Monday, March 23, 2009

Houseguest: Melissa de la Fuente

Ding dong... oh hey! Please help me welcome a very special friend...

Hello lovely readers of Heart Handmade! Melissa here from Melissa loves, and so excited to do an artist spotlight feature with the lovely and extremely talented Geeta from Babette. Geeta's work leaves me breathless, gorgeous leather cut into beautiful flowers and leaves, lovely beading and plenty of sparkle! Elegant and glamorous! I am a huge fan and am so happy to be guesting on dear Marichelle's blog so I could introduce Geeta's new spring line for Babette!

This is a fun one so, sit back and enjoy! Thank you for having me here and Geeta, thank you for taking part!

Hi, my name is Geeta, thanks so much to Melissa for choosing to interview me and to Marichelle for sharing her space! I live in northern NJ with my husband and two little girls. I work as a full-time mother and concocted a 'business venture' last year to keep myself amused and provide a mental escape from life in suburbia. I am originally from London, a fashion designer by profession and worked in London and on 7th Ave, NYC before stopping to have children.

>> My Workspace...

>> click here to continue reading about Geeta

>> Random facts...

I grew up in NW London and went to the same high school as Twiggy.
I have spent 3 days and two nights in a desert whilst traveling, sleeping under a blanket of stars and mattress of sand, with two camels, and two camel drivers.
I got engaged to my husband after knowing him for 10 days.
I have two degrees: one in fashion and one in textiles and print for fashion.
I have traveled at some point by log boat, powerboat, camel, moped, tramcar, horse and carriage, bullock and cart, the TGI train, rickshaw, flown in a small four passenger plane flown by a friend, and have ridden in two rather fancy cars: an Aston Martin and Rolls Royce. My favorite was the rickshaw!
I avoid anything I consider visually/mentally disturbing, including Marilyn Manson, but once found myself in a dark elevator with him in it!

>> 10 Things I can't live without it...

Bit of a tricky one as most of the things I can't live without are not material, but here goes:
1. The sound of my children's laughter
2. Beauty: natural and man made
3. Dreams
4. Music
5. Tools: my hands, my vision, camera, pencil, paper, scissors
6. Fruit
7. Love
8. The Internet
9. My Diesel sneakers, the softest things ever!
10. Jeans, jeans, jeans!

>> My home...

>> My Wishlist

1. A place to sit painting
2. Wooden Pinocchio
3. Mor Mor Rita child's sweater
4. Sirch modern dollhouse
5. Essimar print

6. ABC print by Bread and Butter shop
7. Iris photograph by Wannabes
8. B&W photograph by Ena and the Swan
9. Tim Walker book
10. Gold leafed candle holders by Jean Pelle

>> A day in my life...

This is how my day played out, (like any typical mother, I have very little time for my venture):

6.15 am Internal alarm clock wakes me up and I face my biggest challenge: Getting my 5 year out of bed, dressed, fed and off to school. My experiment using humour seems to be working! It involves me taking on silly persona's (leprechaun, robot etc), to cajole her out of her sleep. I discover that Lila likes robots and leprechauns more than me in the early morning hours.
9.00am Back home after dropping Lila off at to school. Time to tackle washing dishes, baby bottles, and practice a little yoga while baby Zara happily empties out all of the 100 toys or so all over the living room.
9.30am Zara sound asleep!
I rapidly check emails and a couple of blogs I love...this reminds me that I am not alone. Today I have to photograph a couple of new jewelry pieces. I have no use of a supermodel...Giselle is a bit busy, so I'll be turning the camera on myself. I have a quick change of clothes, choose a vintage lacy cardigan, tie up my hair and find the best light possible. As I'm averse to figuring out how the self timer works on my camera, I forgo the tripod and the possibility of achieving pictures that are actually in focus....oh, well, I consider blurred photography to be an interesting technique! I simply turn the camera back on myself and shoot off 40 or so shots. I keep fingers crossed and hope for the best.
10.15 Upload photographs, and much to my dismay, find that one after another picture is worthy only of the 'bin'. Thankfully, there is that one picture that is semi-focused and kind of stylish, hooray!!! A little editing in Photoshop does a world of magic! 'Photoshop, oh how I love thee!' I crop off my head as per usual as I don't fit in that 'supermodel' category. Having worked in fashion for so long, a visually appealing image is everything- that is in grained in me.
11.00am Z is still asleep!!! I use this extra time to allow my mind to wonder, ponder a new idea, allow it to float around in my head and then quickly sketch it down....many an idea is lost because I don't always jot it down.
11.30am I hear Z's piercing cry and bolt to her as I always do. She is a mass of giggles once she sees me approach- isn't that magical? Her tears just melt away.
11.30am My lunch/Z's lunch. My lunch is leftover vegetable soup, half an avocado, grapefruit juice and wholewheat toast. Her lunch: She's on food strike, so it's simply a bottle of milk.
1.00pm Z's music time. She is born on the same day as Elvis and is a huge fan of music, so I put on all her current musical obsessions and watch her clap, dance, wiggle. It is very amusing to watch and makes my day. She is a huge fan of Indian music, which has put me on an ongoing and interesting journey of discovering new sounds, that I never would have found were it not for her.
1.30pm Run down to do laundry, back upstairs to tidy up 100 toys scattered all over floor. Are you beginning to realize how part-time my jewelry venture is?
2.00pm Take out leather swatches to find interesting combinations/possible new ideas. Z decides they are her new toys and thinks it's better to stuff them into a cereal box. I let her get her way...
3.00pm Pick up Lila from school. She decides to write a note to God as she steps back home. I ask her who that is (just checking). She responds with: 'Well he's the clouds....' I can't help but swoon at her answer. She writes her note and sends it flying into the air. I don't reveal to her that it lands in the rhododendron bush. That would crush her.
4.30pm Started cooking dinner with my assistant Lila, whilst simultaneously doing homework with her.
6.00pm Receive sad news that SIL's husbands' father lost his battle to cancer, passing away this morning. We prepare to drive to their house to pay our condolences.
9.30pm Return home and put both girls into bed...the car ride put them to sleep for me:). Search on-line suppliers for interesting vintage beads and chain....I am always on the look out for these.
10.30pm Contemplate updating my blog, but change my mind. Sleep is calling!

Visit Geeta's shop at
Photos: Geeta Patel

Melis it was nice to have you over. Come by anytime!!

Melissa de la Fuente
I am a mom of two hilarious and beautiful girls and the wife and partner to their awesome dad. I couldn't do much without their support and love. I am an actress by trade but, find happiness in all the little things in life and share most of them here on a daily basis
. I am a confessed coffee tea addict, HBO's The Wire addict and a movie/music and dog lover.


Lynne said...

What a great feature - I feel I've learned tons about Geeta! I'm going to check her work out now.

Geeta said...

You're an actress!!!???

Getaway! I'm speechless and awestruck:)

Thank you for the lovely job featuring me Melissa, I'm totally blushing!

Melissa de la Fuente said...

YAY! Geeta! Thank you Marichelle for having us and I am so happy to take part in this awesome series! Geeta is a gem and if I had a million necks I would own every one of her pieces....:)

jules said...

Thank you so much for sharing a little peek into your life. And thanks to Melissa for introducing me to Geeta's work, simple gorgeous!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

wow! so beautiful--her work is divine and i love seeing glimpses of other people's workspaces--it makes me want to reorgainize!

Marichelle said...

Thank you so much Melis for introducing us to the lovely Geeta! Geeta, I'm so thrilled to have your work featured here. Melis has been telling me about your stuff for a while now and she wasn't exaggerating one bit - your work is exquisite , can't wait to meet you!!

Hi Lynne, Jules, & Deb (miss you!) - thanks so much for stopping by to say hello!!


Cindy said...

it's great to see melissa here. i loved her feature about geeta and seeing her workspace!