Thursday, November 30, 2017

Noel Spectacular Paris windows

Someone sent me pictures of Bergdorf's gorgeous sophisticated Xmas windows.
Paris windows for Noel are much more kid-oriented.
'Spectacular Spectacular' is Galeries Lafayette's title this year. Quite a circusy theme.
Always dancing bears. These in Printemp's windows
And moving trains
Paris pigeons?
Lots of colorful birds
At Galeries Lafayette
Including giant bath duckies.
Les grand magasins lights on boulevard Haussmann
Are magical as always.
Inside Maison Lafayette luxury holiday foods to admire.
The foie gras patés are coming
A Russian-themed Matriochka buche de noel from Dalloyau
No rides on the carrousel.
But the tree spins, balloons bounce, music plays and colored lights shine on this year's extravaganza.
New perfumes come out for the holidays
Hermes is trying out a new perf for the younger set. 
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November = Calendrier de l'Advent

November in Paris is Advent time. You have one month to run around, fall in love and choose an Advent calendar for December. If you love doll houses you'll love Le calendrier de l'Avent. I thought it was a religious thing. Not at all. Its about gifting yourself chocolate and adorable miniature gifts.
Some Paris shops  like papeterie Marie Tournelle already looks like an Advent calendar.
Marie's shop has plenty of Advent postcards
And Advent houses you can fill yourself annually with goodies. In case you forgot an Advent calendar has 24 windows or openings. From December 1st - 24th you open a window and enjoy a gift or bonbon. In my opinion this is trial by fire. Who has the supreme patience to eat just one candy a day? I do not. Never mind. It's a fun concept.
Paris' oldest bonbon shop, La Mere de Famille looks like an Advent calendar waiting to happen.
In the past they have done that. This year for their 50th anniversary, the famed French artist, Sempé created their candy box/calendar. These sell out fast so run grab one.
Last year, enthralled, I bought Angelina's calendar. FYI Its the same design this year. This would make such a nice doll house-style Avent calendar.
Instead it opens like a book. The candies inside were not thrilling I'm sad to report. Rather plain chocolate disks and wafer biscuits, but the packaging is lovely indeed.
Chapon is repeating last year's design but I'll bet the goodies inside are très riche like their chocolates.
French cosmetic companies take full advantage of the Advent calendar.
A perfect opp to offer irresistable mini versions of perfumes and cosmetics. Yum Yum
I decided to stick with just chocolate for the December Paris map letter. Henri Le Roux, famous for creating caramel au beurre salé on 24, rue des Martyrs told me they do not stop selling their Advent bonbon boxes at the end of November. Hooray! In fact if they still have any, you can still get one on December 31st! This is great news.
Down the street at 9, rue des Martyrs I found a Provence-themed Advent box at Maison Bremond 1830.
Their box is a treasure chest of typical Provencal treats like nougat, calisson, candied almonds, biscuits and flavored vinegars and olive oils. Wow!
They kindly gave me their box to test. I ran home and immediately tested everything except the oils and vinegars. Why wait till December 1st? Why wait at all. I would never pass the marshmallow test.
Time to sketch out the December Paris map. I thought I would have a chocolate border...
No space. And a good thing when I think of the chocolates I would have to eat to get it right.
For Noël or whatever you want to call it, I'm offering on Etsy a Paris map special. 6 previous maps plus a new gift card. Take a look.
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Monday, November 20, 2017

18e Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage

Sometimes you hit it lucky. In the pitch dark Saturday morning, 6:00am I was desperately trying to find Gare de Bercy train station from line 14 exit. I saw a woman ahead and asked her the way. Of course I didn't understand a word but followed along anyway, wishing and hoping. The words Clermont-Ferrand were spoken - my destination and town of the annual November Carnet du voyage (travel sketchbook) exhibit. Remember last year's post? Not only was Françoise going but she's a terrific sketcher! She fills a new beautiful sketchbook on every trip.
Françoise was meeting her friend Jane, who does walking sketch tours in Trouville! I'd taken a picture of Jane's poster last June but was a day too late. And Françoise and Jane were staying at my hotel Republique. We talked sketching/watercolors for 3+ hours and arrived in no time.
130 carnetistes (sketchbook artists) had stands displaying their work at the Polydome center.
Everyone is friendly and chatty - Santi Sallés.
I love shooting the tiny paintboxes. Lord knows how they achieve so much with so few colors?
This spanish artist, Hugo Barros Costa told me proudly he never cleans his paintbox. I heard that a lot...
He was in New York for a year teaching at Parsons and produced a terrific book, NEW YORK GRAPHIC CHRONICLES.
Most sketchbook artists have books for sale either self-produced or published.
There is a mind-boggling huge area of artist's books to buy.
Then you bring it back to the artist to sign, usually quite elaborately. Bring a hairdryer.
Artists are drawing, painting, coloring
French artist Marielle Durand is giving a visitor's sketchbook a crit.
Artists have glass display tables showing the range of their work.
So many sketchbooks.
Meet my architecture Professor Jeremy Soheylian. I love his book. You can get it on his facebook page.
He signed a print, 'To my best American friend'. I think I may be his only American friend...
The town of Clermont-Ferrand is in the Auvergne. Many Auvergnoise left, came to Paris and opened all the cafes and brasseries you love to frequent like Cafe Flores and Les Duex Magots.
The volcanic black lava cathedral in town is worth visiting night or day, if you can tear yourself away from the exhibit.
I was so inspired by everyone madly painting and drawing. Back in my hotel room I had a field day painting pastries. Rendez-Vous du Carnet voyage show IS inspiring. Françoise and Jane never stopped sketching. We have an open date to sketch out my window and later in June in Trouville.
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