Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beauty and the Garden

This ancient pot caught my eye with its bursting bouquet of color 
in the town of ochre, Roussillion.

Layered, raw-edged organza creates a magical store window and presentation.
Felt like walking into a cloud.

Poetry on a wall in Paris.
I wish I could read French.

Kids sailing boats in the pond.

Band concert in the Luxembourg Gardens.
Scenes from familiar paintings. 
Fortunately some things don't change over time.

Waking in my own bed and looking out the window.

Beauty here, 
Beauty there,
Blessed with beauty,


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Endings

Map of most of where we explored
'Provence' covers a big area and we managed to have some fun while we wandered in 
and out of different areas of the region. Gordes, Menerbes, Fontaine de Vaucluse,
l' Isle sur la Sorgue, Roussillon, Beaux-des-Provence and more.

The Musee de la Lavande was mildly interesting. Next time I will skip the museum part and just shop the Boutique. Pure oils, great soaps, incense and cream products are lovely but how many stills and rivets can hold one's (my) interest? Not that many I guess.

 The village of Roussillion is constructed with the local soil (of course) and so presents
a soft warm palate of colors that are very pleasing to the eye.
The lavender and violette glaces are incredible!

The ochre hills in Roussillion where one can walk and enjoy the marvelous hues.

Poppy fields on the way home from Roussillion.

Olive oil to spray on your food or is it perfume? Great marketing and 
one of the best meals I've had in France at Cafe-Veranda in Menerbes.

Pont de Julien, ancient Roman bridge 
where Marcy and Martine wave au revoir to Provence.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lost in Transportation

Everywhere we went today we seemed to be lost... Not that this is a bad thing when driving around in Provence but it was strange. We decided to start at a market in Lourmarin, parked the car and started walking uphill. Fortunately Martine asked a woman on the street where the market was - far away and only vegetables. We wanted more. Back in the car and driving out of town we saw we would have never found it.

A perfect rose at Baumaniere.
On to another little town, more driving around to discover a tiny market with only 5 stalls. So we surrendered and went on, caught up in traffic and the wrong directions in Cavaillon but finally we made it to Baux-de-Provence and the fancy Hotel Baumaniere for lunch. Very fancy and très cher but odd as we were the only customers in the place. Two couples eventually arrived as we were eating dessert and both were American. Martine and the wait staff were the only French people in the place...

Main course of fish after a stuffed fish entree.
Small treats that followed the dessert!
Candied apricot and angelica followed the small treats. Couldn't finish...
Lunch was lovely but too much fish and too much sugar. Trop!
 We went out and had a nap in the car under the trees in the very quiet parking lot.

Our day ended up the road at the Cathedral d'Images. Old limestone caves have been converted into an amazing experience with music echoing off the walls and multiple images projected all around and on the ground. Paintings of Van Gogh and Gauguin are showing this year and it is a cool feeling to find yourself in 'Starry Night'.

Cathedral d'Images - being in the painting.
My shadow on the wall.
Love is everywhere..


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To the South...

No, I didn't ride a bike to the South of France (but I met a couple who did).
This was just a bit of large group that whipped by my hotel
and down Boulevard Saint Germain des Pres 
on my last Sunday morning in Paris.

Old graveyard in Menerbes overlooking a valley in the Luberon.

The view from the breakfast room at the charming B & B Mas des Ozieres.

A window in Menerbes.

Les Delices de Charlotte has fabulous pizza (and a great name).

Mais oui!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Colorful End

A dye blotter from the hand painted petals
for beautiful couture silk flowers.

Marcy and Sara in stripes in the Palais Royale garden.
The sewing room at Giverny.

View from the bedroom window.
Tulips across the pond.

Under the wisteria.

Reflections in the garden.

Irene, Nancy and les Nymphes.

A wonderful time!


Monday, May 7, 2012

To The Streets: Sunday & Monday

It is so in the blood, this love of flea markets. 
Items of interest for sewists can always be found. 
I didn't get this but found some great old zinc hooks.

The crew at Heartwork - a group trend forecaster Li Edelkoort started 
that help support, design and market indigo and other crafts in Africa and India.

 The Louis Vuitton portion of the exhibit at the Musée de la Mode et du Textile 
is visually and historically interesting.

The Marc Jacobs portion is much ado about nothing.
Mr Jacobs clearly has talent. Unfortunately his ego is larger.

Later, sitting in Cafe Flore, experiencing a bit of French ennui 
and enjoying a glass of wine, we noticed more and more people walking down the street.
 Soon a police car came through leading even more people 
carrying flags and signs and cheering. 
The French presidential election had been decided and we had front row seats!

A parade of happy Hollande supporters continued down Boulevard 
Saint Germain de Pres for hours on their way to the Bastille.

Monday morning we were in Saint Sulpice viewing this stunning marble and conch font
by Pigalle, a master French sculptor who can make marble look like water
(and whose name is unfortunately now associated with a seedier side of the city).

On rue Visconti learning some French history.

Peeking into the courtyard of Gertude Stein's apartment.

Standing in the courtyard of Picasso's studio where he painted Guernica.

My feet are sore and I am so happy! Big wow...


Saturday, May 5, 2012

ParisTilton Day One and Before

 This is actually pre-day one as we went to check out this wonderfully weird exhibition of Commes des Garcon garments that felt like Butoh meets Tim Burton. We'll be back!

 The window at the Hermes home store is another wonderful and weird experience with animals, broken crockery and tilted references.

 Heaven is in the Marais - a sweet shop with beautifully sewn original clothes.

 Styling cyclists by Notre Dame. I love the green pants and her shoes!

Tracy, Peggy and Kim, smiling on the Seine.
The Eiffel Tower, as magnificent as ever, backed by billowing black clouds 
that thankfully didn't dump on our boat ride.