Sparkle and shine


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Charles Claude de Flahaut (1730–1809), Comte d’Angiviller

Jean-Baptiste Greuze  here



In my year off of blogging…I tried to keep a blind eye to all home and landscape improvements and focus on my love of 18th century and earlier textiles.

A much more peaceful interlude! After several years in a row of bathroom remodels and landscaping projects, my husband and I just wanted to quell the rush and bother of constant home improvement.

With my home a haven of neutrals, collecting rare textiles is a joyful way to enjoy color and shine…and the history each piece carried with it.

I am happy to fake it when I paint my walls, have no problem with reproduction pieces to carry the heavy lifting in home design..

but this is one area where I crave authenticity, handwork, inimitability.

The question I most ask myself when considering an expensive antique textile: can you copy this?

It tips the scales when the answer is no…

Trouvais Textiles Early Embroidery

Common themes in my collection: fruit and flower…metallics…painstaking work by hand…sparkle and shine…

Trouvais Textiles Early embroidery

Earlier embroidery appliqued onto silk…perhaps a late 17th or early 18th century coif, late fashioned into an ecclesiastical statue robe?

Trouvais Textiles 17th c silver brocade

A 17th century silver woven Syrian or Italian brocade…you can feel the weight of the piece from the silver threads…Trouvais Textiles

An 18th century peach silk moire, resting on an 18th c Italian brocade with bright silver and gold threads…all atop a 17th or 18th century Italian velvet in a gorgeous Flemish yellow, evoking a Vermeer painting here.

A few of my most treasured pieces!

I have antique textiles on virtually every flat surface in my home now, as I try to decide which textiles I will keep for my collection, which to let Magdalene have for her pillow business or have made into pillows for me, and which pieces to be brought down to Santa Barbara for the French Kissed and Trouvais French Summer Market in August

I will also be bringing some Carolyn Quartermaine and vintage French flea market items, many items that you have seen on my blog…

Trouvais will be textile and French Market heavy for the next few weeks. Then I have an interesting home staging project to show you in August, and a trip to Italy in September. And though I haven’t picked up a paint brush in a year, I will probably start up again in the Fall with some of my limewash paints and give you a step by step tutorial. Finally, when it really gets cool, I can finish my husband’s wine cellar and give you a peek at that. So stay tuned as I sort it all out and toss out pretty pictures along the way!

French Summer Market here

Pillows et Plus here and here



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This old thing?


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Trouvais Textiles 2014


It’s been over a year…but I will be coming back to blogging soon to talk to you about more “Found” things and old things…

Very, very old things…

I’ve gone from distressing my walls with lime wash…to cherishing age washed silks and frayed edges…

One of a kind, tumbling through time bits and pieces of textile history…

My Santa Barbara friend Jermaine of French Kissed and I are teaming up to stage a French Summer Market here

And my New York friend Magdalene of Pillows et Plus here and here and I are teaming up to make pillows..

And I just need to learn how to work this blog thing again…

So stay tuned…much prettiness to come…




Happy Mother’s Day


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stone and lavender

Happy Mother’s day! A few early photos of “Lavender Hill” that I started a few years ago. Last Spring we reworked the area off the kitchen and had a stone mason add formal wide steps to transition up to lavender hill. The color palette is simple and subdued…stone grays and gold fine, green, white and lavenders. Creeping strawberry is already sending runners across the lower steps as the erigeron (Santa Barbara daisy) had taken hold on the upper. After getting the plan and hardscape in place, I like to stand back and see what ideas mother nature comes up with.

stone in the garden

I picked up these concrete balls fifteen years ago…like dwarf boxwood…love the punctuation marks they make in the garden. "Provence" English lavender

The lavender is primarily lavandula augustifolia “Provence”, and a few “Grosso”, and “Hidcote”tossed in here and there.

artichokes ad roses

The roses are Souvenir de Malmaison, here with artichokes, and Sombreuil at the steps, and a coral David Austin rose Abraham Darby tossing a color surprise over a wall. Still waiting for a few plants to assert themselves and will be adding lettuces in the shade below the bench. But, a much simpler, less demanding garden! Spring garden

Still biding my time ’till lavender hill is in full bloom. Changing my blog speed to “Summertime”…more time in the garden and on the trails!

Update May 2014…I am on an extended blog holiday…hiatus…but will post again, eventually, to let you know what my future plans are…

Until then the blog remains open for nostalgic jaunts into the last 4-5 years of my amateur photography, DIY home and garden design, cutting and pasting and daydreaming. Enjoy!