Hello New Year


, ,

Trouvais 18th c French cardHappy New Year my friends! Most of my little finds tend to have a story behind them. Here…an 18th century French Marquis scrawls his obligations from a losing hand on some playing cards. If the saying “lucky at cards, unlucky in love” is true, let’s hope he was well compensated for his losing hand!

I happily dropped all my cards…the sewing and dyeing and primping projects… as soon as the first kid rolled his way home for Christmas vacation. His sister is back at work, and he’s on his way back to school, so it’s time for me to officially greet the New Year!

Best wishes for luck in everyone’s New Year…but mostly, lots of love!

Happy 2013!

Golden Highlights



Trouvais photos of Sienna Antiques Frames

Yes…I’m still up to my elbows in gray dye…but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a few golden highlights. My sister and I did a little shopping last week in one of my favorite small towns on Northern California…quintessential old Americana…a great mix of garden nurseries, quirky thrift stores, and several wonderful antique stores. Chelsea Antiques is on one side of the main boulevard…and Sienna, where I took all these photos, on the other.

Trouvais: Sienna Antiques

The top frame is 18th century German…terrifically expensive….so if you find something like this at the local thrift..I’d grab it…

Trouvais photos of Sienna Antiques

Trouvais photos of Sienna lighting

Really..the shades are what does it for me!
Trouvais photos of Sienna 2

Trouvais photos Sienna Antiques

Sienna Antiques in Petaluma here

If you click the link above you’ll get store info and a street view…in case my farther flung readers want to get a snapshot of a great little American town!

All Sorts of Gray



Trouvais bedroom grays

Luxury bedding

dyeing textiles

This velvet was once apple green…Trouvais LouisXVI foorstool in processJust have to say…sewing is not my forte…still in process on this little Louis XVI foot stool using Wendy Lewis’s thistle linen!Trouvais Piranesi etching close upClose up of Piranesi etching…every nuance of gray…

Trouvais loft space

That Fornasetti gaze…from the storage loft. Hoping to add a library ladder to the left. Built in storage to use the space made by jog in wall and space between wall studs.

Trouvais bedrm redo

When my crew couldn’t show up on the prescribed day, I actually took a hammer to the ceiling myself. Couldn’t wait to echo the exterior roofline, and add some space to a small room.


gray bedding
After my daughter moved into San Francisco this Summer, we raised her ceiling and  added new windows. The formally saffron yellow walls are now coated with a lovely shade of primer white. Temporary…but lovely! Since her room is only 10 X 12, we raised her ceiling to the roofline, extending it over the adjoining hallway to create loft storage. Even the primer white grays out in the shadows! The bedding makes the statement all on it’s own right now.

Sources: Bella Notte Charcoal velvet sham, Whisper Linen ruffled edge drapes, re-dyed velvet drapes Garnet Hill Signature Sateen sheets in Silver. Matteo Tat euro sham in coal. West Elm striped duvet. I dyed some apple green velvet drapes from Bella Notte that “mouse’s back” gray. Will do another post soon about that to give you a few pointers in case you want to try your hand!

Also…FYI, Janet Wiebe Antiques having a 40% off warehouse sale of French antiques in Houston this Wednesday Dec 5 and Thursday Dec 6 from 10-5. You might want to check out her website here.

Home for the Holidays


, ,

Trouvais 19th c painted chairs
Hello! Peeking in through the raindrops…oh the stories I could tell of the last few months! At the tail end of all the big projects…I am at last turning inward to the simple joys of handling sumptious antique linens… dyeing, tacking and stitching them. My favorite pale blue chairs absolutely MUST be reupolstered. My husband grumbles every time he sits in the worst one…sinking a perilous six inches into the creaking frame. Wendy Lewis has become a good friend, and matched enough linen for me to get the job done. All I need now is to confront my trust issues with upholsterers!

Trouvais hand dyed linens

A quick rumple of a photo…but I love the colors! I threw this linen piece from Wendy into a vat of black/gray dye. It became the perfect simple cover for the oh, so delicate, peau de soie blue silk underneath when young heathens descended upon us for Thanksgiving. I waited years to upholster this settee…horsehair and springs glaring at me from beneath the seat. I felt it had a certain charm. But on went the expensive silk, and almost immediately after I found the Textile Trunk and fell in love with Wendy’s linens! Trouvais C Quartermaine and Textile Trunk dyed linens

My sister dropped in on Carolyn Quartermaine for me while she visited London several years ago and lugged home a suitcase full of her gorgeous textiles. I had several lovely conversations with Carolyn and assembled a nice swathe of favorites…heavy on the eighteenth century script. The white cotton/linen Script fabric loves a dye bath…and here shows off a classic Quartermaine pink, backed with gray velvet. Trouvais dark linens and light floor

Curtains made from Chateau de Chambord sheets…by the look of them when I first got them they were the scullery maids. But tossed into a murky gray dye bath and they are the perfect inky tone for my office…against the white floors and gray paint. So…you see the gray obsession is as strong as ever.

TROUVAIS Textile Trunk linens

Wendy’s 18th/early 19th century linen sheets are a work of art. These will never see a dye bath!Trouvais Textile Trunk antique linens

Textile Trunk linens waiting to be used…

Trouvais kitchen '12

I used upholster tacks to add another piece of Wendy’s linen to this Gustavian bench from Chelsea textiles here as a change from the green check. I placed the seam off center. Rather than shy away from seams or patches, I adore them now.  Trouvais kitchen post Thanksgiving '12

I have made a deliberate attempt to NOT look for any new treasure the last few months…but a few irresistible surprises found me!  I thought I’d stop in and spend the holidays with you, share some favorite sources and give you an update to what I’ve been up to. I’ve opened a Pinterest page here where I’ve started to add some photos and share favorite shops including that of my recent house guest and fellow blogger Jermaine of Maison French Kissed. Happy December!




Hello everyone! Happy Sunday!! I should be out weeding but I couldn’t resist posting a few peony photos! A bouquet in a bucket…almost two dozen herbaceous peonies in my favorite colors…deep red Kansas and Sarah Bernhardt

garden peonies

A paler pink peony mixing in the border with a red rose and linaria purupea…aka Toadflax…a rampant self-seeder. garden peonies

Kansas again with Vivid Pink…backed by espaliered apple and my striped bourbon rose Honorine de Brabant and a broad leaved salvia. 

Here…while still in bud in the border…dusted with rose petals…Erigeron (Santa Barbara daisy) gambolling about …

Trouvais Peonies

A real show-off in the garden…love all the bright beauty against galvanized metal and stone grays. In the midst of all the outside work we’re doing, and since I’m still deciding on a new computer, I decided to take advantage of being in limbo to have my office gutted and rewired, the ceiling raised. No more trailing extension cords!  The little round window was a happy surprise behind the walls.

home office

The limewash color I’m using on the walls is called “”Old Stone Wall” from Sydney Harbour Paints here. (I seem to be always in the garden…whether inside or out!). To be continued!  FYI: I’m testing out an ad program that WordPress allows. Normally I pay WordPress to NOT advertise on my blog. So we’ll see. Busy week ahead but I’m getting the hang of using my husband’s editing software. My strategy is to make him so sick of me taking over his computer that he succumbs to my demands!…and yes…I am thinking of the going over to “the dark side” (his words…not mine)…switching from PC to Apple).