Tuesday, September 27, 2011

French Timbers

A peak at the beauty of northern France ... from its hills and valleys 

and lovely lakes...

to the churches found in every village, large or small.

The half-timbered house are everywhere! I especially love the ones with walls that are really crooked.

Even a run-down old roof is a thing of beauty here.

Care for checkerboard bricks? The uniqueness is celebrated.

We screeched to a halt at this home's for sale sign. I know, dreaming.... Can't you just see the front garden blooming?

A casual stroll for baguettes... under this display of plasterwork to-die-for! 

Certainly not in America! We were discussing how it would be very improbable to do this anywhere anymore, if for no other reason than the lack of skills necessary to create this.

The folks in the countryside have been warm and friendly. Their pace of everyday life is something I'd like to strive for.

What a journey this has been! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blooms from Normandy

Fall in Normandy means flowers at harvest time. 
I am amazed at how flowers are part of the essence of living here.

Many, many dahlias in their glory...

along with Mother Nature's creatures...

both beautiful and humble.

The colors explode, especially against the foil of the indigenous stone.

What is going on in your fall gardens?

Monday, September 19, 2011

One Year Today!

It's hard to believe that today is PlumSiena's one year anniversary! Whoohooo! I actually did not miss a post for 365 days in a row. 

That said, it's time for my Blogation!

Over the next two weeks, I will only be checking in sporadically as we will be visiting a few blogging friends and I don't want to miss a thing. I'll be returning with renewed vigor and lots of fun ideas. 

'Till then, bonjour mes amis!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dark Done Right

Dark on the walls these days translates into chic and stylized. There is still that age old question- does it really make the room look smaller or actually larger, expanding the walls into infinity?

Best use of dark in two different ways: love the tone-on-tone print (whether a stencil or wallpaper) and the matte Venetian plaster.

Wood painted dark:

Gorgeous Venetian plaster, in both color and application:

Love this wall! Is it Venetian plaster? Stone? I'd like to get my hands on it to be sure!

Elegant charcoal, reflected in the couch fabric.

Deep teal Venetian plaster...

An ebony lime-washed wall...

Like texture? How fun to have hide tiles on the wall!

Lacquered walls seem to look most impressive on dark walls, in this case subtly striaed. 

What a beautiful room to end this post- so elegant.

What is your take on dark walls?


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cabbage Purple

Loving the colors and texture of the purple cabbages right now. 

I've never grown them before and am finding them even prettier than the ornamental cabbages that are usually grown for decorative purposes. 

Of course, they are much larger, with leaves that are very thick and leathery.

My cabbage faces

Anyone have any good cabbage recipes?

Thank you, Cindy, at My Romantic Home blog!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It Feels Like It's Here

I enjoy... 
that little chill in the air, 
         the bittersweet that has almost reached the top of the  street light and is about to pop, 
the rose hips and berries everywhere.

The deer have feasted on the sweet potato vine and I am left with stubs. 
Thankfully, they have not bothered the hostas.

What's going on in your neck of the woods?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Scene Stealers

Fireworks on a stick? 
Rather, these would be papyrus.

These wonderfully green plants are tall and stately and a nice change of scenery in the garden.

The brugsmansia is on its fifth flush of fragrant (only at night) blooms. 

The way they hang resembles a two-tiered umbrella of blooms, fifteen in all.

One of my favorites- the hyrangeas when they are deeply antiqued:

And last, but not least, isn't this the oddest flower you've ever seen? No, I did not grow these, but just had to show you!

This is a Green Eye rose.It is not fragrant and has no thorns.  
I look forward to seeing how we use them in centerpieces this weekend.

What do you think about it? 

Connecting up to Show and Tell Friday at Cindy's My Romantic Home.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art Appreciation

Having had the privilege of working in this beautiful theater last weekend, I thought I'd share a bit with you. The State Theater opened in Cleveland on February 5, 1921, part of what is now known as Playhouse Square, the second-largest theater complex in the United States (second only to New York City's Lincoln Center.)

The five theaters (Palace, State, Ohio, Allen and Hanna) were eventually boarded up by the end of the sixties, as entertainment moved to the suburbs. In the 1970s, a grass-roots effort saved the historic venues from the wrecking ball, restoring and re-opening the theaters one by one. 

The lobby of the State Theater is said to be the longest in the world at 320 feet. It contains four 50-foot murals by American Modernist James Daugherty; a fifth mural is by Arnold Englander. 

The ceilings are exquisitely detailed. 

This was the "backdrop" for the evening's bar. Not bad, eh?

Part of the murals can be glimpsed above the stairs. 
The colors!

Pieter Bouterse Studio created the elegant flowers for the occasion.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Green With Envy

My favorite wall of the week- instead of the green room, it's the green wall belonging to Patrizia Moroso, the creative director of Moroso (the Italian furniture firm)
and designed by Patricia Urquiola, the Spanish designer now living in Milan.

I am not a huge fan of green paint, but this wall has so much depth. Its messiness and navy streaks set off the seriousness of the green perfectly. A statement.

Would you make a bold statement in your home?


Monday, September 12, 2011

On Stage Reception

For the past few weeks, I have been working on creating background features for a wedding reception that took place on a theater stage.

My part was two fold. First, I needed to take 22 banisters with this 80's "marbleized" finish and turn them into old stone.

The finished product:

Then I need to transform these 36" diameter by 18' tall sono tubes (=HUGE) into limestone columns.

And that's what I did- travertine lime plaster was used with many hours spent perched on a very tall ladder that I traveled up and down on as I moved my way around the columns. I knew them well at the end!

The sheer scale of the columns and backdrop (which was done by a very talented scenic artist whose name I cannot reveal for a bit) were awesome.

A subtle wedding palette of whites and off whites were used for the flowers that were placed on wood candlesticks embellished with bits of gold.

I wished I could have been a guest!


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