Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I had a lovely stroll along our lane on the Apley Estate yesterday.

Mom saying to her offspring - "That's one of those humans.  Strange things aren't they!"

This cow has beautiful lines.  Shame she's only got 3 legs.

The bulbous base of the trunk of this old tree is enormous!

While we're looking at trunks - this was one of the photos I took last week in the Ariege.  It brings to mind designs on African shields - potential quilt design?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Prompted recently by wonderful DesignMatters TV programmes, I treated myself to a few hours this weekend playing with some of my sketchbooks.  Seven of them to be exact!
Leaves are some of my favourite things so they feature frequently   on my sketchbook pages.  I collected these from alongside the Canal du Midi in Salleles d'Aude on a visit to the European Patchwork Centre before it closed down recently.
I used decorator's caulk to achieve the texture in the background.  

It's quite thick and so needs plenty of time to dry!

I've used oil pastel with a wash for the bottle shapes above and below.  

Today was a lovely sunny day so I took these sketchbooks outside into the safty of the fresh air to give them a spray of lacquer to enhance the colours.

I applied paint directly to the feather then carefully pressed it onto the page for the print above.

I used a dried and pressed leaf to print the motif on the right page and then gave it a painterly touch with inktense pencils.
Then I treated the actual leaf itself to a rubbing of Treasure Gold for a bit of sparkle - left page.

For the background of this delicate leaf print I used some of my leftover hair dye.  Waste not, want not!  What a lovely fragrance!

 The poppy seedhead print below is made using DesignMatters 'magic' compressed sponge.  The edges of the pages are stitched with hand-dyed thread and then given a touch of colour for added interest.

This gorgeous bottle selection is taken from the design on a paper bag printed at Blists Hill Victorian Town for the pharmacy in the main street there.  The printer's shop is a little further down the street and is well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Not sure if this is a cricket but he's beautiful!

This spectacular scenery is in Andorra.

Pas de la Casa is a concrete jungle but it's wonderful for shopping in the town itself and for skiing in the high and snow-sure surrounding mountains. 

A thunderous cascade near Merens les Vals near the France/Andorra border.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

This is the gorgeous little church at Barri d'en Haut near Tarascon 
A  herd of cows a short walk above the village.


According to my reference book this could be a Burnt Orchid.

This could be a Fragrant Orchid.

Looking back at our climb towards the Col d'Ussat.

What a beautiful leaf!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Some of Jen's photos of the Foire:
Before the fun begins - with Mimi & Eugene.

We made the most of the wide trottoire!

Compressed sponge prints.

Batik, rusted and dyed fabric and threads.

FM quilting, Boutis kits and sheer packs.

Jen's lovely range of bookmarks and gift bags made from recycled milk and fruit juice cartons.

And gorgeous hand-made cards!

Checking emails at end of the day. 
While Eugene prepares the Magret de Canard for dinner.

Waiting for his turn to perform.

Our hero Rafael taking a break from preparing the local lamb for the menu du jour a midi!
Merens horses with their riders get in place for a display of their skills.


Explanation and demonstration of how the shepherd and his sheepdog go about their work.

Well camouflaged in front of his van!

Local produce for sale.
On the left, Hypocras, an apéritif made in Tarascon, often used in cooking.

Hat, glasses, tie and, just out of shot, personalised clogs all made of wood!   
Intertwined chain links expertly made from one length of wood.

This year's new garlic from the Tarn.

One of our local musicians!

Danse folklorique in full swing.

We had a front row seat again to view the day's 'spectacles'.
Right next to the buvette and barbecue area for regular refreshment.  Lunch was barbecued local lamb with frites followed by crustade aux pommes including a drink and all for 8 euros!