lundi 25 octobre 2010

Guessing Game Monday

What is this thing I have in my hand?

One of the things I absolutely love about vintage-hunting is happening upon some quirky piece of history, which is what happened the other weekend, when I found this old device in the market in Carnon. What do you think it is? And no, this is not yet listed in the vintage section of the shop, so there are no clues there :D

Get researching on Google, or invent an answer, but tell me what you think this machine is and do it quick! I'll pick a random winner by Friday. The winner gets one of my Golden Apples.

And, you must know by now that I love to laugh, so whoever manages to make me laugh out loud with an invented answer will get a consolation prize. If you can pass the word around about this giveaway, I'll be happy. Thanks!

jeudi 21 octobre 2010

Morning Rant

Part of breakfast today was an apple. An apple that I peeled because apples appeared somewhere on a list of "dangerous foods" because apparently they're now sprayed with so much pesticide that we're advised to peel the skin off to reduce the risk of all those horrible things pesticides can do to us. This is a sorry state we're in, isn't it? For doesn't half the joy of eating an apple lie in biting right down on the skin and hearing that ka-rruuunch in your ears as you tear off a piece of the fruit and then chew it (more ka-rruunch here), skin, meat, and all?

"Then buy organic," I hear some of you saying. Yes, I do, but this yellow apple variety that I particularly like does not appear in the organic section of my supermarket, only the Granny Apples do, and they are just too tart for me in the mornings (sorry,Granny). I am not going to go ranting and raving here at the food industry and the surreality of the way we humans now nourish ourselves, I am just whining about how I can't have a decent apple in the morning, how I can't eat my apple the way it should be eaten, skin and all.

vendredi 15 octobre 2010

My Afternoon, in a Picture

This is one of the reasons I love being able to work from home.

mercredi 13 octobre 2010

A Malicious Wind and Reworking My Apples and Pears

Our weeping willow tree died, did I tell you? I think on Twitter I did. It was a couple of weeks ago, when the Mistral came blowing down on us and wreaked the havoc it normally does. I have ceased getting headaches every time that wind comes, but I still don't like it. I think there is something just a tad bit evil about the Mistral...

Anyway, killed our weeping willow it did, made it break its trunk down near the roots. It is one of those weeping willows with curly branches, if you know the variety, a saule pleureur tortueux. It is a beautiful tree. Was. Was a beautiful tree.

Most of it will be for the fireplace this winter, but those branches are just too graceful to not do anything with. I took some for myself, and plan to do many things with them, like cover them with lace and make fabric flowers to attach to them.

I've also taken some to make twigs for my reworked Pearfect Pears and Apples of My Eye. These new versions of two of my classic fruits are prettier, I think, and more affordable; my homage to an innocent tree felled by a bad, bad wind. I hope you like them.

lundi 11 octobre 2010

What's Cooking?

Or rather, who is cooking?

Oh , yes, this is another thing to add to my current creative obsessions. I have always liked cooking - I am an unhappy girl if I don't have my hot, home-cooked meal at night - but lately, and I must admit it started from having watched a few episodes of Masterchef and thinking "I wanna join this cooking show!", I have been taken by the idea that I must improve my techniques and widen my culinary repertoire.

So Saturday, the husband came home with a gift for me, a tome of a recipe book called Saveurs de France, and Sunday morning I was hunting for ingredients. Now, I had never really followed recipes before, having learned to cook by picking up bits and pieces of technique here and there, so Sunday night was a whole new experience in measuring out orange juice in deciliters and butter in grams for me.

The result was - and I am not just tooting my own horn here, I swear - quite good! Husband says he thinks now that the recipe book is actually a gift for him. Cheeky man.

Here then, in pictures, are last night's Legumes Confits Aux Olives et Au Roquefort or Vegetables Confit (how do we say this in English?!) in Olives and Roquefort Cheese, which I chose because I never knew that vegetables and roquefort mixed,

and Magret de Canard Sauce à l'Orange or Duck Breast in Orange Sauce, which was served with white rice.

Recipe books rock, I now think. They make you discover combinations of flavors you had never tried before. Quite exciting. Tonight, after a dinner of something a little more ordinary, I'm going to plunge back into that recipe book to see what I'll cook up next.

jeudi 7 octobre 2010

On the Way to the Post Office, I Saw This

Because of all the things that I need to do and the multitude of tasks I often have to leave undone, I sometimes forget - no, I often forget - to look. Just look.

I realized this yesterday, when on my to the post office, I decided I had had enough of contemplating pavement and saw this. Everyday, ordinary beauty, that's for sure, but beauty nonetheless.

Look. Another thing to put on my to-do list.

mardi 5 octobre 2010

Apple Season Again

This is what I am currently working on:And this is what I received in the mail from Sonia, winner of my Alphabet Apple giveaway. She drew the apple on a thank-you card, and I am so delighted that I have decided to frame the card and hang it on our hallway. Sonia is a happy discovery for me. When I want to procrastinate, I've been going to her blog to look at her beautiful photos, and I have put on my to-do list to, when I find the time, read through her natural-dyeing blog. I made experiments with natural dyeing years ago, using linden leaves and some berries, and this blog is making me want to try it again. I hope you enjoy discovering Sonia's works as much as I am.

samedi 2 octobre 2010

Photography Confession

Part of the reason I have been filling the shop with vintage goods is a strange one: I have been bitten by the photography bug! (Another part of the reason is that since my early 20s I've thought that owning a vintage shop was a very cool job, and another part is a business decision that I'll be talking about another day.)

Taking photos for the shop has never really been one my favorite things to do. It was just a necessity, so I put my apples and pears in a lightbox, clicked on the camera button, and considered my job done. Now, things have changed. The other night, I put myself to sleep thinking of the perfect way to style vintage music sheets; and last night I was up until 2 a.m. editing photos, and this after a particularly trying day with a very cranky still-sick-and-at-the-same-time sprouting-a-tooth spring roll!

I think it is this mysterious beauty I have always found in old objects that is pushing me to improve my photography skills. I want to convey this warm kind of tingly excitement that feels itchy in the chest (do you ever get that?) that I get whenever I find a vintage object I love.

I want to take photography courses! I want to learn some Photoshop! I want to learn to style for magazines! And I know this is also just me having trouble controlling my creative exuberance :D

With this post are photos of vintage objects that, because of their form, I found particularly hard to photograph. You're welcome to tell me what you think.