Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Design on Friday 3

Friday, January 27, 2017

F R E N C H   D E S I G N 
on Friday 

~  Textiles  ~
9 Ways to Use Them

A N T I Q U E  L I N E N S
très français

Vintage French linens with monograms can still be found in French flea markets because the younger generation is selling inherited linens found in armoires, chests, and attics. Could it be that the days of formal meals with trousseau linens gracing a table set for twelve are gone? Is the younger generation opting for more casual meals? Or using linens with THEIR monograms instead of grand-mères'

Most vintage linens are white or ivory, but colored linens are popping up, either as new linens or dyed vintage linens. All three flea markets/brocantes I shopped in Paris had vintage linens with beautiful monograms, and I saw colored linens in two of the three markets. 

Snowflake Winter Tablescape

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Snowflake Winter Tablescape 
a french-inspired setting 


Beautiful table settings are a common sight in magazines, books, catalogs, and blogs. Frequently the photos will be accompanied with tips on HOW to recreate the same table setting in your own home, and sometimes the articles will include sources to "get the look." A designer or stylist may give detailed behind-the-scenes explanations of choosing dishes, making place cards, placing accessories, creating take-home favors, or arranging a floral centerpiece. 

Not much is said, if anything, about WHY to create beautiful table settings in our homes. 

Well, not much is said by most of us. Chefs and food enthusiasts, including food stylists, have written volumes about presentation, presentation, presentation and why presentation is important. 

French Design on Friday 2

Friday, January 20, 2017

F R E N C H   D E S I G N 
on Friday 

~  Textiles  ~


T O I L E 

Is there any doubt toile is one of the quintessential fabrics that defines French style? 

Winter Greenery After Christmas

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


When the landscape is bare, and plants are dormant for the winter, a little indoor greenery gives color to our homes and gives life to our spirits. Winter greenery after Christmas adds a little joy to everyday living. 

Snowflakes on the Porch

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snowflakes on the Porch

Following Christmas, winter days are calmer with time for relaxing and enjoying the season without the frenzy that often accompanies Christmas. Falling snowflakes bring even a greater sense of peaceful days with the excitement that time stands still, even stops. No school, canceled meetings, changed schedules, sweat pants and hoodies, slow-cooking soups, and movie marathons. 

All without guilt. 


French Design on Friday #1

Friday, January 13, 2017

F R E N C H   D E S I G N 
on Friday

~ textiles ~


Look carefully at the words on this script fabric found in Marche Saint Pierre last fall while visiting Paris. 

Shepherd... sellers... of the late Mr. O. Hamu... 

January Housekeeping On The Computer

Monday, January 9, 2017

January means 

Housekeeping On The Computer

All things need upkeep, maintenance, repair, sprucing-up, and overall general cleaning. January is the month when many Americans' thoughts turn to goals, resolutions, fresh starts, and decluttering. Catalogs arrive with white sales, organization supplies, monthly/yearly planners, and cleaning materials. 

New Year's Eve Birthday Cake

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Eve Birthday Cake 

Every year there is a world-wide birthday party on my sister's birthday. A huge crowd gathers in Times Square in New York City; indeed in all major cities around the world. Party goers count down... 10, 9, 8, ... 2, 1... to the instant her birthday ends, and a huge glittering ball drops. Fireworks erupt, streamers descend, champagne corks pop, and strangers kiss one another.

She is another year older. 

The birthday celebration is a little more subdued at our house, but nonetheless joyous. We celebrate with cake, presents, and flowers. This year the cake was coconut cake topped with raspberries and wax flowers. 

Our secret between us... start with a cake purchased from a bakery and add fruit and flowers to decorate it. The cake goes from just being a cake to a special cake for a special occasion. 

La Madeleine, a French bistro and bakery in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, makes delicious cakes that are moist and flavor-filled. This coconut cake has creamy, pudding-like icing between the yellow cake layers and tastes heavenly... homemade.

Better than homemade.

TIP 1: Check whether the flowers you plan to use are toxic before putting them on a cake. Just search online. "Are wax flowers toxic?" Insert the name of the flower you want to use in place of the underlined wax flowers in the sample question. 

TIP 2: By using some of the wax flowers in a bouquet of peach-tinged roses, the party bouquet coordinates with the cake. Subtle details like repeating colors, textures, or flowers create a finished look to party decorations. Most people are not aware of the details that make the difference in final touches, but their minds sense the unity created by repetitive use of colors, textures, or flowers. 

With just a little extra added to a ready-made cake, the cake and party become very special... worthy of a spectacular new year's eve celebration... with a minimum of time, money, and expertise. 

Happy New Year 

and happy birthday, Sister. 
Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined