I'm back...and it has been one serious ride the last six months. A lot of ups and quite a few downs to balance it all out. So if I were to describe everything it would take pages, and pages and it would be terribly boring so in an attempt to give you an idea of the chaos of my life the last few months...here is a visual recap
Lots of trips to Ikea...I think you could say 15....so needed to bribe the children with 50c ice cream.
Meeting with incredible textile artists to discuss collaborations for the 150th anniversary of the family silk company, Julien Faure. One unforgetable day of 2014 (or of my life thus far) was meeting Sheila Hicks in her atelier and brainstorming ideas, showing her the family silks and watching her and her team work on a piece for the Smithsonian.
This year I also in a fit of madness decided to run a series of free art workshops for the schoolchildren of Lacoste. I felt that there was just not enough emphasis in the school of pure creativity (drawing outside of the lines!!) and music and our school is so small it is not allowed to have a specific art/music teacher. So if you build it they will come right?
I ran a workshop every second Saturday...I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, planning, prepping, budgeting materials etc. It was tough going but we did some wonderful workshops for the kids, sculpture with local artist Gabriel Sobin, Djembe with Dean and Etienne and Provencal music with a local troubadour Jean Bernard Plantevin. Here is a pic of the youngest children just listening spellbound to his storytelling. If you want to see more images of what we got up to you can check out our official blog.
In March (right around when I stopped blogging....hmmm coincidence?) - we saw the opportunity for an adventure and we leapt at it - 34 hours in an airplane but the Ribeaucourts made it to Australia and we stayed 3 whole weeks. Cue much bliss, sunshine on our white, cold, winter bodies. Catching up with my forever friends from school, the surreal but amazing experience of sharing a house with these friends (and their kids / boyfriends/husbands), eating great Vietnamese food, days spent on the beach...ah we were moving in a minute but the pretty horrific (no sleep for 36 hours) return flight knocked that notion quickly out of our systems.
Then Louis broke all Lacoste records (according to Coco the Chef of the Cantine) by loosing his first tooth at 4 years old and 7 months as he bit into a chicken gougon....our son is growing up!
...sometime around May we were coerced into accepting a stray cat, it arrived covered in fleas and ticks, it was not a pretty sight. Wild, dirty, not terribly friendly, our first family pet didn't seem to be a keeper. However I persevered and cleaned up his act, he did pick up the name 'tick tac' on the way and we loved the life nearly right out of him. The kids adore him and he is 'practically' tame.
In June, my little girl turned two and overnight she fell madly, deeply, utterly in love with her Papa. We are deep into phase "je t'aime....Papa"...."Je want Papa"....of course Papa thinks it is adorable, that she is the most wonderful creature ever walked the earth. I would like, however, that she sometimes let me put her pyjamas on before bed / let me be the one to get her out of the car / let me be the one who helps put her shoes on etc. It is a BIG love affair!
....just in case you thought I was exagerrating!
I have mentioned already that I was considering throwing the towel in on making my creativity into a business and just have it as a passion. So somewhere around the end of May after a lot of alternative projects simultaneously fell apart (wow a period of utter frustration) - I decided to give myself the space, to be disciplined enough to focus 100% on my work (and not always try and help everyone else) - and once I did this I was making making making. And not just for the sake of making to a deadline, it was exciting! An opening for a pop up shop came up in Lacoste and I jumped at it. I would mind Charlotte during the day, make during her snooze and then the minute the kids were in bed I would be straight back with my ribbon, beads and gold thread. I was exhausted but I couldn't turn it off.
Terrible pic I know but Lynn Yaeger of Vogue magazine happened to stop by on a sleepy bank holiday Monday ...two days later, Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind called in and we sat crosslegged on the floor of the shop sifting through antique ribbon salesmans samples. It was a gift to share these with two designers who clearly understand and appreciate craftmanship and artisan skills - I think I was buzzing for days after. It is one thing having boxes of tiny silks hoarded in the atelier but to share them and see them loved by others just makes me giddy. I think I have it bad!
In August, we shot a beautiful fashion shoot in the garden of the Ans Hey family home with SCAD photography student TJ Snider and my friends Lois and Zoe Hey. I can't share more photographs here just yet but I loved the interpretation of my new work.
A rained out holiday on the Atlantic coast...
...and then over the last few weeks I started thinking about setting up a new shop selling some of my treasures and found brocante textiles. It opened last week, ExquisiteThreads selling antique silk samples, vintage ribbons, antique passementerie trims, appliques, lace and buttons.