france


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October has generally been quite a good month so far, yes we have had a few blustery wet days but there have been lots of lovely autumnal days and it has been very mild. On Saturday we were out and about without coats in a very pleasant 18 degrees!

I have managed lots of garden time, tidying up summer bedding and planting bulbs for next spring, one afternoon last week I planted 65 bulbs mostly tulips and some crocuses too, my shoulders and back weren’t that pleased with me the next day though!!!

I also have planted up my pots and window boxes with lovely little pansies and violas, heathers and cyclamen to see me through the dark days until springtime.

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Inside I’ve been making sweets from the lovely book ‘Sweets Made Simple’ by the wonderful Hope & Greenwood, I’m sure many of you in the UK watched their fabulous TV series.

Last week I made some Cinder Toffee and the previous week I made Coconut Ice which unfortunately didn’t get photographed before it was all eaten. There is so much more in the book I want to try.

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I’ve also been autumn bunny making, I’ve not quite finished them all yet but I hope to have an autumn bunny parade to share with you all some time next week.

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I would like to thank all of you who left comments on my two French posts, I’m so glad you all enjoyed having a look around those two marvelous homes with me.

As a little thank you to all my very loyal blog friends I decided to have a secret giveaway.

I brought back some lovely Provençal lavender from the Marche de Fleurs in Nice along with some lavender soap with a giveaway in mind, I’ve also added a little spool of lavender spotty ribbon which although not from France looks lovely along with the other two items.

So if you left a comment on either French post you were entered into the draw and if you left a comment on both posts (thank you) you had two entries.

So with every entry being allocated a number and the random number generator used the winner of my secret giveaway was Simone!! I’ll get it posted off to you soon Simone.

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Thank you to all of you who take the time to pop by here and leave a comment, I really do appreciate it!

I just wish I had a bag of lavender for you all!

Wishing you all a wonderful new week. :)

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The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild was without a doubt the highlight of our recent trip to the south of France.

The villa was designed and built between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934) who was a member of the Rothschild banking family, Béatrice was married to the banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi.

The Baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, and an extensive collection of rare porcelain.

I’ll take you for a little tour of inside the villa first!

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rothchilds ceilings Collage

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The villa is situated on the Cap Ferrat peninsula with outstanding views of the Mediterranean on either side but the most amazing thing about it are the gardens. The grounds are divided up into various gardens each one beautiful.

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Spanish Garden

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Florentine Garden

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Stone Garden

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Japanese Garden

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Exotic Garden

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Rose Garden

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French Garden

My favourite garden was the French Garden, it was beautifully laid out with it’s musical fountains, I could have sat there forever!

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Such a wonderful place, how amazing would it have been to have lived there!!

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One of the places we visited on our recent trip to the south of France was the Renoir Museum.

The musuem is housed in the Renoir family home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, there is a reconstruction of Renoir’s studio where the painter spent the last years of his life and it holds many personal possessions, paintings and sculptures.

The house is a neo-Provençal building designed by the architect Jules Febvre in 1907 and is set in an olive grove and where the painter lived until his death in 1919. In 1960, the house became a municipal museum featuring the family’s furniture and fourteen original paintings and thirty sculptures by Renoir. The grounds contain beautiful old olive trees, orange and lemon trees and a rose garden and there is a wonderful view of the Haut-de-Cagnes, a very pretty French hilltop village.

I’m now just going to let the photos do the talking!

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Paims Musee Renoir Collage

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art Collage

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renoir paintings Collage

These were my two favourite paintings, I loved the apples, the light in the room in which this painting was hanging was amazing and the colours just stood out, I would really love to have this hanging on one of my walls!

The other painting looking out towards the Haut-de-Cagnes is a very beautiful painting too, I love the fact that I actually stood in the exact spot that Renoir stood to paint it. The two old olive trees are still there, they must be very old as the painting was painted 100 years ago and they were quite mature trees then.

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As I’m never going to own either of these masterpieces I treated myself to postcards of them.

It was a wonderful day out, the house was amazing, what a fantastic place to live surrounded by an olive grove with that brilliant Riviera light!

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The beautiful Côte d’Azur, the blue coast, it’s not hard to see how it gets it’s name, is it!

We had a wonderful time and with the exception of one thunderstorm which is only to be expected in the heat we had wall to wall sunshine, I do miss feeling that sun on my skin!

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Cannes 2014 Collage

Beautiful Cannes during the film festival!

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Nice 2014 Collage

Wonderful Nice!

Buns  Collage

Too many of these!!!

Antibes 2014 Collage

Antibes.

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Palm Trees Collage

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Boats Collage

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Cherry Collage

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Monaco Collage

Monaco, the day after the Grand Prix!

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So another brilliant holiday in the south of France, all over way too fast, I do so love this part of the world!

2013 review Collage

Well here we are at the end of another year…that was quick, wasn’t it!!

According to WordPress I uploaded 657 photos this year, so picking one per month was difficult but I tried to choose one that represented that month for me!

We had a busy year on the home front with our daughter getting married in July, so wedding preparations coupled with all the renovating and decorating we did around the house made for a hectic first six months. The wedding was of course the highlight of the year and what a wonderful day it was, the sun shone, in fact that was the beginning of the fantastic spell of weather we had this summer. Lyndsey was a beautiful bride and everyone had an amazing time, its hard to believe that it was six months ago now. She is very happy in her new home with her new husband and lives only four miles from me, so I see her all the time! My son on the other hand moved quite a bit further away at the beginning of August when he decided to go to work in Berlin. He has been home three times since then so although it’s not wonderful it’s not too bad, he just went back a couple of days ago after his Christmas break and hopes to be home again in January.

The second half of the year was at a much slower pace and in October we managed another trip to the south of France, our second visit this year as we were there as usual in May. It was lovely to get back again and it stretched summer by another week for us, you know how I like to cling on to summer.

2013 was the year that I eventually got my own craft room and I have to say I love my little space, it’s great having everything I need to hand and especially having my sewing machine ready for use at all times.

Throughout the year I enjoyed my garden time and I can’t wait to get back out there again, I’m already planning what I’m going to grow! I’m sure too that I’ll have the company of my many cat assistants as I did in 2013.

I have also loved sharing my outings and day trips and visits to ‘my park’ with you and hope to do all that again in 2014.

One thing I have noticed that is missing from my photos is the amount of cooking and baking I do, there is lots of it but for some reason I never get around to sharing it maybe I’ll try and share more of it in 2014. One of my missions in life is to convert everyone to vegetarianism, I’ll never do that if I don’t convince you all how good life is without meat!!!

2013 bunny review Collage

I’m sure you must have noticed one thing missing from my 2103 collage….my bunnies, well I decided they needed a collage all of their own. Again it was difficult to pick just one per month as I made fifty-four of them this year, all of them happily living in new homes across the world. Thank you for all your encouragement, my stats certainly go up when I do a bunny post, I really can’t believe the amount of interest in them, I had to stop my waiting list as it was getting out of hand and start using my Etsy shop to sell them. My last group of ‘girls’ sold in two minutes, I am so very grateful for your support. I really enjoy making them, dressing them and naming them and the fact that others enjoy it too makes me very happy, so thank you! I am at the moment making my Valentine girls who hopefully should be in my shop at the end of next month….there are hearts everywhere! So lots more bunnies in 2014!

Finally I would like to thank all you lovely people who have visited my blog this year and have left so many wonderful comments, you make Green Rabbit Designs for me. I have made so many really good friends through blogging, who I would love to meet in ‘real’ life…..maybe one day.
Thank you for being here throughout 2013 and I hope you will return in 2014.

All that remains is for me to wish you all good health and happy times in 2014.

Enjoy what’s left of the month, the year and winter, I’ll be back soon with pre-spring…happy days!!!

Happy New Year! :)

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I’ve finally come to accept autumn and have at last let summer go, I think the week away in France was just what I needed, it was an extra week of summer that I was very lucky to get and now I feel more settled.

This week I have been sorting out my garden and have bought myself some cyclamens to replace the fading summer bedding.

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When we came back this is what the top of our garden looked like, it seemed like our sycamore tree decided to do its leave shedding all in one go!!

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There are a few summer blooms hanging on, I found this little zinnia when we returned and the sunflowers, even when on their way out, still look good.

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I have been decorating my craft room with some autumn decorations, some of which I brought back from France.

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The little bunch of acorns were picked up on a walk in France, the chestnuts however are good old Northern Irish ones.

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The little hedgehog was knit from Julie’s pattern.

Autumn candle Collage

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When I was away I bought some lovely new bunny skirt fabric too and these pretty little jars for storing buttons and beads were only one euro each!

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While shopping for my autumn decorations I thought I would bring a couple of extra ones for a little giveaway for my bloggy friends. I have been extremely lucky in giveaways myself recently (more about that in another post) so I thought it was time to have one myself. How do you enter the giveaway?? Well if you left a comment on my previous post you already have as its one of my secret giveaways. Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and warm welcome back. I used the random number generator and the number it picked was……………………….

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Comment number four, who was Jill.
The little hanging leaf and owl tealight holder will be on their way to you soon Jill.

Autumn Bunnying Collage

I’ve been bunny making this week as well and I hope to have a few autumn inspired bunnies ready very soon!

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I rescued this bunch of cosmos from the garden this afternoon as the weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t too wonderful!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, fingers crossed for a dry one and thanks as always for dropping by! :)

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We really only decided just a few weeks back that we would return to the south of France for a little autumn break. We always go somewhere, usually at the end of August, beginning of September when we have both our birthdays and our wedding anniversary but this year we thought we would leave it a little later and go back to the Riviera. As we have never been at this time of year before we weren’t quite sure what to expect weatherwise but we needn’t have worried, it was beautiful!

I love everything about this place…..the sunshine…..the scenery…..the beaches…..the flora and fauna…..the people…..the produce…..the villages, towns and cities…..the palm trees…..and the peeling duck egg blue painted shutters!

This is a very picture heavy post so be warned but I hope you enjoy a little of what we enjoyed last week!

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France Flora Collage

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French Produce Collage

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Negresco Collage

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Boat Collage

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French Window Collage

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à bientôt Riviera !

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