Garden "les Quatre Vents" La Malbaie, Quebec

                                                         So I realize I am a really lucky duck. I first saw images of the glorious "Four Winds" gardens floating  around Pinterest and could not believe they were from a garden in La Malbaie, Quebec province right where we were planning on spending a week.  Then I read that they were only open a few days a year, but one of the days was during our trip.  Then I went to make a reservation and was told it was booked a year in advance. I decided ...


zen stitching...

I am not a particularly talented needlewoman... I knit and crochet in rectangles  or squares only. Most of my blankets end up with the "Comfort for Critters"  charity which gives blankets to displaced dogs and cats. I'm thinking my handiwork will keep them warm, especially the cashmere and alpaca ones. And the dogs don't judge. When my husband asks for a button to be re-attached and I give him an indignant deer-in-the-headlights look, he actually should be grateful I won't do it, it would be...


the cumbrian way

Just back from a lovely ten days in the UK, lots of which was hiking on (and off) the Cumbria Way in the Lake District of northern England. Really sublime landscapes, flora and fauna (moss!!!) and the all-important tea and scones.  We chose the "self guided" tour which proved to be a bit much...from a navigational point..."through the field, past the tarn, around the cairn"... and off the path we went. But over five days we picked up some of the key words and mostly learne...


I think i have a fourth cone

                                                    nude in bath, pierre bonnard   First, a disclaimer.  My entire scientific knowledge could be stuffed into a thimble with plenty of left over room for my finger. Frankly, the id...


Too Much Stuff

About three years into my marriage my husband confessed he married me mostly because I was such a light packer…and I am just fine with that. Anyway, I am a great packer. After so many long hauls I have honed my  minimalist packing skills to the Nth degree. I can live three days off the contents of a small purse.  And even though I do usually check a bag ( I can’t stand to carry stuff),  everything wi...


Fete du muguet

Say what you will about the French, but they do have a few really charming customs. My personal favorite is the Fete du Muguet, which somehow is intertwined with the French Labor Day. On the first day of May, it is customary to present friends and loved ones with tiny bouquets of Lily-of-the-Valley. The flowers are symbols of good luck and mark the arrival of spring. And, I guess, a day off work. At any rate, they are so...


Girl Time

Not that I don’t like traveling with my boys, but three days this week alone with my 15 year old daughter in Savannah, Georgia  were pure heaven. Savannah - Spanish Moss The goals of our trip were more Scones and Pralines than Great Generals of the Confederacy.  But we were meticulous in our research. I am quite sure we did not miss any needlework boutique, vintage jewelry shop or tea room within Savannah city limits. We walked and walked the beautiful town an...


My Plucky Garden

Here in the Washington D.C. area, there are but a handful of days when it is not too cold, too windy, too hot, too rainy, too humid, or too buggy to be outside.For me, at least. So, although I like to consider myself a “gardener”, my “gardening” consists mostly of planting something and running inside to watch it grow from the window. As I don’t believe in pesticides or fertilizers, and I won’t wrestle with the the hose, the plants that survive in my garden are really plucky plant...


Origami Paper Covered Easter Eggs

While today’s post has nothing to do with my first love, French needlework, it does discuss one of my favorite spring tasks.  Easter eggs covered in origami paper… I don’t remember where I first saw this idea, but it handily  fulfills my Two Cardinal  Rules of Crafting: 1. A monkey can do it. 2. Supplies, in this case origami paper, need to be amassed in every color under the sun. (For some reason buying an insane number of colors of something is integral to my idea of cr...