Sunday, May 31, 2009

Eiffel Tower Facts

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, nicknamed the 'magician of iron' is one of the best known monuments worldwide. Everyone knows about it, but very few know the facts about the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World Fair which also coincided with the centenary of the French Revolution. Out of a number of designs submitted as part of a competition, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel won, and was responsible for erecting the Eiffel Tower.

Even though it is one of the best known monuments worldwide, many facts about the Eiffel Tower are not known to many.

Following are a few important facts about the Eiffel Tower.
-- Erection of the Eiffel Tower began on January 26, 1887
-- Erection of the Eiffel Tower was completed on March 31, 1889
-- Erection of the Eiffel Tower took 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days from start to finish
-- Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was the main architect, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier were the main engineers, Stephen Sauvestre was the main architect, and Jean Compagnon handled the construction of the Eiffel Tower
-- Alexandre Gustave Eiffel is the very person who created the internal frame of the Statue of Liberty in the year 1885
-- The Eiffel Tower stands 324 meters tall
-- Material used for the Eiffel Tower is wrought iron (puddle iron) of the highest quality
-- The Eiffel Tower was made using 9441 tons of wrought iron
-- A total of 18038 pieces of wrought iron were joined together to create the Eiffel Tower
-- Approximately 60 tons of paint is required to paint the Eiffel Tower
-- The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years in 3 shades of brown (darkest shade at the bottom)
-- Even today painting the Eiffel Tower is done using brushes
-- In clear weather (very seldom seen today) you can see approximately 42 miles from the top of the Eiffel Tower
-- The base of the Eiffel Tower covers a square area of 100 meters
-- During gusty winds, the Eiffel Tower sways upto 15 cms at its summit
-- The names of 72 prominent French scientists and famous personalities are affixed on the sides of Eiffel Tower just beneath the first platform, 18 names per side
-- There was only one death during the construction period of the Eiffel Tower, that too outside working hours and not work related
-- Alexandre Gustave Eiffel died on December 27, 1923 in Paris
-- The Eiffel Tower has a total of 1710 steps to the topmost third level small platform, 674 steps to the second level, and 347 steps to the first level, all counted from the ground
-- The Eiffel Tower was to be dismantled and the metal sold as scrap 20 years after it was constructed, but this never happened
-- The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure when it was built, but this has been surpassed over the years
-- Today, the Eiffel Tower is open to the public every day of the year
-- Persons on wheelchairs can visit the Eiffel Tower upto the second level using the elevator
-- You can use the steps only till the second platform (the third platform is accessible only via elevators)
-- The Eiffel Tower has got restaurants on the first and second platforms
-- The restaurant on the first platform is Altitude 95 and faces the river Seine
-- The restaurant on the second platform is named Jules Verne and needs prior booking
-- The Eiffel Tower belongs to the city of Paris and is given on a renewable contract to a limited company named Societe d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel
-- Over 200 million people have visited the Eiffel Tower since its inception

Information from Buzzle.com

Monday, May 25, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thoughts on Life

"It is the enjoying, and not merely the possessing, that makes us happy." Montaigne

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome Spring

Did you know that on May 1st - May Day (ok, I'm a bit late), it is a tradition in France to usher in Spring by picking and sharing Lily of the Valley (Muguets de bois). It is also apparently quite common to see roadside stands or people in marketplaces throughout France selling Lily of the valley bouquets, often as a fund-raiser for organizations. The flower is considered a good luck charm of sorts and is referred to as "porte-bonheur". Lily of the Valley is one of my favorite florals. I love picking them from my side-yard and filling a vase as well as my home with it's lovely scent. Ah, Springtime in Maine!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blog Feature - Thanks Karen!

A thoughtful woman named Karen from MysticWynd.etsy.com emailed me and wondered if I wouldn't mind being featured on her wonderful blog: Mystic Wynd. She does a spotlight feature of shops that she comes across on Etsy that are new and unique. I was flattered she chose to feature my newest shop ~ Seasonal Vignettes on her blog this week. The interview is on the right hand side of her blog. Click here: MysticWynd and take a peek!

Pâte à Crêpes recipe

Pâte à Crêpes (Crepe Batter) recipe
(our favorite family recipe - thanks Mom!)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together. Beat in flour mixture until smooth.
  2. In a 6"-7" crepe pan or small frying pan over medium high heat with a 1/4 teaspoon of butter, swirling to coat surface. Pour batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. When your pan is at the perfect temperature, you’ll know because the batter will set the moment it hits the pan, but it won’t be so hot that it bubbles and leaves holes in the crêpe.
  3. Brown on both sides and serve hot with Crème fraîche, fruit, maple syrup or whatever is appealing to you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Favorite French Cookbooks

I am a bit of a cookbook addict (I'm getting better). Here are a few of my favorite French cookbooks. What are yours?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

what makes your heart skip a beat?

I am a member of the Etsy Cottage Style Group and this month they are having a blog share of ~ What makes my heart skip a beat??? Oh- so many things. My mood and what inspires me changes with the seasons (hence one of my shops - "The Seasonal Cottage"). So for today, here are a few things:Small vignettes on my windows remind me summer is around the corner!

Spring Florals inside waiting to be planted outside....

Gardening books to help me plan my outdoor living/gardening space...a constant work in progress.
Making my own scented potpourri with lovely florals and lots of shells for summer!
I have tons of white and purple violets growing wild in my field. I transplant some each year into my flower beds. Love the little buds! They remind me of cheery faces (ok, I know this sounds strange).Be sure to check out all the blogs listed on the Etsy Cottage Style Blog for a complete list of participants!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Carte Postale Key Chain on Indiespotting!

This Unisex key-chain - "Carte Postale", from my shop "Simply French Designs" was recently posted on the front page of Indiespotting": http://tinyurl.com/arxmuj

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bonne Fête des Mères

"Le coeur d'une mère est un abîme au fond duquel se trouve toujours le pardon." Translated "The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." Honoré de Balzac, a 19th century French novelist and playwright.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009


Happiness is the shadow of man,
remembrance of it follows him;
hope of it precedes him.
J. Petit-Senn

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Par les soirs bleus d’été, j’irais dans les sentiers,
Picoté par les blés, fouler l’herbe menue:
Rêveur, j’en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.

Je ne parlerai pas, je ne penserai rien: Mais l’amour infini me montera dans l’âme, Et j’irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,

Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

Of the blue summer eves, I'll walk along the paths
Slashed by the wheat blades, trampling upon the fine grass,
Dreaming, I will smell the freshness at my feet
And I will let the wind bathe my uncovered head.

I'll say nothing at all, nor will I think at all, Yet this infinite love will rise to fill my soul. Then I'll go so far away, like a bohemian