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mardi 30 août 2011

The Life of Tropical Butterflies

Hello Lovelies!

 Tropical butterflies at the Detroit Zoo. via the "obsession with butterflies" site.

No TV At Home.

I don't have a TV at home, but I'm staying at a friend's right now and just saw a very interesting documentary on the life of tropical butterflies. And you know me, I'm crazy about butterflies!
This particular program was broadcasted by ARTE, the German-French TV. You can re-play this "X:enius" program here for a few days (in French and German).

photo found via Dominique's Browning's blog, Slow Love Life. No, wait! Dominique has indeed mentioned her love for caterpillars on her fantastic blog, but this particular image is via the blog.

The Appetite of the Caterpillar.

One thing that really struck me, watching this program, was the caterpillars' huge appetite, for fresh leaves and for life! Maybe thats why they're called caterpillars, with cater like in catering? I'll have to check in a dictionary. But what I witnessed was the caterpillars' - of any species - huge growth, literally within days, following that massive eating of leaves.

Image from the program X:enius on ARTE TV

But Not Just Any Leaves... 

Most butterfly species feed on a specific herb, leaf or plant. That's what makes them so fragile. Hunters and collectors of exotic butterflies don't seem as much as a big threat as deforestation is, or the disappearance of a given environment.
Caterpillars are hungry indeed, but most times they would rather die than eat another leaf than the one they're used to eat! So if a given forest, with the given plants and trees that grow there, disappear, the butterflies disappear with their environment. Just another reason to protect tropical forests and wildlife!

Butterflies in Your Garden.

So you'd like to preserve butterflies and have plenty of them in your surroundings? That's quite simple really. You can either grow specific butterfly-attracting plants like the famous buddleia. Or you could simply let nature do the hard work and leave a small part of you garden unweeded. Yes! Grow weeds! "Weeds", or whatever plants grow naturally in your soil, are the most likely to attract the butterflies that would naturally develop there. Just wonderful, and simple!

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

buddleia !

lundi 29 août 2011

Winks & Pins

Sorry Lovelies!

My lavender country - photo by Lipson (c) 2011.

I had the chance to leave for a long week-end in the nearby countryside (see photo) so grabbed my bags and that didn't leave me the time to say goodbye on Friday!

Now that Monday has come (and I wish you a very nice one) I thought it was timely to share some winks (or week-end links).

You know by now that Jane's blog is one of my faves in the blogosphere... I also appreciate Diana's, aka Miss Moss. I think she is right about Pinterest, it can be addictive and interesting to sort images you are interested in, (I also started to use it in order to track where the images I use on my blog come from, instead of just apologizing and saying "photo source unknown") BUT in the long run - or soon enough - you can also discover that a lot of pins are annoying and even offensive. I try to follow like-minded peole, and when a board of theirs does not interest me (say, if it's about their private life, their wedding, or comprises too many cute babies pictures), I just unfollow said boards. No hard feelings towards cute babies, but seeing too many of them is not my cup of tea. I'm also not getting married anytime soon, so the reminder can become an itch.

And now to a new blog I've just discovered, and like a lot. Sorry, it's about home improvement again (one of my hobbies) but it's drool-worthy. It's called "A Roof and Four Walls", and that's really an understatement about the lovely house that is being renovated and decorated by the writer of this blog. Very much to my taste.

Check out Inklore's blog, too. I love Samantha's works and prints, and she has a lovely blog with short, fun and informative posts. Writing briefly is not my forte, but maybe' I should work on it. Like the aim should be: more posts, but shorter ones. We all lead busy lives!

Happy reading, and talk to you soon,

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

jeudi 25 août 2011

Calming Blues

Hello Lovelies!

 hues of blue on ceramics - all photos in this post via the Field & Sea tumblr.

The heat wave is over for now but it is still very hot! When the weather is that fierce, I like to look at this lovely blog, Field & Sea, quite approriately nicknamed "a collection of loveliness" and look for calming, cooling hues of blue.

 a wonderful quilt - found via here the Field & Sea tumblr.

love this photograph of poppy seeds, their blueish-green color - found here via Field & Sea.

Have a great creative Thursday!

...and I'll see you soon,

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

mardi 23 août 2011

Heat Wave

Hello Lovelies!

The heat wave is in its 4th day now in the South of France (while the rest of the country is experiencing big summer storms) and I. can. barely. type.

It's just too hot!

I just can't write or blog right now, all I can think of is big naps in fresh linens... And lots of homemade lemonade, too!

I hope to be back blogging real soon,

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

note: all photos found around the web. sorry, source unknown.

dimanche 21 août 2011

Sunday Special: Real Life in Paris.

Hello Lovelies!

 Paris view at dusk - source unknown.

Wow! I came back home and was welcomed by quite a heat wave, which almost made me forget the soft grey skies of Paris...

Paris view, August 2011. Photo, my own.

My favorite time of year is this, the end of August and beginning of September, the whole "Back To School" excitement. It's no wonder that I am a stationery junkie, too, as "Back to School" is also the time of year to stock pile lots of new sheets of paper, fresh bottles of ink, etc...

a box of crayons and ginger candy, my faves! (photo, my own).

So in Paris I bought myself a brand new Filofax yearbook, a recycled leather wallett (great price for a great device for carrying money and important papers around). I also bought a box crayons (a gift for my young cousin T.), a small bottle of black China ink and no noteboks, since I own so many already! I gave my old wallet as gift for young cousin E.

"Kusmi Detox" tea with ginger root. Photo, my own.

In Paris, a lot of tea was bought and drunk, too, of course! If you know me, you know I'm an avid tea-drinker!

 Tea at my aunt S's. Photo, my own.

Tea & "somethin' else". photo, my own.

I listened to a lot of classic-era jazz, too, as seen above.

I ate food from all over the world there, esp. mezze from Lebanon, chirashi from Japan, gelati from Italy, Chinese food and Vietnamese hot spicy soup. Yum!

Amorino's ice-cream. Photo, my own.

I highly recommend the ice-cream of Amorino's, they have several shops in and about the Luxembourg gardens. Even the smallest cornetto is huge and the ice-cream is shaped like the petals of a rose, a real treat!

image: source unknown

Well... some people like cats, some others don't.

My Dad does not, so in I moved with my kitty to my young aunt S's apt in Belleville, the first Chinatown of Paris, (the second being in the 13e arrondissement).

S has a lovely apt, with sweeping Paris views, Chinatown exotic flair and the right balance between a calm building with a planted inner court and a roaming neighborhood full of restaurants and shops. I love all her antique finds in her home!

vintage tea tins, at S'. photo, my own.

vintage Art Deco seal lamp:

a pair of seals suport the lamp as a circus balloon. photo, my own.

Shortly before leaving for Paris, I fell in love with the art of Amos Lee and bought his latest album when I arrived in the French capital:

cover of first Amos Lee album, it's a stunning photo I think.

You can now read (below) my shopping trips and visits around the parc Monceau. It is a nice little stroll you can try next time you visit Paris.

A lion guarding the entrance to the Cernuschi Museum of Fine Asian Art. photo, my own.

You can start your "promenade" at:
métro monceau or villiers
go through parc monceau
visit the city of paris asian arts museum for free (it's also called musée Cernuschi). Enrico Cernuschi was a private collector and art amateur who first started this Asian Art collection.

entrance to the "musée Cernuschi". photo, my own.

stroll around the parc monceau and discover some ikebana art done the French way:

"ikebana" at Parc Monceau. photo, my own.

go to boulevard courcelles, buy a cake at hédiard luxury foods
continue on boulevard de Courcelles and buy flowers at the crossroadds between boulevard courcelles and ternes

stop at monoprix for great bagains (i bought my caudalie cosmetics there)

stop at the fnac for amos lee's latest album (extensive choice of books, dvds, cds, etc...)

take avenue niel stop at number 75 get inside and find the dimminutive original kusmi shop (reopnes in spetember 2011) or buy their teas at their other paris shop or online.

if you're in a tourist mode and don't mind the crowd, visit l'Etoile, arc de triomphe and the nearby champs-elysées...

Here's the loot of the day: Amos Lee's latest album, Caudalie cosmetics and lots of Kusmi tea!

Loot of the day. Photo, my own.

And now? Back to old favorites, books and tea, as depicted in this peaceful painting by Christopher Stott.

painting by Christopher Stott

More about Paris, the new ikea catalogue, back-to-school, organizing and fall essentials on my next post! Also to come: street art & poetry in Paris. And finally, a shopping guide, drawn directly from my experience.

See you Monday!

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

samedi 20 août 2011

Back Home Soon (from Paris)!

A small vignette at my home, with white Aalto vase included. photo, my own.

Hello Lovelies!

My vacation in Paris, France was just like any real life event, a bit sad, a bit exciting, with awesome moments and some not much so, some even annoying. Now I'm glad I came and bid my little sister goodbye - she is off to live in South America with husband and kids. Then I strolled about in a glorious weather in the Parisian streets, visited my fair share of museums, ate and drank food from Lebanon, China, Vietnam, Japan and so on! 

I love Paris for its cosmopolitan flair!

I've also been away from any computer device for up to 10 days, and I missed you lovelies, but not the internet or blogging per se. Thinking of it, I really want to use less the computer once at home, and live more fully and simply. Get in shape, too!

Tomorrow, you'll get the full report from my trip to Paris, together with lots of pics! I may have to divide that post in two or three parts, though, as I really did a lot of things around town and took a gazillion pics! ;-)

See you soon for a Sunday Special on Paris,

-Vic from TeaButterfly.

lundi 8 août 2011

A Small Guide To Paris.

hello Lovelies,

My Mariage Frères favorite spot in the Marais - wonderful tea!

I'm leaving for Paris this wednesday, and I'm thrilled to go to Merci for the first time! OK, so this time I'm leaving for 10 days (I'll be back on August the 20th) and I just won't miss my train, promise! ;-) Hopefully I will be back to blog about my own suitcase confessions!

Here is a selection of shops (all personal favorites) that I intend to (re-)visit. I may even purchase there a thing or two...

Muji (preferably the St-Sulpice one)

Merci of course

Fragonard 196, Boulevard St-Germain (perfumes, fragrant candles, ceramics, home wares)

Florame ( deluxe organic cosmetics) - near place de l'Odéon

Kusmi Tea - beautiful Art Nouveau tins and wonderful tea! small street near Boulevard St-Germain

Le petit Atelier de Paris - 31, rue de Montmorency

L'éclaireur 40, rue de Sévigné - this Sévigné street is a great place for shopping!

Another great spot for high-quality tea: Mariage Frères. I love their 30, rue du Bourg Tibourg spot.

Médecine douce for nice and affordable jewelry: 10 rue de Marseille.

And... if you like Asian-style ceramics and home ware on the very cheap (but good restaurant-like quality) go to Eurotra, 119, Boulevard Richard-Lenoir. They have a great choice for great prices! Their wares are usually made for restaurants, but they also sell to you and I. My secret Paris address! ;-)

 A reading corner in the Merci shop (cum coffee shop). photo by Jillian Leiboff, via the decor8 blog.

I also second the choices of this page - really great selection.

Finally, I recommend you read about "my fave walk in Paris" - I posted it on my previous blog, but it's still up-to-date!


-Vic from TeaButterfly

lundi 1 août 2011

August, You're a Funny Month that Way!

Hello Lovelies!

Untitled I - mixed media and acrylic on paper. 
From my new abstract compositions series. (c) Lipson 2011.

Happy Monday and Happy First Day of August!

Today I'll share with you some personal thoughts about this coming month and my feelings, both old and new, towards it. And of course, the reason why they changed over time...

I used to feel and think I utterly dislike August. A bit like January, it's a bland, non-special kind of month. I don't like summer much, as I suffer from the heat and it makes me lazy. The days in August usually feel endless and I long for some "Back To School" time, some action, like new lessons, be it in creative writing, singing or playing the cello!

But instead of submitting myself to my worst instincts this year, i'd like to avoid boredom and sleuth this time and actually start to enjoy August for what it has to offer: sensuality. Peaches are a delight to be enjoyed, the lovely Jane reminded me today.

I live far from the beach but there are plenty of small rivers and creeks to explore and water to dive in. And what about my town swimming pool? I should give it a try!

photo by anna emilia

August is also a great month for walking barefoot in the tall grass, wearing soft linen dresses and DIY jewelry, like the sweet Anna Emilia, catching fireflies and taking long naps before it's too late and we're too busy again.

August, the month of sensuality. Image via

We have great rainstorms around here, in the South of France, during August, and they're a marvel of Nature.

firelfly animated gif - found via google images.

Untitled II (detail) - mixed media and acrylic on paper. 
From my new abstract compositions series. (c) Lipson 2011.

On the creative front, i've been quite busy lately with new abstract compositions and I'd love to continue on that strand.

Keeping an art journal is fun and I found some great ideas over pinterest to fill in blank pages with dots, stripes and melting colors!

Thanks to the wonderful book, "Simple Abundance: a daybook of comfort and joy", by Sarah Ban Breathnach, I seek the simple affordable everyday pleasures in August, too. My mindset has shifted from the negative to the positive. September will be all the more beautiful for it, i'm pretty sure!

And you? Any month or period of time you dislike during the year? Let me hear about it!

-Vic from TeaButterfly.