Friday, July 24, 2009

Mona Lisa Watches You

Dear Friends,
I had meant to save this wonderful image for my list of what inspires me for the Blog Party, but I cannot resist giving you this early peek, especially in light of the fact that I have discovered that Wallpaper magazine has given the Madame Joconde (Mona Lisa) Éclair the award for "Best Teatime Treat"! It comes to us from Fauchon, the Paris purveyor of luxury edibles. Fauchon was the first to export kiwi fruit and avocados into France and to bring out-of-season fruits like strawberries and cherries to market all year round. They are equally well-known in the world of gastronomy for their selection of sweet and savory éclairs! And this éclair is not just amazing to look at, it is filled with chocolate/almond cream and topped with chocolate and is on my list of "must-try treats" the next time we go to Paris!

Please read more about this lovely treat and the award it won here (and please be patient, as this site loads very slowly).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Happy Announcement and a Thank You

Dear Friends,
I am so happy today to announce something very special! I have been accepted to the Inspiration Avenue Etsy Team! Everyone there has been so nice and supportive and I am very happy to be part of the team! Sharon, of Mana Moon Studios, has written the nicest "Meet and Greet" for me, which she has posted on the "Inspiration Avenue" blog today! I am very honored to have been accepted!

(And please don't forget to participate in the Inspiration Avenue Blog Event on August 1st! The information and instructions can be found here. I am having so much fun planning my post for that day!)

I would also like to thank the person who suggested that I apply for membership and that is my dear friend LuLu from Coastal Sisters! LuLu and I met when she bought something from my Etsy site and we just started communicating and actually got to talk on the phone for the first time a few days ago! It was so much fun and she summed it all up by saying that she felt like we had just known each other all our lives! She is a very talented artist who does many things including making beautiful jewelry, very cool blog banners and very glittery faux cupcakes and teacakes! As you can imagine these of special interest at The Gossamer Tearoom! She has even made a very beautiful lavender-colored, glittery teacake for me! Please check out her website, blog and Etsy site so you can see all the gorgeous things she makes!

Thank you to my new Inspiration Avenue friends and thank you to my dear friend LuLu!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Will You Ever Decide?

I bring to you tonight, dear friends, a most appropriate distraction for a warm summer night! I find that when I order ice cream, I generally want several of the flavors they have to offer and even after I have taken my first bite, I am often second-guessing myself as to my selection! Do I really like what I have better than anything else there?? Well, if you share my indecision in relation to ice cream, what I bring you tonight will not help you! Dessert Magazine, that lovely online all-dessert publication has just released their new issue and it is devoted to ice cream (over 200 pages long)! If the pictures alone don't have you swooning, the recipes will! If you didn't sign up when I posted about it last time, please do so now! How can you resist having such fun coming straight to your inbox?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Word Salad

Dear Friends,
Tonight I bring to you my submission to The Three Muses for their weekly challenge. Each week, they provide fantastic art prompts. I have wanted to participate in their challenges for sometime now, but just somehow never found the time. I made the time this week. I couldn't pass this one by. Some years ago, I wrote a short, rather abstract poem called Salad Poem the Second. When I saw that the prompt this week was Word Salad, I couldn't resist dropping everything to create this collage to illustrate my poem.

salad poem the second

the essence of a thousand sacred summer swallows
haunted by images of love & yesterday
soaring & shining
azure scarlet purple
they light for a moment in a tiny garden
whisper the language of perfume
to a bed of edible floral petals & wild spring greens
imagining a salad

I had so much fun creating this collage and will definitely be participating in as many challenges from The Three Muses as I can in the future!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One of My Favorite Uses of Paper. . .

(All photos in this post used with very most kind permission of the publisher, The Little Bookroom)

When I say that I love paper, I do mean paper in many forms! One of very favorite uses of paper is in books! I have been a bibliophile (or book-lover) for all my life! I can blame my Mommy for that! She claims to have read to me from the time she brought me home from the hospital and she placed books in my hands as soon as I could hold them! My first job when I was 17 was in a Mom-and-Pop sort of bookstore (sadly, now long gone) called Lange's Book Store in Casper, Wyoming. My mother had taken me there shopping very often as a child and I grew up telling everyone that I was going to work there when I was old enough!

So, it seems only appropriate that I should share with you some of what I am reading!

I have just finished this little treasure:

"Paris Made By Hand" by Pia Jane Bijkerk is a guidebook loaded with beautiful pictures of shops in Paris where things are made by hand. The shops are listed by the areas of Paris where they are located and the sections are called "wanders" because this is not just a listing of shops, but small tours of parts of the city. The author has also given some very helpful notes in many chapters as to where you might eat or other places you might visit while there. I was very taken by some of the small details about the shops the author mentions. This book would be a great choice to read before a trip to Paris or to take with you in your travel bag for reference while travelling the city. Of course, I love the idea of people making things by hand because it just feeds my fantasy of having a tiny, ancient atelier tucked in some dark, secret passage of Paris where I could make things for The Gossamer Tearoom all day long!

But while we are on the topic of Paris again (and when are we not?), this is another book by the same publisher that I love!:

"Patisseries of Paris" by Jamie Cahill is also a guidebook (and a very extensive one at that) of many of the best patisseries in Paris. Being another great book by The Little Bookroom it is full of beautiful photographs, scrumptious descriptions as well as helpful information such as addresses, closest Metro stops and hours of operation. I loved this book so much, I could barely read it quicky enough! Reading it made me fall in love all over again with my favorite places in Paris, but also started my mental list going of which places will be on our "Don't Miss" list for our next visit. It is an irony that I say I couldn't read it fast enough, because that is hardly the most efficient way of savoring every word. I had already owned a copy for several months when a very dear friend bought me another copy and I read it all over again! Both copies sit on my bookshelf now!

As I have mentioned above, both of these little treasures are published by an excellent publisher called "The Little Bookroom". They are located in New York City and specialize in guidebooks that are very small format, but just packed with wonderful pictures and ideas of amazing places to visit from all over the world. When I wrote to ask permission to use the cover images, Linda Hollick was so very gracious and prompt with her permission (and kind words about The Gossamer Tearoom too!), that it makes writing this post even more of a pleasure!

While you are there, please also look at these books. I also own them and can tell you they are very fun to read while sitting in a lovely park on a summer day while sipping your favorite iced tea!:
-Boutique and Chic Hotels in Paris by Lionel Palliés
-The Impressionists’ Paris and Picasso's Paris, both by Ellen Williams
-Quiet Corners of Paris by Jean-Christophe Napias

One more thing for your reading pleasure...
The very nice Merisi from Merisi's Vienna for Beginners has written this lovely post about cherries! Make yourself happy, dear friends and click here to read it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Fun Blog Party!

YAY! If there is one thing I really love, it's a blog party!! And what makes this one extra fun is that I received the information about it from my very dear friend LuLu from Coastal Sisters! It is being hosted by a very cool Etsy group she belongs to called "Inspiration Avenue"! I am very excited about this! Here are the details:

♥Theme: "5 Degrees of Inspiration"

♥Date: August 1st, 2009

♥What to Do:
*Sign up for the blog party by leaving a comment on this posting - your blog and link will be added to our growing list on the sidebar of our blog. (be sure to include a link and the name of your blog in your comment)
*Grab our party images and details, then write about it on your own blog. Be sure to post the smaller badge on your sidebar linking back to this posting. (sidebar badge and link are posted below...)
*Join us on the date of the party by writing your own blog posting about the 5 things that inspire you the most. Feel free to post photos too - we love eye candy!
*Visit the other participating blogs from the list on our sidebar and enjoy! It'll be such fun discovering what inspires each of us!

. . .And there will be wonderful prizes too! For more information, please visit the Inspiration Avenue website!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monsieur Hermé Asks Us To Dance

Today, Dear Friends, I present for your consideration another challenge for your palate. . .

How many of you love sweet and salty flavors together? I love them! There are so many perfect examples of this divine combination, ranging from treats we might have eaten as children to more sophisticated combinations: chocolate-covered pretzels, kettle corn, salted butter caramel, chocolate-covered bacon and crostini covered in brie and fig jam. Heaven!

In his newest challenge to us, Monsieur Hermé asks us to be willing to try this combination again in a new way. The newest dessert to come from The House of Hermé is called "Tango", incorporates a sesame seed crust, a cream made with Reggiano Parmesan raspberry compote and red peppers, fresh raspberries and shards of salty/sweet tuile. He describes it iike this:

"Parmesan seasoned cream balances the tart raspberry and slightly bitter edge of the red pepper. The sesame pastry base brings an extra crispy start. In contrast, the salty-sweet tuile finishes the whole. The sensual rhythm of the Tango perfectly evokes this composition of ever-changing flavors that offer an equal sampling of tastes both fragile and contrasting."

And please check back later today or tomorrow for more News from The Gossamer Tearoom . . .