Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Madame de la Lafayette

Madame de la Lafayette,watercolor on Etsy,watercolor
Parisienne Anne Corrons of MesVitrinesNYC (now Mes VitrinesParis/London) gave me a detailed tour of the first Xmas vitrines in Paris...i.e. Galeries Lafayette!
A fantasie tea party for two...
Dreamy Nicole Kidman-like femmes...
One of them very much turned...
Upside down!
What was in the tea?
Anne tells me this means BIG Xmas!
Anne about to take a shot, and I'm about to go off to Philadelphia for the Holiday. Here's hoping I don't get turned upside down and you either!!!
See you next week...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tour des Macarons

Les Macarons a la cupid,watercolor, 5.5" x 7.5

Brought back by popular request and to help you adjust to the upcoming excess on this Thursday.

More macaron piece montees - this one the first I spied at Pierre Herme on rue Bonaparte.
Macarons a la,watercolor on Etsy,5.5" x 7.5

A managable tower of macs - well I could manage it.
Definitely for a festive party occasion from Gerard Mulot... Oddly grey-colored macarons? What do you think? Odd or edible? Lenotre had this swirling tower of macarons in their shop and I stole a shot.A quite unique fruit and (no not veg), but macaron tower from Dalloyau at Gallerie Lafayette.At the Salon du Chocolat, this very real tree of pistache macarons from Sadaharu Aoki.No macs but a very attractive tower of coffee cups in Cafe Richard's boutique window.

Strictly fruit for those abstaining from pumpkin pie, seen at Chateau Vaux le Vicomte. A tower of French marshmallows or guimauve anyone?Dalloyau's chocolate tower before I got the chastising finger. At Printemps, these towers of Xmas lights - inedible I'm afraid...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Paris Map Fair

Les Macarons a la pistache,watercolor 5.5" x 7.5
Before I went off to Paris I was chatting about my love of Paris Maps and chocolate maps.

So when I spotted this poster for a map fair in one of the passages the following Sunday I was hooked.Les Macarons a la framboise,watercolor on Etsy, sold 5.5" x 7.5
I'm not sure what I thought I'd find there but it was free and I LOVE maps! :)
Add Image Over at Hotel Ambassador on 16, boulevard Hausmann, there was room after room of plenty of maps...And map dealers from all over Europe... And throngs of people seriously perusing all the maperie...Maps are a kind of flat art that is immediately engaging. So much imagination is implied. You can put things where ever you want them and decorate the hell out of them.
It was the crazy decorations that drew me...
There were books and books full of the things...
I love all the hand lettering too....
But particularly these illustrated cartouche called out to me...
A cartouche is an oblong enclosure originally found In Egyptian hieroglyphs and flung all over these hand-drawn maps in the most colorful and whimsical way.
So the next macaron map that comes along, I'm ready to do the cartouches. In fact I may have to create it myself from start to finish.

Friday, November 21, 2008

La Grande Singerie at Chantilly

Not a cheminee, 5.5" x 7.5
As an American staying in a Paris apartment, you must adjust to different ways of doing things, like keeping warm.
This exquisite nonworking fireplace/cheminee in the Musée national de céramique Sèvres.
And there are plenty of faux cheminees to be had along rue de St.Peres.

 Micha found her 19th century furnace in the celler and installed it as a decorative object. You have to search for the chauffage or heater in a French apartment. They are usually situated below the window. So they can warm up the drafts coming in through the leaky French windows.

I only found the portable radiateur in the bedroom, the last day whilst I was cleaning.

You do wonder how anyone kept warm. 

in these grand, elegant rooms at Musee de Nissim Camondo?

No wonder so many of Ingres portraits of women show them wrapped securely in warm shawls... And no wonder the cashmere shawl was held in such high regard by the Victorians.

At Chateau Chantilly, the painting on the fire screen in La Grande Singerie is particularly lovely.

My guidebook says it was painted by Christopher Huet and was bought by the Duke of Aumale to go with the other monkey decorations in the room.

It shows a monkey schoolmaster whipping a bad cat student, as a naked monkey sits perched on a stool learning his lessons.

Back to the subject of French heating in French apartments.
Here are a few phrases I should have learned before my trip:
Où est le radiateur?
Where is the heater?
Comment fonctionne le chauffage? How does the heater work?
L'appareil de chauffage ne fonctionne pas.
The heater is not working.Or better yet simply point and say,
"Ne marche pas." It's not working.
Working or not, you can depend on a luscious cup of rich chocolat chaud in Paris to keep you toasty.
Have a toasty week-end!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Musee Nissim de Camondo

Camondo oiseau, 9" x 11"
First day out in Paris at Musee Nissim de Camondo I ran smack in to a flock of birds that followed my adventures all through Paris
No ornithologist I, so can you name the birds here at Camondo?
Another bird that looks so familiar...Hmmmm

More lovely birds whilst in the Versailles gift shop
At the tail end of my trip, a visit to the magnificent and often overlooked Musee de Sevres - just a short trip on ligne #9 to the end and then a quick walk over the bridge - et voila - a fantastic historic collection of china from everywhere and all time periods.
At Sevres this plate commemorating American bird species -the crow?
Birds as decorative elements stalked me. Here on a tapestry chair at...?
Ah at musee Nissim de Camondo and it was a folding screen not a chair!
These lovebirds were busy cooing at Versailles on another screen...
I went to Rick's place again and spotted this old alphabet bird postcard lying around...
Just a bit of old embroidered tapestry at the Bastille brocante. Note a bird is present amidst the flowers and bunnies...
Tons of birds symmetrically arranged on the fabrics at the Musee de la Toile de Jouy. I guess birds add a touch of life to these static repetitive designs..qui sait?
Here at Chateau Chantilly , a Roman mosaic of lowly pigeons!
Much more life like than just purely decorative, these unidentifiable everyday birds in the elegant chambers of La Grande Singerie at Chantilly..
Passing by on rue de St. Peres - a great street for window gazing into very fine antique shops - these amusing birds perched on top of a gazebo in a print by Antoine Watteau

Oddly you do not see many birds and pastry together. Except here at Gerard Mulot's grand piece montee... These birds look like they escaped from a hat to me...