Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Object of my desire.......

{image from here}
Let me count the ways that I love thee.....
**
this fabulous object has all the things that I love..
**
oh so fabulous cloche,
**
haute-couture objets,
**
and the things I love most of all
**
papillons.


To see more fabulous cloches, please visit piece unique.

Je vous souhaite à tous un mercredi fabuleux,

L x

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Yummy local delights......

{all images, moi}

This morning I set off with camera in hand, with the following objectives....

  1. to buy a baguette,

  2. take some photos so you can see how fabulous our boulangerie is looking in her "Easter" glory and

  3. buy some of the wee easter nests that you see in the photo above.

For once I did not deviate on the way, a reason for this may have been that a lot of the shops were not yet open and it was very windy with dark clouds overhead.....


All the chocolate that you see is made by the local baker, I think that the white chocolate shaped bunny may have my name on it.


I love these coloured boxes and think that they work well when combined with the colour of the lovely dark chocolate.



All customers have a chance to win this very large Easter egg, all you need to do is guess correctly the weight of it.......



Note the please do not touch sign!


These wee chocolate nests have been the objects of my dreams ever since I first set my eyes on them at the weekend.......


and I am pleased to report that they taste as good as they look. So much for a healthy nutritional breakfast but they tasted great when combined with a cup of coffee.

I have even managed to stop at one but have a feeling that I may need to put them out of reach until Mr FF returns from work.

A demain mes amis,

L x

Monday, 29 March 2010

Waiting for the Easter bunny.....


If you are ever in France around Easter time, you must come and visit Riquewihr in the Alsace region, where all the windows are decorated especially for Easter or as is is called here in France - les fêtes de Pâques.


Now that is what I call an Easter egg.......

I saw some fabulous Easter eggs in our local boulangerie yesterday morning but unfortunately did not have my camera with me but I am planning on popping back tomorrow (it is closed today) and taking some photos so that I can share them with you.

J'espère que vous avez une semaine très belle,
L x

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Dreaming......

{image from here}


"Dream your dreams with open eyes and make them come true."
~ T. E. Lawrence

This morning I was reading a fabulous post about dreaming on the gorgeous Cherry Blossoms blog. It got me thinking, what do I dream about?

I dream about a house by the sea, a barn big enough to hold my treasures, a garden just big enough for my wee dog that Mr FF says that I am allowed, once we have a garden.

I also dream of finding a fabulous chateau that has been locked for years and inside are the most fabulous treasures just waiting for moi.

What do you dream about?

L x



Friday, 26 March 2010

c'est le week-end.....

{Photo, Antibes, South of France}

I cannot believe it is Friday again, where did the week go?
Wishing you all a happy and bright weekend where ever you are,
L x
ps It is raining here so thought that this photo was appropriate!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Customs and Etiquette in Paris: 15 Things Every Visitor Should Know



Saw this article in the fodors newsletter and thought that it was worth sharing.........

Note a lot of these tips apply to other places not just in Paris!


**************************************

Customs and Etiquette in Paris: 15 Things Every Visitor Should Know

Customs
The French like to look at people—that's half the point of cafés and fashion, so get used to being looked at; it's as natural here as breathing. They'll look at your shoes or your watch, check out what you're wearing or reading.

What they will not do is maintain steady eye contact or smile. If a stranger of the opposite sex smiles at you, it's best to do as the French do and return only a blank look before turning away. If you smile back, you might find yourself in a Pepé Le Pew–type situation.

Visitors' exuberance—and accompanying loud voices—may cause discreet Parisians to raise their eyebrows or give a deep chesty sigh. They're not being rude, but they're telling you that they think you are. Be aware of your surroundings and lower your voice accordingly, especially in churches, museums, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, and the métro.

When entering and leaving a shop, greet and say good-bye to the staff. A simple bonjour, monsieur/madame and au revoir, merci are considered a virtual necessity for politeness.

Other basic pleasantries in French include bonne journée (have a nice day); bonne soirée (have a nice evening); enchanté (nice to meet you); s'il vous plaît (please); and je vous en prie (you're welcome).

When asking for directions or other help, be sure to preface your request with a polite phrase such as excusez-moi de vous déranger, madame/monsieur (excuse me for bothering you, ma'am/sir).

Greetings
When meeting someone for the first time, whether in a social or a professional setting, it's appropriate to shake hands. Other than that, the French like to kiss. For the Parisians, it's two bisous, which are more like air kisses with your cheeks touching lightly—don't actually smack your lips onto the person's face!

Out on the Town
When visiting a French home, don't expect to be invited into the kitchen or to take a house tour. The French have a very definite sense of personal space, and you'll be escorted to what are considered the guest areas. If you're invited to dinner, be sure to bring a gift, such as wine, champagne, flowers, or chocolates.

Table manners are often considered a litmus test of your character or upbringing. When dining out, note that the French fill wineglasses only until they are half full—it's considered bad manners to fill it to the brim. They never serve themselves before serving the rest of the table. During a meal, keep both hands above the table, and keep your elbows off the table.

Bread is broken, never cut, and is placed next to the plate, never on the plate. When slicing a cheese, don't cut off the point (or "nose").

Coffee or tea is ordered after dessert, instead of with dessert. (In fact, coffee and tea usually aren't ordered with any courses during meals, except breakfast.)

Checks are often split evenly between couples or individuals, even if someone ordered only a salad and others had a full meal.

Eating on the street is generally frowned on—though with the onslaught of Starbucks you can sometimes see people drinking coffee on the go.

Language
One of the best ways to avoid being a "tourist" is to learn a little of the local language.

The French may appear prickly at first to English-speaking visitors, but it usually helps if you make an effort to speak a little French. A simple, friendly bonjour (hello) will do, as will asking if the person you're greeting speaks English (parlez-vous anglais?). Be patient, and speak English slowly—but not loudly.

A phrase book and language-tape set can help get you started.

*******************************************************


Je vous souhaite une bonne journée,

L x

Monday, 22 March 2010

My latest obsession....


I do not know what it is about "faux livres" but I cannot get them out of my mind.

This wallpaper is my latest obsession, how fabulous is this?

Not sure that I have somewhere to use it at Maison No. 20, may have to wait and use it in the next house........


L x

Sunday, 21 March 2010

All the way from Afrique du Sud...


I simply had to share these photos with you. They were sent to me by a very special friend, who just so happens to also be a client of mine and lives in South Africa.


I love everything in this photo
butterfly collection(where did she get this? chez moi of course),
piles and piles of fabulous books,
wonderful domes,
petite vase,
ribbon detail....

Toutes sont belles.....j'aime beaucoup!


A demain,
L x

Friday, 19 March 2010

Bonjour Pink Saturday.....


{image from Maisons du Monde's new 2010 catalogue}



First of all, I would like to say "merci beaucoup" to Beverly for hosting Pink Saturday week in, week out and secondly would like to wish you all a very happy Pink Saturday/samedi rose.


For more pink fabulousness, click here.



L x

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Yesterday...

Yesterday afternoon we set off to collect our table for our new kitchen/dining area at Maison No. 20.

Spring finally arrived yesterday,so it was nice to finally wear some lighter clothes and I even treated my new french sole ballerines to an outing.

The table's current owners live in a beautiful part of France in a village called Beynac which is about an 1 hour and 1/2 drive from our village.

The area is reknown for its lovely golden coloured stone houses and it is though time has stood still.

So I thought that I would be a "tourist" and take some photos to share with you.......

This is the village of Beynac, with its wonderful church perched high on the hill...




The river is directly below the village, what a lovely spring day....



Of course, it would not be a day out without stopping for a coffee.....






And what is a French village without a fabulous hairdressers, most villages have at least two, three, four or even five.....



On the way back we passed La Roque Gageac, La Roque has a most dramatic setting, situated right beside the river, with many of its houses built directly into the face of the huge cliff that overhangs the village.



Mr FF spotted this in a village where we stopped to get a baguette on the way home. Note I say WE but I was looking at a homeware shop whilst he was getting our baguette to nibble on, on the way home.


A close up of the Saint, basking in the spring sunshine....


Here is a photo of the table, which I am planning on patining the bottom half.....




And last but by no means least, here is the last item that I picked up whilst out to buy a baguette last week, it is one half of two panels which look like false books, I adore it as I have a thing about false books at present! I have not decided where I am going to use it yet...



I am off to get a cup of coffee, as all this talk of travelling and buying things has worn me out....


J'espère que vous avez un jour fabuleux!

L x

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Happy, happy, happy...

{image from here}

Today I am happy.......the sun is shining, the plasterers are here working on what is going to be our new bedroom/ensuite bathroom and I am working on the interior of our new kitchen.

The photo above, is my inspiration for our new kitchen/dining area. The reason I like it is because it has all the items that I love, fabulous monogrammed tea towels, louis style chairs, fabulous curtains and of course, some cafe au lait bowls.

As you know I already have the same chairs as in the photo and am planning on giving them the "patine" treatment.

Tomorrow we are off to collect an antique oak table that has a planked style top with drawers at either end, I cannot wait to collect it as I have been searching for one for a long time.

We are going to have a small window seat so I have ordered a fabulous cushion for this area, from Toast.

I am planning on having a kitchen island so I am on the hunt for two bar stools and would like a pair of antique ones, if possible.

So now you know what I am going to be doing for the next month or so, driving Mr FF crazy with all my kitchen design ideas and scouring the brocantes and vide greniers for fabulous, french items to go in my new kitchen/dining area.


Vous souhaitant à tous une belle journée,

L x

p.s. have not forgotten about sharing my other purchases from last week's "baguette expedition" with you but it is difficult to photograph today whilst the plasterers are working, so will show you tomorrow!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Not what they seem...

{image from here}

I just had to share these with you. Not only do they smell great but they have zero calories....

They are soaps but don't they look like the real thing!


Ils sont fabuleux.....


L x

Friday, 12 March 2010

Friday flowers/vendredi fleurs

{French florist - au nom de la Rose}

I cannot believe that it is Friday already, where did the week go?

As you have no doubt heard it was been very cold in France and normally it is warming up, instead we have had snow, which is almost unheard of in March, especially in SW France.

It is supposed to warm up next week, so fingers crossed that it does.


Wishing you all a "très fabuleux week-end"

L x

p.s. In response to all of you that were so kndly concerned re Mr FF's baguette - yes I managed to get one and yes I did buy something else, but will tell you about it next week :-)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Ce matin....


This morning I went out to buy a couple of baguettes....

I returned with some antique plates, antique petit easel, 2 fabulous prints of hot air balloons over Paris and another of the same balloons over London, a couple of French interior design books,





{this is one of books, it is fabulous}


a couple of magazines and an old painting that needs restoring...



The books are borrowed from my friend that has a Brocante store in the village and the painting was a gift from the same friend.

Needless to say I forgot the baguettes.


This afternoon I set off again, intending to get my baguettes, I got two steps from our front door when a neighbour - another brocanteur yelled out "come and see what I have".

I returned home with this fabulous jewellery box ........



I just had to have it, I have never seen one like this before.....



Not sure if I should venture out again as there is no telling what I will return with......now I just need to think of something to tell Mr FF when he asks where the baguettes are!


The last thing he said to me when he left for work was "do not buy anything today!".

Bisous,
a very naughty L x

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

'The more things change......

{musee d'orsay, Paris}


I just love this old French proverb.......

''Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose''


''The more things change, the more they stay the same''


I think that this sums up France perfectly!


A demain mes amis,


L x

Monday, 8 March 2010

Love, love this Chanel Couture dress

{all images from here}
I adore Diane Kruger in this fabulous and oh so french Chanel Couture dress.




La robe est très belle, Diana Kruger aussi......

A demain,

L x

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Bon weekend à tous......

Last night Mr FF had a dentist appointment and on the way we stopped at the most gorgeous florists. Have you ever been past a shop a hundred times but never gone in? Well this one was worth stopping, inside it was magical and smelt heavenly.

So this morning's photo is thanks to Mr FF who bought me this tres joli orchid in the most amazing pot.

This is their business card, it is a copy of an antique post crad, how fabulous is this......


Here's wishing you all a fabulous weekend/

Je vous souhaite à tous un fabuleux week-end

L x

Thursday, 4 March 2010

New Mirror and fabulous antique toile de jouy...


Fabulous antique toile de jouy pelmet, see below for details....


As promised here is a photo of my new mirror, this shape is called oeil de boeuf in French which translates to bull's eye. It is called this because of the shape..........


And here is a photo of my new mirror, in our stairwell. Merci Mr FF for taking the time to hang it for me on his return from a hard days work building.

While I had the camera out, I thought that I would show you a photo of a chair that I recently bought, I love the lions head details on each corner of the chair and the tapestry is so pretty and looks almost medieval.



Today I had a visit from Madame J, my fabulous fabric lady - I call her this as she is an expert of antique french fabric.

Today she bought me a couple of fabulous items, including this fabric 18th century toile de jouy pelmet.



You will recall that I had a smaller one which was snapped up by a client who lives in Germany.

This is quite large (180 cms Lx 63 cms W/71" L x 25 " W) and is the last piece available. It was hung in a local chateau and is great condition considering it's age.Note it is backed with another fabric which has come away but this is easily fixed by a little bit of hand sewing.


I love the detail of the older toile de jouy fabrics, this is something that is missing from the modern day reproductions.


It would look fabulous in a childs room with white voile underneath, oh so french.

It is 100 euros, a small price to pay for such a fabulous piece of history.

A tres bientot,

L x

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Fabbbulous......

{image from here}
I do not know about you, but I do love buying underwear when it is dull and grey outside.

What is a girl to do when an email arrives in her box with lots of pretty things but to take a peak.

Trouble is, it did not stop there and before I knew it I had hit the "Order" button!
Think that I may be in trouble as I faithfully promised Mr FF that I would stop shopping until we had finished renovating!

I hope he will not be mad at me, perhaps when he sees how "joli" my new purchases are, he will not be so mad :-)

A demain mes blogging amis,

L x

ps I managed to persuade Mr FF to hang my new mirror last night but when I went to take a photo this afternoon, I realised that the battery on the camera was flat as a pancake (what sort of expression is this?) so will show you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Results of our shopping trip...


{Fabulously French - new stock just in}


As you may have guessed from last nights post, I was a wee bit tired. It was a long but very productive day. My friend the Divine Ms D and I had a wonderful day doing what girls do best, shop!

Unfortunately we were not shopping for ourselves but rather sourcing for our respective shops.

That said, I did find a gorgeous mirror which I am planning on hanging in the stairwell of Maison No. 20, just do not tell Mr FF as he is not aware of this yet and I am hoping to break the news to him tonight, whilst he is tucking into his dinner and favourite dessert :-)

The purpose of our trip was to meet with suppliers and then order some items, expecting them to be delivered in the days to come.

Imagine our delight when we were told that we could take the items with us.....just wish that we had come with Mr FF and his trailer as the Divine Miss D has a smallish car which we crammed with box after box, merci to French men who help foreign distressed laddies who are not good at loading cars with boxes!

So here are some photos of some the items that I bought yesterday.....




This not only looks fabulous but is functional and is used to open your bottles of wine. I love the mixture of the wood and forged metal and plan to put one in our new kitchen at Maison No.20.


I liked these Marie Antoinette inspired bathroom sets and think that they would make a fun and inexpensive gift at only 10 euros for the set.

I liked these table cloths and thought that they were perfect for Easter. These are 10 euros each and the material is of high quality.



Here is a photo of the table cloth in Apartment deux.......


These are so cute and so practical as the teapot holds enough tea for one and sits on top of the cup. Saves making a big pot of tea and takes up less room on your breakfast tray........


Here you can set the tea set in the background and in the front, an egg holder. Again perfect for Easter and it would make a great gift combined with the table cloth.

I am off to start preparing Mr FF's dinner! Will be back tomorrow with details of a very ununusal grain sack that I found recently.....

A demain,

L x