Terre Sauvage.

Unfortunately Christine cannot write a blog this week due to swelling around her eyes so this one comes from Paul. Chris has seen two doctors and had x-rays to eliminate alleges and sinus problems, she will be seeing an eye specialist next week. So we are keeping fingers crossed that normal service can be will soon be resumed and all will be well before the Daglan Spring Flower Festival and Sarlat Chocolate Festival in 2 weeks time.

Yesterday we popped into Belves, on our return we stopped for a few moments to admire the amazing sculptures at Terre Sauvage in Vaurez.

Their recycled creations are made entirely by hand from recycled metal drums, car body and refrigerator panels.

Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, boar, horses, birds and more can be found in the garden of Laurent Picherit. Here are a few examples of his wonderful work.

A Stag
 

A Peacock
 

The menagerie including a galloping turkey and a prancing horse.
 
 

News

The 8 à Huit in Daglan will be closed 9th and 10th March
 

Events


 
 

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Not long until July! Part Two

To complete my Embroidery blog I will describe some of the stitches I have used in my embroidery work and explain why I picked them..

There are numerous embroidery stitches that are ideal to use on light fabric. It all depends on what you are trying to create. So I think that the best option is to focus on four basic stitches so that you can try them, once practised you can move onto something more elaborate.

Running stitch, back stitch, cross stitch and satin stitch.

The Running Stitch is a simple stitch very much like a tacking stitch which I use to reduce fraying around the edge of the fabric. However the running stitch has smaller stitches.
 

Back Stitch on a white pillow case.

A stronger stitch than the running stitch but similar. Used for creating a solid line. One thread or two of embroidery silk are used depending on the thickness of the line you are embroidering. Start as for a running stitch but make the sequential stitches by passing the needle back into the end of the previous stitch.
 

Cross Stitch.

This stitch can be used to completely fill an area. Bare in mind that small cross stitch like the above takes time. This particular picture took me about two months to create, working two or three hours a day.

The stitch is excellent for canvas material where the weave can easily be counted and worked over an even number of threads for each stitch. When making cross stitch to fill the design, work the first slanting stitch for the full length, then work back completing the crosses.
 

Satin Stitch on leaves on a cushion.

Again can be used to fill an area. It is worked from left to right, therefore allowing a more flat surface than the cross stitch. Lines of running stitch could be worked inside the outline first to give a raised effect.
 

Have fun and be creative.
 
 

Not long until July! Part One.

“Oh my goodness, summer is on the way, my exhibition in Daglan will soon be here.” At the moment I am not too nervous, just very excited. There are a few more pictures and cushions to be completed and I shall be ready for my exhibition.

Over the last few months several people have asked me various questions about my embroidery, “what is my plan”, “were do I start”, “when I am thinking of my next piece of embroidery work”. So here are a few suggestions which I hope will help anyone who is thinking about starting embroidering work.
 

Preparation

It might be best to try out a few small pieces of embroidery first, this you can do by looking at the various kits available in haberdashers and online which contain everything needed. Then if you get “the embroidery bug” you can move onto something more difficult.

1/ Planning. First, you will need, paper, pencil, fabric, embroidery silks, needle, wooden frame.

2/ Think about what the completed work is going to be e.g. a cushion, pillow case, a picture, embroidery to embellish a dress or shirt, or if you want to think big a tapestry. Not as large as the Bayeux tapestry… yet, although our son has suggested I embroider a tapestry of our family which would cover a wall of a large room!

3/ Consider fabrics. cotton, linen or canvas and what colour, it all depends on what you are going to make. I prefer plain white cotton for pictures and pillow cases and neutral coloured linen for cushions.

4/ I then sketch an outline of what I want my embroidery to look like onto paper so I can make alternations to the design at this stage. Think about the size of the picture and what colours of embroidery silks you will use. Remember that for a large area more than one silk is needed. All silks have a number on a paper ring around them so that if need more you can go back to the shop and buy the exact colour.

5/ When ready, measure your fabric two or three centimetres larger than a frame. Cut out the fabric. My preference is for a double layer of fabric which holds the stitches better without puckering.

6/ When pieces of linen or cotton are to be used they will be handled quite a lot so place a running stitch around the edge of the cut out fabric to stop it from frying so much.

7/ A good tip is to stretch the fabric. This is completed by placing the fabric into the frame as taut as possible, lightly spray the fabric with cold water and leave to dry.

8/ Sketch your design onto the fabric.

This is “Our French Dream”. Relaxing in a sunny garden with the produce of the Perigord on the table, wine, truffles and walnuts.
 

Begin you embroidery.
 

I added more flowers and one of our cats to the picture.
 

This is a butterfly that has just settled onto a flower.
 

The completed work is to be used in our poster for the exhibition.
 

9/ Use your imagination or research when creating a period piece. Or sketch a landscape or a château it is up to you, in order to create something unique.

10/ Most importantly, have Fun
 
 

Part Two will be our next blog-What stitches to use.
 
 

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Over recent weeks Sarlat has been transformed from a beautiful medieval town to a wonderful Christmas village. The highlight being Sarlat Christmas Market (this year with a Spanish theme) and outdoor skating rink. Open until the end of December, with up to forty wooden chalets selling traditional arts and crafts, mulled wine, cakes, hot roasted chestnuts and caviar! But I saw no tapas on our morning visit!

Snow flakes flutter down in this tableau scene at the entrance to the Christmas Market.
 

I particular like the traditional Christmas tree ornaments for sale in quite a few of the chalets. Glass baubles, wooden hearts, and lots of red bows that are very popular in this area of France.

Incidentally, many French Christmas traditions originate from Alsace and it was in the town of Selestat that Christmas trees first appeared in the 11th Century. People used to decorate their trees with real fruit but one year the harvest was poor and a local glass blower from Goetzenbruck in Moselle tried to replicate the fruit by creating glass balls to hang on the branches. However, I have heard of a few more places that have been named for the origination of glass ornaments! Wherever they came from, they are gorgeous.

Facade of a Spanish Finca welcomes visitors to the market.
 

I do love this little donkey standing outside the chalet of the Donkey Sanctuary where you can buy gorgeous soap, aprons, tea towels etc. The profit goes to the upkeep of the Sanctuary.
 

New to the Christmas Market is a chalet selling Neuvic Caviar.
 

Spanish Flamenco dancers or matadors decorate many of the chalets.
 

Prints of Salvador Dali paintings hang from the trees. This painting is a particular favourite of mine.
 

Paul admiring the traditional wooden Christmas tree decorations in this chalet.
 
 

Event:-Daglan Truffle Market every Sunday from 11am until February.

26th to 30th December Merlin at Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. This is a narrative show for young children in sound, shadows and light. Shows are at 11 o’clock, 2.30 and 3.30.

Sarlat Truffle Festival 19th and 20th January.
 
 

Deck the Halls

The ladies of our weekly Craft sessions have had a treat over the last fortnight. First we had a demonstration of garland making then this week a workshop, all under the expert eye of Carolyn Lindsey.

Boxes upon boxes of the most gorgeous decorations.
 

Carolyn giving advice and a helping hand.
 

Ribbons, ivy, lights and golden baubles are being used to make this stunning garland.
 

Brilliant Denise, I wish that I could have stayed to see the finished work.
 

My attempt. If you are in Daglan over the festive season take a look, it will be hanging on the door of our home.

Big thanks to Carolyn who will be out and about selling her decorations at various Christmas markets over the next few weeks.
 
 

Marchés de Noël
Saturday 1st December at Meyrals
Sunday 2nd December at Soirac
Sunday 9th December at Salviac
Sunday 16th December at Belves