the life of a bon vivant


good morning guys and happy friday, i hope your day is already off to a good start.  the time has come to start packing up so much of what i’ve taken for granted all these months. funny how you think you have all the time in the world to read books, shoot photos and live a life of leisure at least a little. oh to live the life of a bon vivant!


going through all the things for the sale tomorrow i’m in the middle of all the books that haven’t been read and the shots that haven’t been taken. in the dim morning light i’m doing my best to capture any little bit i can of the goodies around the house. modes and manners is one is a set of books (in english)! about the ways of the women of the past centuries. the books detail everything from the reverence they had for daily life from their stoves to their beds, the appreciation that was shown for the smallest convenience how ordinary washing or cleaning became a sacred (not necessarily religious) daily ritual.


this morning i opened a random page that discussed the various ways scarves were used. they said it was not just for warmth but was also meant to shape and drape the body. still so french! i wish i had the time to read it all!


another of my favorites that will be going is this little sketchbook i found in paris. it’s filled with an artist’s pencil sketches and watercolors of life on the streets in the 20s. his attention to detail with the flowing fabric and poses makes me wonder if all the romanticizing we do about the past really may have been reality.


even the simplest sketch of a woman waiting for a bus or train captured the era.


he was also drawing jewelry, maybe he was a designer or just a student of life…


i could go on an on about every little thing but it’s already getting late. before it comes off the wall i had to shoot my personal obsession which is the home of the original salon hostess, madame rambouillet. she was the first to rebel against social convention and create the salon  bleu where moliere and other poets and artists would gather around her bed to paint, put on plays and discuss literature.


for the first time women had a place they could go to become more than property and they began re-inventing  society in their image, creating one that rebeled against the filth and barbaric ways of the streets and provided a refuge where they could be be oh so proper and speak with grace and flair.


unfortunately they eventually became ridiculed by moliere and he wrote his famous ‘Precieuses Ridicules’ which is still a popular play today depicting the women as silly and trivial, saying that they took it too far and became a bit of a joke.

in any case it’s all flashing before me and i want to take it all in but it’s time i guess to send it all out into the world. i’m going to keep shooting between boxing and bagging and will share some more as i do. hope you have a great day and wonderful weekend. the party starts at 8am on OKL, hope you can come by!

March 8, 2013. France, Life, OKL.


  1. Peggy Braswell replied:

    I adored reading this post. I will drop by OKL on Sat. AM. Have a restful weekend, you deserve it!


  2. Jean-Marie Chapman replied:

    Love this post! I’ll be up bright and early! Hugs to you and I wish you a very successful sale! Jean-Marie


  3. Natalie replied:

    Wonderful post, enjoyed it very much. How hard it must be to let these treasures go.


    • Karen Albert replied:

      Claudia,I know your OKL sale will be great! I have been thinking of you,,,stop by for a minute if you can I have a message for my blog friends.

      Love and hugs,

      Art by Karena


  4. Claire from French Furniture replied:

    I love them all especially madame rambouillet. The story behind it as so much meaning. It would not have been easy being a woman then.


  5. Jean replied:

    Can’t wait for the sale. 8 am Pacific Time, 11 am Eastern Time. As Conor would say, “it’s going to be epic!”


  6. Shell Sherree Illustration replied:

    The sketchbook is beautiful ~ what a little treasure! All the best for the sale, Claudia. Happy weekend.


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    Thank you for making this type of blog.
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  8. vignettedesign replied:

    Why have I not discovered your blog yet? Your OKL sale is wonderful!
    So nice to find you! Come by and say hello! ~Delores


  9. Nikon replied:

    I love the sketches, you’re so lucky to have them!


  10. Lucinda Keller replied:

    It’s all amazing and beautiful! I really can’t get over the sketchbook though! What a treasure and such a feeling of immediacy with the past. Fantastic.


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