Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We visited the Balearic Island of Minorca, where not only the buildings were white washed, but the tile roofs, too.

The color of the water is such a beautiful shade of turquoise, it almost doesn't look real.

I don't know the name of this tree, but it sure is pretty.

A close up of the flower.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dali Museum

Now we are in Spain and a trip to the Salvador Dali Museum, a museum like I've never seen before. I really knew very little about the artist, except for his famous "Persistence of Memory", the one with the melting clocks. I was so glad to get a chance to see this building he designed to showcase a huge collection of his work.

This is a section of the outer wall. He had a thing for eggs and bread. Those yellow things protruding from the surface are loaves of bread.

Part of the interior courtyard, so much to look at........

Here is a a real Cadillac taxicab where, if you put a coin in the box, real rain would come down on the passengers inside. The buxom lady on top was made by someone else.

I printed this picture out small so that you could see Lincoln. If you click on it to see the larger view, it is another picture entirely. The painting was quite large and hung very high in the courtyard and we couldn't see Lincoln unless we looked though our cameras to get a reduction.

There was a separate museum to show his incredible jewel collection. These are ruby lips with pearl teeth.

This heart made of rubies beat like a real heart, a lttle creepy. Several of the jeweled pieces were mechanized.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Painted Fabric

I haven't done anything with fabric for so long that I am ashamed of myself.  So last night I painted two pieces of fabric, using Setacolor paints on wet cotton.  This will be the basis for my next quilt, a waterscape for my new master bathroom, which is painted pale aqua.  It will not be in these proportions, but probably 2/3 water and 1/3 sky, approximately. It's going to be hard deciding which part of the sky and water to cut out, since I like it all. I was trying to emulate the deep turquoise waters that I saw on my trip to the French Riviera and I think I got the colors right. Now to design the quilt, which will measure about 22 high by 44 wide and will have rocks or sand or both. 

I'll post some more trip pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Carcassonne and Abbey Fontfroide

On this day we visited the medieval city of Carcassonne, France in the morning. The old town is probably the finest example of medieval fortification. It is now listed as a World Heritage Site.

The outer wall.

View from the inside with the cathedral in the distance. Once inside the walls there is a complete city with shops and restaurants. We had lunch at the Hotel de la Cite, a very old beautiful building.

This view show the double walls of fortification.

In the afternoon we went to Abbey Fontfroide, datng back to the 11th Century. Here is a view of one of the courtyards through the arches.

A partial view of the Abbey Rose Gardens.  The roses were a little past their prime, but still pretty.

Another courtyard with a huge bed of lavender in full bloom. You can't tell from this picture how deep the bed is, or experience the heavenly fragrance.

Inside one of the hallways. I loved the arched ceiling.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Pictures from the South of France

The Hotel de Paris is an impressive building on one side of the U-shaped area that comprises the famous Casino (think James Bond) at the head of the U, the Hotel on one side, and restaurants and a smaller casino on the other side. We stayed at a great hotel, but not this one. Click on the picture to see a better view of the facade, a very small part of the huge and magnificent building. It is so exclusive that you can't walk into the lobby unless you are staying there.
This is the view looking from the Casino, showing you how mountainous the area is. I can't imagine driving there, but I guess that if you lived there you would have a driver for your Porsche or Ferrari. We saw lots of fancy cars.

Nice has a area populated mainly by Russians and this is their beautiful Church.

I took many pictures of rocks, walkways, ceilings. I thought this had wonderful texture and color. Maybe I'll print this out on fabric.

View from the top of somewhere. I never got tired of looking at those tile roofs and distant hills

Le Ponant, our home away from home for seven days and nights. I wish that I could have taken a pictures with her sails up, it was a sight to behold. We only had 41 passengers and a crew of about 30, good service to say the least. The food was delicious and we all loved our French chef, Francis, who would come out and stop at the tables after dinner. I'm surprised that I only gained one pound, because all self control went out the window. Francis told us that he didn't decide on what he was cooking for dinner until we got into port each morning and would plan his menu on what was fresh that day. Needless to say that we had incredible fish, but meat and poultry choices, too. He was very creative.
The sisters having a drink on deck before going in to dinner.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

France and Spain

I returned home Wednesday from a glorious trip to the south of France and the northern coast of Spain. We had absolutely perfect weather every day, hot, sunny and no humidity. I think it rained almost every day in CT while we were away. How lucky we were! I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, but I'll post a few every day in the order of the trip. Click on each picture for a bigger view.

We flew into Nice and stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco, a beautiful hotel just a five minute walk from the famous Monte Carlo Casino and the Hotel de Paris. This is the view from the seventh floor outdoor restaurant where we had lunch the first day.

On our second day we drove up to St Paul de Vence, a charming mountain top walled village. I had been there a few years ago as part of a tour of France and was so enchanted by it, but thought I'd never go back. I was elated to find that it was on this tour, too.

Here I am with my sister, Ruth, my travel companion, shopping at one of the many chic boutiques. The town is full of art galleries and small shops carrying mostly hand made things. It was a shopper's heaven.

The air in St. Paul's is pure and clear and was a haven for many famous artists, including Chagall, who is buried in this cemetery.

The narrow, winding, steep walkways in St. Paul's are made of small stones set in flower patterns, so charming.

Back to Monaco and a view of part of the yacht marina.

The courtyard of the Royal Palace in Monaco.

If you've been to my blog before, you know that I was following the progress of two nests, one in a wreath on my front door and a robin's nest in a tree right outside my door. My friend Carolyn, took some pictures when I was away (when it wasn't pouring) and got some good shots. These are the robins, almost ready to leave the nest.

An earlier picture of hungry robin babies.

The door babies. Both nests' inhabitants grew up and flew away before I got home. I was hoping to see them again, but at least I have these pictures. (Thanks to Carolyn who took quite a few).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cloisters and the babies

I took a delightful trip today to see the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the medieval art, located in Fort Tyron Park in Northern Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River. Contrary to popular belief, it was never a monastery or convent or church, but rather built in the 30's to house this fabulous collection of religious art. Having been to Europe several times, I sure thought I was there all over again. There was no flash allowed inside so those photos are less than stellar. This photo is from one of the three gardens. They were beautiful. We had an excellent docent which just added to the pleasure of the day.

I've lived in this area for over 40 years and wonder why I've never visited before. This trip was run by the Woman's Club of Danbury/New Fairfield, of which I am a member. We have taken some wonderful trips and this was the last one for the year since we don't meet in the summer.

I finally got a good picture of the sparrows on my front door. You can see their little pin feathers growing and they're starting to fill out.

And here are the robins all squished together in their nest. How about those big blue bulging eyes?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feed me

I'm having such a hard time getting a picture of the sparrows on my front door, that I'm thinking that maybe I should concentrate on the robins in the tree. These birds are so much bigger and easier to see than the sparrows. Here is one of them crying for food. My camera is not fast enough. I had them with all four mouths open, but by the time the camera was ready they clammed up. And don't worry, I'm not using a flash. That's the sun coming through the tree.