21 September 2015

French Flea Market in the Sweet Sweet South!

                                                   *** I've been away, see note below!

If you are lucky enough to be near the Sweet South Cottages and Farm, you will already understand why I am captured under its spell!

Owner Lisa Ard started her business four years ago with Annie Sloan Paints and a few antiques in one of the cottages on her large farm in north Florida. 

I drove out yesterday and found her bustling, growing and expanding to include new paints, art studios, wonderful newly painted old floors and lots of charming vintage things. The surprise was the huge greenhouse and butterfly house. Lisa is very busy developing "agricotourism" with tours of her charming Palais du Poulet and the butterfly haven, also on her beautiful farm, and I suspect we will see gorgeous plants coming out of her huge greenhouse!

The most exciting news for me is her annual French Country Flea Market...now in its fourth year, and expecting over a hundred vendors next month! Wish I were going to be here October 23 and 24, but I will be happily roaming around my beloved Provence in the fall. 

Here are some images of Sweet South Cottages and Farm and links to her market.  Enjoy!

le Palais du Poulet, or chicken coop!!
utterly charming vintage bicycle

sign says it all!
the main house on Lisa's farm

lacy wrought iron outdoor table and chairs, so pretty!

I wish you would look at that bed...huge tall headboard and sleigh-style footboard,
and those painted and stenciled floors!

beautiful dresser and those floors again

and whom among us couldn't do with...
a WING....

....and a PRAYER!

love the painted screen, the wall color and chandelier...

...and this beautiful Adams style mirror, picture taken from an angle 

stenciling brushes of every kind and shape...

little pot of hydrangeas...

the ubiquitous country truck seen in vineyards and country shops all over America!
are you brave enough to paint over hardwood floors like this? if so
Lisa Ard will hold your hand through the process!

and the French Country Flea Market!


Just wanted you to know I've been away a lot of the summer, caring for my 97 year old Mom! She's doing absolutely wonderfully, but it doesn't leave much time for blogging, right? Things are settling down with really great care, keeping her in her own home, where she still does a little cooking and knitting for herself! A thousand thanks for your patience and loyalty!

24 June 2015

en vacance américain

"Vacation" is derived from the word "to vacate"... and that's just what we did over the long Fathers' Day Weekend. We left the traffic, hustle and bustle of our little Silicon Valley boomtown, Redwood City, and headed for the mountains. There we found ourselves in a peaceful little lake cabin built in 1912 on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. I can almost imagine a little "Ken Fulk" effect in this beautifully decorated tiny little homestead, can't you?

Can you hear the collective exhales as we settled in and explored our little corner of the world? After walking the beaches, the trails and wading in the streams, we made a leisurely dinner of BBQ tri-tip, wild caught salmon and chocolate cake...delicious, and what could be more American? That night...the shortest night of the year on the Summer Solstice...we headed up the nearest mountaintop to help Chris set up his camera to catch a great shot of the Milky Way! 

It was freezing up there...you can see we are all wearing jackets and scarves. We waited until 10:45 pm...then Chris got a beautiful shot! Don't miss it at the end of my post!

If you haven't discovered it yet, and if you LOVE the night sky as much as I do, you MUST download the amazing app Sky Guide. We even watched as the International Space Station made its way across the sky. Without Sky Guide we would never identified it. It will also give you more information that you can imagine about every single star, constellation, planet, satellite, comets and Deep Sky...all in real time and place. The app actually shows the satellites moving. For $1.99 it is amazing to hold the entire cosmos in the palm of your hand!

this says it all!

heading out just before dark

can you say cozy and extremely comfortable?

 vintage items from 1912, except the gramophone, which will
amplify your tunes from your tablet or iPhone

deer head notwithstanding, I love this stone hearth and mantel with built in
stone slab shelves (I know, in 1912 they shot deer for fun)

happy Lisa chatting away!

our little former ice house!

happy in the kitchen, we made bacon-wrapped corn muffins
to simply die for! recipe on Pinterest

chillin' on the front porch!

a pier on Lake Tahoe's crystal blue waters

this is an amazing home nearby, complete with two rooftop gardens!!

Nicky in vacay mode hopped up on the sofa!

Lisa's early morning rescue of Scooter!

trees decorated by nature (that's moss of course)!

the trusty Subaru took us to the top of the mountain nearby...that's the 
last light of the day on the far cliffs!

Lake Tahoe from far above just after sunset

we are freezing, scrambling around getting Chris's camera gear all set
up with me checking Sky Guide every two minutes to see just what
is where in the sky at all times!

Chris Golson shot at 10:30 pm, Nikon D810, 36 mega pix, at 64 iso, 16 seconds, 28 mm at f2.8

In Chris's amazing photo of the night sky, he captured the Milky Way, which we could not see with the naked eye. If you look closely, he also captured many objects that are moving over the sixteen seconds exposure...especially the large satellite with the blinking red light. 

So he had a very happy Father's Day!! Hope your weekend was great too!

23 April 2015

{ Little Apricots & Lavender Cakes }

Now that spring is (nearly) here, can summer picnics be far behind? Elizabeth Bard thinks it is perfect timing to search out lavender and apricots, combine with almonds and make these picnic-worthy financiers for your first picnic du saison!  Here is an excerpt from her new book, Picnic in Provence. Enticing and romantic all at the same time, non, cherie?

05 April 2015

Rites of Springtime!

this year we dyed brown eggs...aren't they pretty!

their colors are rich and warm on the white table...

we also have a birthday to celebrate today...and the rooster looks
like he had something to do with all those eggs, right?!

the chocolate cake/white frosting wish fulfilled...and my first
peonies from the garden to garnish!

if springtime is about fertility, we've got that covered with
those amazing acanthus stems lol!

04 April 2015

Our Sea Never Looks Like This!!

We went over to the sea Friday for a romp on the beach with Nicky the pup. We followed this with lunch at the Miramar Beach House that we love because Nicky is always welcome and the fish tacos are to die for!

We visit here almost every week... and our little patch of the Pacific Ocean never looks all turquoise and aqua like it did on Friday! It's usually a dark greenish-blueish-brownish slightly murky ocean, but this time the sea had turned the most gorgeous shade of turquoise! Our jaws dropped and immediately I pulled out my iPhone to try and capture the color for my blog. As you probably know, that is a challenge with an iPhone, but here are my pictures from this beautiful, gorgeous, sunny-chilly afternoon at one of our favorite spots on God's green earth!

who would not love to live in this little turquoise seaside house in Half Moon Bay??

I think the ocean is getting ready for Easter with its stunning turquoise color

wanna follow this little pathway to see what's on the other side??..come on!

this is a ocean color we never see here!

these two ladies had set up lunch and were now playing cards under
the enormous coastal cypress...they were there for hours!

the little turquoise house from another angle..so charming! Easter lilies blooming in front!

what drought??  this is what Californians plant when water's scarce as hens' teeth...a
beautiful drought-tolerant garden by the sea... just in time for 


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