August 24, 2012
C'est Inspiré is simply that - what is inspiring. Where the words end, images continue to speak. Seeing all that is around us, we seek some aspect of something that is life enhancing... something that you would like to be reminded of - to revisit. Something to capture and bring into your world, not leave behind... . That is why I take a camera everywhere; have spent countless hours organizing images in scrapbooks and pouring over them later to revisit the place, the people, the memory.
So, C'est Inspiré may be a single photo - or it may be 50, it may mean one thing to me, another to you - the meaning isn't important. Did it inspire? Did it make you smile? Did it bring back a pleasant memory? One or all of the above will do.
During a brief period of his life, the legendary art historian Bernard Berenson kept diaries where he wrote about how to see - and what he saw. These diaries were published under the title The Passionate Sightseer and edited by Raymund Mortimer.
Anyone, anywhere, anytime can be a passionate sightseer - just look.
Lunch at my friend Eleanora’s was blessed with perfect sunshine and seabreezes. Our table on the porch afforded us ocean views and also glimpses into the garden. When we arrived at the table we found our names written on some of her cache from beachcombing excursions. So simple, so clever and witty…Very Eleanora!
Anyone can be just a beach walk away from finding readymade placecards.
Try it now, it couldn’t be easier.
August 16, 2012
Every fruit has its secret.
The fig is a very secretive fruit. As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic:
When Eve once knew in her mind that she was naked
She quickly sewed fig-leaves, and sewed the same for the man
She'd been naked all her days before..
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Poetry: “Figs” by D.H. Lawrence
Collages and Photos by Charlotte Moss
August 11, 2012
Symbols of hope, light and innocence, sunflowers have been a recurring theme in art since the Aztec era.
Van Gogh set up a studio in Provence and painted them over and over again, Gauguin could not resist their vibrancy, and David Hockney has also made his contribution towards the immortalization of this perennially perky blossom. So enamored of the flower was the poet John Piper that when he died a sunflower was carved on his tombstone.
But the sunflower is not just a pretty face, they are useful and practical as well. The seeds are used to produce sunflower oil, pet food and are shucked and shared on dugout benches all across America.
The seeds, used in cooking, salads, etc are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are a benevolent plant in the garden as they act as protection for lower plants shielding them from the wind and attracting pest controlling insects and birds. Grown in pots, a border or a large field, sunflowers will add drama to any garden.
Who can forget the sight of their first s
unflower field. All standing attention faces lifted to the sky. I have seen fields many places in the US and Europe but I cannot think of summer in Provence without thinking of the sunflower. A table set with a beautiful Provençal print, large linen napkins, sunflowers in buckets and the simplest of foods secured at the local early morning market. I can hear the cicadas in the background and the pouring of a chilled rosé right now.
Varieties Pictured Above: Prado Red, Valentine, Velvet Queen, Pastiche & Fashion Mix
July 27, 2012
Combine fragrance with food and you have a different experience. Sure, I am insistent that food looks good on the plate, but gentle wafts (the source and identity often indeterminable) are what grab you long before the food comes to the table. Sound enticing? Because it should be.
The good news about lemon verbena…
Whether in the garden or on the window sill, it can be grown easily. Lemon verbena is fast growing and if just watered with some good light, it will reward you with lots of leaves. I constantly clip and dry leaves in flat baskets. After they are completely dry, we store them in air-tight jars. I use jars from William Sonoma as they have them in different sizes and shapes and I love the uniformity in the pantry.
The gentle aroma of an infusion, its calming, refreshing, and relaxing effect; simply pinching a leaf to release its fragrance are just a couple of ways this delicate plant will reward you.
Recipes for lemon verbena — lavender facial mist, lemonade, and verbena but
ter can all be found in the book AROMA by Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson. I am sure I have mentioned this book before in previous posts. If you love herbs, grow herbs, or want to…I have found this book to be my constant reference.
It is inspiring, informative, invigorating, and reinforces the importance of allure when it comes to food.
Another great source for infusions – “Wise Concoctions: Natural Elixers and Tonics for Health and Energy” by Bonnie Trust Dahan
July 20, 2012