Showing posts with label French. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bayeux Cathedral

As I said in a previous post, my husband took pictures of the cathedral from several angles. Here are a few of them.
Last time we were here, the cathedral had pews. I'm not sure if they're permanently removed or were just taken out for the medieval mass Sunday morning. I like the look of it better without them.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Fete Medievales

Yesterday we went to Bayeux for their annual Fete Medievales. This year was their 21st. We had no idea this was going on until Saturday, when we saw the poster for it in Creully. This thing is HUGE. It's also in the center of Bayeux and winds through the streets. You can get lost easily and there's so much to see. Large crowd, too. Many more pictures than usual because of the size.
A couple of the people in costume. There was a good proportion of the people in costume, especially kids. The costumes were not Disneyfied, either. No Cinderellas walking around. The event was free, too, so they weren't doing it to dodge admission price.

Right in front of the cathedral, this is a small span of one of the less crowded areas. It gives you an idea of the crowd.

Garb for sale. Most of it is relatively well made, handcrafted, but using such things as velcro and zippers. Usually, both those things are not visible when worn.

Fete-goers in costume.

More garb for sale. I especially liked the tabard. It was womanly, yet protective for archery.

This is one thing I'm not used to seeing at Ren Faires, but there were a lot of them - senior citizens in costume. Most of them were better than this lady with the glitz, but notice what she's doing - she's making Bayeux lace. There were about twenty people making bobbin lace - no needle lace or crochet lace - throughout the fete. Many pieces were for sale. It seems there's a trend now to make bracelets and chokers using this technique.

The masons in the shadow-courtyard of the cathedral. The cathedral itself is being renovated and these pieces will eventually be part of it. They're using, in the main, medieval techniques, especially for the details. For the big stuff, they use power tools. I just think it was the perfect place to set this up. The masons and carpenters wore white shifts and did try to dress up somewhat. Most wore jeans, too. My husband was snickering because of the fits OSHA would throw at their practices. Not even in the pictures of their workshops was there a pair of safety glasses.

This man was making a leather sheath. He had a lot of swords for sale and evidently, later in the afternoon, was part of an arms demonstration.

A silversmith actually casting buttons. He finished them well, too. His stuff was beautiful.

Even the babies get into the act.

One of two gers that were set up. This one is of twill. The other was of felt and obviously custom made or brought back from Mongolia. I have to say these things looked much, much more comfortable than tents!

Speaking of the tents - which would you sleep in?

A guy demonstrating the making and parts of different weapons and armor.

Busking in front of the cathedral entrance. My husband took several pictures of the cathedral from different places in the festival. I'm going to put them in a separate post.

Thank You Esso!

This trip would not have been possible without my husband being sent over here to France to work for all this time. Thank you ExxonMobil for the opportunity!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chateau Views

I decided it'd been a while since I posted about where I am living. It's the Chateau du Mont just outside of Beuzeville. This top picture is between the lines of trees in the front garden. There used to be three lines on this side, but the caretaker took out the outside line just before we got here.
This next picture is the view from the front door.

The fountain is supposed to be turned on Sundays in the summer, but it's got a leak, so it's only been turned on twice since we've been here. My husband took a lot of pictures last time it was on - on the Fourth. Yes, it's about the size of a fountain you'd find in a public plaza.

This is the view of the chateau from the first gate - yes, there are two. The first gate separates the property as a whole from the road.

The view of the chateau from the inner gate. It's rather imposing. Driving down the driveway's fun, especially right in front of the chateau. It's covered in about six inches of pea sized gravel.

I've liked living here, mostly. The grounds and house are beautiful, even if some rooms really need quite a bit of work. It's just hard dealing with the lack of privacy outside of your room. I like having a private dinner with my husband and son, and sometimes we get interrupted by people coming in and just talking to my husband, ignoring us eating dinner and ignoring that he's not alone. It also happens to me frequently when I'm listening to a friend and talking on the puter or listening to the news on my puter with my headphones. Someone will come in and just expect me to drop everything else I'm doing. Without those things, the place would be idyllic.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I'm one of those weird people who drink tea instead of coffee. On Wednesday, when I was in Deauville, I found this tea and spice merchant with bunches of wooden bowls filled with great smelling stuff. Needless to say, I bought. The teas are beautiful and this picture - well, it wasn't one of my husband's best photographic efforts. Anyway, I bought four kinds and they all smell and look wonderful. One of the other people with us said I should take it out of the bags and use it as potpourri because it smells so good and looks so pretty.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Last Bit of Stash for the Week

I told you I'd bought a lot of stuff. This bit includes a Bibendum kit (which is the single most expensive purchase I've made), a sampler with astrological signs, Seaside from DMC (given free by the shop owner), a Japanese Embroidery book in both French and English, some small charts, and two kits - one of a bookmark and one of a tiny fountain.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Stash Away

More stash! Aren't you shocked? The top picture has the fabric I'm going to stitch something onto and make a valance for my living room, at the request of my husband. It's about two yards across unfolded. Patterns - three Les Bonheurs des Dames charts and a pretty heart that I'll do in overdyed thread. The magazines are both embroidery ones - Elena has other things besides cross stitch.

I bought the ribbons at a shop in Rouen that sells buttons, ribbons, and a small bit of floss. It's on the Rue de Gros Horologe and we passed it the first time we went to Rouen. I saw the wide bird ribbon in the window and longed for it. So when we went back to Rouen, I bought it and these four others. They have lots of gorgeous ribbons. i might go back on Monday, I'm not sure. A couple of these ribbons are rayon - the others are silk. Really big price difference. The bird ribbon's going to be the centerpiece of a purse like the one I just finished, for me!

Fecamp - Benedictine

If you've ever heard of the liqueur Benedictine or B&B, it's made in France, on the Norman coast. The town is an industrial port called Fecamp, and it's got an okay beach, along with the white cliffs to each side. It's about fifteen minutes from Etretat and makes a nice combined trip. The founder of the Benedictine company seems to have been one of those late Victorian eccentrics. He built a palace to use as his distillery. The original time clock's still in there. Anyway, this is the palace. It's gorgeous and really a weird place to function as a distillery.
In the palace itself there is a collection of archaeological items from the original Benedictine abbey in the town - sacked and torn down during the French Revolution. Lots of old keys, door plates, locks, and other things. There is also a small collection of medieval art originals and a gallery for contemporary art. When we were there Sunday, that gallery had about 50 or so pieces by Miro in it. Not my cup of tea.

As an incentive to go, they give you a sample at the end of the tour.


Despite history being all around them, the French don't tend to have a lot of re-enactors or ren faires. One of them takes place at Chateau Crevecoeur in August of every year. It's got everyone (plus visitors) caught up in a different storyline every year and things get crazy. The grounds are a medieval manor house and outer bailey restored by Schlumberger corporation (which has an exhibit in one of the barns about its history). There's a dovecote that still stinks of pigeons. A demonstration of how Norman architecture fits in with the surroundings and how it was done, including a lot of restoration footage, and the manor house itself. There's also a medieval music exhibit with real and restored instruments of the time. It's open April through October and worth the visit.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

French Flowers

I can't help taking pictures of flowers. I always say I'm going to use them for design one day. That day's getting close as I feel the urge to design bubbling up in me. All these pictures were taken here in France. The topiary swan, petunia, fuchsias and gallardia were taking at the Argentan lace musem. Very pretty grounds.

These sunflowers were taken at a florist's stall in Alencon.

These little blue flowers were sitting on the edge of the cliff in Etretat. You can see one of the cliffs and the sea behind them. The wild geranium was also taken there.

These daisies were growing in the herbal garden outside the Normandy Museum.

I had never seen this flower before and the French name didn't give me a clue. It's comfrey, which I'd heard of before. Anyway, I think it's pretty. It was growing in the herbal garden at Crevecoeur.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stash, Part 2

A lot of this stuff was on sale, since it was bought at the shop going out of business. There are another Bleu de Chine heart, three Il Etats des Fois charts (one of which is a really big sampler), a Mouton Rouge kit of a red sheep, an Isa Vautier chart, and a kit for making lace. I still have a few more pictures of stash to post ... anyway, I'm very thrilled with my buys.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Stash, Part 1

As I told you, I went on a stash buying spree last week. Here's part one. The threads are all hand dyed cotton from French dyers. I hadn't seen them before. There are three heart charts from Bleu de Chine in this picture and a sampler tree from them too. I didn't buy a single thing I could get in the States. It seemed pointless to. There are two Bleu de Soie sampler type charts and two from Lili Soleil. The red one and the blue background one are from the same designer. This was bought at two shops - Broderie Passion in Houlme, outside Rouen, and Travaux d'Aiguille in Rouen, which closed on Saturday.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


We went to Alencon last Sunday to visit the Fine Arts and Lace Museum. The town was deserted. There were very few people on the streets and maybe two restaurants open. This is definitely not a tourist town. The top picture is one of the church. Evidently the front panel is rather rare on it as it shows the Transfiguration. The church is rather pretty.

This is the front entrance to the lace museum. It's also the municipal fine arts museum. No photography allowed inside. The paintings are mainly pre-Impressionist and some are ones I recognized. There's one of Phillip of Orleans that really looked familiar. Another one with night fishing was beautiful. The lace - it was mainly Point d'Alencon and Point d'Argentan. There is an excellent video about lacemaking and several Paco Rabban wedding dresses made with lace from Alencon's lace school.

I believe this is the city hall for Alencon. It's just a really beautiful building.

This is the entrance courtyard to the fine arts museum.