Archives for posts with tag: decor

Welcome to the world of De Farine et D’Eau Fraîche!

DF+EF is a dreamy new pâtisserie on Amherst that has the perfect combination of creativity and expertise. They have just opened and they are sure to be a huge success.  DF+EF is near Robin, right across the street from the community centre Ste-Catherine d’Alexandre which is also boasting a beautiful new mosaic trim and a new green roof.

Here is a baker’s dozen of the finest features that set DF+EF apart from Montreal’s pâtisseries.

  • A cordial proprietor and convivial staff.  The owner, Marilu, along with Cathy and the other staff always smile and ask how we are doing.  It’s so nice to chat a bit, and suddenly feel at home.
  • Sweet imagination. No need to head to Paris for a treat. It is all right here ranging from a small guilt-free bite to a larger indulgence; boule au chocolat et crème pâtisserie, tea cakes (à la rose is my favourite so far!), cookies in a multitude of shapes and flavours, homemade Pocky, caramels, muffins wrapped in charming brown paper, scrumptious cakes and pastries.

crème brûlée... Earl Grey flavouring

The earl grey crème brûlée was everything you want in a crème brûlée.  A nice crunch of caramelized sugar on top and incredibly creamy, nicely chilled down below.  I love the creative flavour combinations; earl grey, milk chocolate with earl grey and lavender, or vanilla.

works of art

Miniature wedding cakes are a specialty. Each one is a work of art; modern, sophisticated and unique.  I can see them being featured at many types of special occasions like graduations, showers, anniversaries and milestone birthdays.  I recently ordered a chocolate tart with caramelized bananas and Irish creme and it was perfect for my chocolate-loving friend.

  • Composting coffee cups for take out coffee.  Marilu rightly states that most people will not recycle a paper coffee cup, this is why she has made special efforts to import composting coffee cups all the way from Australia.
  • Fun. Over the last several weeks, we have done our homework in researching the place.   We have developed a rapport with the staff and they have occasionally brought a small taste of something to try.  While we have been in, we have tried to do our part in taste testing new caramel flavours, such as one with coriander and apricots (yum!), a little carrot cake, a new type of cookie, and bite of caramel popcorn.  We love it here!

    creamy caramels


  • sweet and savoury

    Something savoury.  If sweet treats do not suit you, then there is always a little something savoury.  I have a friend from New Zealand who has lamented for years that there are no savoury muffins in all of Montreal.  She is in for a treat when she returns to the city in April!

  • An enticing breakfast sandwich made with their own english muffin, 1 year old cheddar from l’Ile-aux-Grues, farm fresh bacon, an organic egg, little bits of green sprouts, red pepper and Kewpie japanese mayonnaise.  It is the best breakfast sandwich I have ever tasted.

  • Filling, healthy lunch features. The lunch specials are perfect for the type of weather we are experiencing at the moment.  They are hearty, real food, with home-made flavour, made by someone who loves to cook.  The lunch special pictured above is a curried chicken in a cashew sauce, served with jasmine rice.  This is my kind of lunch!  The paninis are unique, deluxe and satisfying.  The tuna panini is nicely accented with feta, artichokes and black olive tapenade. And if you like, it can be served with a small portion of potato chips and a soup or salad.
  • fine cappucinos

    Many people come just for the fantastic speciality coffees, teas and hot chocolates served all day long.

  • It speaks volumes that DF+EF uses organic sugar and eggs in all of the baking.  They also use organic milk, cocoa, tea, fair trade organic coffee and some organic spices.  Flavour is key, so they also use local meats from Nordest and local cheeses.

    boule au chocolat et crème pâtisserie

  • Fair-trade, organic Coco Camino sugar served with coffee and tea.
  • Beautiful tea service.


  • You can take it with you, too. Everything can be made to go and there is a plethora of little treats lining the counter, ready for quick pick-up.
  • comfort

    And I have not even mentioned the décor! Large elegant windows, fascinating wall treatments that remind us of icing as well as beautiful and comfortable furnishings with the adorable DF+ EF logo stamped on the tables.

So, take a little time and spend it in De Farine et D’Eau Fraîche.  You are in for a treat!

1701 rue Amherst

Open Monday to Friday from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm; Saturdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm; and Sundays from 11:00 am ’til 5:00 pm.

Find out more on facebook!

bisou!

Tammy Schmidt and Natasha Henderson, Montreal.

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For a fast and, shall we say, inexpensive Christmas tree, an option is to use a branch.

To start, I found a basket that the Branch could rest in, and just lean against the wall. If I'd had the inclination, I could have stuffed the inside of the basket with things, put heavy objects inside, etc.

 I know, I know, everyone laughs and says “Charlie Brown Christmas“. Laugh if you will. This is free. And no, it’s not stolen. People who have trees do prune them. Also, if you live nearby a park, you could seek out fallen branches.

You can twine branches together, you could pin them to a wall. A “tree” could also be a coat-stand, an existing tropical plant you have, a decorated sculpture. For those who want/need to break away from traditions, a Creative Tree is one way to go.

I put the lights on the tree... the same string of lights is doing double-duty. They are decorating a nearby window, too.

My tree was given to me by my neighbour. Up until that point, I’d planned to go to the park and seek out fallen branches. Windstorm? Jackpot! Big snowfall? Ditto! However, there was some pruning going on down the street (either natural or human-induced) and the result of that was my branch. My twig. I guess I could call her Twiggy. However, I won’t.

Over the years I have purchased and been given decorations that are particularly shiny, beautiful, and reflect not only the surrounding Christmas lights but my own sense of style. I have five favorites, and they rest on my little tree.

This year I decided to put my gifts near the fireplace. Perhaps if there were more gifts, then Easy-kins The Tree would move up to a table so that the presents could rest underneath. If I should actually light the fireplace, then I’ll move them.

I had thought about affixing Easy-kins to the wall above the fireplace, but I couldn’t figure how to do that without making a holey mess. However, as there is only a week left ’til the Big Day, then I’m not too worried! Easy does it. Simple and no stress…

My tree works well under my dried chilis, and a beautiful painting by Darren Kooyman.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Holiday Décor Ideas with Citrus

To create this, slice some nice seedless navel oranges.  Leave the slices to dry in an oven with the light on, turning them every 4 – 8 hours until the slices are dry.  Then string the slices together with some star anise.

These strings can be used in the window for a very modern look.  When they are hanging in the window, they remind me of the sun.  It is fun to look at these solar-like slices as the sun shines through them.

Orange pomanders are a classic.  Use a skewer to pierce the rind before adding cloves.  Unless you live in a dry climate, make sure the finished pomanders are first well dried in an oven or dehydrator before setting them out.

Tammy Schmidt, Montreal

Let’s face it people, December is one cold, dark month.  So, naturally, we have this urge to light candles, listen to music and decorate.  We spice it up and bring aromatic herbs, spices, citrus and branches into our homes.  Each step outside is an act in bravery as face the sharp chill of the air and trudge along on wintry walks, sometimes taking the time to look at lights, snow flakes and trees.  We head out to parties wearing something sparkling or velvety or both.  We fire up our kitchens with baking, creating, cooking and sharing with loved ones.  Weekend afternoons stretch along nicely with a warm drink and a long book.   Yeah, let’s face it, we love this time of the year!

This month Natasha and Tammy are busy working on all sorts of things!

Gear up for an outrageous number Do It Yourself gift ideas.  One for every day until December 24!

Are you ready for photos on the theme of FIRE AND ICE? Facebook fans can upload their pics for a chance to be a part of this feature!

We have Natural décor ideas,

Ecological and Ethical gift-giving solutions,

and herbal remedies that people will be talking about this month.

Also up, experiments in Recipe Makeovers,

Natural Connections in our verdant city, and

Tips to De-Stress and De-Compress.

So, get in from the cold with a Hot Art Exhibit

and Enjoy a good chuckle with some festive Cartoons!

It’s December!  It’s our second month of Fleurbain.com.

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Hanging art is something of an art in itself. There are rules and tips and advice and stuff that people go by, like “the middle must be so-and-so inches from the ground”. This might work sometimes, but certainly not always. I actually forget what that magical number is! I do know, however, that whenever I’ve tried to follow any of those rules, odds are that the final result will look a little weird.

Learn to trust your gut when it comes to balancing out artworks with surrounding aspects of the room.

To hang art, you need to take many, many factors into consideration. How high are the walls? How wide is the available space? Is there furniture nearby? How bright is the art, does it contrast with everything else in the room or does it blend in? Is there odd lighting at some time of the day? Is the artwork visually top-heavy? If I hang this tiny painting on a large wall… will it look silly? So many of the answers are based on gut feelings. You need to experiment, try different spots, different pieces in different places, and one day you will learn to trust your gut.

Play around with the groupings, if you are so inclined and are so blessed to have so much art.

To start you along this path of trusting-your-gut, I will make a few suggestions (besides encouraging you to make many holes in the wall). If you have small work and a large wall, try hanging it off-centre. Think: “Syncopation“. Off-kilter, off-centre… a little high or a little low. Something to make your eye try something a little different with the available space. Art should be something that makes the viewer think and consider, to take pause… so curating a wall of art is a responsibility. It’s a chance to say something, besides What’s The Current Trend. Another option is to display small works in a cluster. Some would stress over frames, sizes… but try to let go of stress. It’s just so much easier this way. You don’t NEED to use a tape measure, string, pencil, etc for a grid. Just try to make it. It’ll be ok.

If you have a tall, skinny work to hang in a given space, try it aligned more to the right than in the middle. This works REALLY well if you also have something like a floor-lamp, or free-standing chair that you would like nearby the wall too. If it’s in a foyer, it is useful to have a wall to lean on sometimes, or a place to temporarily leave luggage or the vacuum without fear. We do need to think about our practical lives, not just our aesthetic ones.

Hanging smaller-scale paintings is not a science, it is a simple art.

I think that having a bit of paint in the current wall-colour of your home might be useful. So is having a little bit of spackle (or Dap or whatever, wall-goo) and a spatula. I cannot emphasise enough: Please Try And Lose The Fear of changing your artworks around. Honestly, once you’ve got the general placement for a piece of art, you can start nailing. Try to shoot “low”. Then, if it turns out that it is too low indeed, the artwork will cover any stray holes from earlier hanging-attempts. You can fill in the holes, dry, sand, paint over… or don’t. It depends on you. If you will be annoyed by knowing it’s not perfect wall underneath your art, then fix it up. Or follow the Natasha Way, and don’t bother! It’s much more fun to make puff-pastry than to perfect a wall that no-one will see.

Trust your gut, fiddle around with placement and height, so that it feels "right" in the room.

In general, in general, you can look at the visual centre of a piece of art… and make that at “about” eye-level, or slightly lower. Really, it goes against all my experience and instincts to give a rule-of-thumb about hanging art. Now, what is important to take note of, is that the “visual centre” is rarely ever the physical centre of a painting. It’s normally about one-third of the distance down from the top of the work. That’s just the comfortable compositional ratio, what normally happens in most works.  Ok, enough of these technicalities. I don’t like making rules about this sort of thing. Did you sense that? Yep, listen to your gut!!!

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