Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Switzerland Day 2-3-4-5-6

Wow, I had a blast snowboarding! I am still not able to sit properly because of a big bruise on my b-hind, and all my muscles are sore. You can imagine that the plane ride home was not exactly comfortable. Thumbling down a icy slope is a whole new experience at 40. I now own a tail protector (similar to a fat-suit for the hips, buns and thigh area... very flattering as you can imagine.) I rented a helmet and will soon get something to protect my knees as well. You might ask if it's worth it? It is! The mountains, the snow, the freedom, the beauty, it was completely worth hitting the back of my head quite a few times. I still have to make an appointment with my doctor to gage the extent of the brain damage inflicted... 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Switzerland Day 1

Oh, the snow is so beautiful. The sun is coming up shining on the golden mountain tops. Little Chalets with thick stacks of snow on the roof are all around. It's nice to be back in Switzerland.
Maybe I'll write a book that takes place here, right after I finish the ones that take place in China, Japan, Indonesia, Danmark, Finland, Iceland, and all the other places I really want to visit. It's all about research, right?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Belgium Day 5

We went to Gent. I lived in Gent for 5 years before I moved to Paris. I was an animation film student at the Koninklijke Academie, and lived the life art students live, which took place mostly at night. Gent looked very different strolling through it with a husband and a child. 
After being in the states for 18 years, the cobblestones, the Churches and Castles, the whole city, looked like fairy tale. My daughter kept asking where the princesses were that lived in the castles. Unfortunately all the princes and princesses were at school. We took the boat trip on the river and learned a whole lot of new things about the city. The reason we chose to visit Gent, was that my very dear friend Silvia Defrance, lives there. Silvia just finished a new animated film called Candy Darling. The film won two awards so far, and as soon as she gets it on Youtube, I will post a link. 
Anyway, I urgently need to get on with day 6 here in Belgium, it's after 10:00AM and the princess is waiting for me at the playground.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Belgium Day 3

It's overcast, but not raining. Yesterday I went to the Baptism on my nephew Victor-Jan. My first time at a Baptism in a Catholic church, or any church for that matter. The church was beautiful and the priest surprisingly entertaining. Even though the ceremony was long, I wasn't bored for a second. The priest even threw in an english sentence here and there for my American husband.

Anyway, afterwards we ate a lot of great food, some very traditional Flemish items in which I couldn't partake because I do not eat meat any more. The dessert was fabulous. Tiramisu, but made with Speculoos, one of the most traditional Belgian cookies. Oh man, I am in for it again. I have to eat all the things I can't find in the States. I hope I still fit in my chair on the plane back to New York.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My daughter is just coming into her Princess phase. She was king for a while, monster for a bit, but now, she is starting to catch on that princesses have the most fun. So, after checking out some of the dress-up clothes out there in this crazy world, I decided that it would be more fun if I made some myself. 
We started with a princess skirt, made from leftover materials. It took time, it was fun and I liked what we came up with, but the your highness rejected it. It was the wrong color. The skirt is awaiting a second chance in a box next to the sewing machine. For now, the princess is wearing a pillowcase in just the right color.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Rebecca Dautremer

I have to share this amazing author-illustrator with you! A while ago, just before a trip to Paris, I looked for and found all the names and addresses of every possible children's book store in that beautiful city. I lived there for a while in 1991-1992, so I was familiar with the names of the streets and quartiers I found. For about a week, I explored the stores, and found some amazing books. One of the books I purchased was L'Amoureux, by Rebecca Dautremer. I immediately fell in love with the illustrations and with the story. Every time I went to Europe I'd look for more of her books. Many she wrote and illustrated, other she just illustrated. All of them are little gems.I've been waiting for Rebecca to be picked up by an American publisher, but so far nothing.
So, I wanted to show some of her illustrations here for you to enjoy, on a snowy day in March.