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.
This weekend we decide to explore the villages around Amsterdam so we took the car and drove off for about 20mn to Volendam on the East coast. We had a delicious fish and chips in a typical fish restaurant on the harbour. After lunch we went to the picturesque village of Edam. Yep this is where the famous Edam cheese comes from. It was cold but it didn't stop us to have a lovely walk. On the way back home we bought an apple cake with cinnamon and watched The Sound of Music cuddled up on the sofa in front of the fireplace. It was so nice!
Huge apologies for not posting for a while…moving house to a new country has been a rather busy and time consuming experience.
We are now so happy and enjoying every minute of our our new life in the Netherlands!
To give you a bit of background on our move…..a couple of months ago, just at the end of Summer, Simon got an amazing job offer with a company based in Amsterdam.
We always thought of Amsterdam as a great city to raise children and a creative place to work, so when the opportunity came we jumped at the chance to try a new adventure!
After nearly 5 years in France we were happy to try a new experience even though we could have happily settled in Paris as we really love it there.
The past few weeks prior to moving here have been very intense. First of we had to find a school for the children. We were very lucky to find a place for both of them in the French school so that they can continue in both French and English - also making a transition back to France easier in the longterm.
Finding a home was pretty easy. We just love the architecture here and we were so excited to live again in the city centre (our previous home was located in a quiet suburb in the outskirts of Paris). We've found our home in an area just to the South West of Amsterdam called Willemspark. It's an absolutely lovely and cosy two level Dutch apartment with a little garden on a quiet leafy street. We have everything we could hope in less than a minute walk from our home: cafés, food shops, flower shop, fishmonger, bank, trams and a beautiful children's toy boutique called Imagine. We even have the Vondelpark 5mn away from home and Le Pain Quotidien for weekend breakfasts. It's a fabulous new city lifestyle.
Finding the right bike (of course our main mode of transport now!) was actually rather more difficult. Simon (THE bike specialist) spent days visiting bike shops in Amsterdam, checking blogs and doing research on the best family bike to have in Amsterdam. On this we can really recommend the blog and bikes from Workcycle. They give the best advice on all types of bikes to have in Amsterdam. After almost endless discussions, we finally decided that the best option for us was to get one of the famous Bakfiets to be able to take the children on school runs and around town and keep them dry under cover during rainy and cold autumn/winter months.
I'm really looking forward to the next week. The children will start school again, which means I can start looking for a studio to rent and start working and blogging properly again.
I am looking for a shared studio to rent in the De Pijp area so if you have any suggestion I would really appreciate help! Famille Summerbelle will still be run from our studio in London and soon from Amsterdam! I am so happy about this new move!
There will be plenty more on Amsterdam over the coming weeks and months as we settle into our new life….
I'm typing this post sitting on the floor of our empty house, with only 10% of battery left on my laptop I have to be brief.
We are moving...to Amsterdam! Big news and so little time to think about it as we had to make the quick decision at the beginning of September to start a new life over there. More on this crazy move in a few days with pictures. The removals guys have just left the house, and on Thursday I'm driving with the children to our new home, next to the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.
We are so excited.
We are back on the beautiful island of Ré on the French atlantic coast. I have been waiting for this break for so long! The last months have been so grey, cold and wet that it feels like a dream to wake up every morning with the sun shining...Enjoy the holidays wherever you are!
Yesterday on the beach in La Couarde-sur-mer.
L'ile de Ré is a wonderful destination with or without children. Check the interview we did for Bozaround about all the things we love to do here.
I hope you had a fun weekend and ate lots of chocolate!
We decided on saturday morning to go to the seaside for the day. It's about 1h30 to drive to the West coast of Normandy to the charming harbour of Honfleur.
We arrived for lunch to enjoy the famous local dish moule-frite Mussle and French fries. Then we drove on the pretty coastal road to arrive in Deauville for a walk on the beach. Not surprisingly we were only a few motivated people looking for seashells as it was so cold and windy. We ended up eating a large gauffre -pancake- and we drove back home while Lucien slept in the car.
Last saturday morning, the children and I went to see the Christmas window display at the Galeries Lafayettes and Printemps department stores in Paris. We got there early for them to have plenty of space to look at the puppet display. They loved it. The music, the bright colours, sparkles and of course the puppets dancing and ice-skating. It was such a pleasure to see their eyes wide open and amazed by it all. The gigantic Swarovski Christmas tree in the Galeries Lafayettes was for both of them the highlight of it all (Now they want the same at home!) It was all very enjoyable but I got a little annoyed that everything is now brand sponsored. Dior and Louis Vuitton were respectively in charge of Printemps and Galeries Lafayette window displays, as for the Christmas tree, well you could not miss the logo!
Another very autumnal weekend in Paris with grey sky and rain. And yes, it rained all day non stop on saturday. I was quite happy reading magazines and browsing around Pinterest but Ophelia was sitting next to me very bored! She wanted to draw and paint mermaids (she is 6 years old). So I grabbed some paint and large paper from the studio and set her up on the kitchen table. Ophelia drew fishes, mermaids and some interesting sea creatures to make an underwater scene...and I went back on the sofa...
What do you like to do with your children when it's raining outside?
We've worked really hard over the past few months to get our new collection ready for September. We are very excited to launch it as soon as we return from our Summer break. We've been so looking forward to these holidays to recharge our batteries before we return for a very busy September: Maison et Objet trade show in Paris, the launch of our new book and at the end of the month I am traveling to Japan to see our dear friends at Edition Paumes in Tokyo. I will be there for a Famille Summerbelle exhibition in their gallery!
For now we're off cycling back and forth to the beach in l'Ile de Ré. You can read our Best Of things we like to do on the island on Bozaround.
After a couple of weeks here we will be heading South West of France, to Cahors to spend time with our relatives.
The book is a peak inside our home and family life. It includes tips and inspiration for handmade ideas and inspiring home decor. It, of course, includes plenty of paper cutting and fun activities to do with your children.
We've been huge fans of édition Paumes for quite sometime, amassing a rather large collection of their wonderful books on European interior style, family homes and culture.
They came to live with us over a couple of weeks and we had a ball creating all number of decorative ideas. They have a wonderful style and interest in the smallest of details which we hope comes across well in the book.
The book is available for pre-sale NOW on our site. Just click here.
The book is mostly written in Japanese but all of the titles are in English and there is plenty of translation throughout. To be honest all of édition Paumes' books are incredibly visual, so you can rely on the images to give you all the detail that you need!