French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses

French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing
The porcelain pendant was a gift hubby bought me on our honeymoon at Versailles, because I have the same initials as Marie Antoinette

I'm not sure what kicked off the fire.

Was it the smooth, smoky flavor of my coffee this morning, that had just a little too much honey?

Was it the scent of my "Kissing in Paris" perfume that I exclusively wore in France and am whisked away into a thousand memories every time it's spritzed?

Was it the way the sun rays came through the trees as it rose, after days and days of wet, misty, freezing weather?

Was it adding two French inspired creations to my Handmade Shop?

My Fleur Delacour Coin Purse was inspired by the French academy of magic: Beauxbatons!

Something stirred my memories this morning.


Something ached to relive my adventures in France that seem like distant memories of a previous life.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

A particularly tough morning with my 3 year old assured me this would be a difficult day. Perhaps my subconscious wished to wax nostalgic on days before diapers and unrelenting screaming and constant requests.

Whatever it was--a fire was lit.

I needed to find my memory disc containing the early-digital photos of Lower Normandy.

Before I was a mother.

Before I was a wife.

Before I finished my degree.

Before.

The tiny space between leaving my parents' house and becoming a unit of two--then three--then 4 + pets.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

The cliche idea of "finding oneself" was lost on me in the frigid cold and exhausting language learning of 2011. A truly pivotal--no pinnacle--time of my life is a place I return often.

In my mind at least.

Our memories are sharper on vacations and while travelling. Human brains go into survival mode in the unfamiliar. Trying to adapt, trying to become familiar.

Memories and senses and cognitive processing become sharper, faster, more.

The first month is the clearest.

Writing it down in my blog helped cement the memories as well. The fine details that make those kinds of experiences so enveloping.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

Blogging back then meant uploading photos to photo sharing hubs, then manually coding them into your writing space.

It was exhausting, but worth it.

Now, as photo sharing has become photo stealing--it seems my beautiful pictures are covered in annoying watermarks not of my own making.

Spurred into a frightful flight to find my original, precious memory-jogging pictures--my house was promptly torn apart this morning.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

The laptop that had served me well in France died years ago, but the original early-digital age camera with memory stick was still somewhere--lost in the abyss of dark drawers and cobwebbed crannies where humans accumulate and nest and hoard.

After searching and checking 4 memory sticks--I found it.

My buried treasure bore the perfectly unedited original photos of that time.

Digital memory loss is a fear of mine. At least once a year, I print off photos I want to keep forever--at least until they degrade naturally.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

Making a quick trip to our local antique store (more of a nostalgia shop since there are rarely items older than mid-century buried in the displays), I found some shabby, soft baby dresses and old Victorian postcards that reminded me of the perfect French aesthetic I lived everyday in Caen.

The first, nearly thread bare, is a soft white with tiny stains and a few holes, but is trimmed in the tiniest lace and has the most beautifully aged fabric. Tiny white pinstripes, just begging to become a creature.

Marie Antoinette is insisting on bed sheets from it.


French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

The other--although looking Edwardian--has elastic loops around the buttons. 1955 at the oldest. I don't care.



French Nostalgia and Tattered Dresses - Talking about the creative process, inspiration, my travels in France, and new artwork in my shop! #marieantoinette #france #creativeprocess #creativity #shabbychic #frenchcountry #frenchcottage #textileart #handsewing

I bought them both and after traveling back in time to the my favorite style capitol, they will become something.

Perhaps a sheep? A delicate nightgown for a bird? Or maybe just a scrappy talisman?

Whatever they become--they remind me of France and that's what matters. What has spurred your creativity lately?

Hugs,







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