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July 2010

June 2010

In the outbox

A brief email to my customers drawing their attention to Townmouse's snuggly warm flannel pyjamas has caused an avalanche of orders.

This lovely French laundry basket is big enough to handle all the ironing for our family of six.  But yesterday it functioned as my outbox.


My gorgeous seamstress and I spent three hours in the studio yesterday afternoon madly personalising, pressing and packaging pyjamas.   That's about 40 of the 100 or so pairs I need to get out to customers.  Just a little added pressure during school holidays.  Amongst all that there have been trips to the public pool with 6 children, play dates, movie dates, sleepovers.  Wow, have we been busy.

Adelaide and Basil And Adelaide has made a new friend.  She's found Basil; MY softie, who usually hangs out with me in my studio.  Basil came from Fiona of Hop Skip Jump fame. 

Hop Skip Jump is the first craft blog I fell in love with and it's still a fave.  You can buy patterns for Fiona's divine softies.  Seeing Adelaide bond with Basil makes me want to find the time to make her a Rufus Dog, so that we can each have our own.

Lazy Saturday

After a morning at Auskick we are now enjoying a quiet Saturday afternoon.

Wash Day quilt

The winter sun is streaming through the windows and warming my back as I work on an applique cot quilt.

Wash Day quilt1

Adelaide is pottering at my feet, but she has also learned to climb the 6 stairs that lead to the boys' bedroom.  She can now join their Lego sessions.  Adelaide the destroyer!


Wash Day quilt2

There is a ham and barley soup cooking slowly in the kitchen; Will is en route from Europe and will be here in time for dinner.  All in all, a very pleasant Saturday afternoon.

We work well together

Some days Adelaide and I have a nice little routine going.  Today was such a day.  I put her down for her day sleep and headed to my studio to do some patternmaking.  I had an idea for a summer top (or dress) that I wanted to realise.  So while she slept I made patterns and a sample, and when she woke we tried it on.

Shell top

There was a lovely warm light coming into our living room this afternoon so I took a few snaps. 

A blue day

Not in the sad sense. 


Just catching up on the ironing - one chore I don't mind doing.  One of the little shirts hanging there is a variation on this one.

Pleat shirt take two

I redrafted the collar so it had less roll.  The pleats are a lot finer and the block I used is a slimmer fit with narrower sleeves and less bulk overall.  The end result is much better.  Adelaide has worn this one a lot already.

At a snail's pace

One type of embroidery I haven't done a lot of since having children is monogram embroidery.  Simply because it is incredibly time consuming.  One letter may take 20 or 30 hours of painstakingly exact stitching.  But after admiring the many beautiful examples of the work in the antique markets of Paris and Montsoreau, I've been inspired to get out my Broder thread once again.


I'm making a little pillow with Adelaide's initials.  It will go with the lovely pale pink rib woolen cot blanket I recently bought her.

Monogram template

This is the design I am doing.  It comes from this book, which I picked up in Mercerie St Michel in rue Charles Nodier, Montmartre.  I was a little rusty on this type of work; I'm hoping my stitching will improve.  I might find myself unpicking this first section. 

To remind myself what to do, I had to refer to an instruction sheet that I wrote up for the classes I used to teach in monogramming.  If anyone would like a copy of the instructions, please leave a comment.  I'm happy to email it to you.

The most curious shop in all of Paris

I first stumbled on this shop on my previous visit to Paris, when some botanical stationery in the window drew me inside.  Little did I know what I was about to find.

Elk Deyrolle is a taxidermy specialist, preserving animal species for zoos, museums, teaching institutions, and even private individuals.

Their display of large animals, birds, insects, butterflies is utterly amazing. 

It is like stepping inside a fairytale.  As you wind your way through the rooms on the upper level you come face to face with all sorts of exotic creatures.


Sadly there was a bad fire in the building a year or so ago.  According to their website much of it has been restored which is wonderful.  It really is a very special place.


This was their window display in May.  So incredible, but one that also brings mixed emotions, because of the animals who have lost their lives to create these displays.


It's worth a trip across town to visit Deyrolle if you are in Paris.  It's in one of my favourite streets - rue du Bac.