Sunday, 28 February 2010

Tomorrow the girls are going shopping....

{the fabulous and UNNESCO classified city of Bordeaux}

Yes that is right girls Mr FF is unchaining me from the kitchen. Lucky, lucky moi is going to the fabulous city of Bordeaux, with a fabulous friend, who is the owner of a gorgeous gift shop in the village in which we live.

We are going to see a few suppliers, have lunch and shop, I cannot wait!

Look out Bordeaux, the girls are coming shopping......

L x

Friday, 26 February 2010

So many words......

{image from here}

So many words for kissing in french.....

allez bizzzzz
biz amilcales
de grosses bises
des bises
des bises plein
gros bisous
gros, énormes bisous
je me permets une bise
je te fais de gros bises
je te fais un gros bizou
je t'embrasse
je t'embrasse très fort
mille baisers à toi
tout plein de bisous
un énorme bisou
une bise sur chaque joue

But then this could be a result of the French liking to kiss a lot! Not that I am complaining.......

Mille baisers à tous

L x

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Merci beaucoup Romantic Homes and to you all..

{Image from the fabulous and very kind Kimberley}

A couple of days ago I received a comment on my blog from the very gorgeous and also talented Kimberly, owner of the beautiful blog Mimi charmante to say that fabulously french had been mentioned in this months edition of "Romantic Homes" along with her blog and that of the fabulous Vicki Archers blog French Essence, which is also one of my favourite blogs.

{Image from Kimberley}

I have not stopped smiling since and just wanted to say a big merci beaucoup to Romantic Homes and also to ALL of YOU, because without you, there would not be a blog.

And merci beaucoup to Kimberly who kindly offered to get me a copy of the magazine and send it to me. I cannot wait to get it :-)

Mille baisers from a very happy kiwi girl in France,
L x

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Love, love, love....

{image from here}

this photo. I just had to share it with you......

Today was sunny and warm and we saw swarms of crane birds flying overhead, they are coming back from Africa which is a sign that Spring is on its way, cannot wait!

J'espère que vous avez un mercredi heureux

L x

Monday, 22 February 2010

Vide Grenier Treasures....

Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend. Ours was a busy one and seemed to fly past before we knew it Monday was already upon us.

Yesterday morning we were up early as there was a vide grenier in a local village. We went to one a couple of weeks ago in the same village but realised that we were a little late arriving as the locals were walking down the street with bag loads of goodies meaning that all the good items were going like hot cakes.

So yesterday we arrived at 7h30 and were fortunate enough to find some fabulous treasure.

The first item that caught my eye was this vintage statuette of Our Lady of Lourdes.

She is made of metal and has 4 detailed scenes around the bottom of the statue.

The first has the words "Basilique et Eglise du Rosaire" complete with scene of the church.

The second has the words "Je suis l'immaculate conception" and a scene of a a person kneeling at the feet of the Sainte.

The third contains a scene of the caves and has the words " Grotte de N.D. le lourdes.

The fourth and final scene has the words "Allez boire et vous laver a la fontaine" underneath it .

As for the statue itself, it is quite heavy and is stands 30 cms high.

She is available for purchase and costs 50 euros plus postage.

I then found a print which is very similar to the print entitled Le Lever that I told you about a week or so ago. I did not have a chance to list the Le Lever print as it sold before I even had a chance to price it to a customer that came into the showroom and spotted it sitting on a chair.

The attention to detail is amazing, I love bergere chair and the dresses are beautiful.

This print is titled "La Toilette" and comes complete with original frame.

Detailed shot of the gorgeous frame. It is available for sale in our online shop, at a cost of 80 euros + postage.

Another item that I found are becoming harder to find now days is this lovely candle holder, complete with grape detail which is typical of this area as it is reknown for its wines.

She costs 20 euros + postage. A very pretty and unusual piece and you will not see another like her.

As I was leaving I spotted this fabulous jardinere in its complete state. I say complete state as many are missing the inside part which holds the water.

This is a good sized piece and would look fabulous in any room of the house.
It costs 50 euros + postage. **SOLD**

I also have some fabulous antique linen which I plan to photograph and list later in the week. I have been fortunate enough to meet a local antique dealer who specialises in french linen and as a result she will be supplying Fabulously French with some very unique and rare pieces.

A demain mes amis,
L x

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Fabulous french linen website

I read about this company in the latest version of the Cote Sud magazine.

It is called Longmetrage and is run by two woman;Tania Rein & Sophie Dahan who are based in Paris.

Not only do they have a passion for antique linen, they take it and make it look like new.

Although I am a lover of white linen and have a lot of it, I do like the colours that they have chosen.

Especially this fabulous grey colour, it really breathes life into something old and makes it new again.

You really notice the detail on the linen when it has been dyed, it "pops" out at you.

I love the ties on the pillow cases, very pretty and oh so french. Maybe I will have to have a go and dye some for myself, what do you think? Good idea or not so good?

Je vous souhaite un merveilleux week end,

L x

Friday, 19 February 2010

Friday flowers....

Another week has rushed past. Just wanted to wish you a very happy weekend, hope that the sun shines where you are.......

Je veux vous souhaiter à tous un week-end très heureux.

L x

Thursday, 18 February 2010

No you cannot have it...

{Image from here}

Bonjour mes amis,

I am pleased to report that that the shopping trip was a success.

We got everything on our list and more, but unfortunately no clothing or shoes "pour moi,une autre fois peut-être ".

In France the stores do not hold a lot of stock so you often see something you like only too find out that there are none in stock and that they are not getting any more or if they are it will be arriving in 12 weeks time.

So I was happy when we were able to buy what we wanted, not sure that Mr FF agrees with this though as shopping makes him a little grumpy.

We managed to fit in a visit to Maisons du Monde, which is one of my favourite stores and they always have items that are different to the other stores.

I bought a mirror for the bathroom and some wall lights to go on either side of the mirror and was in the process of leaving when I realised that I had lost Mr FF.
I found him lying on the funky red couch that is shown above, he adores it and is convinced that it would be perfect for lounging on in the corner of our new bedroom.

As you know I am a lover of neutral shades and red is not really neutral.

I am talking him out of and was doing well until I found him with the Maisons du Monde catalogue this morning, open at the page with the couch on it.

Perhaps I could bribe him with a new power tool, what do you think?

L x

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Going shopping

{Périgueux - my favourite place to shop}

Tomorrow we are going to Périgueux , my favourite city which is about an hours drive from Maison No. 20.

We are going to do some shopping or as it is called in french "faire les courses".

Normally my shopping list would consist of clothes, shoes and interior items for the house.

So far I have on my list for tomorrows outing:

*Electrical cabling
*Tiles for bathroom
*Mirror for bathroom
*Rattan Stools for kitchen island (yet to be built along with rest of kitchen)

I am interested to know what is on your shopping list, is it as exciting as mine?

A bientot,

L x

Monday, 15 February 2010

B is for........


A boulangerie (noun) is a bakery that specialises in baking and selling bread.

Where would France be without the humble boulangerie? Our village is only small and yet we have 3 boulangeries.

Recently a large supermarket opened and we thought that this would harm the boulangeries but no the locals still go to the boulangerie for their daily bread.

Did you know that there is a law in France that states that everyone must have access to bread so that means that if you live in the tinest most remote village, you will still have access to bread as it will delivered to a drop off point in your village.

It is against the law in France to use preservatives in bread. So the baguette is made everyday in bakeries across France.

The humble French baguette

The bread is characterized by its long length, the slit cuts on top, that are actually made to enable the proper expansion of gases which in turn is responsible for the crumb or the soft inner part of the bread and the crisp delicious crust.

A baguette can almost be as long as a meter and the size is usually place or town specific.

In Paris a baguette usually weights about 250 gms. It is the bread that is known as the French bread in England and all across the world.

All this talk about bread is making me hungry so I am off to the Boulangerie to get my daily fix.

A demain,

L x

Friday, 12 February 2010

"La Vie en Rose"- a dedication to Edith

{image from here}

First of all, before I start my Pink Saturday post, I would just like to wish Beverly, the woman responsible for Pink saturday, a very speedy recovery. Beverly, we hope you get well soon because you are too special to be sick.

As many of you already know, Edith Piaf, was popular in the 1940s and 1950s for her love songs, including the very fabulous chanson "La Vie en Rose" (Life through rose coloured glasses:)

Quand il me prend dans les bras
Il me parle tout bas
Je vois la vie en rose

When he takes me in his arms
and speaks to me softly
I see the world through rose-colored glasses

Edith had a particulary sad life which was captured in the 2007 movie "La Mome", with the very beautiful and also very talented Marion Cotillard playing the role of Edith Piaf.

Todayh I would like to dedicate today's Pink Saturday post to Edith as a reminder that life is so short and every day is precious so make sure that it counts.

Here are some facts about Ediths' tragic and often mysterious life...

Edith Piaf was born Edith Giovanna Gassion on December 19, 1915 in Paris, France. She died on either October 10 or October 11, 1963 (the date is frequently disputed) in Cannes, France. Edith Piaf stood at only 4'8". She was married twice and had one child who died in infancy.

Edith Piaf's Tragic Early Life:
Legend has it that Edith Piaf was born on the streets of Paris on a cold winter night to a 17-year-old mother who was a café singer and a father who was a street acrobat. Her mother soon abandoned her, and she was sent to live with her paternal grandmother, who was the madam of a brothel. She was completely blind from ages 3-7, and she claimed to have been miraculously cured when the prostitutes prayed for her on a religious pilgrimage.

Edith Piaf's Teen Years:
In 1929, Edith Piaf left the brothel and joined her father as a street performer. At age 16, Edith Piaf fell in love with a young man named Louis Dupont and bore his child. Sadly, their daughter, named Marcelle, died before the age of two of meningitis.

Edith Piaf Gets Discovered:
Louis Leplee, the owner of a popular Paris nightclub, discovered Piaf in 1935 and invited her to perform in his club. It was Leplee who gave Edith her nickname, "La Môme Piaf" (The Little Sparrow), in reference to her height. She adopted this as her stage name. Years of touring brought Piaf moderate financial success, but great popularity.

Edith Piaf During World War II:
During the World War II German occupations of Paris, Piaf cleverly won the hearts of the high-ranking Nazis, thus giving her access to French prisoners of war, many of whom she helped escape.

Worldwide Success and More Tragedy:
After WWII ended, Edith Piaf began to tour the world, achieving international fame and popularity. In 1951, Piaf was in a car accident, and her injuries resulted in a lifelong addiction to morphine.

Edith Piaf and Marcel Cerdan

Edith Piaf's Many Loves:
Edith Piaf's true love was boxer Marcel Cerdan, though they never married. Tragically Cerdan was on his way to join her in New York where she was now living but was killed when the plane in which he was traveling crashed.
Edith, totally broken by his death, sought refuge in drugs and alcohol.
Piaf subsequently married singer Jacques Pills in 1952. They divorced in 1956. In 1962, Piaf married singer/actor Theo Sarapo, who was twenty years her junior. They stayed married until Piaf's death. Along the way, Piaf had many other lovers.

Edith Piaf's Death:
Piaf died of cancer in 1963, near Cannes. The date is disputed; it is said that she actually passed on October 10, but her official date of death is October 11. Her husband, Theo Sarapo, was with her at the time. Piaf is buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Edith Piaf's Most Famous Songs:
Edith Piaf is considered by most to be the greatest French singer in history. Her best-known songs are "La Vie en Rose," "Hymne à L'Amour," "Les Trois Cloches" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien."

I read that in 1950 just a few months after Marcel's death, in Paris's Salle Pleyel, she sang "L'Hymne a l'Amour" in Cerdan's memory.

So I will close this post with this sad and yet very special song.

Wishing you all a very special pink Saturday and a very happy Saint Valentine's Day tomorrow,

L x

ps almost forgot about linking to a pink saturday blogger, that I have never visited before, I have chosen the bird in boots :-)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Love, love, love.....

{all images from here}

Love these chairs, they are fabulous. Where has this website been all my life?

I adore Louis style chairs as they are so adaptable and you certainly cannot get much more adaptable than this.......

What fun they must have had designing these fabulous chairs...

This one is perfect for Mr FF, he is after all English.

And as a girl that loves shoes, I can relate to this one......

I have an antique couch similar to this, in one of the rooms at Maison de Poitiers, and love it as it is so classically French but this one certainly makes a statement......Rule Britannia rule!

If you want to see more of these fabulous and oh so unique pieces then a visit to the Jimmie Martin website is a must.

Jimmie martin,je t'adore.

L x

ps I have some dates for the Patine Spring 2010 Workshop and will updating the website later today

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Introducing some Australian friends....

{image - French Desire website}

Today I would like to introduce you to two Australians; Sharon & Dave Stratford, who love France and have set up a couple of business ventures in Australia, which have resulted in many Australians buying a property in France and on the home front being able to purchase french items down under.

{Sharon and Dave Stratford}

Sharon and Dave's love affair with all things French started 15 years ago when they visited France as part of a whirlwind six week round the world tour.

Since then, the couple with their 2 children, have been back to France over a dozen times with their trips ranging in duration from one week to two months.

Sharon has even written a book about her experiences whilst hunting for a house in France which I found very entertaining and it reminded me of when I first came to France.

The French Desire website is a wonderful site to visit and not only does it contain details on their property hunting tours, it also includes a lot of information about France and includes sections on what to do, where to go, recipes, language and even contains reviews on books that you are "must reads" for anyone visiting France.

Their latest venture is a directory; where you will find details on everything that is french in Australia or has an Australian connection.

For those of you who do not know I lived in Sydney for a few years and are the proud holder of an Australian passport and as a result when living abroad have been to many a fabulous party thrown by the Australian Ambassador, how else do you get your hands on a bottle of good aussie red when living in Turkey?

I cannot believe how many businesses there are in Australia that offer french items, and it was interesting to read on one shop's forum that someone was desperate to get their hands on some vichy mints. They are also our favourite bon bons and we always have a packet in the car.

We are proud to have Maison No.20, Maison de Poitiers and Fabulously French included on these websites and wish Sharon and David the best of luck with their new venture and are sure that it will be a great success. Nous souhaitons bonne chance et espérons vous voir bientôt.

A demain mes amis/see you tomorrow my friends

L x

ps Lili I will try and put the english equivalent next to any french words that creep in, I did smile and do apologise for not explaining what a vide grenier was but we are off to the cinema (same word in both languages) tomorrow night.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Monday, 8 February 2010

Lost bread & patine update.

{fabulous loaf of brioche,see below}

It is 10h33 Monday morning and I feel exhausted already.......

My morning started with a quick trip to the Post Office to post an item that I sold on etsy and to collect some antique handles for a set of drawers (commode in french) in our bedroom.

Although it looked so fabulously shabby it was not terribly practical with it's missing handles so I have spent a few weeks searching for some on and was happy to collect them this morning.

I also picked up a fabulous french print......which is titled "Le Lever" and has a fabulous french poem underneath.

Sorry about the photo, I will take a better one later today.

Yesterday we went to a vide grenier in a village not far from where we live and I found a few goodies which I will tell you about later in the week.

We also managed to squeeze in the marche aux puces/flea market at Bergerac which is held on the first Sunday on every month. Although we did not buy anthing there were some fabulous antiques on display and we enjoyed learning about the many items on display.

Then it was off to lunch at the divine Madame M's where we were treated to a very fabulous french lunch.

We particularly enjoyed the pain perdu = which translates to lost bread in English. This is a famous French dessert made with brioche (sweet bread) and was served with caramalised apple and creme but is also great on its own or with other fruit.

It is similar to what the English call "eggy bread" but I think much nicer, please do not tell Mr FF that I said this.

For those of you that are interested I have posted the recipe on my other blog where I am storing many of our favourite recipes.

Many of you have asked about the Patine paint workshops, taught by my very fabulous & creative kiwi friend Ange who many of you know through reading her very entertaining blog signed by ange.

We will be holding these in an art sudio, walking distance from Maison No. 20 and will be announcing the dates for these, towards the end of the week.

Also later in the week I will be introducing some fabulous Australian friends with some french connections and they have even written a book, which I am sure you will all find very interesting.

Think that is pretty much it for now, I am off to start my daily chores.....

A tres bientot,

L x

Friday, 5 February 2010

Friday Flowers...

There are too many beautiful flowers to choose from so I thought that I would let you choose your own.

I am looking forward to this weekend as we have quite a bit planned.

We are going to a Vide Grenier on Sunday morning and after this we are going to our lovely friend's house for lunch.

Martine, if you are reading this, we are really looking forward to Sunday.

What are your plans for this weekend?/Que faites-vous ce week-end?

Je vous souhaite un beau week-end, plein de bonheur.......

L x

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Love this photo....

{image from here}

I found this on flickr, it made me smile.......hope that it makes you smile too.

Je vous souhaite à tous un jeudi très heureux,

L x

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Shop update.......

{new stock -fabulously french}

A quick stock update.....

We have one set of the bottle wings remaining and it is unlikely that we will be getting any more.

We have 4 draft stoppers left, 3 taupe with black stitching and one in the red striped fabric with red fancy stitching.

Taupe/creamy white fabric with black hand done cross stitch

Red/white striped fabric with fabulous red embroidery

We have a few Petit Coterie burlap cushion covers remaining, including 1 x Paris No.1, 2 x Bonne Nuit, 2 Reves x doux and 2 x Majestic Accent.

I have added quite a few new products today, including this fabulous antique lace collar.

For further details please vistit the fabulously french "new in" page.

A bientot,

L x

Monday, 1 February 2010

A splash of colour.....Kenzo

{All images - Kenzo Maison}

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours went a little two quickly amd I cannot believe that it is Monday morning already.

As you know I am a lover of neutral colours but have weak moments when I need a colour fix.

Kenzo is one of my favourite designers as his collections always contain colours that "pop".

I love mixing french and asian pieces together as they happily bounce off each other.

These cushions are just the thing to brighten a rainy, cold day in SW France as they make me feel that I am somewhere bright and warm.

This is my favourite photo, I love the cabinet and the candle holders are fabulous. The red cushions and throw look amazing in this gorgeous setting.

Love the oblong pillow in this photo, I have just got a few similar looking silk pillows in for Fabulously French which I will be photographing and adding to the site today along with a few other chinoise inspired goodies.

Love the pyramid floor cushions in this shot.....................

This photo almost makes me wish that I had a budgie........

Je vous souhaite à tous une semaine très heureux,

L x

Gluten Free Raspberry & Lemon Muffins

Bonjour from a sunny SW France, After a week of rain, we finally have lots of lovely sunshine forecast for the next 10 days or so. P...