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'm happy to be back! How was your Easter weekend? I'm in Paris with the children after spending the weekend visiting my grand mother in the South West of France. It was so nice to spend time with my brother, sisters and all the family.
Here are some of my Instagram photos of the week in Amsterdam before we left for France:
After school activity, Ophelia's painting Mount Fuji!
From top left to bottom right:Snapshot of Starch café in Amsterdam, children drawing with thick chalks on the pavement in front of our house, Lucien helping me taking photographs and a very pretty flower shop in Amsterdam.
We're planning to build a new kitchen in the old barn of our family home in the south west of France over the next month or so. The house is very old and used to be over the years the village school, a barber (!) and an auberge where the men would meet for a drink after a day working in the fields (in the 1920's). My great grand father lived there, my grand father was born in the annex (where they used to dry tobacco!).
Every year at the end of August we all meet there to spend some time together. That's my brother, his wife and their 4 children, my 3 sisters and their boyfriends, my dad, his wife and the 4 of us. It's a happy and rather chaotic place when we're all together. I love it! This year we're going to build a new kitchen in the renovated barn as the actual kitchen is more than 20 years old and start to be very small when we all cook together.
At the moment my sister is drawing the plans while I'm researching ideas and pin them on Pinterest. I love this part of research! The hard bit is to make this happened in a tight budget and on time before the Summer!
Oh! and today we've been featured in the (free) issue 4 of Enfants Terribles, a really nice Danish online magazine! Check out my interview here. Aurélie Lecuyer our stylist and photographer is also featured with beautiful photos of her house in France.
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 :-)
Lucien made this yellow crown at school using a loo roll!
Paper cut mobile made by Ophelia
Detail of Ophelia bed side table with a Christmas tree she made at school.
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!