Tea with LaVera

A World of Inspiration ...

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Hot Tea Challenge

 I haven’t been painting enough so I decided to give myself a hot tea challenge. I bought a cute pastry that I wanted to try.

 Then I made myself a pot of tea. My goal was to paint my pastry before my tea got cold. So here’s the results it was a fun challenge.

PS: the pastry was very good, the top cookie was soft and filled with chocolate. The big body was a puff pastry filled with a raspberry cream. The arms were white chocolate and the pearls tasted like a rice crispy cover with a soft sugar. The icing was just a powder sugar.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Haussmann’s Paris

Haussmann’s Paris

I have traveled to Paris many times but I’ve always been rather busy and not had enough time to reflect. This time I have done lots of that.

Haussmann’s Paris was made up of large boulevards.

When you look around Paris you will notice that the buildings are all similar along the big Boulevards.  This is because of a man named Georges-Eugene Haussmann the Prefect of the Seine from 1853 to 1870.

Medieval streets in Paris 

He worked for Napoleon the third. His job included building fresh water supplies, extending the sewer systems, and creating gardens, squares, and public buildings such as churches, town halls, theaters and hospitals. He was also responsible for laying out new roads.

Medieval streets in Paris 

He envisioned a network of thoroughfares crossing Paris from one side to the other which would help with traffic congestion. All of this was to make Paris a healthier city since bad air and cholera were a problem. The goal was also an improved urban landscape.

Medieval streets in Paris
Haussmann raised streets like these to make way for his grand Boulevards. 

 The Avenue De L’ Opera remains one of the best examples of a Haussmann Street in spite of the fact that there are no trees along the boulevard.

 The Avenue De L’ Opera remains one of the best examples
of a Haussmann Street.

Haussmann’s plan was a tough one for the residents of Paris to take. Many people were forced to leave their homes that had passed through generations. Entire neighborhoods were razed to the ground losing communities that were built over lifetimes. 

Here's where modern meets Medieval  

The landlords were fairly compensated but the tenants were not. This also had the effect of moving the poor to the outskirts of the city. The improvements took 15 years. Haussmann ended up losing his position due to over extending and losing the public’s support.

Life long communities where wiped out for ever.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I love Paris Fashion!

A Chanel photo shoot we just happened to see.

I used to be a Fashion designer when I was young and I’d travel to Paris quite often to see what the trends were. 

Paris Fashion, Lace, embroidery and Ruffles so sweet.

Usually the trends in Paris show up in the United States about two years later. With some of the new throw away fashions things are a bit quicker now. 

Paris Fashion Lace, embroidery and Ruffles so sweet 

Well old habits die hard so I've been checking out the latest trends here in Paris. My prediction for spring and summer 2015 are as follows. 

Paris Fashion Polka Dots and Lace.

Polka dots, lace as embellishments and for whole garments. Picture prints ranging from birds, flowers, butterflies and architecture. 

Paris Fashion, Valentino Butterflies 

Of course the tiny floral prints made famous by the French are always around. Bows are on everything shirts, skirts, dresses and shoes.  The hottest color is magenta it’s everywhere.

John Galliano Shoes with Bows.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

Marie de Medici Palace, Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

 Le Jardin Du Luxemboug is the garden Marie de Medici had originally built for her palace. The park boasts eighty statues.  Among them are the renowned Queens and famous women of France.

The gardens are the work of several artists including Cain, Fremiet, Bourdelle and Marqueste. The Park has several beautiful fountains my favorite being the Medici fountain.

 Medici Fountain, Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

The flower beds are very impressive. They are replanted several times a year.

 Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

 This park is one of the Parisians favorites because it is set up for their life. 

 Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris
There is a wonderful playground for children and horses, puppet shows and a carousel for them.

Horses in Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

 There are also places to play bocce ball, cards and chess.

 Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris
      There are hundreds of metal chairs placed everywhere just for lounging. There is also a wonderful bandstand that has music about eight times a week in the summer.

Bandstand in  Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

I was city watching a concert in this park when a young child about the age of six started to dance he threw his arms into the air then his legs whirred in every direction. He leaped, he jumped, in each movement   mounds of sheer joy sprang from his body and made everyone around him smile. 

Bandstand in  Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

When was the last time I danced like that? I can't remember when I ever felt that free. It's been far too long, but I think it would be fun to try it once again and see what happens.

Le Jardin Du Luxemboug, Paris

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Trip to Paris

Paris Fruit Market

Both of my boys have grown up and gone off to college and were much too busy to come home this summer. So I decided to rent a house in Paris for the month of July. I invited a few friends and it’s been a fun experience. My day starts out going to the bakery and picking up chocolate and almond croissants. 

Parisian Breakfast 

Next I head off to the fruit market and pick out the fruits for the day. Then I head back to the house where I make my guests and myself some fresh squeezed orange juice and Tea.

 Fruit from a Paris Fruit Market

  Then we plan our day:  what to see and what to do. It usually consists of a museum, Park, a long walk or perhaps just sitting in a café.

Parisian Boulangerie

I love this city because of its art, music and its people. In this month I have learned many things. I hope my blogs will be interesting for you to read. As I sit here writing them in this sweet Parisian house, I can hear a piano being played beautifully next-door, 

Parisian Cafe

and the voices of the people in the café nearby. It’s a vacation from life not to be able to speak the language, it sounds like singing as I walk down the streets.

Paris Fruit Market

  I am staying in the 20th arrondissement which has very few tourists. This makes it nice because you are treated as special not as a frustrating tourist. When you stay in one of the outer arrondissements, the rent is cheaper and the food is cheaper and much better. My French friend’s advice to me was look where the French are eating. And I have done that and found wonderful restaurants all around me. Paris has a great Metro so it really doesn't matter much what part of Paris you stay in.

Friday, September 5, 2014

My Garden

Garden Room 

Why is it so hard to leave your garden behind when you move? Is it that a garden connects to you on a deeper level? Is it something that you create with the earth that helps ground you in hard times and brings joy to you and so many others? 


Is it that it tells the story of who you are? As I wander through my garden I see my inner self, my view of movement in the way I have curved different areas of my garden.

Pink Hydrangea 

 My love of color in the well thought out color plan.

Flowers in my Garden

 My idea of nurturing in the way I have put plants that fruit all among-st my flowers.


 I can share my love through my garden by sharing its beauty, its flowers and its fruit. My garden can be layed in and played in.

Grapes on the Vine

 My garden has places for tea and rooms to hide.

Tea under a Tree

 It has some structure and lots of whimsy. 

Artistic Cupid 

It has some English, some French, and some Italian design that represents my love of travel. 

LaVera's Garden 

It’s organic so animals and birds can live in it freely. It has plants for butterflies and Bees. My garden has statues of cupids and a fountain for sound.

Stone Wall in my Garden

  My garden is made for my family and for my piece of mind in a crazy life.

Pink Flowers

 So when you walk through someone’s garden look a little deeper into it and learn more about the person who took the time to make thousands of tiny decisions in order to make a special place for those she or he loves to spend time.

LaVera's Garden 

Monday, September 1, 2014

What The Old Master's Can Teach Us: Painting Jewels and Fur, Embroidery and Metal.

How Lace and Fur are painted

When I'm in museums as a painter I look closely at how the masters have made their paintings come to life. This time I focused on the fabrics and trims. I have taken pictures of the details I looked at such as embroidery, jewelry, pearls and many different fabrics. I am sharing them here with you. I hope that they will inspire you as they have me.

How Pearls and White on White Fabric are painted.

How Pearls and Black Velvet are painted.

How Organza and Jewelry are painted.

How Satin and Jewelry are painted.

How Black Velvet and Gold Metal are Painted.

How Black Embroidery is Painted.

How Gold Embroidery, Pearls and Fur are Painted.

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