la Brocanteuse

Feb 29, 2012


Thank you Sherry!

I feel honored to be featured on No Minimalist here
Open house Party
How small the world can become when we live in "blogland"
I feel excited to receive regular and new visitors here 
Welcome to my blog and

 Col x

update: Welcome to all the new followers and readers as result to Sherry's post.  I appreciate all the comments even on older posts going back as far as 2010. I will visit your blogs as I work through it all .
I will reply to emails
 and questions asked.


Feb 25, 2012

David's house in France

A few years ago, a friend sent me some scanned images of an article she found on David Hare's home in the Loire-Valley, France.

She said it somehow reminded her of me and my decorating is a huge compliment.  Of course that is how she "sees" it and I could only aspire to have a touch of his style living such a France

I rediscovered the images and you probably have seen them since they have been published in several magazines and part of it in decorating books..
Here they are, perhaps there is someone who has seen more of his work. It would be nice to know.

David outside his Loire Valley home

back to reality..
 some images  of vignettes in our Stellenbosh home..
sans the beautiful stone walls of David's Loire home
perhaps the colors do have something in common?.. 

Col X

ps. so David's house in France turned out to be more about mine.
  the reason for  finding and sharing all these random images that never made it to my blog before...
Sherry of  No Minimalist Here is featuring my home on her Open House party soon
I did some searching ,and it felt
like  sorting through and clearing out a cupboard 
very freeing and will force me
 to work on new images..

Feb 19, 2012

White images and tjieeeeee.....

 Sunday Morning, 7.30 am
and already the  cicadas are buzzing away, a definite sign of a very hot day in the making...

  Because I have a need for quiet white this morning

my white vases will come out  and I shall fill them with what I can find around the garden.
 I like to group them together, filled with white flowers and  green foliage in different textures  around the house..

 I started this post as one on white hues since it is so hot and I have a need for white around me...but the tjieeeeee is so loud , I had to found out...

So did you know:   and this is amazing..!

* Tjieeeeeee....
There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many of them remain unclassified.Cicadas are probably best known for their buzzing and clicking noises, which can be amplified by multitudes of insects into an overpowering hum.

* Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are among the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. 

* it can take up to 17 years for them to emerge!!
Cicadas live sans wings underground up to 17 years !! deep underground... under a tree where they live  off the sap from the roots at the bottom ...
 the time underground varies from 2 to 5 up to 17 years, depending on  species and area found. 

 When young cicada nymphs hatch from their eggs, they dig themselves into the ground to suck the liquids of plant roots

...and then suddenly,after years underground,when they are ready to become adults,  these nymphs tunnel to the surface and crawl up on the side of the nearest object.  
The skin splits down the middle of their back and they emerge to inflate and dry their wings.  This is done at night.
this is when they start to "sing"! 

* and again...tjieeeeeeeeee...
 How loud are cicadas?  Some have been measured at 100 decibels at 20 yards away, which is loud enough to be heard over a lawnmower!
* Only the males "sing"..(mostly)
Males produce this species-specific noise with vibrating membranes on their abdomens. The sounds vary widely and some species are more musical than others. Though cicada noises may sound alike to humans, the insects use different calls to express alarm or attract mates.
 * Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts  although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leaf hoppers and spittle bugs. 

In Latin, cicada means “buzzer” and they buzz by vibrating membranes on their abdomens, which are mostly hollow and work as amplifiers. They modulate the buzz by angling it off the tree they’re perched on. Each species has its own song.

*  Cicadas are benign to humans under normal circumstances and do not bite or sting in a true sense, but may mistake a person's arm or other part of their body for a tree or plant limb and attempt to feed.

I find it sad in a way that by the time they begin to "sing" is the end of their lifespan 
This insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times. Several cultures, such as the ancient Chinese, regarded these insects as powerful symbols of rebirth.

 The Provence cicada has also become a symbol of vacation and happiness
 It is considered a symbol of good luck in France when, if one wants to respect the tradition,
 it is hung slanted outside,  by the main entrance door of the house.

The most sought after being those made by the famous Vallauris pottery company and is hand painted. The Vallauris company became famous through Piccaso because that is where he made all his pottery.

Provence "ceramic cicada" was created in 1895 by a French sculptor/potter who was commissioned by a firm to create its company gift.
The idea came to him  after being inspired by poems by H. Fabre that  mentioned the Provence Cicada.
 He came up with a Cicada paper weight resting an olive tree branch.
 In 1900, he created the Wall Pocket shaped as a Cicada  which became thereafter a very popular subject.


I am in my garden today, perhaps I will be lucky enough to see a nymph that has emerged...
there sure is allot of calling for mates today..
isn't life wonderful!! 


ready for some green in white
 ps. Here in South Africa, in Afrikaans, the cycadas are known as "sonbesies"
when translated directly: "sun beetles" 

by what name do you know them?
I would love to know. 

Feb 14, 2012

Folk wisdom on Love

" A life without love is like a year without summer"


"Cultivate a heart that has no anger"
~ Cambodian~

"Since love departs at dawn, 
create,O God 
a night that has no morn"
 ~ Hindi~ 

 "Man, woman, and love originated fire"
 ~ Spanish~

"Tell me whom you love, and I'll tell you who you are"
 ~ African-American ~

"The one who loves you will make you weep"
 ~ Argentine~

"For news of the heart ask the face"
~ Guinean~ 

"Love is like fog -
 there is no mountain on which it does not rest"
~ Hawaiian~

"Love never dies of starvation,
 but often of indigestion"
~ French~

 The History and Meaning of Saint Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine was a Roman who was killed for his faith on February 14, 269 A.D. He had refused to worship pagan gods, and some stories say he was a priest who would marry young couples in secret who loved each other but who did not have parental permission. In 496, his 'saint day' was established. He is associated with love because he fell in love with the daughter of his jailer, and would pass notes to her. His final note, before he was executed, read 'from your Valentine'.

In Italy, with its romantic and religious roots, St Valentine's Day became the traditional day to be engaged. Young Romans would spend this day gathered together in gardens to listen to romantic poetry and music.

As with many holidays, the celebration of St. Valentine's Day became a mixture of the new Christian rites as well as the older pagan rites of that same time of year. St. Valentine's Day happened to fall on the Roman festival of Lupercalia. This festival was held each February to protect the villages from wolves, who would at this point be starving and cold and begin to make their village raids.

During the festival of Lupercalia, young men would playfully whip women with stripes of animal hide, chasing
them around town. It was felt that this festival made the women who were 'whipped' more fertile. The young men would sometimes draw the names of girls from a jar, to choose their partner for the day for any singing and dancing. 

I would love to celebrate St. Valentine
 the Italian way..
Colette X 

all images by la Brocanteuse