samedi 14 juillet 2012

Bastille Day!

France and the US have some things in common, one appears to be independence day. They are in the same month, only ten days apart. Although many of the festivities seem the same, summer festivals and fireworks, France's was a little more severe. France's revolution was not giving the power to the people as one would think. Instead, as in most revolutions, it was a shift of powers, from the Monarchy to the Bourgeoisie.The Bourgoisie were the class of merchants and artisians whose wealth was steadily increasing. This is the true revolution. The peasant class still remained peasants for a long time to come. It wouldn't be until the twentieth century that the peasants and working class from the industrial revolution gained any rights or benefits as we know them today. And for all of you who catch yourself saying, "the French revolution", remember there was more than one. France is on it's fifth republic after all.

mardi 5 juin 2012

Summer Dreams

I love Summer. Everyone comes out. There are festivals everywhere. The markets are brimming with fresh fruit. When the city gets too hot, it also means it's time to head to the beach! What could be more renewing of one's spirits than a trip to the sea? The gentle breeze that glides accross your face. The rythmic tumbling of the ocean waves that teases your toes standing in the hot sand. The waves that crash in, erasing whatever you left behind. Does it matter. After all, you have the beauty and splendor of the world at your feet. Another world just below the waves that bec2ons you to dream. So many tales the Ocean keeps. Even today with all our technology, we can only imagine half of what that world contains. In celebration of Summer, I created a new treasury to capture some of those wonderful things of Summer. What do your Summer dreams hold?

samedi 10 mars 2012

Lost in Translation

I would love to tell all of you that life in France is perfect, that it's a dream, but no. Although Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it has more than it's fair share of frustrations. I will share with you one of my days in Paris to fully appreciate the trials and tribulations that go alone with living in a foreign country.

The tactile screen on my cell phone got spotty and ceased up all together just in time for my contract to end. I searched online for my new toy, the little pocket that contains my whole life. I made a chart and brought it to the store, already anticipating that they would be out of stock of my first choice. I was right. The store nearest my house has a sign on it, "Closed until March 9th for maintenance". There was not enough time that day to go to another store, so I survived that day and through the weekend phoneless. I've written about living in the dark ages here before, but I swear, history is alive and well in France. Visions of something between smoke signals and payphones danced in my head.

My doctor's secretary, being the genius she is, working on her Ph.d. in stupidity, called an left a message on my cell phone for my next appointment after twice, once live on the phone and once in voice mail, leaving my home phone number, she threw all rational thought out the window and left the information on my cell. When I called back to find out what was going on, she actually had the nerve to tell me she left a message on my cell. When I reminded her that my cell was broken, I swear I could hear the gerbil's feet scamper on the wheel. It nearly killed her to have to give me the information that she already left on my cell.

After surviving all of this nonsense, I walked to another store for help with my phone. It was difficult to enter, due to the ladder in front of the door. Every superstitious bone in my body made a run down of the current events. A woman greeted me. I began to explain in French when she noticed my accent and asked, "Parlez-vous anglais?" (For those of you still learning, that means do you speak English?) I said yes. She said she spoke English and that I could speak in English. I said, "Ok, my phone won't receive calls and needs to be fixed." She smiled and told me, "It's ok, you can speak at a higher level." I pondered this offer for a second or two then said, "My phone won't receive calls and needs to be fixed." I'm not quite sure what higher level of English she wanted for that if she didn't get the first message? She took my phone, called IT support. Then she asked me what the problem with my phone was. I repeated the, no incomming calls bit, going straight to voicemail." I waited some more, like a duck stuck in the muck. She asked which numbers went to voicemail. I, at first said, "my husband." She told me that his phone is probably blocking my call. I said, "No, it's my husband, mon marie!" She said, "Yes, it is probably his phone." My eyes bulged out of my head. I could actually hear some of my brain cells bursting until I said, "My doctor went to voicemail too." Everything stopped in an instant, as if my doctor were world famous. Your doctor went to voicemail, votre medicin?" she inquired. I replied," Yes him too and another friend." I heard her repeat in French to the IT person that it's not just the husband, but the doctor went to voicemail. Then she asked me to list the numbers. Well, gee, I needed my cell phone for that!" I did call my husband to have him call and prove the incomming calls were going straight to voicemail. After this fiasco, she hung up the phone to give me the diagnosis. She said, "Your phone should be working in five days. If not, come back and we will see what we can do." I looked at her and said,"Five days? What do you mean, five days?" She repeated and remained silent. I, being really frustrated, called my husband and asked her to explain to him 'in French of course). I heard what she said to him in french and what she said in English. I was certain there was just something I missed. After this, my husband said to come home and he would explain. I came home right away, eager to know what was going on. Once I arrived at home, he said, "They said your phone should be working in five days." I cannot tell you how infuriating it is when you understand something, but are lost in the shuffle, because it's not your native language. Luckily, my phone began to work that night and it didn't take five days. I share this with you, so for any of you that think of moving to a foreign country can prepare themselves for the difficulties they will enounter.

dimanche 26 février 2012

What is Vintage?

So often I must paused and ask myself this question when I search around on the web. I know the correct answer,which is generally over 30 years. Etsy is more generous and allows shops to have things that are at least 20 years old. My heart stops and my eyes begin to burn when I see someone selling something as vintage that I can clearly remember wearing in 1992. Ok, that meets Etsy's requirement, but come on guys! It bothers me, because most shops on Etsy work really hard to be as forthcoming about their items as possible. Luckily, most are honest shopkeepers who work really hard to bring you some nice vintage pieces. It is no easy task researching items, their patterns and history. I love what I do, so that makes it easier.

Vintage though seems to meet with a slightly different classification, depending on what we are talking about. A rusted out old heap, is not vintage. It's just a heap. A tattered smock is not vintage, but rather a dust rag in the making. However, a Christian Dior 1950's gown will always be vintage and worth the restoration. In the world of haute couture, you will find things earn the label of vintage much faster. This does not hold true for the ready to wear line by the same designers. For that, it is used until it reaches a certain age and has a calling. Since the last few decades have borrowed heavily from earlier parts of the 20th century, it is difficult to imagine that what so called modern pieces we wear today will have any vintage value in the future. It's part of what makes Etsy so successful today, that people are getting back to their roots. They are appreciating the pride and workmanship that went into pieces from the past, and items made by hand that a generation forgot. That is what makes vintage, vintage. It is not just the years, but the precision, the craftmanship and the detail that went into each piece, whether it be a car or a coat.

samedi 18 février 2012

Spring Break - Parisian Escape

After this long cold winter, I have a hankering for an escape to some place warm and tropical. Although, before I lived in Paris, it used to be my escape. Now that I live here, I still admire this great city with it's rich history and breathtaking architecture. Often, I don't have the chance for a tropical escape, so I often have to settle for a minibreak closer to home.

Luckily, Paris is so dense and has a wonderful transit system that it is easy to get lost on some of the old rues that have been here since the Romans. Even though I live here, I still get lost from time to time. One of my favorite places to get lost is down near the Marais. It is chock full of little galleries and boutiques that you just wouldn't find unless you were lost. When I make a new discovery, I have a little black book that I write it in. From time to time, I will share with all of you some of those little discoveries. If anyone is coming to Paris and needs a few suggestions, I am happy to share my favorite haunts with you.

The treasury Parisian Escape was made by a fellow Etsian, Sara Gilmore of Phdstressrelief. She is an incredible artist who makes amazing things out of fibers. She makes everything from cat toys to jewelry. I'm in love with the sheep already and can't wait to see what new creations she will come up with this Spring.

samedi 14 janvier 2012

All decked out in Art Deco

I went a stroll around Paris the other day. The weather was so warm, I had to carry my jacket. As I enjoyed the warm sun on my face, my husband's face filled with concern. The reason why is Parisians say, "Christmas on the balcony and Easter by the Chimney." It's a cute saying, but I pray it's not true!

Strolling down the little streets of Paris, I saw many wonderful Art Deco pieces, which inspired me to create this treasury for you.