Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Change In The Dining Room

Hello everyone!  Hope your day is going well.  I made a little change in the dining room. 


Actually it’s more of an addition.  I had a small corner barker’s rack that I purchased from Pierre Deux years ago before they went out of business and I moved it into the dining room.


I think it adds a little dimension and texture to this side of the room and also gives me some display space for the things I love.


I love the “Bon Appetit” ribbon that I got from Sur la Table and a mason jar holds my French bone handled knives.


And I’m crazy for antique French enamel tags like this one I just received from Sunday Brocantes.  It says the dining room is on the second floor.  Did you know that in France the ground level floor is considered zero and what we consider the second floor is actually the first floor to the French?


I was playing around with the small Bavarian yellow plates and I’m not sure I like them here or not so I removed them.


I have a few silver French champagne buckets but this is the only white one I have.


I think I’ll have fun playing with this small baker’s rack and changing it around.


I’m counting down the days until I leave for France!  I also just updated my Home Tour tab under my header so if you get a chance take a look.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pssst….I Have A Secret I’d Like To Share

My heart beckons me back to France to embark on yet another adventure.  And I have the opportunity to do just that as I head to Paris & Provence in a couple weeks. 


I have a birthday in May and my sweet cousin Bobbi from Texas has a birthday in June so our husbands agreed to let us take a girl’s trip to Provence to celebrate.  It’s the best birthday present EVER!  (Thanks to my awesome hubby!)


Bobbi and I have a lot of memories from childhood and some fun adventures worth sharing about our trip to Paris last fall.

I’ll tell you a few…

This was with Paris firefighters who are military trained.  We felt very safe!  Such nice men and they didn’t speak any English.  (For those of you wondering, our husbands were with us….who do you think was taking the photos?) Mais Oui!


Story here...yes, we ended up at at Paris fire station (isn’t this a main tourist attraction?) and met very nice French firemen thanks to Bobbi. Her brother is a fireman in Houston and they were exchanging Houston and Paris firemen's shirts. We even got a full tour inside the station which I was told was highly unusual. Bobbi must have turned on the charm!  (Or maybe it was her French friend who was translating!!!)


We even got to try on their special helmets and see the fireman’s pole!  Let me reiterate again, this is HIGHLY unusual.  Paris fire stations are behind locked gates….you cannot just walk in like you can in the states.  I guess we looked innocent enough!


Don’t ask!!!


But wait, there’s more.

We had a musical jam session in our apartment with a French guy, Thomas.  Bobbi brought her fiddle and also plays the guitar.  Her husband plays the mandolin. Thomas plays the piano and guitar and I play the piano.  We had plenty of time to sing and make music.  Our dinner reservation wasn’t until 10:30 p.m.!!!  Apparently that’s not unusual here.



Thomas and his girlfriend Lulu (who made wonderful aperitifs for us) took us into the basement under their apartment that was a part of the historical underground network of tunnels that run underneath parts of Paris.  We went down thru an old covered door that connected other basements during wartime.

Spooky…and fun!


I can’t believe we’re down here.  Hey wait a minute...this doesn’t look like the Eiffel???


We even picnicked on the grounds of Versailles.  When in Rome…(or Paris!)


This is one of the bridges on the Seine called the Pont des Arts.  It is notorious for lovers attaching a lock on the side to declare their love. There are literally thousands of padlocks. It's quite a sight. Tim and Harvey surprised me and Bobbi with monogrammed locks.  No wonder they say Paris is for lovers.


The men holding our locks!


And we couldn’t just go to the Marche aux Puces!  Nope. 


After brocanting we headed over to La Chope des Puces (Gypsy Jazz club) at the Ecole de Musique – Jazz Manouche to listen to live Django Reinhart style music.


What’s that you say?  You mean this isn’t what everybody does when they go to Paris?  Well not everybody has been with my cousin, Bobbi!  She has to be one of the most adventurous and fun people I know.  She even had her hair cut by a well-known Parisian hair stylist!  Ooh la la!


Oh BTW, we did do all the “normal” touristy things, too.


No, really.  I promise we did. Smile
More on that later.

I hope Provence is braced prepared for us!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Saying Goodbye To The Victorian Furniture

First let me say that my heart is heavy for the victims of the tragedy in Boston.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected and whose lives will be forever changed.  The stories of bravery, professionalism, and heroism confirm America’s spirit in the midst of horrific trials.  I’m proud to be an American.

I must admit that blogging about décor seems so trivial in times such as this, but I know we must move forward and not be intimidated by evil forces that would try and keep us down.

Okay…let me dry my eyes…again.  I’ve just been so overwhelmed and emotional over this (as so many of you are I’m sure)…and on the heels of Sandy Hook…I want to get mad, but I know I must focus on LOVE.


Let’s try again…

As I'm cleaning out my house, I'm also completely cleaning out my previous style.  I'll admit it....several years ago I collected Victorian furniture.  Don't get me wrong....I'm not disparaging it now...it's just that it has a VERY distinctive look that's hard to mix with other furnishings.

There's no mistaking this is Eastlake Victorian.


So I decided it had to go.  I have sold it.  Such a nice example of this period…solid walnut, marble, ebony handles, attention to detail, ahhhh…the quality and craftsmanship are evident.




The nightstand has been sold, too.  It was not a matching set.  I used to attend many antique auctions and acquired many such pieces at these events.


Authentic Victorian is one style that is soooo hard to blend with modern interiors unless you give them a fresh coat of paint.  They just typically look out of place to me.  And being that these are extremely fine examples, there's no way I was going to paint them. 

They shouldn't be painted anyway to save the integrity of the period.  I think such pieces actually have historical significance.  We need them to study furniture history.  So I have passed them along to someone who will appreciate them as I have in the past.  Of course,  these look best when placed in those grand dames we call Victorian homes that recall the grandeur of times past.

But it's time to move on....now what am I going to put in the guest bedroom?  Yippee, something else to look for in France!  (Shhhh….don’t tell my husband….I really had planned on replacing the Victorian pieces….timing is everything you know)


On another note, I snagged a great memo board at Hobby Lobby last week when I was in Lexington.


I am using it in my upstairs den office.


I don’t think it will pass for subtle Frenchiness or Eiffel incognito!


I like the whimsy and it reminds me of why I love Paris!

I finally updated “My Home Tour” tab under my blog header.  If you get a chance you might want to take a look!



Friday, April 12, 2013

Creating An Indoor Herb Garden

The weather was so nice this past week that I decided to put an indoor herb garden together on the sideboard in my breakfast nook.   I’ve really been wanting to use my antique English conservatory tray again and this was the perfect opportunity.  I wrote about this tray HERE if you would like to read it.


I gathered planters and such that I already had on hand.  Being that I’m impatient I DID go to Lowe’s and purchase the plants already growing.  Herbs are easy to start from seed, but I wanted immediate results!



This was a pretty nice variety of herbs.  Have you ever seen chocolate mint?  The description said it was “like smelling a candy store in your garden”.  Couldn’t pass that one up.  I put it under a cloche on the table.  And it does smell like a York Peppermint Patty.


Can you guess what the #2 was?  A vintage French putt putt golf hole marker.  It is two pieces consisting of a wrought iron flag with a zinc base.  It was so rusty that I painted it gloss white and added a new number.  Quirky fun, don’t ya think?  I also added my vintage mini French clay pots.


When I ran out of white planters, I used a couple ironstone gravy boats for planters.


A fun nursery rhyme on the chalkboard with the herb list and I’m good to go!


I will probably transfer the herbs onto the balcony when the weather warms up for good.  I’m afraid to put anything outside until after Mother’s Day.  We seem to always get a frost in early May and I’ve wasted too many plants before by getting excited too soon.


 This is a great way to get started for the summer.  I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.


Linking up to:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Fever

I’ve finally got it.  Spring fever that is!  The temperature has been in the 80s all week and today’s high was 88 degrees!!!  (I confess…I even laid out in the sun!)

The forsythia is blooming and I always look forward to cutting lots of branches to use around the house.  The bright pop of yellow is so cheery and just says “spring” to me.

I loaded up some tall glass vases that I have and spread the forsythia “love” throughout the house.

In the master bedroom:



In the dining room:



In the sunroom:



As I was putting the branches in one of the vases, lots of petals fell off and I loved how they looked on the little bistro table.


I think it is such a gorgeous hue of yellow!

Here’s to embracing spring in all her glory!



Monday, April 8, 2013

Paris Flea Market Style

Time for another book review.  Claudia Strasser’s new book “Paris Flea Market Style” gets a two thumbs-up from me.

  It was published in early March and I was so excited when my copy arrived.  Claudia takes us on a virtual journey through the flea markets of Paris offering advice and tips along the way.  It’s a much needed guide to help navigate the mind-boggling array of shopping possibilities.  To say the photos are eye candy is an extreme understatement.


Through her photographs, she whisks us away to the City of Lights where the most fabulous antiques in the world can be found.  Isn’t the hue of the blue fabric on the bergères divine?


So many layers of treasures to be had everywhere!  Half the fun is the exploration.  It could become a game of “I Spy”!


A daybed is definitely on my shopping list for my next trip to France.


If you have a chair fetish like moi, then shopping in France is a must!




Shall I look twice at these treasures?  Will they come home with me?


Ahhh, a magnificent zinc oeil-de-boeuf (bull’s eye) window frame …..be still my heart!  All it needs is a mirror for a grand statement.


I noticed a few of her photos contained vintage letters.  See my recent post HERE.


All photos above are property of Claudia Strasser.

The photos below were taken by me as I made my way through the Paris Fleas.


Yes, I know.  Take a deep breath.







The opening inside flap of the book reads, “If you love French interior design and bargain hunting, Paris is the place where your shopping daydreams come true.”  So true, Claudia. So true.

Will your daydreams come true like mine did?  Come with me to Paris and Normandy this September for a Blogger’s Brocanting Tour in France.  Only ONE spot left!


Click HERE for the brochure.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to buy the book “Paris Flea Market Style” and curl up with a cup of tea and your daydreams.



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