A beautiful handmade chandelier that I found at an antique market, and I couldn’t resist taking back home though it cost me a small fortune! Each glass fruit looks flawless and I catch myself staring up at my ceiling several times, and smiling..! Amongst the things I love about France is the easy availability of beautiful artisanal craftwork such as this chandelier.
Montmartre is The place to go to in Paris for all fabric crazed people ( like me) to discover rows and rows of fabric shops of all sizes, along with several haberdasheries. The two fabric shops in the photo are ‘Marché St. Pierre – Dreyfuss’ and ‘La Reine’, the two most popular and also the biggest stores to discover in this district. Montmartre is also a very popular tourist district as it is also the location of Basilique de Sacré Coeur, a huge medieval church that sits on top of the mountain and where the views of the city of Paris is absolutely fantastic. One can combine one’s fabric shopping needs with a walk around Montmartre to take in the beautiful sights of the ancient buildings around, the cobbled streets, an ancient vineyard that still exists and is functional, the gothic beauty of the basilique itself, and just to sit on the stairs and spend time admiring the view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris. Please beware though, that a big menace here unfortunately is the numerous con artists, and petty thieves! Ladies, hold on tight to your bags and purses, cameras and mobiles! Another note, car parking is next to impossible here, so traveling by metro and a lot of walking is the best way to go!
The first time I walked in through the glass doors of Marché St. Pierre, I felt I was whisked into another planet. It was also the first time I discovered that I loved fabric. To see the various fabrics of so many different qualities and grades and types spun me around a little bit. I loved every moment and every time I went back to the store, I never stopped clicking away at the fabrics that would catch my fancy. The store boasts of a total area space of 2,500 meter square, covered in 6 storeys. Each storey holds fabric certain uses like for home furnishings, clothes, curtains etc. The prices at this store are quite reasonable and one can really spend a lot of time looking at all the various textiles and designs and colours available. Here are a few snaps below to give you a better idea.
The photo below is of the famous French print called Toile de Jouey, and the photo further below is of ‘torchons’ or ‘dish cloth’…. How cute looking could dish cloths get?!
While browsing through the store, I find my attention drawn not only by the fabrics but also by the shoppers themselves and the sales people. I noticed that in general the sales folk are polite and nice, but the higher up the floors you go, you notice that the sales people look smarter dressed and far more polite and refined than the ones working on the ground floor. Yes, the choice of fabrics and types are more refined and expensive as you go further up. In fact,t he top most storey is almost devoid of customers, this floor has top of the range furnishings for the house, and a team of specialised salesmen and women who will guide and advise to the kind of fabric you should buy.
The shoppers consist mostly of women, and the men are there mostly to hold their girlfriend’s shopping bags. Sometimes i find elegantly dressed men, and i suspect if they are designers, because they also seem to look like the part. I can almost bet that the women around me are sewing professionals, they have their eagle eyes on the fabrics and spend a lot of time browing through. I feel so sure thay are experts at using the sewing machine, and they know how to knit, and crochet and know every secret of stitching. How I envy them! 🙂 I also like the way they are dressed, because it almost looks like everything they are wearing is handmade, by themselves.
I hope you enjoyed the photographs. I haven’t spoken much of La Reine, as the collection I find in Marché St. Pierre to be more diverse and exhaustive, and better priced. Here are some snaps taken at the ‘mercerie’ or haberdashery that also belongs to Marché St. Pierre – Dreyfuss.
This is my second lot of the baby announcement cards that I’ve decided to take up personally and make them handmade. I already have the feeling that I am starting to become a kind of semi-expert on making personal cards, given this is my second venture after my first lot!
I have used the same cards as before, with the cards measuring 13.5 cms by 13 cms. They are of the same colours, the cards being teal-ish in colour and the envelopes dark blue. And yes, the design is mine completely! I think it feels so nice to know that you came up with the idea. Both of lots are centered on the idea of having a peek-a-boo cut-out on the first card page to show the photograph that will be fitten on the inner page … soon hopefully! 🙂
The sequence of the card making is simple. I used my rubber stamp of the baby in the flower and my glitter paste around the petals, I made blue and white felt flowers as decoration pieces, along with the curtains and the peach coloured flowers that I cut out by using my punch-machine.
I first made a rough design on a card so I would know better of how to get the card going. The idea is to create a window with shutters on either side, curtains to be fitted in, and a pot of flowers on the window ledge.
And voila! My card is done! I made, just as the last time, 11 cards, and now I have 15 more to go.
Feeling happy with this lot, in fact I like it even better than the first lot I made! The idea of the pot with the peach flowers in it actually belong to hubby. I haven’t made up my mind yet though what design to follow for the third lot, but I have already bought some materials.
An interesting observation!! Yesterday, while hubby and I were driving through Paris, I made a grand realisation… all the time I’ve lived in France, I have never ever seen a …. school bus for children!!! A sight I’ve taken almost for granted on the roads of any country I’ve been to, especially if I’m in the vicinity of a school. I told this to hubs and he gave it a thought and agreed that it’s true, one hardly sees schoolbuses at all here in France. How just so different! Well, the reason behind is mainly the fact that almost all schools, or let’s say a big majority of the schools in France have almost the same quality of education offered, so parents don’t feel the need to send their children off to schools far away from where they live. Every city or town or village in France has it’s own school so parents usually drop off their children to school directly. It would be so great if this system could be followed by other countries too, it sounds so logical and easier this way! Children do not have to waste much time in commute and can rather spend the time otherwise in more useful activities. I remember as a child how often I would be nodding off to sleep int he bus and one time, I’d even missed my stop! Oh well, those are my childhood memories! 🙂
My very first project of the year is semi-completed, yayy! And what better project could I start off with than getting to prepare the baby announcement cards of my own little angel due to arrive soon.
This is the first time I attempted making cards, and so many of them too. At first I had no idea of how to start off with them. I got blank cards of the shade of teal, with envelopes a dark shade of blue. I scouted through Pinterest for inspiration, but finally I had to come up with my own ideas as I had already shopped random stamps and ribbons for baby ideas.
I prepared the list of folks I needed to send off the cards to, and the number’s come to 45. I decided to make 3 designs in total (more to keep my interest alive!). in this set, I’ve prepared 11 cards of a particular design. The photo of the baby is inserted inside of the card and part of the photo will peek out through the heart design on the outside. I started off with a rough sketch of the design in my notebook. Here below are my 11 cards of the size 13.5cms X 13 cms. To start off, I decided to use my masking tape that has ‘100% boy’ on it, and I made myself a rubber stamp with a heart on it, that I could use to stamp evenly all over the card to give it some sort of background design.
And here’s the result:
Next, I’ve cut out part of the heart shape on the card, keeping a mini heart inside of the big heart, and covered the heart borders with an aqua-green glitter paste. For the second deco piece, I’ve made use of my polka dotted blue ribbon and made a tiny bow shape with a sequin stuck in the middle. For my third decoration piece, I’ve cut out myself heart shapes out of blue felt and made some stitches on it.
Here’s how it looks like :
Doesn’t it look so nice already? 🙂 Now, for the bottom portion, I wanted to use my rubber stamp on a separate background paper, and I decided to prepare the background paper myself. Using watercolours, I first dampened my drawing sheet with water and then ran parallel lines of dark blue and green through it. Once dried, I used my rubber stamp and created a border around, which I cut out and stuck each print on the bottom right of the card. On the left of the stamp, I used my special scissors to cut out a nice cursive border around a chart paper aqua green in colour. I filled up the paper with messages both in English and French.
Ta- daah!! Below are my cards completed!! I bought a nice calligraphy pen that helped me a lot making that nice handwriting.
The inside of the cards have a stamp that mentions details like the date and baby’s weight and size, etc.. details important to mention in a baby announcement card. Here’s a look at the envelopes that I designed. I am relieved and glad I managed to finish off my first lot, and can now look forward to my second!! 🙂
Warning : This post contains some raunchy ‘inuendos’, so all faint hearts can proceed with caution! 🙂
Here are some sketches I made about 4 years ago while I was working as a flight attendant for one of the middle-eastern airlines called Etihad Airways. I had plenty of fun moments and got familiar with all the flight attendant, and passenger jokes. The crew may seem unflattering in these sketches, but in real life, the girls and the boys are very pretty. At 4.30 am when one has seen the interior of the aircraft for the past 10 hours, and the only oxygen is the recycled air in the closed cabin, one’s mind can start playing tricks, and even the beautiful crew around can start looking like mutating monsters. Unfortunately, amongst the many rules that the crew had to remember, I remember this particular rule that really seemed to take the cake : ‘Crew are forbidden to sleep in the galleys, or even give the impression that they might be sleeping’.. So you cannot shut your eyes more than 3 seconds..
Once I boarded the crew bus looking sad because I hadn’t managed to sleep the night before and I had a long and busy flight in front of me. A concerned crew member asked me if I was OK, and I told her my problem, to which she replied ‘Oh, you know what, even if I’ve slept well, I always feel fatigue and tired the moment I put on this uniform’. Even after 10 years, her remark stuck in my head and I always found it very funny and true. And the rare moments when a flight would be declared cancelled, strangely all that fatigue and tiredness would go out of the window and I’d be ready to hit the beach!
Here’s a true story that occured in a flight to Tanzania ..
He : Scuze me, I want a Jewess
Me : Excuse me, umm… what kind of ..Jewess .. exactly?
He : Yes, I want a Jewess, an Orange Jewess
Me : Ahh…! Yes, I will get you your Jewess ( I go to the galley to bring him his orange juice)
Another joke that happened in front of me to a male crew. The flight was to Amman (Jordan), and it’s a night flight. A woman tries to get the attention of the male crew (and he’s just started flying) and whispers into his ear ‘I want a cock’.
He : (looking shocked) Excuse me??!
She : I want cock with ice
He : You mean coca cola?
She : Yes yes that cock!
I had a memorable Bombay flight. It was a full flight, with many uncontrollable children and demanding adults. We, the crew, were in the middle of the meal service and each crew member had to handle their own carts. I inched my way forward until my cart reached a livid passenger.
He: I’ve been fingering you for so long, where were you??’
Me: Excuse me?! I don’t understand..
He: Look look, like this I fingered you for so long!! ( and he demonstrates by pushing his finger against the crew call button several times and the whole cabin resonates with the ding-dong noise))
Me : Ah, you used the call bell service. I’m sorry, it’s a very busy flight. How may I help you?’
He : I can’t find my wife’s hole.
Me : (confused and starting to get mad) Excuse me?!
He : Look, I found my hole and I can hear my movie, but my wife can’t hear her’s!
Me : Ah, You’re trying to locate the slot to plug in your headset… Ok, let me help you.
I go back to the galley after the service, and another crew member, someone more familiar with the Bombay flights, looks at my stunned expression and says knowingly ‘You look like you got fingered’.