Friday, 27 May 2011

Home Again

Just some pictures from Giverny.  We were told that Monday was the quiet day to visit.  I'd hate to be there when it was busy is all I can say.  I think Mondays were also school visit days and the noise from small voices was tremendous.

If I have one memory to bring home it would be the smell.  All the roses and honeysuckle were out and the air was filled with their perfume.

We didn't even try to enter the house as it was so full of children but the weather was wonderful and the flowers were doing their thing and we enjoyed the journey there and back again.

I haven't gained weight even after all the cheese and wine so I've done a little happy dance.  Lots of catching up to do now.


Monday, 23 May 2011

Honfleur and On

Saturday we travelled along the coast to Honfleur. That trip in itself was interesting. We had to drive through Deauville where the G8 will be held this week. Security was very high with gendarmes on nearly every corner for miles, groups of CRS and huge convoys of army. One or two of the other cars were stopped but we made it through. Great reason for always having your passport to hand especially as the CRS were heavily armed!

Honfleur was busy as it was Saturday and market day. We all managed to find each other and started our mini tour. Up narrow streets,

and out to the harbour area. Some of these narrow buildings are seven stories high.

Then on through the Market area again which had some wonderful smells!

Finally on to the 15th century Church of Sainte Catherine, a totally wooden church that looks like two upturned boat hulls side by side. As it was made by shipwrights I suppose they did what they knew best.

Honfluer was largely untouched during the war and so still has fabulous old charm. The light is very clear too being on the Seine estuary and has attracted many famous artists over the years.

After lunch we drove down to Camembert an incredibly tiny village that carries the name of probably the most famous French cheese. Like our cheddar it has just become a type of cheese due to how it is made rather than who makes it so there are many makers of Camembert all over the word.

True Camembert was given AOC status in 1983 so if you want the real thing it must have the AOC stamp, have been made from raw, unpasturised milk using cows kept in Normandy and ladled into the moulds by hand.

Yesterday we visited Falaise and the Chateau Guillaume Le Conquerant (William the Conquerer to you and me).

I personally found some of the restoration uncomfortable. UNESCO states that unless you have undisputed evidence of what was there before, any restoration has to have a significant demarkation between what was original and what is new. The architect chosen for some of the work at the chateau liked steel and concrete. Apparently there was almost a local revolution at what he had been allowed to do to their castle. Now the more recent restoration is far more subtle and pleasing.

We parked in the town square opposite this church.

It was incredibly ornate and when the bells rang, they were even more over the top but quite charming! I don't know if they have the full set of bells ringing every day or just on the Sunday for service. I don't think I would want to live too near if they were on all the time!

We had a good drive up to Bayuex afterwards. Another lunch in a small creperie and on through to the tapestry. Of course no photos etc but it's well documented. I do recommend a real live viewing if you ever have the chance though. I saw it many years ago in a previous setting but it has now been housed in a special room and case. It is in wonderful condition for something made of linen and wool and nearly a thousand years old!

Last day today and Giverny. Photos later.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bonjour Mon Ami

We've driven over to France with a few friends and enjoying the fabulous sunshine and food of Normandy. Yesterday we went here...

To see this...

Then had lunch here... (which was very much needed after all the Calvados sampling!)

And then we toured around these beautiful gardens...

And on to a Castle which had this most beautiful dove cote which I managed to take a picture of before my battery ran out again. (yes I have the charger this time!)

I hope your weekend is good, were all off to Honfleur, another castle and the Camembert factory.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 16 May 2011

Another Industrious Weekend.

I pottered around with the Annette Emms Pixie Boot pattern in the recent Stitch magazine.  I can see that one could become very carried away with these!

I have also made a three pocket pouch for the suitcase.  I have several of these patterns but just needed plain pockets for First aid, pain killers and the spare regular pills for when we go away so I gathered the basics and made my own.  It saves having to hunt around for those things that make life a little more comfortable when away from home.

One of the patterns I brought back from Spain for Elsa, she also wanted to slightly adapt hers to suit her uses for sewing.  She is over the moon with it.  The ribbon is for threading reels on and she had pinned the binding in place on the front just for the photo so she could take it home to finish it.  We may not be bank of mum and dad but we certainly have the craft supplies depot!!!

After Blogger's major mess up last week, I still have some comments missing from the previous post.  I'm sure we have all been affected by it a little but if you weren't, it wasn't me who deleted the posts!! They still may turn up one day.

Over the past ten years or so we have casually seen the Red Kite population slowly move south.  The last time I saw one in England it was not far south of Newbury.  We heard last year from a local farmer that they had been seen on the Cranborne Chase just north of us so we knew they were coming.  On Saturday it was quite a surprise to see one on road kill not far from our village.  They finally made it back down south.

Have a great week!


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Another Finish

At last I managed to drag this quilt away from Tully and put the binding on.  It was a BOM from Just Hands On TV designed by Jennie Rayment.

For some reason Tully fell in love with this quilt probably because it's black and she is very small and white and always managed to wiggle her way into it and fall asleep.  It has taken me ages to remove all the fur and put it back into a just about presentable condition.  She even tried dragging it off my lap the other day when I was doing a last piece of handquilting.  Still, it is now finished and hanging where she can't squirm into it and make it furry again.  I have named it 'Tucked Up Tully' though.

And just in case you were concerned that one of our dogs would be quiltless, I have donated another one to her patch on the sofa.  She is breaking it in gently.

The Mistress of all she can wiggle into.


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My Tweets 3 Finished

I've completed the My Tweets outer block 3 now.

Block 4 is all starched and appliglued down ready for stitching and block 5 is imminent.  My sewing Ladies are very interested in the starching technique so I am going to have to demo it for them in a couple of weeks time.  Should be fun!


Monday, 9 May 2011

I Really Can't Abide Christmas Out of Season, But...

Elsa really liked the book I bought back from Spain and she is wanting to make as many of her Christmas things as possible as it's her first Christmas with Mike in their own home.  I had to give in a little on Saturday and we made a set of these ornaments each.

They were quite fun and easy even if  I was grinding my teeth a little!! I'm not sure If I will be keeping mine or putting them aside for gifts.  For now they can go in the box these things hide in so I don't have to see them and then they will be a nice surprise when I find them again after November. lol

I was being watched in my room the other day by this young blackbird.  I was also being watched very carefully by mum too.   

And well done Benta over at Slik Stitches who is today's guest blogger on Stash Manicure!   Go and see how to make her clever little bag.