A small group of us decided to swap Halloween matchboxes that contained some fun bits inside. These aren't the tiny matchboxes you put in a pocket but the larger ones that hold a LOT of wooden matches. Aileen was my send-to person and she is such a dear friend I wanted it to be special. So, I went through my ribbon stash, stickers, images, trims and so on.
After painting and stamping, gluing on the image, I sorted through my ribbons until I found the right ones. Then came the fun part trying to figure out what to put inside. I was in Tuesday Morning and what do they have but 'pumpkin caramels!" Sounded wonderful to me. I hope they will be good.
Here it is with the things that wouldn't fit in the matchbox. I could have taken the caramels out and things would have fit in better but that would have been too easy! lol
This is a journal spread that I finished today. The left was stamped then embellished. The right side was drawn and colored in.
I was going through my books and magazines (because something needed to GO!) and ran across an old issue of Decorative Painter magazine. In it was two designs that still "get" to me. So, I finished the ghost bunny one today. It was meant to be done in oils (according to their directions) but I adapted it to acrylics. I thought it turned out cute. The other design is a Christmas one so you will have to wait to see that one. :)
While in France, I learned of woad, a natural pigment used to dye fabric, baskets, used in paint, and more so I went online, found a supplier and bought some. The good people at Golden paints gave me advice on how to mix it to create acrylic paint. I used it for the background in the above floral. I've got a test piece in the window to see how lightfast it is. Golden, and any other paint manufacturers have nothing to worry about with this gal making paint. First the stuff stinks and second, you've really got to get finely ground stuff to work well and it's just not as nice as their paints. But, with that said, I feel like I authentically brought a bit of Europe back with me and not just souvenirs I bought.
Recently, my family spent a week in Captiva, Florida where I spent many an hour picking up shells. I brought a lot of them back and made my own version of a sailor's valentine. Both my husband and my son like it. What do you know?!
Another piece with woad paint in the background.
This clock base is a recent estate sale find. I really paid almost nothing for it. It was in a lot of items and it was so dirty that I couldn't tell what I'd have to do to use it. Turns out I just needed Murphy's oil soap to clean it. Then when the clock insert arrived, just poppped it in.
Remember this painting that I bought from Heike Kirchmann?
Now I'm working on hanging the other pieces I got in France.
Kari and Shelly waiting for our Toulouse to Paris flight.
Later that night, poor Kari was dead asleep by 8 p.m. It's not easy being an art teacher. After the trials of getting to France, then Durfort by rental car, shepherding us all around to sightsee and then teaching for a week, she was beyond exhausted. She was talking to us one minute, laid her head down on the pillow and was gone!
Here's the Office de Tourisme at L'Orangerie that we got to know pretty well. We got our museum passes and transportation passes for the next 3 days. What a deal! We could go to any museum and go in without waiting in line for a ticket or we could take the subway, bus or train anywhere in the area. They even helped us locate someone for a charter trip later.
Here's Shelly waiting in the hotel foyer. We never could quite 'get' the painted bamboo poles. They didn't seem to fit the hotel's decor.
On to the train for Paris.
We head to the Musee D'Orsay. It was fabulous!!
I loved the glass awnings over the door.
Live music on a Friday night. They were good.
I made it! Seeing the Eiffel Tower again (I was 16 last time) was one of the things I wanted to do in Paris.
You always hear about English roses and indeed they are wonderful, but France was ablaze with them everywhere.
There were some good photo opportunities that day.
Of course, we had to get a crepe while there. The scenery wasn't too bad either. :)
I enjoyed the signs in the subways and around the city. Until tomorrow.
This is a little park between our hotel and the tourist office.
The had all sorts of aviation posters and vintage pictures up. Then, I saw a tree that was identified and I suppose it's unusal for there but I had to laugh! The tulip poplars like those that grew below my parents' house. Raked many of those leaves!
We tried to find a subway stop that would take us near a train shop so I could get one for my son. We decided to go "up" and see the Arc de Triomphe since we were there. :)
Finally, I found a nice cabbie who took us to the shop (which I think was Trans Europ but there are three train shops side by side), waited outside while I made a purchase and then took us to the Louvre. I found out about the shop from a blog http://www.quinntopia.com/2010/08/paris-hobby-shops.html of a guy who's been to quite a few of them and gave very helpful reviews on them. He mentioned a lady named Claude and I got to meet her as she was needed to interpret and she was so helpful!
We were able to see more of the city, too, by being above ground.
The Louvre at last!
"Winged Victory" below.
I have a thing for the religious icon paintings. I know that they are very labor-intensive.
Just a cafe scene near the Louvre. On our way back to the hotel after getting an eye- and mind-full of inspiration. We've booked a trip to Giverny in the morning and it will be just us. They take us there, wait and bring us back to the hotel. NO subways! rofl
On the way to Giverny, the countryside was beautiful.
The red blur you see in the picture above is the poppies as we go by.
As we stood in line for tickets to go into Monet's gardens and visit his house, I took pictures of the flowers by the path.
First things, first...the gift shop!
Out the door and into the gardens...
Roses and bachelor's buttons...
More poppies, which I love and won't grow at home...
Here I am after just touring Monet's house inside. The walls were colorful and furnishings charming. One room had lots of asian artwork. The kitchen had copper vessels and lovely pottery. Unfortunately, I can't show you as they didn't allow pictures.
Kari and I stop for a photo.
Color, color everywhere!
Then on to the waterlily garden which inspired so many of his paintings.
There were chickens and turkeys there also. The chickens had style with their 'hair-dos'.
We enjoyed our tour of Giverny so much and went back to our room inspired. A few hours later, the same driver picked us up for a night tour of Paris.
He dropped us off for a bit of shopping along the Champs Elysees. We could have spent a whole day there but there wasn't the time or the money for that!
We laughed at the little Toyota vehicle in one showroom.
Then I found the car I'd rather have.
Just a cafe scene along the way. I liked the typically striped shirts that the waiters were wearing.
We saw the Arc again at night, then Notre Dame.
the Paris Opera House...
and the Tower once again. It doesn't show but it was lit and after a while the pattern changes and it began to flicker. The crowd nearby went crazy cheering. It was a great way to end my time in France.
It is our last day in Durfort and being together as a "class." I want to capture bits of the house that have become so familiar over the past week. The colors that fit the area so well, the broken-in comfortable feel of the furnishings, the laughter that permeates every day sometimes over the craziest things. We were assigned our own napkin anr holder to keep track of (the napkins were changed periodically).
The staircase looking down from the 3rd floor studio. The steps were well-worn, uneven and creaky and we all joked about no way you could sneak out at night if you were a teen in that house.
Then to the studio to put some finishing touches on our journals. We'd add our own details inside later. We had made molds of our flea market finds using Townsend Atelier molding products then used Ultralight Sculpey to make clay copies of our find. Some painted their items with metal paints containing copper or bronze and patinaed them. Looked very vintage and cool. I haven't decided what will go on the outside of mine yet. We all used the same paints on the covers of our books. Now bound, they were really looking good.
Kari showing us how to make journaling spots using stencils. Her pages were beautiful.
We really hadn't had rain much while here and the clouds on our last day seemed shed a few tears to see us go. Or at least I like to think that.
We've come full-circle in our trip and returned to Revel for a last visit and lunch. The fisherman fountain stands guard over part of the town.
We drooled at the bakery window (we weren't the only ones though - see photo) and purchased a few small macarons.
I got tickled at the pastry pigs lined up in the window. I wonder what was on the inside. I was too full from lunch to even inquire.
The square, so busy on Market Day, is now quiet.
Connie toasts our last night as we did on every evening to good friends, learning and good times. Indeed.