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29 April, 2009

Tablescape Thursday...or...Lunch in the Lubéron

Welcome to another Tablescape Thursday with our hostess with the mostest, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch! Please be sure to stop by her blog to see one of her beautiful tablescapes and to find the list of this week's participants!

This week, I am asking you to use your imagination because I am inviting you to join me for le dé an old French farmhouse in the heart of Provence. We are going to the Lubéron...Peter Mayle country! If you have read A Year in Provence, you already know what to expect!

I have set the table with some of my favorite things! On the menu...tapenade (olive spread) and crusty French bread, lamb with young green beans and roasted potatoes, cheese from Banon, accompanied by a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and followed by a lemon sorbet for dessert! (I told you you would need your imagination!)

In honor of this special luncheon, our CEO Ozzie has agreed to make a rare personal appearance as our hostess!

The star of the tablescape, however, is the tablecloth! It is from Provence and is a cherished gift from a dear friend!

The bright blues and yellows and the sunflower design are typical of the fabrics of the region!

The dinner plates are my everyday dishes from Home Goods that I have shown you before. The plates for the cheese course are actually from Williams Sonoma, purchased several years ago. There are four different plates representing camembert cheeses from different regions.
First, Normandie...

...then Touraine...

next Vienne...

...and finally Anjou! These are some of my favorite plates!

I am using my pewter flatware because it is so chunky and something you might find in an old French farmhouse! The napkins came from La Madeleine French Bakery and Café several years ago.

I have used an arrangement of sunflowers in the center (faux, because my staff has a tendency to eat the real thing!) along with a pitcher and some lemons in a bowl from a local potter!

The cheese will be served on this colorful tray!

The French bread will be served from this...a typical provençal bread basket...a recent Goodwill find for $2.00!! There is just nothing to compare with real French bread! Bon appétit!

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed your lunch in the Lubéron!

Thanks for coming by! Please be sure to visit Susan to continue your tour de tablescapes!
In case you are interested, the house pictured at the beginning of my post is where I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Provence! Click here to read my post! See you next time...à la prochaine!

28 April, 2009

Wordless and What's on Your Wall Wednesday...PLATES!!

I am soooo excited because I am doing a double post! I am participating in What's on Your Wall Wednesday with Barb at Grits and Glamour and Wordless Wednesday with Dixie at French Lique, Texas! Be sure to visit both of these special blogger friends to see their wonderful blogs and to find out who is participating! I am especially excited because the topic is something that I have not only on my walls, but all over my house....


Woooooo hooooo! Whew! And I made it without any words, too!
Please be sure to visit Barb to see some more wonderful wall displays and Miss Dixie to see some fabulous plate collections! I can't wait to start my visits! See you next time!

26 April, 2009

Metamorphosis Monday, Thrifting Finds and Merci!

Welcome to another Metamorphosis Monday with our hostess with the mostest, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch! Be sure to stop by her amazing blog to see the changes she has been making to her beautiful home and to see some wonderful before and after projects from this week's participants! This week, I have several things to show you!

I am also participating in Today's Thrifty Treasures with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality! Be sure to visit her blog to see some of her wonderful thrifting finds and find out how you can participate, too!

I found this while Goodwill hunting with my friend Linda at Nina's Nest. I love anything with roosters about as much as I love anything with grapes. They are both so frenchy to me! Yes, there is a missing bottle because...

...I immediately knew what I wanted to do with one of them and couldn't wait for a photo...a dish detergent dispenser! I already had the stopper. Do you see how it matches my hand soap dispenser??

Now, what to do with the other two??? Think...think...Baby Kitty has an idea!!

I dug around in the pantry and found two tops that fit, drilled some little holes and...voilà! I have new salt and pepper shakers to go beside the stove! I'll use these while I am cooking! Thanks for the inspiration, Baby Kitty!

I had been searching for my next project for a while. I somehow missed out on this basket when Southern Living at Home was selling them. I almost found one at GW, but another lady beat me to it. Linda even said she would distract her while I took it from her cart and! So I was thrilled to find this one at last! It had originally been white and somebody else had a Metamorphosis Monday painting it this color!

So this is a sort of de-metamorphosing! I love the vine design on the basket! Here it is in the middle of the project. It took several coats of spray paint.

And here it is on my front door! I love the contrast with the red geraniums! I hope it adds a welcoming look to my house!

Now I'd like to show you a few more of my finds nice for a change...didn't need any work! I found this wonderful old plate at GW for $3.00. I told you I would buy grapes on anything! This one is on my coffee table now.

I found a baby for my mom's Red Cliff ironstone soup tureen. It's not Red Cliff, but I think it's cute!

Look at these two cute little clay pots! I am thinking of planting some herbs in them!

Here's a close-up of the needlepoint bell pull that I found at a church yard sale for $1.00. Isn't it wonderful?

At the antique fair in Braselton, Georgia, I found two big brothers...cold meat forks...for my Rogers Brothers Vintage youth fork!

Here's another GW find... a French bread basket in a provençal print....only $2.00! Look how pretty it looks with my tablesquare that I bought in France! And guess what I found when I peeked at the tag....

...made in France! Woooo hoooo!

And finally, a big merci to CC Catherine at Catherine de thé cups for inviting me to tea at her beautiful home! I was like the gawking tourist...oh, there's her chandelier and the gazebo and the sofa cover and...and...! It's fun to see in person things that you've seen online! She served wonderful maple scones with homemade devonshire cream and lemon curd! Yumm! A more gracious hostess cannot be found! Thanks, CC!!

And there you have it! Thanks for coming by! Please be sure to drop by Susan's to see more wonderful before and after projects and Rhoda's to see more terrific thrifting finds! And à la prochaine...see you next time!

22 April, 2009

Tablescape Thursday...or...Completely Quimper!

Welcome to Tablescape Thursday with our hostess with the mostest, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch! Be sure to stop by her beautiful blog to see another one of her amazing tablescapes and to see a list of this week's participants!

I am calling this week's tablescape Completely Quimper (pronounced kem pair) because I am showing you my collection of French Quimper ware. It is not china, but faïence, a type of pottery, and is made in Quimper in the Brittany region or Bretagne. You have seen parts of my collection on several different tablescapes, but never all together!

Baby Kitty is excited to be your co-host today because he is quite the Quimper ware aficionado. His favorite pattern is le coq ancien, or the old rooster, for obvious reasons! All of the pieces that he will be showing you were handmade and hand painted, then signed by the individual artists who created them. I was fortunate enough to visit the HB Henriot factory and see them at work...fascinating! The first pieces I will show you are modern, not antique.

First, I am showing you the lug bowl with its little handles which is used for drinking café au lait in the morning. The pattern on the handles is created by dabbing the paint with sea sponges.

Next is the salad or dessert plate. The stylized flower beside the rooster is typical of Quimper ware, so you will see it on many pieces.

Here is the dinner plate. Although the pieces will always be similar, they will never be identical. Each one of these three pieces was actually created by a different artist, since different initials can be found on each of them!

Here is a close-up of the rooster on the mug. I love his attitude!

Now for my favorites! Here is the pair of pitchers in the more traditional pattern featuring the Breton man and woman. I prefer this pattern, but the problem is, as I have said before, that I must always buy two of everything! How could I leave the little Breton man without his sweetie?

The salt and pepper shakers feature the Breton couple and are souvenirs from my retirement trip to France two years ago... are these egg cups. They were actually bought at the HB Henriot factory in Quimper! Once again, they feature the Breton couple in traditional costumes.

I hope you won't mind if I show you some more of my collection. These are not actually intended to be dinner plates, but are wall décor...great!...because that's where I have them! They are called Genre Ancien wall plates and are based on designs from the HB Henriot archives or museum collections. You will notice that these are much more ornate!

Here's another pair of wall plates from the Genre Ancien collection. Notice that the women are frequently depicted with a spindle used in spinning and the men with either a clay pipe or an instrument.

These plates are commonly available in antique stores and are much less ornate than some patterns. Notice that there is a little tree rather than a flower. Are you beginning to see what I mean about buying two? My sister gave me the little man for my birthday and I had to rush right out and buy his little honey so he wouldn't be alone!

I love these heart-shaped plates! I keep one near the sink so I have a place to put my rings. This is the same pattern that is on the pitchers.

Here are two of my favorites! I bought these at the Sunday antique market in l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France. These are entirely decorative. Don't you love her unusual lace cap? Each province in France has different styles, but Brittany has some of the taller, more elaborate ones!

I love this plate. It is also an antique and was my first piece of Quimper ware. Isn't the design just exquisite? You can't tell from the photo, but the border is almost three dimensional. Unfortunately, this Bretonne doesn't have a mate. I wish she did!

Finally...a piece that I only had to buy one of...this antique double wall pocket! I think this one is my favorite! It hangs on the wall near my front door. Isn't the little couple wonderful? I hope my collection has inspired some interest in Quimper ware. Hand painted faïence is a treasure and should not be allowed to fall by the wayside, as are so many parts of the china-producing industry today!

So there you have Completely Quimper a few little extras! Thanks so much for stopping by! Please head on over to Susan's to continue your tour de tablescapes! And...à la prochaine!...I'll see you next time!