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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

More amazing things to see in France

I think I told you how much I enjoy history.  We always make a point of going to historical places (well, truly, everything in Europe is historical, to tell you the truth)... this time we went to a chateau in Châteauneuf, which we reached by driving through the tiniest villages and roads -- many roads barely had room for one car!  This chateau dates in parts from the 11th Century, although parts of it were added on ("newer additions"!!).




No chateau can be complete without a moat, bien sûr!  This one is now grassed-in, of course!



Look at construction of one of their towers!  This was where the guards watched out over the countryside to look for approaching enemies.  There were still remnants of the armaments, too.


In this particular chateau, there was one room decorated with the most wonderful toile.  I have rarely seen a toile I didn't love.  This one was on the walls, curtain around the bed and the chair seat!




I also have a love of tapestries and they are frequently seen in France.  It's amazing to me to imagine the amount of hours that would have been required to complete these.  I have done some needlepoint in years past and know that to fill every square inch with the stitches is very labor-intensive.  This first one was in the chateau.



We saw this one in a church in a very small town we visited to go to a farmer's market (another favorite thing to do in Europe).


This one was in a winery we stopped at to taste some wine (the area where we are in France is primarily known for its wines).



I feel a little bit bad not showing anything quilt related so I'll share some absolutely gorgeous colors I saw on the buildings in this town where the chateau was found.  Of course we are in France when the seasons are changing and the leaves are turning colors.  I'm not sure you can see all the shades of red in the second picture but as I looked at it (it was just across from the little cafe where we had lunch), I was imagining sewing with those different shades.  I think the colors are spectacular!

Speaking of colors, how do you like these?  This was at the farmer's market.  I have always thought the farmers markets in France were amazing examples of luscious veggies and an explosion of colors.




The architecture of the old buildings never ceases to cause me to gawk at the marvel of them.  This is almost across the road from where we are staying.  I think that house is abandoned.  I'm going to show you some other amazing buildings we spied in our travels.





We found that behind this door is a garden, enclosed in the very old wall.  Do you see how the top of the wall has totally different rocks than the walls themselves??  So interesting.




I loved the color of the shutters on this house.

I don't want to overwhelm (or bore) you with too many pictures so I'll save some more for hopefully tomorrow.  We are taking the train back to Paris for a very early morning flight on Thursday back to San Francisco.  It's been a truly fabulous trip.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On the road again!

You know me--- I love to travel.
My dh and I are now vacationing in the Burgundy region of France, exploring the history and culture (and some wine!).  We are staying in a very small town, having rented a fabulous house that is just steps away from all the basic needs--- bakery, wine bar and restaurant! ;-)

I spent just a couple of days in Paris before taking the train to Dijon (supposed to be the mustard capital of the world), renting a car and driving about an hour to the town of Beaune, although we are staying a little south.

I thought you'd enjoy some of the pictures I've been taking.  What I found amazing, during my short time in Paris, was I saw two different furniture stores displaying furniture with quilt patterns!




One of our first stops in Paris was to a coffee shop for my husband's beans.  He can't go without coffee in the morning.  vbg!  We went to a favorite place and I saw these great mugs from England.  They were definitely too expensive so I just took pictures and didn't buy one.  Bone china?  No thanks.




One of my favorite things about Europe is the architecture.  I am a real sucker for the old buildings.  This is the Hôtel de Ville, which is like our city halls.  The apartment we rented this time was very near this building so I walked past it several times and never tired of looking at each section.




Whenever I see any kind of sculpture, I imagine how much time a person back then must have spent creating these images.  Speaking of that, one of my favorite sites in all of Paris is Notre Dame. This is from the back, which doesn't show any details.   Notre Dame sits on a small island, which you can see  from the picture.

 Sadly, Notre Dame is always very crowded with tourists and gypsies, begging for money.  It's unsafe; there are pick pockets galore;  and we have become very sensitive to the risk of terrorism (sadly) so we generally have been avoiding crowded places.  So we avoided walking across the front of it. Sorry.



Here it is all lit up.  Pretty dramatic, don't you think??


I also can never pass up a great view of quintessential Paris.





Couldn't pass up a picture of this pianist playing for money on one of the bridges adjacent to Notre Dame.  Obviously there were no cars allowed:


One of the other delights of Paris is their shop windows.  We usually go at Christmas time and enjoy the very elaborate displays.  This year, we are obviously not going to see that.  But we passed by a store selling eye glasses (very big business in Paris, by the way--there are shops just about everywhere).  Isn't this a strange one?? 


We are now in the wine country and I'll show you pictures from this area next... I have to admit that I'm missing my handwork.  I didn't bring any sewing but did bring some knitting so that'll have to suffice. Hope everyone is well.

I have heard from many of you asking about our welfare with the fires in Northern California.  Fortunately we are not close but the smoke situation, even in San Francisco, where our daughter lives, is really dire.  She is keeping her kids inside;  school was cancelled as was soccer, of course.  And the pictures of all those homes and cars burning up is just heartbreaking.  I feel for all those people.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday musings




I'd love to share with you the beautiful fall colors in Central Oregon!  It was quite chilly when we left and we put all our patio furniture away and moved the snow blower to the front end of the garage.  Winter will be in full swing when we get there again in December.




I saw these bushes in Maine last year but don't know the name.  I thought the colors were so brilliant.  Sadly, the transfer of the pictures from my phone to the laptop isn't capturing the real vibrant colors.



I saw this sign yesterday at the library and had no idea what it meant... have you ever heard of this?  I suppose I should check it out.


The winner of my Primitive Gatherings Summer block of the month (freebie) from last year has been announced and her pattern is on its way!  There will be more giveaways, as I'm really trying to clear out my sewing room!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Back and catching up - WOOHOO

WOW!  It's been more than a week and I haven't even read a single blog post.  We had our grandkids over the weekend two weeks ago and then we left for the cabin in Oregon right after.  Just got back on Tuesday, babysat the littlest one yesterday and getting ready for the 3 kiddies this weekend.  WHEW.

I have been busy taking pictures, though, to post.  We had a long drive up to Oregon so I got all my handwork done.  I was sorry I hadn't brought more as I ran out!! GRRRR.  Finished the last blocks of the wool appliqué for the Primitive Gatherings summer block of the week (which I showed you last week).  Now I still need to sew the tiny half square triangles that go around each block! Not in a rush for that! ;-)

Then I also did 3 more triangle gatherings blocks... only to wind up behind again as she posted 4 more the next day! UGH.  Maybe this weekend??

This one has cute little sayings which I thought was really cute!


Can you see the telephones?? FUN!!


Mice and snowmen don't exactly go together but I liked it!

I was so desperate for handwork (we took a drive to Walla Walla, Washington, which was another 5 hrs each way!), I grabbed two quilts that needed bindings sewn down!  I even resorted to KNITTING!! ;-)

This one was a Valentine swap I hosted back in 2009.  Fortunately I had written the label on it so I could know when it was done.  I think it was lots of fun and I also pieced the back:




I picked up a quilt from my friend and longarm quilter, Sandy Lachowski, and honestly didn't even remember sewing it!  Now THAT'S pretty sad.  


I'm sure you can see that it's French General fabric, of course!

My dh and I (along with some friends) met up in Walla Walla, Washington, for some wine tasting and touring around.  I'd never been and we were pleasantly surprised.  Walla Walla is a town from the mid-1800s and there were old beautiful buildings everywhere.  Of course, my first stop was at the quilt store!  The building dates back to 1889!







There were interesting sculptures throughout the town and I thought this was so cute!

We also went to the local Farmer's Market (one of our favorite things to do to get a feel for a town) and I found great fruits and veggies.  We also saw a man doing ironworks and he really looked the part!







That's it for today... hopefully I'll be able to post after the kids go back on Sunday.

Hope everyone has started receiving their mug rugs!  It sure was fun!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A little wool applique

Thanks to everyone for your very sage advice.  I appreciate all the thoughts and suggestions.

I did get some sewing done in the car yesterday on the drive up to the cabin in Oregon.  Between a book on tape and my sewing, the time flies by!

I finished the last 4 blocks for the Primitive Gatherings Summer Block of the Week:








This one has the top of its flower a bit off center but I'm not going to do it over.  I don't think it'll bother me once the top is together!

I also finished another pin cushion I've been working on for ages.  I have made a LOT of pin cushions the past few years, which is fun.


Here's another one, which is just about finished..just need a little more embroidery on the machine!


If you have any interest in the patterns for the two latest pin cushions, let me know and I'll be happy to send them your way!

I have also finally finished all that was left on my Penny Gathering Summer 2016 Freebie from Primitive Gatherings.  I'm going to hand it over to my favorite machine quilter today at lunch so I'm looking to give away the pattern. 

I made mine a little differently than the original pattern:

 


If you think you'd like to tackle a lot of wool appliqué ( there are 12 separate blocks plus the center and the border, as well as the very tiny half square triangles on the edges), please email me and I'll pick a winner at the end of the week.
randyiris@gmail.com