Monday, March 10, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Don’t you love it when you find something really great that’s totally unexpected? I sure do.
I put a picture of this Paris etching on Instagram a few days ago. Here is what it looked like framed when I bought it at a favorite antique shop of mine a couple months ago.
At only $55 (marked down from $65) I knew the new frame was worth that price. The owner wasn’t sure it was an authentic old etching, and quite honestly, I wasn’t either. But with the Paris subject matter, it fit my criteria of what I look for and I thought it was a charming view from the Seine. It’s hard to tell how old an etching is under glass, so my curiosity got the best of me.
As I started taking it apart, I realized the mats were glued together. “That’s it”, I thought. “It couldn’t be real or glue wouldn’t have been used on something important”. Well it turns out that the etching wasn’t actually glued, but it was taped to the mat in a couple places.
I about never got to it…I had to pry the mats apart!
And finally I retrieved the prize!
There was absolutely no question at this point that it was very old…the quality of the etching, the foxing on the paper, the “hand” or feel of the paper. I begin researching the maker.
It was signed in the lower right corner “Eastgate Sculp”. From my research it appears that this was an English printmaker (London) who was active during the late 18th century. It was engraved for Barlon’s General History of Europe and it could have been part of a book. Although it’s not worth thousands or even hundreds, it’s definitely worth more than I paid for it and I love it even more. If you’re ever skeptical about something, go ahead and explore the possibilities. Don’t be afraid to take things apart! From this…
The hand coloring/tinting is absolutely stunning in person and the detail is superb. The Louvre is on the left and you can see the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame in the distance on the Seine. The pale blue/greys are so typical Paris!
The new frame? Worthless compared to this find. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the engraving yet, but I’m holding onto it as something really special!
I’m headed to the annual Bluegrass Trust Antique & Garden Show this weekend and can’t wait. I’ll be at the Gala this evening. One of the featured speakers is the renowned interior designer Thomas Jayne who is giving a talk on “Decorating With Antiques”. Now that’s right down my alley.
Follow me on Instagram HERE as I’ll be posting some pictures from the show.
Monday, March 3, 2014
I love the color orange. I didn’t really know that I did before, but I have grown to appreciate it’s usefulness in decorating and fashion. Orange seems to always maintain a certain popularity in Paris.
A highlight of visiting France is having the opportunity to go to the local markets.
Market Day is always a fun outing, bustling with noise and alive with interesting people, smells, scents, and products.
It’s a great place to pick up local specialty food items, beautiful flowers, and fashionable clothing and accessories.
We had a wonderful time at the market in Deauville, Normandie last September on the Brocanting Tour. I think all of us purchased something.
It’s hard to resist the temptations. I picked up a lovely sweater cape which I’ve worn many times but my favorite purchase of the day was a vibrant orange cashmere blend throw.
You can get gorgeous soft cashmere blend throws at the French markets for 20-25 euros! That’s a great deal considering you’d pay 5-6 times that or more here at home. I think all of the gals bought one. There was an array of beautiful colors but only one striking orange. I knew exactly where I planned to use it.
My master bedroom is mainly done in neutrals, but I have pops of orange and yellow for contrast.
I keep the throw either at the foot of the bed or tossed over one of the chairs in the room so it’s handy to use on these chilly winter days we’ve been having.
I’m so ready for spring as we are having blizzard like conditions again today and ice topped with 4 inches of snow and temperatures in the teens. Just a couple days ago it was in the 60s and much warmer. This has been the craziest winter in a long time.
I’ve obviously had a lot of time “buried in” the house and I think the coziest room for me is the master bedroom. It’s definitely my favorite retreat.
This is another look at the hidden-door bookshelf that I lined in toile fabric last fall. It’s so simple but it speaks volumes to me and about me.
I styled it very simplistically…One because there can’t be too much weight on the shelves for when the door is opened and Two because I wanted the toile to be the highlight.
Some vintage muted red books, a Napoleon III box and a pair of antique Bavarian plates that I think look rather contemporary with their bright yellow color is all I used in addition to pewter votive cups.
One of my favorite paintings hangs next to the armoire and is by French artist Paul Lambert. The colors in this Parisian street scene are soothing and almost sombre. I think it actually captures the essence of those muted blue-greys that are associated with Paris. It is very relaxing to look at when I’m in bed.
Where will you be this September? Consider joining our Brocanting Tour to France. You might be able to pick up a cashmere throw in your favorite color for your favorite retreat! There’s only one spot remaining. Click on the tab in the sidebar for more info.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
It is so satisfying to find authentic antique and vintage furnishings when so many reproductions are on the market.
I just received a new Ballard Design catalog and the Capistrano chairs pictured below were for sale at $849 a pair plus tax and shipping.
I love Ballard Design aesthetics and style, but isn’t it great to be able to find the real thing? Of course reproductions have their place but being a life recycler in home décor certainly promotes living “green” and creates less of a carbon footprint. Besides, it’s more fun to look for authentic pieces.
These are my French dining chairs which I absolutely love. Their style is timeless and they are so very comfy with a beautiful patina. Come with me this September on the Brocanting Tour to France and you can find your own furniture pieces that match your style and have lots of fun in the process.
This chair is called a mutton-bone style (lamb’s leg) and is very popular in France. I had them recovered in an inexpensive linen and cotton blend and for less than the cost of each of the Ballard chairs, I have the real thing!
Space is extremely limited on the tour…please contact me if you want to come along. The dates are September 26-October 3 and there’s going to be lots of shopping in Normandy and Paris.
Would you like to join me for dinner sometime?
Monday, February 24, 2014
It was a gorgeous weekend with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s. Dear friends of ours came to visit and we had such a great time with them on Friday evening. They have been to France, too and they are certainly aware of my love for France. So I had to give them a Frenchy welcome on the chalkboard in the breakfast room.
They brought us this vase of beautiful roses. I love the two-toned color. They go perfectly with my décor in this room.
I’ve been practicing my French using Rosetta Stone and thought I’d put some of it to the test...at least to the written word! I’m headed back to France in May and definitely need to brush up a lot!!!! (BTW…I don’t speak French. I only wish I could.)
Actually I just like writing on the chalkboard. It brings back memories of when I taught primary school.
This week is off to a great start. Don’t forget about the upcoming Brocanting Tour in September. Click on the button on the sidebar for more info. Space is extremely limited!