Une belle soirée ( A beautiful evening)

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Going out for a walk in the evenings, especially when the weather is beautiful with the last rays of the sun that appear to mellow everything in it’s path, can be a beautiful moment. I am used to evening walks because it gives me the needed fresh air to my system, and also importantly it gives me ‘changement d’idées’, a French expression I have incorporated now into my own speech and gives the right nuance to what I am trying to get : it helps me have change of ideas. I am lucky to live in a country that gives so much importance to keeping and maintaining it’s greenery. There are trees and flowers everywhere, the government and the locals work together to keep their forests, gardens, public places all in pretty good meticulous conditions. 

Walking down my neighborhood, I notice the first flower buds that shoot out from the ground. Here is the pic below :

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My husband told me they are called ‘perce-neige’… I thought how wonderful, they do appear to be like that … piercing through the snow. There was no snow this winter in Paris or my region, it was a mild winter, but I can imagine when there would eb snow, it would be wonderful to see these delicate beautiful white flowers shooting out from the ground.

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Watching my neighbors go about their weekend evening chores in a relaxed way, saying my ‘bonsoirs’ to them all lend a warm feeling to the air. Suddenly I see my neighbor’s cats. They are both perched on the window sill and like thieves, they peer inside their own master’s home. They look like it is them who possess the house, and feel a little indignant being left out in this horrendous beautiful weather, instead of being inside curled in the sofa. I take my camera to shoot them. Their little world has collapsed with my intrusion. They give me looks that lets me know exactly what they think of me. 

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Cats and their expressions can really make for books! 🙂

L’Aiguille en fête – An international exhibition of textiles in Paris

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I am happy to be writing this post while the exhibition is still on in Paris, so for those who can make it and are interested in textiles or fiber art, please do visit it, as it is quite worth the experience! The exhibition runs until 9th February, at the Parc des expositions, in Porte de Versailles. I was at this exhibition last evening, I understand this event takes place every year, so I was glad that being my first visit there last evening, I would have an idea of what to expect the next time around. But yes, my first time was more than a pleasant surprise. 

The exhibition is about creativity to do with fabrics, trimmings, the latest models in sewing machines, sculpture textiles, textile designs, and appliances related to fabric crafts. It boasts of about 250 stalls of sellers from many different countries. There are also plenty of ‘ateliers’ or workshops with a variety of craft activities to choose from. 

The exhibition space is huge, of about 1500 meter square. I was so tempted to stop by every stall, every piece of work screamed for attention, and I could see that a lot many hours had been spent on creating so many works of art. Here’s a few pictures to feast your eyes on :

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There was even a knitting championship :

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Amongst the things that attracted me a lot were the kits to make felt toys. I noticed that the Italian stalls were mostly the ones where the felt kits were terribly attractive. The faces of the toys seemed to have almost a soft laidback character. It reminded me a bit of my trip to Florence where I’d seen a lot of Italian artwork on wooden puppets. I thought it was exotic and I got myself a beautiful toy kit of 35 euros, that had along with the fabric several other trimmings like ribbons, wooden hearts, button etc. I can’t wait to get started on this toy soon!

Woman obsessed with décor (and curtains)

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I thought of sharing this delightful carricature of a ‘Woman obsessed with home décor’, by the French illustrator Signé Benoit, whose works appear regularly in the magazine ‘Paris Match’. At first, the paintwork appears messy, but soon you notice the attention to details, and you can relate a lot to what the artist tries to portray.

My post is all to do with curtains, but while thinking about making this post, I was reminded of this carricature I found in the magazine, that I’d cut away in 2012. Some of the luxurious curtain drapes I have been checking out lately in the fabric markets of Paris, and all the wonderful ideas I could play around with them, reminded me of this woman so in bliss to be surrounded with opulent fabrics and other items of décor.

When my husband first proposed the idea that we buy the curtain fabric and I stitch them, I was absolutely in désaccord with him. The last time I touched my sewing machine was 10 months ago and that last time happened to be my first time too! I was presented with that machine by a benevolent family member who thought I could do more useful things with my craftiness. Here’s the end result of me slaving away on the machine just 4 days after we bought the fabric :

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Not too bad if I say so myself! As long as no one peeks on the other side of the curtains! My hands were clammy the entire while I was stitching them. Until they were put up on the rods, I had no idea if we’d wasted money on the drapes. It was of course the first time I was stitching curtains and I used the design from another existing curtain that we’d bought from Ikea a long time ago. Stitching this curtain opened my eyes to the world of curtains, the right fabrics, the different styles etc. Though a lot of mistakes have been made on this curtain (awry hems, no lining, base hem still not complete etc), I am confident I can do better next time around. Here’s a look at the fabric that we’d bought at my favourite store Marché St. Pierre in Montmartre, Paris :

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Here are some lovely curtain ideas I came across in a book :

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