Vivez Bien * Live Well

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Good Getaway

I have been somewhat absent from cyberspace for a while. It often happens during the holidays - I have more time but get less done! Which is not a bad thing really. We did celebrate a wedding anniversary and the twins had a birthday. It's hard to believe my babies are now 15! And when you share your home with 4 teenage boys, you need and deserve a night off every now and then so my husband and I skipped town and went to Franschhoek to celebrate our anniversary - 22 years. Newly weds compared to my parents' 63 years! 

Our first stop was Babylonstoren for lunch. I absolutely love this place. The lunch was delicious and healthy which was just as well because we pigged out at dinner! More about that later....

Quite a few of our friends are at a similar life stage to us, nearing an empty nest and wondering, when their children leave home, if they will still find common ground with their spouses. One thing my husband and I will always have in common is wine, so wine tasting seemed to be a good way to spend the afternoon. The first stop was Rickety Bridge, then Dieu Donne where the views were beautiful and we met group of Belgian tourists and a very entertaining young Finnish doctor who was travelling around South Africa. I didn't take any pictures sadly - too busy tasting wine with our new friends! 

We then checked in at our guest house, Les Chambres which I can definitely recommend. This was our bedroom and bathroom...

The other bedrooms looked just as pretty...

Furnished in a way that is more homely than "hotelly"....

Breakfast was served out here next to the beautiful fountain. 

The dinner venue where we over-indulged was Bon Vivant. The food was really excellent and we had some more delicious wine. The name of the restaurant means "good living" and we felt compelled to live up to the name. 

The next morning we wandered around the market that takes place every Saturday, stopped for a coffee and, of course, no trip  to Franschhoek would be complete without a visit to Masquerade, my favourite shop. It could well become yours too, even if you don't go to Franschhoek because you can shop online!  You're welcome!.

So, all in all, a good getaway and some happy memories to get us through the winter.

Till next time

Sharon xx

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I've been framed!

The saying goes that "you are only as good as the company you keep". Well I must be pretty amazing based on the excellent company I keep! And, luckily for you, I'm going to introduce you to two of these talented friends.

The first is Sonette Wilson of FrameWorx. Sonette runs her framing business from her home based in in Cape Town's southern suburbs. She is one of those people who has the kind of effortless style that we all hanker after and her good taste extends to her framing skills. She will listen to what you think you would like, while at the same time making suggestions of her own that you will soon realise are far better than what you had in mind! She recently framed my protea painting in a simple white box frame and I couldn't be happier. 

It has brought the painting to life and given it a finished look that was previously lacking.

She has a range of frames, both plain and ornate, depending on your needs. 

Here a white frame and white mounting allow the painting to do all the talking.

She also does fabulous mirrors as in the example below....

.....and is often asked to frame memorabilia or special items for clients. Here she has framed a little statue of Ganesh, the Hindu God of Good Fortune. 

She recently framed a painting done by an artist friend of mine who I am also going to introduce to you. 
The process....

...and the beautiful end result!


So please contact Sonette for all your framing needs via her Facebook page

The painting above was done by my most talented friend, Trish Mitchell. I actually met Trish at art class and we clicked instantly. We love many of the same things and she is also a  Francophile, which instantly elevates her in my book! Trish has been painting for many years but has only recently decided to turn "professional". Long overdue IMHO! 

She has the most wonderful eye for colour and beauty and has a particular love for painting flowers....

...but can turn her hand to anything really, from people.... still lives... landscapes...

...and wildlife!

 Her artworks are real works of art! Trish has a website here and a blog here

So I have made it really easy for you, just contact Trish to aquire one of her beautiful oil paintings and then get in touch with Sonette for your framing and you are all sorted!

You're welcome!

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Pondering the Persian

After my last blog post where I declared my eldest son to be my favourite because he shed a few tears in the movie "Lion", my second born felt he would like to make a play for the position of favourite. "I have been moved to tears too by something I watched on TV," he declared. My heart started to beat a little faster - maybe I have raised another son who is in touch with his emotions after all. What, I wondered, had he seen to cause his eyes to well up? Well it seems that it was when some very well known soccer player missed a crucial goal during the Euro 2016 final. The player in question cried and so did my son! "These are the moments that matter, Mom," he said. Gotta love boys!

In this post, I thought a would debate the merits of Persian and Oriental rugs in today's decorating scene. I had coffee at a friend's home recently and she had a Persian rug in her dining room that she had decided she was going to sell and replace with something a bit more contemporary. Her dining room is beautifully and simply decorated in shades of grey and I thought the deep red Persian added a beautiful touch to her room, but I can also understand why she wanted a change. I think we associate Persian's with our parents or even grandparent's homes. I certainly grew up in a home full of them.  

But do they have a place in decorating today? I think it depends on how we use them. I waded through picture upon picture on Pinterest and other sites and saved the ones that I liked and then analysed them. It seems that the common thread was that the Persian's look best when the accompanying furnishings and decor are pared down. 

Make them a centre piece and keep furnishings around them minimal and neutral. Don't crowd or clutter them because then they become what they were in granny's house. 

Also don't limit them to entrance halls and living rooms. They can look beautiful in kitchens....



...and even bathrooms!

So don't discard your Persian just yet. Rather use it in a new, more current way and fall in love with it all over again.

And if you are interested in my friends's Persian, contact me and I'll pass it on. Here is a pic.

Till next time

Sharon x