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Friday, March 28, 2014

My Favorite 5 ~ Lorrie

Today I would like to introduce to one of my dearest and longtime blogging friends, Lorrie. We share a love of France and its culture, lovely handcrafts, fantastic novels and beautiful gardens. Her primary blog is Fabric Paper Thread. She also has three other blogs. One of my favorites is her cooking blog, Pass To The Left.

Without further adieu, here is Lorrie. 

I fell in love in Grade 8. It was sudden and sweet and the love has grown over many years. It happened in French class. I loved learning the French language. I had wonderful teachers in high school (other than Grade 12) who inspired me to keep learning, not only French grammar and vocabulary, but French culture, too. There's much to take away from other cultures. Here are five ways to add a bit of French flair to your home and lifestyle.

1.  Lavender. Delicately scented lavender sachets and dryer bags can provide a whiff of southern France. Lavender grows well in my garden and I clip and dry it each summer. I like to mix it with dried rose petals and other herbs like mint and lemon balm to temper lavender, which can be a bit astringent at times. Stitch sachets from pretty scraps of fabrics and use them in your linen closet and dresser drawers. Add a ribbon loop and hang a sachet in your clothes closet.


2.  Set a pretty table. One hallmark of a French lifestyle is using things like table linens for a long time. Linen and cotton last a long time and don't stain as easily as polyester fibres. Stains are more easily removed. Linen can be expensive, but is hard-wearing. I have some linens given to me by my mother-in-law which ranges in age from 60 to 100 years old. I use them regularly. Linen needs to be ironed to look crisp, but if you don't have time, the rumpled look has its own charm. I look for damask linen (Irish or French) napkins and tablecloths at thrift stores. Use your crystal, china, stoneware, silver or stainless steel. Mix it up. Simple and elegant.


Keep reading for three more of Lorrie’s gorgeous favorites.

3.  Fresh herbs. If you, like me, live where rosemary and thyme grow year round, consider yourself blessed. If not, some herbs will grow indoors in pots. Learn which herbs enhance a dish by long cooking (rosemary, thyme and sage) and those which add that certain "je ne sais quoi" when snipped on top just before serving. I also enjoy having cut herbs in water on my windowsill. Mint is beginning to make an appearance here. I cut some to put into my water and tea.


4.  Make the useful beautiful. If you keep kitchen utensils in a container handy to the stove, put them into a painted Provençal jug, an old silver pitcher, or an earthenware piece whose lines and color please your eye. The plate wall above displays plates I use from time to time. I just pull them off the wall, wash them and serve from them. Open shelving, a pot rack, baskets to hold linens or glassware - the utilitarian can be lovely.


5.  Attend to the details. You might want to add some French words to your home. I'd advise finding out what they mean. I was in one home where someone had beautifully photographed a sign in Paris, then enlarged and framed it without knowing what it said. It said "Sewer Tours." Just saying. Iconic French symbols such as crowns, fleur-de-lis, sunflowers, bergère chairs, menu chalkboards and more can all contribute to the layered look in a home that welcomes people and reflects your style.


In the end, isn't that what home is all about? Making people feel at ease and loved. A place where you are comfortable, whether you love French, English, American, or Canadian decor. Let your home reflect you.

Thank you, Laura, for allowing me to be a guest contributor on your blog.

My hope is to someday meet Lorrie in person at her home on Vancouver Island, Canada and tour the famously lovely Butchart Gardens together. Lorrie shares images of this delightful place from time to time on Fabric Paper Thread.



Lorrie said...

Thank you for allowing me to contribute to your blog, Laura. It would be wonderful to wander through Butchart Gardens with you and share tea and thoughts afterwards.

Vee said...

Really enjoyed reading this! Lorrie, how are you keeping that beautiful plate display on the wall?

Bonnie said...


I love your favorites. I especially like your tip about making the useful beautiful. Your wall plate collection is so attractive and good to use them for serving too.

I love all things french and would love to feel confident speaking french phrases I know. How wonderful to have a great french background. My husband and I have been to France three times but it seems like a drop in a bucket. There are so many things I would like to know.

Herbs are fun and I grow rosemary, thyme, parsley and oregano and use them in cooking. The strange thing with me is I have a hard time growing mint and others in my area find it invasive. Go figure!

Wish I could grow lavender. It is hard to buy in south Alabama. The growers don't get much and it doesn't flourish as a perennial here because of our humidity and heat.

I want to check out your cooking blog! If it is anything like "Fabric Paper Thread" I will like it.

Thanks Laura for featuring, Lorrie.

Karena Albert said...

Laura I love all of her ideas, and she has inspired me to grow my own herbs this year!!

Artist William Glackens

Elizabethd said...

I think some of the oddest 'translations' have been from French to English. Some of the Bar owners thought they were doing the English a service by translating, or mis-translating! (Imagine eating 'brain of the cow')

Pamela Gordon said...

Lorrie, you did a beautiful job in this guest post. I love your plate wall and the fact that you also use them when needed. I enjoy visiting your blog and seeing all your creative ideas. Pamela

podso said...

Beautiful iob here, Lorrie!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Loads of great inspiration here Lorrie!
Whatever you do - you do it beautifully and with style - that special "je ne sais quoi"!
You know how I love all things french too and what it means to me.
Like Laura, I would love to accompany you on a visit through the renowned Butchart Gardens with you in Spring too!

Cheryl said...

How nice to see bits of Lorrie's charming home here at Decor to Adore! Great tips on adding a bit of French flair!

Susan said...

Thanks Laura and Lorrie for a lovely post. Enjoyed the beautiful photos, too. Susan

Cristal @ Dapple Design said...

Wonderful ideas. I'm looking forward to having some fresh herbs around.

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

This was a great post. I love all things French.

Denise said...

Hi Lorrie,

I enjoyed this guest post immensely. I've been following your blog, but I wasn't aware of your love for all things French. I took four years of French in high school and a semester in college. I loved it, but since I don't have the chance to speak it on a regular basis, I don't remember very much.

My in-laws have been to France numerous times, and my husband and I would love to go someday. I am blessed that my mother-in-law brought me some very nice linens from France and a beautiful antique leather book.

I love the way you've added French touches to your home -- thanks for sharing with us. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thank you Laura and Lorrie. :)

Denise at Forest Manor

DeniseinVA said...

What a great post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much! I had the opportunity of visiting Butchart Gardens several years ago. It is an awesome place and I hope to go back again one day.

Shelia said...

Hi Laura! I love this series and Lorrie has inspired me! I'd love to grown my own tiny herbs too. Thanks so much for popping in to see me and have a nice weekend.
Be a sweetie,

Dee Lapin said...

I enjoyed reading about adding French culture to your home.

Jacqueline said...

It took me until being an adult to fall in love with France, especially Paris, but I am so glad I got to. What beautiful loves you have. I love herbs too - I love that they grow like weeds but are so fabulous, even just to pinch off and to walk around the garden smelling them.
I have to laugh about the "Sewer tours" - how funny!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I loved reading Lorrie's favorites and of course she started with lavender...which won my over right away! Love this series of posts. I'm adding lots of favorites to my list, too! 'merci beaucoup'