Monday, July 22, 2013 low tide.

These beautiful, warm days go fast. I am here and there, having friends coming and going while I'm here, spending time reading and swimming while I'm there. It is such a peaceful period when I can let my mind drift and reflect on the past year and start preparing the coming one.

Here, I love checking the plants and flowers in the garden early in the morning before it is too hot to stay outside. Then,  having  breakfast on the terrasse and later closing all the shutters to keep the house as cool as possible.

Summer is about noises too. Very early I awake with the chirping of the birds... Everything is so much alive. I also learn a bit about gardening. I helped picking potatoes last week and I watch the tomatoes, green beans, zucchinis, eggplants and green peppers grow every day.

I have also invited many friends and family over and I enjoy having time to prepare, plan my meals and not rush.

There, I enjoy the breeze.  Days are hot but nice. There, you can breathe and it's a relief from the suffocating air at home! Days are almost invariably the same : a swim in the morning and some time at the beach, some stitching in the afternoon and a long stroll with my wife in the evening along the marina. My daughters are busy with their friends, cousins and their books and seem to enjoy these long sunny days too.

I have just finished to read The Union Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini. I couldn't make any progress on this book last year and last week, I almost finished it in three days!!! There is definitely a period for things... I have loved the story!

At the beginning of summer, I had planned to stitch and quilt and finish many projects... but as the time goes, it seems like not much will be done and I don't mind! Having spent last summer working every single day from dawn to dusk on the house renovation, I just enjoy being able to do what I feel like doing. If not finished this summer, it will be next... maybe... it is not about productivity here!! I am no designer and have no deadlines... and that suits me well. I have made some progress on the Basket Quilt and have finished the yoyos though. I am now stitching beads on them.

 There, on the Meditteranean coast, I brought along a Stacy Nash project I am stitching on 40-count hand-dyed linen with hand-dyed silks. Pure bliss.


Here, I stitched part one of the new Stitch Me Club project on the recommended linen with the recommended threads. One over one cross-stitches make the piece so delicate. It is going to be a stitching accessory and you know how I like these stitched little treasures!!

About personal matters, I keep being inspired by Rhonda Hetzel's blog and book. I learn so many things from her and have put many into practice for more than a year now. It has not changed my life dramatically but all the little changes do make a real difference in the way we live, eat, clean, spend and save money. It brought what I wasn't expecting : a sense of control and liberty, the feeling that I am the one choosing my life and not following the social and media dictation of what is best for us!

I think it is probably time  to stop my rambling which is not of great interest for anyone. I do like writing things down though! I guess it's part of the process of being aware of my surroundings and counting my blessings.

Happy summer to you all and happy winter to my blog readers down under ;-)

 Until later, 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer parties and Stacy Nash's new book.

Summer seems to be finally here and with this nice weather the BBQ parties have begun. Last weekend, we had invited friends of ours for our first BBQ lunch outside. We usuallly have lunch outside in May and sometimes earlier but this year the weather was terrible!!!

Like us, they are very much into fresh organic and homemade type of dishes. They came over with a fantastic raspberry tart they had made with the raspberries they had picked up in their garden in the morning. It was beautiful and delicious. We had prepared roasted spring vegetables and barbecued curry pork skewers.

It was so nice to spend the afternoon with friends, talking about this and that while the kids were running around asking my daughters to play ball or badminton with them.

Tonight again, we have a pot-luck BBQ party with colleagues. We will be 15 and we'll celebrate the beginning of the summer break and talk a bit about next year's projects... that's inevitable!!! It's going to be fun.

About my quilting and stitching news now!

As I told you I work on one project at a time now!!

 I am not very far from finishing The Basket top. A few more yoyos to make and stitch to the top, then, embrodering the little twigs and I'm done. Which means that I will have four quilts to hand quilt!!!

As this is summer time, I will spend my mornings in the garden, the afternoons either on a quilt top assembly or on a cross-stitch project and the evenings hand-quilting.... when I'm home of course!  I will spend a few weeks on the Meditteranean coast and another week on the ocean coast this summer. But I will bring along one or two cross-stitching projects with me ;-)

As you may have noticed on the right hand-side bar, I will stitch the new project by L'Atelier Perdu. It is sure to be a gem once again!

Today, I received Stacy Nash's first book! You may remember that I got this fabulous pinkeep and carrots as a present a few years ago. So this is not new that I like Stacy's creations very much!

 Her book is splendid ;-) It is entitled My Name Is Lidya and is published by Kansas City Star.


Well, it looks like a good start to a fun and creative summer filled with friendship and happiness.

Until later,