My favorite fall gourds are the blue/green aqua ones. When they are in the store, I have to surrender that summer is really gone. Here is a vignette in my family room with my all-time favorite one the bumpy one in a hand-carved dough bowl from Sweden. I brought back four bowls in May circa 1860. The canvas I threw some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on in Chateau Grey [actually green] and a metallic gold stencil. I did this over top of an old coral canvas I was tired of. Of course, the paint didn't stick very well, but it is just to go with the color of the gourds. The paler aqua gourds look so great with Swedish furniture. The colors just blend so well. I have those on another table.
Are you an orange pumpkin decorator, or do you like the aqua green ones like I do?
I watched the video of heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch and was moved. I suggest every American watch this. It is powerful, expertly done and drives the message that something has to be done to help our veterans. This just shows that everyone can do something to help, even a heavy metal band. Here is the link to The Wrong Side of Heaven. Paste it in your browser if it doesn't open up.
300,000 homeless veterans is a disgrace. So are the suicides of returning veterans.
Everyone in America needs to watch this. We all need to do our part in turning this around. I am doing my part and I am asking you to help through the Matt Littrell fund for Semper Fi called The Long Trail Home.
Thank you to all who care about where our Country is today. Matt Littrell has proven that one person can make a difference. Everyone of us can make a difference.
Here is the link to watch the news video of a reporter talking to Matt about his mission. Matt Littrell
Here is the link to donate to the Semper Fi Long Trail Home fund:
Here is the link if you would like to pay for the expenses of the horses:
The building known as Hotel de Ville in Paris is the local administration building, or City Hall where the office of the Mayor is located. It has been the location of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It is on a large square called Place de l'Hôtel de ville in the 4th. It is in French Renaissance architecture and Renaissance Revival architecture. Architects were Theodore Ballu, Victor Laloux and Edouard Deperthes. If you are in the Marais district you really can't miss it as it takes up a full block. Two wings were added in 1835.
Portions of the front of this building were reconstructed in 1870. Without a wide angle lens, I couldn't get the entire building in a photo as it is so wide. This is the side of the building that faces the plaza. I don't speak French, but I noticed hotel is pronounced "Oh Tell" with a silent H and is not a place you stay for the night. The word has a different meaning.
I really like the two female statues on the front fencing.
I was surprised that these gals are quite hefty. This is "Art" done by Laurent Marqueste.
This is "Science" by Jules Blanchard.
Here is the other detail on the top of the pillars.
This statue on the Seine River side of the building is of Etienne Maracel, Provost of the Merchants, or the first Mayor of Paris 1357.
Part of the building is used for exhibitions. Last year when we were in Paris we attended a historical fashion show here of the major designers of the past 100 years. There were some fabulous gowns. Sorry but no photography was allowed.
In 2012 when we were here there was a government celebration going on and the building was decorated with flags and buntings in all the windows.
It is hard to get good photos of this building because it is so large and there are always a zillion tourists in the way of your shot. This was my best effort.
This church in Paris was started in 1494 and finished in 1621. It is in the 4th at 13 Rue des Barres in the Marais District on the right bank.
I was very surprised at the style of the stained glass windows. They seemed so modern in design for the year they were installed.
They are not the standard traditional scenes done in most older churches. They look so abstract.
These marble statues in the side chapel are wonderful. I love the folds in the dresses on the angels, particularly the dress on the left.
This is a close up of the left angel.
And, the right one.
Taking photos in these old churches is often difficult due to the light either being too strong through the windows or too dark in the room. If you don't live locally to keep taking reshoots, you just have to take what you can get at the time.
Stained glass windows are not easy to shoot.
This is the main alter. Fabulous big candlesticks.
Look at this fabulous candlestand on the left. I'd love to find one of those for sale in an antique shop. I go into all the old cathedrals and churches of Paris that I find during visiting hours and this is the first one I have found that has individual stools for seating.
I had trouble getting a good shot of the facade because of the large trees. Sorry about the tilted photo.
Hope you enjoyed the brief visit to this Paris landmark and that you will go see it in person if you are ever in Paris.
Summer [Colleen Stratton Martin]
I don't talk about this topic on my blog, but today I am making an exception because of the patriotism of this exceptional man. Meet Matt Littrell of Colorado.
A friend told me about this video and when I watched it, I was truly moved and wanted to help. To see the news video, go here: News Interview with Matt.
My name is Matt Littrell. I was an infantryman with Golf Company 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. I served in the Marine Corps from December 2001-December 2005. I served 2 tours to Iraq during my enlistment. In April 2014 I am taking 2 mustangs and riding from Camp Lejeune North Carolina to Camp Pendleton California. I will be using I-40 as a rough guide along my ride across the country. I am doing this to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund. The Semper Fi fund is an organization that provides assistance to wounded veterans who suffer from visible and invisible wounds suffered in combat. The need to help our veterans is great. Government funded organizations such as the VA are so back logged and inadequately staffed that claims are taking too long to help our vets in time. I have witnessed too many of my own brothers die long after the shooting stopped to remain idle any longer.
"We got back and since then due to DUIs and suicides and other things, we've lost almost as many people as we did overseas," Littrell said.
For those who wrote and asked to see more photos of what I purchased in Sweden in May, here is a column cabinet with wood marbelized base. It is 54" tall on a 24" square base. It is fluted all the way around. To make it round, it is made of narrow boards glued together that bend. I am considering having my guys build this for my furniture line.
I have seen several square column cabinets, but this cabinet is round instead of square. The round ones are more difficult to find and run about nine grand when you can find one. I was very delighted to find this one and knew I could come home with it the moment I saw it.
It was made in 1780 near Stockholm. Right now I have an accessory from Wisteria catalog on top, but as you know me, it will be changed all the time. I had a sculpture on it at first. In my hallway, I have this odd space that is perfect for it. I could also move it by the staircase if I put another cabinet here.
When I got it, I had no idea what I would store inside it, but when it arrived, I thought wine storage would be a good choice. Mr. Swede belongs to a wine club and cases of it appear on our doorstep wayyyyyy too often to keep up. I was able to fit 32 bottles in here by using stainless steel racks from Target. Eight of these modular units fit perfectly even with the cavity being round. Every time I need something unusual, Target is my first stop because no matter how odd the thing I am looking for, they always come through for me.
Summer [Colleen Stratton Martin]
Walking through the Montparnasse area, I passed this florist each day.
They are selling three colors of Peonies.
Love these coral colored ones.
Do you like the red ones?
Love Sweet William that spells like Cloves.
Floral vendors are throughout the city but not as many as I had imagined.
In Sweden I purchased an identical pair of these secretaries. Made in the same cabinet shop between 1780-90 so about 234 years old. One is for sale at La Maison Antiques in Memphis and I kept one which is in this photo.
And here is a cabinet I purchased.
For Swedish antique lovers out there, this is a 1710-20 Baroque cabinet in pale green paint. Love the hardware.
This small chest made in 1790 was formerly owned by Lars Sjoberg who restored many landmark buildings in Sweden and authored several books, among which are The Swedish Room and Classic Swedish Interiors.
The Gustavian mirror was made in 1790 and the carved door in 1820.
These pieces make my heart sing.
Yesterday we unloaded the container of Swedish antiques I selected on my trip in May. Always fun to see what you picked out a couple months later. All came through fine except one broken table leg.
I thought you might like to see a piece that I am keeping for me - at least for a while. I like the size of this cabinet and the reeded doors. It is a good place to keep my large coral pieces and design books. Made in 1850-60 by a cabinetmaker in the middle section of Sweden. If you are close to Memphis, TN, you can see many pieces from that container at La Maison Antiques on Poplar. I bought a lot of cabinets and secretaries.
This piece is tall and narrow so it fits in the hallway.
I'll show you more from the container as I have time to photo them.