Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Booklove~ Vivian Swift~.Art~













..and then there were 3..:)







How did that sneak in?


And these?


Ahem..and these?




I have lots of book loves..too many in fact..

I had taken lots of little vignettes of where they are in our home and what they mean to me..but that would just confuse the issue..so..

in Cliff Notes..

I love my mom's books the best..top pic..

I love books w/ tea..

I have book sections of cookbooks..favorite art books..favorite sentimental gifts to me books..
favorite photo books..the last ones up there..many more..but I don't want you to fall asleep:)

And...
I don't want to weigh this post down w/ too many topics..

so let's talk about books that feature art that inspires us..

Of course Monet inspires me..and Matisse..but I can't sit down and try and ..copy  them to try and learn..

...but give me Susan Branch..and Jana Kolpen..

by the way..Have you read The Fairy Tale Girl/Susan Branch?

You should:)

and..tada..now for ..

..Vivian Swift..who even teaches us how to paint her "Triscuits"..via her BLOG..

(she does..I promise..go see..)

I had Vivian's  2 previous books..which I love..

so when I heard she was publishing a 3rd..I was on the lookout..since last year.

It is no secret that I have a love of gardening..so I knew I had to have this book for more reasons than one~


I had to wait a lot longer for mine..

Amazon Canada had specified a release date of March 16th..so I was on pins and needles..especially since my US friends had theirs already...

March 16th came and went..

oh well ...it gave me a chance to win a real life Triscuit   ( thank you VS)..while tapping my fingers..
...and it gave me the chance to look over the previous 2:)

And practice:)

VS is inimitable..but she gives us tips and tricks to TRY..

I love that..

When I started in real estate..I found the agents that had nothing to worry about because their careers were proven..were the first to share..
they were agents that had a proven track record..that were not envious of anyone..and that were confident in all they did.
:)
so they shared ..

..that's what Vivian does..

..and how cute IS my Triscuit that I won..fair and square?:);)

I say this in jest as Jacques picked my lucky number that won..well ours was the closest to the actual winning Top Cat picked number..



It came in a big box..:) With such a dear address label that has a VS self portrait in black and white..so cute..so cute I want to try and do one..I may take Carol's sketch of me..leaving her artist's name of course..and add:)

I would Love to do that:)


Then  there was bubble wrap..and tissues and a card..and the artwork.

Look how   precious.

It really is the size of a Triscuit..my macaron can sit atop and cover it..imagine painting so perfectly clear with so much detail so small....♥

So..now I have the VS trilogy:)

I have perused it and can tell you that she had me at the first page and the mention of her favorite gardener.

Forget about 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy....it never interested me..but these? 

I was in from the get go..I even offered books 1 and 2 as gifts at one point I loved them so..

I can look at these books over and over again..
You never tire of books like these.


I am not great at re~reading novels..Susan Branch..the books above ,I can..Vivian's I can again and again and again.
I can't tell you how many lovely quiet moments her books have given me..they are fun..cute..well written w/ doses of humor and wit and facts.
Not just picture books..

I LOVE books like these..Have I said that?

Keepers..special shelves..areas in the house..go~ to spots to look at pretty and to be happy you are lucky enough to have books like these.

I never give them away..mine..books that came to me via way of a gift I never give away either.

Too me..they came bundled up w/ thought and meaning.

So I selfishly keep them.







Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016~











my bunnies♥




True Love


So cute..Noah and his cooking partner Michaela after cooking class.











Easter...a tad different this year..early ..and Jacques' birthday  all at once..:)

I had made Ricardo's eggs one year:)Remember? If you do..add 10 points:)

You can see the post here..

This year..I made the beet coloring by boiling a big red beet in water..had hard boiled 2 eggs:)..Cracked them here and there and placed them in the beet juice..peel and art!Like tea eggs really.
I emptied the yolks and deviled them..
There you go.
Oli and Lulu came over..2 days before Easter to bring Jacques cookies and birthday kisses and gels for the window..Oli helped me bring down the 3 bunnies from the attic:) He saw the mask..and liked ..so I said:" take it darling"~..he put it on and came down the stairs so proud:)

I am sure you can feel my love♥

Squished face kissing a bunny..all our Littles kiss us upon arriving and leaving..I am guilty of kissing them in between..the parents do the same..I don't usually kiss them in between..
I swear if I am doing homework or coloring w/ the littles..I am in total admiration..their physical traits..the way they concentrate..I get lost in looking at them..

I offered to bring the desserts..I felt lucky finding the set of 6 Wilton Easter bakers w/ lid and ribbon..you bake the cake in it..decorate.. then put the clear lids and ribbons..I used my 43 yr old white cake recipe..6..for the Littles..
For the adults a bit of decadence..a Toblerone Cheesecake..
I made the caramel sauce by mixing Dulce De Leche with cream..
You can find the recipe at this site..
Dinner was delicious with wonderful appetizers..a terrific salad..and lamb chops fit for a five star resto w/ sides.veggies etc..we were 7 at the table Giu is old enough ..Adamo was home..not well..and the Litttles ate in the kitchen before.Lucas is getting big to be a Little:)
Her bunny was so cute..I asked where she got it..Pier One..;)
this was great..



A roasted cauliflower..served w/ a dipping sauce..looked great in the cast iron pan..large knife and set upon Ann T's board..you should see his board..only more beautiful w/ age.
It was dark by then..:(

Table set perfectly ..not too much so room for bread..and everything else one brings to a table :)
The Littles are growing up so fast..speed of lightning..
The 3 youngest changed out of their clothes into superheroes..and ended up in the hot tub..like that..

I hope you are enjoying this Easter Sunday,new beginnings.




Thursday, March 24, 2016

Quel Bonheur~ Dans La Poste~Paris Maps.













You must remember this:)..When my Paris Letter came to me..
now that this bear is no longer in a baby's room here as the Littles are Big..I posed him w/ the Carol Gillott's Paris Letter  I had subscribed to.
Well I am here to say that her Paris Maps..are amazing..I know that word is overused..but is suits her maps..
My sketch..es of me   came w/ my map..I now have 2..and I just..well ..here I go again..love them..
so darn well done..Jacques said :"Look at the work involved"..I said :"I know"!~
They should definitely be in a book..I cannot imagine someone not wanting the whole collection in a beautiful book..w/ Carol's other singular art works..like the café cups..and the macarons and desserts and chocolats..
her recollections and of EVERYTHING from her Paris Dream..
these are a francophile's dream..an art lover's dream..
the maps of course contain souvenirs..adorable souvenirs..
every arrondissements is a special art lovers treat.
This is not your everyday map.
Des trésors.
And the stamps on the envelope?  I love stamps..the France real stamp of course but the rubber stamps..so adorable they are..

And I have never looked so good.
I treasure that face.How vain does that sound?
Well I do..when someone makes such a sketch..es ..of me.I give them a standing ovation,because that face she did..is my wish face.
I wish:)
Merci Carol...for that face.:)

Look at her..so adorb as she would say;)

The Paris Mail is available on Etsy....go see so cute..
A treat that lasts.
I love her subscriptions.♥

Meanwhile..here I am getting ready for Easter w/ some desserts..and made Jacques Crêpes Suzette for his birthday today..
yesterday we went for lunch at a New Orleans Bistro type resto..we had Creole Shrimp and Grits..and fell in love w/ grits..the seasoning and juice etc of the shrimps just melted into these cheesy delicious grits that had corn kernels and finely diced red pepper..baby bok choy laid on top..DELISH~




You should see my kitchen..first after I made the CS..whoa..all sparkley..then the baking and icing and piping tips..not the queen of piping here...nor the dancing queen:)
I have icing everywhere because I was NOT wearing one of my favorite aprons..my sinks are full and I am about to do system restore 2..



Jacques had Yves Montand playing all morning and this aft..all Paris..all good..:)♥
Went so well well my  my Carol collection.

PS..Le lapin above is not going to make the cut:)his ear broke off..
Oh well..the baking continues tomorrow..

and the marveling of Carol's talents.

Please forgive the lacklustre pics..it's dark and snowing here..all day~Turning to rain we think~





Saturday, March 19, 2016

Still practicing..













           








So cute..one day Marie posted about how her husband sends her texts about how grateful he is for everything she does♥when he is out and about w/out her..

I commented that Jacques doesn't even have a phone.:)

But I had saved this Gif..to put in my post..because this he does..he will come by my easel..or wherever I am playing w/ paints and tell me:"J'aime quand je te vois peindre"~ 
He'll come and see the work and it's either..: "C'est bien".."non non..vraiment c'est bien..":) ..very encouragingly.. And I can almost swell with pride and LOL there is no reason to..or he will look and say ..nothing..kind of..and I will say..:"Lucas looks too small "..and he will say" "yes..you are right..but I think it's the hat..the hat should be smaller and Lucas bigger because the height is ok it seems.."
so then I think to myself ..this painting is finished.I can't change a hat and Lucas' size in oil..:)
And when my shadows are way off in watercolor ..c'est la vie too..
start over.
And I am not painting plein air..and I am not dressed like that..:)
I have been and will be..but when I am in the house..it's leggings and long sweaters in the winter..and wool socks;)

It's a learning experience..all of it..I am curious and interested into how it all works so individually for everyone..
And I love having tea..while painting..Spotify..in the background..sun shining in..

he likes when I make it..I can't make coffee for beans..he can..so we each have our times.

We have tea many afternoons..and to me a small home baked treat is just right w/ tea.
A linzer cookie..a shortbread..a slice of this..a bite of that.

I did 3 little oils..of some scenes of the boys from November..while they were at the beach..I had these photos printed and tried to recreate them.

Same w/ the Noah/nana ones..the strawberry picking day..one watercolor one oil..obviously not only faces are hard for me..but limbs too..apart from other things.
The Italy ones are from photos I took  in Italy♥and then trying to use Shari's online classes to do them..

and the last..is from a sketch I took from one of my  Zoe De Las Cases books..I try and sketch it..proportions are all off..and then paint.
I adore painting in the sunlight w/ music playing softly:)

Some are in the window of my workshop/craft room...others taped to a journal..others in journals..
That craft room gets such beautiful sunlight in the afternnon...

I don't know how my friend Nancy does her huge toiles..I am so in love w/ the one I have in our guest bedroom..I just love it so much..I have caught myself touching the reliefs..
It's my size I am sure..height..wise..and it's wide..almost dormer depth width wise.
It is one of my prized posessions:)

I have  2 new new prized posessions..

I won  one of Vivian Swift's Triscuits..it is beautiful and it is here..her new book should be in our home by March 31rst..so I will share it all the same day.I had pre-ordered it from Amazon Canada.
It will be my 3rd book of hers.
I hope one of my daughters or grandsons keeps my favorite books.
One day..
I also have a new Avatar..Carol from Paris Breakfasts did it..:)
Carol introduced me to Vivian's blog quite a while ago..
Jacques had commented on Carol's Avatar..because he reads my blog..not every day..but he plays catch up..and so he has read them all:)Anyway he had commented..and now I find myself with such a cute youthful happy face:)
I have a new art card I will frame.. some new books..a mystery and a Fairy Tale book:)..
by the way..if you have not visited Gail..in The Hamptons..go visit..she and her husband plein air paint..and take us through the Hamptons..art galleries..beaches..quaint shops..nurseries..
Such a week..  some sweet surprises..some surprising news..and tonight a little guest for a sleepover..Noah:)
I took out the Heart Waffle Iron for tomorrow..and a Stonewall Kitchen Waffle Mix:) Fresh berries..well  Costco fresh..and do it yourself pizza tonight.
He was supposed to come w/ Max..but Max and his family went to "The Cottage"  LOL..seems they aquired a cottage;)
Oh to be a child..for one day.
Bon Weekend~

Monday, March 14, 2016

Easter Preps..


















I love Easter..I really do..when I was a child..I still remember a good new Spring coat..shiny shoes..and white gloves.
When our girls left home..I didn't like Easter as much..but it wasn't londg before The Little arrived and I loved it all over again..but more..I know they will outgrow things and nay not even remember..but I love making special thing that they will see.

This year my daughter is hosting a dinner and the Littles will come for a hunt first..we think..nothing set in concrete yet.

We are celebrating Jacques' birthday too..

I know I am making a Toblerone cheesecake..6 individual desserts for the Littles and G and A..
and I think a small Spring like cake encased in that white chocolate basket I made above..

and I dond't eat any of it..give me a cracker of tosttitos.

The lollipops are going in their baskets..with a few other things I am planning..
I made a lot of chocolate things Sat..

..never again fillled chocolates that you clamp..they take forever..
plastic molds like the one above..I found time consuming..not worth it..the reason I bought these was to make them..package them..but there would be secret messages in them..nope..and they take a lot of chocolate..
..give me silicone any day..
easy peasy perfectly cute.

Those little white bunnies and eggs? Pop outs!

The hard plastic I find more difficult.Like never again apart from for certain things..

I once had the cutest mold..Beatrix Potter..little medallions..lost:(
In a move.. I gather..if anyone of you has found it please return it:) It was one of my first chco deco gadgets that I fell in ♥ with.




I loved making Susan Branch's lamb cake one year..but since this is an evening event..I think it will be best an adult dessert andc ute kiddie desserts..
so here you have a peek at what has started in the kitchen..the filled eggs were not ready..:)  and what has happened in the past..on a few occasions..






I like preparing for them:)