Monday, February 28, 2011


No matter what the name is given to a place,
no matter what government is in place

no matter what name is given to an animal,
no matter who has cultivated them,
fought for them,
went into war for them
thought he could leave his mark on them,
and had his name erased by them

no matter what name was given once to an area or village 

The great African Plains will always stay the same. And always have been 

 a painting without title when God was at ease with his paint brush
and I just love them.


One part of our range consists of hand-cut and hand-glued stationery sets with matching cards made from unique vintage books and maps.


For this colorful set I have used a late 1960's South-African school atlas when there was still a Rhodesia and a Portuguese East Africa on the map. 

 I use vintage books to create theses sets but I make sure that I can cut them up before and that they are not rare and worth collecting. 

Bulawayo, Mashonaland, Salisbury, Matabeleland, Victoria Falls. 
Don't you want to travel again when you read these names?


Sunday, February 27, 2011


Very often I get asked how my workshop looks like. The area where I work is like my products in constant change and evolution. There was this place behind the kitchen leading down to my workshop. In desperate need of love and tenderness.

I had plenty of old and broken tiles that I had found when moving to the property. Passionate about giving things a second life - that is also the mantra of my business - I started a project of patience and perseverance.

I have always loved mosaic and can not look often enough at the work of Gaudi. The movement and dynamics that the broken pieces reflect forming a complete new unity has fascinated me ever since.

This is the same area today after months of work. 

 It started with the three stairs that you see in the background and it covers today approximately 50 square meters and the project is still in progress.

I have covered not only the outside area but the whole staircase leading down to my workshop and the paper room. I connected with local tiles stores and wholesalers and was given permission to collect  broken tiles whenever I wanted to because the tiles that were in my possession were long finished.

I decided not to choose a pattern or motif but opted for a rather retro 1940's look that I have seen in some Bauhaus style building like my house is as well. It is very dynamic, very moving and looks absolutely stunning when the sun shining through the big trees causes light patches on the stairs that reflect in the mirror pieces of the mosaic. 

This was not completed in a short time but laying the mosaic every day a little bit or at the week-ends became a meditative process.

and taught me to be a little bit more patient.

And since then I have received completely non-expected commissions for similar projects from clients who saw the work at my house. At first I was ready to turn them down because I do not have the time to accomplish the same for my clients at their houses.
But then I thought twice and to trained someone and this has enabled me to create work.

Friday, February 25, 2011


There are not only visitors who cause trouble - with that I mean like spotted genets who kill my chicken and monkeys who steel the eggs of my chicken. My eggs so to say !
But for nearly three months I had this beautiful bird of prey visiting the tree opposite my workshop and resting on that branch for hours ! He was just 5 meters away from the table where I work.

What a pleasure and privilege to have this bird close.

Often he would leave in the late afternoon hours and circling the area and gliding through the blue sky.

only to come back when the sun was dying down to sleep high up in the tree.


Last night.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


It is this time of the year again when a lot of strange visitors come to my workshop.
Understandable after the big rain we had and given the fact that my workshop is close to nature.

There are many different types of caterpillars - simply called the HAIRY WORMS
 by the locals.

This one had a great time exploring the buttons and playing with the paper beads

Nice to look at by Oh my if you touch them! The hair is like tiny thin needles and breaks like needles the rest sticking in your fingers and itching you for hours.

So I abstained from any intervention took a coffee break until he decided to go his own way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A Carmelia at the end of its life cycle. Leaving the leaves to me and my paper.


The person who wears the color purple has a strong soul.

" A Drop of purple "- recycled and upcycled earrings by Chocolat Negro
This is a blog about flowers and paper- but I just can not help it tonight - and I am showing one of my other creations although it does not belong here. The deep intense purple of the flower shown in the first picture has inspired this creation.  It is true: the color purple gives you strength when you wear it.

Monday, February 7, 2011


In my work I use colors that I have seen a lot in my childhood. I am convinced that the things that have been impressed on our mind when we were children influence the colors and forms we chose later on in life.
When very young I was surrounded by shades of pink, rose, mauve and purple - the preferred color tones of my grandmother.
But most of all she loved a dark and at the same time pale violet. Being a very skilled seamstress she had an eye and a feeling for fabrics as well.

" Crepe de Chine "was the fabric she considered the most beautiful and desirable one.
The petals of this rose in decay look just like crepe de chine. Some memories can never fade. I have named one of my stationery sets after this fabric and the memory of my grandmother.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:
crepe de Chine, also spelled Crêpe De Chine,  (French: “crepe of China”), light and fine plainwoven dress fabric produced either with all-silk warp and weft or else with a silk warp and hard-spun worsted weft. A crepe de Chine texture has a slightly crepe character, a feature produced by the use of weft, or filling, yarns spun with the twist running in reverse directions and known as right-hand and left-hand twist, respectively. During weaving, the picks of filling are inserted in the order of “two-and-two” (i.e., with two picks of weft with a right-hand twist and two picks with a left-hand twist).
During the finishing operation, because of the abnormal amount of twist in the picks of filling, these tend to untwist and recover their normal condition, thereby causing the characteristic effect of typical crepe de Chine. Crepe de Chine textures of artificial silk are common and are often difficult to distinguish from the true silk.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
Not true
If there is nothing left that can be lost at least you are still free.
 If not in a cage or prison.

Freedom is everything.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


My friend of many years

and still going strong

without having lost an ounce of class.
I promised my baby when the time comes she will get a high-end face lift.


Love lasts sometimes

Available at Chocolat Negro


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