Tuesday, October 23, 2007

claude nature, paris

i have taken the decorno original content challenge this week so you will be hearing a bit more about me. not usually something i write about...but here goes.
so, my visit to claude nature. this spring i went to paris for the first time ever and naturally, upon my arrival, the weather took a turn for the worse. in a few hours the rain had arrived to stay for the duration of our trip and it was pouring rain that drove us into claude nature the very first night, just trying to escape the downpour. we fell into the door looking like we had just swum over from the ile st louis and it was not until i wiped the fog from my glasses that i realized my great fortune. it was a REAL cabinet of curiosities, cases and cases of insect specimens, fossils, shells, just enormous beauty from the far reaches of the earth. if i ever realize the dream of my own boutique, it will have a section devoted to just this.
the couple keeping shop (the owners i assume) did not speak a word of english but we had a lovely visit nonetheless. the more interested and exclamatory i became about the specimens, the faster they would talk and the more treasures they would drag from the back.

when i chose the saddle color bug with the curved horn for my box, the woman proudly produced from the back a specimen 100x it's size. seriously the size of a teacup puppy and sporting a tremedous horn. as my good fortune continued, the man who ordered the giant bug like mine arrived to pick it up. i told him in butchered french and grand hand gesture how i admired his bug and he returned the favor, patting me on the back and shrugging (i translated this as a good natured "i agree with your taste, but see how mine is so grand?"). so there we were, me selecting bugs, mr. big bug and shopkeeper giving me feedback in fast exclamatory french, opening and reopening box after box of strange specimens, the holding up to the light, the looking at the backs, the reading of the scientific names, the measuring, the pinning, the remeasuring and finally standing back in admiration. two hours later.
this little box of bugs does not even measure 8x10" but the experience was so great. it is amazing how genuine interest and and a little kindness completely erased the language barrier.

here is my box of bugs on the bookcase that my husband built. a few weeks ago my son came home with the tessellation artwork that matches the bugs exactly. go figure! soon i will replace the scotch tape with a frame. i love it.

and here is a better shot of the hubs handiwork. his cabinet making improves with every house. he is now quite good and i am quite lucky.

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