Friday, 31 July 2009

Pink Saturday GIVEAWAY.....

Photo: Maison No. 20 Entrance

As most of you already know, this week I achieved 100 blog posts and thought that in order to commemorate this event I would offer a giveaway.

Today is of course Pink Saturday so I am offering some lovely cotton pink, red and white striped cushion covers. Note I am not including the filling but am sure that you will find the inners for next to nothing.




All you have to do to be in the draw, is leave me a comment and I will announce a winner next Wednesday.


For lots of love pink please visit Beverley's blog for a list of this weeks pink participants.


Bon weekend et bonne chance,

L x

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Friday flowers & Claude Monet

Photo: Latour-Marliac

I adore waterlillies or Nénuphars as they are called in french, there is just something about them that is magical.

We are lucky enough to have the waterlilly gardens that inspired the fabulous and of course french artist, Claude Monet.

They are called Jardin des Nénuphars Latour-Marliac and are about a 45 minute drive from Maison No. 20.

Besides the beautiful water lily gardens, you will also see the beautiful ponds and lakes that inspired Claude Monet.



A Panel from Les Nympheas at the Orangerie in Paris


The gardens also house a small museum, exotic glasshouse, bamboo garden, lake and Japanese bridge.

Over 90 per cent of the hardy water lilies in existence in the world at the end of the 19th century were created in this landscaped haven of peace and quiet which covers some 2.5 hectares.

There is also a fabulous restaurant with a lovely view of the gardens, where they serve my favourite Foie gras du Sud Ouest, served with baguette toasts and cranberry sauce and other local delicacies, that this part of France is so famous for.


Photo: Jardin des Nénuphars Latour-Marliac -Café Marliacea

For more about the gardens and also the relationship bewteen Claude Monet and the founder of the gardens, Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac, please visit the Jardin des Nénuphars Latour-Marliac website.

On Saturday I am participating in Paink Saturday and will also be announcing details of my giveaway, pink of course!

Bon vendredi

L x

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

what to do?


The Sunday just gone, at one of the local vide greniers, I bought a couple of pieces of fabric which I think are too pretty to make cushions from as it seems a shame to cut up the lovely picture.
That said I have just photogrpahed the blue and white piece and I am now thinking that one large cushion could be fabulous!

Here are some photos, let me know what you think....


This is the blue and white fabric, it is made by a brunschwig & fils.

And this is the rouge and cream piece, I am not sure of the manufacturer but think that it would look great framed.....






I think that if you click on the photo, you will be able to see how detailed the print is.



So now it is over to you, all ideas will be gratefully received.....


Merci beaucoup


L x

Monday, 27 July 2009

The end result.....



Hope that you all had a great weekend. You will recall that I was working on a project and had to get it finished by Sunday as it was needed by our guests.

We have a french family staying at Maison No. 20,who have a very sweet son called Jean-Luc who is 4 years old and loves knights or "chevaliers" as they are referred to in french.


As you know the apartment that we have just finished as two bedrooms but they are separated by the living area which is fine for 2 couples or a family with older children but is not so good for young children as it is a little frightening to wake up in strange surroundings and not being able to find Mum.
So we decided that it would be a good idea to put an additional bed in one of the bedrooms which could be used as both a day bed or bed for a young child.


A friend, the very lovely and kind Martine, has a lovely shop in the village that sells gorgeous french styled homeware so I was happy when she mentioned that she had a bed that maybe suitable. She mentioned that it was her daughter's bed when she was a child and she loved pink so had painted it marshmellow pink!


So now you understand why I was painting it and also the time constraint :-)


This is a photo of the bed in the garage at Maison de Poitiers waiting to be painted....






And this is a photo of the bed after it has been painted and transported (very carefully) to Maison No. 20....





I am now thinking about the next project as I bought some lovely pieces of toile de jouy fabric at a vide grenier yesterday and think that it may make a lovely noticeboard as it is too pretty to turn into cushions, I will take a photo and post it tomorrow and hope that you will have some suggestions on the best use for it.

Bon lundi et a demain,
L x

ps I have realised that I have reached 100 blog posts today so I am hoping to commerate this event with a giveaway later in the week!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Friday Flowers....


Here's wishing you a fabulous Friday and a tres bon weekend.
L x
p.s. I am still busy painting my latest project which I am sure that you will love. It has to be finished by Sunday as our guests need it as I am working as fast as I can....

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mad about.....

Photo: Flickr

.............Bichon Frise puppies. My love affair with the Bichon Frise started a long time ago, back in New Zealand when I went to see some Bichon Frise puppies and ended up bringing a very tiny white ball of fluff home with me.

My mother and sister also share this love, as my mum has a beautiful Bichon called Leroy, who is now in his advancing years and is spoilt rotten.

For those of you who have not heard about Bichon Frise, here are a few facts:

  • Country/Region of Origin: Belgium, France and the Mediterranean region.
  • Original purpose: lap dogs for French royalty

  • Name: French for "curly lap dog." Also called: Bichon à poil fries or Tenerife Dog.

  • Historical notes: The Bichon Frise dog breed has roots going back to the Middle Ages. The breed was a favorite of French royalty from the 15th century through the Revolution. Farmers in Norway have recently used Bichons for rounding up sheep.

  • Bichons do not shed their fur, as a result these dogs are one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds popular to people with allergies.

  • They are a small dog annd are the the same size as a large domestic cat

  • Bichons are intelligent little dogs and demonstrate an inquisitive personality. They are very energetic and enjoy going for long walks, climbing on furniture, and chewing bones. However, Bichons are most comfortable being close to their owners regardless of the activity, and enjoy lounging as lap dogs
Photo:MrsDoggy on Flickr

The bichon is on the far right of the photo, resembling a oversize powder puff! I love this photo, they all look so cute, not sure how long it would have taken the photographer to capture this shot but have a feeling that it may have taken a few goes....

A demain,

L x

ps I have a new project.....yes it requires painting but is quite small......will tell you more about it tomorrow :-)

Monday, 20 July 2009

Squint.........

As you all know, I am a little crazy about anything french and although this is strictly not french, it is pretty close in my book as the company reupholster a lot of french furniture and it is definitely fabuloussssss!And guess what the company is called? Squint, what a fabulous name.


But I will let you judge for yourselves............



Photo: Squint Limited

I just adore this kissing bench, it is so cute.

Photo: Squint Limited

This louis corbeille bed has been given a fabulous new lease of life, and definitely has the "wow" factor.

Photo: Squint Limited


And this couch gives a whole new meaning to the word "patchwork"!

Now all I need to find is someone that can reupholster, anyone want to come over and give me some lessons? in return you would get free accommodation is a a very lovely and unspoilt part of France.

Bon lundi

L x

Friday, 17 July 2009

What day is it?

As if you did not already know.....its Pink Saturday, so let's find something french and pink.....



A pretty chandelier, and an even prettier and very french looking dame.......





I think that I may need something pink to sit on....








And somewhere to hide all my jewels........





For more lovely pinkness, please pop over to




Wishing you all a very happy pink Saturday and fabulous weekend,

L xx


All photos: Flickr.com

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Come on in.....

Photo: Maison No. 20 Entrance


Well, the new entrance to Maison No. 20 has been completed so it looks like I will get a wee rest from painting for a while as we will not start the third and final apartment until September, which incidentally, is not that far away.

I am now on the hunt for a few fabulous hats to hang on the coat stand so if anyone knows where I can find some, let me know.



Photo: Maison No. 20 Entrance


I feel that it needs a little greenery so will try and find something suitable.........any suggestions would be most welcome!

I am supposed to be translating the guest house manual for Maison No. 20 so had better go as I have Alex, my lovely french teacher coming to check it in a little over an hour.

A demain,

L x

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Two hearts/Deux coeurs..

Photo: Rodney Smith


Entre deux coeurs qui s'aiment, nul besoin de paroles.


Two hearts in love need no words,



A demain

L x

Monday, 13 July 2009

Fete Nationale/Bastille Day

Photo: Fête Nationale Carcassonne

Tomorrow is Fête Nationale ("National Celebration") in France or as it is known outside of France "Bastille Day".
It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution.

Festivities are held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic.
The parade opens with many cadets from the École Polytechnique, Saint-Cyr, École Navale, and so forth, then other infantry troops, then motorised troops; aviation of the Patrouille de France flies above. In recent times, it has become customary to invite units from France's allies to the parade; in 2004 during the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, British troops (the band of the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Grenadier Guards and King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery) led the Bastille Day parade in Paris for the first time, with the Red Arrows flying overhead.
Traditionally, the students of the École Polytechnique set up some form of joke.
The president used to give an interview to members of the press, discussing the situation of the country, recent events and projects for the future. Nicolas Sarkozy, elected president in 2007, has chosen not to give it.
The President also holds a garden party at the Palais de l'Elysée.
Bastille Day falls during the Tour de France and is traditionally a day when French riders try to take a stage victory for France, working harder than they might on other days.
All over France the atmosphere is amazing and whether you are in a small village or a large town you are guranteed to have a fabulous time. Last year we spent the night in Castillonnes where the mood was upbeat, a lot of champagne was consumed and the firework display was incredible as it seemed to go on and on.....
So you can understand why it is one of the best days to be in France.....
Leeann x

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bon weekend


Photo: Rodney Smith

This is what I wish that I was doing this weekend....but have a feeling that I will be doing something that involves.......a paintbrush - skirting this time!


And after that some of this.......

Photo: Rodney Smith

Have a fabulous weekend, we along with the rest of France are getting ready to party as it is France's Fête Nationale (bastille day)on Tuesday which will be one big party in our village complete with fireworks display.

Bon weekend

L x

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hortensia love

Photo: Maison No. 20 dining area

I just love hortensias or hydrangeas as they are known in english. I love all the colours:


Blanc/White -pure and delicate


Bleue/Blue - so vibrant



Rose/Pink - pretty in pink

My favourite colour is pink althought I do love the white, the flowers look so pure and untouched.

Thanks to you all for your lovely comments re the painting photos. For those of you that asked how they were rehung, poor Mr FF had to carry them through the house and then balance on the windowsill - not an easy task and I was holding my breath while he did it. Fortunately we colour coded each set with wire as each pair varies slightly in size :-)

I cheated a little yesterday as Mr FF has not had time to complete making the new shutters for the ground floor windows so I just gave the old ones a quick coat of paint as we have guests arriving on Sunday and I want the house to look good.

I had to smile as while I was doing it all the locals kept coming up to me and telling me what a good job I was doing. I explained to them that they were only temporary which puzzled them as the french have a habit of just painting over everything and do not bother with sanding etc so you could say that je suis très francaise:-)

We are now hard at work on the hall entrance so hope to post some photos by the end of the week.

Bon courage

L x

Monday, 6 July 2009

Painting results...

Maison No. 20 with a new coat of paint

What a busy day, yes you guessed correctly! I have been painting again today and also managed to find some time to take some more photos of Maison No. 20 and have updated the Maison No. 20 website with more photos of the lounge area and the other bedroom.

This is the results of my painting so far........



Unfortunately it is a 3 story house so I still have the shutters/volets on the ground floor to go.......so if anyone feels like a spot of painting, you know where I am!


Mr FF has made a new shutter for one of the windows and in his spare? time will make the other. I am in the process of painting it :-)


He is also going to make some volets for the dormer windows in the attic but they need a little work before that can happen.


This is our new front door.......


Tomorrow I am painting the frame again and also need to pretty window frame at the top, Mr FF is going to remove the glass so that it will be easier for me to paint.

Well this painting girl is all painted out and off for a nice soak in the bath!

à très bientôt

L x

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Still painting

Photo: Rodney Smith


Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend, ours was spent looking after guests and painting.

You will all be happy to know that I only have a couple more volets/shutters to go and then I should be finished.

Mr FF has been busy hanging them and the locals adore them! Too much so as everytime he moved to put another pair on, another person appeared and told him that they loved the colour!

I cannot help smiling as I write this, as we have had groups of people walk down the street then stand outside for ages just staring at them.
So tonight we are the talk of the village so to speak!
It is too dark now to take a photo but I promise I will post a photo tomorrow so you can see how pretty the colour is.

A demain,
Leeann

Friday, 3 July 2009

Fabulous Friday Flowers

Some Friday flowers for you.........
Bon weekend!
L x

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Fabulous flea markets...


I recently bought a book about flea markets in France aptly called "The Flea Markets of France" and thought that it was too good not to share.

It is written by an American; Sandy Price who has lived and travelled all over France and not only does she tell you where to go and what to buy, she also tells you about the area itself and other things to do whilst you are there.

Photo: The little bookroom

The photos are fabulous and you can tell that Emily Laxer, the photographer has spent a lot of time in France as her photos capture the markets prefectly......I think that it is worth buying for the photos alone.

The book measures 6 inches by 6 inches so it is the perfect size to slip inside your handbag.

And it even has an Australian connection as Pia Jane Bijkerk, who I am sure that most of you already know through her stunning blog; Pia Jane Bijkerk enhance the everyday, created the book cover.

I think that we should get a group together, hire a bus (plenty of room for our purchases)and set off visiting all the places in the book - what a fabulous way to see France!

We may even have some time to see some tourist attractions along the way :-)


Leeann x