"Comfortable in one's skin"
She wanders out the kitchen and swings open her lovely
French gates, the squeakiness, familiar music to her ears.
She breathes deeply the air of the season, slowly enjoying
the moment. Another day she greets with gratitude.
Can pieces from another time actually give her lessons in life?
There is a certain "je ne sais quoi" that her surroundings
She calmly tinkers a bit with her potted flowers picking
the dried leaves and throwing them to the wind.
She smiles as she admires the beauty of the flower.
She likes the traces of moss that cling to the
bareness of the stone altar piece.
She walks away, knowing there is a purpose to it all.
Like the dead leaves in the wind, she leaves behind
her unwanted thoughts, ready to begin another day.
Philippe Starck's interpertation of an altar. Designed for L'hotel Meurice
Philippe Starck, probably the world's most famous
designer, included this rendition of an altar in the
lobby of the luxury hotel L'hotel Meurice, during a
I think I would be correct in making the assumption that
he is comfortable in his skin.
Don't you think it reveals something about him?
The restoration of the altar took six months. Photo courtesy Maisons & Decors
The famous Belgium sculptor, René Julien has this altar
in his chateau that he is restoring. A bit flamboyant,
perhaps, but wouldn't you love to go to dinner with him?
I first saw this kitchen in 2004 when I bought Mary Emmerling's book "Romantic Country".
This kitchen is in the home of Donna Temple Brown, an Antiquarian who owns
The Gray Door in Houston.
This is reminiscent of a true Country French kitchen.
I know I would be safe in saying that her surroundings
reflect who she is and have influenced, who she has become.
Other than being a great design, don't you feel something
below the surface?
I've never met her, but she goes on my
"Want to have Dinner with" list too!
I would say too, she is comfortable in her skin.
Altar from Fluminalis, dealer of religious artifacts in the Netherlands
Decorative cartouches, traces of polychrome and gilt.
I can imagine this piece being a focal point in a kitchen or bath.
To see more from Fluminalis, click here.
Photo courtesy Smart Design
Most certainly the inspiration here came from an altar.
Another altar in a living room
One thing about the French, they are great bricoleurs. Bricoleurs are creative, imaginative people who develop new and original uses for things. Whether in fashion or in their interior design, there is an individuality to them. They are comfortable in their skin. As I age, I am becoming more comfortable in my skin. The French have helped me achieve that. I am a student of French people, French places and French pieces. I learn from all and I am learning "joie de vivre".
I just sold this French altar. It will be converted to a
bathroom vanity. The client is une brocoleuse!
Morale of the post.... If you have unwanted thoughts go buy an altar and leave them there. If you have wanted thoughts, please leave a comment.
And by the way, to all my blogging friends.....
You are on my "Want to go to dinner with" list too!
Somehow I get the feeling..........
You are comfortable in your skin!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
"Comfortable in one's skin"
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Perhaps it is due to her spirit knowing beauty
Not empty beauty that is just for the eyes, but the type
that nourishes your soul.
Like the scent of a masterful blended perfume or
the sweet taste of a summer wine that lingers on your lips.
Like the sound of a church bell echoing throughout a
village or the feel of a hand carved antique heirloom.
The type of beauty that intertwines with all the
senses, the type of beauty that feeds the soul.
How does she know this beauty?
Because the good kings, queens, and commoners
of France took gifts from Mother Nature and
developed them into art forms. Many called them
frivolous in their time, but today, she celebrates
their acts of frivolity.
Some would probably say these petite greenhouses are frivolous.
She thinks they are nourishment for her soul. They are made to order from La Petite Serre de Nantes. Complete with bistro table and chairs, should you desire. Now she thinks these people just really get it!!
If Marie Antoinette were alive today, she would most certainly be enjoying cakes in such a place with Mother Nature as her company, not to mention it being a perfect resting place for Catherine d'Medici's perfumed gloves.
Bubbles floating or captured in glass, the artistry of a zinc finial, stone chiseled in the likeness of a poet, an elaborate urn to hold a flower or a French milled soap are not frivolous. They are the "joie de vivre".
Want to dance with her? She brought you a dress.
Floral dresses are from artist Nicole Dextras. Visit her site, some amazing work!
Friday, July 18, 2008
One Big Napkin
Just another thing I love about the French!
They are sooo practical.
You know those wonderful French monogrammed
They are large! Most measure about 30".
Know why they need big ones?
Well, before you scroll down any further,
grab your French monogrammed napkin.
Your gonna need it honey!
What a lovely Country French Maison!
The entryway...Mirrored Gothic Antique Window Frames
Foyer....Now your mouth is starting to water.
Don't know where to look, do you?
Where are your manners? Cover your mouth!!
Anybody around know the Heimlich maneuver ??
Perhaps you need un verre de l'eau.
Gazeuse ou naturel ?
Perhaps you should politely excuse yourself from the table.
Visit the salle de bain........
Not much better in there is it?
Need to lay down?
No, that won't work either.
Let's go outside and get a little fresh air.
I don't know, we might just have to leave !
The photo's are from Provence Luxury Estate,
but if you go, you better get a few more napkins!
Call us if you need some!
Well at least you now know why they have
bigger napkins in France !
Makes sense that they are monogrammed too!
Keep your slobbers to yourself!
A Country French Antique Lover's Dream come true!!
Have a wonderful weekend! Bisou
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.
Since I am the créatrice of this Composition that is me,
I prefer to have my whole come from elements of Ahhh.
Photos from the Book, International Floral Art by Jaak Van Damme
Like a floral designer creating a composition, she chooses
Picking them up, one by one, she twirls the
stem between her fingers while raising it to the
light, her eyes dance across the petals, with an
occasional tilt of the head.
Whether or not the flower is chosen, rests with the
créatrice. If it has pleasured her senses, a smile will
usually follow. If she smiles, becomes
conscious of the fact she breathed in, and feels that
ahhh, the flower gets added to the composition.
Those ahhh moments are why I started blogging.
You see, sometimes, for me, there is a danger of
those moments getting shoved to the
back of my memory and I prefer them to stay
front and center.
Traveling to France is like a sensory overload
to me. I need a place for my ahhh's, other
than "dans ma tete".
I never thought when I started blogging about
my ahhh's, that other people would start
reading. I'm glad you are here! I hope that
sharing my ahhh's has given you a few too!
About eight years ago, I was in the village of Billom in
the Auvergne region of France. Not a lot of Americans
seen here, it is pretty deep in the countryside.
I was at an auberge having lunch, seated next to an
elderly French gentleman and his wife.
The only French words in my vocabulary then
were Bonjour and Merci. You can imagine my
discomfort when the Frenchman tries to
politely engage in conversation. Despite my
inadequacies, I attempted to start rolling r's and
singing liaisons, only to his dismay.
(you know, Mark Twain once said France was a wonderful country,
only problem was they sometimes didn't understand French).
After a few exchanges, the Frenchman gets
this blank look on his face and starts waving
his arms to summon the waitress.
A big commotion then followed. ..
Oh my, I thought, I have humiliated myself
and in my ignorance said something dreadful,
not understanding why the waitress was
approaching all the other tables, and all eyes
were on me!
A few minutes later, another patron,
seated in the back of the auberge approaches
my table. I was squirming in my seat.
He introduces himself and speaks English.
Whew, little relief, at least now I would
know what it was I said that created the tizzy.
The English speaking Frenchman proceeded
to tell me that the elderly man and his wife
would like to buy my lunch, as a token of
appreciation, because I was American!
(Huh???, they already knew I was American because
of the Keds, now they knew I was Southern).
Oui, Oui, Oui, the English speaking Frenchman
says, he wants to say Thank You to the Americans.
He traveled to America in 1951 and
said he was treated with such kindness that
he wanted to give something back.
Such a fond memory, he said.
Little did he know, he was creating one of mine.
Like the floral designer picking the flowers
for her composition, a smile came to my face,
I became aware of that breath, and there was
an Ahhh in the pit of my stomach.
I want these little elements to be a part of,
my composition, and to share them with you.
It is important to me to keep them front
That my friends, is the France I know and love.
Along with her beautiful antiques, she
possesses some of the world's most beautiful people.
So many Elements of Ahhh has she!!!
Hope your day is filled with Ahhh's!
Bisou mon ami's and Thank You for sharing in my Ahhh's
Saturday, July 12, 2008
So many places to go and things to see.
If you are looking for something to do this weekend
why not jaunt over to Europe?
We have a three day weekend for Bastille Day,
so I've prepared three daily outings for you.
To France we go!
First stop Origines
Need some great ceiling beams or a French door?
How about a stone mantelpiece?
Visit their gallery of wonderful before and afters.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Welcome to my garden!
1. I love curved lines. Curved paths and flower beds,
I try to add curves to everything. An obsession almost.
No, not almost, it is!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
"Come with me", she whispers.
It is, a place of indescribable beauty.
Photo courtesy Christine Miranda, Immobilier