Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Special Birthday

During the month of July, Benice had a very important birthday,
 so we celebrated it during the trip.  Margaret and Ana also celebrated their birthdays.
So one dinner was specially set aside to surprise them all.
 Nesse made the dinner and baked a cake.
Dale brought in the candles and we all joined in the singing.
The cake was Divine!

The photographs clockwise: On the airport ready to fly to France
The surprise birthday dinner.
Benice in the linen shop.
Rosemary, Suzi and Benice in the Woad Shop.
Elna in the Sunflower restaurant.
The whole group.
Benice in front of the linen shop.
Benice in the Sunflower Restaurant.

I told you that the whole trip was an overload.
The colours are just awsome.
Here are a few photos to show you how well
behaved and colourful the vegetables were.
 The tomatoes are just to much! ALL ripe at the same time,
all the same size and none of them are bad?!
Have a good weekend and stay warm.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Women's Day Event - 9 August 2011

Here in South Africa we have a public holiday to honour all women...

August 9th is National Women's Day and Elna & I decided to put together a class to celebrate the occasion!?

Come and learn how to put together a “Care Package” for the special women in your life.

On 9 August 2011
From 09:30 to 13:00
At Benice’s studio in Midstream Estates
(We will email directions once you’ve confirmed)
R150 includes the kit, the use of all tools & materials needed to complete the project and refreshments

email us is you would like to reserve a spot...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The food of France

Our stay at Durfort with Dayle was a gastronomic feast...

Apart from staying in Gwen Gibson's amazing house, La Cascade, with its light-filled studio, spacious bedrooms, glorious patio and inviting dining room, we were also blessed with the effervescent Nese...  

She was our personal chef and "provider of great food" for the duration of our stay.  Lunch and dinner were events and not just something we did in-between our outings and classes with Dayle!?
(FYI - Dayle and Nese also facilitate workshops on
The Art of Cooking

The local farmers' markets pay homage to the joys of cooking with ingredients that are "in season".

Nothing beats juicy tomatoes,

berries bursting with anti-oxidants,

or crunchy radishes...

On our second night in Durfort, Dayle took us to a lovely restaurant in Soreze, Le Tournesol (the Sunflower).  Gigi - the chef, has owned the establishment for over 40 years, and also uses the space as an art gallery, filled with artwork from artists handpicked by herself.  You can see some of the artwork in the collage above.

Elna & I both opted for the Duck Confit (photo top left) and we were not disappointed!?  For dessert Elna "fell" for the Chocolate Fondant (photo bottom right) YUM!!!  Unfortunately my Creme Brulee was a huge disappointment, but it looked great.

Go to Dayle's post on Le Tournesol to read more on this  restaurant...

Thank you for visiting...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something Old

I like old things, it always has a story.
The room in La Cascade was a space that was ours for a week.
A space that has been used many, many, many times before,
because the house dates from the 17th century.
Just think about the stories the walls could tell....

Here are a few images of the doors and windows in the area.
The pink door is a big favourite. On the door are a few bears.
Every time a new baby arrives, they add a new little bear.
The last photograph is of a "griffie en 'n lei" next to a door,
where you leave a welcoming message,
or your visitors leave you a message when no one was home.

This is a post card I bought from the artist, Peter Welsford.
He drew the pink door house and he lives a few doors down
from where we stayed in Rue des Martineurs.
I love his sketches.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

The book we made from scratch

One project we had was to make a book. For that we had to take along the front and back cover of an old book. Not the spine, just the two covers. The rest we made throughout the week. Dale took us to a "Clean Your Attic" market in Lautrec. There we looked for stuff to complete the book. Beautiful tourist brochures, fabric, ribbon, old jewellery, buttons etc.
Benice and I found gorgeous french linen for the covers.
It is linen to die for....
I decided to use the book as a memory book of what we did in class. Notes on tips, techniques and ideas. At the moment everything is still in a file.

On the inside there are signatures, pocket, envelopes, brochures, tags and postcards.

For the inside cover and first page of my book, I used a map of the area.
Look for the word in pink, Durfort, then there is a little arrow that shows you where the little town is.
Do you know what a "pigeonaire is"? I didn't.

They used to keep Pigeons in here.
There are quite a few of them that has been restored and they are so beautiful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bonjour Madams et Monsieur !

It has been a week since we are back. Our mixed media art course in France was from the 17th to the 24th of June, but we both stayed a bit longer. Benice took a photography and culinary trip in France and I went to Switzerland to visit my friend that lives in Speicher, Appenzell. Two words come to mind if I think about the trip....

Information OVERLOAD.

Why, I don't know, maybe because I was ready for this or maybe because I was scared that I would never do something like this again and that I must experience every little detail in full colour, sound and smell.

Durfort is a small town with only 3 streets, a quiet place with a river that runs through it. A water fountain where everyone fills their water bottles with cold mountain water and a church bell that warns you that it will be ten o'clock in two minutes .....and two minutes later.... that it is ten o'clock!!

One thing that I really hoped for before the trip was that we would be able to hear the sound of the water while we work in the studio. And we did!! We could see and hear the little waterfall from the studio window.

The house is ideal for living and working like we did. Here are a few glimpses of how I tried to capture the feeling and atmosphere of the house.

The studio upstairs on the second floor was warm and inviting. Everyone had a work bench and a storage space. Never crowded.
The food that Nesse prepared for us was unbelievable. Dinner time was a feast and an occasion.

There are still lots to tell. All about about the places we visited, the books we made, the people we met, the nightmare I had, the food we ate and so much more. If anyone asks: Was it worth it? The answer is: YES!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In2Crafts / Hobby-X classes 2 to 3 September 2011

We are proud to announce that we will once again teach at the In2Crafts event, this time scheduled for the beginning of September...

It will take place at Gallagher Estates in Midrand, in conjunction with the Midrand Hobby-X.

Various In2Crafts workshops will be presented from Thursday, September 1st, to Sunday, September 4th.  The workshop that Elna and I will be teaching, will only take place on the Friday & Saturday.

There are 3 sessions scheduled on both days and we can accommodate 9 students per session - so we suggest you book yourself a spot ASAP!!  More detail photos and an overview of the project appear on the In2Crafts website.  Please follow the links below to go directly to the session you are interested in:

 Friday, September 2nd
Saturday, September 3rd

It will be great to see some of our "regulars" again and also meet some new faces!?

Also have a look at the other workshops on offer and make a day (two, three or four) of it...

Thank you for visiting and please do pop in again soon - we will post photos and "stories" about our recent trip soon!?