28 February, 2011

just hatched

more spring chickens!
now available in new colors:

white and the two different browns/tans - just like real chickens!

kind of liking this set-up of them all "roosting" -

available on etsy.

25 February, 2011

pst.. shhhhh whisperwhisper!

soooo, i've decided that i want to try out etsy's new(ish) coupon-code feature to offer a little special savings to those of you who've been so wonderfully supportive of me and my little ventures with chez-sucre-chez. here's how it'll work: go on over to the chez-sucre-chez facebook page (here), and please click the "like" button. on tuesday of next week (3/29/2011), i'll post the coupon code (20%!) there on the facebook page and then you can use it to do a little shopping. (the code will be good for one week) please help spread the word! (you can click the little share buttons at the bottom of this post to twitter it or post it to your facebook page or email it or blog it - i'm so bad at all this social net-working and making it work for me, but i'm trying!) oh, if you don't have facebook, don't worry -i'm not going to leave you out of the fun! just send me an email (chezsucrechez at gmail) or leave a comment here on this post and i'll email the code to you on tuesday! have a good weekend, friends! xxoo.

24 February, 2011

my daily cuteness freakout

these were the first images i looked at this morning, and my heart nearly exploded with joy:

my sister sent them to me; they're done by my FOUR YEAR OLD niece bella. (okay, she's almost five.) HOW FREAKING AWESOME ARE THESE??? in case you need explanation - they were drawn for my grandmother (bella's grandnan) for her birthday. the top one is a cardinal, one of grandnan's favourite birds - and the bottom one is grandnan and a cardinal. i don't know why there are such menacing looking grey clouds in that bottom picture, but i'm thinking it's because she was going for a color theme. i'm gonna have to ask her about that - and about all the magic fringe that seems to be coming from nan's dress.
wow. totally rad.
check her out in her "artist's beret" that she requested for christmas, and her smock that i made her, at her easel:

and here's the portrait she did of b and me on the chalkboard wall on christmas day:

oh, the details! my hair - all piled up on my head as per my usual style, my necklace, my eyelashes, b's beard. and then there's our shoes:

whoa. totally kills me with cuteness.
also killing me in the best way is this one by nephew aidyn:

that's me - in jean shorts with black tights underneath and a vest over my nautical stripe longsleeve shirt. can we all agree that the way he's done the stripes on the sleeves is absolutely brilliant?! (oh, and as he explained to me - the purple piece near my head is a dialogue bubble of me saying, "hi" and the red is a book in my hand.)
oh my, i love those little boogers.

21 February, 2011

stickin' chicken

many many months ago, i took a trip with some friends to orange, california. that is where i found, fell in love with, and purchased this:

as soon as i picked it up i knew i had to take it home with me. filled with emery sand, this is about the cutest vintage pin cushion i have ever seen. working with pins and needles as much as i do, i can always use a pincushion. i've got pins and needles in champagne corks, in the arm of my couch, woven though my tablecloth -- all over.
once the little chicken was mine, i knew right away that this was something i had to figure out a pattern for so that i could make a brood of my own.
but it took me several months to get to that point.

after several tries, i came up with a pattern and a method that made me happy.

and then i had it, my own little clutch of chicks:

gah! i can't stand it; they're so stinkin' cute. sorry, i'm just very pleased with how they turned out. i wish i had better photos - you're gonna have to trust me that if you think they look cute here, they look even cuter in real life. (and if you don't think that they look cute at all, even just a little, then you are loco.)

i put them up on etsy, even though i'm still thinking the photos could/should be better....

i'd kinda like to see them go to a shop somewhere - somewhere where they can hang out together in a little cluster until they all find new homes. maybe i'll shop them around.

oh - here's more info on them (in case you're interested....)
they're filled with sawdust. i did a little poking around on the world wide web and found that sawdust was what many homesteaders and simple folk used to fill their pincushions. emery sand isnt exactly easy to come by, you know.
the sawdust has been provided by my friend josh, who is a super-talented carpenter/build-it-man. i guess you could say he's my dust-dealer. (that was his joke.) if you're in the southern california area and you need something built, call josh; he's your man. (find him here.)

i'm kind of in love with chickens a little. a few months ago, i experienced the dream-come-true moment of being able to hold a chicken in my arms:

oh my goodness, can you see the rapture on my face (even though it's a poor cameraphone photo)? i never wanted to let her go. but i did.
someday, i hope to own chickens of my own, like my good friend melanie linder.

i've taken lots of photos of chickens. here's one of my recent favourites, from the same day that i held the chicken:

and now you think i'm totally crazy, right? that's okay with me.

20 February, 2011

much in store

holy shazaam, my etsy shop is loaded:

it's one of those not-all-too-frequent moments where i'm feeling really good about everything in the shop, and even how it all works together, too.
the thing is, i'm heading back to the east coast in a month and a half, so i've got serious motivation to use up all of my supplies, finish up half-completed projects, and to list everything finished that i've got tucked away in drawers and closets. expect a lot more to come....

18 February, 2011

happiness runs...

...in a circular motion,

have a great weekend all.
listening to donovan in rainy l.a.,

15 February, 2011

residual heart-shaped sweetness

last night i baked up a batch of sweets for my far-away sweet:

they're the peanut butter and jelly (well, half are filled with strawberry jam, the other half are filled with nutella) sandwich cookies that i often make, but cut into heart shapes this time to go with the valentine season.

and that reminded me of some other heart-shaped treats i've made before and i decided that i'd go ahead and share:

two notes: one - the marbles won't explode. i was worried about that, too. they will be very hot, though, so leave them in the tin until they've cooled! and two - that's not my voice.

14 February, 2011

love. love love.

happy valentine's day, friends and followers! i hope that you are all reading this with happy hearts.
(click here for a vintage chez-sucre-chez valentine!)

13 February, 2011

a little bit of thanks

thank you for your comments of encouragement on my last post; i really really do appreciate your support. i definitely tend to over-think things a lot, giving myself freak-outs and mega doubts. it's helpful to hear that people appreciate what i'm doing. thank you! here's a shot of my studio wall at the moment, displaying the current collection of cursive-style quote pieces. previously, they were all over the place, and then i arranged them that way this morning to take the shot. i LOVE the way the colors and size differences look in this grouping!

11 February, 2011

horse feathers

in my fabric bin, i found a piece of scrap fabric onto which i had embroidered the outline of a horse. i did it SO long ago. (way back here.) well today i sewed it onto a tote:

i'm not really into embellishment on my clothing or accessories, so this isnt something i'd usually do. but what the heck; it's better than leaving the pretty pony sitting in my fabric bin. it's a new tony pote. (sorry, that's an inside joke. one that wasn't really that inside (pony tote = tony pote), and really wasnt that funny. but it was.)

anyways, also horse-related is this new piece that i stitched up last night:

bring on the dancing horses is a song by echo & the bunnymen. (youtube video link here. you should watch it; it's totally weird as to be expected from a video released in 1985 - but there are brilliant bits to it; like ian mcculloch's hair and make-up! yowsers!) the song was on the pretty in pink soundtrack, which is SUCH a good one. i've listened to it a WHOLE lot. i'm listening to it now. check out that track-listing! amazing.

so - i don't know if there's some deep meaning behind the line, "bring on the dancing horses," but it's always struck me in some way that i feel good about. isolated, it evokes sort of a dreamy, fantastical image for me - but also, at the same time, i read something cynical in it.... but that's probably just me, and the way it's always sounded to me... wondrous, but simultaneously cutting...

and, also while on the subject of horses - i've got to admit; i'm worried about coming off as a one-trick pony with these stitched quotes.... should i be worried about that? certainly i know that i have done and continue to do a whole lot more, including stitching in a lot of other different styles. but i keep doing these quotes stitched in this font! but really, i do it because they're still getting such good reactions from people. i get regular requests for custom jobs of quotes done in this style. i even get requests to do pieces/quotes that are in my shop in other styles to be done in my cursive font in the round hoops. and, while i love using different colors, white on black is still, by far, the most popular. so it's okay to keep on coming up with new works in this style right? sorry. had to get that out - now you know that i'm thinking of it at least....

okay - workday's over for now. now i'm gonna whip up some more ice cream! two batches in the works; rosemary with lemon zest, and honey lavender. (and the rosemary, lemon, and lavender all come from the yard - although the lavender was harvested in the fall!)
have a great weekend!

08 February, 2011

and now back to mushrooms...

the first boxed mushroom sachet sent out in the world arrived safely, so now i'm feeling a lot better about having them in the shop.
i took new photos of them this morning, and i'm happy with them:

also recently, chez-sucre-chez sachets, both mushrooms and strawberries, got a little write up on french blog "mots d'amour."

pretty cool, no?
(see it here)

it was a scooperbowl

i'm sorry; it's another ice cream post.
sunday's flavour was:
fresh mint from the garden:

plus cacao nibs from the always-inspiring spice station:

plus family-farmed cream, local(ish) happy chicken eggs, organic sugar and milk:

such hoity-toity ingredients, eh? it's worth it. this was the first of these batches that i made custard-style, with eggs. i used
david lebovitz's recipe (here - ps; i've just discovered mister lebovitz - i'm an instant fan; his blog is delightful!) and it certainly was good, and pretty (sorry, i didn't take any photos of the finished ice cream...) but i think i am definitely more interested in the non-egg recipes; they're just so pure and delicious!
i also whipped up a batch of strawberry that morning and took all of the different kinds i've made over the past week over to be shared with friends while the dudes watched football.

coming up soon - crafting with a whole big bag of sawdust. (what?!??) you'll see...

04 February, 2011

adventures in ice cream making

(i know it may look like it, but i promise this isnt turning into a food blog!)
last sunday funday, my friend amy and i got an ice cream maker. we'd been talking about it for months and finally went for it. our first batch was straight up vanilla and it was heavenly.

i brought the ice cream maker home with me and made batch number two:

i was going to do another straight up vanilla and just play with the recipe a little, so i went to the store to get just organic milk and cream. well, pms got the best of me and i came home with cookies (and wine) too. the cookies were those caramel stroopwafel things and although they were kinda good, they werent AS good as i thinking they would be. but i had a hunch that they may be delicious in ice cream, so i built my recipe around them. brown sugar, a touch a molasses, vanilla and the chopped up cookies. pretty darned delicious.

batch number three, which i just finished, was inspired by these beauties:

so pretty, right? they're pink peppercorns, that i picked off a tree the other day. oh, california - you do amaze me.

so, i crushed a few of them up and put them into the ice cream base; milk, cream, sugar, and a teeny splash of vanilla.

so good! it turned out a little more subtle than i was hoping for; it could use more pepper -- but still, not bad for something that can be whipped up in 30 minutes! it's a good thing i just joined a gym.
i hope you all have a super sweet weekend. xxoo.

02 February, 2011


last week, i discovered the LA funghi stand at the south pasadena farmers market and since then, i've been mushroom obsessed. until about ten years ago, i wouldnt touch a mushroom. now, however, i want to try every single variety in these photos:

the first ones i brought home with me were the chanterelles. oooooh lala. i sauteed them with half of a shallot in a mix of butter and olive oil, and then, once they were about finished, stirred in a touch of cream and a shaving of parmesan cheese until it thickened a little. then i tossed in some cooked orecchiette pasta and a crack of salt and pepper and just a touch of freshly grated nutmeg. mmmmm. it was delicious.

in celebration of my discovery of the mushroom man, i listed my mushroom boxes and mushroom sachets in my etsy shop. previously, i wasnt sure of how i'd package and ship them in a way where the boxes wouldnt get crushed. but, i figured it out, so now they're up! see them here.

full of kit(s)

okay - here's one more kit just added to the shop. and now i'm finished with new kits for a while and it's back to stitching for me.
i am so loving the colors of this one -- deep deep violet on a background of that platinum-colored aida cloth that i've been so fond of lately. my great aunt mary (of whom i've written many times in this here blog) loved the color purple. she had the most beautiful sheet set, printed with tiny little violets on white. oh my goodness, i wish i had those sheets.

check it out here.
(i've got several other posts in the works - just need to take some photos to accompany them! i hope to get to that soon soon soon!)

(ha! i just realized that i wrote about aunt mary and her sheets the last time i did a project in purple. see, aunt mary and her sheet set REALLY made an impression on me! she was so cool!)