In the home of a Parisian artist

This Fall there was a lovely crisp and bright weekend where the 17th arrondissement had a wonderful event, that has become an annual rendez-vous and is imitated in several neighborhoods of Paris. It is a Portes Ouvertes (Open Door) event to visit the spaces where local artists work. You can chat with them about their work, and you can even buy some art, direct from the source from whence it came. It is authentic, it is cool, it is an experience.

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We went to the studio of Barabara de la Motte Saint Pierre, who lives in the Batignolles neighborhood. She’s been there since waaaaay before it was trendy and popular amongst the baby-making thirty-somethings. She’s been there since the 70′s when no one really even knew about this corner of the city. It was a quarter where blue collar workers lived, and held onto the ‘oldness’ for a long time, you can still see it everywhere in the neighborhood, but it has often been updated to give it that fresh modern vintage look; aka : charm.

So back to Barbara’s studio. It has everything you could imagine in a quaint Parisian artist studio, a cat, dust on old clocks and keys, pots of paint brushed, wine glasses, baskets of fruit etc. The whole nine yards. So I did my best to capture the ambiance of her very charmingly cluttered space, that to me seemed so authentic and so Parisian without that commercialized frill that we now tend to attach so often to this city. Barbara is a thinker and a dreamer, the true artist type that is so well produced in Paris.

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Far from the glittering and glamourous world of posh art galleries on the Faubourg Saint Honoré, Barabara is one of the most simple down-to-earth Parisians I have ever met. She is content to create and is often overly generous. We have a few of her lovely little water colors in our home. And we treasure them dearly as she is a close friend of Chéri’s, and they are beautiful pieces made with her never fading curiosity and desire to artfully depict the world as she sees it through the channel of her paint brush. Continue reading

The Truth About Chocolate Mousse

So, apparently I am one of the few who “knows about” this discovery : chocolate mousse doesn’t need dairy -at all-. I came to the conclusion that most people don’t know this truth judging from all the recipes I see that call for all sorts of creams, and butters and crazy dairy requirements, and the fact that I have never met a restaurant that does it sans butter or cream. Even the dairy free recipes out there on the internet all call for the complicated substitutes that I just don’t want to deal with. Chocolate mousse is really quite a simple recipe. 3 basic ingredients are all it takes! P1190089 THREE! I wish more restaurants would get the concept since it would be nice to have something other than fresh fruit once in a while for dessert when I go out. But then I live in France, dairy land of the world. *sigh* … I suppose that the silver lining is that I have retained my figure.

When I want dessert, I have to make it myself. And usually I have to come up with all sorts of resourceful and inventive solutions to my creations to make them look, taste and feel like the “real” thing.

Luckily for me this is one of the simplest desserts out there!

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Cake & Bake makes me a cake!

Cake & Bake for Prete Moi ParisPaul Waters a.k.a. “Pastry Boy” of Cake & Bake invited me over to his boutique on rue Lancry in the 10th for an in depth demonstration of how to decorate a cake in fondant. Little did I know the surprise he had in store for me! He had conceptualized a cake just for Prête-Moi Paris! I was thrilled to watch the “sculpting” happen right before my very eyes, and to capture it all on video for you. In addition to being photogenic and just plain charming, Paul also has an expert hand, it meticulous when creating his masterpieces. He always made sure everything was just perfect! And of course, made it all look sooooooo easy in the process!

See what he is capable of here…and hold on to your bakers hats…this video goes fast!

Cake & Bake from Prete Moi Paris on Vimeo.

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DIY : fun & frilly greeting card

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I have a friend that I had meant to write to for quite some time…and the days turned into weeks and the weeks into a couple months! And before I knew I had become gravely late on my correspondance!

So to make up for it, I thought it would be the perfect touch to make it into a fun, DIY frilly card.

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Dressing Like Dita

I have a lovely habit of wasting time on one of my favorite websites : ShopStyle. It’s like having the world as a closet and being able to create outfits form millions and millions of articles. It’s addicting. I am warning you now.

I am also a big fan of Dita. You know who I am talking about. She inspires me and well frankly, I wish I had her waredrobe and work-out regime!

I created some looks from pictures of Dita Von Teese found off of Google. It was time-consuming but fun to browse thousands of pieces of clothing and accessories, looking for that one perfect piece to illustrate her outfits.

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Two New York designers in Paris

Kasia Dietz is a pretty regular subject on my blog. I want to share with you all some of her recent achievements.
Her Pop Art and City Bag collection, plus a sneak peek preview of her upcoming collection and her new found popularity in Hong Kong fashion!

U Magazine did a spread on Paris Style and included a piece on Kasia’s work! Congrats to this fabulous expat designer on getting a great start on conquering the Asian market!
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Paris Wedding : Sugarplum Circus Wedding Cake

So, of COURSE I would be getting our wedding cake from the Sugarplum Cake Shop!!! I mean, they have been my FAVORITE cake shop in Paris since they opened!!!! And Laurel, Krista and Taylor are some of the world’s greatest ladies and fantastic team where each member compliments the others to create a totally dynamic, balanced and talented trio.
I love these ladies!
There was no question about it, Sugarplum Cake Shop was where I’d get my wedding cake.

The first meeting with Laurel was to start the order, and determine the basic shape of this cake.
We played around with the styrofoam cut outs to brainstorm, and I brought some fabric swatches of the colors to be used in our wedding decoration. We talked about the style of decoration we were looking for, maybe some bunting, maybe some stripes…and what the Sugarplums had for ideas as well for our circus themed wedding cake.

Laurel suggesting an idea for the top of the cake.

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Paris Wedding Wednesday : DIY bottle labels

So, you may guess that this DIY post is for the bon-bon bar. I will be having a spouted glass vat with a punch drink for people to serve themselves with from the candy bar, and in the DIY spirit of my wedding decoration, I thought it would be appropriate to allow the guests to elaborate they own cocktail themselves. So I have two bottles of flavored syrup found at the boutique Alice Delice. One red, one blue, perfect colors for my circus wedding reception theme! Continue reading

Paris Wedding Wednesday : DIY napkins

I saw the concept of personalized napkins on theknot.com but they don’t ship to France, so I thought I’d make my own!

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I bought a “Life is a Circus” stamp on Etsy (a site that I am obsessed with!) And then created my own personalized stamps on rubberstamps.net with images I had created with an image editing program called Gimp (on which I could literally spend hours designing things). The stamps cost me about 10 dollars (shipping not included) but they thankfully do ship to France.

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Paris Wedding Wednesday : Bon Bon Pops

Ok so in my never-ending search for fun ideas for garnishing the wedding bon-bon bar, I discovered this super easy, très pas cher (very inexpensive) idea at a block party I went to recently. I find this to be the perfect solution to my need for candy on a stick. I have been searching for those swirl lollipops that are so popular these days, but I am not too keen on spending a small fortune on something that I am not even sure the mostly French guests will actually eat! But Haribo…They seem to love it!

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