Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Arrived today...



Just a quick note to say that this beauty arrived today. It really is a beautiful sheet and would look great when used to dress a bed or used to make a fabulous curtain.

It is in great condition and the monogramme is large and has the ribbon and flower detail around the "M M" monogramme.





You will find more details here.


Amities....Leeann x

Rain, rain go away...


{photo from rodneysmith.com}

....come back another day!

We have just come back from spending a couple of days beside the sea. It was not as one might imagine as we had snow...... and have returned to rain in Eymet and we have snow forecast for the weekend.

I am thinking "cosy" a word that the French have adopted and are using more and more.



A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Bon week-end a tous...



{fabulous romantic photo from here}

I love this photo - merci beaucoup to Suryawan for sending me a link to this fabulous site.



Je vous souhaite un week-end tres romantique........Leeann x

Friday, 27 January 2012

French Food Friday.....French Onion Fondue


{photo and recipe from here}


As a child growing up in New Zealand in the seventies, I remember when friends of my parents had a fondue evening, which to me at the time seermed so fabulously sophisticated. Who would have thought, that some years later all grown up, I would be living in the Land of the Fondue....hence I smile as I write this.

I adore French onion soup so this recipe is one that I adore as it involves lots of cheese and onions. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.....



INGREDIENTS
¼ cup unsalted butter
5 pounds sweet onions (about 6 onions), thinly sliced
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 baguette, sliced and lightly toasted


DIRECTIONS
1. In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until they are deeply browned, about 2 hours.
2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry sherry, sherry vinegar, Worcestershire, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until the liquid is reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and reduce slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Preheat the broiler. Divide the caramelized onions between two shallow, heatproof bowls or serving dishes (such as gratin dishes). Cover with the Gruyère, dividing it equally between the dishes. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Garnish with the parsley. Cool slightly; serve with the baguette slices for dipping.



Bon appetit a tous et a vendredi fabuleux......amities Leeann x

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Why I live here...





Today is market day in our village and it is the day when we buy all our fruit, vegetables, cheese etc direct from the producers.


Not only are they fresher than the products that you buy from the supermarket, you also know that they are grown locally and most are organic.


We have a ritual where French Boyfriend does the shopping and I prepare to open my wee boutique.


This morning FBF returns somewhat excitedly carrying a large bag of gorgeous looking mandarines telling me that there was a queue and that they had almost sold out, which at 9am on a cold morning is something else.


Hence I could not resist taking a photo, for me it is a reminder just why I live here and it is the small things such as this, that I have come to appreciate.



A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Impatient for Spring....


{photo from here}
Today we have lots of sunshine and I cannot wait for Spring to arrive. It will be nice to be able open windows again, go for picnics in the countryside and get all of those outside jobs done.

In the meantime I will plan my list of things to do and concentrate on winter type tasks such as cleaning out cupboards and thinning out by ever growing wardrobe - ready for all those lovely Spring clothes that I am planning on buying.


A demain mes belles, Leeann x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Easy dressing??



{photo from figaro.fr}


Bonjour mes belles,

It is 9h30 in the morning here in SW France and I am having a quick?! look at the newspapers online before attacking all the tasks on my "to do" list.

As you know it is winter in this part of the world, which means that every day we are required to cover ourselves in many layers of clothes.

There is always the decision, if I wear this top with this jumper, what coast will I wear etc etc.

Hence when I saw this photo, I thought that this maybe the solution to all my wardrobe problems - 3 items only and I am set to go.

All we need now is for the weather to warm up and I will replace the bikini for a swimsuit and buy some trainers......and stop eating thosy lovely warm, buttery croissants which I adore with lots of butter and jam.

It is now time to stop dreaming and start work.


Wishing you all a fabulous week/je vous souhaite une semaine fabuleux....Leeann x

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Photographing new stock...

Today it is a little on the grey side in SW France, unlike yesterday where we saw lots of sun, so I am spending some time taking photos of new stock that has recently arrived.

First up is this fabulous late 19th century Chemise, which is in perfect condition and has a small monogramme bearing the initials "M E".







Below you can see a close up of the monogramme which appears in the middle of the bodice of the dress.





These night dresses look fabulous when used to decorate a bedroom as shown in the photo below, or you can even wear it as a sun dress. You can find details on the dress here.



{photo from housestohomes.co.uk}




Also new in stock, is this gorgeous necklace which is made from a mixture of beads abd ribbon - a stunning piece. You will find more details here.


Well it is back to work for me, hope that you are all having a fabulous weekend........amities Leeann x

Friday, 20 January 2012

French Food Friday....Chocolat Chaud




One thing that I've noticed, whilst living in France, is that the French adore drinking hot chocolate. Chocolat chaud, as hot chocolate is called in France, is divine. and for some reason or another tastes better when drunk in France as opposed to drinking it in other countries.



It’s thick (but not too thick), creamy, rich, and full of flavour. It touches upon the perfect balance so that you can drink an entire cup and not feel sick to your stomach. Absolutely délicieux.




Hot Chocolate/Chocolat Chaud




Makes 2 servings



Ingredients:



1 ½ cups whole milk


2 ½ Tbsp. water


2 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar


3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped



Method:
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, and sugar.
2. Place over medium heat and whisk occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture just to a boil.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. At this point, blend the mixture. If you have an immersion blender, you can do this directly in the saucepan; if not, you’ll need to transfer it to a traditional blender. Either way, blend for 1 minute (on high speed, if using a traditional blender – and take care as hot liquids expand when blended). The finished mixture should be very smooth and frothy.
5. Serve immediately.

Note: Leftover hot chocolate (should there be any left!) can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days. Reheat it gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Blend for 1 minute and then serve immediately.


Bonne fin de semaine à tous....Leeann x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Favourite French Couple/Song ...


I think that this is my favourite photo of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin - what a fabulous couple they made.

Please click on the photo to play the song.



A demain mes amies........Leeann x

Monday, 16 January 2012

A new meaning to wash day...


{photo from elle decoration}

I think that this photo gives a whole new meaning to wash day, don't you?

Love the neutral colours, aganist the natural very green back drop, they look fabulous.
Speaking of washing, it is back to the ironing I must go.


Wishing you all a fabulous week, je vous souhaite un semaine fabuleux.....Leeann x

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Bon Week-end à Toutes et Tous...


{photo from here}


When I saw this fabulous image, I immediately thought of my manequins and think that if they saw this photo they would be very jealous hence I am now on the lookout of some flowers so that I can adorn my girls.


This weekend I have lots of objects to paint so my plan is to stay warm and paint indoors. What are you doing this weekend?


Mes amis(es) je vous souhaite à toutes et à tous un très agréable Week-end!!..Amitiés...Bisous, Leeann x

Friday, 13 January 2012

Vendredi Fleurs...


{photo from here}



I decided to take a break from French Food Friday this week, hence we have vendredi fleurs this week.

How beautiful are these violets? I wish that I had some as they would certainly add a touch of colour to a cold winter's day.

They would also compliment the new paint colour that I started using today. It is grey coloured lilac and really is gorgeous.
I am really taken with it and plan to use it on a few objects including a chandelier complete with matching wall lights and also a lovely day bed.

I promise to share some photos with you just as soon as I have finished painting.

Amicalement from a cold and foggy SW France, Leeann x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I love this colour...


{photo from here}

I have developed a love for purple, I do not know why but I am drawn to it. Love the rich colour curtains in this photo and the chandelier is fabulous......

Farrow and Ball recently released a series of new colours, one of which is a lovely purpley grey colour. I cannot wait to start using it and have a few items in my garage which I am planning on painting.

One of my new year's resolutions is to rearrange the garage as it is full of boxes which are strewn all over the place. Needless to say it is not possible to park in a car in it at present......


The garage is beckoning mes belles, so it is on that note, I will leave you.


A demain mon petit monde.......Leeann x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New in.....Beautiful Sheet with Extra Large Monogramme







I have just finished photographing this beautful antique sheet, ready to put on the Fabulously French Online Shop.

The sheet is made from excellent quality, pure white "fil de lin" linen.

The monogramme featuring the initials "B C" is large (9" W x 11 " H) and is elaborate with flowers entwinted around the initials.





So beautiful and I am afraid that my photos do not really do this beautiful piece justice, it is so much more stunning in "real".




Under the large monogramme, there is detailed ladder work which is the perfect finishing touch.

A truly rare piece which would make a fabulous "ciel de lit"/bed crown or romantic curtain for your boudoir.


***Note this sheet was sold within minutes of adding it to the shop, but I am hoping to get more in soon***.

A demain mes belles, Leeann x

Monday, 9 January 2012

A fun idea....


{photo from here}

.......to collect watering cans or arrosoirs as they are called in French.

Love the combination of the watering cans with the old bicycles, c'est charmant!


Je vous souhaite une Très Bonne semaine a Tous :) ......Leeann x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

I made a slideshow...


{photo taken yesterday, Maison No. 20 - SW France}

It is that time of the year when people start planning their holidays.


As a result, that means that we need to think about marketing which is not as easy as it sounds as I have come to find out.


Yesterday I made a wee slide show for "Apartment Deux" and I now need to make one for "Apartment Un". You can view it here.


I appear to have a long list of things to do, are you the same? I find that if I do not make a list, nothing gets done whereas if I prepare a list I am more motivated.


Note it is a grey day here in SW France and I must admit that I am not than motivated and most of the things on my list require fine weather...I will start the painting tomorrow.


bon dimanche à tout mon petit monde....Leeann x





Friday, 6 January 2012

French Food Friday... Galette des Rois Recipe




A puff pastry pie filled with frangipane, tradionally eaten on Twelfth Night.You will find more about this tradition in the post that I wrote last year. This year I thought that you may like to try making one.



Ingredients
400g ready-made puff pastry
2 rounded tbsp apricot jam
100g softened butter
100g caster sugar
1 lighly beaten egg

100g ground almonds
2 tbsp cognac or dark rum



Method
1. Heat the oven to 200C/fanC180/gas 6.
2. Divide the ready-made puff pastry in half, roll out each piece and cut into a 25cm round. Put one round on a baking sheet and spread with the apricot jam to within 2cm of the edges.
3. Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Stir in the ground almonds and cognac or dark rum.
4. Spoon the mixture over the jam, spreading it evenly. Brush the edges of the pastry with water, then cover with the second piece, pressing the edges to seal. Mark the top of the pastry from the centre to the edges like the spokes of a wheel or in a zig zag pattern, then brush with beaten egg.
5. Bake for 25-30 mins until crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold.




Bon appetit a tous, Leeann x

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

too good to use...


I am in the process of photographing a lot of "new" or should I say "old" items that have just arrived.


I do not know about you, but I think that this antique damask napkin is too good to use as a napkin. It would look great in the centre of a table or you could even use it to make a fabulous and very French looking cushion cover.



The design is gorgeous and the quality is second to none.




It measures 31 " Wide x 28 " Long




Well mes belles, that was my break and it is back to work I go. Hope that you are all enjoying the first week of a fresh new year....



Leeann x

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Perfect place...


{photo from here}


.....to spend a grey winter's afternoon.


Love everything in this photo - the mirror, chandelier, fabulous wall lights, gorgeous fireplace and fabulously French chairs. So fabulous and oh so french.


Leeann x