No holidays are in sight for a while, so it’s time to fill my favorite rustic box with something different. This time I have chosen a decidedly French wine country theme. Warning! Warning! I feel the French teacher in me coming out! lol The star of my centerpeice…the little caviste or wine cellarman who is one of my favorite recent thrifting finds. More about him later, but first the box…
…which is dressed for a visit to the French wine country! Of course, there must be grapes and wine bottles! Did you know that you can tell what region a French wine comes from by the shape of the bottle? The one on the left with the gently sloping shoulders is from Bourgogne or Burgundy and the tall slender one on the right is from Alsace and, although this one is technically from California, the vintner chose to keep the classic shape. An interesting explanation of Burgundy wines and their labels can be found here. That region is dear to my heart since I attended the University of Dijon’s summer program for foreign students waaay back in 1971!
And you must have corks in a wine vignette, so I have filled my little lead crystal urn with them. The cork reads…Mis en Bouteille au Domaine…bottled by the grower.
And of course I must add a plate! This one is from my set of Limoges cheese plates and features a map of France with the cheeses by region. Can’t have French wine without French cheese!
But the absolute star is this little oh-so-frenchy guy! Isn’t he fabulous? He was calling out to me from the shelves at Goodwilll…Take me to a good home! lol Just look at the detail..from the béret to the wine bottles…perfect!
Our co-hostess Miss Kitty is itching to tell you all about him! He is an authentic French Santon or Little Saint. A saint?..you say…a wine cellarman? Let us explain.
When I made my retirement trip to Provence several years ago, high on my list of things to buy was a French nativity scene or crèche. And here’s what came home with me…love it! However, I am sure that you notice a few extra people. In Provence, the whole village comes to the manger, including, among many others, the Niçoise or woman from Nice and the Ravi or simpleminded man, the first to see the baby Jesus, who always raises his arms in delight. They are santons d'argile…made from hand-painted clay. For a closer look at my crèche, click here.
Santons exist in several sizes, including the much larger santons habillés which are dressed in cloth and always carry some sort of implement. Here are some of them from the same shop in Nice where I bought my nativity figures. Gotta love that fisherman carrying the basket of fish and the tiny starfish on the net!
My caviste is carrying this fabulous little crate of wine! Can you believe the detail on the wine bottles? Each label is different, including the three that you cannot see. The whole thing, bottles and all, is only two inches tall!
And here is the bottle he has in his hand beside a cork so that you can see its size. Amazing, huh?
And now the part I have been saving for last…how do I know he’s authentic? Look at the stamp on the bottom. He was hand-crafted by Michel Girault from his shop in Aix-en-Provence, France! You can see his creations, including my caviste, here. And the best part…I paid $2.92 for my santon who is priced online at 45 euros ($59) not to mention shipping! Woo hoo! Score!
And here he is again…looking very happy, I think, in my frenchy wine country vignette! Can you believe someone let him go? I am sooo glad they did!
To see my box dressed for five different holidays, click here.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my French wine country centerpiece! 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
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays
Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday’s Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring
Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation 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
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday
Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
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!