Thursday, May 24, 2012

Perhaps a More Formal French Daybed?

I picked up the June 2012 issue of House Beautiful Magazine and almost immediately honed in on an article showing a beautifully painted antique French daybed. What appeared at first glance to be a beautiful indoor room, with the daybed artfully placed at an angle in front of the fireplace, is actually a loggia opening to the home's pool and garden.

The article, entitled "Go Light," features an English Country style house in Atlanta "lightened up" by local Atlanta designer Beth Webb. The 10 page article features picture after picture of beautiful rooms which previously, as Beth Webb describes, were "dark and darker."  By using white or light hued paints on the walls (including 12 coats of high-gloss enamel paint on the living room ceiling), painting dark furniture, and adding cerused oak floors and limewashed cypress, Webb transformed the overall mood of the home.

The antique French daybed on the loggia is painted a soft white and detailed in blue. Adding to the inviting appeal of this daybed are beautiful blue and white French linens. I'm not certain, but it looks like the foundation of the bed is covered in either vintage grain sacks or similar reproduction fabric. The painted wood combined with the plush linens give this daybed a more formal look than the typical iron daybed evokes. (For pictures and a previous post on iron daybeds, click  here: )

The designer, Beth Webb, refers to the design of the loggia as "an homage to blue and white."  I'm a lover of overall neutral tones in a room with splashes of blue and white. This room makes me happy.

Au revoir, Mitty

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's the Simple Things.................

MH and I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon yesterday simply enjoying being outside. It was warm and sunny with a light breeze blowing -  it was a perfect day.

I always try to appreciate the small joys in my life, the simple pleasures. So I was happy to sit outside and enjoy a wonderful drink that I made with French Badoit sparkling mineral water and Emmanuelle Baillard's "Mirabelle de Lorraine Nectar." The Mirabelle is a small, yellow plum fruit grown in the Lorraine region of France and makes wonderful tarts, preserves and nectars.

My favorite outdoor flower for container gardening has always been the simple and beautiful geranium. I plant them every year in clay pots and place them around the patio and garden. I remember living in Southeast Asia, surrounded by exotic orchids of all colors and sizes, wishing I could find a red geranium to put in a clay pot. I guess "exotic" is relative and is really whatever you desire that isn't readily accessible.

The table cloth is a French Provencal Boutis. Boutis is a French folk-art style of quilt making which combines two layers of fabric with "stuffing" between the two layers. The two layers of fabric are stitched together in a decorative design.

The bottle carrier is a vintage French wine carrier that I purchased in Southern France. I love using it for wines, sparkling water and glasses.

I hope you too had a relaxing weekend and enjoyed a little time outdoors.

Au revoir, Mitty 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Passport France" at Central Market

"Passport France" banner in Wine Section of Central Market, Fort Worth, Texas

If you're a "foodie," love Central Market and are a devoted Francophile, you need to make time to check out "Passport France" at Central Market here in Fort Worth, Texas.  "Passport France" is Central Market's two week focus on French foods and culture. During this two week French food celebration, Central Market will offer freshly made French breads and pastries, an extensive selection of French wines and cheeses, and a large selection of specialty French foods, olive oils, mustards, candies and other French edibles.

I've enjoyed walking through the aisles and checking out all the wonderful French foods on display. Here's some of my favorite sights from my shopping trips:

Wonderfully creative display featuring French wines, cheeses, pastries and, of course, Lavender and Sunflowers

Wonderful and whimsical French themed cookies

I love the bright yellow Provencal print tablecloth and the French Poodle and Fleur-de-lis cookies!

Wonderful selection of French fromage (cheese!) I love the quintessentially French use of the chalkboards and handwritten signs describing the various cheeses and the prices posted in Euros.

Dried lavender bunches

Outdoor stands overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables

The fruits and vegetables just look more appetizing in an outdoor stand!


What french market would be complete without fresh Lavender and Sunflowers?!

"Passport France" runs through May 22nd. You can check out the cooking classes and other activities offered during this French celebration at

Great job Central Market! Thank you for a touch of France here in Fort Worth.

 Bon appétit!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Forty Winks" Outside on a French Daybed

 "Just take forty winks, and when you wake up everything'll be fine."
(An F. Scott Fitzgerald  quote from his short story titled "Gretchen's Forty Winks")

For those of you who read my post "Napping in the Garden on an Antique French Daybed" you might remember that I love the use of daybeds in an outdoor setting.  Daybeds used as outdoor furniture is quite typical in France. During my trip to France last year, I fell in love with the one that my host Christine used on her terrace at Jardin de Bacchus - Chambres d'hôtes.

Christine thoughtfully sent me a picture of her outdoor terrace featuring her vintage French daybed. I love Christine's use of color on her terrace. I love the neutral stucco house color highlighted by the pale green shutters. The "punch" or visual impact comes from the orange and pink cushions on the daybed, the two orange garden seats, the two butterfly sling chairs covered in orange canvas, the two pink canvas chairs in the background garden and the pink and orange decorative bowls on the table (filled to overflowing with wine corks, of course!)

There is a great blend of old and new, sleek and rough textures and soft and hard surfaces on Christine's terrace.  It all blends beautifully to be a visually impacting and welcoming outdoor room.

Other than the daybed, my favorite feature is the functional yet decorative iron overhead trellis covered in rows of soft white fabric. Looking at this feature I immediately think of soft billowy clouds floating overhead. I could easily lay on this daybed and take "forty winks" - probably more.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful terrace with us Christine!

Au revoir, Mitty

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New French Living Blog "Easy, Tasty and Frenchy"

If you've followed my blog for a while, you've probably heard me mention Christine Chapot and Erik Van Greuningen, owners and wonderful hosts of the lovely Chambres d'hôtes, Jardin de Bacchus. Not only does Christine open her lovely home to guests to Tavel France, but she is also a wonderful chef and offers numerous cooking classes and cooking weekend stays at her B&B.

In May of 2011, MH and I were fortunate to take a Provencal French cooking class from Christine in the beautiful kitchen of her B&B, Jardin de Bacchus.

Christine Chapot of Jardin de Bacchus and MH.

I'm so pleased to share with you that Christine has just finished her first post on her new blog entitled, "Easy, Tasty and Frenchy." I'm excited to follow Christine's blog and can't wait to try some of the recipes she'll share with us as well as her insight into living a beautiful life in France. To me, Christine personifies some of the most beautiful aspects of Provencal living.

Here's a taste of Christine's first post:

"The way to the heart is through the belly."

The aim of this blog is to give a quick look at what makes Provence so special, from our way of life to my favourite recipes.

Read the complete post at

Good luck Christine, I'll be one of your first followers!

Au revoir, Mitty

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day with MDD, MH and My Favorite French Impressionists!

Mother's Day yesterday was wonderful. MH, MDD and I celebrated the day by attending "The Age of Impressionism - Great French Paintings from the Clark." 

I've been looking forward to seeing this exhibit which features many of the most beloved Impressionist painters from 19th century France. This 73 painting exhibit includes 6 Monets and 21 Renoirs (my personal favorite.) The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas is the only American venue for this renowned Impressionist painting exhibit of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. The exhibit is touring for three years and will be shown in Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and China. If you are anywhere near Fort Worth and love the French Impressionists, I'd recommend seeing this wonderful exhibit. It runs through June 17, 2012.

My favorite painting in this exhibit is Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Sleeping Girl with a Cat (1880.)

MDD and MH both chose Claude Monet's Tulip Fields at Sassenheim, near Leiden (1886) as their favorite work of art in this exhibit.

(Photo courtesy of

This painting, Edgar Degas, Dancers in the Classroom (1880) reminded me of one of my brothers. Degas is one of his favorite Impressionist artists.

(Photo Courtesy of Fine Arts America)

I enjoyed this exhibit so much that I'm hoping to go back before it leaves for its next venue. I want to find a time when the Kimbell is not incredibly busy and I can really study the paintings. The great thing about this exhibit at the Kimbell is that you can get close enough to the paintings to really see the brush strokes and varying paint techniques used by the artists. I love the excitement of quietly sitting and studying paintings - (yeah, that's me, I'm an over-the -top, edgy kind of girl!)

Thank you again Ashley and John for a wonderful Mother's Day.

Au revoir, Mitty

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Napping in the Garden on an Antique French Daybed!

Close your eyes and imagine.........a beautiful day, a glass of iced tea, a great book, a nice mattress and fluffy pillows and drifting off to sleep for a little afternoon nap on this wonderful old French daybed.

I know it may seem a bit unusual but it's quite common for a French household to have at least one of these fanciful French daybeds, sometimes even one inside and one outside. The French B&B in which I stayed last spring had one of these on their outdoor patio.

This very decorative French folding iron day bed dates from around 1900 and was purchased at an antiques village in Southern France. It has beautifully curved ironwork and two heavy, ornate cast iron plaques on either side of the bed.

Iron daybeds originated in France in the late 17th century when casting iron become more common and blacksmith techniques became more sophisticated. Metal daybed designs varied but the style referred to as the "campaign" bed became popular due to its portability and durability and was frequently used by the military beginning in the Napoleon III period. These innovative campaign beds kept the user off of the ground when resting and could then be folded flat and moved on to the next location.

It seemed like once I purchased the antique French daybed above, I started noticing them everywhere. Here's some of my favorite pictures of both indoor and outdoor "rooms" featuring antique daybeds! 

I love the French daybed below and especially love the way it's snuggled up against the stone exterior. I can just imagine lying on this bed, hands resting under my head and looking up at the beautiful wisteria overhead. (Notice the horseshoe hanging on the house.)

I love everything about the photo below! This reproduction daybed is beautiful and the white cushion and two bolster pillows add a bit of formality to the casualness of the iron. I love the casualness of the colorful bleu French linen on the daybed above but prefer the more tailored look of the cushions below.

The beautiful picture below features an antique French daybed that looks exactly like the one I purchased. It looks like the owner recently painted the daybed. I love this complete setting - the contrast of textures in the stone, the woven shade on the iron trellis and the subtle taupes and greys used with a touch of violet in the glasses and decorative pillows.

(Photo courtesy of

The only way to describe this beautifully dressed French daybed is "dreamy."  This would be perfect in a young girls room.

Another beautiful antique French daybed found in the Louisville, Kentucky based store "Country French Antiques." This bed appears to have been recently painted. A lot of decorators like to keep antique French daybeds "as is" with their original chippy paint while others prefer to have them painted. This is purely a personal preference.

If you love the looks above and want an antique French country daybed for your own home, I'll have the one I purchased in France listed in My Faux French Chateau store soon!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Take care and have a great weekend.

Au revoir, Mitty

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

French Painting by V. De Buck

Recently at an auction, I purchased a beautiful painting signed "V. De Buck." 

This oil on canvas painting is of two small boats on a stormy sea. The colors are somber and whitecapped waves are rocking the boats. The painting is in a wonderful old painted and gilded French frame. 

I've been researching this painting and painter and have found mention of three other paintings by the same artist.

This painting, "Berger et son troupeau," was sold at auction at

(Photo courtesy of

Artist V. de Buck
Title Berger et son troupeau
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 49.2 x 45.3 in. / 125 x 115 cm.
Misc. Signed
Sale Of Galerie Moderne: Tuesday, April 11, 1995
[Lot 297]
Antiquites - Tableaux - Objets d'Art...
Estimate 80,000 - 100,000 BF (USD 2,765 - 3,456)
Sold For *

I know I have viewers from France and other countries all around the world. SO, if anyone out there can help me learn more about my painting and its painter, I'd love to hear from you.

This painting will be added to My Faux French Chateau store in the next few weeks.

Take care and any insight into this painting would be greatly welcomed!

Au revoir, Mitty

Monday, May 7, 2012

Enjoying The Kentucky Derby

Getting ready for great friends, food, Mint Juleps and viewing the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby!

And the winner is................."I'll Have Another!"

Au revoir, Mitty