7 Watercolor Illustrations by artist Jessie Kanelos Weiner

28 March 2016
Jessie Kanelos Weiner

  If you have been following Lost in Cheeseland for a number of years, you are no stranger to Jessie Kanelos Weiner’s work — she is among the many talented expats I have featured on Franco File Fridays and have had the great fortune of collaborating with her on a story for the New York Times T Magazine last year (about pastry, of course!). Now, I’m excited to share the American watercolor illustrator’s biggest project to date: Edible Paradise: a Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables.  Beyond its therapeutic merits, readers can use Edible Paradise as a guide to seasonal eating, coloring it in as they go along. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this book represents food activism, but it gently reintroduces a topical subject like seasonal eating in a fun, approachable, interactive way.  Jessie hopes it will engage readers young and old to take a second look at nature and what they put into their bodies. Perhaps it is even the bridge between screen time and nature.  Although Jessie’s work as a watercolorist is often literal and interpretational, this book was an exercise in dreaming up nature’s psychedelic details. And the richest part of the book is that […]…

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Franco File Friday: Cakeboy Paris (Frank Barron)

14 May 2015

I met Frank Barron (aka CakeBoy) the way I seem to meet most new friends and acquaintances in Paris these days: at one of the city’s many coffee shops. In fact, it was at the coffee shop seen above, Boot Café. I strolled in with my in-laws post-brunch in an attempt to school them on the merits of specialty coffee. Given how tiny the café is (barely a sliver!), I couldn’t help but feel the eyes of three lovely men on us: Frank, his partner and Parker, his loyal Boston Terrier. We exchanged pleasantries and continued on our way. For weeks after this encounter, Frank and I crossed paths constantly – at other coffee shops, on our way to coffee shops, on the return walk home from coffee shops. Finally, it only made sense to intentionally plan a date around our shared passion and the rest was, well, a history of caffeine and cake. As I’ve gotten to know Californian Frank, I’ve learned about his fondness for French fashions, French baked goods and French design and discovered many overlaps in our preferences. I also discovered his unassuming talents in the world of cake making, a skill that may lead him […]…

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Franco File Friday: Our French Oasis (Susan Hays)

30 April 2015

Here’s something you don’t read everyday: English family of seven lays down roots in the Charente Maritime. Since 2008 (minus a brief interlude in the United States for work) Susan Hays and her family have been discovering the simple, everyday pleasures of living on the Southwestern coast of France. With four school-age children navigating the French educational system and a more laid-back lifestyle, Susan created the site Our French Oasis as a way to keep friends and family updated (and entertained). As the story goes, the site has grown beyond the confines of Susan’s tight-knit network of friends and amassed a readership of Francophiles all over the world who are enchanted by her stories of life in the sun-drenched southwest. Here, she shares tidbits about the region, raising a (large) family in France and learning la bise. Meet Susan! Describe what you love about France in three words. Lifestyle.  Architecture.  Food. Something people might be surprised to know about the region you live in? It is considered by many to be the oyster capital of France.  The Marennes-Oléron oyster beds are renowned for their oyster production and their great quality is linked to the mixture of fresh and salt water.  The oysters are […]…

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Franco File Friday: Lauren Bate (Folies du Bonheur)

24 April 2015

After an extended hiatus, the Franco File Friday series is back for the 4th year! And I’m so pleased to kick things off again with someone I’ve gotten to know better over the last year and someone I enjoy immensely. Lauren Bate, of the blog Folies du Bonheur, came to Paris for two days in 2009 via London where she had been visiting a friend. Almost instantly, she sensed that this brief experience in the city was merely the beginning of a much longer journey. Shortly after she returned to Australia, she was laid off from her job and used the handsome redundancy offer to settle in Paris (the lucky lady also has Italian citizenship, allowing her to stay without issue). As she puts it, it was the universe telling her to make the leap. Since, she’s been documenting her life here alongside Daisy, her canine companion, and her travels through France. Meet Lauren!   1. Describe what you love about France in three words. Food, Friends, Flowers 2. Your favorite neighborhood ? Oh, it’d be a photo finish between Batignolles in the 17th where I live and the 3rd, where I hang. Who am I kidding, where the good coffee […]…

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Franco File Friday: David Santori of Frenchie and the Yankee

28 November 2014

This is my last Franco File Friday installment of the year and it’s a chat with someone I appreciate tremendously, as much for our aligning passions – food, travel and photography – as for our curiously similar paths. Like me, David Santori, creator of the blog Frenchie and the Yankee, also left his home to study abroad after falling in love with a foreigner and never left. The primary difference in our stories is that David is French and left Paris to study in Milwaukee, quickly adapting to life in the States with his American chéri. That was in 1999. This year, we both celebrated newfound dual-citizenship within only two months of one another, a step that further anchored us into life away from our origins. With indefatigable fervor, we live and breathe our adopted homes and catch up twice a year on his trips back to France to visit family, discussing at length how our chosen environments have deeply informed our identities and swapping expat stories. Given how much we have in common and how grand a time we have when we’re together, two times a year is just not frequent enough. For the moment, Charlotte, NC is home […]…

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