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Archive for January, 2013

Quebec Ice Festival – Carnaval de Quebéc

January 31, 2013 @ 8:41 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Quebec celebrations of New France

Ice village of the loto zone in Quebec City

As a young girl, I lived in Burlington, Vermont less than 100 miles south of the Canadian/Quebec border.  Snow banks and mittens, attempted ice skating and magnificent ice sculptures around the city are but a few of my memories. While those icy works of beauty were special, they have taken the art to entirely new levels.

My good friend from Knowlton, Quebec recently sent a phenomenal video of the Quebec Ice Festival. Ironically, we had just seen a special report on television about the ice sculptors and their ‘frozen hands’. One can only imagine the amount of time it took to create some of the delightful sculptures!

Quebec’s Winter Carnival is highlighted by ice sculptures and villages, entertainment and ‘Bonhomme’ – the King of the Carnival.  From February 1 to 17, Quebec City will pay homage to Monsieur Hiver with night parades, the luxurious Ice Palace, dance troupes, snow sculptures and ….

Enormous and magnificent sculptures!

Enormous and magnificent sculptures!

It’s rather nice to imagine the celebration of a wintry world, one in which appreciation replaces visions of shoveled sidewalks and icy streets.Like sandcastles in Florida, though, the temporary ice creations will disappear in the warm days to come.

Quebec City, New France

Colorful, lively Carnaval


We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.



A 40-Year Anniversary to Celebrate!

January 29, 2013 @ 2:35 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
American Frame French Art

Village painting with cherry frame and simple white mat

With 40 years of framing expertise and exceptional service, American Frame is celebrating a well-deserved anniversary! In these days of fickle customer loyalty and declining service and quality, American Frame stands well above competitors.

As you can imagine from our expansive interest in France, we frequently frame posters, original photographs and other artwork purchased during our travels. We discovered several years ago; and other than the occasional odd sale at a local department store, we meet every one of our framing needs with purchases through For one thing, the site is very user friendly and offers everything from traditional frames and mats to high-quality printing and custom features.

I particularly like to be able to upload my own piece of art or photo, because the site allows me to choose a variety of frames and mats with an instant preview of how the framed art will look. You can even change the wall color to get a better idea of how the end result will look in your own home.

French painting framed

Try an oval mat for a change

Beyond those nifty features that are very handy in trying to ‘picture’ framed art, I love the quick and personal service American Frame offers. If an item is out of stock, no problem. They advise you and offer other choices, a back order or a simple cancellation.

When so many ‘service’ companies require you to traverse a digital labyrinth for the answer to any question, American Frame answers the phone and resolves the issue. Very gratifying, indeed!

Their promise? As a leading supplier of custom picture frames, mat boards, picture framing supplies and fine art printing; American Frame custom handles every order within 1-2 business days, provides free samples and offers free shipping over $75. In essence, the Mickel family from Ohio transformed what had been an expensive “professionals only” task to an easy and affordable “do-it-yourself” project for everyone from everyday household photo framers to artists, photographers and DIY Decorators.

France Daily Photo offers sincere congratulations to American Frame on the occasion of their 40th Anniversary. We appreciate your fine products and service and wish you another 40 years of success!

framing French art and photos

How about blue?

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

The Treasured Storks of Alsace

January 26, 2013 @ 1:01 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Alsace France storks

Our special visitor in St. Petersburg

Our home in St. Petersburg bordered a protected wetlands area and overlooked a sprawling retention pond. With a touch of arrogance, we called it Lake Sheridan. Whether we sat on our deck in the morning over coffee or in the evening with a glass of wine, we watched over an incredible natural aviary treasure.

Coots dashed along the shoreline and fended off hungry turtles. Herons and ibis seemingly walked on stilts with wings spread outward to shield from the sun, as they searched for food. And majestic, boldly painted black and white storks blessed us with their visits in their elegant strolls along the lake. Their presence was so ordinary and natural to us, that we never imagined the need to protect them from endangerment.

That’s why we were surprised by stork parks along the Alsace Wine Route in eastern France. One reason you discover cigognes blanches (white storks) nesting high above the Alsatian rooftops is because of the wildlife parks that have assured the protection of the stork. Throughout the year storks make their home along the Remparts, watched over by the association, “Les Amis des Cigognes”.

Back in the mid 1970’s, few storks were left in the wild, where they once announced the coming of spring in France, apparently preferring the warmth of Africa to their return to France. Local efforts assured not only their return, but some make their permanent residence in Alsace, avoiding the ‘tiresome’ annual migration.

Stork parks were a part of those local efforts and now have become a favorite destination of visitors along the route. A treasured symbol of happiness and faithfulness … and a handy escape route for stalling the real story of where babies come from … the storks in habit the parks, the trees and Alsatian chimney stacks throughout the area.

Alsace France

Rooftop stork nests, Alsace

A Dutch writer and theologian, Pierre van Paassen, wrote of storks and the discreet family myth about the arrival of babies in To Number Our Days.

“His nest was built on top of the tallest chimney in the community, that of the home for the aged. In summertime we saw the stork and his wife busy all day carrying frogs and eels to their nest to feed their young. But they never carried a baby. On moonlit nights you could see the male stork stand guard on one leg watching over the sleeping town.”

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Snowy Days and the Promise of Gelato in Paris

January 25, 2013 @ 1:01 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
gelato in paris france

On rue Mouffetard in Paris, Gelato d’Alberto

Covered with fresh mounds of snow, I doubt that Parisians are thinking today of cool, refreshing Gelato. But I am. A new client is opening a gelato business in Florida, a fact that caused me to take a mental trip back to Gelati d’Alberto on rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quartier.

After dining with friends, we did what we so often do … ambled along the narrow, cobbled streets of rue Mouffetard. The scene is never, ever static. Couples wander along shop fronts or duck into a wine bar. Dear little ladies walk le chien, taking a breath of fresh air in the night.

Tucked among creperies and boutiques, bars and restaurants, little cheese shops and quaint wine stores, we stopped in at the very inviting Gelati d’Alberto. I was relatively new to the ‘gelato scene’ and ordered only a scoop of creamy dark chocolate. “Non. Deux – two flavors minimum!” Smiles all around, customers always fill the tiny shop, aficionados of the creamy Glace Artisanale, who understand the two-flavor rule.

Paris desserts, gelato

Two-flavored fleur!

The hospitable young lady fashioned a beautiful flower of chocolate and vanilla (okay, so I wasn’t being adventurous as to flavor; but my husband made up for it in his choices!) Part of the fun and flavor of Gelati d’Alberto is their creative twist and presentation. My delicious creamy flower made for quite a memorable evening and a promise to return often.

When the snow melts away in Paris, and the sun begins to peak through the still barren trees; I think I know what will readily come to mind for gelato lovers!

We’d love to hear from you!
Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.