Kickcan & Conkers Interview

Creative Interviews takes me to France this week and a particular person that inspired me with her great eye for detail, style and dedication to producing one of my favourite sites on the web. I'm talking about a Yorkshire rose now living in France - Deborah Beau. I just want to thank Debs for giving up her time and great patience with my technical problems in uploading this. We got there in the end!
Photo Collage by Zoe
So Deborah, a Yorkshire lass in France – does the mix work LOL

Well, it’s taken me over twenty years but I’ve finally found the right balance – a huge garden full of fig, pomegranate and olive trees surrounded by an old dry stone wall! The Yorkshire Dales meet The Mediterranean, that’s a good enough mix for me. After all, to quote Voltaire, maybe the key to happiness is to “cultiver son jardin”.
How would you describe yourself in five words and how would you like people to describe you?

“A bit of a dreamer”… or “Square peg in round hole”… How would I like people to describe me? Well, the French always call me “charming”, “elle est charmante Déborah…” , which I never quite know how to take. I’d much rather hear them say that I have “le coeur sur la main” (big-hearted / generous).

Give me the names of 3 objects or things you dislike most and why

I have to say that I dislike a lot of things. I’m a very difficult person to live with I think… If I have to limit myself to three today I would say Meat - I’ve been a vegetarian for almost thirty years, I really can’t stand the stuff! Waste, I hate wasting anything. Time, food, water, money, energy – the list is long. I am adamant that our children will grow up to respect our planet and its people. Let’s just say that I was more than happy to leave behind the inescapable, all-pervading British Class System.

Tell me about something you've achieved?

Well, I’d love to be able to tell you that I’ve finally passed my driving test but I’m 44 years’ old and somehow I just don’t think that’s going to happen! I’m working very hard to be myself, such a classic mid-life crisis LOL! I have a First Class Hons. French and Drama degree from Goldsmiths and up until I met my husband and came to live in France the theatre was all I lived for.
I love the smell of grease paint but somehow lost myself through years of translating monotonous technical documents, manuals and market research. I’ve finally decided to go back to being creative, to being myself, hence my blog and future shop.
Where do you get the time to maintain such a comprehensive and visually stunning site – your time management skills must be exemplary

I make time! I love Kickcan & Conkers, it’s as simple as that. We have three wonderful, demanding kids, a big house that we are renovating ourselves and a large garden in need of lots of tender loving care so I’m very busy but when you are motivated and passionate about something you always find time, don’t you? (Late to bed – early to rise seems to be the secret!)

Who or what influences your blog and do you have an absolute favourite you just can’t see past

I have very eclectic tastes I think. Kickcan & Conkers naturally seems to have become child-oriented (for big and little kids alike), with a strong emphasis on vintage finds, art, illustration, photography and design. My Tumblr is more experimental, more diverse. I like them both.
I don’t really plan anything, I just post whatever catches my eye. I go out of my way to find unusual artists, makers and designers, often living outside Europe. I have discovered so many wonderful, inspiring people, it would be hard to have to choose an absolute favourite.
Camilla's Photography
I get my daily art fix from Hazel over at the Art Room Plant and I love Camilla’s photography and reading about her life in Montana. Joel’s creativity never ceases to amaze me, he’s very talented and will go far I think.
Tonis & Marlen
At the moment I’m really enthusiastic about Tonis & Marlen , a creative couple from Estonia, Sérgio Dias, a toy designer from Portugal, Chris Theiss, a ceramist / cardboard-art making genius from the States and I love Jessica Quinn’s new work.
Sergio Dias
Where would you go in the world for inspiration

Ilkley Moors – I’m not going to start doing my Cathy and Heathcliff bit but nowhere inspires me more than Ilkley Moors, I have heather and granite in my veins I think. Other than that, I would love to go to India, Poland and Russia.
Chris Theiss
Are you usually late, early or right on time?

Oh I try, I really do, but three kids and near-round-the-clock enthusiastic blogging do not seem to equate with meticulous time-keeping. I’m always, always late these days.
Ilkley Moor
Do you like to shop and if so for what

I’m quite happy to shop online for most things these days (we live in the country) but I wouldn’t miss our weekend trip to the market in Sommières for the world.

Any advice for Ziggy  Be yourself, everyone else is already taken!

Deborah's links -

Kickcan & Conkers




  1. I read Kickcan and Conkers everyday. Thank you and thanks Deborah!!!

  2. Debs - It was a pleasure! Thank you for allowing me into a smidge of your life! x

  3. Ah Thanks for your comment pa(u) - I pop over every day too!

  4. Great end to a hectic day - great interview - thank you

  5. Your welcome Cari! You'll love Debs blog - it's a great resource for inspiration! cheers jay

  6. I have so enjoyed reading a little more about the big-hearted Deb, a tireless, enthusiastic, promoter,finder,seeker & genuine lover of the creatives & their worlds.
    I love her eye & slant on just about everything she does!!!(she's good for a chat too!)

  7. That was a great way to spend Friday evening, thank you both xxxx

  8. So fun to read about you Debrorah.
    ...and you my dear, are defintly my cup of tea! Love your blog and how you inspire all of us.

    Never knew you were a vegetarian- cheers to that!
    Thank you for this lovely interview, I enjoyed it - tres bien!

  9. Glad you liked it Camilla! Deborah has been such an inspiration for me too! Jay

  10. Kickcans is such a source of inspiration — and I really admire Deb, her energy, generosity, enthusiasm and above all great eye are really a wonder! Thanks for posting this interview!!

  11. Your welcome M - thank you for your comment!

  12. Thank you all for the lovely comments, I'm blushing!

  13. There's a lot of love there Debs!!! Thank you once again for allowing me to ask you a few questions! x Jay

  14. oh this was so nice to read. great to find out a little bit behind the wonderful woman with such a wonderful eye that inspires so many of us. thanks x

  15. ça me plaît de connaître un peu plus Deborah alors que ses pages sont déjà tant emplies d'elle. Merci. J'aime votre blog.


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