Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jardin des Plantes, Aroma-Zone, Mamie Gateaux

Yesterday Barb said she goes walking in the Jardin des Plantes most mornings (in the 5th arrondissement).

Except for a brief visit 2 years ago I've never been and I live pretty close by. You can take the 67 bus to several entrances and line 7 or 10 Metro.

Utter quiet except for birdsong at 9:15 am


And the footsteps of Paris joggers.

All the museums and zoo are closed today - it's dreaded Tuesday

Fortunately there are plans (maps) everywhere. 'Vous Etes Ici (you are here) helps you identify your location. It's difficult to get lost at the jardin. An overhead view of the Grande Galerie de l'Evolution (closed today).

And looking at the galerie from the broad esplanade of flower beds.

Do not step on the grass please.

I leave just as lines of school children arrive for a nature lesson.

If you would like a different kind of nature lesson, one you can apply to your face and body, head over to AROMA-ZONE 25 rue de l'Ecole Medecine 75006. Bus 63, 86, 87 stop in front + Metro station Odeon. I can't tell you how many times I've passed this shop and never entered. Idiot moi.

Not till Bio Queen Solli said she was buying all kinds of elixirs and magic beauty potions did I venture inside.

It seems like every plant in existence has it's own essential oils, butter and/or powder and you can find them at Aroma-Zone. This little girl was sniffing apricot and almond oils.

I felt like the first visit to Trader's Joe. I wanted to ask everyone on the long lines "WHAT ARE YOU BUYING?" Women had baskets full of vials and powders. The prices are tres, tres pas cher.

All I bought was Solli's hair shampoo called Shikakai (3,90). Mix approximately 3 (?)spoons with hot water, massage and rinse. Solli says 1 package lasts a year (!). They have classes for making your own makeup and kits to make 'prodigious oil' and gawd knows what else. Of course it's all in French.

Only when I got home to I find the 'plan' or map of Aroma-Zone. It's much easier to get lost here than at Jardin des Plantes.
Do not go on a weekend. Jammed solid.
FYI:more pictures inside Aroma-Zone and the parc on Flickr.
Later PBers Carm and Lindsey took me for tea at Mamie Gateaux.
No map required here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Where you can donate for Nepal Relief

Here is a list from the New York Times of some of the groups soliciting donations for relief efforts in Nepal:
American Jewish World Service:ajws.org
The Salvation Army:salvationarmyusa.org
International Medical Corps:internationalmedicalcorps.org
Handicap International: handicap-international.us
Unicef: unicef.org
Mercy Corps: mercycorps.org
Catholic Relief Services: crs.org
Habitat for Humanity International:habitat.org
Global Giving: globalgiving.org
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: jdc.org
Oxfam: oxfamamerica.org
World Vision: worldvision.org
Red Cross: redcross.org
United Nations World Food Program: wfp.org
Samaritan’s Purse:samaritanspurse.org
CARE: care.org
Save the Children: savethechildren.org
Lutheran World Relief: lwr.org
The Jewish Federations of North America: jewishfederations.org
SOS: Children’s Villages International: sos-childrensvillages.org
Doctors Without Borders:donate.doctorswithoutborders.org
MAP International:mapinternational.org

Friday, April 24, 2015

Rue Cremieux, 5 Great Paris-Brest, Boulangerie BO, Jill Colonna Bakes Choux,Arom, Paint a tulip

Yesterday was perfect to go exploring.
Solli said I  must go to rue Cremieux,75012, just 18 minutes walk from my house thanks to Google Maps.
Paris has quite a few of these hidden enclaves. You feel you landed in a French country lane like Le Vieux Belleville and rue des Thermopolyes to name a few.
All exploring should include a little snacking no?
Paris By Mouth announced on Tuesday the 5 Great Paris-Brest to be found in Paris.
Fortunately Boulangerie BO, 85 bis rue de Charenton, 75012, #3 winner in the contest is just 15 minutes walk from rue Cremieux.
Baking choux at Jill Colonna's house on Tuesday makes tasting all choux obligatory doesn't it? Note the crumbly, crunchy topping on this delicious winner.
'Craquelin' is popular in Paris patisseries.
Jill calls it 'crumble topping' made from salted butter, flour and light brown sugar.

It adds zing to the plainest choux surface.

Bear is Very fond of it.

The coffee pastry cream is nice too. Soon you can make your own when Jill's Teatime In Paris comes out in May/June.(page 72)
Back to exploring the 12th. Arom, 73 Avenue Ledru-Rollin, is a divine fleurist, perfect if you're getting married. Ballerina Marie-Agnes Gilot buys her bouquets 💐  here.

Wonderful tulips
I thought I'd give you a tulip painting demo in case you'd like to DIY.
I started out using a photograph, making a value study with the help of app My Sketch. I wasn't happy with any of these, so tossed them into the circular file.

Best to work from life directly,

Drawing the contours with a Japanese Pentel Waterbrush.

Then just adding loose washes of color

on top of color

I'm never satisfied so I redraw it again.

Voila. Your turn.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Paris Spring Fever

It hits you hard. You want to snooze but Solli said, Come to the Rodin garden.
The bunnies were bouncing around undaunted.
There are still chocolate Easter bunnies in many windows btw. These at Jacques Genin, rue du bac.
The cavalry come out in full regalia for Spring in Paris - la Garde Republicaine holding up traffic on my street.
Stripes are out in Spring green.
Les marinieres shirt tails are hanging out.
And les trenches.
Get out your denim jacket please. It's Spring.
Some people are going a little overboard with the warm weather maybe?
Almost no shoes.
Striped shoes that cost a fortune in Bon Marche windows.
Red shoes work it.
There's a cheesy scarf store in Metro Chaussee d'Antin. Last month they had terrific graphic black and white Audrey Hepburn scarves. Yesterday fun fashion illustration scarves....almost bought it.
 Les fraisiers are out big time.
Les radis are out all year long in Paris but especially vibrant in Spring.
The first pivoine/peonies.
A lovely fleurist

In the Marais, Vertige.

Yesterday Jill Colonna of Teatime in Paris gave me a lesson making choux. (More to come on that). After baking Jill took me to Parc Corbiere, le Pecq. You pick tulips and make a donation to cancer research.

They trim and wrap them up for you. I've been painting tulips all day instead of going outside  for more Spring Fever.
If you want a tulip watercolor you can renew or buy a new subscription to Paris Sketch Letters.
Are you having Spring Fever too?