Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Let's eat on the porch

I decided to set a table for two on the porch for Kathleen's,   Let There Be White challenge.

My husband bought back the cutwork lace placemats from Korea while he was working there in the 90's.
Mansard by Spode plates, wedding crystal, cutlery from Williams Sonoma set a simple table. The napkin rings were mailed to me by a fellow blogger last year, Monica@Texas Fiesta Ware Fan.

The pot of impatients were brought in from my garden and viola the simple table is finished.
Here's the pot of impatients sitting in my garden.
This year I am loving green and white on the porch with my blue accent pieces.
It's been raining so much actual porch suppers were possible however, the heat has returned. Glad I did this ahead of time because I think inside dining is the only way now.

White dishes are so versatile.

A little added note: I am dying to visit everyone and see all they are doing but my kids are coming and I have a thousand things to do. I will catch up as soon as I can. Bonnie

Linking to:  Inspire Us Tuesday,Wow Us Wednesday, Let's Dish, and Tablescape Thursday.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hydrangeas turning color inspiration

In July, the hydrangeas start turning from blue to a beautiful green. I loved using my McCoy vase.  This is not a posed picture of a table scape. Just snapped it before putting a hot dish in the center of the table.
You can't see the rain but it was raining pretty hard when my husband snapped this pic. It had been raining all day actually all week and a girl gets stir crazy and cuts flowers in the rain. I am posting from my iPad for the first time.  It is different and I have not figured everything out yet.
So much has been going on at my house as you can see in the following pics. We had a large tree cut in the front of the house that was leaning as well as bucking up the driveway.

Gas lines are being installed in our neighborhood. I had just had four crape myrtles cut down at my driveway entrances and waiting for the stumps to be ground. One stump was in their way and they scooped it up root and all with their front loader.  The next thing I knew they had done all four.  I was so pleased and didn't even ask them to do it.  The crape myrtles had grown into trees and were interfering with the grass and other trees. I am soo glad they are gone. It looks so much better! I am equally glad the large tree is gone. I have more light in the  house.
So you can see I have been busy with workman. The next day we had workman here all day installing a new air conditioning unit.

I don't know how to enlarge the pics on the iPad. It is tricky correcting a mistake too because the touch feature is so sensitive. Also don't know how to remove a loaded pic. 

Thanks for letting me experiment with blogging from the iPad!

From my laptop:  My experiment did work but was not FUN!  I installed an app from blogger to be able to post from my iPad. You can only access your draft post from the blogger app. It does not show up on your regular computer until you publish it.  It is hard to write text because the touch feature is super sensitive. If you make a typing mistake it is hard to correct it except as you go along.Trying to touch the place you want to insert a word later makes it jump back to the beginning. It takes patience and more patience. I am sure if I keep working at it I will get better and faster. If you are just posting pictures it is not hard. I do like going to your camera roll and uploading a picture quickly.

Have any of you had success with posting from your iPad? Share some things you have learned.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Daughters's Garden

My daughter has a beautiful garden. I am so proud of her in a myriad of ways.
I think we southerner's call them pass along plants. The fluffy beautiful fern pictured is yarrow and was given to me by a special friend from her grandmother. I passed some along to my daughter. She found the perfect spot for it at her home.

Succulents catch your eye and draw you in.

Sadly, recently their area received a deluge of rain that washed out many of her plants after all her hard work.

The artist's eye at work with these plant combinations.

She shares my love of hydrangeas.
Amy has many artistic talents.
Her home is very lovely and delights the eye and the soul. We enjoy visiting our family and receive such warm hospitality each and every time. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Aix- en- Provence

 This is me making a picture of our hotel bathroom in Aix-en Provence. I am wearing my newly acquired french clothes bought at  a street market  explained  here.  Shelia, who writes the blog, Note Songs, has inspired me to finish writing  posts about our trip to Provence.  Her bathroom Diva's fun got me going today.

 We stayed in a fabulous hotel in Aix named La Maison d'Aix. It  is in the Mazarin quarter of Aix-en-Provence and is a 3 minute walk from the Cours Mirabeau.

This is the address and was a little hard to find because the sign was so small.

Do you see the sign to the right of the window? When we parked and walked around we found it. Later we found out due to the historial integrity of the area they did not allow large signs.

Our room was on the third floor.
We meet co- owner and  one of the architects, Laure Juhen that refurbished this private mansion now boutique hotel in Aix En Provence. She had come in to pick up several things as we were about to have breakfast. As it turned out that morning we were the only guests and had a delightful visit with her as she told us about the history of this home that took three years to refurbish. There were strict regulations about refurbishing a historic building.

The fresh figs and apricots were the best I have ever eaten!

I have forgotten the concierge/ chef's name. Such an interesting experience. Glad he was there to carry our bags to our room on third floor. I believe they were not allowed to install an elevator because of historical restrictions.

Our breakfast served on Juliska dishes. I was so impressed!  We were on cloud nine with the espresso.  So good!

This picture was hanging in the dining room. Our hostess told us about this very beautiful woman that owned the mansion. She was a noted courtesan that had famous clientele. The website for La Maison d'Aix describes  Mademoiselle Henriette Reboul as a renowned antiques collector and a love priestess that bought this private mansion dating from 1789 in 1903. She reputedly had numerous celebrity friends, lovers and mistresses, who all took abode in this magnificent residence.
We could have talked to Laure for hours but we were in Aix-en Provence and had to pull ourselves away to begin our short stay there seeing as much as we could in a short amount of time. As we left for the day I remember Laure saying," Enjoy strolling among the fontaines."
As we began our walk just across the street I peeped in this doorway because workers were busily going to and fro. It was very beautiful just as it was.

This was the first fontaine we strolled past. It is called the fountain of the four dolphins and dates back to 1667! So beautiful and exciting!

Can you image the excitement I felt as we turned the corner and saw this!
It was beautiful.

Look at that quatrefoil.

Church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte is a thirteenth century gothic church, the first in Provence. We went inside and felt reverence and awe at the beautiful paintings, architectural features and worshipful atmosphere.

Now, we are on the Cours Mirabeau and now I am understanding what strolling among the fontaines meant. Cours Mirabeau is a grand boulevard and is alive with people strolling along perusing the shops, stopping for espresso or aperitifs, people watching and checking out restaurants for dinner. All the fontaines have names but I did not take notes.

Shops and cafes line both sides of the street.

Architectural features abound.

This was the grandest fontaine, Fontaine de la Rotonde a cast iron fountain built in 1860.

Unlike the other towns in Provence we visited Aix en Provence had traffic. It is a city and once we parked our rental car we did not use it again. Finding a parking place was a nightmare.

Unfortunately we only had two nights and one full day in Aix. I would love to go back because there were so many other wonderful sights. I especially wanted to see Cèzanne's atelier.

A night view of Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence.
Look at the lush plane trees just beginning to leaf out in early April on the Cours Mirabeau. There were so many choices of restaurants it was hard to decide where to have dinner that night. It is a challenge to read a menu in french  and when an english menu was available we were pleased.  Only on one occasion did we get something we didn't order due to the language barrier and it was good just not what we ordered! We enjoyed all the food especially the artistic presentation. Observing the french culture and the welcoming atmosphere of the french people made our stay a great experience.

The night view out of our hotel window. I enjoyed sharing my memories with you. Would you believe we went to Provence in 2011. Now, why have I waited so long to post more of my pictures? We visited Orange, Chateauneuf'du Pape ,   Pont du Gard, Avignon, Arles, Les Baux-De-Provence, Bonnieux, Roussillon, Gordes, L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, Saint Rèmy-De-Provence and I am sure I will remember others and left from Marselles.  I still have other pictures to share that I hope to get to soon. Do you enjoy travel posts?  My other posts can be viewed here:Provence posts:
 "Provence....One trip is not enough!"
  Provence-Part Deux
  Provence-Part Trois
  Voila! A gift to you from FRANCE!


I am excited to FINALLY join, The Tablescaper at Oh, the Places I've been. Thanks again Shelia, for inspiring me with one little bathroom pic to post more pictures from a wonderful trip. It was a dream come true.