Friday, October 28, 2011

A Return to France / Recherchez a France

I will be returning to France for another magical week at the Chateau Dumas next summer! I have decided on teaching an in - depth 3 part class involving designing, binding, writing and illustrating your own book. I would like to take our group into the sunflower fields, through the hill town of Mont Pezat, and through the market town of Cassaude, each person with pen and paper, to record for themselves the visual feast of France. I will give each student personal attention in basic drawing and writing, and also bookbinding. Kaari will guide us through all the best flea markets, lavender fields and brocantes.
Here is a picture of Monica wearing the crown she made....and also, a picture of what she found at the flea market - an old painting, fabric treasures, books, antique plates, vintage linens, and a wonderful old burnt orange suitcase to bring it all home in.
It will be a return to paradise for all of us!
If anyone is interested in joining us, please go to Kaari's website: , for more information. Merci!

An Earthly Paradise

Here are more luscious pictures from a week in France...No need for captions, really, just lose yourself in each moment and adjust your minds eye to a different world...of color, and light and flavor....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreaming of France - Les Temps Perdu

It has been too many months since I and busy ness get in the way and there is not always time to find the words to describe my days. But then I will look back from a distance and see the past so clearly, and the meaning of it becomes clear. Proust was the one who said it best - that the true flavor of any experience can only be felt much, much later....the remembrance of "temps perdu."

Last summer I spent a week in France, with my daughter Monica, and friends Marcia Ceppos, Kaari and Molly Meng, and Cathy Mogul. Kaari, that fearless intrepid one, organized a grand excursion for 16 women, involving an eighteenth century chateau, an antique hat factory, flea markets and brocantes, and food and wine that made us all swoon with sheer pleasure. All of this, and a huge studio room for all of us to work together to create beautiful things.
I was invited to teach several classes there, and the women in my class made wonderful hand bound books, printed on a tiny letterpress, and dipped vintage flowers in beeswax and wove them into crowns. Monica taught us to print antique style photographs called cyanotypes,
and we spent a whole day in the meadows dying antique fabrics with and ancient blue dye.
Kaari brought wonderful vintage beads and all went home with a bracelet of french charms.
All these parts, as in all fantastic voyages, added up to so much more than I can explain - six months later I am still wondering at the deeper meaning in my week at the Chateau Dumas.
I brought home with me some renewed sense about what I want and need out of life - some sense of magic - and the energy to find it, in small and large ways, in my everyday life.
I will return to this post tomorrow, to add pictures and write a bit more.