Tale of a French Armoir

Decorating is not my thing even though I am always looking at decorating blogs. I know that our living room really needs some help from someone who has that special touch and knowledge but never really found anyone until Corey . She is a decorator extraordinaire with that decorating gene that I wasn’t born with and an expert at finding buys at brocantes. She is an American married to a Frenchman and also lives in Provence. When you say that someone lives in Provence that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are within walking distance of your house, or even 15 or 30 minutes away. Provence is a huge area. It turns out that Corey lives an hour away from our home as we found out when she kindly invited us over for dinner one night. Her place is just as fabulous as you might expect. I had my camera and it was all I could do to not run around like a paparazzi taking photos. I restrained myself but did get a few shots. You can see what great taste she has.

An urn filled with all sorts of interesting antique things.

The bathroom. She wrote a really interesting post on decorating it, from finding the tub and painting it, to covering herself in paint doing something different on the walls.

Anyway, to my delight and amazement, she has offered to help me decorate my living room. She has yet to see it except in photos with summer so busy (plus she is going off to Prague with her husband on his motorcycle any day now) but maybe after August. Maurice and I went to a brocante in Pertuis, a city near us, and saw an armoir that we thought might help the looks of our living room. It wasn’t that old but it had been decorated with touches of yellow-we have light, creamy yellow walls-and it would be delivered for free. I sent Corey a photo in an email and asked her opinion. She thought they were asking a little too much but she liked the armoir. We negociated with the antique dealer, got the price down and now have our French armoir. I think it really looks great although I still need to find some things to go on the top of it. Isn’t the blogging world amazing?

Here it is. It also gives me more storage space

Lavender Festival Encore

I made it to yet another Lavender Festival at Valensole. Each year it seems more crowded and this year they had huge fields cleared for parking. There were many many booths selling lavender products. I bought some lavender oil and lavender honey (although the nuns weren’t there this year selling their’s).

Lavender infused sponges. I kind of wanted one of these.

The lady who makes these lavender incense sticks is there each year. They last for two hours.

Lavender scented and colored teddy bears.

Handy Dandy Thingie

While at the Friday morning market at Lourmarin, my daughter in law and I happened upon a cooking demonstation used to try and sell a little device that I have no name for. Maybe it’s a spiraler?

It looks like this

The guy was a real performer really into demonstrating the thingie which is a little metal device with a metal circle that, when inserted into a potato, carrot or other firm vegetable, and then turned, creates a spiraled piece that you can use to decorate a plate with or, as with a potato, fry in a circle.

A carrot circle

The guy was practical doing Shakespeare demonstrating how to use it. I asked him at one point how much it cost but he held up his hand and said I had to wait until he finished telling us all about it. So we stood there while he drilled into a potato and a carrot, cooked up the potato ring, put another carrot into the hole left in a potato and then cut it into circles with white potato on the outside, orange carrot on the inside.

The hallow carrot left behind

Finally, he told us the price-10 euros. My daughter in law said, “That performance is worth 5 euros alone”. So we each bought one. My grandkids were fascinated with it and loved using it on carrots and potatoes.

A carrot spiral

The potato circles fry up really light and crispy but I’m not sure if I want to use a whole potato each time I want to fry up one. You’d need 4 at least for two people and then you are left with that hallow potato. I tried stuffing one with cheese and baking it but I had cheese running out all over the place. I guess I could make a farci type stuffing for it. I’m thinking it was one of those impulse buys but it was fun. I’m having a huge group of people over next month and will be doing a lot of cooking and my daughter in law said I should make carrot circles or radish circles to put on plates but I’m not sure if I will have the time or energy. She is much more into doing things like that than I am. Mostly I think that thingie will sit in a drawer.


Nearby Roussillon is the perched village of Gordes. There is such a stunning view of it as you approach:

There must be nothing but rocks under the soil in this region. Most of the homes and walls are made of the stacked stones found in the area. I love how they make their walls:

All around Provence are little buildings made of stone called Bories. You usually see them in fields, and they were probably used by shepherds. At the base of the hill where Gordes is found, is a whole village of these buildings called Borie Village. It is interesting to see how people lived in them. The place was inhabited until the end of the 1800’s when electricity became available.

Oh, and by the way, no cement was used. Everything was just stacked.


I have family visiting. One of the first places I always take visitors to Provence is Roussillon, the village famous for its one time production of ochre, before they were able to make it synthetically. The hills surrounding the villlage are shades of ochre from dark brown to light yellow.

A view of one of the cliffs outside of Roussillon.

A painted door across from the main street heading up into the village. It was newly painted last year.

There’s a really neat church in the middle of the village.

The window over the mairie.

A view of the ochre toned village from a distance.


How many pictures can I take of liquids? I am doing it all of the time. I guess I like the way light and liquid mix together. As you can see, I drink quite a bit of rosé .

A glass of rosé as dusk decends.

A bottle of Badoit, a bottled water with gas. They say that the bubbles are smaller in this water.

A bottle of olive oil on a table where we ate one night.

Another glass of rosé in the day light. The container with the bottle is one of those plastic bags that I see everywhere now.