Thursday, May 13, 2021

Galignani and Angelina


By now I should know when are the French jours de fรฉriรฉs/holidays. May is the month with the most holidays. The French jump for joy ๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿพ‍♀️ Me: I go to the post office and cry๐Ÿ˜ข

  • Fรชte du Travail : samedi 1er mai 2021
  • Fรชte de la Victoire de 1945 : samedi 8 mai 2021
  • Jeudi de l'Ascension : jeudi 13 mai 2021
  • Lundi de Pentecรดte : lundi 24 mai 2021
  • Last Saturday was such a holiday. Why is rue de Rivoli vide/empty. Not because of Covid. Everyone is in Deauville getting their toes wet

  • . The rest are on the Ile Saint Louis eating les cornets/ice cream cones at Berthillon. 

  • I ventured out to see the cats at Place de la Concorde. 

  • Stopping at Tuileries to walk on the way, its impossible to pass side by side without going inside irresistible bookstore Galignani and Angelina tea salon. 

  • This airy bookshop is like NYC’s Rizzoli, specializing in the latest art, fashion, decor and foodie books in French/English. Its the place to be seen during fashion week. 

  • Bill Cunningham always stopped in to catch up. 

  • They can be annoyingly snobby at times. I wanted to see a pricey book on figurative watercolor artist Carmontelle. I did buy the book on the left. No matter. The salesman would barely let me see the title, for sanitary reasons of course. Turned out to be exactly what I did not want - black and white line engravings of the Monceau gardens published by Yale. 

  • Some of their English books you can buy up the street for less at WH Smith. Still its a fun space to browse and get inspo. Do NOT take pictures of book jackets to later check prices on Amazon. They don’t like that at all ๐Ÿ™

  • Next door in spacious Angelina where Chanel took tea, it was completely vide/empty. Next week it will be jammed. They were not the least bit snobby FYI. 

  • Angelina’s Spring collection has arrived. They had the most unusual tarte citron with a faux lemon popped on top. Who could say non? Not me. Their classic Fraisier is an essential if you’re doing strawberry research.

  •  I knew Bear ๐Ÿป would love the demitasse cup, especially when I heard it was only18€ not 80€ :)) 

  • He loved everything and so did I. The lemon tarte was positively airy and delicate. A combination of lemon and lime. 

  • By the time I got home the streets were full of ice cream eaters.

  • Thank you dear Amy for leaving the lovely review in my shop๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿพ‍♀️

  • The Paris bookshops map is now available on Etsy for bookoholics. Happy Jeudi de l'Ascension  PBers. No poste, no bank ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿป

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Dear MoM + a bonus watercolor


My sister recently sent some old photos from her scrapbook pile including this funny camp letter, undated. This is an homage to my Mom and a bit of a family saga. Probably TMI..

Was it Girl Scout camp? Was I six? Truth be told I was not outdoorsy, camper material (photo from Flickr)

Next I went to artsy, Bucks Rock Work Camp, which I absolutely adored for 3 years. We sang Handel’s Hallelujah chorus and watched a cow give birth. ‘The camp's philosophy followed the teachings of Maria Montessori, but its spirit owed as much to Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan . Campers sang folk songs, dug ditches, nurtured vegetables, pursued the arts. The owner  often responded to questions by quoting a Bob Dylan lyric, saying, "The answer is blowing in the wind." My parents decided it was a bad influence ๐Ÿ˜ณ and put an end to that. 

A group portrait early days. My mom studied fashion design but life intervened. I’m sure my mother made her bias-cut dress. She made all our matching outfits.

 Do we look alike? I was often told They found me in the bushes (like Moses?) My sister still tells me that๐Ÿ˜Š Note my puffy sleeves, ruffled neckline and Tyrollean print fabric. There was probably a bow in back. 

We were the recipients of my mother’s great design talent, though I bet she never planned on becoming a children’s wear designer.

We spent summers in Beach Haven,NJ which is why I have a clam obsession. One of the cons of moving to Paris. Zero clams on the half-shell.

My sister and I walking on Atlantic City boardwalk, looking chic in off-the-shoulder matching cardies, pleated skirts and felt beanies.

They must have injected us with something to get this angelic picture. Note my pique, ruffled pinafore with puffy sleeves and bow-tied cuffs. Maybe why I don’t own anything with bows or ruffles.

Here I’m wearing a pink and black checked suit I sewed myself just before moving to New York. My mother’s master plan was: I go to design school and become the fashion designer she dreamed of being. I dug in my heels. But I had no alternate plan. I ‘drifted aimlessly’ from one art school to another. No ambition. When I lost my mother at 24 something exploded. I had to go to New York. I had to go to Parsons School of Design. I had to become a fashion designer. It wasn’t easy. I was older than my classmates: Donna Karin, Willie Smith, Michael Volbracht. I was a complete naif. I thought Sportswear was scuba-diving outfits ๐Ÿ˜ณ Still I survived. I made it to 7th Avenue. For a while. Then I moved on to shoe design...more fun traveling to Italy and Spain. Then Travel writing. Then back to 7th Avenue designing in Hong Kong. Then I switched to illustration. Then wine art! I nearly forgot medical illustration. Its been a convoluted journey Mom, but I’m still drawing✏️ and sending letters ๐Ÿ’Œ to you all, my latest adventure ❤️ 

A big shout-out to Stephanie for writing a letter review on etsy๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Much appreciated.

If you’d like a small personalized watercolor buy anything in my shop this weekend and write DEARMOM in the notes at checkout. 
                   From Paris with Love PBers ๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ“❤️☺️๐Ÿป

Thursday, May 06, 2021

A Renewed Visa + A Single Lady


By the time you read this I’ll be clutching my new carte de sejour/visa card๐Ÿคž I’ve been trying to get a rendezvous/appt since September. 

Its like playing roulette to get a time slot online.You pick from 10 numbers but keep coming up with zero.  Try, try again, in the middle of the night and still you get zero.

With Covid things aren’t the same as they ever were.


Then last week I hit it lucky ๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿพ‍♀️๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The other day running round getting visa papers in the rain I spotted this Citron tarte that looks like a donut. Plus a citron meringue that looks like an eclair! Naturalement I had to get them. 

Coming home, they were slip, sliding away. Sadly they did not taste great...

No wonder in this big, silly cake box. 

The lady in the red dress reminded me of the irreplaceable Alber Elbaz we lost last weekend to complications from Covid ๐Ÿ˜ข He put bows everywhere including legs.

Every time I put up another single letter I hear Bay’s Single my head.

Not exactly single but definitely singular, Marie-Antoinette letter is available in my shop

With a personalized envelope ๐Ÿ’Œ

For those who dream of grandeur

And for those want to cut and fold faux Marie-Antoinette paper dolls. Have fun PBers ✂️๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Fete de Muguet and more single letters


Happy Premier de Mai PBers! 

The past two days I’ve been hanging out at florist Christian Collin on 43, rue de Rivoli. They were busy as bees. 

I didn’t know the French buy their muguet ahead of the big day. When I went back yesterday to buy, all the smaller plants were gone. Whoosh 

If you buy a plant, you get that cute clip-on ladybug/coccinelle. It doesn’t come with a bunch/boite of flowers :((

 I got a little vase. No cute bug ๐ŸžI hope I get to paint this bunch ๐Ÿคž☺️

Kilo flats of strawberries ๐Ÿ“ and asperges are out in force. Lovely how the French save their berries for Spring’s arrival. You rarely see them the rest of the year.

Chocolate pots of lily of the valley. The pot on the left looks like real dirt. Did you know the hottest plant pots are covered in birch bark...or maybe I’m late to the soiree.

I was looking through old PB May Day posts I came across my 1st May Paris letter from 2014. A lot of water under the pont/bridge since then. 

I was influenced by Botticelli’s apparition of Spring/Printemps. 

Lately when the Vogue report arrives there’s this ad for a Botticelli diaphanous, flowy skirt

Thank you again for your wonderful response to the new single letters. Its been such a surprise for me๐Ÿ’‹ So I decided to put this letter up ☺️๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ“ 

It has a watercolor-decorated envelope ๐Ÿ’Œ though now full size. Muguet/lilies of the valley are my birth flower and hold a special place in my heart ❤️๐Ÿป Are you a May baby too?