Europe + Home + Interiors + Life + Provence + travel / Thursday, 18 Oct 2012

Our apartment in Apt, France

On Monday I talked about our arrival to Provence, Apt more specifically. The trip was just my mom and me and we had been talking about a trip to Provence for ages. You see, once upon a time Mom had a shop in Corona del Mar, CA called “En Provence” where she sold beautiful French country furniture (made by my uncle!) and gifts. But between you and me, she had never been! She’d get comments all the time, “yup, this feels just like it” and she would just smile and nod, “merci.” Most likely because of this, I grew up a French country disciple and devoured anything Provence-related like Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence. You can imagine, this was a bit of a dream come true for us.
Knowing that Mom was coming to visit us in Denmark we just knew we had to go south for a bit and make it a reality. Then the question arose, WHERE to stay? I asked you dear Lars readers for suggestion and you were SO helpful. Thank you! If you want to go there yourself, read some of their suggestions here. I was tipped off by a friend of mine that Katy Elliot, whose blog I’ve adored for many blog years had stayed in Provence and after seeing her post about her stay in Bonnieux I KNEW that that had to be us. The apartment is owned by an architect/designer couple in Maine who also have properties and an antiques shop in New England called Marston House and other properties in Southern France. We didn’t stay in the Bonnieux location, but their 2 bedroom apartment in Apt, the town right next door. The pictures of the apartment showed a really beautiful, simple interior in neutral colors with a mix of antiques and new pieces. They later told me that they completely renovated it themselves including the statement staircase done by local craftsmen (go local!). I loved their whole vibe and their love for the area so I was sold. 
Read more about our experience below.

Like I said, the apartment is a mix of antiques and new pieces including the linens, which included personalized monograms from previous owners. I loved these touches, like on the window curtains.
This is the bedroom that I stayed in, above, and I didn’t get a great photo of my mom’s room which was the bigger of the two.
The apartment overlooked this quaint courtyard, which we could have used, but ended up leaving early in the morning and returning after sundown each day, so we gawked from afar.
If you want to stay here, or at any of their rentals, I would HIGHLY recommend it. Their taste helps transform your experience. I wouldn’t say that Apt was my favorite town that we stayed in. There was a tinge of grittiness that I didn’t prefer, but when you’re in Provence you end up renting a car and seeing all the towns anyway so you may not spend so much time in your place. It was a great home base for us.
Marston House rentals website here. I’ll be posting more about the markets in the area and our day trips. Guys, this trip blew my mind and I can’t wait to show it to you.
All photos but two taken by me. The two are from the Marston House website
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denmark + DIY + Projects + Scandinavia + traditions / Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012

How to make colorful flag garland

When it comes to birthdays there are certain things that you definitely must do here in Denmark. You MUST go to the birthday aisle at the grocery store and pick up little all sorts of Danish flags like this (pic from Lisa Congdon’s trip to Denmark. She pointed out things to me that I completely forgot were novel!): Danish flag toothpicks, garlands, candles, etc. And if you can, you definitely hang a Danish flag outside. You can imagine that birthdays start looking the same after while so I was overjoyed when one of my favorite stores, Søstrene Grene, came out with a flag garland in various colors. Søstrene Grene is the type of store where you go in never knowing what they’ll have in stock so you’re lucky to find something awesome one day and then something not so awesome the next. Sadly, I haven’t seen the garlands since and I’ve been wanting to pick a bunch up so what do we do? WE DIY IT! We celebrated Paul’s birthday this weekend so I tried recreating the garland here today and show how to make it applicable to your own country’s flag.
Materials: felt, marker, glue gun, 3mm white ribbon, 2m twine, scissors for fabric, red embroidery floss, needle

Step 1: Cut out the shape you desire on a thicker piece of paper to use as a template. You can download the free PDF template here.
Step 2: Trace the shape onto the felt with the marker. A word about the felt: I used really nice wool felt which is a bit pricey. Acrylic would work well too it just doesn’t feel or look the same. I might suggest making this with friends since you only need one of each color and then splitting the cost.
Step 3: Cut the felt in all the colors you plan on using.

Step 4: Apply the glue to the felt and lay the ribbon on top.

Step 5: Do the same to the next line of the flag.

Step 6: Cut off the ends of the ribbon so they are in line with the felt.

Step 7: Repeat to the rest of the colors.

Step 8: Use only 2 strands of the embroidery floss and thread it into needle.
Step 9: Thread it from behind and into the twine.
Step 10: From the back, go around the twine so it creates a loop around the flag. 
Step 11: Secure with your thread.
Step 12: Repeat to all the flags making sure the flags are placed equidistantly on the twine.
You can do the same with your own country’s flag. I tried it out with the Union Jack and the US flags.
Happy flag day! 

all photography by Brittany Watson Jepsen

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Europe + Life + Provence + travel / Monday, 15 Oct 2012

Provence: Part 1

 
It’s been over a month since Mom and I popped over to Provence and looking over these photos I’m reminiscing over the beautifully warm weather, the dusty roads, and the pops of lavender. TAKE ME BACK! Once I earn my millions blogging (ahem) I plan on buying us a stone villa with robin’s egg blue shutters. We flew into Nice, rented a car and enjoyed the three hour drive through vineyards, pumpkin patches, and plum trees to our destination, Apt. Are you looking at these pumpkins? Beautiful Cinderellas. I was tempted to steal as many would fit into my suitcase (one before getting caught at customs?).
We arrived to our destination, a town called Apt. The apartment we were staying at is situated in a square, where the weekly Saturday market is located (but more on that later). We escalated the staircase, taking note of the courtyard behind the apartment building where laundry was drying. Yes, even the laundry looks picturesque. HOW?!
And this is the apartment. Look at that staircase! The couple who owns the apartment are an architect and designer and completely remodeled it themselves. I love the mix of modern and French country. I’ll be highlighting the apartment a bit more tomorrow so you can see some of the lovely details. 
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Style + This Guy / Friday, 12 Oct 2012

This guy: I

Besides my honeymoon, this is the longest, most inconsistant blogging in Lars history. And you know what? I don’t feel caught up at all! Ugh. For one who loves blogging as much as I do, it’s so hard not to publish every day, but I have been needing the time. Let’s just say, big changes might be on the horizon. Eeeek! All of this means that we need a new series on the blog, right? How about a This Guy? You like? We have This Girl, who clearly needs to be complimented with a guy so here you go.
This week: 
I interviewed Alison from The Alison Show for the Brooklyn Bride series, “What does it mean?” 
I did the flowers for a fancy schmancy event yesterday to help out Maria and I scored a thong in my goody bag. And not the flip flop kind.
Happy weekend!

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Design + flowers + Life / Monday, 8 Oct 2012

Flower overload

Guys. I thought I loved flowers. And then I made 132 of them and now I’m not so sure anymore. Mind you, that’s cutting, shaping, handpainting petals and leaves and stems and…everything! My deadline was last Monday, then Wednesday, then Friday, then Saturday, and then about 41 minutes ago, I finished. And you know what I want to do now? Get a whole new wardrobe. Wardrobe fairy…where are you?

These real dahlias, above, were a gift from Traveling Mama, and I just cannot get enough. They remind me that I really do love what I do. Thank you!

So now that that craziness is done (for now, 2 more installments of the same thing!), I can focus on some much needed blog time. I’m kicking it into gear by FINALLY focusing on a blog makeover for Lars. Hallelujah! But in all honesty, it’s me who could really use the makeover. Can we say highlights? Definitely not showing you a picture here (thought there’s a peek on Instagram).

HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!

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