Sunday, March 25, 2012

Art Journal #2

This week I decided to pick a topic from my journal prompts envelope.  I have about 50 journal prompts written down on small pieces of paper.  I blindly drew one on Monday and it said "MY HAPPY PLACE".

When I think of my happy place, the first thing that comes to mind is Amiel.  Amiel is a climbing area 10 minutes from our house. We go there about 3 times a week (when weather permits).  We climb there most of the winter because it's a south facing cliff and if it's not too cold and clear skies it's beautiful.  In the winter months, we leave the village all bundled up and by the time we hike to the top we are usually in shorts and t-shirts.  It overlooks Penne a lovely ancient village with a ruin on the top.  There are sheep below and beautiful views over the countryside.   The only sound we hear are the sheep or the church bells from Penne.  Most of the time it's just Bruce and I (and the dogs).  It's our office!  I love it there.

I wrote a haiku and found a quote by Henri Frederic AMIEL.  It is my happy place.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Today we drove up to Rocamadour, about 1.5 hours north of us in the Lot Department.  We had never been up there and heard it was stunning.  We want to take the kids there this summer, so we had to do a bit of recon.

Unfortunately it was a cloudy gray day, but the village is beautiful.  We had lunch at Chez Anne-Marie a little restaurant in the village and then walked up and around the village and visited the church.  I'm sure the kids will love it, as it's built into the limestone walls and is amazing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Art Journaling

My first page....
I'm a potter, but since moving here I haven't thrown.  It's been almost 3 years.  When we move over here I had to sell my kiln and wheel.  It was a sad day.  I started throwing pottery about 8 years ago, it was the first "artistic" thing that I did that I was good at.  It was easy and natural.  I sold my pottery at our studio at at a shop in Los Angeles called Heidi Abra.  I know I'll get another kiln and wheel, but probably not until next Spring.

So, I decided to try and get in touch with my creative side.  I can't draw or paint...anything.  When we had the art studio in Los Angeles I would tell the kids that they could draw better than me and it was true.  So, what to do.  A few weeks ago, I found a blog about art journaling.  Humm.....sounded interesting.  A bit of journaling, collaging, recording things, bringing back memories.  I can do that!  So, I have decided that once a week I will create a new page.  Thank goodness my husband is a painter, so I have many of the supplies already.

Today I finished my first page.  I bought my first sketchbook in Paris last week and while we were in the Jardin de Luxembourg I drew a tree.   I also bought a couple used french books.  Yesterday I finished my first page.  I did some research about the Jardin de Luxembourg and wrote some of the facts about it on the page.  I'm not 100% happy with it, but I'm really critical about what I create.  Although I was never critical about my pottery.

I also made a Journal Prompt envelope.  It's bits of paper with something written on it and every Monday I'll pick one out and do a page about the topic.  I also spent today going through old magazines cutting out words, pictures and things that I like.  It's going to be interesting and not easy for me, but I think it will be good for me.

So every Sunday will be my Art Journal day on this blog.  I'll post a picture of what I did during the week, the theme and a bit about how I created it.  Even if I don't like it, I'm going to post it.  Again, it's the process...and perfect is boring.

Here are some of the great blogs about art journaling that have helped get me going.  Thanks Ladies!
Art Journaling as a Creative Process
Art Journaling
Daisy Yellow

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Paris & Ghent

Last week went went up to Paris for 4 nights.  We stayed in our friends apartment in the 7th.  The same apartment we stayed in 12 years ago, Bruce's first trip to Paris.  That's where the love affair began.

We decided to take the dogs, it was ok at the apartment and fine at the hotel in Ghent.  We were only 2 blocks from the Champ de Mars, which was the perfect spot for the kids.  Off-leash and tons of other goldens.  They went 3x a day and ran around, met new friends and had a great time.

Dashell is in heaven!

We were there for business.  We attended 2 camp fairs in Paris.  One at the International School of Paris and the other an open fair at Eurosites.  We made some great contacts and got some sign-ups for this summer, so it was worth it.  We spent the day Friday walking around the city.  Since we've been to Paris 4 other times, we decided not to visit any museums, but to just walk around.  We had our take-out lunch at Jardin du Luxembourg, walked through the 4th and back home.  We had originally thought we'd stay in and cook our dinners in the apartment, but once we were there I wanted to eat out, so we did every night.

 This place smelled fantastic

 Love le Jardin du Luxembourg

 Bruce is in heaven!

Paris is just magical.

We left Paris on Sunday and headed up to Ghent, Belgium.  We attended another camp fair at the International School of Brussels.  We stayed in Ghent, because we have been there three times before, love the hotel (and they love the dogs) and Ghent is just beautiful.  We were only there 1 night, but we had a great dinner and walked around the city at night.  If you haven't been to Ghent, I highly recommend you visit.  I just love that city.

It was a quick trip, but we had a great time and did some business as well.  It's nice to be back home though, as the week before we went back to Los Angeles for 6 days.  I decided not to write a post about our first trip to Los Angeles in 1.5 years.  I was going to say "our first trip back home", but it's not home anymore, our home is France.  It wouldn't have been a very nice post, because we realized we'd never live there again!  It was nice to see my best friend and Bruce's parents, but other than that....not so great.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

4 years?

I haven't been blogging lately.  My life here is pretty simple now and do you really want to know what I do each day - rock climb, visit Toulouse, hike with the dogs, etc.  I looked back at my posts and realized that I have been blogging for 4 years.  Started out on Typepad in late 07 and then moved to Blogspot in mid-08.  Back then I had loads to talk about.  We were getting ready for our year sabbatical here in France, that was an adventure for sure.  Then we had to go back to the US and that was sad.  But then we sold our business and realized we could come back to France, that was great.  Then we opened our business and had some great summer art camps and adult retreats.  All of this was so fun to write about.

But now, we are settled.  We've been here for 1.5 years and life is pretty simple.  Our village only has about 900 people in it so there's not much going on.  During the off-season we usually spend our days hiking, trail running or climbing.  Not very exciting for people to read about.

I've decided though to try and spice it up and blog more.  I'll try and be interesting or at least post some amazing photos.  Hope you stick around.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday market in Caussade

Today we had to take our car up to the Peugeot dealership for it's 50K tune-up.  Our good friend C was going up to the Caussade market and so we planned to meet her there after dropping off the car, so she could take us home.  We have never been to the Caussade market, not really sure why.  Maybe because Sunday is market day in our village, St. Antonin and we usually just stay here.  Not that Caussade is far, just up the big hill, maybe 7K away.

But I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a wonderful market.  And I'm pretty sure I'll be skipping our busy, touristy market and going to Caussade's instead.  It's interesting because our market is very busy, but our village is quite small (but beautiful) and there are loads of tourists that come to our market, which means the prices are higher....the prices at the Caussade market are lower and there are more stalls and choices.

We had a lovely time.  For our Culinary Retreat May 12-19th we'll go to our Sunday market in St. Antonin, because it's pretty special, but on Monday we'll go to Caussade for the weekly shopping for sure.