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30 July, 2011

Paris in Seven Days: A Phantom, a Fountain and Some History!

273 It’s day six of my adventure in Paris with my ten-year-old grandson and we have a big day planned! Our first stop…the Opéra Garnier of Phantom of the Opera fame!

242 We go around to the side to enter…and pass its huge, elegant lamp posts!

246Once inside, we pause to photograph ourselves in the massive mirror! It’s hard to get pictures of the two of us together so we take advantage of this opportunity! We head up the staircase…

262 …and are amazed at the beautiful ceiling…a rotunda filled with fabulous artwork!  It surrounds a skylight that allows natural light to spotlight the staircase below.

261 Built for Napoleon III and finished in 1875, it was the place to be seen for fashionable Parisians of the Belle Epoque…and is still the ultimate in opulence among Parisian landmarks for me!

258We even got to peek at a rehearsal that was underway from one of the upper balconies! Have you ever seen anything so elegant? Amazing!

253 - Copy And overhead is the grand eight ton chandelier surrounded by the controversial mural  painted by Marc Chagall in 1964. Some feel that his work clashes with the elegance of the Opéra, but I find it delightful! Once again, here’s an example of the French love of the juxtaposition of the old and the new…which always seems to work somehow!

268 Of course, we make a photo stop in the Grand Foyer…which reminds me of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. This is where opera-goers mingle while sipping their champagne during the entre-acte. However, this is not what we came to see! We are looking for…

250 - Copy…the Phantom of the Opera…and there he is! I might also add that I asked if there really is a subterranean lake and was told that it’s true…but it’s closed to the public. Too bad! You can take a virtual tour of the Opéra by clicking here.
 274 Next stop, the Centre Georges Pompidou, named for the former President of France who commissioned it. That’s it in the background, housing a huge library and museum of modern art among other things. We have come to see its crazy Stravinsky Fountain created by Niki de Saint Phalle and Tinguely…which, unfortunately, is being renovated so its sixteen whimsical sculptures are not moving today. However, I did manage to find a video of the fountain in action, with Stravinsky’s Firebird playing in the background. To see it, click here.

275 I am disappointed, but I find that each time I visit Paris, at least one of the sights is being renovated. That’s just the way it is! However, you can see another example of the ultra-modern and very old coexisting peacefully side by side as the fountain is located right next to a Gothic church!

chairs Our final stop of the day is the Carnavalet Museum…which houses a fabulous collection of treasures from the history of France…and it is free to the public! We wander through a maze of rooms in a wonderful old mansion in the Marais district of Paris and pass by a collection of incredible French antiques. Ahhh! This is sure to cause heart palpitations for any fan of frenchy chairs like me…and it’s the real deal! The duchesse brisée in the upper left is sure to be a favorite for my friend Vanna at Delusions of Grandeur! Me, I’ll take the bergère chair in the lower right! lol Somehow, I don’t think I can get it on the plane!

290 I linger over a collection of beautiful blue and white porcelain…sigh…and then we head to the part of the museum that my grandson is looking forward to…

page …where even beautiful bowls and lidded jars require a second look! It’s the French revolution collection! The top two photos show commemorative pieces depicting the beheading of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette and date from the time period! Lovely souvenirs, huh? That gorgeous ink well reads…Live free or die! And the pretty, unusually-shaped bowl is not broken…it’s a shaving bowl and the cut-out went around the neck. However, its owner…Robespierre…didn’t need it for long since his head was eventually separated from his neck by the guillotine as well!

306 Another victim of the guillotine is also remembered here. This beautiful fork and spoon once belonged to Danton. Note the crest on the back of the flatware…customary in France even today…thus explaining their custom of turning the flatware down when setting the table.

page1My grandson enjoyed seeing the miniature models of the guillotine and the ancient weapons. Among the most amazing in this bizarre collection of memorabilia is pictured in the upper right…the actual safe that was taken from the Bastille when it was stormed in 1789! I have to say I could have stayed longer because there is so much to see and so many fabulous little pieces of French history! But it’s time to head back to our little hotel and our headquarters in Rue Cler!

314 We have an early dinner at one of the sidewalk cafés on Rue Cler…a BLT for my grandson (a surprise for me to find them there!) and a salade au chèvre chaud for me…a salad topped by warm goat cheese on toast points…yum!

monster munchFinally, we make a quick stop at the little store near our hotel where I indulge in one of my frenchy favorites…Monster Munch! Yes, I admit it, I am addicted to this stuff and have to have some whenever I am there because there is nothing here to even begin to compare! My grandson agrees with me and scarfs up the whole bag before I can get a taste! lol I think I have a convert! Our only problem..if we want more, it’s a loooong way to the store! Sounds like we need to make another trip to Paris, huh?!
Be sure to stay tuned…there’s one more day left in our seven day adventure!

Missed any Paris posts?
Back from Paris…or...My Grandson’s Favorites!  Listing the must-see spots for a ten year old boy!
My Favorite Street in Paris…Rue Cler   Great little street to use as your headquarters 
In case you want to follow along, here is my plan for visiting Paris in seven days! I am linking each of the seven days as I complete the posts.
Day One…All about Eiffel! Eiffel Tower/ Champ de Mars park and play area
Day TwoSightseeing by Subway! Arc de Triomphe/ Montmarte/ Sacré-Coeur
Day ThreeMonsieur Monet, I Presume (and a lot of Louis)! Giverny/ Versailles minibus tour
Day FourThe Cradle of Paris! La Sainte Chapelle/ la Conciergerie/ Notre Dame/ Latin Quarter/ the book stalls/ ice cream on Ile St. Louis/ the bâteau mouche on the Seine
Day FiveArt Museum Madness…Plus Play in the Park! Louvre/ Tuileries Garden/ l’Orangerie/ Musée d’Orsay
Day SixA Phantom, a Fountain and Some History! Opéra Garnier/ Pompidou Center/ Carnavalet Museum
Day Seven…A Tomb, a Tank and a Tower! Napoleon’s Tomb and the Musée de l’Armée at les Invalides/ Eiffel Tower at night
Thanks so much for stopping by! See you next time! A la prochaine!

29 July, 2011

A Thank You and Some Winners!

046Baby Kitty and the staff here at Plate Addict would like to thank all of the kitties and faux felines who came out to help Baby Kitty celebrate his eighth birthday! We were so happy to have so many wonderful guests attend our par-tay and hang out with us on the patio this week! We had fun with some old friends and made lots of wonderful new ones!

winners1 We wish we had a goodie bag for each of our party guests, but know that we send our love and appreciation to each and every one of you! However, we are sending a real goodie bag to two of our party-goers! The random number generator chose…pretty Lily, who lives with Cindy at Applestone Cottage, and handsome Zeus, who lives with Vikki at The Quirky Quail If Lily and Zeus would please write to us at confessionsofaplateaddict@yahoo.com and give us their contact information, the goodie bags will be on their way! There’s something for our kitty friends and a little something for their mommies as well! Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who attended!

24 July, 2011

Wisteria Knock-Off Linen Hand Towels

021 I am so excited about my latest project…Wisteria knock-off linen hand towels! I love the way they turned out! And they were easy and inexpensive, too!

wisteria towels Here’s my inspiration…and I have been in love ever since my friend Kathysue showed them on her blog Good Life of Design! Then I clicked on Wisteria’s web site$34 for a set of two, not including shipping! Sooo…I made a trip to Jo-Ann armed with a 40% off coupon and left the store with one yard of linen for only $9.00! A short while later…

025…here is the result! What do you think? I was able to make two towels, just like those at Wisteria, for about one-fourth the price! Woo hoo! Not bad, huh? I just cut two 24 x 24 inch squares from the fabric, hemmed them on three sides and edged one side of each with one of the two 56 x 6 inch lengths that I cut from the remnant and then gathered. That’s it!

018 I love linen! It has such a wonderful crisp, natural feel! And since these are sort of shabby chic, it won’t matter if they wrinkle a little. You may notice a couple of differences…my ruffles are a little longer because I like them better that way. And...I staged mine with fresh apricots instead of Clementines! You’ll see why later!

029 The project did have one tedious part…unraveling the ends. I admit that it took some patience and a few episodes of House Hunters to accomplish. But, I think they will be useful…not only as hand towels…

044 …but also as generous napkins! I love the way they look with my $10 Goodwill find...a service for four of Chris Madden Felice dinnerware! I just added some mismatched silverplate flatware and voilà!

048Doesn’t it have a rustic French country look? I love the layers of texture and ruffles…a drop cloth tablecloth, my ruffled faux grain sack table runner and my Wisteria knock-off napkins! Love it!

039Now, just in case you are wondering about the where-abouts of our handsome co-host Baby Kitty…he is busy grooming with plans of calling on the lovely ladies who attended his big birthday bash this weekend! And just in case you missed the Kitty Cat Linky Party in honor of his big day, the link is still up and we are receiving guests through Thursday! Once the link closes, we will choose a few of our guests at random to receive a kitty goodie bag! Sooo…head on over and join us!

towels Here’s one final look…theirs on the left and mine on the right…what do you think? Not bad for $9 instead of $34, huh?

053 Now, if you will excuse me, I have to…er…put away my props! Yum!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my project!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures on Mondays
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Sizzle into Summer
Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday
Jill at French Cupboard for Voilà! French Inspiration on Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Fridays
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! A la prochaine!

22 July, 2011

It's Time to Par-tay with the Kitty Cat Linky Party!

bkcrownIt’s party time! It’s Baby Kitty’s big day, so the staff is throwing a birthday bash in his honor and we hope you will join us! Yes, our illustrious co-host is turning eight and we are ready to celebrate! You may already be aware of his story…an amazing rise from rags to riches…so we are excited to honor him with this little par-tay!

partyoz The first to arrive is our CEO Ozzie, sporting an oh-so-festive headpiece for the celebration…and she’s brought a special present for the Birthday Boy from the staff! You will see later what it is!

kitty Next to arrive is our webmaster Kitty…a quiet, behind-the-scenes kind of gal…who has chosen a traditional party hat for the occasion. Hmmm…now where’s our public relations director Miss Isabella? While we are waiting for her arrival, let’s check out the refreshments!

012 The buffet table holds an assortment of goodies…

013 …a special salmon pâté (aka cat food) fish-shaped cake topped with rows of kitty treat scales and surrounded by fresh strawberries…Baby Kitty’s favorite fruit…

034 …an assortment of party mixes in salmon, chicken and catnip flavors…

035 …and real milk punch served in pretty punch cups from a special kitty pitcher!

kittyeats Hmmm…it looks as though the guests are tired of waiting for Miss Isabella and are ready to eat!

bk Of course, the guest of honor is served first! A little sprig of fresh catnip has been added as a pretty…and enjoyable…garnish!

partystaff Kitty, Baby Kitty and Ozzie dig in! It seems they are enjoying the refreshments!

bkis Finally, the fashionably late Miss Isabella arrives, wearing her tiara and going straight for the milk punch!

014 We’ve saved a plate for you! Won’t you join us?

bkpres Now it’s time for Baby Kitty to open his present! The staff has all pitched in so that they could give him something really special…

catamaranpres …a one week cruise to CATalina on a CATamaran! It's a cruise for two, so I am hoping that Baby Kitty will invite me to go along!

033 Now it’s time to clear the plates and get ready to dance…

scatcat …because Scat Cat and his band have arrived and are ready to play! ♪♫♪ Everybody wants to be a cat! ♫♪♫ Well, for one day, anyway! I’m betting that even includes our faux feline friends who are in attendance!

bkking Here’s our co-host in a pensive moment…thankful for all of his friends in Blogland who have taken the time to stop by to wish him a Happy Birthday! And that goes for all of the staff here at Plate Addict! So as a way to say thank you, there will be special goodie bags for several of our guests which will be chosen at random after the party closes!  And finally, we want to wish the best of birthdays to our handsome little guy who makes every day special!
And now…link up your favorite kitty or kitty wannabe and join the party!

21 July, 2011

Reminder...Kitty Cat Linky Party Friday Night!

bkcrownIt’s almost time to par-tay! Don’t forget the Kitty Cat Linky Party Friday night, July 22nd, to celebrate Baby Kitty’s eighth birthday! All you kitties and our kitty wannabe friends are invited! The link will be up around 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight time! There will be yummy refreshments, a well-known band and goodie bags for some of our special guests!  We are looking forward to seeing you at the big birthday bash! After all…♪♫♪ Everybody wants to be a cat! ♫♪♫…

19 July, 2011

Pets of Blogland...Don Your Kitty Atttire and Come to the Kitty Cat Linky Party on Friday!

005 It’s Baby Kitty’s birthday and we are planning to partaaay here at Plate Addict on Friday! Yes, our illustrious co-host is turning eight this week, so the staff thought it only appropriate to throw a birthday bash in his honor!

page The staff is pulling out all the stops! They have taken out the best china, stocked up on party hats, and bought him a special birthday card. There is even a fresh supply of catnip…errr…Hey!

018 Wait a minute! Who’s been into the catnip? We’re saving that for the party!

021 The refreshments are off limits, too, guys! (I am even hoping to make a special surprise birthday cake. Wish me luck on that one!)

dogs in disguise Word is out that other pets of the non-feline variety may be attending in their best kitty cat costumes! So grab your canine…or your turtle…or your hamster…add some kitty ears and join in the fun!

003 Baby Kitty and the staff will be awaiting your arrival! Remember to join us Friday night, July 22 at 7:00 in your best kitty attire. Of course, if you are a cat, you are already dressed! Take a button from the sidebar if you would like to help spread the word! See you there!
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