Saturday, November 16, 2019

Random Harvest

It has been a while since my last little post which was not a mini post in the way I wished to do so regularly. Real life got in the way with my intended move to a new house but this is now no longer on the books. I had packed a LOT of boxes, emptied cupboards and even bought some needed stuff for the new house including an enormous sofa! I met the owners of the new house and we went through the work they intended to do on the house and it will be wonderful when finished but it will mean that all the charm I found in it's original condition will be lost to modernity. Now some people are happy living in hotel type accomodation but I'm a bohemian messy person who needs to live in a house where I can put my own stamp. I am not sad, it wasn't meant to be and I don't think back but forwards in life. This coincided with the need to do what we all need to do as we get old and do tests and more tests and for this I went to Paris and made a short holiday of it. My mum is also being an old lady which I find strange as for me she was always sprite and young and full of energy. RL!

The house is such a huge mess with boxes half packed all over and piles of stuff to be gone through so mini work is off the books for the moment. 

I thought that I would fill the gap with some images from RL. 

On Sunday before all my tests I went to two flea markets to pass the time with no intention as usual to buy anything especially in the present context of semi moving! 

I came across this little marble statue of Saint Cecilia. For those who do not know of her she was a 3rd century Roman noblewoman who had vowed her virginity to god from a very young age. She was married by force to a man who would later become in turn Saint Valerian but at the time was a pagan. He agreed to respect her womanhood if she showed him the angel she spoke off to which she agreed on the condition of his baptism. On his return from baptism he found her speaking with the angel. She then had her brother in law Tiburtius baptised and he also saw the angel. After both these men were martyred she gave all her wordly possesions away to the poor which enraged Almachius who order her to be burnt. As the flames had no effect on her he ordered her to be beheaded after which she was buried near Rome. In the 9th century when her tomb was opened it was found that her body was still intact, un corrupted by death so she was made a saint. 
Saint Cecilia is the patron Saint of music and musiciens.

I paid 10 euros for this little treasure and added her to the three others I have found over the years.

Some little treasures in my bedroom. The porcelain 'Fennec' to the left was my first conscious antique purchase found in a sale room when I was 8 years old and cost me my pocket money. It has miraculously survived all these years of moving and losing stuff. 
I recently realised that a very valuable painting along with two others was stolen from my storage place. I also lost the silver tea set from my mother and six rows of pearls given to me as a 40th birthday gift from my best friend along with many other things, Rather upsetting.

I found this little sea scape for 10 euros, it looks better without it's frame.

I bought this repro 'painting' of this little boy for 5 euros and the gorgeous ( in my opinion ) riverscape I found in a local Junk shop for 10 euros because the frame had come apart! It is a very good painting although unsigned.

This golden lady is by a Belgian artist called Georges Van der Straeten who was born in 1856 in Gent. She is said to be 'La Goulue' who was a dancer at the Moulin Rouge and was a friend of Toulouse Lautrec. I paid the huge amount of 75 euros for her more than 25 years ago and she has followed me since.

Georges Van der Straeten in his atelier. 

This sad but lovely little mask is a death mask taken from a drowned girl found in the Seine River in Paris. She was probably a suicide victim in the 19th century  at a time when young girls were slaves to propriety. I pais 5 euros for her in the rain.

Some of my Delft tiles from the 18th century, now too expensive to add to.

My first attempt at oil painting, a copy of a work by Landseer next to an 18th century punch bowl and two terra cotta Art Nouveau busts. The taller one sat in the corner of a friends garage until I took pity on her and took her home ! 

A drawing found in a Junk shop waiting patiently to be framed.

This is one of a pair of photos taken by Karl Lagerfeld. This was before he became a photographer, when he was still trying things out. They date from 1992 and Karl dedicated them to me at the time.

On my way home from the flea market I saw a pile of household things on the sidewalk and on inspection found these two signed lithographs of old Paris in nice oak frames. I coudn't resist saving them from the rain. 

I found this little boy in a dark corner of the market, he lit up the day ! He is plaster and is the same one as painted by Paul Cézanne in some of his still lives. I paid 10 euros for him, cheap but heavy! The little naive sea port oil painting is very old and rather lovely. It was 20 euros, quite a lot for that corner of the market but I wasn't going to argue when I liked it so much. The little hand made rug was also 10 euros as was the middle oil painting found locally. 

When in Paris I had some surgery done on my jaw and after 20 and more injections was feeling really good when I came across a large bag of gorgeous Canson paper, about 100 sheets of mixed colours including some card, very useful ! On opening the bag when I got home I found this oil painting at the bottom ! It had split in two but is easy to fix.
When the injections wore off I admit to feeling slightly less 'good' !! 

I am not a big fan of Art Nouveau in general, having just shown you several Art Nouveau pieces in my home ! I came across this wonderful building walking through an area of Paris I usually avoid. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated, the detail is amazing. It is a listed building totally covered in ceramic.

One of the quietest and prettiest garden squares in Paris is the Palais Royal gardens. It is in the center and dogs are allowed inside which for Paris is unusual. 

It is being restored and the work is amazing. 

These panels of wire  'fencing' are in front of the Paris school of Haute Joaillerie, a lovely original idea.

Amazingly this used to be the main Post Office in Paris, rue du Louvre not far from the museum of the same name. It was built in 1888 and has recently been the subect of a huge restoration, meaning they stripped out all the innards and built something new inside. I shudder to imagine all the details that have been lost!

I love this little passage called Vero Dadot. It is near the Palais Royal and is not really well known. It was built in 1826 by two 'charcutiers' !! Galleries like this were very popular as places to go that were sheltered and probably somewhere you could accidentally 'bump' into members of the opposite sex!

The little courtyard below in in rue de Seine and always intrigued me as very romantique. One day many years ago a man saw me looking in and invited me to visit the apartment on the first floor so up I went. I cannot convey the amount of museum quality antiques and furnishings that were there. The apartment had huge ceilings and an 'enfilade' of endless rooms all full of Louis this and that mixed with gigantic ceramic vases and coats of Japanese Armour. Damask curtains draped on the floor held back by huge silk tastles and the floors were all Versailles parquet. I had never and has never since seen anything like it. The place was also full of dust as the man told me that the owners never used it! 

Well my dear followers I do apologise for the lack of mini things to show you but I hope that I have perhaps taught you something of Paris today. I have by no means given up on Ramsay House and will endeavour to get things sorted out and back to priorities soon.
I have decided to stay in my present house until life settles down a bit, meaning mum is better and winter is over as I feel it will be severe this year. I have just put all my geraniums under cover in the summer house for winter and bought in more bird food than human food ! 

Have a nice day wherever you are. Hugs xoxoxo 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Laying bricks

As I am in the middle of sorting out the house for the future move I am frustrated to not be doing 'something' creatif with my hands. Many years ago I saw a tapestry covered brick in an old manor house used as a door stop. The Tapestry used was of course a piece of antique textile in keeping with the house. There were some bricks left from building the kitchen sink base so I first covered it with cardboard and tape to stop the dust then a layer of batting. I used an old bed quilt for the padding and then chose a vintage tapestry. The one I chose has a funny side story, I used to love these slightly kitsch pictures and often bought them to take out of the frame, wash and make pillows with. This particular one I had bid on via eBay but lost out and then next day when walking the dogs I found one, beautifuly framed just propped up in the street ! The SAME one, I could hardly believe it. 
My tastes have since evolved and I have more than enough Tapestry pillows but there is still a stock of these pictures in the attic. It was either cut it up and have the memory of the find or give it to local charity.

The picture was quite big but I decided to go 18th century kitsch and focus on the face. I think that this Tapestry was inspired by 'Boucher' painting. 

I had thought of doing a plain felt base but changed to total Tapestry.

Here is place and ready for it's new home next year.

I have since seen some with specially designed tapestries but the fun is in recycling, maybe this will inspire someone to do the same, even make them to sell at a fair. It was a fun quick project and one day I will probably do another , or two or three. I am a bit obsessive when I take to making things.
I actually found in storage 12 Tapestry pillows and a rug that I made in the 80's and 90's then a friend sent me a link to some amazing old bobble edged ones she saw on Etsy and a month later she sent them to me! They say that you can never have enough of a good thing but believe me you can!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Amsterdam Paris Scotland

I can hardly believe it has been three weeks since my last post but as I have in the past posted twice in one day it's not a bad average. I am always sad when a good blog slowly or suddenly fades out because real life gets in the way. As I live alone my blog is one way I communicate with the 'outside' world and I love commenting back and forth with my wonderful followers. 
I was called home to Scotland when my mum felt ill and I spent ten days there sorting out her life and doing gardening and house cleaning etc.
The upside was over 8 hours stopover in wonderful Amsterdam on the way as there is no direct flight. I don't usually have enough time to justify going into town from Schiphol airport. 
I love this city it's easy to get around although with the advent of smartphones it's tricky to avoid Twitting and Facebooking Amsterdammers on their bicycles. Between this and clumsy tourists and up and down pavements it took longer than usual to get around. I had also spent two days going through two flea markets in Paris so my legs were giving in.
I decided to head for a restaurant called 'Café de Jaren' on Nieuwe Doelenstraat, a lovely place to share a table with strangers, read the local news and watch the canal out of the window.

After an hour I needed FOOD and sugar so I popped into this cute typical little café and ordered grilled Mozzarella with sun dried tomatoes. The Café de Jaren would have to wait. I was the only client and the owners mother made it for me and took it down from her home nearby. It was way the best grilled cheese ever.

Below is the Café de Jaren, I popped in on the way back from the flea market.

Amsterdam means flowers and especially tulips. The flower market is on the Singel Canal.
If I lived in Amsterdam my house would be full of flowers.
I bought 50 tulip bulbs that when open will look more like Peony roses than tulips. I paid 10 euros for 50 tulip bulbs! In the airport shops the price is several times more!

Amsterdam is mainly made from bricks on wooden pillars sunk into the ground. I thought that these steps would made a good detail in a future dollhouse.

Sometimes you see the strangest things. Small children surrounded by skulls and death!

I could NOT find any store selling miniatures which I found odd given the large miniature Community there. 

I went to the flea market in Amsterdam and found a few nice things which I have not yet photographed but I might make a post of just recent finds.  I didn't take photos as it was closing up by the time I arrived there. With any good market it's best to go really early. I bought a late 18th century plate, a mid century pottery lamp and a bronze statue by a well know Dutch sculptor. I will post some photos later.

Below the big Clignancourt Flea Market in Paris, miles and miles of stalls, way too big to visit in one day. I first went there 40 years ago and on the surface it hasn't changed a lot, except the prices!
When I was young and poor I had no money to buy anything good and now that I am OLD there is Nothing I really need. I won't turn up my nose at a good bargain though.

I have a similar printed Tapestry somewhere in this house, SOMEWHERE ! 

I avoided the many stalls of antique fabrics and trimmings.

Someone was actually selling old paint pots, goes to show never throw anything away!

This store sells multiples of many many things. It all looks good 'en masse' but there was nothing that I felt I needed.

More vintage textiles, embroidered bed linens and tapestries.

Enamel coffee pots were very popular at one time, this stall had masses of vintage enamelware. I used to collect vintage enamel water jugs until they became too expensive. I used to lock onto whatever was cheap and easy to find and begin collecting, this went from antique enamel, vintage jewellery and victorian photographs to purses and engravings. All these things are now out of my league. I still collect interesting porcelain for use and mid century pottery.

I have always known this stand selling vintage stock of pearls in glass, plastic and semi precious stones.

I LOVED this vintage Tapestry but there was no way it was going to fit into a taxi.

There is a stall selling antique 'stampings' and chandelier accessories and when I was Young I spent ages looking through it all and occasionally buying small things. This time I bought a large selection of small stampings that I hope to use in future mini projects. I paid 40 euros for all the items below.

I polished up a few pieces with fine wire wool. I can take moldings from some of these. 

I found a wonderful antique Chinese stand in Paris along with a beautiful carved chest in another flea market, a job lot of chandelier cristals and some good bronze drawer pulls. In Scotland I found some 'Indian Tree' porcelain and a lovely mid century porcelain dove. One of my favorite purchases is a largish white plaster statue of a boy, the same one that the painter Cézanne used in his still lives. 
I will post some pictures of these purchases that I left in Paris and will be brought here by my friends in a few days by car. 
I am going to visit my possible future new home in a few days, will keep you posted.
Please cross all your fingers and toes for me.