Friday, May 23, 2014

More Walda and a Bit of Virginia

My lawn and field are mowed, most beds are weeded and edged, and the vegetable garden is progressing.  This all took place between the rain drops (we've  had a very wet spring) and a trip to Virginia.  Hence, my blog has taken more of a back seat than I would wish and will try to mend my wayward ways.

If you've read my blog for long or from merely reading its name, you know I love kitchens.  Couple this with my love for Walda Pairon's design and you have today's post.  You have my full permission
to stop reading when I arrive at the Virginia trip - never do other people's travels seem terribly interesting to anyone but themselves but I also like to use my blog as a bit of personal journal.  So, feel free to tune out whenever.

The first time I saw an image of Walda's kitchen, I was hooked.  She had me forever. It has so much that I love - antique pottery, beautiful table settings...

wonderful natural light from the window over the sink and a Moleni stove...

open shelving...

a sweet little table...

and a larger one when needed...

copper cookware and, did I mention, the Moleni stove...

antique cutting boards and stoneware ...

great bowls, cloches, preserves...

and it all looks great at Christmas time too.  The two images below were taken by Greet Lefevre who graciously allowed me to use them and who is lucky enough to attend Walda's holiday open house.

I will get there some holiday, I will get there some holiday, I will get there some holiday.  It's everything I love.  Well, almost - I love my children and grandchildren too, but Walda's kitchen is a close second.

Even her utensils are wonderful.  Probably helps that she is married to a 4-star chef.

The following images are taken from her website.  They are not of her own kitchen, but are designs she has completed elsewhere and have a very culinary feel.

Could be a still life and bet the food was her husband's addition.  (Even a Shun knife makes an appearance here - hey, I haven't worked eight years at Williams Sonoma for nothing.)

The wine collection has Walda's design touch all over it.

And the kitchen below is in an outbuilding on Walda's property.  It's used for larger functions and also boasts a Moleni stove and a wonderful copper cookware collection.  The arrangements on the long table are all Walda.

The following books fed my inspiration.

This last one I was just recently lucky enough to find "used" on Amazon.  It is in perfect condition - can't read a word because it's all in Dutch, but I love it and feel fortunate to have found it.

More Walda next time.  Now it's onto Virginia with two sisters-in-law visiting cousins near Lynchburg.
We had a great time and talked continually but I'll try to heed the maxim that a "picture is worth a thousand words".  I'll try.  These two pillow cases were found in a Lynchburg antique shop and had to come home with me.  Love white linens with pleats.

Next we visited a sweet shop called the "Farm Basket".  I had to take a few pictures outside the shop - everything was so green and blossoming and we had come from the land of rain, cold temps, and closed buds.

Besides linens, Walda, my children and grandchildren, I love china and setting a lovely table.  This shop spoke to me, and the women who worked there were so helpful and charming - full of southern hospitality who let me take all the photos I wanted.  

The shelves below are full of items from their brides' registries.  What a helpful idea for the gift-givers.

Sweet children's section.

Collection of Vietri I had not seen before.

Even the artificial delphiniums looked beautiful.

Mixing patterns.

White china and glassware and this old cupboard complement one another.

When checking out, I asked the women at the counter if I might use the pics I took on my blog.  They were delighted and so was I.  Hope they find this post.

One last pic as we left.

On the way home, our cousins explained that Thomas Jefferson had his country home nearby.  Because so many visitors would come to Monticello and stay for days, Jefferson left his main home and came to this one near Lynchburg.  It took him three days on horseback to reach this home-away-from-home where he knew visitors would never find him.  This is a much smaller version of the real Monticello.  We had very knowledgeable tour guides doubling as cousins.

Next day, before heading out to the real Monticello, we were fortified by this delicious breakfast.  We all took the recipe home with us - it's a blueberry breakfast cake with sausage in the cake and warm blueberry sauce atop.

A sweet garden outside the James Madison home which most tourists visit before proceeding to Monticello.

While waiting for the docent to free up, I had to snap this great tree.

The very modest home of James Monroe.  Docent here was very informative.  Do you remember what the Monroe Doctrine was?  Neither did we.  It told European countries to stay out of our hemisphere.  Bet your glad pictures on the inside of these homes were prohibited.  We're almost done.

And here we are at the real Monticello.  I won't tell you everything we learned about Thomas Jefferson,  
suffice it to say, the man was brilliant.  I'll just mention one testament to his brilliance - he invented a device which allowed him to read four different books at the same time in four different languages.

This magnificent copper beach greeted us at the end of the house tour.

Just a small sample of his magnificent vegetable gardens.

Another view of Monticello.

And this is yours truly doing this stupid gesture.  I really hate having my picture taken - can you tell?  Just not photogenic.

The end of a very long post.  You should hope I post again before going to Vermont in June because iphones make it too easy to take way too many photos.

Pretty sure my next post will be the last of my Walda ones.  Wish she'd come out with a new book or a new article in Milieu or something.  Meanwhile, we'll have to keep following Greet.

Have a very patriotic Memorial Day week-end,

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Where, Oh Where Have I Been??

In case you've been wondering, I've been home, but home with many other people - family, friends, guests, even dogs have all visited this month.  When not entertaining these wonderful people, I've been getting the yard and garden beds more shipshape, and doing that in between raindrops.  Am leaving Monday for a few days in Virginia, but when I return will try to be a more diligent about posting.  Enough of my excuses and today onto more Walda.

For quite awhile, I've been saving Walda images from other blogs, from pinterest and from Walda's own website.  Greet Lefevre and her Belgian Pearls blog have long been an inspiration to me.  Because she frequently attends Walda Pairon's home during spring open-days and Christmas open-days (lucky woman!), and because she has been gracious enough to permit me, I'm including some of Greet's photos here.

So here are today's images starting with Walda's garden designed by Jacques Wirtz.

Love how the boxwood and conifers create rooms in her landscape.

Please note the potted hydrangeas on her terrace - the inspiration for my own potted hydrangeas.  Also note the spheres upon the table.  Will talk a bit about her spheres later.

Love how so much of her garden furniture is teak and timeless.

Moving inside now to her dining room, tablescapes, colors, and spheres.  The purple inside her cupboard here reminds me of how Darryl Carter painted one of his cupboard's inside orange - both so gutsy.  I painted one of mine an antique red - not nearly so gutsy.

Love the disparity between rugged table and fine crystal and silver.  She is a master arranger.

I believe these images are from Greet and the objects on the table are for sale at one of Walda's open-days...

whereas this table is ready for dining.  So beautiful.

Leaving the dining room now and observing her tablescapes in other rooms.  Note the spherical vase here.

The sphere in the image below is one that Walda has made from buttons.  These creations of hers are always incredibly beautiful and appear on many of her tablescapes.  Also love that old book.

More spheres here on the left bottom table corner.  They just seem to work wherever she places them.

No spheres here but lovely fabrics and colors.

Close up of above image.

Walda's tablescapes are even wonderful in one of her outside buildings.  No spheres here but a great floor and pots.

To end today, I'm adding two images of my Easter table.  Nothing as lovely as Walda's but it looked quite nice on a sunny Easter Sunday afternoon with Vietre pottery, Simon Pearce glassware and spring pansies.

 As I said above, I leave tomorrow for a few days in Virginia where it is supposed to be beautiful at this time of year.  So next post, you may be subjected to another interruption of my Walda schedule and more of my bad photos.  Keep the faith there will be lots more wonderful Walda to come - eventually.