Monday, October 29, 2007


First, all my excuses for having written canna instead of yucca. I think the next canna picture will have to wait until spring.
And a big thank you to all visitors, I'm always so glad to see you drop by.

Annica, Arlee and Angelcat, thanks for your comments about the workshop. I found some black fabric today, and I sewn the binding. Just a few stitching to close it, and I will be able to make a picture. But as it requires daylight, I may have to wait until Thurdsay...

Thanks too for the comments about TAST. Annica, I knew you'd appreciate the idea :-)
More seriously, I liked this mosaic a lot, though I took me some time to realize what it was. When I opened my map to find my road, it became obvious.
JoWynn, the fabrics are leftovers, the black one comes from a pant that was too long, and the blue is a leftover of commercial felt.

I hope you are all well !

Sunday, October 28, 2007

TAST week 44 and 42

During my trip to Sweden, I saw this at the front door of an hotel. It was supposed to represent the archipel of islands and lakes around Stockholm. This has been the inspiration for this embroidery:
The stitches are from the TAST challenge: Zig Zag Spanish Knotted Stitch and Twisted Satin Stitch

Green Thumb Sunday - Mum and canna

Where did I have my mind ??? Of course it is not a canna but a yucca. Sorry for this mistake!!!
Anyway, thank you all for your kind comments!
Have a great day.

I was waiting for the sun to shine, but instead there are some clouds. They give an autumn feeling to the garden.
In spite of the rain, the yucca is starting to bloom:

And the mum is in full bloom, right in time!

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Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Workshop with Odile Texier

Odile Texier is a French textile artist, whom I've discovered yesterday during a workshop at the patch shop. You can see more of her at
She is a very nice lady, eager to share her experience. Yesterday, her aim was to introduce us to her techniques, to challenge us but not to change us (I appreciate that a lot).

The main idea of the workshop was that you don't choose a material. You are chosen by the material. Once a material has "called" you, you have to find other materials and embellishements to go with it. Odile does not use a sketchbook or drawing. Instead, she has collected a lot of fabrics, threads and odd bits and get her inspiration from her stash.

The first thing we did, was to take out the materials we had brought, hers included. Then we were given a sqare of background fabric (black or white, it was up to us). As soon as a material had imposed itself to us, we went through all the materials available in the room and took whatever we needed.
This is Odile talking (with the red jacket) and you can see examples of our stashes.
Between Odile and the lady in grey, you can have a glimpse to one of Odile's work.

We spent the rest of the morning preparing the basis of our piece. Here are the six pieces at lunch time. Mine is the green one, and my first material was a vegetable net that is only fixed with pins on this view.
We had our lunch in the shop, from the dishes (and wines) brought by the students. It was delicious and fun. The students of this patch shop are known to like their food and wines...

In the afternoon, we started embellishing with threads. Once again, the idea was to let the threads impose themselves to us. Odile had brought a huge amounts of thread, and it was a pleasure to select some of them.

All through the day, Odile has answered all our questions, with one exception: "Do you think this fabric or this thread is better than this one?". It was part of her challenging but not changing conceipt. We had to decide what we like or not ourselves, in order to express ourselves and not to produce an imitation of her work. She watched us, came to help whenever needed but never to influence us. I mean, she would explain how to sew a speciality thread, but she would not tell us where to place it. If we wanted some kind of thread, she would help find it in her stash, but she would not tell us to use a given thread at a given place, etc...

The day went by at full speed. It was exhausting too because we have worked with our soul. We have to finish our piece, I'll try to finish the embelllishement today, but I have to purchase some black fabric to finish the piece, probably on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Not much to say, except that it is raining! First time in 6 months. I hope it will last more than a couple of minutes.

The birds too are happy. I can hear them singing in the fig tree, where the feeders are.
But not everybody enjoys the good news, thought...
At least, this one went outside, the other one takes me to each window and door and asks me to open it to check if it is raining there too...

Monday, October 22, 2007


Nikkipolani, I hope you are allright. And that other people dealing with the wildfires are allright too. I've been thinking of them a lot today. It is really scary.

Thanks to Allison, JoWynn, Jody, Henny, Kylee, Lisa and Sara. My talent is not that much involved, I am just following a pattern taken from Pieced Vegetables by Ruth B. McDowell.
And it will be a wall hanging for one of my daughters. Don't know yet which one...

Thank you Annica, Aiyana, Wurzel, CG and Genny for your kind comments on my artichoke. I like it too and it was fun to sew.
Thank you Mark and Genny for visiting the Pampa grass and leaving a comment.
Have a great week all!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sewing Vegetables

Here is the vegetable of the week, the artichoke.

Green Thumb Sunday

As I came home Friday night, the garden was craving for some water. Usually, September and October bring some rain, but this year they have not. And the wind has been blowing since Thursday, making the drought even worse.
And on Satturday, the temperatures dropped a lot, showing clearly that Autumn is setting in.
I've emptied some containers whose flowers were not longer blooming and brought some inside.
It was a bit depressing, drought, wind, cold and no more flowers.
By luck this one is still glorious. The picture was taken a couples of day ago. It is in the front garden. The house you see is that of my neighbor.

Cortaderia selloana
Green Thumb Sunday
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PS: For me, it is a Pampa grass, but I was not sure that it was the same in English. Aiyana from Water When Dry gave me the answer in the comment she left: it is a Pampa grass. Thank you Aiyana!

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Diane and Angelcat, thanks for commenting. I went to our patch meeting yesterday, and all the ladies were eager to see the lettuce, they were sure it would not look good, because there is so much green in it (understand me, they did not question my skills, but they gave the lettuce a try too, and found the result boring). I was rather proud of myself to show the result :-) They had forgotten my attraction to bright colors, and I think those bright patches bring some interest. And this way they did not see that I had to fight with the seams :-)

For those interested, I have added my email under Contact me at the top of the page. Just can't figure how to put it on the side, not in the middle. By the way, Mary-Anne, I could not find your email ...
Thank you Mary-Anne and Annica!
Snappy and Wurzel, my canna is in pot right now, but I plan to put it in the soil next spring, and to add some, preferably with a red or a variegated foliage.
Snappy, I'm a bit sad we lost, but that's life. What I miss is the joy of the people after a victory. I'm not interested in ball plays in general, but I was having dinner out the night we became soccer champions (I agree, ages ago), and it was very touching to see the reaction of all the people in town. This happens again before and after the matches right now, and it would have been fun if ...
Zquilts, I'm in the part of France where it never rains (almost) :-) That helps to have a beautiful autumn, but that kills the plants in summer. And I felt guilty the three years before this, for not doing much in the garden. The blog community is a great help in that respect, very incentive :-)
To all, it is the first time I see a mantis like this one. Once again, seeing your beautiful pictures of wildlife made me more attentive.
It is funny, I blog in English, not in French, and I have the opportunity to speak German too, I'm too lucky!

Have a good evening all!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love weekends

... espacially those that last three days, like this one :-)

First, I want to thank you for the kind comments you have left on my blogs. I do appreciate them, and like many of you I'm glad to belong to this community!

This has been a quiet weekend, with a beautiful weather. My daughter was there, but she went out in the evenings to meet friends and came early in the mornings. So she has been sleeping most of the time. Leaving me plenty of free time for textile art.

At last, I've had some time to read Stitch. And the cracker inside was a good opportunity to see how the new machine does free embroidery. It is not finished yet, I have to put some embellishments. I like to make "lace" with hydrosoluble. So this is the first step,
and the result when the hydrosoluble is gone. In Stitch, they use soluble paper. But I think this one may be better: you can dissolve the hydrosoluble just enough to have the lace effect, and still have a stiff effect. I hope I will work on it next weekend. And more important, I love this machine, especially the possibility to select three sewing speeds. And to have the needle down anytime I stop pressing the pedal, with the foot lifted just enough to turn the fabric. My second priority for this weekend was sewing this lettuce. Quite a challence, especially as I drew the pattern on a support, and then cut the bits from that support. In fact, this produces defaults, small defaults, but added together, they end making a big one. The last seam was a bit difficult to achieve. So ladies, if you are sewing on paper and read in the instructions "photocopy", do photocopy :() Anyway, I like it. next vegetable is an artichocke. With curved seams too. I really must be insane to do that.
And the last picture for today is the TAST challenge, with the Lace Border Stitch. It looks complex but it is fun to do, and far more easier as it looks.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

Autumn is coming very slowly, we still have high temperatures in the day (24°C), although they drop in the evening and in the early morning. And not a single drop of rain...
The garden is still doing well: I don't remember the name of this rose. Like William Morris, it needed time to setlle in, but I think it is feeling well now. It has always made its best efforts to flower.
The canna bud I showed you last week turned into a beautiful flower.
The yucca buds are growing at high speed!
And this was the visitor I found yesterday morning. Clearly a mantis, but much smaller than those I met up to now. I suppose it is a male ?
Have a nice gardening Sunday all.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Thursday was a graduation for Emilie. In Marseilles this time (she had a first graduation day at another school, in the Middle of France, two years ago). For this special occasion, I took the afternoon off, and we decided to have lunch in Marseilles.
So here were are. I had not forgotten that she looks that much like her father :-) After lunch, we took a walk. We went only to the very center of Marseilles so there are only a few pictures.
Marseilles is a very old city, and those two pictures show you ruin found right in the middle of the city. They made a garden around them.
This year, we have a cow parade in Marseilles. This one represents all the villages that make the city. It stands at the old harbour.
And this is a view of the old harbour.

This church faces the old harbour. I did not alter the color of the sky, by the way. Behind the old harbour are a lot of small streets, with restaurants or shops. It was taken in the middle of the afternoon, so it is a bit empty.
Another place to relax.
Then it was time to go to the ceremony. Unfortunately, my camera did not work properly, so I have no picture to show you. They have tried to make it modern, so between the speeches, or when the students walked to the scene, they played some music. Amazingly it was disco. I had not expected Donna Summer or the Bee Gees to be there :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Nikkipolani, I'm a bit stuborn :-) William Morris was part of an order I've made with another lady. She knows everything and can't bear that a plant does not obey her wishes. As it is very hot here, and windy too, roses do not feel comfortable. And the other lady was always complaining that David Austeen roses are not worth their price. The bad girl in me wanted to prove her wrong. My opinion is that you must give plants time. And it is what I did, I gave William Morris some time, and I'm glad I did.

Wicked Gardener, I will show you pictures of the yucca. They are growing at high speed, but this week I left home before there was light enough, and came back too late to make pictures. I'll make some this weekend.

Thank you Mumm and JoWynn. I'm glad you've enjoyed the vegs and the tour in the garden.

Blackswanp Girl, I will definitively keep the egg plant! I like it a lot, and the middle seam was too difficult to make to throw it away (5 trials to sew 2 cm..., because of the biais, the pies would not go where I wanted them to go...)

ZQuilts, I agree with you, David Austeen roses are beautiful, and Rose De Rescht is a beauty on itself. I lile also roses by Meilland, a French grower.
Thank you Lisa and Jhoaniquing for your kind comment. Euh, what does TLC means ? I'm sure it is obvious, but I just cannot find the meaning ;-)
Aiyana, I'll have another rose for next week... Don't get me wrong, my garden is not full of roses because it is too hot for them here, but I do have some nice ones. And Aiyana, your blog surprises me everytime I drop by. You seem to have a forest of cactii :-)
Thank you Sisah for your comment on fabrics vegs. I don't know which is easier, growing or sewing ...

Hugs to all

TAST week 40

The stitch of TAST this week is Linked Double Chain.

I needed some background to play with the linked double chain. Or, if you prefer, this was the perfect occasion to play with my new toy:

I like my mechanical sewing maching very much, and it still works properly if not perfectly. But new machines offer new functions too. I've been dreaming of a new one for three years now, looking at various brands and models. My choice went equally to Janome, but there is no dealer in the area, and to Husqvarna. And last week, there was a special offer in my local shop, and I made the jump. I did not have much time to play with it, but I like it already very much.

I had ordered a flower stitcher for my previous sewing machine, but I would not fit. The new machine accepts it, so I have exercised this morning. It came with instructions in English, more in German, and there is the article on WOW. Clearly, I still have to understand how to get concentric circles. Playing with non linear stitches leads to non circular circles, but it can be interesting. I'm rather pleased with this first attempt, although more exercise will be good.

Anyway, here is my piece for wk40:

Growing, no sorry, Sewing vegetables

At the shop, we have all started a quilt with vegetables. They are sewed on a paper support. Not necessarily an easy method for me, I just cannot think in mirror :-). For the moment, I have an egg plant, a tomato (not sure I will keep it, must see how it looks among the other vegetables) and peppers.

I'm working on a lettuce. With curved seams... I'm not working on paper for this one, as I cannot figure how to manage mirror sewing and curved seams. So I'm "simply" piecing it together. There are little arrows on the pattern for this one, so I figure they show the grain. Another reason for piecing. I hope I can post the result soon.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Green Tumb Sunday - October surprises

Green Thumb Sunday

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Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Thursday was supposed to be a rainy day, it has been a sunny day, just as the day after and today...

I came back home early, and my first surprise was this rose, that seemed to wait for me so that I could admire her. It is William Morris by David Austeen. It had a hardtime to establish itself in my garden. Took at least three years. During those three years, it remained frail. I pruned it hard every year, it grew stronger each year but I was not sure it would make it, until now where it is a real rose bush with strong branches and a lot of roses. It is in the front garden, on the North.

Then I went to the South garden, and cut faded flowers on the canna, to discover it was blooming again. It is the third bloom of this year. I'm very proud of it. It is one of the plants that enjoyed clearly my regained motivation in gardening :-) It got larger leaves, and more flowers, as if it was saying "thank you".

I went on to the back of the garden, where I have two yuccas. And they too had some surprise for me: two stems with buds. I could not see them from front, but they were visible from the side. I like to watch them grow, and suddenly those white bells are here!