I am very happy to finally announce the launch the Friends Book, Vrienden Boek in Dutch.
It’s been such a pleasure to collaborate on this book with my friend Esther from Babyccino Kids and the wonderful Snor publisher. We started to work on this project back in September so I can tell you it is really nice to finally hold a copy in my hand and show you some images.
I was very excited when Esther ask me to work with her to design all the illustrations of the book, I mean how fantastic is to work with a friend on such a lovely project.
This is a book for your children to share with their friends. It’s about who they are today, about their family and friends and what they would like to become one day. They are really sweet and fun questions such as ‘what is the best thing you and I have done together’ and there are spaces to draw ‘your dream house’ or even ‘I made this for you’.
There is a double page for the owner of the book and for each friend to fill in and lots of funky stickers to spice up the pages.
As you can see the book is written in Dutch, so this is for you my Dutch friends readers! We’re hoping to launch an English version of the book soon for the non Dutch readers like me!
If you are in Amsterdam this Sunday 19th April, come over in De Pijp to the new kids concept store De Kleine Parade for the launch party of the Vrienden Boek.
An old VW van will be parked outside the shop with a photo booth inside so the children can have their passport photo taken to stick in the book!
From 14.30 until 17h. 142/144 Gerard Doustraat, Amsterdam
The best thing we did in the kids bedroom is to have a long desk with a chest of drawers on both ends for their little belongings and enough desk space to draw, cut, make collages and other things. Ophelia and Lucien love spending hours on their desk after their come back from school.
The desk and chest of drawers are both from Ikea.
The star garland from Engelpunt Rabbit print and House box from Famille Summerbelle :-)
This is a belated announcement on the blog (sorry my dear blog followers!), we had a new addition to our family at the beginning of March: a little baby boy named Téo!
We are so happy and excited to finally meet him, especially Ophelia and Lucien who were very eager to see him after this long 9 months wait...
Téo was born in Amsterdam, not at home which is very common here, but in a very nice birth center, in a room with a large bath. I was able to relax in warm water during the whole labour. It's wonderful how the warmth of the water can ease the pain of contractions. My amazing midwife Paloma who was there Lucien's birth 5 years ago came especially from Paris to Amsterdam for the birth of Téo. This made a huge difference as I was so relaxed to have her with me.
Téo was born at 1am and I was back home in my bed by 4pm. This is the Dutch way! If you have a natural birth (with no epidural, cesarian or any complications) you don't stay in hospital, you go straight home after the birth. I was actually really pleased to go home. I felt good after the birth and I just wanted to go home to sleep in my own bed.
The amazing thing here in the Netherlands is the care after birth. The day after you give birth, a nurse - called a kraamzorg - comes to your house for 8 days to look after you and the baby. She will assist you with breastfeeding, look after the children, make you lunch. She will make sure you get enough rest. You stay in bed with your baby while she looks after the house. I had a lovely lady looking after me.
This was the best recovery I had so far after the birth of my children (Ophelia was born in London and Lucien in Paris).
Téo is doing very well. He is feeding a lot and keeps me awake most nights so far but surprisingly I feel very good! Here are some photos I wanted to share with you...
Less than 10 days to go until Christmas! It is going so so fast and so much to do. This is some Christmas inspiration from my Pinterest Christmas board. Oh I love Christmas and how creative one can be around that time of year!
I love the excitement we all have every year when the time comes of choosing and buying the Christmas tree; bringing it home and getting the boxes from the basement with all the Christmas decorations nicely folded in tissue paper from the previous year!
This is what we did this weekend.
It was so cold outside (below zero) here in Amsterdam that the only thing we wanted is to put the fire on, sit by the Christmas tree while watching Miracle on 34th Street!
A couple of years ago I made these stars to decorate our tree.
They are very simple to make and it is a nice activity to do with the children (Lucien painted the stars while Ophelia did the glitter).
Buy some clay (the one I used was just plain/normal clay), cut about 20 shaped stars, let them dry.
Paint the stars with a paint primer to protect the clay (ie:Gesso) and then use your favourite colour (acrylic paint) and lots of glitter!
We are so excited to be able to share with you what we have been working on over the past few months, our House Boxes!
Our pack of four colourful houses is a fantastic solution for storing all of your small objects in a stylish and fun way.
The House boxes come as a pack of four colours (pink, blue, black and mustard) and the design is featured on all sides, so you can keep turning and playing with combinations!
Featuring our familiar paper cut style design, these four house boxes are made from strong cardboard. Great solution for living rooms, bedrooms and offices.
The 4 houses are shipped as a flat pack in reinforced packaging.
They are incredibly straightforward to assemble, and can be dismantled and rebuilt as many times as you need!
We are very happy to have collaborated with the talented photograph and stylist Aurélie Lecuyer from Le dans La for this new collection. We have worked with her for our previous collections and it's always a pleasure to see her beautiful photos.
We've also had a little makeover at Famille Summerbelle. Check out our new website, with a clearer navigation, larger images and an easy way to look at our products.
The Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven is one of the biggest event happening in October in the Netherlands and it is really worth going (18-26 Oct). The quality of work from Dutch designers is outstanding and so inspiring. The event is taking over the entire town of Eindhoven, offering numerous exhibitions, seminars, workshops, parties, food and drinks. Altogether there are more than 300 events at 80 different venues!
My sister Charlotte is graduating in December from the prestigious Design Academy. She invited my family over to spend the weekend in Eindhoven to show us the different events and to visit the graduation show at her school. We had such an amazing time, thanks also to the most beautiful weather. It felt like Spring time!
I will show you a selection of images of my favourite events and designers I discovered over the weekend:
We Make Carpets by Dutch trio Bob, Marcia and Stijn. Not the kind of carpet you would expect. You cannot walk on them. From a distance they may look like a carpet but come closer to discover a carpet made of pasta, colourful sponges, beer bottles, fire crackers, pegs, wooden sticks or some other everyday product.
Lunch on the sunny terrasse in the Strijp Area. There is a huge skate park right next door. We also went for a coffee at Pastry Club located in a reconverted factory.
On Sunday after a long breakfast sitting outside in the sun, we all went to visit the Piet Hein Eek factory where he reconverted an old Philips building into his workshop, showroom, shop, restaurant and studios for up and coming Dutch designers. It is such a wonderful and inspiring place to visit. Piet Hein Eek huge workshop:
Piet Hein Eek signature table made of small recycled wood blocks:
Ceramics rENs, exploring the colour red on different ceramic objects.
Sorry for the lack of blog posts over the past weeks. We have been away in the South West of France, in Cahors where we go every Summer in August to spend time with my family. We don't have internet connection in our country house and I have to say it is really nice to be disconnected! Twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays the most amazing food market is taking place in front of the Cathedral in Cahors. I love going there to buy saucisson, garlic, olives, Cabécou (the local fresh goat cheese) and large juicy tomatoes that taste so good! I wish we could have this kind of fresh and tasty food all year round!
I wanted to share with you some inspiring photos I took while I was in London last week. I was there to work in the Famille Summerbelle studio in Finsbury park. On Saturday I met with my younger sister Emeline (we call her Milou!) who lives in Shoreditch for a nice breaksfast at Albion. She took me in all the cool shops in the area. Oh and I also went on Regent street to Anthropologie and J Crew. There were so many nice things to buy!
Lately on my Instagram...
My little creative corner. I like to pin a mix of inspirational and colourful things on the wall above my desk. The desk lamp is from Jielde.
Leaves pattern paper cut in our bedroom.
There are so many little flower shops here in Amsterdam so on my way back home I spotted these beauties. I just love the colours. In the background you can see some of my paper cut houses.
This is Lucien in the bath, lucky boy he has a good view from there!
I wanted to share with you some photos of the Villa Noailles we visited during the Easter holidays for the International Festival of Fashion and Photography (click here to see more on this subject).
Built in the early 1920's by French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the villa was one of the very first modernist style buildings constructed in France. The couple Charles and Marie-Laure were both from prestigious families and became well known art collectors and enthusiasts of modernism.
The villa was their holiday home located on top of a hill overlooking the bay, offering stunning views of the mediterranean sea.
We went last night to view the third and final incredible catwalk, after which the winners were announced. Coralie won the Prix du Public (winning the most votes from visitors across the week and from the visitors at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris). We are so incredibly proud of her!
Coralie's collection is inspired by the traditional sheep herders from 1950s Iran, moving from the mens wardrobe to an incredibly crafted and structured women's silhouette. The details on each of her 10 outfits were astonishing, all patiently cut, dyed and sewn by hand. It represented hours and hours of incredibly dedicated work.
For this 29th edition, members of the jury included Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, artistic directors of Kenzo, film director Spike Jonze, Jamie Perlman artistic director of English Vogue, artist Maurizio Cattelan or the actress Chloe Sevigny amongst others.
The first prize was awarded to Kenta Matsushige who designed a beautiful womens collection inspired by the architecture of Japanese museums. The Chloé prize was awarded jointly to two designers Liselore Rowjin (Netherlands) and Roshi Porkar (Austria).
The festival offers a great exposure for the 10 participants , giving them visibility and a chance to be spotted by the top of the fashion industry. I think it's fair to say that the standard was incredibly high; both in level of imagination and craftsmanship.
On saturday morning Ophelia and I went to the Stedelijk Museum to see the Kazimir Malevich and the Russian avant-garde exhibition.
It was an excuse to have some (quiet) time together to do some drawings.
Ophelia is such an easy going and curious child. She would just sit in front of a painting a draw it carefully without missing to write down the name of the artist and the title of the artwork. She really encouraged me to be less shy to draw in public!
We both love drawing but it is a rare moment as when her little brother is around he hasn't got the patience to sit and look at paintings. Fair enough, he is only 4 and he couldn't care less about an abstract art exhibition! He was very excited to go instead cycling sitting at the back of his daddy's bike.
Ivan Klyun. Suprematist study of color and form. 1917.