Friday, July 3, 2015

When in doubt...déco




Would you like proof of how brain-addled I am due to this heatwave or canicule? A little while ago while getting ready to take the puppers out for their brief evening walk, I grabbed a bit of sun cream to put on - one can never be too careful (especially as a blue-eyed redhead - second only after albinos in terms of tendency towards skin cancer). Well, it was only after I had rubbed a big swath all across my cheek that I thought, "The texture feels weird" then, "Wait, this smells minty!" Yes, my friends, I was anointing myself with toothpaste. Organic toothpaste albeit but nonetheless...

So, perhaps it is best to down-shift my expectations this evening and keep it rather simple on the blog with not too many words involved lest I need to string them together and be held accountable for it. But there are a few things around the house that I wanted to share, so why not just make it a more decor-oriented week, at Lost in Arles - pas de problème, non? 

While it is slightly mind-boggling (and we have already made it clear that my mind is indeed boggled) to think that we moved into this house in the country nearly a year ago, there are still plenty of things to be done and tweaked. After waiting to the point where we both became deranged by seeing too much of the necessary junk packed in next to the firewood and trunk o'tools under the pavilion, I put up a pair of cream curtains, only to find that it looked like they were sheets and we were about to put on a puppet show. Fortunately, it is les soldes and so I was able to score a pair and a half (the half will rest below the courtyard's stone sink) in just the right shape of taupe for only 6 Euros each. Look past the cutie and you will see them in the photo above. Visual obstructions obscured!


Remi, for his part, found these smart tea-light holders at Casa (for my French friends here - it is where you go to get all your candles too, right?) for only 1.50 each. His is going to redo his rock arrangement at the base of the olive tree so that they fit right in and already, they look just lovely in the night.


But what about rethinking/the tinkering? As we were crazily restrictive when we first moved in about what "art" we would put up on the walls, there have been things that I have found myself missing. Namely, our antique batiks from Bali. This is what our first floor landing looked like when we first moved in. It has been home to a kind Buddha that we brought back from Phnom Penh since then but walking by one afternoon, I saw a nail in the wall at just the right height and thought to give a batik a try.


My first attempt, the oldest of our little collection, smelled still of its earthy vegetable dyes when I took it out of its wrapping. And yet, despite the helpful presence of a handsome doggy, it was too heavy, too  overwhelming.


I thought of another of the batik holders, a mischievous one - whose sculpted faces were still swathed in bubble-wrapped from the move (my doing) which lead me to set them free...


...and try the magical blue prancing stag batik. I dragged the bench at the end of the bed in order to put it up and thought, "Well that looks rather nice there. I have always wanted a tiny place to perch."


Plus, the tones worked nicely with our 1940's unfinished portrait - one who has always reminded me of my Mom and so is one of my favorites.


So Voila! A bit more interesting, non?


I don't miss the bench and yes have already used it when I need a good solid think...as in it might come in handy right about now...


...because did I mention the heat? Some of you might have heard about it on the news. For you see, this is not just about me whining (or whinging if you prefer) but is a national crisis. During a canicule, the temperatures remain extremely high all the time, even at night so that the body has a hard time cooling down. It is especially dangerous for babies and the elderly. This is the worst canicule since 2003 when nearly 15,000 people passed away due to heat-related causes.

We are trying to be wise about it all. Ben has it figured out as you can see...


...even when he is in the garden, he knows to take cover.


Kipling, our rascal, loves his sun alas (he also like to remain touching his loved ones whenever possible). Has it had an effect on his thinking? You tell me...

video

Yes, that would be a corncob playing the role of evil alien. Oh, Kip. Well, at least I am not the only one...


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and for those that are celebrating in the States, Happy Fourth of July!

46 comments:

  1. Your home is looking lovely. It reminds me of old Maltese houses and brings back fond memories. Ah yes, the heat. I can't wait till it's over. Happy 4th on July


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loree, you know how much I hope to get to Malte one of these days to see those houses for myself...and to meet you!

      Delete
    2. That would be awesome. I am not sure why my comment was posted twice. Sorry about that.

      Delete
  2. Your home is looking lovely. It reminds me of old Maltese houses and brings back fond memories. Ah yes, the heat. I can't wait till it's over. Happy 4th on July


    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry about the heatwave, but thanks for the giggle about the toothpaste. What SPF do you think that might be? Your home is just lovely, the old tiles, the large windows, the staircase, and of course the garden where a hot pup may cool his paws. Thank you for sharing! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It actually left my skin feeling kind of nice! heehee And yes, those pups need cool paws and they even get them watered down to help...
      Stay cool!

      Delete
  4. Loved the toothpaste story...Funny! One trip I put moisturizer in my hair instead of hair goo, not one day, but two, before I figured out why my hair was so.... umm, limp. (To my minimal credit, all my cosmetics were in little look-alike, but labelled, travel containers.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very kind of you Suze to offer this up so I don't feel quite so foolish!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful, Heather. Very nicely done. My brain is a bit foggy in the canicule, as well. Rémy takes it in his stride. Our foster girl Polly does, too. We bought them a wading pool and neither will enter! Stubborn bull terriers. Sigh.Looks like we'll get some relief soon. Happy 4th! This is, somewhat oddly, my most homesick holiday. Hope you've got something nice planned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know how you feel about the Fourth. I was very homesick yesterday. Because while I detest (and always have) the boom of fireworks, I explained to Remi that it was a day in the year when family gets together and good times are had...we ended up having a truly excellent bbq of gambas and freshly picked courgette.

      Sending you a warm hug, fellow expat...

      Delete
  6. What a gorgeous home! Our friends in Portland, Oregon are suffering through their own "canicule" this summer while we on the East Coast are having a rather comfortable summer so far. Happy Fourth to you as well and Karina wants to know why the doggie in my computer won't come out and play with her :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As one of those friends in Portland, I can empathize with you, Heather, about the canicule (aka the Heat Dome, straight from the Southwest). Here, for the last two weeks, we have had temps in the mid to upper 90s F, record high temps at night, and unusually high humidity. Today Portland is one of the four hottest cities in the U.S. This is all very unusual for Portland, where many of us have never needed to get air conditioning. Just like Ben, Henry, our Golden, stays close to the tower fan, and he has become adept in finding shade during the few times each day he goes outside. Bob the Long-Haired Dachshund has not tolerated high heat since he had a brush with heatstroke years ago. Amazingly, it is too hot to even take the boat trip to our favorite beach to swim. And so dry that the Columbia River is lower than I've ever seen it. Our 2015 weather certainly is a CLIMATE CHANGE, the heat-and-drought equivalent of the unending cold and snow of last winter that Judith endured and Karina. I hope that France has some relief from it soon. In the meantime, your artistic brain clearly is working well...the first floor landing is beautiful! Warmly, Leslie in Oregon P.S. Henry and Bob are still looking for the dog that was barking by my computer!

      Delete
    2. The sound-asleep cat on my lap woke up too to the dog barking and rather hastily moved away.

      Delete
    3. Judith, if only they could! Ben and Karina especially would love each other!

      Leslie, I am so sorry to read about your heatwave too. Yes, I do think that we are just going to have to get used to this and it is brutal. Here, we are just suffering but for the 1000 people that died during Ramadan...Sending cooling thoughts to you all and hoping that you can take the boat out soon. I know that is the highlight of your summer months usually!

      Lee? Oops. :)

      Delete
  7. As always Heather, your home is lovely and truly exquisite! It is such a pleasure to view, whether a glimpse of the courtyard or a well appointed room. Just add Ben & Kipling and there you have perfect domestic bliss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much Laura! That is very kind of you to say!! And yes, the froggies are the best accessories! ;)

      Delete
  8. Charming perfection everywhere. A delight to see!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cooling thoughts your way. I like the new redo. Ben is as adorable as ever.
    Great video! That is so funny.
    Kipling is my new therapist! Every time I view the video, woes will run for cover from the radiance of my smile and laughter! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I am glad I am not the only one. It makes me laugh every single time!

      Delete
  10. Heather your home is wonderful and the entry a delightful part of the house with the tapestry hanging, sculpture and art! Love the little stone tea light holders! Happy Weekend and try to stay cool!!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Gallery Opening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Karena. I need to go check out your gallery opening post!

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing your new decorations - they look wonderful and I always love to get a glimpse of your house! The batik wall hanging looks wonderful, as does the bench and the garden rock-candle holder. So sorry for the heat - UGH! Hopefully it will go away soon!! And, yes, we forgive Kipling his thinking that the corncob is an evil creature - you're right this is brain is as heat-addled as yours! Lovely summer post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci, beautiful Sister! I can't wait for you to see everything here in PERSON!! whoohooo Bring on 2016!

      Delete
  12. It seems the world is having a heat wave right now, Heather. Loved looking at your decorating. Enjoy your summer. And for old times sake, Happy Fourth of July!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And to both of you as well! Hope you are enjoying your summer too - and fingers crossed for the referendum today...

      Delete
  13. I really like what you did with the first floor landing! And, I am thoroughly loving the first photo- I hit it by accident, filling up my screen and got an even closer look (saw the great tea light rocks), and just love everything about the courtyard. I hate to use the word "warm" in light of your awful heatwave, but that's just what that courtyard is, warm and enticing. I think I could live just right there!! Take care in the heat, you and the puppers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Judi, of course your use of the word "warm" is entirely forgiven in the light of such a lovely response! ;) And we DO live in the courtyard as much as we can. Right now it is too hot to have lunch there, which we are sorely missing but dinner lasts late into the night...
      And not to worry, we are being extra careful!

      Delete
  14. BWAHahahahahaaa!!! I just watched the video!!! How did I miss that the first time around? How brave of Kipling to protect you against that horrible enemy. And my two cats sat up and took notice of the barking coming from my laptop. Oh our boys, what a less funny world we would have with out them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it true? I can't imagine. Today he was barking at something in the distance...I realized it was a bush. Sigh...

      Delete
  15. But it’s fun to declutter and decorate. I love the batik and the portrait.
    I thought Napa Valley is the only one with a heat wave, 95-100F. Only for a few days and with cool evenings. We survived like you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Edgar and good to hear all is well.

      Delete
  16. PERFECTION!
    You just need a want to be CONTESSA galloping around........OOOING and AAAHHING!
    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello???!! Yes!!!

      So glad you are home. Missed you! :)

      Delete
  17. Adding those personal touches really makes a home feel, well...homelike. I love the blue and white batik in your hallway with the bench below. Your home looks cool and welcoming.
    We're having such a dry, hot summer here on our island, too. Our skies are muted and the light is eery due to forest fire smoke. Oddly enough, I think the smoke is filtering out some of the heat because the temperatures have fallen a bit in the past few days.
    The gambas and courgettes sound lovely - how did you prepare them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorrie, thank you for all of your kindness here!! I appreciate it so much, I know you understand. :)

      Remi prepped both this go around so that means that probably a myriad of spices were involved in the gambas marinade (cumin, chipolte plus who knows what) plus garlic, ginger and soy sauce. The courgettes are so good from the garden that we are keeping it super simple - just herbs de Provence and good olive oil!

      Delete
  18. Heather, It helps my dog tremendously when I give her a shearing during the hot summer and she is so, so happy and grateful! It is not hard to do (there is a built-in guard to protect the dog from getting cut so there is no fear) and you can find inexpensive ones on Amazon....that and a large outside tub full of water keep her from suffering in 100+ degree temps when she needs to be outside. Your home is so lovely and actually looks cool with those thick plaster walls and shades of blue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know the house is actually mercifully cool - we just have to close up shutters AND windows by 10am. As for shearing - I know that it is a great option for a lot of dogs but honestly? Ben - who is convinced he is half human - would never forgive me ever, of that I am sure! I just make sure that their walks are short and their paws kept cool with water. Kipling - our Golden/Collie mix has short hair and a thin coat - he is totally fine in the heat so I have to keep an eye on him!
      But thank you for the suggestion!!

      Delete
  19. I love seeing your thought process in action -- yes, even with the heat. What lovely results...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you but I would replace that bench with your white Barcelona chair in a heart beat! ;)

      Delete
  20. Hi Heather - Just taking a quick moment to catch up with you this morning! I hope that relief from the heat is in sight - I didn't realize that it had continued into this week - which makes how much of the photography you were able to take in at Recontres even more impressive. Your part of the world has so much to offer. A world-class art scene, history that comes to life in a 5-star hotel. Cute doggies. I so much want to return for a visit someday (girlfriend trip is now being discussed for October 2016 rather than this year, drat). Your home is looking beautiful and I love the space you created with that gorgeous blue and white batik. Stay as cool as you can, my dear. Sending cucumber thoughts your way! XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jeanne! And I am sorry that I am so late in responding to this - and super disappointed that the girlfriend trip has been postponed!! But these things happen. :) Next time, I want you to come to the house with everyone. Yes? Bisous!

      Delete
  21. Hello Heather, been following your blog for quite at while now, lovely house that you have come to rent and live in.
    Reading your post today, you wrote organic toothpaste, sorry I am a dentist, unless it contains sodium flouride is has now effect aginst caries. So please use a conventionel once a day, best at evening. It is much better to prevent the development of caries than to do very invasive procedures later. I´m Danish, and our main focus is on limiting invasive dentistry, instead of making "money". Please don´t take this ill.
    Sincerely
    Henrik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you so much for saying this Henrik! I just went downstairs to check and it does have sodium flouride in it. Is that enough do you think? Both my Mom and Dad have had so much problems with their teeth and gums so I am careful. Plus, I had a bad orthodontist when I was a child that pulled out far too many of my teeth - even an eye tooth! - so I have a lot of stress in the structure of my mouth. Actually, I had an important osteopath in Paris tell me that the stress is the reason why I have a deep frown line in between my eyes as muscles had to recompensate all over my face.

      I like that in France they are the same - it is about preventative methods and not about the money that I saw so much in the States.

      Thank you for the compliment about the house, we are lucky to live here!
      Have a wonderful rest of your weekend,
      Heather

      Delete
  22. Hi Heather, as long as it contains around 1450 ppm you should be fine. Some only has 1150 ppm which is a bit to little, but still working as the minimum. Glad that you didn't take me writing this ill.
    The warm days seems to lighten its grib for a few days to comr.
    Vest
    Henrik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Henrik! I will check the level and if it is not high enough, I will change. :)

      And yes, these past few days have been such a wonderful gift after so much heat. I love it...

      Delete

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...