Saturday, January 31, 2015

Signs on the Sorgue...

I always love French words, written, spoken or sung. Here some of the signs I saw along the way that captured my curiosity.

This is the gorgeous old wine cooperative building, on the way into the commune of L'isle sur la Sorgue, it is surrounded by hectares of vineyards and orchards. Local farmers have been bringing their grapes here for centuries.

Many of the antique shops are located in little enclaves off the main street in IslS with a square in the middle, where the merchants socialize, and dogs and children play. There is also usually a little café, where everyone can go to enjoy and homey lunch.

The shops in the enclaves often use the outdoor spaces for their overflow of merchandise.

This visit, at most every shop there was a reference to the recent tragedy in Paris and the importance of freedom of speech.

This fun little shop on the main street enjoys the the rambling river Sorgue just out their back door.

Filled with new items for the home and a broad collection of enamelled signs. 
Oh, the French do love their dogs, here's my best effort on translating a few of these...

"Strong and nasty little dog"
"Wicked and insightful dog"
"Very conscience guard dog"
"Deluxe dog"
"Retired guard dog"
"Beast dog and wicked"
"Caution! Guard dog 100 meters"
"Dog Snob"

Sadly, I had to visit the Police Municipale on Sunday, since Saturday night I had foolishly parked my car in a space where the market sets up on Sunday. Don't do that when you go there -- park in the POSTE (yellow sign) parking lot so that you don't have to go to the Police Municipale, and get in a car with a man you don't know who does not speak English but offers to "aider" you; even though he was very nice and brought me to the Fourriére (tow truck office) where the Police Municipale wrote up 4 pages (with plenty of carbon copies) of information about my violation. They were all very nice, and they let me pay my 35 euro fine to them directly so I didn't have to mail it. And the Fourriéres took carte de credits.... livin' on the edge, again, that's me!

I loved these remainders of the holiday lights still hanging over the street, they look so quaint and old fashioned.

Before leaving Eze they were taking down similar signs in the neighboring communes, and trucking them off to their storage space up in the hills. 

They do bring a wonderful glow to the darkened village.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

L'isle sur la Sorgue in January...

It felt a little strange to be venturing out on my own that Saturday morning in January, taking the A8 to the Northeast to look for antiques in L'Isle Sur la Sorgue, France. 

It was strange because this is a place I have usually gone to with friends, or Mr. Splendid, and usually in the the warmer months of the year.

But it was a clear and sunny day and as I flew along the autoroute I was in awe of the rugged mountains, some topped with distant churches and castles, the bucolic scenery, and that illustrious light.

After leaving the A8 at the Cavillon exit, I rambled along the rural roads, 

where fields of fruit trees and grape vines looked dormant, but maybe they were just waking up to the sunshine and beginning to prepare for another season.

Remainders of the the previous season still hung on bare branches,

against ancient buildings, shuttered up for the winter.

 As I pulled into "The Venice of France"

the river Sorgue, which surrounds the town, was flowing with full force.

And the giant water wheels that generated power for the artisan silk, paper and woolen mills hundreds of years ago were turning at full speed.

Good to be back. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Xavier Nicod, L'isle Sur la Sorgue, France....

First dibs and other similar sites have opened up the world for those of us who enjoy "hunting" for the perfect pieces for our abodes. When I see the offerings it always makes me wonder what the designers shop looks like and how the furnishings look on display in the shop or showroom. 

Last weekend I drove up to L'isle Sur la Sorgue, the 3rd largest antiques capital in Europe and had the chance to stroll through the amazing world of Xavier Nicod (click on the name to go to his 1st dibs page).

This man has a great eye, he focuses on timeless pieces that harmonize with most anything. I visited the shop the evening I arrived, it was an enticing setting, beautifully lit, but I went back the next day so I could explore the offerings again with the benefit of the sunlight.

 The shop is an adventure to itself, the floor in this room is filled with pebbles, suggesting the pleasures of indoor~outdoor living.

Tree trunks are used for trim and design in this room. 

These pieces are from a Venetian Chandelier they are in the process of restoring.

I am in love with this piece from the 30's and want to use it as a buffet in my dining area, but I'm torn because I would want to change the top to a mirror, and that seems like such a waste of a gorgeous slab of marble. The interior of the piece is all lined in mirrors as well. 

This armoire is monstrous, I loved exploring all of the stacks of unique items all around the store.

It's the kind of place where you can walk by the same area a couple of times and find completely different things with each swipe.

Many wonderful sconces can be found lying around the shop.

He's created an enchanting garden area with bamboo that is filled with great outdoor furniture. I love these folding pagoda style chairs, it is an exceptional set of 10 chairs, very unique.

The seat and back rest are made of tied rope.

Collections of mirrors, frames and paintings can be found throughout the shop, this chrome mirror is especially handsome.

I have always focused on antiques for my home, but for our apartment, we are going for a more contemporary look. It took all of the resistance I could muster to walk by this sweet bar trolley.

These tables are very cool -- you are looking at 2 stacked on top of each other, I love the design. He has a third one in the garden as well, simple but strong design.

Two great Chinoise wooden panels, they would look great hanging on a wall or as a headboard for a bed.

The bamboo and the simple metal hanging lanterns are found throughout the magical garden. 
The yellow aviary~palace would make a charming abode for some very special feathered friends.

Even the front of the store emits design genius.

More on this charming town in Provence and the beautiful light to come.

Friday, January 16, 2015

When life gives you lemons, make lemoncello...

I'm running off to the world famous Friday market in Ventimiglia, Italy, but before I go I wanted to share a shot of the lovely bottle of Lemoncello my friend brought by last night, along with 2 lemons from her tree... my kind of hostess gift.

This beverage is very popular down here, makes sense with all of the citrus I'm seeing.  Many restaurants offer you a shot as a digestive after meals. 

I've yet to try my hand at this concoction, but I'd like to try to make it with limes someday. Click on lime~a~cello to see why and for an easy recipe in case you feel like bottling up some sunshine this weekend. 

That orange is actually on my tree! I planted a little "grove" on the patio on my last visit and now I'm absolutely giddy to enjoy the fruition of my efforts!

Have a nice weekend!