Friday, April 30, 2010

Marie Antoinette and her influence on fashion

She was a trend setter, she had a personal dressmaker, she loved bows, big hair, jewelry, shoes , ribbons. She also loved the simple look and plainer fabrics as she matured.

The above photos are John Galliano's collection 2010-- doesn't this scream Marie Antoinette?

All these years go by and we still emulate her style. Who says fashion isn't important, historical, political? Style stays with us. Help the slow economy-- buy something that makes you feel like Marie Antoinette!

Have a PINK day!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How am I like Marie Antoinette?

Here is a photo I saw in Vogue online I think. Anyway, you know just by looking it is Marie Antoinette. We are all still so fascinated with her and that era. How are we like her? Why does it grab our attention so much?

Christian Louboutin made a limited edition shoe with Marie's face on it. I think they retail for about $6000.00! Keds makes some sneakers with her image on them too!

Movies and books come out about her every few years and we buy them. I think she intrigues us because her life was so charmed in some ways and so miserable in others. It was such a beautiful time for fashion and art and furniture, yet still so primitive in medicine, hygiene and women were still basically chattel. She was bartered to serve political alliances to France. She however, had some power and she longed for a more normal lifestyle-- the basis for her little shepherdess phase and Petit Trianon private life. She also wanted what most of us want, love, children, respect. Only she was wearing couture and setting styles!

She liked to have fun, to dress up, to be a flirt if the books are correct, she loved her pets and her kids and grew to love her husband.

I often think if I could have dinner with anyone who would sit at the table? Thomas Jefferson, Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour, Christopher Hawking all come to mind.

Would you like to live her life for a day? Take a peek inside her private privileged world? Hear the latest gossip at court? I think that is part of our fixation to see what it was really like in that window of time before the revolution.

I think most of us are more like her than we think. I think she is more complex and caring than history portrayed her. I think we love her style and her youth.

Have a PINK day!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent at Petit Palace in Paris

A retrospective of his fabulous and long career at the top of the designer heap is about to open in Paris. I will be there and plan on visiting. Here is the link to find out more for yourself:

Who could forget his smoking jackets? Le smoking in French aahmm..

It will be a visual feast a long remembered delight. I will try and bring whatever images I can back to post on this blog for you to enjoy. Remember dear blog friends. Je suis French dan ma coeur-- I am French in my heart.

Have a PINK day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Speaking of elephants...

I have elephants on the brain since yesterday's post. I do love them so. I watch each Public Television special they make on elephants and even have some on DVD and cry through most of it because of poaching and baby elephants dying in mud --very emotional for me.
Here is a question for you-lets see how much you recall of recent Marie Antoinette movie by Sophia Coppola. Is there an elephant in it? YES!! So my dear Marie Antoinette probably liked them also I like to think she would. They are beautiful.

But on a happier note -- I got this cute metal watering can for watering my patio plants the other day in the shape of elephant. Isn't it fun! That is all part of my pink living philosophy : make even the most mundane tasks fun and attractive and then the time flies by, you don't dread those tasks, life is much prettier, a visual lift make simple objects work for you in an artistic or attractive way. I still believe one reason I am such a happy person is I surround myself (as much as my budget allows) with beauty and happy things and happy thoughts naturally follow. It is not complicated but it works for me!

Have a PINK day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Doorknobs can be pretty too!

I miss the crystal door knobs my former old home had. Someday I may buy a bunch and replace the ones I have. In the meantime I like to use key minders/tassels to make them pretty. After yesterday's post on the wonderful monogrammed lock at Versailles this is a pitiful comparison but the best I can do at this time money wise.

The one elephant tassel is just fun and it was pink and I love elephants-have ridden a few in my day and want to go to the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee someday and volunteer--it is a wonderful place that takes older circus and other working elephants and lets them retire with care and dignity. They have a charming book out about how one of the dogs has bonded with the female elephant Tara. Here is the link : Support them if you can. I gave the book to animal loving friends last Christmas.

Of course if I worked there I would make all the female elephants big pink bows to wear.

Have a PINK day!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Versailles details... the monogram

These are the things that blow me away about Versailles. The details- exquisite and meticulous in execution. I could look at this door latch for an hour! I love to touch the door knobs. The last Queen's personal monogram. How well thought out to put it on door to her private rooms.

We are planning on taking the Metro to Versailles on day while we are in Paris. As I mentioned earlier we plan on seeing the private apartments of Marie Antoinette and that part is only open on the weekend. C'est la vie... not my favorite time to visit. But I can't complain I am thrilled to be going to my Belle France again.

What would you focus on at Versailles?

ave a PINK day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Strawberry-rhubarb compote and PINK Saturday!!

This post fits in so well with On the Menu Monday I thought I would run it again:

Welcome again to another PINK Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound blog. I am in spring mode cooking wise and just made my first batch of my strawberry-rhubarb compote. My dear friend Hinda made some for me a few years ago--what a treat-- and I now make it for myself and my friends. Please visit other Pink Saturday participants list is on Beverly's blog.

Rhubarb is an early spring harvest and not grown in the too hot South. I get mine at Fresh Market or Whole Foods . Buy jelly jars or Ball Canning jars at the grocery.

Here is the recipe: 4 cups chopped rhubarb the more red the better!
3-4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup water in pan to start cooking rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 TBS. vanilla

Cook rhubarb in water and sugar on low for about 1/2 hour till soft then add strawberries cook bit longer . I use a teflon pot rhubarb reacts to metals. At end I add the vanilla and I use good vanilla --real vanilla. Your could also use orange juice/zest, or put fresh mint in to add mint flavor then remove the mint leaves.

This can be served cold or hot and can be frozen and shipped or frozen and eaten in dead of winter! Just thaw and serve over ice cream or pound cake or heat and use as topping!
Joining in on:
Stone Gable On the Menu Monday:
Have a PINK day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Maltese art

We are besotted with our Maltese. They are the sweetest little dogs with big personality and full of love. I have Maltese images on pillows and a local artist,Jane Yudelson, did a portrait of two of my girls a few years ago. Serena is no longer with us and I am glad to have the painting. The one of Sydney-Marie as a puppy sitting in the watermelon bowl is fun.

My friend Mickey Bauer did the charcoal portrait of our first Maltese Zsa Zsa-she captured her expression well and it is a comfort to look at that image now that she is gone.

I think a home should be fun and filled with whimsical things that mean something to you. Even in a formal room a dash of whimsy is refreshing. So throw caution to the wind- do something tres fou-- add an irreverent element to your home.

Have a PINK day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yaku Princess is my favorite rhododendron

I have planted more of these lovely bushes in the back garden. A few years ago it was hard to find a Yaku Princess rhododendron -- now I find them at local nurseries.

They have a soft pink bud that opens to pure white and they are fast growing in this area. I have two on one side of my house and now will have 3 in back garden near the fence. Trying to hide the ugly fence.

I just love watching it bloom.

Have a PINK day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm having a party

May is peony time here. I don't even like to travel in May because I might miss some of my peonies in bloom. This past winter was extrememly cold for Atlanta area and that should make my peonies bloom well this season.

In honor of my friends and of my peonies I am going to host a small fete in my garden soon. I have so much to do. I just sent out the invitations today!! I love to make food for parties. I am doing some light spring-themed food and I'll have more ideas to share with you later.

This is the pretty invitation I sent out. It is by Sarah LeClere .The actual invitation is tied to the peony stem. I had custom stamps made at U S Postal Service website. The peony on the stamp is one from my garden.

The second page holds the actual invitation-- the printer spelled peonies wrong and sent it to me upside down on email and I didn't catch the error!! Too late to redo. How I wish I had lovely handwriting or that I could do copperplate or calligraphy. I have tried and failed miserably. So everything must go to a printer.

I will keep you posted on party progress and take some photos at the fete. My big fear is that the peonies will either peak too early or not be open on May 16. It is hard to figure out when they will bloom. I have lots of PINK peony party thoughts dancing in my head!!

Have a PINK day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Romance isn't what it used to be

I am a hopeless romantic. I love old romantic movies, I love looking at paintings by artists like Boucher and Watteau portraying romantic scenes like the one on the music box above. I got this years ago and it sits on my bathroom vanity holding hair clips and little things like that. I enjoy looking at it and when it is open it plays Laura's Theme --that is one old movie I loved Doctor Zhivago. Looking at this box in the morning as I get ready for the day lets me drift into a bit of a daydream sometimes.

What happened to romance? Courting, a very old fashioned word but one I think we should use. And we should practice the art of "courting". Courting sounds so much better than "dating" doesn't it? Dating reminds me of carbon dating and meat sell by dates-- courting brings to mind court life, asking for someones time and focusing attention on someone--finding out likes and character and then matching that to the method of courting. Planning activities and amusements to court the favor of the object of your affection. Ahh, I love that notion of romantic love.

Have a PINK day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Marie Antoinette doll

This lovely lady is a rendition of the last Queen of France. A very gifted artist named Rosemary made her for me in the late 1980's. I thought I would make a doll house but never did-so my petite Marie Antoinette resides in my curio cabinet where she is admired often.

As many of you readers know I love the blog Une Petite Folie by Linda Carswell. She just completed her French style doll house La Petite Maison. I am waiting anxiously to see what type of French home she will take on next!

On my next visit to Versailles I plan on seeing the queen's apartments- these are the private rooms she really lived in not the public spaces you see on the normal tour of Versailles. These rooms have been restored carefully and I believe some Americans donated money and furniture to fill the rooms. Another fun thing to dream about until I get there.

Have a PINK day!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Days of wine and roses

The rose buds are getting fat!! I hope they are in bloom in later part of May when I have company. I envision sitting outside in garden with my friends and having glass of wine or champagne and bringing my new wine rack outside along with the glasses and cooler.Maybe I could put rose petals in the glasses!!

I worked today on the new/old wine rack I bought last week at flea market shop.
I started by cleaning it with damp cloth, then painted it with pink latex paint I had left over from master bedroom. It looked very pink even though I didn't cover it all in pink. Then today I took it outside and spray painted it with a flat white paint so just a hint of pink now shows.

Have a PINK day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

To sit and smell the wisteria

The white wisteria just opened up today. More blooms on the way. I got this cute bench at antique mall sort of place up in Marietta. It was only one like that-so cute. Now I have seating for 8 in the garden!! We painted it black to match all the rest of the outdoor furniture and placed it under the rose arbor that is right outside master bedroom door. It will be fun to sit and enjoy the roses and right now I sit and enjoy scent of the wisteria and white lilac --both are close to the bench.

I have a theory about white flowers. I think they smell more delicate than ones with color. All lilac scent is pleasant but white lilac is so exquisite --I wish it could be bottled. And I like the way white blooms seem to glow at dusk and in moonlight or candlelight.

So for the next few days you know where to find me-sitting on a bench enjoying my white blooms.

Have a PINK day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Art feeds my soul

I love art especially French rococo and Japanese and French furniture of 18th century. I saw this mural in a show house years and years ago. The original artist is deceased. I am going to have this copied in my powder room soon in the same colors. My first floor powder room is tiny and the walls are a pale, pale peach as is the formal living room and hallways.

I have carried this photo around forever -dreaming of the day when I could have it on my wall.

Guests will have a little friend in there with them! She is holding a bird cage which is made of bamboo- so clever. I love all my Utamaro prints of women that I have around the house. I could not live in a home without artwork. It is just another wonderful joyful aspect of living my PINK life. Art makes my soul sing --every time I look at one of my prints or paintings I am happy.

Have a PINK day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blooms dan le jardin

It is an exciting time of year! Blooms are popping open daily in my garden. I have 2 white lilac trees and they open firstand delight me with such a delicate scent. I have never found a white lilac perfume I wish I could fine one. Heavenly scent.

My snowball viburnum is almost in full bloom and my little apple trees have white blossoms on them. I get enough apples every year for a large pie! So fun to make a pie with my own apples.

The white dogwood out front is a burst of white jumping into the sky. Today is a perfect spring day. Hope it is nice where you are too.

Have a PINK day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Le Reve de Marie Arden...

My dream is to be in France soon- walking the streets of Paris, gazing in the shop windows, eating at Laduree and making day trips to Versailles and Vaux le Vicomte chateau shown above.

I am sure this dream will come true soon. I am a traveler, I want to see so many places and meet the people, eat the local foods, discover the cultural differences. I need to travel to fulfill my love of learning and experiencing new things. Some people have no desire to go further than their own back door and that works for them. I want my passport to be filled with stamps from different countries.

The one country that I never get enough of is France. I am a true Francophile! I am French in my heart and feel alive and joyful when I am lucky enough to visit that beautiful country. France is my second country. French people, for the most part, like Americans. They may not always agree with our political views or government but they like us as individuals. I have experience many kind actions on their part.

So my reve (dream) is to be in France in summer soon. What is your dream?

Have a PINK day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gardening French style

Potager- a French word for the French style kitchen garden. Versailles and Chateau de Villandry have some famous examples. Well, now I have a potager too!! I wanted one for a long time and had no land to make one. We are using some land between the privacy fences behind our home to create my version of this classic French vegetable garden. Our neighbor graciously allowed us to use his property and I will share with him any veggies I manage to grow.

My post of the other day showed some of my many pink gardening implements and they all were used in the creation of my potager. Two raised beds were constructed on the bare land at two different heights with it ending up being about 16 feet by 6 feet. An area I can reach across and walk around and sit on the wooden edges of the beds. A few loads of fresh soil mixed with 6 bags of composted mushrooms and 6 bags of worm poo and voila-- my garden is ready for planting.

I was not able to plant artichoke seeds as it is too late (too warm soon) so I will try those in fall. Right now I have many tomato plants, a few peppers, broccoli, cabbage, herbs, lettuces some strawberries and some pink trailing scopia (for color) carrots and watermelon radishes and pink radishes. I was unable to find my pink tomatoes I wanted to plant. C'est la vie.

For height I added two twisted iron tuteurs in the center of each bed and planted sugar snap peas under them so they will climb up and give some more dimension to the garden plot. The thing about a potager is it should produce a lot in a small space, look pretty, have some architectural element to it and not be too huge.

I think mine meets all those elements. The blue bird house is now on a pole in the one bed and I am thinking of ways to maybe use the area around the fences to grow some morning glories or other climbing flowers. I will show another photo when the plants have grown up more. It is a joy to look at and an easy way to grow veggies.

Have a PINK day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sugar, Sugar

It doesn't take much to make me happy most days. I received this pretty pink sugar in an Easter basket a friend made for me. Then today at Marshalls I found the same sugar in green and since my two favorite colors and a lot of my home is pink and green-- I bought it.

As you can see I already used some of the pink. It just makes me smile to see those two colored sugars sitting on my pink corian counter top waiting to be put into some tea or a dessert.

That is the thing about happiness-- it isn't major stuff that I need to be happy, a flower blooming, pink sugar, my dogs playing, a nice breeze that isn't humid, so many joys to be delighted in every day. Happiness for me does come from the everyday beauties and the color pink of course!

I wish everyone could find joy in the simple or pretty things they see daily. There are so many negatives and bad things in our world . I want to savor all the wonderful things and kind and funny people that come my way everyday.

Have a PINK day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Do too many cookbooks spoil the cook?

Pink Boy bought me a wall book shelf to house my cook book collection. It is a pale blue but somehow works with the green walls in kitchen. Sad thing is it still doesn't hold all my cookbooks! I have a lot. A lot of them are pastry making books. I used to love to make pastry and took many classes.

The bookshelf is sort of French looking and on top of it is part of my bunny collection and a small bunny lamp that we leave on low that serves as a night light.

One of my goals is to make more meals at home and try to make a dessert every few weeks to keep my baking skills sharp. I like to make PINK desserts whenever possible!

Have a PINK day!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cherry snow sweet but fleeting

My Yoshino is in full bloom and when the breeze hits it petals fall in a cascade of pale pink. I love to stand under it. Depending upon the light- sometimes the petals on the tree look white and sometimes pale pink. They are a very pale pink on Yoshino. I am going to get a wire garden bench and place it under the tree it is a good shady spot and then next spring I can sit on it and watch the petals dance.

How I wish they lasted longer--but then again maybe it would not be so precious to me.

Have a PINK day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Puppy pink tea party in the garden

My girls want to have another tea party in the garden. We had one last year and they thought it was smashing! I find so many cute things for them at Target- sometimes in the children's toy area or in garden area. They love PINK so much!

Simone-Marie loves to be pulled around in the little pink cart -she pretends she is a queen seeing her loyal subjects. Sydney-Marie likes to eat the snacks on the picnic tea cloth and little Sophie-Marie is a free spirit- she likes to run about and to jump out of the little cart. They love thier little hamper and the goodies I pack in it. Simone-Marie is in the cart- she hates to share it.
Yes, they all have my name as their middle names-- they are my little babies.I think tea party picnics are their second favorite thing after stroller rides in their pink stroller. I promised them we will have one soon before the weather gets too warm. They are very mindful of their pink complexions!

Have a PINK day!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Japanese vases with cherry blossoms

My Pink in Laws got me these two old Japanese vases from the estate of a man who lived in Japan and sold antiques. They were a surprise present! I love the motif on them and there is some pink in it also!

So here is my little scene- my new/old vases with cherry blossoms next to my cherry blossom scroll in my front sitting room off the dining room. I think they look right at home amid all my pink things!

Have a PINK day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recycling in the garden

Some rogue squirrel made off with the finial on top of our big bird feeder-! It was sort of old anyway so Pink Boy got me a new one.

I hated to see the old bird feeder top just thrown away. So I painted it-- white! You thought I was going to say Pink didn't you? ha I will search and find a new finial for it someplace. But now I can use it as a table decoration or sitting on my iron plant stand under the arbor. I sill have to paint the very bottom.
We are adding another wire bench soon I have my heart set on one I saw in a second hand shop. I want to have enough seating for eight so I can have a few friends over for tea or lunch dan le jardin- how fun. I found one cute wire bench last year at T J Maxx and spray painted it black so it looks well with our patio furniture. I am always doing something in the garden or changing something-makes life interesting.

Have a PINK day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring-Time for Gardening

I love Spring--especially here in the South- blooms galore and mild sweet-smelling breezes!! I am ready to work on my garden. It is not a chore for me. I enjoy doing it all. I carry my love of pink into the garden with me--yes, I know I have mentioned my pink and white color scheme and pale pink Yoshino cherry tree before--but I mean I literally carry pink gear into the garden.

Here is a shot of my pink garden tool collection-- many pruners, a tin bucket (not shown) pink garden clogs, a pink and green gardening smock with deep pockets for tools and seed packets, my Haws pink watering can is my favorite item!! I have collected these items over last few years finding most of then in spring or in October tied to a breast cancer promotion. I have to prune so I may as well prune with a PINK pruning snippers! The neighbor kids think all my pink stuff is a hoot and they know all the flowers are pink or white. They like to look around because the garden is fenced in and it is like a secret garden to them.They also like to hit the gong by the fish pond.
My veggie garden is being prepared today dugout and railroad ties making two raised beds for me to fill and soon I will be putting in all my tomatoes, white eggplant,peas and beans, watermelon radishes and white pumpkin. I would like to grow some pink tomatoes but so far no one has them around here. I will attempt artichokes this year too. We are putting a blue bird house on a tall pole in the one garden bed. Maybe we will get baby blue birds finally and no neighborhood cat can get that high up.
I made some pink lemonade so I can keep on going in the heat.
How I would love to share the veggies with you. I hope I get some veggies I haven't had a garden since I was about 8.
Have a PINK day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hiding the remotes

It is just not me to have all these electronic gadgets all over the place. I hate to see technology. And why do we have 4 remotes for one TV and they are all called "universal" remotes? Shouldn't one do it all? What ever happened to OFF and ON ?!! I have to hit 2 or 3 buttons to change a channel. All right, I am finished. I shouldn't complain. I am grateful for the TV and the excellent color and sound. But-- I still don't want to see all those remotes.

Here is my solution for the library room upstairs- this Asian box I found at Tuesday Morning for $39.00!! It is large enough to hold all four! It fits with my motif up there. I love Tuesday Morning but you have to go weekly to keep up and see all the new things. Same with TJ Maxx Homegoods.

My quest now is to find a pink and green box for the family room remotes. I am much happier when things are neat. I can't think in a disorganized space.

If only all of life's problems could be solved so easily!

Have a PINK day!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bunny cupcake

Easter was fun and I had a wonderful brunch at Canoe in Vinings. It is my favorite place for brunch! It is located along the river and such a lovely setting.They had a Easter bunny walking around and this is my dessert. Just had to show how cute it was. I got a pink one and didn't even ask for pink--the universe knows I love pink!
The bunny is white chocolate and it was a white cupcake with buttercream frosting. YUM

Hope yours was fun too.

Have a PINK day!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter dear blog friends-- I hope your day is full of love and family and friends and yummy goodies. Most of all I wish for you to have peace and serenity and your version of PINK happiness.

This photo is from last Easter of Sydney-Marie and myself. She loves her costumes and looks so funny with her bunny ears! They get treats to open every holiday.

Have a PINK day!
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