stephmodo: December 2013


Modern French Impressionism: L'Atelier de Pierre van Dijk

• 15 December 2013

Since renovating our little maisonette in the Medieval town of Beynac, France, I've wanted to share something very special with you.  It's been a long time coming, this post, and I am quite thrilled to finally let you in on a little secret, or rather, an undiscovered treasure.

This small, picturesque village situated on a steep cliff, has been a destination for artists since the 19th century.  We know for certain that French Impressionist painter, Paul Signac sojourned in Beynac; and we also know that another French Impressionist, Camille Pisarro, spent time in our village back in the 1800's.  I was recently thrilled to discover, via one of our guests, that one of my favorite photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, also visited and photographed Beynac back in the 60's.  What I wouldn't give to take a walk with him down the bumpy, cobblestone paths.  

Carrying on the artistic heritage in Beynac today, is an amazingly talented painter named Pierre Van Dijk.  His paintings are the most exquisite contemporary works I've seen.  My husband, Ben, and I see as much beauty in Pierre's paintings as we do when visiting the MuseĆ© Marmottan in Paris (definitely a must-see!).  And the beautiful part of this story is that he is not only an exceptional artist, but he is a kind person (and so is his lovely wife).  We are grateful to call them friends and for the incredible beauty and warmth their presence adds to the village.  I share these things because catching a glimpse of a person's heart and soul is important to me when purchasing art--it's part of the whole package, you know?

One afternoon during our most recent visit, I spent two afternoons walking the paths of Beynac, capturing the beauty of the village and of Pierre's work, for the express purpose of sharing it with you today.  Needless to say, it wasn't difficult :)  It is no wonder Pierre settled here to paint.  There is inspiration around every corner.

His "atelier", or workshop, is particularly delightful.  A solid wood easel is settled next to the window where always a lovely painting is perched.  Finished works are displayed on the walls and in the window on pretty days (see above).  Sometimes his wife Ellie adds a cheerful vase of flowers--a sight that always makes me happy upon passing.

If you have the opportunity to visit Beynac, definitely carve out a little time to meet Pierre.  But in the meantime, you can read up more on Pierre, his interesting backgroundcolor theory, and available paintings on his website.  Works are available framed or unframed and ship worldwide.  Feel free to contact Pierre over the phone or email as well. He speaks fluent English, Dutch and French!

Atelier Pierre
Pierre van Dijk
Rue de la Balme
24220 Beynac-et-Cazenac


main: +33 (0)6 32 88 49 89
mobile: +33 (0)5 53 59 62 66

all images by stephanie brubaker / stephmodo


Minted Holiday GIVEAWAY

• 10 December 2013

Congratulations ladies!  Here are the three, randomly chosen winners of the Minted Holiday Giveaway.  Each of you receive a $100 credit to Minted to use as you'd like.  Please send me an email at "" to claim your prize.  Thank you! who said, "Would love to use minted for my cards this year!!!!

monique who said..."Oh the skinny wrap labels!! Love those things. Thanks for the opportunity!"

marialuigi who said..."Most darling Minted Christmas cards (for the great procrastinator) would be my choice! Thank you!"

Hello, hello!  I am popping in this week to host a fantastic giveaway from favorite online stationer. They offer so many products to enhance gift giving, party throwing and card sending. 

For this special holiday giveaway, Minted is offering THREE of you a $100 gift certificate.  This means you can pull together those holiday cards quickly, create a beautiful calendar (they are the best!), or save the credit for a baby shower you are throwing next month.  Or, perhaps you'd like some of their personalized wrapping paper, a new set of business cards or wedding invitations?  Truly, there is something for everyone at Minted; and honestly, you absolutely cannot beat the FREE addressing service!  Such a time saver for those sending out holiday cards.

This giveaway will be different from others in that it only lasts 4 days.  In case the winner decides to use the credit on Christmas cards, I want to make sure he or she has the chance to do so with ample time.  In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to get your family photo ready and to start perusing designs so that you'll be ready to go, should you be one of the winners this weekend.  Remember, your chances of winning have already increased, given that three winners will be announced.  Good luck to all of you!

Giveaway Guidelines

- You have 4 days to enter this giveaway (closes Saturday, December 14th at midnight).
- Make 1 comment on this post to enter.
- Anonymous comments will not be considered, so please make sure we know who you are.
- The winner will be chosen via and announced on Monday at the top of this post--so make sure you peek back and see if you're the lucky one.  Thank you!


Limited Edition Deluxe Pie Slice Boxes with Colorblock Forks

• 04 December 2013

A little heads up...I just added a very limited stock of deluxe pie box kits with colorblock utensils to my etsy shop this past week.  I think they are perfect for brunch with the girls or for a baby or bridal shower.  Now that winter is here, I am craving these pops of bold color!

See these sets and more here.

all images from A La Modo etsy shop

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