Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bookworm's Corner: Summer Reading Challenge Update

Hello all! I thought I'd give you an update on my Summer Reading Challenge progress.....you can click HERE to read my original post, which also includes a link back to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer, who started the reading challenge.

The reading challenge goes from June 21 to Sept 21 and I have 10 books on my list. I have made one change from my original list.
My new reading list:

*The Alienist--Caleb Carr
*Homer & Langley---E.L.Doctorow
*The Canterbury Tales---G. Chaucer
*Wuthering Heights---Emily Bronte
*Duma Key--Stephen King
*Just After Sunset---Stephen King
*Thomas Jefferson--R.B. Bernstein
*John Adams---David McCullough
*An Incomplete Education---Judy Jones and William Wilson
*George Washington's Sacred Fire---Peter Lillback

So far I have finished 'Duma Key', which I found at Half-Price Books in paperback form, and I am about 3/4 of the way finished with 'Wuthering Heights', which I also bought at Half-Price Books.  My hubby has owned 'An Incomplete Education' in hardcover for many years, so I went digging for it in the boxes of books that we both have stored in the attic and I'm about halfway through it.  Today I will be visiting the local library to pick up some others on my reading list.
One book done, two more almost done in less than 10 days.... does this surprise you?? Not me! To say that I am a voracious reader that devours books is an understatement.......I have the fortune of being a very fast reader, one who can read very quickly, yet retains what I've read.
I also hardly ever read one book at a time; it has been my habit since childhood to be reading about three or four books at once.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm off to the library!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday: A Garden Visitor

In the garden at Le Beau Paon, I had a very small visitor yesterday..............
I had to really zoom my camera close to get a nice picture of this guy. He was so small; probably not much more than an inch long. I don't often see any of these pretty green grasshoppers around my yard. He was sunning himself on my back porch railing.
Luckily, I had my camera close by (I was actually trying to get a picture of a monarch butterfly who was sampling my orange butterfly weed, but he was too quick and sneaky for me!). I took this picture of the purple coneflowers in the garden that presses right up to the back porch steps. Some of these are double-decker purple coneflowers and will sprout additional petals on top of the center cone.

My bee balm (monarda) is also blooming now!

White coneflower, "Swan"
Gaillardia, "Burgundy"

Gaillardia, "Oranges and Lemons"

My "blue" hydrangea has a sort of 'variegated' appearance again this year! I've got pink blooms on one side and blue on the other. I usually have to add LOTS of aluminum sulfate to the soil to get blue blooms, and even then it's hard because of all the limestone in our area. Our house's foundation is locally quarried limestone, which leaches lime into the soil and raises the pH and makes "bluing" difficult.

The pink and green coleus in the pot with fuschia, which sits on my porch, has been growing very quickly lately. I have some more like it in other pots which aren't this big, although planted at the same time. I think this completely shaded area suits it better.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'll be linking this with A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

White Wednesday: Sweet White Pillow

I was on a mission this week to finish off the dozen or so small projects that have been hanging around my craft room....one of them was this sweet little pillow I made. I had some leftover fabric that I purchased to make European pillow shams for our bed (click HERE to view this project). I decided to make a couple of decorator pillows for the bed to use up the fabric I had left.

This one is a teeny one; I didn't even use a pillow form; I just stuffed it with a silk blend fiberfill and then whipstitched the opening closed. I used the leftover fabric, leftover white tulle that was stashed in my craft closet, and a small piece of ruffled eyelet trim that was also stashed in my craft closet. I sewed the ruffle on with a topstitch on the sewing machine. The tulle I cut a slightly wider length than the pillow and tied a knot in it and then incorporated the ends of the tulle and the ruffle into the seam, so that they would stay in place. Another short piece of tulle was tied over the center knot to make the 'tails'.

The letter 'P' is actually  glitter-covered chipboard, snatched from my stamping and card-making supplies. I just affixed it in place with a couple dabs of hot glue.

 I love eyelet lace! 

I also wanted to show this vintage table cloth that I came across last week and I just had to have it!

I thought the blue color somewhat unusual. It's actually very vivid in person, almost turquoise, but not quite.

I also thought it was interesting that it depicts a variety of fruits, but all the fruits are blue.

Can you imagine blue strawberries!?!   
Thanks for stopping by! I'll be joining Faded Charm for White Wednesday!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Crafty Things: 4th of July Flag Banner and Chalkboard Sign

A few days ago I posted a picture of a small project I completed (click HERE to read about my mini pedestal plate), which is just one of many small projects that have been hanging around in my craft room....waiting.....

I managed to find some time this weekend to finish two others that I had "in the works"!

I made this flag banner to hang from my china cabinet, which will be part of my 4th of July tablescape that I will be working on for next week's Tablescape Thursday. I bought  four of these flags from Michael's for 69 cents. I pulled the flags off their sticks and stapled them to a length of white ribbon.
For the top of each flag, I cut a strip of scrapbook paper that had many different stars n' stripes patterns on it and attached it to the top of each flag. I just used a couple staples once again. I thought about cutting each flag into a point, but I wanted to use pinking shears to make an interesting 'border' and I don't have pinking shears! I have some zig-zag scissors that are similar, that are used for scrapbooking and card making, but they aren't sharp enough to cut through fabric. :-(

I also finally made my chalkboard menu sign, using the silver metal tray I bought a couple weeks ago at Goodwill for $1.99. I masked the entire tray, except for the center, with painter's tape, and sprayed it with Valspar Chalkboard paint. I did several coats and let it dry for a full day before trying out writing on it with chalk.
I bought a pretty black-painted metal plate easel for $4 at JoAnn's so I can stand it up on a table, or on my kitchen counter. I also hot glued a ribbon loop with a bow on the back so it can be hung as well, from the handles on my china cabinet in the dining room, or on the sideboard.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Show & Tell Friday: Mini Pedestal Plate

Hello blog friends.....welcome to another Show and Tell Friday, graciously hosted once again by Cindy at My Romantic Home!

I always seem to have about three or four small projects going on at once, with probably another dozen larger projects that are always looming in the background. Somehow I never seem to get too much accomplished!

This was a small project that I did sort of on spur of the moment. I wanted to make a small pedestal to stack on top of my vintage Fenton hobnail milk glass cake pedestal.
Now I can use both to make a tiered server, or use them separately.
To make the mini pedestal, I used a milk glass plate from Goodwill and a small milk glass vase, also purchased at Goodwill. The vase was 49 cents, the plate was $1. I used Gorilla Glue to glue the vase to the bottom. Very cute, very simple....and very cheap! (My kind of project!!)

Thanks for joining me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Picnic in the Park

We had some beautiful weather on Sunday...which inspired me to pack a picnic basket and head off to a local park with Erik.

I brought one of my vintage tablecloths and white monogrammed napkins.
This picnic basket came from Pottery Barn some years ago. It was actually given to me by someone else. I believe they received it as a gift but didn't want it or never used it and "re-gifted" it to me!! I think it's so cute. It came with plates, silverware, two glasses, a bread board, cutting knife, and an all-purpose army-type knife that has a corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener and other little tools in it.
I also brought along two of my Goodwill plates that I bought last week for 49 cents. In keeping with my "cherry theme", I brought Stewart's Cherries n' Cream sodas to drink in addition to bottled water.
I packed some of Erik's and my favorite snackies; sweet red grapes, pickles, garlic-stuffed olives, and spreadable garlic and herb Rondele' cheese (with Triscuits for the cheese).
I also made tea sandwiches; pecan and cranberry chicken salad on cracked wheat bread. Erik has literally become obsessed with this chicken salad. He wants to eat it every day! We also had baby carrots to nosh on.
For a simple, no-fuss and easily packable dessert: Petit Ecolier cookies!!! I don't know which is my favorite cookie; these, or Biscoff cookies. I love them both equally well.
 We chose a park on the edge of town which part of the Fox River runs through. We found a spot near the water. We have come to this park before to walk the many trails in the woods here.


Thanks for stopping by!
I'll be linking up with A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday:
And also Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice!

June 21 marks the official "first day" of summer, or in more technical terms, the summer solstice.
A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice a year (like equinoxes) when the Sun's apparent position in the sky reaches it's northernmost or southernmost extremes.
The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because at the solstices the Sun stands in declination; which means that the apparent north and south movement of the Sun comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The terms 'summer solstice' and 'winter solstice' are the most common names for this phenomenon, although they are somewhat ambiguous because the  seasons of the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposites; the summer solstice of one hemisphere is the winter solstice of the other.

Which is why here in North America it is summer, but in Australia, they are starting their winter. Following me so far??
Very interesting stuff....yes. I've got you all riveted, I can tell.

At any rate, the cause of the seasons is that the Earth's rotation on it's axis is not perpendicular to it's orbital plane but currently makes an angle of 23.44 degrees, and that it keeps it's orientation with respect to inertial space. Consequently, for half the year the northern hemisphere is inclined towards the sun, with the maximum inclination occurring at about June 21 (the longest day of the year!) and for the other half of the year, the southern half of the hemisphere has this distinction, with the maximum around December 21 (the shortest day of the year....booooo!).

Whew. It's hard work spouting off all that scientific blah-de-blah. I had to look some of that stuff up. Seventh grade science class was many eons ago for me. LOL!

I hope all you Northern Hemis (I made up that word) have a nice first day of summer!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Pretty in Pink

Posted by Picasa
(Click to view larger!)
Some pretty pinks from my flower gardens!
Thanks for stopping by; be sure to visit Mary at Little Red House to take a look at all the other Mosaic Monday submissions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Show & Tell Friday: Gibson Girl Bride

Hello everyone in blogland! Welcome back to another Show & Tell Friday, hosted by Cindy at My Romantic Home.
I thought I would share another one of my lovely lady dolls from my very small collection. This was the first of my lady dolls that I purchased, probably in 1992 or 1993.
You can view the others I showed in the past, HERE and HERE, if you missed them the first time around.

This lady doll is a Gibson Girl bride doll; she was a limited offer, authorized by the great-grandson of the Gibson Girl creator, graphic artist Charles Dana Gibson (September 14 1867---December 23, 1944).
The Gibson Girl was the personification of the "ideal woman" as portrayed in the satirical pen and ink illustrated stories written by Charles Dana Gibson during the late 19th century and into the early 20th century.
Gibson's fictional images were extremely popular over a 20 year period and the image of the Gibson Girl appeared on everything, from parasols, fans and screens, to souvenir spoons, ashtrays and dishes.

The Gibson Girl was tall and slender. Her figure, the ideal of the time, was achieved by the then-fashionable swan-bill corset to form an S-curve torso, with ample bosom, wasp waist and curved hips. She was often portrayed with a long slender neck, youthful features, ephemeral beauty and lustrous hair piled high on her head in a bouffant, pompadour, or waterfall chignon hair style, which was then popular.

The Gibson Girl was intelligent, fashionable and at-ease and she was often depicted as an equal and sometimes teasing companion to men. She personified beauty, a limited amount of independence (she was often shown attending college as well) and personal fulfillment.
One writer, Susan E. Meyer, in her book America's Great Illsutrators, described the Gibson Girl as:
"She was poised and patrician.
Though always well-bred, there often lurked a hint of mischief in her eyes.
She was taller than other women currently seen in the pages of magazines, infinitely more spirited and independent, yet altogether feminine."

Many models posed for the Gibson Girl illustrations, including Gibson's wife, Irene Langhorne.
One of the most famous real persons who was considered a "Gibson Girl", was Belgian-American stage actress, Camille Clifford, whose high coiffure, long elegant gowns and tightly corseted hourglass figure defined the style.
                                                                   Camille Clifford

One of my favorite Gibson illustrations. It says, "They are only collecting the usual fans and gloves." I love the image of the gentlemen gallantly scuttling under tables and chairs while the ladies await them.

You'll have to forgive her wrinkled appearance; like my other dolls, she's been in storage for awhile.

She has lovely green eyes and strawberry blonde hair.

Her elaborate bouffant hair style is so elegant.

Her sleeves have tiny pearl buttons. She even sports a gold wedding band.

Her high-necked gown as a bodice of net point d'esprit lace and she carries a bouquet of peach-colored ribbon roses.

The skirt on her ecru colored satin dress has a chapel-length train and is trimmed in this beautiful scalloped lace.

Her porcelain feet wear yellow shoes with peach-colored shoe-roses. Even the trim on her petticoat is pretty.

She even has a "G" embroidered on her petticoat. Even though I know it stands for "Gibson", I decided to give her a name (since she didn't have one) and I call her Gemma.

Thanks for stopping by!