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