Posted in Color Shape Space, DÉCORATION, HOUSE & GARDEN, Inspirations

Inside Outside Room

IMG_4136.JPG

Do you have an “Inside/Outside” room?

We have three in our house. Not sure what else to call them – OK two are on the first floor, so I guess one could say “Balcony”, or “Logia” as a friend of mine suggested – sounds so romantic!

The third “Inside/Outside room is on the ground floor leading out to the courtyard one-side and the terrace and swimming pool the other side. Do you call this a “Porch”?

Not sure.

But what is so special about these places is you can sit in the shade out of the sun but still feel you are getting some fresh air. A perfect place to sit and read, or eat or play with the ipad – The cats seem to think it’s pretty cool too!

This is the Big Balcony Upstairs Inside/Outside Room

IMG_4139.JPG

IMG_4111.JPG

IMG_4114.JPG

Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Inspirations, OUT & ABOUT, Paper Ephemera

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign – Post Cards and Maps

old postcards & maps

“Don’t Forget to Send me a Post Card”……. without fail, I would always ask my friends when off to foreign lands, to pop a card in the post to me – the more weird the better.

Well, that was in the good old days of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Now we have the internet and Facebook and digital cameras and nobody feels the need to bother with postcards anymore.

Never the less, I still have my pile of postcards packed into the top drawer of the dresser, and when I saw the WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge this week was ‘Foreign’, I thought I would pull them out and see what my friends and I where up to on our travels before the digital age!

Posted in Blog, HOUSE & GARDEN, OUT & ABOUT

Early Morning in South West France Sky On Fire

How often do you see this?

It was last Thursday, about 7 o’clock in the morning.

And the sky was on fire.

Just for 5 minutes or so.

Then the sky went back to normal.

Did it really happen?!

Taken with my ipad3, Thursday, 25th October 2012.

Fabre de Lagrange, 81140 Penne, France

Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Inspirations, Paper Ephemera

Art Deco – Paris 1929

The Art Deco period during the 1920’s and 1930’s, I think is one of the most stylish periods in the history of design.

The black and white advertisements I have found in my copies of the French magazine ‘L’Illustration’ of April 13th and April 20th 1929, are quite stunning in draftsmanship, humor, and little historical plots in the life in the chic Parisian lifestyle that men and women were aspiring to during this period between the First and Second World Wars.

1929 Art Deco Ladies Paris

If you compare the images from my earlier post on the L’Illustration magazine – 18th October 1913 edition, to the images here, it is quite remarkable the difference in style over the 10 year period from 1913 to 1929.

So what happened?

The 1925 Paris Exhibition was probably the biggest influence on style, design and architecture, and the birth of the Art Deco movement.

The First World War – 1914 to 1918  had a huge influence on the change in culture, particularly for women. (anyone who is watching Downton Abbey on the TV at the moment will know what I’m talking about – ITV – Sunday nights UK).

Life was meant to be gay and carefree – women where at last beginning to feel in their grasp the much strived for freedom in the fashions they wore, the sports they undertook and the wonderful new adventure that the motor car was providing.

Such a Romantic Period – Super Fast Cars – Gorgeous Watches – Holidays in Nice – 1920’s France was the place to be!

1929 Cars Paris France

Do you like these L’Illustration Magazines? if so, do look in my Etsy Vintage Shop – 3rd Shelf from the Top. They are for sale there INCLUDING the magazines that have the images illustrated here!

So go have a look. Here is the link to the THREE MAGAZINES that I am selling together:

October 18th, 1913 – April 13th, 1929 – April 20th, 1929

This is a great way to buy them, as the shipping costs are much lower if in a package of 3 magazines, so quite a bargain.

I would love to know who buys them and why.

Are you a designer who likes to collect historical documents of the early 20th Century? I must admit they are very inspiring when the creative juices are being stirred!

Perhaps you are a digital artist and need to add some more images to your library. I know a lot of you are very gifted Scrap booking and collage artists. I would love to see what you could do with these Art Deco images.

Are you learning French, or studying French history? L’Illustration magazine is a more interesting way to help you on your way with the French language and provide little snippets of French history, which was the daily news during the 1920’s.

Of coarse, you could just keep them on the coffee table and wallow in the wonderful world of the Parisian Lady of 1929. A little glimpse of her world, what she was buying, what she read……What was going on on April 20th 1929?

Posted in 3rd SHELF FROM THE TOP, Blog, Paper Ephemera

From Corsets to Cars in 1913

1913-magazine L'IllustrationI was browsing through a 1913 copy of ‘L’Illustation’ – a French magazine that was very popular here during the early part of the 20th century. Most of the copies I have are during the Art Deco period of the late 1920’s, but just realized that in amongst the pile was this earlier magazine published just before the 1st World War started.

1913 Mens Corsett France

They certainly loved their corsets during this period – men and women seemed to be obsessed with obtaining a ‘svelt’ figure, no matter what the discomforts this entailed

 

 

 

Ladies corset and bra 1913I see the bra, soutien-gorge in French, is beginning to be featured.The times they are a changing!

 

 

car and corset ad 1913Well yes, “The media is the massage” as they say!

Another corset advertisement above the ‘come and buy me’ car shot. Not sure what to make of that, I mean, the interior of that deluxe car looks very comfy and very spacious……….

Oh la la!  You know what a reputation Parisians had during this epoch.

Shoes and Hats

Thought this little add was rather smart.1913 France shoes and hats

Now What About a Nice Cup Of Tea?

Who needs a tea pot when you could buy a special cup and saucer with its own filter!

Cup Of Tea

I’d love to find a set of china ware like this on my trips to the local antique markets here in France!

Posted in Blog, Color Shape Space, DÉCORATION, Inspirations, OUT & ABOUT

A Walk, A Church, A Door, Texture & The Color Lilac

One of the things I love doing when on a walk here in South West France, whether it be in town or country, is to explore the color and textures that surround us in our environment.

Let’s have a closer look at this church that I came across at St. Sabine.

“Yes, I thought, quite a nice little country church, typical for this area of South West France.”

But as we get nearer – a lilac door no less – I wonder who thought of that color so many years ago? — A closer look is in order, me thinks………..

What a lovely pale lilac – now fading gently over the countless seasons of hot summer sun on these metal doors:

I want to get up close and personal – Let’s Go!

What a Surprise – Graffiti that I had no idea was there when I took the photo. I think there must have been some budding artists in St. Sabine when this door was painted. What fabulous texture and use of color – and on a French country church yard.

Door St Sabine France

Ah, I’ve found another door at the side of the church

A wooden door here – old and peeling – but such a fabulous color and texture — Love it!

Well, this is just a little snippet of my observations on just one of the wonderful marked pathway walks we have here in South West France. This one is on the PR19, St Antonin Noble Val (post code 82140) round trip walk.

I took these photos with my ipad3 which I always take with me on my walks now, as you just never know what you will see.

Texture and color provide great influence for all sorts of projects – painting, decor, the picture and photo frames I make…… lots and lots of things. It’s worth keeping a record for the future – you just never know when it will come in useful!

More walking snippets to come later……………

Posted in Blog, OUT & ABOUT

An Evening in Biarritz — with an ipad

biarritz eveningIt was Denise’s birthday recently. What to get her? Since the release of the ipad3, there was never any other solution. I knew this was right up her street. I was always hogging the camera, so this was the ideal present.

AND, I got to grab the old ipad, he,he!

So here we are in Biarritz—for the first time. Weather hot and sunny. The hôtel was just a few strides from the beach, by the Casino, and we could walk leisurely around the old town, through the narrow streets full of little trendy gift shops backed by impressive victorian villas and grand apartments, down to the old harbour, with its boats, and old fishermen’s cottages.biarritz-night02

biarritz-night04As night fell, I was tucking into sole while Denise had chosen fresh tuna and risotto.The breeze had dropped and the lights made it all very picturesque.

Taking night-time shots with my SLR digital I’ve never found satisfactory—I don’t like to use flash as it always seems to ruin the ambiance and delicacy of the view—but without flash, the long exposure time means blurry images.

The ipad was very simple to use—you do need to try to be as still as possible when shooting—we dumped quite a few images that were way too blurry—but considering the lack of light, I really liked the results. They give the right atmosphere and “feel” to the evening.

“a picture is worth a thousand words”

In common with all images that we post on the web, these photos have been “corrected” — I always open my images in a photo editor and check overall exposure, crop if necessary, size down to 1000px wide, then sharpen a little before “saving for web” to get the final file size down to around 120kb.  I use Photoshop, but smaller, simpler editors will all handle these functions equally well.

But I do feel strongly that it is worth taking a little extra trouble to learn a few simple photo-correction techniques before uploading images to the web—as the saying goes—”a picture is worth a thousand words” and it’s a shame to spoil well-written content with underexposed, or poorly cropped images.

“Le Port des Pêcheurs” is wonderfully photogenic, with the boats in the harbour, backed by rows of “crampottes” —  little fishermen’s cottages, colourfully restored, each sporting its owners name painted over the door. I’ll be posting some more photos of the old fisherman’s port soon. Meanwhile, we’re looking to revisit Biarritz when we’ve more time—there’s a lot yet to see and do in this lovely little corner of South West France.

Posted in Blog, HOUSE & GARDEN, OUT & ABOUT, The Garden

Summer Thunderstorms in SW France

Last Sunday was hot and sunny, then suddenly everything changed.

The sky went dark. The clouds moved in at remarkable speed. All went deathly quiet……….

Summer thunderstorm SW France

Martin took this photo just before all hell let loose….

Thunder, Lightening and Hail Stones the Size of Golf  Balls!

I’ve heard of hailstorms where ice the size of golf balls fall from the sky, but never seen the like before last Sunday afternoon. Quite a spectacular affair seen from our balcony.

Unfortunately, it meant no electric for the next 2 hours. A bit annoying when you are trying to watch the Olympics – London 2012. Still, all lights and TV connection were restored in time to watch Usain Bolt win the 100 meters dash, so I was happy!