Category Archives: Art, design and inspiration blog

paintings, photos, textiles & creative stuff

House of Joë Bousquet, Carcassonne, painted beams.

I have to do this in the cave….

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Terrasse

Gorgeous morning, but I really should have styled the terrace a bit better for this blog! Culinary plants now include baby fig tree, avocado plant, lavender, chillies, sweet peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, sage, mint, rosemary, chives, basil, parsley and beets. Better…………

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Chairs

Comfortable but pig-ugly chairs. Wine Dralon seats. If you are familiar with that fabric, you will be sticking your fingers down your throat right now. After 13 years, paint colour and 19thc French fabric chosen. Probably…

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Wax on….Wax off

Clock case has been waxed and polished, inside and out. Although the two doors require minor attention to stabilise them and their glass reputtied, I could not resist getting some glassware in to confirm the validity of this repurposing project. … Continue reading

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Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller is this beautiful, very pale blue with a subtle grey undertone. One of those nuanced colours that seems to straddle more than one chromatic range. And, though I have only just noticed this, it matches the inside of … Continue reading

Posted in Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Post Paint View

Kitchen ceiling finished, this wall almost finished. Brackets to mount under the little white painted wall cabinet Trolley needs new feet to line up with other surfaces Art Nouveau tiled splashback to go up Smaller cupboard to paint Inside of … Continue reading

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The clock case

So, now Trev has finished panelling in the new wiring in the kitchen, I can fill, paint and finish this wall and the ceiling. My Unfitted French Kitchen story continues on this, the Wall of Worry ( put that into … Continue reading

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Rennes-les-Bains

A lovely, if rather warm day at Rennes-les-Bains in Occitanie. Our good friend Jeannie too, and “the kids” in wedding anniversary mode. Privileged to have the company of the writer, Henry Lincoln, whose erudite and informed and very interesting tour … Continue reading

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Details Details 2

I know I need to take these shots with a decent camera, but mine is under a pile of assorted stuff and the mobile phone is handy. Trev has returned to the tulip room ceiling project to start on the … Continue reading

Posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France, What we did, how we did it and what we used | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Paris Hip

A “work trip” to Paris this month yielded new ideas and design inspiration both work and house renovation-wise. Paris really is another country, when compared to Deepest Aude; but the first thing that struck me is that there, ” up … Continue reading

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Pimp my hovel

Well, we finally nailed the colours for the outside render and the shutters. So, taking advantage of the late Autumn sunshine, the Trevoracle started sanding down the flaky doors.   Aren’t those layers of colour beautiful? Yes they are . … Continue reading

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slub silk – dupion v shantung

OK, this post is a bit “niche”, but I had to share the thrill of unpacking more bargain buys from French ebay. These vintage curtains are made from silk dupion (dupioni) in a typically subtle ivory cream with cream and … Continue reading

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Episode 165: Bench Marks

Those of you who have stuck with this blog will know that the question of how we actually create the bench in the dining area has languished almost as long as the decision regarding the perfect off-white paint. The answer … Continue reading

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My dog just is….

By special request, we have an update on the Fur Baby. Bronte is now Water Baby also. Every time we do the river beach walk she has a little swim. Then she likes to roll in  some cut grass or … Continue reading

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Bedroom decoration and refurbishment

Still no luck finding a new changeover person for the Argeles apartment, so doing that ourselves right now. As the apartment has not been decorated for a while, and the bedroom was just a white box, we decided to bite … Continue reading

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In which normal service is resumed

Well, almost normal. At least I can draw breath this week. I haven’t solved the technical issues affecting the day-job, but at least I have a little spare time to think  about it. In the midst of the general chaos … Continue reading

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Episode 164 – Big sky

Just to reassure anyone out there who has been bemused by recent rants, I am saner and more sanguine this morning! It has been a truly trying couple of weeks, with only an occasional bright spot, but this is how … Continue reading

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Bedroom rugs- Indian and Indiennes motifs

Following the installation of the window seat storage in the terrace bedroom, I have unwrapped another of the rugs that have been sitting in the workshop for eons. This one was hand made in India. The short looped ground is … Continue reading

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A different Thursday Three- Painted walls, ceilings and beams

Super busy today, but in the middle of a restoring a handpainted piece my mind slips to the wall and ceiling paintings that I plan to execute here at the French village house. Look at this one –left-JP! painted ceiling … Continue reading

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Hiding an eyesore. The surface mounted debate

I know why old French houses have surface mounted pipes and wires. It’s far easier and therefore cheaper to install your plumbing, electrics, drainage etc if you don’t chase out those thick stone walls to conceal these modern “neccessities”. It … Continue reading

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Three more old rooms

I have a need to gaze upon enticing old rooms; so here are three more. Just because. Laserow Blogspot mystery site (the link to which has been “deleted and purged”!) That sounds very terminal.   michaelpaulphotography         … Continue reading

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Où est la plage?

With last month’s storms and some further grey and rainy days. the river Aude was almost up to the bank and quite thunderously swollen in places over the rocks. It’s calmed down a bit this week. The ducks are no … Continue reading

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My Pre-Raphaelite Fix

My last region of residence in the UK was south west of Birmingham. I was very lucky to have the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum  (see previous posts) a twenty minute train ride away. This called to me constantly, siren-style, … Continue reading

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Art Music Song part two

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has some exceptional pieces, including my most favourite bronze sculpture in the whole world ever. “Lucifer” by Jacob Epstein (American artist, studied in France) The impact created by the slightly, but critically significant just over … Continue reading

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Art Music Song

Back in the UK for eleven days. I appreciate the place far more now we don’t actually live there and I fitted in as many cultural outings as possible around my work commitments. First stop, the quirky Ikon gallery in … Continue reading

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Deliberating on the details

So, proof that a little simple attention to detail can be effective? More from this pinterest site here, where I found this photo- Lovely Pinterest Link I have a number of inset cupboards like this in the house. Cut into … Continue reading

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Episode 163- In which some things become clearer and some things that were once clear turn to mud

I have returned to the UK, albeit briefly, four times since we moved to France. So I have spent much time on a certain budget airline contemplating my destiny. BTW- If the airline in question would like to purchase this … Continue reading

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First fantastic find of 2018- local landscape

On the subject of finding shocking bargains in various charity and junk shops; I present what may well be The Find of 2018. Hidden behind various rubbish prints on the bottom shelf in a dark corner of Parchemin Limoux was … Continue reading

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Gilding the lily

I am experimenting with an updated version of my alternative “gilding” technique. I have gilded with both silver and gold leaf, but where the detail needs to be supersmooth, and/or finely detailed with nuanced colours, then paint gives, in my … Continue reading

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The Os de Mouton chair gets it’s new cover

Remember this vide- grenier buy from August 2016? An ode to the os de mouton chair The frame was great, though we did treat it for woodworm just in case. It wasn’t safe to sit on, only two working springs … Continue reading

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Trevor’s limited editions 2017

You may remember this rack that Trev made for our small chopping boards. All recycled wood from the French house, apart from the dowels. The finish is my secret recipe for treating new and old wood to blend both together … Continue reading

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Joyeux Noël et bonne année à tous

My daughter is  not sure about this particular Christmas design statement. She is accustomed to seeing the Family Baubles draped o’er a big green traditional tree. This is the tree branch Bronte and I dragged home from the riverbank. It’s … Continue reading

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Stark trees on the road to Limoux

These crisp winter landscapes are amazing. I just wish I could capture our heron, but he flies off if I get too close. Working on it.  Stay warm guys 

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The “Roman Bridge” the coldest morning yet and Bronte takes a big step

We have been told that this partly collapsed walkway over the river is a Roman bridge. I have now incorporated it into the first book of a series that I am writing, based around our house and Campagne-sur-Aude’s ancient, rich  … Continue reading

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Friday French Property P**n – two and one

These are the three Pinterest photos that I have looked at the most over the last couple of weeks. I love the decorative frieze on what I presume is a stone chimney piece left and the ceiling treatment https://pin.it/thxb3iram3zm5r We … Continue reading

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Carpe Diem part 2- Back in the UK and a timely perspective on life and music and poetry

Our UK visit was an opportunity to see our good friends Richard and Lisa and Lisa’s father John Hammond. John is a fascinating, well read and well travelled man who lived in South Africa for many years. His passions include … Continue reading

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Carpe diem part 1 – and some thoughts on going back to the UK

So I flew back to the UK last Thursday night for work and a face to face family catch- up. My third trip back since May and Trev’s first!   This sunset view from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport restaurant, Le8me Ciel … Continue reading

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The Thursday Three- cushions for me

Last weekend I took a break from making up cushions to sell and used some pieces from my stash of antique and vintage embroideries to make up cushions for the French house. Left- large needlepoint woolwork panel in Arts & … Continue reading

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Friday night out at the Café de Fa

Highly recommended if you are in the Aude. Last Friday night every month at the cafe de fa Very good fish and chips and chocolate moelleux plus Anne de Joyeuse house wine. Music by the Zap Jazz Trio; who last … Continue reading

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Episode 162- The herringbone kitchen ceiling realised

From this left to this right-photos via these links first stage second stage How? We removed the grotty ceiling tiles (if you are following in our footsteps, PLEASE check that these tiles are not asbestos based!) Clean underside of ceiling … Continue reading

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