Whilst hanging out the laundry yesterday I reflected on how much the family wash had changed. Long gone were the days of tiny pastel baby-grows and socks for feet as soft and sweet-smelling as fruit. At even greater distance was the memory of a line with lingerie or the ‘thrill’ of washing his clothes!
I came across this old etching of mine recently and recognised how far along that washing line I had travelled myself. Certainly long past the time of huge family washes where the output of dirty laundry always threatened the danger of a clean-pants famine, but hopefully not quite yet at the era of sad and grey sensible knickers. Perhaps I have reached a place of wash-equilibrium, a long pause between nappies and incontinence related washing?
Change is mostly recognisable in retrospect, but when you work closely with your daughter as I do, it is often unavoidably obvious. I recently helped my own mother through a medical episode and it made me realise how in this middle part of life the mothering role can be rather tidal, ebbing and flowing with the nurturing and caring being handed back and forth between generations depending on needs and abilities. Then one day, perhaps the tide turns and you are the one caring for your parent, just as happened, in reverse, the first time your own child rescued you by driving out to a rainy airport to collect you from incompetent planning (yes, yes, thank you, I HAVE paid for that chapter a multitude of times!).
No wonder Mother’s Day can be a sentimental battleground, so much time has passed and the baton of care has been exchanged a multitude of times. We are encouraged to part with more hard-earned cash to tangibly demonstrate our love and yet I firmly believe it is the intangible that matters far more. By all means shower your mother with beautiful things, but make sure they are meaningful because it will only be a substitute for the more precious gifts of time and memory.
Our life on Lamma Island brings us in to daily contact with Hong Kong’s wild side, and inevitably many of our prints and patterns are inspired by the tropical flora and fauna we are surrounded by.
For our summer collection this year we bring you washed canvas bags and silky-soft scarves and sarongs emblazoned with our favourite sea life.
We were honoured to have an Apple Daily team come to the Louella Odié studio a couple of weeks ago to talk to Karen and I about our prints and how Hong Kong has inspired our business.
(We were a little hesitant to put a link to this video up on the site as seeing yourself on camera can be awful, but we thought our Hong Kong customers might like to see what we have been up to recently!)
You can see the full printed interview that appeared in the newspaper here
Banish the winter blues and win yourself one of our exotic Bauhinia Sarongs, as modelled here by Nadine from House of Huber. Spring may have gone to our heads as we are also giving away a further five Bauhinia Bags!
To be in with a chance to win simply enter your name in the comments box below. We will announce the winners on Sunday 13th March.
This is the F••• Weasel I made for my mother a while ago. (My mother is the original Odié, who we named our business after.)
Her solution to any domestic panic is to cook extravagantly which is why this one is armed with prawn-pistols. I accidentally made this one with a too-strong spring which means the weasel pops out it its pot and terrifies the cleaner – so I inadvertently captured another side of my mother’s personality!
Yesterday I sat with her through ten hours of grueling facial surgery and no amount of prawns or weasels could make light of the situation. What it has shown me though is the complex web of family and friends who are there offering help and covering all the mundane but vital things that need attending to despite the world shifting on its axis. To them a big thank you. That really is the spirit of the weasel.
I also wanted to say to all you beautiful tropical ladies – and men, please please wear sunblock!
“It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot” said Queen Victoria of Osborne House, her palatial home on the Isle of Wight. Even after seeing the house on a blustery, grey January day we had to agree with her.
Karen and I took an afternoon off after Top Drawer to have a tour of Osborne House on the Isle Wight, which is just across the River Medina from our home in Cowes. Whilst the upper floors in the house are closed for the winter months, the House Keeper leads daily tours with small groups of the ground floor rooms, so we took the opportunity to have a nose around without the summer crowds, and probably got to linger longer than visitors normally do.
We were early for the tour so had time for a ramble in the Walled Garden, which is just starting to show the first signs of Spring’s arrival with green shoots poking out of bare flower beds, and espaliered fig trees spreading their branches along the walls. I fell in love with the vegan pigs we discovered. And Karen found that she could easily imagine herself living here!
Inside we were able to explore the main rooms with their impressive, OTT Victorian decoration; as well as take the time to appreciate the smaller details, such as these incredible Minton floor tiles with their beautifully detailed depictions of sea life. We finished the tour in the Durbar Room, which was like walking inside a wedding cake with it’s frosted walls. There must have been some very chic dinner parties held here 100 years ago. Having seen the ground floor we are very much looking forward to coming back in the summer and seeing the rest of the house and the garden.
We’re kicking 2016 off to a big start by heading to Top Drawer trade show once again at Kensington Olympia in London from January 17th-19th!
A question for our lovely UK customers: Do you have a favourite local boutique or independent retailer who you think could do with a boost of Louella print and colour?
We’re kicking 2016 off with a bang by heading to London in two weeks to exhibit at the famous Top Drawer London trade show once again!
This is a trade show aimed at buyers and independent retail owners, rather than the general public, so we would love to hear in the comments below the name of your favourite independent boutique or shops, anywhere in the UK, so that we can invite them to visit us at the show.
Please help us to spread the word about our fabulous handbags and get Louella Odié stocked in your neighbourhood!
The prosecco is open and the office is closed!
We will be sending out orders again from January 4th 2016.
Anyone desperate for a Louella fix, please try our stockists in Hong Kong.
A very happy holiday to all, with love from the Louella team
We will be exhibiting at the final Conrad Hotel Christmas Fair on December 14th in Admiralty. Open from 11am-8pm. This will be our final public pop-up before Christmas so don’t miss the opportunity to come and see our designs in person and to sort out any final pressies you still need to get!
Don’t have time to leave the office to get to the Conrad? We are offering our Office Sales service until December 18th. We will come to your office with a wide selection of our designs so that you can see them in person and place an order with us directly which will then be wrapped and delivered to your office the next day. To book this service just drop us a line at email@example.com!