Monday, June 30, 2014

Les Fleurs

What is it about summer flowers that make France so dream like & oh so French ?

I am linking up with Paulita's weekly meme Dreaming of France.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Drawing Challenge: Nude

I couldn't portray a woman in all her natural loveliness...

 I haven't the skill. No one has. I must, therefore, create a new sort of beauty... 

George Braque 

This is only the second time I have participated in The Drawing Challenge & I confess to being a little taken aback by this weeks theme, Nude. It has been a long time since I have done any figures & like the Braque quote I often feel inadequate. It reminded me of those long ago days in art school working from a live model. 

I took this theme as a real drawing challenge. I went up into my attic studio & got to work. I photographed older pieces I had up there & began a series of quick sketches & ink drawings. It was fun. I had forgotten the pleasure of drawing the human form.

Although I did not produce any works that I felt particularly good about, it was the process that was the pleasure. So thanks Patrice  for the theme, the challenge & the inspiration.

Go to Patrice A to see the other participants.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Chez Moi

Not much is happening here at my house. On the table is an old enamel coffee pot without a top that I recently bought at a vide grenier. The little enamel bowl is new but was also found at the vide grenier. It was made in China I believe. A vide grenier is a yard sale, & literally means "empty the attic". The petunias are from my little flower bed in front of the house.
I found this chair in the trash in Paris many years ago. I don't mind that the seat is a bit broken.
This is what I am reading at the moment.

I am having fun playing around with the app snapseedThe small lemons are from Spain & make delicious lemonade

What's happening at your house?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fête des Voisins

On Saturday night our little village celebrated the summer solstice with a fête des voisns. All the neighbors of the village came together in the square for a pot luck supper & an evening of fun. The little invitation that was hand delivered to each resident of the village said bring your chair, a dish to share, something to drink & your good humor. In France  apparently a pot luck dinner is called an "auberge d' espagnol".

Well needless to say there was plenty of good food & drink as well as plenty of good humor to go around!
It was a lovely evening where neighbors met neighbors & shared in the bounty of summer.

As seems to always be the case in France this was a fête that embraced all generations from the very young to all the respected older residents.

We had a beautiful night for it & it could not have been a lovelier way to welcome the first day of summer.

I hope you were able to celebrated the  summer solstice with good neighbors, good food & most of all good humor.

I am linking up with Paulita's weekly meme Dreaming of France today. Check out what other readers are thinking about France here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Les Détails et La Dentelle

One of the many old buildings in St. Antonin. An older photo taken some years ago, before the lace curtains were hung by the curant owner. It's a bit fuzzy but there is a big renovation project going on across the road now so not so easy to stand back & get a good shot these days.

I guess just looking at the details will have to do. The old door now draped in lace.

 The beautiful old lettering with its rich patina. A detail of the lace curtains that hang in the window now.

The old photograph that is displayed in the window, of the store in its early days. Oh what stories this building has to tell. How I would love to zoom in & see all the merchandise in the store window. To know more about the family that ran it.

Here is what you find in the window today. Just some details & some lace.

Wishing you all a happy weekend. May you find joy in the details.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Une Promenade

Just about every evening I take a walk with one or more of my neighbors. Tonight it was with Beatrice & Aurua. We started out as the village clock struck nine. The bell on the tower tolls the hour twice, about  five minutes apart, just in case you did not catch it the first time. It then chimes once on the half hour. The familiar sound of la cloche is just one of the aspects of village life that I hold so dear.

Did you notice how blue the sky still is at 9 pm?
In fact the sun was only begining to set & the light & shadows were so beautiful.

The colors of the flowers took on a special glow.

The wheat fields were truly a golden hue. They are starting to cut the blé now.

So it was nice to see it one last time before it is cut & bundled up in the round boules.

Then back to the bridge & chez moi as the sun was now going down or coucher du soleil.
It was time for me to close the shutters & go to bed too.

Bonne nuit et bon rêve!

And if your dreams happen to be about France, I am linking up with Paulita at her Dreaming of France weekly meme.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Drawing Challenge: Coca-Cola

This is new for me. But I have long admired the talented ladies & gentlemen that participate in the weekly Drawing Challenge. Each week there is a different host who comes up with a different theme for the week. This week the host is Rachel & the theme is 
I grew up in Georgia, where Coke actually comes from & this drink has a very nostalgic place in my childhood memories. I remember fondly all the iconic, old fashioned Coca-Cola signs that were in every grocery & drug store soda fountain back then. Coke was considered a special drink, more for grownups than for children. It was brought out on a tray as a treat, icy cold, when guests came to call.

I  remember the pleasure of sitting in rocking chairs on my grandmother's wide front porch & having my very own frosty bottle of Coke with the adults. I think of delightful days of hot summer sun & the heats dizzingly refreshing antidote.
Although I rarely drink it now, Coca-Cola is all about nostalgia & happy childhood memories for me.
I hope you will check out the other Drawing Challenge participants on Rachel's blog Hi Happy PandaI think that you will find that there is indeed a lot to admire about each of them.

Photos taken on John's Island, South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Hundred Foot Journey Trailer

You may remember that last September the film The Hundred Foot Journey was shot in part in the village of St. Antonin. Excited to be here at that time & fascinated by the filming process, I wrote a number of posts on the subject. Since being back in France this year, I have ask around town about the film but no one here seems to know anything about it, when it will be coming out etc. So the other day I was delighted to learn by way of  Sim Carter's blog 
Chapter 1- Take 1that the trailer is out. 

Sim writes a fascinating blog about the adaptation of books to film. She had written a review of The Hundred Foot Journey & had linked it to Paulita's Dreaming of France  page. Thinking that Sim would be interested in my experience, Paulita put her in touch with me. One thing lead to another & Sim has now written a wonderful post about my film observations using some of the photos I took last year. It is such a well written piece I hope you will find the time to check it out She has a lot of interesting facts about the film too. For instance the opening date is August 8, 2014 & that, yes, the cinematographer, 
Linus Sandgren was indeed who I met with his lovely wife (story here).
Thanks Sim for checking out my posts & sharing them with others.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Les Chapeaux du Roland Garros

If you were watching the French Open at Roland Garros this weekend you may have noticed that almost all of the spectators were wearing the same white hats. 

AP photo/Petr David Josek 

The tennis blog Slice even caught shots of Nadal's girlfriend, Maria Francisca "Xisca" Perello & the girlfriend of Djokovic, Jelena Ristic, wearing them as they cheered their guys on. It seemed that it was a rare head that was not sporting one of these chic chapeaux. 

Photos/Getty Images  
    1. What was exciting for us besides Nadal's ninth French Open win was that the hats everyone was taking notice of came from this region . Not only is this area the fruit capital of France but it is also known as France's hat making capital. The town of Caussade, situated just 20 minutes from St. Antonin, has been making hats of all kinds since 1857. At the turn of the century when hats were the proper fashion for both women & men Caussade was a booming community. However, the hat making business declined as the fashion for chapeaux dwindled. Caussade continued to make a name for itself in the hat making industry, making the straw boater that Maurice Chevalier made famous, & more recently the hats that Andie McDowell wore in 
      Four Weddings & a Funeral,
      not to mention being the official hat manufacturer for Roland Garros.

      We are used to seeing the hats of Caussade in the local  markets here but it was a thrill to see them so prominently worn in Paris this weekend.

      I am linking this up with Paulita & her weekly Dreaming of France meme

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Une Compote

My friend Annette brought me some cherries from her cherry tree. She told me that they were very ripe & that I should  eat them right away. I was delighted to eat a bowl full of cherries but there were far too many to be eaten all at once.

I had some apricots that were in need of using up as well. So I decided to make what the French call a compote. I guess it is what we would call stewed fruit but it sounds so much more appealing in French. Doesn't it?
I cut up the fruit. The hardest part was pitting the cherries.
Put the fruit into a saucepan with a good amount of sugar ( to taste) & brought it to a boil. 
Then lower heat & simmer until the fruit becomes a nice, rich, thick consistency. And voilà  you are ready to eat.
It can be served as a dessert with wiped cream or over ice cream. However, my favorite way to have compote is for breakfast with a pot or two of wonderful French yogurt.

I hope you are enjoying the fruits of the season!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

À Marché Dimanche

A few shots of the Sunday market in St. Antonin yesterday for those of you who may be dreaming of France.

I am linking up with Paulita & her weekly meme