Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vintage French "Joyeux Noël" Postcard and Christmas Cards

Since my first trip to France in 2003, I've been searching for and collecting vintage French postcards. When you come into my kitchen, you can tell the upcoming holiday or occasion based on what postcard is in my menu stand in my kitchen.  I love the whimsical designs of vintage postcards and especially love ones depicting holiday themes. So when I saw the card below, I had to add it to my little collection.
This beautiful vintage French "Joyeux Noël" postcard shows a beautiful young angel walking a snow covered street carrying a snow dusted "Christmas" tree. I love her long flowing blue robe, sheer pink shawl and pink floral crown on her head.

Although I'm not sending out old postcards, I have been addressing Christmas cards and, unlike last year, actually have already mailed some! I'm infamous for buying Christmas Cards and not getting around to mailing them.
This year, I did something different. I bought several different cards. When I was shopping, I'd look at one card and think of several friends who would like it. Then, I'd see another card and think it would be perfect for another person. So, this year I'm mailing out different cards to different people.
 Hmmmmmm I wonder who's getting the "BAH HUM BUG" card?

Joyeux Noël, Mitty

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Reindeer All Aglow!

Last evening I began decorating for Christmas.
By this time last year I was almost finished decorating. But this year, with my "muscle" in Saudi (just for a short visit) and my Christmas decorations in our storage unit, I'm running a little behind.
So I purchased two reindeer and a vintage style Christmas tree and decided to decorate my Swedish secretary with them. I loved the way they looked and went to bed happy with my little Christmas grouping.
This morning I was surprised when I looked at the reindeer and noticed the sunlight streaming through the window and falling on the very top of the Christmas tree. It was so beautiful that I had to run and grab my camera.

A few minutes later, I looked at the secretary again and was amazed to see the reflections from the glitter on the reindeer falling all over the secretary. It reminded me of hundreds of stars filling the night sky.

Before long, the whole secretary was covered in twinkling stars! It was beautiful and magical looking.

Joyeux Noël, Mitty


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

French Sabot Chocolate Mold for Christmas Gift Giving!

Do you remember a blog post that I shared last Christmas describing the use of French clog-styled shoes called "sabots" as a significant part of French Christmas traditions?

If you did, then you may recall the following from the post,

"In France, Father Christmas is called Père Noël. After dinner on Christmas Eve, French families prepare for the arrival of Père Noël and his donkey, Gui (French for "Mistletoe.") Children fill their shoes with carrots and hay and leave them by the fireplace for Gui. A glass of wine is placed beside the shoes for Père Noël.

In earlier 18th and 19th century France, peasants’ wooden shoes, called "sabots", were often used at Christmas time. Today shoes of any kind are set before the fireplace for Père Noël to fill. You can still see sabots throughout France in candy and pastry shops where chocolate wooden shoes are made and filled with candies."
Since I didn't have a Sabot to fill with carrots and hay, I used one of my favorite pairs of shoes instead.

Well, a few weeks ago I searched and found a wonderful vintage French chocolatier's sabot mold in an Etsy shop on-line!  I've decided that I'm going to attempt to learn a new skill this holiday season and try my hand at molding chocolate for Christmas gift giving. So I purchased the sabot shaped mold!

It arrived from the shop in France....................

........wrapped in paper from a French bakery or "boulangerie,"

.........and is sitting in a kitchen drawer waiting to be used! I'm doing my research and will share my chocolate molding attempt with you soon.

Until then,

Joyeux Noël, Mitty

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Blessings!

If you read my last post, you know that my life is quite busy right now (how's that for an understatement?) As we work through the process of moving to Saudi, I'm sure my mind will be focused on the details and logistics of the move. So I apologise in advance for what will probably be inconsistent posts at best! But I love this Blog, and I love sharing small ways to make your home more enjoyable, so I'll still  be drawn to writing from time to time. We can make this transition together!
Over the past few days we were blessed to have family in from out of town for Thanksgiving! We did the usual Thanksgiving things ............ cooked all day, ate too much (in far less time than it took to prepare everything) and reminisced over stories from family "get togethers" of the past. As I get older, holidays become more bittersweet for me. I'm flooded with memories of holidays filled with people who are no longer here and traditions that are no longer possible. But then I'm filled with love for the people who are with me now and the new holiday traditions that we are starting.
I thought I'd share with you some pictures from my holiday table. I love to make flower arrangements and love to decorate the table for special occasions.
This year I used a color that I rarely use in my! I know it's a typical color for fall decorating, but I don't incorporate it into my home.

I have deer antlers decorating several places in my home and used a couple of them on my table along with a couple of small pumpkins and pheasant feathers.  I used a simple glass cube for the flower arrangement and filled it with orange roses, lime green hydrangeas, wheat sheaths, pheasant feathers and green berries.

On the table I chose to use round burnt orange colored place mats instead of a table cloth (which I rarely use) and napkins decorated with fall foliage in orange, gold, brown and a touch of lime green. I love the visual interest of multiple textures so I used round, woven rattan plate chargers.

I added small white ceramic turkey shaped salt and pepper shakers and place cards embossed with turkeys! I loved the place cards but thought they were a bit too plain so I "hot glued" a small silk orange ribbon to each one. (OOPS, I just noticed the step ladder in the picture! Did you notice it? I'm pretty short so there is usually one close to me at all times!)

I pray your Thanksgiving was filled with love and that the most important "decorations" at your table were the smiling faces of family and friends.
Au revoir, Mitty

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Faux French Chateau...Living a French Life in ?????

When I contemplate the entirety of my life I think of a life of change and adventure.  My husband's career of 35 years with the same company has entailed moving 12 times thus far. We've lived in various locations in the U.S. plus 4 1/2 years abroad as expatriates in Balikpapan, Indonesia (Island of Borneo), Brunei Darussalam and Duri Sumatra Indonesia.
And so I want to share with you our latest adventure!
The My Faux French Chateau blog posts will soon be coming to you from...........................................
Al Khobar Saudi Arabia.
Yes, that's right, I'm going to now attempt to recreate a French home in a villa in Saudi!
But that's not all!
Living in Saudi will put me a few hours closer to France and allow me more opportunities to spend time in France and more time to hunt the French Brocante Markets! MH and I are also going to spend time looking for a little place to call our own in Southern France. (And I mean little, maybe 800 - 1,000 square feet!)
So while my heart is in all things French, I'll be posting a little about Saudi as well over the next few months. MH is heading over in January and I'll follow 6 weeks or so later. We are keeping My Faux French Chateau here in Fort Worth and I'll spend several months out of each year here in TX.

I hope you'll keep visiting my blog from time to time and join MH and I on our new adventure! 
Au revoir, Mitty


Monday, October 22, 2012

Lovely Little Vintage Wooden Step Stool

For those of you who love to repurpose vintage items, you'll love this!
This lovely little painted country step stool was just added to My Faux French Chateau Store!
Purchased at auction, this step stool is the perfect width and height to use as a bedside table, or as I've done, as a book shelf.
This step stool is incredibly sturdy and has a wooden X-shaped brace in the back.
The beautiful look of distressed yellow paint on this step stool is perfect for any French Country decor.
To spur your imagination, here are a few pictures of creative uses for ladders and step stools:
As a bedside table...................
(Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart)

Or as a storage unit in a bathroom.............

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)
(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

If you're interested in my little step stool, it will be available in my store within 24 hours of this post!
Au revoir,

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Decorating - Do Pumpkins Have to Be Orange?

I love Fall and Fall colors - vibrant oranges, yellows, reds and burgundies. But the idea of orange pumpkins in my great room didn't excite me. So when I saw these amazing Turquoise, blue and white velvet pumpkins, I knew they were perfect for My Faux French Chateau.

Found at the LoveFeast Shop at these "Velvet Plush Pumpkins" are available in several sizes and colors. My pumpkin colors are "Turquoise", "Smokey Topaz" and "Snow." What I especially love is that each pumpkin is finished with a natural, organic, hand picked stem. 

So, aside from the blue color, they look real!  I will admit though that I have a few miniature white pumpkins in the arrangement as well. I love the look.

I'm late to the velvet pumpkin fashion though, as once I started searching the Internet, I saw several beautiful posts about these velvet pumpkins!
I love this arrangement by Edith and Evelyn Vintage!
This arrangement by Centsational Girl is lovely as well!
Enjoy this beautiful October Day and all the colors that surround you!
Au revoir, Mitty


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bittersweet Fall

I've been sitting here this morning thinking about decorating for the Fall season and looking at pictures taken by my brother, Rick Burgess. Rick spends his "free" time traveling the state of West Virginia capturing the state's natural beauty in photographs.

I have readers from all over the world, many of whom have never been to the U.S. and are as curious about and enthralled with this country as I am France. So, for these readers, I thought I'd share some information about a small piece of life here in the U.S. through Rick's photography.

For those of you who don't know my history, my family has lived in the state of West Virginia for many generations and the soul of my family can be felt floating in the winds above the mountains in this beautiful state. When I'm in West Virginia, I feel surrounded by the joy, laughter, pain and sorrow of family members who lived out their lives in this state. I moved away from WV many years ago but always feel a longing this time of the year to "go home" to reconnect with the place that most shaped me.

For me no one person captures the essence, soul and beauty of West Virginia like Rick. His love for his home state can be seen, even felt, in each photo.

Each Fall season finds me filled with bittersweet memories of West Virginia and I want to be home to see the mountains ablaze with the warm yellows, oranges and burgundies of Fall. Since I can't be home, I find solace in the beauty in Rick's photos. For me, they are the next best thing to actually being there. I can almost smell the changing leaves and feel the warm sun of an October day in West Virginia.

I hope you enjoy these photos as well.

Au revoir,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Custom Monogrammed Dining Room Chair Slipcovers!

It's amazing how custom slipcovers can change the personality of a piece of furniture!
My dining room chairs were looking outdated and tired so I decided to have slipcovers made for them.
Through a neighbor here in Fort Worth I was referred to  Juan Guzman Custom Upholstery! I sent Juan pictures of how I wanted the slipcovers to look and he reassured me that he could make them just like I wanted. He was right!
I had 8 large pieces of white linen monogrammed in taupe. I also purchased enough fabric for tailored box pleats on each chair.
The slipcovers turned out beautifully and I couldn't be happier with them! What a difference they make in my dining room. It's like each chair just got a face lift or, at minimum, a little shot of botox! They look young, fresh and fashionable again!
As Juan left my house, I, a very happy customer, sent him on his way with another large wingback chair to slipcover!
If you are in the market for either furniture reupholstery or custom slipcovers I can recommend:
Juan Guzman Custom Upholstery
                                                                      6701 Coolwater Trail
                                                                      Fort Worth, TX 76179
                                                                     (817) 874-6528
Au revoir, Mitty


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beautiful French Vendange, Vigneron or Wine-Tasting Table!

Sometimes I purchase something at auction that I wish I didn't have to part with! Such is the case with this beautiful French Wine Tasting Table!
Also called a "Vendange" (French term for grape harvest) or "Vigneron" Table (French term for wine grower),
a wine tasting table is usually a round or oval flip top table that is popular today for use in a wine cellar or anywhere with limited space. When the top is horizontal, the table is a sturdy surface for dining or games. When the top is flipped up vertically, the table can be stored along a wall, occupying very little space.

These tables were historically custom made by local French craftsmen and were set up outside in the vineyards of 19th Century France for lunching in the fields or vineyards during wine harvest. They were also used for tasting the new wines.
I "staged" my new auction find in my Family Room so that you can see how versatile and beautiful it is!  I'll add this wine tasting table to My Faux French Chateau store soon!
This wine tasting table is the perfect size for a breakfast table, side table, or as I've staged it, a corner table.
This table has a beautiful, decorative swiveling lyre-shaped support.
When not being used, the support can be swiveled to the side, the top tilted over and the table flattened. It can be placed against a wall until your next wine tasting!
(Courtesy: 1st Dibs)
Take a look at these beautiful rooms in which designers have used wine tasting tables in their design.
Dallas designer, Lisa Luby Ryan uses a French wine tasting table as a coffee table in this beautiful living room. Love, love, love the French upholstered wooden daybed!
(Source: Veranda Magazine)

In this breakfast area, a French wine tasting table, a size similar to mine, is perfect as a table for four.
I love this look. The wicker chairs are perfect with the French wine tasting table!
(Source: Belgian Pearls)
I'll let you know as soon as I complete my research on my wine tasting table and get it added to the store!
Take care,
Au revoir, Mitty

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Another Beautiful French Bistro Table!

Just added to My Faux French Chateau Store................................another beautiful little French Bistro Table!


This wonderful table was purchased recently at auction and is the PERFECT size as a bedside table or chair side table. Or, if you are more traditional, you can also actually use it as a bistro table - go figure!

I had this little flower arrangement on another table in my house and put it on this bistro table just to add a little decoration. Imagine though, what YOU could do with this table.  Take a look at  the great inspiration photo below!

I love this table AND the white confit jar with garden roses! I'm going to copy this idea. By the way, this table looks very similar to mine. My little flower arrangement; however,  looks a little sad in comparison. :(
Have a great day.
Au revoir, Mitty