Sunday, June 22, 2008

Slotting into place!

Sometimes, when you're imagine wonderful invent magical stories in your mind.
And sometimes...there are so many little characters running about in your mind, it's hard to 'focus'. can't even go to sleep!
Everytime you're about to drop off, a little mouse will say, "Erica, Erica! what are we to do with all this thread...and all these buttons!??"
There are reels of ribbon in my house, stacks of vintage fabric, rolls and rolls of water colour paper....wool...lace...hankerchiefs...oh the list goes on!
Anyway, Mr Nick bought me the most wonderful gift - an ipod!
I plug it in, I sleep.
So, does anyone have any good songs they can reccomend to me? I have downloaded loads of artists like -

imogen heap
alexi murdoch
mazzy star
shout out louds

anyone got any other suggestions???
I'd love to know what you folks listen to...

Also, my lovely friend Jacinta bought me this

Ah! another time...this film...pressed so many buttons! I cried all the way through, like a loon!
Have anyone of you seen it?

Night night all,


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Could the dream come true?

My heart is telling me to put the house on the market, move to France and become a river gypsy. However...that simply can't be.
How many river gypies do you know with broadband? And where would the publishers send my book layouts...and where would I grow my veggies! hee hee!
No, if we're going to do it, it needs to be a methodical, well planned, well researched and a fail safe endeavour....

My earnings would not be enough to live on in France...full stop. I either need to tri-fold my income or do something else alongside it. Also the French tax system is crippling, and I need to understand it inside and out, as I don't want taxes to be the reason we have to come home after a year or two...
I have had an idea, and any comments or advise regarding this would be appreciated!!
I thought, if we bought a house with a big barn, we could convert the barn into -
upstairs - luxury rooms, twins or singles...whatever, all ensuite.

then downstairs...

here's the intersting part...

a huge room with a long table, where I would hold 4 or 5 day courses on writing and illustrating for children.
One end of the room would have floor to ceiling bookshelves, stuffed with picture books and story books...
the other end would have more shelves full of brushes, paints etc...

I could teach aspiring writers and illustrators the tricks of the trade, how to layout a story to keep momentum going, how important it is to have a hook in your tale, how to get your mailshots opened, looked at and filed, rather than ending up on the slush pile. How to prepare your idea for presentation to a publisher.
I could help them adapt their drawing and painting style to suit the children's market...little secrets I've learned along the way...
Nick would prepare breakfast, lunch, and the evening meal, all prepared from our kitchen garden of course!
The party of say, six or eight would then have a day or so to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside or perfect their new skills.
So what do you folks think to this idea? If I did one or two a month, that would certainly help bump up our income...

Oh, and look who can hold herself up all on her own!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The witch's house

Nick and I have a-l-w-a-y-s had a dream. To move to Perigord Vert in south west France, buy a tumble down house and live the life we've always wanted. The above house, although in the Perigord Noir, is exactly the kind of place we'd love :0) It's for sale at 82'000 euros, 65'000 pounds or about 126'000 us dollars.
Every night, I imagine myself waking up the next morning with the warm sunshine pouring in through the window. I would get up, feed the chickens and geese, make sure Frances and Porky (my pigs) had enough water in thier wallow and tend to my veggie patch. I would collect a few eggs for breakfast and Mr Nick would make us a feast while I got Sienna ready for school. All three of us would pile into our beat up old car and drive down to Brantome. We'd park in the square and walk over the bridge where we would drop munchkin off for her busy day a l'ecole. Then, Mr Nick and me would go to the little cafe in the market square where we would have coffee and chat about our plans for the day. On returning to our tumble down cottage, I would settle down in my converted barn and paint princesses and hedgehogs, and write strange and mysterious stories. Perhaps after a lunch of homegrown tomato and basil salad, mopping up the vinagrette with some yummy bread, Mr Nick and I would take a walk in the nearby woods, where we would gather blackberries to make jams and pies. I'd get back to work in the afternoon, and mr Nick would collect Sienna (and various little friends no doubt), and dinner would be served late in the evening in the garden, under the tree bedecked with jam jar lanterns. When all the little people where either returned home or tucked up in bed, Mr Nick and I would enjoy some wine in the warm evening air. I saw the milky way for the first time in my life whilst in Perigord. I never knew you could actually see it for real. This September, i'm going to show it to Sienna, as we are going back to the same gite as we have done for the past three years, the very gite where we found out last June that we were to become three. I can't wait. It is simply my favourite place on always feels like I'm going home. It is a place covered in thick, dense forest, the kind of forests that you read about in fairy tales when you were a little girl. The kind of forests that you might, just might come across a witch's house...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hot Rods, Pink sheds and a cosy night in bed


Just look at these cute cars! I'd love a hotrod, but I'm not sure how I'd fit a baby seat in the back, or where I'd put my shopping...
Sunday morning was spent in a muddy field, in the rain looking at 50's cadillacs and all sorts of hot rods. I then spent the afternoon working on a piece for Mother & Baby magazine.

I spent yesterday In London, where I had a meeting with the girls about my doll's house project, (some sneaky peeky sketches below). We then all piled in a black cab and went to a veeeery swanky department store called Heal's. We had a look at the furniture and housey things to get some inspiration for the doll's house, and then had a gorgeous lunch in the restaurant.
After the girls had gone back to the office, I wandered (curtesy of Emily's amazing hand drawn map, including such important landmarks as Topshop), up to Oxford Street before getting the train home. It was a long day, as I was woken up at 4.30 am by a certain ginger trouble maker, banging on the kitchen door with his paw. I didn't get back to the cottage until gone six pm, and all the train/tube/excitment/hustle and bustle really tires me out!! I LOVE it though, and wish I could go more often. I'm not doing too badly though, as this is my third trip to London since having Sienna. I had such an amazing day and am sooo thankful I get to do such fun things with my job!

This morning I had an appointment at the dentist, where I was drilled, prodded and pulled about! It was fine really ;0)
So by the time I carried Sienna down the shed for an afternoon's painting, I was too tired to do anything! (she was woken up at 6am this morning by some noise from next door, which woke mummy up too!!). So I carried her back up the house, put her in her moses basket and prayed she would fall asleep so I could get some shut eye! Fat chance!

I can't quite believe how big she is, especially when you see a little new born :0) I don't think Sienna-Rose was ever 'small' though!!
So, on finishing this post, I am changing into my jimjams, and curling up in bed with my sketchbook, filofax and a book. I am fully kitted out with pretty post-it notes, glitter gel pens and sparkly heart stickers, so as I can decorate the pages of my filofax as I plan my work schedule...does anyone else have a serious stationery fetish???!!!

So I'll close now, and turn in for the night.
Have a fantastic rest of your Tuesdays, whatever your doing!