Saturday, June 30, 2012

French Inspired-Ooh La La!

   Bonjour mes amis! Not to worry, I'm not going to do the whole post in French but it IS a post about all things French today.  As some of you may know I was born in France, raised here in the US but my heart has always belonged in France with all the family members from my mother's side. I was fortunate in that from after high school and for some years after I would work 2 jobs to be able to spend 6 weeks there in the summers with my relatives. I so wanted to live there especially with my one dear aunt but alas, a difficult home situation kept me here.  And of course, then I met my hubby. (We were there twice together and now he dreams of living there one day too). The last time I was there was 5 yrs ago now-it was a mother/daughter trip I made with my Mom. Oh I miss being there so, and now my Mom's siblings are getting older and passing away-difficult especially for my Mom.It's wonderful to have so many pictures and happy memories of time spent there.

   On to the art! Recently Retro Café Art offered a free download Parisian Beauty collage sheet which you can download free for yourself by clicking on the link. They have also challenged anyone to post some art (up to 3 pieces) on their FB page to win a gift certificate to their online shop. Now how could I resist? You have up thru July 15th so why not give it a go too? 

  Here is my first project:

   This is a 7" x 7" collage I made using recycled postage stamps and "par avion" from my stash, some pretty paper, UM stamp sentiment, ribbon, lace silk flower, heart button, washi tape and vintage buttons along with images from the Parisian Beauties collage sheet-the girls and the postcard. Unfortunately you can't see the bits of mica flakes I used for a bit of sparkle.

   My second project:

   For this piece I used a wood plaque. I printed out the postcard image twice and covered the front with the images. I then added the Parisian beauty, a bit of torn music paper, two yellow roses from the collage sheet, vintage buttons, and a butterfly sticker. I typed the title and glued it on. It was finished with glitter glue, mica flakes ,some ribbon and lace tied to a wire hanger I made with 24 gauge wire. This is my ode to Edith Piaf-famous French singer and the title is that of one of her most popular songs besides La Vie on Rose. The title says "I regret nothing". The story of her life is heartbreaking but thru those experiences she sang and wrote the most beautiful songs.

  And here is my third project:

   This is a shaker ATC- 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". I used a Parisian beauty image from the sheet and clipped her "name" from a French label, also on the sheet.The ATC was made using dimensional foam tape around all four sides, filled with some beads, flowers and star sequins then covered with a piece of acetate. I  used foil tape around the edges then covered it with lace seam binding. It was finished with 4 fleur de lis tiny gold charms. I actually just gave this to my friend LuAnn cuz when she saw it as we got together earlier today she fell in love with it.

  Now for the second bit of my French "obsession". Is it an obsession as my hubby thinks? You decide. But I'm not admitting anything yet :)

  Le Tour de France for this year began today! I have been faithfully watching the twenty days of bicycling thru France on tv for many years. But I don't just watch it. I can't. Here's what I also do:

   I get out my trusty French Atlas (which I got for next to nothing at a book sale). I print out the tour map, along with each days schedule and complete listing town by town.

   And then I get to work:

   Yes, I find the towns on the maps and mark them onto the papers so I can follow along-the whole race! BTW, I purposely chose the map at right. This is where my one dear Aunt BiBi lives-almost at the tip on the left narrow strip of land just to the right of my paper. How could I not love it there when I can walk one way and be at the Atlantic , or walk out the opposite way to see the Atlantic from where she lives!

  These races can last anywhere from 2 or 3 to over 4 hrs a day and so in order to keep up and bypass all the commercials I tape them each day.

  Yes, we are a bit arcaic and still have VCRs and use VHS tapes so I make sure I have enough new ones to get me thru. Here's the kicker, after all these years I still don't quite understand the placing  and team work in the race, but I do get to travel around France and explore new territory. Voila!

  Merci bien for indulging me in mon péché mignon. I'll be back soon with my entries for Art Journal Everyday and the Kathryn Wheel's Calendar challenges. Still trying to finish my alphabet set in my stamp carving class too.  See you soon. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

 "The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience." Emily Dickenson



  1. Hi, Linda - You KNOW that I love this post!! Your pieces of art made from the Parisian collage sheet are beautiful. I will have to download that sheet and see if I can come up with a few for myself!

    A dear friend of mine is now in France for the summer - as a companion to a French lady who is married to an American. Her husband could not go, so my friend and my friend's sister-in-law were offered the "job"!! All expenses paid. How lucky is she??? LOL

    Can't wait to see your carved alphabet!

  2. Wow, I finally got a moment to visit you here, Linda and I am so glad I did. I knew of course that you loved all things French, but I did not know you were born in France, ooh la la! Your 3 Retro Art cafe projects are really wonderful. I especially like the wood plaque, it is ver beautiful! xoxo


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