Thursday, February 25, 2016

Rendezvous With Quimper Friends

~ QCI ~

Quimper Club International

was founded in 1999 by 

Lucy Williams and Katie Wiggins Sledge.

The club was formed to offer a

forum to educate members about the history

and production of Quimper faience along with other French faience 

and to provide a way to connect with others who share a love 

of the beautiful pottery, both old and new.

The very first meeting was held in Santa Monica, CA.

It drew interested members from across the US 

and Europe, and brought together strangers 

who shared a common bond.

Seventeen years of annual meetings

have spawned cherished friendships far and wide.

Last week a group of QCI friends

 gathered  for the simple pleasure of visiting with one another.

Dallas, TX was the destination as various friends made there way

from the east coast, the west coast, and Canada.

Two of us traveled up from Austin.

We dined, we shopped, we oohed and awed.

Our days were filled with visits to nine beautiful homes,

each offering exquisite collections of French faience.

The lovely tablescape shown in this post is

but a glimpse of the charm and beauty that filled our days

as the Dallas members graciously and generously hosted us

in their homes where we laughed together and shared 

the joy of reconnecting with special friends.


I've been short on time, and have dozens of photos

to edit and organize, but I promise to share more

of the exquisite faience that we saw over five days.

For those interested in Quimper and other French pottery, 

visit the QCI website here to learn more about

membership and the Annual Meeting to be held in 

Kansas City, Missouri September 21-24, 2016. 

We welcome new members!

I'd like to thank my friend Betty for allowing me to share

her beautiful sun kissed table set with pieces

of contemporary Quimper in the pattern Mistral Blue.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Share Your Heart With the Queen of Hearts

Are you sentimental like me

and save special valentines through the years? 

Or collect hearts of sentimental value

that were gifts from your sweetheart or a friend?

With Valentine's Day on the 14th,

the topic selected for this month's

CAMEO meeting was Hearts.

~ Hearts ~ 

the universal symbol of 

~ love ~ friendship ~ courage ~ loyalty ~  hospitality ~

Last year the topic of our February 

CAMEO meeting was Antique Valentines.

A local woman shared her grandmother Ruth's collection

of valentines dating from Victorian times thorough the 1950s.

You can read about that meeting here.

When our planned speaker this month couldn't make it,

we decided to have a heart theme "show and tell".

Each member was asked to bring a valentine, love letter,

special memory, or a heart shaped treasure.

I chose to share this beautifully carved wood heart shaped 

butter mold that belongs to my friend, Elizabeth.

It's French; an early piece with gorgeous patina.

The wooden pegs can be removed so that the sides

swing open in order to remove the molded butter.

Elizabeth and I spotted this piece while shopping

the flea markets of Paris a few years ago.

One of our members shared 

this very special heartfelt poem written by 

her late father for her mother on Valentine's Day last year.

Sadly, Karen's father passed away over the summer.

This is just one of many sweet poems that George Benigno

wrote for his wife Ann through the 68 years of their marriage.

I chose a Queen of Hearts

theme for my table.

Red, pink, and white tulips filled various

MacKenzie Childs vases.

Goodies both sweet and savory

filled the table.

This adorable Queen of Hearts

stood guard on the buffet with the plates 

and napkins and tray of drinks.

She was my muse that inspired my theme.

A striking 16 inches tall, this queen 

makes a beautiful statement.

Image from Pier 1 

Shortly before the meeting I happened to receive 

an email from Pier 1 about their valentine offerings.

With the Queen's regal crown and the wonderful

black and white check details of her robe,

I thought, "What could be more perfect with

MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check?"

Pier 1 also offered exquisite 

crown ornaments in three different styles.  

They added the "crowning" touch

for the chandy mobile!

I was late discovering the Pier 1 valentine offerings, 

so I'm fortunate that my local store still had these items available.

Various Queen of Hearts gathered through

the years mixed with hearts and vintage valentines

to complete the center piece of the table.

This adorable one is from

Patience Brewster, Inc.  

She is available here.

I ordered this clever

faux cupcake from an Etsy shop here.

This queen was stitched by me.

I'm proud to say it is my first piece stitched in 2016

toward my goal to devote more time to stitching.

A Petei Design available here.

A few vintage valentines 

that feature the Queen of Hearts

were added to the table.

The vintage tray is 

part of a child's tea set.

One vase was filled with puffy,

sparkly red hearts found at Pier 1.

The vintage tiara was a birthday gift from my

CAMEO friends several years ago.

Glitter crowns on dowels could

be found tucked in with the tulips.

A mini metal crown sat

among a chalice of sugary gum drop hearts.

A vintage silver heart on a stand along with red glitter hearts

and petite book paper hearts filled in the gaps.

See this darling hand made valentine?

It features an adorable Queen of Hearts just for me.

A surprise from a blogging friend, 

it's the latest valentine to be added to 

my tray of special valentines!

Thank you, sweet M!

Happy Valentine's Day

to each of you!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February ~ 2016

Iconic Fork Sculpture at Local Austin Restaurant

F e b r u a r y

Original by Patience Brewster, Patience Brewster Inc.
Used With Permission

How can it be that we've 

turned the calendar to a new month?

February 2 ~ Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil and other famous groundhogs

around did not see their shadows this morning.

According to legend, 

"There is no shadow to be cast; an early spring is forecast!"

Detail of Vintage Ball Gown of San Antonio, TX Fiesta Queen

February 8 ~ Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is one of the

most important celebrations for the Chinese.

2016 ~ Year of the Monkey

Contemporary Mask

February 9, 2016 ~ Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.

Wearing a mask and costume is common for celebrating

Mardi Gras along with parades and lots of merry making!

Victorian Valentine ~ Private Collection

February 14, 2016 ~ Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine's Day has evolved through the years

to be associated with romantic love and gifts of

valentine cards, chocolate, flowers, or some romantic item.

Alice's Key, 2011 by Beth Fisher, Gypsy Fish Studio

The "chef" holds the key to my heart

and surprises me with gifts in his own time.

He is a romantic who doesn't believe in contrived holidays.

Star Quilt, c1880 ~ Uncle Sam Doll by Saundra Slagle

February 15, 2016 ~ Presidents' Day

Presidents' Day is a US federal holiday 

held on the third Monday of February

to honor the Presidents of the United States.

Porcelain Heart Boxes ~ Gifts From The Chef

That about sums it 

up for the month ahead.

Red Geraniums ~  Nice, France

I'd like to give a shoutout to my blogging friend,

Jenna @ The Painted Apron.

She commented on my January post that she had enjoyed 

my Alphabet Series and asked if I 

planned to do a monthly themed series.

Antique Cooper Pudding Moulds and Mary Engelbreit Tin, c1983

Great idea, Genna!

Look for future monthly posts dedicated to each specific month.

Also a special thank you to Patience Brewster for allowing 

me to use the photo of her wonderful painting for Groundhog Day.

Visit Patience Brewster, Inc HERE for gifts for your valentine.