Sunday, July 25, 2010

Broomsticks, Medieval Fair, and More, Brassac France

We decided to go out for a tour round the Black Mountains roughly about an hour from where we live in the Tarn and we came across this little village called Brassac where a car boot sale (yard sale) was taking place, make my day!! so just had to have a wander around. Parked  next to this gorgeous pink and white deux cheveau, you got the impression that a marriage had taken place either that or the car was owned by a witch and if the car ran out of diesel she could fly off on her broom stick.

Had to cross this gorgeous 12th century bridge to find the sale but had to quickly nip down and get a photo to let you see it, it was all roughly cobbled and really difficult to walk on and is still as beautiful now as it was all these years ago.

Well Joan of Ark greeted us as we walked into the sale and she really looked like she wanted to be elsewhere, sorry Joan couldn't help you out there. 

Well have to say there was not  much today that caught my eye, but did  come across a really nice guy called Michel Jessier a French Canadian who lives and works in a place called Saint Felix Lauagais and makes the most beautiful silver jewellery. He was showing us how this drill which is worked by string to turn it, it's 150 years old and he still uses it today. The necklace is just one example of his beautiful work.
On arriving in the village we saw this

Well I did find a couple of trinkets that I will be playing with over the next few days but you will have to wait and see them when I finally add them to my shop:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Feature Interview & Giveaway by ArTrend

I was delighted when Monica from ArTrend here on Etsy contacted me and asked if I would do a feature and a giveaway for her. She is giving a beautiful watercolour of three penguins signed and dated by her own fair hand. Value $25 So here is a little into her life and love of Art.

I was born in Naples, southern Italy. I lived in my native city until I was 
18 years old and then I moved to Miami Beach Florida where I  now  currently live with my husband Larry .

I graduated at the F.Palizzi art institute in Naples, Italy in 1998 where I learned and practiced many different painting an sculpting techniques. Art has always been a need for me, the need of creating with my hands, with passion and experience in different artistic media.

My inspirations are almost always part of my dreams, even if like I said before my interests usually influence my finished artworks but also I love to admire other artist’s pieces and sometimes see my own interpretation in their work. I love nature, art and travel, and these interests often influence my finished artworks, giving my pieces a sense of another place or time. It’s funny how we all view art in different ways and how personal feelings can influence not only the artist that creates an artwork but also the person that is looking at it.

My favourite artist without any doubt has to be Gustav Klimt. I also love all the great French impressionist and Italian masters but if I could choose a piece of art to hang in my house I will probably get one of the artwork of the 99fears collection created by Nedko Solakov

Here I am painting on glass and the solvent (pure gum spirit, turpentine) gives me a headache after a while, so I have to mask up.

If I could have one wish it would be to have my family closer in order to spend the holidays  and some quality time with my loved ones.

Some of my hobbies! We all have them right!
I don t have kids yet, so… my dog Maya is my baby! I found her last Christmas at the shelter here in Miami Dade and when I am not busy between my day job and my dream job I love to spend time with her!

She follows me in all my activities; she goes kayaking, running, biking, and most of all plays soccer! It’s true!

Well Monica sent me so much wonderful 
information and lots of photo's and I am sorry I could not add them all here. Anyway lets go and find these penguins a new home. 

How to enter:
Please follow my blog and  visit ArTrend and see some more of her beautiful art, heart an item, shop or both:)
Enter as many times as you like so if you tweet or face book this then add your name again. I will pick a winner with on the 5th August and post the details here. So thanks everyone and thank you Monica for such a great giveway, good luck. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Krishenka's Lavender Sachets (Poppits) - Tutorial

Well it's harvesting time for the  lavender  here in France and I have been out at dusk after letting the bees have their fill and then cutting and getting them ready to tie into bundles to dry so far I have 18 bundles off two plants with another 40 plants to yet to pick.

I decided to make a few more of my lavender Poppits and find them really fun and simple to make,  and thought I would share them with you. They are great in your car, hang on a coat hanger, in your  handbag ( I use mine when I go to shop for fish as I hate the smell, but love fish) and I hold this close to my nose when I am at the counter, silly but it saves me feeling ill.  I use them in my dryer much cheaper and better than shop bought (in my opinion). My Poppits even after two years are still fresh.
Useful link for when to harvest your lavender if unsure

What you  will need to make one.

Scissors, needle and thread, measure, scraps of cotton material, length of string and a button, and were off.

A square  measuring  12.5cm x 12.5cm (5" x 5") and pink the edges to stop fraying.

Fold in half with right sides together and stitch along one short edge and turn to go down the long edge leave an opening of  5cm (2") to fill the bag and then continue till you have completed the other small edge.

Turn right side out and gently push out the corners, fill with lavender or anything else that takes your fancy. Stitch the opening and  your almost done. Lay flat with the closure nearest to you and then take the right and left corners and overlap the right onto the left. 

Then sew the button on. Lastly push the string through just under the button and tie then tie the top and there you have it, your own little Poppit.

Hope you try them for your self or make  them for a friend. I am going to make some for my xmas tree this year too, as I have some sparkly material that needs using.
The little blue cone to the left I made the other night to take as a little gift when we went to friends for dinner ( along with the obligatory bottle of wine). And the lavender wand on the right I made three days ago, it has 50 stems so it's a big one.
I have  Poppit Kits listed in my Etsy shop if anyone doesn't have all the ingredients:)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hang onto your Hat's

Hats, well we all love them, and  we have been wearing them for thousands of years  to prove it, if not for safety, to keep warm, oh and certainly for a touch of status perhaps.  It’s not really that long ago they became covetable designer objects in their own right. Though the word ‘millinery’ derives from the Italian town of Milan it was, ironically, the French aristocracy in the 18th century, (where ironically quite a few were about to lose their heads) who first took the humble head covering and turned it into a must-have fashion accessory, with the skillful artists at the court of Louis XV  they created  whimsical fantasies of lace, ribbon and straw.

By the turn of the century, the Edwardians, true masters of excess, had taken the look to extremes and used very rare osprey plumes and commanded outrageous sums of up to £100.  Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII, forbade the wearing of rare osprey plumes at court, that sorted them out. Mid 1800's Swiss and Italian straws, together with imitation straws made from paper, cardboard, grass and horsehair were available to women, along with the introduction of velvet and tulle.

Of course men are just as in love with hats as we girls are and the top hat was worn to show that "I am rich"  and here was me thinking it was just so they could doff their hats to the ladies!
 The style of a cloth cap can be traced back to the 14th century in  Britain and parts of Italy, when it was more likely to be called a "bonnet", which term was replaced, except in Scotland, by "cap" before about 1700.Well as I am a Scot it's a bonnet pronounced as bunnet.

 When Irish and English immigrants came to the United States, they brought the flat cap with them. This style of cap is also referred to in some parts of the UK as a cheesecutter cap because of its wedge shape.

Well if the Edwardians created whimsical hats what on earth word could we use for today! I could just see me trying to go shopping with an ice cream cone on my head.

For me there is one guy that stands out from the crowd specially when he wore his hats (oh don't forget the  poncho)  in his  many films, and even today I still love him yes it's Clint, an early photo of him here and he still looks good to me today. What say you?

Photos courtesy of,,,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Sunday Morning in France

This morning we got up at 6am as there was a Vide Grenier (empty your Attic)  Set in a lovely little village called Cahuzac sur Vere not far from where we live
Decided to let you see  a few things that were on offer. These zebra boots were the first thing that caught my eye  on the first stall we looked at, and my eyes are still hurting. The stall holder got all excited as she thought she had a sale, in another life perhaps!  Loved the little racing car and wishing I had a full sized one.

Typical French guys playing cards on a Sunday morning, well they play most morning's so Sunday's no different to them

Where's yer onions mate!!! don't you just  love his little ponytail, and what's on earth is Santa Claus doing here!!!! but he was filling his sack up.

The smell of fresh baked bread that instantly makes your mouth water.
This carpet was on offer for a mere €1,000 felt bad when I asked him the price and saw his eyes light up when he thought I wanted to buy it.
Friends of ours Andy and Suzie  having a good clear out before their move to Spain, going to miss these two, but great excuse to pop down to Spain for a long weekend.

I loved finding Hardy as a hand puppet and had to lift him up just in case he was squashing Laurel you know what he's like.
Bet you want to know what I bought, nothing all that exciting really but this is it. 2 loaves of bread, 3 zips (finally found some metal silver ones) and a measly 4 buttons gorgeous ones though:) and Rob bought a brand new strimmer. Just  heard that what we call a strimmer some call a Weed Wacker!!!  tee hee.
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