Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Paris in the Spring

When we got back from our ski trip two weeks ago, we were greeted by these cherry blossoms* in our back garden. The first signs of Spring. Today the skies were blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was a balmy, for us, 15ºC (60ºF). We had all the windows open and the warm air felt like it was blowing away all the coughs and sneezes and tummy bugs that have been going around and around our family.

Daffodils on our walk to the school bus

We moved to France last August so Spring is the last season we have yet to experience living here. After ten years in Northern California, which did have four seasons but not always very distinct from each other, it feels special to really notice the change in the weather. In California, a 60ºF day would have felt chilly but today the girls got off the bus chattering about how HOT it had been at school!

Primula Lawn
Our rental garden which is full of magical old trees but not much colour other than green suddenly gave up a surprise this week. A lawn carpeted with Primulas!*

Primula close up
I used my creative hour to take photographs today!

I say Ladybird, you say Ladybug, the French say Coccinelle!

With all this sudden display of colour, I thought I would share a colourful little project that I made this time last year.

Pincushion Caddy
The Pincushion Caddy from Anna Maria Horner's book Seams to Me. It was made using AMH fabric scraps from these napkins and this jacket. I pieced the solid fabrics together into one large piece then cut out the pattern shapes from it. I hand stitched a running stitch with perle embroidery thread over some of the seams before I started to put it all together. That was when my enthusiasm for the project waned. Every review you will find of this project speaks to how frustrating it is to put together but the end result is so satisfyingly useful that it's worth persevering! This tutorial from Texas Freckles saved my sanity. DO NOT attempt this project without reading it first!

Florence and the Caddy 1
Florence saw it sitting out of the way on a high shelf yesterday and demanded that I get the "ball". She then spent an absorbing twenty minutes pushing all the pins in then pulling them out and sorting them by colour. Her first sewing experience! (Obviously, I took out the super sharp scissors first and didn't leave her alone with it - she's not a completely neglected fourth child!)

Florence and the Caddy 2
Once she was done exploring the pins she proceeded to dump out all the contents and discovered...

Florence and the Caddy 3 doubles as a fetching hat. Might want to take the pins out first though!

*Despite this blog's title, I am no gardener so I take no responsibility for plant mis-identification. A garden filled with 100 year old trees who have figured out how to look after themselves and spontaneously sprouting flowers is absolutely perfect for me!


  1. Beautiful pics! You'll never mow the lawn now, they're so cute. Our cherry tree isn't blooming yet but it is in a shady part of the garden (not sure why it was planted there). Can't wait til the Luberon is in bloom again.
    Beautiful AMH in the last post - don't put it on the bed whatever you do. I don't have any advice for quilt repair, sorry, but hopefully the internets will offer up the solution. They know so much! Happy sewing, an hour a day is a fantastic idea!

  2. Oh thank you for sharing France in the spring with me. I needed that today. The pincushion chapeau made me LOL.


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