Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Count-Down

The house is decked for the holidays and I am ready to move on to some baking and wrapping.  We have had pretty terrible blustery, cold and wet weather here and maybe my desire for that elusive white-stuff influenced my Christmas decor this year......

As much as I miss my beloved Pacific Northwest -- I do favor snow over rain.  The winds have been gusty and loud--often disrupting our sleep as the shutters on our little house bang in the night....

We had snow at this time last year--and I am really hoping that my second Christmas in France will be WHITE.... so here's counting down--a few more notches on the thermometer and a few more days (about 10...) 'til Christmas!

If you have some snow where you are---send it this way!  
-- S'il vous plait.

Joyeux Noël mes amis!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Le week-end....

A short 'cross-post' from my other blog--because time is going so fast--Here it is Saturday morning and I am sitting in bed having coffee and trying to arrange in my head the order of the priorities for the weekend.  We have just nixed going to 'Middle Garcon's' holiday thingy at school this morning--he didn't want to and we didn't feel like forcing it.  Besides---'someone' --- ahem---got to sleep in until about 10 this morning......much needed let me tell you....and maybe more needed than standing in the cold with a wiggly 'Petite Fille' to go to a bake sale and to watch the second graders croon French Christmas Carols.....priorities.....sleep, coffee in bed, blogging......check!

Yesterday I had a luxurious hour to myself to walk around downtown Trouville Sur Mer with my camera-- luxurious-hour-to MYSELF-walk-camera----if that doesn't say it all, I don't know what else would!

A little 'window-shopping'.....

I got to do a bit of window shopping--there is a great antique store on the 'Rue de Bain' that I will be shopping at soon! There is a gorgeous green bird-cage that I want to buy for Sunday Brocantes-Etsy shop!

So I wandered and took a few pictures---the fact that I was on my own just shooting for fun--made it a perfect afternoon....which is leading (already) into a perfect weekend.

Bon week-end mes amis!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend, catching up on some rest, doing a little holiday shopping....and maybe--if you are lucky--having an hour (or more!) to yourself!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

'Tis the season....

The house decorating is coming along--at a leisurely pace. I love the way things are coming together--simple, handmade, vintage...not cluttery or overdone.  I am surprised that French Guy appreciates it--as most men, let's be honest here, just 'humor' their better half when it comes to spending time or money on holiday decor.  It's really our thing isn't it?  So when not only 'mon mari' but also 'les enfants' admire my decorating handy-work--well it brings a lot of holiday cheer into the house!  And when Santa is happy.....

So I did most of my Christmas gift shopping on Etsy this morning.  Not just because I am an 'Etsy-ian' (is that the right term?) but because I am fully supportive of creative, small business, handmade, (and vintage--bien sur!) businesses in a world dominated by mass produced, viral marketed, big box businesses.

Even though I am in France--I decided to buy as 'locally' for friends and family in the US as possible.  It was fun to take the time to look for things that really suited the recipient--it makes the giving part of the holidays feel so custom-made.  Even if I wasn't a seller on Etsy--I really like the feel of it.  I exchanged messages with several of the shop-owners about their wares today--I found them to be friendly, cheerful, helpful and just all around lovely.  Seriously--how often can you use those adjectives in a holiday shopping experience?

A few more days and I should be done decorating and will post some pictures of our little house decked-out for the holidays--then I can move on to cooking, wrapping, planning the menus for the 'fetes' and maybe even do a tiny bit more shopping---all while waiting for 'Monsieur La Poste' to come knocking at our gate--oh, how I love to see him get out of his bright yellow truck and knock at our door!  (ho-ho-ho!)

There are a few small brocantes in the next few weekends--and I may brave the gusty, wet Normandy weather to go to one or two.  I have been making my wish list for the shop for 2012--so send me a note if you have something in mind!

Enjoy the holiday bliss mes amis!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vintage ~ French ~ Christmas

Are you decorating for the holidays this weekend?  Maybe you already have.  I am going through the bins this in the next few days and have spent most of this week dreaming up decor ideas. 

This is our second Christmas in our little house in Normandy -- last Christmas I was pregnant with a holiday due date, so my mind wasn't exactly entirely on setting up a tree or hanging lights.  This year we will be having a small table-top tree (un arbe sur la table!) because 'Petite Fille' is pulling up and standing and crawling around like a speed-demon--Oh, and putting EVERYTHING in her mouth......

Last Christmas we also made the sad discovery that two of our bins had gone missing in the move somewhere between our house on Bainbridge Island,  the port in Seattle and the coast of France. In those bins-- two precious Pacific Northwest 'Pere Noel' and three artficial (and very charming) Sequoia trees.  Santa was in a rustic fur coat and riding in a wood kayak -- he is somewhere out there--I hope happily paddling on someone else's mantle.  French Guy will spend the better part of the rest of his life trying to find another one for me.... (you hear that French Guy?!)

The crafty-bug has gotten a hold of me; so I am planning on making boxwood picture frames that will go above our mantle, stringing some 'snow-balls' for garland, and I found these adorable votives this morning on Country Living and because they go along with the vintage Christmas theme--I may make a few.

DIY Country Living
 I have always loved vintage touches for the holidays.  I am happy to hear that more people are going the handmade, up-cycled and vintage route with their holiday shopping.  These things make gift giving and receiving far more memorable.

I am lucky to be able to find wonderful linens, great pottery, enamel and metal pieces and vintage glass to add to my 'French-Vintage' decor.  Now if I can just get past this 'transitional' part where the house is half decorated, bins are opened and overflowing onto the floors and clippings of greenery litter the rug....

It's going to be a stormy weekend here in Normandy.... perfect for filling the house with holiday warmth and cheer.  Happy holidays mes amis!  Hope you are enjoying decking your halls....and dining rooms and kitchens....