mardi 22 février 2011

Gliimpse at entrance/hall

view from kitchen
I was really apprehensive about using Charlotte's Locks and Elephant's Breath together after testing them in-situe, but I decided to give it a go, and my first impression is one of relief, the colors seem to work. I have a lot to finish, and these photos were taken just when the sun was setting, even if we never actually saw a glimpse of the sun today.

Alexis' Prehistoric Bread

Alexis actually asked to make something yesterday. He hasn't wanted to before, probably because MK and Gaby monopolize most of the cooking...
He found a recipe in his magazine Arkéo Junior for "pain prehistorique" and really wanted have a go. He did it more or less alone, because I have been working on our hall (to come) and it really worked out well (his bread I mean).

Breakfast in our house is serious business, they all eat heaps, apart from Gaby, and certain (Charlotte) like to slurp their cereal down.

Marie-Kate likes muesli, like me.

lundi 21 février 2011

Charlotte's Locks

charlotte's locks, masking tape and all

We have been busy being lazy, watching Fringe, Monk and House. The children have been playing in and out (especially a new Dance game on Xbox), going to friends and just generally chilling out. No homework has been completed (or started for some).
Alain and I went again to Paris on Saturday, again to the Conran Shop and Farrow and Ball.
I started painting the cornices in the entrance yesterday in Charlotte's locks, and a second coat this morning, I think it still needs another coat, maybe later today and then tomorrow I shall paint the walls. Charlotte's Locks is fairly bright and funky and I just hope it looks good with the other colors we have chosen, it certainly makes a change from blanc cassé, the color we painted our whole house in Sanary in, to sell it quicker.
On the subject of selling houses that are colorful, does this really put people off? Gaby has a friend who lives in an enormous house in a nearby village and it's for sale. They haven't mentioned it, but me who loves looking at interiors of others, especially when renovating, found their house on a real estate site.
I'd just been to pick Gaby up from there and I just loved their orange tv room but, on finding the
very same room on internet, I was baffled to see not only the orange but stripes of white in
the room that I have no recollection of seeing, since then I like it less. The house is wonderful
though, and if you've got 2million euros to spare, you'd get a 7h garden, 11 bedrooms,
100m2 sitting room and two cottages thrown in.

a tiny glimpse of the tv room (found on internet..hope they never see it)
The house has left such an impression on one of Gaby's friends, that now, she's too embarassed to invite this group of friends to her house, that I find sad. They have an English assignment to finish and I thought, they'd end up back at the big house again, but no I was wrong, they are all coming here, into our seriously in renovation house, with our yucky 1970's kitchen and that's fine by Gaby and I, what counts is friendship and not appearances, right?

Off his lead

Alexis who smiles from time to time

Now when we take Kinder for a walk, we can let him off his lead, not for long though, but still it's a break through. Funny, he pulls like mad on his lead, but when unattached, he stays really close-by.
There are many dogs in our village, and for insurance purposes you have to let your insurance company know that you have one, and you also need to put up a sign showing you have a dog on the outside your home...just in-case he bites the postman or someone else.

a typical sign warning you that there's a mean dog here, this one lives on our street

Kinder is not a mean dog, in fact he's a big softie and he's rather cat like, so I need to find a more appropriate sign.

Marie-Kate and Alexis actually venture out now we have Kinder, come rain or shine. There's a nice park and wood at the foot of our village, it's great going down but
the hike back up isn't such fun. One good thing for living at the top of a village is that the river Seine is right at the bottom, so your garden/house will not flood, however living at the top has a risk of land slides, yikes, I hope never.

mercredi 16 février 2011

Back from Brittany and shopping

After rainy weekend in Brittany, lots of walks on the beach, good food and wine and even a yummy mini kouign-aman, we're back home.
Yesterday we popped to the Conran shop and I finally got to see the Mathieu Challières lamp I been wanting but glad I saw it before I bought it, as although it was very beautiful and dreamingly poetic , I just prefered his ceiling lights more...problem is, down stairs we have only one place to hang one and it just wouldn't work there.
Good news is, while looking for a photo of the original table lamp to put on the blog, I came across Mathieu C's site and there is a smaller table model that I just love (shade/cage is higher which is what I wanted). I just need to find where to buy one now!

A couple of streets down we went to get more paint samples and buy the paint we had decided on for the sitting/tv/family room and for the entrance.
In the entrance we've gone for Elephant's Breath (looks better in reality).
And I'm going to do a tester first, but I really like to paint the ceiling cornices in Charlotte's Locks
Charlotte's Locks (number 1)

For the family room, we're painting it in Mizzle, I did originally plan on Pigeon, but I found it to be a little bit too intense for this room (45m2)...I really have to find a room for this colour though, because it's one of my favourites.

Finally, going back to our visit to Conran, I got to sit on a lovely Eames lounge chair (always wanted one of these), and even Alain who had a preference for an Corbusier LC4 is smitten too!
My birthday's in May....

jeudi 10 février 2011

22 children, how many could spell Joyeux Anniversaire?

Today, Alexis took a chocolate brownie birthday cake to share with his classmates, some candy and drinks. Only one boy didn't eat the cake, as he hates chocolate (in Sanary there were several like him...can't imagine not liking chocolate, school spinach, yes, but chocolate...)
It's tradition in his class to make a card for the birthday boy or girl, so Alexis got 21 (him being the 22nd).
Nice idea, I'll keep them for him, for when he's older.
Now I am not being pernickerty and laughing at anyone, really, as I am a terrible speller too, but I couldn't help but notice the different spellings for Happy Birthday in French, like
anniveirsaire (joyeux was good, Alexis even had the right to have some hearts thrown in too).
or anniverssaire or Jouayeux anniversere... Ok I shan't continue, but I just was wondering, if they make a card, for everyone's birthday, surely there would come a time when someone would put them right, no?
Alexis knows how, I've seen him do it, several times, so that's one in his class....and then, I counted just two others who managed.

3 out of 22!

And he's in a good class in a good school.

mercredi 9 février 2011

9 Years Old

Alexis came home from school and read two more mangas while waiting for everyone to get home for his party night, especially opening all of his presents.
To eat, he asked for jacket potatoes, his favourite and I made a chocolate brownie cake

He had lots of great presents, from dinosaurs to construction games, a pop-up goal, books, a vintage bus and a remote-controlled car

It took ages to unscrew the car from its box (yes, Alain had to go in the basement and find a screwdriver), Alexis, MK and even Gabrielle waited patiently and guess what? Once out of the box it needed charging for 4 hours..poor Alexis

So Alexis played in the garden with his new goal. I am going to move the goal later today to the big garden, as in the gravel courtyard it's just not going to work, far too noisy.

mardi 8 février 2011

Les Niniches d'Alexis

A Parcel arrived from Brittany yesterday for birthday boy Alexis who's nine today. He doesn't know about the Niniches yet, nor his presents from his Papy and Mamie, but he obviously knew about some of his other presents, as this morning he said that he'd really like to have one present before school, so we gave him a new watch (this boy is a time control freak). He was happy enough but said he'd like one of his manga's, and I knew exactly where to find them, right under our bed...he's manga mad too.
Back to the Niniches, these lollies are so good, especially the caramel beurre ones, my favourite, lucky the tin's sealed (hard to resist), and there are for Alexis. He'll share them as the girls will insist, bribe him, negotiate, whatever it takes to have a niniche.

lundi 7 février 2011

One little girl and her Kinder

A little over three weeks ago, no four, we went to out local animal refuge centre in Orgeval, and a dog called Kinder (Gaby chose his name, there they'd named him Paxam, but he didn't seem to react to that) decided he'd like to get to know us (crazy dog) and maybe one day come and live in a little village near Paris

We thought a lot before deciding to adopt him, he was sick with a kennel cough and was a very timid dog. He came home two weeks ago and things are great and he's better now. It's like Kinder has always been here, much to our delight.

He just loves the children...Loves long walks and other dogs, even the chickens next door...he likes bins too:(

dimanche 6 février 2011

107 days later

When we moved in here, there was a stair lift that Mr H had fitted for his wife. It went up right to the top floor and our children wanted to keep it cause it was more fun sliding down on its frame than using their tired legs.
Mr H had it fitted in 2001, his wife died soon after, sad. A constant reminder for him.
Anyhow, dear Alain said he'd take it down (save Mr H the worry, and the cost...he was quite a scrooge..400euros) so he bought an electric saw, good excuse to add to his collection of power tools. There was a little problem of electricity ( the electricity needs some work), so what does Alain do? He yanks the wires out from the lift, just like that, I didn't see it, I just heard the bang....
Well, he's all chuffed, because now he can saw, he cut the frame into manageable pieces and pops them outside. It's all still there, hidden, down some stairs that lead to a creepy cave. What was crazy was the weight of the actual chair, I couldn't lift it and nor could Alain, well barely. He needed helpful (rarely) teenage son to help.
Anyway, after the BANG, the light in the toilet didn't work, and it wasn't just the bulb, it was the fuse. Alain is an engineer. The fuse was difficult to work out, it took him 107 days to work it out, many teenager sleepovers and a party took place in between this time.
Oliver asked if he could invite a couple of friends to play xbox, well, a few turned out to be 25 and most stayed the night, they drunk a bit, used our lightless toilet( a lot) without too much mess, just one teenager who was sick all over a giant rug that Mr H left, a white one.
I still keep forgetting that I can now switch on the light, used to not having it, but Alain's feeling good about it and probably planning a task that could take even longer, if that's possible

jeudi 3 février 2011

Going down very slowly

view from 1st floor landing looking down. the window you can see, rises up between 2 flights of stairs so it doesn't open. we have two like this, the other one is a little lower than this one and goes down into the mud room.

I haven't got much to say, fed-up and stopping for today. I'll sweep up the mess and serve myself a nice glass of chilled white good thing it that the sun's out, which doesn't happen every day here.

Stairs and landing part one

Going up to 1st floor landing, half done

I'm stripping again. We've saved the hardest for last, the stairs and landings. today, it's the 1st floor that I'm attacking and I hope to get down to the half landing (going down towards entrance) before eI pick Gaby up at 3

landing from our bedroom

wallpaper still hanging on. way down to half-landing

going up to 2nd floor half-landing with giant floor to ceiling fitted cupboards

The floor and stairs have heavily waxed over the years. I want to strip the wood back or unwax it all and varnish. I'm toying with the idea of painting the vertical part in a colour like matchstick or a lighter shade.

As for the walls, well there I'm completely flummoxed. I did think of painting this area using neutral shades and down-pipe on the cupboards, but now I don't know whether a stronger colour would be better and warm it up more (we've have lots of natural light here, despite the exposition).

Matchstick by Farrow & Ball

Thrift shop find of the week

Teenager daughter wants it, she says that I don't sit down enough to appreciate/use it, which is kind of true, but still this table is staying put in my bedroom.

A bargain at 20 euros.

La Chandeleur..Feast Day of Light

Yesterday was La Chandeleur. My children wanted to see who could eat the most pancakes (French people eat more pancakes on this day than any other*). I should have bought a crepe pan, but I really needed a new frying pan. I love the Mauviel range of pans etc but I also like All Clad, however the latter is harder to find here and more expensive, so Mauviel it was.
I made a fattening discovery yesterday, " speculoos "spread, gosh this stuff is so good, I liked the biscuits before but the spread's even better. Weird, this more the jar is empty but there are pancakes left.

* I read that on another blog that I read, but don't really know if it's true or not.