Yay, it’s time for us to find out more about someone I adore. She used to teach French, and I so wish I could visit her often, and learn a few more French words each day. In between, we could enjoy croissants and French movies, and listen to French music. *sigh* Oh well, you probably know by now that my guest on the back porch today is Debbie from Confessions of a Plate Addict. (That’s another connection of ours, since I have a serious, crazy, out-of-control collection of dishes myself.) Here she is…
Hi! I am Debbie at Confessions of a Plate Addict and I am so excited to be here on the back porch with Anita! I feel a special connection with her because of our mutual love for country French decor so it is a real pleasure for me!
I hope you will also stop by and visit me on my blog where I share my ideas for decorating French-style on a budget with lots of fun and easy projects to try…all the while aided by my furry feline staff of four. I also take you along with me in my travels to some of my favorite places from Paris and Provence to New Orleans. Hope to see you there! And now…let’s head over to Anita’s porch!
Why did you start a blog?
I began blogging almost five years ago after retiring from teaching high school French for 34 years. I actually tried a year of living in France but the birth of my first grandson pulled me back home. So since I couldn’t live there, I decided that I would just make my home into my own little corner of France. My blog has been a journal of that process…thrifting, repurposing and sharing my ideas for ways to create that French feel that I love.
What was the most exciting thing that has happened to you because of your blog?
Of course, the best thing is the wonderful friends that I have made, some of whom I have had the privilege to meet in person. But as for my blog, I was excited to have my shabby picnic basket planter featured in the summer issue of Flea Market Décor Magazine. It was a fun and easy project that is making its appearance on my patio for the fourth summer now. My begonias seem to love it!
And I was thrilled to have been asked to share my burlap and plaid Christmas mantel and tablescape in an upcoming holiday issue of Country Sampler Magazine. I had the opportunity to spend the day with a very interesting couple…the photographer and his stylist/wife! I am so excited to see my home in print…a blogger’s dream come true!
What is your dream gig?
This is an easy question for me! I would love to have an opportunity to visit interior designer Charles Faudree in his home and interview him. He has been without doubt the biggest influence in my love for country French design. I have all of his books and consult them any time I make a big change in my home. I love his design motto…Too much is never enough! Needless to say, I am not a minimalist! You can see how he has influenced my style in my Charles Faudree inspired living room.
What are a few things that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
If you have been reading my blog since the beginning, it will not be a surprise…but I LOVE goats! They often feature in my creations…like these vintage French tea towels. If my HOA allowed it, I would have a pygmy goat as a pet. One day I am going to have a place where I can finally have one of my own. His name will be Fernand…that just sounds like a good name for my goat.
A few other quick Plate Addict factoids…I love Roquefort cheese so much that I can eat it straight. I want to learn to play Foggy Mountain Breakdown on the banjo. One of my dreams in my younger days was to meet French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau and to go on his ship the Calypso….sadly no longer possible. At one time I considered becoming a geologist…how different my life would have been!
How would you describe your style?
I would definitely say that my style is country French…with a helping of French farmhouse…created on a budget. I feel so at home in that style. I love the look of things collected over time and lovingly displayed. Much of what I have is actually old family pieces…a plantation desk from my great-great-grandfather, a quilt made by my great-grandmother when she was sixteen.
I think my dining room is the room that best reflects my style…my mother’s dining room set, the antique Quimper plates on the wall from a flea market in France, my blue and white Spode plate collection thrifted piece by piece…all collected over time to create the feeling that I found in the homes of my French friends.
Sprinkle in more pieces from France, such as my collection of antique Quimper plates…and you have a mix…old with new, inexpensive with expensive…that helps to create that country French feel.
What are your top three favorite posts?
Without a doubt, my most popular post is my detailed tutorial for making a ruffled burlap table runner. I created it several years ago and it continues to draw people to my blog. And…I love the one that I made! It has been on my dining room table every fall and winter for the last three years.
Another favorite post is these budget-friendly but realistic-looking monogrammed vintage French tea towels…made from bargain IKEA tea towels! I love the look of real vintage French linens, but they can be very expensive and I can’t embroider. So I came up with a way to create my own that doesn’t involve any sewing at all!
But the posts that I read over and over are the ones that recount the week-long trip to Paris with my then ten-year-old grandson! His interest in Monet sparked by his wonderful kindergarten art teacher lead to a promise to take him to see Monet’s gardens at Giverny that he never forgot. We packed every possible bit of Paris and the surrounding countryside into those seven days. It was one of the best traveling experiences I have ever had…waking up in Paris each day and having the whole day to spend with my favorite traveling buddy!
I want to thank Anita for this wonderful chance to sit on her lovely back porch and have a chat with her! I hope you have enjoyed a little peek into my blog and that you will come visit me!
Did you miss any of the interviews in this series? You can catch up here.
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