Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Joyeux Noël Tags

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The French have yet to succumb to having
Christmas cards, home decorations, shopping displays,
and city holiday lights before December.
But in December,
Paris
bedazzles the world and
truly becomes the 
City of Light!
FREECHRISTMASWALLPAPERS.NET
Before I started making a few of my
own Christmas decorations, I also waited until 
after Thanksgiving
to begin Christmas decorations.
Now, I begin making decorations well before December.
One of the hazards of being crafty 
or trying to be crafty.... :)

Recently I saw a Christmas hangtag ornament that
I really liked because of its simplicity.
I love looking at Paris lights, but
am drawn to simpler, more Nordic-style decorations.
See the French Country Cottage's
antique orchard ladder Christmas finery.  Sigh...

The first simple hangtags I made were
Joyeux Noël...
using a new font for me, Aiden Kirnberg.
It looks very Français.

Here's what I used to make these little Frenchy tags...
Heavyweight, textured canvas cloth...
on my inkjet printer...

I created a Table in Microsoft Word with four columns and two rows.
Zero margins...
When I printed the Joyeux Noël tags, 
I realized the tag backs were blank. Hmm...
Always learning...
So, out came the Eiffel Tower stamp!

Using deckle-edge craft scissors,
I trimmed all four edges of the fronts and backs.
Hard to cut this canvas cloth because
the back has a rubbery texture...

I used Modge Podge to glue the fronts to the backs
with a narrow (1/4") gold ribbon inserted
between the front and back before gluing.

I liked them, but they looked a little
too plain, even for Nordic style.
I sewed a tiny, tiny red bell to the front of each.
Just the look I like!

Then, I decided to make some
Merry Christmas hangtags.
I love fonts...  So instead of just one font, I used four!
 Edwardian Script, Papyrus, Zapfino, and Curlz MT
It is the season for
the more, the merrier!

I like using just one on a rosemary tree in the kitchen.

Nordic-style...oh, yes...


Love them all on my garden-shed Fraiser Fir tree...

Did not deckle-edge these...
Added a small metal Christmas tree embellishment...

Remembered to print front and back for each...
Also, remembered to print words 
rotated 180º in row 2...

Ironed the canvas cloth under a piece of white paper
to set the ink...

Cut out the four strips, but did not cut apart 
the fronts and backs...
Instead, folded the strip in half along the border of the
two rows of words...
Ironed the folded strip to get a sharp edge...
Glued the front to the back with Modge Podge
with a 1/4" gold ribbon between the front and back...
Attached the little gold Christmas tree...

The hangtags are heavy, textured, ivory-colored canvas cloth.

Now, I'm thinking...
what else can I print on the canvas cloth?
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Hope to see you at linking parties.....

 Feathered Nest Friday

Fabulously Creative Friday


Cowgirl Up!

Coke Case Advent Calendar and a Winner!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

When I first started traveling to France
in the early 1980s,
waiters would shake their heads, and
utter, "tsk, tsk," whenever I ordered 
Coca-Cola
with my meal.
I've always loved Coke.

Getting glaçon (ice) was a real feat
in the '80s and into the '90s!
Now, getting Coke and lots of ice in France
are relatively easy.
Restaurant in Sarlat, France

Cannot say I have ever developed a taste for wine...
I know I must be missing out on something great,
but after many wine-tasting tours of
incredible vineyards throughout France, 
I still prefer Coke.
The French waiters still say, "tsk, tsk."

France, Coca-Cola, and Christmas!
Three all time favorites...

After finding some vintage Coca-Cola cases
in Alabama and Tennessee, and
thinking about the twenty-four cubby holes...


it came to me that Coke cases could be
Advent Calendars.

Now, savvy crafters probably already knew this
and have done this for years, but
for me it was a revelation.
Not only are there twenty-four cubby holes, the Coke color says
Christmas!

Here's how I found a way to combine
my love for Coke and Christmas!

Supplies needed in addition to the Coke case...

Super strength Glue Dots, Mod Podge, mat board,
upholstery tacks, paper Christmas designs, scissors,
and a paper cutting board...
The mat board, Glue Dots, and Mod Podge came from
Michaels.
I found these upholstery tacks at Pottery Barn,
but they can be found at a fabric store.

 More small Christmas designs...
Finding just the right size and color tones took some work.
The colors needed to blend together harmoniously.

I cut mat board to fit the cubby hole opening to use as a flap cover.
Each one had to be adjusted for the specific cubby hole.
Since this is a vintage Coke case,
the openings are not uniform and 
the wood side walls vary in height. 
1964 is stamped on the inside wall of the case.

To allow for a finger to catch the bottom edge,
 I rounded the bottom edges.
The walls of each cubby hole are not solid wood,
but are slats of wood with gaps between them.
I cut dark green mat board to use as a base
in each cubby hole so the small
surprises will not fall through the gaps.
I used super strength glue dots to attach the mat board
to the cubby hole wall.


I really like the design on the upholstery tacks!
Much nicer than thumbtacks...
This little bird nestling in 
Christmas holly is one of my favorite
cubby hole covers.

The calendar is designed for each flap to rotate
to the side to reveal the opening which allows for
inserting & retrieving small gifts.
So, I only nailed the tacks part-way into the wood
allowing the mat board covers to swing freely left and right.

Almost finished...I worked on this for a very l-o-n-g time!
Finding and/or creating, by stamping, just the right mix of 
cubby covers was what took the most time.
A balance in the colors (red, green, white) and
in the designs (Santas, red stripes, birds, etc...) also took 
a lot of arranging and re-arranging.

Standing on its side, it can easily sit atop a narrow shelf or desk.



Close-up views...


All finished...
No numbers on purpose...

Now that the Advent Calendar is finished,
I'm thinking about making one that has all
French designs and words.
I can see it now...
Toile, Eiffel towers, fleur de lis, crowns,
Noël, Father Christmas, French Christmas music...
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Thank you to everyone who left comments
and entered into Botanic Bleu's first Give-Away.
The winner of a vintage French postcard,
large gray ceramic heart, and
a Michel Design soap is

Lois Arnold

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hope to see you at linking parties.....

 Feathered Nest Friday

Fabulously Creative Friday

Angels

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Angels 
have always appealed to me.

In Paris, angels are easy to find, without really searching for them.
Famous ones dressed in gold finery top the Opéra House.
The sky on this day in Paris was reminiscent of an Impressionist painting
casting a glow to the top of the building and highlighting the
dazzling golden angels.

On this day, the sky was brighter and the angels
~ s h i m m e r e d ~  in the sunlight.

Such splendid finery reflecting the sun...

Over the years I've received and sent Christmas cards featuring
angels.

Without consciously working on it,
an angel card collection was born;
it is displayed year-round.

An angel ornament collection, however, was and is a deliberate
collection for which new members were and are routinely eagerly sought!
Porcelain, wood, metal, fabric, paper, but no plastic or resin, please!

For the past ten years, I've displayed my angel ornament collection
on a Christmas tree with only angels 
(well, almost all angels) 
in the breakfast sunspace.

Each angel has a special memory 
which I mentally recount as I hang it on the tree.

The white Lenox porcelain tree topper was a gift 
from my husband one Christmas.
For many years, I displayed her year-round on 
a special stand covered in
blue velveteen that he made especially for her.

More than one ornament was a Christmas package decoration 
before becoming a tree ornament.

Some were gifts from friends and family.
Many came from an 
Ornament Exchange 
with colleagues at the high school where we all taught.
It's been held annually for almost thirty years now.
Such good memories!

Some ornaments are handmade.
This was my first attempt at handmade paper angels this fall
using instructions compiled from multiple blog sites.
I love the ragged edges, the thickness of the paper, 
and the details in the design.

Perhaps angel images appeal to me because they are reminders of 
real angels.

Let brotherly love continue. 
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers:
 for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:1-2

May you be blessed with angels in your life.











Who Changes the Musée d'Orsay Clocks?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Daylight Saving Time ends
Sunday, November 4, 2:00 a.m.

"Fall back" an hour.
Most Americans reset their clocks before
going to bed on Saturday, November 3.

So who changes the clocks in 
Musée d'Orsay?
Source: France for Visitors, copyright Catherine Balet
See this site for more images of Musée d'Orsay.

Is it done like the little boy did in Hugo?

Source: Wikipedia

Are they wondering who changes the clock? How the clock is changed?
Wonder if they are as fascinated by the Musée d'Orsay clock as I am?



Like a child, I'm even more excited ... you can see the Louvre across the Seine 
through the clock!


My favorite museum in Paris,
my favorite clocks in Paris...


A clock at the other end...
Look at the people on the walkways behind the clock!
Hugo would have had a hard time hiding in this train station.

A clock for passengers to view inside...
Another for outside...

A beautiful old train station was transformed into this museum.
I go to Musée d'Orsay every time I go to Paris
to look at the clocks, to look at the train station architecture,
to touch the building, to browse the museum shop,
and to eat at the restaurant behind the interior clock.
Oh, yes, to also look at the art.

The restaurant is another story for another day.

uh-oh ...
Source: Wikipedia  Train wreck in 1895
France ended Daylight Saving Time

last week!
Sunday, October 28, 2:00 a.m.

Hope my French friends did not have any train wrecks
because they forgot to reset their clocks...

Here in Texas, I'm loving a black clock with a 
French floral face.
I know how to reset it for Daylight Saving Time.



We have these in the Botanic Bleu shop.

After much searching on the world wide web,
 I still do not know who resets the clocks in the Musée d'Orsay.

Do any of you know who resets the Musée d'Orsay clocks 
and how it is done?

Botanic Bleu's
2012 Country French Christmas
sale begins
Saturday, November 24, 2012.


Botanic Bleu's 
First Give-Away
A vintage French postcard (not shown) plus
a Michel Design soap plus
a LARGE gray ceramic heart 

How to Enter
Lots of ways
  1. Entry 1) Write a comment telling what you like best about the Musée D'Orsay.
  2. Entry 2) Become a follower of Botanic Bleu's blogThen write a comment saying you are a follower.
  3. Entry 3) Mention this Give-Away and share a link back to this post on your blog.  Then write a comment saying you shared on your blog.
  4. Entry 4) Share a link back to this post on your Facebook page. Then write a comment saying you shared this post.
  5. Entry 5) LIKE Botanic Bleu's business Facebook page. Then write a comment saying you LIKED Botanic Bleu's FB.
  6. Entry 6) PIN on Pinterest the photo of the Give-Away items. Then write a comment saying you PINed the photo onto your Pinterest board.
  7. Deadline to enter: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 3:00 PM CST
  8. Give-Away open only to people with mailing addresses in the United States. (Sorry---postage)
  9. Remember to include your email address in each entry so I can reach you if you win! :)



Vintage French Stamps & A Give-Away

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What is it about vintage French stamps 
that is so alluring?

For me,
browsing for stamps, old letters, and vintage postcards
in France
is much of the allure.

What could be more relaxing than
strolling through flea markets, browsing book sellers' wares, and
meandering in the passages couverts (covered passages) in 
Paris?



In October 2011, while meandering in
Passage des Panoramas in Paris,
I found some "recent vintage"
Français Collection Historique du Timbre Poste 
that especially
"called my name."

What beside being found in France drew me to the
commemorative stamp/carte issued for
François ARAGO?


François was an astronomer.  How great is it that a country
honors scientists!


The heavy card stock is off-white and has a raised embossed seal.
The quality of this paper and the official seal feel good to the touch.
Texture is important.


The custom cancellation design shows the Cygnus constellation 
that matches the design on the lower left of the stamp.
Such a beautiful cancellation!

The stamp itself is even more alluring than the cancellation.

François Arago was also a mathematician which the stamp honors by
a graph of the sine function in the lower right corner.
Now, how many stamps have you seen celebrate trigonometry?


The first-day issue carte has an extraordinary blue drawing of the
Paris Observatory.

What became of the
Français Collection Historique du Timbre Poste
first-day issue carte?


Using a papier mâché cone, blue scrapbooking heavy stock paper, 
a small round wooden disk, and mod podge,
the first-day issue commemorative page 
became a one-of-a-kind
Christmas 
decoration topped with a little gold Eiffel Tower.
Rather fitting...

François Arago 
is one of seventy-two whose names are engraved
on the Eiffel Tower.

The François Arago Christmas cone
complements the colors in my house, but it
probably will go to the shop for sale.

Botanic Bleu's
2012 Country French Christmas
sale begins
Saturday, November 24, 2012.


Botanic Bleu's 
First Give-Away
A vintage French postcard (not shown) plus
a Michel Design soap plus
a LARGE gray ceramic heart 

How to Enter
Lots of ways
  1. Entry 1) Write a comment telling what you like best about the François Arago stamp.
  2. Entry 2) Become a follower of Botanic Bleu's blog. Then write a comment saying you are a follower.
  3. Entry 3) Mention this Give-Away and share a link back to this post on your blog.  Then write a comment saying you shared on your blog.
  4. Entry 4) Share a link back to this post on your Facebook page. Then write a comment saying you shared this post.
  5. Entry 5) LIKE Botanic Bleu's business Facebook page. Then write a comment saying you LIKED Botanic Bleu's FB.
  6. Entry 6) PIN on Pinterest the photo of the Give-Away items. Then write a comment saying you PINed the photo onto your Pinterest board.
  7. Deadline to enter: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 3:00 PM CST
  8. Give-Away open only to people with mailing addresses in the United States. (Sorry---postage)
  9. Remember to include your email address in each entry so I can reach you if you win! :)
Hope to see you at linking parties.....

 French Country Cottage
 Feathered Nest Friday

Jennifer Rizzo
Fabulously Creative Friday