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Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!

My love of antique roses…especially the 19th century Bourbons Madame Ernest Calvat, Madame Isaac Perrier, Souvenir de Malmaison …which preserve the voluptuous scent and shape of 18th century roses with improved re-bloom characteristics….is hardly content with the few roses a mild Northern California winter offers from time to time. So while I’ve been in a “less is more” mode (with blogging, as well!) and editing out the “de trop” excesses in my life…a few treasures make it over my self imposed restraints…and they invariably evoke my love of gardening!

antique portraitAn 18th century French School oval portrait…roses tucked under her blue ribboned straw hat…the same cabbagy blooms as my floriferous Madame Ernest Calvat….old rosesUp close to Madame Calvat….wish this was scratch and sniff for you…

antique textilesFrench embroidered satin waistcoat panels. More at the MET Costume Institute here.

A close up for all my textile crazy readers….that’s one of Wendy Lewis’s beautiful antique woven linens in the background. As well as the exquisite embroidery, I love the tiny hand stitching at the edges. Though a green thumb at gardening…I’m all thumbs at this gentle art!

antique textiles

I suppose you can see an ongoing theme in my textile collecting?
old roses

Madame Issac Perrier…if you have just enough space and sun for ONE old rose….it must be this one. Simply the most incredible scent. And the color is a lipstick bright cerise. Year’s ago I saw this landscaped in a row with Madame Calvat and Souvenir de Malmaison and tall Italian blue cypresses at Garden Valley Ranch which has a wonderful garden worth touring if you’re ever in Petaluma. antique textiles

Two small 18th century silks…the top a hand stitched scrap from a once grand gown …the bottom a hand loomed brocade that I just sort of imagined into this shape. Antique textiles are so evocative of the world they come from…sketching an image of what that world looked like…what frivolity excited people at the time. That intersect at my fingertips with the 18th century world never fails to amaze me.

antique screen

A recent flea market find…roses and garlands were hand painted over jute and plaster on both sides of this short three panel screen. More on this later. 
antique architectural salvage

I find I have this tendency to crave authenticity…the antithesis to the current propensity for flea market one-of-a-kind finds to be mass marketed ad nauseum. One of my favorite designers is San Francisco designer Stephen Shubel….so, like a groupie…I awaited his One King’s Lane tag sale and bought this ENORMOUSLY heavy vintage cast stone piece. Which leads me to one last thing…..

Paris flea market photo from French Kissed….

If you ever wanted to skip the tag sales and go direct to Paris, my favorite blog buddy Jermaine of French Kissed has organized two Paris shopping tours this May. They are small enough groups to squeeze the best out of Paris…but perhaps large enough to share a shipping pallet home??  She’s letting you hit the Louvre and Notre Dame on your own time, forsaking cultural for pure wicked shopping.  Anyone that knows Jermaine knows that she has fabulous taste and an innate ability to score “the deal”.  About that French phrase “de trop”…too much…excessive. Well, Jermaine is able to see through the flotsam and jetsam to find the pearls. Included on the tour is her lovely daughter Haleigh of Making Magique (formally Bardot in Blue) and their French friend Serge (whose ear I would LOVE to bend on French auction houses). Jermaine splits her time between her design work in Santa Barbara and routine visits to her two beautiful daughters in New York and Paris. I adore her. So if you ever dreamed of visiting Paris with someone else to take care of all the details and give you a curated view…check out all the details here.

French rosesAnd, again,  Happy Valentine’s Day!