Je suis Charlie

We are very saddened by the events that recently took place in Paris. It touched France deeply, as most of us who grew up there are familiar with Charlie Hebdo. One of the victims, Cabu, has been a popular cartoonist for over 50 years, and generations of French people have been entertained by his particular brand of humor. We extend our sympathy to the families and friends of the victims, and hope this senseless act will never happen again. It was wonderful to see over three million people assemble in Paris, we wish we could have been there. We are all Charlie!

–Jean-Michel Carlouet

The French have their own unique, stylish ways of celebrating Halloween traditions. Here are some Halloween photos we found in the blogosphere from different regions of France.

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Witches’ Festivals take place in small towns all over France, inspired by the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries. From getintravel.com.

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pumpkin-mushroom-sweets-cannes-allaboutgem-blog

Pumpkin- and mushroom-shaped candies and chocolates in Cannes. From allaboutgem.com

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Pumpkin stand. From the Busy as a Bee in Paris blog.

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Paris costume shop, from the blog Paris at a Certain Age. The shop name Au Fou Rire means “laugh out loud!”

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Jack o’lantern, Eiffel Tower. From avenuestory.com

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Fine wines, cheeses. (What else does one need?) From The Travelers Collection blog.

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Witch, pumpkins, Eiffel Tower. From jimlepariser.fr

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Pumpkin-shaped candies. From Le Petit France.

We are so excited about this colorful new collection from France and thrilled to share pictures with you! These table and home items are fun, easy additions for your home, and make charming gifts as well. Click any of the photos to view more information on I Dream of France.

As always, ground shipping is free for orders of $75 or more! No coupon code required. For faster shipping, or for destinations outside the USA and Canada, please inquire for shipping charges at 1-888-96-FRANCE or bonjour@idreamoffrance.com.

Paris Ceramic Mug

This fun ceramic mug will let you escape to the City of Lights any time you are having coffee or tea!

Paris Ceramic Mug

 

Paris Tall Glass

This fun drinking glass is five inches tall and ready for your favorite drink.
Paris Tall Glass

 

Paris Melamine Lunch/Dessert Plate

Eight inch lunch/dessert plate is a smaller size for casual dining and made of melamine for easy care and durability.
Paris Melamine Lunch/Dessert Plate

 

Paris Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shakers Set

This adorable set is perfect for your table, and comes in a beautiful box for gift-giving. (Our tip: buy two!) Sel means salt, and poivre means pepper.

Paris Ceramic Salt and Pepper Shakers Set

Paris Coconut Fiber Doormat

Everyone who comes to your door will know your heart belongs in Paris.
Paris Coconut Fiber Doormat

 

Coming soon to I Dream of France…buttons and appliques!

Paris Button Pack

Paris Button Pack

Sunflower Buttons

Sunflower Buttons

Fleur de Lys Button Card

Fleur de Lys Button Card

Bee Appliques

Bee Appliques

Bunny Applique

Bunny Applique

Sunflower Applique

Sunflower Appliques

These adorable buttons and appliques are made by Blumenthal and Lansing, an American designer and manufacturer that has been in operation since 1877. We’ll keep you posted when we have them up for sale, probably next week. Get your scissors and thread ready!

–Brett

Paris Fireworks

Paris Fireworks

Bonne Année! Happy New Year!

I just came across a terrific calendar you can download from Etsy.com that has many photos of Paris and happens to be free. The calendar was made by the owner of the Magalerie Etsy shop. (We are not connected in any way. I just think her calendar is cool.)

Free Calendar PDF Download from Magalerie

–Brett

Fans of Parisian apartments, pick up the October issue of Architectural Digest and feast your eyes! Tour through text and photos the apartment belonging to Anne McNally is the Marais district (specifically, the Place des Vosges). Nearby is the house where Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables. The building dates to the 1600s, and the apartment’s interiors (paneling, doors, marble fireplaces, and so on) go back to the 1700s.  The decor is described as “meaningful possessions, impeccable fabrics and colors, not too much of anything.” Sounds like an ideal combination to me. Special pieces include custom furniture made  by Julian Schnabel, an Aubusson rug, and Louis XVI chairs.

Anne McNally's  Paris Apartment  -- Living Room -- Photography by William Waldron

Anne McNally's Paris Apartment -- Living Room -- Photography by William Waldron for Architectural Digest

–Brett

All of a sudden, we hear people talking about macarons everywhere! Three different shelter magazines mentioned macarons in their September issues. Veranda and Elle Decor announced the opening of a Ladurée patisserie in New York City. Ladurée is a a Paris institution dating from 1862, famously making macarons and other pastries for many years. They are credited with inventing the macaron. Even their pastel boxes and shopping bags are collected by fans.

Laduree Macarons

Laduree Macarons

Better Homes and Gardens magazine lists websites where you can order macarons made by other companies in the United States.

But what is a macaron? It is a sweet confection made of two soft meringue-like cakes sandwiching a frosting filling. Macarons are made in many different flavors, such as strawberry, chocolate, caramel, and pistachio. They are slightly chewy but very light in texture A macaron is nothing like the coconut cookies called “macaroons,” but is like a distant Continental cousin to the American whoopie pie.

Laduree Strawberry Macarons Stacked

Laduree Strawberry Macarons Stacked

On the other hand…Jean-Michel and other residents of the Poitou region (about three hours southwest of Paris) claim to have the real macaron. Recipes dating to the 16th-century Medicis family describe a macaron as a one-piece confection made with ground almonds, sugar, eggs, and salt. If you visit Poitiers, be ready to try the “real” macarons!

Although we sell candies and cookies at I Dream of France, we do not currently offer macarons. We do, however, have beautiful kitchen towels decorated with macarons. Click any of the photos below to view them on our website.

Coucke Terry Square Kitchen Towel - Macarons

Coucke Terry Square Kitchen Towel - Macarons

Coucke Macarons Jacquard Dish Towel

Coucke Macarons Jacquard Dish Towel

Sweet Dreams!

–Brett

Happy Memorial Day!

We’ve been unpacking new shipments all month, and are putting new items online every day! Visitez I Dream of France online or in our Tustin (Orange County), California, boutique and see what’s new.

We have new lower shipping rates. As always, orders of $75 or more ship free! No coupon code required for the shipping special. (Alaska and Hawaii pay $10 extra.) Also, we now ship to Canada!

Below are some examples of what’s new…more info on our website!

New French Kitchenware

Provence Handpainted Ceramic Stackable Pots. As a decorative piece, this is a showstopper — and it’s practical storage as well. We’ve been using these pots to style dining rooms for local home tours, and everyone’s eyes go straight to them.

Provence Handpainted Ceramic Stackable Pots with Olives Decor

Provencal Scenery Art Tile Trivet. Another stunning piece for kitchen or dining room, our art tile trivet makes a splendid gift (if you can bear to part with it!).

Provencal Scenery Art Tile Trivet - Terrace View

Couleur Nature Olive Tree Towel. We have added several new kitchen towel designs from Couleur Nature, all block-printed by hand and Provençal in style.

Couleur Nature Olive Tree Yellow Towel

New French Table Linens

Provencale Sunflower Green Cotton Tablecloth. Available in round or rectangular sizes.The printing on both the round and rectangular is what is referred to as “placé”, or centered in the middle of the cloth.

Provencale Sunflower Green Cotton Tablecloth

New French Decorative Hardware

Paris Antique Style Dressing Room Hook. Perfect grace note to add to your powder room.

Paris Antique Style Dressing Room Hook

New French Baby Accessories

The latest fashion accessory for babies: pewter pacifier keepers featuring a French fleur de lys! We also have rose and giraffe motifs available. These are made in the USA by a company in New Orleans. Too cute to pass up!

Baby Pacifier Holder with Fleur de Lys

New Sale Items

Summer is around the corner. Do you know a little girl who could use a new dress? Here’s a good buy: Alphabet Safari Girl’s Sun Dress, 33% off.

Alphabet Safari Girl's Sun Dress

Have you heard about the Google Art Project? Google asked museums around to world to let them photograph their buildings and collections to put online for everyone to view. The museums chose which works to show (some are blurred for copyright protection) and Google did the rest. The absolutely amazing result is that people anywhere and everywhere can discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail. See the 200-foot-long Hall of Mirrors online, no plane ticket or trip through TSA required.

versailles hall of mirrors

Versailles Hall of Mirrors

On a related note, our building (The Cox Market Plaza in Old Town Tustin) and boutique interior were recently photographed by Google for our place page. The Google photographer took lots of pictures of our shop, which should be online in a few weeks. I guess we got the same treatment as Versailles!

I Dream of France After Dark

I Dream of France After Dark

–Brett & Jean-Michel

A little dated, but I don’t think this piece by the Orange County Register ever made it on the blog:

“I Dream of France celebrated the grand opening of their new location with a ribbon-cutting on Thursday. Tustin City Councilman John Nielsen joined owners Jean-Michel and Brett Carlouet as they cut the red ribbon and greeted many well-wishers and customers. A small reception followed.

Among the shoppers were Linda Jennings of the Tustin Preservation Conservancy, Suzanne Crehan of Seven Gables Real Estate, Pete Beatty and Gretchen Wilbert and Bill Teter of the Tustin Historical Society.

I Dream of France, which features unique home décor and gift items from France, is located at 150 E. Main Street, in the Cox’s Market Plaza building, next to Miss Bobbie’s Low Carb Shoppe and Old Town Flooring.”

I Dream of france ribbon cutting ceremony

Tustin City Councilman John Nielsen, along with Pete Beatty of the Tustin Historical Society, assisted I Dream of France owners Jean Michel and Brett Carlouet with their ribbon cutting. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARGE REDMOND