(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Monday, January 25, 2010

seriously delinquent

but if it is because I am in Paris, I can be excused, non?

jetsetting with designers from all over Europe (I can tell because the number of languages I don't understand has multiplied)

bedazzled by an enormous display of design and potential consumption at the Maison et Objèt show

inspired by an incredible assortment of color and imaginative creations

crisply strolling through the Sentier district in Paris (somewhat equivalent to NY's garment district) to dredge up frugal yet interesting finds for spring in the boutique

sharing a sweet visit with our family friends, Lucille and Jeff and Camille ...

dashing off for my final day ...

more on all of this soon


Thursday, January 14, 2010

planting seeds ... which will grow best?

continuing to sow seeds (rarely of discontent...:P) regarding gainful activities ... I'm enrolled in a 'cours de tapisserie' (upholstery class) for working on the old chairs etc here... it was supposed to commence last Saturday but was delayed because of the snow. So, try again this Saturday. Nontron is a little more than a half hour or so north of me ... so hope I like it... I'll be hoofing it back in time to open the shop in the afternoon (January).

I'm also headed up to Paris for the Maison & Objet show . We have been to several similar home shows in the states, always hearing that the Maison & Objet is THE show to attend. We daydreamed (my daughter and I) about coming together. So, this year I have a free ticket in and I'm going to go and and soak up the inspiration ... I'm trying to do it on a shoestring ... staying with Madame Pascual, going by train ... buying only the merchant catalogue (23€) versus the inspiration book (90€). I'm also going to check out a quartier where all the small clothing designers who do pret-à-porter for wholesalers congregate. A good friend gave me the scoop on where to go etc. So, I may spend a few centimes there to have some interesting new pieces for spring. I'm hoping my inspiration soak will lead me to finding or making some handmade items that are unique and cool, upon my return.

With that in mind, I've bought a jeweller's starter kit and am looking about for a used sewing machine (any pointers on that ... good brands here, maybe even with english instructions! ... but french cables and plug-ins and such)...

I'm garnering up courage for a return rendez-vous with the Chambre de Commerce to inquire more specifically about a tea or coffee shop and selling à emporter ... I seek the least amount of restrictions, red tape while dipping my toe into the pool ... maybe just some nice coffee or tea and a homemade treat?! that's not really a restaurant, is it?

We still are looking about for ways to do our original idea ... sans complications and plus paysage (foot traffic) ... we love our idea of a tapas/wine bar with week-end music... summers only. le sigh. but I'm nothing if not persistent ... so who knows.

I'm also considering something part-time related to real estate (negotiation) and have some ins and connections there...this would be sans-salaire (commission only) but could be nice to supplement. So any of you who are in the market for a pied à terre, or know someone who is ... or who might be thinking of selling in France ... please think of me. I will be associated with some really amazing agents who have many years of experience and a broad network...

Continuing my little brico-projects that I can manage on my own ... I painted and sanded and varnished the wainscoting in my stairwell this week. I primed the walls, and I sanded all of the steps after doing some repairs/fill work. Now I'm trying to decide whether to varnish them (likely) or just wax them. The wainscoting is a cream color, I distressed the wood. I'm leaning towards olive walls and a slate blue ceiling in the entry and stairwell.

JY (mon trés cher monsieur, qu'est-ce que je fais sans lui?) fixed the leak in my heating system but we had to order a part for the radiator that goes in the family room. So I'm still on the oil heater two-step. sigh.

Next home project for me is painting the upstairs little hall and bathroom. I've been procrastinating as I secretly wish to make the bath larger and kept hoping the bathroom fairy would descend and offer. Still no sign, so I'm thinking I'll just move forward with an interim paint job and keep sending out wishes...

After that, I will have no choice but to commence with the old kitchen (shudder). I've been using it for a storeroom / workshop. First task will be to move everything to a newly designated work area or the dump. After which I have to knock out a bunch of flimsily-crafted walls and brico-hell. Once that is done and I can begin painting in earnest, I might be able to get some help in relocating the furnace boiler... (MAJOR pain in the ass). putain.

I've also began pondering this year's garden design. Oh and (wooHOO), finally got my app't set with an ophtalmologiste (March!) ... yay.

all of these activities (and other secret dreams) are being started and observed ... I've seen before how testing multiple paths let's me see what doors do or do not open ... hinting at what directions might work. which seeds will take root.

in this case, it might end up being a combination...which would be okay with me too. I just want enough to pay my (fairly minimal) expenses and leave a little over for hobo travels.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

snow is on the way ...

yes, more snow is predicted for today or tomorrow.

yesterday, Jean-Yves and I got together ... we decided to walk a bit and froze our tushies off.

we ransacked the house, looking for the remaining parts for my radiator in the salle à vivre...to no avail. so it didn't get installed.

we were somewhat lacking in inspiration and mostly huddled around the fire...

today I'm off for a lunch rendez-vous near Nontron ... and wondering if the snow will commence 'en route'...

I may or may not return to a newly installed radiator.... something tells me nay ... lol

thank goodness I have some portable heaters.

well then ... no other profundities at the moment. à bientôt!