Monday, January 31

#1 {Giveaway}

Hi everyone,

How was your weekend? here in Singapore it rained non-stop for the entire weekend and it is still raining right now... which is nice because it is easier to stay inside and work... and I have got lots to cover today and this week. Chinese New Year is approaching (February 3 and 4), my son is turning 1 on Saturday and I have to prepare the big birthday party for both kids on the 12th. But it is fine, as it requests a lot of creativity and I love it.

Let's not forget that I promised a surprise for today: a new blog template + over 100 Facebook fans = a giveaway!

I am happy to offer one lucky winner this delicious little pouch, a favorite of many if I believe all the comments I have received when first publishing the pictures...

To qualify for the giveaway, you must follow these four easy steps:
  1. Go to ECstudio Facebook fanpage and become a fan if you are not already one
  2. Go to 'Discussions'
  3. Under the topic 'Giveaway: 3 personal goals to achieve in 2011', share with us three of your goals for 2011. If you have none, you can as well share your dreams or anything that would make you happy if it would happen this year
  4. Come back to this post and leave a comment to qualify.
:: Giveaway runs until February 18, 2011; only one entry per person; winner will be announced in a post the next day ::

If you encounter any problem, please just let me know, I will be happy to help. Good luck!

Voila mes amis, I wish you a great week ahead,

xoxo ~ Marie

Thursday, January 27

CHAMPAGNE! {New blog template}

Wow, I am finally back, a bit later than expected, for the big announcement!
The launch of the NEW template of my blog is planned for the end of the week and guess what?
I am super excited about it all!!!

I have worked on it since last November with a wonderful designer I met through the Blogging Your Way e-course I took last Fall. Elizabeth has her own blog called To Be Charmed, and I loved working with her. She is a very talented and friendly person and the fact that we live in two rather different sides of the planet did not affect us at all...

Elizabeth's blog...

I can't tell you more about it, just that we have kept the same girly spirit... and that it feels good to start 2011 revamped and fresh...
Stay tuned, I have one more surprise once the blog is live..


Wednesday, January 26

Etsy supplies {Sugar Pink Boutique}

Today I would like to introduce you a sweet shop on Etsy I have been buying supplies from in the past year or so. It is called Sugar Pink Boutique and its owner, Jennifer, is as sweet as her supplies...

from top left clockwise:

Also stay tuned as I have something to announce later on...

Monday, January 24


I am looking for inspiration for my little girl's and little boy's birthday parties next month. Chloe is turning 4 and Mathias is turning 1 already... I am into balloons and star shapes for the time being, and lots of colors...
I am finding loads of inspiration on Pinterest and have just spent one hour pinning around... talk about being productive!
I am in love with paper garlands too, but I will skip it for this one as it's gonna be quite a big party ~ how can a 4 year old have so many friends?

Loving these paper garlands by talented debee{art}

Friday, January 21

{Interview with} Rosy Sambwa of Kinses


So here we are for our second {Interview with...} post which is going to be a monthly column here on ECS.
Today I would like to introduce you my dear friend Rosy who founded last year her own brand, Kinses. Rosy is a very talented individual and we have known each other for just 10 years now! wow, time flies!!
:: Celebration ::

We met in Paris in September 2000 at Esmod, a renown International Fashion School - we were in the same class. Rosy and I got along immediately as I love her humor, her kindness, her style (she is as pretty and stylish in real life as in picture), her vast knowledge about fashion, art etc... we quickly became good friends and I have fond memories of my year in Paris as a fashion student.
But more exciting things were to happen when we both decided to move to Florence, Italy, after getting our diploma. Naive! we thought we would easily find jobs in the fashion industry but in fact Florence and Tuscany are most known for beautiful wines and food... and jewelry!
We ended up in two different schools but I think we both enjoyed it a lot, and we had a great time in Italy!

You need to know that Rosy and I have a passion for food, especially sweets...
Here at Laduree, in St Germain des Pres, Paris, 2008 
Photo credit: Alexandra Brandelet

Now let's see why we all fall for Rosy, and for Kinses!

Tell us a bit of your story: where are you coming from, what and where did you study, places you have lived in, etc...
Where are you currently living and what are your current projects?

My parents were living in Paris when I was born (in Boulogne Billancourt). We then moved to Brussels in Belgium (age 2) where I grew up with my brothers and sisters. Both my parents are from Congo-Kinshasa (or Democratic Republic of the Congo) but I consider myself both a Congolese and a Belgian. Although I have traveled the world extensively from a young age, my roots are in Brussels and in Kinshasa; my identity is deeply linked to these two cities.
Brussels has been the "dock" I have departed from to study: back in Paris in 1997 to attend an Interior design course and then an International Fashion School then Jewelry Design in Florence, Italy from 2001 till 2003.
I absolutely loved the jewelry course I took in Florence, at a school called Alchemia Firenze. It really had a "magnet effect" on me.

Photo credit: Rosy Sambwa

In 2009 I stopped in Kinshasa and I am now based in Congo, although I regularly go to Brussels for work (and for pleasure - Belgian chocolate, hmmm!)
I don't want to concentrate on only designing clothes, or jewels, or furnitures. Ideas keep on coming my way and bump into each other; a piece of jewelry can inspire me to design a furniture or a piece of fabric will influence how I create a necklace (its design, the color scheme etc...).
Kinshasa currently allows me to let it go and create whatever is crossing my mind.
Talk about creative freedom here! wow, a dream come true!
I have been working on projects as different as designing dresses, kitchen, office interior, jewels, furnitures and even restaurant dishes!

Photo credit: Charalambos Gagalis

The downside of it all is that it looks like I am doing everything and nothing, I might look less professional than if I would specialize in one thing. Step by step however it is coming to shape and something important is emerging: the identity of the brand I created, Kinses.

Describe your creative process. What are you communicating through your products? where do you find your inspiration? 

This is a tough question! At the moment to be honest, it’s just as if (I want to insist on « as if ») things were coming out naturally. 

It is a bit like a first draft of all the experiences and feelings I have accumulated over the past years, so many years in fact, I have created my own world and defined my identity: who I am, where I'm coming from and where I want to go (hmm!). It takes many years to "find yourself"; my work is a mixture of my childhood memories, memories from Kinshasa and memories from Brussels. 
It doesn't matter to me to identify where my influences are; I see my work as a whole and I don't want to start pointing at collections or objects saying it comes from this or that.

I just hope to communicate my love for a perfect job and my attention to details. I want people to fall for these unique pieces made of the knowhow of craftsmen.

Photo credit: Charalambos Gagalis

Great! May I ask you when did you start thinking about Kinses? what is the meaning of this rather beautiful name?

I started thinking about creating my own business in 2007-2008; it is a rather long process to dig in your memories, try to remember who you are and where you come from, and find your own identity. I was a bit lost and felt as if my previous jobs had influenced me and somehow confused me about my own tastes (ndlr: Jean Paul Knott then LTG).

So I first tried to remember what I really liked and I slowly made my way through my family memories: born in Paris, but my parents met in NYC and studied in Brussels (father) and Congo (mother). At the end I realized that even though we all lived and grew up in Brussels, our common roots were pretty much in Kinshasa!

Photo credit: Bertrand Sottiaux

I never encountered comments about my Belgian identity, but how many of them about the Congolese one! I have often been called a "bounty" (black outside and white inside) or people would blame me for not growing up in Kinshasa...
I wanted to play with words... Kin's standing for "from Kinshasa" but I wanted to avoid the comma... so I opted for Kines but a quick search on the internet made me change my mind and I finally chose KINSES.

Kinses stands for:
- two cities close to my heart: Brussels and Kinshasa
- unique pieces: the essence of my work! 
- 2009: the year of the rebirth
- surprises: I love being surprised or surprising people; beyond what you see at first sight is something else that has yet to be discovered...
Photo credit: Bertrand Sottiaux

What are your favorite materials to work with?

I only want to work with beautiful materials : leather, iron, synthetic raffia, printed cotton, Swarovski cristals, semi precious stones, plain wood, ceramic… My philosophy is that if the material is beautiful, you don't need to disguise it and make complicated shapes. I love to "feel" a material too: there is nothing comparable to slowly touch a beautiful piece of leather, a silky fabric, a colorful printed cotton... play with precious stones or appreciate the smoothness of a pearl.
Photo credit: Bertrand Sottiaux

Your wildest dreams are...

Everything is possible to whom believes... I’m fighting to make my dreams come true!

 Hobbies: what are you doing when you are not at your desk working on Kinses?

For the time being Kinses is occupying my days and night; no matter what I do it always relates to Kinses… Anything can be a source of inspiration.
I like to spend time with people - friends or family, cook, travel; I like gardening, reading and chatting, learning new things, singing  - although I am rather bad at it; I like to make a fool of myself with children because this is easy to me… And of course I need my dose of visits to exhibitions, I LOVE to go to restaurants...

I like to learn new things, isn't it called a fulfilling life?

Merci Rosy, thank you for accepting to share with us your creative process and a tiny bite of your story... you are a very talented person and a great friend, please don't change!

Everyone, I would like to get your attention on the beautiful pictures professionally taken by the following photographers:
- purses and household linen by Bertrand Sottiaux
- jewelry and belts by Charalambos Gagalis

It's immensely important to have good photographs to represent your work. They need to "speak" on your behalf about who you are and what your creations are...

For the need of this interview I created all the collages with the pictures that Rosy provided me; I hope you appreciate them. Feel free to comment and give us feedback, that's the only way we can improve!

And to keep in touch with Rosy, it's as easy as that:
Daily on Rosy's blog (in French only): Kinses, le blog - Qualifies pour toutes sortes d'ouvrages 
She also made her debut on Facebook: My Kinses
Website coming soon:

and write to her: if you are interested in doing business with Kinses ;)

See you next month for another exciting discovery!

Wednesday, January 19

{Coup de coeur}

I found out about baileydoesntbark's Etsy shop last Saturday while doing my treasury... this little shop is a treasure itself! totally what I am craving for at the moment.

clockwise from left: 
Jae soy candles at US$30, 

I like the association of gold with white, and I am very fond of designs with dots too. That could become the theme for a collection; how pretty, isn't it?

Monday, January 17

Pink snow

Should I talk more about my family over here at Etincelle Creative Studio?
A good friend of mine wrote me yesterday that most of my readers would probably be interested in knowing about my other blog, Frimousse, where I mostly - if not only - write and post pictures about my family and our life here in Singapore.

My daughter Chloe enjoying the snow in France 

I enjoy documenting our activities and so far it's the best way I've found to keep both our families and friends up to date with what's going on over here (my husband is from Australia, I am from France/ Switzerland).

So here we go: if you'd like to know us better, you are more than welcome over at Frimousse*!

* Frimousse actually means " pretty little face" in French

Seasons of Love

Valentine's day is just a stroll away...

Introducing you my latest treasury on Etsy... Christmas shopping is just done that we already have to worry about Valentine's day... what about keeping it simple? Showing your love doesn't mean you have to look for expensive things...

We always choose a nice restaurant, preferably one we have never tried before, and we spend the evening together, eating delicious food and drinking good wine(s)... flowers are often part of the fun, as I love flowers a lot. Would we do things differently if we didn't have kids? maybe, but I am not even sure.
We like to keep it simple!

What do you think? what are you usually doing for your loved one? and what are your plans for this year?

Share the fun with all of us on the comment section here or on Facebook! I have created a new topic on the discussion board :)

Wish everyone a blissful week...

Thursday, January 13

A column I hope you will like!

I have some good news today... at least for me... I will have a regular column here on ECS every 3rd Friday of the month. My {Interview with...} post last December will become a column and I hope to introduce you all of my talented friends living all over the world. Last time was Gara of GMK from Canary Islands in Spain, and next Friday will be Rosy of KINSES in Bruxelles (Belgium) and Kinshasa (Congo in Africa).

Here below is a little sneak peek of what miss Rosy is creating...

Hope your week is rocking! mine surely does with two jet lagged kids... a reason why I am not fully backed to business...


Tuesday, January 11

Wonderful Holidays...

Hello and Happy New Year to everyone!

I have let you done for a while - nearly one month actually, but it feels so good to take a real break from blogging and from the routine... and as you take a look at the picture below, you will easily understand that the outside scenery was so stunning that I did not feel like spending my days in front of the screen...

We had a really good time in France, in my family, and the small village in the picture above is where I grew up... right on the border between France and Switzerland. I have lovely memories from my childhood which makes me wonder sometime if I really want my kids to grow up in a city hub such as Singapore... dilemma...

I spent time with my family and being in France, it meant LOTS of time sitting at the table eating delicious food and drinking beautiful wines (although I am not so good at wine)... My sisters had baked an amazing amount of Christmas biscuits ( more than 10 different sorts) as it is the tradition in my family. It was snowing on Christmas Eve and sunny on Christmas day... so perfect in fact!

And to top it all, Mr. and I spent a few days in Paris for New Year's Eve... but this is another story...

A demain!

Photo credits: by Alexandra Brandelet (my dear sister) - collage by me

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