Friday, 18 January 2013
This year I managed to get my Sketchbook ready in time for The Sketchbook Project 2013. I had opted for ' Travelogue' as a theme and the subject was France. I have masses of my own photographs and literature about various parts of France and used some of these for the Book. I concentrated on Normandy and Brittany. I don't draw very well so I used print outs of my photographs and and maps and did a lot of cutting up and re-arranging. I had coloured all the pages with watercolour washes before I started and painted images with gesso to integrate them into the backgrounds and screen printed and printed over them to add my touch to the whole thing. I really enjoyed making this book and don't know why I don't do it more often.I must practise my drawing skills and maybe I won't have to rely so much on my computer print outs.
Monday, 31 December 2012
As the clock ticks around to midnight and the start of a New Year I wonder what is in store for us in 2013. I won't try to second guess but 2012 has been challenging for us as a family and I yearn for a bit of peace and stability. Time to reflect, regroup and draw close.
Happy New Year to all my Friends, Family and followers.
Thursday, 20 December 2012
This is the new addition to our family. She just appeared one day in our cul de sac. She is very affectionate and when she first arrived she was starving hungry and so we fed her. This went on for a couple of weeks, she would come and make a fuss, running around like a mad thing and squeaking, she doesn't seem to have a proper voice. We would feed her and then she would go off and be back again when she was hungry. Then one day, she plucked up her courage and came through the door. As we already have three cats and a dog I was a bit afraid of a war breaking out but she was very careful and I made sure that the dog didn't chase her off. She is quite capable of looking after herself and once when the dog was a bit too interested he got a smack around the face. She is a true Tortie and stands her ground but knows her place here in the heirarchy. She is a mystery as she still disappears like clockwork at certain times of the day and evening and this makes me wonder if she has been abandoned and goes home to see if there is anyone there. She wasn't wearing a collar when she appeared so I have bought her one now and written our telephone number inside just in case there is an owner out there who may be interested in how she acquired a jazzy collar but so far no one has claimed her. Of course she has taken over the place and me in particular. When she is here, which is most of the time, she follows me about, sits on my lap, interferes with what I am doing, wont let me use the sewing machine or my
computer. Its like having a small child again. I have to try to get things done when she has gone walkabout or is sleeping next to the radiator or on my chair. I find it a bit annoying as I am always doing something and am not the sort of person to sit around watching television during the daytime BUT when she comes back after one of her jaunts she is so pleased to see someone that my heart melts and I have to give her a bit of time. Once she knows she is safe indoors and fed she settles down. The other cats have accepted her now but mainly ignore her. My ginger tom turns his back on her, and Margie my Tortie hisses and growls at her but so far no fights!! I think she has adopted us !!! I ought to give her a proper name I suppose, but for the minute she is known as Squeaky. I shall miss her if she decides to move on.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
It's been a long time since my last post and just in case you all think I have been in France all this time the answer is No. We left Ste. Marie aux Mines on the Sunday and started making our way West and North. One of our stops was at Chartres and we went to have a look at the Cathedral. There is a huge amount of restoration work going on and some parts of the Cathedral were out of bounds. Nevertheless it was completely spellbinding. We passed lots of fields of Sunflowers past their prime but still very decorative. The weather was still gorgeous and looking back now we were so lucky to have sunshine every day for almost two weeks. There was a slight blip when we were caught up in the Ferry strike and had to stay with our friends an extra two days. We finally managed to get a Ferry booking by changing from Britanny Ferries to LD lines but this meant driving to Le Havre instead of Caen. We set off for Le Havre on another beautiful day and were looking forward to a change of route. We stopped at Lisieux for lunch very close to the Basilica. We didn't have time to go inside this time but took some pictures and carried on with our journey. We were treated very well by LD lines but it does not have the sophistication of Brittany Ferries. It was a very good trip again and we managed to buy some very interesting things. The quilt show was amazing made even more enjoyable by meeting up with old friends . We have already started planning our next big trip. This time in April and will include a visit to Nantes to the stitchcraft show held there every year - ' Pour L'Amour du Fil'.
After a short rest - I was exhausted when I got home from France - it was back to work. I had a stand at the lovely Country House Vintage Fair at Arlington Court, North Devon, at the beginning of November. It was a lovely day and I was happy to be back in Devon. The week-end was made all the more pleasurable by my staying with my friend Loveday at her house in Appledore. Ten days later Linda and I set off for Cornwall to Cowslip Workshops for the Christmas Craft Fair. This is always a lovely weekend - combining business with pleasure.
And here we are now a few days from Christmas! I seem to have some sort of foul virus. One minute I am alright and the next I feel like death. I still have lots to do to get ready for Christmas Day. There will be eight of us for Lunch so I hope it goes away soon.
Thanks to all my followers for bothering to read my ramblings and I wish everyone a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and a Healthy New Year.
Our first Fair of 2013 is on 5th February 2013 at the Makarness Hall, Honiton, Devon.
Friday, 28 September 2012
As I wrote in my previous post one of the reasons for going to Alsace was to visit the Carrefour European Patchwork which is held every year at Ste. Marie aux Mines. I have always wanted to go and this year there was an added attraction as there was going to be work there on display made by girls that I know. Vineta, Dot and Sara are part of a group called Kindred Spirits and they had produced a collection of work based on items in the British Museum. The result was absolutely stunning. I was overwhelmed and so happy and proud for them and I thought that their Exhibition of work was the best there. I know I am a little biased as they come from the South West of England but the work speaks for itself. They are all very talented.
There was also an Exhibition of Antique Quilts and Textiles from Provence which was also mind blowing.
I have a lot more photographs from the Quilt Show, too many to put on here so will post a link to the Web Album for anyone who wishes to see more.
Thursday, 27 September 2012
|Day 1 - Caen to Beauvais|
Breakfast in Honfleur
This year Linda and I decided to visit an area of France that we had not been to before. Our target was Alsace and the little town of Ste. Marie aux Mines the home of the European Patchwork Show for the last eighteen years and the cradle of the Amish movement . I have wanted to go there for a long time now but the dates have always clashed with something else so this year it was written in the Diary at the beginning of the year to make sure we got there. Our route was to take us from the ferry port at Caen around the north of Paris to the East and then down to Alsace. We stopped at Honfleur for breakfast. This was the first time I had been back there since I was 14!!! but it was as I remembered and just as beautiful, though a lot more busier with Tourists. I went there in the 1950's when France was still recovering from the bombardments of the Second World War.
We had lunch here at Duclair beside the River Seine. The weather was glorious. There is a chain ferry here to take cars the short distance across the river to the other side.
After a stop at one of the Abbeys along the route we made for Rouen. We made straight for the Cathedral. We spent some time inside to take photographs and then made our way to the Square. We spent quite a bit of time here reflecting on the past. It was here that Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake. After a while we decided we ought to find a bed for the night. We made for the Hotel Campanile and were devestated when we were told that the Hotel was full. We were both hot and tired and were looking forward to a shower and a rest before dinner. We decided to go on a further 60 miles to Beauvais and see if the Campanile there had any rooms. We were lucky this time.
Awesome is the only fitting word I can find to describe the Cathedral at Reims. Our drive to Reims took us through varied countryside. Our first stop was at Pierrefonds to look at the fabulous Chateau which was first built in the 15th century. From there we drove through the Forest of Compeigne past the place where the Armistice was signed in 1918. Compiegne is situated at the confluence of the Aisne and Oise rivers. A royal and imperial city, it has been the scene of major events in French history. We arrived at Reims in time for lunch. Unfortunately the weather had changed and it was raining.
Fresco at Toul
On leaving Reims - Epernay was our target and this took us through rolling countryside with acres and acres of vines. We were in Champagne country. Before we reached Nancy we stopped at a place called Toul. The first thing we saw as we drive into the Town Centre was a 'Brocante' with lots of lovely junk outside on the pavement and here we made our first purchases of the trip. Toul is a fortified town and has a wonderful Cathedral. There is a lot of restoration taking place and I was thrilled to find that there are still a fair amount of the original Frescos in tact. Toul has links to Joan of Arc too. She was forced to appear here before an ecclesiastical court when she was being sued for breach of promise before she became a Soldier. On reflection this was turning out to be a Joan of Arc route purely by co-incidence. At the Tourist Information Centre in Toul I found a book about her and we were getting close to where she was born. She was from Domremy and was an Alsacienne.
Ste. Marie aux Mines.
We drove through spectacular countryside of forest covered hills and lush green plains. Ste. Marie is in the Val d'Argent and is an extremely pretty place with some very ancient buildings - 16th century - and an abundance of bright geraniums. We stopped in Ste. Marie before heading to our Hotel in Ostheim a few miles along the valley. We managed to park the car in the Square and the first person we saw was Mary Koval whom we had met last November at Cowslip Workshops. Mary sells Antique American Quilts . We went to Register and bought our Entrance tickets for the next 3 days and went to look at the Traders. We found Petra Prins, the Dutch lady we had met last year also at Cowslip and then drawn to a stand full of lovely old stuff we recognised the owner as someone we used to see at Le Mans when we used to go there to trade at the Exposition de Textiles Anciennes. Dominique Jouvenet is her name and we bought a load of stuff from her and very pleased we were too!! We had a look at a few of the Quilts but decided to go on to our Hotel as we were travel weary.
To be continued .....................................................