Sunday, July 10, 2011

5 Fab Finds: From Europe to Maple Ridge, Avec Amour

Shopping in the Latin Quarter
Hubby and I returned from our trip to Europe a couple of weeks ago ( I know, unbelievably lucky to have the lives we have!) and I am eager to share some of my insights, travelogues and meanderings. Of course, I took over a thousand pictures. (I just love digital, don't you?) So its taking me awhile to sort them out and find themes...stay tuned.

But. One of the things I love about Europe is the boost it gives to the creative/artistic side of me. It is like one giant Artist's Date (for those of you familiar with the work of Julia Cameron: The Artists Way - highly recommended btw). I come back inspired in all kinds of ways.

I am just crazy for all the design elements I see - from buildings, to doors, to dishes, to chairs, to signage. Not to mention fashion. Oh, I mentioned it. In that case...

On this trip we visited both London and Paris (poor us!) and here are a few of my fab finds, or just fashion-stuff I noticed.

Jean Jackets - ubiquitous, and I mean everywhere:)
And worn with everything. I bought two.
Find #1. We spent a really spectacular day shopping on the London high streets - Oxford Street and Picadilly Circus - in a typical London rain. I bought Jean Jacket #1 at Selfridges and the absolute last m-sized jean jacket left in London at The Gap in Picadilly - thanks to the most helpful store manager on the planet. Why two? One cropped, one not. Of course. Didn't I already have one? Of course. Who doesn't here in NA? But these are from London. And that is something I noticed - there is a real trend toward American-styling in clothes and food, a shift in the five years since I was last in Europe.

Find #2.  With spring and summer come flowers, and in Paris I saw them everywhere. Floral printed dresses, blouses and jammies...women with flowers pinned in their hair, decorating shoes, pendants, rings, handbags and belts. Floral prints were also featured on the Liberty fabric floor in London. I love these cloth pin-on flowers, like the taupe one on my jean jacket. I bought two in the Latin Quarter (namedropper!). I might give one away. Be nice to me.

Find #3. I'm also a bit crazy for toile fabric. In Lindau, an amazing harbour town on Lake Konstanz, I visited Marie Lind fabrics (omg). Did I mention we also toured the Bodensee? Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I bought the little black and white pillow-cover in the picture readymade. I'm already unnaturally attached to it. (The gingham one in the background is from fabric I bought in the south of France five years ago - I know - poor me!)

One of my favourite new scarves alongside of one of my favourite old cardis
Find #4. Scarves! I'm an addict. And when I travel, I like to pick up one or two as a kind of combo indulgence-souvenir. The one pictured above came from a little boutique in the Latin Quarter (ahem) called Anoki. Hubby bought me a necklace there five years ago, that I still get compliments on. I'd say a scarf is the one accessory no wardrobe can do without. And if one is good....

Look at these beauties.
L-R Montmartre, Lindau, Montmartre, London
Find #5. This fab find came from Maple Ridge and was inspired by a trend that both hubby and I noted on our recent trip. Speaking of the American influence on style...cowboy boots. Or to be more precise 'cowboyish boots'. Western-style boots were worn in all kinds of combinations, by women and girls of all ages. Boots in general I noticed are worn pretty much year round - less weather-dependent and more outfit-dependent I'd say. After our high street escapades to find me the perfect jean jacket(s), I assured hubby that weren't going to hunt down boots to bring home. But, as luck would have it, last week I dropped into my local Value Village and found these - and on sale for half-price. Ah, life.

Boots, beautiful boots...a truly fab find!
$13 at the Maple Ridge Value Village
Nattily dressed, I'll keep sorting through my pics to share in future blogs and Facebook posts. Meanwhile, we're dreaming up our next trip. Italy, anyone?

Au Revoir.


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