Margaret of Austria, Mary of Burgundy, Maximilian of Austria, Anne of Brittany, Philip the Handsome, Catherine of Aragon, Louise of Savoy, Anne of France
When last we saw Anne Boleyn, our elegant & intrepid guide for these Renaissance ramblings, it was 1513 and she was heading to the court of Margaret of Austria to begin her European education (see Anne Boleyn: The French Connection). Modern-day references to Margaret are often brief and made in passing to denote her relationships with others. Frequently appearing in the biographies of others; often tagged as "Aunt of" or "Sister in law of"; Margaret has a fascinating story all of her own.
Born in 1480 to Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian of Austria, Margaret of Austria certainly had a lot of high-powered family connections (both through blood and through marriage) given that her mother was the Duchess of Burgundy in her own right, her father was the elected Holy Roman Emperor and her parents were the co-sovereigns of the Low Countries.
Anne Boleyn, Margaret of Austria, Claude of France, Marguerite of Navarre
Where would you start if you wanted to blog a bit about the Renaissance? Would it be easier if you limited your scope to the French Renaissance? How long would it take and how far would you get before tying yourself up in so many knots that the only sane move would be to cut and run?
I recently found myself pondering these questions (and so many more) but before I could be overwhelmed into inaction I decided to just pick a point and begin. After all it's the journey that counts and since this is purely a pleasure cruise I thought it best to begin with one of my favourite historical personages, Anne Boleyn.
When graphic artist Mary Engelbreit first came out with "The Queen of Everything" I applied for the title. Turns out I wasn't the only one that felt she was perfectly suited for the position as my older cousin (and part-time babysitter) quickly informed me. Seems she thought her credentials were a tad better than mine. She may have been bigger but I was determined. In the end we decided that there was nothing wrong with having more than one QoE. After all, good things are often made better when they are shared and there's a lot to be said for inclusiveness and equality.
It's been a while since Rod Humble (aka Rodvik) crept into my life. Years really. Truth be told, I wasn't even aware of his arrival at first, that's how stealthy he was.
This oversight on my part only seems fitting as I'm certain that to this day he has no idea that I even exist, except perhaps in the collective sense as a user of one of "his" products. I'm just one among the many and for the most part I'm very content with our at-arm's-length relationship.
A fresh breeze is blowing through the Duché de Coeur.
it brings the promise of renewal
the excitement of change.
We're accustomed to renewal in the Duché. Over the past five years, we've prided ourselves on changing with the seasons and adapting to the times. Even if those times did tend to reflect the late 1700's ;)
Now we've embarked on an exciting new challenge. Land will be reshaped, rivers will be diverted and the carriage horses will be taught new routes. Old haunts will be removed only to reappear, refreshed in their new locations.
Soon we will be officially inviting you to rediscover our beloved land. Until then, you can still explore to your heart's content and have fun spying out some of the work in progress.
Don't mind the dust, that's just some Coeur magic in the air!
It's no secret that I love this dress. I've blogged about it in Fabulous Fashion and I've worn the virtual version in Second Life, so you can imagine my delight to find this paper version looking out at me from the pages of Victoria Magazine.
In Second Life, as in real life, I tend to be a "jack of all trades and master of none". I love to dabble in the different skills necessary to create but I'm very impatient with the learning curve. I'm really excited about the introduction of Mesh and now Materials to Second Life but I find it hard to make a concentrated effort to get up to speed on these 3D building techniques.
All this to say that I need a lot of inspiration to propel me into uncharted territory.
The Neoclassic Row House pictured above, was just what I was looking for; small & stylish, classic & contained. It's a build that easily lends itself to mesh modelling, or so my untutored self surmises. And so project Maison Noir Blanc was launched.
It's no secret that I absolutely adore roses; throw in a French Chateau, make the roses varying shades of pink and I'm in heaven!
I've always wanted to create a complete rose garden for the Petit Trianon but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Seems that with my Second Life, as with my real life, there are just too many enticing projects and just not enough time!
Exposition Universelle (1889) ~ Eiffel Tower, Paris
I have just started reading Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherford; a multigenerational saga that covers 700 years of the city's architecture, culture, society and history. Yes, I'm in for the long haul on this one and I'm going to enjoy every minute!
So far I've been introduced to Monsieur Eiffel as he is working on the Statue of Liberty. He believes that this immense undertaking may be the greatest achievement of his career but of course we know that the Eiffel Tower is still looming in his future. Don't you agree that one of the best things about historical novels is that, in many cases, you don't have to cheat and skip to the end of the book to know what's coming up next!?
And so, having the Eiffel Tower on the brain, I was excited to come across a poster advertising the 1889 World Fair for which it was constructed. This beautiful piece of French Ephemera set me off on a delightful tangent.
Parc de Versailles, with the orange trees in boxes
I had a wonderful time dreaming of orangeries, parterres andthe sunny, south of France as I continued my Adventures in Virtual Gardening this week. It seems that working with potted lemons, oranges and herbs can conjure up a special type of magic that can make even the dreariest of days a whole lot brighter!
Queen's House Ornamental Kitchen Garden in Second Life
It seems that I've been captivated by the Potager or Ornamental Kitchen Garden for a very long time now. Though I come from a long line of gardeners, I was first introduction to the magical structure of the potager through the BBC television series The Ornamental Kitchen Garden hosted by Geoff Hamilton. The mix of fruits, vegetables, flowers & herbs arranged in symmetrical garden beds stuck me as such a practical & exceptional work of art that I've been in love with ever since.
For a while I was content using potager techniques in my own backyard until one fateful day back in January 2008 when I goggled "Versailles Kitchen" and found Louis XIV's "King's Kitchen Garden" aka the "Potager du Roi". As with so many things associated with Versailles it was mind blowing!
Designed to feed both body and soul, the potager or ornamental kitchen garden is the ultimate combination of parterre and vegetable patch.
Fruits & vegetables, flowers & herbs, are artfully arranged in symmetrical garden beds that are surrounded by low clipped box hedges. These individual plots, separated by sand or gravel paths, are precisely placed to form striking geometric patterns.