Friday, May 30, 2008

Marrakech, une ville rouge

A country resting on the Western Sahara at the foothills of
The Atlas Mountains, where 12th Century traditions and
Present Day live side by side, entertaining your senses.
Marrakech (French spelling) or Marrakesh (English)
in Morocco, or Moroc (French), seems to be the vacation
destination for the French (at least the ones I know).
Marrakech, known as the "Red City", is a maze of
terra cotta pink walls (17 shades).

Without a doubt, the highlight for me was the Souk in
the old Medina just off the Djemma El Fna
(the happening square).
It is the oldest and largest souk (marketplace) in Moroc.
If you go, be prepared to get lost in the narrow, winding
alleyways of artisan workshops, divided into 12 different
Souk Chouari - Baskets and Wood Sculpting
Souk des Bijoutiers - Jewelry..(some good bargains on gold)
Souk el Attarine - Perfumes and oils
Souk des Forgerons - Copper
Souk Haddadine - Ironwork
Souk Cherratine - Leathergoods
Souk Rahba Qdima - Sheepskin, carpets and tapistries
Souk Smata - Babouches (pointed slipper shoes)
Souk as-Smarrine - Fabrics
Souk Larzal - Wool
Souk des Teinturiers - The tanneries where they use
saffron for rich yellows, poppies for red, antimony for
black and indigo for blue.

It has it's own unique character and is beautiful in the
morning with the sunlight gleaming thru the bamboo cover.
Learn the phrase
Rali-Besef (beaucoup cher, too expensive),
as the locals are fairly aggressive people when it comes to
getting your Dirham (Moroc's currency).
This is a bargainer's paradise!
Wear comfortable shoes as you'll spend half your time
jumping out of the way of scooters, bicycles, wagons and
donkey carts all in a rush to go somewhere.

One of my favorite sections was the food market. Surprise!
I must have taken 30 photographs of spice displays. I just
could not resist the colours! The meat market was
interesting although quite smelly!

There are a few antique stalls, but I only bought a few
painted tiles, clothes and pottery pieces.
There are just some places you have to visit for yourself.
Marrakech is one of them. If I told you about the traffic
jams due to the scooters, donkey carts, horse carriages,
slow moving camels, and taxi's, the snake charmers in
the square, the public baths for men to wash their feet,
hands, and face before entering the Koutoubia Mosque,
and the huge storks that watch over it all,
you wouldn't believe me. Go see for yourself.
It's entertainment at its best !
My favorite food was the melaoui (crepes) made from
semolina and the orange slices dusted with fresh, oh so
fresh, cinnamon. A wonderful combination!
Now, with all that being said, mind you, Morocco is still
a Third World country.
They continue to have Human Rights issues and gender
inequalities. The illiteracy rate hovers around 50% and
even though compulsory education was introduced in
the 60's, many rural children still do not attend school.
There are sections of town whose only use is to
house garbage, skinny stray cats roam the streets, and
the police are corrupt. (I have first hand knowledge of
that one).
Just didn't want to over romanticize the place.
For me, these were realities that were sometimes
difficult to ignore and saddened me.
It was always nice to return to our resort hotel.
It is still a beautiful country, rich in tradition and
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to see it.
In a future post I'll take you to Essaouira, on the
Atlantic coast and thru the Ourika Valley.
Hope you enjoy the photo's!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

plus qu'un bol de cerises

Well, seems my friend Theresa over at
Garden Antiques Vintage has tagged me.

Photo courtesy Garden Antiques Vintage

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person that tagged you (see the link above).
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

So, here are six things you really could give a *SHT*
about ...

1. I stay clear of negative people, they are poison !
(I bury them six feet under and then some)
2. I tivo "House".
(I'm too tired to diagnose at 9pm)
3. I love red wine..St. Emilion is my fav.
(but I'll drink any)
4. I have over 200 Hostas in my yard
(If you would like some, feel free to come and dig)
5. Enzo Angiolini are my favorite shoes.
(the flatter the better)
6. I love cherries !!
(Lots and Lots of cherries)

First cherries (cerises) of the season in Genevieve's Jardin, our aperitif.

And whoever equated a bowl of cherries
to a sweet life anyhow?
To hell with that !

A photo I took in Marrakech, Morocco. 20 Dirham for a kilo. About $2.75

I told you I was Gourmandise !!!

And the six friends I am tagging............

VillaAnna .. Anna from Australia, one of my daily reads.
The Paris Apartment..Claudia, we just can't get enough of her.
Gardiner-Draperier...Maria, a newly discovered Beautiful Blog
The Ribboned Crown...Donna O, can't wait to read
how the Mrs. Simon Cowell of the Blogosphere responds.
Hope Tree Studio..Denise, a talented lady from CA.
All Things Bright & Beautiful..Felicity, what do we
really know about her? She has a beautiful and humble
blog, but please tell us more!! You even have a hard time
finding her name on her blog!
So please ladies, tell us more!

And I have a wish for all of you, that you taste all the
sweet cherries that life has to offer.
Why settle for just a bowl?
Bisou mon ami's

Saturday, May 24, 2008

l'inspiration est arrivée

Take a Deep Breathe and Relax because your Heart is
going to S.. K.. I.. P.. a beat !

Told you so....and it's not over yet

Slow down, enjoy the moment. Sit here for a while and sip your espresso.
Think lighting and mirrored reflections can make a room luscious?
Not that the Louis XVI French Armoire and canned bed don't add to the ambiance.
Remember that armoire? I sold one just like it and can't wait to show my client this photo. By the way, I still have the bed and it is in fabulous condition, all
original cream colored paint. Call or email if your interested.

Not so fast, are you taking it all in? Did you notice the table legs made from old iron andirons and the zinc roof finials up on the ledge?

Want to know where you are?
Benvenuto to Fiori di Campo in Lucca, the Tuscany region of Italy !
Now, I ask you, do these people have it together or what ??
Damn those French and Italians anyway ! Getting to live
around all those beautiful architectural details and
remnants of artist's works !!!!
Lucca just went on my agenda for the next trip!!
What a fabulous, fabulous place...and just in time !
We have a new antique and interiors market that
opened in Louisville Goss Avenue Antiques & Interiors.
It is located in the same building as the old Louisville Antique Mall.
They have asked me to design a 40 x 10 area for their Grand Opening.
This will be my inspiration as I have the goods. I'll use
50% of my product and 50% from the dealers in the mall.
I'll scout today, as I am inspired! I think I will
photograph the set up for you.
Are you inspired ??
Bisou, Bisou

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tout l'Esprit De Paris

Don't you just love life's little surprises ...
I was so excited when I walked in to the Tabac Shop
to load up on magazines to find that Cote Maison
(the French Company) that publishes all those
yummy magazines such as Maison Francaise and
the fabulous Cote series (Sud, Quest, and Est) has
added yet another to the stack.
Cote Paris

This month is the premiere issue!
A must for any lover of the Parisian lifestyle.
And better yet, it has a back section that gives
a summary in English Text of the articles and
hot spots.

The online subscription form is not posted on the website yet,
but keep checking back, surely any day now.
Here is a little taste of what lies inside.

The photo's above are a glimpse inside the Paris apartment of the
famous designer Fabrice Diomard, who has fabulous taste and
a real knack for blending antiques with contemporary design.
You can visit his boutique online at L'Autre Maison
He is also easy on the eyes!!

The magazine is full of rooms decorated in whites, blacks
and shades of grey with a little violet and anise sprinkled
It's also full of restaurant, nightclub and hotel recommendations
and includes a calendar of special exhibits and what's going on.
For now, you can check Border's or your local bookstore.
Maybe they will carry it.
I know you will enjoy it !! It's Fresh !!!
Bisou for now

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Je suis plein ?????

That literally translates to I AM FULL BUT, that expression
does not translate in French.
I've made the mistake several times of saying "Je suis plein"
after a full meal only to get strange giggles from my French
That is a vulgar way for a woman to say she is pregnant
or also slang for I am drunk.
Strange that the phrase does not translate in French or
maybe not, because as many times as I have been there,
I am never full, its just never quite enough !! The more I taste,
the more I want. I am Gourmandise!!
So, I am back and the container is full of Country French Antiques
and I'm a bit more French, but unlike the container, not full. Just
left with the hunger for more.

I had a wonderful trip and took over 600 photographs.

Walked through a lot of new doors

And was left wondering what lie behind others

Found a lot of inspiration

Have a new appreciation for the colors of the earth

Took a trip to Marrakech

And have lots to share with you

Just wanted to do a quick post to say I am back and can't wait to tell you more,
but I have lots of work to do now.
Enjoy the doors from France and Morocco!