Tuesday, September 3, 2013

By Invitation only...Patina..

Sky Lanterns 

On the spur of the moment, I called my close friends, my sons and their best friends, to celebrate. They asked: What is the occasion? I had to think; do we need a reason to celebrate? then it occurred to me: my friends, my family are my life... let's call the party a Celebration to Friendship! 

Almost simultaneously, I received an email from my dear friend (whom I have yet to meet in person) Marsha of Splenderosa reminding us of our September post whose theme is Patina. How perfect, let's celebrate the patina of life! Patina: "The word "patina" comes from the Latin for "shallow dish". Figuratively,can refer to any fading, darkening or other signs of age, which are felt to be natural or unavoidable (or both)." Patina or "Patine" in french, validates the imperfections developed over time. My face no longer has the purity and tightness of skin. As I look at it morning and night, I bemoan on a new tiny wrinkle, a slight brown spot. I accept that this face is a reflection of who I am, of my life. Years of skiing, swimming, trekking, of sun tanning, of worries, working, being a mother, a wife have left their marks. None of the expensive face creams in the world, or even botox, will eliminate the signs of a well-lived life. Would I want to have a perfect skin, skinny tight body...hell yes! Do I dwell on the reality of time gone by?.. not anymore. I have learned acceptance. I am thankful for a life so full, so rich, where love, friendship and passion have always been my priority. I threw myself in the myriad of preparations for this celebration. I wanted to honor my children, their friends, my friends and thank them for being part of my life. I wished for everyone, 40 of us, to feel beautiful, no matter the wrinkles on their faces. I poured my heart out to create a festive, yet dimmed environment in a house  whose beauty is due to the patina of time, to the imperfections of the stone walls, to its previous function as a horse stable and carriage house. In my design business, I celebrate the old, the rough and the perfect imperfections, the character of the furniture I upcycle or create. I look at the lines on a painter's face, and through his work, I can feel the meaning of his life. As I was emptying my living room to set up the dinner tables, I fell upon a photograph of my husband, young man of 18 at the time, sitting next to Juan Miro who was closing the chapter of his life. The contrast in this photograph struck me, here is this young man, starting his life, sitting in Juan Miro's living room. What a testimony to a creative brilliant life, were the wrinkles on that old man's face! 

The party was wonderful, everyone laughed, ate, drank, enjoying each other's company. The celebration ended in a very symbolic way. As a family, we have   spent a great deal of time in Thailand. That country has brought so much beauty, joy, and a quiet wisdom to our lives and I felt it would be a perfect ending to say goodnight to our friends late into the night by lighting traditional Sky Lanterns and watching them float off into the night sky.

All mixed arrangements with flowers from my cut flower garden

The Menu: Tapas prepared by my friends Tom and Cheryl

Paella: one of my favorite dishes... prepared by "me" and my first time cooking in years...



A Bientot,



  1. Oh Francine,
    What a wonderful post ..... it really did bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye ..... such beautiful images and heartfelt text.
    A great subject for our BIO post on it's return from the holidays and your take on it was truly beautiful.
    Hope that you and your family are wel Francinel and have enjoyed the Summer. Much love. XXXX

  2. What a beautiful setting you created for your party, Francine, and I can't think of a better reason than the one you chose to celebrate! This is a lovely and inspiring post.

  3. WOW! Your party looks amazing, and the food divine. I love that you threw it for no particular reason...good for you and a reminder to us all to not get so caught up in having to have a reason for everything. Beautiful post and sentiments Francine.

  4. So inspiring...and just an awesome setting. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day. Mona

  5. Francine...what a beautiful party...I love sky lanterns...there's something quite magical about them, isn't there?
    Have a great week.

  6. Francine this is amazing! What a wonderful way to celebrate patina, I wish I was there!
    I so love a face of a woman with beautiful lines, especially happy lines, it shows that they have loved their life and laughed out loud, what more would you want.

    Thank you also for your lovely note.
    Sending hugs and warm wishes from down under. xxx Coty

  7. Dearest Francine, Your words are so poignant. Making the connection apply to friendship and celebrating life as you have! This makes me proud to be over 60 and having some patina showing!

    Feature: Entrepreneur Sigal Sasson

  8. Sky Lanterns. OMG I must know how to do these things! Francine, what you have given to all of us today is the reminder of the preciousness of life, as only you could say it. Love always, party for no reason, delight in everything. This IS life well-lived. Simply splendid, my friend. And, thank you thank you thank you for being a part of our group. We have only the best, don't we?

  9. I am making my way through the list of extraordinarily different interpretations of the word "patina" in the BIO group, and each is so very varied. Each has been beautiful.

    But I think I love yours the most....you have put so much thought into the meaning of life itself...reflected with such wisdom...honed in on the essence of the precious...thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's a timely reminder to celebrate life and the living of it.

    And how beautiful the celebration looks! The flowers, the table, the setting, can I mention the flowers again????

  10. Francine,
    I have read and enjoyed your blog for some time, but not commented before. Sorry! There was just such a sense of joie de vivre and spontaneity with the party and the enjoyment of one's friends that prompted me to thank you for the sense of enjoyment of the moment and valuing of one's friends. The idea of sky lanterns is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!
    Deborah from Melbourne, Aus

  11. What an absolutely wonderful party!

    I suppose friendship is the sheen of emotional patina of people connecting, if we stretch the concept...

  12. Oh my. Francine this was very, very moving and incredibly inspiring. I have been taking my time to read all of the patine posts and each one has something so unique to share.

    You have such joy and appreciation for all of the wonderful things in your life and that is something that ALL of us can take away. There is so much to celebrate...just beautiful. I have never seen the sky lanterns in person but...one day, hopefully. :)
    Merci et Namaste,

  13. Very interesting and wonderful post, Francine.
    Full of wisdom and quality, together with the lovely images - a real pleasure!
    Let's stay as we are - just authentic.
    Greetings from the Périgord, karin


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