Friday, September 04, 2015

La Rentree, Tour Jean sans Peur, les Pommes Française

It's that time of year in Paris - La Rentrée.
The kids are back. Getting off the Metro I nearly got run over by 4 racing kidlets scrambling for some empty seats. Their mom reminded them, "DOOCE-A-MENT"(gently). I haven't heard that word in 2 whole months. French kids were out of town building sand castles.
It's time to covet gorgeous school supplies specially designed for French kids.
Art supplies are on sale big time. I have to remind myself I do Not need another paintbox.
Families are out scarfing up colorful cahiers (notebooks). Papetterie are like rainbows.
This is a once a year event. Get it now or forgettaboutit.
The tournasol (sunflowers) are back in flower shops.
Ina Caro in PARIS TO THE PAST  talks about visiting Tour Jean Sans Peur at 20 rue Etienne Marcel. It's one of the last remaining bits of the original ramparts of Paris outside the Louvre. Each branch of this column/tree represents a Burgundian aristocratic family.
Look put the window of the tower and you'll see right into a French school playground, jump ropes and all.
I'm not tower climber so I didn't make it to the top of this one. But as part of my search for Medieval Paris and following in Ina Caro's footsteps, I felt obliged to venture up.
There's an exhibit on till 15 November ' The Medieval table'. This harvest scene looked Fallish..
Sheafs of wheat still decorate Paris restaurants and boulangeries to remind you where your croissant came from
The weather the 1st week of September has been absolutely glorious.
Fall transitional clothes are out for the OFG (Older French Girl) and the Ados (adolescents).
Scarfs are out too.
Apples and apple sauce are the flavor of the month.
My favorite tarte fine aux pommes is beckoning. Almost healthy since it's just a thin slice of crust loaded with thin slices of apple.
I get quizzical looks from the French when I mention the American tradition of 'Bringing an apple to the teacher' at the beginning of the school year. 'Won't her table be covered with apples?'
Never mind. The September Sketch Letter is full of French Fall apples plus a tarte fine and the Apple Lady from Marché Grenelle. I wanted to include the names of the French varieties but it looked awful according to the boys at my print shop. A scowl from them and I'm back at my drawing board.
I got interesting envelope stuffers including the concert schedule at Sainte-Chapelle this month.
This Fall's project - testing out new watercolor papers. 
This months gift-with-purchase of any subscription or renewal is a sample apple watercolor. I have a feeling I won't be switching but it's fun to experiment.


  1. La Rentree ..... so French. How perfectly you .captured it. Loved how you managed to slip your apple sketch into the store keepers apple box display. .

  2. I love looking at back to school thngs:)And paintboxes and stamps and your apples..OFG looks great I find.Very put together.
    It does look like Sept has been sweetthere,,heat wave here.

    1. OFGs are Very well put together here.
      no idea how they do it...must be genetic.

  3. Lovely Carol...I'm on my own Rentree there tommorrow..hope that good weather holds up.....

  4. Malou9:43 AM

    very, very nice as usual ! and the apple pie is always a good choice ;))

  5. You mention the exhibit "The Medieval Table." I was visiting friends in Bretagne this August and they introduced me to a young man who specializes in Medieval food preparation. He sells his "historic food" at the weekly market in Benodet not far from Quimper. Pork prepared in fruit sauce, duck, leeks cooked in almond milk and more. All very delicious. I have pictures.

    1. Interesting Robin. There were quite a few Medieval cookbooks at Chartres cathedral in the gift shop but Malcolm Miller warned us off...maybe not his favorite.

  6. History,fashion and food...
    Love it.

  7. Anonymous11:56 AM

    Thank you Carol, for sending your joie de vivre across the waves...merci infiniment ! You make the world a better place ! Suzanne

  8. Love the medieval stuff.

    1. I'm late to the Parisian Medieval party but playing catch up

  9. Cornelia Emery12:49 PM

    EVERYBODY needs another paintbox!!!! ;-)

    1. This happens to be too true Cornelia.
      We are paintbox addicts!

  10. Gads, you're good. I love the watercolors. A little Cezanne-y and luscious. Thanks for stoking my love for Paris.

  11. Ann K1:22 PM

    Love it !!!

  12. We visited the Tour Jean sans Peur but didn't know you could actually go up in the tower. Guess I have to come back to Paris & do it right.

  13. I hardly ever see a paint box that I don't want to buy. Congratulations on your willpower!

  14. Carol, I loved every picture, every word, every centimeter of this Rentree post. Early September is a favorite time of the year for me. I actually loved returning to school in my younger days...and my birthday arrives soon, as well.

    Those backpacks and school supplies are totally charming. Perhaps you remember Kate's Paperie over here in's gone now, perhaps down to international currency effects. Still, I long for various things that one could only find there.

    Apples! Les pommes! Another part of this season to celebrate, whether freshly off the tree, or deliciously baked in amazing pastry.

    Your apple paintings are lovely. I think that your current watercolor paint supplies are serving you well, but look forward to learning what you might be discovering about alternative papers.

    Your photo of the Seine with those glorious clouds above the bridge against the blue sky is superb!


    1. Ah...Kate's Paperie. Such a wonderful source of inspiration.
      There are many, many 'Kate's Paperie' shops or papeteries in Paris - a great love for stationary exists here. I wrote about l'Ecritoire on PB.

  15. Anonymous10:26 AM

    So what watercolor paper DO you recommend? For a beginner? I may start up again. I think I will.


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