Friday, December 2, 2016

Dreaming in Paris


Once upon a time day dreams of writing children's fairytale books about mice living in Paris France entertained my aspirations. Now it fills my days, writing poetic storylines, staging and photographing ën noir mice adventures told through a series of 5 books. Inspired I recently embarked on a update to our bedroom to blur the distance from Philadelphia to Paris in our nightly dreams. I described my design concept to my husband John as "Dreamy, Romantic, Parisian". A new bed purchased from Antropologie in light French grey was the start. Because after all ..... "Paris is always a good idea."~Audrey Hepburn~


My vintage large side table I use for my nightstand needed a dreamy transformation. I painted 3 coats of charcoal grey acrylic paint and then applied a faux finish of creams to appear illusory, faded and dreamlike.


During a photo shoot ën noir I did in late Spring in our local park of our 1972 Citroën DS21, this photo became my favorite capture of the day. The first owner of our Citroën (we are the third) was an American CIA operative that lived with our car Jean Claude on a secret mission for 18 months in Paris France. Since John is in digital media I asked him to print this image directly onto canvas. It is very large, 40x50, framed in a pewter color metal frame. New bedding, a white French linen duvet set with pillow shams delivery just arrived and is not shown in these photos, along with a few new accessories and our update is complete.


Since it is the holiday's I have been slowly decking our home with Christmas décor in a Nordic/French winter time theme.


Snow glittered and white painted 4 foot tall Birch Branches in a French flower bucket will be enjoyed throughout Winter. 


Our upstairs sitting room mantel was handmade and gifted one Christmases past by our son. Created from assembled antique and vintage architectural salvaged pieces it is now decorated in our white and cream Winter creative expression to enjoy all of December and January.


I will once again join Doré from Burlap Luxe and Lin from A tiny cottage in the woods to present our Holiday theatre productions. Look for mine on my blog in a couple weeks. You can find me nearly daily on Instagram, where I post in both noir and color. I share scenes from my fairytales and photos of our home and adventures and always write sentiments from my heart. Until then may the magic of Christmas time bless you in kindness and grace each passing day.
xx,

Vera

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Léo means courage



Once upon a time, on an ordinary Friday, under a Gray Parisian sky a extraordinary mouse named Léo was born, one minute past noon.
It was quickly observed early in his life that Léo was brave and able to live harmoniously because he was born graced and naturally attune.


Léo's name means courage and that's exactly what it will take - to venture inside a dilapidated garage and attempt to rescue a Citroën 2CV, risking his life could be a mistake!
But our mouse learned early on to believe in himself and listen to his dreams and in Leo's case it is ever so true...
That if you do what you love and love what you do, it will happen for you, a guiding belief Léo never outgrew.


Today Léo is delivering a clients acquisition, a complete restoration of a vintage Citroën, a DS19 Cabriolet that he handled and took full charge.
You might say Léo's job is about making dreams become a reality for other mice, who like Léo dream big and choose to live large.


There is great satisfaction and pride felt as your reward when you work hard and you are able to succeed...
Greeting each day in cheerfulness and treating everyone with kindness and for Léo, it is no small deed.


Léo was born with an optimist heart and he's convinced every dream is possible if you trust in yourself and believe - 
His love, hobby and profession is vintage car acquisitions and tries his best to make dreams turn into reality, promises he will most likely achieve.
Léo's Citroën SM needs a little engine work and his friend Gus has made a service call at Léo's charming house.
The restoration of the SM was flawlessly mastered, yet another dream fulfilled... such amazing achievements for Léo, who is a mouse!


Say Bonjour to young Noé, Léo's apprentice, actually what Noé one day hopes to be - Léo has became his neighbor's sons mentor, but an apprenticeship, well we'll just have to wait and see...
There's admiration and enthusiasm in Noé, important traits Léo values all too well. Truth is Léo believes that whatever Noé decides to accomplish in his life, he will most likely excel.
Léo took Noé along for a courtesy call on a recent acquisition of a adorable 1960 Fiat 500 Jardinière, visiting to see if the cars new owners are satisfied...
Léo searched the entire countryside for the Fiat and with Gus working on the mechanics it certainly is one fine and fun classic Italian ride.


Gus took Léo's Citroën SM back to the shop so he could tweak the Maserati engine and now it is purring. Léo and Noé are here to pick up the car - luckily for them walking to Gus's from home isn't far.
Gus is considered to be the best mechanic in Paris, perhaps even all of France. When you own a vintage car, why take it somewhere else and risk being disappointed because it is not worth the chance.
Through trust and respect Léo and Gus have become close as their friendship grew.  Noé has a desire for knowledge and a willingness to learn, necessary for mentoring Léo knew to be true.
Today there is introductions of his young apprentice and extending an invitation to Gus for a very special celebration...


Looks like Léo's been out shopping, hmm I wonder who the gifts are for... Maybe the presents are for his daughters that he absolutely loves and adores. Léo has carefully secured the boxes on top of the car, up and over the roof with rope and through the doors.


Léo met Rémi at a vintage Citroën car show in Paris awhile ago - today buying flowers at the park entrance they had another opportunity to say hello. Rémi mentioned the Roses are for Violet who is busy choreographing a ballet of The Princess and the Pea... But Léo has 2 Rose bouquets, I guess to know who they are for we will have to be patient and wait to see.


While out and about today with Noé shopping for the party Léo is excited and can hardly wait! Nearly time for the fête, checking things off his list, hurry hurry home our mouse is running late... Ah, but those are candles Noé is holding to perhaps put on a big cake. There will even be Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink, sure hope your remembered to save the date.


Oh my, that is the biggest cake I have ever seen, layered so high it nearly touches the fluffy clouds in the sky - It's baked by Anita's Parisian Pâtisserie and there is Anita herself, WOW what a beautiful cake, makes me sigh! A very special delivery, placed on top the pâtisserie's famous 1953 Simca 9 Aronde, I wonder who it's for ... Must be for a special day or fête, baked for someone they must love and adore.


The huge cake has arrived and guests are in wait for a Birthday party for Léo's daughters who are precious and dear.
Adorable twin sisters, Zoé and Chloé, who today will be celebrating the start of their second year.
When Léo was out shopping for their gifts he knew exactly what would thrill and delight...
Zoé dreams one day of being a Princess, Chloé a ballerina and both are very excited over their party tonight.
So imagine their exuberance when they opened Dad's presents and found a tiara, princess dress and tutu inside -
They jumped with joy and ran to their room to put the outfits on and standing in front of the mirror they danced around very wide eyed!


While out shopping, Paris boutique fashion inspires Chloé and Zoé, afterall Dad Léo always says dream big and live large!


OH NO, say it is not so!
Léo knows even for a mouse who carefully plans his day... there are unexpected mishaps that can get in your way. It is always the positive attitude in life you have that can help to get you through - Even when an unexpected storm blackened the sky and limbs of trees snapped and blew. On the outskirts of Paris headed to buy vintage cars Léo plans to restore, a sudden storm stopped Noé and he - which now requires a trip to the repair shop to check out the suspension, any damage we will have to wait and see.


Ever since the twins were born Léo has been a single parent, as so many others are today.
Yet he is as positive thinking as can be and doesn't let circumstance ever stand in his way. 
Funny thing though about ones destiny, without any exaggeration fate doesn't know how or when to wait.
During a visit to the Musée d' Orsay with Chloé and Zoé, Dad Léo met someone and has asked her out on a date!


Léo wakes each morning knowing everyday holds ultimate possibilities in discovery to personally learn from and to grow and change...
But before he and Noé can bring home this adorable pedal car, there are things in his trunk Léo needs to move and rearrange.


Léo understands the virtue and the enjoyment experienced in play - and to engage his daughters in play he wouldn't have it any other way. Léo searched all over Paris to find two vintage pedal cars for Chloé and Zoé to enjoy driving in the park.
Telling his girls to play only during daylight and to be safely home way before stars appear in the dark.


When Léo visited the Musée d' Orsy with Chloé and Zoé serendipity intervened and he felt a flutter in his heart.
After 2 years of being a single parent a flirtation was a welcomed feeling and exciting fresh start.
Claudette is the director of the museum with an impressive knowledge of all types of art -
and told Léo about a young Parisian working in wire sculpture and said to purchase from this budding artist would be smart.
Léo, Chloé and Zoé visited the artist and fell in love with a wire twisted Velosolex moped that glistens in the sun - suddenly Léo has a girlfriend and his appreciation in collecting art has begun.


A visit today to Musée du Louvre have Zoé and Chloé floating on cloud nine - Léo had read them a book about the Pyramid by I.M. Pei and they love it's design.


Now Léo is smitten and excited with stars in his eyes -
After all it's love that makes the world go round, no one denies.
First date and hopefully a magical night out in Paris- 
Leaves Léo anxiously hoping it will be one to cherish!


Between parenting twins and mentoring Noé, Léo has rediscovered his inner child within ... And to welcome a new relationship with Claudette the awakening of his romantic heart has begin.


Léo is at Gus's to have the suspension checked after driving over a broken tree limb leaving the car rocking like a teeter totter much to his surprise.
Thankfully everything checked out fine, but that accidental mishap could of resulted in the Ami6's demise.
Rémi's was there dropping off a sign he posted on the building of Violets new ballet while picking up car detailing supplies.
4 tickets to the ballet of the Princess and the Pea were handed to Léo by Rémi as they said their goodbyes,
4 tickets hmm - Léo, Chloé and Zoé now that's 3, someone else must be going as the extra ticket implies.
I guess we should just be patient and wait to see who it might be and not ponder or fantasize...


Excited as can be to attend the opening matinée of the ballet - The Princess and the Pea, Léo brought Claudette and holds the tickets in his hand...
Chloé and Zoé are bringing clay peas they made to present to Ballerina Violet after the performance, or at least that's their intended plan. 


Prima ballerina Violet is excited over the opening matinée performance of The Princess and the Pea - 
She insisted on that huge pea under the mattress and our mouse let her imagination run wild and free.
Violet often chooses to exaggerate set designs, but honestly that pea under the mattress will fill the audience with glee...


Chloé dreams of being a ballerina one day and being invited up on stage with Violet after the ballet was absolute delight - 
Her eyes danced with happiness and knew the ballet was her hearts desire and asked her Dad for lessons later on that night.
Léo knows the importance of encouraging each of his daughters to dream big and proudly hugged her tight as he said alright...


That evening driving home from the ballet Léo and Claudette planned a visit to the pumpkin patch for the following day. Noé joined in as they all hunted for French pumpkins which were a special color of Gray. They playfully ran through the field jumping and climbing, as their time together turned into a very fun adventure and a most delightful Fall day.


Léo gladly acknowledges the change he feels in his heart and knew it wasn't only the beauty of the Parisian Summer easing into Fall..
It was unexpectedly meeting Claudette and how his daughters happily welcomed her into their lives that helped create a family bond of love for all.
© Vera

Monday, September 5, 2016

home sweet home...


I know it's been awhile since I've posted in Blog Land and thought I'd drop in and catch you up to date. Since my last post I have been creatively consumed with writing my poetic French fairytale book number 2. Why? Well the books came about because I felt it was time to start leaving my artistic legacy behind. Photo is of my photography assistant Simon who likes to help. I hope Simon was just giving Léo mouse a little kiss!


As many of you already know my love of noir photography was why I started to post daily on Instagram. But I discovered I loved instagram and seem to share much about myself in each post. I thought it would be fun to give you a tour en noir of our old row-home in Philadelphia as I catch you up to date.


On Fridays I like to do a wine o'clock share. In it I share from my heart while enjoying some French wine at our dining room table. I like to include my French fairytale mice in them. 


In vino veritas ...


In this share I show the lovely dress painting I won on IG 


Chloé and Zoé are twins in my fairytale book 2.


My Dad would always say to me "Vera it's later than you think" and combine that with my muse shouting in my head "if not now, when?" You can understand my commitment to dedicating myself to creating. 


En noir photography forces the viewer to color in the subject matter in their minds eye. Photographing weekly flower bouquets in our kitchen are often a challenge because flowers and food noir photos are most difficult to capture.


But I practice my skills as in this photo I'm calling White Roses, White eggs at 10:59 PM.


Emmet my felt rat who dwells in our kitchen's antique barn beam. I need to surround myself with whimsy and humor as I oftentimes am too much of a deep thinker. 


I move my mouse characters around the house for inspiration.


Our 1940's French chandelier in our Living room


A pillow from Magnolia Home


Always changing art printed on canvas in our Living room


Our house is filled with cherished collections found throughout the years.


Moving upstairs on our tour... 


Cat on Zebra!


Yesterday in our bedroom


Summer in our sitting room prior to my faux painting our French settee completed last week. Canvas over the mantel is a photo from my first fairytale book about love.


John hanging my newest canvas from fairytale book 2. 


Sitting room carved out of the middle bedroom with a wall we removed to open it up.


Faux painted wood around the settee I did. 


Velvet and Mongolian lamb, I am in heaven!


In the guest room 


Our basement laundry room. I hope you enjoyed your en noir tour of our row-home of photos I posted on IG. You can join me daily there... The link is on my sidebar. I will return very, very soon to share my new fairytale with you on my blog.
xx,
Vera

PS please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of my en noir photography or to just speak your mind. See you soon.