Instagram pictures

You may have noticed on the right side of my blog some pictures from Instagram. Yes, I have finally joined Instagram and am enjoying it so far. I am using  a samsung tablet to take the pictures and like the convenience of it, I hardly use a camera anymore when I am out and about or away on a trip as I can just use my tablet.

To view other people’s pictures you can just go on Instagram and view them on any computer (it does not have to be a smartphone nor a tablet), but if you want to post pictures then you can only do so on your smartphone or tablet.

You can view my pictures here

Here are the ones I posted so far:

This is my mum’s potager and garden in France. I took this picture end of june. She is also a keen gardener and the 1st thing that she planted when she started this garden from scratch are those 2 palm trees. I dream of having one palm tree in my garden one day.

my mum's gardenThis is a fabulous houseplant book. I first saw it on morganours blog and had to have it. I want to review it in another post as it really deserves a review. Suffice to say, it does not have a lot of pictures but each plant has its own lovely illustration. You can get it on amazon or ebay, second hand, at a bargain price. I think I paid less than £3 for it (postage included). The book is from Readers’ Digest, the english version is called Success with Houseplants, and the french version is called Guide des plantes d’interieur.

success with houseplants bookThis is an echeveria plant that I got from Tesco while grocery shopping. It came with a square glass pot and only costs £2. It already has a little baby so I can propagate it later. The plants in the backround are some of my tomatoes.

echeveria plantI saw this butterly in the garden and snapped a picture. They are next to some housplants that are having a holiday in the garden during the day in summer. You can see there 2 purple oxalis triangularis, 2 pilea peperomioides, a philodendron from my mum’s house and a coleus that I have since planted in the garden.

butterfly plantsHere you can see some of those plants on my mantel shelf: a senecio or string of pearl plant, dracaena marginata, purple oxalis triangularis, pilea peperomioides, echeveria, money plant or crassula ovata and a papyrus plant.

plants on mantel shelfMore plants in the living room, next to the french patio doors: asparagus fern, philodendron xanadu, anthurium and a zamioculcas. The pots and plant stand are from Ikea.

houseplants on ikea plant standThis is a calathea plant that I got from Wilkinson (or Wilko), I love that the underside of each leaf is purple, and I was very taken by the lower leaves that have a pink edge. Wilko can be a great place to shop when it comes to houseplants as you can sometimes find treasures there at a great price (this one was only £3) but you have to be quick if you want a healthy plant. Anyone knows how to encourage this plant’s leaves to have a pink edge?

calathea plant from wilkoAnd finally a surprise flower bouquet delivery from Marks and Spencer. Thiis was from my bosses and colleagues at the counselling charity where I volunteer, as a thank you gesture for my work. How nice of them!

flower bouquet from marks and spencer




Oops, it’s been several months since I posted here. I haven’t forgotten about my 2016 planners, I will take some pictures and will show them to you next time.

I’ve been streamlining my life recently. The stress of trying to conceive got to much, so I have decided to take it easy this year. I want to focus more on little things that bring me joy and happiness, and at this time that means babysitting for family members (I love babies!), gardening, cooking and working on my house.

Here are the newest installations in the living room/sewing room:

An Ikea Varde shelving (the same one I have in my kitchen and also on my kitchen windowsill) for some of my books. This shelving can handle a lot as there are about 100 books there. And my little collection of magnetic butterflies. I am having fun putting them everywhere, like on that pink metal plant pot on the shelving).

ikea varde shelving bookshelfAnd an Umbra invisible bookshelf in a little corner of the living room. This is a very clever little thing as you cannot see the shelf itself, you just see the books. My partner liked it a lot so he bought another one for himself (a double one for his blue ray discs).

invisible bookshelfbottom of invisible shelfI need to find more storage for my books as my collection keeps growing and growing. I grew up in a household full of books (the norm when your father is a writer and a professor), so books are a treasure in my own house. At the moment, I am into spiritual books and wholefood cookbooks.

Do you also hoard books? Please share any of your book storage.


Win a custom made russian doll case for your phone

Hi everyone! I took some time off blogging as the recent months have been quite hectic for me. I spent most of december in France, to attend my sister’s funeral and to spend some time with my family. I didn’t close my shops while I was away, so then spend most of january catching up on december’s orders. Thank you so much to those of you who have been very patient with your orders.

Today, I have 3 custom made russian doll cases to give away, one per winner. You can use it as a phone case or a purse or a business cards holder/case. I made the one in the picture to fit a Samsung phone. The one you will win, will be custom made for your phone, so you need to let me know the name/model of your phone. If you don’t like the russian doll fabric, you can ask me to make it in a different/surprise fabric.

handmadewithjoy phone caseTo win one of those cases, please visit my etsy shop and let me know (in a comment here) what you think I should make and sell that is not already in my shop. Don’t forget to put in the comment the name/model of your phone in case you win, and wether you want your case made with the russian doll fabric in the picture or a different/surprise fabric. The giveaway is open to anyone worldwide, the 1st person to leave a comment will automatically win, and I will draw 2 winners among all the other participants on March 11th (the giveaway is open till March 10th 2015 12pm GMT time).

If you’d rather buy one for you or for someone else as a gift, you can find it in my shop here:

Good luck!

Handmade Gifts book

Sorry I have not been blogging for months. I really want to make more effort with this blog so I am thinking of having a blog post once a week from now on. I would be very grateful if you could let me know what you would like to read more on my blog: gardening, sewing, selling handmade, sewing room ideas? Thanks in advance.

Do you remember the book I was working on beginning of this year? It is now available to buy in all bookshops and you can view it on amazon (ISBN-10: 1409334058  ISBN-13: 978-1409334057):

Amazon and some of its marketsellers offer international deliveries if you would like to buy one but live outside of UK. I’ve bought several copies there for members of my family in France. I got my copy from the editors and it is a great book with a lot of lovely crafts to make. I will do a proper review of it another time but here are a few pictures:

Handmade Gifts book   Handmade Gifts book DK

The book was written with several other crafters and is published by DK (they also sell the book directly there – as a hardback and an ebook), my contribution is on page 106 and my name is on the authors page 251).

my ipad cover in Handmade Gifts book

This is the list of projects in the book along with the name of all the contributors. My name is on the top right of the right page.

Handmade Gifts book authors

Handmade Gifts book Lova

Yes I know, I have a very long name. For those wo are curious about it, I am originally from Madagascar.

To celebrate the release of the book, I thought I would offer FREE DELIVERY (including international deliveries) for all my handmade items (including custom made items) that are purchased directly from me (not from my shops). So if you would like to purchase something, have a look at one of my shops (links on the right column bar) and contact me here  – by leaving a comment (or via any of my shops) and I will email you a paypal invoice. You can pay by bank transfers (or cheque/postal order/cash at any HSBC bank) or by paypal.

Here is a Nook cover that I sewed lately for a customer.  I now I offer a custom fit cover for any ereader (Kindle, Nook, etc), and you can also chose the fabric you want (I have more than 100 fabrics to chose from).

On the sewing room front, I haven’t had time to re-organise it yet but I found a nifty solution for storing my iron board. If you remember, I have found my dream table which serves as cutting table (with a self healing mat on the right side of the table) and an ironing table (with a homemade portable ironing board on the left side of the table). My iron is big bulky and heavy so I don’t want to store it in a cupboard as I use it everyday, but it does not look nice permanently on the table, so I put 2 Ikea mini chest of drawers on top of each other under the table (like this one but mine has 9 drawers) and now my iron sits on top of those drawers and is ready to be used anytime.

sewing room iron storage

Now, I am still debating whether to sew a curtain or not to hide all the junk under the table (right now, my tulip bulbs are parking there until I plant them in december). And talking about gardening, here is a picture of my side yard this summer (in august), as promised. I will write a blog post about my success and failures in the garden this year, next time.

my side yard august 2013


Interview from co-founder of japanese books Edition Paumes

I  stumbled upon this interview from the japanese books paumes and wanted to share it with you here (interview found on french blog Sympa Simone and re-printed here with her permission)

Interview from Hisashi Tokuyoshi co-founder of Edition Paumes (Jeu de Paume):

What is Editions Paumes background? When was it founded, and by who ?
We started our family-run company back in August of 1997, two years after returning from Paris. The company is run completely by us – Hisashi is the photographer and art director, and, his wife, Fumie Shimoji represents the french artists that we met during our stay in Paris. Lately, we work with artists through out the world. We really make an effort to respect everyone that we collaborate with, and to maintain good relations with them.

We also have « Galerie Doux Dimanche » a galerie and boutique where we exhibit objects made by artists. As you know, we have a line of books that focus on interiors and the lifestyle of artists, so this fits into our interests quite nicely.

How many people work at Editions Paumes ? Is it a small business ?

Right now, we have 7 people working in Tokyo, as well as 7 people working in Paris who help us with the books. And for us, all of the artists who are in our books are also part of the team ! Maybe it is a small business compared with a large publishing house, but thanks to the connections with artists through out the world, it seems larger.

How do you choose the subject of each book? Do you have a team of stylists, decorators, etc?
We do not have a stylist or a decorator… We do not need them because we take photographs of reality. This means that we do not go into the apartments and re-arrange them. Rather we leave the apartment exactly as the owner lives in it. This makes for more interesting photographs.

What is the process from the idea to the finished book?

Really, it depends on the book. We were lucky enough to be in Paris while working on the book “Ateliers des Artistes à Paris.” When we were in Paris, we visited the atelier of some friends. It was wonderful, because it was full of interesting things. There is a whole universe of undiscovered creativity! While we were there, many of our friends introduced us to artists that they know, and so we were able to complete the book thanks to their col

Since then, we have created circles of artists in several areas – London, the North of Europe, Paris… We always work in this style of meeting people and remembering what they create. You never know what will happen – sometimes, after meeting an artist to make one book, we will have an idea that will lead to the next publication.

What would you suggest to parents to decorate their children’s bedrooms? Is there anything that is a “must-have”?
We are interested in things that have a history and a story. Sometimes, the object could be given by their grandparents. We also like things that parents make for their children. And especially the things that children create by themselves! We think that all children are little artists!

To only have modern things in a home makes it feel like a show room. The important thing is to include things in the home that create a sense of love for children, and create a link to the family.

What do you like best in your line of work?
I love that I have the power to share joy. Right now, there are many artists that are happy to participate in the creation of our books. I am so happy and honored to have their help!

Us, the editors, the artists who are profiled in the books, and of course the readers, should be happy because they are all indispensable in the quest for a great book!

And finally, it is wonderful for us to meet new artists who are going to make an impact in the future!

The picture below is from one of their newest books: Finland Family Style

Japanese Jeu de Paume books

Great news, I have been accepted by my favourite japanese publisher Jeu de Paume to be one of their resellers. So I am now selling the whole range of their books. I’ve just received my 1st shipment from them and have started listing some in my etsy shop and ebay shop. Below are the titles currently available. If you would like to buy one and mention that you heard about it on my blog then I will include a surprise handmade gift for you (only for the first 10 buyers who mention it please).

You can see some pictures of the inside of the books in my flickr or in my etsy shop and ebay shop. I realy want to carry the whole range so next time I will order different titles and if there is one you would like but you don’t see it here or in my shops please let me know so that I can order it next time.

My favourite one is the London Gardens, as it’s full of inspiration for my own little garden. I’ve been injecting some colours in the front garden, by painting the garage wall bright lavender (it’s what I first see from the living room/sewing room so I wanted to brighten up the dull natural stone colour of the wall) and I will also paint the brickwall (that separates my patio to my mini orchard area and my gravel flower bed area) in bright fuschia. I’ll post pictures next time but you can see 3 photos of the work in progress in the garden in my flickr.