Tuesday, August 04, 2015


I was browsing VIVIAN SWIFT's blog this morning. Vivian of LE ROAD TRIP fame.
She showed her earliest watercolors, recording her collections, obsessions. Here - teacups.
Aren't they fantastic! What a terrific book they would make. They reminded me of a quote I'd seen in the Pub Mania exhibit at Musee des Arts Decoratif that really hit home:
"Of all the passions, without exception, that for trinkets is perhaps the most terrible and unbeatable. He who is obsessed. By old furniture is a lost man. Trinkets are not merely a passion, but a mania - an incurable illness. And this evil strikes all classes of society."
Guy de Maupassant
Odd that these antique car collectors should cross my path this morning
My obsessive collections over the last few years have centered on PARIS TRASH.
It wasn't easy leaving them behind in New York when I moved to Paris.
Especially the pretty pastry boxes were a wrench. But you can't take coals to New Castle can you. Have you left precious collections behind when you moved?
It seems a tad ironic that now I Must go out foraging for Paris trash to include in the SKETCH LETTERS I send out each month. Today I ran out of goodies. I'm awfully grateful to the flood of tourists who make it much easier to find nice souvenirs in the department stores.
I've tried asking directly to companies but they simply don't get it.
Can they arrest me for taking free stuff like the paper perfume touches?
Admittedly I'm in love with perfume bottles.
Wasn't Andy Warhol a clever duck to paint Chanel No. 5
There must be an element of nostalgia to my perfume obsession. Something to do with gazing at my mother's collection on her dressing table for hours.
Owning them doesn't seem to factor into it, but they do have a seductive magic don't they?
I find beautiful desserts just as seductive, the colors, the shapes...
These are gluten-free from a newish Helmet Newcake shop on 28 rue Vignon 75009 near Madeleine.
I got a lovely haul of souvenirs today I'm happy to report, all going into your PARIS SKETCH LETTERS à toute suite.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Paris Sum Sum Summertime

summertime summertime sum sum summertime
Perfect for Summertime picnicking along la Seine
Perfume in the grass...so fresh
The Summertime tomatoes in all their glory at the marché
Raspail Bio Marché on Sunday - this producteur has nothing but myrtilles/blueberries + jam and juice. We ate them as we browsed.
A tall berry trifle at Hotel Costes on Saturday
Yesterday I ran out, broke down and bought a slew of Summer fruity pastries, for research of course. The Patisseries will be closing up tight for the month of August!! Tragedie is around the corner.
Just browsing this divine Charlotte. Luckily the glass came between us.
Summer ice cream colors up in Montmartre
At the new Paris branch of Provençal Scaramouche, 22 rue la Vieuville 75018
It always seems to be permanent Summer in Provence no?
I'm deep into the perfect Summer read, PICNIC IN PROVENCE. You can dip in anywhere and immediately you're drawn into daily life in perpetual Summery Provence living. Author Elizabeth Bart takes you inside her head, heart and outside to smell the roses. Then to her kitchen to cook up recipes full of local ingredients. All your senses will be enticed.Read more about author Elizabeth Bard HERE.
Flip flops in a Summer window theme
Edible flip flops/Les Tongs at patisserie Arnaud Larher (open all Summer on rue de Seine).
Seen in the street, good ole sneakers with 40s style SHORT SHORTS.
A slash of red hanging out does the trick for Paris Summer.
Elaborate sun hats from Marie Mercie
Plus colorful beaded bracelets.
Turquoise ballerinas, ice cream cones full of Summer prints. Soon to be schoolbooks and satchels.
Melodie Graphiques has Summer inks in their vitrine. Miam miam
Calisson ETE in patisserie Gerard Mulot vitrine.
They closed up yesterday for vacance.
Sunday a bit of Summertime Paris drizzle.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Crowd-Sourcing July's Ile Saint Louis Map

It seemed a natural.
I live on Ile Saint-Louis
So obviously my next map should be rue St.-Louis en L'Ile. Easy peasy no? NO.
I live on an island full of ice cream-seekers (even though Berthillon will close it's shutters on Monday 27 July for vacance, there are many other providers of their excellent glace to dish it out. Le Figaro says Berthillon has the absolute best Vanille in town, in case you're womdering which of the 57+ flavors to order. I say go with the benchmark.
Ha. I saw this poster at the Sunday marché Bastille.
The title of this months map, 'the lure of the ice cream cone'
I do enjoy gazing at the long lines.
Meanwhile back to drawing maps. I belatedly discovered I prefer drawing round shapes (apples, cherries, tomatoes, DESSERTS )
To the straight lines you find on most maps. In fact I am allergic to straight lines.
I picked up this wonderful book, A Map of the World, while researching/procrastinating drawing my Ile St.-Louis map.
Usually I'm dependent on the boys at the copy shop for art feedback.
One frown from them and I'm back to the drawingboard for a redo.

This time I decided to 'crowd-source' for instant feedback. 
I put my horribly busy, desperate map sketch on FaceBook and asked, SOS!
One more thing I was dreaming of including on the map was Berthillon's wonderful Salon de Thé.
Bear insisted
I asked for opinions. Mostly everyone felt as Bear did. They loved tea salons. Fortunately one voice in the wilderness (Felicity) said keep it simple (commonly referred to as KISS).
I skirted the issue by adding La Seine.
A side note, while procrastinating I read Audrey Hepburn was so nervous about meeting Cary Grant in 'Charade' she spilled her wine on him. They added it to the movie but turned the wine into ice cream.
So I added in an homage to Audrey and Cary...sort of.
Adding blue water helped bring me closer to the finish line while still dithering over tea salons. Yes, I know it should be LA not LE Seine.
Finally Felicity's comment on Facebook and doggies saved the day.
Finished after weeks of blood, sweat and too many ice cream cones.
Your JULY PARIS MAPS went out yesterday subscribers.
So that is How The West Was Won and rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile was conquered.