• Junking Excursions with Lisa
  • Coffee and Creations
  • Lake Geneva poster
  • Living in Nyon

Stacey Felberbaum

For its first exhibition of the year, L'Étagère Lausanne welcomes local artist Stacey Felberbaum. The designer will take visitors to meet the inhabitants of the forests, around twenty animal portraits made in pencil and acrylic after face-to-face meetings between Switzerland and the United States. There is also a corner more "familiar" with the portraits of pets, of which only she has the secret. Discovering this committed artist who operates under the pseudonym "Sketch of Pets". We caught up with Stacey and she has kindly offered a custom pet portrait (13x18 cm) to one of our readers. Read on to find out how to enter the competition or how you can contact Stacey to commission a portrait of your pet.

What has been the inspiration behind your art?
I am passionate about animals and I love drawing so mixing both was just logic. Plus it is great to make people happy: having a portrait of an animal at home brings joy in people's lives.

Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?
When I was a child, my mother always used to tell me how I should be an animal artist and she always pushed me to do pet portraiture. This idea was in the back of my mind for ever... It’s only last year when we had our first lockdown with Covid-19 that I took the leap. I did a few portraits as a surprise for some friends to cheer them up. The surprised snowballed and I launched myself to make a hobby into something fruitful.

Groseille Pochette Blondinette2

Artist, illustrator, graphic designer, mother and wife, Magali Bican is one amazing woman. We wrote an article about her back in 2016 at this link. It was time to catch up again and see what she has been doing. She answered some questions for us here:

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
The passion! My deep love for drawing, every day, from childhood. During 14 years I worked as an employee and I was totally happy, but in 2018, after some life twists and turns, becoming an independent illustrator and graphic designer was the obvious choice for me.

What is new to our readers since the article in 2016?
My business is more focused on creating personalized illustration of people like "Family portraits" or "Professional portraits" for a digital introduction on websites or social media, like an avatar!

I also create communication media for companies such as flyers or posters etc. My special talent is my "coup de crayon". The best way to translate this is my sketching flair. Custom illustrations are a great addition to any message and make the communication unique and stand out from the rest.

But the real BIG NEWS is the launching of my e-shop! A selection of printed limited edition illustrations, accessories like tote bags, pochettes, or little badges (selling for Fr. 3.-/each).
A fantastic selection of cards are the latest addition to my catalog with prices starting at Fr. 5.-/card. I am proud to say that all the cards are printed in Geneva as well... it is really important to me to support the local businesses.

Clare ODea Voting Day

We recently wrote an article about Bergli Book's new publication 50 Amazing Swiss Women. And since then we heard about another book on the subject of women's right to vote in Switzerland written by Clare O'Dea: Voting Day. She has offered to give one lucky knowitall.ch reader a copy, read below. We asked her a few questions to find out her story:

Why did you start? What has been the inspiration?
The inspiration for this book is all around. It’s in the life stories of the older generation, stories I’ve heard from many people in my years in Switzerland. For a long time, this wasn’t the easiest country for women to live in. They were the forgotten half of society, disenfranchised, legally disadvantaged and hardly visible in public life.

I wanted to put myself in the shoes of those unseen and uncelebrated women.

My novel Voting Day (Le jour où les hommes ont dit non) takes place on 1 February 1959, when men voted no to granting women voting rights – by a two-thirds majority. By recreating that day from the point of view of four women characters, I wanted in some small way to reclaim a bitter moment in recent Swiss history for women.

Have you been working on this idea forever, or was it something that came to you recently?
Funnily enough, I completed almost all the research for this book before I had the idea to write it. As a journalist working for swissinfo.ch, I interviewed victims of historical injustices in the care system and reported on their campaign for compensation. I covered issues like forced adoption and the ill-treatment of the Yenish people. For my non-fiction book, The Naked Swiss, I interviewed one of the leading campaigners for the vote in the 1950s and read a lot about that era. I also learned a lot about Swiss culture from my in-laws’ large extended family.

What is the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
Writing the book was a real pleasure. The challenge was to get it published, and the clock was ticking because the 50th anniversary of the women’s vote was coming up in February 2021. I also really wanted the book to reach Swiss readers. After a lot of effort and with plenty of help, I managed to raise enough money to have the book translated into French, German and Italian last year and to publish all four books on time for the anniversary.

Pretty Women hor

International Woman’s Day is 6 March and Elisabeth Fransdonk, EMO-Photo, wanted to do something special. With the pandemic raging at the moment, we were touched by her calmness and willingness to spread images of mothers and daughters embracing. Her offer has limited space, so I would suggest signing up for a space as soon as possible. She is also putting one session up for grabs in a competition... read on.

What does International Woman’s Day mean to you?
I have never been a feminist but I have always believed in equal choices. Starting up my business after my daughter was born, a lot of people looked at me as a housewife with a hobby. That made me more determined than ever to be ultra professional and… to succeed! So International Women’s Day for me is a shout out to all those ladies who dared to go against the stream and went for their dreams.

How has Covid-19 changed the way your work and what obstacles have you overcome?
Covid-19 has had a major impact on my work, as for so many people. Coming back after battling cancer in 2018 and 2019, I was looking forward to getting back to business as usual.. Well, that didn’t happen. I’m trying to be as creative as possible in finding new opportunities and at the same time I put a lot of effort into staying present and visible on social media. Thankfully I have a lot of material to choose from, so where 2021 is a celebration of 15 years of my work as a professional photographer I bring out a retrospective every two weeks or so celebrating 15 years of smiles to remember.

askwW6 A

Bergli books have been busy again with another publication. This time the subject covers 50 Swiss women! We asked one of the 5 authors, Katie Hayoz, to tell us more.

What has been the inspiration? 
The idea for writing a book of short biographies on amazing Swiss women came from one of the authors on the project, Laurie Theurer. When she was writing her book, Swisstory (on Swiss history), she included a short chapter devoted to Swiss women. Right away she knew she wanted to explore that subject further. However, a book like this is a huge undertaking – the research and interviews and writing take a great deal of time and devotion.

Bergli Books wanted to publish for the 50th anniversary of women getting the vote in Switzerland (February 2021), meaning Laurie wouldn’t have enough time to work on it by herself. So, she looked among her female writer friends who were just as inspired by the project as she was.

We are five writers – Laurie Theurer, Katie Hayoz, Anita Lehmann, Alnaaze Nathoo, Barbara Nigg – and one illustrator, Mireille Lachausse. We all are doing this because we believe women’s voices and stories need to be heard and that they are worth hearing. We are Swiss-born, Swiss-based, or Swiss by “adoption.” So we know that “Swiss” does not mean one particular thing. Switzerland and Swiss women are quite diverse, and we hope to show that in the book.