新年快乐- Happy Chinese New Year

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year! Or in other words, 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuàilè)!

I went to the Oriental market today and picked up a few items to give to friends we will be meeting up with tonight, as we celebrate the New Year in a cabin up the canyon. I even got jiaozi for us to make up there (the yummiest)!

Chinese New Year was always fun growing up in China because it meant we got an extra week of holiday off, right after Christmas break. We would often go to the Toronto's big party (family friends) and eat jiaozi (dumplings). Mountains and mountains of dumplings. We'd sometimes go on a trip, closer to home, or simply spend it in Beijing, or Hong Kong, wherever we were living at the time. My parents, who still live in China right now, are on their holiday in India (lucky dogs). The fireworks were always spectacular there. One Chinese New Year we bought one of those huge fireworks (you would probably use in a stadium) and lit it off in the road. It ended up almost lighting a nearby field on fire (oops). My Chinese friends at school would all get hong bao (those red envelopes) with lots of money in them from their relatives. Like literally hundreds of dollars. I have to admit, I wished (and still wish) we had that tradition too!

I ran a lot of errands today, and I don't know if it had to do with my mindset, but I literally saw only Chinese people out and about today. They were all dressed so nicely too. One woman with a light pink tulle skirt peeked out underneath her winter coat, along with shiny new maroon boots. A little boy dressed in a little traditional Chinese qipao set, who was being tugged along by his mother. I would look to my side as I drove, and twice there were Asian women driving along side me.

I loved going to the Oriental market down the street. Even after all of these years in the states, I still feel out of place, and I think I always will feel that way. Seeing familiar foods, hearing Cantonese and Mandarin amongst those aisles....when I miss China the most, I get these little bits of comfort and home to fill my nostalgic heart. 


Match Box Bobby Pin Valentine's

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Want something a little different to give out as a Valentine's gift or card? These are real matchboxes with match bobby pins to put in your hair. Unique and each handmade.  I'm not selling these on my shop, so if you want to order them- you have to email me: mylittlebelleville@gmail.com. They are $10 each. Please specify which designs you want and how many.

Style Sheets- Disney's Mary Blair

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mary Blair was the genius behind some of Disney's early projects- such as Alice in Wonderland, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, and Cinderella. Check out the full post on The House that Lars Built. Interior designer Jessica Williams and I collaborated again to bring you this sheet this month.

Strawberry Flats

Saturday, January 18, 2014

When I was in High School in Beijing, China- I would scour the markets for a perfectly shaped ballet flat. At the time, the only ones that were available were the square-toed ones, or super pointy ones. I would draw the perfect pairs of shoes- but they never seemed to exist, unless they were an expensive pair of Belle by Sigerson Morrison. What I wanted was a classic Audrey Hepburn flat... which were hard to find at good Beijing prices. Sometimes I would find a pair,  and would feel triumphant and revel in the beautiful shape and style of it. Now they seem a lot more available (thankfully) because they are a definite staple in my wardrobe. What I love is coming across a good pair of vintage flats, that are unique because they literally are one of the few that are available. I found these and thought they'd be perfect to pair with strawberries and "She" and "Him" in French. When I was in Paris, I saw a bike with this little wooden crate on the back of it, and it said that phrase, "Elle et Lui" with an illustration of flowers next to it. I thought it was charming and tucked it away in my memory to use at some point of time. Now seemed appropriate to use it, especially for Valentine's Day. Plus, you can never have too many shoes (okay.. that's a lie but one I use when I justify buying a new pair..)

There's only one pair, and if you are the right size- they might be yours for the taking.

The Valentine's Bunny is Real.

Friday, January 17, 2014

What if there was this being that wrote Valentine's Day cards and delivered them like the Easter Bunny- I mean, I'm sure there are many of us who have gotten cards and haven't ever known who they were from, right? At least in elementary school.. (where they told us it was mandatory to give everyone a card so they wouldn't feel left out...) Whatever! Like everyone remembered to do that! Who made up for the lacking? This one did- click here for a print.

New Items & is Valentine's The Worst?

Valentine's Day is in a couple weeks.. are you ready? I used to love Valentine's Day when I was in elementary school- it was fun getting little anonymous cards and candy in class. Plus my mom always gave us little gifts and made those sugar cookies with frosting that are to die for. I remember when I was about 8 or 9, we sat down to dinner on Valentine's Day and we each had little boxes next to our plates. My mom had given me a little heart pin and my brothers and I also got these little toy frogs that jumped when you squeezed this little pump attached to them. As I entered my teen years, I started disliking it a lot- It seemed so commercialized and mushy. I always cringed at Valentine's Day if I had a boyfriend because the last thing I wanted was a stuffed animal, chocolates, and some roses. As I moved past that awkward phase in my love life,  I appreciated making it a little less mushy and corny as I got older. Making it more classy and just an excuse to give someone you love or care about something that makes them know they are special. Hopefully I've made that possible for you as well. Click here for some fun new items in the store.

Rhye- 3 Days

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I wish there were a good video to this song.... in this type of mood today. I love this group.

Beauty Redefined Illoz

Monday, January 13, 2014

More illustrations up on Beauty Redefined- check out more of what they do here.

Faces & Things Milk Jug

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New- online!
Personally I don't love milk... but if I had something like this to store it in (rubber cap included) I think I wouldn't mind it so much. You can store OJ, soymilk, any other type of drink in this cute container.

Hand-painted Swan Shoes

Friday, January 10, 2014

I guess since it's January I'm super optimistic for Spring-time. Hand-painted swan vintage heels now for sale here. These lovely yellow heels are perfect to spruce up any outfit that needs a little help- pair with red tights and a blue dress- CUTE! Perfect year-round. I wish they were my size- otherwise I'd be wearing them RIGHT NOW.  Check out more of our new items coming up for Valentine's day next week!

Beauty Redefined: Illustrations

Monday, January 6, 2014

I just finished up a series of illustrations for Beauty Redefined, which was created by these two wonderful women - Lindsay and Lexie Kite. They graduated with their PhD's in the study of media and body image. They have researched how the media directly influences women and the way we think about ourselves and our bodies. Everything they have studied is so fascinating- how women are taught to view themselves as they are being viewed, thus influencing the way they behave because of their fear of looking a certain way, how the media makes women feel low self-esteem, and how to gain back your sense of power, when we are living in a world that is training women to become powerless to their image. Their research covers everything from the sexualizing and objectification of women, to eating disorders, to ways to take back your own individual beauty. It's pretty incredible how they are pinpointing so many issue that are becoming normalized in our society and I'm so inspired by Lindsay and Lexie. For more information, plus a media fast, go here. I'm honored that my illustrations will be up and around their site and blog. 

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