Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finding The Real Thing In France

It is so satisfying to find authentic antique and vintage furnishings when so many reproductions are on the market.

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I just received a new Ballard Design catalog and the Capistrano chairs pictured below were for sale at $849 a pair plus tax and shipping.

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  I love Ballard Design aesthetics and style, but isn’t it great to be able to find the real thing?  Of course reproductions have their place but being a life recycler in home décor  certainly promotes living “green” and creates less of a carbon footprint.  Besides, it’s more fun to look for authentic pieces.

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These are my French dining chairs which I absolutely love.  Their style is timeless and they are so very comfy with a beautiful patina.  Come with me this September on the Brocanting Tour to France and you can find your own furniture pieces that match your style and have lots of fun in the process.

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This chair is called a mutton-bone style (lamb’s leg) and is very popular in France.  I had them recovered in an inexpensive linen and cotton blend and for less than the cost of  each of the Ballard chairs, I have the real thing!

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Space is extremely limited on the tour…please contact me if you want to come along.  The dates are September 26-October 3 and there’s going to be lots of shopping in Normandy and Paris.

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Would you like to join me for dinner sometime?

Happy Hunting,

Kim

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Quick Post About A Lovely Weekend With A French Theme

It was a gorgeous weekend with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s.  Dear friends of ours came to visit and we had such a great time with them on Friday evening.  They have been to France, too and they are certainly aware of my love for France.  So I had to give them a Frenchy welcome on the chalkboard in the breakfast room.

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They brought us this vase of beautiful roses.  I love the two-toned color.  They go perfectly with my décor in this room.

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I’ve been practicing my French using Rosetta Stone and thought I’d put some of it to the test...at least to the written word!  I’m headed back to France in May and definitely need to brush up a lot!!!!  (BTW…I don’t speak French.  I only wish I could.)

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Actually I just like writing on the chalkboard.  It brings back memories of when I taught primary school.

This week is off to a great start.  Don’t forget about the upcoming Brocanting Tour in September.  Click on the button on the sidebar for more info.  Space is extremely limited!

Blessings,

Kim

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sweet Changes & Treats For Valentine’s Day

It’s time to freshen up and update the blog and I’m at it again with a name change.  Since Valentine’s Day is Friday I’m celebrating with toile instead of roses!  A big shout out to my blog designer Karen of Valentine Designs.  She always does a marvelous job.

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I’ve gone through a couple name changes and I’m trying another one out…”Pariscope Home”.  What do you think?  I’ll eventually decide on ONE…maybe! lol  The good thing is that my URL will stay the same as usual (kimberlyhites.blogspot.com).  That’s the beauty of using my name because it will never change.  The reason I’ve not been truly settled on or satisfied with a name is that I have some future plans in the works which I will share as they unfold over the next year to year and a half.  And you probably have guessed it has something to do with relocating and French antiques!!!  That’s all I’ll say for now. I love blogging and all my blogging friends, but you know I don’t blog full-time….blogging is only one fun part of the Big Picture for me.

 

I don’t really do any decorating for Valentine’s Day but I made these cookies using wafer paper.  It’s my first time using these edible papers and I couldn’t resist the toile pattern!

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I didn’t do a great job, but they’re still almost too pretty to eat!

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I paired them with my vintage French wire jam (confiture) carrier.

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I filled small glass jars with nonpareils and white votives.

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I think it will make a pretty vignette with the cookies.

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I’m glad it’s almost the middle of February with Spring on the way.  In the meantime, here’s to romance.

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Don’t forget to click on the Brocanting Tour button on the sidebar.  Space is extremely limited for the Fall tour!

Happy Valentine’s Week,

Kim

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History: Stolen European Art During WWII

I saw “The Monuments Men” at the theatre this past Saturday night.  Have any of you seen it yet?  It hadn’t received a lot of good reviews and that was my first indication that I would probably like it. 

 

First of all, if the critics were right and it wasn’t a good movie what’s the worst that could happen? Looking at George Clooney for a couple hours on the big screen didn’t sound so bad to me!  Second, with an all-star cast like this one, it couldn’t be that terrible.  And third, it’s based on the book about Europe’s stolen art during WWII and I love history and art.

 

 

 

Much of the movie takes place in France (Paris & Normandy) so I was naturally interested.  The Monuments Men arrived in Deauville, France right after D-Day  (before they made their way into Germany) and it was fascinating to see the compare of Deauville during war-time and Deauville now.  I must admit I got a little teary-eyed to see the portrayal of German-invaded France at that time and the destruction that was caused.

With the other atrocities of WWII such as the concentration camps, it’s a little known fact about and often overlooked situation concerning the stolen art and artifacts from several European countries and Jewish families.  It’s sobering to realize the ruthlessness and disregard that the Nazis had for humankind’s artistic legacy.  Hitler wanted it all for himself if he lived, and if he died the orders were to destroy it ALL.

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It’s staggering to try to grasp the magnitude of how much art was taken…paintings, sculptures, etc.  And realize, although thousands of pieces were found, thousands were also destroyed (Hitler didn’t like Picasso) and still others have yet to be located.

I thought the movie was overall very entertaining. The message was conveyed without being too war-depressing and there were many moments of comedic relief including Matt Damon’s attempt at speaking French.   I thought all the actors did a fabulous job and Cate Blanchett was the epitome of a proper French women!  Look close at the details of this 1940s Paris apartment kitchen.  I’m digging the plate rack and the utensil rack.

And for the Downton Abbey fans, Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) plays Major Donald Jeffries and does a splendid job!

 

After the movie I had to run home and Google about the art treasures that were stolen and more about the real Monuments Men.  It’s a fascinating story.  I’m glad there were enough concerned people to want to rescue these irreplaceable pieces for future generations.  I for one am thankful for this WWII mission.  Below are some original photos that I found of the recovery of the stolen art.

 

 

 

We have more snow and very cold weather in Kentucky today.  If you’re looking for something to do to get out of the house to escape the winter doldrums, I highly recommend having a movie night and going to see “The Monuments Men”.  A little popcorn and George Clooney is enough to brighten anyone’s day!

Blessings,

Kim

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Tidy Armoire

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I did a little straightening in my armoire as I continue to clean everything out.


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It’s nice to not have everything stuffed and filled to the brim.  I like having space in my storage pieces.

This is my little collection of Laduree Macaron boxes.  I can’t bear to throw them away because they are so colorful and chic.  I pick up a small box of these luscious morsels at the Paris airport on my way home every time. My daughter loves them.

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I store some of our wedding mementos in here too, like our sterling goblets and ring boxes.


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Other items include a special basket I found in Provence along with lavender-filled toile sachets made with antique toile remnants.


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I also use the top shelf for keeping large paper items that need to lay flat.  I have a pair of vintage Czech rooster prints that need to be framed.  I’ll get around to it someday.  They would look awesome in a kitchen or dining room.


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And I keep advertising posters that I find and pick up in France…for free.  These are all over Paris and Provençal towns and it’s okay to take them if they are not current and the dates have passed or if you ask the shopkeeper.  I don’t like all of them, but I look for ones that have great graphics or subject matter.  I plan on having some of these framed someday, too.


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But my favorite thing in the armoire is my small collection of vintage French toile.  I love seeing different colors of folded and stacked toile.  I’m always on the lookout for great pieces and the good toile is getting harder to find.


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Now I’m ready to return to France and pick up some more treasures to go in the armoire!


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Blessings,
Kim

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Solution For My Craft Room

I don’t think I’ve ever shown you my entire craft room.  It’s very hard to photograph.  It’s a large space located on the 3rd floor and has two dormer windows on each end.

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I love my Martha Stewart craft tables but with their open legs you could see right through them as you come up the stairs.

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I also keep a cheap plastic rolling cart of drawers underneath which is handy for scissors, tape, glue, etc. (the not- so- glamorous necessary stuff).

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I decided to add panels to the craft tables so you couldn’t see the unsightly cart when you entered the room.

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I cut pieces of foam core to fit the opening then glued blue and white toile from Waverly to one side.

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I think it looks much better and polishes off the area.

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The blue and white toile goes well with a memo board that I have in another area of the room.

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I painted this plain sideboard and added a vintage wall curio that I picked up years ago.

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It’s almost impossible to get a photo of this section because of the light that comes in from the dormer window.

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Back to the panels…believe it or not, the panels fit just perfectly tight so that they stayed put on their own. I didn’t have to attach them with anything!

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How about you?  Are you still organizing for the New Year?  I’m on a roll so I’ll have to tackle something else soon.

  The dates for the Fall Brocanting Tour to France are September 26-Oct 3.  Let me know if you want to go...there's only 1 spot left!
Blessings,
Kim
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