Wednesday, 29 July 2009

London Paris New York Baie-Saint-Paul

The title is from a t-shirt I found in a gift shop in Baie-Saint-Paul yesterday, on our day out of town. My boyfriend and I are still laughing at it today because it is so funny to think Baie-Saint-Paul could measure up to these enormous cities, with its 7000 of population.

However, Baie-Saint-Paul sure has its own charms, and I'd choose it over bigger cities anytime. Besides, it should be known all over the world, after all this is where Cirque du Soleil was born back in the 1980s.

Anyway, we went there yesterday for a change of scenery, only one hour and a half from Quebec-city, and for a breath of fresh air. As its name indicates, Baie-Saint-Paul is a small town built in a little bay in the St.Lawrence River. It is also one of the craftiest and most artistic towns I know in the Province. The number of art galleries and craft shops is impressive. This is the perfect rendez-vous for landscapes painters, and you may understand why from the few pictures below that I took during the day.

Above is a large view on the bay, with the small beach, the quay and Rivière du Gouffre.
Below is a closer look at the town and its rural setting.

Only a few minutes east of Baie-Saint-Paul we took the ferry to cross over to Isle-aux-Coudres, a small island in the St.Lawrence that makes about 30 km in circumference. We rented a "Junior", one of those funny two-place bicycles and slowly pedaled our way along the south shore road, enjoying the beautiful "seashore" landscape and the characteristic smell. We could almost believe we were by the sea, although this is just the St.Lawrence River and we can see the other shore in the distance. The tide was at its lowest when we were there, which is why you can barely see the water on the pictures, but the feeling was there all the same.

I took great interest in the wild flowers growing on the shore, like thousands of common rose bushes with their sweet smell (above) and other colorful flowers (below).

Look how patient Patrick and Crusty were while I hopped down the bicycle and on again to take one picture here and another one just a hundred yards away! I loved how some people used heavy boat cables to fence their properties,

or an old bicycle frame as a decorative accent in their garden.

I fell in love with the little stone house below and its neatly arranged flowers. It is a very small house and it made me think of a doll-house. Besides, I have a thing for stone walls. My parents have the most amazing one (of which I should definitely take a few pictures next time I go there).

After our tour on Isle-aux-Coudres, we made it back to Baie-Saint-Paul and went down to the beach. It really is just a long and narrow patch of sand on one side of the bay, but it always feels good to walk barefoot in the sand, even though the water was so far off with the tide being so low.

We had originally planned to stay there for a couple of days, but with rain in the forecast, we headed back home on the same day. Now trying to find another spot not too far from town where we could be heading in the following days, before Patrick's vacation is over.

See you soon,

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Going Small

Lately I've been trying different craft projects, on the smaller scale. I like collage and scrapbooking and I am used to making 12" x 12" pages. I've read about ATCs many times and thought it might be fun to try collage on this smaller format of 2.5" x 3.5". It was fun, plus I got to use some paper and photo scraps that have accumulated over the years. I guess I'll be making more of these and swap them with others on Swap-bot.

I've also been busy creating mini felt softies. All of them are 2" or smaller. The little mouse is actually only one inch, not including the tail. These are really fun to make and I still have more ideas of animals and objects that I could turn into small felt items.

Talking about small things, small prices are always welcome in my house. I got the lot of fabric below for just 6$ this morning at Fabricville. The colours aren't too good in the picture, but that is the best I could do with no natural light, as it has been raining for days and everything around me is resolutely gray.

Off to do some more crafting now, so I don't feel like I am waisting my vacation entirely. I'll be checking the forecast later and see if we could get two days of nice weather so we can go out of town. Charlevoix has been on our minds lately and I would love to have a chance to go visit all the craft shops and art galleries in Baie St-Paul. Keeping my fingers crossed...


Sunday, 12 July 2009

Almost Ruby

So, this is my version of the Ruby Doll. It took me a while to finish it because I must admit that my first attempt was close to a disaster. I may have overestimated my abilities with a sewing machine, and some details of the pattern just did not feel right to me, nothing wrong with the pattern itself, I just felt I needed to make a few changes to be happy with the result. I always do it anyway, no matter how hard I try to stick to the original thing.

So, I widened the legs and arms, and slightly changed the shape of the head, the feet, and the lower part of the body. And I mostly sewed it by hand, which helped me get a more controlled result! I played with textures a little, choosing linens over cotton and giving her laced suede boots, which I think are kinda cool.

Now she's gone play with her older friend, Lily-Couette (which I made a while ago with Alicia Paulson's Nutcracker Doll Pattern found in her book Stitched In Time). I'll have to think of a name for her, or ask my sister to come up with something, she's good at it!

Now, off to another week in the office before I can have time to work on a new project...


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Look what I got!

My boyfriend made this very original garden tool box for me. I have yet to fill it with all of my tools and take it with me to the flower beds, but I love how it turned out, especially the brick pattern on the sides and the pierced handle.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

New Weekend Project

I like to have fun and easy projects to work on during the weekend when the weather keeps me inside, as it is these days. I came across the Ruby Doll Pattern a while ago and decided to give it a try. I've sketched some ideas of what my first version might look like (I say first version because I know how I always try one pattern and then take it again and change it in subtle ways that make it more comfortable for me while keeping the original idea of the creator), but have already thought of a few more things to add, which explains the presence of the yellow fabric on top of the pile. It is only a small scrap of fabric that I got in a swap a few weeks ago, but I love the delicate print and think the bright yellow color will give life to the dark reds and browns.

So here I go, time to cut pieces and start to assemble.