Monday, December 20, 2010

Byloom and Hyde - my new bespoke bag store now open!!

I'm really excited about my new etsy store by loom and hyde. Now specifically for bespoke handmade limited edition bags and purses.. look out for more coming in the new year!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

khaki ruched clutch purse - remember this fabric??..


My first of a series of bespoke one of a kind clutch purses..recognise the fabric?? Look through the blog and tell me what you think and I'll offer you a free gift with any purchase from the new shop.. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reader offer - Calfskin Celtic Tote new today! 10% off for all readers!

The latest in my collection - an inky black one-of-a-kind tote in Italian calfskin luxury suede. The lining is a plaid wool in rusts and navy blue. Finished with a bespoke pleated ruffle. I love this!! Wear it funky casual or uber chic. It really is very versatile and very roomy too! 10% off for blog readers only - just quote 'chouchoublog 10' and once you have placed your order I will refund you the difference!

Take note - this is a one-off tote. There is only one!
Click here to you to the new Etsy shop 'by loom and hyde' now..

Friday, December 3, 2010

Salt Dough Christmas Decorations

here's a recipe which adds acrylic white paint to the flour and salt mix which makes for a bright white finish. I have to say though I love the natural cream colour and these decorations below are so beautiful, simply decorated with red pen. See here at Katy Elliot's blog..

Well, we were snowed in today, school was cancelled - so what better way to spend the 2nd day of advent than making christmas decorations. I remember my aunt using salt dough to make the most beautiful little sculptures, and in Switzerland this is an extremely well used craft. There is a simplicity and purity to this salty ivory, slightly crumbly finish and it works beautifuly for christmas decorations.. all you need is plain flour, salt and water. Great for cheap, effective and charming decoration..




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Toasty Christmas gifts..

..also this chocolate brown orange infinity scarf by mojospastyle is adorably feminine and romantic..I think it goes especially well with my homeland tote bag..


Dominique Knit Neckwarmer in Merino Wool , Alpaca and Silk..mmm snuggly! Buy it here. or if you would like to see other lovely co-ordinating gifts see this gorgeous treasury list here full of sepias, toasty colours such as camel, caramel, taupe and winter grey...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday through to Cyber Monday 10% off and Free Shipping!


Hey folks - sale time here at Lilydove and ChouChou! One of a Kind totes means there is only one kind of each (like I need to tell you..! ) Use the coupon code CHOUCHOU1 at the checkout for 10% off. Free shipping also included!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homeland Inspired Tote - just in!

Woollen plaid tote bag with upcycled khaki leather and brass buckle corsage. Definately has a Braveheart appeal to it! Available here
Free shipping all weekend until Cyber Monday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

woven experiments




Well, this week was it's usual juggle between kids and studio and house. Sometimes it works against my creativity and other times it helps me get inspired. I find interruptions so frustrating when I am being creative, but then again it stops me obsessing over one particular thing and doing something totally different. In turn, my mind gets refreshed and I come back to my projects with fresh ideas.
I have been attempting some new weaves after a long process of putting my loom together (it has been in storage for 8 years!) and am planning a bag range to be introduced...

Weaving is a love hate thing with me - it is very technical and not for the fainthearted - especially when you're dealing with this big brute..Thankfully my husband is a carpenter - had it not been for is understanding of wood structures I think it could have ended up on a bonfire! He has dismantled and put it together (too) many times and there has been many a muttered grumble whenever the word 'loom 'has been mentioned. I say in jest ' you'll eat your words one day!..(I've insisted on keeping it until the day I could afford the space and time to concentrate on it and make it pay it's way -)Now that it is functioning as it should I find myself getting very excited about experimenting with different yarns and unusual textures.
In my art school days I would spend many a frustrated moment using very beautiful and impratically fine silks which would snap all the time, ruin my weaves and reduce me to tears! I made life extremely difficult for my loom and myself. However I did persevere enough to create some pretty fabrics. Weaving fine fabric is sooooo time consuming and now I really have to change my style of working to weave faster in order to make it work commercially...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Herringbone Tweed Tote - Hot to Trot Today!

City or country chic with a bohemian twist. New herringbone wool tote bag in Navy and Winter White weave. Available at Lilydove and Chou Chou now!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vintage lace and pleated textile pendant chokers..





in store now!

Congratulations to the Giveaway winner

A little delayed but I am pleased to announce the winner of the giveaway is Hayley! she was the only one to guess correctly what this was.. fabric soaking in a dyebath..

Two prints winging their way to you!

Meanwhile I've been a contortionist of a photographer using myself as the model..

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winter life-styling on the Monday Moodboard


my kind of lifestyle today on the Europeanstreetteam Monday Moodboard:
bottom right: Lariloom poncho in merino wool
bottom left: Lilydove and ChouChou vintage French linen wall canvas
top left:Fiber Art tank top
top right: Aliette Ariane ring

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dyeing with Elderberries

To see my walnut dye experiment click here

After the silk I randomly dyed old vintage French linens for several hours in the dyebath. Initially they seemed to go aubergine - however, once rinsed in cold water turned a definite donkey grey. Not at all expected but really lovely all the same!
I then immersed some fine wool cloth which had an off white tone to it - this must have influenced the final outcome..Once left overnight, having added more salt and more vinegar it came out as a dark camel..I then machine washed it on a normal 40degree cycle and it came out completely khaki!!!! What?? Now that was a real surprise..you can see in the photo above the full range of colours I achieved from the one dye pot!


once boiled for an hour to a deep purply red liquor I added a large amount of salt as a fixative and also some malt vinegar . Whether the vinegar was needed I wasn't sure but it was worth a try..First I took some plain undyed habotai silk which took the dye perfectly. The colour was as expected a rich berry burgundy shade. Stunning!

well as some of you my well know I was experimenting with some eldeberry natural dye this weekend..seeing these purply black berries many a time I was convinced they must be loaded with pigment so off I went and collected a large bagful..

Monday, October 25, 2010

GUESS WHAT THIS IS - GIVEAWAY time again! ...

it's Giveaway time again here at Lilydove and ChouChou..I am giving away two signed prints from my photography collection or botanical print collection on Etsy. All you need to do is guess what the picture below is..

the winning entry will be selected using random.org on Monday 1st of November..
The winner will be randomly selected using http://www.random.org/ on the 1st November and I will then send the chosen prints free anywhere in the world to the lucky winner..

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Guess what the picture above is..Then post a comment here with your answer leaving your name and email address (without using the @ symbol to avoid any spam -
for example 'lilydove at hotmail.com')


2. A second entry requires you to tell me what you would like to see more of in the Etsy store. Leave your comment the same as before with your name and email address.

3. You may post a third entry by becoming a follower of my blog. All you have to do is click on 'follow' to the right of this page and become a follower. Please then leave a comment to say you have
done so with your name and email address as before.

With each entry I will allocate a number which will identify you as the winner should your number come up in the draw.


All the best!!
Alex

Thank you Lucie - Front Page Treasury on Etsy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Défilé Yves Saint Laurent, Paris Fashion Week SS2011

Just peeped into the Yves Saint Laurent Spring Summer 2011 show at Paris Fashion Week - Chic Chic Chic or what!..Love the simplicity and pure elegance..

Friday, October 22, 2010

Secret weaver ...




here's something else I have up my sleeve - just wanted to give you a preview.. neat handwoven bags. Almost available..but coming soon!! I would REALLY LOVE any feedback you can give me. I've been working on these for a while now and it's hard to stay objective !


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Herringbone Tote


Being one for fraying and pleating, and manipulating fabric I couldn't make this a plain tote - so I went with a bohemian style BIG ruched corsage for some wow factor..in store now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well I caught the end of the last flee market this weekend (we call them brocantes here) for the season, grabbing little gems for virtually pennies..
I just love these old geography school books circa 1918!

Peachy and Jammy Finds Monday Moodboard!



top left - 'A little prayer for renewal' by EllaKSverdlov
top right - Fleur de cerise earrings studs, butter cookies whit red cherry jam by Lechouchou
bottom left - Seed pod textile choker by pirilamporiscado
bottom right - retro Ladybird Coin Purse by retrospettive
more finds at fleurfatale

Thursday, October 14, 2010

someone in my boat..


I stumbled uopn this today - so refreshing sharing a life without the Box - life without TV? Yip! Read here..! Long live luddites!
Print by the artistshouse on Etsy..




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

musing..




still working away on my woven bags - will give you a more advances sneak peak shortly..
first here's brief interludes captured in a moment..


Sunday, October 10, 2010

weave creations

my weaving is getting underway and I am spinning out a rather unusual range of one of a kind (ooak) bags and clutches to be seen soon in the etsy store so keep an eye out..



this weave is constructed with ripped and slashed dupion silk and contrasted with a grey cotton tape. I love the boho texture it gives - let me know what you think..

Friday, October 8, 2010

Glamourous Clutch Purses in store



Glamourous romance is to be found in these two handmade antiqued leather purses available in store today! Great for up and coming glam parties and weddings. The look is tattered vintage Parisian chic. Oh la la!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Experiment with Black Walnuts - Dyeing

and the shade I initially achieved was a yummy butterscotch, caramel shade of brown which once rinsed did fade to a still pleasant shade of fawn. Look out for new walnut coloured creations!..click hereusing my yards of vintage French linen and 'chanvre' - another slubby vintage French linen I first soaked then in hot salty water and dipped them into the now gorgeous dark chocolate brown dye..


Well, the walnuts are falling from the trees and now is the time I have been waiting for to try dyeing fabric using the green hulls which form the casing for the walnut. I have searched around for a simple recipe and a lot of them do contradict eachother when it comes to adding mordants or not. Having small children and not a lot of time I decided to go with the flow, throw the entire basketful into a pot and boil it up, randomly adding a fair bit of salt to help fix the dye.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010



my last trio set of stitched vintage linen canvases - a botanical study of the poppy and it's changing form..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

what I love this week..

this adorable screenprinted clutch purse from sirtom with a lovely black daschund..

this amazing Madame Bovary jacket from etceteraperu


at my local annual French flee market or 'brocante' as we call them I acquired this funky retro calendar which I LOVE..



and these very old French manuscripts - oh for a signature like this one!..




a little TTV snapshot I took in my old house next door full of vintage French character..available in the store




and my new weave experiments which I am quietly very excited about..