I’m camping here in the french countryside which is a delight.Â The campgrounds inÂ France are in general quite nice.Â Â I wakeÂ up to the sounds of the birds, hop out of the tent and make my cup of cafeÂ with a mini French presse.Â
This area is known for the elaborate dovecotes that were created inÂ the 1700’s called Pigeonniers. Pigeons were so valuable that these castles were built to house them.Â You can drive around the countryside here and spot them in fields. Beautiful and fanciful! Perhaps ideas for a new series of architectural inspired brooches?
My second workshop has come and gone and we had a fine time going to the markets, Albi, the local monastery, the flea market and a brocante (antiques) show.Â And of course studio time- the work created was really top notch and very exciting for me to watch it develop over the week.
I want to thank all the lovely ladies who made the long trip over to experience my little slice of life in a French village.
This is one of my favorite fountains in the village of Revel– five minutes from the workshop.Â Revel is a center of furniture making, especially marquetry work, and there are alot of working artists in the area.
My second workshop has arrived as of yesterday and I’ll write about what we are up to in a few days but while waiting I thought you would like to meet the wonderful artist and my friend Veronique who is a hat-maker extraordinaire using recycled materials.
Her creations are sought after all over France and she was profiled in January 2005 issue of Belle Armoire. That’s me getting a hat made.Enjoy!
Bonjour!Â I’ve been camping down in the Pyrenees inbetween workshops and besides my achy bones, it has been a wonderful experience.Â We have hiked to several Cathar castles– look close at the picture and you can see Monsegur– one of the first castles we hiked to, perched way way up on top. Once there, the view is exhilarating and the feeling of history and the accomplishments of humans surrounds you and is literally awesome.
I’ll be back posting more about art and creativity next week. I’mÂ looking forward to the arrival of the next workshop on Wednesday.
After taking my workshop ladies to the wonderful Saturday market in Revel, we hopped in the cars and took off for Albi, about an hour away. Along the way we pulled off to a picnic site and had a most wonderful pique-nique from the market- olives, cheese, bread, apricots, tomatoes,almond, spicy radishes and other delights.
Albi is a magnificent small city. The astounding fortress-like cathedral presides over a delightful pedestrian only city centre, filled with shops, boutiques, cafes, and beautiful architecture from the 14 and 15C. The cathedral itself is literally jaw-dropping. I am designing – or at least sketching- some new jewelry inspired by the magnificent gargoyles.
On top of this, the Toulouse Lautrec Museum is right around the corner and houses not only the fabulous posters, but his early drawings and paintings.
If one needs a rest, the small boats cruise– old wooden boats- are right there at the river behind the Cathedral to give a unique perspective of this magnificent city.