longing for Paris

longing for Paris www.theginghamstudio.com
longing for Paris

Dear friend,

It feels good to transition through la rentrée, and to be settling in to September. We are getting into daily routines and we have spent many weekends at cross country meets. In a few days we will be adding a new member to our family. My daughter has loved dogs since she was a baby, and has asked for one since she was old enough to talk. After many years of saying no, dog sitting, and our kids begging, we are ready to say yes. I will share some photos on Instagram {but I promise that my feed won’t be all photos of the dog!}. Make sure to check out the end of this post for a sweet photo.

www.theginghamstudio.com {bien fait zippered bag}
bien fait zippered bag

New zippered bags will be listed in the shop. These bags are so fun and functional. Use them for pencils, art supplies, makeup, jewelry, or even as a small purse to carry essentials. Just like the library tote bags there are great for multiple uses. And they can be personalized with a monogram or small french phrase.

zippered Paris bag {the gingham studio on etsy} www.theginghamstudio.com
personalizing can be added to bag or with a different fabric patch

Some of you might be wondering why I’m embroidering french phrases on some of the bags. I’m a francophile {someone who loves all things french}, and have been for most of my life. When I was a little girl my parents couldn’t afford to get an American Girl doll, so I received a french doll named Françoise. As a preteen, I took my first french class and fell in love with the language. In high school, I took four years of French and knew that I wanted to continue learning.

www.theginghamstudio.com {bien fait zippered bag} the gingham studio on etsy
bien fait {well done}

The summer before my senior year, I traveled to Paris with our French teacher and four other girls in our class. I worked to save up the money for the entire trip, plus spending money. When I look back, I can’t believe I was able to accomplish such a thing at 16, but I’m so glad I did. This trip meant so much to me and 22 years later, I’m still learning from that experience. I truly believe that travel is one of the greatest teachers in life.

eiffel tower zippered bag {www.theginghamstudio.com} the gingham studio on etsy
the eiffel tower fabric is a favorite

Heading to college, I had plans to teach French and Art, my two favorite things in life. Quickly I realized that I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher. Now that I’m married to a man who has the gift of teaching and has been doing that for 21 years, I see that I wouldn’t have made it in that profession. Burned out and frustrated, I changed my goals. I graduated with a degree in Retail and Consumer Science. I truly loved working in stores and learned so much about merchandise, consumers, and myself during that time.

c'est magnifique {that's wonderful} zippered bag on etsy {the gingham studio} www.theginghamstudio.com
c’est magnifique {that’s wonderful}

I knew that after having kids I would stay home with them. The years when my kids were really little {they are 20 months apart}, were really hard years. I dealt with a lot of postpartum depression, moving several times, and just generally lost a part of who I was. At one time when I was really struggling, I remembered my trip to Paris. I remembered that young girl who did whatever it took to experience her dreams. I questioned why God had given me this dream of Paris, and yet I lived in a very small town in middle Tennessee, with my small kids and a husband who worked so hard to provide for us. I loved my life and I loved Paris. But how do I find contentment and live my dreams in my current reality?

www.theginghamstudio.com {zippered bags on etsy at the gingham studio
zippered bags make great gifts

It wasn’t easy to reconcile but I knew it would be the best way for me to live authentically. At the time, I believe God gave me the idea to create a journal. I labeled lines where I journaled with “sightseeing”, “landmarks”, “souvenirs”, or used french words in place of english. I printed it out and used it daily to make connections between my everyday life and my dreams. I wish I still had a copy, but the gist of it was that I would look at each day as a day in Paris, traveling through the city, noticing the beauty, appreciating the sights and sounds of daily life.

zippered bag c'est magnifique-the gingham studio for etsy {www.theginghamstudio.com}
coloring for adults {genius}

Through the years I have adapted this way of thinking, to fit my life in different seasons. Other than art and creativity, there is no other form of communication that speaks to me as much as the French language. Through learning another language I understood grammar better, and could express myself with phrases that don’t have an english equivalent. I know that not everyone loves the language or even the french culture like I do, but it is one way that I can communicate who I am, how I see the world, and live my dreams.

www.theginghamstudio.com {eiffel tower fabric with gingham lining} the gingham studio on etsy
classic navy gingham lining

My desire is to share my love of this language and culture with you. I’m not an expert and if you asked me to say something in french, you would get a very southern accent with it. I’m out of practice and would love to relearn how to speak and write in French more consistently. In the meantime, I’m going to share what I know and encourage you to live your life in a way that expresses who you are. I will be sharing more phrases and on bags and through blog posts. If you have any questions about a phrase or would like to know more about a specific one, leave me a comment or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

we are getting a dog {memphis} www.theginghamstudio.com
his name is Memphis

À Bientôt,

{see you soon}


P.S. Did you know that animals sound different in different languages {you can read here too}? The opinions are split on this subject and I would love to know your thoughts. Leave me a comment. {For the record, I believe they do, my husband doesn’t.}