Saturday, 29 November 2014

Place du Capitole, Toulouse, Haute Garonne.
Les Couleurs du Marché.
Colourful spices

Aromatic infusions

Gorgeous African mud cloths

Cute hand-made dollies

And songs sung in Russian by kilt-clad buskers!

Friday, 28 November 2014

At our autumn fair last weekend I was asked to make a warm, cosy throw ready for the cold winter nights ahead here in the Pyrenees.
So I started off with a roll of 80% cotton, 20% wool in warm colours and a pretty floral design
teamed it with a co-ordinating fabric and cut both into 4" strips.

They were sewn together then chopped up to make squares
which were then pieced in checkerboard fashion with a border added around all sides and then layered with wadding and backing. 
Quilted on a domestic machine following the lines of the squares, trimmed and a 2" binding finished by hand et voila, another warm and cosy throw ready for the cold winter nights.

Another order was for a personalised apron.

I've quilted the pocket to make it sturdy and durable.  The thread is a heavy jeans thread which makes a very strong mark and I've used Jacquard fabric paint for the name. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

There are two mercerias in Pas de La Casa, Andorra and both are so well-stocked it's not easy to move around without knocking something over!

In the huge choice of supermercados in Pas there's a big choice of Pastis and every other drink you can think of plus ones you may never even have heard of!

There's already neige on the peaks and the pistes have been given a good base ready for the imminent ski season.

There's a little snow underfoot on the shady areas of the trottoirs.

The main reason for my visit to Pas this week was to buy balls of no. 8 thread for making skeins (above) ready for hand-dyeing along with fabric fat quarters for our Autumn Craft Fair which took place yesterday and today in Aulos near Les Cabannes, just along the RN20 to the south of Tarascon.
Not a bad spot to spend a really warm weekend in November!  The mountain in the background is Mont Quié, famous for its climbing and also for magnificent birds of prey including the gypaete - bearded vulture.

Friday was an interesting day too - my first manifestation!
I was one of about 400 people marching against the creation of a huge quarry in a spectacularly beautiful valley near Tarascon.  The proposed digging would destroy a whole mountainside from Bédeilhac to Saurat which at the moment is tranquille countryside.   The amazing Mont Calames is the area concerned.

The march was very well organised and started off from the Conseil Général in Foix, circled around the chateau de Foix then all around the busy Friday morning market ending in front of the Préfecture where delegates delivered a 5 kilo dossier of signatures against the proposals.

If the proposals were allowed to go ahead it would be a disaster for the area for tourists and locals alike.
 is the site to visit for more info. and to sign the petition against the quarry.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Another exhilarating walk yesterday in the warm November sunshine!

This circuit started in Saurat just down the road from Tarascon. After quite a steep climb which tested the knees 4 hours later we reached La Tour de Montorgeuil before a final easy descent back to Saurat. 

On the far side of the first mountain we encountered there are magnificent vertical cliffs ideal for lovers of escalades.  The little red speck in the photo above is one member of several groups of climbers we came across. 

This is the view from the highest point on the other side of the valley, looking south at Mont Sédour.

There are many limestone caves in this area including the famous Grotte de Niaux, Grotte de la Vache, Grotte de Bédeilhac and Grotte de Lombrives - all well worth a visit.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

It was well worth getting lost on a walk to La Chapelle de Saint Paul d'Arnave this week because the views we 'fell' upon along the way were spectacular!

After backtracking from the peaks above Tarascon sur Ariege we finally found the correct path to our destination, the beautiful little 11th century chapel perched high up above the pretty little village of Arnave which is on the Route des Corniches between Bompas and Lordat.
It's in a gorgeous location ideal for a picnic especially on a warm and sunny day in November.
Inside is quite small and cute with fascinating designs carved into the stone. 

The archway of the ancient doorway boasts interesting geometric patterns.

The lizards were enjoying basking on the warm stones in the heat of the lovely autumn sunshine.
Finding the way back to Place Garrigou was relatively simple with plenty of time to look at the gorgeous undergrowth with its lichens and fungi.

It's a really enjoyable, not too strenuous walk and takes around 90 mins each way from Place Garrigou, Tarascon sur Ariege.

Friday, 7 November 2014

In my workroom today I picked up where I left off at the end of July.  I'd completely forgotten that I'd prepared some fabric with Markal Paintstik shapes using the leaves stencil and another one of simple circles.  The latter was part of the packaging in a box of threads so I didn't even have to cut it out!  

For these cute little 12" cushions I used a cherry red fine tulle to cover the whole front.  It's modified the colours of the paintstiks and the background fabric, creating a soft and harmonised result.
Above is the rather stark colour palette before adding the layer of tulle.

For the quilting I've used a copper coloured metallic thread to add a little extra bling.

A co-ordinating floppy tassel in shiny rayon thread at each corner, an envelope back with a deep overlap to avoid any gaping and snug duck feather inserts finish them off nicely.

Et voila - all ready for the sale of work in Aulos near Les Cabannes on 22nd. & 23rd. November.

This was the view out of my workroom window this morning but after lunch rainclouds appeared and drizzle set in.
Great weather for being creative indoors!