Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spring has arrived

I just had to share these photos with you, this is my favourite photo!

This one is so sweet, and so french with the shutters (volets)

I love the way the french mix different plants in one container....................

And finally, one for all you basket lovers out there...................

Tomorrow night daylight permitting I am hoping to take one of the plum trees with their lovely white blossom so watch this space! If you did not already know it this area is famous for producing the best prunes in the world but that is another story to come :-)

L x

I am looking forward to the weekend already....

This weekend there are a lot of vide-greniers (translates to empty the attic/french equivalent of a car boot sale) on so I am looking forward to this weekend.
These are so fabulously french and I adore them as you never know what you will find!

It will be an early start as all the bargains go quite quickly and also it is the best time of the year to shop as once the season starts (May onwards) the prices rise as do the tourists!
Bonne journée
L x

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Roche-Bobois is so fabulously french

I am taking a break from renovating as I have spent most of the day day painting doors - I suppose this is classed as fabulously french as the doors are french and they will look fabulous when completed :-)

I love Roche Bobois and one day when I am rich, plan to shop there. In the meantime I visit the website often and search on ebay.fr in the hope that some bargains appear.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the Roche-bobois website:

I love the range of purples....................

I love the chandelier and the fact that the heads in the paintings on the wall have no faces....................

I love the use of the neutral colours mixed with the brights - it is so well done!

Well what can I say except I love the proportions of the room, I especially love the fireplace, the magnificant windows and the oh so stunning chandelier....................

Tout est trés trés belle, Roche-Bobois est "fabulously french"!

Bonne semaine

L x

Friday, 27 March 2009

Bon Weekend Tout Le Monde

It is Friday (vendredi in French but I am sure that you already knew that), so we are counting down to the weekend. We have a busy weekend ahead as there is still a lot to do on the renovation front but I am hoping that we will managed to squeeze in a picnic if the weather stays fine.
Last weekend we got our bicycles out and cycled to a nearby village and meandered around the narrow streets - we could not believe how many houses there were as when you drive, you drive through the village and the streets behind are not really wide enough for cars which is fortunate for the owners of the houses so you do not see what lies behind - it is like a secret world!

Bon weekend

L x

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Mannequin Mad

I am mannequin mad at present! I am currently on the hunt for an antique mannequin and do you think that I can find one? They are either living in parts of France that are too far from me or too expensive.

A couple of years ago you could pick one up for nothing but now they are fetching a lot of money.

I have bought a new one for the shop (opening in Sept hopefully) which I think would be perfect in a little girls room .

So if anyone knows where one is that is going cheap, please let me know.........

à la prochaine

L x

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

One of my favourite shops, it is heavenly and of course fabulously french!

I thought that it was about time that I opened up my wee black book and let you know about one of my favourite shops, it is one of the nicest that I have found since I have lived in France.

It is a beautiful shop, almost dreamlike with lots of flowers and it smells divine.

First I would like to tell you a little about the owner of the shop as I am sure that you will find it most interesting.....

Prudence, a woman on a journey strewn with flowers...

Born in Australia on Christmas day, she dreamed from her youth to create her own perfume.

Aged 25 she left Australia for London, then New York where she designed for renowned fashion houses. After marrying in 1987 Prudence & her husband bought a small Perigordine farm and there created a classic garden.

She followed her husband to Hong Kong. Fascinated by the botanic & biological metamorphoses that create silk, a material dominant in Asia, she founded a company "Prudenzia" for which she designed sophisticated silk lingerie.

She had a cosmopolitan clientele and she regularly participated in the Salon de Lingerie in Hong Kong, Paris and Lyon. On leaving Hong Kong she came to live in France sharing her time between Perigord and Paris.

In 2003 in Paris she met Henri Moulié, one of the great French florists who raised her awareness of the floral arts in his Parisian Atelier beside the Assemblée Nationale.

There it was that her visual and olfactory senses were stimulated & led her to the creation of her perfume. She devoted herself to blending & creating essential oils to form the distinctive, but subtle perfume following the familiar path to Grasse to learn the secrets of distillation.

This is a photo of the outside of the shop...

Prudence has composed a floral fragrance which is femine, sensual, discrete and stimulating.

I love the packaging, each box comes complete with handmade wax seal.

I especially love the ironing water as it smells divine and there is nothing nicer than climbing into bed that has oh so crisp white sheets that have a faint whiff of something beautiful.

Our guests at Maison de Poitiers love it also as much as we do. Oh I forgot to tell you the soaps come in lovely organza bags and everything that you buy is wrapped carefully in tissue and then packed into specially crafted lovely white carrier bags complete with white ribbon.

You can read more about Prudence and her heavenly creations on her website


I am sure that you will all love it as much as I do.

à très bientôt or as Prudence always signs off "perfumed thoughts"

L x

Monday, 23 March 2009

Q: When is a chandelier not a chandelier?

A: When you are in France. In English a chandelier is a light fitting, you know the ones I mean dripping with crystals which sparkle in the light and make a room look oh so glamorous! I have one that I bought in Alexandria, Egypt and is currently sitting in my attic as it needs to be rewired, it has 18 branches so I feel that it may take some time!

In french a chandelier is something that holds candles - the term candelabra springs to mind.

The above photo is of a pair of petit chandeliers that we currently have in stock in our online store which are for sale complete with matching mirror.

By the way in french a chandelier is referred to as a "lustre", confused well you probably should be.

Another faux ami (words that you think mean the same but do not are called false friends in French) is canape. In English one tends to serve canapes at a posh function whereas in France one lies on a canape as that is what a canape is in french.

The above is a photo of the canape in the Chambre Verte at Maison de Poitiers.

A la prochaine,

L x

Friday, 20 March 2009

J'aime La Poste

Here is something else that is fabulously french - those petit yellow vans that you see everywhere in France. They remind me of bumble bees as they are always so efficient in their work, buzzing around the countryside and I now understand why most french people prefer to shop using the internet.

This morning a fabulous black & white toile de jouy noticeboard arrived and the maker had wrapped it in the most colourful paper complete with thirty different coloured stamps - it was almost too pretty to unwrap. I unwrapped it carefully as the stamps were too pretty to throw away and I have taken a photo of it and it is now displayed on the fabulously french online shop.

It is sunny again here, perfect blue sky and not a cloud in the sky............................perfect.

Bonne weekend

L x

Thursday, 19 March 2009

I love market days in SW France

I love market days in France. It is a tradition that has been going some 700 years in this part of France and I love them as it is an excuse to meet up with friends and also buy some wonderful local fresh produce.

On Sunday we went to the market in Issigeac, the sun was shining and the market traders were out in force meaning that things are returning to normal. If it is grey a lot of traders do not show up so it means that the locals do not either so market days in the winter are rather grey whereas in the summer they are bright and sunny.

I saw some lovely coloured straw baskets, I am thinking about getting some of these to put in the shop as they are not too big and not too small - if you know what I mean.
Bonne journee
L x

Friday, 13 March 2009

Spring is here

The sun is shining and the forecast is for fine, sunny weather for the next 10 days.

Why is it that the french always seem to have the best window displays, even their fruit displays at the local market look oh so perfect.
Bonne weekend everyone, hope that the sun shines for you too!
L x

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Antique french tiles - we found treasure!

Today we were standing in one of the rooms on the ground floor when my builder/better half said I wonder what is under that lino. So we cut a piece and found another layer of older lino tiles.

We then lifted the lino tiles and there peaking out were some very old antique tiles. I painstaking scratched off old residue and some colours started to appear. Before going any further, I googled old french tiles and found the most amazing website http://www.theantiquefloorcompany.com/ and learnt that the tiles are called carreaux de ciments.

The house has one wall which dates to the 14th century but the remainder of the house was built in 1875 so I think that these are the original tiles but plan to contact the antique floor company to see if they are able to shed light on the age and also the design name.

Unfortunately the room is used for storage at present so I am hopeful that the tiles are complete and that none have been damaged. I now know how archaeologists feel when they find treasure!

The room that we found the tiles in is going to be my shop which I am hoping to open in September so I have been busy sourcing stock and it now looks like I am going to be busy restoring the tiles - they are fabulous!

à la prochaine

L x

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