Apr 24, 2010

Color, color everywhere

This post is simply for the enjoyment of French spring colors.
The red of the local poppies (coquelicots), lavender wisteria (glycine), yellow baby roses with a lizard basking in the sun, pale pink and white cherry blossoms, bright green leaves of a climbing vine and the tiny new leaves on the grape vines.

Apr 17, 2010

The start of spring in Languedoc

I arrived in Languedoc region of France just after mid-March.
Snow was still deep on the Pyrenees, but the first flowering trees were in bloom. The weather was chilly, but the sun was bright and the sky blue. And best of all, the markets, cafes and brocantes were open!

Apr 10, 2010

Hanging a rug on the wall

From the earliest days of trade with the Levant, the French merchants brought exotic rugs, tapestries and textiles back to France. During the 19th century, it became fashionable in upper class homes to hang kilims and other Middle Eastern rugs on the walls or to suspend them as room dividers and portières.
The woven rugs were expensive and were very heavy, so it wasn't long before French textile manufacturers began producing kilim prints and rug prints as a more practical substitute in interior decoration. Below are several 19th century rug prints.

Apr 3, 2010

Wedding in white

In France, in days gone by, young women and their families carefully stitched the dozens of delicate pieces that made up a wedding trousseau. The trousseau would have included an array of bedding, intricately embroidered linens and nightwear as well as day dresses and articles of intimate apparel. Empress Josephine's trousseau included 500 lace-trimmed chemises!
The pictures below are of a 19th century embroidered and appliquéd white coverlet that would have been part of a wedding trousseau.