Sunday, June 7, 2015

Seeing the light....and a wee bit of sparkle.

Light in Our Humble Bungalow is low...

The design of arts and crafts bungalows have extended overhanging eaves which do minimize the natural light...that's why we have so many electric lamps and light fixtures.

The walls are papered with organic toned period arts and crafts wallpaper which compliment the 100 year old + Douglas fir  beams and wood wall treatments.

Here is a weekend morning image of our dining room...
it is a challenge to get enough light to read a book or knit.

I finished the blanket that I have been working on for grand baby number 3
(I have folded it in half to take the picture.)
It's the classic block pattern that I have used for all the baby blankets and this time I used a thick cotton yarn in an off white shade.

I usually sit in our living room to read in a Morris chair situated right under a large lamp and this book held me spell bound for several days...
It is a thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock and I can see this book easily being made into a film.
The characters are very dysfunctional and quirky...the story held my interest and it is worth reading.

The foyer of the Garnier Opera House in Paris was dimly lit...
it would have been originally illuminated with lamps and candles before electricity.

Can you imagine doing fine needlework, knitting or sewing by candle light or an oil lamp?
It would be hard on the eyes.

I purchased this cheerful towel in France.
I spend so much time in my kitchen that I thought it would be a wonderful reminder of my trip.
I've hung it on my stove.

The sponge is from La Cuisine where author and Ooh La La Paris tour leader  Jamie Cat Callan and I took our cooking class together.

I spied this wee key chain at the local Pharmacy on Oak Bay Avenue.
Which instantly reminded me of the Ooh La La Tour!

I forgot to mention in a previous post that I bought two linen Tees at the Monoprix in Paris.
This one is white with a wee bit of sparkle and the other is in a grey nubby linen.
Both are super comfy and very cool for summer.
The Monoprix has cute fashions...
they are basics and available at affordable price points.
Monoprix is like the American Target store...
(wish we still had Target here.)

I treated myself to a couple of new Hermes scents...
this one I have been wearing daily since I got home from France.

I've also indulged in a hot coffee with foamed milk each morning...
(sometimes two!)
I use espresso in my French Press and foam the milk in the Starbucks electric machine.
I like it much better than cream and an added bonus is that it is WW point friendly.

I miss those cute French glass jars that they store and sell yogurt in, in Paris and France.

A little bit of France has back home with me...
in my head and in my heart.
Memories are the best souvenirs.

Like that first kiss 
I think I'll always remember Paris!

It's a sunny day today and it's Mother's 88th birthday so we are taking her out to celebrate.
It's a surprise and my sister and I are in cahoots about where we are going!
Hope she likes what we have planned.



  1. What a delightful post. Will you show us the period wallpapers in your house? I would love to see them.

    You are so right. Memories ARE the very best souvenirs. Who could forget their first trip to Paris? I remember so fondly my first trip to Europe. I was 20 years old and my flight landed in Vienna. I marveled at all the sights. I could tell I was far far away and in a very different place. And, like a first kiss, that place was wonderful!

    1. I will work on an interior humble bungalow post...thank you for asking.

  2. That baby blanket looks great! I could see that used as a throw in your house, actually -- fits in really well with your organic, Arts&Crafts environment. . . Did you find the thick cotton yarn tough to work with? I must admit I'm not a fan of knitting with cotton which I find hard on the hands.
    I second your recommendation of Girl on the Train. I have a few quibbles with it, but it certainly kept my attention! (something like Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl). Good weather for reading a mystery now, isn't it fabulous?! (I actually went for a quick swim in the ocean this morning! And it was quite tolerable.)

    1. I don't mind the cotton yarns and i use bamboo needles...the stitches take up a lot of space so it does get a bit tricky when the project gets longer!
      I'm reading a Kate Atkinson mystery now!
      Summer reading is one of my favourite luxuries!

  3. the blanket is lovely.

    I have always enjoyed seeing the posts of your home, your have done such a marvelous job in keeping to its original character and charm.

    I am currently listening while driving to The Girl on the Train, it is fascinating and I can't quite figure out yet just who is is just a little off, and who is down right crazy.But it is very compelling.

    My favorite keepsake from my last visit to Paris is my little Eiffel Tower, trite I know but I love it, it sits on my desk beside the computer.

    1. I've looked longingly at those Eiffel Tower stands and thought I'd like one...
      perhaps now is the right time.

  4. Happy birthday to your mom! I'm sure she will love whatever you have planned. Today is a special day fore as well - my 35th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it's been that long (and also that I'm that old)!

    1. Hope you enjoyed your 35th...and a cause for a celebration!

  5. I love the Arts and Crafts style, but have always thought I'd have a hard time living so darkly. And a very happy birthday to your mama. I hope you've all had a lovely day.

    1. I do crave light especially in the airy modernist homes do appeal to me.
      We have been here so long that I have grown to love the ambiance and the warm glow of the mica shades and stained glass fixtures.

  6. Oh, how I love those great bowls. After all these years, I still have my morning coffee in one, although I prefer it straight, like my Father (w/a bit of sugar). Mme Mère always had café au lait, and she warmed the milk in a tiny saucepan. I still have the saucepan. You are so lucky to have your Mme Mère still w/you. Cherish her!!

    What lovely purchases you made in Paris. Each one seems to evoke a special thought or moment. No, my Dear, you will never forget your first trip to Paris. I still remember my first kiss.

    xoxo, M-T

    1. I adore my Mother...
      we are very close and I savour and honour the time that we spend together.
      I know I'll be heartbroken when she passes on...

  7. I am still wearing my Monoprix linen t-shirts three years later. I did find the characters in Girl on the Train dysfunctional but it was an engaging read. Right now I am reading a Maisie Dobbs mystery. It is set in post WW1 Britain and apparently is part of a series. We have a milk foamer and I really enjoy the café au lait. Did you go to the store on Ile St-Louis to buy yogurt? They had blue and terracotta pots of yogurt. Your baby blanket looks lovely. Maman and I went for lunch and a drive through the countryside today as it is so beautiful. Hope that your mother enjoyed her celebration.

    1. I did not go to that yogurt shop...oh if I knew I would have paid them a visit! A pot like that would have come home with me in my luggage!
      Mom just called me to say how much she enjoyed herself yesterday...she was still bubbling with enthusiasm.

  8. Happy to hear your news about another grandchild. I'm sure the blankets you knit will be cherished heirlooms.

    I hope your mother had a wonderful Birthday!

  9. What a lovely interesting post! love the stuff you've bought.

  10. My mum turns 88 soon as well. She lives several hours away, but I'm thankful daily for our rousing phone conversations about books, food, and her garden. Hope you and your sister show your mum a wonderful time.

    1. Mom was surprised and delighted with our choice of venue and she had a great time.
      We took her to the Empress Hotel, The Bengal Lounge where they made a fuss of her and sang happy birthday with a complimentary piece of cake lit with a candle!

  11. happy bday to your mom! i can't wait to get my hands on that book and i loved coffee in france. i loved the way they always served it with hot milk. soooo good. love your home, it is perfection! xo

    1. It's fun to adopt new traditions from our travels...I think it keeps the trip and memories fresh and "alive" longer...hope you like the book.

  12. I really enjoyed this post, felt like a nice chat. The Girl on the Train is quite a ride.

    What fun it has been reading about your lovely Paris trip. My son's girlfriend has just started a Paris holiday and her first impressions have not been as rosy as yours, saying she finds the city hectic and rather grubby.

    I love your house and admire you for maintaining its heritage quality. Dark suits me as I have had vertigo for a year and function better in low light.

    Enjoy every minute with your dear mother.

    1. Paris is a big city teeming with locals and tourists...there are line ups at the museums if you go later in the day and the traffic can be bustling...I think staying in The Latin Quarter was a good spot because it was quiet and very residential...and close to The Luxembourg Gardens. I saw no evidence of grubbiness...and no litter either. I thought the city was very well maintained. Many of the streets in the 6th were hosed down and swept early in the mornings and the wee parks and squares with gardens were weeded and tidy. I hope her trip improves.

  13. Nice, chatty post. I enjoy The Girl on the Train, love an unreliable narrator. Glad your mom's birthday celebration went well, and I do love your home.