29 May 2011

it's a happy sunday


It's a beautiful sunny Sunday, but allergy symptoms have me stay indoors. I've changed bedsheets, done three loads of laundry, and ironed two shirts and a dozen napkins.

But it hasn't been all work, either. I've also caught up on blog reading and done quite a bit of pinning. Now it's time to play some games with my son.

Happy rest of the afteroon.

P.S. Happy Mother's Day to those in France!

24 May 2011

a little piece (or two) of paris for me

One of the places I was determined to visit on this trip to Paris is a little ceramic studio/shop called Le Petit Atelier de Paris

It is located in le 3eme on one of those narrow, endearing streets. It's open just Thursday through Saturday, and only in the afternoon at that. I was so excited that I was finally able to visit the shop -- I've been wanting to, ever since I read about it in Keiko's blog post -- that I got there 10 minutes before it opened.

I fell in love even before it opened, though. The way things were laid out and displayed in the shop window, simple lamp hanging in front of an unbleached linen curtain, sign written in white on the glass -- everything was just so.

Then I walked inside. It's a tiny space of a shop, but oh, what a lovely, warm, calm space. The friendly welcome by the owners' dog didn't hurt, either. I was instantly smitten.

I wanted to buy everything in the shop. After agonizing for a good 15 minutes (it may have been longer), I decided on a cup, because it's something I can use every day.

Inside the cup is the atelier's logo -- loving hands that make these beautiful things.

I also indulged and got myself the atelier's signature house-shaped objet d'art. Mine has a number, but plain ones are available, in two different sizes (second photo from the top).

What made my experience at this atelier even more special is how beautifully and thoughtfully my purchase was wrapped. The cup and the house were gently swaddled in double layers of tissue paper as if they were precious pieces of jewelry, and the paper bag was adorned with a little ceramic star that's graced by the atelier's logo.

If I lived in Paris, I would be visiting this place regularly and frequently, but I don't. I hope to come back before our time in France is up, hopefully soon. Until then, take care, Pompon (that's the dog's name -- isn't it sweet?).

20 May 2011

early morning on Île de la Cité

I had not slept much the day before, so I thougth I'd sleep in. But the church bell ringing a few blocks away woke me up at 6 a.m., and I thought, "Might as well get up and walk around."

I'm glad I did. Streets were quiet, tourists weren't out yet (except for this one), and I got to see the city's elegant apartment buildings slowly waking up, bathed in gentle morning light.

I wanted to sit on a bench at Square Jean-XXIII, but it was too early and the park gates were still closed. I had to laugh. I crossed the bridge to Île Saint-Louis, and after walking around some more, found a little cafe and went in.

A pot of Darjeeling tea to warm me up (it was overcast and a bit chilly) and a fluffy croissant to fill me up (20% air, 80% butter).

My friends in the U.S. and Japan all think I'm living a dream. I think I can see why now.

12 May 2011

principales spécialités

Liqueurs and hard liquor are not my specialties. Well, except for Limoncello and Frangelico, that is...


Antique and vintage prints are the specialities of Les Bois Debout in Vieux Lyon.

This store is just steps away from Cathédrale St. Jean in the lovely neighborhood where quaint shops and cafes grace cobblestone streets. I always stop by when I'm in the area, and I always find something that I really like (not necessarily in the price range I like, but that's a different issue).

I was attracted to the vibrant colors in these prints -- there were two of them and no other like them, so I thought I'd keep them together and bought the pair. The note said that they were from the 1920s~30s.

I'll be making a trip to BHV soon to see if I can find inexpensive matting and frames for them. How fun.

06 May 2011

buona pasqua (belated)

I bought these greeting cards at Porta Portese in Rome. I buy antique and vintage cards whenever I see them, and I always try to get a whole bunch and negotiate the price down. I use them to decorate the top of the mantel, place them in a little tray on the table, or enclose them in gift packages.

Porta Portese is a flea market, not an antique market. It's quite different from all the other markets I've seen, even different from the great Porta Palazzo Market in Turin. I am tempted to write "You can find everything there but a kitchen sink," but the truth is that I did see a kitchen sink being sold! (In case you're curious, it was an old one.)

You have to be a local market junkie like I am to enjoy Porta Portese -- I had to bribe my husband and son with a gelato and a cold bottle of sparkling lemon water -- but I thoroughly enjoyed the racket that is Porta Portese. It is great fun to see how the locals truly live.


04 May 2011


Today is Star Wars Day. May the 4th be with you.

(In case you're wondering, yes, it is Anakin. I couldn't find his toupee in my son's trunk-size Lego block container.)