This post is back to business as usual with the added bonus of revealing some of my craft loot from France. I didn't actually buy a huge amount as fabric was way too expensive and I was conscious that we were flying back into London City airport and travelling home by public transport so I didn't want our bags to be too heavy. As well as craft stuff, I found a few other things like a calendar featuring the local houses, two vintage champagne cups, a vintage metal and wood box decorated with decoupage, a Clover chalk marking pen, some lengths of lace and ric-rac from a haberdashery, a ceramic christmas decoration and some birthday and christmas gifts.
At the quilt show, I discovered 'cartonnage et broder', which is basically the French art of making useful household objects out of heavy card and covering them in fabric and embroidery. I bought a couple of patterns on one stand which turned out to be not as good value as I thought since they don't actually have the fabric or card in the 'kit' but they are still really cute, like something the Victorians would have made for their parlours.
I found a cute kit for a little coin purse made out of yo-yos.
and a couple of applique kits for needlework-themed and embroidered items.
This is a vintage little embroidered mat, with some ceramic ornaments I found. The smaller heart button has embossed decoration moulded from actual needlework.
At the religious-themed gift shop at Mont St Odile, I spotted this tiny creche which DH kindly persuaded me to buy and even promised to paint for me to use in a Christmas dollshouse scene. I've put a fork in the picture for scale.
So as usual things have been added on to my lengthy To Do list at a much speedier rate than they are coming off it, but I had fun shopping and look forward to tackling some of my new projects.
Meanwhile back on the ranch
The plumber that let us down in the summer has finally started work on remodelling the bathroom to insert a shower. He actually started the day after we got back from France so I made sure to clear the access route and the bathroom before we went on holiday, so all's we had to do was to remove the blinds and toiletries when we got back. The toilet and sink have now been temporarily removed and he is preparing the site for the new shower against the door wall. Needless to say there is dust everywhere, and even the cat turned pink one evening after she found some brick dust to roll in. I also narrowly prevented her from disappearing under the floor boards while I was talking to the plumber one evening after he had lifted some boards for access. The lower hallway is full of bits of wood, and huge boxes that the shower bits are waiting in, and it's all a bit chaotic.
Directly above the bathroom is my knitting and lace room, and my heart absolutely sank when the electrician who will be doing the rewiring work and installing the fan announced he would need the knitting room cleared to lift the floorboards for access. I didn't think I could face it but DH and DS pitched in like heroes and my much-mocked large collection of tote bags finally came into its own to collect all the yarn off the shelves. It's all clear now but I feel a bit traumatised at the thought of having to put it all back once it's all over. I'm also feeling stressed because so many things around the house are in the wrong place now so that even unaffected rooms are crowded with displaced items. There is also the danger that he will want me to move my (enormously heavy and huge) machine quilting frame because it's blocking the fuse box. I need to focus on how nice it will be to have a shower.
While we were on holiday I was doing a little bit of cross stitch on some holiday gift tags in the evenings, and also knitting on my second Rose Window hat which I finished shortly after we got back. This one is knitted in Paton's navy wool blend and Artesano fingering weight.
I've been so busy all week dealing with the building works, my physio appointments, the overgrown garden and holiday laundry that I've only just done some quilting on my frame for the first time yesterday, and I haven't done any bobbin lace at all for a few weeks now. I've done a bit more on knitting the twisted rope edging onto my GAA Afghan and I'm almost finished the first side now.
Just before we went on holiday, I cut an area out of the lawn for a new flower bed and DS kindly cleared the rest of the turf. So this weekend we are digging in some manure to that and around the new patio, in preparation for planting. Our soil is very sandy and stony so I sieved the soil by the pergola where the rose will be planted to try to improve it. I'm planning to order a climbing rose called Madame Caroline Testout, which is pink and is supposed to cope with exposed conditions like our windy garden. It will come as a bare root plant in November.