Friday, July 27, 2012

Puppets, flowers and buntings..

Julie introduced us to her puppets with a funny little story that was to be continued throughout the workshop. We got started on our papier mache puppet heads and put them out to dry in the sun.

While they were drying we got to work on our fabric buntings, small and large...

and our flower brooches.

A group of our finished brooches. 
All different and so wonderful. Some even got to make more than one.

Denise Litchfield of Grrl + Dog blog, and one of my favorite artists, made this lovely one and pinned it next to her "Julie" purchase.

Here is my attempt. I can't wait to make more of these and try out different colors and fabrics.

Here are some of the finished buntings. 

One our second day we all took a trip to the village for the Farmer's Market. Lots of booths set up in the middle of the town selling every thing from fruits and vegetables to clothing and all manner of supplies.
We wandered around and found a fabric store and place selling vintage embroidered linens. We had time for lunch in one of the local cafes and them off we headed to the most amazing Brocante in the area. Brocante means something like Bric a Brac, not quite a thrift store but close.

This is Ali Baba's! So much to explore. Everyone headed straight up to the vintage clothing section.
Beautiful embroidered linens of all types were plucked up by our companions-some to be used in our buntings or for outfits for our puppets.

Rooms full of things to explore! So fun to see the goodies from another country. 
And only so much room in our we had to be very selective.

The grounds around the brocante were full of flowers and fun little out buildings. Loved all the hollyhocks!

When we returned to the Barn we set up little displays of our purchases so everyone could see what we had collected. Above is Julie's table of buttons, yarns and tea cups.

Anna found many wonderful things, some for her shop in England.

We passed many beautiful fields of sunflowers on our trips to the village, they stretched as far as the eye could see.

After our shopping spree we got back to work on our projects.

One of the most amazing things for me was to be reunited with two of my childhood friends from
 So. California! Our mothers were best friends and we spent lots of time playing at each others homes. When my mother passed away and my father remarried a bit too quickly many of the family friends drifted away and we lost contact. So I hadn't seen Mary Alice (above) or her sister, Barbara (below) since I was about 17 years old. All of a sudden, here we are in France, at the same workshop! 
Almost too much to believe.
We had fun filling in on all the things we'd done over the years. It turned out that Barbara is even working in Santa Barbara right now designing a house for clients so I hope to get to see her when she comes down from her home in Napa Valley.
You just never know what wonderful things can happen when you travel and step out of your comfort zone. I am still marveling at the whole experience of being in this incredible place with all the wonderful women we shared time and creativity with and the hosts who fed and cared for us with such attention to our every need.

 Still a bit more to come....


Claire said...

How amazing to catch up with Mary Alice and Barbara and share this amazing week with them.....
Love the look of the Brocante...... how hard was it to choose just a few things?
I love the bunting everyone made and the 'watches have me reaching for my needle and thread I just love them.....

It's been great reading through all your posts Mary and I look forward to reading the rest.

Claire :}

Pixie said...

Such wonderful photos Mary,, so much magic and treasure, i cant imagine how amazing it all must of been.. i love the flowers that you all made, and the bunting is glorious too,,, oh and rooting through that amzing brocante with so many other creative ladies.......bliss........i cant wait to see the finished puppets, ,there is so much inspiraton in your post, i just want to go and make rooms full of fabric flowers now....

Hugs Pixie xxxx

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are still digesting too.
Many memories and that amazing serendipity of life that happens when you travel.

Thanks for some more gorgeous pictures.

Ro Bruhn said...

What a fabulous workshop and I love the market photos. Glad you got to meet Denise, she's a lovely lady, and how amazing catching up with your old friends on the other side of the world.

Tammy Burks said...

Okay, your post today makes me want to jump up and down, stitch, create, and celebrate!
Love the bunting, the brooches and best of all the serendipity of the reunion!

dulcy said...

I've been loving all your posts about your trip to France and wonderful workshop Mary!! I enjoy every photo, and it all looks so pleasant and cool (we're experiencing the most dreadful heat and drought at the moment) it's like a lovely little getaway. This place that you stayed in for the workshop looks absolutely heavenly.... and all the wonderful things you girls made.. Wow! More posts!

Marie said...

Out of all the trips blogging friends have shared this is absolutely my favorite! I would enjoy every minute of this trip! So much fun to see Julie Arkell and hear about the things that were made. Each flower and bunting are so adorable. Lastly, seeing old friends~pure magic~destiny amazing how life works : )
xo <3

art spirit said...

thanks for coming along with us...I appreciate all your lovely comments and hope you can visit this magical place some day for yourselves!

Jacky said...

Love the photo of you and Grrl, of you with your two friends from long ago. What a trip Mary!!!! Absolutely awesome by the sound of it!
I cannot wait to see what you have created...I so want to do a workshop with Julie Arkell. I will have to find out when she runs these so I can *make* it coincide with a trip to visit my son!

Loving your french posts.

Jacky xox

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

I absolutely love the story of reuniting with old friends! There is no coincidence, you know! A fabulous trip, indeed!

Dot said...

Happy sigh.....I have loved all your posts about your wonderful trip Mary. The photo's are gorgeous and it sounds like the perfect artful holiday. How special to meet up with old friends too!
Dot xx

handstories said...

oh, my golly, what a wonderful trip! i am so happy for you & properly jealous! looking forward to more.