Sunday, November 23, 2014

Le Perigord à Montmartre

This was the week I went to the Périgord fete at Montmartre.

Posters in the Metro announce the Salon du Cheval, another annual holiday event next weekend looks very tempting. Have you ever been?

Hansel and Gretel time is here.

This week Thursday was Nouveau Beaujolais day.

Even Carrefort supermarché has dozens of bottles handy by the checkout with sausages and sandwiches to go.

Friday through Sunday was the small winter fair with 20 producteurs around Sacre Coeur. The Spring version was full of strawberries and whipped cream.

Each tent represents a farm and their specialties.

A walnut farm had tartes and kilo bags of unshelled walnuts in the shell. I should have bought them.

I did buy the chestnut grower's roasted marrons.

The best I've had and far tastier than those sold by street vendors on boulevard Haussmann (often cold and sometimes rotten).

I wish I knew more about foie gras. The tastes offered are excellent.

Farm goat cheese, some with truffles and walnuts.

Many of the farm stands have B and Bs as well, so you can stay and immerse yourself in the pastoral countryside.

I loved this humble mushroom-shaped wreath (in case you hadn't guessed) at the mushroom (cépes) seller.

They were selling the most intense and warming mushroom soup for 1€!

This week we're still having Fall weather in Paris luckily. Winter is holding off a bit.

This week on Friday at Salon Saveurs I stopped in my tracks at Maison de Chantilly. Butter cookie cones filled with freshly whipped cream. No, I did not taste one. This week I went back to the pool finally after a two month hiatus and whipped cream is off the menu at the moment. They will be opening a boutique on rue Cler end of March 2015...maybe by then I can indulge.

Also at the Salon this wildly imaginative cutup Swiss Xmas tree cheese caught my eye.

This week I got to see Galeries Lafayette upside down Christmas tree. Spectacular.

This week on Tuesday I participated in the Holiday Fair at the American Embassy. They took away my iPad at Security so I can't show you any pictures. Only this Google map.

I sold a lot of macaron and teapot prints at the Embassy, but I made up too many 6-packs of the Paris Sketch Letters, so I having, for a limited time only, A pre-BLACK FRIDAY SALE -$5 off with a surprise gift print included available on Etsy.
In October someone asked if I would have the December Paris Sketch Letter done by Christmas?
*I'm happy to report this week I got the December Sketch Letter artwork done AHEAD OF TIME.
It will be going out next week! Yahoo
It's been a busy week.
'Bon(ne) Dimanche' as the man in the elevator said to me today after I dropped my bag of apples on his foot.

Friday, November 21, 2014

MIF Le Salon Made In France

Last weekend was the MIF salon at Porte de Versailles (Paris' Javits convention center) and I finally went after looking at posters in the Metro for two years. These are some of the items I bought. Missing is the miel(honey) from the Ile de Ré and a bar of defoliating soap from Jeanne M.

The 3-day salon is strictly regional French products. 300 entrepreneurs big and small proudly showing decor, fashion, home, cosmetics and of course gastronomie. Weekends are when these salons take place as a rule in Paris.
This weekend you can visit;
Le Perigord à Montmartre 21-23 around Sacre Coeur
Salon Saveurs 19-23 Porte de Versailles
Crèations Savoir-Faire (DIY) 19-23 Porte de Versailles.

MIF is at the same location as the Salon du chocolat. It's big.

And crowded on a Sunday afternoon, the last day. I thought I'd just waltz in and waltz out in an hour.

Ha! Not possible. Three hours later...Plus when you go the last day all the red apricot jam from Provence is long gone. Best go early. Did I say there is plenty of degustation (tasting).

My first purchase was this red current (groiseilles) juice. I simply can not resist a big bottle of home-grown fruity juice (65% fruit) especially if it's ruby red. This from Domaine des Rubis from Haut-Alpes.

Burnt Sienna vials of Armagnac made me wish I drank.
Regional beers on tap.

Like all the rest watching I am fascinated by anyone doing a food shortcut demo.

With great strength of character I resisted buying this plastic tube thing (5€) unlike the irresistable pineapple cutter or veggie chopper of past shows. You place it in an orange or lemon and easily squeeze out the juice. I saw French kids walking around, well-behaved, clutching oranges and calmly sucking up the juice tube.

Chicken tastes from poulet de Bresse,the best chicken in France.
I tasted much goat cheese but forgot to buy (end-of-show deals too) from Fromagerie de la Durance. Love to visit a goat farm. Most vendors have guided visits. Some have museums!

Another thing I should have bought - Cancoillotte from Franche-Comté. So creamy yet fat-free (according to Coco) but It's hard to buy something you can't pronounce :(

I tasted. I resisted. Only because this gateau Breton from Pont-Aven is sooo buttery and sugary for me right now..ahem. I'm always up for a taste at these shows otherwise what's the point of going? Forget your own personal likes and dislikes and go with the flow. It's the only way to discover new things. 

Loved this innovative children's playground equipment from Trigano-EVO. Many new fun products at the show. You sense the pride.

Cosmetics that make you look younger from Jeanne M (her grandmere) made from snail slime of La Rochelle. She gave me a bar of soap to try out.

Recently I'm mad for lavender. I have sachets hanging on every door knob and window latch. Plus sachets at my desk to squeeze and kneed (to release the soothing aromas).

They say Lavandre is a de-stressor. I'm convinced. I bought a spray from Les Agnels of Provence. I'd love to visit their lavender museum in the Luberan near Apt.

There is no French salon without mountains of chocolate, this from Beussent-Lachelle.
Evidently dogs and bears are allowed.
Do visit MIF next November. You'll have a ball. tourists either.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Angelina Trouble - Out of the Woods - This Is How we Do

What do they say, "90% perspiration, 10% inspiration".
The perspiration was flying this week.

Everyone has their cafe in Paris. Mine is Angelina though I mostly browse. At least once a week I stop in for a look. Such a beautiful space. The exquisite pastries are inspiring.

When I go it's for breakfast before 9 am. The lines for tea time are daunting.

I decided November is perfect for chestnuts (marrons), Mont Blancs and of course Angelina.

One look at the histoire section of Angelina and it was a coup de foudre (love at 1st sight).

Why not draw Angelina for the November sketch letter art?

Why not include Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust, frequent Angelina habituées? Chanel always sat at table #10.

Let the drawing begin!

Many, many drawings later of Proust, Karl, Audrey, Pharrell, Katy, Taylor and Mont Blancs...

I began to tear my hair out. Clearly I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

A visit to Les Borgia exhibit at the Maillol museum to study crowd scenes near Angelina 108, rue du Bac was required.

Still, things were not falling into place.

The Mont Blancs were no problem. I ate quite a few to get the color right naturally. It was all those figures driving me nutz.

My theme song these past weeks: Taylor Wood's new OUT OF THE WOODS.
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet Girl?

Finally I got it.
Thanks to an airbrush teacher's best lesson,
"The fastest, easiest way is the best way"
I went back to the room photograph (near the top). Traced it.
Replaced the figures with celebrity sketches. Et voila.
Probably TMI (too much information), but THIS IS HOW WE DO(another theme song from Katy Perry that got me through. Especially the line
A small dance for joy when the artwork was finished.
My reward? My own Angelina cup and saucer.

But no time for Champagne yet.
Envelopes must be filled, stamped, sealed, mailed out.
You can see the finished results over on ETSY.
Let me know what you think?
Did I do OK?