Kamis, 31 Maret 2011

Henri's Museum - Albi, France

I've always had a passion for Henri Toulouse-Lautrec's art so to visit his family region, and see Albi's museum of his works will always be a special memory for me. Henri's art had a vibrant movement about it, and gave an insight to his subject's personality (if you looked far enough).
As a young art student (read that as smart arse), the little bloke enthralled me with his posters, chalk and charcoal sketches of prostitutes, Moulin Rouge ladies and the cafe patrons of Paris. Even his unfinished sketches had a completion about them. To me, you could read his art, get a feeling for the personalities he captured.

I saw some of his work on our 2006 trip to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, but it was not enough.
So for me, an art student (with very little talent) from the northern suburbs of Melbourne, it was a dream to be in Albi to see his original works.
Albi nestles on the Tarn river in the Midi Pyreneess. We stayed at the Hotel les Pasteliers on Rue Honere de Balzac within walking distance from the old town and the really interesting stuff. We booked into the hotel only to realise that the year before, the Tour de France had a time trial stage there and the CSC team stayed in the very hotel. Stuey O'Grady, an Australian was part of the team that year but crashed out in an earlier stage.
We took our bags to the room which was very comfortable and the concierge was most welcoming. We would certainly recommend the hotel for a short stay.
Here's a link to their website http://www.hotellespasteliers.com/

The Berbie Palace is home to Henri's collection - you enter by a small entrance to the side of this grand building. Not grand as Grandiose but an austere grand. Its red brick facade is bland but impressive.

Inside were works that I was familiar with from my old study books and many that I was not aware of.

Henri's father was a very strange man, taken to dressing very flamboyantly. The painting of his father, Count Alphonse mounted on his horse while having a Falcon on his wrist gave an insight to the admiration he had for his father. At the time of this painting, Henri did not have the ability to enjoy riding with his father due to his disability. In fact the painting was long after his parents took different paths

He did however have the ability to paint the movement of people and creatures which he could not himself experience.

He left the family home Chateau de Bosc (more later) at a young age when his parents separated. His mother took him to Paris where his talent for drawing emerged.

Wikipedia can tell you much more about Henri follow the link.

As we walked away from the museum, under my arm was a comprehensive booklet guide (which I still occasionly re-read) and a few reproduction posters of his work. One which is my prized pieces is naturally a bicycle poster.

How could you not like the man - he had a passion for bicycles!!!!!

And just for fun - The John Houston directed film of Henri's life at the Moulin Rouge.

The following day we decided to visit the family home of Henri. More about that next week.
Who was that lady in gum boots and the stockman's coat? I'll let Sue tell later.

All the photos here have been courtesy of the internet due to the loss of my own collection.

Painting Banksy Graffiti 3D illusion

Banksy Graffiti, 3D Graffiti, Banksy
Painting Banksy Graffiti 3D illusion

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Rabu, 30 Maret 2011

Top Ten Pillows

I think my favorite thing about blogging is getting to know people who are like me. Finding friends who share my passions. One thing I am ridiculously passionate about is pillows. Please don't laugh.  I'm serious! I am nuts about pillows. Since I am a sewer I usually make all my pillows.  But every once in a while I see a ready-made pillow that I just can't resist.  I have put together a list of my top ten pillows that are available right now. Just click on the little link and fire up your credit card. These are in no particular order. I love them all and couldn't possibly rank them. :o) 

Numbers are everywhere right now. I thought this was adorable.
Gavin Stripe Throw Pillow - Lauren Home - RalphLauren.com

This is my favorite PB pillow from their latest catalog. I tend to gravitate towards blue all the time. 
This rug matches the pillow. I think it would look great to use the rug under a dining room table and 
throw the pillows on a sofa in a connecting living room. Just a thought!
Port Stripe Pillow Cover

Williams-Sonoma Home is a lovely catalog/website. Just a tad over my price range but a girl can look. 
These embroidered and beaded pillows are so popular right now.

Trumpet Flower Embroidered Pillow

For those of us on a budget you can get the same look for a reasonable price at Pier 1.

I had to include one of these ruffled pillows. I think they are just the cutest thing. 
Not really my style but I love them anyway.

DwellStudio is a hot retailer right now. A division of Robert Allen, it's very up-to-the-minute with it's fabrics and styles. This pattern is my favorite. I have a little bit of it in Citrine that I am going to do
 something with as soon as I get a little time...and I'm not blogging.


This trellis design is EVERYWHERE. It can be found in just about any color and in any type of decor. 
Wallpaper, fabric, rugs, etc.
One good thing is that you can find it easily and second, it's affordable.
Jiti Pillows Outdoor Black Moroccan Decorative Pillow

This ikat pillow is right up my alley. Better Homes & Gardens featured Fabricadabra in their March issue. I saw it and immediately got online to check it out. I ended up buying fabric instead of a pillow. The fabric is not the standard width. It's about 18 in. wide. Perfect for a table runner or a pillow.
IKT112 Silk/cotton ikat pillow cover

A top ten pillow list would not be complete without a little animal print.
These have great texture and very neutral colors.
Zebra Pillow Cover

And for all you shabby chic girls we are ending with a linen pillow. Restoration Hardware has a few styles similar to this one in linen and another line in burlap. Definitely a pillow crush.
Fournier Bastide Pillow Cover

I hope you have seen something you like. 
I hope there was something you read here that made you smile.
I'm going to leave you with a little peek of what I'm working on for 
my family room. If you missed it you can see part of the transformation here.

Graffiti Fonts - Hand Selecta U by Graffiti Writer

Graffiti Fonts, Graffiti Letters Fonts,
Graffiti Fonts - Hand Selecta U by Graffiti Writer

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Selasa, 29 Maret 2011

A Trip To Brisbane

No Wednesdays in France this week. It's 1.30 am and I just arrived home after a very long day flying to Brisbane for business and return same day - Time I put the head on the pillow.
Maybe we might do it tomorrow night, but then it would be a Thursday in France.

12 Graffiti 3D Wallpapers from Technica

3D Graffiti, Graffiti Wallpaper, s
12 Graffiti 3D Wallpapers from Technica

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Senin, 28 Maret 2011

Fluffing with Forsythia

A week or so ago Emily Clark posted about Fluffing Your Front Door.  Grace at Sense and Simplicity declared Spring Must Finally Be Here, which is amazing because she is way up North!  Kindra At Home with K is Itchin' To Get Outside. So I figured I had better get my act together and welcome Spring along with everyone else.

Here is my front door fluffed with forsythia.
 I have had this wreath a few years but I keep using it because it shows up so well on the door. 

My front porch is always a work in progress. 
 I change the welcome mat...change what's in the planters.
Change out the cushions and pillows and of course change out the wreath.
This is one of my favorite looks...probably because yellow is involved.
I REALLY like yellow.

I made the pillows and covered the lamp shade from fabric left over
 from my living and dining room valances.

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant..."
~Anne Bradstreet

There really IS something about Spring.  
The lengthening of days, the warmth of the sun, the leaves budding on the trees. 
 It's like a new beginning.  

Wishing you all a lovely Spring.

Linking to
Spring Projects at Centsational Girl
Show Off Your Cottage Monday at The house in the roses
Newbie Party at Debbiedoos
Inspire Me Monday at Singing Three Little Birds
Table Top Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Swing Into Spring at DIY by Design
Handmade Tuesdays at Ladybug Blessings
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Whassup Wednesday at Elements Interiors
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Its Sew For You

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4 in 1 Graffiti Characters Wallpaper

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Minggu, 27 Maret 2011

Just Another Weekend & the Old Fish Market.

It's Saturday night and we have friends coming for dinner - It will be a relaxing night with some good wine to go with dinner.
On the way home Friday night, it was a wet cold trip. Summer certainly has deserted us and leaves are falling - I'll need to sweep the paving constantly now. Time to start trimming back the shrubs and trees soon as well.
I decided to call in to my favorite electronics store along the way to find that it was doing a roaring business selling the newly released iPad 2. I bought two DVDs and had to stand in line with all these people with iPads under their arms - surely they could have put them in another queue?

My two DVDs included a film we saw previously that had Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Meryl did a great job with the character of Julia Child in Julie and Julia. After seeing the movie, I bought a couple of books on her and also watched her on YouTube, Julia that is.

The other DVD is Mary and Max, directed by Australian Academy Award winner, Adam Elliot. I'll tell you more after we watch it. I will say that this animated movie includes the voices of Toni Collette, Barry Humphries and Eric Bana (all Aussies). We can't watch either of these as yet as we are still powering through the full series of the West Wing. Currently we are now into the second last series.

Tell us, what have you been watching lately? Maybe you can suggest a new series after the West Wing.

Melbourne's Old Markets part 1.
In the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's, Melbourne CBD had several markets. The only one still in its original location is the Queen Victoria Market or as most call it today, the Vic Market.

One market that does intrigue me though was the Fish market located in Flinders Street, not far from the banks of the Yarra River. The architecture of the building was very grand from what I've seen of the photos from the various years. I don't remember ever see the buildings but am aware of the location.
Standing on the same spot is a very futuristic building that can be more than a year or two old.

Probably before 1900 - no cars and cable trams. Trams still run down Flinders Street
I'd say we are still in the late 1800s here - still no autos.
More modern cars can be seen in this picture and I would say we have entered the 40s or 50s.
Maybe in future posts, I'll bring some more of our early markets of Melbourne. Their history is fascinating - their locations replaced by other buildings.

4 Type Banksy Graffiti Street

Banksy Graffiti,banksy
4 Type Banksy Graffiti Street

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Sabtu, 26 Maret 2011

Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

Perfect Paint Palette

Hello there...I'm getting ready to start a small kitchen reno.  I have thought and thought about everything until I don't think I have a brain cell left. I'm ready to make decisions so at least that part of the project is behind me.

I am painting my kitchen cabinets a custom creamy white that I have in other parts of my house.  I needed to pick out a wall color and accent color. This is when the trouble started. I just could not make up my mind.  I am in love with grays right now (who isn't?) and I wanted to somehow combine gray, blue and yellow.  From there I was completely stumped. So I did what I always do.

I googled it.

I needed to purchase my paint at Sherwin Williams because my painter gets a discount. So I googled "best gray Sherwin Williams." And did I hit the jackpot!

Let me present Libby Langdon's Perfect Palette.

Here is a room painted the color "Upward." I'm going to use this on my kitchen walls.
Libby promised me it was the perfect pale, icy blue.

Libby Langdon bedroom neutral

I'm going to use the color "Naval" on a bank of cabinets separate from the rest and again on the inside of cabinets with glass doors. My kitchen island is already yellow, although a brighter shade than the one shown above. I don't think I'll change it right now.  I hope to use the gray shades in my living room, dining room and entry. But one thing at a time!

I wrote a post a few weeks ago on what I've learned since I started my blog. Google is awesome and I should have done this weeks ago. I probably could have saved a few brain cells.

I'm taking off for a girlfriend weekend. See you all next week!

Marcia Hines - Saturday Song

She came to us as a kid of 16, and she stayed. She was pregnant when she had this role in "Hair". I was there at the time but didn't really know she was.
Marcia Hines has been part of the Australian music scene for all those years, and still is. Today she is a judge on Australian Idol and is so helpful to new and young talent here. Always positive.
I think she is a nice person. Tell me what you think - I'd like to know.

7 Castle Graffiti Characters

Graffiti Characters

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Graffiti Characters

Graffiti Characters

Graffiti Characters

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