Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Being true, La Contessa takes Paris!



Today, I am thrilled to share with you my very first guest post, written by La Contessa (or Elizabeth Kirkpatrick as she is known in everyday parlance) as part of this month's By Invitation Only theme. Looking back, I can't recall how she found my blog but I most certainly do know that she has been a faithful reader and friend since the beginning! She has always been incredibly supportive and kind to both Remi and myself...quite simply, she is an exceptional woman. Her recent adventure with the amazingly talented Carla Coulson is one of the most perfect examples of "being true" that I have ever seen. The story gives me goosebumps and so now, I turn Lost in Arles over to La Contessa...

***

A little background on me--I have had a black and white photo taken of my sons and myself for the last 21 years for my husband for FATHER'S DAY. I had decided early on that I would stop when the boys became 21 because after that I wouldn't be able to have them come home for the photo shoot the first of April, plus we would run out of wall space to hang the photos………So, I had the problem of deciding when to stop! When the first son was 21 or the second son!!! I chose the latter……………A few years have passed now with no photo and that was hard for me at first. Now, I have to come up with a gift for the Italian husband for Father's Day! The beauty of the photo, he always knew what he was getting! A photo in black and white with a plain black frame to hang in his study. My idea then was to watch me age and watch the boys grow up!


I love to snap photos, mind you I have no idea what I am doing with the camera but I love to take snap shots! I found CARLA's blog and became a subscriber………Her eye and detail always made my mouth drop. I ADORED HER STORY. Not happy with her life in AUSTRALIA, she decides to up and move to Florence, Italy enrolls in photography school, meets the man of her dreams and moves up to Paris.What a tale……….


So, as I said I am a subscriber and well she does these photo shoots with couples. Loved that idea but it would be difficult to get THE ITALIAN to FRANCE! So, I had a DREAM…………REALLY! I awoke one morning thinking okay I will take my SONS to PARIS! They both have FALL birthdays, they both have never been to PARIS, this will be the last HOORAH, before they head out into the world………..something I will cherish and hopefully they will too. We will have our photo taken by CARLA.


So,we met by the Medici fountain on a Tuesday at 5:00pm in the Luxembourg Gardens. We chatted, we indulged in a KIR ROYAL………..(MY FIRST! THANKS TO LOST IN ARLES!!) and made plans to meet later in the week for THE SHOOT! Carla arrives with VERO, the hair and make-up lady, with her rolling suitcase and goodies from a boulangeire. We began the day that will be one of the most EXQUISITE days of my life. Paris, my SONS, Chickens and the LOUVRE……………….


Thank ~ you CARLA for performing your magic with me and my boys! I HAVE MEMORIES……..FABULOUS MEMORIES. I cannot thank ~ you enough.XXX

****

See? I told you it was amazing! But what is that you say? Chickens? The Louvre? Well, I do hope that you will brace yourself then take the hop over to Carla's blog to see the a few of the finished portraits. They are...they are...as beautiful and inspirational as La Contessa herself!

To see Carla Coulson's fantastic portraits of La Contessa and please just trust me, go:

To read Carla's recent post "How to bring about true change" please click here.

According to La Contessa: "I do not have a blog…………I like to think of it as a blog but it's NOT REALLY 'tis a website made by a man that made the comment section a NIGHTMARE!" Nonetheless, if you would like to see more of her world and travels, please visit http://vintagehenhouse.com/


Join the party! To read the guest posts of the international roster of wonderbloggers, please click here!


A big thank you to Elizabeth's sons, Kristopher and Nicholas for the use of their "behind the scenes" photos, as well as to Véronique Marot, Carla's brilliant hair and makeup artist, who took the top group shot.

And finally, un grand merci to La Contessa for being here and being true...

47 comments:

  1. Well, firstly, this woman could be the sister I never had! I am DYING over that red outfit, as you knew I would be. I love and adore her spirit and creativity. Personally, I believe that women like this never age, don't you agree? Heather, honey, this is simply splendid. You topped yourself !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci my dear Marsha but it is La Contessa who did all...such an amazing woman and yes quite like someone I know in Texas...and ps. it goes without saying that of course she is a beauty beyond a question of age...a beauty is a beauty...!

      Delete
    2. Heather is right! This woman is a walking wonder! She visited me here a few months before this adventure.......I never heard a word about it! she is a "seize the moment" woman! she is enthusiastic,\\; magical, lovely, funny.......and I have no more words to describe this woman!! She dropped from the skies!

      I thought I was enthusiastic........no. SHE IS MAGIC PERSONIFIED!!!!

      That is my feeble attempt to describe her!

      I spent two days with her! "My granny used to say......"LORD HAVE MERCY UPON MY SOUL!!!"

      That is the closest I can do to describe her!

      Are you kidding? The coat?? the dress? She sent me some towns where they came from......HUH??

      NO WAY!

      This should go viral.....be on the cover of Vogue.....and inspire everyone! No plastic surgery; no dying of hair.......an imagination.....meeting and finding another imagination.......and two so different sons.......to cooperate and have some fun!

      I have never seen such a thing! (because there has never been such a thing!)

      Delete
    3. Penny, I feel the same way. I don't think that you know that I was a theatre actress in my life before France and I can tell you, she has the "verve" of a true diva save that she is fuelled with nothing but good! Many, many a star could use a bit of her wattage--you know better than I!

      Delete
  2. What fun to be introduced to La Contessa! And she looks absolutely spectacular in RED, I might add. (My kind of woman.)

    So enchantée, Contessa, and thank you so much for letting us get to meet you!

    Quel choix fabuleux, Heather!

    Bisous.

    http://DailyPlateOfCrazy.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gros bisous à toi aussi copine. Et merci. J'étais loins de tout le monde pour le Toussaint donc ça ma fait un bien fou de montrer une Vraie de cez Vraie...

      Delete
  3. As the mother of two sons, I say Bravo! Its funny how when they were growing up there were a lot of "mother/daughter" and "father/son" and even "father/daughter" events but I don't remember any celebrations of mothers and sons. Lovely to see this post here and another wonderful post by a son about his mother over at http://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2013/11/05/scrabble-maneuvers-writing-assignments-caffeinated-household/

    Thank you Heather for this glorious introduction to La Contessa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith, she is an amazing one, you will see! And I can't wait to discover all of the other posts. It goes without saying that our truly genius DA...

      Delete
  4. What an enchanting photos shoot. I love La Contessa's red dress and she sounds like a very interesting character. As for Carla, I have visited her blog a couple of times but her beautiful photos make me realise just how much of an amateur I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure, Loree! I feel the same but if you keep reading her, well, she is very generous in her advice! Truly, I live with a professional photographer, as you know and it is so very rare that someone is willing to share their secrets. She is also one inspiring woman...

      Delete
    2. Heather........you are generous and brilliant........and this is a great idea of this photographer.

      I am trying to plan my trip to Paris with my daughter and granddaughter for a "shoot"!!

      Penelope

      Delete
    3. Oh my goodness! You and your beautiful "girls"?!? Wow. In Paris? Whew. Oh I hope that this happens, I truly do...You also cut a fine figure Ms. B...

      Delete
  5. :) This was fun, Heather. And what a stunning shade of red!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes quite a Dame to wear such a color as if it were simple black or white!

      Delete
  6. This gives me goosebumps too. The magic that happens when we are being true to ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No surprise that you appreciated this! You are a true one too!

      Delete
  7. Magnifique! We're going to Paris next May and I'm letting this whole idea roll around in my head..... do I have the courage (and the money?)... It looks like such an amazing keepsake - and so much fun for the Contessa and her "boys." I'm sure this is an experience they will never forget!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DO IT!You will not regret it!
      xoxox

      Delete
    2. If it is possible...seriously, what better memory could you make???

      Delete
  8. Hello Heather

    Hello Heather,

    A fascinating post and story. I love the Contessa's tradition of taking of photo each year for 21 years. She is very photogenic and a marvelous model. Carla's eye of course adds to the brilliance

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely Helen, both La Contessa and Carla are wonderful artists just like yourself!

      Delete
  9. Simply astonishing. La Contessa in red, her Father's Day gift every year , and her blog and Carla and her photos.
    and before farewell-Billie Holiday.
    Thank you Heather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edgar, I am so very glad to hear that you appreciated this as much as I did. It really is an amazing example of bravery. Today we need that...And it is Contessa who did all of that is astonishing!

      Delete
  10. Love, love, love this shoot... and Carla and Elizabeth have excelled themselves... Beautiful people together... they wouldn't do it any other way... xv

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, how gloriously fun. I think Elizabeth is pretty-much a Force of Nature......in an Auntie Mame meets Diana Vreeland meets Mama Walton (Elizabeth DOES, after all, take good care of that husband and those sons of hers) sort of way.

    I painted her this past Summer....a gift to her after she'd commissioned a portrait of her dog (predictably enough, to be given as a present to her husband...not for herself). go to:

    http://www.davidterryart.com/2013/09/la-contessa-nel-suo-mondo/

    As you'll read, I initially was a bit skeptical of the commission (Over the years, I've had more than anyone's fair share of suppposed "clients" who simply want you to participate in some self-indulgent, authentically lunatic delusion.....but, then, I live up the road from the state mental home, and my name/work/contact-information gets publicly bandied about). Well...I was the fool this time....Elizabeth and I corresponded several times (she's deeply amusing, I think) and even spoke on the telephone a couple of other times.

    In short? I think she's just delightful. More importantly?.....she's genuinely invigorating. The most enjoyable part of an otherwise tough Summer for me was deciding to go ahead and paint (as a gift) her second dog and a portrait of her (also a gift). Suffice it to say that Elizabeth's own generous and lively spirit is infectious....the world would be a much-improved place if it had more folks like her in it.

    Thanks for the good posting, Heather,
    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iam deeply touched by your words Mister Terry!
      I canNOT thank you enough for the portraits you so generously "gifted" me!!!
      I need to find a few gorgeous frames now!!!Between you and Carla's work........there will be no table space left!Not that there is now.You see I am a collector of stuff!Beautiful Stuff!
      Many thanks again David.......you are a GEM!

      Delete
  12. P.S. I'm also a great fan of Carla's work (I have all of her books....all sitting about five feet from this computer). What a nice start to the day (it's 5 a.m. here in North Carolina).... to consider that Carla and I have both "done" La Contessa.

    All we need now is for David Lebowitz ("The Sweet Life in Paris") or Dorie Greenspan ("Around My French Table") to create a new dessert and name it after Our Contessa.


    ----david terry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GOD, LOVE YOU!Yes, you have both "DONE" the CONTESSA!!!
      You know I would scream with delight over a dessert.Somehow, I do not think that is in the cards..... HOWEVER,I have been pondering how to suggest to the rose makers a CONTESSA rose.......perhaps!!!How many Contessa's do you think there are in the world?I would definitely buy more then one!

      Delete
  13. I saw the pictures of this shoot over at Carla's blog and yes, Madame la Contessa does seem quite an amazing lady! I rather wish I had been walking through the Tuileries and seen her with the chickens! Thank you for inviting her over

    Sharon
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you imagine?? It almost worked out for me to see her in Paris but then didn't--oh how I would have loved to have been there! You and I could have been sipping bubbly while the stars did all the work. :)

      Delete
  14. What fun to finally 'meet' la Contessa, although from her comments on your blog, I feel as though we've been passing acquaintences for some time. Your "By Invitation Only" participation is such an interesting activity and the topics are always so interesting. Thanks for another ~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jackie. And yes, I feel like we all know a bit of each other here but it is always wonderful to see more, isn't it??

      Delete
  15. There are no worlds. This is magic on so many levels. Heather, thank you for introducing us to La Contessa! La Contessa, thank you for being true. You are just beautiful. Carla's photography is amazing and I just love her story. What a fantastic post! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Magic is truly the word, dear Jeanne. I really meant it when I said that I was thrilled that she shared her story here...
      Bisous!

      Delete
  16. La Contessa is truly a "force of nature"!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If that second photo with the baguettes isn't proof I don't know what is!!!!!

      Delete
  17. OMW!!!!!!!!!!! When I grow up I want to be like La Contessa!!!! EXQUISITE!!!!! and that outfit...girl I would kill for it.....I clearly remember that "room"" in the Louvre...the light in there is just spectacular!!! So want to visit again...one day.... one day... for sure! This was a piece of magic!!!!! Thank YOU! Sending Love..... Veronica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad that you enjoyed this as much as I did, V it really is an extraordinary story...

      Delete
    2. Never grow up Veronica........NEVER!

      Delete
  18. The photoshoot looks pro all the way! Just so visually memorable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carla is amaaaaaazing photographer, N. These two really are a Dream Team.

      Delete
    2. And you are a DREAM for even of thinking of inviting me to do such a post!
      Thank - You Heather.
      I adore YOU.Hope you know that.
      XOXOXO

      Delete
  19. My favorite description of "La Contessa" (whom I find completely indescribable in any language!!) Is what you, David said!!

    "deeply amusing:! Yes; yes she is. In the most beautiful use of the word "amusing"!! She is a delightful, fey, lovely dream come true person.....who celebrates life as a festivity! Which it is!!!

    Long may she reign!!

    Penelope

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just saw one of the comments ......she said "magic"!!

    Yes!

    This is "REAL LIFE MAGIC"!!

    And only individuals can make it happen! Here is a perfect example of someone who DID!!!

    BRAVO!!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Stunning - stunning and amazing! What a wonderful and interesting guest post!

    Thanks to 'La Contessa' - Carla, the whole team and - certainly thanks to YOU, chére Heather!
    Amicalement et Bisou, Karin

    Sorry for late comment - had internet-access problems for weeks!

    ReplyDelete

Your responses are what makes this blog so special to me. I love hearing from you. Thank you for visiting!

* Comments left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci! *

If you prefer, feel free to email me directly at robinsonheather (at) yahoo.com...