January 26, 2009

~Plein Air Workshop in France~

The winter blahs and it's only January still, let's see, I have until May before it's actually warm here and I can't stop thinking of taking a lovely plein air painting class in southern France, near Provence and the city of Valence where the Moulin de Perrot, a several centuries old mill awaits me. Really, how would you like to spend a week here?

I can almost feel the warmth on my face. Oops...back to reality.

You can take different classes with famous painters and enter a beautiful and secret world of masters and learn techniques and philosophies of painting. I often take classes just because, although I always learn something. It may be as simple as a new brush I have never used, a new colour, sometimes I think I only like this one pink and then I'm introduced to a new pink, it's magical!!!

Another example from one of the instructors here. Look at all the colours used, ahhh...beautiful!!!

(all images from MD Perrot Workshop)
And lastly...I really wish I were here right now! I love painting outside with my easel, a little chair, my oils, linen, a visor and some sunscreen on. The heat on my face, the warm smells of the earth. The brush against my skin when a warm breeze goes by. The numerous sounds of all the bugs and the birds chirping from the trees. As if they are singing just for me. And when I'm all done with my painting and take it out a week later, it's amazing that I can still remember all that.
Oh...how I wish I could experience that with everyone! And a glass of wine.
Au revoir
~Miss Kris~

January 21, 2009

~My Yellow Room's Inspirations~

Hi Everyone! This is my spare bedroom filled with goodies from my grandma's home. Original this furniture was fitted in a larger room which was painted a light shade of a pretty bleu. In my home it's in a yellow room with bleu accents. My Grandma had two twin beds and in this room I took the two headboards with the rails and made them into a day bed. Over the bed is a canopy with some sheer lacey window treatments attached, I painted a mural on that wall and am in the process to repaint something new, the wall is being sanded this week and once it's finished I'll show you the finished bed. I have some Shabby Chic linens from Target I bought a few years ago in a pretty bleu flower pattern and some bolster pillows in a bleu ticking from Ikea. I love that store.
So this is the dresser with my Grandma's beautiful lamp on it, which I love, sorta a Marie Antoinette country feel to it. My Grandma loved France. So perhaps that is where I got the bug from.
Close-up of the lamp.

I love the detail in it, they are very delicate, so I must always be very careful when I dust.

The other side of the dresser, with the Marie Antoinette country girl with a basket and some spring flowers. I am ready for spring and all the beautiful flowers and smells that it brings.

Close-up of the pretty girl.

This is the image of my little watercolour/acrylic painting framed in a lightweight white washed pine frame. Just finished it today, worked on it all last night. After a few goes at it. Another words the first two I tore up and placed them in my oops pile. I just couldn't put my brushes down. This is my version of Versailles ~ Pavillon dans le Parc. I'm going to place in my Etsy store.

So I'm thinking of a little pretty for Valentines Day ~ Roses, maybe. What do you think?
May everyone have a Great Weekend!!!:)
~Miss Kris~

January 19, 2009

Bleu ~New~ Lovilies

Hi Everyone! I just started working on some new paintings, inspired by France. They are a mix of watercolour with some little touches of acrylics. I love the look of bleu and cream with touches of gold. All measuring approx 10X12 inches. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these new paintings. I am in the starting phases on developing a few more. Different backgrounds, perhaps more baroque, not quite sure just lots of sketches in my new sketchbook. French Greys I am loving today. We will see what direction I take today.
Oh...I am also thinking of listing them on Etsy...Perhaps at weeks end. What do think?
~Miss Kris~

January 18, 2009

Sweet garden nursery mural

(quick rendering of window wall)
Hi everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their day. Most murals start with a story and this one starts with the mommy's love of Boston, MA. In Boston they have a Public Garden and in the Garden they have some bronze statues that were inspired by a beloved children's book "Make Way For Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey.
This is a very cute story how Mrs. Mallard (mommy duck) makes way every spring toward the park and pond in Boston with her ducklings. I never heard of this book or story here in Chicago but it is an adorable book with great illustrations I really think all children will love it.

(photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com)
Here are the bronze statues that are in the Public Boston Garden for everyone to enjoy. They are so cute!

So this is my palette before painting the little ducklings and the momma. Yes, I use paper plates, which require no clean-up. I've learned my way through cleaning palettes everyday and then going to plastic and then finally going to paper plates. I am really thankful for the paper plate.

Here are the little ducklings under the window sill. I love this a lot, probably because I love ducks. And geese. Something about their little tush. The way they waddle, So cute!!! Ducks always bring a smile to my face and a little giggle.


In one corner I painted a cherry blossom tree with pretty flowers below. I added a few ladybugs, bumble bees and butterflies. Little ones love bugs.

Close-up of flower detail.

(this isn't the final image, swan boat not finished, plus you might notice I was not finished adding the shadows by the bridge, just in case you decide to click image to view up-close)
This is the picture I painted over the changing table. Another picture of Boston's Public Garden. In the water is a swan boat, which are owned and operated by the same family for years. They hold I think about 20 people and they take them out in the lake and enjoy the park from the water. What a nice day for those people in the boats.
In this room I also painted a Boston Street Lamp with more flowers flanking the other side of the window. And over the crib is Chicago Botanical Garden image of the fountain, some swans and trees. If anyone is familiar with Chicago Botanical Gardens it is a view of the crescent with pink tulips. I also painted over the chest of drawers The Chicago Bean with some buildings behind along with a few air balloons. Finishing the room is a painted sky with a few birds. Really a pretty room for a little girl. I hope to get more pictures of this room and once I do I'll post them. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this room.
May everyone have a wonderful day!
au revoir! ~Miss Kris~

January 14, 2009

I'm in love with Provence

Last weekend between running around, getting together with my family for saying final farewells to my Aunt. I was sorta cleaning up my office and ran across this magazine. I must have bought it in September or October last year and I do not remember reading it. So it was a little surprise for me. One of the homes they showcased was a home in Provence.
Oh...I must say it is a beautiful home! Drool drool...

The family's origins are from Canada and they discovered Mougins on an annual French holiday. After wandering the streets in Mougin she wandered into a local French antique furniture shop French Country Living. She struck up a conversation with the shop owner and her desire to live in this town. And found a home onto the beautiful hillside. She also contracted the shop owners to transform their new home into the French country style she admired in the shop.

Some of things I love about this lovely home is the beautiful clay tiles on the floors and all the creamy soft shades on the walls. This chippy table I wonder if they found it in the shop??? I do love it. :o)

Especially those ripe strawberries on the table...mmm

Look at the wonderful ceiling~to die for!
The one thing I noticed that all the pictures, I assume are from the first floor, has no floor board trims. The wall to the floor is never broken up. I do like that. Sometimes I notice the trimwork before anything else or that the trim makes the most impact on so many homes. Neither way is right or wrong it just makes me think.

I love everything in this picture. So natural looking. Sisal rug to the soft ceiling beams. The soft simple print on the chairs and maybe my favorite is the punch of color in the lovely pink flowers. So pretty!

I am sure Ness will love this room with all those linens. Maybe a final touch of one of her pillows would be a finishing touch this pretty room needs?

(all images courtesy of British Country Homes & Interiors October 2008)
And finally this lovely view~enough said!
Au revoir!
~Miss Kris~

January 13, 2009

A lovely FIND

Hi~ Here in Chicago we were under blizzard watch last night and nothing happened. Well...something did happen we got about 1 to 2 inches of snow. A sprinkling after all the snow we have had this season. So I stayed in and made a wonderful discovery. I found this beautiful blog Heart in Provence. I spent hours looking & reading every post.
Her blog opens a little window of her life in beautiful Provence. Each image is better than the last. I REALLY enjoyed my blizzard in front of my monitor last night.
I love the blouse and vest...all the layers are scrumptious...beautiful details in lovely shades of creams.
(images courtesy of Heart in Provence)
I think she started her blog in French~Un Coeur en Provence and added one in English. Oh I am ever so grateful!;) Here is the link to see her beautiful blog Heart in Provence.

May everyone have a great day!!!
~Miss Kris~

January 10, 2009

A little R&R and a bit of France!

I am in need of a day of Rest & Relaxation so today I am combining a trip to the day spa and an evening of some french love. Morning appointment is at 10 a.m. for a 50 minute deep-tissue massage. Should I book a few extra appointments for you? I'm in dire need of a massage after all those ceilings I have been painting.
After my massage I am off to get a pedicure. No manicures for this girl, my fingernails are super short because my hands are always full of paint. Sacrifices I make ;o) kidding, I love painting, worth all my short nails!!! I'll go ahead a book a few more appointments for you here also.

After my spa appointment I am off to pick up some new magazines at my local book store and a little lunch. These magazines I do not get a subscription for so it is a little treat to myself.

After lunch I am off to a restaurant near here to pick up some carry out for my dinner this evening. When I am in Paris I love staying at a lovely hotel in Saint Germain Des Pres called Hotel De Buci. A hop away from the hotel is brasserie with one of my now favorite foods ~ Mussels.

This is one of the interiors views of the room I stayed in last time in Paris. Small and very quaint. Notice all the fleur de lys?

I love mussels in a cream sauce and I am lucky I have a restaurant near by that always has them in. So that is what I am going to pick-up for dinner tonight.mmmm.....

I also picked up a French film "Dare me to love you" staring the lovely Marion Cotillard (from a Good Year) I saw this film years ago & I am up for some laughs tonight. It is a silly quirky film about two childhood friends who play truth or dare as children and are up to this silliness as adults.

Although it goes a bit out of control. Maybe a little dark ~ I am up for that tonight.

***spoiler alert*** Ok, so I won't spoil the ending, except to say you will not forget it. Ahh what love does to us.

Along with my movie I bought a bottle of framboise. This Rasberry Framboise was introduced to me by my best friend and I highly recommend it. It runs anywhere between $7-$9 a bottle & comes in a few more flavors, labeled a beer (with a cork), with low alcohol content, very bubbly, sweet and a little tart. Fizzes in your mouth, it is absolutely wonderful;)!!!

And to finish off my evening I just bought (OK, a few weeks ago I bought this book but was trying to save it for my french evening) a book called "My French Life" by Vicki Archer. Ms Archer is one lucky woman! I am truly loving every page. Thank you Vicki for writing a lovely book on your life. It is remarkable and I HIGHLY recommend it. Perhaps I may be lucky enough one day to take a wonderful chance like her and her family and embark on a life in beautiful Provence. Just unbelievably remarkable!!! Plus the photos are as amazing as her story. Très magnifique! . Oh...AND she also has a beautiful blog French Essence . I wouldn't wait to check it out!

What would your day of R&R be like? Or perhaps, could you recommend a foreign film I might add to my must watch list.

Au revoir everyone!

~Miss Kris~

January 9, 2009


Aunt Sue you were an amazing person who was greatly loved by so many. You left too soon and my heart breaks for you Uncle and to all my cousins. I have never seen a man love his wife as much as you did. I hope knowing she is in a better place gives you peace.

I love you Aunt Sue and thank you for all your kind words you have given me throughout my life. A simple letter when I was away for school and those special words of advise you gave me last summer I will have with me forever.
I now have another angel watching over me. I love you & will miss you. your niece