Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Countess Christina de Vogue

L'Ecureuil de Vaux le Vicomte,5.5" x 7.5

I have been grappling with this darn squirrel paw to paw this morning, and so far the squirrel is winning.

As noted before this squirrel is on the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte coat of arms.
Plus on divine tapesteries you can buy in the chateau gift shop.
 Susanne spotted this American squirrel in residence in the same shop
Countess Christina de Vogue The Countess did a book event at the New York Alliance Francaise last night and I got to meet the squirrel's owners, so to speak.
Countess Christina de Vogue The story of the chateau is intriguing and the Countess Christina de Vogue could not be more charming...Countess Christina de Vogue
Elegant..Countess Christina de Vogue
Or gracious.
Remember this gorgeous book I showed you in September? 
Decadent Desserts: Recipes from Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte
Count Patrice de Vogue, her husband, has his own fascinating book on the history of his family's aquisition and complete restoration of Vaux since 1875.
After the talk we got to taste the Countess's heavenly desserts from her new book.
By the way the chateau's amazing grounds were designed by Andre Le Notre in the 1600's and have 7 - 12 landscapers attending it's needs year round. There are 36 pools and fountains, of which 28 (I think..) are in functioning order. The grounds alone cost $1,000,000 a year to keep up. The Count and Countess live on the premises and you feel their presence in the fresh flowers, warmth and grace throughout the mansion. If you like you can rent the chateau for your wedding or any other grand event of your choice. Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte is my favorite in France in case you were wondering...
Countess Christina de Vogue


  1. Wonderful, Carol! That squirrel just LOOKS like a French squirrel! ;))

    I often think how amazing it must be for those Europeans to have to take people in to their homes for tours and the like while they still live there...but the cost of maintaining them must be unfathomable. At least they get to stay there then! great photos and wonderful post. I love your ribbon trims, too, Carol. I've tried those and will again, 'cause I just love them!

  2. Anonymous11:51 AM

    I am so happy you went to the event as I could not attend. I am visiting ma mere en Floride pour le holiday. Lovely photo's and text!
    All the best,

  3. Anonymous11:53 AM

    The squirrel's paw is fine for bones (which is an absolute equivalent of fingers), but you lost the fine climbing hooks the critter needs to survive. Also, put more light and fluffiness in the tail. It should look "feathery," never rope-y.

    I'm not a squirrel expert by choice, understand. They're cute to look at--Disney is right--but definitely tree rats.

  4. Anonymous11:57 AM

    I just started to read your blog recently, after a friend recommended it, and I love your wonderful photos and comments. I didn't want to send this as a public comment, as you will understand.

    I thought you might appreciate knowing that the correct French is "bon" weekend. "weekend" has been given a masculine designation.... even though the proper French expression is "bonne fin de semaine", feminine "bonne" to agree with "la fin", literally the end of the week.

    "tout de suite" is another tricky one. it's not "toute a suite", which I don't think exists.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but the French are sticklers about their beautiful language's spelling and grammar, and it's easy to anglicize. As an obvious francophile, you would enjoy referring to a bilingual dictionary like the Robert Collins to verify spelling etc. If you like French store signage, you will LOVE French dictionaries. They are addictive, way better than English ones, because you just keep reading down the page and see some really great expressions. The only difficulty is finding them again when you need them!

    Thanks for the lovely Paris breakfasts,
    Ellen B

  5. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Hi Carol,
    Bienvenue a New York--
    it is sooo cold--
    How is your studio shaping up??What did you do with all your minatures,etc??
    Keep warm.

  6. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Just a quick note to let you know that I have been reading and enjoying your blog for quite some time. Paris too, is my favorite place in the world and it is fun seeing the city through your art and photography.

  7. This book is on my wish list. Is his book out too? Love to read about great houses. And I think of the work and dedication it must take to keep one like this going. Hats, or chapeaux, off to Le Compte et la Comptesse.
    And to you for bringing them to my attention.

    So not worry about that little squirrel. He is fine. I'll bet he is not over 2 or 3 inches tall, is he? Very hard to detail that.

  8. Aw you're awfully nice Janice...
    The dreaded squirrel is all of 3", every nanometer a fight tooth and nail.
    The Count's historic account is so far only available in French and has only black and white photos so time will tell if we get it over here. I did notice it at the chateau - a good excuse to go!

  9. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Could the Countess please do a regime book next.
    I'd love to know how she keeps that svelt and glamourous figure while creating such luscious desserts!

  10. @ Grace-A regime book....ooh, she could do that couldn't she? I wonder if she and Mireille Guiliano are cut of the same cloth. ( "French Women Don't Get Fat")

    @ PB- I thought he was tiny. Give it another shot. He is worth it. Hm. Will have to see about Le Compte's book. That Le Notre Garden is gorgeous. So much history and it is still theirs. Bravo.

  11. Love the little guy you painted. The more you do the more you will improve for your own satisfaction, but I think it is charming as is.
    How fun to get to go meet someone first hand like that. Did you get an Autograph in one of their books book?

  12. Anonymous1:51 PM

    You nailed the squirrel, Carol! I love your Vaux-le-Vicomte watercolors (the one in the prior post as well...)

  13. Anonymous1:58 PM

    Just want to say how charming your blog is, and what a treat to read in the course of an otherwise not-so-civilized day!

  14. Anonymous2:17 PM

    I have to thank you again. I love your water colors and your uploaded pictures and your commentary. My life is enriched by your willingness to share this beauty.


  15. "I've never wanted more to "nail" a squirrel", she said applying bandaides to various bites on her hand :)
    Merci Catherine...

  16. Anonymous2:21 PM

    This squirrely watercolour is very fresh and lively, a big contrast with the stiff and formal subject!

  17. French chateaux! They are fabulous.I love them! I wish I could live in one of them!!!!!!

  18. I just found your blog and love it!

  19. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Hi Carol,
    Loved today's entry on your blog. The Countess looks great - but so thin - she must never eat her desserts!


  20. The Countess said she only eats sweets ONE day a month, which she adores!!!
    Go figure...

  21. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Were you told why the squirrel is there???
    Fouquet, the name of the man who had the castle built, means squirrel in his regional dialect (South West).
    So Fouquet decided to have it everywhere...

  22. Anonymous12:05 PM

    She is so old charm!

  23. Ah so you have been hobnobbing with the Aristocracy have you?

  24. I met Patrice de Vogüé and his wife last October, we went with her niece Marie Geneviève daughter of Elisabeth de Vogüé, both are great hosts and they prepared for us some delicious little hors d'oeuvre in just few minutes and we toasted with Crystal, they were with us during the whole day. Christina was born in one of the oldest families from Rome, related to the Russian nobility, they have three sons, the eldest is Alexandre. They are incredible and how they work to preserve the legacy of the family is fantastic.


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