Monday, December 3, 2012

Off to a new home

Hello my lovelies,

At last, my new site is up and running!

I've been working with the very lovely and professional Libby Heasman of the Crimson Pear who's implemented my design into wordpress. I'm so pleased with the results as she's made the site exactly how I hoped it would look, plus she's been so great to work with.

This feels like a big move for me in more ways than one. I'm leaving my little blogger home and settling down into my new wordpress pad. It feels more professional to have my new design which reflects how rose and lula feels to me. Plus there's a new shop!! I'm stacking the shelves furiously.

You're welcome to come visit me in my new home right now!*

Dreams are coming true...

*Don't forget to subscribe to the new site as this one won't be updated anymore.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Decorate Workshop book launch

Well I'm back from my dash to London and Holly Becker's Decorate Workshop book launch. This was my first time at a book launch and my first time meeting blogging people and I was really nervous as I climbed the stairs to the event. These nerves weren't helped when I saw there were lots of people who seemingly already knew each other. Eeek! I loitered on the outskirts of the group for a little while and then decided to make a plunge into the group. Thankfully there was a face I recognised so I happily walked towards her, so pleased and gushy as it was Susannah Conway! I was so happy to meet her and she is as lovely and natural in real life as in her courses and blog. Can you tell it was the highlight of my evening?

Soon the event started and we took a seat. Holly and Will from Bright Bazaar opened the floor with an interview about the book. Holly is the sole author of Decorate Workshop and spoke excitedly about the book and the work that went into producing it. She was natural and down to earth and as the audience I think we all felt included in the conversation. Their interview was very informative, especially about styling different homes.

I couldn't buy the book at the event as it's so big it wouldn't fit in my hand luggage on the plane. But it's a gorgeous book and jam packed with information, written in Holly's friendly voice and I will be placing an order with Amazon soon!

My heart is still a-flutter at meeting these ladies and going to my first book launch. From left to right, Holly Becker, me and Susannah Conway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

10 gorgeous Big Cartel shops

It's exciting times here at rose & lula, with a new blog design coming soon as well as an online shop! I have about 1000 things I need to learn about product photography, SEO, google analytics, sewing processes, making a logo and business cards (and that's just off the top of my head).

My online shop will be on Big Cartel. I think (hope) it's a great way to get started without spending a fortune each month (my plan is 9.99 USD/month) but they even have a free plan.

Here are 10 gorgeous shops I found which are using Big Cartel as their shopping cart platform:

1.  Bookhou
Bookhou is my absolute favourite for the minimal styling and lots of white space, not to mention their beautiful products.

2. Zu

On the Zu site I love the white space and the way the products all go together. Isn't that yellow flower teatowel gorgeous!

3. W & K Studio

This is a beautifully customised site. I really like the heart price tags and the way the product photos fit in completely with the style of the banner.

4. Urban Aviary

So much to love. The products are beautiful and I love the styling of the photography. And the square images and of course the white space.

5. Random Objects

Even though I have a penchant for white backgrounds, I really love the logos at the top of the site. It's really easy to navigate and not fussy.

6. Scotty Five Alive

Lots of white space, lovely big photos and I like the way their prints are presented next to their tote bags.

7. Ever Ours

Really easy to navigate, stylish and minimalist. Love!

8. Handmade by Sara Kim

Crumbs. This site is a real visual treat. The gorgeous photography gives a floaty, romantic feel to the site. It feels quite anthropologie inspired. Plus 10% of the proceeds of sales goes to help children through global giving. Yes!

9. Noé and Zoë Berlin

I find this site sweet and simple. And you can't go wrong with pink and grey :)

10. Satsuma Press

There's a fresh, organic feel to this shop which I really like. I love the styling of the products.

Do you have any favourite shops on Big Cartel?

Monday, November 5, 2012

London Baby!

Hello my lovelies, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. We did quite a lot of pootling around which was unusual and lovely.

Today is a very exciting day as I get to hop on a plane and go to London (just going on a plane by myself these days is enough to make me shriek with joy :). But that is not all... Tomorrow is Holly Becker's Decorate Workshop book launch at Anthropologie Regent Street and I am going to meet Holly before the official event!! Holly very kindly invited her Blogging Your Way students to come along for a little meet up and so I jumped at the chance.

I shall report back with photos very sooooooon x

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Before & after - my studio

Hello everyone! Today I thought I'd share with you some before and after shots of my studio. Honestly I have no idea how I could get work done with the former set up.

I'm lucky to have my own dedicated space for rose & lula fun. The kids wanted to share a bedroom (this room used to be Livia's) so we wholeheartedly encouraged them as it meant recuperating a sewing room for me!

It's a small and awkwardly shaped space with a long corridor, but a great view onto Mont Blanc.

Here's the long corridor (taken with my back to the window):

I am really really happy with how this turned out. Thanks to Ikea I was able to hang up all my fabric on hangers without eating too much into the corridor. So if you come over for some custom orders we can easily mix and match fabrics without upsetting a pile of fabric. Plus I love how it feels a bit like a shop!

Here's the view into the studio, standing in the corridor:

Again, lots of Ikea here. I love the Expedit for display, letting the colours of products speak for themselves. I've sorted the fabric scraps by colour and put them in white pots on top of the unit. I've also hung shelving on the wall, for displaying buttons and baskets.

Bleurgh, now brace yourselves, here's how not to have things on display with Expedit shelves :) Yuk, I'm amazed I managed to create anything in here!

I'm really happy with my improvised cutting table - it's two small Expedit shelves together. I put feet on the bottom to make it a comfortable level for cutting fabric, and I have a big cutting mat. I'm thinking in the future, if I have rolls of fabric, they'll fit well in the cubbies below. This will also be the packing station, so I've added lots of drawers for all the packaging bits I'll need. Next to the drawers I've added a small wardrobe for unpretty clutter I can close the doors on. 

Lastly, here's my sewing table. I actually loved this table as it was our old dining table, but the new handy drawers didn't fit underneath, gah. Please excuse the mess. I'm being honest with you here folks and showing you a messy studio!

I already had the metal board on the right for holding scissors etc and it's really practical. I especially like to keep the scissors up high in case the kids come in and start playing - my fabric scissors are very sharp! I'm going to cover the new desk top with oil cloth to add a bit of colour, and I'll put up a moodboard or inspiration board in front of the sewing machine. I love having so many drawers to keep everything in order.

I must say I feel 100 times more creative since sorting out my studio. Everything has its place and I like how the furniture is neutral and the pop comes from the fabrics.

If you have a creative space, feel free to link to it below so we can all go get inspired.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New pouches

rose & lula zip pouch

Je me prépare pour les marchés de Noel ainsi que l'ouverture de la boutique on-line (yikes!). Ces pochettes avec fermeture éclair et rembourrées sont la taille parfaite pour tenir une téléphone, les clés et d'autres petits trucs essentiels que l'on perd toujours au fond de nos sacs à main.

Sinon j'en ai une que j'utilise comme trousse de crayons.

Bon weekend à  tous!

I'm getting ready for Christmas fairs as well as the shop opening (yikes!). These padded, zip pouches are just the right size for a phone, keys and other essential bits that get lost in the bottom of our handbags.

I use one of mine as a pencil case.

Have a lovely weekend x

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Social entreprise business model: SEVENLY

social entreprise: sevenly

Ever since I can remember I've been thankful for living in a safe place. I think about how different my life would be had I been born in a war torn land or a poverty stricken country (or both). With setting up rose & lula I want to build giving back into my business model, and so have been researching other businesses doing the same.

I came across the company Sevenly through Erin Giles' website.

Sevenly work with 52 charities throughout the year, designing and selling tops and totes for men and women. These designs change every week. $7 of each sale goes to the charity being spotlighted that week. Their innovative social media strategy makes each client (Sevenly call them "supporters") feel totally involved in the success of the charity and Sevenly. There is a film explaining the mission of the charity of the week, as well as updates of the amount raised. This week's charity is Destiny Rescue who are rescuing girls from sex slavery in Thailand. You can see how many girls have been rescued already this week on Sevenly's facebook page.

Source: Sevenly
It's such a great idea to have limited editions of the tops and totes - as they are only available for a week Sevenly's supporters are encouraged to keep coming back. Many of the tops are $22 which means with $7 of each sale going to charity Sevenly are giving 30%. Not too shabby!

Friday, October 5, 2012


It's a stunning, autumnal day today. There's nothing like a bright, blue sky to show off all the amazing colours of the leaves. As I was driving home today I saw starlings flying in groups and suddenly remembered two things:

- Noah, when he was little, would wake after his nap and come downstairs and we would sit down at our window to watch the "bird show" - hundreds and hundreds of starlings whoooooshing past our house, circling and coming round again, four or five times.

- This youtube video, where I learnt that a group of starlings doing their whoooshing thing is called a "murmuration".

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A special place

Bonjour! Aujourd'hui je partage avec vous un de mes endroits préférés pour se promener. C'est un étang pas très loin de chez nous. Derrière l'étang on voit le Jura. Pendant la semaine il n'y a presque personne, sauf quelques gens qui font de la pêche, et moi, qui promène le chien. Aujourd'hui j'y ai même fait un peu de footing, mais ca c'est une autre histoire.

A chaque fois que je vais à cet endroit je me sens mieux, plus heureuse, plein d'énergie. Et c'est toujours beau, quel que soit la saison.

As-tu un endroit préféré pour t'échapper?

Hello my lovelies. I'm sharing with you today one of my favourite places to go for a walk. It's a little lake just down the road from where we live, and in the background that's the Jura mountains. In the week there's hardly anyone there, just a few people fishing, and me, walking the dog. Today I even did a bit of jogging but that's a different story.

I always feel so much better when I go to this place, happier, energised. And it's always beautiful, no matter the season.

Do you have a special place to get away from it all?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Too late

Based on an idea from Keri Smith's book "Living Out Loud", I wrote down the words that these doubting voices in my head keep speaking to me. In the book, Keri tells you to then scribble them out. The scribbling out bit felt good, even though some of the stronger voices continue to nag at me.

The loudest voice of all tells me I'm too late to carve out this creative life. I'm not encouraged when I fall in love with a textile designer's work, and discover they're only 26. "Gahhhhh, why didn't I start earlier?", I wonder to myselfI marvel at how these "youngsters"can already be brave enough to follow their passion. I wish I'd had that confidence when I was their age. I feel I have wasted time.

It came to me this morning, when the loudest voice was starting up again, that the 26 year old me was happy. OK, I wasn't designing and sewing, but I was working in an international organisation, my first proper job, meeting people from the 20 European member states, being good at providing a service, gaining experience. I don't regret my nine years in that organisation for one minute. When I left, finally listening to my heart and wanting to be more creative, I finished my interior design diploma, prepared everything to set up a business... but just wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough business wise or even in a knowing myself way. Then I got married, and our children came along and I am so happy I stayed home with them, nurturing them, getting them off to a great start in life. So now they've both just started school, am I too late? I've been preparing for this creative life for a long time. I've done business and personal development courses. I've been practising at sewing and selling. I am happy in myself, in who I am, in how we are as a family.

It's time to tune out the loudest voice, to tell him he's not welcome in my head. To reread my words and get encouragement to just start. Just start and don't look back. Now there's a kind voice I'd like to listen to.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Long time, no post...

Our family is in a transition period with the kiddywinks both starting back at school and me wanting to get going with the business. Christmas is coming!

But I'm feeling big resistance. Huge questions. Major doubts. In me I mean, my family is really supportive.

It's so odd as I've been waiting for this moment for a long time (as well as dreading both my babies being out of the house) and now it's here, I'm feeling resistance.

A friend has told me to take my time in this change phase. So I'm listening and taking slow steps. This week I'm sorting out the studio and updating the furniture. I had coffee with a friend. I'm walking the dog. The house is lovely and tidy. I did some doodling in a sketchbook. I had a rest.

I'm waiting for the sewing machine to call me back. She will.

Are you struggling with the switch after the summer?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A sneak preview - new blog design

A first glimpse of the new rose & lula blog design, after doing the amazing Your Darling Blog course with Jo Klima. I'm trying to decide between two slightly different versions.

Next phase - implementation!

Sooooo looking forward to seeing you in my new home :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For the future shop

Voici un nouveau design pour mes housses de iphone - sorti directement de la machine à coudre! J'en suis très contente. Il va parfaitement avec ma vision de rose & lula et il sera dans la future boutique on-line!

Je n'arrive pas à decider si je devrais mettre une fermeture - comme celle-là ou autre. Je vais tester cette housse pour voir si mon iphone sort trop facilement dans mon sac.

A votre expérience, qu'en pensez-vous?

Here's one of my new designs for an iphone snug hot off the sewing machine! I'm really happy with it I feel it fits right in with my rose & lula vision and it will be in the future on-line rose & lula shop!

I can't decide whether to put a fastening at the top like these ones (or just a snap fastener). I'm testing it at the moment to see if my phone falls out too easily in my bag...

What do you think would be best?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cinema with a view

J'ai toujours voulu aller à un "drive-in movie" et hier soir j'étais près du but. Sauf que l'on a amené les transats et un picnic, pas la voiture. On a regardé Les Evadés au Ciné Transat à Genève et c'était une super soirée!

I've always wanted to go to a drive-in movie, and last night was the nearest I got. Although we took deckchairs and a picnic, not the car. We watched Shawshank Redemption at the Ciné Transat (deckchair cinema) in Geneva and had a fab time!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

An August Break

I've decided to join Susannah and friends in The August Break. The idea is that you look at August through a lens of some description and post your photos either on your blog and/or a flickr group if you don't have a blog. There are some gorgeous, inspiring photos up there already!

I'm cheating with my first photo as I took it at the weekend (but hey, at least I'm honest!) at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The artist is Marc Fornes at THEVERYMANY. I love it's organic shape and the way the light filters through, and in this photo the contrast between the cool white metal and the warm wooden floor.

I'm still working on my blog design with Jo from Your Darling Blog - the course is amazing and she is a fantastic teacher! I think I've at last found a design I like and will be implementing in September at the latest.

I'm also going to be working on the rose & lula product line. My mother-in-law has offered to look after the children for two weeks and I am loving having dedicated time for my business.

We plan to launch rose & lula officially in September!

So the August "Break" is an exciting time indeed. I hope you are having a lovely summer so far.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Drawing nature with Noah

While Livia napped yesterday Noah and I took our pens and paper in the garden and decided to draw some leaves. I thought it would have been fun to draw leaves from different trees but as we have a small garden with no trees, we had to make do with weeds!

We picked a few and put them on the table. Noah chose to draw round his, sensible boy, even swapping the dandelion leaf for a smaller one which would fit on his paper.

After 20 minutes he decided to write numbers instead, much more fun for him as he's going through a maths loving phase.

Another day it will be fun to paint the leaves and do prints on paper. I must remember I really like drawing nature with Noah!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another weekend, another campsite

We've been loving the month of July as my husband has taken every Friday off. We've been camping most weekends bar one when the weather was awful.

This weekend we went to Vevey in Switzerland, not far from Montreux and only a hour's drive away from home. When we got back on Sunday we felt we'd been away for a week and so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Resonating words

Source: Paloma's Nest via Leslie Shewring on Pinterest

This picture speaks volumes to me today. I've been busy getting ideas for the design of this blog and everything linked to it - my business, my products, me! As a solopreneur, it's hard to work out where I end and rose & lula begins. I've been using pinterest for my design inspiration board, here, which you're more than welcome to come visit.

Have a lovely Sunday x

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another day, another birthday

Noah's this time!

We are officially all birthdayed out :) And counting down the days for the school holidays to start (4 to go).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Birthdays and beautiful blogs

Happy Sunday! Hope you've had a lovely weekend. It's been a crazy, fun-filled birthday bonanza of a weekend chez nous, because we celebrated Livia's 3rd birthday on Friday and Noah's party today (5 next Wednesday). Needless to say there has been a lot of chocolate cake and smarties devoured this weekend!

Now we're enjoying the calm after the storm. I'm reading some of the blogs I subscribe to, and I thought I'd share them with you.

For photography: I am blown away by Alicia Bock's serene photographs. I love the light and the dream-like quality they exude. Visiting her blog is like going on holiday. You can see what I mean here.

For styling and photography and just pure Nordic chic: 1) I absolutely love Jeanette Lunde's blog By Fryd. She manages beautifully to write few words and post gorgeous photos of her home, her red barn (soon to be office) and nature. Jeanette was recently a guest teacher in Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way 2.0 e-course which I'm currently doing, but I fell in love with her blog way before that, look! 2) Off to Sweden this time to visit Elisabeth Dunker's blog called Fine Little Day. Another red barn (I have scandi envy), inspiring photos of Elisabeth's designs as well as inside peeks of her seemingly simple but lovely home. I love this packaging and this dress.

For business: I'm currently really enjoying Oh My Handmade which is a multi author blog. They're currently talking about building a community, which is a subject I feel is important to me. On values, this one was good. And this blog was also the place I went to when trying to get some information about consignment before signing with the Ateapic boutique in Geneva.

For lifestyle: I've heard a lot about Chris Guillebeau in the past, but had never read his blog The Art of Non-Conformity. I hopped over there recently and love his encouraging way of living differently. Who knows, maybe we'll go off travelling as a family to an exotic land after reading posts like this one... As long as I can still be creative, take photos and make bags I'll be happy.

PS. Expect a whole lot of changes around these parts soon, we've signed up to a web design course at Your Darling Blog starting tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Columbia Road

sign saying columbia road

Il y a un petit moment, pendant un (rare) weekend sans enfants à Londres, j'ai fait un saut pour aller voir Columbia Road avec mon mari. C'était un peu écarté de la ville, mais la visite vaut vraiment la peine. Il s'agit une rue avec un grand marché de fleurs les dimanches et des boutiques creatives et uniques de chaque côté de la rue. Nous avons vu des "pearly kings and queens", des vendeurs de fleurs et plein de boutiques intéressantes, mais je suis tombée amoureuse avec celle qui se trouve au no. 158 Columbia Road: Jessie Chorley & Buddug The Shop.

A little while ago, on a (rare) kid-free weekend in London, my husband and I took a trip to Columbia Road. It was quite a trek to get there, but so worth it. It's a street which has an amazing flower market on Sundays and amazing, creative, individual shops lining both sides of the road. We saw pearly kings and queens and flower sellers shouting to sell their beautiful blooms, and so many cool shops, but for me the one that I immediately fell in love with was no. 158 Columbia Road: Jessie Chorley & Buddug The Shop.

Shop front display Columbia Road

Les propriétaires et gérantes sont Jessie and Buddug, qui viennent du Pays de Galles. Elles ont ouvert la boutique en 2008 après avoir eu un stand ensemble au marché Broadway en 2005. J'ai adoré la belle vitrine avec ses articles vintage et fait à la main.

The shop is owned and run by Jessie and Buddug, both from Wales. They opened the shop in 2008 after running a market stall together on Broadway Market from 2005. I fell in love with the beautiful display with its vintage and handmade items.

Shop sign saying open

J'aime les touches originales qui se trouvent partout dans cette boutique. En tant que quelqu'un qui apprend à faire, plutôt qu'acheter, j'ai vraiment apprécié ce panneau "Open" au-dessus de l'entrée de la boutique. 

I love the original handmade touches which are found throughout this shop. As someone who is training myself to make, rather than buy, I really appreciated this Open sign hung over the shop entrance.

shop display showing brooches

Jessie fait des bijoux et des cartes en cousant. Ce que j'admire est son style que l'on reconnaît dans tous les produits qu'elle fabrique. Très inspirant.

Jessie does the sewing, making jewellery and cards. Something I really admire is how her style is recognisable throughout all the products she makes. Definitely something I aspire to!

buddug love spoons hanging on display

Buddug fait des objets en émail, qui peuvent être customisés, comme ces "cuillères d'amour" (une tradition galloise) et les assiettes en dessous. J'aime beaucoup son écriture et ses motifs.

Buddug makes the enamel objects, which are customisable, such as these love spoons (a Welsh tradition) and these plates below. I really like her writing and the patterns.

Buddug enamel plates on display

Donc voilà, un petit tour aujourd'hui dans une boutique unique, originale et vintage à Londres. De l'information concernant les horaires d'ouverture se trouve sur le site web du Shop ici et plus d'information sur Columbia Road se trouve ici.

So there we are, a little tour today around in a unique, quirky, vintage shop in London. Information about opening times can be found on The Shop website here and information about Columbia Road is here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How the inauguration went

J'avais les mains qui tremblaient pendant tout le trajet pour aller à la galerie, mais heureusement mon mari était là pour m'en tenir une. Il y avaient déjà beaucoup de gens lorsque l'on est arrivé, et l'ambiance était décontractée. La boutique, qui s'appelle Ateapic, se démontre des autres magasins à Genève. Quand on a un cadeau à offrir, la boutique veut que les genevois le trouvent chez elle. Il y avaient beaucoup de jolies choses à des prix abordables.

My hands were shaking all the way to the gallery, but luckily my husband was there to hold one of them. When we arrived there were already lots of people, and the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. The boutique stands out from other shops in Geneva. Their goal is to be the place to go to when you need to buy a present and there were lots of lovely things in a good price range.

Love the lampshades which are made of mashed paper and concrete
J'aurais aimé rencontrer les autres createurs, mais il y avait tant de personnes que ce n'était pas possible. Un problème positif on dirait!

I would have like to meet the other artists but there were so many people it wasn't possible. That must be termed as a positive problem!

Lots of articles are presented in these cardboard cylinders
Some rose & lula goodies in a crate next to the till - look there's a hole where a snack bag used to be!
Each creator is represented by a flower growing in a pot
Lots of people
From left to right: me, Silke (Lulu's Wardrobe) and Petra (Pebbles and Bloom), my creative partners in crime.
We're so happy we each have products at the boutique.
Our supportive husbands (Guillaume's on the right)
rose & lula in a shop window!!!!
Un grand merci de vos messages d'encouragement qui m'ont fait du bien.

Thank you so much for your encouraging messages which really helped me!
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