Friday, July 14, 2023

French Independence Day


This morning at 7:32 I thought I heard the French Guarde Republicaine band playing & ran 🏃‍♂️ outside to catch them

But found just a lone runner…

Meanwhile I’m working on my thumbnail homework for class. This is not the assignment. I’m rebelling. It’s my Independence day 🇫🇷 

A few days ago we were supposed to draw thumbnails outside. 
I drew ✏️ out my window.

First just line drawings…

Then coloring in the drawings.

I felt like I wanted to blow up each thumbnail bigger… Meanwhile we’ve moved on to painting postage stamps thumbnails 

Yesterday’s assignment was - go outside and draw ✏️thumbnails of whatever our eye 👁️ falls on randomly while using a viewfinder. So
 much jumping 🤸‍♂️ around.

I decided I’m not doing that & took pictures out my window of the sky at 5:30 am

Then I painted quick sky impressions.. Even an ADHDer needs to focus sometimes 🙃

Backtracking to Monday, I went to the other Sennelier Freres on rue de la Grand Chaumière to buy paper for class. They were closed 😟 even though Google said they were open.

!eandering around the corner, I discovered a beautiful children’s wear shop

The seashells in the window reminded me…

Of the Redon seashell at the Orsay Pastel exhibit.

And in another window, the perfect mini tea set with a wooly macaron..

I had to go in ☺️ FYI Princess Charlotte wears their smocked dresses.

The complete tea sets are from Limoges, with additional hand painted decoration of your choice by an artist nearby (49€).

The shop has been around since the May ‘68 Paris revolution and still has scratches on the windows to prove it staff told me. She told me the students said they would come back to buy clothes for their kids later and they did 👏

I said I needed to think about the tea 🫖 set overnight 🤔
And she wrote in my notebook in her best écriture,
la nuit porte conseil
The night brings advice.

Further down rue Notre Dame des Champs, the brocante shop, Portobello is a must visit.

I used to drool regularly over Portobello’s windows when I stayed on rue Vavin for 3 weeks in 2006..

When I saw these cobalt blue cups I HAD to go inside. A complete set of 5 cups of limited edition Bleu de Sévres porcelaine 

Bleu de Sévres is made by applying 3 successive
layers of Cobalt oxide with intermittent drying between each session - an arduous process.
5 Blue cups Price tag - 500€ 
I’ll be thinking about these cups for a longggg time 🤔 
La nuit porte conseil

Fortunately on the corner at Le Petit Souk on rue Vavin I found something
…a wooden radis. Price tag - 3,90€. 

When I moved to Paris I lived mostly on radishes. Marché Grenelle was a quick fall-out-of-bed and a hop around the corner in the 15th. 

I still eat them everyday, usually with houmous or tzatziki or straight-up sliced paper-thin

Feeling a bit hungry I looked around for a snack. These big as your head, old fashioned meringues appealed..

I ended up with a pistache gelato at Amorino 

Walking back to Metro Vavin these classic French waitresses are having a break before dinner service.

A Bleu de Sévres 💙 sign inside the Metro.
Back home, in front of my house, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was taking a breather. I’m hearing the Guarde Republicaine drumming again! Do I go outside for a look see? Missed em again 🙃


  1. Anonymous2:55 AM

    Enjoy your Bastille Day! 🇫🇷

  2. Anonymous6:15 AM

    Love your colorful rooftop thumbnails.

    1. Anonymous7:49 AM

      Thank you ☺️

    2. Anonymous9:34 AM

      Beautiful post thank you. I needed this.

  3. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Sorry but France is not celebrating an Independence day today. They celebrate the Bastille day when citizens all over France rebelled against monarchy. This day commemorates the beginning of the Revolution, and the start of the Contemporain Era, as well. Both are milestones in the French History. France was an independent country, and it is not comparable with countries in North and South America, that were part of European countries, like in case of the former USA that were colonies of the British crown, of the countries in South America that were part of the Spanish Crown. Regards.

    1. Anonymous7:31 AM

      July 14th is often thought of as France's Independence Day.
      More accurately, it's the French National Day — called
      La Fête Nationale in French
      — commemorating the day in 1789 when crowds stormed the Bastille, a fortress used as a prison in Paris.

  4. Bonjour Carol, Happy Bastille Day🗼🇫🇷🎇. I like how you alter your art assignments to fit your needs!!! Those blue & red checked little girl dresses were so cute. I love that chubby little red radish…you don’t eat radishes with butter & salt???
    I thought that was the French way.🗼❤️

    1. Anonymous7:38 AM

      No, I like my radishes straight up.
      They are already perfect 👍 and nutritionally loaded.
      Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease. The radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow.

  5. Jerie Artz6:53 AM

    I just love the seashell by Redon and was so disappointed it was not on display the last time we visited Orsay. When you mentioned the pastel exhibit the other day, I figured it would be out again . Stunning. The one time I visited Sennelier Freres, I was the only shopper. The girl keeping the shop was so friendly. She opened every drawer of the watercolor tubes and let me take photos! Le 14 Juillet, vive la fete! Merci Carol pour encore une post epatant!

    1. Anonymous7:48 AM

      Big Merci Jerie!
      One must be epatant at all times
      Redon’s seashell has always been my absolute favorite too ❤️
      Sennelier Freres is always quiet. Too bad the other old art shop, Maison Gattagno across the street closed 😢

  6. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Your thumbnails remind me of the tea bags I paint.
    I enjoy your posts so much. Love your paintings! Egretta

  7. Anonymous9:08 AM

    I love the skyline watercolors ❤️
    Will you do them larger? Anabel

  8. Bonnie L9:10 AM

    Bonne fête nationale, Carol! How wonderful of Les Française to celebrate the 1st victory of the people over the monarchy and their eventual independence from hereditary rule.

    L’île aux fées is a delightful shop, aptly named. That looks like an interesting area to stay in; close to the Fountain of the Four Corners of the World at Luxembourg, Closerie des Lilas, le Dôme, et al.

    Adore your thumbnails. You have a gorgeous view from your windows, I would hesitate to stray as well. That tea set looks made for you…a holiday gift to self, peut-être? Bonne fête Carol.

    1. Anonymous9:38 AM

      But Which tea set?
      The miniature or the BLEU DE SÉVRES??
      I’m going to the musee de Sévres to get up close & personal with that cobalt blue 💙

    2. Bonnie L1:22 PM

      The mini! Perfect to play with. The Bleu de Sèvres are dreamy but trés cher. Vous avez des goûts de luxe, madame !

    3. Anonymous10:18 PM

      No, I just LOVE 💙 BLEU

  9. Anonymous9:36 AM

    Another entertaining post made out of just meandering….
    Retail shops must love you!!!!
    Bravo on your meanderings…. Lois Bender Art/Design

    1. Anonymous9:43 AM

      I didn’t know I was such a flâneur in New York
      Paris does that to you

  10. Your day to be independent! Always and go for it! Loved the window shopping and your thumbnails have me thinking I should try something that small just to see... can I do it?

    1. Anonymous9:39 AM

      YOU CAN DO IT Jeanie 👍
      Easy to throw away if you dont like it.
      And dont things always look better when they are smaller?

    2. Anonymous9:41 AM

      And YES!
      My French INDEPENDENCE DAY 👏
      Some people take things too literally 😂

  11. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Bastille Day. Have been in Paris on July 14.
    Too much wine Kirk

  12. Anonymous11:15 AM

    How nice to be in a beautiful white dress next to the Seine with a sweet straw hat! Perfect picture! Actual and idealistic at the same time. Lovely, Carol!

  13. sukicart12:35 PM

    Bonne Fete Nationale to you and Bear. This was a delightful blog today as meandering through Paris is always a perfect day. I do think you should treat yourself to that mini tea set.

  14. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Do you know this artist? Lewis

  15. Anonymous1:15 PM

    I enjoy everyone of your emails! The pictures are always wonderful and make one want to return to the most wonderful city in Europe! Thank you! I have two of your seasonal Eiffel Tower prints in my office! Sheryl

  16. Please do let us know which tea set you buy. I LOVE the Limoges set--so delicate!

    1. Anonymous9:54 PM

      I wont be buying the bleu de Sévres for sure! 😊

  17. Anonymous6:05 PM

    How do we purchase a tea set from the States?

    1. Anonymous9:53 PM

      Contact them 🙏

    2. If ever you were interested in the miniature tea-sets then yes we can happily ship to the US! Don't hesitate to send us an email at

  18. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Love this post!

  19. Anonymous9:52 PM

    I love the thumbnails. The colors. Nice.
    I would kill for the pistachio right now.

  20. Anonymous9:55 PM

    The smocked dresses in the windows are what our mother dressed us in. When we did a fashion show she bought most of the dresses and shoes we modeled. I loved those dresses. Lynne

    1. Thank you so much for your compliments on our dresses! That is exactly the aim : to bring back happy childhood memories. To keep traditions alive! Please do come and visit if you come to Paris

  21. Ann Scarff11:25 PM

    Bonne fête nationale à tous. Ann

  22. Anonymous3:08 AM

    I love your thumbnails…minis at their best! I have a few you included with your watercolors j’taime, Cherie🇫🇷💚 MR

  23. Thank you so much for featuring us on your blog and most of all for your visit at the boutique! It was a joy welcoming you and taking time to talk. We are very impressed by your creativity and love your sense of humour! Very grateful to have met you. As Paul Eluard said " Il n'y a pas de hasard , il n'y a que des rendez-vous"

    1. Anonymous12:32 PM

      As Paul Eluard said " Il n'y a pas de hasard , il n'y a que des rendez-vous"
      It is not chance that we have met ??

  24. Joyeux Fête! Sorry you never got to see the guards. You have an eye for all the nice things in the shops! All the best with the thinking……love your off task homework paintings.

    1. Anonymous12:33 PM

      Thank you Kirra ❤️


Love hearing from you