Thursday, May 16, 2013
There are plans in the work.
Lots and lots of work.
To go back to France this summer and shop the brocantes, marché aux puces,
the French Flea Markets!!
For my Etsy shop,
It's in my soul. Since traveling to France a few months ago, I've been working on plans to return.
And what better way to return... traveling the French countryside, hunting for beautiful home goods and small furniture to list in my shop.
I loved everything about France.
Below is a picture of me with the French artists, Pascal Laville.
This was taken in the city center of Besançon.
I ended up buying 2 paintings from him (not the one he's holding, he had already wrapped mine up).
I loved the city streets.
The architecture was everything I imagined it would be.
But more, because I was in front of it. Or in it. Or near it.
All these pictures were taken in Besançon, France. Our sister city.
Our group walking up through the Porte Noir to the Citadelle.
The Porte Noir (black gate) was built in Roman times, 161AD.
There is a lot to do.
Yesterday, I talked with an International Shipping Broker.
I scribbled out notes as he reviewed all it would take to get my goods, my inventory back to the States.
Warehousing, storing, wrapping, boxing, crating, inventory lists, customs paper work, shipping via sea, and clearing customs here.
My husband, John has been looking into rental vans. I've been mapping out flea markets across France.
We're spoke and wheeling it, as John refers to it.
I must find a warehouse (the wheel) in a central location to our markets, something my broker can help me with.
We'll shop the markets (the spokes) and hull it back to the warehouse, and store it for shipping.
I have never set a toe in this water of international buying and importing.
But, it's amazing how much can be planned by googling, googling, googling.
And, meeting folks (other Americans) online who have been on European buying trips.
Every image I see of a French flea market - stops my heart.
We plan to travel with another American couple, good friends of ours who have traveled the French countryside before
and who speak some French and German.
How could we say no!?
How can I not take this opportunity to return to a place that feels like my second home?
No plane tickets have been purchased (yet). But, it seems like a plan.
A fantastic plan!!
my Etsy shop
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
On Monday, I had a contractor, carpenter, painter, and metal worker in my house.
On Tuesday, I was at Arc Granite and Marble in Richmond, Virginia selecting stones for our kitchen.
On Friday, the plumber is coming to look at our jobs.
So, today... I cleaned my office.
While I'm very happy to be moving forward with several house projects,
let's face it...
...they are disruptive.
My office needed deep cleaning and it's a room that won't be touched by demolition or construction.
After I sorted through piles of papers, cleared surfaces and dusted, vacuumed up stink bugs and cat hair,
and pulled things off shelves and re-arranged... I had one of those moments.
I love my office.
Our office is a high use room. It's mainly used by me, since all my work is done here... but all five of us use it.
The original house plan was for this space to be the dining room. We decided, when the house was being built
to take this room and put glass doors on either side (to the kitchen and to the front room).
We also bumped out the exterior wall and put a glass door at the wrap around porch.
The bump out created a space to put our little love seat from our previous house.
So, it's a bit of a den too. It's been a wonderful spot to sit and talk.
At my desk, I have a wonderfully large cork board. It's from Ballard Designs. So are the file cabinets and the large work table.
(purchased over 8 years ago, I don't think they make my desk anymore...)
On my cork board is a pull out poster from House Beautiful Magazine.
It's a Designer Family Tree, filled with amazing designers from all over the US and a few overseas.
It was published a number of years ago, can't quite recall the year - but it's a huge inspiration for me.
I love how my daughter printed out the picture of Bunny Williams and I at High Point Market and tacked it
next to Bunny Williams on the tree. So sweet! Thank you, Ellie.
My office used to be yellow. Last spring, my dear friend Amy helped me paint it in Benjamin Moore Overcast.
I love the more neutral color.
I had painted the ceiling a sage green when we first moved in and I kept it.
I also ended up re-arranging the furniture and placed a large mirror on the back wall.
It was the mirror in my foyer and I painted it in the wall color. I love the window effect.
The mirror and lamps help the dark end of the room feel open and bright.
It's also been wonderful having the kitchen (to the right) so close by.
I can even see my wall ovens and timer from my desk!
The front room to the left.
Truman sleeping on the sofa.
When I drew the plans to bump out this sitting space, I already had this bookcase.
I knew I wanted it to go in this space between the two doors, so I drew up plans for this room so that it would fit.
After the house was built, and moved in - I loved how the bookcase slipped right in - between the two door frames.
What a good builder!
Last year, I had purchased this cowhide for my family room.
I ended up moving it in here after the sea grass rugs saw too much use and unraveled.
Last year, we switched to a Mac computer.
I usually fight big screens, but this time I was the one who wanted the bigger screen.
I wanted to be able to turn the screen toward the sofa. It's made a great place for my husband and I to watch a movie,
or my daughter and I watch episodes of The Office.
I'm a big fan of containing things in baskets and trays.
My desk basket.
I love my vintage, wicker handled letter opener and magnifying glass.
I use my magnifying glass a lot to read labels and look at details of my Etsy items for when I write descriptions.
The basket on my run of file cabinets behind my desk holds my iPad, phone and Nook for charging.
It's nice to take a moment and relax in a well designed space.
And, now it's all clean and organized. Ahhhh...
In about a month or less, our kitchen will get torn up and our deck replaced.
And - depending on how the quote comes back, our laundry room will be brought under construction as well.
For now, I'll enjoy my quiet, organized, dusted and vacuumed work space.
More to come on the house projects as they move along.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I'm glad to get back to my France pictures!
This tour was taken the Monday after Easter.
My host family, along with another French friend decided to take a fellow American and myself to Bourgogne, France.
Our first stop was to visit Hospices de Beaune.
Hospice de Beaune was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin and his wife.
Nicolas Rolin, at the time, was a wealthy chancellor of Bourgogne.
Most of the people of Beaune were destitute, after The Hundred Years War.
Hospice de Beaune served the sick, orphaned, elderly, destitute, women about to give birth, and anyone seeking refuge. It still serves to this day.
Although the original hospital, additional buildings and grounds are now a museum, there is a more modern hospital built near the original.
It was explained to me, as we approached the entrance, that the exterior of the building was made "humble"
and that the inside was where the treasure lay.
Humble? Not really, the exterior was just beautiful with its stone and wood details.
If you look closely you can see gargoyle type creatures peering off the side edges of the overhang.
15th Century architecture....
The interior courtyard. The hidden treasure...
Hospices de Beaune is known for its glazed roof tiles.
It's absolutely breathtaking, the colors and patterns.
If it looks like everyone is on a cell phone.. they are not.
The tour is given by an audio guide and each area or room is numbered.
The tour is offered in many languages.
This was a great hall, known as the Room of the Poors.
Really beautiful with all the red.
Touring this hospice was particularly meaningful for me.
I was a RN at University of Virginia Medical Center for 10 years.
Having worked in a major medical center and thinking about what it must have been like,
caring for the sick and dying in the mid 1400's in France was an incredible experience.
It's been 11 years that I've been doing residential design. This facility was a blending of my two careers.
Hospices de Beaune was created, built, and served the sick and dying and destitute.
It was also built with such beautiful details, craftsmanship, and comfort for those in need.
The ceiling in the great hall for the Poor.
The front of the great hall held a chapel area.
Past the great hall was another, smaller room holding more beds.
The art in this room was floor to ceiling.
The kitchen.. I found it fascinating.
Check out the mechanism for the rotisserie.
This multiple stove island I thought was so modern.
And those goose neck faucets.
The original pot filler!
Just so amazing!
What a collection of copper and brass cookware.....
Beautiful pottery jars....
The new hospice built next door, still open and serving those in need.
If planning a trip to France... this is a must visit museum and tour.
From here, we had a lovely lunch at a restaurant right in Beaune.
And then we went on an incredible wine tour in the famous wine country of Burgundy.
But, that's another blog post... soon to come!