mercredi 29 février 2012

Two Danish thrift shop chairs

We saw three chairs that were reserved the Saturday before going on holiday, we liked them straight away, didn't need them though and besides they were reserved till 6pm that evening. It was a cold weekend, inside and out and the temperature in the thrift shop was minus fifteen on Saturday, so they weren't many people.  We hedged our bets and thought it would be worth our while  going  back Sunday morning and see if they were still there, hoping that the freezing cold weather would have put the people off going back to pick them up...and as you can see from the photo that's exactly what happened, all three chairs were there.  
We were told they were Danish. We bought two, sad really to leave one, but I thought if the people who originally wanted all three came back, at least one chair would be a little consolation for them.  
I'm no expert but I'd say they date from the 50's, they are in amazing condition and the wood and how it's shaped is just beautiful.  
One is in the sitting room, and the other in the kitchen and the two chairs were 20 euros each.

Photography from the Chartreuse by Norman C

Norman (who owns the gite "La Grange" along  with his wife Gabrielle) is very artistic who takes great photographs. This time I brought two of his photographs home.  They were taken close to where he lives and he edited these two to give them a kind of spooky feel. 

In April some of his photos will be on exposition, I'll have to find out where exactly but I think it's Chambery.
I did have a problem with the size of the photos and the Ikea standard frames I bought. There was a gap between the mat board and the photo, so I had a choice, get some custom made matting boards, in other words wait to hang them, or paint the back board white or black, black in this case and hope that the contrast between the photo, the paint colour, the mat board and frame worked.   I like it.  The photo above isn't that good (I'll try and get a better shot) but in-situ they are just fine.

Cross Country Skiing au Desert d'Entremonts

 Although it's just our 4th year staying at La Grange, it's our 5th year skiing here, it's a great station with a lovely family friendly atmosphere and a super café/restaurant for you've skied..or before too.  
Today Alain took Marie-Kate on the green run and I did the blue one with Alexis and Gaby  while Oliver and Charlotte did the red one
There was an exposition by a local artist in the restaurant and on the last day we bought six of his funny and sometimes cheeky sketches (the children got one each), this one is ours that's in our kitchen now. All of his work is based on an owl theme, and he plays lots with words.

mardi 28 février 2012

February in the Chartreuse (4th stay at La Grange)

If there's a place we love going back to each year, it has to be La Grange situated in a tiny hamlet in the Chartreuse region of French Alps. 
The gite is amazing, with space for twelve and it's just so cosy. Norman and Gabrielle, the owners, who live next door are just adorable and we just love these guys.

See the photo above, this is what Gaby did when she arrived, I think you can see that there's a girl and a dog sculpted in the snow.  She also sculpted a couple sitting on the bench, but I'll have to get some photo's off Alexis' camera as this couple was the talk of all the hamlet, giving Gaby quite a reputation.
Here's the view from the gite, we'd just arrived and the children went out and re discovered the garden and fields around about.

 The second day it snowed a little, but this was the only time it did.  Before hand, Alain and I had managed to trail down to the nearby village (St Pierre d'Entremonts) and buy some ( to die for) muffins from the local bakers (just for those it's worth going back for).  The way back was tough though, three and a half kilometers with over a three hundred meter denivelation....guess what though, we did it again a couple of days later, faster and carrying back meat for the butcher's shop too.

lundi 27 février 2012

An Ikea gingerbread house failure and my first attempt at curtain making

We went to Ikea yesterday and came back with all we needed and more.
Gaby and Marie Kate found a reduced priced gingerbread house that they just had to have (see above)
I bought some fabric to make curtains and a ds case for Marie Kate, and we sourced out which bathroom sink we're going to buy...yes, we are doing the second floor shower room in March (photos of it as it is coming soon).
Anyhow today,  while I got on with my sewing, the children worked on assembling their gingerbread house, which was fine by me.
And I measured, cut and sewed a curtain for this window (first floor landing).

 I even lined the curtain.  The birds on the fabric are really cute and I just love this colour blue and cheap costing 4.99 euros per meter.
I'm really happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to do more things with my sewing machine...but not now, just this took about four hours to finish
 Last photo on the way down to see how the children's house was looking.
 Ok no great, they didn't follow the instructions and their sugar glue didn't work so they called this heap of gingerbread, icing, and sweets an earthquake tasted good though and I just love those raspberry and blackberry jelly sweets...yummy

vendredi 17 février 2012

table tennis

Since Alexis received his table tennis net, bats and ping pong balls for his birthday, you'd most likely find the children playing table tennis now rather then watching tv. In fact, I have noticed that apart from Le Petit Journal, no one actually watches the tv anymore. Gaby streams a couple of American series per week (Big Bang Therapy, Revenge et cetera) and Oliver and Charlotte facebook a lot.

mercredi 8 février 2012

Alexis' TEN today Part I

 Alexis had a bad night with two of his sisters who didn't stop coughing all night long, hence his face on the photo.   
Ten years old yet it seems like just it was yesterday.  
 Alexis cheered up when he opened a couple of his presents.  He'll open a couple more at lunchtime (with his Papa  unable to be there) and the rest tonight.

From Alain and I, Alexis has his first chemistry set (since opening it, he has being dissolving egg shells using lemon juice, vinegar and citric acid).  Some lego too.

When Alexis was small he wanted to be a marine biologist but in the last couple of years he has showed an interest in Architecture and thinks he'd like to be any architect one day. 
This is the present he liked the most (so far) and he built it fast.
So if you ever need to know what to buy Alexis for Christmas or whenever, you can't go wrong with Lego Architecture.

 Marie Kate helped me with the first of Alexis' birthday cakes, this one is a nutella and pear roulade (supposed to have been chocolate but someone has taken the 200g bar from the kitchen between last night and this morning...I wonder who)

 And finally a present from Granny in the UK, after the lego this wasn't what it had hoped for, but it will keep him warm when is -16°c like yesterday.

lundi 6 février 2012

Snowy Sunday

Marie Kate was in charge of the camera yesterday and took lots of photos of us fooling around in the snow.
There aren't any photos of Oliver because he was in a bad mood and stayed sulking in a corner
Alexis on the other hand enjoyed himself.

But Charlotte got pushed over by Oliver (when he moved from his corner) and she wasn't a happy bunny.
Afterwards we all had some yummy brownies (Jamie Oliver recipe).

dimanche 5 février 2012

Light Book and thrift shop find

I just love our new lamp, designed by Hervé Langlais. It's just perfect for my book tower as it's held in place by just placing a pile of books on top of it.

Last time we went to our favorite second hand shop, Alain saw this chest of drawers.
It had just arrived in the night before and we were lucky enough to be there early and grab a bargain for 80 euros. I did think about just cleaning it and not painting it, but we've got a bedroom that hasn't got much colour (apart from red curtains and orange bedside tables) so I thought once again I'd use some Charlotte's locks to give it a bit of spunk.

I didn't like the handles at first, but they're growing on me

First snow of 2012

Meteo Paris got it right, it's snowed during the early hours of this morning and it's still falling. 
Not good news for the girls though, who had hoped to go clothes shopping at La Defense this morning
I might just put on my trail shoes and go for a run (with Alain in toe...if I can get him up)

jeudi 2 février 2012

La dame de Pique and Musée international d'art naïf

Our thermometer's reading this morning was -9°c and with the wind it was more like -15°c...apart from taking Marie Kate to school I haven't set foot outside, even now with the sun shining it's a freezing cold -7°c.  Marie Kate went to school well wrapped up ready for here school outing to Vicq and the International museum of Naïve Art. She's been so excited about it, they are going to do lots of workshops and eat a picnic.....just hope that they ate somewhere warm inside in weather like this.
We booked to go to the opera is Paris tomorrow, reserved ages ago, so we are just going to put on our winter woollies and brave the cold. This will be our view point from where we will be seated (I like the national Opera website), can't wait.