Vivez Bien * Live Well

Friday, February 25, 2011

Waiting for Winter

We have been having sweltering hot days in Cape Town. The kind of energy-sapping, temper-fraying heat that makes the days hard to bear. So I am waiting and wishing and watching for signs of winter!

   Winter means I can have my morning coffee in front of a roaring fire....

 Winter means the whole family can snuggle up with blankets and watch a DVD....

Winter means freshly baked banana muffins and steaming mugs of hot chocolate for the boys after cold, wet rugby practices.....

   Winter means sitting in front of the fire playing board games .....

Or simply curling up in a comfy chair, with a blanket and a good book.

Winter may be grey, but it is grey in a good way!

Till next time

Sharon x

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mirror Magic

So, the thing was this. I really needed (wanted) a big French style mirror to put above my sideboard in my dining room. Something along the lines of one of these below,


or this one,

or this.

Sadly, all I had was a mirror with an oregon pine frame similar to this one below

Here is my mirror when it was in my previous home (I had done a sort of gilt paint effect on the frame)

So I sanded and painted the frame a French grey colour

I found these "twirly things" at my local hardware/craft shop. They are made of some sort of resin, or dare I say it, plastic! I painted them in the same grey colour.

and then arranged them on my mirror frame to get the desired effect. I forgot to take a photo of this step.

I glued them on and rubbed some brownish paint over the whole thing to get this sort of antique effect.

This is the top of my mirror

and the finished product below. I'm just hoping that one of the pieces doesn't fall off during a dinner party to reveal my mirror's humble roots!

I am joining up with Savvy Southern Style for "Wow us Wednesdays".

Till next time

Sharon x

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bathing Bliss

I love baths that are placed in front of a big picture window. I can just imagine myself  having a long soak, gazing out at a beautiful view, lovely scented candle burning, maybe some beautiful classical music playing in the background, possibly even a glass of champagne in hand. Bliss! Wouldn't you like to take a long bath in one of these beautiful bathrooms?

Via House Beautiful

Via A Love of the Past

We just need to open those curtains! Via Marie Claire

Via House Beautiful

Via House Beautiful

Via House Beautiful

Via House Beautiful

via  Velvet and Linen

Via A Love of the Past

Till next time

Sharon x

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

France and Roosters

I have always associated the rooster with France and being a Francophile, I have a few rooster references in my home. I thought of doing a post on roosters and began to wonder whether the rooster was in fact an official French national symbol, or not. Clearly some research was in order and this is what I discovered.                                     

I love this light fitting (via House Beautiful)

 The Gallic rooster (French: le coq gaulois) is an unofficial national symbol of France as a nation.

Beautiful pot rack (House Beautiful)

During the times of Ancient Rome, the rooster was neither regarded as a national personification nor as a sacred animal by the Gauls in their mythology. The association of the rooster with the Gauls is probably not true, but widely believed to be true.

A rooster perched in my kitchen

Its association with France dates back from the Middle Age and is due to the play on words in Latin between Gallus, meaning an inhabitant of Gaul, and gallus, meaning rooster, or cockerel. Its use in Europe dates to this period, originally a pun to make fun of the French.

Sweet little egg holder

The association between the rooster and the Gauls/French was developed by the kings of France for the strong Christian symbol that the rooster represents: prior to being arrested, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed on the following morning.  Its crowing at the dawning of each new morning made it a symbol of the daily victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.  That is why, during the Middle Ages, the rooster became a symbol of France as a Catholic state and became a popular Christian image on weathervanes.

Rooster weathervane

I love this rooster toile

It had been a national emblem ever since, especially during the Third French Republic. The rooster was featured on the reverse of French 20-franc gold pieces from 1899 to 1914. After World War I it was depicted on many war memorials.

A  recipe book holder in my kitchen

Beautiful hand-painted wall tiles

I love these rooster gift tags for sale on Etsy

Today, it is often used as a national mascot, particularly in sporting events such as football (soccer) and rugby. The 1998 FIFA World Cup, hosted by France, adopted a rooster named Footix as mascot. The French national Australian rules football team in the 2008 Australian Football International Cup is known as the Coqs after le coq gaulois. Additionally, the France national rugby league team are known as the Chanteclairs referring to the cockerel's song.

French stamp

These wall hooks hang in my pantry

The popularity of the symbol extends into business. Le Coq Sportif ("The sporty rooster"), is a French manufacturer of sports equipment using a stylized rooster as its logo.

Rooster door stop

                    Vive le coq, vive la France
Till next time
Sharon x
(info via wikipedia)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kitchen Critique

I'm sure many of you will be heading to your kitchens to cook a wonderful Valentine's meal for those special people in your life. Which of these amazing kitchens would you like to be cooking in?

I love the elegant chairs combined with the rustic table. I love the butlers sink and the big window above it.  I don't love the light fitting or the blind fabric. I would have chosen a beautiful French toile and a crystal chandelier. Or is that too predictable?
I love the central island, the pot racks and the beautiful pressed ceiling

This is a different view in the same kitchen. I love the shelves in the background for storage and display, but would maybe have chosen a different light fitting over the table. I also love the wooden floor.

I love the light fittings and the floor, but am not so in love with the barley twist legs on the island.

Again I love the light fitting and the amount of light coming into this kitchen. I might have opted for fewer overhead cupboards and linen blinds rather than rattan/bamboo?  

More lovely light fittings and the colour of the island is beautiful. The upholstered stools wouldn't be the most practical option in my household! I would consider painting the beams a lighter colour to make them less oppressive

This is the same kitchen again as in the 2nd picture. The range cooker and copper pots are just fabulous.

This kitchen has quite an interesting layout. The big cooker hood in the middle makes a great feature and I like the industrial look of the island on the right.

Which one is your favourite?

I am linking to the blog below for the newbie party.

Till next time

Sharon x

All kitchen pictures via House Beautiful

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Exposed brick in the bedroom

With Valentine's Day approaching, I though a post on romantic bedrooms would be appropriate. I love the contrast between the roughness of an exposed brick wall in a bedroom and the luxurious and feminine touches such as beautiful bedlinen, chandeliers, a sumptuous headboard and so on.

This beautiful example is via Rooms of Inspiration

Beautiful tufted headboard via Decorpad


Via La Dolce Vita

Beautiful exposed trusses and chandelier via The Blasphemous Fiendess

Here the brick has been painted (via The Decorative Touch)

My bedroom - I have the brick wall but am still patiently waiting for the French bed and crystal chandelier

Till next time

Sharon x