Saturday, July 31, 2010

Do you know who we are???

I bought this charming little photo a couple of years ago and have wondered ever since who these girls might be.  The photo is in a frame from a photographer in Owensville, Missouri, and I think, from their style of clothing that it might have been taken in the 1930s.  I'd love to found who they were and how there lives turned out!

I keep this photo next to my computer and it always makes me smile when I look at it.  Does anyone out their recognize them??

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bleu de Lectoure...

If you're a big fan of the color BLUE, and if you ever find yourself in the Gers, a department in the southwest of France, find the town of Lectoure, which is located 32 kms north of Auch, the capital of the Gers, and check out an "ancienne tannerie" named
Bleu de Lectoure.

I must admit, I had never heard of the plant called woad until I went to Lectoure.  I was totally fascinated by what I saw and learned while I was there.  And, of course, I was loving every minute seeing all the various shades of blue produced by dyeing with woad!

The shop at the tannery sells clothing and art pastels and paints in the most glorious shades of blue.  It's hard to resist buying something there!  I resisted going crazy, though, as I only had a very small backpack, but I did buy a little bottle of their paint to take home with me.  I took the sample to my paint store and now every year I give my back door steps a new coat of bleu de Lectoure and dream of being in France!

Christian Dior...

"The cardboard boxes were huge:  long, wide, thick and solid.  For photo sessions or exhibitions they would be brought up to Paris from the small town in the Touraine where the House of Dior stores more than fifteen hundred haute couture dress, and almost as many boxes of accessories.  Within these boxes are the gowns that are too fragile or too heavy to put on hangers.  Witnessing their opening is almost akin to taking part in a minor rite.  Two people are required to bring out each box; the heavy lid is then lifted to reveal the sleeping beauty within.  These fragile creatures must be woken with care, the tissue paper shaken gently away in order to restore them to life.  

And what a life it is:  The litany of dresses for all occasions from collections of the day -- “robes de jour, robes de fin d’aprés-midi, robes de cocktail, robes de restaurant, robes de cabaret, robes á danser, robes de petit diner, robes de grand diner, robes de gala, robes de grand gala” -- conjures up a whirl of images.  But already the dream is working its magic.  Age cannot wither their beauty, unique as it is to each of them and knowable only in their presence, like human beauty.  Few of them are now in pristine condition.  The great majority bear traces of their former days:  a worn patch, a faded color, a hidden mark, a tiny snag.  But above all this hovers an overwhelming sense of their presence, of the certainty that one day, one evening, a woman wearing this gown must have felt she was truly alive."

If you can only afford ONE vintage fashion book, then I can honestly say, this is IT. This oversize book contains 384 pages and is filled with the most beautifully photographed haute couture clothing you will ever find.

Christian Dior by Farid Chenoune
Published by Assouline Publishing 2007
ISBN: 9782759401628

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ROJO ROCKET...Avoca Beach, NSW, Australia

My husband and I discovered this wonderful MEXICAN restaurant which is about a 20-minute drive from our house and have made it our "celebrate our birthdays" place!  The food isn't TEX-MEX, but is instead real Mexican food.  Honestly, if you ever come to Sydney, it's worth the hour's drive north to Avoca Beach to eat at this fantastically decorated restaurant.  It's hard to decide which is better--the wild-colored interior, or the superb food.  Of course, you might also be enthralled by the gigantic RED metal ROCKET in the yard!
We've tried quite a bit of the menu and haven't found anything that didn't make us say "Wow!  The flavours are fantastic".  They have the very best GUACAMOLE ever!
One of the things I love is that when it comes time to pay your bill, the waiter brings you a cardboard cigar box to put the money into.  Those boxes bring back  memories of my elementary school days back in Texas--we always got a new one at the beginning of the school year to hold our pencils, ruler, crayons, etc.

The decor is very colorful and celebrates the Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, holiday with fabrics and colors.

They also have a groovy 1976 nine-seater HEARSE named "Miss Sabrina" that can be rented with a driver from Sunday through Thursday, and also for pick-up and delivery to the restaurant by booking it on Friday or Saturday nights.

Check out their website,, for lots more information, photos and a menu that will make your mouth water!

P.S.  You will need to make reservations, even for lunch on Saturdays, because it is such a popular place!

100 Years of Fashion Illustration...

I don't know about you, but I have always loved the old Vogue magazine covers, and advertisements therein, that were done as illustrations, rather than photographs.  For that reason, this book is one of my favorites because it is just chock-a-block full of beautiful colored illustrations from fashion magazines from 1900-1975 and beyond.  

"Througout history many artists have shown a fascination with dress:  Durer, Holbein, Watteau and Ingres all executed exquisite drawings of the fashions of their time.   Photography, one of the great inventions of the nineteenth century, was generally held responsible for the demise of illustration by the Second World War, yet it too was influenced by fashion illustration, as is demonstrated in early examples by the stiff poses against studio prop backgrounds that mimic those in contemporary plates.

By the 1950s fashion editors were investing more of their budgets for editorial spreads in photography.  The subsequent promotion of the fashion photographer to celebrity status meant that illustrators had to be content with working on articles for lingerie or accessories, or in advertising campaigns such as those Rene Gruau did for Christian Dior perfumes."

Here's just a few of the illustrations from the book that I find so beautifully presented: 

Amazon describes this book by saying, "A visual feast of 400 dazzling images, this is a comprehensive survey of the genre over the last century. The book also offers an overview of the development of fashion, as seen through the eyes of the greatest illustrators of the day. Early in the century fashion illustration reflected new, liberating currents in art and culture, such as the exoticism of the Ballets Russes, while the postwar period saw inspiration from the great Parisian couturiers. After the dominance of the celebrity fashion photographer in the '60s, a new generation of illustrators emerged, embracing the medium of the computer, while many returned to more traditional techniques."

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Laurence King Publishers (April 19, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1856694623
ISBN-13: 978-1856694629

Monday, July 5, 2010

TEXAS CITY CAFE.......Tex-Mex in Nice, France

 My husband spotted Texas City at 10 Rue Dalpozzo while we were strolling around Nice.  I couldn't believe it when I saw the sign outside!  I was so excited and couldn't wait to have Mexican food after having been in France for a couple of months.  It was HEAVEN!  The closest we came to Mexican was eating at Cuban restaurants in Paris and Avignon.  Not quite the same!

I loved the food at Texas City so much that we went back the next day for lunch, as well.  It's just a pity that we didn't discover this "little bit of Texas" earlier in our two-week stay!

Texas City

"This establishment was the first Tex-Mex restaurant in France and opened in 1978. Situated in Nice just steps away from the prestigious Promenade des Anglais, just behind the Mediterranean Palace, the Texas City restaurant is owned by Franco American Texan Frank Alan Charat. The authentic Rio Bravo style décor is the setting for a menu full of traditional Tex-Mex specialities such as chicken enchiladas, tacos and burritos as well as tasty desserts like chocolate brownies. Prices are more than reasonable. If you really love the Wild West then the line dancing events twice a month are just the ticket."

The restaurant is just a few blocks north of La Promenade des Anglais.


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