Saturday, March 31, 2007

Chocolate Bells, Bunnies, Hens and...

3rd quick note from Paris, because yes blueVicar, there are chocolate bells EVERYWHERE in Paris!
And EGGS!
Chocolate eggs, nougat eggs.
HUGE chocolate eggs a decent size child could stand up in at Godiva's.
Is it a contest who can make the biggest egg?
Chocolate cakes shaped like eggs at La Maison du chocolat.
Eggs hanging like Christmas ornaments in all the windows or with an attached loop so you can hang it in your own window or perhaps around your neck..who knows?!
And a chocolate squirrel with a big yellow bow tied over the entire thing in La Maison's window...
I thought squirrels were a sign of Fall..who knew?
The most interesting chocolate "animals" are in Jean-Paul Hevin's window.
The front 1/2 is a chocolate fish or a bunny.
And the back 1/2 is a hen's tail with a chocolate box separating them filled with colored eggs.
Yeah and bows on EVERYTHING.
They probably put a big yellow bow on the Eiffel Tower next Sunday!

Yes, Merisi, I AM like the Energizer Bunny, running running running.
One way for sure that no one gets fat here is all the steps in the METRO - up & down & up & down
A whole lot of walking goes on.
And a very important to note for your next visit - DO NOT RUN across the street.
It just isn't done!?
Even if the lights have changed on you. Cars do not seem to wish to run you down.
I could be wrong on this, but simply do not run across the street.
And try really hard not to stand in the middle of the sidewalk with your maps flowing all over.
Find a secluded corner if you can.
Lordie!
Well it's time for petit dej', so I gotta run!
Tout a l'heure!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Still Ciel Bleu and Bunnies!

Just a quick note because I am running, running and when I am not running I'm painting..well almost :)
They are threatening rain all the time but the sun is winning!
so far

I'm seeing alot of pale chartruse everwhere...on the new Chanel perfume..it seems to be the accent color of the moment.
And you can not believe how this town is inhabited with BUNNIES!
And HUGE chocolate eggs everywhere.
AND BIG HENS!
It's just about ridiculous...
Paris is an Easter barnyard !?
Even big bunny advertisements in the Metro..
I am not sure I can look another bunny in the eye...

I had petit dejeuner yesterday at Angelina's = YUM!
The trick is to get there before 10:30 = no line, no waiting
I had something called "Petit Dejeuner Parisien"
But it was more like an American P.D. - it was NOT petit at all.
OJ + 3 kinds of Vennoiserie (sp) + a ficelle/ small baguette + a pitcher of chocolat chaud + confiture/ jam
Do you call this petit?
There's an even PD bigger one you can order - maybe they serve you a steak?

Oh I forgot, the hot chocolate comes with a "Mont Blanc" - a perfect mountain of whipped cream, which I forced myself to taste... I'm not a cream person but it was divine :)
They have new china at Angelina - more elegant, more simple..just a thin red line on the cups and dishes + their name.
I can't wait to paint it and show you all the pictures when I get back.
I'm having a bite today at Le Train Bleu...more to come!
Later :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ciel Bleu..Paris Blue Skies

A mini flash report from PARIS!
Ciel bleu!
Paris blue skies all the way!!!
It's very Springy here.
I sat out on a cafe terrace yesterday for the first time all by myself and had an expresso on Boulvard St Germain.
Basically I told the waiter, I'll have one of those..as he was cleaning up the cups next to me.
I wasn't sure what to call it...but it was yummy
By the end of 9 days it should be easy.
And I got a French haircut - which kind of looks like you didn't get a haircut, but just got out of bed..
One of those.
At Lafayette Gourmet and I was agast at the gazillion kinds of hot chocolate they had!!!
There could easily have been 30.
The Parisen Easter bunnies are out in force and the bunny is pale green.
I have lots of fun pictures to show you when I get back.
Be patient...
I'm going swimming this morning to make up for the 7 macarOns I ate yesterday :(
They were really exceptionally small...
And bought for research purposes too...
Uh huh...
A tout a l'heure
Carolg in PARIS!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Sweet Escape...

I'm off to Paris as soon as I publish this post!
And I'm lateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
Just CLICK on these pictures for some French fun!!!
And some chocolate silliness for you :)


This is definitely the Sweet Escape but there are no macarOns in it unfortunately :(

I'll be too busy painting masterpieces for you (I hope) to post.
But you can watch this painting if you click on it!
And I'll be painting Paris REDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD..
if I can get my bag closed and out the door!
Bye :)
Avoir!

Friday, March 23, 2007

La Tasse Petale

La Tasse Petale- Cafe Richard, original watercolor, 8 1/2" x 11"
Back to cups and the possible opening of Cafe Gillott. I was sent a set of new coffee and expresso cups by the American distributor. MERCI!

 
I'd seen pictures of the new La Tasse Petale cup and was a little hesitant...

My allegiances were to a cafe cup I met and painted in Provence.
OK I'm fickle...when I next met this cup at Le Luco Cafe, my heart went pitter, patter. A new love and so much fun to paint!
TA -DA! I introduce you to the brand NEW La Tasse Petale.
It's called "the petal cup" because the handle has been cleverly turned to the side, making it easier to hold and more ergonomic perhaps? Plus the interior is rounded so you can better taste the "fruits" of the coffee.

 
The creators of this new cup for Cafe Richard are SISMO Design Antoine Fenoglio and Frederic Lecourt specialize in taking quotidienne / everyday objects and giving them a new twist. They have a shop in the Marais and I can't wait to visit it!

SISMO Design, 5 bis rue St Paul, 75004 Paris, Métro: St Paul

 

My new cups came with loads of chocolate squares.
These are the expresso cups. Pretty adorable you'll agree.
David L. just went to the Università del Caffè, so you might like to get some pointers on making expresso yourself. And Greg has a ton of coffee info at his coffee ratings site. I'm studying all this too since I mostly drink hot chocolate...oops

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bunny Madness...

Chocolate bunniesChocolate Bunnies, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
More Bunny madness..
Parisen bunnies in love.. I spotted these lapin/bunnies in Paris last October.
Were they a sign that bunnies were coming into my life big time?
Corey's bunnies These lovely porcelaine bunnies of Corey's in Provence are made to hold..dare I say it - pate de lapin.Triste!
Merisi's Viennese bunnies Merisi found these bunnies in Vienna...
Pretty adorable!Lindt Gold Bunnies Monumental Lindt Gold Bunny The king of Gold Bunnies seen lounging on the Lindt Zurich grounds with his brood.Gold Bunny makes guest appearencesGold Bunny has been doing guest appearences in San Francisco!


I'm jealous...
We never get anything in New york. I have heard that LGB was sighted in Paris, where I'll be next week.
New York Bunny riding on the subwayI spotted this bunny by artist Dave Calver riding my N train.
Pretty nifty but not Gold bunny...
I do worry a bit what I'll do when Easter is over...
I just joined the Flickr Bunny Lovers Unite group, so there's hope for me.
These shiny rows of Gold Bunnies reside in the New York Lindt flagship store.
But don't they look like they could be sitting inside Tutankhamun's pyramid?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

This Cup For Hire...

Cousin Bill's Teacup, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
Wait, what I mean is this paintbrush is for hire...no actually barter...
"Give me your tired, your hungry..." No, no, I mean give me your teacups!
And I mean your PRETTY teacups. No tired, no hungry teacups pleeeze!
You can include a macaron prop if you'd like...
I want to paint more pretty teacups like this one on Bergdorf's 7th floor...
I wonder if Bergdorf's reads ParisBreakfasts..?
This cup picture was sent from Merisi of Vienna..
It costs at least 200 Euros ! Don't go overboard. I don't do oils :(
These blue and white beauties are from Bergdorf Goodman's Vintage Tea shop. Just email me a good picture of the "pretty" teacup you'd like to trade for a watercolor and I'll pick one or two or...
My name is Carol and I'm a CUPaholic
Anali's teacup

LOOK!

Anali of Anali's First Amendment came up with the 1st teacup to exchange for a watercolor! This is fun!!! and I'm still looking.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Les Pates de Fruits

Fauchon's Pates de Fruits watercolor Fauchon's Pates de Fruits, original watercolor, 9" x 11"

Here is a French sweet, Les Pates de Fruits, I've heard about for a long time and never tasted until Fauchon's last days, when they gave me some gratis...

Photo c/o Old Time Candy Company Chuckles is NOT fruit paste, though I grew up eating Chuckles at the movies (never the liquorice).I should be a prime candidate for Les Pates de Fruits, right?

trays and trays of  Fauchon's Pates de Fruits
The pate is 50% boiled-down puree of fresh fruit + 50% cane sugar, so their flavors are intense. Les pates de fruits were first made in medieval Auvergne, though now they are made everywhere and every candy maker has their own version. “Dry jams” / "confitures seches" is another way to refer to these jewel-like candied jells...
The flavors are exotic:
apricot, banana, blackberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, clementine, coconut, damson plum, fig, grapefruit, green apple, lemon, lime, mango, morello cherry, orange, passion fruit, pear, pineapple, raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry, wild strawberry, apple cinnamon, apple earl grey

 
Lilamand Confisier in St Remy specializes in fruits confit Fruits confits are whole fruits preserved in sugar. The fruit must be fully infused with sugar up to its core; larger fruits take considerably longer than smaller ones to prepare.
Click here and watch a little slide show of the process by Lilamand Confisier in St Remy.

 
Fauchon's fruit confitsSome of Fauchon's fruit confits I photographed just out of curiosity.
And here a Fauchon combo box of chocolates (yum), les pates de fruits and whole strawberry confits.

 
A confit cocktail...Drink up!Here's a cocktail glass full of confit and those Provencal almond calissons - how I love them
Please tell me your stories of pates de fruits.

Monday, March 19, 2007

KUSMI TEA...

Russian Tea Service, original watercolor, 9" x 11"
The New York weather report today says 31°F (Feels like: 25°F) so I can still talk about tea...
Russian tea..Kusmi Russian Tea in fact.

I first encountered Kusmi Teas at the Salon du Chocolat (they have a chocolate tea) and a day later at Le Festival de The.

They had this fantastic "sniffing" display so you could easily find the tea you love.
Kusmi Tea was founded in 1867 in St-Petersburg, by P.M Kousmichoff, supplier to the tsars. In 1917, at the time of the Revolution, they moved to London and Paris.

They're boutique is at 56, rue de Seine and they've just opened a tea room, so I'll be doing research next week...
Kusmi Russian Teas begin with big-leaf teas from Ceylon, India, Java and China. They uniquely blend these tea leaves with scented aromatics originating from Grasse, France's perfume center.
For example:
Anastasia Tea is a Russian blend of Ceylon and China teas scented with orange, bergamot, lemon and lime
Prince Vladimir is a blend of Ceylon and China teas with scents of orange, lemon, vanilla, grapefruit and spices
The Bouquet de Fleur blend is a blend of China, India and Ceylon teas with 8 different aromas, including lemon, bergamot orange, lime and mandarin orange
Petrushka Tea is a blend of Ceylon, cardamom, cloves, almonds and rose

For research purposes I visited The Russian Samovar on 52nd street to taste a Russian tea with blinis, sour cream and sour cherries...

Here's the demise of my research = YUM!
You put the sour cherries into the tea as well as in the blinis...

My research was to gather info on Russian Tea Service for another menu cover for The Russian Tea Room.

Podstakannik is Russian for tea glass holder and means "under the glass" or "for the glass"
Chai is the word for tea
Chainaya lozhka is teaspoon
Sahar is sugar
Zavarka is strong tea
They have a huge collection of rare Russian Samovars at RTR...
Vetka is the handle of a samovar's faucet. Literally "branch" (as of a tree)

So now you're ready to go for tea at The Russian Tea Room!

BTW I noticed Paris weather today is 39°F (Feels like: 32°F)
Do you think they heard I was coming and are trying to make the transition easy for me? :(

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lindt Gold Bunny

As you can see - I'm still hooked on Lindt's Gold Bunny...

I saw last week New Yorker's cover and thought, YAY! another artist studying his artwork..

WRONG!
The cover title was "The Man Who Loved Women," by artist Benoit van Innis...

Naturally I've been back to the Lindt store to study Gold Bunny some more..

The Lindt Gold Bunny has his own website it turns out with games and news of his whereabouts!

Watch Gold Bunny rising up out of a pool of chocolate...
YUM!

I'm not too thrilled what Jeff Koons did to this bunny...
I personally think he might have looked at the Lindt's Bunny more closely.
The Lindt Gold Bunny is so beautifully designed...sigh

Now Steiff did a version of the Lindt Gold Bunny I highly approve of.
I just wish I could find a bigger version of it :)
I'm not yet satisfied with my paintings of LGB,
so I hope you'll put up with my obsession for just a little bit longer...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tulip Sketches...

Tulip Sketches #1, watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"
61°F (Feels like: 61°F)
YAY!
is SPRING here?

Tulip Sketches #2, watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"
Di Overton said...I love your daffodils any chance of some tulips. I love white ones...

Tulip Sketches #3, watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"

White tulips are tough to paint Di. Maybe in a bit...for now I'm sticking with colorful tulips.

Tulip Sketches #4, watercolor, 9" x 11 1/2"

Uh Oh! :(
Winter storm watch:
SIGNIFICANT SNOW AND SLEET POSSIBLE LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT...
A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL PUSH SOUTH ACROSS THE REGION TODAY.