Sunday, May 3, 2020

Springtime Exhibit at Le Musée Trouvé

Greetings to all Dear Friends of The Gossamer Tearoom!

I do so hope this finds you all well and safe and staying inside.  I know it is such a challenging time for so many of us.  And yet, many more of us, who have struggled with health issues feel somewhat oddly prepared for these weeks of staying put inside the house.  Even though that is my case, I'm still itching to get outside and get to work on my front porch garden!  Before I really get dug into that project (quite literally!), here's a little something that I hope will make your day cheerier.

Today, I'm showing you my newest exhibit at Le Musée Trouvé!  The exhibit is called "The Unconventional Conservatory and Blancmangerie" and it turns the museum into a conservatory, filled with some unusual plants, grown in some unconventional ways.

(As always, you may click on the images so you can see them larger.)

I am hoping the bright and fresh colors bring some cheer to your day!

Of course, the museum looks a bit different today, due to the fact that we are not able to accommodate our guests at the present time, but we dream of the day when the museum will be filled with visitors once again.  Until then, we are happy to host just YOU today!

It is such a bright and sunny day and it brings such nice light into the museum.

For this exhibit, I rubberstamped images, cut them out and made them into the plants and museum design elements you'll see today.  Here's a tiny botanical print I made from stamped images and hung over one of the doors.

Another botanical print, hanging over the other door.

I would like to mention that I know a lot of folks have not been able to find motivation to create things during this time.  This is perfectly OK and frankly, just staying safe is enough of a task for any of us.  But for me, working on projects helps to keep my anxiety levels down and so I have been focusing on these tiny items to be made each day and have found relief from having to think about other things for a while.  It doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for me.  I like using the hashtag #MiniaturizeYourFocus when posting on social media.  I sometimes think I get so deep in working with tiny things that I don't really have the inclination to think about bigger ones for a whie!

And now, we have arrived at La Chambre des Legumes (The Vegetable Room)!

Here are the rarely-seen varieties of Versailles Lettuce, Hallucination Tomato and Mademoiselle Aubergine Cabbage, all growing quite well here in the museum conservatory, along with one of the glass root vegetable urns.

Did you notice the curtains hanging in the museum today?  I made them our of tissue paper and the ornate tassel is another rubberstamped image!

It is quite unusual to get to see the roots of plants while they are growing, but these special, ornate containers allow us to do just that!

Of course, it is always good to grow flowers along with food plants, as they attract bees and other pollinators.

Shown in front, two of the Mrs. Thomasina Thumb Roses, in Violets-in-Dust color, along with the long planter of pansies in Dusk-to-Midnight variety.

Here's another of the Mrs. Thomasina Thumb Roses, in Raspberry Fool color.

There's still more to see, so please follow me to the next room.

This is La Chambre des Fruits!

Several luscious varieties of strawberries and cherries grow here!

The variety of this magnificent cherry is called Monsieur Le Nôtre, named for the French landscape architect and principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France, who designed the park of the Palace at Versailles, as well as collaborated on the design of the parks at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Chantilly, Fountainebleau, Saint Cloud, the Chateau at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Tuileries in Paris.

The largest of the strawberries grown here is named Madame Oiseau Rouge.  It seems to flourish in the teacup planter.

It only makes sense that the beehive is located along with so many fruits and flowers!  We love the bees for all the work they do, pollinating all of the plants. 

And now, if you will follow me, we will enter the most special of the rooms in the conservatory...

...The Blancmangerie!
Many people believe that most blancmanges are made in kitchens somewhere, but this is not always true.  These are blancmange plants and they come in a wide range of varieties.  

They are not always easy to grow and must be grown by very exacting and precise methods.  Here we have managed to show you several varieties of them, along with several rare species of the cake plant and a nearly unheard-of (and possibly, unseen) rose variety.

Here we see the Absinthe and Black Forest Blancmanges.

Again, it is important to make certain that flowers are available to entice the bees, although, these rare plants do give off their own particular sweet scents.

Here are the rare cake plants, and under glass, a very rare rose.

This rose is called "The Somnambulist" and at certain times of the day, it turns translucent.  It grows best in very protected conditions and so it thrives in this vintage glass display case.

Brambleberry and Strawberry-Pistachio Blancmanges

In an empty room of the museum, we find this angel because, of course, angels can be anywhere.

Stay safe and well, my friends.
Thank you so much for your visit to the museum today.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Christmas Eve at Le Musée Trouvé 2019...

Merry Christmas to you, My Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
Greetings to you and welcome to Christmas Eve, here at Le Musée Trouvé.  It makes us all so happy to see you here today!

My inspiration for this exhibit is a much-treasured book from my childhood that my mother bought for me one year called "A Child's Christmas Cookbook", by Betty Chancellor, published in conjunction with a 1964 exhibit at the Denver Art Museum called "Once Upon a Christmas".

(As always, feel free to click on pictures to enlarge them.)

In it, illustrations from the great American cartoonist/illustrator Thomas Nast are used to illustrate some very charming recipes and crafts that children can make.  I have always loved engravings from the Victorian time, but these are some of my very favorites.  These illustrations are now in the public domain and have become iconic Christmas images.  Tonight at Le Musée Trouvé, we celebrate them and make them a part of our own Christmas celebration this year.  Won't you join us?

As usual, there's quite a crowd of visitors already today!
And as usual, Professor Reine-Claude and his class are at the front
of the line, waiting to enter the exhibit!  

Now, if you will follow me, we will begin our tour!

Welcome to the Christmas Festivities, here at the Museum!

Won't you please follow me to the next room?

In these prints, you can see that Santa is very
busy in the days before Christmas.

Santa is on the look out for Good Children!

The young visitors are very interested in knowing
more about Santa's Record of Behavior.

Shall we risk being slightly naughty and listen in on a 
conversation between an excited little girl and Santa?

Little Girl: Dear Santa, Please tell me that you will be visiting 
our house!

Santa:  Yes, yes, I promise I'll be there!

(The children aren't the only ones who are excited
about Santa's visit, you know!)

From bugs to buffalo, everyone is waiting for Santa's arrival!

In the next print, we see some children, plotting Santa's
course on a map.  It's a good way to spend the time waiting.

In this room, we can see in the pictures how excited
everyone is for Santa's arrival!

"Perhaps he is in that big box that arrived this morning!
Hurry and open it, in case he is there!!"

"Maybe he's come down the chimney in the upstairs parlor
when we weren't looking!  Hurry!  Let's go look!"

"I've just been outside and he's not out there!"

Whew!  After that flurry of excitement, we've all decided
to wait a bit more patiently (but only just a bit!)

Finally, some are all snuggled, safe in their beds!

Finally asleep!

In the next room, if you look carefully...'ll see we've caught a secret kiss by Christmas tree light!

Oh look!
Santa has arrived!
Can you hear him on the rooftop?

The only ones awake when Santa arrives are the pets!

The museum guests have left for the day and all is peaceful.

Merry Christmas to All

...and to all a Good Night!

But the fun is not over yet!
Now, we finish getting ready for a special Christmas Eve
Teeny Tea here at the Museum!!

It's so nice to share a cup of tea and that's just what Eadwig and Lionie are doing!  We are enjoying our favorite malty Awake blend by Tazo tonight, a mix of Assam and Kenyan black tea, with just a splash of milk.

And to have with our tea, why, of course, it's a Tea Cookie, inspired by a recent Instagram post by my friend Christiane (who has the accounts Aliceinthewoodssomewhere and Dolliesinthewoodssomewhere there and is a faithful follower of my Teeny Teas!)  She was making some cookies with Earl Grey tea recently and I remembered I have a really nice recipe for cookies with tea in them too!  I was just about to add some Earl Grey to mine, and then I had another idea!  My favorite after-dinner treat on cold nights like this is a cup of Bigelow Caramel-Vanilla tea!  It's so fragrant and reminds me of the first time I drank Caramel tea, which was in a very sweet tearoom across from the Luxembourg Garden in Paris!  So, instead of the Earl Grey, I used the Caramel-Vanilla this time!  They not only taste amazing, but baking them made the whole house smell so good!  You can see I didn't scrimp on the tea in that cookie and the tea leaf bits add a bit of extra crunch!  Would anyone be interested in having this recipe?  Just let me know and I'll publish it!
So, thank you, Dear Christiane, for the wonderful inspiration!

And here are Giraffe and Lion enjoying a cookie together!

Miss Bumbles, the giraffe, is ready for her cup of tea!

Leopard doesn't mind getting his whiskers wet when the
tea is this good!

Panther, Buffalo and Leopard are happy to share their cookie
with Nubbins the Tiny Bug!

We've had a fun Christmas Eve,
but now it's time for us to go home, go to bed and
wait for the arrival of Santa!

We look back through the windows of the museum
and wish everyone a lovely Christmas Eve.

We say "Good Night and Merry Christmas" to Mr. Deer.
Should we worry about him, out here in the snow?
Oh no!  He likes it!

Also, he has his own warm cup of tea!

And to all a Good Night!

Thank you, as always, for joining us here.
Wishing everyone a Very Happy Holiday Season!

(As usual, I'll apologize in advance if you are not able to leave me a comment here on the blog.  I always welcome your comments on Instagram or Twitter and if you'd like me to publish them here, just let me know that there and I will be happy to do so!)