29 April 2013

Pretty in Provence

We are so busy here in Provence... but wanted to share with you some of the pretty sights I'm seeing as we visit the markets, brocantes and shops getting ready for the Chic Provence Design Tour next week!


the tulips are in bloom!

pick your boutis!

the famous pate de fruits of Apt!

a beautiful storefront display of baby olive trees in pots!

Edith Mezard's inspired wedding decor!

the ranunculous are in bloom too!

pretty pastel vintage stemmed glasses!

18th C. mirror for madame's dressing table!

all photos taken by kit golson with iPhone

aren't these beautiful? come with us next time!

28 April 2013

In a Charming Atelier Under the Rooftops of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue...

...magic is created by the beautiful and spirited artist Aurelie Alvarez... come with me on a private visit to her incredible atelier, where time stands still while she takes layers and colors and textures and patterns and creates wondrous works of art...for all to behold. So taken was anthropologie buyer Keith Johnson that her work was used for their famous window displays... and countless other clients have been lucky enough to own one of her works.

Influenced greatly by the top floor atelier itself... in her home, which dates to the 15th C....with its peeling layers of plaster and paint, Aurelie's work is a living extension of where she lives in the heart of the ancient village of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France... in Provence, bien sur!  

Steven and I were scouting brocantes for next week's Chic Provence Design Tour when I spied Aurelie's work hanging in one of the very chic shops:  La Princess au Petit Pois.. Laurence invited me to meet Aurelie and within the hour we found ourselves in Aurelie's engaging studio itself chatting with her about her art and her life. She is a most creative and refreshing artistic soul. 

Aurelie's mailbox with its peeling 
ayers of paint gives a hint of
the atelier to come...

one of the first rooms in the rambling, many-room workshop Aurelie is
lucky enough to call her own

a pretty work in progress for a client features vintage wallpaper, paint, pastels

at La Princesse au Petit Pois, Aurelie's lovely hanging meant to be the head of
a twin bed, attracted lots of attention while I was there

an ancient fireplace in her 15th C. home in Isle sur la Sorgue

the largest room in the under-the-eaves atelier

the massive beams dating from centuries earlier, Aurelie thinks 16th C.... make a wonderful counterpoint
to the delicates works for art

many surfaces are covered with Aurelie's work

a collage of samples of Aurelie's lighthearted works

and this is the lovely Aurelie!

all photos taken by kit golson with iPhone

If you would like more information about Aurelie's work, 
contact me and I can help you place a custom order

27 April 2013

So Happy to be Back in Provence...

It's so beautiful. I love it here... even with the skies just a little overcast.  I am told by the locals that the clouds will clear next week and that, madame, will be that... no more clouds until late fall...in fact, it is forbidden to rain then!

all photos taken by kit golson with iPhone

15 April 2013

Packing for Provence


Traveling Light 
in Provence next week!

If you are like me, you detest lugging heavy bags around 
(although truth be known I usually do!) 
... this year I am paring down 
my packing to a few basics. I am sure to find wonderful things
in Provence if I find I "need" something new to wear! I'm
not even bringing many toiletries since I love to stock up
at the French pharmacies à la Gwyneth Paltrow's list...
I'll probably add a rain jacket and warmer scarf and
possibly wear short boots on the flight since this 
spring is a little cooler than usual...
here is what I am bringing: 

1.  My collection of colorful cotton Provençal scarves
2. Eileen Fisher Oval Dress can wear with anything at all, so comfortable
3.  J. Crew Minnie Pant in black bi-stretch, the best pant in the world for traveling
4. Anthropologie Stone & Cloth blue chambray shirt to use also as light jacket
Levi's jeans jacket in a great stretchy denim
6.  Teva Pasas Mary Janes, incredibly comfortable walking sandals
 J.Jill black linen dress, looks great over crop leggings, too
8.  Rainbow leather flip flops, cannot leave town without them
James Perse v-neck white T ... of course a staple!

the most important item of all..
Kipling's cross body messenger...
cannot say enough great things about
this incredibly light and sturdy bag

07 April 2013

Sonoma in Early April... the Plaza, a Chateau and a Recipe!

Yesterday we took the route du petit ecolier... and set out to wander the wine region north of San Francisco and Marin County. After meandering up the Valley of the Moon, we found ourselves once again in one of our favorite small towns in the world... Sonoma, California.  With Nicky in tow, knowing that dogs are as treasured and welcomed here as they are in France, we crisscrossed through the square, sampling cheeses and wines, sights and vistas, and, of course shopping. 

And who could resist a stop at Chateau Sonoma, importers of French antiques and goods? Their gorgeous shop stands in for the best of the Paris fleas and the Provençal brocantes...if you can't be in France right now, visit their shop!

vineyards in Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon

hmmm... which way to the Plaza?

 the Plaza at Sonoma is home to the beautiful old Sonoma City Hall

...and since we are all old friends here, yes, this is
my very early interpretation of the
Sonoma City Hall... this tortured acrylic
was my first painting in art class a
few years ago!

have wine will travel... one of the dozens of tasting rooms 
within one city block on the square at Sonoma

 Chris and Nicky wander down one of the side streets 
off the square past the vintage range rover and the bungalows

white wisteria is gorgeous at the Depot Hotel... a chic 
little European style inn and restaurant in Sonoma

a typical bungalow off the square in Sonoma

a window of the Depot Hotel in Sonoma

stunning cactus in front of one of the bungalows in Sonoma


 this stunning hot air balloon chandelier hangs at Chateau Sonoma

"le tricolore"  flies outside Chateau Sonoma

this little vignette at Chateau Sonoma places you
 directly at les marches au puce
outside Paris in spirit

wonderful, soulful old carousel horses Chateau Sonoma

I love the rustic chic combination of rough woodland elements 
with the refined and delicate 
Astier de Villate porcelain and Juliska glassware
 at Chateau Sonoma... welcoming springtime!

these sturdy, well made shopping bags caught my eye.. 
who can resist their 
breezy, summer-on-the-Rivier" allure?

the gorgeous old carved wooden crown at  
Chateau Sonoma deserves a place
of honor in your French country home!

in the garden room at Chateau Sonoma lot of old green jugs, 
birdcages andthat wonderful green patina 
on the statue! love the light, too..

the exqisitely detailed 18th c. model of the 
Paris Opera House at  Chateau Sonoma

wonderful old red painted dresser with foxing on the mirror... 
such presence!
want to create that "aged look" 
on your mirror? go here for a DIY  
*disclaimer: I haven't
tried this myself! *

not to be missed event, the French Flea Market by Chateau Sonoma later in May... I will
be there after returning from the Chic Provence Design Tour!  See you there?


for a wonderful springtime wine country
simple supper recipe from Cindy Pawlcyn
of Mustard's Grill in Napa,
here! and invite me over!

Nicky loves baguettes!

since I wasn't planning a blog post, 
most of these photos were
taken with my iPhone;
the really good ones are
from promotional sites
for Sonoma


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