Thursday, May 01, 2008

Chocolate Ribbons

Rose teapot and chocolate, original watercolor
Everywhere I turned in Paris there were bows, bows, bows.

French ribbons on every single piece of Parisien Easter chocolate.Corey's Rose teacup, original watercolor,
French ribbons cannot to be ignored, since the ribbon industry started in St. Etienne in the 11th century.

Organza pink ribbon + French perfume-a perfect match.

A bow-tied slipper

Embroidered ribbons as a decorative motif are ever present at the Musee Carnavalet.

The Marie-Antoinette exhibit at the Grand Palais is what made me sit up and take notice of French ribbon - this hairdo guide at the show. I'm reading the unputdownable Antonia Fraser biography of Marie-Antoinette

Ribbons were not just decorative touches - they held hats on or used as belts - they were the zipper of their day.

 The ribbon as painted decor on a wall - does anyone do it better here at Chateau Vaux le Vicomte.

And here in an old boulangerie in the 18th wall ribbons keep croissants safe from greedy fingers.

Here a do-it-yourself wall treatment to buy at department store BHV.

So when I saw this box of John & Kira's chocolates decked out in wired French ribbon I had to get it and paint it. The chocolates inside are flavored with lavender, ginger, bergamot and lemongrass


  1. Anonymous1:35 PM

    I am saving my precious pieces of French ribbon. In truth, my French friend has been adding to my collection. I think I will sew them onto a square of silk fabric, bought in Bouchara, bien sur, and then turn it into a simple throw pillow.

  2. Anonymous1:37 PM

    My first thought with your lovely ribbon was, of course, to paint it....but then, came to mind...a border of curves and bows....twists and bends. Now. Where to use the border....I am sure you would surprise us.

  3. Anonymous1:46 PM

    When I was in Paris I went to Chanel to make my grandiose purchase of a lipstick. What a treat! thy sat me down, tried a few colors on me and offered me mineral water. It was wrapped with the signature ribbon and the white camelia. I wear them in summer as a choker.

  4. Anonymous1:52 PM

    Ribbons are so romantique...
    Ribbons, roses, raspberries!
    All romantic
    Lovely paintings again.

  5. Anonymous2:11 PM

    How great you found the Marie Antoinette exhibit. I usually go to Europe every summer and I was planning on staying home and decorating my first house when I learned of the exhibit from you. I ordered the exhibit catalogue from the boutique on-line. I just can’t decide if one exhibit is worth a $900+ trip to Europe. Any advice? I’m heartbroken.

    I would also suggest Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. It’s a historical look at how her fashion choices were subversive.

  6. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I collect French ribbon with Logos on them, i.e., Guerlain, Lancel, Herve Gambs, Hermes, etc. If I see a pretty piece of fabric in France that I can't live without, I buy it and save it for a time when I will have an epiphany as to its use!
    So far I have been way short on epiphanies.

  7. oohh a "ribbon runs through it" this as you well know...that Laduree wall of ribbon is like a silken waterfall..I like ribbon scattered about, on packages and things, but mostly I like the ones that come tied around those chocolates :)
    Paint them of course!
    All best, Jan

  8. I loved the Marie Antoinette exhibit but it was so crowded.

  9. I've always loved Ribbons and Bows. I seem to doodle bows a lot. Love that French ribbon with the wires in it too.
    Love your paintings, Especially the First one. It has to be my favorite now. Great posts. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Hmm...chocolate, lavender and ginger. Now that should be an interesting combination! :)

    Is it terribly difficult to paint ribbons Carol?

  11. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Such lovely pictures and what yummy chocolate you bought to paint. Love the ribbons. I need that do it yourself kit. So pretty.

  12. Beautiful, Carol! I was out tonight and came back to your gorgeous paintings and ribbons. Put a pretty cameo or charm or something on it and use it as an old-fashioned necklace, or wrap something special in it, or put it around a pillow, or candlestick, or something, and leave it where you can enjoy it. Wrap one around one of your birds. ;)) So pretty...your watercolors are the best yet and your ribbons magnifique!

  13. ps
    Don't you just love sealing wax, too? How romantic was THAT!? I used to use it to send letters. I'm a total sucker for things like that...

    Put your ribbon with sealing wax on a frame with one of your paintings. Or wrap one for someone you love.

  14. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Put a dab of perfume on some and use it for a bookmark.
    Tie back your drapes with some.
    Tie your impeccably ironed sheet sets with a ribbon.
    Put your door key on a ribbon.
    Use it to tie up little bags of dried lavendar for your intimates drawer.
    Take one of your longer pieces of ribbon and trap a rabbit. Then tie the ribbon around its neck....I leave the rest to your ample imagination. You did say "All suggestions will be considered seriously." I hold you to your word.

  15. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Bonjour Carol!

    Beautiful and interesting as always. I am so glad to hear you are reading Antonia's Marie Antoinette, it's one of my favorites!
    After seeing the movie, I couldn't put the book down!

  16. I love all these ribbon suggestions!
    I'm still learning how to paint them, so you'll be seeing more ribbons.

  17. Anonymous6:50 AM

    Se den fiiiine sjokoladeesken med lilla sløyfe :D Kjempesøt den hagesiden du sendte.

  18. that is very French isn't it? You have a wonderful eye for detail!


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