That nice feeling of coming home after a long happy Summer... displaying the garlic braid on the kitchen shelf, watching Lucien draw endless airplanes, watering the -dry- plants after a hot Summer and sitting at my desk with a cup of tea. Simple pleasures.
The Sunday was a rainy day so we decided to make the most of it and discover a bit of The Hague, about 40mn drive from home, Amsterdam.
We ended up spending most of our day in the Gemeente Museum -aka Museum of Modern Art as there was so much to see from the exhibition of Bridget Riley, Constant and the permanent exhibition of Mondrian and masterpieces such as the stunning Portrait of Edith by Egon Schiele. Every Sunday afternoon there is a workshop for children where they can paint, draw and make collages while you enjoy the museum!
What a wonderful and busy month we had! We celebrated Ophelia's 10th birthday on 14th July. It was the highlight of the month, watching our little girl blowing her 10 candles with a big smile on her face!
Just after, the 5 of us drove all the way from Amsterdam to the French Alps to spend time with family and watch the cyclists of the Tour de France going up and down the mountains. For her birthday Ophelia received the most wonderful gift from her Grandma Manou, a hot air balloon journey above the beautiful Alps!
Then we headed West to the Atlantic coast to spend time with friends, swimming and eating the most delicious ice creams...
To follow our Summer adventure check my Instagram images!
I had a wonderful time working with Sabien from Engel. over the past few months. Famille Summerbelle and Engel. are very pleased to announce the launch of this new collection of children tableware made from 100% biodegradable bamboo. Let me introduce you to two cheeky characters Circus Bear and Circus Rabbit!
Each set includes a bowl, a tumbler and a plate beautifully packaged in a custom made box. It's a perfect present for birthdays and any festive events!
Children set tableware available at Engel.
A wider collection of plates, tumblers and cake plate will be revealed after the Summer! Stay tuned!
I am delighted to announce the launch of our latest map of Amsterdam!
I had great pleasure drawing and cutting this map as I am so in love with this beautiful city that we now call home. I have featured my favourite spots like the Albert Cuyp market in the Pijp near where we live and where you can find typical Dutch treats like raw herrings! Also the Artis zoo and the Vondelpark where I love to go with the kids.
The map celebrate Amsterdam famous for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades. There are more than 400km of cycle paths in Amsterdam so you may spot one or two cyclists!
Available as both a laser cut map and a hand screen print.
Paper cut available in 2 colours: black, and deep blue.
We had a fun discussion this weekend with friends about notebooks. We all love a good notebook and we are all very specific about the type of notebook that we like to write or draw on.
Simon will go for a pocket notebook, soft paper with lines to keep in his bag. He uses it to write lists of things to do or work notes during a meeting. He often has several notebooks that he keeps for different subjects.
I do too. I have about 4 or 5 notebooks at a time. A couple will be for just sketching, the others for writing down all the things I need to do, work projects, shopping lists, work notes and to sketch. I always go for all white pages no lines.
For sketching I like the slightly longer Muji notebook with spirals (162x225mm) with white thick paper. I also like the large Moleskine and I have about 3 Famille Summerbelle notebooks that I use everyday to write thoughts, work notes and to do sketches.
When a notebook is full I keep it on a shelf in my office as I like from time to time to check my notes and look at my old drawings.
What about you? What kind of notebook do you like? What size and what kind of paper do you prefer? I'd love to know!
Here are some photos of Famille Summerbelle A5 notebooks featuring our City maps in different colours and our World map.
I chose specifically a thick white paper for each notebook as it holds very nicely on both sides of the paper when when you draw with pencils or write using ink.
Ophelia loves to keep an incredible amount of small things in her bedroom such as cute little erasers, hair clips, pencils, make up, paint pots, pearls and threads (I used to do the same!). Now all those little things have found a home...
Our House boxes are a great storage solution to hide in a fun and stylish way small toys, crayons, desk accessories and all other small things that are scattered in a room.
You will need: a ball or two of thick wool, a small sheet of cardboard for the circles, a compass to make perfect circles and a pair of scissors to cut the cardboard.
Cut tow large cardboard circles (about 12cm diameter). Cut a small round hole (about 8cm) in the middle of each circle. Lay the circles together.
Wind the yarn around and around the circles, keeping the winding even without leaving gaps.
Continue until the inner circle on covered completely.
Insert the point of the scissors in between the two pieces of cardboards and cut open the yarn.
Draw a long thread of yarn in between the two circles and make a tight knot.
Cut and pull the cardboard. You may need to cut the top yarn with scissors to give a round shape to your pom-pom.
Place your pom-pom on top of the headband and make a tight knot.
Ophelia proudly wore her headband with the red and white pom-poms to my sister Coralie wedding last weekend. Here we are the Famille Summerbelle all dressed up for the occasion!
San Francisco has been a lot on our mind and discussions lately. Simon is flying there tomorrow for work, and a few days ago there was a wonderful article featuring our San Francisco paper cut on Curbed San Francisco's site.
A great opportunity for me to share a few images and a short film that we made a while ago. If you'd like to find out more just visit our site where you can see more images and details. We ship worldwide.
San Francisco map, screen printed by hand in the UK. The colours available are pink, blue and silver. Print size 50x70cm.
Here are some images of me cutting the map from a single sheet of paper. I drew the map on the white side of the paper, in reverse (just to make it a little more challenging for myself!) so when you turn it on the blue side it reveals all the detailed cut with my X-Acto knife. Here you can see a short time-lapse video of me cutting the map. Just to give you an idea it took me about 15 to 20 hours to cut the entire map.
For my birthday - back early March- my wish was to have a week-end away on my own in Paris. Thanks to my amazing husband this happened last week-end and I had such a fantastic time. The kids (Téo is one year old, Ophelia nearly 10 and Lucien 6) were just so excited to spend a couple of days just with their dad, it made me feel like I should go away more often!
I took a pile of magazines and my sketchbook on the train and I had a big smile on my face pretty much for 3h30.
My sister Milou was waiting for me at Gare du Nord and took me out to this delicious and cosy restaurant near République called Elmer. If you like fresh, organic and well presented food in hand made ceramic plates then go there. Our table was not available when we arrived so we sat at the bar and they offered us a plate of hand made paté with a glass of Côte de Provence. What a nice thing to do.
I woke up Saturday, the sun was shinning so I jumped on a Vélib and off I went cycling through the streets of Paris. I'm much happier to move around town on a bike whether it's in Amsterdam or Paris.
I stopped for quite a long time at Sennelier one of the older art shop in Paris on the left bank. I tried different pencils, brushes and left with a bag full of new pencils and notebooks. Fun. The rest of my day was spent doing sketches at a café or two, shopping and visiting art galleries.
I really enjoyed to just have time for myself, not look a the time and not have any plans (things you cannot do with 3 children!).
I met up with my best friend Anais in the evening at the local Fujita Japanese restaurant near Pyramide. We've known each other since we were 5 years old. We met at the Waldorf Steiner school in Chatou back in the Eighties! Ah! A long time now!
On Sunday morning I went to see the exhibition Picasso. Sculptures at the Musée Picasso in Le Marais.
The museum reopened in 2014 after 5 years of refurbishment but I never had the chance to visit the place since then. The exhibition was really beautiful but I have to say I was even more amazed by the interior of the museum. The sculpted ceilings of the main staircase are magnificent. The sun was shining through the large windows bringing a warm glow to the stone floor and blue-grey painted doors.
Later that morning I met my French family for brunch at Beaucoup and then jumped back on the train back to Amsterdam with the same big smile on my face.
I love this time of year when we can feel in the air the change of season. The flowers are blooming, the birds singing, the sun is warming up the air so we can enjoy long bike rides along the canals. We've been so lucky in Amsterdam lately with this blissful sunshine. I hope it's going to last for the Easter weekend.
Have you started decorating your home for Easter? Here is a selection of our Ludo le Lapin declined in various products such as fine bone China mugs, cotton tea towels, birch wood tray and screen print.
Enjoy your Easter!
Our last removal box has been unpacked today. I guess we were close to 100 of them, far too many. Now we need to find a place for everything but most importantly de-clutter as much as possible. Thing we didn't manage to do before we moved house!
This is Téo sitting at the dining table in our new kitchen. We merged a small study room and the previous kitchen together to make a large and well lit open plan kitchen. We have 3 large windows facing South so when the sun is shinning it's such a bliss here.
Happy New year everyone! I hope you all had a nice break over the holidays with your friends and family.
After 3 months of renovation we moved to our new flat in Amsterdam a couple of days before Christmas. This move was particularly busy with our 3 children around and A LOT of boxes to unpack!
We drove to France the day after the move to spend few days with our family in Normandie which was super nice.
We are now very happy and excited to start the new year in this beautiful apartment overlooking the canal and the boats passing by...
We are back home after a relaxing week in the Alps with the children. We were lucky to enjoy a beautiful weather to go for long walks up in the mountain with Téo happily sleeping in the baby carrier on Simon's back. The colours of the trees were so stunning. It looked like the mountain was on fire with so many hues of red, yellow and brown.
Sunday morning visit to the CoBrA Museum in Amstelveen with the children. The museum has a really nice kids workshop where they can paint and draw after looking at the work of Joan Mirò. Ophelia and Lucien got given a sketchbook and pencils upon arrival to draw their favourite work of art in the museum. Really fun morning!