Monday, April 30, 2012

Paris délicieux

Had lunch today at Le Progress in Montmartre which is becoming one of my favorite Paris restaurants. This gorgeous salad (which I have already tasted at this point in the photo) is the best salad I have ever eaten (and I make some pretty great salads!). Thinly sliced tomatoes, spicy roquette, tangy feta, dressed with a fine balsamic vinegar and a pesto oil that moved the basil flavor subtly onto each leaf. Oh so very good!

While Marcy went looking for fabric I took the funicular up to Sacre Coeur to gaze over the city while it was still relatively clear. The skies were quite artistically cloudy
and still you could see quite a distance.

The area was jammed with people everywhere so the energy was lively and happy.

This talented man was doing amazing things with a ball while standing on a pillar about 3' x 3'. If he had fallen it would be down a steep hill or the stairs. He kept this elegant dance up for at least 20 minutes of grace and ended by walking the fence
and then climbing the light post, all the while keeping the ball spinning.

It was a solo Cirque de Soleil as he held his body out parallel to the ground.

Then there were the brides having their photos taken...

And the chestnut trees in bloom!

Au revoir à  Avril en Paris.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Avril à Paris

Lilies-of-the-Valley brings happiness on May 1 for the French - according to the women we met in the market this morning while we were wallowing in the scent of some real ones. The history comes from Charles the first who decided to give them to the ladies of the court. This window display in one of our special dessert spots captures the joy inherent in one of my favorite flowers and I'd bet that chocolate cupcake tastes way better than dirt!

We encountered an ocean of shoes in the lower level of Galleries Layfette. One whole square block of nothing but shoes, each designer showcased in their little boutique. So many shoes, so few that could actually be worn if you wanted to be able to walk...

Our neighborhood hardware store carries everything you could ever need. Artfully arranged floor to ceiling, no space is left unused, even the door had this well balanced display of balls of string.

Plus à venir!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creative Spring - leap, jump, bound, vault, bounce, arise, emanate, sprout, surprise...

What an amazing season Spring is when she finally arrives. The sun likes to hide out in March providing an inner chill that feels colder than December. Then one day, after a grey heavy morning, the sun appears and clothing is shed piece by piece until I absolutely have to get the shoes off and the sandals on. Put the socks away and open the windows.

We leave for Paris tomorrow so it’s full-Tilton packing and getting organized today. The clothes are organized, some are in the suitcase and two pieces at the sewing machine.

Sometimes I notice my mind fretting about how I am going to come up with new ideas. What new thing could possibly be done with a t-shirt? Something always seems to show up but that never seems to help in the moment of fretting. Once I let go of that the ‘something’ always appears. In this case I got to experience, once again, that necessity really is the mother of invention.

I purchased a really nice turtleneck my last time in Paris. It perfectly matched a jacket I have but I rarely wore it. The jacket is the perfect weight for Paris in May the the shirt felt too wintery. Once I’d shortened the sleeves to 3/4, cut the neck down and removed the turtleneck it looked much better but now the length seemed too short. What to do?

I picked out the hems on shirt and sleeves with a seam ripper. I took the turtleneck apart and removed a small piece of elastic that was there to give it a nice scrunch. After pressing everything I cut the sleeve pieces into rectangles. Now I had 3 pieces that would go almost all the way around the bottom of the shirt. When I found a scrap of stripe that matched I knew I was good to go.

I stitched the short edges of the sleeve and turtleneck pieces closed, turned and pressed them. These three pieces along with two stripe scraps were arranged with edges overlapping around the lower edge of the shirt and basted down. After a final try on approval the seam is serged and voila a whole new look!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jumpin' Creativity

This photo shows a small corner portion of the visual feast provided in the studio where I was lucky enough to stay this past weekend. Tucked into a lush garden by a creek I was in heaven.

Twelve amazing and creative women gathered for a 'Beyond The Arty T' workshop and played with fabric and paint for two full days. It was an extraordinary time of sharing, growing their work and laughing. They made jackets out of sweatshirts, turtlenecks, t-shirts and cashmere sweaters. They cut, painted and silk-screened up a storm. I demonstrated, showed images and clothing and was in awe of the fine work that came out of their hands.

Mary wore this comical version of Vogue 8748 with color blocking, 
which she scaled down for her petite frame.

Tamara tried her hand at 'watercolor' painting on her white T.

Pansies in full bloom share our creative spirit. What are you making today?