Monday, February 28, 2011

I had a little birthday

Firstly, a big thank you to Blandina at La Griccia who put me up for a Stylish Blogger Award. It must be true, because Blandina knows style - check out this gorgeous cardigan she knitted, all ready for spring. Or these fantastic curtains (I adore the last photo). She even got to attend a jacquard weaving workshop and weave her own fabric. Très chic. Thank you Blandina!

During the week I turned a year older. Can't believe I'm now thirty *mumblemumble*

Sadly the mister had to leave for Paris very early that morning so he missed the day. But he made up for it by bringing home these gorgeous flowers the night before.


The morning of the day itself, the kids didn't wake up until quarter to eight. Not bad, eh?

The kids had their individual French lessons with a tutor and each whipped up some crafty goodness while the other was away.


I scored a car park right in front of my favourite bakery, and the bread was just out of the oven. It was so hot I had to carry it to the car by the corners of the bag. I love it when that happens.


The two big kids and I baked a cake together. The 6 year old cracked his first egg.


The cake ended up pretty good given I turned it out too early and the bloody thing broke in half.


It was a gorgeous pre-spring day in Provence, so the kids frolicked outside in the afternoon while I sat in the sun and worked on this:


And I even got the chance to finish off the last blocks for this one:


That night we all ate left overs (no cooking, yay) and then cake with strawberries and the best vanilla ice cream in the world.


I love this stuff, I wish they sold it in Australia.


I may have had a second piece of cake once the kids went to bed. You don't turn thirty *cough* every day, you know.

I'll be sure to show you my birthday fabric purchases once they show up in the mail (be kind France Post).

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for a top week!


THIRTY SEVEN, dammit! Unbelievable.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The French Circus

Saturday afternoon we took the kids to the circus that visited our village (only two performances over the weekend).

I had in my mind it would be a big affair, but it was in fact a very little circus.


We arrived a little early as we weren't sure what to expect. This guy met us at the entrance:


He was snacking, slobbering and enjoying the view of our village.


Oh look, camel toe.


Someone brought her favourite new handbag:


The whole Big Top seated maybe 200 people. We paid a little extra so we could sit ringside.


This fella was the opening act. His tricks were quite tame but being right next to such a small ring with a galloping horse, it got the heart a-thumping.


This little guy came on next, hamming it up for the audience, showing he was just as good as the big horses.


All the acts were aimed at the younger kids (ours loved it).


Being so small, staff were at a minimum.


The two jugglers were also the two cowboys/lasso artists.


Then one of them jumped up on the trapeze:


After which he put on his coat and went to take over the snack station!


I loved that they weren't at all fazed about being a small operation, in fact they played up to it.


I've never seen a kitten used as a circus act. But look at that fella go - he's just a blur!

Cranky goat was cranky:


All those sitting ringside were then asked to move their chairs back half a metre. The big guns were coming out.

The jumping llama was first up.


Then the big guy himself. He set a cracking pace around the ring, right up close to the barrier.


I firmly believe there are some things in this world that should not be seen running. Naked men, for instance. And camels.

There was not a part of him that wasn't wobbling. The humps wobbled, the neck rolls wobbled, the lips flapped.


After his trainer gave him a reward he started frothing at the mouth again. Then he was back running around the ring, spittle flying off in all directions.


I guess you can imagine how he smelled. This was intensified when he took a leak half way through his second run. Very camelly.


But he was a clever boy.


Next up was the clown, who was charming and had all the kids in tears.


Our 6 year old was laughing so hard I was worried he'd follow in the camel's footsteps (he managed to hold on).

The clown was the closing act, I don't think anyone could have followed him.


The circus was a fun two hours which the kids in particular really enjoyed.


I don't know if I can say the same for the camel.


Have a fab weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Marseille Craft Show - Tendances Créatives

Tendances Créatives was held at the Parc Chanot in Marseille over the weekend just past, I visited the Saturday morning (crazy busy, but still better without my kids!).


This year it felt a little smaller than last, although better arranged/organised. There was also a larger amount of folks selling home-type products which really don't interest me (tools for making flower garnishes, cocktail mixing contraptions, leather shampoos and super-dooper tools that do one very specific thing rather well). If you've ever watched an infomercial, you'll know the stuff I'm talking about.

After a well-spent 10 minutes in reconnaissance (with coffee and the expo guide) I trawled all the rows and visited every stall. I would have liked to see more sewing stands - there was definitely less for seamstresses (and whatever the bloke equivalent is) this year.  Janome wasn't even represented so I couldn't test drive my latest object of lust, the Horizon 7700.

After the stalls I hit the Textile Gallery. The theme this year was silk, and these were the two pieces I liked the best:


This one was hard to photo as the spotlights washed out a lot of the detail, but it's a machine appliquéd Chinese landscape.


I love how the artist included some silkworm cocoons down the bottom:


There were quite a few food vendors outside of what was offered at the café.

Chocolate fountains: weddings, parties....craft fairs. 

I spent money here. Tons of dried fruit and nuts which you bought by weight. Some of the more exotic types included strawberries, grapefruit, kiwi and aloe vera.


I was proud of myself here. I only bought three of these chocolates, for the mister and the big kids.



My favourite display was that of tapestry artist Emöke.


She had several of her large artworks on display/for sale, as well as a stall featuring her smaller items.


This sucker is about 1.5 x 1.5 metres (5 x 5 feet) and the frames (which are tiered and also woven) are supported by wood.


I wouldn't even know how to begin weaving a spiral pattern like this:


This was hands-down my favourite piece. Y'all know how I love my colour gradations.


This piece is 2 x 1.5 metres.


I love the 3 dimensions to her work.


Here's Emöke's booth, you can see her working away to the right there:


This is what she was working on:


More info on Emöke's work can be found on her website.

Let's get to the purchases, shall we? Sad to say I was very reserved this year (again an indicator of less merchandise for sewers).

I picked up this smallish piece of micro-suede for a very good price. I think it will become a cushion backing. Or... er... something (it will come to me, I just knew I needed to buy it.)


I could really do with a skirt in this colour. Probably not in micro-suede though.


I was super-happy to pick up a metre of this lovely British cotton lawn. Very Liberty-like.


I think I am going to have to plan an entire quilt top around using this as a backing.


Has anyone else ever done this?


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