Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Excuses: This time in French!

No posts or sewing projects to share because I was in France for two weeks. It was awesome. I'm feeling a lot more relaxed about everything.  Fourteen days without the grind makes everything feel... lighter.

It was a partial business trip so I spent most of my time wine tasting, but I did my best to sneak in art & history where I could. I really wanted to poke around a fabric shop and buy some French embroidery thread (all I have left from a purchase 15 years ago is peach) but could not find an open shop to save my life.

How awesome does that thread look?

I found this sewing shop in Chinon, but it was closed. Like everything in France. We made lots of jokes that the French must be vampires because Chinon, like many of the French towns we were in, was totally deserted. We'd walk around these cobble stoned streets during the middle of the day and be completely alone, 7 of us like a group of (well dressed) survivors after a zombie attack. Totally bizarre. It wasn't like it happened once or twice either, but everywhere we went. The French need to start having more children or something.

My brother-in-law, Kevin, his girlfriend Serene and my sister-in-law Margaret Ellen.  Note they are totally alone.

Margeaux in Bordeaux: No survivors.

Creepy sign= evidence of human habitation, but again, no humans.

Another deserted town.

Took this photo in the evening in the city center of Borge.  As the sun came down we saw these three.  Clearly they are zombies.

We spent the last couple of days in Paris. Since I've been to Paris bunches of times (and my husband couldn't care less, we might as well have been in Cleveland) I decided I wanted to skip the usual sites and hit up the Musee de la Mode et du Costume (the Paris fashion museum) and the Musee de Arts Decortivs, in particular to see their textile collection. I was thwarted. The Musee Galleira was closed entirely for structural renovation and the textile portion of the Arts Decortivs was off limits while they were installing a new exhibit which I didn't realize until we walked the whole thing. Boo! They did have a special Ralph Lauren exhibit- of his cars. Double boo.

Speaking of textiles... I spent an entire day in Paris unironically dressed as the Statue of Liberty.  If she wore no makeup.

I was able to find bits and pieces of sewing and especially embroidery pretty much all over the place though and have a much better appreciation for the hours of skilled hand-labor that went into many of these things, even the everyday stuff.

Wool pleats in a 16th century nurses dress.  They are perfectly even.

 Sick beds in the Hospices de Beaune.  All I can think of is Harry Potter.  Is that wrong?  Also the hand dyeing and washing these linens had to have received.

Beaded embroidery for Louis XVI.  I can't even imagine how long this must have taken.

Outlined satin stitch.  I could totally do this!

Just not on this scale.  Unbelievable and entirely by hand in the 17th century. The head and foot boards are embroidered all the way up the sides.

Serious velvet draping.  How would you even go about pinning that let alone sewing it?

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Upcoming Projects: Not Yet Blogged

a rundown of what I've been up to: DIY wedding dress, "Back to School Night" decor, Flower Arranging for the Incomptent, more jam labels, a dog bed solution, paper embroidery, flying pig needlework, attempting to scrapbook, make your own board game kit, Link from Zelda costume, organinzing for homework, and how to build an afterschooling program!

how to declutter after a death... and how not to do it

what do you do with all your fat clothes? Make doll clothes!