Thursday, March 22, 2018


This window♥

That famous blue door♥

Help yourself~

My no:)

Many restos are in little stone grottos:)

My fave pottery shop.

THE place for violet products.

Can you tell I love her?

Tourretes-Sur-Loup..was a coup de coeur in we went back:)
The people are friendly,the food delicious,the streets charming.
You are 15 miles from Nice,Antibes..

We stayed in a remote little place ..not in Tourrettes..I think too remote for us..the driving was incredible..  out of everywhere we stayed..this was the challenge.Well the worst challenge.
Our hosts were welcoming..we stayed in an annex to their home which was built for their parents.
Prefectly comfortable...clean..  but so remote.

And you have to be ready for things that can change..the photos..had shown lush green grass surrounding the home..  verdant as far as the eye could see..poor them..
Provence had such a drought..when we went..all the grass was grass actually surrounding the house..our view was pretty you can see by the last photo..but arid .

 This is one area we could not anticipate staying in again.The whole area is so hilly with Evil Knievel bends in roads..picture this ..manual transmission..90 inclines..180 turns..narrow roads..oncoming cars.
You have to really be a pro.And Jacques was.
But I kept holding onto the door handle..anyway you get it.

While there..we visited places close by..Tourrettes is one..


The streets have inlaid Violets or wolf (sur -LOUP).. paw prints..Tourrettes is known for it's violets:)

I bought sugared violets and violet syrup..who can resist.
La Bastide Des Violettes is a special building /compound..where they make ..produce and sell the violet specialties of the area..

The pottery I bought was from there..Poterie Tournesol.

Pont Du Loup..

Is a hike too..
but we went..
it is the home of Florian.. top quality confiseries..
It's rugged..and raw.Super scenic.But I have seen it now:)
As you arrive there is an abandoned hotel..which sets the feeling..on a misty grey was a bit sad.

Confiserie Florian..beautiful..$$$$

Gives you an example of how far up you are driving and under what conditions..

The gardens have roses..edible..cute cute..

We also visited Oppède Le Vieux..which is very remote and you walk up to it..many many steps Highway to
Do not mistake it for the newere Oppède..keep going and going and' s so artistic..sketchers's tiny and quaint.

Jacques is FIT.. 30 yrs on the treadmill every day..  golf for most of his life..daily get up to the village the steps ,are uneven stones..narrow..crooked have to sometimes grab onto something for fear of losing your footing.
Do not venture up if walking is an is a LOOOOOOONG walk..hundreds and hundreds of stairs.

The resto when you get to the top.

Arists were sketching here..I met a lovely woman.. who had trouble there has to be a way to drive up for people who cannot get there.Her husband was walking around..she was sitting..happily sketching..she had never seen a waterbrush..What an artist.her workd was amazing

The biggest shop:)

We also  stopped in Grasse, for one moment ..well a few.. but left shortly after..
and a few other towns..but from this moment on..we left this particular area of Provence..

 And headed to  our final destination..Aix ~En ~Provence..which I loved..I guess that will be the last Provence post:)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Still Winter~

So the above happened..

A Nor-Easter..LOL EASTER.Not.

It's March that's the longest.

I must say I don't miss my real estate days at all in winter.
The open houses..oy..hoisting those stupidly heavy sandwich boards onto snowbanks..w/ the car running w/people in back.
Sometimes I felt mortified.

Wet snow all over me..onto an empty cold house sometimes.

Thank goodness I loved it most of the time.My clients♥

I prefer winter ..not driving.

What a great job it was though looking back.
The families,
Some became friends.
I learned so much about so many things.
It was exciting..but also stressful at times..I can't lie.
You want what's best for your clients and if it's not worry for them.
But some..I fell in love with.

Anyway..being INDOORS..let's me start Easter baking early..
A carrot cake is in the freezer..some cookies are started.

It's so easy and good and I pump up the almond flavoring.
It's lovely w/ a dusting of snow on top;) ..Icing sugar..;)

I made an Irish Soda bread for St Pat's..but before the actual day..
..I am part Irish;) 

This time w/ caraway and raisins..if you Google..Oodles of recipes will show up.

To me it's part scone part bread.
I like it the first day.
I do like it but prefer a scone.
Or a great bread:)

But I like it.
And it's pretty..I need to eat pretty;)
Don't give me a raw oyster.

I wanted to talk about basil..because it never lasted here indoors in cooler months.
I found the trick for us.

The pic above is the day she came to live here..always so cute that first day..makes you think you can grow ANYTHING indoors in winter..and then..she leaves you.

So if  you live in a zone like are my new tips that work.

1. Don't bring it home in extreme cold.It will sulk and die.

2.Put the pot it came a bigger pot..and water inside the big empty pot.It will sip it all up.

3.Only pinch at a fork.

4.Keep in sunshine during the day.

5. Place under your stove top light at night away from drafts and windows.

Look.. 3 weeks later..:)

And take cuttings! Root in water..and then pot up.

I was a very lucky girl this week and found some vintage copper canelés molds♥I had only ever used the silicone.
Not sure I'll use beeswax though..I'll see..

Ok ..and this some ways..

I bought it from The Book Depository..$10.00 less than Amazon Canada..and always free shipping.I have never been disappointed with them..

so about this book..

Look..a few instructional pages..beautifully and perfectly illustrated..and many true(albeit not my favorite ..beige..not white..and not much oomph.. watercolor paper pages ensue..all sketched..for you to try..palette suggestions)..a treasure!A treasure as in modern day learn to add layers which I am so bad at.I do everything fast and wet apart from that PEAR:) This ..these are along the Pear.. lines.

Don't expect instructions..very very few..

24 colors are in her palette..I improvised because I don't have her exact colors..I have lots though....well..lots.. is relative right?
Lots to me is like nothing to many;)

This is a game of patience and learning layers..

I spend more in a pharma..or on food in less than 5 minutes..
and these pages will last and last..
She says to apply pressure and pull gently to remove the watercolor pages..
I am a caution girl..and gentle..and it ripped.I would use an X ~Acto..gently.
And be prepared to be patient and let layers dry.
But you cannot even go to a good movie w/ a little popcorn for $15.00 Canadian right?
$11.00 US:)

Caveat Emptor

So..the book is all about botanicals and precise work.
I am not great at this ..especially full sized.Th pear was actually remarkable lol..
Not so much this Bird Of Paradise..I did one w/ Jenna Rainey's book and it turned out much better I feel.

But it is a great learning tool..and oh so pretty to have and to hold♥

We still have a lot of snow..but all that icing everywhere has melted..The sun is shining but it's cold..

Muffins on the counter..  they rose like stars!M and N may drop by before or after his guitar lesson.

Making one of Isabelle Lambert's dinners that she gleaned from Donna Hay..Looks terrific!

Have a great week~

Monday, March 12, 2018

La Vie En Rose~ Spring Forward~

Above..Carol's macarons

Yesterday I had a brief taste of Spring..we have set the clocks forward..and the sun shone in while I prepped dinner and I had Tony Bennett on Alexa..and I felt warm.

That's the only thing I don't like about winter.Feeling cold.
I love sweaters and leggings and socks  but months on end..the style becomes repetitive and my fingers just seem to get colder and colder with age.
I need hot pads to snowshoe now..and quite frankly could wear them in the house..
Jacques always commented on how cold my hands were..and so did my girls..
Always cold
Not sure I believe..cold hands..warm heart shivers!

My Paris Letter arrived ..which sparked such a yearning for pink and prettiness..You know..Carol G's letters..Paris Breakfast..
So much pretty in a pretty envelope!
Her art..little business cards..flyers..charm charm charm.

Also charming the cute Renaud-Bray jam labels and toppers I found..I made jam for an upcoming birthday gift and these make the jars look so fresh and cute.However they are rigid and glossy and I needed the glue gun to affix everything..but..cute:)

I have a few little Easter things out..

See that's below the Oeil De Boeuf window..that Jemima is sitting on..that wicker cradle was mine..and the teeny quilt too♥so maybe 60 yrs old..and my daughters played with it.I am so happy to still have it:)

As I am so happy to still have my daughters Sunbonnet Sue quilts..I saved them..and then my girls had I still have them..who knows..maybe one day a great-grand daughter will have it..
Or they will be sold on Varage Sale (HOPE NOT..)

I found a sweet IG post suggesting ReadTeaLeaves.
And she had made little Epsom salt ..etc pouches..on her blog..
I have received bath bombs etc..w/ flowers  and oats in them..and they leave a mess in a tub..

this way..your muscle relaxing epsom salts..and dried flowers..etc..stay put in pretty muslin mess!
Loved this little craft thought you might too:)
Find the

I've stitched a bit to keep my fingers nimble:)

I made a granny square scarf..I will make another next winter I think:)

I have been painting:)

The enchanted cottage.

A little door to a special place..( a gift this will be)

In my defense..  10 minutes..above;)

Jacques offered these lovely books for my birthday..I looked through Liz Steele's..  too think you get then you try..and don't:)
lots of great tips..

Have just started the People Sketching and LIKE it..a lot..have not started Marc Taro's..I do have one of his Craftsy classes.
One thing I have that quite a few urban landscape buildings and such ..have a graphic artist/design background.I don't ..and it makes things ..quite difficult for me..if it's too's lost on me..the People so far..I at least get the 8 eggs:)

SNOW the forecast..

Jacques had thought it was done last week..I see a snow covered Easter..:(
I don't think we have ever had tulips or green grass:(

Still it was nice prepping dinner in daylight..last night..well 5 ish..

This is a GOTO here and I can thank Diane..(Anonymous) who visits here ..for introducing us to this dish w/ her husband..about 100 years ago:)

With the years..we've adapted some ways..
Basically ..penne and rapini.

I cook 4 slices of chopped bacon:)
I sauté 1 French shallot..chopped
3 chopped cloves of garlic
red pepper flakes..
add my chopped rapini(I removed tough bottom stems..I don't blanch..I don't mind the bitterness of rapini)
Let wilt..add a shot glass of cooking sherry:)

Add my cooked penne..  salt and pepper..and a lot of parm cheese..I reserve some pasta cooking liquid sauce it up a bit..
Top w/ fresh basil..toasted pine nuts..and more red pepper flakes..adjust the seasonings..taste taste taste..

Serve in warm plates..always serve warm food on warmed plates.

Have a great week:) The sun'l come out tomorrow..tomorrow..
Spring always comes.