Monday, June 25, 2012

Vanessa's azulejos

Hello again and thank you so much for your lovely comments
on my previous post on Lisbon !

And, I must apologize for the slow lazy cadence here on the blog.....it's the heat....
the incredible Andalusian heat which makes us all feel in a big cloud...

Here is another post on Lisbon before I tell you more stories
about my beloved Andalusia....

I met this young Portuguese artist called Vanessa Cabacinha
at the fleamarket in Lisbon.
Vanessa makes bright, happy azulejos which are all inspired
by the facades of traditional buildings in Lisbon.

Holà de nouveau et merci de tout coeur pour vos commentaires chaleureux
sur mon post précédent sur Lisbonne !
Et aussi toutes mes excuses pour ce rythme fainéant sur le blog...c'est la chaleur...
cette chaleur andalouse incroyable qui nous fait flotter dans un gros nuage....

Voici un autre post sur Lisbonne avant de vous reparler de mon Andalousie chérie....

J'ai rencontré une jeune créatrice qui s'appelle Vanessa Cabacinha,
au marché aux puces de Lisbonne. Vanessa crée des carreaux en céramique,
tous inspirés par les façades traditionnelles des immeubles anciens de Lisbonne.

It was definitely love at first sight...her work is so vibrant with color....
Her special tiles are square or round and are all lined with Portuguese cork.
So they make very pretty cheese-board or a table center.

Et j'adore ! J'ai tout de suite eu le coup de foudre pour son travail si vibrant de couleur...Ses carreaux sont de forme carrée ou ronde et tous recouverts de liège portugais. C'est donc une très jolie idée pour un plateau à fromages ou un repose-plat.


I just bought 2 and now I regret not to have got more. Her azulejos are so happy and pretty. I feel like carrying a bit of Lisbon with me at home.

Below is the side of the facade of Confeiteria de Belem
which is one of Vanessa's inspiration.

J'en ai juste acheté 2 et maintenant je regrette de ne pas en avoir acheté plus.
Ils sont tellement gais et jolis. C'est comme avoir un petit pan de mur
de Lisbonne à la maison.

Ci-dessous, la façade de la Confeiteria de Belem,
une des nombreuses inspirations de Vanessa
.

And I love the way she packs her azulejos....

Et en plus, elle fait de si jolis paquets.....

One thing is certain, I'll contact Vanessa soon to get more tiles.
They're too pretty....I must have more !

Also more than ever, I have this desire in me to support local artisans and especially
in Mediterranean countries where creativity can be easily stifled by the present crisis
and be considered as a minor thing....Yes, we must create !

C'est sûr, je vais contacter Vanessa bientôt pour lui passer une commande.
Ses azulejos sont trop jolis....J'en veux plus !

Aussi plus que jamais, j'ai ce désir en moi de soutenir les artisans locaux et surtout
dans les pays méditerranéens où la créativité peut être facilement étouffée par la crise actuelle et considérée comme une chose mineure....Oui, nous devons créer !


pics : my castle in spain

You can contact Vanessa by email
at azulejosdefachada@gmail.com

or on facebook : www.facebook.com/azulejosdefachada


Vous pouvez contacter Vanessa par email

à azulejosdefachada@gmail.com

or sur facebook : www.facebook.com/azulejosdefachada

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My exciting little trip to Lisbon.....

Hello again ! I really don't know how to describe to you my last week end to Lisbon....
May be the word intense sums it all up....emotionally intense, esthetically intense....
and please forgive me but this post will be a long one !

So..where shall I start ? Do you remember my darling cousin Touve the pianist ? Since some time, he collaborates with a luxury travel agency called La Fugue Europera as a concertiste. Lately one his last projects for La Fugue involved the making of a CD for an exclusive client and my cousin who's ever so cool suggested the senior manager of La Fugue that I should do the packaging. I sent 2 prototypes and imagine my joy when my cousin told me that he liked them very much and that yes, I had a firm order....

And of course, it had to be delivered right now.....and of course, I was running out of time ! So, I know it's not very logical but this is how, I ended up at the Ritz Four Seasons hotel in Lisbon last week end to finish my work.

You see, my cousin gave a private concert there at the French Embassy for La Fugue and he had the super great idea to make me come over, all expenses paid, so that I could at the same time deliver the CD boxes to Frédéric Pfeffer, the senior manager of La Fugue and attend the concert and also meet one of my favorite soprano vocalist...How cool is that !

I was beaming with joy and excitement but of course, I had to work hard to get my boxes all nearly ready. It sounds crazy but last thursday I worked until 5.30am in the morning, got up at 7.30am to carry on and then caught a flight from Granada to Lisbon at 12am. Quelle folie ! But so worth it....Touve, my cousin was also arriving the same day so we went to the hotel together and after catching up and a lot of laughter went for dinner at my favorite restaurant in Lisbon, Ô Chapito.


to make this long story short, I think the best is to give you a chronological illustrated summary, of this long saturday.....

8am : it's cloudy in Lisbon but look at this beautiful light in the room I shared with my cousin....a room which inspires you to work, non ?

8.30am : Touve, my cousin just has a coffee but me....this morning I could eat a whole chicken !

9am : I've just ironed my pink linen dress. I'm listening to the music of the movie The Mission while finishing some work. Frédéric Pfeffer will come to our room at 10 to see the boxes. I just need to finish the booklets which are inserted in each CD box.

each CD box has a matching booklet. The theme of the packaging is Portugal

actually each box also has the photograph of its recipient

10.30 : Frédéric Pfeffer loves the boxes ! J'adore Frédéric Pfeffer ! I asked him if Touve could take a pic of both of us for the blog....He says mais bien sûr....

1pm : We order a light lunch....I think the staff is wonderful....my Portuguese is a bit rusty but at least, I say obrigada a hundred times this morning !

4pm : I'm still working on the booklets....I feel tired and sleepy...may be if I ordered a chocolate mousse, it would help...
5pm : hourra....I've finished ! yes, the chocolate mousse helped....and now I have to get ready to go to the concert. I'm completely crazy but I'm going to wear a long pink muslin dress which I made some years ago and left unfinished....Typical me, the dress is made but not entirely....I need to put a zip on it !


6.45 : my cousin is ready and very chic. Just when I try to do my hair, he tells me : allez...allez on y va...Ok so we go and oh what an horror, my dress gets caught in the strass of my shoes...I'm going to be ridiculous !
7pm : we're in the lobby, Frédéric is already there waiting for us and the amazing soprano vocalist Claire Lefilliâtre.....

Now, I need to tell you something here about Claire. I discovered her completely by chance while looking for some baroque music and I listened to her performing the Miserere dei meus de Emilio de Cavalieri. Her voice made such an impact on me that I was completely in love and wanted to sing like her...On my last trip to Paris, I was walking in the street with my cousin and we're talking about music. I tell him oh you know, if there's one classical singer I love, it's Claire Lefilliâtre... Touve, looks at me, completely bemused and says : no way ! but what you don't know is that she's my upstairs neighbor ! How do you call this ? La belle magie du hasard....the beautiful magics of encounters....and that night, she's going to perform with Touve....

7.45pm : We've arrived at the Palacio de Santos which is the home of the French Embassy....The rooms are incredible of beauty....I confirm....J'adore Claire ! She and Touve are very smiling...very relaxed...they're going to perform in 30 minutes

7.50pm : again the rooms are all magnificent and oh mon Dieu...I can't believe the beauty of the Salon de Musique.....

7.55pm : Jean-François and his team add the final touch to his decoration....wonderful job....the combination of pink and pistachio is so lovingly romantic....

8pm : et voici my dress !

please don't mind the funny face I make here, I just want to show you the dress I made, when I stand up ! and oh those azulejos !

8.15 : Touve est toujours aussi relax....I mean Touve is still very relaxed....

8.30 : the concert has just started but by discretion I won't take any pics. Touve is brilliant as ever and Claire fascinates me...sorry to be repetitive but it's true !

10pm : the concert is finished but Claire offers a last performance of a passacaglia and this time my cousin accompanies her on the harpsichord.

after 10pm : Claire and I stroll in the rooms which can be visited, the Grand Salon, the private chapel and the amazing Salle des Porcelaines....look at all these china plates hanged under this copola....isn't it incredible ?

12.30pm : we, Frédéric and his team, Anna and Guilaine, Claire and Touve
get together in our room. We must pack the CD boxes as everybody is leaving tomorrow...
oh what a wonderful day it has been !
And tomorrow morning, I'll go to the fleamarket and the Confeiteria de Belem
with Claire...

1pm : I feel asleep....I'm so happy...I feel so happy and lucky....
It's one of those occasions where I feel like
shouting, thank you world for giving me such a perfect beautiful day !


and thank you, my dear readers for taking the time to read this long post !

and a big welcome and thank you to my new followers !

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hello again Lisbon

Tomorrow, I'm going to Lisbon, half work half play
and the only thing I have on my mind is to go to the Confeitaria de Belem
to have these delicious curd tartelettes, the famous pasteis de Belem....

See you next week and have a wonderful week end !

Demain je vais à Lisbonne, à la fois pour le boulot et pour le fun
et mon obsession est d'aller manger les célèbres pasteis de Belem
à la vieille Confeitaria de Belem....

À la semaine prochaine et passez un merveilleux week end !


pics : my castle in spain

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A big lunch for little Aya

This is the story of a little Moroccan girl called Aya.....
Aya has been adopted by Carmen and Ron who live in the Lecrin valley.
While dealing with the paperwork about Aya's adoption, they had to stay several weeks, near the orphanage in Casablanca.
They soon noticed that the children cried themselves to sleep at night
and this made them want to do a bit more than just take little Aya with them....

C'est l'histoire d'une petite fille marocaine qui s'appelle Aya....
Aya a été adoptée par Carmen et Ron qui vivent dans la vallée de Lecrin.
Durant toute la procédure d'adoption, Carmen et Ron ont passé plusieurs semaines
à côté de l'orphelinat à Casablanca. Ils ont très vite remarqué que les enfants
s'endormaient en pleurant le soir et ils ont voulu faire quelque chose de plus,
et ne pas juste se contenter de ramener Aya chez eux.....
So they talked it over and the idea of a lunch followed with an auction gradually took form. The idea being that the money collected by the lunch and the auction would be spent to buy whatever the orphanage needs. Ann and Glynn generously lent their fabulous house, Los Secanillos to host the event. It was a perfect warm day to enjoy good food and get together for a very good cause.

Ils en ont parlé autour d'eux et c'est ainsi qu'est née l'idée d'un déjeuner suivi d'une vente aux enchères. L'idée étant que l'argent collecté par le déjeuner et la vente aux enchères servira à acheter du matériel ou des produits dont l'orphelinat a besoin. Ann et Glynn ont généreusement prêté leur magnifique maison, Los Secanillos pour l'évènement. Il a fait beau et chaud, un temps parfait pour se retrouver autour d'un bon repas pour une très bonne cause.

Annie (on the left) and Ann (on the right) organized the food and the auction.
Food was prepared by volunteers, all lovely ladies from the valley and the list of donations for the auction was impressively long !

Annie (à gauche) et Ann (à droite) ont organisé le repas et la vente aux enchères.
Tous les plats ont été préparés par des volontaires épatantes, toutes de la vallée et
la liste des dons pour la vente aux enchères était impressionnante !

Tables were laid outside on the terrace and also inside...in total 110 people
attended the lunch...

Des tables ont été dressées sur la terrasse mais aussi à l'intérieur...au total 110 personnes ont assisté au déjeuner....


There was lavender on the tables....

Il y avait de la lavande sur les tables.....


...we ate a delicious hummous and fresh Morroccan bread as tapas, the best tortilla I've ever had, yummy marinated chicken and refreshing couscous salad.....

...nous avons goûté un délicieux hummous et du pain frais marocain comme tapas, la meilleure tortilla que j'ai mangé jusqu'à présent, du poulet mariné aux herbes et un taboulé rafraîchissant.....


...and oh this divine chocolate cake !

...et oh ce divin gâteau au chocolat !

...I made the lemon cookies and the orange and almond cake in little pieces....
an occasion to make another cake stand....

....J'ai fait des sablés au citron et le gâteau à l'orange et aux amandes en petites bouchées.....l'occasion de faire un autre présentoir à gâteau en papier....

...of course, of course, mint tea was served also

...bien sûr, bien sûr, il y avait aussi du thé à la menthe

....I couldn't resist stealing a picture of these 2 lovely ladies.....

....et puis je n'ai pas pu résister de voler une image de ces deux dames très chic....

...and of Monchéri...of course.....

...et de Monchéri, bien sûr...

I do not have the total amount made that day because there were a lot of sealed bids in the end but I do know, it was a total success and I do believe any small step taken towards making good can make a difference !

Je n'ai pas le montant total collecté parce qu'il y avait toute une pile d'offres sous pli fermé à la fin mais je sais que la journée a été un succès total et je crois fermement que toute action aussi minime soit-elle pour faire le bien peut faire la différence !



Happy start of the week to you !
Link
Bon début de semaine à vous !



pics : my castle in spain

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baking frenzy in my kitchen in Andalusia





....today and tomorrow my hands are busy baking....

.....aujourd'hui et demain, mes petites mains seront occupées à faire de la pâtisserie.....

....baking for a charity lunch which will take place here in the Lecrin valley on saturday...for a very good cause...to raise money for an orphanage in Morocco....

it's terribly hot in my kitchen so now and then I have to stop and have a glass of water ...I'm making +100 heart shaped lemon sablés and orange and almond cake for 100 persons....still have lots to do but you know me...I love baking !

I will be back on monday to show you photos of the lunch and wish you a wonderful week end...although it's only thursday but I've got to go be in the kitchen for a while.....

See you soon and a big thank you and welcome to my new followers !

.....je fais des gâteaux pour un déjeuner caritatif qui aura lieu ici dans la vallée de Lecrin, ce samedi....et c'est pour une très bonne cause....collecter de l'argent pour un orphelinat au Maroc.....

il fait terriblement chaud dans ma cuisine et je m'arrête souvent pour boire de l'eau...je fais un peu plus de 100 sablés au citron en forme de coeur et des gâteaux à l'orange et aux amandes pour 100 personnes.....il me reste encore pas mal à faire mais vous me connaissez...la pâtisserie j'adore ça !

je reviendrai lundi pour vous montrer des photos du déjeuner et vous souhaite un très bon week end.....même si on n'est que jeudi mais je dois retourner dans ma cuisine....

À bientôt et un grand merci et bienvenue aux nouveaux abonnés sur ce blog !


Monday, June 4, 2012

The beauty of the Andalusian patio








Before coming to Andalusia, the word patio wasn't part of my daily vocabulary. And funnily the word Andalusia, brought back in my mind this illustration of the Little Prince lovingly watering his single red rose against a white fence. Since I've been living here, I've visited lots of houses with the traditional Moorish inspired patio and for me, this special space in the house is like a living heart. When I sit in my patio, I enjoy to be outside although it's a walled space and it's my favorite space to relax, read, work and eat in spring and summer.
The photos above were taken in Cordoba and Granada and they keep my inspiration going as to how to make this place look and feel special. I'm not a fan of the white walls overflowing with flowers but it's typical of the Andalusian patio, especially in Cordoba. Also, it makes me pondering about the watering....it must be quite a task !
Now of course, having an open space inside the house also means that good weather is needed because when it rains the house can get easily messy...but luckily....we have plenty of good weather here in Andalusia.....
Have a good start of the week.....

Avant de venir en Andalousie, le mot « patio » ne faisait pas partie de mon vocabulaire quotidien. Et étrangement, le mot « Andalousie » m'évoquait cette illustration du Petit Prince où il arrose amoureusement sa rose rouge contre un muret blanc. Depuis que j'habite ici, j'ai eu l'occasion de visiter plusieurs maisons ayant un patio traditionnel inspiré de l'architecture mauresque. Pour moi, cet espace est comme le coeur de la maison. Quand je suis dans le patio, j'apprécie d'être à l'air libre tout en restant à l'intérieur de quatre murs. Au printemps et en été, c'est là où j'aime me détendre, lire, travailler et manger.
Les photos ci-dessus ont été prises à Cordoue et Grenade. Ce sont des patios qui m'inspirent pour faire de mon petit espace un endroit spécial. Je ne suis pas très fan des murs entièrement couverts de fleurs mais c'est typique du patio andalou surtout à Cordoue...et puis aussi, je n'arrive pas m'imaginer comment arroser tous ces pots !
Et puis bien sûr, avoir un espace ouvert dans la maison exige aussi qu'il fasse beau parce que quand il pleut, ça fait tout de suite un peu brouillon...mais heureusement....le beau temps, ce n'est pas ce qui manque ici en Andalousie....
Bon début de semaine à vous.....


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