Childhood

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Quand j’étais petite, ma mère et mois fabriquions toutes sortes de choses (et surtout des mini-aliments pour mes Barbies: haricots verts, bananes, oeufs au plat…) à partir de pâte à modeler de type Fimo, qui durcit au four. Je me souviens encore de mon émerveillement devant toutes ces mini-choses adorables (ma Maman était très douée).

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You can create new colors by mixing them together, just like paint!

You can create new colors by mixing them together, just like paint!


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Une vingtaine d’années plus tards je ne joue plus aux Barbies, mais la pâte à modeler, c’est toujours aussi top!

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Et c'est quoi, là, sous les marqueurs? Chut! C'est presque fini...

Et c'est quoi, là, sous les marqueurs? Chut! C'est presque fini...

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When I was little, my mom and I would make these tiny food items for my Barbies using Fimo-type modeling clay, which hardens when you cook it a few minutes in the oven. Well, folks, I don’t play with my Barbies anymore, but I can still incorporate modeling clay into my grown-up activities… And for those who are wondering, the blue thing underneath the stitch markers is almost finished!

13 Songs

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Voici ma petite liste en réponse au Tag de Fabienne (Allsaints)! Désolée ça m’a pris un petit moment!!

I’ve been tagged! Here you go Fabienne!

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13 Chansons de Ma Vie

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Une chanson que j’écoute depuis des années sans m’en lasser:

A song I’ve been listening to for years without getting tired of it:

Peace Train – Cat Stevens. Video ici

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Une chanson qui m’évoque mes 16 ans :

A song that brings back memories of when I was 16:

So Real – Jeff Buckley. Video ici

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Une chanson qui rappelle mon 1er amour:

A song that reminds me of my first love:

Make Out Club – Unrest. Video ici

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Une chanson qui me rend instantanément de bonne humeur:

A song that instantly puts me in a good mood:

Love is All – Roger Glover / Ronnie Dio


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Une chanson qui m’émeut et me donne les larmes aux yeux :

A song that moves me and gets me teary-eyed:

Grandma’s Hands – Bill Withers. Video ici

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Une chanson qui me fait rire:

A song that makes me laugh:

Baby Got Back – Sir Mix A Lot. Video ici

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Une chanson qui me défoule:

A song to let it all out:

Leave it Alone – NOFX. Video ici

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Une chanson qui me donne envie de danser:

A song that makes me want to dance:

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees. Video ici

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Une chanson pour un tête-à-tête en amoureux:

A song to listen to over a romantic dinner:

Desafinado – Stan Getz Quartet. Video ici

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Une chanson que j’ai un peu (mais pas trop) honte d’aimer — en fait je n’ai pas honte, je trouve que cette chanson est super!

A song that I’m (slightly) ashamed to like — come to think of it, I’m not actually ashamed, I think it’s a great song!

You gotta be – Des’ree. Video ici

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Une chanson pour faire du ménage:

A song to clean up the house to:

Think – Aretha Franklin.


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Une chanson qui dépeint bien mon humeur du jour:

A song that illustrates my mood of the day:

Today – Smashing Pumpkins. Video ici

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Une chanson que j’écoute ces temps-ci et qui ne me sort jamais de la tête:

A song that I listen to these days and that I can’t get out of my head:

Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes. Video ici

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Ouf! A mon tour de taguer quelqu’un, hé hé! Alors pourquoi pas Stéphanie chez Arsenic et Vieilles Dentelles?

Whew! My turn now! How about Cindy at Random Charm?






This suspense is killing me

Silver Spring Fall Foliage by Smata2

Silver Spring Fall Foliage by Smata2 (found on Flickr)

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Just a quick update to let you know that I’m (temporarily) in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is on the outskirts of Washington, DC. I’m waiting to hear back on a house that we’d like to rent… Can’t wait to have a home again so I can start the many, many projects that I’ve been crafting in my head!

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Un petit billet rapide pour vous dire que je suis chez des amis à Silver Spring, dans le Maryland — à 2 pas de Washington DC. J’ai trouvé une maison super à louer mais il y a d’autres postulants! J’attends la décision de la propriétaire… J’ai hâte de pouvoir me poser… j’ai des projets plein la tête! On croise les doigts…

5 things I love about London

Only three days until I fly across the pond to attempt to settle in Washington, DC. I feel like this two-month stay in London just flew by! I’ve grown quite fond of this city and feel very privileged to have been able to experience a slice of British life.

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As a special hommage, here are 5 things I particularly enjoyed about London (I am not counting obvious things such as Kensington Garden, shortbread biscuits, free museums etc…) With a little help from the talented photographers on Flickr:

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Dans trois jours on quitte Londres et on s’installe à Washington, DC. Voici 5 choses qui me manqueront particulièrement (bon, je ne compte pas Kensington Garden, les shortbreads, les musées GRATUITS, le charme des petites rues so british et tout et tout…) Jolies photos trouvées sur Flickr.

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#5:

Disappearing London (3), by Gervaulx

"Disappearing London (3)," by Gervaulx

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The courteous and sympathetic British police officers who found my wallet (including my GREEN CARD! *That* was a scare.) just a couple of days after it was stolen by a pickpocket. I was amazed at how nice and thorough they were, even for such a “minor” crime. Thank you!!!

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Eh oui! Les gentils policiers qui ont été super gentils et pros quand on m’a volé mon portefeuille, et me l’ont retrouvé en 2 jours!! (il y avait tous mes papiers dedans, y compris ma carte verte… ça aurait été une galère sans nom de repartir aux US sans…) Bon faut dire que quand on vit aux US, on apprécie les policiers gentils et polis…

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#4:

David Suchet / Poirot by Holypug

David Suchet / Poirot by Holypug

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The fact that EVERYDAY on British TV there are Agatha Christie adaptations starring the great David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. My love for the little Belgian (“NOT French”) detective started many, many years ago.

In fact, my mother finally “weaned” me off bedtime stories at the ripe old age of 8 by reading me half of an Agatha Christie novel, which I then had to finish by myself if I wanted to know “whoddunit.”

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Quand on a, comme moi, grandi avec Hercule Poirot, on est vraiment, mais alors super contente quand ils passent des adaptations de romans d’Agatha Christie en boucle à la télé!!!

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#3:

Mystery Yellow Woman at Spitalfield by Pit Van Meeffe

Mystery Yellow Woman at Spitalfield by Pit Van Meeffe

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The quirky yet classic elegance of many Londoners. Love the tailored coats, feminine shoes, cardigans over liberty dresses, crazy colors.

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L’élégance décalée de beaucoup de Londonien(ne)s. Le savant mélange entre le côté classique intemporel et les couleurs/accessoires totallement inattendus.

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#2:

Cardinal Humes Charity Shop by Canis Major

Cardinal Hume's Charity Shop by Canis Major

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Charity Shops: in a city as expensive as London, there’s got to be a trick to getting cool stuff for less. In the case of charity shops, MUCH less. They are everywhere, and the prices are usually really reasonable.

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Heureusement qu’ils sont là, ces charity shops, parce que dans une ville aussi chère que Londres, où est-ce qu’on trouverait des supers fringues et babioles pour presque rien?

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#1:

Liberty Stack by Ravenhill Designs

Liberty Stack by Ravenhill Designs

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Libertyyyyyyyyy!!!!

Thanks to the web, I discovered where one should buy one’s supply of Liberty while in London. For about half of the usual price (actually, much less if you only need bits).

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Grâce à quelques petites recherches sur internet, j’ai maintenant de nouveaux fournisseurs de Liberty à moitié prix (ou moins si on se satisfait de petits coupons)

Borough Market

Strolling along the Thames, we followed a narrow street splashed with sunlight, and, irresistibly sucked in by a medley of enchanting smells, we entered the beehive that is Borough Market…

Balade le long de la Tamise… au détour d’une ruelle en clair-obscur, des odeurs enchanteresses viennent nous chatouiller les narines. Abondance de victuailles, fraîcheur des produits… et foule considérable! C’est Borough Market, niché à l’ombre du Tube, près de London Bridge.

Haberdashery galore

Even though my budget is very limited while I’m in London (no job! London crazy prices!), I do a lot of window shopping and everything here is a feast for the eyes.

In particular, London is just full of cute little shops that have been around forever and that are insanely specialized, like this one, The Button Queen, in which a very proper middle-aged British gentleman will assist you with all your buttony needs… In fact, I really had to refrain myself not to give in to these needs.

The Button Queen

How cute is this little guy?

How cute is this little guy? Come on, click on the picture!

On my way there, I walked by this beautiful display of wallpapers… Aren’t these cool?

A bit further still, there is a wondrous, candy-store-like establishment, called VV Rouleaux, which has every conceivable ribbon, bias tape and other colorful trimmings…

VV Rouleaux

VV Rouleaux

Close-up of VV Rouleaux's window

Close-up of VV Rouleaux's window

More VV Rouleaux yumminess

More VV Rouleaux yumminess

South of Oxford Street, I found the venerable MacCulloch and Wallis in a quiet alley away from the bustle:

Everyone is very serious and every so slightly stiff in there, but it’s the real deal. Fabrics are on the ground floor, and you make your way up grimy stairs to a cramped room full of notions, buttons and picky old British ladies. A narrow staircase leads to the top floor, which houses a few sewing machines and pattern books.

Nearby is Liberty of course — The thing about Liberty, though, is that I really wouldn’t buy anything there, everything is so ridiculously overpriced… I mean, $40/yard for Liberty fabric? Pretty much anywhere else is cheaper. However, the building is absolutely breathtaking so it’s totally worth it to go there and just gape at all the beauty and opulence. In particular, I love the little flower shop in front of the side entrance. Here is a beautiful photo by Maki, which I found on flickr:

Liberty of London flower display, photo by Maki

Liberty of London flower display, photo by Maki

Victorious at Waterloo

My mom and I braved the below-freezing temperatures on Sunday morning and drove to Waterloo, a suburb of Brussels famous (among other things I’m sure) for having brought the French emperor Napoléon to his knees. That’s where he fought his last battle and the defeat pretty much precipitated the end of his rule.

I have to admit, however, that it isn’t the historical relevance that brought us to Waterloo: on Sunday, there is a sizable flea-market there, and we wanted to see if we could find a few things. The sun was out so the biting cold was not too unpleasant. The prices were very reasonnable, on average everything was much cheaper than what you usually find at French flea-markets, and there were some really cool items. If I had money and the means to ship stuff back to the US, I would have bought quite a few things.

We were reasonnable and for a few Euros, we scored a handful of things: a 1950s or 60s Japanese-influenced embossed tin box (totally loved the design and colors), a 1940s razor with a bakelite handle, a 19th century pillow case (beautifully handmade and huge, could easily be used as a baby duvet cover), and a little basket, which the cat immediately started investigating.

fleamarketfinds.jpg

How I killed Laura Palmer

As I intuited, not much ended up getting accomplished this past week-end, in spite of my crafty plans. Extreme laziness compounded by lack of sleep made yesterday particularly useless. Saturday was consumed by figuring out the details of my Halloween costume, which I ended up aborting 40 minutes before the party was supposed to start.

I actually thought I had a brilliant idea: I was going to be Twin Peaks’ Laura Palmer (the dead version), involving scary “dead girl” make up and a plastic tarp – Laura Palmer’s body is found “wrapped in plastic” by Pete Martell. I figured i could just get a pleated skirt, a plastic tarp, a couple of props and wear my blonde wig.

Well, first of all, the props didn’t work out: I went hunting for a half-heart pendant like the one Laura has, but i couldn’t find one anyhwhere. I assumed I had a Sharpie at home somewhere (but didn’t), which I would have used to write “Diary” on a notebook. I also wanted to carry a cassette player to play the Twin Peaks theme song, I thought that would have been pretty funny, but of course our spotty internet connection chose to go dead just when i really needed it to download the song and record it.

Anyway, the major hurdle was actually the plastic tarp: it started to dawn on me that wearing it would get very uncomfortable, very fast. Not to mention having my arms stuck inside all night.
The wig also was a disaster: it’s actually platinum blonde, with curls everywhere – not at all Laura Palmer-like. I tried to drench it in hair gel, and gave it a bit of a haircut, but it just made it uncomfortable and smelly. I ended up giving up on the idea entirely at like 10pm, and finally just went as a female physicist, with oversize fake glasses, hair pulled back in a bun and a calculator in my pocket… So laaaaaame. Arg.

As it turns out, when I told people at the party was my costume was originally going to be, most of them had no idea who Laura Palmer is.

Laura Palmer looking dead

Definitely dead

Inauguration

I am finally sitting down, with a working internet connection, ready to unleash upon the world some of my latest creations and attempts at creativity. Let’s hope that the impending week-end will bring some progress. Procrastination has always been my worst ennemy.

In addition to the different projects I want to keep working on, I do have to find some sort of idea for a Halloween costume. I do have a blond wig lying around somewhere… Maybe I could put on a pink dress and be Miss Piggy? I also like the idea of being a Little Pony, with a purple spandex bodysuit, fake eyelashes and glitter everywhere… mmmmh… This is going to be a tough one.