Monday, December 31, 2012

Ringing in a New Year


In order to make it to midnight and the celebrated dropping of the ball in Times Square tonight, I plan to fortify myself with this...a bit of Paris I brought back with me.

It won't be the same as taking tea in one of Laduree's beautiful tea rooms...I splurged and went several times while I was there, each time to a different location.

There is something magical about tea rooms, the tea always tastes better there, and they are ideal locations for people watching, so I never mind drinking a few cups alone.





At the Bonaparte location, I spent a lovely hour sipping from my pastel china, nibbling macarons, and eavesdropping on french conversations that I could only catch every 3rd word of...but it was still wonderful.

And even though I'd picked up a sizeable amount of tea to bring home already, when Mr. Tide and I popped into the Rue Royale shop on a very rainy evening to warm up and grab a bit of dessert (before dinner), I added to my reserves just before they locked up for the evening.  For a true tea lover, you can never have too much tea!

Mr. Tide does not drink tea, so my tea obsession is a bit of mystery to him...though he gladly gulps down chocolat chaud with something decadent and chocolatey whenever we go to a tea room, so he never minds too much!




We have long since given up the desire to attend fancy parties, dress in all of our New Year's finery on New Year's Eve, and we now opt for something much more low key.  So I will be one of the boring ones this evening.  Armed with yummy tea, warm pjs, and a few friends from around the world via our computers.  Mr. Tide and I will share a kiss, and we will wish all of our online friends a very Happy New Year...some on London time, some on Oslo time, some on East Coast time, and places all the way out to British Columbia.  So the night will be filled with many New Year's wishes throughout the evening.

Our kids may or may not be here tonight, we will share dinner early, but we will phone them if they aren't here the second that the ball drops to shout Happy New Year!  And then tomorrow we will begin our adventure into 2013.

How do you ring in the new year...I would love to hear your plans!  
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back, Looking Forward, and Looking Up


Well we've almost made it through another year.  One filled with joy, sadness, and unexpected gifts.




In January of last year I never could have imagined that I would launch an art website, partner with a dear friend to create artwork, and another great friend to showcase her artwork.




I also didn't realize that my dream to be back in France would come true so soon, and that I would spend time with the man I love in the city of love!




These are all blessings that I'm so very grateful for, and I sometimes pinch myself that good fortune has smiled so graciously upon me and my family in 2012.




For 2013, I have no set plans, no resolutions, but plenty of dreams.  I dream that I will be able to travel again to shores unknown and visit more beautiful places that make me look upward and expand my horizons.

I dream that my family and friends will continue to be blessed with good health, happiness, and the joys that living a full life can bring.  And I wish these things for all of you too!




And speaking of dreams, I have been so sick...still...that I almost forgot to tell you that some of our artwork was featured in the Fab Finds section of the current issue of Romantic Country Magazine!  This special piece is one that we created specifically for the magazine and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it for Fifi!  Thank you Fifi for this wonderful opportunity!!!  There was a bit of a glitch and the website listed beneath the pic was incorrect, but you can find this artwork and lots of others on our website at Low Tide High Style.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vintage Christmas


After being away much of December and returning home with a bug of some sort, Christmas decor at my house is at an all time low.  Surprisingly, this is what I was hoping to do even if I had been home and hadn't gotten sick, so I'm loving it all the same...but it is a bit of a change for me.

While in Paris, I visited a few flea markets and hoped I would find some vintage items along with some ephemera.  I found plenty of ephemera, and the day before we left we visited one more flea market and scored some wonderful finds, like the vintage bottle above, which holds my rustic version of a Christmas tree.




I decided to place some of my wonderful finds in the windowsill above my sink this year for a simple and vintage inspired theme.




I also found 2 crocks...this one which would have originally held flour is perfect for holding holiday greens.




And a visit to Bon Marche, a lovely old department store in Paris, yielded some gorgeous star trimmed ribbon.  It wasn't cheap, well nothing really is at Bon Marche, but Mr. Tide convinced me that buying it was cheaper than a plane ticket back to France once I got home and couldn't get that ribbon out of my head...the man knows me well! :)

Of course he was right, and I love how it added the perfect touch of shimmer to my simple window vignette.




The other crock I found in my travels was from the same dealer as the flour crock shown above, and I wasn't sure I should get both, but was convinced that you can never have too many vintage crocks.  The dealer was very sweet and wrapped them beautifully knowing they would be traveling a long way before finding their new home.

After paying him, he bid us farewell and said, "now it is your turn to keep them safe."  Mr. Tide said it was as though he was parting with a couple of his children...and maybe for him he was!  They appear to be old, but who really knows how old they are, and really who cares...they make me happy and that's what matters!

Buying these things (and I have more to show you soon) was like having an early Christmas.  And as if that wasn't enough, yesterday I received another beautiful and skillfully wrapped present from England.  One of the guys I play an online game with lives in Northern England and he knows my affinity for vintage wares, so he gifted me with the most lovely blue and white creamer he found at a boot sale!  What a treat to receive such a lovely and thoughtful gift from across the pond...thank you PP!

And because I seem to be in a vintage mood, I thought I would share a few images of Paris I processed with old vintage postcards in mind.  I may have to think about creating a set of note cards or postcards using these, and other images that lend themselves to that vintage look...hmm.








I am off to finish up cleaning and shopping...how is it that those 2 things are never ever truly done?!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one of you! xoxo

Friday, December 21, 2012

Joyeux Noel


Thank you to everyone for all of your wonderful holiday wishes and comments.  I am slowly getting caught back up on life...very slowly!

Yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn and headed out to finish most of my Christmas shopping.  Then it was back home to put up and decorate the tree, and by the time late evening arrived I was tuckered out.  Today I am paying for it, and after a few impressive coughing fits I decided to just take it easy today and let Mr. Tide handle the vacuuming...thank goodness since our company will be here soon.

While I was lounging, I decided to put together a little slideshow of some Christmas'y images I captured while in Paris.  It truly was magical being there this time of year, even if the weather was not ideal, the decor certainly didn't disappoint.

So that the file wouldn't be overwhelmingly large I made the images low res, so sadly they are much blurrier than the originals, but hopefully it will put you in the spirit none the less.  Watching it makes me a little wistful, and if my whole family could have come along, I would have gladly stayed in France right through the holidays...maybe one day.

I hope you are getting ready for the big day, and that you will take a moment to simply enjoy the season...it only comes but once a year! 



video

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So Many Pictures, So Little Time


I took so many pictures while in France that I'm a little confused as to what to show you first.  There are pictures of the Opera, pictures of Saint Chapelle, pictures of bridges, buildings, and places we had tea.  Add to that the fact that there is still no Christmas tree at my house, I am sick as a dog from whatever I caught on the metro or the plane ride home, that my in-laws will be arriving in a few days and I haven't finished shopping... to say that this old brain of mine isn't really able to make too many thoughtful decisions at the moment would be an understatement. 

So after processing a few images, and darting from day to day, I finally decided to just start at the beginning.  The real beginning was on the 6th of December when we flew out, arriving on the 7th to very cold temps and snow...so there aren't very many pics from that day.  The real picture taking began on the 8th, when we ventured out to visit Notre Dame and wander the streets surrounding that part of Paris.  Most of the pictures in this post are from the inside of Notre Dame, and the light was VERY low as it was evening time, not the best for hand held pictures, but tripods are strictly forbidden.




A lovely statue of Joan of Arc...




One of the many gilded reliefs found in the cathedral...




Beautiful light and graceful arches dominate this ages old structure.  Just a few days after these were shot they celebrated the 850 year anniversary of Notre Dame!




Ornate ironwork, like these lovely gates, can also be found here.




So much to see, and well worth the visit...




Even the ceilings are beautiful!




As are the chandeliers.  It must have been a sight to behold when these were all lit by candlelight!




And when the organ plays...oh my, it will bring you to tears...truly!



Now, I better go start cleaning and get my tree up since I don't think posting the pic above from the opera will suffice...pity really as it was truly perfect!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Contrasts


We arrived home from Paris last night after 10 wonderful days.  Constantly surrounded by beauty, sometimes so amazing that it literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.




And I will share some of that beauty with you, just not today.




While we were in France we made a special trip to Notre Dame.  It was with mixed emotions that we visited this beautiful cathedral once again, it was on my birthday and during the celebration of the Immaculate Conception.  

As the organ played, and the procession began with angelic voices filling the church for the service, we were reminded of those we had come there to honor.  We lit a candle for dear friends, those who are suffering from cancer and those who have been healed.  And we were also there for one special friend who lost his 10 year battle with cancer just days before.  The 8th was the day of his funeral back in Indiana where my husband is from, and standing there in the cathedral helped us feel connected even though we were so far away.




As we left the church I looked up and saw this beautiful shadow being cast by an angel and decided to try and capture it in the dim light.  Little did we know that in just a few days more sadness would befall so many back home in the United States.

During our trip I felt almost compelled to try and find, and capture, images of angels...maybe now I know why.  

Such contrasts there are in life, where there can be so much beauty and peace, there also exists ugliness and pain.  My heart breaks for lives cut too short, and I hope it makes us all realize how precious each day is.  

For the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, be it to illness, accidents, or the unthinkable tragedy experienced by those in a quiet elementary school in Connecticut, I wish you peace....comfort...and the knowledge that angels will always cast their shadow upon us, even in our darkest hour.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bonjour from France


Just a quick note to say bonjour from Paris!  I have been walking my legs off, and taking pictures of course.  There is never a lack of photogenic subjects in this beautiful city...just look at the exquisite carvings on the Louvre!



And you can't come to Paris without doing a little shopping right?!  I popped by Merci today and picked up a little something.




It has been very cold and sometimes rainy while we've been here, but I had to brave the freezing temps tonight to get some pictures of the Eiffel Tower.  And I have to say that it was well worth not being able to feel my feet for about a 1/2 hour after we got back home.

We are having a wonderful time and I am seeing parts of the city I have never seen before, so it's like a new adventure each day.  I can't wait to get back home and process some of the images I have taken since I have taken quite a few HDR shots of the city.

The French have been so warm and welcoming, and last night I had a lovely conversation with an elderly French woman who was out walking her dog.  Between her broken English and my broken French we managed to tell each other all about our families, our pets, and our shared love of Paris.  She then told me that this was the city of her birth, and you could tell how much that meant to her...it was very touching to see her still in love with this beautiful place.

I have much more to tell (and show) you all when we get back...including the chance meeting we had tonight with another artist and her husband who were seated next to us at dinner.  I feel so very lucky to have had this opportunity to travel once again.  The only thing that could make this better would be if our kids were here with us...next time I hope!

Until next time...




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Springtime in December


Well I will soon be winging my way across the ocean in search of more of this stuff...beautiful old French ephemera.  No matter how much I have, I always want more, so I will be on the hunt for some of these wonderful treasures as I make my way through a few of the weekend flea markets in Paris.

I really am still pinching myself that I am going back to Paris...it is surreal to think that I will be spending my birthday in such a beautiful place.  I just wish my kids could join us, but they will be holding down the fort and taking care of dogs.  Maybe they will decorate the house for me too, since I don't have any of my Christmas decor put out...except the few pink ornaments I showed you last week...yikes!




I had said I wanted to have a simple Christmas this year, and apparently that's what I will be having since I really need to be cleaning before I go and the decking of the halls will have to wait.  I will throw out a few things when I get home and call it done in time for visitors to arrive.

In fact my house looks more like springtime than early December at the moment.  I had a photo shoot yesterday and these are the leftover perks...a beautiful bunch of pink roses.  I love having fresh flowers in the house, and I'm sensing a whole pink Christmas theme this year.  We'll see if I feel the same way when I return from France where I'm hoping to get some decorating inspiration for the holidays.

Before I head off to bed, I wanted to remind everyone that this weekend is a Vintage Source weekend.  As those of your who have been to one of their sales already know, they are always a good time, and you can always find some wonderful gifts, such as vintage ornaments, and something for yourself of course!  I won't be able to make this one, but I know the girls will have some great stuff for sale...check out their site (click HERE) for a sneak peek at some of the great stuff they will have this weekend!


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