Some selects from the first leg of my journey–I stayed in a beautiful and secret house in St. Jean Cap Ferrat right on the bay. We could walk down stairs and directly into the sea, spending hours just floating, picking yachts in the distance to try to swim out to, referencing the count of monte christo. I ate my weight in saucisson, shopped for fresh fruit at the local marché and got to spend time with family. We took some afternoon trips to villa Kerylos and Eze (for the views and the champagne) and a quick morning in Monaco (meh). It was my first time really spending time on the cote d’azure and I guess I get what all the fuss is about.
My French grandfather, Bernard, was in the business of textiles in France in the 60′s and 70′s. Apparently he was big enough that someone decided he was worth a little magazine spread. My mom just dug up the clipping. We figured it must be 1980 because, that’s me as a bebe! (I got my 15 minutes of fame over with early, to take the pressure off).
This was their house in the Dordogne. I have vague vague recollections of being there. But I recognize some of the furniture from their house now. And I kind of wish I had that table and those pendants…and that whole house. This clipping is totally going into the box of memories.
As I may have mentioned, I am half french. And my french side is full of prolifically talented artists. My grandmother was a weaver who had a retrospective at the Pomidou, her husband a modern architect, and her sister and brother in law made up the artistic team known as: claude and francois xavier lalanne.
Growing up, I was heavily influenced by trips to france visiting my grandmother and claude and francois. Claude and Francois lived in an old stone house outside of paris with a courtyard and a cutting garden, their sculptures embedded into the environment.
The workshop was adjoined to the house and everything about their life was an expression of creativity. It was not about knowing the right people (although man did they actually know all the right people) or owning the right things. They were blazing their own path and the focus was on their work and on quality of life (they were the best cooks).
Everything was beautiful. Everything was a moment.
My new nephew is Claude’s great grandson and so she came for a visit last week. It was wonderful to see her in california and she surprised me with a very special gift. A crapaud of my own. She even apologized for it not being the green one that I prefer (it reminds me of my grandmother who had the green one in her home) but the brown one instead.
I am seriously touched since their presence in my life has meant so much to me. It makes me feel like a real part of the family and it’s basically just incredible to be handed such an important heirloom. It arrived from france and is sitting in my apartment; gleaming and beautiful and a reminder of so much more.
so merci, claude. je t’embrasse.
(Images are from their catalogs or are my own. The interior with the crocodile chair is from Vogue Living and the one above is obviously from Life)
I made this Nougat with my Tante Marie a while ago and even posted about it, but now I put together a much more in depth post and recipe for The Kitchn. It’s involved, but totally worth it if you have any interest at all in making the most delicious candy on earth. Of course, if you’d rather skip it, you can buy Nougat at The Little Flower Candy Company right here in Pasadena.
OK, consider me on vacation, see you at the end of the month!
Over on AT we’ve started doing a lot more ‘dream spaces’ type posts. They’re a lot of fun to put together and I’ve been surprised by what I actually choose (and how similar they all are) so I wanted to present them here, in one place. One thing I noticed is the color palette that I go to over and over (and ironically it doesn’t actually match any room I’ve ever lived in) and that Plants and France seem to be themes:
Dream Bathroom: The Farmhouse Modern Bathroom
Dream Dinner Party: French Countryside, Wine, Stars, Good Food
Recently a friend of mine came to visit me in LA. She and I knew each other when we lived in Paris and she now lives in Korea so it was pretty awesome to hang out together in LA (her first trip). We started surfing the internet and she brought up this project: a tiny structure perched atop the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The little structure outfitted with lights that change color was also outfitted with a kitchen and a dining room to create the most awesome restaurant ever. You could reserve it for the night for a sort of private party situation. But make is arty and french to the extreme in order to imagine the full experience.
See more pics over on Pacal Grasso’s Website (one of the collaborators).
getting to work in interior design
both my parents
cooking and baking
time to sleep
time to think
time to organize the sock drawer
walks in the arroyo
great coworkers in all my jobs
all my friends and support
full use of all limbs and senses
a washer and dryer
all the people I connect with here
And with that, I wish everyone time to think, to clean out the sock drawer and to rechard their batteries. Hope your thanksgiving is wonderful. And check back in friday for the winner of the giveaway!.
(image is from chiffonade)