visual inspiration in a notebook. I used to do that but then I like to have it on display so now I prefer to have it all on display on a wall.
How do you keep the things that inspire you?
These colours put a smile of my face unlike this depressing grey sky outside my studio...So i've made a little selection from my Pinterest Colour Board for you to keep on smiling :-)
Left: Color Wheel by Moses Harris, (1766). Moses Harris's chart was the first full-color circle. The 18 colors of his wheel were derived from what he then called the three 'primitive' colors: red, yellow and blue. At the center of the wheel, Harris showed that black is formed by the superimposition of these colors.
Right: Designed by Inaluxe.
When I walked out of the Gare Saint Lazare yesterday, I was rather surprised to see a giant see-through tent by Ikea on the main square of the station. La Textilerie is hosted by 8 seamstresses and 2 interior designers who have lots of ideas for your home to share with you. You can choose from their catalogue a fabric pattern and a design you like for your home (tablecloth, cushion cover, curtains...). Place an order in the morning and a seamstress will make it during the day ready for you to pick up after work. If you have some spare time you can also take part in sewing or fabric customising workshops. Be quick as the pop up tent will be gone at the end of the week...
By Japanese designer Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architecture Office. The table smooth and colourful surface is achieved by pouring coloured epoxy onto the uneven surface of the wooden table. The colour of the resin is more or less intense depending on the varying depths of the wood across its surface. Isn't it beautiful?
Happy new year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful time during the holidays. We are just back from London where we spent 4 days partying, drinking (tea!), relaxing and visiting friends and family. Now we're back in Paris and sadly the sky is as grey as it was in London...
To start the year I wanted to share with you this beautiful book Embroidery Design of the World I bought it when I was in Japan back in September. Embroidery is not usually my thing, but I was so fascinated by the drawings, patterns and colours that I needed to have it on my bookshelf! I often flick through the pages to find inspiration.
This year we decided to make the decoration to go on the Christmas tree. The children and I started about a month ago to make stars from clay, it became our favourite activity of rainy Sundays! Ophelia helped to shape the stars and Lucien to paint them afterwards. We added a little bit of pink and glitter, just because we like it... Hope you like it too!
Last night while the children were asleep I was setting up their advent calendar I secretly made over the past few days. I got some little things like crayons, hair clips, Kinder chocolates, some Playmobiles toys and other silly things. I used a gold crepon paper to make the little houses and pinned them to the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree ( I actually got inspired by similar advent calendars I saw on Pinterest).
My best present was this early morning when the children walked out of their bedroom. The first reaction I could hear was Whooouaaaaa! Then they were jumping screaming 'yeah! c'est bientôt Noel! Merci maman! T'es trop gentille! T'es la meilleure maman du monde!
It's nearly Christmas! Thank you mummy! You are so nice! You're the best mummy in the World!.
Happy happy morning.
When Ophelia comes back from school she often comes to my studio and ask to do stuff with me (like drawing and making things). I had a dozen of Posca (water based paint markers. They are very easy to clean with window cleaner product) on my desk in front of me, and don't ask me why but I thought it would be fun to draw on the windows in the kitchen while Lucien was eating his goûter (4 o'clock snack). Ophelia was of course very excited as we usually never draw on the windows. We had a nice time making web shaped stars and leaves and other random drawings...
On saturday we will be at the airport to welcome Simon's brother and his 2 daughters who are coming all the way from Blenheim in New Zealand to visit us for few weeks. We haven't seen the girls since we went to New Zealand in 2008! Ophelia is super excited to see her cousins. The rest of the weekend will be enjoying eating chocolate! Enjoy your break.
The bunny was hand cut for the occasion. We went to the woods next to our home with my son Lucien to pick up sticks and we painted each one with different colours. Our son is loving bringing back home lots of wooden sticks at the moment so I thought it would be a nice thing to decorate them!
Ophelia (our daughter who is 5 and a half - very important the half) has been asking me to make her a dollhouse for a while. So when my mum moved house, she gave Ophelia this little wooden cabinet for her bedroom. We decided to transform it into her own dollhouse. It is now inhabited by Playmobil little people. Ophelia made some artworks for the walls and has kindly included her brother's name on one of her drawing but he is so not allowed to get near the house for now said Ophelia - he is 2 and a half and loves to trash anything his sister owns!