Maybe it's because I'm reading 'Alice Waters and Chez Panisse' or maybe it's just because it is summer that I am in a french picnic mood these days. The Chez Panisse book is extremely inspiring. Alice has an infectious way about her that makes you excited for the things that she is excited about. Yesterday I served a bunch of friends baked cheese and fruit poached in spiced wine. Not something I would have come up with on my own. Today I pulled out one of my all time favorite books for food and garden inspiration, 'Monet's Table' and another little gem, 'Picnics of Provence'. It's small but packed with Van Gogh paintings and delicious recipes, food for the eyes as well as the stomach. I usually pull both of these books off the shelf right about this time every year, but reading the Alice Waters book pushed me a bit farther over the french edge.
Not only am I planning a series of french summer picnics, but I am fixating on the perfect summer dresses for them. I picked up 20 yards of nice rose patterned fabrics to play around with in not so typical floral color combinations. This one is cream with dusty rose flowers and grey foliage. The one above is grey with brown, purple and blue, unusual and lovely. So, today I am working on a pattern from my last summer beach dress because it is the most comfortable dress there ever was. I'll keep you posted on the progress of my french picnic dream.